When I got home from last month’s Romance Writers of America conference, the scale said… well, what my scale usually says, “Too much of a good thing here, Grace,” but it said so more loudly than usual. Not my all time high, but I could see the mountaintop, as it were.
So… we know deprivation diets don’t work, and often slingshot us into worse trouble yet. To heck with that…. except with my metabolism, deprivation is a way of life. I’m never full, I never have any energy, and I eat a conscientiously clean, healthful menu in rigorous moderation. As my father has said, when the next Ice Age comes, everybody will wish they had my metabolism.
But obesity is bad news, in terms of health outcomes, much less mental health. So… back onto the tread desk I go, several miles a day, and the rigorous moderation became rigorous-er. I looked out across my immediate future, looked at my plans in terms of movement and caloric intake, and said unto myself, “Madam, this ain’t gonna work.”
Helpful aside: Any commenter who implies that regular exercise results in an INCREASE in energy will find themselves dropped down the nearest privy hole–gently of course. You have your bodily reality, I have mine.
So. I put up the usual hurdles (do more, eat less, even though I already don’t eat much and am always working), with one change: Saturday goes back to being a real Saturday, such as I survived on in my childhood. I HATED the school week. HATED IT, with a burning, unrelenting, and well justified passion (waves to Sister Jean Michael).
But Saturday was MY day. No structure AT ALL, until dinner at 6 pm. I could wander outside all day, sleep the afternoon away, sit in a tree and read, have five bowls of cereal, wear my jammies until noon… I had one day to be not what everybody else demanded of me, but what I wanted to be.
Now, I’ve stopped setting the alarm on Saturdays. I don’t count calories, I rest from the tyranny of the tread desk. I’ve watched the results of this scheduled orgy, and yeah, I might eat a thousand more calories–Oh, the carbs! The sloth! Two whole cupcakes! I get less done, and I’m kinda stiff on Sunday from not moving as much.
But I’m HAPPIER, because I got the day I needed to recharge in the ways I’m already badly underweight. Unstructured time, solitude, sensory pleasures, imaginative play… I’m a person, not a dot on the insurance company’s profit management chart. Seems as long as I recall that, I can make progress on the more external indicators of well being.
Two realizations so far: First, I’m more deprived and regimented than I realized, most of the time; and second, what I want in terms of periodic wild indulgence is woefully tame.
If you were going to kick over the traces one day a week, what would it look like–or what DOES it look like? To one commenter, I’ll send a signed copy of Tuesday’s print release, The Courtship/The Duke and His Duchess.