Indulgence and penance

Posted: July 21, 2011 in Uncategorized


Funny how words change meaning over time. At one point, an indulgence was something you could buy and maybe avoid much in the way of penance. Now, indulgence is a good way to end up with a penance.

I indulged myself last week in a geekfest: Alamo Drafthouse had a Harry Potter-thon before the premiere of the last installment of the movie at midnight. Yes, I got there at 5:45am and left the next morning at 2:30am. The drive home was a little creepy; 3D and lack of sleep made my eyes grainy and watery, so cars seemed to be moving in ways they shouldn’t, and I couldn’t see far enough ahead of me.

I’ve paid for it ever since. First, there was the initial sleep deprivation. You know, at my age, you’d think I’d have learned that staying up like that is a bad thing. I have sleep issues already, and getting off my sleep schedule has a tendency to lead to migraines. But, I think like a little kid, it’s just one night, and it would be so much fun.

Yes, I did enjoy it, although not nearly as much as I would have had my daughter, son or husband been able to join me. We have read the books together over the years, and it would have been more fun to share the experience. But my daughter couldn’t get away from work, nor could my husband, and my son’s in a short but bloody summer session taking some brutal math classes, so he couldn’t afford to miss.

So I went on my own. With no one to curb my worse instincts, I ate more carbs that day than I think I have in the preceding month. But they had lovely scones, savory and sweet, cheddar bacon and lemon ginger. And butterbeer.  Don’t let anyone trick you into drinking it cold; it’s much, much better hot and alcoholic (the nonalcoholic version tastes a lot like Starbucks Caramel Apple Cider, only a hair sweeter. Too sweet). And the auditorium was freezing, so hot was good, even though outside it was over 100 degrees.

I don’t know that I ever appreciated, until this self-indulgent carbolicious orgy, just how sick sugar can make you. I remember only a few times where I ate enough chocolate or cake or some such to feel a little ill, but this was unbelievable. My GERD acted up for the first time in ages — three days worth, even with Nexium. I don’t even want to talk about the bloat, gas and general discomfort. And the sugar made the tired even more tired, if you know what I mean. I was lethargic for three days, and working out was a trick.

So now it’s a week later and I still feel crappy. Okay, so I’ve got diverticulitis now, so that’s some excuse, and it just started yesterday, so it seems a stretch to blame it on the indulgence.

But indulgence can sneak up on you. A short cut here, a cookie there, and all of a sudden, you’ve lost all the ground you’ve gained. When I went to the doctor this morning for the aforementioned diverticulitis, she gave me an attaboy for my weight loss. According to her scale, I’d lost 8 pounds since I last saw her. She gave me a printout of my weight over the last two years, and it was rather encouraging.

So, yes, I’ve been doing a bit of penance for my Harry Potter indulgence. And it feels disproportionate, as though the amount of time I spent having fun was teeny in comparison with the various pains and problems over the last week.

But it struck me, as I was getting increasingly frustrated tonight with my workout and the fact that I’ve been far less consistent this month, that while I feel put-upon that there seem to be so many obstacles to getting into a fitness routine and feeling healthy, that I really did spend far longer indulging an unhealthy lifestyle than I have been doing my CrossFit penance, and I’m expecting too much if I expect it to be without obstacles.

But I’d far rather buy an indulgence, but instead of heaven, I’d prefer to have it get me into a size six.


  1. Gary says:

    Mischief managed babe. On with Crossfit. You are doing great.

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