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I've started rebuilding my life after the fire, and will be resuming past projects and work on life goals ASAP. I'm happy to have settled back into a house, but there is still much to do; I am currently contracting (in a field not related to my intended career) and I'm finding it hard to make time to learn and grow in Web Software Development. Working at doing what I don't want to be a career is hard enough - while continuing during free time with what I want to make my career is all the more difficult.

I am still looking, and in between my contract job and the skills building exercises I do still apply where I can. If anyone actually reads these blog posts - I am looking for work as a software developer, so let me know if you know of hiring happening anywhere. I'm open to programming in any language, and am confident that I can learn new frameworks quickly.

I'm hopeful that things will start looking up for me in my life. I had thought that I had everything sorted and I was ready to build a life out of it, but it didn't turn out that way and I'm here again climbing from the ground up.

 

My life has been running out of control recently. A string of hard times followed by bad luck has moved me, temporarily, out of my apartment; there was a fire that has managed to irreparably burn all of the material possessions that meant the most to me. I've moved myself and what I could immediately salvage to a place where I don't feel at home. My updates to this site, my git profile, and all other projects will be suspended indefinitely while this gets sorted out.

This is as a terribly disheartening development to a relatively quick succession of what I can only describe as bad luck. I feel less and less in control of my own existence, and so it is with regret that I halt these updates and all related work for the time being.

 

That is all.

 

The Keto diet started swimmingly, and I started losing weight at a steady pace almost immediately. I felt great, had energy, and generally felt satiated quite easily. It worked successfully as a body 'hack' to start metabolizing stored fats and it shows that I have, indeed, lost visible weight. That being said, I have hit a wall in my weight loss and with it has come side-effects that I cannot explain. I routinely drink at least 4 liters of water throughout the day, I get roughly 4,000 mg of sodium along with other electrolytes, and in general me other micronutrients are within acceptable parameters.

These side-effects have manifested in constant diarrhea, intermittent stomach pain that gets unbearable, and it is not uncommon to not be able to keep my Ketoproof Coffee breakfast down. As I said above, the weight loss has come to a standstill having lost ~20 lbs. These unexplained side effects have become to much to bear, and so I have decided to wean off of the Keto diet and lifestyle. I don't have a dietitian, nor do I have the time nor the money to see one. I've been experiencing these problems for well over a week in increasing severity. 

This is all disappointing to myself more than anyone else. I was doing so well before these problems started, which may be related to gallstones (but I'm not certain).

So, I've started this new diet; I've opted to try to lose weight and overall be healthier on the Keto Diet. On this diet, my caloric intake comes mostly from Fats and Proteins (it is, by definition, a "high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate" diet), which means that I've effectively cut all sugar out of my diet. That doesn't mean I can't have sweet things, it just means that the sweetness can't come from sugar. Sucralose, Stevia, and Erythritol are all good alternatives to sugar, and to be honest my mood has noticeably improved over the 6 days so far that I've been doing Keto.

"Lose weight by eating more fats?" you might ask. Yes, that is effectively the gist. Normally people (in North America, at least) get the majority of their calories from processed and natural sugars. Your body priorities this as a source of calories because, well, it's easier than metabolizing fats. The intent, or 'theme', of the Keto diet is to starve your body of the Carbohydrates that it may be used to metabolizing, so much so that it looks at the fat content in your diet and says "OK, well I guess I'll take what I can get" and starts to break down fats for calories. When your body gets used to metabolizing fats and used to having a lack of carbohydrates, you will find it easier to wean down your calorie intake. This is because as you gradually ingest less fats your body looks at it's fat stores and says "hey, I can use that!", and so weight loss is achieved.

Effectively you're forcing your body into a starvation mode; NOT from lack of food or nutrients but through acclimatizing the body to burning fat for fuel and then burning the fuel that has been stored. It's kind of a biological hack, though many people switch to Keto diets on a permanent basis. I've even read that permanently switching to Keto has helped Type 2 Diabetics avoid having to medicate for insulin deficiency (which effectively "cures" Type 2 Diabetes). As a self-titled tinkerer and hacker, I think this is all very exciting and fascinating. I'm still learning a lot about the science behind it all and ways to keep true to the diet, so many of the terms in this post may, in fact, be incorrect. I apologize for any misinformation that this post may cause.

I've heard, both from online accounts and from fiends that have done the Keto diet, that fundamentally changing your metabolism like this causes your body to become satiated more easily (from the months of calorie intake from rich fats and proteins). So once you've made the transition it becomes easier to stay on target.


Now with all this being said, the transition is by no means an easy one and you have to keep exhaustive track of your nutrient intake throughout the day. The challenge becomes to both find the "macros" that your body requires, and then to adhere t them as closely as possible.

These "macros" are calorie intake from carbohydrates, from fats, and from proteins. Too much carbohyrate and you're out of ketosis, burning carbs and storing fats (gaining weight). Too many proteins and your body uses those for fuel and stores fats (gaining weight). Too little protein and you're losing muscle mass (getting weaker). Too many fats and your body burns what it needs to and stores the rest for later consumption (gaining weight).

The last one of these is harder to do, especially once you get to metabolizing fats, because you get satiated from fats to the point where you just don't feel like eating more. Protein intake, especially, is a fine line that's hard to keep track of. Your required protein intake depends on your lean body mass and your level of activity throughout the day.

This is my current diet challenge, with a target of losing ~45 lbs. Wish me luck!

I've always got one or two personal projects on the go. I used to write a lot more than I have been these days, but lately I've been planning a gaming tournament in a PC game that I play online a lot. I've had one of these tournaments before that was less popular than I anticipated, and I decided to give it one more shot. I've so far been extremely pleased with the interest from the community and it seems that this event will be busier than the last. I just hope that I can get through all of the contestants in time, you see I've dedicated 2 8-hour days to this but I'll be the only referee so matches will be one-after-the-other for those full 8 hours. It will be hectic, but I'll enjoy the rush of it all.

Beyond this I still pick up my Chapman Stick for a half-hour here and there (when I find the time and motivation to do so). I'm trying not to spend any money that I don't need to because I'm trying to save as much as I can for a few things that I want to do sooner rather than later. Engagement rings are expensive and I'm not making a large sum of money every paycheck. I do dedicate about an hour every week to looking for adequate compensation, to speed the attainment of these goals along. I never wanted to live my life according to how much money I made, but the simple fact is that things, namely the one's that I need and want, cost money. I can't wait five years to do any of this, too; I've never been all that patient.

And so, with the consistent march of time that my life seems bound to, I march forward as well. Ferris Beuller was only half right: life does move pretty fast, but if you stop to look around you'll be sure to miss it. No, the trick is to move at least as fast, or faster, than it does. If you can't keep ahead of it then it will surely fly by and leave you wondering what it was that just passed.

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