Training Days


I posted a link the other day, just an article about flour tortillas and where and how they vary. Apparently they're most authentic in Arizona, kind of tasteless when mass produced, or so they say. Me, I don't eat tortillas for the flavor so much.

A friend and I got into a little exchange about how many flour tortillas we eat; they're the go-to carb carrier for both of us. Some days I might eat 3-4 tortillas, depends. But I almost always have one for breakfast with a little peanut butter. And then I have some chocolate.

Seriously, that's my breakfast most days. I have a peanut butter burrito, then less than an ounce of dark chocolate chips. It's not a bad nutritional look, could be much better but it's breakfast in America, c'mon. There are worse choices.

I, of course, would like to make better choices in all things. Just not particularly when it comes to eating. I feel OK there. I think peanut butter and chocolate could be as good as it gets.


I've never really elaborated on this, but 10 years ago I got interested in some domestic research that this guy was blogging about. His day job involved being a scientist of some sort; memory tells me he was actually an engineer, but memory is not trustworthy in this arena. He did experiments at work, I guess, and that made him curious. He started applying the same principles to a variety of trivial things around the house, trying to determine his sleep patterns, how his diet affected his mood, if drinking more water helped control his weight, etc. It was intriguing.

This was one of the drivers of my weight-loss program in 2007, by the way. I devised a plan, which I didn't expect to work but I figured would put me on the right path, and in the meantime maybe I'd learn a few things about the way I did things, what I ate and how much I moved, etc.

It actually did turn out to work, of course, but it seeped into my consciousness anyway. Observe, note, track, change. If I decide I want to try a new thing, I usually start a spreadsheet, although I dump way more of these than I keep. It's just a pattern of approaching challenges that works, somehow.

I don't do it with eating, by the way. I figure whatever I do has to be good enough, at this stage. Whatever changes I make in the years ahead will be for some reason other than nutrition, probably, since I can't see much benefit at this point. It's OK, too. I'm not eating junk. Just peanut butter and chocolate. Basically plants.


But here's what's weird to me: I think the holidays put me in a better mood, and I needed to be. This seems counterintuitive in some ways; holidays, particularly around Christmas, seem to be triggers for a lot of grief in people. This makes sense, so I was surprised. I cheered up quite a bit.

Maybe it was just time. Maybe I just needed a little Christmas.

Or maybe it's because I completely reversed my habits and started snacking like crazy. I think about this a lot. Maybe there's more to sugar than we understand when it comes to emotional stability. Maybe a spoonful helps the medicine go down. I wonder.

Or maybe it's the built-in moderating aspect of cookies, which made up the bulk of the snacks. It's easy to cram a bunch in your mouth, obviously, but it's also easy to graze, 200 calories at a time. After all, I sometimes indulge in ice cream big-time, but it's a lot rarer since I realized I just get too slow and sluggy after all that sugar. Maybe incremental sweetness is the key. Maybe I'm just a little crazy.


My wife just called me from work, and now I need a term. It's along the lines of first-world problem, and it really should be 21st-century problem but that feels awkward.

Anyway, it's a problem I think most of us grasp easily. I dropped JK off at the bus stop this morning, a little before 7am. Almost immediately, I'm sure, she realized the nightmare scenario she always dreaded had happened: She'd left behind both her phone and her iPad.

Also, the computers were down.

Right? She has a phone on her desk, and of course she's sitting in the middle of a major metropolitan area, at a prominent university. It's not like she's wandering the Sahara.

But you know what I'm talking about. She's cut off, and even if she survived without her iPhone for many years because, you know, iPhones didn't actually exist, it's a gut punch and I get it. We develop dependencies and we all know it, and now I'm thinking that might not be a bad thing to experiment on. Like those magazine articles that get written from time to time, some journalist going off the grid for a week or a month or whatever. Just to wean off the screen, a little. A few hours at a time. Might be worth a try.

Starting a spreadsheet now.

Chuck SigarsComment