Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More existential than normal. I blame my literature major in college.

Sometimes I am so surprised and fascinated at how delicate we are, when you think about what we endure on a daily basis. Our bodies take the beating we give them at the gym. They process the healthy and unhealthy food we put into them. Our minds are capable of synthesizing incredible amounts of information. We can compartmentalize our lives into home, work, friends.

And yet life is so fragile, both physically and emotionally.

I see it every day, walking down the streets of my city, on the bus, in my car. We feed ourselves horrible food, and as a city, we are fat. I've written about this before, but for those who may be lurking or new (say hello! I love comments!), I don't hate or pity these people. But I am sad for them, because I know what it's like to feel trapped. I am scared for them, for their shortened life spans. They make me hyper aware of my extra 50lbs. They make me aware of how large my father is, and how much I love him, and want him to be around as long as possible. They make me aware that Boyfriend is nine years older than I am, and that I want HIM around as long as possible, in spite of the fact that we are both young, and embarking on this healthy lifestyle together.

Sometimes I marvel that our bodies can take so much abuse. Other times, I practically weep for us as a nation. What are we doing to our bodies? This is why I run. Why, in spite of having a horrible day, I did not get ice cream, but instead had a few pieces of dark chocolate. Why I attempt to eat sensibly and move more. Why I am determined to drop the weight. Life is short, it is fragile.

But perhaps the hardest part of weight loss for we emotional eaters, and indeed the hardest part of examining our relationship with food, is thinking about our mental well-being, and what our minds are capable of handling.

I suppose it's normal to have existential crises in your mid-20s. But it seems to me that so many of us of all ages are walking around on auto-pilot. We stuff food in our faces that we barely taste. We want bigger, better, faster, more, when it comes to everything, but we don't know why. We're never satisfied. It takes a toll on our bodies, our friendships, our relationships. We want so deeply to be loved, yet we can't make relationships work. I think that it's because, for whatever reason, we just really don't know ourselves, because we think it's easier to just not think about it. But what does this cost us?

We're frustrated. I'm frustrated. It plays out in hurtful and rude comments. It plays out in self-abuse with food. With alcohol. With any number of substances or activities.

We all do it to varying degrees. But I was faced with my demon tonight when, after a friend made a thoughtless comment that shook my confidence, I wanted to quit. I wanted chocolate, I wanted to go to sleep. I shut down.

But instead of the ice cream I wanted, I had healthier dark chocolate, and a moderate amount. I did some problems for a class. And I remembered that even when the world seems like it's out to get me, I come home to someone who loves me, and wants only the best for me.

And that's worth more than the rest.

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