One Huge Lesson in Humility.

Rice, Fried, 1 oz.—33 kcal.

Kilocal. Quant.
Lunch
Nov 19 '14 @ 12:54 PM
'' 59 3
'' 33 14
Lunch
Jun 25 '14 @ 2:54 PM

Waited too long. Really wanted Chinese.

'' 200 1
'' 33 8
'' 210
3/2
Dinner
Jun 04 '14 @ 8:50 PM
'' 59 5
'' 180 1
'' 200 1
'' 33 10
'' 210 1
Lunch
Apr 30 '14 @ 12:00 PM
'' 68 6
'' 33 12
Dinner
Apr 16 '14 @ 8:33 PM
'' 100 5
'' 64 6
'' 33 12
Dinner
Mar 04 '14 @ 8:30 PM

The kids were really tough so I just ordered Chinese, but I didn’t order an entree, just a bunch of ap­pet­izers in small sizes, and left it that. I’m not going to drink today.

My anxi­ety tool is start­ing to work. I’m start­ing to see my anxi­ety and get a little read on how it takes over my life.

'' 100 6
'' 200 1
'' 33
3/2
'' 210 1
Lunch
Jan 31 '14 @ 2:08 PM

Chinese lunch. Really wanted it. Really re­gret­ted it.

'' 200 3
'' 33 8
'' 210 1
Dinner
Jan 27 '14 @ 7:45 PM
'' 100 3
'' 59 4
'' 33 12
'' 24 8
Dinner
Dec 18 '13 @ 8:00 PM
'' 100 1
'' 64 2
'' 33 14
'' 88 1
Dinner
Dec 01 '13 @ 6:47 PM
'' 64 1
'' 1,159
1/5
'' 33 6
Dinner
Nov 02 '13 @ 6:59 PM
'' 100 2
'' 54 2
'' 33 8
'' 95 4
'' 149 1
Dinner
Oct 22 '13 @ 5:38 PM

Friend came over ordered Thai.

'' 300 2
'' 64 3
'' 33 8
Lunch
Oct 09 '13 @ 3:00 PM
'' 100 3
'' 153 1
'' 33 8
Dinner
Oct 06 '13 @ 11:06 PM
'' 64 1
'' 320 1
'' 130
3/2
'' 300 1
'' 18 1
'' 33 8
'' 50 1
'' 64 1
Lunch
Oct 01 '13 @ 12:45 PM
'' 59 3
'' 33 10
Dinner
Sep 26 '13 @ 8:00 PM

Used the rice I made last night. Tons of vegetables.

'' 96 1
'' 300 1
'' 33 16
Lunch
Sep 03 '13 @ 12:58 PM
'' 59 5
'' 200 1
'' 33 12
Dinner
Aug 24 '13 @ 8:30 PM

Lost ap­pet­ite by dinner. Had cer­eal and fried rice. Also re­membered a bad snack on the way home—flavored pret­zels and a snapple. I swear to God it’s like my hands and wal­let move on their own.

'' 320
2/3
'' 220 1
'' 33 5
Dinner
Aug 14 '13 @ 8:16 PM

Thai for dinner. Not a great choice.

'' 59 3
'' 33 12
Dinner
Aug 01 '13 @ 8:19 PM

Get­ting ready and packing. You can really see the carbs slip­ping in all over the place—fried rice and then an ap­pet­izer that had roti (I’m here put­ting it in as Naan). Bread with the Charcuterie, &c. So many carbs.

'' 269
2/3
'' 1,159
1/8
'' 33 12
'' 64 2
Dinner
Jul 25 '13 @ 8:46 PM
'' 9 4
'' 59 3
'' 180 1
'' 198
3/2
'' 100 20/10
'' 33 4
'' 64 1
Lunch
Jul 24 '13 @ 2:19 PM
'' 450
3/2
'' 200 1
'' 150 1
'' 33 10
'' 426
3/4
'' 210 1
Non-event
Jul 20 '13 @ 10:59 AM

Kid’s party, a very small num­ber of treats.

'' 110
1/2
'' 90 2
'' 235
1/2
'' 59 4
'' 15 6
'' 130 3
'' 94 2
'' 33 12
'' 500 1
'' 64 2
Dinner
Jul 14 '13 @ 8:54 PM
'' 300 1
'' 33 12
'' 24 6
'' 210
3/2
Dinner
Jul 05 '13 @ 8:21 PM

Fam­ily here, it was sub­op­tim­al for eat­ing sensibly.

'' 100 6
'' 96 8
'' 130 2
'' 470 2
'' 33 6
'' 426 1
Dinner
Jun 29 '13 @ 8:53 PM
'' 100 1
'' 33 8
'' 64 2
'' 88 1
Lunch
Jun 25 '13 @ 1:09 PM
'' 100
6/5
'' 33 7
Dinner
Jun 18 '13 @ 9:28 PM
'' 33 14
'' 64 3
Dinner
Jun 14 '13 @ 8:31 PM
'' 33 12
'' 64
5/2
Lunch
Apr 25 '13 @ 2:04 PM
'' 100 2
'' 59 1
'' 200 1
'' 33 8
'' 210
2/3
Dinner
Apr 05 '13 @ 8:24 PM
'' 100 1
'' 33 8
Non-event
Apr 04 '13 @ 2:53 PM

Didn’t track today. Prom­ised my­self I would. Going to try to re­con­struct from memory.

Ah, it’s com­ing back, actually. Break­fast was my reg­u­lar breakfast. Lunch was cour­tesy of Bloomberg, and the Bloomberg snack frenzy.

'' 100 1
'' 150
7/5
'' 320 1
'' 60 1
'' 210 1
'' 130 3
'' 90 3
'' 33 10
Dinner
Dec 16 '12 @ 7:58 PM
'' 200
9/5
'' 33 12
Dinner
Nov 17 '12 @ 11:17 PM
'' 96
3/2
'' 33 10
Dinner
Nov 15 '12 @ 11:53 AM
'' 96
3/2
'' 200 1
'' 68 6
'' 33 14
'' 150 3
Dinner
Oct 31 '12 @ 11:33 PM
'' 152 1
'' 110 2
'' 30 5
'' 90 1
'' 33 12
'' 426
2/3
Dinner
Oct 26 '12 @ 8:21 PM
'' 180 1
'' 130 3
'' 33 12
Dinner
Oct 21 '12 @ 8:35 PM
'' 80
7/3
'' 33 12
Lunch
Oct 18 '12 @ 12:53 PM
'' 200 1
'' 33 12
Dinner
Apr 19 '11 @ 8:21 PM
'' 33 16
'' 83 5
Dinner
Aug 04 '10 @ 7:11 PM
'' 102
1/3
'' 450 2
'' 30 1
'' 66 4
'' 150 2
'' 33 6
Lunch
Apr 21 '10 @ 2:07 PM

“Brain Damage,” Olivia Judson, The New York Times, April 20, 2010:

Whatever the causes, the im­plic­a­tions are grave. In the United States today, around one-third of adults are obese. At the same time, de­men­tia is already one of the most costly and dev­ast­at­ing health prob­lems of old age. The pos­sib­il­ity that obesity today will lead to high­er rates of de­men­tia in the fu­ture is, therefore, deeply alarming.

The ob­vi­ous ques­tion is: can obesity-associated brain dam­age be reversed? No one knows the answer, but I am hope­ful that it can. Those two old friends, a health­ful diet and plenty of exercise, have re­peatedly been shown to pro­tect the brain. Foods like oily fishes and blue­ber­ries have been shown to stim­u­late the growth of new neurons, for example. Moreover, one study found that di­et­ing re­versed some of the changes to brain struc­ture found among the obese. Which sug­gests an in­ter­est­ing study. The most ef­fect­ive — and rad­ic­al — treat­ment for obesity is bari­at­ric surgery, whereby the stom­ach is made much smal­ler or by­passed altogether. Do people who have taken this op­tion show a reversal, or at least a slowing, of brain atrophy?

Just ordered Chinese. That will help my brain, I suppose.

'' 30 4
'' 200 1
'' 68 6
'' 33 8
Dinner
Mar 03 '10 @ 9:32 PM

MORE FUCK­ING BAD NEWS.

'' 180 1
'' 96 6
'' 200 1
'' 152 2
'' 108 1
'' 33 24
Dinner
Dec 31 '09 @ 9:10 AM
'' 340 2
'' 1,000 1
'' 33 12
Dinner
Dec 26 '09 @ 8:02 PM

When I slip I slip fast.

'' 100 1
'' 200 1
'' 110
8/3
'' 200 1
'' 90 1
'' 33 16
Dinner
Dec 13 '09 @ 7:11 PM
'' 200 1
'' 68 6
'' 33 12
Lunch
Dec 12 '09 @ 3:13 PM

I ate pep­per steak while I waited for a new wheel to be placed on my bi­cycle to re­place the one I spent three hours tru­ing Thursday night. I de­cided to cal­cu­late how much I pay per mile to ride.

I’d say I’ve put $1,000 into the bike (it cost $450 new, plus two new wheels, tubes, re­placed the drive train and gearing, new brake pads, &c. ) The only ori­gin­al parts re­main­ing are the handle­bars and front fork.

I prob­ably rode 1/4 to 1/3 of the days in the last four years, plus week­end rides and so forth. I star­ted rid­ing around Septem­ber 2006. I know this be­cause on the first day I rode to work I lost a pedal, went to the bikeshop, and met a journ­al­ist who wanted to use me as the thru­line of his story, even though I kept try­ing to in­tro­duce him to real cyclists. It’s in­ter­est­ing to read that and real­ize that I was just start­ing to get ser­i­ous about weight loss, in 2006. It took more than two years after that to really jump down the throat of the problem. Just to edge up to it.

365 days × 3 = 1,095 days × 1/4 = ~250 days riding.

My typ­ic­al ride to work and back is right around 8 miles.

~250 days × ~8 miles a ride = 2,000 miles; in the past six months I’ve put about 400-600 miles on top of that.

So ~$1,000/2,400 miles = $0.417/mile. Let’s go with $0.50/mile.

The sub­way (without discounts), works out to $0.56/mile get­ting me to and from work, but of course if I bought an Un­lim­ited card and took as many rides on the train as I do with the bike the rate would go drastic­ally down. In a very rough back-of-the-envelope way it’s just about as cost-effective to take the bike as it is to take the train. Of course it’s the com­bin­a­tion that’s the best. Noth­ing is bet­ter than know­ing that when my wheel ex­plodes out by the Rock­aways I can be home on the train in an hour. I can’t ima­gine rid­ing any other way. You’d need to carry a spare bike.

I could walk to work. It would take about 90 minutes each way. It would re­quire about $0.50 in calories, perhaps. I bet I could get it down to $0.10/mile on a gruel, as long as you don’t in­clude shoe costs and cloth­ing wear. Hard to get much cheap­er than that.


In the Chinese res­taur­ant there are loud teen girls. “Let’s play who would you date,” says one. The only name I over­hear is that of Zac Ephron. I’ve never seen him but I’ve heard that name. His mer­its are discussed. Other men are discussed. I read Archaeology magazine.

Two men sit down to my right with a boy. The boy wears headphones.

One of the men is big, maybe 380 or 420. The other is normal-sized. The wait­ress comes over; the large man knows her and says hello. He or­ders a pupu plat­ter and a wonton soup with extra scallions—repeating that twice—and a chick­en with broccoli.

“And, um, I’d like a menu,” says his friend.

She brings a menu.

“Excuse me, sir,” says the large man to me. He has a gentle voice. “What do you have there?”

“It’s, uh Fi­nally I remember: “Pepper steak.”

“It looks delicious,” he says.

“I haven’t tasted it yet,” I say. “It seems promising.”

The wait­ress returns. He changes his order from chick­en and broc­coli to pep­per steak. The men’s con­ver­sa­tion is mostly about weight loss and Atkins. The boy keeps listen­ing to his headphones. A woman they know is get­ting bigger.

“You know. They see my progress,” says the big man, “they want to know about it.” So per­haps he is on his way down. He may be doing everything right. I don’t know enough to judge him. He prob­ably shouldn’t be in this restaurant, or­der­ing without a menu, but I definitely shouldn’t be there, and here I am, and here is the restaurant.

The wait­ress passes by and the man or­ders a second soup. The counter in my head starts to spin. It’s none of my busi­ness but I can’t help it. I have de­veloped a fine memory for food eaten. I’ve be­come a gluttonist, an ob­serv­er of gluttony; even more so a forensic gluttonist. Even though I didn’t care to log it last night I can tell you what I ate last night at the of­fice Christ­mas party: three glasses of bour­bon with soda, two beers (both Brook­lyn Lager), one pig in a blanket, shrimp and ava­cado on endive, gouda, half-ounce chunks of two other kinds of cheese not known to me, three sand­wich cookies, three cook­ies with chocol­ate toppings, two mar­zipan cookies, one piece of baklava, twelve nuts, one ve­g­gie straw, one bite of pita with hummus, roast beef on bread, two 3/4-oz chunks of chick­en with a pea­nut sauce, four cigarettes, and no olives. The next party I go to I will sit away from the table. The com­bin­a­tion of drink­ing and a table of salty food is disaster. The com­pul­sion I be­lieve my­self to have wrestled to sub­mis­sion is in­stead in full bloom.

On walk­ing out I al­most for­got to tip.

'' 100 3
'' 150 2
'' 46
1/2
'' 33 8
'' 53 4
'' 210 1
Dinner
Dec 07 '09 @ 7:17 PM
'' 200 1
'' 33 12
'' 83 4
Dinner
Dec 03 '09 @ 8:39 PM
'' 200 1
'' 68 8
'' 33 12
Dinner
Nov 25 '09 @ 7:23 PM
'' 100 3
'' 200 2
'' 10 4
'' 200 1
'' 33 8
Dinner
Nov 22 '09 @ 6:11 PM
'' 200 1
'' 152
4/3
'' 33 16
Lunch
Nov 07 '09 @ 5:24 PM
'' 68 7
'' 33 12
'' 210 1
Dinner
Oct 30 '09 @ 8:00 PM
'' 12 12
'' 200 1
'' 68 8
'' 33 12
'' 103 2
'' 210 1
Dinner
Oct 21 '09 @ 9:33 PM
'' 200 1
'' 68 8
'' 33 12
'' 210 1
Lunch
Aug 22 '09 @ 2:00 PM

I had this crav­ing for Gen­er­al Tso’s all week. So I planned it. Made it nice. Went to a movie, rode my bike to 7th Ave. Humid as it could be, so I was sweat­ing vol­can­ic­ally as I sat down and had my ice water and my tea, alone at my table for two, hop­ing no one saw as I pat­ted my soaked fore­head with an en­flowered paper napkin. I read a science-fiction novel, ordered, waited. And it came, just as I re­mem­ber it. I asked for extra spicy, but it was simply fried.

I don’t want to get huffy like a for­eign ex­change stu­dent back from her time in France, com­plain­ing about the qual­ity of Amer­ic­an food, our awful wine, &c. But as I ate, well—it just wasn’t the ex­per­i­ence I was after. After a few weeks away, it seems, the fried is less a reas­on to live. Also a cal­or­ic nuc­le­ar bomb.

I bi­cycled home in a kind of coma and went to sleep. This used to be—with variations—every Saturday.

Of course I also want to be cut off from that experience. That’s part of the project.

So I won­der how much of the flat af­fect is a de­sire for flat affect, a de­sire to have changed, to no longer love the thing that roun­ded me off so? And how much is a genu­ine di­min­ish­ment in my pleas­ure in the deeply fried and salted and glautam­ated Chinese that I loved for so many dec­ades now, be­cause of be­ha­vi­or change and new habits? I did, of course, clean my plate. But I doubt I’ll go back without an­oth­er month or two in between.

'' 450 2
'' 200 1
'' 150 1
'' 33 10
'' 500 1