Last week, I was hanging out with two of my best friends in Taiwan- Martin and Nathan. Both of them are philosophy majors, strangely enough. Anyway, the conversation turned to will power, somehow, and Martin told me that my experience gaining weight over the last few years was eye-opening for him. He’d never even considered that it could be difficult for reasonably intelligent and motivated people to keep from gaining weight. Martin, of course, is a skinny bastard. He’s 6″2′, 160 pounds, he eats a lot of dairy, he drinks like a fish and I don’t think his waist has ever made it up to 30″.

Anyway, he had a brilliant diet idea. I should follow him for a couple of days, and eat whatever he does and do whatever exercise he does. He isn’t as active as I used to be, but he does do some pretty intense roller-blading almost daily. He also has to take six flights of stairs to get to his apartment, and while he eats a lot, it’s mostly unprocessed whole foods. The more I thought about it the more I thought it would be a good experiment. Sure, Martin’s a couple inches taller than I am, but it seemed the same basic diet ought to work. I’m sure it would do me some good to stop getting such a huge portion of my nourishment from 7-11.

Those plans have been dashed. After going out to eat with him at a local restaurant a few nights ago, I now know it’s impossible. I’m physically incapable of following the Martin Diet. We started with some 紅油抄手 (mistype?), some veggies, a couple bottles of Qingdao and some egg drop soup. After that it was a dozen dumplings and a couple more bottles of Qingdao. We stayed and chatted at the restaurant and then went to a park. On the way, we picked up a couple more beers at the convenience store. After chatting there for a while, we headed back for my new apartment, hitting convenience stores on the way each time we finished a drink. By the time we got to my apartment, I’d had way too much to drink and just lied down on my back on the floor to watch the ceiling for a bit. Martin, on the other hand, Martin the skinny bastard who’d had three more drinks than I had, was busy walking around the room, measuring spaces where furniture could be moved, turning my bed around to free up more space in the middle of the room, and planning a complete overhaul for my appartment. Basically, I’m a wuss when it comes to drinking.

I weigh 60 pounds more than he does and I couldn’t even make it on the Martin Diet for one day! I guess I’ll have to try a different one.