It was a rough two weeks for me at the end of July… probably the roughest of the year so far. I can go to some pretty dark places in my head, which is why I guess I’m a horror writer first and foremost. But that dark place is filled with cannibal sensibilities, and it’s all too easy to devour the better parts of myself and leave behind the nasty, unsavoury bits.
In the past, in the grip of these moods, I’d indulge one of my vices to excess as a form of escape. Over the years, I’ve evolved by adapting my coping mechanisms and eschewing certain forms of stress relief until only a couple remain. The one germane to today’s log is the vice of food.
For two weeks, I wanted to drown my sorrows in food. To eat until the rough edges got smoothed away. I didn’t, though, and while I’m happy that I dealt directly with the issues instead of using food as a passive-aggressive proxy, it wasn’t a “yay me” moment either. At least, I’m not looking for that reaction.
Instead, I noticed another benefit to maintaining a routine (diet and exercise in my case): Good habits become a coping mechanism for the stress. Huh… who knew? I’m always worried that I’ll “fall off the wagon,” but I’ve discovered that the things I used to crave before have diminished and it’s no longer a matter of falling off the wagon as wanting to stay on.
While attending World Con a couple of weekends ago, I spent the evening at various room parties surrounded by chips and chocolates. I even sat down next to them, feeling a détente cordial had been reached. They wouldn’t woo me with their sweet and salty voices and I wouldn’t devour them hand over fist like Godzilla eating his way through Tokyo. The urge was gone, and while I can sometimes feel it crop up, it’s nothing more than a pang now. Easily ignorable, the short-term promise of taste easily overcome for the longer benefits of health.
So, between World Con and an angry end of July, I survived. My diet and my exercise remained intact because they were good, positive routines in my life that I wanted to maintain. And I came out from the storm feeling more accomplished and in better control.
My reward came in the form of my latest fitness assessment. So, to date I’ve seen the following results:
April 6 July 15 August 18
Weight: 282 lbs 245 lbs 235 lbs
Fat %: 36% 25.20% 23.40%
Lean Body Mass (lbs)
180.48 183.26 185.76 lbs
Fat Body Mass (lbs)
101.52 61.74 49.24 lbs
And next week, new pictures of my progress. Stay tuned.