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Free from Sugar Free

Well, I made it—30 days with little sugar. Here's a quick review of the experiment parameters.

I had no desserts except for some sugar-free jello and pudding, and I tried a little sugar-free candy and cookies a few times. There was sugar in some of my meals, but I avoided it as much as I could. I didn't do things like pancakes and syrup, and aside from two bowls of Frosted Mini Wheats during the whole month I stayed away from cereal.I tracked the calories in everything I ate, using the myfitnesspal app. I stayed under the 2,140 recommended calories every day, often by at least a couple hundred calories.To increase my base metabolic rate and try building lean muscle I did about a 15-minute bodyweight workout routine each morning. I have been pretty faithful about this since June. I also continued running the usual three days a week, including three half marathons on the weekends.I increased my protein intake to 120 grams a day, with more on the days I did running.
The results:

Th…

Day 23

Just a quick update on the Great Sugar Experiment. It's day 23 and I've still been able to stick to the rules. Interestingly, even with no added sugar or desserts I am still averaging around 50 grams of sugar a day just in the meals I'm eating. It's well below the 80 g allowed by the app (more on the days I run), but you can see how things are not the greatest in the modern diet. There have been a few serious temptations, like when Katie made brownies and frosting from scratch, but I have persevered. There are actually some good sugar-free desserts like Jello pudding that I've been enjoying. And, of course, fresh fruit.

I've also been sticking with the protein goal as well, getting at least 120 g almost every day. I've also done my basic strength exercises six days a week and run three times per week (including half marathons the last three Saturdays). And I haven't yet gone over the total calories I supposedly need to meet my goal of dropping a few pou…

You're the Best

I think we all need to feel superior to other people in some way. Not necessarily anything big, but in small, everyday experiences. It's more psychological security than anything malicious, and if we learned the ways other people felt superior to us we would probably laugh.

I just had one of those experiences when I used a public restroom and the water that was coming out of the sink was warm. For some weird reason I almost always wash my hands with cold water, even in the winter. It probably goes back to my weird ideas about choosing to experience discomfort.

(Tangent: I swear I've posted about this before, but I can't find it. One of the things I like about running, especially if it's too cold or too hot to be sensible, is that it exposes me to uncomfortable conditions that we don't experience very often in life. We're so used to constant comfort that having to experience any real hardship would be even more difficult for us. So I strap on the ice spikes and …

The Great Sugar Experiment

Well, it seems I've posted about this before here and here. But I've been worried about my weight again lately, in part due to a very long course of Prednisone (like 8 months), which causes an appetite increase and subsequent weight gain. So that number was ticking up a little more than I would have liked, and I thought I'd give it another shot to go without sugar. I started that on August 26, with the goal of lasting one month. This time, however, there are a couple different goals in play here.

First, I wanted to stop having any sugary treat or dessert. I'm not worrying as much about the sugar that is in the meals I eat, but I'm not adding sugar to anything, and I'm avoiding things I know are high in sugar like most breakfast cereal.

Second, I came across an article online discussing protein intake for runners, and after a little more research discovered that I'm definitely on the low end of what I should probably be getting. A couple months ago I also go…

Dreams of Song and Death

Last night I dreamed that I had won a contest of some sort to have dinner with Marian Call, a singer I like. We went to dinner, and she asked if I like pasta, and I said of course I do. Then it seems like the dream skipped the dinner, and we walked back to a run-down apartment where she lived. There I discovered that she had nine children, for some reason. They were running around being noisy, but they seemed like good kids.

She went into the bathroom, and it seemed like she was really struggling with something in there. Then she started yelling at her kids from within the bathroom, and I eventually decided I should go. I was down the steps outside when one of the older kids came down and sadly announced that she had died. It was pretty upsetting, and more than a little weird.

The other thing I remember was that she sang a song to or about Donald Trump and changed the words to a criticism of his administration. The tune was her song called Coffee by Numbers (go listen; it's great…

Average Is Best

Mediocrity is wonderful. Well, I mean being average in some areas.

I often reflect that I wouldn't really want to read minds, because knowing exactly what other people think about us would only result in arrogance or depression. (I feel like I've posted on this before, but I couldn't find it.) Similarly, I believe that people who are rich or extremely attractive must have a hard time judging the motivations of people in their life.

This might sound weird, but I hope my girls grow up to be average-looking. Since we still place an inordinate emphasis on appearance, and women are still at a societal disadvantage when it comes to finding a spouse, I hope they grow up to simply look like normal women. If they are too attractive they will get too much attention from people who may not actually care about them as people, which creates additional challenges in their lives. And if they are too unattractive that makes having relationships a challenge. If they are in the comfortable …

Back to Cool

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With the beginning of the new school year, it's time to reflect on the kids and how they're growing.

Sam started seventh grade. He's finally decided to dress a little nicer than warmup pants every day, so that's nice (though a bit more expensive). It's taking a little adjusting for him to get used to a schedule of different classes at different times, but I imagine he will learn some time management skills which he sorely needs. He's definitely growing up and has been especially helpful lately playing with the younger kids when we need help getting things done.
Allison is in third grade, and this will be her first year without Sam there at school too. She's always concerned about other kids and was talking this morning about helping kindergarten kids know when the bell rang so they could get to class. It seems like she's rising to the responsibility a bit, and we've been working on having her treat Clara extra nicely. When she would react poorly to …