Sunday, October 11, 2009

11 weeks until christmas


Okay, enough's enough. Here are the facts: About three years ago, I decided that I needed to lose weight, and went from 85kg to 68k (or from 190 lbs to 150 lbs, to my American readers). I was very happy with the change. I looked a lot better and I felt great. I wasn't overweight at all when I was younger, that change came about when I got a job and a car. I drove the car to work, I ate at the restaurant nearby where I worked and I could afford a lot of good foods and drinks. Add that to the near non-existant exercise I was getting, and you had a slowly cumulative problem. But in 2005, I decided to change that and get back to the shape I was when I first moved to Linköping.

But now, of course, I've been back on the same track I was for most of my 20s, and I've put on half the weight that I once managed to lose. The only difference between now and then is that now I know that I can do it, and so I'm setting an aggressive target for myself: This weight will be gone by christmas. That's about 2 lbs per week that I'm aiming at losing, and I know I can do it. It's just a matter of attitude and discipline. My biggest problem will be, as last time, the fact that it's really really difficult for me to sleep on an empty stomach, which means that I will either have to eat my dinner late, or I need to have a snack shortly before bed. But since I know this going in, I just have to adjust my Calorie intake for the rest of the day to make up for the snack I inevitably will need.

What's going to suck is cutting back on beer. Then again, since I'm all about counting Calories, I mostly just have to make sure I get enough exercise to allow myself the occasional alcohol splurge.


Mmm, beer.

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Also, I've had quite a few people ask me what the hell is up with me not blogging. And my answer to all of them is the same: I haven't been playing poker, so I've had essentially nothing to blog about. However, to ease the minds of those that worry (or whatever the correct word would be) that I've given up on poker: No, this is decidely not the case. I've been thinking about poker a lot. I just haven't actually played it.

Now why is that?

It's not for lack of interest, I can assure you. The problem, if you can call it that, is that during my brief stint as a professional I developed the habit of never, ever, playing when I wasn't feeling my best. If I can't honestly feel like I'm sitting down when my mind is at its sharpest, I just don't sit. This is a really great habit for a professional poker player to have, but very few bother with it because, well, I guess because they think they're good enough to beat the games when they're tired and distracted. Looking at long-term results of many of these players, though, they appear to hover around break-even and presumably live off of rakeback and bonuses. Whatever floats your boat.

But I'm not like that. Especially not now when the financial burden of my upkeep isn't placed on my poker game. I'm now in it to play the best poker I can, to learn the most, not to eek out every dollar I can on a monthly basis. Last month, I played less than 2,500 hands in total. This month will probably yield a higher volume than that, but if I go past 10k hands, I'd be surprised. I'm now a low-volume player, aiming for quality rather than quantity. The habit of not playing when not feeling my best is now so deeply rooted that I can't even wrap my head around the idea of sitting down to play at a time like... Like this. It's 7:30 pm on Sunday night, I've had a long weekend, and I'm tired. There's no way I'm opening up a few tables to play. I wouldn't enjoy it. I couldn't.

If it seems odd to you that I've developed this habit so quickly - over the course of only a few months - I think you've missed out on the experience of playing only when you're feeling your best. The best way I can explain the feeling is to compare it to reading. I love reading. I read as much and as often as I can. But with all this reading I've also developed a fairly good idea of what constitutes good writing and what doesn't, and though I love reading I'd rather not read at all rather than endure bad writing.

If that makes sense.

So, I miss playing poker. I hope I'll get a chance to play again soon. But it's not out of principle that I'm not sitting down to play this very moment, it's because I simply can't bring myself to do it. That's how deliciously effective the positive feedback loop of only playing at my best has proven. If you haven't experienced it yourself, I hope you will.

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Even my sister Camilla complained that I hadn't blogged. When even my family (who I talk to on a very regular basis) finds it odd that I'm not writing here, I guess it really is time to do something about it. She helpfully suggested that if I can't think of anything else to write about, I should write something about her. I guess this paragraph was sort of about her, so it should count.

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I just got back from Karlstad (where Camilla and my parents and my grandma lives) because we had a small family party for Benjamin. Being the heathens we are, we of course opted out of a baptism - if he wants to get a baptism, he can have it when he's old enough to choose it for himself - but still felt we wanted some kind of party for him. So we're had a family get-together yesterday in Karlstad, and we're throwing a small party for some friends here in Linköping this coming Saturday. So far, the loot has been bountiful: A small table and a chair, a small rocking horse and a small slide for his room, plus some smaller toys and a song book with traditional children's songs.



The food we had was awesome. Poor Benjamin, the object of celebration, couldn't have any of it since he's not old enough to eat anything but breast milk, porridge and squished up veggies. Sweet irony.

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Regarding the weight, I'll be posting updates here. If someone's stalker-level curious about exactly what I'm doing to lose weight I suppose I could post something about that, too, but you're going to have to expliticly ask me about it in that case.

2 comments:

Bert said...

Love the discussion about playing at your peak mental condition, high vs. low volume - I'm too focused on volume and not enough on quality, and I know it. :) Something for me to work on...

Laz said...

I'm definitely at the stalker level of wanting to know how you're going to lose the weight...

I'm also around 85kg at the moment and would love to get back down to 68 so any tips are more than welcome!

By the way, your ability to recognise exactly when (and more importantly when not) to play poker is really admirable