Last night while playing through the first chapter and a half of Jade Empire for the third or fourth time–I couldn’t decide which character/martial art style combination I wanted to play with, so I made several character combinations and played through to chapter 2 with each of them–I was given a pretty funny reality check by one Sagacious Zu, a scarred, bad boy ally with a shady past as a former Imperial Lotus Assassin.
As is usual in the RPG genre, my character was an orphaned child of destiny trained in combat and magical arts and earmarked for great things. Like Neo in The Matrix, I was The One.
Anyhow, I enter the town of Tien’s Landing and run into Hui, a female soldier loyal to my character’s old martial arts teacher and surrogate father, Master Li. She and Sagacious Zu apparently know each other and make some cryptic remarks about a baby that Zu rescued many years ago and gave to Hui to take to safety.
When I finally get to make a conversation choice, I chose, “I was that baby, wasn’t I?” just to be cheeky, even though I knew from a previous revelation from Master Li that my character was rescued from the slaughter of her people and taken to the Two Rivers School of Martial Arts by Master Li himself, not by Zu, so I couldn’t be the baby of which they were speaking.
Zu, taking me at my word, turns to me and says in a snarky voice, “No, it wasn’t. Not EVERYTHING is about YOU.”
Ouch! Totally smacked down by an NPC! 😆
Zu is indeed sagacious. When you spend an hour a day working out, several hours a week preparing enough food to fuel your six-meal-a-day habit, and many untold minutes explaining to the rest of the world why you persist in saying no to doughnuts, pizza, and soft drinks when you aren’t even overweight, it’s natural to become a little self-focused. Every once in a while it’s good to be reminded that the preponderance of junk food in the supermarket aisles, the oversized portions of fast-food at the local drive-through, and the lack of workout facilities at your vacation hotel are not cosmically-ordained attempts to sabotage your personal physique transformation efforts.
Like any other specialized interest group, we bodybuilding nutrition freaks with daily exercise fetishes are often guilty of taking ourselves too seriously. We measure every percentage of body fat that slides on or off our bodies, obsess about how much more we have to lose or gain to reach our goals, and lock down our diets so tightly that we almost have to have an “authorized” free meal or day just to keep ourselves from going nuts.
Wouldn’t it be nice (and probably more productive) if those of us who are NOT training for a competition could all step back, take the focus off the food and exercise so they are just background activities like brushing our teeth and combing our hair, and just let the results happen when they happen? Sometimes I think that the heavy focus on self in terms of “What am I allowed to eat today?”, “How much can I have?”, “How much weight have I lost this week?”, “Did I do enough/too much cardio?” and “Why can’t I chill out and have cake like everyone else?” just works against us and makes us think in terms of “punishment” and “deprivation” instead of “permanent lifestyle” and “healthy, smart way to live”.
Nutrition: SGX Training Day Menu
(Details omitted by request of trainer)
Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, 1 T. flaxseed oil or natural peanut butter, 1 t. GNC Creastack
Water: 16 cups minimum
7:00 PM SGX Upper Body/Back workout
7:40 PM P90X Plyometrics
The Awful Truth:
1. Went to bed at 2:43 am.
1. Got 6.5 hours of sleep.
2. Did the dishes.
3. Tidied living room.
4. Tidied bed room.
5. Plants are still alive after almost 7 weeks.
1. File papers on drafting table.
2. Get through next three chapters of NASM manual.
3. Work on paper doll body templates.
4. Vacuum the apartment.
5. Take pictures of low-budget home gym set up and write up reviews of everything.
6. Send out FSA forms for reimbursement.