Cheat Day

I’ve been doing things lately to make myself a bit more healthy.  I’ve been eating much better.  I especially have forced myself to eat nothing (or at least very little) from the gas station I work at.  We make pizza and hot dogs and all the other carnival food that many Americans just consider ‘lunch’.  It’s fast and yummy and absolutely horrible for you.  But the main thing I’ve been doing is running.  I have a schedule for myself set up so I have to run 4-5 days a week.  I haven’t racked on that many miles yet since I’m getting back into the swing of running.  And some days are better than others.  Today was not one of those better days.  I’ll explain why.

You see, yesterday was one of my ‘rest’ days.  I had no exercise scheduled.  So I thought it would be a perfect day to have a cheat day.  It would be a day where I didn’t count calories or even consider what I threw down my cavernous maw.  If I wanted it, I would eat or drink it.  I had Ice Cream.  I had a couple of donuts.  I drank beer and had a giant bowl of yummy rice.  I sat on my ass and played video games.  It’s like I was in college all over again.

And today I paid for it.  For some reason, I was feeling sluggish during my run.  I only aimed for three miles (I have been doing 4-6 miles on my Tuesdays), but I had to walk part of my last mile.  It’s like my body was rebelling against me.  My body is the thing that does the running.  It’s the machine I have to maintain.  But instead of filling it with premium gas and using only the best motor oil, I filled it with clown noses and dropped a hippopotamus on the engine.  Turns out that cheat days are bullshit.

Cheating implies you’re pulling the wool over someone’s eyes.  As if there were some instructor or overseer that kept track of my progress, and I was secretly delighting in my hedonistic hijinx.  If I take a step back, I see that nobody else is holding me to any kind of standard.  Nobody else is keeping score.  It’s only me.  I’m trying to make myself better, and yesterday I cheated myself.

I could have run well today, except that I set myself up to fail yesterday.  I’m not going to make that mistake again.