DAY 17

Pointless? Perhaps. Spiritual? Certainly.

Is there ever a point to anything besides the process? External battles prove who is stronger, but internal battles test your persistence, your courage, your moral rectitude. Or your stupidity.

Without a particular goal in mind, without gaining any direct benefits upon completion of the 30 days, and certainly without any benefits to my psychology or physiology, should I continue to grit my teeth and bear it? What’s the point?

On bad days, this project feels like being stuck in the middle of a season of a C-list TV drama. After investing time & energy into the series, the characters, the plot, blah blah blah... I just want to quit. But I also want to stick it out & see what happens in the finale. Even if I can already guess the ending.

Will there be triumphant satisfaction on day 30? Unlikely. Will there be press inquiries and media attention? Letters from magazines asking me to write groundbreaking tests of persistence for them? Only in my dreams. Will there even be appreciation from the creators of Soylent for unofficially promoting (or at least drawing a modicum of attention to) their product? Maybe they’ll send me a free supply to subsidize my costs? Doubtfully; they wouldn’t even send me a replacement backer kit (which contains an overpriced $25 pitcher and metal measuring scoop) after mine got lost in the mail.

So what then — if no clear, measurable outcome exists — is the point in continuing? Am I just a persistent jerk who laughs at the concept of quantitative benefits? Well, sure.

But I do see value in the iteration of the project. Not that practicing will make me “better” at Soylent (or any other valuable skill for that matter). But it does provide a diversion from my routine. A break from habits. Perspective on the lifestyle choices I make, and the ones my friends and family make.

Without reflection and introspection, this distance is pointless. That’s where these little memos come in handy. Eating nothing but Soylent is dreadfully mundane... the outcome is always the same. But writing about it each day can take on infinite forms. It has to: I’ve written all the substance I can about the actual product itself.

Some days I fear that my “insight” isn’t worth your time or energy to consume. But then I realize this is my project, and you’re just along for the ride. And maybe it’s kind of like bad TV for you too.

If you have any questions that I haven’t answered yet, drop me a note.

Hours slept: 6

Meal times:
7:00AM : 8oz
8:00AM : 12oz
1:00PM : 16oz
5:00PM : 12oz
9:00PM : 6oz

Weigh-in : 168lbs
Weigh-out: 168lbs

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