Tuesday, 28 July 2015

dust in the wind

my mum has cancer.

encapsulated ovarian cancer in at least one ovary.

she will be having both ovaries surgically removed in the very near future.

more than that I do not know right now.

worrying times.

it looks like it has not spread beyond her ovary(ies) but it's too early to say for sure yet if the surgery will suffice to give her the all clear.

my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer a couple of years ago, and underwent various treatments including radiotherapy and HRT to shrink the prostate gland. He responded well, and is doing fine.

Bren now has diabetes, anaemia, fibromyalgia and restless leg syndrome. she's on so many pills, she rattles when she walks.

every fucker is falling to bits, including me, although I have been eating a lot more healthily recently.

once upon a time I was young, and there were two generations between me and old age. now it's only a matter of months or a few scant years before I start losing those closest to me.

this, I'm aware, is an entirely selfish perspective, and of course things are exactly the way they're supposed to be, but still...

holy fuck.

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Saturday, 11 July 2015


make the same response to a given stimulus a thousand times, and it becomes difficult to do anything else.

Fair nuff?

If, having done so, you then wish to do elsewise, it takes some effort of will, but having made that effort of will a thousand times, a new habit becomes emplaced.

Such a change though, has to start with that effort of will.

Dear reader, I've been unhappy for quite some time with what I've been seeing in the mirror, and about a week ago, I made a spontaneous and frivolous decision to download a calorie counting app for my ipad.

Having made a few inputs about my height, weight, lifestyle and goal, the app set me a daily target of 1740 calories per day.

I can eat lard, drink beer, eschew lettuce, eat three eclairs and a cheese and onion pasty, but that's my limit. 1740 calories. How I get there is up to me.

Making a conscious decision to do things differently has actually been quite easy. Just a simple tap on an ipad screen got the ball rolling.

Doing things differently has been easy too. Since I'm making a conscious effort, maintaining the old habits but in a different way is straightforward.

I spend a few hours working, and I'm hungry. I drive to a supermarket and buy something to eat. My brainstem says "buy easy energy - pasties, cheese sarnies, etc) my conscious mind over-rides this. Result being a full belly, energy being released over a longer period of time, and both fewer calories, and more of the good stuff.

Today I popped in to a shop for lunch, and I got an apple, a banana, a reduced fat egg and cress sandwich, and some short dated organic on the vine cherry tomatoes.

It cost a little less than the sugary fatty usual, and meant that tonight, having only eaten about 600 calories, I have a surplus of about 1000 to use however I want.

I'm getting drunk on 4 or 5 bottles of strong ale. Huzzah!

Initial results have been spectacular. I've gone from 14 stone 8 pounds to 14 stone 1 pound in a few days. Only the greek economy is shrinking faster.

I'm told that such a rapid loss is unhealthy, but that I should normally see such initial gains when I start dieting. Fat cells, when depleted, dont just cease to exist, they just shrink. So, I should expect to find the pace of weight loss slows, and that it's all too easy to regain.

But for now, I'm enjoying the task I've set myself, as much because I've tasked myself as because of anything else.

The hard part is to take the time to input everything I'm consuming into the app. But the specifics don't matter. If I get through 1900 calories because I didn't bother inputting the scoop of icecream I had at the end of yesterday, It doesn't affect the bigger overall trend.

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Is this the most beautiful infographic ever?


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Monday, 6 July 2015

Greece is the word

If, a year or so ago, someone had suggested that we could see people starving in a developed European nation within the decade, they'd have not been taken all that seriously.

The left blame the bankers. The right blame the feckless spendthrift masses.

The people in my blogroll to the right of your screen have, by and large, a different take on things.

And so it begins. We live in interesting times.

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