I’ve written extensively about my struggle to stay in shape. Well — this past week was a very bad week.
Do you know how difficult it is to work out every single day of the week? Can you picture the drudgery of hoofing five fucking miles — no matter how hot it is outside or how few hours you slept last night? Well, I did it. 60 straight days last summer working the World Series of Poker from noon until 3 am every day — and I was up at 10 am every single morning to run in the 108-degree heat. The sweat was like a baptism.
My diet plan worked. In fact, it didn’t just work. It kicked fucking ass.
Ten months ago, I started out as a 262-pound blob of laziness and worked it off one grueling step at a time. Make no mistake. I don’t like to run. The pain was often intense. I had plenty of excuses to skip days, but never did. I had good reasons to cut my workout, but never took a shortcut. I was determined to stick to the plan. My idea — and it worked like magic – was to eat and drink myself silly, but then to work off every pound by pummeling the pavement five miles per day, seven days a week. I’m not religious. But if I have a belief, it is in the power of human willpower. If I can do it, anyone can.
It’s no mistake that the very first blog post I wrote some four months ago was about running. For me, it was a mental and physcial challenge to do someting I had never done and then stuck to it. It was — a life transformation.
And so, I proudly reported that nine months after my workout ritual began — I managed to drop from 262 all the way down to 215. That’s an astonishing 47 pounds, or about 17 percent of my total body mass. Incredibly, I never missed a meal. I never missed a drink. I ate WHATEVER I WANTED. I drank two cocktails and a bottle of wine a day — more when someone else was buying. Warren Lush comes to mind. I ran those meals and manhattans off and fucking loved living life.
Well, all journeys worth taking have bumpy roads and detours. I’ve just taken one. And now, I need to get back onto the highway.
It all started out five weeks ago when I worked two weeks at Bossier City, Louisiana. A grueling schedule caused me to shorten my run route down to just two miles per day. Then, it was off to France for ten more days and nights. I drank and ate even more than normal in Cannes — while averaging just three miles per day, instead of five. Next, my journey took me to Hammond-Gary, Indiana where the nauseating oil refineries and an exhausting schedule caused me to totally abandon my workout program for ten straight days.
So, according to my estimate — I have departed my ritual for 35 days. I have run an estimated 100 less miles than would have been normal.
What do you think happened to my weight during this time?
As I stated previously, my low number was 215 pounts, which I proudly carried in early September. Life was so good, I was eating quarts of Baskin-Robbins and washing it all down with Malbec. Goddamn, what a statement of pride — 215 pounds, down from 262.
Upon my return from five weeks spent on the road, I stepped on the scale. I feared the worst. Like some kind of ashamed addict that had relapsed, I looked down over a jello-like gut. The number was a kick in the groin.
I gained 13 pounds in just over a month.
I have written about this before. I could not give one flying assfuck about the number. I have no numeric goal. For me, the diet and the commitment to health is a statement. It’s a demonstration of mind over matter. It’s a personal conquest over the forces from within. It’s showing everyone that might be watching that one need not sacrifice nor be denied of life’s greatest pleasures. The answer is simply to work it all off with a dedicated ritual of running and exercise.
I had lost it all, or should I say, gained in all in one utterly detestable period of dishonor.
Fortunately, I’m now back to my ritual of running five miles — up the hills and through the searing heat. Once again, I flip off the jackasses that drive in the right-hand lane oblivious to my struggle on the sidewalks, sreaming profanity at the lazy-ass motherfuckers in their speeding Benzes and BMWs who come within inches of ending my life with the indifferent arrogance. My ankles are sore. I have cramps in my thighs. I was desperately out of breath. But my will stays strong. There’s nothing I look forward to more than the next trek around The Lakes, the next five mile circle.
I am back. With a vengeance. I am going to get rid of these 13 pounds.. And then more.
And after that, I’m eating a 16-ounce rib-eye and loaded backed potato. Don’t bring me margarine. I demand real butter.
I’m in the zone, and when I’m in the zone — it’s always happy hour.