Monday, September 28, 2020

Quinoa Is Super Healthy, Right?

 I always chuckle when I find absolute garbage food disguised as something healthy. Here's another example for you:

I don't see it claiming to be healthy per se, but the fact that this ball of sugar and chocolate is made from quinoa is certainly only a thing because they think it will convince people to buy it because it's a healthy candy. Better for you than those evil candy bars made crispy with rice instead of quinoa.

My wife still tries to argue with me about breakfast cereal.

"Let's get this one, because it's more healthy than that one," she'll say.

"None of it is healthy," I always respond. "Not one of these boxes on this aisle has anything but ultraprocessed garbage that will eat away at your insides until you wind up with diabetes or one of the other myriad chronic diseases that our society is rife with. If you want healthy, then stop buying cereal at all."

But she still buys cereal, and our kids still keep eating it.


Sunday, September 27, 2020

Day 13 (75 Hard)

I fell asleep on the couch yesterday, and wound up staying awake very late as a result of that. So, this morning when I had to get up to get my son to school, I was pretty miserable. I planned on going back to bed after sending him to school to see if I could get another hour or two. 

However, all I did was lay in bed for thirty minutes, heading nowhere close to the land of nod. So, I gave up, dragged my tired ass out of bed, and went a walkin'.

Taking a walk on the greenbelt trails is always a pleasurable thing. The trails here are so nice, and it makes me happy to be out among all the trees and the squirrels and rabbits and cardinals and so forth. It's exactly what I was looking for when I started this. I wanted to get some happiness, some dopamine, from something other than candy, soda, and ice cream. I guess this means that this is a success so far.

My wife and son came with me today. Her shoes were back, along with her car, so she was willing to come along. We didn't make as good a time, because they walk a little slower than me. We found a great big turtle making its way along the canal and stopped to check it out as well. That was neat.

Here's my walking log:

I sat around most of the day today, running around to the local stores looking to see if they had any of the toys that I'm trying to collect right now and so forth. I talked with Rish on the phone the whole time I was looking, and it was almost as if we were out shopping together, which would be fun. We did that when I went to visit last summer, and it was pretty cool.

I didn't find anything worth getting until the very last store. Months ago, Hasbro announced that they were doing action figures based on the Fox X-Men movies, and they're finally trickling out into stores. 

I found the Hugh Jackman Wolverine figure, and had to grab one, even though I could probably get it for way cheaper if I waited for six months and got it on clearance. 


 

Ever since I started my toy show, I've become too impatient to wait for sales. It used to be what my toy collection was based on. Almost everything I had was bought on sale. Now, I pay full price like a chump for everything.

The worst thing was that I got home with my Wolverine, and showed him to my daughter, and she pointed out the screwed up paint job on his face to me. Look at his mutton chops on the left:

Sorry, the picture is way out of focus, but you can see the paint going all the way up on his lips, and even into his mouth. I was so irritated. I wished that I had seen it before I'd bought it and brought it all the way home.

But it was Sunday, so I had time. I got back in the car, drove all the way back to Walmart, returned the one I'd bought, and went and picked out a new one that doesn't have that problem.

Oh, the stupid things I'll do as a collector. I suppose toy collecting is the same mental disease as overeating, just focused on a different object of affection. I've been listening to a lot of minimalist podcasts and YouTube videos recently, and I feel like I really ought to apply some of those concepts to my life. How much better off would I bee if I had no debt, and only owned things that I actually used or at least found value in?

Does that mean that my toy collection would have to go? Not necessarily. If it brings me enough joy, then it's worth the money. Some of it might go, however. I think I have a lot of stuff that I only have just because it was cheap or whatever. I could probably rid myself of a lot of that.

I really need to finish my Wall of Voodoo first. That's what Rish named my planned wall of toys that I am building in my den. Right now I only have this small section done:


 Eventually, this entire bookshelf will look like that, instead being festooned with a jumble of junky looking toys as it is now:

I don't want to do any throwing out of toys until I see how the Wall of Voodoo looks first, you know, in case I need more toys to fill it. Problem is that it takes a lot of time to build all of those dividers, and these days, all of my spare time is taken up with my two hours of daily exercise and the writing of these blog posts.

Speaking of exercise, I still had to do my yoga. I finally got off my but, and did the downward dog...and no that's not a euphemism, as much as I wish it was. This is the downward dog, if you didn't know:

 

I also drank all my water, read my book, kept to my diet really well, and took the worthless progress picture. Someday, maybe those shirtless pictures of my fat gut spilling over my belt will be interesting to look back on and remember, although I suspect that having just on from the start and one from the end would be plenty. Whatever. 

Maybe I can make them into one of those videos you see how people change over time because of the daily pictures they took. I've seen some pretty cool ones of those. Like where a baby grows into a toddler right before your eyes.

Or, holy crap! This one where they have the girl from age zero to eighteen?

 

Dang, and I find taking a picture every day for 75 days to be difficult. Imagine the planning it must have taken for the eighteen year progression.

Anyway, I finished day thirteen. I'm almost done with the first two weeks. That's cool. Only something like eight and a half weeks to go.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Day 12 (75 Hard)

I had big plans for Saturday of getting up, and hustling right through all of my 75 Hard obligations so that I wouldn't have to worry about it for the rest of the day. However, my wife had different plans completely.  I managed to read my book before I even got out of bed, but that was as far as I got. From there, my wife wanted to rearrange the furniture in the family room and the dining room, and clean up the whole place to see just how nice it might look. That took most of the morning.

I eventually did get around to closing my fast, and had some bacon and eggs for breakfast (which is what  I have every day that I eat, pretty much). Here's the deets on my fast:

It was a pretty short fast, because of my forgetfulness on Thursday, but not as short as I thought it would end up being. So, that was cool.

I was about to head out for my walk, but my wife said she'd like to come along with me. She didn't want to go just then though. She had more plans to fulfill...and then she sat on the couch and quickly fell asleep. I didn't go out, and instead did other things, like going grocery shopping for my wife while she napped.

As the day wore on, there was always something keeping me from getting out to exercise, and I didn't finally get out the door until 7:00 PM. It was already past sunset when I hit the trail to begin with. My younger daughter and son decided to come with me, but my wife wound up bailing out on me. My older daughter had gone to work in my wife's car, and my wife's running shoes were in the car, so she had no shoes to wear. All that waiting for someone who never came along in the end anyway.

Look at how dark it was while I was out walking:

Right as we were coming to the end of the walk, the kids found a great big toad, and managed to catch it so they could pose with it for a picture.


 Cute little guy, right? We put him back down in the bushes, and let him get on with his life.

Here's my walking log:


After getting home, I still had to do my workout, so I headed out to the garage. The picture is just as shitty as the walking picture was, despite there being a light right above my head. This is me doing military press with dumbbells.

I have to tell you, because otherwise you wouldn't be able to tell.

I thought it would be interesting to take a picture of my list of lifts that I do each day. Originally I wrote it out with a pen on a piece of paper, but I recently typed it into the computer and printed it out to make it bigger so that I could read it from across the room. Here it is:


Right now, I do one set of each of these lifts, and call it a day. Eventually, I will organize them by muscle groups, and do multiple sets of only those lifts on those days. Don't know when I'll get to that level though.

Once I finished the weight lifting, I was pretty much done. I just finished up with the water drinking, and took my picture. For once, I read my book early on. So, I was all done, and had made it through day 12. Sure, it was a last minute, late night thing, but I made it.
 

Friday, September 25, 2020

Day 11 (75 Hard)

 Hit the trail bright and early this morning for my walk.


 Along the way, I came across these cool mushrooms, and I had to stop and get a picture or two.


Unfortunately, they're super overexposed in the picture. The rest of the forest was so dark and dreary, that the bright white mushrooms turned pure white in the shot. They had a pretty cool texture that you can't make out in these pictures. Instead they just look like some kind of flower or something.

I guess the moisture provided by Tropical Storm Beta created the perfect growing conditions for these 'shrooms, because they were all over the place in this part of the trail.

Here's my walking log:

After walking, I used up a bunch of my morning trying to catch up on my previous day's blog posts that had yet to be posted. Now that I've got them done, though, it's time to get going with the yoga.

Blech. I hate to see my shirt pulling up and my fat belly hanging out. Can't wait until I get rid of that thing. I've found that doing yoga when you're fat really sucks. When you try to bend over and touch your toes, it's hard to do it very effectively with a big pillow stuffed up under your shirt, pressing against you and making breathing nigh on impossible.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. I ate my diet just fine, which, of course, consisted of eating nothing at all today. I took my picture, read my book, and drank all my water. That was that. Made it through day eleven.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Day 10 (75 Hard)

I got up this morning, and was happy to end my fast at 42 hours with a big plate of bacon and eggs, my usual one pound of bacon and six eggs. There's nothing better than eating stuff like that, and losing several pounds each day while drastically improving my health in every way. 

I'm so glad I've learned the truth about food instead of the crap they've been trying to convince us for the last fifty years. How long do the obesity, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease rates have to keep skyrocketing before we start to think that maybe this low-fat thing isn't the right theory after all? Not to mention all the rest of the chronic diseases that are going through the roof as well.  

It's not the way nature designed things, folks. We've corrupted the whole thing. Try feeding an herbivore meat all day, and see how well it fares. Probably end up with a similarly sick population. 

I suppose we already know, because we feed cows grain all day long, which they weren't made to eat, and then we have to shoot 'em up with antibiotics to keep them alive long enough to even make it to harvesting.

Anyway, I think I was 285.9 on Tuesday, now I'm down three and a half more pounds. Can't complain about that.

Once I got the little guy out to school, it was time to get out there and get walking.


I took a different route than usual just to liven things up a little (the same one I did yesterday; pretty soon it will be the regular route), and while I was walking, I came across this area of the trail.

I had to stop and snap a picture, because I enjoyed the look of it so much.

This place is so very tropical. The humans are barely holding the plants back. The minute we're gone, those plants are going to swallow everything we've left behind whole. It's very different from where I used to live near Rish Outfield.

That place was what Allan Savory would call a brittle environment. If all the people disappeared in Houston, nature would swallow it in no time, but there where Rish Outfield is, the whole place would dry up and blow away. The buildings would last so much longer, because the only things tearing at them would be the dusty wind.

I think there was a TV show that was all about what would happen if the humans would disappear. I remember Rish telling me about it once, but I never did see it. It would probably be pretty interesting.

Anyhow, here's my walking log for today:

I really wanted to know what my actual pace was, so I made sure not to forget to turn off the app when I got home, and I even paused the app while I was taking my picture, and it looks like it's faster than I thought. I was expecting nineteen minutes, but I was closer to eighteen. I wonder if my pace has already improved, or if my previous measures were just plagued with time-wasting activities like stopping to set up a picture of myself.

I don't expect my speed to increase much while walking, but when I get around to running, it should look substantially different.

After the walk, it was time for weight lifting, but I dawdled a bunch, as I usually do. I did some laundry, wrote on the blog post, so on and so forth, and didn't get out in the garage until later than I should have.

It was much cooler than it has been for the last month or so, all the way down at about 75 degrees, thanks to the lingering clouds from the tropical storm. It didn't stop me from sweating profusely, however throughout the entire workout. I suppose that even though the heat is gone, the humidity only increased, so the sweating didn't change a bit.

As I was almost finished, I remembered that I had to be to work an hour early today for my company's diversity, equity, and inclusion training. I had to rush my way through the rest of the exercises (no laying on the ground gasping for air like usual), and then take the quickest shower I could to get out the door, so that I wasn't late.

I managed to get there on time, but a few hours later, I realized that I never ate my second meal of the day. I wasn't hungry or anything, eating fat leaves you satisfied for a very long time, but I was supposed to be started into another 40 hour fast. I could probably do it, but I didn't think it would be a good idea. I have to have enough nutrients to keep my body healthy during this fasting routine. 

That's one of the main reasons that I eat carnivore. Meat is the most nutrient dense food with the most bio-available nutrients, and there's none of those pesky anti-nutrients that you get in plants to prevent you from using the nutrients in your foods.

So, I decided that I had to go out and get something to eat. I swung by the local Burger King, and ordered four Whopper patties. Those are supposedly quarter pound patties,  so I ate a pound of beef. 

I don't recommend going to Burger King, though (not that anyone reading this is going to go buy a bunch of plain burger patties, y'all are shaking your heads thinking that I'm crazy, I'm sure (in fact, I'm pretty sure there's no one reading it at all, now that I think of it)). I usually go to McDonald's if I need burger patties on the go, but the last time I went to the one here by my work, they told me that they usually don't sell patties separately, but their manager made a special exception for me. I couldn't think why that would be, because I've done it at least a half dozen times at the McDonald's restaurants near my house. 

Because of that comment, however, I figured I ought to try a different place. It wasn't worth it, though. Burger King charged $3 for each patty. McDonald's usually charges something like $1.50 or $2, I can't remember for sure. Hell, Burger King is running a special where they are selling two sandwiches for $5, and the Whopper is one of the ones you can choose. 

I could have gotten two Whoppers with the buns, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, etc. for a dollar less than what I paid for two plain patties. Silly.

I know not to try them again if I ever get into a similar pickle in the future.

So, I started my fast much later than usual, not until 6:30 PM, so it's going to be several hours shorter than is my usual. I'm curious what kind of an effect that will have. I guess we'll see on Saturday.

I got my other stuff done just fine, reading my book, drinking my water, and taking my progress picture. I made it through the tenth day. I'm into the double digits now. Only 65 more to go. Tha'ts kind of depressing, but I'll manage. It's like the first month of my 300,000 word writing challenge that I did this year.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Day 9 (75 Hard)

 It was the day after Tropical Storm Beta today. Everything outside was still very wet, but it wasn't raining anymore. I hit the trail and walked my route, noticing all of the puddle on the trail and especially the ground beside the trails.

Those puddles are probably going to breed a lot of mosquitoes to eat me alive on my future walks.

I took a different route than usual today, and I think I like it even better. I'll probably take it most of the time now. It's more interesting, and there are more places that I can take my walking pictures. 

I usually set my phone up on the back of benches that are placed along the trail. On my normal route, there's only one bench the whole time, so the pictures are going to get repetitive pretty quick. This other route has at least three benches, so that's much better. 

Besides, it's nice to get new scenery, even if everything in this forest trail looks pretty similar to everything else. There's always a few  new things, and variety is the spice of life.

 Here's my route map and stats.

After the walk today, it was time for yoga.


I still can't manage to get a good picture of yoga. This is me doing triangle pose, if you can see me. The windows in the family room completely blow out the photo, so everything else is too dark.

I fasted today, drank my water, read my book, and took my progress picture, so I nailed it for another day. I'm about to cross into double digits, which is much better than I did last time around. Go me!

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Day 8 (75 Hard)

On day eight, Tropical Storm Beta was now right overhead. It was raining pretty good, but I had no choice but to go out and walk all the same.

I brought an umbrella, but I only used it for the first part of the walk. At first, I was getting tons of drops on me from the tree canopy overhead. The worst part of that is that those drops were the conglomeration of many raindrops that had run together as they traveled down the branches and formed much larger drops before falling on my head. So, each time I got a drop from above, it was a great big one. After a while, those drops seemed to diminish, so I put the umbrella away, and dealt with the lesser wetness that came.

It was nice to be able to bring an umbrella. Since I'm only walking, not running, that's possible still. You can't really jog and hold an umbrella at the same time. 

The rain was almost the only issue when it came to walking in a Tropical Storm. There was way less wildlife out today, though. No rabbits today, few squirrels and few birds. The one other thing I came across was this:

Something brought this very large branch/tree trunk down. Maybe there was a little bit of wind. There tends to be gusts in Tropical Storms that double the usual intensity of the winds. I yanked this thing down and pushed it off to the side of the trail so that no one else had to walk around it just to be neighborly.

I was expecting not to see any other people out on my walk, considering that even the animals were smart enough to stay under cover. However, I did come across one other runner crazy enough to go out during Beta's wrath. 

As we passed each other, we did the usual nod, and said good morning, and the guy smiled big, laughing to himself, as I did the same. I'm certain he was thinking, "well, at least I'm not the only one crazy enough to be out here."

I was reminded of an old Nike commercial from just before the year 2000 arrived, when everyone was worried about the Y2K bug, and what might happen to our infrastructure if all the computers stopped working. One of the best commercials ever, and thanks to the wonders of the internet, I can show it to you here.

What an amazing commercial, huh? That thing must have cost so much money to make.

I wonder if that guy was remembering that commercial too as we passed each other by and said good morning to each other just like the did in the commercial with the giraffe running past them.

Anyway, ere is my log for the walk.

After walking, I got on the scale in for my big one week weigh in.

Last time, I started 75 Hard at:

Here's where I finished the week up at:

That's thirteen pounds on the nose. Of course, you have to remember that that weight is not just for one week. I didn't re-weigh myself when I had to restart last Tuesday. So, I don't know exactly what the first week of 75 Hard got me. I think by day five of my first attempt, I had lost about ten pounds, but then I ate a bunch of naughty stuff like brownies, croissants, and so forth. I know that I immediately gained back a lot of those ten pounds that I'd lost, as my body sucked back in all that water it had been shedding.

And that's the other thing to remember about losing weight. I had a big week this week, but it was all just water. You can shed water at any time, but I didn't get on this program to dump water. I got on this program to get healthy and lose fat. Part of getting healthy is achieving a proper amount of water in my body, instead of retaining it like a sponge, but the real important part is still to come. It's far into the future when I become fat adapted, and really start to make use of all that fat that I'm storing around my middle for a rainy day. 2020 is what you might call a rainy day if you ask me.

I finished up my fast at 39 and a half hours by eating my usual giant plate of bacon and eggs. Kind of short for me, but it doesn't really matter. It was in the general neighborhood. Every day that I eat, I have a pound of bacon and six eggs for breakfast. Gotta eat enough nutrients to get me through those 40 hour fasts.


Afterward, It was my weight lifting day, so I went out to the garage, and went through my lifting routine.

The garage isn't a very good backdrop for a picture. It's kind of embarrassing to see how messy it is. Looks like a hoarders house. Yikes.

The day at work was another crazy runaround-like-a-chicken-with-its-head-cut-off kind of day, as we covered the flooding around the city that Troopical Storm Beta caused. I didn't get around to reading my book until after getting home. At least it wasn't like yesterday night, however, where our show extended for an extra hour, and I didn't get home until quite late.

I had to read my book once I got home. I'm reading some books that I bought on Kindle about how to succeed at self-publishing. They are pretty daunting, to tell you the truth. As I read, I keep wondering where I'm supposed to find time to write when doing all of this other stuff. Hopefully, when I finish them, I won't feel so ready to give up.

So, despite the Tropical Storm, and the busy day at work, I still managed to complete day eight. Hooray, hooray. Only, what? 67 to go. Piece of cake.