(On- and Off-Topic Updates)
Yesterday was my day off. I spent my day off yesterday watching spreadsheet tutorials! Happy-go-lucky me. I am such a sybarite.
Less of me: I am speaking of course of my ongoing weight-loss diet, Week Eight of which has just concluded. I'm happy to report that I saw 234 on the scale yesterday, down from a mid-winter high last year of 264. In other words: I'm still a load, but less of a load than I was a short time ago.
I'll write a little more about the diet below, for people who might be curious (I do have some rather shocking news about it).
...But first, before I lose absolutely everyone's attention, a print sale update. We're still reeling here at TOP International from the stupefying success of Peter's Paris Print sale. We've decided not to release numbers this time, but it was...amazing. Thank you all so much. It has also kept me truly busy these past two weeks, although it's not like a day's work would kill me. In Paris, Voja is printing at full speed, which must be an awesome sight. Peter is set to mail the first batch of orders tomorrow, and he'll be flying to Paris to pick up the remainder of the prints—that's most of them—later this week; he's decided to hand-carry them back to New York himself just to be safe. Mailing will proceed swiftly thereafter, from Manhattan. I'll keep you posted.
We're still missing a few payments. If you ordered but haven't mailed your payment in, you're on the verge of being too late; please don't delay any further. I assume in most cases the checks are in the mail...especially from Australia, where Peter's pictures were inordinately popular for some reason; we got several dozen orders from Oz alone.
What's that were you saying, fatso?
And now about the diet, which is possibly as off-topic as it's possible to get for a photography site. But hey, as I sometimes say, whatever else this may be, it's still my blog. So here goes. Here's the shock about my diet: I actually like it. Really. It's a good way to eat, for me. I started in with stern ambitions to be wholly compliant with the official scheme, but of course (me being me) it wasn't ten days before I had modified the plan to suit myself. The straight Optifast plan is that you get six "shakes" a day, spaced two or three hours apart, and they replace all your meals. On my renegade, modified plan, I've been drinking four shakes (9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m, and 9 p.m.) and eating one 700 to 1000 calorie meal (at 6 p.m.).
I'm strict about the meal. I count calories fastidiously, and stick to healthy foods.
The weird thing is that this works for me, just as a normal way of eating. It suits me. The shakes are fast and easy to consume during the day, when I'm working and wouldn't normally want to eat anyway. They don't interrupt work. And by eating one planned, calorie-restricted meal a day, I'm actually enjoying my food much more than I used to. It turns out you can eat a really formidably huge dinner for 800 calories if you just eat actual food and forego things like butter and mayo and oil and anything cooked in grease.
...But the sweet tooth has long been my Achilles' heel. For desserts, I've been using "Mousse Temptations" by Jell-O or a cup of vanilla Activia yogurt. The former especially, but both to some degree, are what Michael Pollan* calls "foodlike substances." In the case of the Jell-O concoctions, one is nice but it's not even tempting to have two—they're so devoid of any nutritive value or anything actually gratifying to your body that there's really nothing there to crave; it's just a little sweetish palliative for the tongue after a solid meal.
By the way, I think we should now consider the American food supply officially unsafe. It is so packaged and processed, so larded with chemicals and not only sugar, fat and starch but sugar-like, fat-like and starch-like substitutes, so severely adulterated, that much of it really doesn't qualify as "food" at all—it's just a neverending avalanche of glutinous foodlike material we can eat as if it were food, material cannily designed to appeal to our palates and to make our bodies crave more. They could throw away 70% of the crap in our grocery stores and not get rid of anything we need. And they're madly lacing pretty much the entire food supply with sucralose before adequate studies have even been conducted. (But it should be safe. Can you say "asbestos," or "margarine"?)
I'm seriously considering a photo project on all the weird places you can buy unhealthy crap to stuff your face with in America—there is a candy aisle at the office supply store, fer chrissakes. This has gotten out of hand.
At any rate, I'm shooting for 205. Thirty down, thirty to go. I'm not under any illusion that the second thirty are going to be anywhere nearly as easy as the first, so wish me luck. Although so far I'm not complaining; so far so good.
Back to the spreadsheets. I do hope to actually write a little more later today...about photography, even!
Like a guy like me would have time for a thing like that.
"Open Mike," an off-topic ramble, appears irregularly on TOP but only on Sundays.
*Seriously, if you have not read The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals yet, you really must. One of my favorite non-fiction books of recent years, hugely informative, endlessly interesting, and a delight to read.
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Original contents copyright 2010 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.