Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Making of the Grand Salad: an Occasion for Fanaticism

So I'm on my second round, four or five days in, and I have made my second grand salad. This is a critical piece of my regimen – it may, indeed, be the critical piece of my regimen. So I must be fanatical about it. My conviction grows that, in the absence of inifinite oomph, success in changing what I eat is a matter of choosing, very carefully, when to be fanatical and what to be fanatical about.

I need to be fanatical about the salad. I must always have the salad. I make a great big one, and it lasts four or five days. It's good food that is ready to eat immediately, and I eat it a couple times a day. If I don't have that, then I will go off-regimen. And stay off-regimen for a surprisingly long amount of time: almost two months, last time. So on the day I am going to run out, I have to go buy the stuff and make the salad, and I have to do it immediately. The stuff doesn't even go into the fridge. Throughout the two non-regimen months, I bought salad makings two, maybe even three times. They sat in the fridge until they were dubious – could I, should I, still make salad out of them? – and their presence there became a major obstacle to getting back on track. Not only would I have to buy salad stuff and make it – I would have to deal with the dubious produce in the fridge, first. So, rather than getting back on track, I'd indulge for another day. And another. And then two months had passed.

So this is one of those points of leverage. Where it really is worth it to go all steely-eyed and grim-jawed and muscle my way through by sheer will power. When the salad's running out, I make a new one. Even if it's inconvenient for other people, even if I don't feel like it, even if it will make me late for work. Now, this is a good candidate for spending oomph, because it is finite, and because it only comes up every once in a while. I don't have to heroic every day. Once or twice a week, that's all. I can manage that.

I'm wondering, in fact, whether I should measure my time “on-regimen” by salads made, not by days. In which case the last “on regimen” period wasn't nine days, it was two salads.

No comments: