I'm never going to be one of those guys who survives on just broccoli, cod, water, and smugness. I like to eat french fries sometimes. And pizza. And cheesecake. And ice cream. And I love booze. Like, to an unhealthy degree. And occasionally I make myself vague promises of cutting all that crap out at some point in the vague future. But that's totally bullshit. When I die, they'd better bury me with a six pack of hoppy beer.
I count calories, because it's the only way I can be not fat. And I'm going to be 100% honest and say that the biggest reason that I run 50 miles a week is so that I can be a fat giant pig and a fat giant alcoholic. I honestly don't think that running races and trying to set personal records would be a sufficient motivator otherwise. Running is cool and all, but if I didn't get rewarded with 2000 calories of, just, pure trash afterwards, I wouldn't do it nearly as much.
If I don't run, I can eat, or I can drink. But not both.
If I don't want to be miserable later, I have to run now.
During lunch time today, I ran 8 miles. It was actually 8.4, but nobody cares. It was cold. It was snowing. The wind was brutal. And my whole body hurt. But I also want to eat dinner and go to a brewery tonight. So my options were:
1. Have a painful run now and then an amazing evening tonight.
2. Not run. Go home and eat frozen broccoli out of a bag. Have a staring contest with my cat. Loathe myself for being the laziest piece of shit in the galaxy.
For many folks, motivating themselves to run is hard. For me, motivating myself to not run is hard. I'll run even if I'm sick, tired, or injured. Because I want to eat, drink, and not hate myself later.
Yes, I'm kind of crazy. I had to train myself to be crazy. I want to be strong, and fit, and to have visible abs. But those things don't actually do anything useful. I mean, sure, it'll be nice to have my body still function when I'm 60. But the human brain doesn't give a shit about the future. It only cares about now. And now it wants fried foods and sugar.
Training my brain to do something that's hard and painful now so that it can reap the rewards in 20 or 30 years is ridiculous. But if it gets to reap those rewards in just a few short hours? Well it'll complain, but it tolerates it. It says, "fine, but you seriously better eat until ketchup and hot sauce is coming out your pores." No problem brain. No problem.
|A random picture, because otherwise|
this post wouldn't have any.
I'm not saying you should be a food-obsessed alcoholic. I'm saying you have to have a super solid reason for doing what you do. If you run, but you don't know why you run, it's going to be hard to keep doing it. If you can take a day off running, and it doesn't really seem like a big deal, it's going to be hard to not take all of the days off. If you don't feel like you have to do it, then you won't. I go to work because I don't want to starve. And I run for the same reason. Because I don't want to starve.
You might say, "you can literally just go and get a sandwich whenever." But I can't! If I don't have the calories available, I can't eat that sandwich! I'll end up getting a black coffee. And drink it and pretend it's food. Which I do a lot, FYI. I was hungry after my run, but dinner was still a few hours away. So I got a large coffee. I'm saving those calories for dinner, darnit!
If you can't relate to this, that's fine. You're probably one of those rare few individuals who can just eat a pie guilt free and go about their day full of joy and excitement. Most people feel a gnawing sense of guilt that they keep trying to mash down into a deep pit. Most people feel dissatisfied with themselves, but lie to their friends and say they're "happy with how they look."
So it's not really about being crazy. It's about being brutally honest with yourself. And that's painful. But it's a good pain. It's a pain that makes you stronger. Like running.