When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. – Buddhist proverb
I try not to worry about what others think, but I’d be lying if I said it never affects me. So I have to wonder how this blog reads to others. To strangers, to friends, to family. I know there are a couple who took my last posting of 2012 as a real downer, and have expressed some worry about me.
Fear not, I am confident in this path. And it is a path, clearly. What can appear to be a flitting about from one thing to the next, I see right now as a progression. After two years of great progress in activity, I’ve learned my food issues have a cure, I just wasn’t willing to hear the solution until now. And when I say “cure” I don’t mean magic bullet by any means. Most people would never consider trying to go this route. But I don’t feel deprivation at all, just contentment and confidence.
So why was I so negative about the last year, while embracing a new philosophy? I believe in brutal honesty. I also believe that “good enough” is a pretty lousy way to live. “Set low expectations and you will always meet them, ” I have always said. I saved a great quote from Mad Men, usually a source of thoughts on humanity that don’t exactly inspire, but nonetheless, Joan said in season two “sometimes when people get what they want, they realize how limited their goals were.” I’ve been holding onto that one for some time. It really is not just an excuse to post this collage:
But that didn’t hurt, did it?
I was in the waiting room of a hospital today, and found an interview with Ray Romano on the YES channel. He said something so telling, I wrote it down on the spot, as best I could transcribe it:
Part of you thinks you got it together. Part of you thinks you’re an imposter. They sort of fight each other, and that drives you. It makes you neurotic too, but that allows you to write and tell it like it is.
Ray Romano is talking about being a comedian specifically, but I think he is describing a lot of creative fields, and in many ways, ambitious people in general. I like to think I’m funny, but comedy is hardly my main thing. Truth, however, is. And I have come to realize that yes, I am ambitious. I looked at my life and thought “if this is it, it’s not worth it.” Sound horrible? Maybe you think so. But for me, it means my life is too good to waste on any more years of the way I was living. That doesn’t mean running or triathlon are the ends I seek, as if they will make it all worth it. Let’s face it, that’s a pretty lame ultimate goal. But they are a means to a more full life. I AM ambitious. And I can only be so if I think enough of myself to believe myself to be worth it. So yes, when I get blunt about the failures, I am not pulling punches. I’m not soft selling it as excusable for this reason or that. I am calling it what it is, but more importantly I am looking at what changes are now needed to move beyond it.
That, folks, is what this blog should be about. That’s what a thoughtful life should be about. Accepting obesity as “oh well, you tried” is not ok. If it is for you, fine. It isn’t for me. It never was. But I was too afraid to try and fail before, for so many years. No longer.
If You Podcast It, I Will Come
So with that in mind, I say again, I feel fantastic. I am ready to move on. And so, I come back to the Buddhist quote about the student and the teacher. Now that I have opened my mind to the next step in kicking my addiction while still playing in the endurance sports world, I have found the crossroads in the champions of the ketogenic process. I am finding the work of Gary Taubes, Peter Attia, Stephen Phinney, and of course, the voice I can’t get enough of: Vinnie Tortorich. I’m not the only one on this path from the triathlon community either. I’ve been listening to a lot of the Garden Variety Triathlete podcast too.
He’s a guy who lost a huge amount of weight and has done marathons, and ironman. He was drawn to plant-based foods through Rich Roll. He did OK but still had a big spare tire with clean eating and massive training. He switched to ketogenic diet, and dropped the gut, increased his training efficiency and his overall health as well. You can hear the changes in his attitude from episode to episode, which will be further alienating most of the fundamentalist vegans, but his approach is one of open-mindedness and finding truth in more than just biased dogma. I like this guy a lot. He sounds like me in so many ways.
Check out the podcast here or on iTunes.
I am less than two weeks into the move to ketosis, so I doubt I am adapted yet, especially as I am sure I fall into the extreme category that I hear can take three to four weeks after so many years on a sugar high. My keto test strips have not arrived in the mail yet. But whether I am fully adapted or not, my Eagleman 2013 training plan began today. I had a short run, and I was back to the pool for the first time in two months. I wasn’t burning up the lane or the road, but I didn’t almost pass out like new year’s eve either. I’ll get there, slowly but surely.
Inspiration from Another
Lastly, I want to share a video that you should see. It’s short, six minutes or so. It’s about a major transformation that a guy named Lloyd made. He goes by Zero2Athlete on BT, and he had an unorthdox method with daily McDonalds, but he was focused and disciplined, and his results are amazing. The focus here is not on getting to the finish of the ironman, but on getting out and enjoying life in a way that he couldn’t have in the old body. THAT is what it is all about. I hope you find it as hopeful as I did.