[Rowing Machine] 2019: Week 01 {228.0} “Reducing Fast Food”

My main New Year’s Row-solution is reducing the amount of fast food I eat, but should I wait until this essay publishes in 2019 to begin this pact? The intent, I suppose, is that we should start a “new year” as new people,” but why wait until that arbitrary date? Let’s externally throw out some wild claim for self-change after we’ve spent months internally building our resolves to the point where it’s an easy, throwaway statement.

I’ll still eat the occasional cheeseburger.

Starting in late 2017, I limited myself to one cheeseburger per week. We have a local place that’s good enough to otherwise tempt me to load up on burgers, so this weekly rule forced me to not indulge with reckless temptation.

This new fast food policy will be similar in scope: reduce but not eliminate.

The new rule will be “one fast food item per fortnight.” My definition of “fast food item” is something like: any burger or sandwich that is cooked or fried with a certain degree of greasy precision that cannot be reproduced at home.

Sure, that’s a loose definition.

The intent is to distinguish the most unhealthy 75% of foods available at any fast food, sit-down restaurant, or convenience store. I may refine the definition further after this essay reaches publication, but I’m not concerned with semantics.

It’s less about the medium and more about the message.

I’ll allow myself certain cheats because I’ve already eliminated perception-altering alcohol, and the only time I’ll eat sugary donuts or even candied snacks is on the rare occasion where I’ve achieved an impossible odd and feel it prize-worthy.

Pizza, similarly, is a high-quality reward.

This is all a reaction to the trap I fell into of considering junk or fast food to be a proper form of sustenance. Rather than learn to cook, or even cook up some rice and fire up the skillet, I’d eat it if it was easy to make and somewhat tasty.

This does mean more decisive planning.

Just like drinking over a gallon of water daily requires pacing and predicting restroom break timing, not relying on some cheap food when I’m out for the day might mean preparing a sandwich or small meal, but really, isn’t that what we should do?

Why do we hold value and convenience above health?

If we invest an extra week per week in preparing our diets with more detail, perhaps not completely removing spontaneity or rigid adherence to strict dietary plans, wouldn’t that help us out significantly over the course of this new year?

If so, why wait until a certain calendar date?

If we do, I know I’ll lose that spark of imagination and resolve. I’ve been cooking rice each morning along with my coffee for the past few days and I’ve noticed some improvement. Sure, rice isn’t the greatest, healthiest food around…

But compared to grease-laden calorie bombs?

Quotes: None.
Sources: My fitness experiences.
This week’s weight: 228.0
Last week’s weight: 226.5
Difference: While the increase in a pound and a half doesn’t seem significant, my recent lowest weight was 223.0 and my long-term goal is 200. 200 was a weight I really felt good at, so regressing doesn’t feel great, however, what this tells me is that I should exercise and rest more often…
Inspirations: Originally, I was going to write more broadly about other resolutions I’ve made in November and December, including reducing clutter, being more decisive with my time and energy, but the focus worked out well for the essay.
Related: Past weekly column entries.
Picture: Silly fireworks.
Written On: December 10th [30 minutes]
Last Edited: First draft; final draft
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.