Monday, August 01, 2016

A Hard-Won Banana Equilibrium

I used to hate bananas, then forced myself to eat them regularly until I got to like them, then came to resent them, and eventually stopped having feelings about bananas altogether. Like air and sleep the yellow not-really-a-fruit is simply a necessity now, something forgotten once inhaled. Not everything in life can be assimilated like that, but at least bananas can.

I'd be lying if I said I had writer's block, but I'd be lying if I said I'd done much writing lately too - the meniscus between real life and the fictional is a bit thin (at least for me. I understand this isn't the case for some writers, usually grizzled ex-Forces types whose novels have pointy aeroplanes on the jacket) and if my real-world equilibrium is disturbed the other one usually tips over.

That's not to say I haven't written at all: I have, and not badly either. But momentum is hard to come by, and my day job has recently become rather more bent towards authorly endeavour itself - technical documentation and training materials require a surprising amount of creative thinking and craft to do well, which is why so many of them are not done well. It's not a zero-sum game or anything, it's just... well, knackering.

Anyway, I have two weeks off work now and can switch that facet off for a bit. It is my habit to visit Eastbourne for a few days to enjoy the sea and the (comparative) quiet, but a part of me is tempted to stay home: there's something appealingly Spartan-slash-monkish about paring life back to naught but workouts, writing and prayerful meditation, and holiday eating is a bloody trial when you're trying to eat clean, hence bananas.

Clean eating is a meme (by the internet definition, of course) - it's another one of those too-good-to-be-true oversimplifications that pepper the world of popular nutrition (think about that phrase for a moment: popular nutrition. That's the world we live in now. No wonder terrorists want to kill us all) - but like all oversimplifications it is a simplification of something true, or at least indicated by peer-reviewed study. The inestimable Fritha Louise, in railing against this practice via the medium of YouTube, actually got me to try it through cunning reverse psychology/me being bloody-minded and it's been enormously helpful. I'm not a large chap - five-five in my socks, although I'm very rarely in socks, for reasons I hope are obvious - and cutting fat is a bloody trial when your BMR is in the 1400s. Clean eating lets me cut without having to starve and forces me to find ways to make avocado appetising, a challenge of near Dark-Souls-level daunt which I have, I'm happy to say, bested, through the application of lime juice and cayenne.

So, yeah. I'm losing weight and training harder than ever, and I'm not suffering for it as I have in the past. It's big news for me, anyway, and I've blogged for only the second time this year, so perhaps the emotional logjamb of recent months is clearing a bit. We'll see.

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