Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Zero Sum-ality

Sometimes it feels like the balance between creative work, sleep, gym time, time spent relaxing, and attention to the quality of the diet is some kind of zero sum game.  Add to one part, and the other parts suffer.

It's interesting that not all of those are time-related.  Sleep quality, and the quality of the diet don't really have to do with temporality, so if all of these are zero-sum with each other, then there is some other resource that is being depleted. 

One theory is that it's related to executive function or willpower.  The more energy I spend resisting crap food, the less I have for creative work.

Another theory is that it's related to stress and cortisol.  Creative work, fueled by caffeine, fueled by stress, can create an exhaustion that effects attention to the other areas.  Even short of outright exhaustion, within the span of a day, a creative burst leaves me with nothing left for the gym.

What I will say is that with routine, gym-time and nutrition (even sleep and creative time) become easier.  That's why I shy away from cheat meals or cheat days.  There is something happening in my biology when I become accomodated to, and stay accomodated to a low-carb diet.  Considerations about the diet just become normal, and don't contribute or detract from the zero-sum.  If I were having to constantly reset after intermittantly eating chocolate chip pancakes, it would be a lot harder.