The one I feed.

There is the me who values and craves fitness. This me remembers what it was like to be in the best shape of my life just five years ago. This me wants to use my accumulated knowledge of how to get back there, and just do it. “After all,” the first me says, “I did it before. I know exactly what to do. So let’s go!”

Then there’s the other me: the one which, with potent intent, defocuses its long view so that it is packed in the cotton of the moment. This me just wants to eat and drink, and does not give a shit about what the first me says.

Each of these mes has gotten louder in recent years, much moreso than ever during the last few months. It’s become apparent that they have no regard for one another, because their overlapping voices are frustratingly dissonant.

Last night I realized that the two different mes remind me of a story that has resonated powerfully since I heard it about nine years ago.

An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice, “Let me tell you a story.

I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do.

But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times.” He continued, “It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.

But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing.

Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.”

The boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, “Which one wins, Grandfather?”

The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, “The one I feed.”

I have two wolves in me. One of them just wants to eat, and squirms away from any thought beyond the moment. The other takes the long view and does what it knows is best for itself. If I want the latter to win, I need to feed it.

This blog is me setting up Klieg lights around my relationship with food. Since the first dog thrives on the defocusing of thought, it’s my hope that it will grow emaciated under constant and intense examination of my behavior. Maintaining a crystalline awareness of each eating decision can only strengthen the second dog.

And I like the irony of feeding the dog that represents my not feeding.


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