Sunday, April 21, 2013

5/2 diet

I have now lost just over two stone on the intermittent fasting 5/2 diet.  As you may remember, I started on the alternate day fast diet and lost no weight at all.  When I switched to the 5/2 pattern I started to lose it slowly - around half to one pound a week.

I've been missing breakfast, having a light lunch and then eating a bowl of soupy vegetable noodles for an early dinner on my fasting days, usually Tuesday and Friday.  I use one nest of noodles between the two of us (158 calories), some stock, and ribbons of carrot and courgette, usually, and spinach.  I'm more or less used to this way of eating now, and don't find it anywhere near so hard as I did initially.

In fact, I find that I often fantasise about being able to eat things during fast days which I have no interest in eating when I get to my eat-anything day the following day.  I feel immensely liberated by this style of eating - I appreciate my food more, I don't feel guilty on my eating days, and even when I came off the diet because I was ill, in January, I didn't pile back the weight I had lost - as I often have in the past with low calorie diets.

In fact my weight appeared to be stable, although I was making no attempt to restrict my eating.

I'm determined to carry on.  The only downside that I can see is the possible requirement to replace my wardrobe frequently.  I'm already two dress sizes down from last August.

Verified authentic

Anyone doing family history online is aware of the tendency for wrong things to propagate on the internet.  Someone makes a mistake, transposes a date or gets some detail wrong, and before you can say wha? the information has spread like wildfire. 

There's a very irritating case which irks me from time to time.  A man studying his wife's family ascribed my ancestor's older brother to someone for reasons I can't fathom.  I know absolutely whose son he was, where he was born, where he lived etc.

I pointed out the error to the gentleman concerned and said I was willing to send him all the proofs he might want that the person he had down as his father was not his father.  He sent me an email saying that he knew it was probably wrong, and would change it when he got round to it.  About three years later I am still waiting for that to happen.  Meanwhile, other people studying the same family have taken the information off this person's ancestry account and it is all over the place.  Wrong.

I love Pinterest, the website that allows you to pin things you find interesting or want to remember.  The great thing about it is that it retains the links to the original picture, and so if you click through the pinned picture, you will be taken to the website where the image was originally found.  Except that some people don't seem to have understood the original intention, and have uploaded pictures again, so they lead nowhere.  Or have pinned them from Imagr or Tumblr, where they had already been separated from their original position on the web and from any information about them.

There's a picture of a house crammed between two outcrops of rock on Pinterest.  The link leads to a list of amazing places around the world, most of which are natural, not man made.  And then it links to an image blog, which has no information except for the title... House between two worlds.  On pinterest the title has changed to house between two rocks, and I have found dozens and dozens of pins and lots of lists online which include it.  But I think it is actually a computer generated image, not a photograph of a real place.

It's getting to the point where it is possible to post things on Pinterest, and to find that things come full circle... posted on Pinterest, linked to by other websites, then used in blogs which quote pinterest as the source.

Denying Christianity

When asked I don't say I am a Christian, because I have a certain idea in my head of what it means to be a Christian, and I don't even try to live by that ideal.  I haven't sold my possessions, left my family and gone off to spread the word among the unbelievers.  I haven't offered people who have tried to hurt me other ways of doing that, nor yet did I run after the people who stole my possessions from our car and offer them the things they missed.  I don't spend my days in service to others.

I appreciate that we don't all have the same idea when you mention the word Christian.  Some people see it as dependent on certain rituals, or attendance at particular churches, or a combination of ritual and attendance.  Some would say that you can't be a Christian unless you have been born again and received a baptism.

The discussion about what it means to be Christian came to mind because I read a quote from James Beverley, Professor of Christian Thought and Ethics at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, who says that Eckhart Tolle's worldview "is at odds with central Christian convictions" and that "Tolle denies the core of Christianity by claiming there is no ultimate distinction between humans and God and Jesus".

When I was a child I went to a Church of England Primary School and remember distinctly the irritation I felt when the Vicar or Curate would emphasise that Jesus was the son of God.  I knew, always knew that we were all sons and daughters of God.  I have come to know that we are all part of God, as God is part of us.  And so I also do not see the division between Jesus, God, humans... it's all part of the oneness of All.  And All are one.  That division, is illusory, part of the confusion which arises from our place in the world of matter and of time.

We are facets of the same thing, part of God's attempt to know himself, and the clues are all there in the words which are reported from Jesus.  He told us that when we did things for other people, we were doing them for him, or for God.  He told us that the Kingdom of Heaven was within.  He told us to love each other as we love ourselves.

The people who really deny the core of Christianity defend wars, starving children, placing a higher value on my life than the life of a child in Africa, or India.  Spend money on bombs and armaments instead of food and drugs and safe water for our brothers and sisters in God.  We live and let them die.  The moment our governments and leaders stop denying the Christianity they purport to support, will be the end of War.  The end of hunger.  The end of treating people from other cultures or religions as though they matter less than we do.

We live in an abandant and beautiful world, with enough for everyone if we aren't greedy for more than our fair share, and yet there has never been time when things have worked that way.  And we're the ones keeping it from working.  If more of us were aware of the oneness of all - the essential lack of difference between me, you, that child dying from starvation and this fat capitalist... then maybe the world would begin to change.  When we let go of our ambitions to be rich and famous, to shine beyond our small lives in ordinary towns... when we realise that it is those ambitions that keep others in slavery to produce the things we want... then we may gain the world.