When my mother worked at a bookstore, she would sometimes bring home weird stuff customers had dropped on the floor. These items ranged from a cool R2-D2 pendant that’s still on my key chain to the electronic puppy that followed her home a.k.a. the tamagotchi. The tamagotchi, one of the hottest fad toys of the late 90’s, was an electronic pet for kids whose parents didn’t want to clean up doggy doodoo. Basically it was an interactive pet rock.
Tamagotchis came in a variety of species, but the one my mom found was a baby. During the day you’d have to feed it, clean up after it, and play with it or else you’d end up with a dead baby and virtual child protection services on your ass. I played with the tamagotchi for a couple days, tending to it and indoctrinating it with my personal philosophies, curiously awaiting what would happen when it was grown and I “won.” I thought there might be a cool animation or a high score board or something equally thrilling. Sadly, as is the case with many parents, my kid was nothing but a big disappointment. When he grew up, nothing big happened at all. It simply started a new game with a new child. Because ceaselessly tending to a virtual toddler was so much fun the first time, I promptly dumped the tamagotchi in a drawer and let it fend for itself among the wild dust bunnies.
In my weight loss endeavor, I’ve tried not to become obsessed with what I eat and how much I’m exercising. But I realized that managing my diet and fitness routine is a lot like taking care of that damn tamagotchi. I have to tend to it constantly. Every time I eat a meal or grab a snack I have to evaluate how it fits into my overall plan. Everyday I have to consider whether I need to exercise. Then when I successfully get through the day, everything resets and I get to do it again tomorrow.
It. Never. Ends.
Managing my weight isn’t something I can just do once in awhile, like watering a cactus or mowing the lawn. If I were to throw my routine in a drawer with the tamagotchi, I’d just end up fat again. I suppose this is the price of being thin, at least for me. It’s like my own personal electronic pet whose batteries will never run out. So, I suppose I have to be a little obsessed, but the prize of being thinner and healthier sure beats anything my lil’ Japanese baby ever served up.