Oh, I’m vain.
I caught an appreciative grin from a man my son C’s age, and I’m pluming myself all the way to lunch. I’m mesmerized by a chance photo from last week, looking at muscle definition on my arms: have I been lifting weights that much? Another pair of pants goes in the too-big box; I spend ten naked minutes this morning surveying all sides of the current shape I’m in.
I curate what I wear, even when it’s tshirt+jeans. My coif matters to me, its color and shape of the moment yet of my age and station. In short, I work to be chic.
I make a real effort. But then again, I don’t.
It’s puzzling, isn’t it? Looks matter to me…but not effort. I own a hairdryer, but it’s dusty. I rarely wear makeup. I ate what I wanted, and my weight did whatever it would do…until last March.
I could have slimmed down at any previous moment, but it wasn’t until I knew my blood sugar had shifted that I began. And it wasn’t even the label “pre-diabetic” that gave me momentum. My forecasting mind is what kickstarted me and keeps me going into this fifth month:
If I’m managing my own chronic condition like high blood sugar, am I going to be an effective caregiver for the three people who will be mine to ward?
Now, insh’allah, this responsibility is a decade and more away. But I didn’t raise my children by waiting until tomorrow to think through the ripples from my choices today. Steps I take today make for an easier walk in the future.
Today I can repeatedly chest-press and curl 70 pounds. By February my pancreas will again be able to care for me without intervention. I will be ready, and I believe I will stay ready.
Which will likely keep me trim. And if that’s my collateral, I’ll keep tussling with my vanity.
PS: I tried to keep my research down to a dull roar, so here are my footnotes. Vanity I’m calling sin #9 because it turns out that Pope Gregory I collapsed vainglory–which isn’t quite the same as vanity–into hubris (pride) back in 590 CE. How did I miss that?
And in other “seven deadly sins” news, they didn’t start out as sins but as evil thoughts. I learned that while reading Acedia and Me the first time. My modern, relativism-trained brain can get behind ‘evil thoughts’ faster than ‘deadly sins,’ particularly when it comes to those of self-absorption. Like vanity!