Saturday, September 13, 2014

It May Be an Old Song, But a New Tune

I know you have heard it before.  Last summer I went on a diet, a meal plan.  I lost some weight, I patted myself on the back and I moved on to gain more and more.  It was never anything of a problem I told myself.  I mean I needed new pants and the comfort-fit waste band was a cool invention.  I really didn't think much about my growing stomach until a child ask me if I was going to have a baby.  Even when James Gandolfini died a day before my 48th birthday I knew I had to get my weight under control but that soon faded.  I remember from June to July of last year I went from 224 pounds to 218 and had a party.  By the end of August I was again at 223 and by December I was stable at 227.  That was what I was, stomach, comfort-fit and that cringe when I saw a picture of me from the side.

In July I registered at 231 and my blood work was a mess.  My doctor was not happy, and frankly neither was Dianne and Noah was all over me.  So I downloaded a simple ap called My Fitness Pal at my Doctor's suggestion and started monitoring my intact of calories, sugar, fat etc. and keeping track of exercise or the lack there of.  It was immediately educational.  I plugged in some numbers and it gave me an allowance of calories etc. to follow.  A huge database of food allows me to know precisely what I am taking in and I did the one thing I never did before.  I bought a kitchen scale to see exactly how much of stuff I was eating.  It is remarkable.  When I went back and looked how much I was eating I was well over 2500 calories a day.  Now I am between 1600-1800.  I don't skimp on what I eat, as anyone who reads my other blog knows and I just eat less and I am not hungry.  It is quite revealing.  I think sometimes I just ate for the joy of eating.  But now I eat a limited amount at each meal and I am still happy.  I don't feel like I suffer.

Oh and I have started losing weight.  From 231 in July I have now found myself at 210 and still losing. People have started to notice and say something and and old friend recently said I am looking like my old self.  I feel better, have more energy and move around better.  What is remarkable is that for years I have resisted the simple act of watching what I eat.  When I was a kid I could eat anything at anytime and was always skinny.  I am glad that I am taking this route and glad that I can make it work for me through technology.  I am grateful for the opportunity and the challenge of making food that fills me up and tastes good that doesn't make me compromise.

Oh and just so you know I am not a zealot, I still have days I eat 15 chicken wings and a mess of potatoes.  I still love Dianne's fried chicken, and Noah's recent birthday we all had a great cake with butter cream frosting.  But I know that eating is a life time venture and like keeping kosher it is about awareness and choices.  I plan to continue.  I plan to continue to lose and I plan to be with us for a long time as Noah asked me to the other day.  I hope this is the last time I write this.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

A Week in Review

I wanted to write about this week since it had a very busy news cycle of stories that interested me.  I was hoping to comment on many of them.

The Stealing of Nude Photos of Famous Women:  So someone hacked into the cloud storage of many people stealing and posting famous women's personal photographs in various states of undress and in some cases sexually explicit.  This was a theft and an invasion of privacy.  The fact that they were stored in electronic form in a protected fashion made it analogous to storing printed photos in a safe deposit box at the bank.  There was an agreement of privacy from the cloud server company.  But it took less than a day for people to attack the women for owning the photographs or for putting them in what thought was a safe place.  So let's think about this.
1.  Should people take pictures of themselves in the nude?  Well that ship sailed when the first photographs were invented.  In the 1800s people taking nude pictures and even creating pornographic images.  I remember an amazing exhibit at a museum in New York of personal movies and photos from when my grandmother was in her 20s.  So to be clear, this was made by my grandmother's generation.  The Polaroid made it even more common, and digital photography made it ubiquitous.  And yet these women are attacked publicly for having these available in their private archive.  Should celebrities be held to a higher standard?  Especially attractive, celebrity women?  It seems like the idea here was that they should know people want to see their intimate pictures and so not have them.  I wonder how many of those commentators would give me access to their passwords for their archives.  Bottom line is we are sexual beings, technology allows us to explore that with imagery, bodies are not dirty unless we make them such, and frankly the hacker who stole them is a lowlife.  That should be the story.  Not questioning whether the women should have these photos.

Bob McDonnell:  So Governor Ultrasound was convicted for the brides he took as Virginia Governor.  This was not an issue that was a surprise.  What is a surprise that some people thought this was a political attack and others suggested that it was a prosecution that was not necessary.  Think about this. A governor, one that ran on family values, was taking bribes to act on behalf of a wealthy friend, in a state with lax ethics standards.  The federal government had a strong case.  The defense was to throw his wife under the bus.  Seriously, how could anyone defend this guy.  It is amazing.  We are so politicized that a straight up liar who sold access to his office is considered a victim for being prosecuted.

Joan Rivers:  Joan Rivers died this week.  She was a pioneer and someone who kicked down the door to allow so many women to walk through.  Rivers created a new way to be a woman in a man's world of entertainment. She embraced the gay community from which she built tons of fans and stood with them to fight discrimination.   I miss that Joan Rivers but I have for a long time.  In her later years she created a persona that was built on attacking people.  While I understand in a lot of ways it was a character it also could at times get caustic.  We do wish her family comfort during this time and her legion of fans who will certainly feel her loss.

Michael Sam:  The first openly gay man drafted by the NFL was cut by the team that drafted him.  In part because he didn't fit in their scheme.  There is some indication that his sexuality may have played a role but that is not clear.  He was put on waivers and was picked up by Dallas for their practice squad.  Almost instantly people assumed it was social engineering.  Sam is a good player and was a great college player.  He is not built for the NFL in skill and flexibility at his position.  But he showed he can play at least at a level that can help a team so Dallas is not losing anything to have him on the practice squad and his ceiling is pretty high.  What is remarkable is that we know about his sexuality because someone was going to out him before the NFL draft.  He took control of it and said he wasn't going to hide who he was.  That was brave.  It clearly didn't help his prospects (most defensive players of the year in the toughest conference in college football get looked at in the draft).  But we know there have been many gay NFL players.  In fact in the 70s Vince Lombardi stood up for them.  The guy who the Superbowl trophy is named after.  The difference is that Sam has opened the door for those NFL players who don't want to hide who they are to live their real lives.  Sam may never take a snap in a regular season NFL game.  But he will change the culture of the NFL a culture that has asked gay players to hide themselves may now allow them to be open.  That is a good thing.

It was quite a week and this is just a small sampling of the stories we encountered.  I wonder what will happen next.  

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