18 January 2012

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.