Body Therapy

How much time do you think a woman spends thinking about her body? As a teenager, I know I used to obsess about it. As a single adult, I spent quite a bit of time lamenting it. When I was in the Navy, I spent many hours cursing it. If I could gather together every single minute that I’ve spent thinking about my body over the entirety of my life, I think I would have enough time to….

I don’t know what I’d do with that much time, actually. There are so many things that I wish I had time for. I’d write more. Learn photography. Learn another language. I’m thinking Spanish since its the second most widely spoken language in the world. And it might come in handy if the hubs ever moves me to San Diego. Maybe I’d take a cooking class where they teach me all those knife tricks. I want to be able to chop all my vegetables in seconds!

And maybe the last thing I’d do, if there was any time left, is exercise. Yep. For all the time I spend being unhappy with my body, all that time feeling disgusted or ashamed, I still hate to exercise.* Why is that? I can give myself all these excuses as to why, but I don’t think any of them are legitimate reasons. Part of it is that I have some anxiety attached to it (and I’m still trying to figure out why that is). Near the end of my time in the Navy, I was having panic attacks just thinking about group PT (Physical Training) and I only had to do it 3 mornings a week. But I’d think about it as I trudged up the hill at 4:30 in the morning to get to the field where we met. And I’d think about it the next day because I’d have to remember to set my alarm at night. I’d panic while I was running, doing calisthenics (although I never heard that term used) and even just going for a stroll if I was thinking of it as a workout.

Here I am, about 3 months out from a birthday that will get me even closer to 40, and I still have moments that I waste thinking about my body. When I was younger, I thought about losing weight for social reasons. Don’t we all think we’ll find love once we’re the perfect size?** But now that I’m middle aged (I shudder just to type that), I think about it more for health reasons. I’m not that old, but I feel like my body is slowly falling apart. And I wonder (more time wasted!!) if its because I’m overweight. I’d like to feel good physically. And I’d like to be a good physical example for my kids.

Today I’m having one of those “I’m disgusted with myself” days. No reason for it. Maybe its the heat making me feel like a hot air balloon or maybe its just part of my inner insanity coming out to reek havoc. Who knows. All I know is that I think I’m gonna go take a cold shower and feel guilty while I eat some ice cream.

*Since yoga is something that relaxes me, I don’t consider it real exercise. Even though it makes me sweat. Ugh!

**It’s a myth! Don’t believe your own lies.

How much time do you think you spend thinking about your body? Constantly? Only when trying on clothes? Not at all? (liar!)


One thought on “Body Therapy

  1. Hmm, well, I’ll start by wondering why you actually did type the words ‘middle-aged’. Are you planning to die at 70? Unless you know when you’re going to kick the bucket, I wouldn’t type (i.e. label) anything. My middle age is for another good…ahh, you almost made me type something. Shame on you. How often do I think about my body. Every day, I would say. My ego can never get enough exercise, fat removal, muscle, anything. The ego fucks with you all the time. It’s never EVER satisfied. So yeah, ice cream’s a good idea, I would say, but I would also say we have to earn it.
    Yes, I would agree that all verbal distractions that keep us from exercising are just those. They’re the same ones that keep us from writing or other stuff that we “should be” doing. There’s no way around it – it’s nice and simple. I look at exercise kind of like this – if I were diagnosed with something tomorrow that I could have prevented yesterday, I’d be pissed. Like, if I was told, “I’m sorry, you have diabetes, or heart disease, or an ulcer,…” or some other stupid shit that I could have totally avoided by eating oatmeal and doing like 10 push-ups a day. I would be so pissed at myself. I guess I just figure, fuck it. You (universally) just have to get tired of the excuses because they’re never going to end. And we can’t get any time from any day back.
    I figure I’ll just do the exercise, even if it’s a walk around the block. My body deserves it, you know? I can come up with innumerable excuses as to why it’s okay to dump trash into my physical form. Isn’t that insane that the human mind rationalizes something so logically absurd? I mean I wouldn’t logically dump sugar in my car’s gas tank. But somehow I seem to have a cupboard full of cookies and M&Ms.

    WTF! Really!?

    I do it, we all do it. It’s okay to do it, just earn it. That’s all.

    Back to the body – yeah, I have thought about it every day since high school. Good post.

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