McSWEENEY'S INTERNET TENDENCY'S PATREON
I’ve done it.
After years of biohacking and tweaking, I have become… optimal.
Body fat percentage, optimal. Triglycerides, optimal. Dietary fiber, weekly activity levels, resting heart rate, 365-day meditation app streak, all optimal.
Now I can spend the next one hundred years staying optimal until I die.
I go for a long hike on a moonlit mountain trail, watching my step counter the entire way.
I feel the morning sun warm my face, and rush inside to use my sun lamp, which stimulates vitamin D production without skin damage.
I sit motionless on the floor of an empty room, enjoying the perfect harmony between my omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Last week, I was offered a new job—creative, frightening, and meaningful. The challenge of a lifetime. I turned it down because it lacked the optimal combination of ten thousand daily steps, adequate income, and zero stress that I enjoy as deputy floor manager at the Sanderson Cardboard Box Depository.
I have not eaten cake since my sixth birthday. My lifestyle factors predict I will live at least 120 optimal, cake-free years.
When my daughter’s class made a gingerbread house for the holidays, I licked the frosting and told her how good it was because emotional connection optimizes mental health. But I secretly spit it out since frosting’s nutrient profile is suboptimal.
Samantha lives with her mom now.
I wonder whether she is still mad that I missed Samantha’s birth for a personal training session.
All the better, as it frees up my time and income for optimizing. Without a child, I could downsize and spend the extra money on daily out-of-pocket blood tests.
I used to get blood work at my yearly physical, and the results were always healthy. But then I would wonder if my LDL cholesterol from last month was still optimal, and my next doctor’s appointment was months away. And I couldn’t schedule a new one until after I finished the anniversary dinner or Samantha’s gymnastics competition or whatever.
But now, every morning after the forty-five-minute self-administered blood draws, I look at my biomarkers exactly in the optimal range and feel warm inside, which is either happiness or my supercharged mitochondria. Regardless, according to the latest research, they are biologically indistinguishable.
I feel sad for the suboptimal. Yesterday I saw a poor girl in the grocery store pointing to a loaf of fresh French bread, saying, “Mommy! Mommy! Let’s bring this one to Grandma’s for her birthday, it looks so yummy!” I shook my head at the thought of the processed white flour and nonexistent fiber.
I choose the optimal bread by scanning the aisle for the brownest, gnarliest, most seed-covered mound I can find.
It is morning. I rise from the custom Tempur-Pedic bed in my bedroom, with its blackout curtains and climate control set to sixty-seven degrees Fahrenheit and 38 percent humidity, to optimize my 9.3 hours of deep REM sleep. The prospect of another perfectly optimal day has my mitochondria quivering in anticipation.
Ah, what’s this? I didn’t know my smartwatch analyzed sleep.
Sleep score of 93. Pretty good.
But not optimal.
I stagger out of my house, but quickly get over the shock. I gird myself for optimizing as long as it takes.
Then I notice a garbage truck approaching, and it’s actually going pretty fa—
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