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    Run For Your Life, Black Hockey Jesus!
    « Sometimes, Comments From Amy Are So Stupid, You Have To Write Whole Posts About Them | Main | Hanging Decorations »

    The 365 Day BHJ Fitness Regime

    WARNING: This is not a Fitness Blog. It’s not a Daddy Blog either. I’m gunning for a kind of definitional defiance that plays in the shadows of evading its own appearance, like life. But the kids are cool. They say hello.

    So, hey, guess what?!? I ran every day in January, all 31 of them - more than 120 miles - stopped eating junk, and lost 17 pounds. This makes me an expert on exactly nothing but, fuck it, I write a blog. Accountability is for all those other jerks.

    Here’s the plan. Run at least a mile a day for a year and stop eating meat & candy. Then, see what happens. You missed January, but it’s not too late. February is young. Most people who know anything about fitness say that you absolutely NEED a rest day or you’re going to get hurt but just laugh at them. Tell them “Shut up, school boy.” Or girl, depending on the situation.

    The 365 Day BHJ Fitness Regime is not for the meek. You have to be a dignified human being who’s capable of making and keeping A Promise. The ground of Being finds its constitutional essence in the swell and sway of ceaseless flux. So what the fuck? Are you just another fragmented hunk of goofy morphing wishy washy energy? Or can you declare something today and see it through? Into the future. Even when you don’t want to. Unchanging. Defiant. Can you, today, right now, absolutely discount the future possibility of changing your mind? For a year?

    Go find a mirror. I want you to look at yourself in the mirror and say something along these lines (if they apply). “You are disgusting. People starve to death all over the world and you have the nerve to be made out of fat. Look at you. Even your cheeks are fat. What the fuck is your problem? Is it psychological? Biological? Or do you merely lack the fortitude to make a promise and see it through? What distinguishes you from a lowly stray dog with matted grey fur, ruthlessly bound by the whim of his instincts? I hate you. Sometimes, I wish you were never born.”

    The crux of the First Step in The 365 Day BHJ Fitness Regime is intense self loathing: “We admitted that we are disgusting excuses for people and we hate ourselves.”

    The Second Step is “We revolutionized our relationships to comfort and hunger.” Seriosuly. Life is not made out of milk chocolate and feather pillows. It’s all knives and danger and blood. If the sole end of your life is achieving comfort, you’re completely misguided and fat and probably super boring to talk to at cocktail parties. I mean come on. There’s plenty of time to be comfortable when you’re dead. For now, we need a radical new commitment to suffering.

    If you’re jogging and it’s comfortable, expect to remain fat and boring. You need to push past what feels good so your body is thrown out of whack, requiring it to change and adapt to handle the confrontation of new challenges. Again, people will warn you about injury. But that’s exactly what we’re looking for. We want to injure our fat selves. When you want to quit, that’s when you should smile perversely. You just found the border between stasis and change.

    What is necessary is a quirky new desire for pain. Let the dead people rest in peace. Life is for strife. Today we burn!

    Lastly, and this is a completely new discovery of mine, consider the possibility that you’re supposed to be hungry. After just a month, that topped off full feeling – the feeling I used to achieve at every meal – actually feels disgusting now. Try eating half of what you want and converting your lingering hunger into a poem, a musical composition, or some unconventional hot sex with your spouse on the kitchen table.

    To summarize, dwell on your self-loathing until you either want to kill yourself or make a promise that sticks. Then, run, or if you don’t want to run, do something – move – every day. Learn to want the opposite of what you want. When you want to take a day off, get off your ass. When you want to quit, keep going. And, lastly, learn to appreciate the sensation of being hungry. The yearning for satiation is a craving for death. Step away from the fork and go fuck your spouse. On the kitchen table. That’s what’s for dinner on The 356 Day BHJ Fitness Regime.

    Reader Comments (48)

    Hell yeah! I'm with you. Headed to berate myself in the bathroom mirror now.

    February 1, 2010 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterStaceylt

    I don't have mirrors for this very reason.

    February 1, 2010 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterlinlah

    AYE, SENSEI !!

    February 1, 2010 at 11:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterJenny

    I suddenly feel like I should be paying you 20 bucks or something.

    February 1, 2010 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered Commenterneena

    I've got a bacon cheeseburger with your name on it, bitch. Come and get it.

    As for the self-loathing fitness plan, I like it. I predict it's going to catch on like gangbusters. Might even try it myself. Fortunately, my Keith Richards lifestyle plan seems to be working so far.

    February 1, 2010 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterMetroDad

    Keith Richards sobered up. 4 months now. He's down with the program.

    February 1, 2010 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterBHJ

    The first rule of BHJ Fitness Regime is we don't talk about BHJ Fitness Regime.

    February 1, 2010 at 11:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterTwoBusy

    I actually said "Wow." out loud while reading this. If you give up coal mining, you should look into become a Marine Corps drill instructor, you mean ol' sonofabitch. Is this your way of refusing to turn 40? Aren't you close?

    Coincidentally, the last time I really pushed myself physically was not far from your home. It was like 115 outside, and I went for a long run beneath the darting fighter jets. And then I nearly died.

    I will try to do this with you. I need to. 35 has so far been the Year of the Pussy Muskrat. No one smiles at the icon on the Chinese calendar menu, either.

    I guess this means running together in NYC in August, right? Maybe we'll go by Pierre's apartment and shit on the doormat.

    February 1, 2010 at 12:16 PM | Unregistered Commentermuskrat

    I so could do this. Except I can't. Give up meat? Seriously? How is that even possible? What would I eat? Broccoli loaf? Mushroom steak? I need to have something on my plate I can stab with a knife... sigh.

    February 1, 2010 at 12:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartie

    Fuck yeah! I'm not fat now but I plan on eating a shit ton of crap, putting on a couple hundred pounds and and getting a full body self loathing on ...then I'm totally on board with the BHJ fitness regime.

    February 1, 2010 at 12:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterE.A.P.

    Started therapy today, so taking a break from the self-loathing. Exercise 6 days a week, and happy with that, but will look to add more pain. Will address part B with the spouse after the 5-year-old is in bed. Hate on, dude. What's your pace?

    February 1, 2010 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterLisa

    After a year of inactivity and becoming 20 pounds overweight, I started the year lumbering through 11 minute miles (6'3", 221 pounds). Saturday, I ran 9 miles, keeping the pace beneath 9 minutes and feeling good enough to do an 8:24 on the 9th mile. I've got a half marathon in my sights for December and I'm fantasizing about 13 7:30s.

    February 1, 2010 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterBHJ

    Stop talking. My ears are bleeding! I hate you as well as myself and Jillian Whatserface. And I hate running and vegetables and legumes. You make it all sound so damn easy and Disneyrific. I remember getting to this exact point in therapy... If it sucks, hurts or otherwise blows, it must be good for me.

    February 1, 2010 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterLojo

    You should charge large sums of money to tell fellow bloggers how to be a wickedly awesome asshole without pissing off large hordes of people. How do you do it?

    Also, this:
    " It’s all knives and danger and blood. If the sole end of your life is achieving comfort, you’re completely misguided and fat and probably super boring to talk to at cocktail parties. I mean come on. There’s plenty of time to be comfortable when you’re dead. For now, we need a radical new commitment to suffering."

    is my new motherfucking mantra.

    February 1, 2010 at 4:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterKristin

    Ok. I'm in. One mile a day. The thinking behind this is that one mile will sometimes turn into two or three?

    I'm going to comment here again in a month. That way the fear of shame will loom over me for the entire month.

    February 1, 2010 at 4:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteam Me Up Kid

    Exactly, SMUK. Once you're out and you do a mile and you're sweating, you're likely to keep going. I only used the mile option three times in January.

    February 1, 2010 at 5:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterBHJ

    "Step away from the fork and go fuck your spouse."

    Words to live by. I think I'll shall adopt them.

    February 1, 2010 at 5:51 PM | Unregistered Commentergorillabuns

    Yep, it's me. I just got back from my first run in 5 years. I feel like shit. Thanks a lot. No, really, thank you. This is exactly what I needed. I need to kill that part of me. That fat, disgusting part that can't keep a promise. I'm a little anxious about the dinning table thing though, I might end up killing my whole self, or my spouse. Don't want that.

    I was just praying last night for discipline. Well, BHJ, you've got yourself a disciple.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterLiz

    Good God. I might just try it.

    February 1, 2010 at 11:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterelizabeth

    I'm in...

    February 2, 2010 at 4:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterMr Crash

    Runner's World has a great utility online that builds custom training programs based on how fast you want to race and how hard you want to train. I used it for my first half-marathon, and I was shocked at how little I had to work to meet my pace goal (a pitiful 8:37 compared to your 7:30). Check it out.

    Off for an easy 2, followed by weights. Yeah pain!

    February 2, 2010 at 5:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterLisa

    I can't believe you ran 9 miles at a sub 9-minute pace after only one month of returning to running. You're a stud. Don't smack me with words, but I'm a skosh worried about an injury for you if you keep increasing speed and mileage like that. I'm running... will train for some trail events in Utah... but keeping my legs fresh. It's ski season! I'll keep checkin' on you. Congratulations on the weight loss, the running and the crap food elimination. I'm way impressed. Suffer on!

    February 2, 2010 at 7:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris

    I think 9 minutes is a kind of natural pace for me. I was just slogged down with fat early on. Thanks for the concern. Any speed gains from here will take a lot more work and time.

    February 2, 2010 at 8:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterBHJ

    quite impressive! good luck to you. i just started stretching for the first time in months over the weekend and shit was popping and creaking all over the place but i do feel better. im hoping your enthusiasm will rub off on me as i've been stuck at the "crux of the First Step" for most of my life with no positive results. sounds like it's time for me to move forward as you have.
    here's to pushing past the comfortable...

    February 2, 2010 at 9:04 AM | Unregistered Commentersteff

    I once refused to have sex with myself until I lost weight. But I didn't really take my threat seriously until one night when I was home alone and feeling a little horny. No matter how I begged, I stood firm and wouldn't let myself touch me. And I'm all like, "come on, you know you want it too." But I just rolled over and went to sleep.
    Sad thing is that I woke up the next day with a gag in my mouth and a sore anus.
    So running, it's good, eh? Soon as the swelling goes down I might give it a shot.

    February 2, 2010 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterEd

    Is it okay to eat fish?

    February 2, 2010 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterLiz

    I haven’t read books for pleasure recently. I’m a modern citizen. I’ve been reading movie reviews of films based on noteworthy books. About six months ago I read a review of “Revolutionary Road”. Two important conclusions:

    1. Leonardo Dicaprio needs to step up his game.

    2. Frank and April, the two main characters, couldn’t catch satisfaction because they wouldn’t admit that the things that interested them were unsophisticated, sloppy, boring. Frank and April were pitiful and tragic because their ambitions didn’t complement their tastes.

    I’ve been thinking about this, and as a result have gotten concerned about you and your plan for 2010. I think that having a regimented life is another way of repeating Frank and April’s mistake. I think that it encourages the same kind of dishonesty. There is a dishonesty in too strictly disciplining yourself because you aren’t admitting to your emotions, your real-time mood, observations and the subtle ways those things interact with your environment. Instead, you are following a routine. A formula. Your body and your crooked mind are telling you things, and you’re ignoring and suppressing them, because they might be indulgent. Or, stagnating.

    Instead of listening to yourself in this way, you’re building a faith, an indefatigable faith that this kind of suffering is right and beneficial. Here’s an analogy: the danger is that instead of honoring the desire to sit still or swerve to the left, you will just motor and motor down the road because your plan is to go west.

    Dedicating yourself to a regime can become a kind of stasis, because it limits your flexibility.

    What if you’re running to a place where routine and formula are more important than an honest analysis of yourself, your environment and the present? What if this is too simple? What if there is more choice, more contingency and more responsibility involved in changing your body in 2010? What if I ask too many questions? Will I get sleepy? Tell me, BHJ.

    What would be the alternative? Grilled cheeses? Ground beef? I hope our choices aren’t between indulgence and a promise. Instead, I think the choice you are coming closer to is more like this: either remain in an iron, rewarding routine, or subject yourself to a complicated, vague and painful negotiation between your body, your personality, your surroundings, your self image, your wife. That said, I’m hungry now. It feels tight and painful, very good. I think you are moving in the right direction, but I’m not sure how long that is going to be true. Maybe only for another month. What will changing BHJ want? Will it be better than what January BHJ prescribed?

    February 3, 2010 at 12:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterLucy

    The unhealthiness of food deprivation and self-negation might work for you, but it's really a bad way to treat your body and your self-esteem.

    You're a writer with great potential, but your blog is a downer...there's nothing positive or hopeful about it. It's bleakness does not inspire. It's merely food for fear and insecurities.

    Energy follows thought. What you focus on becomes your reality. The condition of your life is your choice. Shift your thoughts, shift your life. Simple formula for a better existance.

    I'm no stranger to depression and dark thoughts. I've done it your way and I only went further into the blackness.

    When I started to like myself and focus on my blessings, life got easier. I got better.

    There's nothing cool or enlightening about wallowing in your own shit. After a while you start to smell and only attract others who like to wear their shit on their sleeves too.

    I'll take "I love you and I promise to eat healthier and move more so that we can enjoy what we have and what's to come " any day over calling myself I'm a fat fucking pig.

    Your way is a verbal form of cutting. Be a real man and grab the razor, dude. Do it up right.

    BTW losing 17 pounds in 30 days, is too much too soon unless you are obese.

    Why do you need instant gratification in every aspect of your life? It's rhetorical.

    If you truly want respite from your darkness you have to let it go. Though for some reason I don't think you really want to...

    February 3, 2010 at 5:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterAmy

    Lucy: I LOVED Revolutionary Road.

    Amy: Could you be a bigger asshole? Let me get this straight. You like yourself, you focus on your blessings, and your life is easy and light because energy follows thought and you changed your thoughts.

    Do I have that right?

    So how does that look? How does such a positive person behave in the world? Oh look. They shit all over a guy on his blog. They even tell him to get a razor and kill himself. Wow. Sign me up to be... just... like... you.

    Maybe, instead of slicing me to ribbons, you might benefit from asking yourself why you'd be such a cunt to someone you've never met. That interests me. A lot. Why would a woman cut loose on some dude, thinking she has him all figured out, after reading a couple blog entries?

    You're so blessed, Amy. Kisses.

    February 3, 2010 at 6:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterBHJ

    Your response is totaly irrational and reflects how ungrounded you are.

    The answer to your questions is yes - my life is good right now due to my attitude.

    I did not tell you to kill yourself. It was an analogy. Stop over reacting.

    If what I said constitutes shitting all over you or cutting you to ribbons then you need to get thicker skin, my friend. You might want to but a disclaimer on your blog stating that you're only receptive to comments from the Hallmark crowd.

    Calling me a cunt shows a lot of class and maturity, there BHJ ...the only one you humiliated was yourself.

    Good luck.....

    February 3, 2010 at 9:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterAmy

    Your response reveals a bias for rationality and groundedness that I do not share.

    You told me to be a man, get a razor, and cut myself. In what world is that sound, constructive advice coming from a person with a positive attitude who sincerely wants to help?

    In my world, well, you're a cunt.

    February 3, 2010 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterBHJ

    The cutting remark was made to show you that there is no difference between verbally abusing yourself and cutting yourself (the behavior where people make superficial cuts in order not feel - not suicide as you interpreted). Both are self-destructive and only lead to low self-esteem and worth.

    What I find interesting is why you got so worked up over any of this when you talk openly about your own self-destructive behavior and suicidal thoughts?

    I lost a grandfather to suicide and would never encourage anyone towards that lonely act, so please stop trying to create drama to justify your response.

    Maybe if you had asked for clarification as to what I was saying rather than call me a cunt, we might have had a decent and productive exchange of ideas.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterAmy

    Do you believe yourself?!? Are you trying to tell me that your initial comment sought productive dialogue? It was written with a mean spirit and I was mean back.

    And besides, what makes you think I give a fuck about some kind of dialogue with you? Is my blog an email to you that says "Let's talk!"? Who cares what you think? Listen. You obviously like to hear yourself talk about your stupid ideas. Me too. So go write a blog. I don't care about your hippie ideas.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterBHJ


    February 3, 2010 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterAmy

    That's what you want me to think. But if you were happy, you wouldn't be compulsively loading my site to argue with me. That's not what rational, grounded people do.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterBHJ

    The dialogue between you and Amy is one of the funniest few screens of typeface I have ever read. How can I start such banter? Call you a self-absorbed bastard and hand you a .45? Somehow, I know you'd just tell me I'm small in real life and that I need to get over Vincent.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:14 PM | Unregistered Commentermuskrat

    Holy shit, Amy.

    That is all I have to say.

    February 3, 2010 at 9:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterDark Spark


    February 4, 2010 at 6:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterAmy

    You just went from irritating simpleton to weird stalker who leaves emoticons. Did they close the bowling alley in Mechanicsville, Iowa?

    February 4, 2010 at 7:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterBHJ

    but what about the abs? What is going on with the abs?

    February 4, 2010 at 7:43 AM | Unregistered Commenterryan

    We don't have a bowling alley :(

    February 4, 2010 at 12:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterAmy

    “Don’t be scared of your hunger. If you’re scared of your hunger, you’ll just be one more ninny like everyone else.”
    --E. Strout, "Olive Kitteridge"

    February 4, 2010 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterSummer

    Um, Amy - what?

    .... "I'm no stranger to depression and dark thoughts. I've done it your way and I only went further into the blackness. When I started to like myself and focus on my blessings, life got easier. I got better." ....

    Not everybody is the same. Some people can't just 'focus on their blessings and it all got better'. Some of us have to turn around and face our dark thoughts, become our dark thoughts. Roll over and let our dark thoughts fuck us up the arse, repeatedly. Until we bleed and howl into the sheets.

    THEN we feel better.

    Right on, BHJ. Write on.

    February 4, 2010 at 7:14 PM | Unregistered Commenteredenland

    You're nobody 'til somebody....tells you to off yourself.

    Fuck that noise. Amy, seriously? All that verbiage you were throwing around went right out the window with your subsequent array of smileys.

    BHJ. Run on, brother. This post hit hard. I can't imagine how much this routine is changing your life. And I crave the very same thing so fucking much.

    Thanks, as always.

    February 8, 2010 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterKarma

    Interesting article on running and the body. Unfortunately nothing about self-loathing.

    March 2, 2010 at 4:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterLisa

    Wonderful post... Very informational and educational as usual!

    Acai Optimum

    March 2, 2010 at 4:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterJay B.

    Wow. Thanks, BHJ, for the most inspirational blog I think I've ever read! It's true, those days I call myself a lazy fuck, I do get off my ass go running. If I just sat there and told myself I was thin and fit and a completely altogether beautiful wonderful soul, I'd not only be lying to myself, I'd stay lazy.

    That said, I can't help but make a comment about beautiful wonderful Amy. She reminds me of a couple yoga teachers I once knew, so wonder if she is one. I'm a yoga teacher myself, but I'm not that flaky sort who uses words and phrases I hear from truly enlightened beings that I don't really understand and then regurgitate them like I have the inside track on what it means to be a spiritually advanced human being. These types of people are the ones searching a little too hard for meaning in their lives that they miss the entire point of spirituality - to be free - and coincidentally, to not give a fuck! Being free from everyone else's ideas of what they think is good for you, from others' opinions and perceptions of you.

    Imagine a serene yogi in orange robes seated in lotus position with
    legs crossed, his eyes softly closed, his left hand resting on the knee in the mudra of divine knowledge, while right hand is raised with all fingers closed except the middle one in the mudra of the divine Fuck You.

    That's how I picture BHJ. Sometimes you have to shake the shit out of people before they take a good look at themselves, and apparently this post shook something up in Amy, whether she likes it or not. Now, whether she does something with it on a personal level or not is up to her of course. Or she can go back to burning incense, listening to Krishna Das and showing everyone how damn good she
    looks in Wheel Pose and not learn a thing.

    April 26, 2010 at 6:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin

    Awesome post. I love all of it...
    This is in the spirit of my favorite pre-race song... "Indestructible" by Disturbed
    Now I just need to find a spouse to go f**k. :)

    May 5, 2010 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterSam

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