The life of Sisyphus is detailed in Greek mythology; his name meant ‘crafty’ in Greek, and he certainly seemed to be a crafty bugger! Sisyphus was a king of Corinth, a son of Aeolus, and was the father of Ulysses. He was noted for his deception and was notorious as the most cunning knave on earth. Sisyphus was eventually punished for chronic deceitfulness by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever.
Sisyphus was not at all a nice chap – here’s a bit of background on him!…He promoted navigation and commerce, yet killed travellers and guests and took pleasure in these killings because they allowed him to maintain his iron-fisted rule. He had also consulted with the Oracle of Delphi on just how to kill Salmoneus – his brother – without incurring any severe consequences for himself. Sisyphus discovered that if he fathered a child with Tyro, this child would kill Salmoneus…so he seduced Tyro who bore him a son. However, once she found out about this plan, she killed her own son. Oh, and Tyro just happened to be his niece I believe!
He also betrayed one of Zeus’ secrets by telling the river god Asopus of the whereabouts of his daughter – who had been banished – in return for causing a spring to flow on the Corinthian Acropolis. In retaliation, Zeus then ordered Thanatos, god of death, to chain King Sisyphus down below in Tartarus. The sly devil that he was, Sisyphus pretended to be curious about the chains and asked his captor to demonstrate how they worked…and seized the advantage and trapped Thanatos, his captor, instead! This caused an uproar since no human could die with Thanatos out of commission. To cut a long story a little short, the Gods finally threatened to make life so miserable for Sisyphus that he would wish he were dead. He then had no choice but to release Thanatos. He carried on his trickery when in the Underworld, claiming that his wife had disrespected him, and was allowed to return to the Upperworld to scold his wife…however he then refused to return to the Underworld.
Sisyphus was made to roll a huge boulder up a steep hill as his punishment, but before reaching the top, the boulder would roll back down, forcing him to begin again. The maddening nature of the punishment was reserved for him due to his arrogant assumption that he was cleverer than Zeus himself. Zeus displayed his cleverness by enchanting the boulder to roll away from Sisyphus before he reached the top, consigning him to an eternity of useless efforts and unending frustration.
So, Sisyphus was a bit of a git! There are various versions of this story in Greek mythology, and I probably haven’t done them any great favours…and have likely mixed them together…a little bit like I do with recipes! But the point is that Sisyphus was not a nice chap and was condemned to a life of futility and frustration. I know you are all wondering what on earth this has to do with my Slimming World campaign, but bear with me and all will become a little clearer!
As a result of this piece of Greek mythology, a task which seems endless, futile, or ineffective has been coined as a ‘Sisyphean task’. And I guess what I am getting at here is that my previous attempts at losing weight and getting healthy bloody felt like a Sisyphean task! I was forever rejoining Slimming World, or starting afresh on Monday, or starting my exercise campaign again…as all previous attempts had rolled away from me. I felt like I was completing the same task, over and over again, and was becoming so demotivated by it all.
But unlike Sisyphus, I am actually quite a decent person, and I certainly haven’t been condemned to a life of hell for my misdemeanours! I was just a little misguided and thought that I had to take an all or nothing approach. This meant that as soon as I had one tiny slip up, I would just let go (of the boulder!) and things would spiral out of control. If I wasn’t ‘on plan’ then I would not eat any fruit, or veggies; it would be total synful beige food. If I wasn’t attending the gym, then I wouldn’t move.
I guess you could say that I was punishing myself – I didn’t need Zeus to do it for me! I saw Slimming World as a prison, and healthy food as a punishment. I now realise that it is the exact opposite – and I have mentioned this before – but I feel that Slimming World, healthy eating and exercising, is giving me my life back. So although previous attempts felt Sisyphean, because I never felt as if I achieved anything…because I would always slip backwards…this time around around feels different. And if the boulder slips then I stay right behind to hold it up! I no longer just think, “sod it!” and give in; I try and hold it all together and keep going.
I would far rather make slow progress than no progress, or worse still, let it all go and see the weight pile back on again as it did a few years ago. I had lost over 8st with Slimming World and was down to 25st something, yet put the 8st back on again and added another 10st on top of that. So you cannot let go, you have to make Slimming World – or healthy eating – a way of life and banish those old habits. It might take time, but it certainly isn’t a Sisyphean task if it is going to give you the life you have always dreamt of!
Okay then, now that my poor attempt at regaling you with tales of Greek mythology is over, let’s take a look at the usuals…
I had a rubbish night of sleep and woke up feeling really groggy, but had to get sorted and ready for babysitting – the last session of the week! I absolutely adore the kids, but it is tiring! I took some nail varnish with me in the hopes that it would keep my niece still for a few minutes at least, and had a little treat to show her…a tweet from Dr Ranj in response to a picture she had drawn him! I was disgusted the other day to see that a parent had tweeted his delight as his daughter saying that she hated Dr Ranj as he was a ‘paki’…and had even used the hashtag #trainedfromayoungage. It was little justice to see that this chap had been forced to shut down his account after a barrage of abuse…rightly so – disgusting behaviour and I feel sorry for his children, being bought up by such a bigoted prick! Anyway, my niece was thrilled to see the tweet as Dr Ranj is one of her favourite men…I think she would wet herself if she ever met him! We had another afternoon of fun and then it was time to head home to relax and catch up with the new episode of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ – which I love! Oh, and the friend I mentioned in an earlier post, that I haven’t heard from in ages, is supposed to be coming to see me this weekend as I told her how shoddy I thought she had been…we shall see if she turns up!
Breakfast: Magic pancakes with banana and blueberries (7.5 syns).
My food was lovely today! The pancakes take a little planning, as you have to soak the porridge oats with a yogurt and 2 or 3 eggs overnight in the fridge. So you just whisk the eggs, stir in the yogurt and the oats and leave over ight before frying them in the morning. You can use a syn free yogurt and a HEB of oats – and then they are free – but I used an Activia coconut yogurt which was 2.5 syns and a sachet of porridge which was 5 syns…to use some of my extra syns on something healthier than crisps! They tasted gorgeous and it was a rather tropical brekkie. Lunch was just something quick to eat before I headed off to babysit again – and was a lovely sandwich…I do love sandwiches! Dinner was a slow cooker special that I had prepared before I headed out and was delicious. I followed the recipe the first time, but improvised and added a few bits extra in today – so it had lean chunks of lamb, red lentils, chickpeas, turmeric, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, celery, red onion, a bit of passata, mushrooms and a pepper in it. I loved it the first time and loved it tonight!
Exercise: Another active day of babysitting.
Thank you for reading again…the end of the week is nigh and I hope you have some lovely plans for the weekend!
Weight Loss Bitch xxx