Low-Mood Blurt

When I’m feeling bad about myself I try to make myself sit down and write down how I feel without also trying to rationalize myself out of it. This post is a modified one of that kind of journal entry. Explicitly acknowledging how I feel (in my case, through writing) helps me feel better and think about other things.
We came back from a vacation on Sunday night, and now I’m getting a cold. I felt it in my chest this morning. I didn’t go to boxing because of the new cold, even though I haven’t worked out in a couple of weeks (because of the vacation, which was to stay with relatives in the Midwest). I felt the cold coming on when I was out shopping today for some new fall and winter clothes. I got completely tired while shopping and feel like going to sleep.
I feel mad at myself for having gained a couple of pounds on vacation—this morning I was at the high end of my normal range. I’m afraid that by skipping a workout, on top of having been away, I may be already losing my fitness and losing my habit of exercising.
I remind myself that I can trust my good habits and that I will want to be active when I’m not tired from a cold. Besides, my daily routine, without a workout, is an active one that includes household chores, walking, errands like grocery shopping, and light yard work. My eating routine has already gone back to normal and I’m not going after the kinds of treats I had on vacation at my aunt’s house. By listing those positives, I’m trying to dispute my temporary low mood.
I also feel bad for not spending more time outside today. It’s beautiful out, a warm, hazy-sun fall day. It’s painful to know I won’t be back in Missouri for a year. I miss my aunt, uncle and cousins, and I miss the trees, creeks, springs, birds, butterflies, and caterpillars.
I did some cleaning and dusting—my most hated part of cleaning—and I did my written homework from the technical writing class that started last night. I hoped these activities would make me feel better (virtuous). To some extent, this works, because if I clean or do other tasks I’m not especially excited about, I feel like I’m being disciplined, I’m not procrastinating, and I’m productive. The tech writing assignment was a fun challenge, as I hope they all will be.
When I was shopping today, I only felt slightly bad about spending money on clothes. I’d made a list of things I needed and I stuck to it, choosing things I can also wear to job interviews. It made me feel good to see that three years after losing about 20 pounds, I kept the weight off and look good in clothes. I’m happy that I now wear the same size pants I wore fifteen years ago as a young adult. Maybe it’s vanity, but I can’t help wanting to look young as well as be strong and healthy.
I felt bad because I haven’t updated FitNotes in a while, but now I can relax about that.
How does vanity fit into the list of motives for working out? What is vanity? Is there really any such thing as vanity, or is it an idea invented by the human drive to take other people down a notch or two?

One thought on “Low-Mood Blurt”

  1. I, like you, took a breather from fitness for a little while as well, in part due to a vacation, and in part due to other things popping up. The lack of light after work has diminished my primary cardio outlet (cycling) to the point where next week I’m going to have to start training indoors. I guess it’s becoming that time of year.
    Anyway, re: vanity. I don’t think it is vain to be happy with yourself for achieving and maintaining your fitness. You should feel good about yourself and you should feel good about doing things like shopping for clothes. Confidence in yourself and our appearance is never a bad thing. Being “vain”, in my book, means lording your superior looks (or perception thereof) over other people. Feeling good about yourself is contagious, and a confident person who sees herself as attractive shouldn’t need to worry about it.

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