jakebe: (Silly)
Time: 29 minutes
Distance: 2.76 miles
Top Speed: 6.3 mph
Calories: 289

I also lifted weights on Wednesday, but quit running early because I got a little dizzy and weak. On Thursday night I had this massive coughing fit in the middle of the night. I feel better this weekend, but it feels like I've been fighting something off all week.

[livejournal.com profile] wingywoof pointed to this great blog called Zen Habits in one of his posts, and while a lot of the posts can come off a bit New Agey there's a lot of great stuff in there. The guy's got a great practical tone. Anyway, a lot of his fitness posts have helped me with running and exercise late this week.

Still working on getting the diet under control. I've been dialing back the carnivorous portion of my diet bit by bit, and trying to stick to chicken when I do eat meat. I will admit to having a delicious Burger King double cheeseburger earlier in the week though. They're my kryptonite.

I'm really not a cold turkey kind of guy it turns out. Trying to stop eating meat cold just doesn't work, and I'm finding the gradual approach a lot easier. This not only gets me used to the idea of eating consciously (so I'm not just eating whatever I feel like at the time -- which is usually stuff that tastes great but ends up being horrible in the long run), but it also helps with eating out and being social. One of my worst fears is being 'that guy,' the one that everyone else has to plan around when they go out.

Anyway, time for a shower and a shave, some City Lights and then birthday dinner!


May. 8th, 2008 02:40 pm
jakebe: (Spreading the Word)
Stolen simultaneously from Orrin and [livejournal.com profile] eselgeist.

Vegetarian Myths Debunked.

For the record, I've been eating meat once or twice a week since going on a big spaz about all of this. I consider myself "on the patch." :)
jakebe: (Basic)
Weight: 165.2 lbs.
Weight Last Time: 166.4 lbs.
Change: -0.8 lbs.

Time: 30 minutes
Speed: 6.0 mph
Distance: 2.70 miles
Calories: 276

Chest Press: 60 lbs.
Cable Pulldown: 30 lbs.

This was my first session in a little while, I'm ashamed to admit; first the con and then the flu really took it out of me, and then I just got used to not doing it for a week or two. Now that the last of the cough is gone, though, there really is no excuse to avoid it any longer.

I did all right; this was also the first session since I've changed my diet, and I was worried about what strenuous activity would do. Last time, when I wasn't exactly eating correctly, I would start to hyperventilate and my extremities would tingle if I exercised for a prolonged period. This time wasn't anything like that. My heart rate went up, breathing got heavy, and now that it's over I'm starving. Nothing's changed. :)

Haven't been keeping up either journal as well as I'd like; sorry about that. I've been keeping busy, though, and there's a lot to talk about. Ash Wednesday came and went, and I've given up meat and fish for Lent. What's odd is that I don't really miss it. There's no craving for fast food or even sit down burgers. I don't even really miss chicken, and that's saying something. I'm doing pretty well.

The biggest challenge so far is making sure I'm eating properly. I've found that listening to my body is a pretty good way to figure out what it is I'm needing. This might be a bit of mental projection, but if I feel like eating a salad (and I do quite a bit these days) I'll figure my body needs something there and I'll have a salad. If I have a craving for beans or cheese, I'll be sure to eat something that includes that. So forth and so on.

For Valentine's Day Ryan picked me up from work. We went home, exchanged gifts and watched a movie, then went to Tanglewood for dinner. I gave Ryan chocolates and, er, something else. Ryan gave me a balloon(!) and two books: The Best Places to Kiss in California and Veggie Food, a (surprise!) vegetarian cookbook. He recommended we try cooking things from it at least once a week. This means an awful lot to me; it's a big show of support, and tremendously sweet. I have the best boyfriend ever. :D

At Tanglewood I briefly suspended my vegetarianism. I only feel mildly guilty about this. I got to experience oyster for the first time (I really didn't like it), lobster ravioli with shaved truffles in a wild mushroom sauce (not bad!), prime New York steak with bacon-wrapped mashed potatoes (wow, this was awesome!) and baked Alaskan with homemade strawberry-vanilla ice cream. We added a wine tasting menu thing; I got a chardonnay with the ravioli, and a really great cabernet with the steak. All in all it was just an excellent dinner, though our server wasn't quite as cool as the other fellow last year.

On Saturday we went to Napa Valley/Sonoma County! Hooray! [livejournal.com profile] timsusman and his lovely partner Rolo were our guides, and we had the best time ever. It's very easy to be intimidated, not only by the company but by the environment. Wine is one of those subjects that you can be incredibly involved with, but no matter how far in you get there's always going to be someone snobbier than you. (Read: "When Dean Young Talks About Wine")

Thankfully, though, everyone was patient with my constant barrage of questions. It really is neat to learn about the process of winemaking, how and why people become so passionate about it. Like, say, writing, or mathematics, it's a pursuit of exacting perfection that relies on just the right confluence of small, complicated factors. The more you try to control and shape it, the more you discover there to control and shape. It's a fascinating world to get into, and I learned quite a bit. I could talk about it a bit more, but I'm already worried about people imagining me typing with my pinky up.

Work has been stressful for a variety of reasons, but I'm learning how to deal with the stress a little better all the time. I'm very grateful for this. I would say more, but there are other things I have to do before the evening's over. :)
jakebe: (Basic)
Since Ash Wednesday is fast approaching, I thought I would take a moment to discuss my move towards vegetarianism, and why I went meatless the first time.

There's been a long-standing, deeply ingrained sense of revulsion for most predatorial things in me. I don't enjoy watching antelopes get taken down on nature shows. I don't like seeing hunters take down deer and bear for sport or meat. I can't appreciate the grace or speed or power of big cats and wolves and alligators as they fulfill their evolutionary duty of culling the herd of the weak, slow or feeble. I recognize it as a necessary part of the natural cycle, definitely. And I appreciate the efficiency of the way that cycle works, but it's not something I take pleasure in.

I've had this cognitive dissonance in place for the longest time when eating meat. The more processed it was, the better I liked it. I love beef more when it's been ground out of recognition, and chicken is favored when it's in nugget, strip, or patty form. There have been time where I've been unable to finish a chicken leg because I've pulled back the skin and clearly saw how the muscle lays on the bone. When you see a chicken or turkey cooked whole, rotisserie-style, there's no mistaking what it was, and what's what. You know where the legs and breast and neck and wings and everything is, you see how it's put together. When this happens for me I feel slightly disgusted, a little ashamed.

For a long time I've tried to put these knee-jerk feelings into some kind of logical argument, so that when someone asked me I could go, "Oh, reason a" instead of "Eating meat just makes me feel like a giant jerk." At the heart of any argument, though, is this fact, so I have to put it up front.

The logical argument I came up with, though, was this. If I couldn't see myself going out and hunting an animal, then I had no business eating it. And to be completely honest, there's no way in hell I could go out and kill an animal for its meat. Absolutely no way. There might come a time where I'm hungry enough, or I need clothing, or some other post-apocalyptic scenario, but right now I can afford to be vegetarian, so I might as well while I can.

The last thing I want to do is pass judgment on people who eat meat. I find folks who constantly wheedle and promote their enlightened ideals to be some of the most hypocritical, awful people out there. I won't piss on your steak as long as you don't give me shit for my salad, OK?

One of the things I'm already getting bristly about is the carnivorous attitude of some people; the folks who say "If God didn't want us to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of meat." are the bane of my existence. They're the ones who constantly questioned and harassed me about it the first time, trying to find chinks in my reasoning and bring me back to the side of the glorious omnivore. I'm sure that meat eating works for these people, and there are no qualms for them about it, and good for them! I wish them well. But just because I don't want to discuss the finer points of it doesn't mean I'm insecure in my practice. It just means that I find evangelism of any sort annoying and boring.

Now, that being said, if people have questions about it, feel free to ask them. I really don't mind being open about it, and I'm curious about whether or not I can actually stick to my guns on this. I could easily see myself going back to chicken nuggets sometime soon, but I'm hoping that talking about this and really diving into my motivation will help me decide one way or the other with no more issues.
jakebe: (Default)
Despite being one of those plague-infested lapines at the moment, I'm here at work doing Service Centery things. I feel pretty good, though my throat is pretty raw and my voice is starting to go again. Still, it's nowhere near as bad as it was on Tuesday, so progress is happening.

The con and the flu combined to kill all writing and exercise over the past...whoa, has it really been almost two weeks? I hope to stem that tide soon.

For lunch today I'm eating a Budget Gourmet ziti parmesan (oh yes, you get what you pay for), some Total Hippie(tm) cherry vanilla yogurt (it's gluten- and gelatin-free!) and an apple...provided that I can actually eat all of that. If you really want to change your diet, just get sick.

I can see myself falling into this pattern, and it troubles me. Getting a cheap but undernourishing vegetarian TV dinner, some yogurt and/or fruit, some chips for lunch every day is not the way I want to go. For one thing, it's lazy. I had everything I need to make a pretty decent sandwich, at least, or a batch of beans and rice, but I didn't. Granted, I'm sick right now, but chances are all the food I bought is going to go bad before I get around to eating it.

The consistent struggle with a multitude of problems -- the food, the writing, the meditation -- can be linked to one major problem: the fact that I'm a morning person. When I get home in the evening, a *lot* of the steam's already run out. I thought shifting my work day to earlier would alleviate this, but apparently it hasn't. There are some benefits, to be sure, but it hasn't been working out nearly as well as I thought it would. Truth be told, I would rather be doing a lot of my stuff earlier in the day but I simply don't have the time to do it. I have to roll out of bed, get dressed, and catch the bus in.

I think in order for me to actually plan out my diet for the day, to prepare for it properly, I'm going to need more time. This means either getting up even earlier for my shift (which would be problematic all on its own) or requesting that my shift be changed back, which is the best option. I'm sure this will make [livejournal.com profile] toob delighted. ;)

Alas, it's going to take a little while for the changes to be in effect, unless Lamarr wants to take the early shift right now. It's something I'll have to talk about with a couple of people. But I think it's doable.
jakebe: (Zen)
The fog was amazing coming in this morning! I looked up from fiddling with my iPod to see an entire world of ghost lights, and disembodied limbs swirling through in the distance. It was a great thing to wake up to, and the best of all it's still relatively dreary. I'm sure I'll have tea and dragon when I come home this evening.

I'm getting really excited about my move to vegetarianism. I've been talking about it at work and getting flak from coworkers about not immediately jumping ship to a non-meat diet, but I'm wanting to draw out the move to a sort of meaty farewell tour. "And this is the last time I shall have you, chickens."

Trying not to make too big a deal of it, because (as far as it goes) it's only for Lent, but the more I think about it, the more I'd like to do it full-time. So far the only thing that it seems I'd be missing is B12, which is present in cereals and/or supplements anyway. It's mostly a matter of getting away from the habit that meat is a necessity in meals. And making sure that I'm not lazy with food any more.

I'm feeling kind of rundown today; it might be the weather, it might be the assortment of random aches and pains that have been assaulting me. Stiff leg here, earache there (earaches are a horrible thing for rabbits), sore shoulder, the list goes on. I'm feeling the creep of age already; a sleepless night affects me in much clearer ways, I don't bounce back as quickly from injury, I can be a right forgetful bastard, that sort of thing. This sort of thing fills me deeply with contentment, because I'm just a big weirdo.

Now it's time to be a hard-ass and finish my lunch hour with some writing.
jakebe: (Basic)
I've heard somewhere that fast food is pretty bad for you, and that there's been a campaign mounted while my back is turned for me to abstain from eating it forever! Well, not quite. :)

Fast food and I have an odd but amiable relationship. When I left home to go for college (egads, was that nine years ago?) I never suspected that I would be saying goodbye to it for so long. Down in St. Mary's County, MD, there's only Perkins and IHOP for dining if you wanted someplace to go. Otherwise there was only the cafeteria. I was on the meal plan for most of my time there, and my last semester I had joined the vegetarian co-op, which meant I cooked most of my meals from a rundown kitchen in the basement of a dorm nearly across the campus from mine. I have very fond memories of making stir-fry and singing "Paranoid Android" at the top of my lungs. :)

College didn't work out for a variety of reasons, and then I found myself in northwest Arkansas for the next seven years. That place, contrary to whatever else you might have heard, is the bacon capital of the world! Even the Chinese food in Razorback country is liberally-seasoned with pork fat. I still can't get over the bacon-fried rice you can get there, to this day. It was in this place that I tried to keep my vegetarian ways. To be fair, Fayetteville is actually quite vegetarian-friendly, as long as you know where to go.

One day I woke up with a craving for chicken that just would not go away. It followed me for a solid week, until my mouth would begin to water at just the mention of the word 'chick'. I'm sure people at work must have thought I was going straight in the worst way. I ran down to Burger King once I couldn't take it any more, devoured an original chicken sandwich, and never looked back.

Since then, the relationship has been decidedly love-hate. I'll always have a fondness for that chicken sandwich that brought me back into the folds of omnivorism, but at the same time I'm fully aware of how awful fast food is for your body, for the economy, and for the environment. I've read Fast Food Nation. I've seen Super Size Me. I've sworn off fast food after both, but always come back. Apparently the knowledge of what I was doing to myself (and helping to do to the rest of the world) wasn't enough to break me of my addiction. Because when you get right down to it, a Whopper tastes way too good to give up that easily.

In California, the fast-food chains are just as ubiquitous as they are in Arkansas. True, some of them operate on better business models and try to be the best at what they do (In and Out), but there's no escaping the fact that you're eating something that's just not good.

[livejournal.com profile] toob has been trying to kick the habit for some time, and I feel a bit of the responsibility for him not being able to because not only did I re-introduce him to it, I've kept it going by the occasional run to Taco Bell and McDonald's. Anyone in a relationship knows how hard it can be to make a change without the support of your partner.

At the same time, I've been feeling the urge to go back to vegetarianism. My reasoning for it is complex, and I'll get into that later. This is something Ryan isn't inclined to support, which is a big reason why I haven't up until now. But a few days ago I made a pact with him: I'll give up fast food if I can give up meat for 40 days. He's amenable, so...there we are. I know what I'm giving up for Lent. :)

After the forty days, I'll see how I feel about going vegetarian full-time. California is *much* more accommodating for that sort of diet than Arkansas (it's cheaper, is the main thing) and it not encourages me to eat out less, it'll encourage me to cook in more, which is something I've been aching to do.

There'll be a lot more talk about vegetarianism and cooking here, I suspect. I'm going to start researching and reading up on it now, because, well, if this is worth doing it's worth doing well.

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