Fitness Countdown 2: This Is War!
A little over a week ago, I vowed to eat smart; immediately thereafter, as if in a walking dream, I went on a three-day doughnut binge, then followed that up with buckets of barbeque potato chips, and had late-night, Henry-the-Eighth-style dinners throughout the week. I reported my starting weight to have been 137 pounds; now I’m at 138! What happened?
OK, so who’s bright idea was this, anyway? After one single day on the Lenten quest for bodily improvement…After one single day’s walk about town, music spurring me on, the cold pushing me ever forward for what warmth I could generate…I was about ready to hole up in the house and never come out again. Then came the waves of sleet and that subsequent blanket of ice—a perfect excuse to just pack it in!
So after that first two-mile walk—an activity I’ve enjoyed at points in the past—I caved. And you know what? I’m going to call that a good thing, because now I have a painfully (!) clear idea of what I’m up against in this bid for better nutritional and fitness habits. I have seen the enemy; she plays very, very, dirty; and I will not give her the victory.
I made a conscious and public pledge to improve my eating and exercise habits for 40 days; I realize now that that pledge was a direct challenge to the part of me that would just about kill to keep things the way they are. It’s official, then: There is now a battle being waged from within. The part of me that makes sense wants change; my inner “six-year-old raised by wolves” does not. And the kid right now strikes me as being a very sore loser. She’s not going to just roll over and let reason prevail. For too long, she’s enjoyed the power I’ve ceded to her in my laziness. And no one gives up power without a fight. I was silly, perhaps even a bit arrogant, not to have expected the fight I got.
So it’s like this: I’m supposedly the thinking one between the two of us; the Little Wolf is driven exclusively by raw instinct, by desire. I’ve got to outsmart her. I’ve got to out-pray her. I’ve got to out meditate her. I’ve got to out-walk her, out-dance her, out-read her. I’ve got to get into the kitchen before she does, and arrange things there the way I have in mind. I’ve got to work at seeing food in a way she’d prefer I didn’t; as precious fuel that may well delight the senses, but as nothing more than this…not as a “recreational drug”, or a trusty pal, or a social crutch, or a source of entertainment or emotional comfort.
I’ve got to lean on the Little Wolf hard in these days, to check her energy, to out-maneuver her until my improvement activities finally begin to take on the feel of habit. I can’t let her out of my sight until she knows who’s at the helm—and even then, I plan to tie a bell around her ankle, to keep me ever-conscious of her future movements.
A little over a week ago I vowed to eat smart; immediately thereafter, as if in a walking dream, I went on a three-day doughnut binge, then followed that up with cartloads of barbeque potato chips, and had late-night, Henry-The-Eighth-Style dinners throughout the week. I reported my starting weight to have been 137 pounds; now I’m at 138! What happened?
The Little Wolf is serious about maintaining power, that’s what happened. And I don’t blame her.
But at the end of the day, she’s still just a child—admittedly, a child not unlike Damien, that satanic little whipper-snapper who freaked us all out in The Omen thrillers.
Simply put: It’s time for me to play grown-up. I’ll never be able to “take the forest out of” the Little Wolf; she is who she is, and we two will necessarily inhabit a single human form for the rest of our days. But as the one capable of dealing in reason I can certainly, over time, do us both a favor and help her to adapt to life in civilization as I know it can be.
P.S.: The Fitness Countdown updates will be going out Wednesdays through March 26, instead of Fridays. That way I won’t be featured publicly agonizing and looking generally pathetic throughout the entire weekend on the semo.net homepage!