Archive | February, 2020

Intermittent Fasting

20 Feb

I love food.  But I want to fit into my pants so I’m trying it.

When I heard about intermittent fasting I was VERY skeptical.  My mom bought me a book.  I was still skeptical because the author only had a Bachelor’s I think.  But he name-dropped Marion Nestle and I have 3 of her books and trust her knowledge for the most part (I can’t get on to encouraging owners to make their own pet food).  So I hung in their and finished the book.

What I like about it is you don’t have to moderate your foods and portions and think about what you’re eating all the time.  And I like that you net less calories during a day even if you have say, Taco Bell.  I also like that fasting is giving the middle finger to big food corporations that are marketing abusively and hurting us ultimately for their own profit.

I was/am suspicious about hypoglycemia.  The author says the disorder is under diagnosed, overrated, and probably people who think they have it are actually just anxious about not eating.  Except, I had symptoms before I ever knew what blood sugar was, let alone hypoglycemia.  I wasn’t making shit up or having symptoms because of some anxiety.  I had and have some low blood sugar side effects.  But I tried to disprove it by looking up real research on Google Scholar, and everybody across the board was complementary of Intermittent fasting.  They even said it could be a cure for diabetes!  So I figured if people on insulin could fast without a problem so could I.

I tried it.  At first I wanted to get used to it so I just skipped breakfast and snacks every work day.  Which amounted to a 16 hr fast.  And it was kinda sucky.  I thought about food a lot.  Felt hunger a LOT–not just briefly either like the book promised.  And my stomach growled loudly, despite (always) drinking copious amounts of water.  I felt like I might get a headache and had a sort of lightheaded feeling.  Concentrating on work was difficult.  I felt like I looked pale, and I was definitely peked.

We started having a spoon of that super-food powder and on the 16 hour fasts, that does help take the edge off and fix the headachey/lightheaded feelings.  Not so much for the 24 hr fasts.  That headache is here to stay despite many asprins and boat loads of water.

Finally after 3 weeks (taking of weekends) of fasting for 16 hr every work day it wasn’t totally terrible.  So I thought I might try 24 hours.

I went dinner to dinner and got so hungry by noon that it was suffering until 5 Pm when it was time to break the fast.  I skipped our run, strength workout, and our creative intervals because I was so hungry.

The book said if one time doesn’t work, just shift the fast to a different time of day.  So even though my lunches are usually a smaller portion size, and less substantial foods than dinner I tried going lunch to lunch.  Oh and it made a big difference.  I still got hungry in the morning, but only for a few minutes at a time (vs. voracious and constant on the other).  So I have no idea what the difference is, but lunch to lunch is what my body prefers.

So after having finished 3 weeks of 16hr fasts per day and now 24 hr fasts twice a week for 2 weeks:  I don’t like how hard fasting is.  Nor do I like how I feel during a fast.  I do think I’m fitting into my clothes better and I like being able to eat the same as always at other meals and not upset my entire eating everything.  I also really like sticking it to the crooked food companies.  I do not think this way of eating will be a long term thing, and I don’t think I could sustain it over the long term.  Just because being hungry sucks.  But I will try–and hopefully with practice it will get easier.

Foot in Mouth

17 Feb

My company recently changed the dress code to make it more casual.  Yay!  We can wear jeans every day instead of twice a week.  Hoodies are in play once a week.  Everyone was happy.  Except, they said sneakers can only be worn on Friday (I have been wearing them every day) which seems like a step backwards.  I have been devastated about it and at a loss what to do:  Take my chances, hope I continue to be invisible, and wear sneakers until I get in trouble to the level of losing my job?  Buy bunches of new colored shoes that fit in dress code so I can still wear cute matching outfits?  Try to get a doctor’s note?  I wasn’t sleeping, I have been upset.  So even though I’ve been reluctant to speak out on anything or make any type of waves–this is important to me so I had to try something.  I couldn’t sleep at 3AM and I wrote the points I wanted to turn into a letter into my phone.  And apparently, the result was a triple stuffed oreo of an opinion paper and pretty good.  So I kept it, and despite many nerves and doubts I sent it out to the people I thought 1) May have written the dress code and/or 2) Might listen and do something about it.  My supervisor’s boss, her boss, and the VP of the company who said something to the effect of, ‘if we can be flexible and accommodate why not do it?’  And I thought that attitude was perfect for this situation.

Hello,

My purpose is to respectfully persuade you that daily sneakers should in fact be allowed in the dress code.

We are not client facing so sneakers won’t be an issue.  Our professionalism, productivity, and quality will be the same if we can wear sneakers.  If anything my shoes have been the conversation point that brings joy to both me and the people I work with.

Sneakers offer support and comfort.  Which is important to me. I have genetic bunions which press shoes and become sore.  My sharp ankle bones are sure to tear blisters. Also, participating in competitive dance for 11 years of my childhood has impacted my feet making them crack and pop and leaving my arches tender.  Cheerleading with its explosive jumps (and the resulting high impact landings) and the twisting stunts over 5 feet above the ground (sometimes hitting it at high speeds on the dismount) left lifelong ankle problems.  Four years of pole vaulting and struggling to complete my turn resulting in landing my full body weight from heights above 7 feet have left my ankles stiff and sore in adulthood. Eight years of track and running a daily mile has contributed to plantar fasciitis.  Sneakers provide that extra support and comfort to feet and ankles that have known better days. In addition, I try to stand while I work, because sitting is a killer, and it’s much more sustainable to do that in supportive footwear like sneakers.

I seldom speak at work because of anxiety and introversion, but I do express myself through my outfits which I plan a month ahead.  Shoes are perhaps the most important part of the outfit- matching and tying the look together. I honor holidays, events, and themes using my attire and that’s what makes me who I am.  95% of my shoes are sneakers for the aforementioned comfort. I just purchased a slew of slacks to meet dress-code so I’m reluctant to buy all new shoes when I already have 36 pairs of perfectly good fashion-sneakers.

I implore you to please take this earnest letter into consideration and change the dress code to allow for daily sneakers.  They mean a lot to me. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

 

And I guess I should have anticipated my supervisor’s boss to call me into her office for a chat about it.  Which was awkward because I had worn sneakers that day (against dress code).  She skipped right to me putting in an ADA request and indicated I should come to her (or my supervisor) with issues a.k.a.  don’t go above her head again.  I knew she was putting me off, and I don’t like that and it wasn’t the result I was going for.  But I didn’t have the diplomacy to push back without making an enemy of her (anymore than I already had).  So I was basically given the (my words) ‘rules are rules shut up and make our lives easy’ corporate line.  And I didn’t like it.

Valentines as Excitement [Anti-Valentine’s #13]

10 Feb

How can I write a 15th (can you believe I have been talking shit about Valentine’s Day for 15 years??!)  original and unique perspective on Valentine’s Day, I asked myself.  I’ve pretty much covered all the points about why I hate Valentine’s Day and why I want the holiday to be UN-acknowledged.  Here’s what I came up with for this year:  Motivations.  Meaning, what’s the real reason we are so set on celebrating this holiday even though most of us don’t really know that saint and it’s a contrived day?

It is human nature to crave excitement.  Celebrations, holidays, trips, and other things out of the ordinary routine stimulate us and make us more excited to live life.  Routines get boring.  We mostly do the same set of things day after day, week after week, year after year.  We want to break up the monotony. And this is nothing new.  Way back in BC times, the people cavorted around worshiping idols, because they wanted some way to expend this fervent energy they felt. Abraham put the kabosh on that.  A little later in history the Romans also craved excitement.  People would watch people or animals (or even people and animals) in grotesque fights to the death.  And today, there are so many entertaining distractions that it would be overwhelming to mention the all:  Sports, screens, and yes, even Valentine’s Day.

 

But I’m jumping ahead.  Let’s go back, back, way back in time to when Jesus was preaching his message of love and devotion across the land.  People even craved excitement in those Biblical times–and it didn’t go well way back then either.  Let me tell an example story [see disclaimer at the bottom (if you want/need) at {1}].  The story:  A group of people heard the gospel from Jesus and became believers in Christianity.  They were all-in and excited about this new religion.  Some even made implements (like statues) to help them worship God. And they celebrated by drinking, dancing, and praying to these statues and other handmade items.  It was a real worship-party!

Abraham came upon the scene and was aghast.  God considered this “worship” idolatry and was angered by it.  God called Abraham to the top of this mountain, where he told him face to face that the people could not worship any statues, or items of any kind.  It was an affront.  God demanded that Abraham go back to the group of people and convey this message and also to tell them they would be punished if they didn’t stop all the ruckus.

Abraham came off the mountain and told the group what God had personally told him.  The people understood the rules, but felt disappointed.  How could they show their fervor?  So Abraham went back and told God the people would cease all their rambunctious idolatry, but the needed something more…  And that was when God decided people should attend religious ceremony called church every week–so the people could get their fill of excitement.  Even back then people wanted a little pizzazz in their lives–but it came at the expense of angering God and getting punished for that.  But it wasn’t just people in the Bible acting out in order to break up monotony–in one of the most progressive eras with people ahead of their time academically, this diversion-seeking behavior was still a thing.

 

The second example of people craving excitement (and getting a little too hedonistic about it) was during Ancient Roman times.  I will not scar you with the gory (and I do mean exceptionally gory) details of all that went on at the Coliseum.  Unless of course you want more gory details, then check out 2} in the sources at the bottom.  People met at this gathering place to watch and jeer what was going on in the middle of the floor.  I will convey to you a general list of the goings on so you can get an idea of how people wanted entertainment to spice up their lives:

Animals were killed-just for sport:

Animals were decapitated by people.

Rare and exotic animals were hunted for pleasure (in unchecked numbers).

Wild animal were also pitted against each other–to see what species would dominate.

Prisoners and peasants were thrown into the middle of the Coliseum with various wild animals.

Some of these people would commit suicide (in unique ways) rather than getting mauled by an animal.

Execution by crushing.

Crucifixions.

Animals were trained to rape people.

It’s pretty egregious stuff, I think you can agree.  So back then were people just heathens–and now we’re more evolved?  Well, sort of.  We (usually) no longer torture animals for the sake of entertainment.  Though I would argue bull fighting, running with the bulls, swimming with dolphins, circuses, etc, etc… still does plenty of harm to animals for our selfish pleasure.  People are slightly less egregious in the present.  Now instead of increasingly vicious forms of celebration, we desire constancy.  We never want to be bored.  And luckily, the technology boom enables us to be entertained 24/7.  In current times we have sports, social media, really, what don’t we have?  Technology allows people to be continually entertained.  We look at our phones to entertain ourselves constantly.

Think how television has impacted the attention span.  In a study of toddlers, the higher number of hours they spent watching television, the shorter their attention spans were at age seven [3].  Now, extrapolate those results to cell phone use.  Or video games.  Any kind of technology you can think of really–where feedback is almost immediate.  I would guess attention spans are getting worse and worse.  And I can see it in the learning styles of coworkers at my jobs.  Millennials are far more likely to act bored and check their phone while I’m trying to train them than Boomers (in my personal experience as a trainer). Our hunger for constant entertainment has come at the cost of our attention and maybe even learning ability.

We’re hungry for entertainment.  People craved it during Biblical times, they wanted distraction from routine in Roman times, and even today (especially today) we want constant stimulation.  But as we saw, throughout the ages, this merriment comes with a cost.  Getting more hedonistic brings over-stimulation, excess, violence, lost self-control, and worse quality of life through overindulgence.

That’s why Valentine’s Day is even a thing at all.  It’s not necessarily the day or it’s meaning at all–we just want a celebration in that long span of time between New Years and Easter.  But like the above examples, the hunger for distraction gets perverted and out of hand.  Valentine’s Day might not look like animals fighting to the death (which is disgusting and horrific) and it might not be harshly punished by our creator, but it’s a comment of gender roles, sexism, patriarchy, and capitalism–all pretty gross and damaging in their own right when over-done.  Before you blindly seek that stimulation of a holiday, ask yourself if you want to support that or if you’re just looking for that mid-February pick me up.  If it’s the latter, get that boost in a more constructive way.

 

____________________________

Sources (and disclaimer):

 

1} I’m going to attempt to tell you a Bible story illustrating my point, but bear with me.  I tried to find the exact story online and in the Bible, but couldn’t.  So I’m going to retell it from memory.  Nevada forces all of their students to take “Western Traditions” courses.  It’s code for mostly Bible study with a day of the Koran in there so they can say it represents diverse religions.  At the time, I just took the course, no real thought.  But today I think-‘who the fuck sanctioned this? What a crock that Nevada college kids have to waste their money and time on something like that.’  It’s called indoctrination.  Anyway, so we had to read various passages of the Bible in class, for homework, and in order to write papers.  I actually enjoyed the stories, as they are action-packed and very dramatic.  A real old-school Days of Our Lives.  I took the class 13 years ago, so the details escape me. I am trying to stay as true to the story as possible, and any Biblical scholars out there–please chime in and tell me:  What Book this is in.  Who the main character is, because I’m not 100% sure, and what group of people we are dealing with…   The gist of the story is the same though, and speaks to my point.

 

2} The Coliseum

https://www.ancient.eu/article/635/roman-games-chariot-races–spectacle/

 

 

3}  https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/113/4/708.short

Results. Data were available for 1278 children at age 1 and 1345 children at age 3. Ten percent of children had attentional problems at age 7. In a logistic regression model, hours of television viewed per day at both ages 1 and 3 was associated with attentional problems at age 7 (1.09 [1.03–1.15] and 1.09 [1.02–1.16]), respectively.

Conclusions. Early television exposure is associated with attentional problems at age 7. Efforts to limit television viewing in early childhood may be warranted

Big Fish Small Pond

5 Feb

oh what a success!

that higher degree

you lowered yourself

came back to the town

living on past memories

 

big fish small pond

you sparkle like a diamond

taste of fame and smugness spawned

 

so you were born silver and blue

titled yourself royalty

make speeches and appearances

big for your britches

nobody cares except your own vanity

 

big fish small pond

a new era has dawned

all your modesty gone

 

everybody knows you

at least they think they do

love and hate the fishbowl

you relish that attention

resent and shun it too

 

big fish small pond

all your devotees fond

do they know that they were conned?

 

you impressed me

I wanted to appease you

and have you as a role model too

I worked very hard

you can’t dispute that

 

but you have a secret

can’t show that side of you

you’re actually terrified

but will never let on

your ego might get bruised

 

you’re self absorbed

everything’s about you

on my scary day

locked me in the bathroom

told me to keep yours confidential

 

put yourself on a pedestal

all that self aggrandizing

calling everyone losers

saying ‘play the game’

the town doesn’t know that part of you

 

big fish small pond

but pomposity beyond

a professional = non

 

invited me in

I saw the breakdown

now you cheat and scheme

not who I thought you were

awfully disappointing

 

big fish small pond

though I left and did abscond

I won’t be shamed I will respond

 

you only liked when I admired you

turned against me when I saw inside

stomped on me when I was low

could have tried to mentor though

my behavior wasn’t any worse than yours

 

your true character is ugly

you have your issues too:

you’re a bully

and conniving

and mean-spirited

gossipy

judgmental

it’s what you do

so go ahead and talk shit

you know I know the truth