Short version: it’s not very good. Long version: click here to read it.
Problems on board the Mandela lead to a dramatic discussion!
NYCC 2012, a set on Flickr.
It’s a glamorous life.
Linda and Del pay a visit.
Before I kick off this series of posts, I want to confess something. I’m still fat. I’m technically obese by the standards set forth by the sort of people that do that sort of thing, and I am in no way an expert at this, but people have asked about my recent weight loss and heck, I have a blog, so i’m going to write about what’s worked for me and what might work for you. Over this series of posts, I’m going to type a lot and it’s all going to basically boil down to one thing: you need to exert more calories than you take in.
Or, in math terms, CALORIES BURNED > CALORIES CONSUMED.
Boy, that looks easy, doesn’t it? It’s a crying shame that for most people, it involves reworking how they view and treat both food and physical activity.
Honestly, I think “diet” is a dirty word, particularly in our culture where there’s dozens of branded ways to permanently break your relationship with food. It’s a crutch, a word that can be blamed when you fail. Now, I’m not going to spend any time trashing things that work for other people — Weight Watchers, in particular, seems to have helped a lot of people I know — but I’ve found that diet alone just doesn’t do it. it creates an adversarial relationship where I end up hate-fucking every meal you choke down until I finally cheat and rediscover the world of delicious, fat-laden foods that aim directly at the pleasure centers of my tiny monkey brain.
So, yeah, none of the “d-word” here. Now let’s get started.
Food Is Not The Enemy
Let’s not demonize the thing that keeps us functioning, OK? Food is pretty fantastic because it allows us to actually enjoy putting fuel into our bodies, something that only the Sex Shuttles of Alpha Proximi get to claim as well. However, there are things that we eat and digest and excrete that look, sound, and feel like food but aren’t: they’re filler.
The quicker you stop viewing things that are handed to you by a jaded high schooler in a drive-through window as something that should be eaten, the quicker you can start getting serious about losing weight and feeling better. For the record, this also includes pretty much every shelf-stable, prepackaged food item out there and thus eliminates 95% of the stuff available in your local convenience store. Yes, it sucks.
Trust me, I would gladly murder any of you for the chance to eat a bag of Cape Cod Salt and Vinegar potato chips without consequences, but those delicious starch wafers are not food, and neither is the Star Crunch snack cake I’d throw into my gaping maw afterwards to cleanse my palate. I’m not even going to pretend that an orange or a baked potato is as delicious, but they’re demonstrably food and not a bundle of empty calories.
You need to look at maximizing the value of what you put into your body, or to explain it in comic book terms, you’re looking more for Claremont/Byrne X-Men issues than Steampunk Palin.
Yes, it takes more time and energy to eat well, but the changes you experience when you forgo convenience foods and actually start ingesting what your body wants while ignoring your stupid brain’s plea for Tacos After Midnight-Flavored Doritos are worth it, trust me.
Bite sized version: food is your friend, filler is your foe.
A gravestone on a gray day.
From the Bioware site’s description of Miranda Lawson, who serves as your second in Mass Effect 2:
Born on Earth, Miranda comes from a wealthy background. However, underneath her opulent upbringing lies a woman who is calm, collected and driven to accomplish her mission, at any cost. She is quick to judge and values her assignments and goals over people. Miranda is also a powerful biotic as well as a tech specialist.
From the original Star Trek pitch document:
Never referred to as anything but “Number One”, this officer is female. Almost mysteriously female, in fact —- slim and dark in a Nile Valley way, age uncertain, one of those women who will always look the same between years twenty to fifty. An extraordinarily efficient officer, “Number One” enjoys playing it expressionless, cool -— is probably Robert April’s superior in detailed knowledge of the multiple equipment systems, departments and crew members aboard the vessel. When Captain April leaves the craft, “Number One” moves up to the acting commander.
From the Mass Effect Wiki entry (which is based on the game and licensed material):
Miranda [Lawson] was born in 2150. As she explains to Shepard, Miranda never had a mother, only a father who is extremely influential, wealthy, and ego-maniacal. Using a modified copy of his own genome, Miranda was genetically engineered to be a specimen of human perfection. Everything, from her intelligence, physical constitution, biotic abilities, to her appearance were designed before birth to be excellent
From Vulcan’s Glory, a licensed novel by Star Trek series writer D.C. Fontana:
In the four years she had served [Pike] as first officer, first on the old Yorktown and then on the new Enterprise, she had carried out her duties with a precision and perfection he had never seen in anyone else. In fact, perfect was exactly the adjective he applied to her at all times.
(And yes, I know, but I read it when I was 15 or so and it stuck in my head and it was cheap on the Kindle and hey, I occasionally read junk media tie-ins too.)
I also — and I can’t recall where, and I even went through several of the licensed comics along with DC’s Who’s Who In Star Trek — could swear that genetic engineering was added to Number One’s backstory at some point. It’s fascinating that these similarities seem so blatant to me, considering the efforts that the Mass Effect writing team have made to differentiate themselves from other franchises. Their physical appearance is, at least to me, very close and that’s particularly interesting as Miranda’s appearance is based on her voice actress, Yvonne Strahovski, who some of you might know from Chuck and Number One was, of course, played by Majel Barrett.
I’ll just shut up now. OK?
Sitting in Diesel Cafe, the first chunk of the day’s work done, thumbing this on my iPad as girls 15 years younger than me wear sweaters that girls from 20 years ago would have worn to those parties in basements with the red Silo cups walk by, cool pieces of too-hip miserablism despite the fact they live in an era where disease and nature have been browbeaten into innocuous shadows of their former raging selves and the worst thing they have to worry about on a daily basis isn’t death or crime or terrorism (no matter what the news says) but whether or not they can afford a new article from H&M that will dissolve into its component parts at the end of the season as if made from gossamer by fairies instead of from cheap cotton by Thai housewives.