Friday, June 24, 2011

Freedom to be Vile

Oh Neil Gaiman, how I adore thee.  Today he wrote on his blog about the nature and necessity of free speech:

You ask, What makes it worth defending? and the only answer I can give is this: Freedom to write, freedom to read, freedom to own material that you believe is worth defending means you're going to have to stand up for stuff you don't believe is worth defending, even stuff you find actively distasteful, because laws are big blunt instruments that do not differentiate between what you like and what you don't, because prosecutors are humans and bear grudges and fight for re-election, because one person's obscenity is another person's art.
Because if you don't stand up for the stuff you don't like, when they come for the stuff youdo like, you've already lost.
The entire essay is in response to a reader asking why we should defend lolicon manga, and I agree 100% with everything he says.  I've seen lolicon in some of my searches (I'll admit a guilty pleasure in seeking out erotic-yet-not-vile doujins, and I find I have to wade through 5-10 distastful and icky ones involving lolicon, incest, or rape to find one that I don't find objectionable) and yes, it's quite gross.  I think the world would be a better place if it didn't exist, if only slightly.  Even still, I would not for a moment consider banning it or making it illegal, and would actively vote against any politician who did.

I can't make the argument any better than Mr. Gaiman did.  Go read his article, it's worth it.

Fat Friday: Everything's eventual

Starting Weight: 315.5
Ending Weight: 316.0
Net Change: gain 0.5 lbs

So another stable week.  I did cheat a lot this week admittedly for various reasons (If everyone else decided on Pizza, I'm not going to leave my friend's house just to go procure something low-carb), but I still maintained my weight this week, so that's good.  Unlike when I counted calories, I find I don't feel as guilty when I do cheat, possibly because I don't feel like this is as rigorous or demanding as counting calories.  One of my friends still thinks this diet is "bullshit," that it's really just portion control.  I only partially agree with the sentiment.  I do think it's portion control mostly, but I know from three separate times of trying to count calories that I can't portion control by counting calories or otherwise limiting what I eat.  I don't have the self-control, and I find I'm hungry more often when I eat carbs.

As an example, I used to have two bowls of cereal for breakfast most mornings.  I'd eat the first bowl, and I still wouldn't be satisfied so I'd have to get a second.  These weren't small bowls, either. Now my breakfast consists of either three eggs or two hamburgers, sans bun.  I find that, in general, I'm more sated by that smaller meal than I was with all the cereal I had.  I eat that and am legitimately not hungry anymore.  I'm not alone.  A recent study suggested that, while eating any breakfast increased satiety and helped portion control throughout the day, high-protein breakfasts showed a much greater decrease in brain activity in food-motivation centers.

So yes, I'd say I'm something of a semi-believer now.  I'll never argue its benefits with others, but I'm probably going to continue this diet past the experiment date just to continue to hold back on my cravings.  Here's to seeing what next week will bring.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fat Friday: Down, Down, Down

Starting Weight: 318.2
Ending Weight: 315.5
Net Change: 2.7 lbs

Not too shabby a week, it would seem.  I'm continuing to lose weight at a healthy rate.  This makes me down roughly 15 lbs total since I started a month ago.  I now weigh less than I have in several years, though not by much.

Nothing else of import to present at this time.  I was distracted by minecraft all week and have only recently resurfaced for air.  The diet remains feeling sustainable as a lifestyle, which is good, and the diet seems to be reasonably successful as far as weight loss.  The biggest (and arguably overall most important) question that remains is what my blood levels look like when all this is done.  I'm less worried about the HDL and LDL so much as I am about kidney and liver functions and the like.  I think it's fine since I do still eat a fair amount of vegetables and dairy, but without the data one can't be certain.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fat Friday: Even Steven

Starting Weight: 318
Ending Weight: 318.2
Net Change: Gain 0.2 lbs  (Hardly enough to count one way or the other)

So things are pretty even now.  I blame this week on stress, mostly.  I'm running a game of Legend of the Five Rings for some friends and for some reason I've been stressing out over making it good than I have over other games I've run.  Today's the day of the game, though, so hopefully I can relax a little bit once we've seen that.

I also haven't been exercising at all over the last couple of weeks, save some walks and whatnot.  This coming week, since I won't be spending all my time preparing for the game, I should have more time to actually hit the gym or go running or somesuch.

The low-carb lifestyle seems relatively easy to maintain so long as I don't obsess over it.  Since I'm trying to treat this now as a lifestyle and not a "diet," it means I don't stress anything regarding it.  That seems to be my biggest focus: not stressing the diet, but simply accepting it and integrating it.

Non-diet-related posts will return at some point, I promise.  This just happens to be the one thing I'm dedicated to writing about every week.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fat Saturday?

Whoops!  I was a little busy yesterday so didn't have a chance to post this week's results

Starting Weight: 319.5
Ending Weight: 318
Net Change: 1.5 lbs

So not a very impressive week, per se, but also not awful.  I did have a cheat day as well due to the necessity of my position, so that may have been a contributing factor.  I also stole an onion ring from a friend's plate on 3 different occasions this week, but overall my carb intake is still significantly lower than my normal diet.

All of this has happened thus far without any significant exercise.  I've been active and gone on walks here and there, but I've been lax in hitting the gym.  I fully expect this is part of the problem.

And still, 1.5 lbs in a week isn't awful.  It's just not impressive.  I'm not discouraged at present, and am actually finding some aspects of this diet to be very sustainable, not as a "diet" but as a general lifestyle change.  Whether I'll continue to feel that way is up for debate.