Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I cut off the internet last week.

Well, not really.  I cut off the web.  I stopped checking websites I check everyday, even the news.  And I quit listening to talk radio and stopped reading the pile of magazines I have a backlog on.  After five days, I don't really miss any of it.  There's more time to think, and I feel like I have more freedom to do thinks I want to.  Like writing blog posts.  Or getting back to some creative projects I had sidelined.

It's also very meditative.  There's a lot more time to think about life and plan for things that will happen and how to do them instead of reacting to things as they come at you.  

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Trail running

I've been running a lot for over two years now.  Mostly along the bay and in neighborhood streets, both in the East Bay and in the peninsula.  A couple times along beaches (Ocean beach and Point Reyes).  It clears your head.

I changed it up today and went running on one of my favorite hiking trails in the Santa Cruz mountains off Skyline Rd (Blvd?).  And no music and no timing.  Much more refreshing, and a lot more green to see.  And it was a lot more fun---about the running and not some goal.  Although I ran out of breath a few times going uphill at altitude, I felt far better afterward than when running on flat ground, which I've been getting bored with.

But I need better shoes for this.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I finished another revision on the thesis, incorporating another round of feedback.  It took three weeks.  The biggest timesink: changing one word that is in the title, as it appears throughout the thesis.  Again, very anti-climactic.

I was more excited to go to the gym after emailing it out.

Friday, February 18, 2011

On The Four Hour Body Diet

I have a bad habit.  When I'm in a relationship, I tend to gain weight and get lethargic.

Or rather, I used to have this bad habit.  A couple years ago, I started started reading about everything i ate regularly and realized how much I really don't know.  And the same with exercise.  While I was far healthier than many people on both fronts (diet and exercise), I'm probably an order of magnitude better off now than I was a couple years ago.  All through a lot of 1) slowly reading and 2) slowly changing things.  

This is about diet.  Exercise is for another day.  Slow change is for a third day.

I have been reading Tim Ferris' "The Four Hour Body", and after reading the section on dieting, I realized it was pretty close to how I was already eating.  The key difference is that he advocates 1) cutting carbs like bread/cereal/pasta/rice/etc out and dairy like cheese/milk 2) having a binge day, once a week, where anything goes.  So I made these two changes out of curiosity.

I'm not advocating this or describing it here, but wanted to make some observations.  

Three days after I started it, my girlfriend told me I lost weight.  

Now i really haven't lost weight, but I have been losing body fat, because i'm still weight training on a fairly regular basis.  Here's my observations on the diet:

1) No milk in coffee is hard.  I ignore this every other day.
2) I energy crashed the first two weeks.  I then moved my anything-goes day from Saturday (when I'm usually with my girlfriend, and well, this isn't her diet) to Friday (when I'm at work with easy access to a lot of free/cheap high calorie food.  
3) I've fallen into the habit of stocking up on things I have cravings for and then eat them all on friday.  Even if i don't want to.  Just to get rid of the craving.  
4) Overdoing Friday has gotten rid of the energy crash
5) Making sure I had everything i craved during the week and making a point to eat it all in a single day is making me dislike these things--i.e. i have no temptation to eat them for the next week.
5) On weight training days, I still have pasta (whole wheat), milk, and something with sugar, and I usually eat potatoes with breakfast to keep sustained workout recovery going.  
6) When someone brings homemade bakery to work, I indulge.  Out of respect, yeah, that's it.

Today is friday.  On the menu:  two eggs--over easy, bacon, sausage, potatoes (breakfast), a quart of chocolate almond milk, an odwalla juice, a chicken sandwich with fries (lunch), half a container of trader joes chocolate covered peanut butter cups, bread and cheese, two bananas, a deep dish pepperoni pizza (dinner), a ben and jerry's ice cream pint, and a cupcake.  A rough estimate is 6-7k.  Because, well, you can't just have a bowl of ben and jerry's...

I don't even want to know how many calories that is, but it's less than I've had the last couple Fridays, and 
1) I'm still losing body fat.
2) I have far more consistent energy (physical and mental) from day to day.
3) My junk food cravings are dropping to almost nothing.  

I kind of dread fridays now, because I'm starting to dislike a lot of things I used to try (unsuccessfully) not to eat.  I'd consider dropping the friday thing, except for the fact that it avoids my having an energy crash.  

For the record, exercise levels during the month I've done this have been 10k running, one hour cross training, two p90x strength training workouts, 2-3 p90x abs workouts, and 3-4 hours of other outdoor things like hiking or kayaking, per week. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Metablogging and Achirality

I have started a number of blog entries and left them unfinished.  There was a massive run of a lot of things, including, but not limited to, finishing the thesis (very anticlimactic, and that's all I have to say about that), a trip to O-Hi-O to visit family and friends, a well--needed vacation to the southern Caribbean (I might talk about that later), and returning to work.  I'm writing this entry for solely meta-blogging reasons, to kick start some real writing back off again.  It's been a while.  

On another note, chiral groups preserve handedness, while achiral groups do not.