When talking of grand endeavors and large scale projects, people tend to think global – building The Burj Khalifa, manning the space station, mining asteroids for minerals, restraining Mel Gibson, punching Justin Beiber… For me, however, the grandest endeavor (incidentally, one that relates to large scales in particular) has always been the battle of the bulge.
The most important key to this battle… is determination.
There comes a moment in everyone’s life when you know… you simply KNOW… that you will win. No matter what the odds, no matter how herculean it seems at the time, you know without a fraction of a doubt that you will succeed. It is this form of confidence that can sprout resolute determination.
This kind of determination doesn’t come up all the time. My innate desire to look less like an inflated puffer-fish, however, can do that trick. When this happens, there’s a rush of adrenaline that shouts ‘Let’s DO this!’, and knocks off any pizzas/ french fries/ other stuff lying on the table. It’s a very lucid, high energy event that gives me an unshakable certitude that oh, yeah… I can do this. My brain gets into Mode Sparta, and mercilessly impales any concept of retreat or surrender. It yells out battle cries and charges against the enemy.
The enemy, of course, is lethargy, gluttony and indecision – the true axis of evil. Formidable opponents in their own right. But in that adrenaline rush, you can’t help but pity them. With the kind of energy and determination that’s being meted out against them, you know that they wouldn’t stand a ghost of a chance.
The problem is that this determination and energy dies down rather unceremoniously in roughly four to six minutes. Frequent readers (both of them) might recognize weight loss as one of the on-again, off-again themes that pepper this site. If I were able to drag the determination and energy for a couple of months, then there would only have been one article on weight loss in this site – one with a happy ending involving six packs.
It’s quite pathetic, f you think about it. The brain goes from military-drill level of combat mode, to “Uhm… Maybe from tomorrow” without a modicum of shame. But why? Maybe the answer is in the method itself. You get pumped up on adrenaline when you resolve to exercise and diet. All this pumping up would make you feel drained out, and then you start craving for food and rest to restore your energy. It’s self defeating. It’s hopeless. A paradoxical conundrum.
Even when I muster enough perseverance to move beyond the drain-out, it’s still not over yet. No, once I defeat the scumbag brain, I’d have to gear up for the boss-fight. It took me a while to even know who the boss villain is.
As with an 80’s murder mystery, the real enemy is the one you’d least suspect. That friendly, smiling buddy you’ve known your entire life – the weekend. You know your place during the weekday. Sure you’re miserable when you reach for the salad instead of the pizza slice. Sure, you hate exercising when you should be snugly asleep. But then again, you KNOW it’s the weekday. It wouldn’t have been enjoyable anyway.
But the weekend? Not so. It’s like an Oscar winning/ nominated veteran acting in a modern sci-fi adventure. You’re meant to see good, vibrant fun with an impeccable reputation, but you know that’s the secret villain of the piece.
No matter how well I control myself through the week, it all falls apart during the weekend. The weekend is when I meet up with friends, go out for movies, go shopping, etc… And there is no modern social gathering that is not replete with absurd quantities of luxurious, exorbitant, artery clogging food stuff in close vicinity. As a result, the weekend brings with it an avalanche of temptations. And my willpower is such that if I put my mind to it, I can resist absolutely anything… except temptations of any sort.
So here I am at the crossroads again. I have cut down on my calorie intake and huffed and puffed on the treadmill with the kind of willpower that nobody would have expected of me. It’s Thursday, and I’m burning further calories patting myself on the back for a few days of iron will. Reason enough to feel motivated. Reason enough to rejoice.
Maybe this time, it will work out. Maybe this will be the last article on the site about weight loss efforts. Maybe I can move on to articles on how wonderful being healthy and trim is.
But then reality strikes its blow, and I note that scumbag weekend is coming up… and chances are that my adventures in weight loss schemes are an ongoing series that may eventually rival the compiled works of Shakespeare.