Ten years ago yesterday, I swore off all beef, pork, and shrimp for the rest of my life in an effort to live more sustainably. If I had to go back, I’d be a bit more nuanced about cattle that is pastured on marginal lands that can’t grow human food and pigs that are fed food waste. I’m also much more careful about putting myself under lifelong taboos. Still, I look back satisfied that I have kept true to my oath.
Here’s my average mass over the last twelve or so years. I’d rather track body fat % and muscle mass, but those are harder to measure. Maybe this year I’ll make more effort in that direction. In any case, most of the variation in mass is attributable to to body fat, so this is a reasonable proxy for what I’m concerned with. This tells me that I need to get back on track with my health goals. Over the last three stressful years, I haven’t had the mental energy to maintain my goal weight and exercise routine (which caused a further drain in mental energy, a vicious cycle).
I like to plant native Mojave desert plants in our front yard. Here are two photos three years apart of four plants we bought at the Springs Preserve Autumn Plant Sale, first in their pots and then where they live today. They’re a Whitethorn acacia (Vachellia constricta), beavertail cactus (Opuntia basilaris), silver cholla (Cylindropuntia echinocarpa), and a desert willow (Chilopsis linearis).
They grow up so fast! ?
I just barely completed the first level of Fluenz French, and wanted to briefly pat myself on the back for my persistence. It’s taken me almost four months. Actually, we purchased the program exactly four years ago — back when our cash flow was healthier — when we started to plan a family trip to France. We’re still hoping to make that trip… someday, but in the meantime, I’ve been watching French films and news without subtitles and reading French literature. I don’t really understand much yet, but I’m starting to catch the general drift.
I guess it’s on to the second level. À bientôt, mes amis!
Almost every morning for the past five years or so, I’ve stumbled out of bed, stepped on a scale, and noted the result in a spreadsheet. It’s mildly interesting to look back over the ups and downs.
I started out skinnyfat. After a visit with a stern nurse practitioner, thinking about my wife and kids who depend on me, I decided to get my health in order. The first 3 kg I lost were easy. I maintained my new lighter weight for almost two years. Then I dabbled with gaining muscle, but I went too fast and wasn’t doing the right kind of training, so I gained mostly body fat. I decided to lose the fat and got back down to 60 kg. Since then, I’ve brought my weight back up to about 65 kg and am maintaining it there.
I’m satisfied with my current weight. I have more muscle than when I started, and while I’m no underwear model, I like what I see in the mirror.
It might seem obsessive and unhealthy to track my weight every day. I could see where it could lead someone down the path to an eating disorder, but it has had the opposite effect on me. Looking at my chart causes a rather zen state of mind, something like what happens to astronauts looking down on the Earth from above.
The weight comes and goes. I decide when. The number on the scale doesn’t change who I am.