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Since I've started the Slim-Fast thing, I've been doing a lot of cup-o-broth at work to help tide over the hunger pangs. Te3chnically it's a bit more than broth, as I usually add some spices to it like garlic powder, chives, and hot sauce, but the important thing is that I usually heat up the water in my mug by putting it in the microwave.

Our microwave at work has a turntable, which means that the cup rotates. Not a big deal, except that I started noticing that there was a significant percentage of the time that when it was done heating, the handle of the cup was always turned toward the back of the microwave.

For some reason, this bugged me. The placement of the handle should be a relatively rando occurrence, and it was always in the back half of the oven. In my mind, this indicated to me that my basic assumption of randomness was suspect.

And in a rapid succession of d'oh moments, I realized that indeed, the behavior was anything BUT random:

1.) The platter always rotates at the same speed.
2.) I always put the cup in with the handle facing the door.
3.) I always set the time for 2 minutes, 30 seconds.

Indeed, the behavior is almost completely deterministic. So I started fiddling around, and discovered that the rotational speed of the platter is about 5-6 seconds per revolution. And I finally hit on the magic number: 2:50. This brings the handle back to almost exactly the same position in which I placed it.

Yes indeed, I put the anal in analysis.

In other news: the whole chicken broth thing is getting a little old. Beef broth is a nice departure, and I have various spices to add to give it more flavor, but variety is something that I need. So I just added a half-teaspoon of peanut butter to some chicken broth to see if I'd like it-- I love asian chicken stuff which has nut butter and coconut milk-- and I'll be dipped, it's actually pretty good.

Of course, post-it notes are starting to look edible.

Also, that initial huge variance of my new bathroom scale seems to have calmed down. I suspect that there was a breaking-in period, both for the mechanical parts of the scale and the way that I stand on it. Now that there is more consistency, the numbers are actually making more sense. Still not enough data to mark trends except a general downward direction, even through Thanksgiving. And since it's an inherently non-linear process, I don't have a good idea as to rate of loss, though I'm tending toward a pound a week as a target.

There are a couple of problems with that: First, to reach my primary goal weight, I'd have to maintain that pace for something like four years.

So remember Jared Fogle, the subway guy? From Snopes:

He lost 94 pounds in the first three months; after he added
exercise (mostly walking) to his diet regimen, he dropped 245
within a year. His current 190 pound weight suits his
6-foot-2 frame. (He put ten pounds back on after he discovered 180
was too thin for him.)

Dude lost 245 lbs in a year. Eating Subway. Christ on a rubber crutch.

Oh, yeah... second problem is that the medication that I'm currently on actually promotes weight gain. That may change after the next visit to the doctor, which will likely lead to my going to an injectable medication, which isn't insulin. It's evidently a hormone that affects the digestive response, and it has a side effect of weight loss in overweight patients. And it's made from Gila monster spit.

Of course, part of that comes from the severe nausea.

I have actually been getting more exercise lately, mostly walking with the pooch. I try and make that a daily occurrence, with weather being the limiting factor, and I've been lengthening the walks and quickening the pace as of late, or as much as I can in between sniff stops. I'm still a long way from the peak walkies of a couple of years ago, where a two-hour stroll was a reasonable expectation. Currently a half-hour is pretty much it, and finding the time for that is difficult.

Yeah, I know. Make time for it. Fuck you, inner voice.

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April 2012


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