Haven't posted anything in a while, because I haven't been feeling particularly inspired. And because the past week has been marked by toil and discomfort of the type that is more painful than interesting.
One week ago, I embarked on a quest of physical restoration after a long winter and early spring of ill-health and poor fitness. It's an ambitious tripartite plan, involving:
1) reduction of alcohol intake;
2) general food consumption regulation; and
3) resumption of workouts.
The first theater of war, though met with unanimous derision and skepticism by those whom I told of the scheme, has been surprisingly successful. This past weekend I even made a cameo at a party on a rooftop with a pool, and managed not to stagger into said pool. Improvement!
On the second front, I have faced signficantly greater challenges. In fact, the only thing I like about my eating plan is its project name:
THE EMACIATION PROCLAMATION
...in which I shall set fat cells free.
I rarely go on diets, but when I do, I like to give them really grandiose names. For example, in addition to the Proclamation of 2010 I've also participated in:
* Operation Famine;
* Taliban Hostage Meal Delivery Service; and
* Mission: Masai (in which I endeavored to run like a Kenyan marathoner, yet eat like an ordinary Kenyan)
As it turns out, it's really hard to eat less, and, more importantly, to eat right. I'm currently locked in an epic battle of wills versus a grapefruit that is sitting in my kitchen fruit bowl. I have obstinately refused to eat it, with an eye toward letting it go bad and therefore be unfit for consumption. After which I can scrape it into the garbage can -- and eat something more tasty -- with my conscience clear.
It is sort of like a game of low-stakes grapefruit "chicken." Unfortunately, I am losing. This grapefruit has been sitting healthfully in the kitchen, taunting me daily, and not just for the week since The Emaciation Proclamation was enacted.
Hand on heart, I swear that this fruit has been in my possession for five months. It was a Christmas-time acquisition. And for whatever reason, it has not aged. It is like the Demi Moore of citrus.
Day after day, I peek into the kitchen and hope that it has started to get dimply and old, its skin starting to pucker and petrify, or becoming soft so that the slightest touch would pierce the protective shell to expose the soggy, rancid fruit inside. No such luck. My friend even suggested I start chronicling the journey of the magic grapefruit, capturing via time-lapse photography its descent into inedibility. . . but I suspect that goading it on in this way would only anger it and provoke even more age-defying antics.
To my credit, I have somewhat countered my dietary setbacks by amping up Part Three of the plan: workouts. I even went to the gym on a Saturday night. The Saturday night college gym crowd is a fascinating cross-section, comprising, as far as I could tell, three demographics of students:
1) Ana girls. Seriously sinewy anorexics with ratty thin hair and ashy skin. The girl on the neighboring treadmill was power-walking at a near-90 degree incline, staring intently at the TV monitor in front of her. She was watching an episode of Bobby Flay throwing down on the Food Network, which I realized was the closest she had come to eating anything in weeks.
2) Roid kings. Guys strutting around in wifebeaters from which protrude bulging trapezius muscles blending seamlessly into the ears, precluding the existence of a neck. The gym was constantly pinging with the sound of them dropping heavy weights gracelessly, madly overcompensating for their acne and shriveled testicles.
3) Asian invasion. Chinese and/or Indian graduate engineering students wandering around the gym looking like they had never before emerged from the lab or attempted any physical activity aside from unicycling. I saw a pair of Chinese guys negotiating adjoining treadmills with some trepidation, their awkward gaits probably attributable to the fact that each was wearing flimsy canvas shoes suitable for only low impact sports like table tennis or tai chi.
All in all, it's been a slim win on the warfronts. We'll see how long my decrees can hold.