Fitness Countdown 3: 'The Little Wolf' Speaks

Feb 27, 2008

I’m not sure exactly why I agreed to do a guest spot for this column, as Toni has asked. You’ll notice she still gets the byline, and I get squat, as the saying goes. But since I consented, allow me to introduce myself. I am The Little Wolf, or “The Six-Year-Old-Raised-By-Wolves”, if you will, residing within the very person of our earnest writer—and willfully sabotaging her every attempt at making better health a way of life! BAHhahahahahaha!

You’ll notice also that my “voice” is Toni’s voice. This is because it is she who deals in language, and not I. My strength lies in a different area, about which I shall speak briefly in a moment. Too, we share a single mind—a fact much more dangerous to her than to me, since I have been able to use it against her with considerable ease, and total success, in the past. I will dominate here as well, as she flails wildly on this hopeless Lenten campaign to rob me of all pleasure!

For my part in this season, I intend to just play her for the well-meaning sap she is. She’s so amazingly easy to catch off-guard when she is focused on work. Or play. Or bill-paying. Or socializing. Or errands. Or even relaxation. At those times, it is almost pitifully easy to lead her, as if by the nose, into the kitchen and to the fridge, or down into cabinets, or up amongst the shelves in search of something, anything, to stuff into her mouth. Something salty, sweet, crunchy, fresh, canned, baked, fried, nuked…Unluckily for her, she’s not particularly choosy.

I operate at the extremely basic level of craving alone; I carve a clear path to the achievement of my simple goals. She operates in a fog—a fog of 500-channel TVs, cell phones, text messages, email, MP3s, DVDs, Internet, video games, movies, auto maintenance, family affairs, shopping malls, Little League, NASCAR, Celebrity Rehab, job stress, water-cooler chat, Campaign ’08… “Modern life” discourages her from identifying, prioritizing, or working toward any of her dearest long-term goals. Oh, she knows what she’d like—but she’s quite unclear on what she’s willing to sweat for.

And that, of course, is my greatest strength in the matter of “our” eating smart! I know what I want, and I’ll go to the mat for it—on the rare occasion I have to. And as long as her keenest attention and energy remain elswhere, it is my immediate desire that will always be fulfilled—and never her long-range hopes.

In the frenetic, time-starved world described above, it’s no wonder people long to simply pop a pill and watch the pounds roll away in seconds, while gobbling up the pill seller’s outlandish claim they can keep shoveling in the chow while slimming down! With conscious thought forever directed away from food intake, humans seem happy to defy all logic, hoping to have their cake, eat it, and magically get results suggesting they never touch the stuff! An entire industry thrives beyond measure on this doomed approach to nutrition and fitness. They speak of new “diets” and potions, never new ways of thinking and living. And I always, in the end, reap the benefits of their lucrative dog-and-pony antics.

For when people finally throw up their hands in surrender, they are surrendering to me alone. From there I switch into high gear. And I am not big on mercy.

“Our Hero” has so far gone from 137 pounds, to 138 (in response to my first Lenten offensive!), and last week she found herself holding steady at the 138 mark. She finds this fact quite encouraging.

Poor, dear thing. Will she ever know me like I know her?