Last year someone wrote in asking how my fitness regime was going, and I did not reply because the wheels had fallen off my regime and I was wallowing in food and sloth. However, this year I have done a lot better, so I am happy to write about it.
We all know the physical dangers of eating disorders and the spiritual dangers of being obsessed with our looks. (My Calvinist great-grandmother told my mother that if she looked in the mirror long enough, she'd see the devil looking out. Calvinist grannies have a picturesque way of speaking.) However, there are also physical and spiritual dangers attached to wallowing in food and sloth. The Greeks have something like 109 fasting days, just for the sake of their souls.
There is no bar to the out-of-shape getting married, and indeed I have seen some big brides in my time. Some were objectively beautiful and arguably the plumpness was necessary to their beauty. Some were not, except insofar as that almost all brides are beautiful on their wedding day. Whatever the reason for you not to be married, it's not your looks, let alone your weight. You could have an eye in the middle of your forehead, and in the fullness of time Cyclops could come along and sweep you off to his cave.
Personally I think the secret to getting married sooner rather than later is to hang out where marriage-minded men hang out. This means where men who are serious about Christianity or Judaism or Islam--not just some vague sense of ethnicity, like CINOs--hang out. But I digress.
The secret to being attractive to nice men, I am utterly convinced, is being happy and confident. (The secret to being attractive to women of all kinds is to be confident and happy.) And good health does much to make you happy and confident. Good health here means good health for YOU. If you have some chronic health issue, good health means you at your healthiness. And we can achieve our maximum healthiness with proper stewardship of our brains and bodies.
Meanwhile, it is impossible--for me, at any rate--to get around the fact that Western Woman stares critically at herself in the mirror (hopefully not long enough for the devil to look out) and is either happy or sad about her objective appearance. Coco Chanel said that anyone over 20 who looks in the mirror to be pleased is a fool, but I certainly enjoyed observing that my Canadian Size 8 dress fits beautifully.
It fits beautifully because I have been dedicated to "the Fast Diet" since mid-January and lost ten pounds in ten weeks. (I didn't weigh myself in the first weeks because I couldn't bear to.) The diet's authors claim one should lose one to two pounds a week, which I found rather thrilling, and some weeks I do indeed lose two pounds, although other weeks only one or none.
Of course, this is slightly confused by the fact that I have taken up regular Pilates workouts since the end of January, thereby developing muscles (and muscle weighs more than fat), and have returned to running at the gym. This time, though, I have replaced my thirty minute jog with twenty minutes of intervals, as intervals are more efficient, and I discovered I needed something to really distract me from the awfulness of MTV. I need music to run or jog but half an hour of MTV is really too depressing. Anyway, loss of inches is probably a better measure than loss of pounds, and as I always lose my tape measure, I just try on dresses.
But the real benefit of my fitness regime was revealed on Tuesday, when I left the house rather late for my appointment with a beautician hired to fix my eyebrows. Between the Historical House and the bus stop is a rather long, somewhat winding path in the woods. Well, I was wearing sneakers (tennis shoes) and for the first time ever, I ran full-throttle down that path. And to my amazement, I could do it without pain or shortness of breath. I was at the stop in time to catch the nine-thirty, and was in the shop at nine-thirty-seven.
And it strikes me that this is what all this intermittent fasting and Pilates and running are REALLY for: my body doing what I want it to, and doing it well. Okay, yes I am happy to look slimmer.
I am never going to have an hourglass figure; in fact, only 8% of women have hourglass figures. Like 46% of women, I am rectangular. It is unfortunate for the 92% that the "ideal" female shape is the most unusual, the hourglass. On the other hand, I would rather dress like "Betty Draper" than "Joan Holloway." And, as I said, the whole point of having a trim body is to enjoy running around and getting to appointments on time. It helps make you feel happy and confident.
Update: Forgot to mention the sugar. I have fallen back into sugar-eating ways, but I will this minute get back on the no-added-sugar wagon. Sweet desserts only if served at others' dinner parties. This is pretty convincing. By the way, do any of my Polish readers have AUTHENTIC Polish cake recipes? British and Canadian cake recipes are too sweet for Polish palates, and I need some good recipes for Poles, not Polish recipes adjusted for an English-speaking sweet tooth.