Most of us have a healthy sense of self-preservation. When things are bad for us, we think about avoiding them. When we are hungry, we eat. When tired, we sleep. But I've always been a B-student, doing only the minimum on auto-pilot to insure no one notices that I'm not bothering. Always enough to get by, to stay below the radar of anyone who might notice and call me on it.
I've put on ten pounds since 2005. Which doesn't sound like much, until I realized that in the previous 20 years, I'd put on zero pounds. I accepted that it was a waste of money for me to join the gym here (since I wouldn't go), bought a mat, and brought along an exercise DVD that came with a salad I bought from McDonald's in JFK Airport last year. Admittedly this is a half-assed approach. But have I—the B student—used even these? Once. Last night. Ms. Virtual Reality McDonald's Fitness Trainer kicked my butt.
Living in a hotel, working long hours, and moving across oceans every three months is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. It makes me too tired to seek out healthy food, too resigned to write, too discouraged to bother interacting with people, and too alienated to know what to do with one when I end up across the table from one. I seek out the easy comfort of the digital world, where if people don't respond in a way I like or expect, I can just hit the Off button.
I am aware that all of this is kind-of pathetic. That's why I used the fitness mat last night. That's why I found Mango's new store in Mohandiseen and forced myself to buy three shirts yesterday. That's why I bought a box of imported Raisin Bran and a bowl instead of continuing to eat the free hotel breakfast of omelettes, potatoes, and bread. (Shipping across the world had turned my $6 box of Raisin Bran into Raisin Crumbs, but I am eating it anyway.)
I've purchased a single-burner hot plate so that I can stop eating takeaway food. And now I find my laziness is my worst enemy. I bought some rice, butter, a pot, and a sharp knife. And the trick is this: What can I cook that is so easy that I can do it on a single burner in the hotel bathroom, healthy, and so simple that even a lazy, tired, disinterested non-chef can make it without excuses?
Or maybe I should just eat hummous for the next two months. That might be all right too.