Friday, October 17, 2008

Denial Queen

Here's the thing about denials...they just buy you time to stay in your comfort zone. They just delay the inevitable and make the issue or the problem doubly harder to resolve.

Today, I can really say that I'm the Queen of Denials. See, I've known for months now that I'm increasingly becoming overweight but I haven't been paying much attention to my diet. I still ate like I used to back when I was an athlete. I consumed food like an athlete but I burned calories like a sloth.

Looking back I think this whole denial business started when I suddenly stopped routinely checking my weight. I used to drop by the Wushu federation, even when I stopped training already, just to weigh myself on that digital weighing scale we have there. I did that at least once a week then I just stopped. Of course I had all the "reasons" for not doing it anymore and I'm *busy* tops the list of my impossibly long list of excuses.

I remember there was this one time I had a sudden thought that I'm probably at my heaviest weight so far. There was a brief moment then that I started to worry. But whatever insight that slipped through my denial gates was immediately silenced by the denial sentinels.

And I happily went on eating my way through almost every emotional rides I've had. I ate when I was upset. I binged when I was sad. I gobbled down food when I was apathetic.

Significant things happened these past few days though that made me re-evaluate my current lifestyle. The first one was my first attempt to train for the recently concluded Adidas fun run. I remembered feeling frustrated and scared at the same time. It was then that I realized how unfit I was that I can't even find joy in running. Even at my slowest pace, I was so in pain. I think I was out of breath two minutes out and my left knee (that was injured years back) started acting up.

The other wake-up call was that disastrous 5K run I did at the Adidas King of the Road. Not only was I slower than a turtle running through mud but I also was in so much pain in my left leg and knee during the first three kilometers. I seriously considered stopping and just finish the race by walking. But I guess I decided to punish myself for abusing my body so much that I pushed myself to continue running and struggle my way through finishing the course. I told myself I was not going to humiliate myself further by chickening out.

Now, I honestly thought that nothing could be worse than that realization that I'm so damn heavy my knees could barely carry my weight when I run. But there's actually a clincher. An exclamation point to a seriously pathetic statement the Adidas run made. And it's finding out today that I'm now medically, for all intents and purposes, an Obese I.

And it was only by serendipity (I think) that I found this out. See, I wouldn't have made my way to a medical clinic for a physical exam if it wasn't a requirement for an upcoming Team Building activity at work.

It was the first of the many findings written on the results. I'm diagnosed as Obese I and I need to be on strict diet from now on. Now if that's not embarassing for a former athlete, I don't know what is.

Before I end this sad tale, let me just say that another seredipitous thing happened to me today. Funny how the universe works. I do believe that it leads us ever so subtly to the right decisions...and it's up to us to notice and take heed.

A few minutes ago I used this carbon footprint calculator that measured my climate impact in four lifestyle categories: Home Energy, Driving & Flying, Food & Diet, and Recycling & Waste. I scored way below the average (meaning I have less carbon footprints than most people) except for one category. By this time it wasn't much of a surprise to me already. I scored high on Food & Diet because - *gasps!* - I eat too much meat.

Now, I truly believe that it's the universe talking not so subtly already.

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