mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The spirt is willing, but the flesh wants to hit the snooze button...

I can't get out of bed. Through the years, I've developed an impressive ability to sleep through alarm clocks, to wake up, walk across the room, hit the snooze button, and get back into bed.

I've developed ways of trying to work around my inability to get up. I try to do as much as I can the night before - get out my clothes, get together anything I need to take to work, pre-load my coffeepot and set the timer, make my lunch. The idea is that when I stumble out of bed, I simply take a shower, throw on some clothes, pour a cup of coffee, make sure the cat has food and water, and run out the door. But I'm still usually later than I would prefer to be, because I still sleep too late to get all that stuff done.

It's even worse when it comes to weekends, to days where I don't absolutely have to be at work at 8:30 am. Like today.

I'm working today from 12 to 5 in case students have any issues with early move-in (so far they have not). Since the gym is still on winter break hours, they close at 4. My plan was to get up around 8, be at the gym by 9:30, and get my normal 90 minutes of cardio in before my shift.

Of course, like most things I do, I failed miserably. I didn't get up until close to 9, didn't get out the door until 9:45, and didn't hop on a Precor until 10:20. Which meant a 60 minute, 5 mile, 600 calorie workout instead of a 90 minute, 900 calorie, 8 mile workout.

I don't understand it. I knew when I went to bed last night that I wanted to get up early. When I finally did get up, I was angry at myself for not getting up. But I still couldn't get myself to wake up - even though I wanted to be at the gym, for that moment in time, I preferred being under the covers, cat purring at my side, instead of in the shower getting ready to face the day.

I guess on one level this is endemic of my general failures in life. I tend to have grand visions of where I want to be - successful at work, successful socially, physically fit, eating healthy, but when it comes to the real world, I'd rather do the short-term stuff that screws up the long term stuff - staying in bed instead of working out, eating deep-fried crap instead of salad, ect.

I guess I'm not alone, though - in the book More Sex is Safer Sex, Steven Landsbury ponders why people lock their refrigerators trying to lose weight - after all, if they are rational and really want to lose weight, they shouldn't need to, and if they choose to eat, then it means they prefer drinking that six-pack of Coke to six-pack abs. His original theory was that it's because the opposite sex is genetically programed to prefer that. I don't really buy that, but I do buy the alternative explanation - that it's because of the battle between your present self and your future self.

Long-term, it's better to eat better, and to go the gym instead of sleeping in. Short-term, however, it's much more enjoyable to have that donut or stay under the covers. I also wonder if their is an evolutionary aspect to it - in the wild, before man evolved, there was no way of knowing where the next meal would come or when the next time one could safely sleep would be, so maybe we are just wired genetically to eat and sleep when we can as a sort of survival mechanism.

When I was really fat, part of the way I got myself to work out and to watch what I ate was to remind myself of the consequences of my choices - eat a donut and be dead at 50, or lose weight and live long enough to collect social security. Now that I'm just a little fat, it doesn't work nearly as well - sometimes eating the donut and dying at 79 seems better than skipping it and living until 80.


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