Losing weight is like a character in a Lovecraft tale trying desperately to hold on to their sanity and failing. To lose five or ten pounds takes such self governance and effort that the slow creep of the scale seems inevitable. I remember being so skinny people worried for my health and long for those days through a lens of nostalgia but that wasn’t exactly healthy if I recall and like everything else in my life, I tend to only do weight loss or gain in extremes.
A website @Nerdpimp introduced to me, called Superbetter, sometimes inflicts journaling on you as a tactic to work on clarifying objectives. Today it told me to write about why losing weight matters to me and why the effort it takes is worth it. Now that I’m writing that I realize that really is the important question. The effort I spend on losing weight could be spent on:
a) revising another chapter of the Horde
b) getting out the long delayed next episode of the Headcast
c) rereading Roger Zelazny’s Amber series
d) starting a mail campaign to convince Felicia Day to start a Pink Floyd cover band.
That’s a lot of competition for my headspace so I guess it’s no wonder weight loss and exercise keeps getting a backseat. So why does it matter to me? I think it stems from a fundamentally superficial place of self worth, which is hardly a healthy place to be starting an epic struggle for what I consider a healthy weight. Awhile ago I came to the thought that I was less interested in weight loss than increased physical strength and endurance and the theory that would bring the weight loss as a side benefit. I’m sure that was a solid theory but still it faces stiff competition from writing or meditating or spiritual perfection. So I know why it matters to me but that isn’t the same as having a reason why it is worth the effort it takes. So weight loss simply has to compete with too many other things.
I saw a lecture once by a speaker whose name I forget as to why he exercises. “I hate exercising,” he said, “but I love my brain. I want to be as smart as possible and the research indicates that exercise increases brain function.” He could care less about the physical but by tending to the physical he improves his brain and his abilities with all the brainy things he wanted to do. I don’t remember his data, but I remember sleeping better and having more stress tolerance before I started gaining weight, especially before I became sick and gained made the jump from “high end of average” to “risk of heart disease” on the BMI chart.
So there’s the reason the effort is worth it. Brains. If I want to be as tasty to zombies as possible, as creative a writer as possible, as energetic a singer as possible, then that’s a reason that makes it worth it to skip dessert or get on the exercise bike. I don’t know if this will help but it sure would be nice. So remember, when it comes to exercise… I DO IT FOR THE BRAINS!