Last week had a really strong start in regards to fitness — I ran my usual 5 mile route on Monday and Tuesday, and managed to complete both runs at a constant pace without slowing down or stopping. After that, things went downhill. I took Wednesday off since I started feeling some aching in my left knee. Thursday, San Diego was visited by rainy weather, and without a gym membership, I gave myself another day off. I easily could have offset the inability to take to the streets by doing a workout at home, but it’s really easy to give into other distractions at home. Once the weekend hit, I caved and gave into lethargic tendencies, and did a whole lot of nothing, in a manner similar to the last time I did this last month around Thanksgiving. I’d be inclined to chalk this up to the holidays and the winter season if it weren’t something of a trend that’s been present throughout the second half of this year.
In my efforts towards attaining physical fitness, I’ve had to evaluate and redefine my “relationship” with food. I recognize that I’m no longer growing and am now simply aging and that my caloric requirements have drastically reduced in turn, as well as the fact that my metabolism will continue to gradually slow down as time passes. This is the reality that fuels my motivation. On the other hand, dealing with all the financial hardships that have presented themselves this year has negatively impacted my dietary decisions. In the “better” times, I’ve been able to eat well and moderately healthy by doing a great deal of cooking at home. In the “not so better” times, which account for the majority of this year, I’ve been running off of convenience, availability, and affordability as my primary determinants. For example: at the start of the month, I had the car break down on me and demand a replacement battery and alternator, which cut into my budget for many things, most relevant of which being my allocated dollars for food. Shortly after, my roommate planned a tailgate party at a Chargers game for his company, and brought back a lot of the leftover supplies and ingredients that weren’t used. So, up until this past week, hot dogs and turkey franks have been a main part of my diet out of sheer necessity. Even when finances have allowed for options, my decision making hasn’t been the most sound. When you run an entire month eating minimally throughout the week and mainly going with whatever’s available, you end up developing a sense of scarcity in relation to food. My response to date has been to, when possible, indulge and gorge on the things that I deny myself throughout the rest of the month.
Ultimately, the fault lies nowhere else than with myself. All of these contributing factors are, at the end of the day, just excuses. They are merely circumstances, circumstances to which I’ve failed to respond to appropriately; if I’d been able to exercise the proper amount of willpower and self-restraint, I’d be writing a very different narrative right now. Having identified these pitfalls, I just have to keep a careful eye out for them moving forward and do some serious work to make up for lost ground over the past week.