Sunday, May 5, 2013

Match Yourself

I haven’t been inactive since my return to Florida. The exciting trip I took helped me to sense the nonsense of the life I was living. The world is full of people that give up and disguise its inertia as prudence. It’s nothing but cowardice.

Some visits to my family got me extra pounds, so the next step was to lose weight.

Every time I need to wrestle with my own body I find a hall of reality that I can’t fool. My system will react to effective measures, nothing else. Good intentions and dreams have not the slightest effect on my waistline.

For many years, I have been trying to find my formula to weight control. Since I was in my twenties, I ran into the error of explosive training and demoralizing crashings. Then I tried long term discipline, just to crash in several episodes instead of one.

My error was seeing my body as a separate project of my existence. A weak mind can’t wear a strong body. You can’t have a body that doesn't match your mentality for too long, the same way you can’t wear that Halloween custom every day to the office. 

First thing, my goal can’t be being attractive (external reward) but being worthy (internal stimulus). I love the image of that old man that wears a tie even when retired. He’s not trying to follow anybody’s dressing code but his own. If you shower and shave just when there is somebody watching, then you are really a beggar in disguise. The ONLY person who cares is watching all the time, yourself. 

Once you understand that simple fact is when discipline starts to boil in your heart. 

Romans had a word for this: “Dignitas”. It’s the root of the modern “dignity” but for Romans, it was deeply personal. Having “Dignitas” was to behave, look and match the way of a worthy life. When you find your “Dignitas”, the rest of your physical manifestations follow. 

That clears the path between mind and body, but still, you need to go through the technicalities of knowing yourself. Your body is unique, and there is a distinctive way in which it reacts to different combinations of nutrients, tasks and circumstances. At some point, you need to stop listening to diet experts and take note of those things that have a real and measurable effect on your system. You will be surprised by who far you may be from the average. 

The good news (great news indeed) is that controlling your body is not a challenge of will but one of self-knowledge. I got rid of sixteen pounds with a mild cardio workout of 40 minutes every other day, and I feel better than when I was a teenager.

I’m not doing this to impress anybody but the guy in the mirror.