Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Vacation and Exercise

I was on vacation last week, in gorgeous northern California. It was the first trip that my boyfriend and I took together, and we were both privately wondering if this would sound the death knell for the relationship. (I am, without question, difficult to travel with; The Boy thinks that *he* is difficult to travel with. The result, of course, is that we got on like peas in a pod, and had an excellent time.)

These days, I don't exercise as much as I used to, due to the ever-present time crunch (and, okay, laziness). In an "active" week, I walk on the treadmill 2 or 3 times, and do yoga 1 or 2 times. I'm trying to do yoga more frequently, because I am astonishingly inflexible. Some days I feel like I'm made of stone.

I'd like to get back to walking on the treadmill (or around the neighborhood) 4 or 5 times a week. Not because I think it'll make me lose weight, but because that's always been the level of activity that makes my body feel the best — I feel alert and energized all day, and I sleep well at night, and everything just seems to function better.

But even though I get less exercise than I used to, I'm not sedentary. Walking around a city and sightseeing isn't a daunting task for me. Granted, northern California is all hills, and I cheerfully loathe walking uphill — but I have no problem doing it. Yes, walking up a big hill makes me breathe harder, but that's the point — it's *supposed* to be harder than just walking on level ground.

While we were on vacation, we returned the rental car once we got to San Francisco, preferring public transportation to the hell of trying to park in San Francisco. After we dropped off the rental car, we had to walk back to where we were staying, maybe a mile or so. Not a difficult walk.

I don't know if I looked like I was about to collapse, or if I was sweaty and red-faced, or if I was just muttering too loudly about being lazy and wanting to take a cab, but whatever the reason, after we finished our walk, my boyfriend told me, "I'm proud of you for walking back and sticking with it." I said, "It really *wasn't* difficult; I was serious about just being lazy." My boyfriend said, "Still, I'm proud of you."

And it made me think, oh my god — is that how he sees me? As a Jabba-the-Hutt-esque blob who can barely move? I mean, he was *proud* of me for walking A MILE? That isn't exactly Olympics-level. Which then (of course) launches me into all kinds of related panicky thoughts: Is he disgusted by my body? Is he embarassed by my weight? Does he want me to lose weight but just doesn't know how to say so? Was that a hint?

And then, of course, I get angry with myself for even thinking those things, and for caring about whether he thinks I'm too fat, when I should be focusing on accepting my body the way it is, and giving it the exercise it needs.



ottermatic said...

I can 100% identify with this post. I'm married, and my husband has been with me at my fattest and my second-skinniest and many weights in between and still. Still! There is this awful, hateful voice in my head who loves to whisper, "He's going to leave you because you're so fat..." It is a hard thing to overcome. Being kind to ourselves is one of the hardest habits to learn.

vesta44 said...

I can identify with it too. I'm also married, and he married me at the weight I am now, says if I gained weight, he'd still love me (but gaining weight terrifies me). I can handle the weight I am now, and I know he loves me, but still....the thought is there that if I get even fatter, will he still want me? And it's me that has to change, me that has to be kinder to myself, and that's not an easy task.