New Year Resolutions
2023 Will Be a Very Good Year...
2023 will be the year that I finally stop procrastinating and start being proactive — or at least that’s what I kept telling myself throughout 2022. To that end, I am going to make a few New Years’ resolutions to carpe anum1 . . .
Getting in Shape
I, Daniel D, do hereby resolve that this year I will sign up for a trial gym membership, that I will show up at the gym three times per week, and that I will not really work out or anything, but will instead just kind of pretend to exercise while ogling the females and annoying the other guys with idle chitchat while they are out of breath from actually working out. I’ll just kind of sit around, take up space, get in the way, and then disappear after three weeks or the expiration of my trial membership, whichever occurs first. After January, you won’t see me in a gym again until the beginning of next year, when I do the same thing all over again . . .
(But seriously, folks . . .)
I do plan to get in better shape this year. I will get back on Tim Ferriss’s “Slow-Carb Diet.” For about six months in 2020, I followed a half-assed version of this diet and maintained a half-assed exercise routine (using some of the insights from Ferriss’s book The 4-Hour Body to work-out smarter rather than harder), and I lost about 40 pounds while gaining muscle. Unfortunately, since going off of that diet in late 2020, I have gradually regained some of the fat and lost some of of the muscle, and I am well into that vicious cycle of less physical activity leading to lower energy levels, leading to less physical activity, leading to lower energy levels, etc. To borrow from The Serenity Prayer as canonized in recovery-group literature, I need to “change the things I can,” and my diet and exercise are definitely things I can change that I know will have noticeable positive effects.
The Slow-Carb Diet is similar to Keto, but it is much, much better. First, there’s a “cheat day” built into it, which helps you psych yourself out when you experience cravings: you keep a list in your pocket of the foods to which you will treat yourself on your next cheat day, and whenever another craving hits, you just take out the list and write down the food you are craving, promising yourself that you will indulge your craving on your upcoming cheat day. Somehow, the part of your brain that’s craving the food will respond favorably to this: “Okay, my desires have been noted and will be met this Saturday!” And then that part of your brain shuts the hell up! It stops bothering you with cravings! This weird Jedi Mind Trick works surprisingly well.
The second reason Slow-Carb is much better than Keto is that Slow-Carb includes plenty of fiber on the menu, so you stay regular. If you’re on a diet where you will be retaining weight in one part of your body, I cannot think of any place worse to retain weight than the large intestine. I would rather keep the weight around my waist than amass bulk in my colon. The tendency of Keto to cause constipation is a deal-breaker for me. Slow Carb is the way to go.
Kick the Delta 8 Habit
For those of you who don’t know (or for those of you who live in a state where regular weed is legal), Delta 8 is an amazing loophole in the War on Drugs, created by the Farm Bill of 2018, which removed Hemp from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). In my state, which is in the buckle of the nation’s Bible Belt, weed is still verboten, but Delta 8 is readily available, including as edibles or tinctures that you can imbibe. Delta 8 is “weed lite” when smoked or vaped, but if you ingest it, your body seems to metabolize it in much the same way as the real thing, giving the ensuing high more of a psychedelic tinge, which I have found extremely useful as a catalyst for meditation and engaging in self-therapy. But as with many things, the line between a helpful dosage and one that amounts to way too much of a good thing is blurry and easily transgressed, and I have probably been on the wrong side of that line for far too long now. As in, I definitely notice the de-motivating effects for which pot is infamous, and I am sure that taking hemp-seed oil has done absolute wonders for my testosterone levels, which I should probably start caring more about as I get older.
Of course, the trick here will be weaning myself off of Delta 8 without weaning myself onto whiskey, with which I have had a love-hate relationship (I love whiskey; whiskey hates my freaking guts!). Sticking to the Slow-Carb Diet will definitely help here (drinking whiskey is like drinking liquid bread in terms of carbs).