29 January 2012

Conditioned Bag

After all my missionary fervour about my Saddleback Bag, I didn't mention it again. That's not to say it hasn't been amazing. It's been amazing. I use it mostly as a backpack, and wear it every day when cycling to and from work. It's gorgeous. It's heavy as hell, but you get used to it, and as a backpack, it doesn't matter anyway. Anyway, I have my medicine bag, I just need to be a doctor now.

27 January 2012

Final Fast

My four fast goal for January has been hit. The 24 hour one is definitely best for me, skipping two meals. 6PM-6PM. Coming to the end of the fast, I had mixed emotions. The last three times, although I was pleased with myself, I was definitely ready to eat. This time, I was still definitely ready to eat, but I felt more calm about it. I broke it with an apple first and then about a half an hour later, two chicken thighs, a banana, and (probably too much) mixed salad that was heavy on broccoli. I felt good, again, not like I had binged, full and comfortable. 

This time around I had much less hunger than I had in the past. After one, really, when I started teaching, I didn't think of it at all. I was thinking about how it would be great to have a fast day where you also 'hibernate'. Spend the day in the house sitting and reading while it snowed outside. Sleep eight hours, wake for the morning, sleep for two hours in the afternoon, wake for the evening, and go to bed early. It would really reset your body, I think.

The lack of hunger was surprising, but more-so the comfortable feeling of not being concerned about what I was going to eat or if I was going to have the self-control not to eat, which was a really big issue when I first started to lose weight. I think I'm finally starting to get control over it in the sort of deeper way that I had been hoping for way back in 2009 when I started this. When I first became health conscious in 2006, it was all about losing weight, being buff, etc., but I assumed that I would be able to go back to eating the way that I did before I was health conscious. This is, unfortunately, not the course of things. All the little ways I've tried to go back and say to myself, I don't really, always have to think about what I'm eating. For me, for now? I'm not sure I'm able to. 

The good news is that getting control is so, so much easier. After two/three months (over September-December) of not paying attention to my intake, I'm back to where I was at the beginning of October in just about 19 days. More importantly, the weight I want to run the marathon at, sans about 1% of the body fat I have now. I think instead of not paying attention to my eating and still weighing myself (which I've tried in the past), I'm going to stop weighing myself and focus on what I eat. Maybe weigh myself once a week. This will, hopefully, lead to a healthy, happy 2012.

When I overeat, I feel out of control and ashamed. When I eat well (and fast in particular), I feel exactly the opposite. I feel stronger than I ever have. I feel I could run for days at a time. My heart beats 38 times a minute before bed: if that's not peace, I'm not sure what is. A strong heart: a metaphor too. If my heart beat just once a minute, think of how strong that one beat would be.

Rest my ankle for a long run on Sunday. No more struggle with self to get up and get on the road to run. It's where I belong.

25 January 2012

Balance, paused

I hit a wall just now: I think I've done what I need to do. What should I do now? There's always something, isn't there?
I want to talk about balance in eating, but not in other areas of life--is that okay?
Fat free X: this doesn't mean anything. If you eat something and are happy that you have chosen the 'fat free' option, you haven't done anything worth noting. Nothing healthy. I realised this: we take all these bits of information from the media about health and then piece them together in the most dangerous ways. 'Healthy' is such a silly adjective to put before a food. 'Healthy' doesn't exist without context. Fat, for example, is not bad. 25% of your diet needs to be comprised of fat. If you are overeating, your body will store fat as fat easier than carbs or protein, granted, but that's only if you're overeating. If you have a caloric deficit or you are eating what you need to survive, you will not store that fat as fat. It will sit in your stomach for hours and hours, and you'll feel full.
I went to the supermarket, looking at some of the 'healthy', diet food they have. It's all just smaller portions of crappy stuff you don't need in your body. Just, carbs. Shitloads of carbs. Want to lose weight? What you need to do is never going to change: you need to eat less than what you put out. You don't need healthier snacks.
So I've been on my quest to get that balance I want 50% carbs, 25% protein, 25% fat. And if I eat that, I feel great: the trick is that 25% protein is really hard to get. You don't do it naturally with a Western diet. I've said this.
Everything else? I'm not sure. It's a mess right now, but I keep saying the same things to the same people. No one needs to listen any more--I can blog about it.

Show me the place where you want your slave to go, Leonard Cohen sings to his lover, to god, to the cosmos. I'm singing the same thing.

I'm sorry I did this: On the ride home yesterday, some kids were coming the other way and one of them, the kind of kid that will be in prison in three years, shouts out something at me. I don't look, just flip him the bird, and he gets livid, but I'm on my bike going the other way, although I want to stop and confront him.

This is when you start to lose control: January, sick, crying children everywhere, research stalled, job search stalled.

Show me the place, Cohen then sings, help me roll away the stone. Show me the place, I can't do it alone, the women harmonising behind him.

February will be here soon enough, 'eh?

24 January 2012

6 years

Missed it, but 6 years ago last night, I asked Yoko to marry me. We got married in a fever: now the kids have fevers. So it goes. We look so young--now we are old. So it goes. 

Leonard Cohen sings, 'Show me the place where the word became a man.' What a myth--one of my favourites.

23 January 2012

Fasting and working

I fasted last Thursday: it was great again. I did exactly 24 hours. Will do it again on Thursday, I think, but then I am going to take a break from it, first, because my goal was to do it only four times, and second, now that I have control of my eating again, but started running, I will very quickly get back into my ideal weight range and need to be careful not to fall in the trap of losing too much like I did last year. 

Thursday was also the last day of the Autumn term at Middlesex. 12 classes down, 12 to go. Well, less than 12 actually: I have reading week and tutorials and presentations. Anyway, rounded the corner.

Friday, work was okay, but Yoko called around 4:30 to say that Naomi had a recurrence of her infection symptoms and it was too late to take her to the GP so she was going to the Urgent Care Centre. I met her that and we waited like two and half hours because although there were nurses, we were in between a doctor shift change. Doctor finally saw her and, yes, she needed more antibiotics, which they gave us.

Luckily, she was feeling better on Saturday (or better enough) for us to go to the Cotwolds for Yoko's birthday trip. The trip was okay, but very, very hard with the sick kids. I lost my temper more than I should have and made the whole thing darker than it needed to be. It's just. So. Hard. The kids, sick and whining and miserable and being in the car and... Ugh. You still don't know what you're doing in the autumn your thesis isn't writing itself while you're away do you really want to go back to Japan have you thought about — Shut up, self-critical me: we're trying to enjoy this goddamned idyllic pastoral British countryside!

We got home on Sunday night and the heating is not working properly, kids still sick, Naomi won't take her medicine, Mia not sleeping. Finally everyone got in bed and I could get to... my marking. Go to bed: wake to crying in an hour.

It is now Monday. I got up this morning, got to work, ran, marked, made progress on the tightening of the loose ends of my analytic procedure. It's looking good at this point, very, very good. I think I'm going to be able to say, come 8 February: I'm writing up. Boy, am I looking forward to that. Get this thing done and get the hell out of dodge.

Get the hell out of dodge? But to where? You know you don't get a new life when you finish your PhD, right? It's just a title. Really? I thought it was a whole new life? With a mansion?

18 January 2012

Oh. Hey.

Feeling better

It's Yoko's birthday: happy birthday Yoko! Mei is still sick and Yoko is not feeling great, so it's going to be a slow, quiet celebration, with plans to go to the Cotwold's this weekend, provided everyone is at least 60%. I'll take 60%.

The thesis is going okay, thanks for asking: I have my notes now on four different levels or scales of analysis. This is the skeleton of my thesis. There are enough words here to put something together, I think. If I just sit down and do it now. That will start in earnest on 8 February, when my supervisors stamp the analysis, and say, 'Okay, you can write this up.' Looking forward to that like nothing else. Nothing else.

Although it will put me one step closer to the abyss. The abyss! So dramatic!

On health, I have, in my post-Christmas iteration of healthy living, been amazed at how much difference balance in your diet makes. I believe strongly in a calorie restricted approach to losing weight (rather than just ramping up your exercise) and calorie restriction is much easier when you tweak it to be higher protein, lower carbs. I've been tracking everything I eat for the last week and am surprised that even when I am trying to eat more protein, I would, without thinking about it, only get about 15% of my calories from protein and eat like 60-70% in carbs, avoiding fats. No wonder I'd feel hungry all the time. Fats and protein are our friends: you just gotta pay attention to how much you;re putting in your body.

So I feel much better. Jeans are not tight any more and I am halfway to my running weight. This time, however, I didn't start overweight and I have found restricting what I eat to be much, much easier because my starting point didn't include changing my diet, really. My daily weigh in too is having much less effect on how I feel emotionally/psychologically. It's just a number: it could be any number I want. Losing weight is not this unmovable stone, it's something I can do and will probably always have to do for the rest of my life as the natural course of things leads to gaining weight. I am also (different from before) keeping my caloric intake much steadier and the foods I eat consistent, which I think also makes more sense if you think about historic diets and how humans have evolved. Or if you look at other animals. Before I was like, Oh, I'll have a big chocolate chip cookie and just eat less for dinner. No, no, no, 2010 Stephen, what were you thinking!

Running on a schedule has been good too. Running is hard for the first two weeks (I mean, getting out to run), but once you get into the routine and you run more than thirty minutes at a time, you get into the swing of it and you start to feel much better. Today I was compelled to run longer and faster on my short run than I thought I would. With another three plus months until the marathon, I think I could be in really good shape come the race. I'll still keep to my 1) finish and 2) sub-four hour goals for now. No need to pump up my expectations. I thought keeping to the schedule would be difficult, that it would take all this time out of my life. Uh, no, not really. You don't really start running

I also realised this time around that food has to be primarily about giving you energy to live and secondly about your enjoyment of eating it. There is, of course, no problem with enjoying eating (I love it much more the healthier I eat), but if you make choices based on what you will enjoy eating more, you've missed the first point of food: to give you energy. You'd never buy petrol for your car that would let you drive 100 mph for like 10 miles and then not let you go past 40 mph for the next 100. That's sugar and empty carbs. I want to go 60 mph for the next 200 miles: I'll have the chicken breast, nuts, and beans, thanks.

Metaphors! I love them!

Okay, back to work.

16 January 2012

When things fall apart

The house, consumed in illness, fevers (perhaps Scarlet Fever?), and crying, feels less like a refuge.

I'm sleepwalking again, metaphorically, not literally. Reading Murakami before bed will do that. Crying children in the night will do that. They cry for mommy though, never daddy. Yoko is up and caring for them, despite being ill herself. Why haven't I been ill? Am I not close (metonymy) enough to the children? I don't know. I'm at work again, though--the thesis, the thesis, the thesis.

Things are falling/have fallen apart as far as my future plans go. The funding bid I wrote is not going to get in on time to be considered in March. It will be pushed back to June, putting me in an awkward position of now having to look for work before knowing the outcome of the bid. If the bid goes through and I find work, fine: I'll do it as part of my research at a new job. If I don't find work, I will be tempted to wait to hear about the bid, but that could drag on, hurting my potential to get good work in 2013. I don't know. I'm lost--Plan A is not going to happen, on to Plan B.

It's also become clear that any way you look at it, getting and holding a visa in this country is going to be extremely difficult from here on out. The Lancaster post is probably the only job where I can see it being relatively easy. Other than that, there isn't anything. Even if I do get the post at Lancaster, it will only be for 18 months and I'll be in the same place in a year and half. Maybe the government will change? I doubt it.

Looking at a removal company website I realise that, in some time, I will not find myself struggling with whether to use 'removal' or 'move' any more. England, what have I given you? You've given me so much, and now you don't want anything from me. I calculated it, I cost you more than £100,000. Free cash money I got for doing nothing except improve myself. It was like the lottery. It's like the lottery. And now I put all my things on a boat, my family on a plane and return to the exact same life I had in Japan four years ago? Like waking from a dream--where was I, was I sleeping: where are all the strange people with strange accents and lager beer?

I feel like rolling the dice again, trying something else, but what that other thing is, no one knows. Is it the States? Do I really see myself in the suburbs of some large metropolitan area with a car whisking me from island to island of civilization, the inbetween area all asphalt and interstate highways? Do I try a new country?

Loss of control in one area is balanced by control over my body again: running regularly will do that. Weighing food will do that. I feel healthy, much healthier than I did 4 weeks ago. 8 weeks ago. I think I am learning where my sweet spot is as far as caloric intake, body weight, and exercise is. The trick now is, of course, to maintain it.

Yoko's birthday will wash away all our sins, I hope. More later. The thesis, the thesis, the thesis.

14 January 2012

The Weeknd

The Weeknd mixtapes are killing me and I finally figured out why. It has something to do with where I have landed compared to where I took off, if that metaphor works... In particular, I never had a drug period in my life: it passed while I was leading Bible studies and trying to pray about things. Although I sort of don't regret this, I sort of do, particularly as a person interested, so interested, in consciousness and the body. The Weeknd mixtapes, particularly House of Balloons, seems to be all about manipulation of the body (and the bodies of others) and its cost. I suppose most hip-hop is about this in one way or another, but The Weeknd feels more self-aware of the manipulation (and, therefore as everyone says, dark!) and brilliant at embodying in the music the pragmatic action of the lyrics, if that makes sense. Like when insults are shouted, rather than whispered. You feel like I imagine that you would feel if you were 'tripping' (as the kids say) when you are listening to the music, even though I have no idea what 'tripping' actually feels like. This is all covered in the Pitchfork review. Anyway. It's good. Very, very good.

One of the problems I have recently encountered is a deluge of possible career paths in two and half countries. I've complained at times about the lack of a default option for our little family. I have been meeting with people, talking to people, sending out CVs, seeing the world through new eyes. But where to go. Yoko and the kids are sick and we have no one to really watch them, but I said to Yoko, what we need to do, is the two of us need to go to Paris for three days and talk about this and make some goddamn decisions. As it is now, I feel like we will fall into something, a decision that I will make at like 11:45 at night on the edge of a deadline and we will sleepwalk into something. We need more time in the UK after finishing the PhD to decompress and think, but it's not going to happen or will happen at the cost of £70 or £80 a day.

The body, though--sorry, let me get back to the body. If you want to be healthy, you have to pay attention to what you're putting in your mouth. End of story. I've tried to avoid this by saying in the last three months, as long as what I put in my mouth is 'healthy', I don't have to pay attention to it. Rookie mistake. I've been using Calorie Count to do something I haven't done in the past and that's pay close attention to the ratio of carbs to protein to fat I am eating. Some surprising things come to light: I eat carbs like they're nothing, and hardly eat enough fat. I want carbs to protein to fat to be something like 40% to 35% to 25%. Late stage Atkins, low carb, whatever you want to call it, but I normally, without paying attention, would be more like 65% to 15% to 20%. Fruits and vegetables, man: low calorie, but they are water, mostly. Drink water, eat protein. Or spinach cottage cheese wraps.

I'm also trying to train for this marathon and have been thinking more about what I put in me before and after I run. Part of feeling so crappy last year was not thinking about this as carefully as I needed to. Balance, it seems, is something your body requires.

11 January 2012

From the mountain top

I rarely blog from the mountain top. Here I am, on the mountain top: let me blog.

I had supervision today and supervision meetings tend to bring me down to earth in the worst way. I usually feel great before them, not so great after them. Today, however, was different. I did what I was supposed to and completed what I needed to and the conversation was... good. Very good. I am just about finished with my analysis: should be done in four weeks time, and then I will begin writing up (assembling) my thesis. Writing up, according to my supervision team, should take about 6 months: my 1 August 2012 deadline is still in tact. With seven months to go, that's pretty good, I think. I see how I will get there from here, something I haven't seen before. It's bizarre.

I'm back, more or less, where I started (or where I was in July of last year when I first drafted my thesis): metaphor, categories, and impoliteness, but with a crucial final step of analysis, positioning. Positioning takes me the final step and ties together the whole of the analysis. By 8 February, I will have all of my analysis done, and an outline for the thesis to talk through with my supervisors. And then? Well, I think it will be a bit like colouring in the missing bits. Lynne gave me two theses to read from previous students, and they will serve as a kind of colouring book in some way for me. Fill in these bits. 

Also, I feel like I backstopped my health slide and am back on track. I found a much better online tool for health and wellness, one that doesn't punish you with red and green numbers and orients towards eating well. I've spent so little time worrying about it today compared to the last three weeks. I know how much I weigh, that I'm not gaining. Feels great.

And job prospects or no job prospects: I see the worst case scenario at this point and it's... not that bad. I see a future starting to creep in. A good one. A healthy and happy one. Staying hungry won't be a problem.

10 January 2012

Nothing in again

Well, my second attempt at fasting did okay. It wasn't as serious as before, but I still kept my harsh parameters of no calories. Got up, weighed myself, drank water, ran, went to work. This time, I was feeling not so hot after my ride home from work and decided to have a meal shake at 22 hours and around 7 had a banana and bagel. Twenty-four hours and some change. Naomi's been ill and the whole house has been a bit sedated, and I didn't think I was going to make it through the day. Anyway, I felt like I needed to get some energy and I'm not sure the 36 hour fast is going to work, particularly on days when I'm riding my bike and/or running, like I did yesterday.

It's clear to me that if I'm interested in staying healthy and sane, I gotta think about caloric intake and body weight. I stopped weighing myself everyday in October to stop obsessing about my weight, but I found myself in a much more stupid predicament: wondering if I was gaining weight. How stupid is that. Looking in the mirror and thinking, have I put on weight? So, screw that, I'm back to weighing myself. It's been much better the last couple of days of doing it.

And I have to think about caloric intake. Again, I think this is the best way for me to deal with things, instead of trying to eye-ball it. Helps me feel much more in control and less concerned about the trajectory of my life.

Am I thinking about my health to escape thinking about other, more important things, like, uh, my future? Yes. I mean, no. No, I'm not.

Naomi has an infection: she's going to be okay, but it's miserable when one of the kids is sick. Yoko's a trooper: I'm distant and confused, as per usual.

'Is it too much to pray to be rich forever?' -Rick Ross. Yes, Rick. It is.

Gotta run tonight for 5 miles. Going to run home. Run home. I like that. Supervision tomorrow which will set me back six-or seven weeks back. I'll do my best.

05 January 2012

Everything out

Just to follow up: I felt great by Wednesday evening and I ran again this morning. My body felt great and I really felt like I had cleaned myself out, which was the original goal. I had a biggish dinner last night (Large Chicken kebab with extra salad) and some porridge this morning, before heading out for another run. I really went 100% with the run, pushing myself on a very hilly course: several steep inclines that I went all out on. I was supposed to run 3 miles, but mistakenly ran 3.5, which is better, of course, than running less than I should have (3.5 mi 25:47 436 kCal 7:22 min/mi). I wasn't too happy with the porridge though: had me feeling very heavy initially and I think I will run on an emptier stomach on Saturday when I go nine miles.

The verdict on the fast was very positive and I'll go at it again on Monday, I think. It really helps the next day's eating too: you would think you'd gorge, but you don't. You feel... peaceful. I like that. This next time, though, I think I might add some kilo-calories to the mix, maybe a shake in the morning and in the evening. Try to get the empty feeling without any of the negative bits.

On to the next one..

04 January 2012

I like you lots

Nothing in

Well, yesterday I attempted my first fast. It was the longest I have ever (perhaps?) been without food: 36 hours. I've been curious about fasting for a while and a couple of recent things I've heard have made me even more curious. The first was over at Hunter-Gatherer about a Trappist retreat that included fasting. I think John Durant is about as godless as me, so there doesn't really have to be a spiritual component to fasting: I just liked the idea of emptying yourself. Think the hunger artist.  I've done some reading and Durant had talked about fasting as 'reseting' your metabolism, and what I've read about fasting confirms that. Lots of good things, very little potential for bad if you're healthy. It helps control blood sugar as well, something I have a growing interest in, as I think about being healthy in the long term.
On a side note, I have officially become a 'health enthusiast'. I'm not really a 'dieter'. I'm not really an 'athlete'. I like learning and reading about how the body works and how you can feel better/worse. If there's any sort of health news, I'm interested in reading it. I am also learning that a lot of health advice is theory, rather than empirical evidence, based, which makes it all the more interesting. Like eating 5 small meals instead of three big ones... It's also interesting to me the difference between the physiological and psychological effects of the things you do. And being a complex systems theory person myself (and also all about embodiment), the two are not, in my theoretical framework, unrelated...  
Remind me to write a post about how you can't be a complex systems theorist and a Deist. Something I've been thinking about: the Deist always assumes a closed system with a single, ultimate cause...

So I thought yesterday would be a good day to give it a shot, given that I had overeaten and been more sedentary over Christmas break. I say I over-ate, but only the normal things I tend to eat and only really had too much sugar (the main thing I'm trying to avoid too much of) on Christmas day and very little bad fats. The rest of the time, I was eating a lot of protein, vegetables, and whole grain carbs: museli. I've also been putting wheat germ on my rice to give me some impedance of sugar intake in my blood. Too much food is too much food, granted, but overeating 1000 kCals of apples and carrots is, in my experience, much different than 1000 kCals of cake.

I started my fast after eating on Monday night and didn't have anything after 6 or 7ish. And when I say nothing, I mean, only water. No coffee, no tea, no nothing. When I woke up on Tuesday morning, I weighed myself to see where I was: 81.5 kgs, 17.8% body fat. Wow. That's like a 66% rebound on where I was between my lowest and highest body weights last year, up more than 10 kgs since the summer. But, and this is a pretty big but, the body weight is only part of the story--the main problem with my approach last year. Although my weight is up, my body fat percentage has been steady and although I wouldn't be happy with 81 kgs last year, 20-22% of that would have been fat. And 2 kg of fat vs. 2 kg of muscle on a body are quite different. You can see the difference. Still, I would like to be closer to 78 kg with that same body fat percentage: I think that's where I am the most naturally healthy.

Although I had the sense that I wanted to eat something, I wasn't actually hungry (something I was also hoping to separate out), so I just left for work. I went about my day as normal: still riding my bike to the university, still standing at my desk. The main problem of not eating wasn't so much being hungry, but the schedule of eating. Noon came around and I had nothing to do. I was thinking about dinner too, and how I usually look forward to dinner, but there was nothing to look forward to. I would go home and... what would I do? This had nothing to do with being hungry, I realised: just the process of eating. I mark breaks with food--I stop working to eat.

At about two in the afternoon, I felt hungry for the first time, and was starting to feel like my stomach was empty. I had eaten a lot the day before at a party (well, not a lot, but enough) and so I didn't feel like I was going to have any real emptiness. I was also not drinking any tea or coffee. Only water, but by about four, I was feeling okay again. Did I have a bit of a headache? I couldn't tell. I was hoping to feel more empty than I did, but I still felt like I was full. Perhaps this was just the water I drank.

Yoko fed the kids before I got home which made things much, much easier for me. I drank some hot water and put away the dishes: they had eaten spaghetti and I was a bit incredulous. I like spaghetti: why did they have to have spaghetti TODAY of all days? Still though, I wasn't really hungry at this point, and by the time I had settled at home, I knew that I would make it the rest of the day. Sleep was what I was really looking forward to, not eating.

I had got the kids the Beauty and the Beast DVD and it came yesterday, so we watched a bit of that, gave them baths, and then had a bit of storytime before Yoko put them to bed. I got on the scale again, curious and it read 81.4kgs 15.4% body fat. Right, I remembered, the body fat indicator really depends on how much water you have in your body. The more hydrated you are, the lower the reading. It doesn't matter though: somewhere between 17.8% and 15.4% is great, so I was happy with that.

I went to bed around 9:30--a bit early for me, but not that early. I was also hoping it would give me a good night's sleep, but having drank all that water, I still had to get up at 3 to pee. I woke up again at 6 from a funky dream, and did what I shouldn't have done: ate a lot. I had an apple, bowl of muesli, whole grain toast with jam, two egg omelette with TONS of cabbage and onions, cup of coffee, and like 300 ml of milk (it's going bad, we have to drink it NOW!). Too much fibre and dairy on a small stomach, although not a bad breakfast overall, I guess. Next time, I'm going to ease out of it a bit more, I think.

I didn't weigh myself this morning: I should have, but I felt that if the number didn't make me happy it would have blown my feeling of success, so I avoided it. I got to work and per my marathon training, went for a five mile run. I was a bit worried at first (particularly in the first five minutes) that I was not going to be able to make it, but I quickly picked up and felt good. 5.02 mi 38:57 372 kCal 7:45/mi--Perfect. Those are exactly the numbers I want at this point. 3 miles tomorrow, 9 on Saturday. I put on my jeans and they felt looser that than did the day before. Less water, less everything in the body. I like that feeling quite a bit.

So I will do it again on Monday, I think. I'm going to try to do it 4 times this month and maybe have a couple of days where I do a 24 hour fast from dinner on one day to dinner on the next. We'll see. Monday should be easier, although I think I will run on the fast day rather than the day after. Play with it a bit. Of course, if I start feeling bad, I will kill it, but right now, I feel really great.

03 January 2012

Oh, hello desk

It's 3 January and I am back at the OU. It's 2012. 2012!

Best to not start by talking about how little time is left to finish this GD thesis report. Oh, wait! See? If you think of it as a report rather than a thesis, life is much, much easier. It's a weird sense, I have to say. It will all come together, won't it, in a short amount of time? Yes. Yes, it will.

I also buckled and decided, okay, I have to train for this marathon. Sorry. It's going to have to happen. So I pulled out a plan and made a google calender with all the runs on it, and shuffled them around a little bit to make January work, at least. It's an 18 week plan and I guess I am 2 weeks in at this point. I basically have to get running more often than I am now. It should be easy enough. I just have to go out and do it. In an effort to future restart my body after the Christmas holiday (which though filled with sloth and eating, avoided some of the worst foods, by and large), I am fasting today to restart my metabolism and get back on track. It's a good, albeit hard task: when you spend all your time sitting around eating for ten days, your body expects that this is normal. No, body. Sorry, I've misled you. Fasting is something I've always wanted to be good at: able to do. I'm going to shoot for four times in January to see if I can normalise it.

Yoko's birthday plans are coming together. We're going to go to the Cotswolds which should be good fun. Dinner at a nice restaurant, nice four star hotel, travels around seeing oldish things here and there.

I did complete some of my smaller tasks: getting some comments to students. Posting something online. The document that I am working on is open in another window. I just have to look at it.

Yoko put up some pictures on her blog, so I will steal: