I was teased for being chubby as a kid and wore a t-shirt at the beach and pool to cover myself.
I was athletic in college and graduate school, though didn’t eat that healthily. I thought I did, but I ate a lot more fiber-removed food than I would today (that is, any) so I still had fat around my waist.
Today I’m fit.
I prefer fit to chubby.
By my values:
- Fitness feels better
- My food tastes better
- I eat more food (though fewer calories)
- It saves time
- It’s more convenient
- I look better
- I have more fit people in my life
My abs aren’t male-model level, but they’re close.
I knew getting more fit would feel good, but I underestimated how much. Fitness feels far better than I expected.
No passing flavor of sugar or indulgence of eating more than I need comes close.
For people who choose self-indulgence and hedonistic pleasure over fitness—if those are their values, that’s their business. I hope their lifestyle brings them as much or more of what they value as mine does for me.
I find I have more sweetness in my life for eating less sugar. An apple brings me more sweetness today than a pint of Ben and Jerry’s from before. I prefer more sweetness and less sugar than vice versa, though I know that makes me a minority in the United States and most of the world.
I made a rule not to look at my abs for their definition in the mirror until after my calisthenics—not because I consider it vain, but as a fun way to motivate me. (My question to those who consider it vain: Do you think Michelangelo looked at David after he carved the statue? If you create something beautiful, do you admire your work?)
Now, I look for opportunities to show off my body instead of hiding it. It’s the physical manifestation of what I teach in leadership, which comes when you behave with integrity. A major goal of my leadership training is to remove the shells we put around ourselves that may protect us but hide our vulnerable parts from others. I feel that a layer of fat similarly hides my physical self—a major part of myself.
I wrote the above around 8am today. It’s a beautiful day in New York City, possibly hitting 91 later. It’s late September, though, and who knows how many warm days are left?
Knowing I was meeting someone at my home at 11am, I had time to reward myself. I ran along the Hudson River, up to Central Park, around, and back—about half a marathon. I hadn’t run more than six or seven miles at once this year, so it was a big reward to push myself. I walked at least a mile of it and ran slow, but I still earned the soreness I’ll enjoy for the next few days.
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