Tuesday, June 14, 2011

DnD + DubyaWife = WillPower Challenge

I am a nerd....

let me rephrase that...

I am a HUGE nerd. (as if you didn't already know).

If it involves anything of the nerd/geek-genre: Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly, Harry Potter, Dungeons & Dragons, GammaWorld, Portal 2, PC Role-Playing-Games, First-Person-Shooters, PS3 Games, or any type of board game (Settlers of Catan, Munchkin), I geek out.

The biggest nerd-like activity that I participate in is Dungeons & Dragons or DnD for those acronym lovers.

(My mini is the one with the hammer on the edge, Female Dwarf Barbarian named Gurdy)

I love DnD! I get excited! It's a fantasy game that involves strategy as well as role-playing. My friends all come over, we hang out around the table, we laugh, we strategize, we have a great time. Special note: We don't dress up in costumes. We don't all speak in weird voices (at least most of the time we don't). We don't consider it a religion or in anyway shape or form: real.

(Here my character is Scourge, a retired "courtesan" who is a thief and murderer.)

I'm a firm believer that everyone would love DnD if they played it with the right people. It's a social, strategy game that allows creativity and a fun hobby that I enjoy with my friends and family. Something we love to talk about and work on in our spare time.

There is however, one caveat:

DnD + DubyaWife = WillPower Challenge
(this is a "crit" or "critical" roll btw. 20 sided die)

Inevitably when we get together there is a conglomerate of food. Chips, candy, chocolate, cheese, etc. And in this setting where we're all socializing its tough to remain strong.

Most of these get-togethers involve 6-7 people and everyone is gracious enough to bring over some food so that we can all enjoy. Normally I'll cook some type of shared main dish: chili, buffalo chicken, whatever so that everyone can snack on some real food.

Each time it's the same, I prepare myself mentally for the onslaught. I gather fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins to eat, and I allow myself a bit of wiggle room to have some of the "less than healthy foods" but then as the night goes on, and hour to two hours into it. I start to get antsy. I start to crave the foods that are lying out there on the table, screaming at me to be eaten.

And then it happens.
I get snacky. And it doesn't matter that I'm not hungry. It doesn't matter that I've already eaten. I want that food. I try to tell myself that I'm not hungry, that I've already eaten. That it's pleasure hormones craving that food, not my body. It doesn't matter. The cravings win. The food always wins.

I lose.

...Wait, is that right?

I lose?

Is this a game of win or lose?

And what does that have to do with DnD?

In many ways, my health is very similar to DnD or any role-playing game for that matter.


In DnD, you create a character, you create a backstory for that character, and then you play that character, investing more and more time and energy into building them into the vision you imagine. You work with others and the DM (that's the Dungeon Master - person who controls the world or campaign you're playing) who enhances your character and you enhance theirs. Yes, there are combative times where you may have to strategize and it seems like a win or losing battle. And sometimes there's difficult decisions to be made. I'm sure you see where I'm going with this...

In DnD, the more I invest in my character, the more characterization and in depth nuances develop for him/her... and the more I get out of my gameplay.

In real life, the more I invest in myself, in my health and wellness, the more I get out of it.

So how do I ever lose?

The answer is, I don't.

It's not about winning or losing.

Let me repeat that.

It's not about winning or losing.

Just like DnD - it's not about winning or losing.

It's about stepping up and playing the game. Everyday.


  1. I really like the idea of the no winning or losing but just playing the game everyday. This really is a lifetime thing.
    Also I'm a huge nerd too! Although I've never played DnD (do I lose nerd points for that?)

  2. Great description of the correlation between DnD + healthy living. Have you ever played Settlers of Catan? It's a blast. Also I have a hunch you might like series/books "Game of Thrones". The Mister and I are nerds with a capital N. ;)