For lunch today, I grilled myself a ribeye steak. and some zucchini.

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They were delicious.  

I've been doing the keto diet for over a year now.  I'm down a little over 50 pounds.  It's not been horribly difficult, but it hasn't been a piece of cake either.  When I go shopping, the supermarket is like 90% stuff-I-don't-eat-anymore, and 10% the good stuff.  Sometimes, I do cheat, and when I do it's generally not a little thing.  (It's amazing how you can't seem to eat just a few french fries.)

But for the most part, I'm not regretting the choice.  Some of the things I do get to eat are fantastically delightful.  

The other day I renewed my gym membership, and started swimming again.  Wow, I sure have lost of lot of fitness!  But, when I went to put my swim suits on, they fit just great.  I'm actively looking to add exercise back to my regimen, too now.

I feel like this past year has taught me a lot.  I'm going to keep sticking with keto for the duration.

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow

So, about 25 years ago, a college friend of mine, Rob embarked on a secret, lifelong mission with me.  It's been long enough that I feel I can finally come clean about it.

We were both fascinated by the word "quiz" and its unusual origin.  It had been more or less injected into the english language as an exploit, back in the late 18th century.  Being two stalwart academics with an eye toward both nerdishness and tomfoolery, we decided we would do our own guerrilla assault on the English language, inserting our own nonsense word.

That word is Refangulate.  It's a verb, meaning to measure by relative means.  You know how a cubit is from Pharaoh's tip of his finger to his elbow?  That's refangulation.  How about how a smurf is three apples high, or how a horse is so many handspans tall?  Yup, refangulation again.

I have subtly used the word in conversation for over two decades, trying to get it to catch.

The reason I'm coming clean about it today is that this morning, as I was getting dressed, I caught myself in an unwitting act of self-refangulation by panties, as I was getting dressed.

Two pairs of my underpants.  Technically only one pair is a pair of panties.  Cat (Yang) included for size comparison.  Which I suppose is a form of refangulation itself, so, a double!

Two pairs of my underpants.  Technically only one pair is a pair of panties.  Cat (Yang) included for size comparison.  Which I suppose is a form of refangulation itself, so, a double!

I'm going through my underwear drawer, like you do, picking out what I want to wear for the day, while I dodge the loving underfoot antics of my cats.  As I'm going through the drawer I notice the pair on the lefthand side of the picture, which are relatively new, and which I bought several months ago.  When I first got them they were just a bit too small on me to even be worn.  The pair on the right are a pair of panties my wife bought for me, a long while back.  

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I kept both of these pairs of underpants because I like them, and because I knew I wanted to fit into them.  I'm down almost 33 pounds now from when I started doing keto back in mid-March, and they've both become QUITE comfortable.  I'm slowly shrinking into underpants I really like, and which will soon become too big to wear.

I realized that I've begun to measure myself by panties.  That's a refangulation I can really get behind.  Or into.  Or something.

 

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow

This morning I woke up, jumped out of bed, and startled to hustle about.  I had a lot to do this morning, and was obsessing over some things.  Financial stuff, business stuff, day job stuff, health stuff.  My mind was a whirling storm of must-do's, shouldn't-do's, wants, expectations, all sorts of shenpa.

I took some time in the shower to follow my breath, and detach from my thoughts, to observe them.  Slowly, the storm in my head began to settle.

I reshuffled my priorities, realizing I could work on Project Drummond tonight, and that I really wanted to pack my lunch.  That's because hunting for keto friendly food near my office is a pain in the ass.  It's also expensive, and I like having the control over what I'm eating.  That way I can make good choices before I have to eat.

So I resolved to make myself a leftover salad.  Roast beef, cheddar, romaine, lettuce, tomatoes, and some olive oil, salt and pepper dressing.  

I used my awesome kitchen scale to measure everything in grams.  That was amazing, because my scale does grams easily, and every food in my carb tracking software, Carb Manager Pro, seems to have a listing for it by gram.  It was SO easy.  As you can see, with a 2g breakfast, and a 7g lunch, I'm totally rocking staying inside my 25g limit for the day.

The nice part of that whole process was I got to focus and slow down even more.  I chopped vegetables, tore lettuce, weighed ingredients.  While I was doing all this I most certainly was NOT thinking about all the storm-tossed-items I'd awoken to.  It's not that I was consciously avoiding thinking of them.  Rather, I'd put them aside to be in the moment.

There's this saying of the Dalai Lama's I quote all the time that everyone should meditate for 30 minutes a day, unless you really don't have the time.  In that case, he advises, you should meditate for an hour.

It's true.  As I sit writing this, I'm calm.  Yes, I have a lot to do today, yes, it's going to be busy.  And I will deal with what I need to do, one thing at a time.  But I don't have to worry about that now. 

I'm present, here.  (Except for a tiny pleasure seeking shenpa about how good that salad's going to be!)

 

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow

About 7 weeks ago, I started doing keto.  That's short for the ketogenic diet.

It's a high-fat, low-carb diet.  It means you stop eating refined sugar, grains, and starches.  Out with the french fries, candy, pizza, and such, which isn't surprising, and also with most fruit, which did surprise me.

In with meat.  Lots of meat.  And cheese, and eggs, and oh my bacon, so much bacon. And lots of veggies, just they have to be the right kind of veggies.  So broccoli and cauliflower are good, but you gotta not go crazy on the carrots or tomatoes, because they're high in carbs.

I know, I know.  It sounds sort of, well, bat-shit crazy.  

It's not though.  It's no fad either.  The diet's been around for over 30 years, has some good hard science behind it, too.  I've read up on it some.  Basically, you're doing a sort of body hack, that puts your body into ketosis, making it use fat for fuel, instead of carbohydrates.  

It reminds me of this scene from the Woody Allen movie Sleeper where Woody Allen's character, a health food restaurant owner named Miles Monroe, is brought out of suspended animation in the distant future.

Dr. Melik: Well, he's fully recovered, except for a few minor kinks.
Dr. Agon: Has he asked for anything special?
Dr. Melik: Yes, this morning for breakfast. He requested something called wheat germ, organic honey and tiger's milk.
Dr. Agon: [ laughs ] Oh, yes. Those were the charmed substances...That some years ago Were felt to contain life-preserving properties.
Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies? Or hot fudge?
Dr. Agon: Those were thought to be unhealthy, precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.
Dr. Melik: Incredible.
 

While I'm not eating hot fudge and cream pies, I sure do eat a lot of steak.  And it's working.  I'm down somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty pounds so far.

Plus, I'm coming to understand some of the subtleties.  This morning, I kind of made up a recipe, for a strawberry breakfast smoothie. (1/4 cup of heavy cream, 5 whole hulled strawberries, 2 packets truvia, about a half cup of ice, and add in water to reduce thickening.)

It was delightful.  

Some of the nice folks in the various online keto communities I frequent don't call keto a diet,  but refer to it as a Way of Eating.  (With the very unfortunate acronym WOE.)

That's ironic because I mostly am having no woe whatsoever.  

It feels great not just to be losing weight, but to feel like I understand not just what to do, but why and how.

 

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow

One of the great things about working out, is that part of how I do it helps my mind as well as my body.

Often when I swim, I listen to philosophy lectures.  Today it was an Alan Watts lecture on the wisdom of the ridiculous, a lecture about Chuang-tzu. 

A big point that Watts made has to do with the boundaries we see between ourselves. What he said was "all boundaries are held in common." What that means is that part of how I know who I am, is because I'm not you.   However at the same time, boundaries are where we meet, where we join.

The example that he gave for this was sitting outside at night, looking up at the stars, and feeling how very far away they are. Millions of miles from here, and billions of years ago, that light shone forth that we're only seeing now. 

But that's us, too.   The light that comes from our world shines in a multitude of night skies elsewhere.

In a manner of speaking we are everywhere.  We are everyone. We are everything.  

If you need a little more down to earth example of that, I've got one from this morning. 

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When you're swimming laps in a pool, and you've got one of those plastic divider ropes, separating your lane from the one next to you, whose divider is that? Is it yours? Does it belong to the person in the next lane?

Yes.