The Real Thing

Star Wars, despite its title, is not an accurate depiction of the battles between the Rebel Alliance and the Imperial Empire. They are undoubtedly cyphers around the underlying  narratives of love, devotion and loyalty. I also reckon George Lucas is a Lover, and not a Fighter as a result. I know there’s been a lot of muttering about The Mandalorian, many of them based around the concept being too much western and not enough sci-fi.

This is the first time I’ve seen at least that someone’s pulled the military tactician card. Of course, they’re applying 21st Century Tactical Ability to a show that’s… you know, set in space, where doing the exact opposite of what happens on Earth could easily be considered as military genius. The fact someone’s applying their labels to this approach is increasingly where we are in fiction: this is the state of play.

Communication is becoming a Problem.

I wonder, is this statement is blanket, or does it depend on the person speaking. I don’t have any more context, just this one line, which I feel needs a bit more meat on its bones, but frankly at this stage I’d feel genuinely afraid to approach the author. If we were in the same room, face to face, that would not be the case. Instead, as this is Social media and I am not a mutual, it remains a retweet and no more.

The means by which I am able to learn about diversity right now is dependant on quite a strict set of rules as a result: mostly, I listen. I am often afraid that what is said and done could not be interpreted as the support I’m trying to show but in fact the exact opposite. I’ll look superior, or act as if that’s how things ought to be, and that’s why quantifying a lot of queries right now is becoming something of a worry.

How do you ask questions you never had until now without looking like an idiot?

A lot of it, of course, comes with time and patience. If I’d have waited and watched, this tweet would have appeared and given me context. Following this person, listening to their tweets should, in time, give a decent grasp of what it is they’re attempting to communicate. The biggest single issue with so many of us right now is not taking those vital moments to stop and think. The author, I’d say, is worth following too, if he was prepared to offer what was required for better comprehension.

The reality of life right now is that doing this, thinking through what we see and read becomes increasingly difficult on top of everything else being asked. Someone I really like unfollowed me overnight, and I’m fairly confident that my output over the last few weeks will have been the reason. It’s been political, controversial for some. I could ask for the real reason, it would be really easy.

However, I’m not sure I will end up liking what’s heard as a result.

I did that once. A person I really enjoyed reading, and interacting with, cut me off so suddenly that I had to ask why. That email is kept, printed out, as a salutary warning: sometimes, your heroes are the villains. The people who play a certain role because it keeps people interested are, in reality, nothing like what you wish they were. They end up knowing that what you are is not what they want in their lives.

Trying to work out the reason for that is pointless: it goes back to that word, ‘tolerance.’ Eventually they grasp that perhaps you don’t belong in their feed: too preachy, not fun enough, don’t get the point of the way they use their platform… because it is their platform. They are the main point of it. Everybody else is there because they allow them to be. Is it pedantry, or is it arrogance? Is there even a difference online?

It doesn’t matter. All that matters, in the end, is how it is said.

kindness

I read something yesterday that was amazed at how those who advocate kindness can then be so angry and combative when challenging other’s opinions. Passion, I realise, is not a good emotion to try and demonstrate in a text-based medium. Undoubtedly, people just look at you and decide you’re angry instead. So, if you want to communicate better in the modern world..? Learn how to make your points in 280 characters or fewer… 

Before you reply, consider the consequences of your words. Pedantry is becoming an art form. Everybody’s looking for that unique angle, when what really ought to happen is honesty. You can do it without starting a fight, if it’s done well, with thought and application. Most importantly, you can be kind and still make your point. It just takes more thought than many people can afford to spare online.

That’s what I need to work on going forward.

Sail Away

This record is broken, yet people keep playing it. That’s the stupid white fuckers who don’t grasp that there’s a problem here. It’s existed since… well, I reckon you could find lots of places where history shows up stupid white people for what they are. The one I enjoy the most is when Henry VIII decided to make his own religion because the Catholics refused to indulge his clearly massive male ego. 

White people trampled all over lots of places in the name of progress. The superiority complex of our ancestors was staggering, including ensuring their religion was more important than anything else the indigenous populations could provide. Stupid white people have caused a phenomenal number of historical flashpoints, and continue to do so, but it’s okay now because we put a diversity tick-box on our form.

Seriously, who are you people trying to fool?

elmo

Government is being run by people who look, walk and talk like racists. Large organisations are full of them. They turn up on TV shows and try and convince people that if they’re not racist, there’s obviously not a problem. That’s not how this works, it’s NEVER EVER worked like this. This is Social media assuming that they’re somehow speaking for people they’ve never met, interacted with or even tried to respect.

White people can’t see past the end of their streets, their Facebook groups, their own self-importance, and yet when challenged on their desire to improve the World for people other than themselves? We don’t need to. We’re not racist. We employ everybody, as long as they’re born in the UK. We have diversity, as long as it’s not foreign workers taking our jobs. Some of those immigrants are white too, so we can’t be racist, right?

I am, as a result, part of this problem. As of right now, that changes.

jokerhi

White people don’t get to say if they’re racist or not. That’s the job for those people who are having to put up with our shit, day in and day out. They are the ones WHO GET TO TELL US how fucking dire this all is and we get to listen and MAKE SHIT BETTER. That’s how this works. You work for improvement: read wider, find diverse voices, listen to the things that matter to them and PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF YOUR FUCKING DEITY OF CHOICE do not then assume you’re suddenly ‘not racist’ anymore.

That is not your pronouncement to make: on a TV show, on Twitter, wherever. You don’t get to say there isn’t a problem. Sorry, we all lost that right a very long time ago. If you wanna blame anyone, go do all that ancestry shit and work out which one of your white forefathers thought they were better than the rest of the fucking planet. They were wrong. We still are.

Until everyone accepts there’s a problem, this never goes away.

This country will remain racist as a result.

Imagination

Planning is everything, they say. All of us who wear these belts are in a social group together, via the proprietary app. Yesterday morning the class trainer took part in the 45 minute version, managing to pull up an impressive 30 minutes in red. Seeing this was hugely helpful: it meant there was potential to run well. I also fuelled with some intent, meeting protein goal at lunchtime, in one hit.

We’ve spoken about aerobic threshold before, last night was all about managing the anaerobic threshold: normally 85% of heart-rate or 75% oxygen intake. Going too far into yellow is tricky for me, because exhaustion has pretty much followed whenever it’s happened. However, stamina training which the last few weeks represents gave me an interesting plateau to run in, and I didn’t stop to ‘recover’ between transitions.

I was exercising before each new round of exercise was supposed to start, so heart-rate did not drop. This ended up not as a HIIT class, but an exercise in endurance. However, form dropped significantly, especially at the end, and if I tried to duplicate this as a run I severely doubt 42 minutes would be doable. What it does show however is that with the right conditions, I’m in a new place.

Question is, can I prove this to confirm that is in fact the case…?

gym_time

Not gonna lie, I’m tired this morning, in a way that means a nap will be scheduled later in the day. This is a new and interesting World I find myself within, and potential is not going to be squandered. Day 15’s cross on the back of my shirt for RED January will not just signify almost halfway in my journey, but will serve as the testament to not only hard work, but sticking to a healthy diet.

All this shit really does work when you put it together.

Down Down

Undoubtedly, exercising every day is a contributing factor to this change. However, it is not the only way I am losing weight. There is some quite diligent calorie counting going on, which is making a real difference not only to my mood, but also to energy levels. It’s taken since October however to get to this stage. Three months. If you are lucky enough to be able to shift a pound a week, I salute you. 

We need to talk about calories for a bit.

View this post on Instagram

Double tap if you LOVE to feel good without the stress 🔥 . Calorie counting can be a useful on a few occasions, like if your diet is full of confusing calorically-dense processed foods, if you genuinely don't have a sense of the energy content of food and are trying to educate yourself, or you're counting to push past a weight loss plateau and have stalled. . One problem is that calorie counts on labels can be misleading. Some of those calories are not fully digested (1), while the energy estimation itself can be off. Legally, labels can have a high margin of error—up to 20 percent—for the stated value versus actual value. That means a 100-calorie snack could contain up to 120 calories, and your attempt at a 1500 calorie day could actually mean 1800 calories! . I propose a better alternative. Real food. Intuition. 😍 . On the right, I have a satiating meal of cauliflower, sweet potato, eggs, and cucumbers, which is not only going to be less calorie dense, but more satiating due to the higher amounts of fiber, water, and protein found within, as compared to the bagel with cream cheese on the right. I don't add a lot of extra oils and fats, save for a nice splash of EVOO for both flavor and health. 🤤 . The amount of calories on each side is actually nearly identical, but notice how much more volume is in the meal on the right side! . Hall et al. recently showed that when we stick to unprocessed foods, we are more inclined to eat to our maintenance calorie intake naturally, or even encourage a deficit (holla, weight loss!), whereas ultra-processed foods are highly palatable and naturally promote weight gain. (2) . Refs: 1: https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/138/9/1741S/4750849 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22760558 2: https://osf.io/preprints/nutrixiv/w3zh2 . Happy Thursday. ❤️ Max • • • • • #iifym #flexibledieting #nutrition #macros #protein #calories #caloriecounting #cleaneating #gains #weightloss #mincir #fitfood #perdredupoids #myfitnesspal #mfp #instafit #healthyfood #physique #healthyeating #shredded #maigrir #pertedepoids #wellness #instaregime #reequilibragealimentaire #iifymgirls #plantbased #muscle #abs #healthylifestyle

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I appreciate the sentiments in this Instagram post. It is all basic education: ultra processed foods are bad, eating simply beats just about everything. However, certainly for someone like me, eating nothing but ‘real’ food is the number one, sure fire way of me ending up bingeing. In simplest terms, I need some processed stuff from time to time. The bigger trick is how that’s balanced, and this is why calorific value needs to matter.

I count myself in the ‘weight loss has stalled’ category because it did. Past tense. Now that issue is being addressed, switching to what might be considered ‘real’ food in this definition has potential to send me right back to where I started. The discipline of having to work to a specific target is, like it or not, really quite beneficial to keep everything on the straight and narrow. Also, smart people don’t need a calculator to do calories.

We have apps for that.

thatsbait

Protein shakes have been hugely helpful to maintain strength gains and restrict calorific intake. There are more vegetables and fruit, lean meat, more experimentation with what is enjoyable, but undoubtedly there are days when all I mentally can handle is picking up a packet from a shelf and sticking it in an oven. Then life becomes an Instagram post where I’d shove the real food on the left and a ready meal on the right with the caption ‘You can still be healthy without being righteous.’

There is too much preaching to the gallery going on right now. There are so many ways to get fit and healthy, and none of them are the ‘right’ way, they’re all part of the same game plan. Telling people you’re way is the only way isn’t just dangerous, it’s damaging because this isn’t about someone just doing what they’re told to be healthier. This is about opening your own mind and accepting the understanding that has to happen.

If you don’t grasp the consequences of not getting healthy, nothing will ever work.

dumbledoreshadenoughofyourshit

I got a very useful, inescapable wakeup call late last year. I might look healthy on the outside, but inside that was anything but the truth. When I go back to the Doctors in a fortnight it is with the knowledge that yes, my mentality finally changed. Just exercising is not enough. There needs to be a fundamental understanding not just of the outside of your body, but the inside too. Unless they’re BOTH fit, you are fooling yourself.

If it really matters, calorie counting is a good start. Seeing a doctor and checking your cholesterol levels is also worthwhile. You know that shit they tell you that before starting any new health regime you should do just that? It is. Go talk to someone who knows what’s going on inside you whilst you sort the outside stuff. If there’s one thing to do for yourself this year, it should be that.

Then, you can work out what will be best for YOU to get healthier.

No Time to Die

It has potential, certainly. My daughter has her album on repeat, right now. Knowing how much this young women detests objectification, I look forward to seeing the video…

She would not have been my first choice, however.

Maybe when you reboot it, AGAIN. :D

[Still think it should go to TV…]

Good Enough

You and I both know how this works: the rando who pops up from someone else’s Followers when that pithy Tweet you were quite proud of gets retweeted and HATES YOU. You’re just WRONG and that’s the end of it. Forget reasonable discourse, it’s never happening, and the least you can hope for is to escape without being dogpiled. The answer is simple: block. Don’t discuss it in committee, press the button and admit defeat.

Except, more and more, I block people who unfollow me, so if they want to come back they’ll need to make another account. This might seem a bit severe, but it really isn’t. That whole ‘Twitter appears to have unfollowed you’ bug never existed, but the force-unfollow is one of the oldest tricks in any pro Tweeting arsenal. Some people you keep on the list but mute for a quiet life. We all know the rules.

If you don’t want to listen now, I doubt you’ll ever want to listen at all.

embarassing

The block also means that if someone changes their account name, you’re still blocking them regardless, which is really useful for those creepy dudes who just say they’re mates when in reality they’re pretending you’re in a relationship with them. These are the perils of modern living, of course, where at least a working knowledge of basic psychology is required in order to make it through a working day unscathed.

Occasionally, a fight is worth your time, but it is an awful lot to do with knowing who’s potentially receptive or not. I’ve garnered a fair few follows from that kind of initial interaction, but now would certainly never use it as a means to make myself known. There are easier and less stressful ways and means to find friends than to poke them with virtual pointy sticks. The days of liking a good scrap are a memory.

Not distant yet, but certainly getting there.

youknowwhen

There are better things to do with my time now, that much is apparent. A confidence is emerging that doesn’t need me to use social media as much as was previously the case. Sure, it’s still fun to dip in and out of, but I should never be beholden to the faceless. The only way true, lasting progress is made is when I’m able to feel confident that what’s being done is the right path to walk, and right now it so totally is.

Block, and admit defeat.

Relax

And Lo, it was Sunday.

Honestly, this is a very strange headspace right now. Last night’s dreams were full on 100% Guilt Edged Wish Fulfilment Exercises. I cycled for nearly an hour last night, at levels that are now close to where body was fitness wise two years ago. There are undeniable signs of body-wide fat loss. Is it really possible that all of this has come as a result of daily, focussed exercise?

focus_rock

Yes, it is. No mystical teas, or diets, or ridiculous new age flim flam. Fucking hard slog, every day, so that twelve days feels like about three months, if truth be told. First breakthrough was Thursday, only because it then became apparent my brain had got the memo that sleeping longer because I’m knackered will have unexpected fringe benefits. Last night’s dreams are absolutely the product of a well-fuelled imagination.

This is the point I wanted to be post Mslexicon, if truth be told. However, I wasn’t physically fit enough. Now that’s being addressed, everything else appears to be falling into place. Parts of me are still scared, of course: that’s only to be expected. New things are frightening. However, if you do them long enough, and try and learn about yourself whilst that happens, you have more than enough to help combat inability.

twist.gif

That means this is quite enough time sitting in front of a computer. I wanna try and run further than has ever been managed. There’s a fairly significant application form to be filled in before bedtime. Then, as washing clothes is no longer a national emergency, I could have some time to archive old work and start on some new things. However, nothing takes place until I move.

Moving is the best thing.