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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Avoiding the Tricks of Penelope

I've somehow made it through my life without reading the Odyssey, and I doubt that I'll ever go back and fill in this void from my youth. I never saw the value in reading the Classics during my years of formal education, weather it be the ancient tales from the Greeks or the more "recent" classics that were from the 18th and 19th century. If the point was to illustrate that the basic human condition has remained the same throughout history, then just give me some excepts and I'll accept that wisdom, but don't make me read a long complicated book that's guaranteed to bore the typical high school student. Here's a thought--give kids reading assignments that they will enjoy and maybe they will learn to enjoy reading.

I did learn enough about the Odyssey to recall the trick Penelope used to avoid picking a new husband while Odysseus was away on his adventures. She was under pressure to remarry and give the kingdom a new king, but she had faith that Odysseus was still alive and that he would return (or maybe she just liked the idea of not having a husband around). She told her suitors that she would pick a new husband when she completed her tapestry, something that was never going to happen because she would weave during the day and then unweave the tapestry at night.

For the last year or longer, I've used the weekends to unweave any success I may have had during the week. That's just one of the tricks I was using to get out from under the responsibility of being accountable. During my period of success, I posted virtually every day for 10 months. In a chicken and egg scenario, I either started slipping so I became less consistent in my posting, or I became less consistent in my posting so I started slipping. Either way, not keeping up with what I was eating on the weekends was a key element in my return to obesity. Posting on the weekends will be a key element to my return to a healthy weight.

Weight today: 219 pounds. It looks like my body was willing to give up about 5 pounds without a fight, pounds that I had recently gained as I spent so many hours at the computer finishing up the fall sports photos. Those pounds were somewhat like the extra weight you gain on a cruise, shocking when you first get on the scale and see the damage done, but easy to get rid of if you get back to more responsible eating. I'm going to predict that my body will only make a minor stand at this 218-220 level because it was never really established as a firm set point. Since I will be exercising in the next week at a higher level than any time in the last year, it won't surprise me if I'm back to the much more challenging 215 set point by the end of the second week of this diet.
Exercise today:
Food today: popcorn(250)--canned fruit(320)--popcorn(250)--pineapples(320)--popcorn(250)--Wendy's (1,030) = 2,420 calories (after sitting at the computer all day working on photos, I either rewarded myself with fries at Wendy's or I bribed myself by making a deal with myself that I would continue to work late tonight on photos if I could get fries--it was either fries or I would have popped yet another bag of popcorn.)

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