Mottoi : Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers
formidable; procures success to the weak and esteem to all.
Discipline is a rare commodity indeed in the age of participaction trophies,ii over-promoted monkeys, and obesity olympics. It’s all too easy to give into temptations of perpetual indulgence, especially in places where marketing is legal.iii Goodness knows everyone around you is succumbing to the call of the salty-sweet sirens.iv But while it’s tempting to think that this is a new phenomenon – that only in our polluted western sub-culture is the common man permitted, nay, encouraged to act against the long-term interests of proper society – it’s really a problem as old as time.
So it is that traditional (ie. functional) cultures have long since figured out how to stretch a dollar until payday by keeping their supplicants alive and in check for as long as humanly possible so as to extract the maximum value therefrom. Such checks come in many shapes and forms, from inheritance taxes to prohibitions against marrying first cousins,v but we’re going to focus on the “keeping alive” aspects today, particularly as it pertains to diet.
Orthodox Christians deny themselves dietarily upwards of 200 days per year,vi Lent-observing Catholics 40 days, Ramadan-observing Moslems 28 days, meanwhile Hindus don’t eat beef ever and observant Jews similarly deny themselves delicious pork and degoutant shellfish 365 days per annum.vii There are modern-day physiological theoriesviii for why these prescriptions are effective but the lot of ‘em are still a long ways off from being anything more than scientistic descriptions of ancient wisdom, viz., to paraphrase Bart The Wise, don’t be a cow, man. It’s really about survival, group cohesion, and leveraging the peculiar human trait of longing making the heart grow fonder.
But these being secular times, “post-modern” even, what’s a self-determined man to do ? There’s no one to beat him into shape, but then again if he needed such things he wouldn’t be very self-determined now would he ? So it is that I’ve spent the past two months eating what we’ll call “vEGGan,” which differs primarily from the single “g” brand of militant
“animals are people“ “people are animals”-ism by the addition of, you guessed it, eggs. Because what the fuck am I supposed to eat for breakfast if not eggs, seriously.ix Yes, I might’ve indulged in a bit of salmon once a week while eating out with the gang but other than that was a model citizen – cutting out my previously relished cheese, yogurt, ice cream(!), steaks, and poultry all in one shot and sticking with it like a tongue to a chairlift. Combined with roughly a halving of my sometimes salubrious alcoholic intake, the results of two months of surprisingly care-freex and disciplined consumption were positively delightful.
The results ? The before-and-after deltas were minus four kilos and minus a few inches everywhere but the babymaker. Boom! And trade-offs ? Not really. No decrease in day-to-day energy, and staying as active as ever there was no precipitous drop-off in endurance or strength.xi That being said, I added more tofuxii and protein supplementsxiii to my diet to compensate for the lack of sweet, tender flesh so that I wouldn’t completely wither away like so many pairs of men’s undies. A temporary risk of feminisation and new-haircut-isation aside, this strategy seems to have worked!xiv I undid a couple years of surreptitious lipid accumulation in one fell swoop, turning back the clock at least three years on my otherwise metronomic enmassment.xv
It won’t be long before I taper back towards my normal diet but I have to say that this little experiment, the most extreme of its kind to date, was entirely worthwhile and perhaps just a little bit soulful ? Thankfully, having the paths of precedent paved by the ancients made it a relatively straightforward affair too.xvi
So here’s to doing more with less, to making discipline happen. At least once in a while.
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- Quote attributed to GW Washington, that great swamp baron of the colonies. ↩
- Remember Hal Johnson and Joanne McLoed ? Then you must be a Canadian alive in the 90’s! Forsooth, those long-lost days before real estate rivalled resources for industrial supremacy. Such innocent times, those. But still, Canada today’s still a far sight more liveable than the “Celtic Tiger” years or the “No child left behind Pantsuit Inc.” years. I guess it’s all relative. ↩
- But rape isn’t ? I’m sure there’s a difference between rape and marketing but I’m having a hard time teasing them apart at the moment. It’ll probably strike me later when I’m in the shower. That’s where all the greatest insights happen. ↩
- Look, Barbara had another soda, so why shouldn’t you ? Surely one more wouldn’t hurt, and no one will notice if you wear stretchy pants all day everyday. It’s not like the world will come crashing down if you polish off that pizza by yourself, and what other people don’t know can’t hurt them anyways. Besides, it’s none of their goddam business, you’re large and in charge! And fat is healthy too mkay! And omg please tell me you’re going to finish those fries because if not I call fucking dibs.↩
- What, you think prohibitions against marrying blood relatives has anything to do with MHC or recessive genetic disorders or whatever and nothing to do with the Divinely Chosen – whether Henry II or Innocent III – limiting the aggregation of power amongst the nobles beneath them who might threaten his lineage ? Pah. ↩
- It’s all too possible that I was subconsciously channeling this paternal side of my heritage (ok, they’re Ukr not Grk but the religion’s broadly speaking the religion. ↩
- And Jews only outright fast for 24 hours during Yom Kippur and even then to varying degrees. ↩
- Eg. this one. ↩
- I’m a three-egg-omelette-with-a-side-salad man myself. I’ve been starting my days thusly for probably 3-4 years now, before which, incredibly, I despised eggs in all their plentiful preparations. I can now tolerate the mid-texture ones but the really runny business and the hard-boiled rubber shit still makes me nauseous to even think about. In case you hadn’t guessed, I’ve always been a bit of a picky eater, but better than that a garbage disposal unit. ↩
- My pre-existing allergies to modernity already bring a healthy heaping of discipline so this cold turkey eschewing of cold turkey, other meats, and the entirety of the dairy family were already travelling on a well-trodden road. ↩
- The reader will note that my physical activity in the summer months focuses more on the endurance as the warmer weather facilitates more cardiovascular exercise, so a very slight decrease in brute strength is hardly unusual for this time of year.↩
- Eating more tofu seems to have me sitting crossed-legged more and spending a lot more money. Coincidence ? ↩
- “Waze teh goddam proteen Ma??!” ↩
- You can do it too, of course! For as long as you have agency, which, while being statistically unlikely for netizens in general, is ever-so-slightly less improbable for readers of this particular blog. Aren’t you a lucky ducky. ↩
- Enlargement works in English, engrossment idem. Why not enmassment ?Wilhelm Röpke apparently defines the term as “losing his own features, soul, intrinsic worth, and personality because and in so far as he is immersed in the ‘mass,’ and the latter is ‘mass’ because and in so far as it consists of such ‘depersonalized’ individuals”, which is actually a highly accurate portrayal of mayogenderism, however unintentionally (or codedly). ↩
- Not like I infected myself with H. pylori or something. Now that’s an experiment.↩