Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Yes, I'm still ignoring my weight

I've kind of gotten used to the fact that there will be a segment of the population that simply won't believe that I don't know, exactly, how tall I am. When people ask, I tell them "about 6'3" ," but inevitably somebody will say something like "my second cousin's next-door-neighbor's kindergarten teacher's father was 6'3" and you're way taller/shorter than that person!" Of course, I have no comeback to that - the truth is that I've been measured anywhere from 6'1" to 6'6". Most of the time, it's right around 6'3", and that's what I say. I know there are people who are adamant that they are 6'4" that I'm taller than. I know there are people that claim to be 6'3" that I'm shorter than. It doesn't matter to me - but it seems that the vertically challenged portion of the population absolutely refuses to believe that "that number" doesn't really matter.

Well, since I've started running, I've been getting a lot of "how much weight have you lost?" questions. This time, I can't even give a guess. I, honestly, do not know. And, not knowing is keeping me a bit more sane. See, the last time I got serious about my weight loss, I weighed myself daily: nude, 6:30AM, after a workout, at the gym. I'd track this number, chart this number. I'd fret if the number didn't move in the right direction or if it moved "too far" in the other. The important thing was that I was making myself healthier, and I was working out and I was eating right (well, maybe not eating enough at the time, but that's a story for another post). I was doing things that were doing good for me. That fact should have been enough, it should have been all that should have mattered. But, I obsessed about "the number".

If we use "weight" as a barometer for one's health (and, we shouldn't, but it's such an easy metric to follow that it's difficult not to), it's best to treat it like a retirement investment account. If you must check "the number," check in on it only every now & then. Just make sure that it's traveling in the right direction, moving toward a goal. The best analysts will tell you that, if you trust your strategy, follow your strategy and know that the results will be there when you need them. If you obsess about a $100 drop when you're looking to make $1,000,000, well, you're going to go crazy. And, the last time I was looking out for my health, I think I may well have been crazy. As I approached my "goal weight," I'd obsess, plain & simple. I wasn't healthy.

So, when I re-launched this blog, my goal was to be "healthy." The goal was never anything more than that. Sure, I have goals like "run a marathon", "complete an iron man", etc. but I don't have a picture in my mind of what I'll look like when I'm "healthy." There isn't a scale reading that will say "hey, look, I made it." "Healthy" is a commitment to yourself for forever. And, it's wonderfully vague. I'll never be able to obsess.

Well, all that was a longwinded way to say that, yeah, my clothes are fitting me differently. My face is thinner. I can squeeze places that I wasn't able to squeeze at some point. People who have known me ask how much weight I've lost. I always have to say "I haven't a clue." Nobody believes me. That's fine, though - I'm feeling pretty good about myself these days.

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