Tuesday, July 19, 2005

To be or not to be.... healthy.

I am on a diet. I have been on a diet of some kind or another since I was a teen. Sometimes a weight loss diet, some times a weight gain diet, sometimes a get-myself-healthy-because-I-haven't-been-eating-so-hot diet. Whatever.
I try and pay attention to what I eat, but I happen to love food. I don't much care what kind of food, it all appeals to me if it is done right. I am not largely over weight, but I have been, so I really watch my peas and carrots. At the moment I am trying to drop a few pounds.
My sister is deathly afraid of weight. She looks ill most the time, and we've spent years trying to get her to gain. While she believes us that she looks bad at this weight, she also can't get past the anorexic mentality that won't let her put on five pounds. I'd personally rather be chunky than too skinny.

Though what I truly want to be is healthy, at whatever weight I may be.

That's the true answer, isn't it? To be able to get out of your chair without groaning, and stand without hearing your knees pop like firecrackers. To not be malnourished, anemic, and prone to every virus and bacteria that wafts by. To know you can eat things that taste good and satisfy you, and at the same time know you are eating things that promote health and long life.
My father used to say he didn't want to live past 55. He's well past 60 now, and not saying that anymore. I don't think he ever meant he didn't want to live a long life. I think he just meant that he didn't want to grow old, if growing old means things like respirators, chronic pain, and the inability to enjoy the life he is living. When you're young you have no idea how short life starts looking when you get up in years. And it isn't necessarily that you don't have that many years left to live... it' how many healthy and productive years do you have left? I might live until I am eighty, but how great is that if my least 20 years is spent hurting so bad I am not happy living it?

I used to drink a lot. Partied with the best of them in my Navy days. Woke up damn near every weekend and lots of week days with a hangover. Eventually I began to rethink my ideas on "fun" and lowered my alcohol intake so that the next day wasn't so painful. Started drinking more water, eating before I went out, going to bed before the sun could rise. Not that I am not still capable of staying out and getting ripped like the rest of 'em, it just doesn't appeal to me anymore. The next day isn't worth the pain of instant gratification.

I guess what I am saying is that I treat all of life that way now. Except that instead of fearing the morning after I am watching out for the years after. Trying to give myself the ability to enjoy my golden years, should I be lucky enough to have any.

Long walks, lots of smiles, and healthy food when I can manage it.

And of course, I still enjoy the not so healthy stuff once in awhile.

Can't save all the fun for when I am eighty now, can I?

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