Thursday, 27 February 2014

Stuff I wish I worked out earlier

On the Valentine's day that just passed, le husb woke me up before my alarm via a hug and too many kisses and gently encouraged me to wake up so that I could re-ignite my love for running. What a better day to return to an old love, right? As they have always said, timing is everything, and I must say, that man has a knack for timing. Plus what can be a better gesture of love? This defeats flowers, chocolates and diamonds any day. Almost as good as shoes.

My first reaction was to say "hell no" but then I remembered a rule that I invented myself for situations like this:

The best time to exercise is when you don't feel like it. 

I always impress myself when I come up with rules that (a) I frequently use and (b) I remember during the crucial moments and (c) I actually follow and find useful. I have come up with one too many rules to remember, and this one is definitely my favourite - at least for now - given its applicability. But to be completely honest, I like this rule the most because it eliminates the need for should-ing myself to exercise. I hate hate hate should-ing myself into doing things; I prefer to want to do them because it implies an active choice. I also believe that if you convince yourself that you like doing the things that are good for you, you will end up wanting to do them, and have a better life overall.

Sometimes, I think about the secrets to a good life, and I come to the conclusion that exercising regularly is one of them. But this is hardly a secret, this is public knowledge - similar to eating well is one of the secrets to a good life. Despite this awareness, I find it easy to slip into sedentary inactivity coupled with regular consumption of fried chicken. The saving grace is actually getting older - like it or not, your body will eventually start showing its age. Occasionally, it may even refuse to digest the food that you've consumed, your organs start to deteriorate, and all of these will result in inconveniently persistent pain that stops you from enjoying life - or living it. So, when they say that you have to take care of yourself, what they really mean is you have to eat well, exercise regularly, shower daily, be presentable to society - not only because you want to be socially acceptable - but more because you have maximised your chances to living longer, with minimal pain.

It occurred to me that I have been ... lazy with my life. I loathe typing that sentence because I obviously did not want to admit that. I think of ways to better my life, like fitting in exercise into my schedule and being more deliberate of the things that I let into my stomach, and at times despite my best intentions, I don't always end up where I visioned myself to be because my lack of action is attributed to my laziness. If there is a report card in life, then I probably would get an F for eating too much fried food - and getting an F is like totally despicable because I grew up with Asian parents. Fact is that for most of my life, I have been getting an F in this department, irrespective of my body shape at the time. The reason that I am talking about this now is because for once, I actually want to score an A (and maybe A+ eventually).

I rely somewhat rather extensively on le husb for food - and this is because in addition to buying me food, he is also the designated cook in our household. What can I say, I married well. I got really lucky because he can cook, and he doesn't mind cooking most of the time. (When he does mind, we resort to take-outs.) Because I am married to a man who cooks well and cooks often, I have become even lazier in feeding myself. Instead of going to the kitchen and find something to eat, my default position has been: babe, I am hungry. These four words worked like a charm earlier in our relationship; used too often, however, signals a desperate, needy, useless and hungry person that can, and eventually will, drive the other person mad. I would rather not come to this point. In a relationship, I was told to choose my battles carefully; this is definitely one of them.

It is not like I can't cook, it is more like I haven't learned how to cook properly - and even then I am not sure what the definition of "cooking properly" is. I am no magician in the kitchen, and whenever I tackle a cooking project, I always need a plan B - the take-out option. That, plus a quick way of disposing the cooking disaster, and cleaning up the resultant mess, which is something I don't even pretend to like. There we go, I said it: I don't like cleaning, I haven't found anyone who genuinely likes it. I have found a lot of people who like being in a clean environment, myself included, which is why we clean.

I know that like myself more when I am healthy. I won't promise that I will learn to cook, that sounds too ambitious for someone who doesn't even like chopping vegetables and whose eyes water every time she peels an onion. I won't even attempt to like cooking, or find it relaxing, or anything along those lines. I will just cook, and hopefully le husb will want to (and perhaps even look forward to) eat the end result, and not feel obligated to do so.

Oh, and a new rule:

The best time to cook is when you don't feel like it.  

You are much welcome to tell me your thoughts, via Twitter. As I have always said, conversations with random strangers are best conducted via this platform.You will need to @drbelles me, that's how we connect. You can also follow me if you want. If you don't know what Twitter is, go find out. Oh, signing up to Twitter is free! Occasionally, you can drool over what I cook on instagram, which is also where I pretend that I have a dog. If you can't get enough of my random ramblings, you can visit my other blog, whereby I try to live by my other life-rule: the best time to dress up is when you don't feel like it.  

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