One of my favorite poet/philosophers, William Blake, said this:
"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom."
That is, of course, the main reason I got fat: Excess. There's no question that excess is in my nature in many ways. I also very much doubt, however, that it has led to wisdom.
Even as a recovering fat person, I tend to seek out plenty. I don't like a feeling of lack, a feeling of restraint. I tend to buy the kids too many Easter sweets (although I've been restrained this year) and more produce than my family can possibly eat. I acquire more books than we can possibly read. I commit to more things than I could possibly accomplish.
Paul grounds me because, ironically, he has quite a bit of the ascetic in him. I challenge his tendencies towards self-denial; he attempts to keep me and my excess reigned in -- and he generally does a good job, at least with the things that are most important to him.
But it's ultimately my struggle, not his. Most of the time, too, I don't really want to fight it. I don't see a huge problem with a life of excess, although it definitely wasn't good with regards to my weight.
I do try to challenge my excess into positive things whenever possible, though, which probably explains the exercise kick. The nice thing about being older is I can feel decent about simply getting out there. Before, I would've felt too competitive, as though I shouldn't do things because other people did them so much better. Now I don't care.
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