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Losing my diet virginity, one cabbage-leaf at a time.

So, I’m on my very first ever actual calorie-restriction diet.  This is Day Two.

I’ve had more fun.

However, I probably also never have actually eaten this healthily, if health can be measured in quantities of raw vegetables.

Anybody could know why I did it, I imagine…three years of regular, increasingly athletic exercise, and I’m in the best shape of my life… and I still haven’t shed a pound of the thirty that I put on since momhood.  I try to make healthy choices whenever I can, but it’s no joke that I have a mean oral fixation (ever seen my fingernails?) and a pretty reliable sweet tooth.  I was raised on the Middle American Sugar Diet, and it shows.  Even when I was “just tracking” my calories with the dots-per-day thing, I was aiming for 1400 and probably missing it by 200-300 most days.

So, eventually the obvious quits f*cking around and actually becomes obvious (dammit, brain!):  The weight isn’t going anywhere, except possibly underneath a fresh layer of more, until the food issue gets solved.

I really, really prefer to do things all-out and cold turkey, when I can.  It’s SO much easier to just get it over with without a big drawn-out battle, isn’t it?

I’m waxing my legs today, as a commemorative.  I figure it’ll help if I engage in a long, painful ritual involving repeated visceral reminders that shit hurts a lot more if you do it slow, if you stall it or drag it out; the only way to go is one-two-three and exhale on three (if you can, add a kiai!) and rip that sucker off.

So it will go with food, if I’m lucky.  I did it with smoking, and my first Uberman adaptation, so it’s not impossible that I might.  It also runs in the family: my grandfather (may he have a breath of respite now and again in his Hell) quit drinking and smoking cold-turkey at once, with no drugs or doctors to help, and kept a new bottle of whiskey in his cupboard and a new pack of cigarettes in his pocket for I don’t know how many years.  My dad, oddly enough, though he inherited my grandfather’s intellect (and blessedly not much else), doesn’t seem to have this ability.

My grandfather was a bad person.  (One of them; the other is a hero of mine.)  I won’t tell you what he did but trust me, you’d agree that he was just bad, bad in the incurable way that people still think capital punishment exists for.  I wonder sometimes if he was always screwy somehow, or if he was normal, maybe before the War.  He was Big in the War.  Boxful of medals; Normandy I think; and it definitely messed with his head.  All those old men at his funeral who flew in from places.  I wanted to talk to them, but I didn’t because I couldn’t ask them what I really wanted to know:  Was he a good guy then, really, or was he always creepy, always “off”?  Did the War do it to him?  Then again, I wonder if any of them even knew, or believed, the stories of what he did.

Brrrwaugh! Wow, apparently that needed to come out.  Whew.  Anyway, back to something resembling the point.

*raises flags and marches Pointwards*

I can’t live in a world with no chaos, so I’m on a daily allotment of 1,000 – 1,250 calories, by my best estimation and package data.  I try to get this allotment in five 200-calorie chunks, so that I can eat often, which I sense will make things easier.  I’m allowed to reduce one meal to compensate for extra calories in another, but I’m not allowed to skip meals entirely, so I can’t “go over” by too much.  Moreover, in addition to this amount I’m allowed to have raw veggies whenever I want.  Also, only one of my 200-calorie “meals” is allowed to consist of junk food.  (I tend to save that one for last, having a long-bred habit of craving “dessert”.)

I have been hungry, though oddly it’s been from pushing back or even skipping some of my meals.  Where I would have just “grabbed something” before if I was busy, I don’t want to now; I want to enjoy it.  But when I am hungry and starting to really feel it, I grab some of my fridgeful of new veggies:  green peppers, celery, cabbage; all good raw-eatin’ stuff.  I also have brussels sprouts and an artichoke to cook for a meal sometime (I cook ‘em with looooots of butter. ;)

One thing:  The components of this diet are, so far, very cheap.  Did you know a head of lettuce is less than a dollar?  And I’ll be eating that thing all week!  Tearing off a cabbage-leaf is a great “geez I just need to eat something” antidote. It doesn’t really need sauce or salt, and it’s fast, and if you just have a few bites and put the rest in the compost, you don’t feel bad.  I hereby approve of cabbage leaves.

I’ve also eaten vegetarian for the last two days.  I didn’t really mean to, but well, with 200ish calories, you get a lot more food if it’s not meat.  And I don’t really crave meat in my diet anyway, so it’s been pretty easy to ignore it.  I’m not committing to that part, at least not yet, but it is interesting.  If it keeps up I’ll need iron supplements, eek.

I devised this diet the way I did for three reasons:

1.  I want to lose weight, and the only surefire way of doing that is to restrict your caloric intake.  I’ve seen it work in several cases to help people I know lose over 100 lbs.  So I aimed for 1K, figuring I’d screw up some and end up at 1200, which would be fine.  I knew that if I had to fuss over every single number, I’d quit.  I hate mental math!
2.  I like to eat often and I don’t like to eat too much; my appetite has always been small (or maybe I just grow bored of eating) and I eat a more varied diet when I spread it out.  So I took my caloric requirement and divided it up a way that seemed to make sense for me.
3.  I know that in order to keep weight off, there has to be a lifestyle change, not just a temporary change in diet pattern.  Like the lifestyle changes involved in quitting smoking and sleeping at night, I guess.  So I wanted to create a “diet” that would be both healthy and livable over the long-term.

OMG I just realized this means I’m eating polyphasically. Holy crap, that’s funny.

Less funny is the fact that I have to actually change my polyphasic sleeping schedule soon. The more work ramps up, the more impossible it gets to get my naps, and things have been getting dangerously messy lately.  I think things will get busier before they get stable, but I’m still trying to get a handle on what the bigger changes might look like so that I can plan a new schedule.  Man, I’d better be able to at least do something like a siesta schedule, or I’ll be pissed.

I’m also getting fuller, sooner, today than I’m used to.  Maybe my stomach is already accustomed to these small meals?  For dinner I’m having home-baked tortilla chips (ikr?!) and awesome fresh salsa, and I gave myself a few more chips than a serving as a treat or something, but now I don’t want them; I’m full.  And the last thing I had was celery, like, almost three hours ago.

Next stop:  Sustaining life with only sunlight and water and bloody-mindedness!

(This image is actually slightly appropriate, but only if you’re a huge nerd. The rest of you will just have to settle for enjoying the random pic of a sparkly anime guy. *yay sparkly anime guys!*)

Nice clean successes do in fact happen

Just because it’s nice to report on a success story once in a while, check out this awesome missive sent to me by happy new polyphaser Greg:

Hey PD,
Just wanted to say that I’ve now been on the everyman for over a month and it has settled in.  I’m never tired, i get tired for naps, and I feel awesome.  I’m hoping life lets me keep it up, but even if it does[n't] i will get back on this asap.

Best thing I’ve ever done.  20 hours a day is awesome!

I oversleep here and there but for the majority 4 hours has been what i’ve hit.

Thanks for all your support :)

Woohoo! Nice job, Greg!  (And thanks for your permission to repost your comments!)

(If you have a success story, or even a failure or concern, that you want to share with the Highly Intelligent Masses ’round here, you may certainly email it to me and let me know that you’re okay with “being shared”.  Er…rawr. ;)

old sleep, new sleep, happy sleep, just not too much!

The Efficiency of Sleeping All Day

Yesterday, I lost a whole day to sleeping.

I slept two extra hours in the morning, took probably 5-7 short naps (anywhere from 5 – 30 minutes each), and went to bed two hours early.

I consider this to be an unequivocal victory in the name of efficiency.


Because yesterday I woke up feeling like refried crap, with swollen tonsils, a sore throat and a headache.  My first step, when I woke in such horrible shape, was to drink some hot water with honey and lemon-juice, take some Emergen-C and go back to bed.  (Thankfully, when you get up at 4 a.m., there’s time to take another nice long snooze before work.)  Then I went to work…but by lunchtime I still didn’t feel better, and I knew that if I didn’t want to miss several days of work being sick, then I’d better miss one so that I could get better before it was too late.

The people I work with don’t get this; they all looked at me funny for going home, and then looked at me even funnier when I showed up today with nary a symptom.  What did I do?, they wondered.  Antibiotics?  Magic spells?

No.  Sleep.

File this under “not rocket science”:  Your body’s immune system actually works, most of the time.  It actually knows how to kill bad germs and keep you from getting sick!  But it also works better under certain conditions:  When you’re warm (which is why we get fevers, FYI), when you’re sleeping, and when there’s an abundance of the vitamins and minerals it uses as fuel (Vitamin C, some B vitamins, zinc, etc.).  Sleeping shuts down nonessential functions so that your body can put all its energy into running your immune system and getting well.  Applied liberally and early, there really isn’t much better a medicine than sleep!  (Or a worse one than exhausting yourself during that sensitive time when you’re just “coming down with” a sickness, and it’s still small enough to fight off.)

Yet the average person’s response to “ooh, I’m coming down with an illness” seems to be some variation on “let’s see how long I can keep going before I fall over and am desperately sick for days”.

Me, I like efficiency.  So I’d much rather spend one day being mildly uncomfortable and sleeping and taking vitamins than several days being miserable and taking harder drugs to fight worse symptoms.

Yes, I wasn’t “that sick” yesterday.  That’s the point — to handle the problem while it’s still easier to handle!

So I went home, drank more vitamins and water, and took naps until I couldn’t take ‘em no more.  Mind you, I wake up pretty automatically after 5-30 minutes of sleep (habit!); but I kept either going straight back to sleep, or getting up for more water/vitamins and then going back to bed, until I felt no more tiredness.  (I also grabbed my neti pot, since I could tell the headache was sinus-related and neti really helps battle sinus germs, as studies and experience have both shown.)

By eveningtime I felt much better.  But I still got tired early — at eleven — so I went to bed.  The idea of using sleep as a medicine is to get as much of it as your body wants. Again, it’s not efficient to sleep less today if it means spending all week on your back!

I woke up at four this morning, feeling pretty grand.  My throat is just a leeetle sore, so I’ll keep up with the extra vitamins and, if I start to feel poorly again, I’ll get extra sleep today too (though I bet I won’t need anywhere near as much).

Overall, though, I couldn’t be happier:  I cured what was probably gearing up to be a nasty cold / sinus thing / flu (they’ve been going around, since the hot weather got inexplicably cool this week) for FREE, by sleeping for a day.  Now I don’t have to spend the rest of the week dealing with being sick, and I don’t have to go near a doctor’s office.

Next time you feel bad, in that it’s-not-serious-yet-but-it-will-be way, remember:  The most efficient cure is sleep, and lots of it, and right away. You’ll thank yourself later!

Up, Up, and Today

Good news — I figured out what I want to do with this site, and ahead of the New Year (Chinese and Gregorian), too.  Woot and woot.

Two things were instrumental in the decision:  Twitter, and The Title.

Twitter is a weird little thing that I stayed away from as a potential time-waster, and didn’t expect to like because it’s awfully, well, social.  But I was wrong:  I love it, and it’s awesome at saving me time by allowing me to post little snippets of logos, minor polyphasic musings, and links to neat stuff, without requiring me to prepare either a whole post for a small idea, or to save up small ideas for a big messy post.  Awesome!  So, on the new / redesigned site, my Twitter feed will appear somewhere to keep all those tiny-but-nifty ideas contained and available.

Now, The Title.  The title of this blog, Transcendental Logic, is a phrase that appeals to me on many levels, the obvious (Kantian) one being probably the most minor.  Mostly I like it because it seems to speak, in modern terms anyway, to the intersection of spiritual desire and rational thought — to the questing of people who, like myself, refuse to admit of EITHER a wholly materialistic world OR a foofy one that can’t be talked about without sounding like Mokey Fraggle.  I’ve put more pondering into how to be a spiritually-evolved person without sacrificing intellectual rigor than anything, ever.  So it’s about time I had a website that was mostly about it, yes?

Lastly, I’ve decided that I’ve had enough of my ridicuhuge list of T-Shirt ideas, and I’ve enlisted my marvelous and talented husband to help me do the design work to turn them into wearable, rather than simply enviable, witticisms.  …If I make enough money from them to afford to buy one of each for myself, I’ll consider that a success.  ;)

So, that’s the plan.  There’ll still be polyphasic posts, and probably the occasional unavoidable political or economic rant; and lord knows no website worth its salt (er, are websites worth any salt?  how much salt would you give me for this one, just curiously?) ignores an opportunity to post a neat picture or bit of worthy ‘Net-flotsam.  But overall, the main focus of the longer pieces will go from being "um, hi, I felt like writing a post" to "justifications for having one’s math and praying to it, too".   I plan to take the issues in small bites, if possible, leaving as much room for discussion (or meditation, per your taste) as possible.

Hope you like it!

One more FTEW (For The Everybody Wins)

If you haven’t seen the incoming administration’s detailed agenda for Civil Rights…Save it for a bad moment, because it will make your day.

I mean, I realized that Obama would probably be good on this topic, but this good?  Civil unions and wage parity and Matthew Shepard and sentencing disparities and racial profiling and drug courts and and and and?  I’m having a hard time even thinking of something they missed!  (I’m sure there probably is something, but still.)

Lovely.  Just lovely.


…by Emily Dickinson:

It dropped so low in my regard
  I heard it hit the ground
And go to pieces on the stones
  At bottom of my mind.

Yet blamed the fate that fractured, less
  Than I reviled myself
For entertaining plated wares
  Upon my silver shelf.

…you’ve just got to love Dickinson’s ability to fit at least four big metaphors into barely twice as many lines.  Don’t you?  I do.

Change Dreams


Change.  Dream.  Two words that had a big sloppy mud-flopping orgy throughout the election, but it turns out they’re not done yet — just cleaned up and sobered up and being a little more modest, thank you.


I’ve mentioned the tons of change going on here, and if I didn’t mention, I’m happy about it — I hate to stagnate, even in mostly-acceptable ways — but I should also mention that the change has brought, oh wow brought, some crazy dreams with it.



Elvis met up with me in a diner.  He explained that it was supposed to be a dream-diner and that this was his job now, to be an archetype and appear as needed to fulfill his role, which he seemed quite happy with.  Nice guy.  Then he flirted a lot, because, you know, that is his archetype.  I was left with the impression that I was special, because rather than just dreaming a flirty Elvis, I was deemed capable of and acceptable for receiving an explanation of how the whole archetypal-afterlife system worked.  Elvis really digs philosophers, you know.

Also, my grandmother, the one who’s dying now (maybe I can talk about that later) is apparently a conneseur of Indian food, because she was the one who insisted that I travel way out into the middle of nowhere to meet her, and all the other grandmothers in my family (they’re legion, I’m proud to say) at a restaurant.  There was also one really "hot" blonde guy there, who switched tables to take turns eating with all of us, but we all decided we didn’t like him in the end and just ignored him.


And so on.  It’s been weird.

This probably doesn’t count as having anything to post about, but I’m trying to get back into the swing of actually doing it, so cut me a little slack, heh.  Here, have some more pictures, if it helps.

  [Cool-looking book I ought to read some day]

  [Wii theramin!]