Well, I am in week...something...of this adventure, and I'm one week down in my diet challenge. My first week of eating more went pretty well. It was difficult to fight the temptation to cut my calories after gaining a few pounds, but I feel like I have found a happy place and I'm already feeling lighter and just generally healthier. It might be a placebo effect, or there might be some kind of actual change brewing. We'll find out soon enough.
My first big test was the weekend: a birthday party, then the urge to overindulge at dinner Saturday night, and on Sunday, friends over for lunch. But as much as I psyched myself up to resist the temptation, I didn't find it as hard as I expected. I know my former habits weren't getting me anywhere, and I am done with them. It was refreshing and calming to be back in control. For maybe the fourth time in my entire life, I relaxed. I know that for some of you, the idea of relaxation as a byproduct of hyperactive control might be an oxymoron, but those of you who know me well know that it's just how I am. Relaxation is foreign to me, and sometimes the only way I can get there is by knowing that I am in complete control of my surroundings. It's how I roll.
But maybe what really churned me on was something I read in my new favorite book. I have spent a good amount of time complaining about my slow metabolism, fat-hoarding genetics, and the general bad hand of cards I was dealt in regards to my overall physique. Basically, a bunch of griping about how unfair it was that while I worked out twice as hard as the person next to me, I had half of the results. I'll admit it: I was bitter. I joked that when I died, I was going to have a little one-on-one time with God and ask whether there was some kind of mix-up to explain why I had been given size medium bones and size large skin. But I wasn't really kidding. Call me shallow, but I was ticked.
I always felt that I could overcome the genetics and fight nature to get the results that I craved. That's why I was intrigued by this tidbit of information courtesy of author Lou Schuler: he tells us that when it comes to our diet and workouts, the results we see are only 40% determined by our genetics, and the other 60% is what we put in. Now, I'm paraphrasing, these ratios are estimates, and everyone is different, but it gives me hope that I can erase what I once thought was carved in stone.
So I've been using this bit of knowledge to motivate myself to run a little faster, do a couple more intervals, reach for the heavier weights, and pass on the birthday cake. I would just love to show up at the pearly gates and stick it to God and His Master Plan. (You thought I was going to be pudgy? Think again, sucka!)
And then God smited me. Okay, I probably had a little something to do with it, too. I've been trying to ignore the subtle throbbing in my knees after my workouts, and the slight feeling that I was doing something very, very bad to myself in my morning runs. I just turned up the music and hit the pavement, pushing aside the little voice in my head reminding me of the risks of high-impact sports. I am an endorphin junkie, and I needed my fix. But this week, I couldn't ignore it.
I'm at a crossroads. The warrior in me wants to suck it up and keep going, dealing with the consequences later when I'm old and I don't care about my abs anymore. But I know the truth. I'll always care about my abs.
This morning I walked. It sucked. I felt lame. I didn't even sweat. I don't know what I will do next, but one thing is certain - I learned my lesson about smack-talk with God.