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diet diary, part 4

ah, the long haul wherein it becomes very difficult to see progress... i guess since i had started to see results relatively quickly, i got a little spoiled. now that i can't see anything happening, i'm getting a little frustrated.

equally frustrating is that i'm able to see where the weight has come off and it all seems to come from weird areas. well, some are weird at least. i can see a little difference in my thighs and backside, which are areas women are supposed to care about, but which have always been the areas that have been the last to gain and the first to lose on me. (actually, i've always taken it as a sign that i need to start dieting when i see my thighs get bigger, since that means i've grown everywhere else.)

there's no sign whatsoever of a reduction in size of the tire on my gut, which is what i'm trying to achieve, but i'm trying to gain patience by remembering that this is probably the last area to experience weight loss.

so where else is it coming off? my hands, for starters, which i would not have thought was even possible (my hands have alwas bordered on bony, no matter my body weight) and my neck. how the hell do you lose weight on your neck? i don't think that has ever happened to me before, but it's served as a little bit of encouragement. having seen it (and tested it with a snug collared shirt), i like my new, slightly leaner neck.

returning to the hands for a moment, i believe that this is something that can be attributed not to weight loss, but to the fact that i have significantly cut down my intake of high sodium foods, so i am likely retaining less water than before. this knowledge is something that has come to me through the process of dieting which, ironically, forces one to become a little obsessive about food. i didn't even want to be, but once you try cutting down, you have to start thinking about other things. what things are going to give your body what it needs? what can you eat that is going to make you actually feel full without making you fat? it's a slippery slope once you start, because one virtuous inclination begets a need for information, information the average person doesn't have.

food may be necessary, but our relationship with it is largely opaque. i am in a minority because i enjoy cooking and because i generally avoid highly processed foods whose ingredients i can actually pronounce. people are becoming alienated from the food that keeps them alive at the same time they are consuming more of it. food's revenge is the damage a lot of it does to our systems, damage that can remain invisible for years. in that regard, dieting functions as a sort of relationship counsellor, opening up the lines of communication.

i told a friend this weekend that this little experiment was not just one that would get me to lose weight (it is that, of course). what i'd like to get from this are smarter habits where food is concerned. i'm of an age where such things are going to matter more and where i'm old enough to have no patience left for relationships that are dysfunctional.

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the world at war?

in my semi-smug but genuinely curious way, i posted a question on my facebook page earlier: how much of the world has to be at war before it counts as world war iii?



the first response i got raised the very legitimate point that this is the sort of question that gets answered by historians, once the haze of the present has faded. the other important factor is that people don't just declare war on each other the way that they used to. major powers entered both the of the world wars with the blessings of their own parliaments, whereas conflicts since world war ii have happened in coded language, sometimes circumventing the political process in the interests of expediency. president reagan never declared war on the nicaraguan government in the eighties, for example, but the united states was clearly in a state of armed conflict, even if most of the arms were being carried by their proxies, the contras.

whether or not we are living in a world at war is a tricky question. despite what…

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

diet diary, part 2

so the battle with the bulge continues. i'm actually becoming used to the pace, although for some reason my stomach still seems to think it needs far more food than it actually does.

week days, when eating is more of a functional than a festive activity, are fairly easy to cope with. weekends are a challenge, especially living in a city that has as many good restaurants as toronto. i'm not restricting myself to the home, but i am finding that i have to pay careul attention when i go out. last night, i overindulged on injera atthe ethiopian house. injera (the soft, moist, spongy bread that serves as food and cutlery in ethiopian cuisine) makes food fun by forcing you to eat with your fingers. it's hard to exercise restraint in such conditions.

when i first moved to toronto, i was expecting to find it much as i remembered it from years ago- with a dearth of good eating places. apparently, things have changed. there are great places to eat just about every kind of food you&…