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February Like a Fraternity Hazing Without the Alcohol

Posted Mar 02 2013 10:41am


February sucked.

Now that February is over, I can look back at some very big accomplishments that I wasn’t sure I could pull off. My job is very technical and it is very hard to explain to most normal people what I do for a living. Heck – *I* don’t quite know how to explain it. I love to watch people introduce me. They begin to stumble when they try to describe what I do.

I suppose ‘Chief Wrangler of Technical Gobbledegook’ is as a good a title as any.

I wrangled a lot of gobbledegook this past month – and it all came together. Too much drama for my taste, however: a major problem only got worked out 11 minutes before launch. No pressure.

This took a physical toll on me, however. I was a wreck. Technology doesn’t give a damn if you’re optimistic: it just won’t work, and positive thinking doesn’t make it work – worrying over every last detail makes it work. This was my job and this worry – this constant querying of myself asking: “did I forget something important?” – did a number on my health.

I had an almost constant headache for the last 2 weeks of February. I don’t take anything for headaches  so I just toughed it out. My left eye began throbbing as if I had a foreign object in it. Right before things were set to launch my stomach felt like I had swallowed a package of fishhooks. My boss looked at me and asked: “Are you doubled over in the chair because of pain?” I grimly smiled and nodded and told him I’d be OK.

It launched. On time. It worked. Congratulatory emails circulated, as opposed to the type of emails that circulate upon the birth of a major failure – livid with anger and full of threats, resulting in dark faces in the hallways, hushed conversations, tension-filled meetings, and the specter of grim-faced HR people escorting a now-former coworker to the door with a cardboard box.

Now that this fraternity hazing without alcohol is over, it’s time to put my focus on my diet – which was a train wreck those last 2 weeks. I didn’t even bother watching what I ate. I just ate.

So life gets in the way of your diet sometimes. You put it on a shelf for a while, then come back to it. That’s where I am now.

I woke up this morning at 203.2. It could have been worse, considering the crap I ate. Just one example: one night on the way home I gobbled down 3 McDonald’s cheeseburgers and a large fry. I didn’t care about the diet – I cared about getting through February – and McDonald’s is comfort food. I like it. It’s crap, of course – but I like a lot of low-rent items. While I like a lot of snobby food, I can still enjoy McDonald’s, fried Spam and pork rinds.

Eating like this did comfort my troubled soul but did nothing for my waist. I am right between a loose 38 and a tight 36 waist and wore my fat pants for the past 2 weeks just to make myself more comfortable.

So taking stock of the situation, I moved my goal of 185 out to July 1st from May 1st. Dieting is like ‘ Calvinball ‘ – the game from the comic strip ‘Calvin and Hobbs’ where the main characters would make up the rules as they went along.

Set a goal and fuck it up? Make another goal – all’s fair in Calvinball.

The next thing I decided to do was to try to reduce my coffee consumption. I read somewhere what the limit of caffeine is where beyond that it is considered dangerous – and I exceed that limit daily. Perhaps it’s not so dangerous to a serious professional coffee-drinker like myself, but perhaps just a wee bit of moderation here might be in order. I think my stomach might appreciate it. So now I count this.

Next on the list is to get my ass cooking more. I’ve been lazy and have been eating from the deli counter way too much. So this weekend I am going to make more of my awesome kale soup . I am also going to rekindle my relationship with vegetables. I’ve been ignoring my vegetable intake. Time to remind myself that I like zucchini, cauliflower, asparagus, artichoke hearts as well as a spectrum of other yummy vegetables.

And lastly, to quote James Barrie, the author of Peter Pan: Always be a little kinder than necessary. That goes for both myself as I try yet again to bring myself back to my goals as well as to others – because you can’t be kind to yourself while being a prick to the rest of the world.




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