“Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.” – Jim Rohn
And the ride has come to a complete stop, safe to exit. Last Tuesday night I left for GenCon, “The Best Four Days in Gaming.” As people who have been following the Captain Hammer Project will know, this is a mission with very little room for error of any kind. So how exactly was I going to stick to the plan during a 4 day binge of sedentary nerdy hedonism with very few smart food choices to be found?
I started this post before I left for GenCon but it was an incoherent mess so now I’m re-writing this with the benefit of hindsight. I gave the GenCon plan a lot of thought. Most of it stuck, and the places that it didn’t stick were okay in the end.
There are some good parts to being me in this particular endeavor. I have some weird thing in my brain that will allow me to eat the same things over and over and over again and never get tired of it. I can’t tell you how many meals have consisted of a grilled chicken breast, spinach and another vegetable (there’s my variety). Most people feel that they miss something, or that the sting of self-denial becomes too much to bear and they start getting permissive which more often than not starts a domino chain of failure of counter-productive acts.
And some people aren’t that way. Some people know how to moderate (like adults and shit.) Some people can have that donut, (why is the donut always referenced as the go-to indulgence anyway?) work extra hard in the gym that day and keep on moving. Ideally, I’d like to be that guy, but I’m not there yet. I can repeat the same thing over and over again because I am not only obstinate and stubborn (the dark side of determination is obsession) but because when it comes to this thing I’m doing, I’m kind of an “all or nothing” sort. In this particular aspect of the case, it’s the “nothing” end of the spectrum, which is fine, it’s that middle ground that kills me. (There’s definitely an argument to be made about this being “the wrong way” and it’s probably more accurate than not, but that isn’t really the point right now.)
I knew that my time was going to be limited at best, and that the on-site food options were going to be awful. (For the record, there was a concession stand with “salad” but I didn’t feel much like paying really high prices for what would have been a bowl of iceberg lettuce slathered in dressing.) My best bet was to come prepared. So that I did. I bought enough protein shakes to last me the duration of the con with the plan that they would act as supplemental nutrition to one decent meal per day. Ah the best laid plans…
What actually happened was that I drank protein shakes en route to places and always had a few on me, but often did not make time to drink them unless my stomach was threatening strike. Yes, yes, not a sound plan, but it wasn’t intentional. I would drink one and honestly, I wouldn’t feel hungry enough to drink another for quite some time. More often than not, I ended up skipping that “one decent meal.” It was not intentional malnutrition, just circumstantial. I got by more on coffee and sheer will than anything else.
On the plus side, I did get plenty of walking in, so I don’t feel I shirked exercise. There maybe could have been more exercise for the sake of exercise instead of just circumstantially required exercise, but I can pick that up now that I’m home. There’s no real question that I was not kind to my body over the past few days. I moved a lot, didn’t intake as much as I needed to, and didn’t sleep nearly enough. I shouldn’t even really post this as “Healthy Gamer” as I’m pretty sure I broke all kinds of rules that are there for good reason. Also on the plus side though, I did NOT settle for whatever unhealthy crap was convenient. The plan certainly needs improvement, but I’ll have another shot next year. An ounce of prevention is worth spilled milk in a glass house, you know.
Which reminds me of another problem. I’ve remained consistently active, but I’ve been TERRIBLE about logging on Fitocracy. I’m going to change my home page to Fitocracy and see if that helps to remind me that good bookkeeping is pretty key.
The Captain Hammer project did experience some good things that came of GenCon too. Several people I hadn’t seen in a while told me I was looking good. I caught a reflection of myself (shortly after running into Pat Rothfuss *squee!*) where I even impressed myself with how I was looking. My energy and endurance were up. No matter how long or hard I had worked myself, I always found reserves to do more. I suspect these reserves will only get deeper.
More GenCon reports to follow, the fun kind where we talk about ALL THE GAMES.