Since moving out of my apartment last May, I have lived with varying family members. Their health preferences while solid in some respects, don’t exactly line up with what I’m working at here. My workout regimen has been nothing short of miraculous as of late and I like to give all the credit (at least where getting the ball rolling is concerned) to my friend, Ryan, who day after day continually asks me to join him at the gym and then proceeds to encourage and push me once there.
I am feeling fit and sassy—sort of like I could do a hip-hop video. Not because I want to wear flashy lycra booty shorts and sashay upside a rapper, but because I want to sashay about with that sort of cocky chin-bobbing swagger. (I should mention this inflated sense of confidence led me to leave my phone number on a receipt for a Jesus-looking bartender at a hip new brewery. Was that ill-advised? Hitting on bartenders generally should be avoided, but did I feel like a hot tamale in my curve-hugging dress and my freshly pressed endorphinated skin? Yes. Also, I could’ve sworn he was making eyes at me. He didn’t call, for the record, but it’s probably for the best. Dating someone who looks like Jesus would certainly have its pitfalls, which I’ll allow you to imagine on your own.)
Now where food is concerned, I am about 70/30 right now, with 70 percent of the time being super healthy: nuts, fruit, grilled chicken, salads, green tea, avocado, veggies, limited dairy, almond butter, dark chocolate … The other 30 percent of the time: colossal gourmet pecan coffeecake, Cool Ranch Doritos, Coca-Cola, Cheez-Its, chocolate-covered pretzels, and this is naming a minimal few of the things I see arrive in my house daily.
Normally none of this stuff would even tempt me, nor would I put any of it in my cart at the grocery store. But if I am not in absolute warrior mode and I come home without having noshed on almonds after a workout, I am ravenous and devour Doritos instead. And I don’t even like Doritos. And coffee cake? Nope, not really my bakery of choice either, but again, when having my morning coffee, that really seems like the easier option.
This is where I am indeed going to have to start getting ugly. Because while this whole thing is all about health and these things clearly aren’t healthy, I am going to need to urge myself to remember something more than health in my moments of weakness. I know that Doritos offer no sound nutrients. None. Whatsoever. I get this, but when I am starving and they look more appealing than they actually are I am going to start resorting to scare tactics. Which sadly for me isn’t watching documentaries on the evils of junk food. When I watched “Supersize Me,” all I wanted afterwards was a McDouble. It’s true. And I wish I were mortified by that knowledge but mostly I will always crave McDonalds despite knowing it’s heathen fare.
What I am going to have to do is this: get naked.
I am instating a new rule, inspired by my favorite personal trainer, EJ. He got me. He knew that deep down it was more than just wanting to feel good and be at my healthiest. Was it so wrong for me to want to look like a fox and a half while I was at it? EJ had this insight for me: Everyone just wants to look good naked.
I can do a world of good with the right clothing to hide what I don’t care to see. But at the end of the day, I, like everyone else still have to get naked, and I still see skin drooping where it shouldn’t and stretch marks running rampant around my body like unruly children.
So that leads me to my scare tactic: If I want to eat store-bought, sugar-laden coffee cake for breakfast, first I need to disrobe—I’ll spare everyone and not do this in the kitchen—stand in front of the mirror and look at what I am trying to accomplish (including the vast lengths I still have to go) and ask myself if I want that coffee cake on or in my body. Same with the Doritos. Or pop. Or any other swill I allow to go past my lips when it has no right.
Since I have admitted this in writing, I now feel compelled to honor this system. Already I am getting hungry and longingly looking at the easy to rip open bag of chips, but all the while not entirely in the mood to go inspect my naked body in order to do so.
I have instead prepared these snacks: carrots and hummus, cut up strawberries and bananas. Soon my naked body is going to look so good. Right now, it is serving as my cautionary tale against Coca-Cola and Doritos. But no matter, that will change.