You are only what you are when no one is looking.
–Robert C. Edwards
. . . and me, well I am a natural born blobber. That’s my fear, anyway. That, like Popeye, “I yam what I yam.” (Which is suddenly and inexplicably craving yams, buttery with brown sugar of course.) It’s actually terrifying to sit here and contemplate what might become of my “physique” if I could know that no one would ever see what I choose to eat, the way in which I eat it, or the way I look after the eating is done (presupposing, of course, that the eating is actually ever “done.”) It is the nature of people to love, then destroy, then love again that which they value most.
— Neale Donald Walsch, CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD (BOOK 1).
There’s something ritualistic, for me, about cheating on diets and blowing off working out. Honestly, sometimes I feel most myself when I’m not doing things I should be doing and not eating things I should be eating. There’s the old familiar worn-out-blue-jeans guilt that comes with eating poorly, which is perversely comforting to me. Over and above feeling comforted, I actually feel rewarded when I’m doing wrong. Like I have earned the right to not work out, or because I’ve been working out I have earned the right to order blue cheese AND ranch with my hot wings.
Why is that these things that do nothing for us, in fact these things that do us wrong, we seem to always want. I mean at this point in my P90X transformation, I am still working out to eat out even though I know full well that eating out is undoing all the working out I JUST DID. It’s crazy. Even as I type it I shake my head like I’m giving dating advice to a 16-year old girl on the back of a Harley. What are you doing?
But I know I’m not alone in conceptualizing terrible foods as gold stars to be earned. I mean, check this out. There are prisons out there luring prisoners into good behavior with pizzas. In fact, come to think of it, I remember being rewarded as a class at the end of a third-grade semester for being in our desks on time every day for 18 weeks with a pizza party. (Ah, like sands through the hourglass, so do modern prisons and elementary schools continue to converge.)
There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.
— Warren Buffett
Of myself I know the following for absolute sure: I am better than most at taking the simplest of things and complicating them beyond comprehension. Don’t believe me? Ask my Algebra 1 teacher, if he even survived that semester. I used close to 75 Post-It notes last summer just for scheduling! And don’t think it’s a compulsive thing, like people who label their labels and clean their cleaning products (remember Danny Tanner in that episode of Full House?). I actually kind of look up to those types of people because yeah, sure, they may complicate things, but they’re doing it for a reason, a greater purpose. You know, like organization or cleanliness. Me, I complicate just to complicate.
Honestly what is so tough about having a goal with only two steps to achievement?
GOAL: I want to look less blob-ish for swimsuit season. That’s it.
What I should be doing:
Step 1: Diet.
Step 2: Exercise. What am I actually doing?
What I am doing:
Step 1: Work out. Lots.
Step 2: Drink water. Lots.
Step 3: Eat donuts. Lots.
Step 4: Work out. Lots more.
Step 5: Drink beer. Lots.
Step 6: Gain pounds. Lots.
Essentially I plan, proceed, wander astray, and repeat. [But the Blob] is a goal seeking animal. [Her] life only has meaning if [s]he is reaching out and striving for [her] goals.
— Aristotle (poetic license exercised).