WN03 Decomplicating Diet

This has been a liminal week. Nothing like messing with diet to bring you into the moment. Next week I’m travelling, so the update may look a bit different.

📯 From the World

Vurt

Fortunately, there are more good dreams than bad. It makes life worth living. But it’s the bad ones we remember, right? The crazy flights when we thing the entire univert is plotting against us with every terror and torture it can muster, all aimed at our poor dreaming soul.

Had an amazing bit of synchronicity. I was idly having a conversation about what books would make good role-play settings. Jeff Noon got mentioned, for his vibrant, surreal near-future Manchester. And they’ve only bloody gone and made one! It only took 20 years, but here we are. So, that came back from the bookshop with us six hours later.

The Cypher system is a good match for the game. Whether you’re a Shadowvurt Mathemagition or a Robodog Explorer, taking a feather to another dimension fits right in.

Decomplication

A nice reminder that resistance to do hard things, business and marketing push us towards complicated solution to simple problems. Not that it’ll be easy.

These problems are complex and you need a monumental amount of information to get them right. Bullshit. The core solutions to many problems, maybe most problems, are extremely simple. In one paragraph each, you can explain how to lose weight, how to gain muscle, how to save money, […] The finishing touches near perfection aren’t so simple, but the effective amount for the vast majority of our purposes? Certainly.

But if I pull you out of that wilderness utopia and return you to the modern world, the easy things aren’t so easy any more. You’ll struggle to sleep enough, struggle to eat well, struggle to exercise. You know that you need to sleep 8 hours, but it’s getting harder and harder to fit it into your schedule. You’ll start sleeping poorly, a laughable problem to anyone outside of modernity — Nat Eliason

Which reminds me of Marie Kondo. She reminds us that something is not done until its done, and only when you’re truly on the other side of can you relax.

Most people associate the word ‘rebound’ with dieting, but when they hear it used in the context of tidying, it still makes sense. It seems logical that a sudden, drastic reduction in clutter could have the same effect as a drastic cut in calories – there might be a short-term improvement but it would not be sustainable for long. But don’t be deceived. The moment you begin moving furniture around and getting rid of things, your room changes. It’s very simple. If you put your house in order in one mammoth effort, you will have tidied up completely. Rebound occurs because people mistakenly believe they have tidied thoroughly when in fact they have only partially sorted and stored things. If you put your house in order properly, you’ll be able to keep your room tidy always, even if you are lazy or messy by nature. — Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying

Which brings me on to…

💎 Rethinking

Diet

Removing food from your day is a weird thing at first. All that time spent cooking and eating freed up. But also so much time and energy spent thinking about food. All of that laid bare, with nothing to do. Thinking, thinking. Time to move on. Separating the want from the lack of desire was interesting. Blow by blow account, at the bottom.

A while ago, accidentally gave myself low carb flu experimenting with diet. It was an unpleasant lethargy and malaise. So, was pleasantly surprised that my energy and mood stayed stable this time. Apart from the melancholia that comes as a sign that I should be asleep already, I was mostly in an unremarkable, good mood. And this seems to have remained with the lower-carb meals for the rest of the week. Energy has ebbed and flowed in a way that felt natural, and even in the lower energy moments I could usually get into some with some focus.

I’ve scarcely looked at the sweet stuff the couple times I’ve been in the local shops. This did wear off by the end of the week. Meal prep has been simpler this week. Salads almost prepare themselves, and just adding heat has been enough for the rest. One thing I ate disagreed with me, but I anticipated it might. Which cascaded and affected my energy for the day, and my sleep. Not desirable, but a well timed reminder.

This doesn’t remove the complexity, but it is useful context for decomplicating diet. What a body can tolerate is wider than routine, and its responses are made invisible by it.

What comes next is this; Eat food that’s good for you. Don’t eat food that’s bad. Eat enough. Work backwards to make sure you have enough good food in the house. When you find what works, you’ll know.

🔥 Alchemy of Creation

I’m reading The Unreal and The Real by Ursula K. Le Guin. There’s been an inspiring potency in the subtext, even jumping from a story about a normal kids, to one about psych doctor, to full-on Dreaming.

WaitGroups with Goroutines

Golang’s concurrency system is so minimal. It takes the two letter keyword go and a function to run it asynchronously. But it doesn’t have a thread.join() equivalent, so you have to include synchronisation steps in your code. Six lines of boilerplate for adding a WaitGroup may seem a bit much, but you’d often be using channels instead. And this approach would scale to multiple different Goroutines setup at the same time.

package main
func goroutineWithWaitGroup() {
wg := sync.WaitGroup{}
wg.Add(1)
go func(wg *sync.WaitGroup) {
defer wg.Done()
// …
}(&wg)
wg.Wait()
}

view raw
waitgroup.go
hosted with ❤ by GitHub

Keeping it in Your Brain

If I do not write at least 1000 words a week, the story leaves my brain […] I might not write again for months.Hank Green

This is why I have this section in my template. I’ve been spending a small amount of time doing music production and looking at songwriting each week. I’m looking to build it up, but right now I’m making sure I hit that minimum threshold.

📍 A Point on the Timeline

Cyberpunk Red

We were late, by this point. While Camden and Apogee dug out the car, D311B0i set a grenade to anonymise the scene and Alex brought the truck around. Then we sped to the ambush site, while avoiding cop attention.

We were late, so we head on to catch them up. We pincered the armoured truck when we caught it. A bit further down the road, but that was the plan. The convoy bike spun out, and an oncoming car skidded off the road. We totalled our van, but got the cargo. Now to drop off the cheese.

A Three Day Fast

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so — Ford Prefect, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Last weekend we did a three day fast. I’ve been doing 16-8(ish) time restricted eating, meaning breakfast is lunch, but I’ve never done anything extended. So, when group we’re in set the date and we said “sure”.

Water, tea and coffee were all that we consumed. This is as simple as it sounds, but it highlights how enmeshed we are with food. Come lunch time on Friday, the first “mealtime”, I was met with a moment on confusion. I guess lunch is coffee and I go for a walk? I was tired that morning, which was unrelated as nothing was different yet. I was actually far more alert come the evening. Go figure.

What did happen was I got cold. This is a common thing, without as much digestion going you just generate less heat. Nothing putting another jumper on couldn’t solve. I actually over-compensated and got quite warm. Come the evening, I think my body was kicking out more heat again.

Saturday was weirder. I’ve heard that this is where the hump is, and we were going to town so we’d be around a whole bunch of smells and temptations. And I noticed that there was food everywhere. Smells became more intense, salty things smelled so appetising. I noticed me noticing, but was not tempted to break fast. We had some dead time between browsing books shops and going to the cinema, so we sat and got a coffee. If we weren’t fasting, would have likely got a cake or pastry too.

There were a few moments like this. “Oh it’s there and I like food, so let’s get this now.” Not today. A 100% abstinence rule is so much easier to follow. Mostly, it was my pattern matching brain that was spotting opportunities rather than my body crashing or craving. All in all, weird but not so difficult. There was no cake on my birthday this year.

By this point, day three was easy. Perhaps months of skipping breakfast put me in good stead. Some of the group had a harder time, but that and starting the fast with exercise was enough for me. My energy had been fluctuating, but no more than usual. When I was doing focused work I could sustain it. A background thirst and recontextualising the signals from my body didn’t demand an immediate response.

75 hours later, I met some friends in the pub for dinner. I’d spent much less time thinking about food by this point, but I had been fantasising about steak. I wanted to order everything, yet I resisted and got a mix of small plates. The salty, fatty goodness of chorizo and tatziki was delicious.

And this week has mostly been low-carb. No grains (except that first meal), more protein and mostly lots of salad. Initial thoughts above. Next week is travelling and lots of cycling. It’ll be eating what’s available. From experiment, to experiment, to experiment, so it seems.

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