Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Neat! I'll be eagerly awaiting it

I stumbled across this wikipedia entry describing a game going by the name Spore. The game was created by Will Wright, the creator of Sim City.

Anyone who knows me know I used to be very involved in the Creatures community, and I've always had an interest in artificial intelligence, and artificial life. Spore seems to me to be a very interesting concept. Its not out yet, but was previewed at E3. I'm wondering what its hardware requirements are going to be. This might be one of the few games that will prompt me to get a new graphics card for my computer (despite the fact that I have a rather current processor and main board, my display adaptor actually lags behind a couple generations...)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Saturated Fat and Trans Fat

Recently, the government has made a requirement for food labels to show how much trans fat is in a product. I have known for years that margarine was not a healthy substitute for butter, due to the partially hydrogenated oils. This article goes in depth to explain the different types fats, their links to heart disease, benefits and pitfalls of those fats. Interestingly, polyunsaturated fats are another one you should avoid, with a couple exceptions (Certain omega-3 and omega-6 acids are essential, and you do need them to maintain good health)

I feel somewhat vindicated that trans fat has finally been given the attention it deserves.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Magic Cures

Reading this comic made me think for a moment. My wife uses the product (airborne) they are alluding to. She seems not to have caught as many colds or the flu since she's started. To me, it seems silly. I don't get sick frequently anyway, and all it is is Vitamin C in a fizzy potion. You can get that in your diet, or failing that, take a small pill. Better than trying to choke down a citrusy Alka-Seltzer.

So many things out there are said to cure all of life's problems. Just look at the vast array of weight loss supplements to see for yourself. In 1 hour of TV viewing, I see at least half a dozen commercials for some "magic pill" that will "melt the pounds off in an instant", only $39.99 per pill and because its so expensive, you absolutely have to be serious about your weight loss. Sure. All the magic pills in the world won't fix the one problem: You're locked into a cycle of unhealthy eating, fad diets, more unhealthy eating, expensive magic pills, another fad diet (South Beach this time?) and back to more unhealthy eating.

Here's a hint: If you're serious about your weight loss, you'll lose the weight. Losing weight is simple: Take in fewer calories than your body needs. Its that simple. No magic pills, no special diets. Eat what you want, just don't go overboard. It works. I'm seeing the results of it, now. As an added bonus, its sustainable!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Weight Experience

At one point in my life, after a divorce, I was at 135lbs. I was actually within my healthy weight range. I soon sparked a relationship with a wonderful woman whom 2 years later would become my wife. A the time I met her I was out of a job, but managed to get a job a few months later due to a confluence of lucky things coming together at once.

Again, I was comfortable in my newfound position, I was employed, and I could afford to live normally again. I (inexplicably) put on more than 50lbs in what seemed like an overnight timeframe. My girlfriend didn't care, and hardly seemed to notice. Worried tha this gain may have been caused by a metabolic issue, and not just simply uncontrolled, unabaited gorging on fast food (Its cheap, close, convenient and easy...) I visited a doctor to explain I had put on weight and not sure why.

The response floored me. He simply responded: "What? You want me to put you on a diet?"

If I wanted to be "put on a diet" I certainly would not be wasting my money on a Dr's appointment. He checked my vitals, gave me some aweful blood pressure medication that totally screwed up my electrolyte balance, and sent me on the way with my requested blood tests.

Everything came back normal, My cholesterol was normal, no metabolic issues. At this point, I was on a quest to figure out a non-metabolic reason for my gain. I tried a few diets, succeeded only a little before deciding that I was deprived and fell of the wagon. Eventually my girlfriend, then fianceƩ introduced me to Weight Watchers. She just joined, because she was getting married, and wanted to thin down for her pictures. I stuck with it for several months, but fell off the wagon (About 1 year and 1 month ago) I just simply lived my life, shrugged, and accepted my situation. It didn't dawn om me until we had a physical recently how much I had gained. Again, greeted by another unfriendly person in the medical profession and his scale.

I stepped on it. I Blinked. I looked at it with one eye, then with the other. It couldn't be. I couldn't possibly be over 250 lbs. No way! Not me!

It was no wonder why I was having difficulty putting on my shoes and socks, and even doing simple things such as bending and stooping to get at something off the ground. This time, I'm determined to fight this and get back to where I need to be.

Although I was and am obese. My cholesterol was always in control, and my general condition was good. Until I dropped that first 15 lbs I had no idea what I was missing. I can't wait to see whats in store for me. As far as BP goes, once I got off the meds for depression and stopping smoking, that too dropped, but I was still 260 lbs.

I still hold a grudge against that doctor, though and only had 1 visit. I'll never visit another doctor like that. Whether I'm fat or thin.

I had a taste of what it was like to be at a healthy weight. I want to get back there.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

6 Things you really don't want to know about fast food

This article goes through some facts about fast foods. Some is not surprising, some is shocking. Over all, its not really that shocking, chicken picks up beef from the grill and is processed into a chicken-like substance, shakes have gelatin in them. I did find the fact that fries are "meat" flavored surprising, but what I found disgusting was the health violations. I would certainly hope that most reasonable establishments are a bit more food safety conscious than the ones described.

Another article paints McDonald's fries in a bit darker light. I don't know how much truth there is in this, but it may explain why no one I know can make home made fries as crisp.