Ever since my dad was diagnosed with cancer, I’ve been asking myself, why I bother to eat right and exercise. Dad did yoga and walked and lifted some weights for years. Dad ate very sensibly all of his life, even trying vegetarianism for a while. He stopped smoking when he was around 40 years old.
Cancer still bit him in the ass. In the 15 months from his diagnosis to his death, that suckie cancer drained all the vitality from that man. I admit I’m resentful. So much for good health practices (not to mention my grandmother’s good genetics which didn’t help either).
I saw this cartoon by Roz Chast on The New Yorker Magazine FB feed and was reminded, yeah, don’t be crazy with either diet or exercise because they are not a free pass.
Mind, I don’t eat dairy or grains or much sugar or nightshades. Why do I bother? Because I get sick when I eat those things and I’m very much alive and really dislike the stomach bloat and upset as well as the general feeling of malaise that sometimes occurs when I’ve eaten something I shouldn’t (whether deliberate or cross-contaminated).
But I am not going to make myself insane counting calories or macros or shoving an extra serving of greens into my gullet at 10 p.m. because I’m one serving short that day. I think those days are over.
I also think those days of trying to push more and more weights and making myself puke from exercise are over as well. In fact, I just read about a study about yoga , which piggy backed on a study about tai chi, both of which found that yoga and tai chi were very effective forms of exercise — without weight lifting and heavy cardio. Thank God! I’m so tired of the aches and pains that I now have in my body from all that joint and muscle pressure I put on myself for the last number of years and I just want things that help me feel better. I’m done counting steps and if anyone locally wants my Fitbit, I might just sell it to you for a deep discount (hardly worn).
I want to maintain my balance and flexibility, and be able to breath. Those are much more important goals than anything else.
Because what I’ve learned over the last 18 months is that truly, we make plans and God laughs. We have no guarantees in this world. I think it’s more important to be happy. That seems to me to be a much better goal than counting steps and macros.