Monday, November 01, 2004

An exercise in creative motivation

For most of my life, I've had a bit of a pot belly. Nothing too excessive, but still a little bit more than is optimal. It was there when I was a small kid. During high school it disappeared due to a slightly lower food intake and mandatory exercise while at boarding school, and the rest of my body also growing taller and wider, while the gut remained the same and so it no longer stood out. In hindsight, at the end of high school I was the fittest I've ever been.

Then came university. No one telling me what to do with my time, the freedom to do whatever I want including consuming large quantities of junk food and not to exercise. And so over the first year of uni the gut returned, and has hung around for the next 5 years until now.

Recently one of my friends confronted me about this, and has encouraged me to do something about this. So far my efforts have been to go jogging once a week for 15 to 20 minutes. Not much, but it's a start. I'm also trying to eat slightly better, but apart from my departure from the cult of pepsi several months ago and joining the church of OJ, not much has happened.

The main thing that seems to be limiting my exercise seems to be a lack of discipline. Given the choice of browsing wikipedia some more or going jogging, I'll browse wikipedia. There was a character in one of Terry Pratchett's novels who had refined laziness to such a state that he remained fit as by doing so it was much easier for him to move around and do stuff. This sort of attitude I'd like to develop, but I can't seem to make the long term positive effects outweigh the short term negative of having to go jogging.

This afternoon I did go jogging. Normally my friend comes over on a Monday and we go jogging together. He had to work today though, so that didn't happen. It had seemed as though I was all set to skip this week, but then providence gave me a reprieve. I needed some stuff from the shops down the road. And so I jogged to the shops. If all I need to exercise is an ulterior motive, then perhaps I should engineer some more. This may be a case of the ends justifying the means.

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