The Pursuit Of Betterness

I think a lot of people don’t want to admit that they want things to get Better. Saying that we want things to be better means admitting that what we’ve got today is not good enough. It’s good… but not enough.

Some people who think that making things better is just a means to feed our vanity — they might think of something trivial like: the fridge in your kitchen is not big enough, even the kitchen where the fridge is is not spacious enough. The waistline is not slim enough, the thigh gap is not far enough. The muscle is not tough enough, and you can’t run fast enough. The hair is not fluffy enough, the skin is not smooth enough.

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I need a new phone, by the way…

But I think making things better is more than getting better things. It is a sense of improvement. You might not need a bigger kitchen, but you could eat better food — tastier, more wholesome, something that actually makes you feel good about yourself better than frozen pizza. You might not need to slim down, but you live better life — getting rid of pot belly, reducing the risk of getting an early hip or knee cap replacement, or having the chance to breathe normally because your lungs are not squeezed by the visceral fats.

You don’t need to have get more money on your bank account (as good as it sounds), but you can still have a better financial security — paying off debts, everything’s insured, retirement plan’s sorted. You don’t need to be an athlete, but you can get fit– walk to the city or bike to work, or simply keep away the pints until the fun weekend with your buddies. I mean, there are plenty of ways to get better… but not many people likes it.

As one of the sanest people I have known in life, a lot of people don’t like you to get better, because it reminds them of how their life is — not good enough. It scares people because if you get better, you will raise the standard what is considered okay. It is like one student in your class that others hated so much because she (or he, but usually a she) would always over-achieve and tip the balance of mediocrity in your classroom — the one who would always hold up the recess time, and get you and your friends extra homework because your teacher used her as the class benchmark. The one that others secretly envy…

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I am short, so this is still within my healthy BMI

When I lost a lot of weight after changing my habit, a lot of people where I came from started to make comment about me over doing it. Of course some of them have a genuine concern because eating disorder is a legit thing to be concern about. But some just don’t like it because it means theis acceptable size would have to change too. Like a lot of ladies thinking that having a woman with healthy BMI as a bikini model is bad because it makes other women feels pressurised to be… in that healthy BMI.

What’s wrong with it?

What’s wrong with wanting to be better?

Ah… I think I need to apologise for not being able to understand. Maybe it’s just because I am an alien. Sometimes it takes longer to understand one thing than the other. Maybe I just need to go back observing food than human’s Lifestyle

The Scapegoat

From the place where I came from, I was never considered skinny. It might sound alien to you, but where I came from we have a completely different standard of skinniness than here in the UK. To be fair, this standard of beauty always varies so it is impossible to follow every single one of them. I prefer a standard that can be quantified, something that you can put in number — something that is more universal and objective, not just “in the eye of beholder” kind of standard. In this case, I prefer using BMI as a standard.

I am not going to make arguments about the relevance of BMI, or how this archaic standard should not be used in today’s society. Yada. Yada. I don’t think BMI is perfect, but as a general measurement tool, it is pretty much do what it says on the tin. So, move on…

In the beginning of last year, I found out that my BMI was pushing the end of the green limit, and I didn’t like what I saw on the scale. I can’t say that I was shocked either, because to be honest, one should be able to see the signs when one can no longer fit to the jeans one used to love so much. But as much as it didn’t shock me, it still left me with questions: how the hell I got myself to this bloody point? And I kind of blame it on my contraception pills.

See, at that time I thought contraception pill was the logical explanation of the weight gain. It is logical because I have read a lot of articles, and have met a lot of people who gained weight after taking pills. And it was very easy to explain too. Pills affected the hormones, the hormones affected the metabolism system, and metabolism system affected how your body processed food that you ate. It was reasonable to think that the pill caused the weight gain.

So last year I stopped taking the pills and opt for a non hormonal contraception method. (I don’t want to argue about contraception either, I am not here to preach or to be bloody preached about that sort of stuff… so jog bloody on. ) And voila… with the help of calorie counting, I ditched that extra flabs, and go back to my old fabs.

But few weeks ago, I found out that I might be wrong to blame the pills. I have a written evidence that I was already THAT heavy a year before I started taking the pills. I realised I blamed the pills, because it was conveniently explain how I balooned. It is easier to blame something when you get fat… like blaming the situation: the fat genes (yeah, nothing you can do about it..), the big bones (maybe she’s born with it… ), the change of weather or lifestyle when I first move to the UK (food here are different and fattier…). Or blaming someone else: the government because they don’t give cheap and healthy food, the fast food companies for making food so tasty and cheap and fattening, the media for whatever (people do love blaming the media, so why not?).

The real reason…

Yes, it is very convenient if we always have scapegoat for everything, isn’t it? Failed to finish NaNoWriMo? Well, it is easier to blame it on the hard break up that made you cry day and night for 30 days so you cannot focus on writing than to admit that you actually spending so much time on NCIS marathon… no, tv series marathon, not actual marathon which is probably more productive and beneficial for your health. Can’t get a bloody job? Well, it is easier to blame it on the government and the immigrants for stealing the jobs by willing to do harder work for less money obviously, than to admit that you are actually underqualified for the job, but overestimate yourself, and extremely demanding worker… I mean if you are an employer, you make it very easy for them to make a choice, don’t you?

Losing an election? Blame it on the population, calling them stupid, or ignorant, or gullible. It is easier to do that than to admit how you have ignored their genuine worry about illegal immigration, the rise of the radicals, and instead of taking it in and think about how to resolve the problem you go back to them and call them unreasonable and paranoid. You think they’re going to vote for you when you do that? And you’re surprised you end up with Brexit? Or Trump? Or maybe next week… even Le Pen? It is easier to blame on these so called populists than to realise that you are actually losing touch with your own people, isn’t it?

Yeah… that doesn’t surprise me at all. Blaming others, and scapegoating is pretty much what people do. What surprised me is that I fell on the same pit too. I thought I was one of these special people who “get it”. Knowing how stupid and irresponsible it is to just blame others for something that happened because of our own doing doesn’t mean I couldn’t make the same mistake. Apparently, I am not immune to that, and realising that makes me think what else that I have done?

Pretty heavy eh?

That’s Monday for you…

The Obscurity of The Seconds

You know what? It is ironic that this is actually my first time writing about my second entry.

I woke up thinking and reviewing in my head about my first post, and wonder how many people in the world is actually thinking that writing the second blog entry is actually a bigger achievement than writing the first one. I mean, yes it is definitely hard enough to start a blog, and make an introduction post to random strangers in the world wide web….

But following that up?

I learned from my experience that being consistent is more difficult than starting something. It takes mental and sometimes physical discipline, and willpower. Pick anything else than blogging for examples.

Dieting? It is easy to sign up for a slimming program, and lose your first kilos in the first weeks. But when it gets harder to shed the pounds… Some people gained back whatever they lost, with some extra on the backside. Going to the gym? Yeah… of course. Sign up for the annual gym membership after new year, and see how many is still coming back during the summer for the sixpack. Some people get their sixpacks somewhere else… most probably from the beer chiller.

Writing a novel? Oh… tell me about it. First chapters are always the most wonderful start. I don’t have to look further than my own folders to see the unfinished businesses these princes and princesses have to settle.

So, I think The Seconds are way underrated.

People celebrate their first jobs, their first cars, their first time doing the hanky panky on their first car with their first serious lovers. People remember the first US president, the first guy landed on the moon, the first black woman won Oscar… Even all you care about the aliens are all about the first bloody contact. I mean… really?

But as much as it is so cool to be remembered as the first… that is never the point, isn’t it? After a breakthrough, there should be a continuation of that, shouldn’t it? It’s kind of pointless to start something that has a potential to be awesome, if it has never reached to that potential isn’t it? Like having a real awesome knitting pattern for a cheerful Christmas jumper, and then casting on 174 stitches, and then never go past the ribbing (hands up if you hate ribbings!).

Have I told you I am a knitter too? No? See? Introduction doesn’t take you anywhere… You need the second post to know that I am a knitter. Maybe the next post to know more about me and my grumpy husband too. Who knows we will get more interesting by the day? Who knows after few entries you would think, “hang on a minute… they’re actually a bunch of arseholes…!”

First impression is not always right. It is totally overrated.

So… for the first time in my life… I dedicated a whole blog entry for the seconds in the world. The second wives or husbands (you don’t want to discriminate), the step parents, the silver medalers, the second children (or worse… middle children), the mistresses and concubines, the second in commands… I raise my cup of coffee to salute, and celebrate you…

To finish up this entry, let me remind you what AVIS rent a car said (and what a damn good slogan it has made) some odd fifty years ago: “we’re only number two… so we try harder…

x

It’s early!

Uuuuurgh! Good morning world. It’s 06.30 and it’s a Monday. that is never a fun combination anywhere in the world. 

It’s doubly difficult since today will be my first day back at work after a week off – easter holiday.

But I have brushed my teeth, weighed myself, thrown cold water on my face and am now sitting at the dining room table with a mug of real coffee in front of me. I have an hour to go from shambling zombie to vaguely human.

Did I mention weighing myself? Why I do believe that I did. You may have noticed that my beautiful alien wife knows a bit about weight loss. actually she knows a lot. She decided to find out the science behind weight control and then went for the direct method. 

She filtered out all the dietary schemes and claims from the adverts in the media and she found out a way that works. It even works for me – a grumpy bloke who didn’t really have an inclination to diet.

So what’s the secret? It’s really simple actually. Basically it’s calorie counting. You have a daily calorie goal and add up the calories of anything you eat until you hit that goal. don’t go over the daily goal and you will lose weight…. that’s it. 

It works, too. I decided many months ago that I was getting a “bit porky” (although considering the rising obesity in the UK I’m probably still not considered “overweight” by anyone but doctors). I adopted my beautiful alien wifes counting scheme and although I wasn’t as regimented or “serious” about it, I actually lost weight! Best thing is that you don’t give up “naughty food” – you just need to be aware of foods calorific content and keep an eye on the numbers. 

Of course you also probably need to make sure that your diet is balanced and you get all the proper vitamins and minerals. 

Like a lot of things My own calorie counting went out of the window a while back. I briefly became an alien in a tropical paradise and a weeks worth of amazing “foreign” food made me forget about my diet. 

I noticed though that since I stopped smoking (I consider myself as “almost” stopped) I have gotten porky again so it’s time to start eating sensibly. I have already lost a few kilos so that’s all good and promising. 

It’s now 07.00. 

I’ll have to leave for work soon. Second coffee now 🙂

It’s proper coffee too. Ground and filtered in a machine, not your instant freeze dried stuff. I realised a few years ago that it’s actually not too expensive to have real coffee. You can buy half decent ground coffee for £1 so even a coffee monster like me can have a decent brew. 

Ah… but I’m going to have to stop typing now. I need to get dressed and bugger off to work. 

At least I’m almost awake now.