Wednesday, May 11

The State of the Union Is …

Every year around our wedding anniversary Michael and I go out to dinner and have a lengthy discussion about our life together. We call it, “The State of the Union Dinner.”

Topics include: kids, careers, our marriage, friends, family, hopes and dreams for the future and anything else that pops into our heads.

To begin this conversation we like to pretend we’re the President of the U.S. addressing the American public. The speech starts like this, “I’m honored to report to the American people that the State of our Union is …. (Insert appropriate adjective or phrase here.)

Because we are who we are, we typically insert something like “weak,” “deplorable,” “in jeopardy” or “about to implode.”

After 30 minutes of laughter and tears, we settle down and begin the serious business of discussing our life together.

Tonight we’re celebrating our 15th anniversary. Quite a milestone in my mind and it got me thinking about things I’ve learned over the past decade and a half.

With respect to health, I have consistently talked to Michael about his reluctance to exercise. (I say “talked,” Michael would probably say, “nagged.”) I repeatedly urged him to do something, ANYTHING, for his health. Sometimes he’d begrudgingly say he’d try. Other times he’d promise he’d change. His answers varied but the result was always the same—he never did it.

I should tell you, he’s perfectly healthy. He’s one of those annoying individuals that can eat a bunch of crap, not work out and his cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. are excellent. He’s a medical mystery. His physician’s explanation for his good fortune is, “You can’t beat good genes.”

Exactly. He won the genetic lottery. (Insert expletive here.)

Michael, defending himself, pointed this out saying he didn’t need to exercise because he was already healthy. Which, I had to admit, was a fair point.

So, after a decade-long argument, I let it go. 

And peace once again fell over the land. No more nagging. No more broken promises.

Acceptance is a powerful thing.

Just like I’ve accepted that Michael won’t engage in structured exercise, I’ve come to accept that I won’t ever achieve my ideal weight.

Self Magazine promotes something called your “happy weight.” It’s a healthy weight that’s easy to maintain. And I know from experience that I’m at mine. It’s not the magic number I have in my head. You know, the one that lets me fit into my skinny jeans, but it’s a healthy weight for my height.

The problem with my “ideal” weight number is that to maintain it, I have to work out at least five days a week and count every calorie that enters my mouth. There’s no room for cheating. No room for taking a day off, indulging at a party, or splurging while on vacation. There’s no room for life. And that’s no way to live.

This year I’ve decided to accept my happy weight. To stop obsessing about an unrealistic goal. To be thankful for my health. To continue my current pattern of healthy eating and exercise.

Ahhhh, acceptance. It’s a beautiful thing.

To find your Happy Weight, check out this weight calculator from Self Magazine.

For more information on this topic click here.

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