deus ex macchiato

Fabian Bazant-Hegemark's blog

Off- and Waistline

What a summer that was. You wouldn't know it, especially since I didn't update here in a while, but a lot happened to me.
Let's get you up to date.

In Seattle I realized a couple of important things. One of which was that I need to work on my working environment. The other was that I need to lose weight. I worked on both of these goals, and while not arrived at a point where I'm completely happy with either, I made some great progress.

Environment

After many years of shared flats I finally live alone again. I don't need to share my bathroom with anyone, I have the whole fridge for myself, and when I want the kitchen to be clean, I can clean it and then be the person who fucks it up all over again. My now no longer flatmate wasn't too thrilled to hear about my wish of living alone, and tried his best to make the transition easy for me - at least emotionally. So, that's, ultimately, good news. Pro tip: never have a sublet without a security deposit. Otherwise people will leave their trash. And empty bottles. And broken bed frame.
Another pro tip: don't write a passive aggressive note when leaving, especially not one saying that your former subletter should simply sell your broken bed frame and empty bottles if they need money to vacate the broken bed frame and empty bottles.

I also canceled my internet connection at home. I still have a mobile data plan on my cell, but I don't have wifi or cable at home. Which is great, because this was my number one option for procrastination and a huge distraction. Now, I do need the internet for work, for looking stuff up, et cetera, but I can do all of that on my cell. In fact, I already did this when I spent a month in Traiskirchen last summer. It does take some getting used to.
I still find myself trying to open a website as a distraction, then closing the browser again when I see the network-connection-trouble page. It's interesting to see how my brain still tries to escape the things I want it to do.

At first I was afraid that now there wouldn't be much to do for me at home, other than work, and that I'd try to escape it some other way, well, that's kinda what happened, but in a good way. I play a lot more piano again, I read more, and I have fewer distractions. I really enjoy that. Also, I downloaded 25 GB of porn before I shut off the router. No, of course I didn't. Or did I?

What I can recommend for people who only have a limited data plan is Opera Mini, it is awesome as it saves ~85% of the traffic your browsing generates, if you set it to "extreme" savings and the image quality to low, which is still good enough. It breaks some web sites, but you can always switch to "high" savings for that purpose.

Also awesome is the dict.cc android app, as it allows you to download dictionary packages.
While I prefer dict.leo.org and it's forum, their app is basically only a optimized web site.

Weight

Since the initial shock I felt in Seattle when stepping on a scale and realizing that I had regained all the weight I had lost only a few years before, I used Myfitnesspal and it's easy to use calorie tracker. Since I didn't feel like doing a lot of exercise, I set it to "sedentary lifestyle" and added some multivitamins to my diet so that I wouldn't need to worry about eating too little.
According to the app, I've been doing this for about 140 days now, and the progress feels great. I'm finally back to where I can enter a store and find something in my size.
Now, while I have no idea why it was so easy for me to quit smoking after trying and failing again and again, I do know why it was so easy to do _this_. In part it had to do with the memorable quote in Amanda Palmer's autobiography: "It finally hurt enough". I was miserable with how I felt. And I had been for too long a time. Being miserable can be great motivation, when you actually are in control. As Siolo so wonderfully put it: "If you're not happy, you can always change something about it."
The next step was that I set a goal of how much to eat per day, and stuck with it. I started with a reasonable amount of kcal/d, and then successively lowered them as I felt okay. The great help here was the app I used. There's others out there that I didn't try, maybe they are even better. What was great about this one was that it offered a barcode scanner and an extensive database of foods and beverages, both industrially produced and "generic". The most awesome feature was the recipe calculator though: you simply copy a recipe from a website, or enter it manually, and it tells you how many calories per serving it will have. I used this to be able to binge on cake when necessary, and make up for it the rest of the week.

While it first felt weird that one more aspect in my life would need the substitution of my cell phone, it came at a great point, where everything in my life required it: when I was travelling. As you might recall, I left my trusty Thinkpad back in the old world for the residency in Seattle, and relied heavily, well, exclusively, on my Moto G2 for any and all computing purposes, which worked well for 95% of all the things I had to do. The only exceptions were layout editing – which also would have been possible, but Siolo allowed me to use her laptop and that was much easier.
So while it might have felt weird to use my phone to keep track of what I eat, it came naturally to me. And now I feel really comfortable with that.

By now I lost enough weight that I also feel comfortable working out a bit again. I still have my stationary bicycle, and now use it again. For those worrying about my health, as soon as I hit the weight that I'm aiming for, I will switch from less food to more exercise. You guys squeeze in an airplane seat and have your fatflaps touch your neighbor awkwardly, and then you can worry about me doing this.

In the end all of this is to help me get healthy eating habits. I never had those. The last time I lost a lot of weight, it wasn't because I ate more healthy, but because I exercised _a lot_. As soon as I stopped doing that because I no longer had the time for it, my midnight pizza eating habits filled the gap in my waist size. Well, whatcha gonna do. Eat less, fuckhead, that's whatcha gonna do. And that's basically what I am doing.

So, what else has been going on?

I've been working on Hymnos, mostly. And I'm trying to get some redecorating done. I got rid of many things that I only kept because I still lived in a shared flat. Among other things, my dishwasher. Now, I know you might be thinking that this must be it, now I've gone insane, but hear me out here. Just as I downsized my wardrobe—I'm talking about the amount of clothing, not it's size—and now have many washing cycles less to run than I once had, I now also have fewer plates and glasses and cups and silverware. But while I still get at least one machine load full of clothes per week, I don't even own enough to fill the dish washer any more. So it's become impractical. And that's a good thing!
I always enjoyed the contemplative aspect of doing the dishes. Of either thinking about stuff, like, why the fuck you would throw out a dish washer, to listening to audio books.
We'll see how long it takes to get old.

Well, since I'm writing this at home, I can't upload it at the moment. Who's stupid idea was it anyways to turn off the internet. Jesus Chr*st.

[Picture is Django in a box. I ordered a new vacuum. After breaking the one I owned, my tenant took the one he bought as a replacement.]