Stag nation

One study reveals that almost two-thirds of people who resolve to get healthy and fit in the new year give it up.

I’m not surprised by that at all. Following the excesses of the holidays, there is a certain “buyer’s remorse” over all of the bacchanal behavior we gave no thought to while immersed in the season of oversharing, overeating and overspending.

My first Christmas without James was hard, but had been made bearable by the distraction of starting what I’d thought would be my new tradition of going to a yoga retreat on December 25th. This past year, I missed my chance and so ended up doing a lot of emotional hand-wringing at home.

However, now as I approach the cusp of a second year without my husband, I do note small changes in the way I am starting to act and think. For one, I don’t cry hysterically every day. I think of him and get misty eyed, but don’t always give way to the loud, braying sobs that even surprised me (are those sounds coming from me, really?).

I am also fed up with my physical state of inertia. I work from home in front of a computer, and so don’t move nearly enough. This is starting to lead to a lot of aches and pains that I realize, could become my way of life. I’ve suffered through plenty of emotional pain over the past two years. I don’t need to add another scoop on top of my teetering, metaphorical ice cream cone by becoming physically limited.

In their book “Modern Loss” Rebecca Signer and  Gabrielle Burkner list out nonsensical words that describe some of the various side effects of grief. The most apt to this post is “Kummerspeck.” The German word “kummer” for grief or loss with “speck” for layer of fat. Therefore, “grief bacon” or the weight gained after a loss.

So I am one of the millions who has started 2018 by kicking off a healthier regime of exercise and making smarter food choices (oy, my knees from the leg kicks!). We all know intellectually what we need to do to make ourselves feel better, but amazingly we fight it all the same. For me, it marks what I hope is the beginning of the end of a two-year pity party. I’m not saying I’m not still sad every day, and I still face the future with dread.

But it’s a step away from stagnation.

2 thoughts on “Stag nation

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