Monday, December 8, 2014

Ignore Your Feelings

We live in a society of "how do you feel about that?" "Follow your heart." "Do what makes you happy." It's called post-modernism, and it's a rejection of Truth as an absolute.

Problem with that philosophy is feelings are subjective. It may feel great to eat as much cake as you want in (let's be nice) an evening, but keep that up night after night, and you'll ruin your health, even if it makes you happy at the time. The immediacy of the happy feeling doesn't take into account how bad you'll feel later, even a short time later.

While I consider this a profound, life-guiding truth, I'm more complaining about my reaction to weighing myself this weekend. That Maintain Don't Gain challenge I told you about offers an extra credit point for weighing in once a week. I'm not required to record the result, and I don't have to do it, but I had access to a scale so I weighed myself. And discovered I've gained 5 lbs, according to the scale.

I know this is 5 lbs of muscle. It has to be, because I've been exercising 30 minutes nearly every day for 3 weeks while avoiding sugary snacks. It could also be the layers of winter clothing adding weight. Doesn't matter, though, because when I saw that extra 5 lbs, my feelings said, "That's it. You've worked this hard to gain weight? Time to quit. Go eat a dozen of those cookies you're here to bake and screw the challenge. You can find your 5 points some other way."

Because I ignored my feelings, I didn't eat a dozen cookies. I didn't eat one, actually, although I did lick some dough off my fingers at one point. Yes, I washed my hands before going back into the batch. I'm not going to quit working out. I'm not going to stop the challenge. I am going to start measuring my waist instead of stepping on the scale. I don't need that extra point, and I certainly don't need such an emotional downer in the middle of the challenge.

In case you haven't figured it out, scales are liars. If you are trying to be healthy, don't trust your scale to measure success. Trust your clothes, your breathing when taking steps or walking to your car, and the encouraging remarks of friends and family. A measuring tape is pretty accurate, too, if you're not obsessive about it.

Keep the faith. 


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