A week or so on. Still a bit of a fatty. But a bit less.

Returning, as I am rather often these days, to the scene of the crime, a quick thought on my previous post.

  • First week was just following rule 1 (low GL with some tweaks). Some weight lost.
  • This week has added in rule 2. I’ve already survived two fasts, and plan another for tomorrow.
  • Rule 3 has yet to be broached. Maybe for next week.

Observations include the inevitable quick weight loss, as water stops binding onto stuff (with the instant feelgood “hey this is easy!”), and some extra. Whether it’s fat or muscle, it’s hard to say. I’m certainly not active enough to avoid muscle loss.

Non-weight observations: I feel better without starchy stuff, especially bread. Much less bloated. Need more fibre, however, so will seek out something suitable. Hunger during a fast is perfectly manageable, and water seems to take the edge of easily. that said, I am now pissing like the proverbial racehorse. The main side-effect is a revived interest in cooking and eating interesting food – that makes compliance with rules slightly less bitter than usual.

Drop so far? 6lbs/2.7kg.


A fat man in the mirror

I’ve had to face facts. But first I’ve had to face fat. The fat man in the mirror. 

I remember once sniffing at someone who stated that he’d let himself go until he was 35 and then repair the damage. “What a fool”, I thought. Now I’m that fool.

There are a host of reasons and justifications and genuine limitations that I’ve turned over a thousand times in my head and that means there won’t be a return to c200 miles a week on the bike. I’m glad I had those days, and I miss them, but I’ll come to accept that loss and move on. 

But the most direct way to address this is still within my control: what I consume. Previous attempts have shown good results from: 

1. The infamous idave diet – summary here, though copyright is with 
Dave Smith and RST: http://www.jamesrichmond.com/misc/iDaveDiet-RST.pdf 

2. Intermittent fasting – more info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermittent_fasting

3. Exercise.

The plan:

1. idave diet six days a week. Cake blowout on the seventh.

2. Of the six days a week, two to be 600cal fasting days. 

3. For other reasons this is the biggest long term question mark, so I’d rather do more than I’m doing (nothing), but less than I did. I think I’ll do some walking. And maybe a little light gym work with the odd ride at the weekends. 

Target? 2.5st/35lbs/16kg. 

Timescale? Yesterday, obviously. Realistically, around October 2013. But that’s less important than the end result: thinner, lighter, healthier. I’d like to get to a place where I can relax the dietary restrictions a little, but still use them to maintain weight.

Why write what I already know? I need to go back to the genesis of a commitment and have it stare back at me, as the fat man did looking back out of the mirror.

A head filled with static – apparently, I’m “over thinking”

I used to think a lot. Then the world of work, and the prosaic realities of routine, sort of put paid to it. No longer were my thoughts ahead of the curve – neither were they behind it – they’d got off the bus and gone somewhere else.

Much has changed recently, not least in the last 12 months where the thoughts have started a gentle flow. More recently it’s been rather more torrential. 

And with the torrent has come some big challenges to my usual way of doing things: like trying to be more open and sharing what’s going through my head. Only, it hasn’t been met with quite the enthusiasm I hoped.

People are telling me I’m “over thinking”. I’m not sure whether that’s (a) possible and (b) really a reflection on what’s going on. I’m more inclined to see it as impatience for change. Change feels like it’s there, but tantalisingly out of reach and I just want to plough on and grab the future.

Or maybe I’m just over thinking it all again. 

A job worth doing – is worth having someone else do it

Or so the old adage ought to go.

I’m currently having some decorating done by a friend. He’s not able to work right now, so he’s doing a favour by painting a room I’ve recently had some work done to. Namely having the whole thing replastered to get the walls super smooth. So it’s hard to see my friend doing such a poor job. I’m fighting the urge to tell him to forget it. 

Let’s face it, having really high standards for everything and judging everyone by them is only ever going to end in disappointment. It’s such a loaded word – all passive-aggressive and wrapped in piteous contempt.

The same is true of work and careers. That desire – worse, the sense obligation- to ace everything every time, and with it everyone else’s job because they’re not up it, only leads to one place: disappointment city. And while I get to perfect what I’m already good at, there is no collective moving forward. I can paint better, but should I even pick up the brush if that prevents someone else getting good too?

I’ve spent a year at work building my brand at the expense of everyone else. This is quite unlike me, but I have learned some useful hings. Not least that helping people work their way to the same end result is no less valuable if we can all gain something from the experience. I get walls with paint on. Colleagues get to improve what they do on the next deal.

But sitting on my hands is damned hard work.

A challenge to change – letting go

People describe me as laid back, someone who takes this in his stride. And that’s true. I’ve certainly done a line in appearing unflustered. Throughout my life I have had quite some success with an apparent lack of effort, a certain ability to get right result without breaking a sweat.

I guess I’ve been lucky.

But I’ve also made my own luck to. My decisions have played to my strengths and I have relied on a mixture of self belief and a fear of failure to push me on – that knowledge that one had been bestowed with a little talent and the shame of squandering it before those who have invested.

There was a brief time when I thought the luck had run out, when I’d reached the limits of ability. However, what that time really told me was I can be resilient, even when bricking it about the future. Most of all, I learned that I spend too much time having to have things just so.

I admit it: I’m a control freak. I have to have things my way. But, right now, I live in times of change and changing me – freeing up my prejudices – must be an option at the very least. I must relinquish some control in order to gain more.

Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis.

A new old post – bye bye posterous

So, I’ve recently learned that posterous is on its way out. The consensus seems to be that Twitter, having bought it last year, hasn’t been able to get it to make the case against Tumblr and so has used the acquisition as a soft landing for the developers. Fair enough; that’s business.

For me, that means that my little corner of posterous will soon be confined to history. I can preserve it as a zip file, and other sites (wordpress, I guess) will, unlike the three little pigs, let me in. I was hardly prolific there (though compared to here, my output was up there with the potboiler master, novel-a-year Dick Francis – his son was a teacher at my school).

So, I’m back, at the first place I started my mini venture into sharing thoughts into the void. I’ve created bucket loads of internet white noise on that Twitter. I’ll divert my occasional longer thoughts (for they are few) back here.

A trip back in time to the future – the optimism of modernism

Like many people I’m a magpie. Indeed, we live in a world where we’re encouraged never to sit still, never be satisfied with where we are, with what we’ve got. We buy into that – often literally – with a generic acquisition of what’s new. What’s silver and shiny. 

I’m no different. One of the biggest things we buy into is nostalgia. We long for golden era that went before, for times we’ve only ever heard about, read about or, most dangerous, the stories told by those who were there. So, we look backwards while thinking we face forward.

And I’ve been doing the same recently in a renewed interest the aesthetics of modernism. An era most celebrated from the post-war to its clumsy segue into postmodernism. There’s almost an Ostalgie, as the Germans would have it, for that spare, designed look made so famous by the likes of Dieter Rams.

Living in a1960s house I’m challenged by the British love of living for the cold, noisy houses of the Victorian and Edwardian periods. And, as much as I might complain about our unwillingness to shake off the past, I’m going to do that by going back to that future of simplicity, light and optimism.

But there’s unlikely to be a parking space for my nuclear powered flying car. Progress, eh?

A gap in the trees – seeing my career differently

I’ve previously had some experience of the world of coaching before. At the time, I had a sort of lightbulb moment – it was OK again to think about me and where I wanted to get to, rather than where I had been. Hastily over the last couple of years I’ve built up a strong enough picture of me to start to create an idea of where I want to get to. At least in career terms. 

One of the features of life at work is that we tend to have afairly binary relationship with it: good or bad. Mostly, it’s somewhere in the middle and we slope off at 5pm to another evening of our lives. When it’s good, it makes the early rise bearable; when it’s bad, we want to be anywhere else. Much of the time, this revolves around the perception of change: when it’s good, we are happy with the status quo and when it’s bad it’s often as a result of change imposed on us. change is always there, we’re just not always able to se it.

When I left my last employer, I vowed never to leave go *from* a job, but to go *to* something else. With an attention span as short as mine (and even less desire to do something about that), I’m conscious that each day work is good is also the day it’s best to go off to something else. 

I spent an hour or so with a coach this afternoon and let out some of the contents of Pandora’s box. Amongst the self analysis and tricky questions, one thought appeared in my head: we need not to be looking at the trees, but at the spaces between them. In my mind, I see filtered sun and silhouetted trunks. 

In my heart, I know that change – wherever and whatever – needs to be something that I make happen. In my head, it’s down to me to keep moving my career on.

Aim for the gaps in the trees.