Thursday, March 5, 2009

reflection on self control

and a realization that I have very little of it.

I've never thought much about my weight when I was younger.
I actually didn't think about alot of things when I was younger.

When I quit smoking three years ago the weight just piled on.
I used the proven "substitute chips and dip for cigarettes".
It did work. I just happen to be carrying a midget under my shirt.
So I made the goal to drop 20-25 pounds by summer. I had dropped
five pounds just before that and was feeling pretty confident.

Then came the road trip. Which requires me eating bags of chips,
continually holding a Mountain Dew or a beer, and generally just
eating whatever is in front of me. All the time. And since it's
cold and miserable, I just sat. And sat some more. I just worked
full time on nurturing that midget.

A week later, after physically feeling the continual nights of
'beer sampling', I weigh in. Not only have I gained back that
five pounds, but I found time to work in an extra five. Awesome!
It's just cold and miserable, spring will never come, everything
seems to be so depressing, all I can manage is to sit on the
couch at night and feed my face. Not even hungry. I'm just in it
to win. To conquer the fridge.

Besides practicing for competitive eating events, winter also
provides alot of time to check out everything bike related in
print and online. And then sets in the BIKE LUST. What NEW things
to add to the collection. Stopping into the shop to see if
anything "new" has come in. New being: any new bike that is far
better than anything I own, and MUST be purchased to fill that
empty spot inside me. Yeah, the empty spot. The empty spot that
STILL hasn't been filled in all these years. The spot that I
have been trying to patch with chips and dip, pizza, kid's snacks.
(they've even begun to resent the 'stomach')

I thought at times I was a 'pack rat'. Or a 'hoarder'.
The easier label would be 'collector'. That's very non-threatening.
So I collected 1980's bmx/freestyle and skateboard stuff. All of it.
Into boxes, to be put away for who knows what reason. Just to do it.
So there's boxes and boxes of magazines. Stacks of bikes.

But this wasn't the beginning. There's stacks of skate decks from
when I worked at a skate shop. Or all the shoes. When I worked at
a bike shop there was the mountain bikes, and the tools. The tools
that provided a chunk of the down payment on our house. It gets
out of control.

And the vehicles? Same problem. I know no boundries appearantly.

Take a no option Civic DX. Remove the AC, the radio, the back seat,
the carpet, headliner, door panels, rear wiper motor, the foam
behind the bumpers, the airbag, the center console...

Weld in a six point cage, tie it to the suspension. Adjustable custom
500 pound dragrace springs, so stiff that it would lift a tire
pulling into the driveway. Add atachometer, direct air intake, sway
bars, race compound tires, a custom tunable straight exhaust, swap
in a ported and polished dragrace engine... then go racing for two
seasons. And you get the idea how easily I get 'carried away'. Or
basically have no self control in filling that seemingly little
empty spot.

The car was sold years ago. Proof that my wife IS smarter than me.
The bikes? Gone. There is noticably less 'stuff' in the house.

As I started riding road bikes that urge came back. Miles were
'logged', casual group rides turned into all out sprints at the
end, and new models and upgrades were drooled over. But jerseys
have sat in the closet for the last year. That actually may have
more to do with seeing a picture of me at last years Commuter
Contest to put an end to it. I removed my computer, which was a
big change I didn't expect. Every bike has always had one. The
road shoes and pedals found a new home via eBay. The ProCycling
subscription lapsed, and was replaced with UrbanVelo & Bicycle
Times. The classic Volvo was sold off and never replaced, my
bike became my car.

I thought the 'empty spot' was gone. But if you don't know what 'it'
is, how do you know? In this case, I didn't have boxes of 'stuff'
laying around to show there was a problem, or an out of control
'hobby', it was a simple scale.

So I spend the evening with a big cold glass of water. Just as boring
as I am. And I leave the kid snacks for the kids. Six pounds are gone.
Getting back on track, and realizing that empty spot is my lack of
self control lurking around. Although it proves entertaining to my
friends, it's generally a pain in the ass that has left me smuggling a
midget for now.

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