A Weak Moment

April 25th, 2006 by Potato

I woke up yesterday more refreshed than I had been in a long time, which was particularly odd since I only had about 4 hours of sleep last night. I decided to stick to my diet, and I did a remarkable job — the first day I haven’t cheated in a really, really long time. I had soup for lunch/breakfast, and a veggie sandwich on whole wheat for dinner. At one point my stomach was hurting a bit, so I had a chocolate-covered granola bar to help settle it down. I substituted water or juice for almost all my drinks, so I actually did pretty well by the end of the day.

Then, shortly after midnight I had a very sudden onset of depression and stress. I realized that despite feeling like a human being for the first time in a long while, I still didn’t get a whole lot done. Now I’ve got my mock defense tomorrow, and I still haven’t finished preparing my slides, let alone practicing my talk. It is, in a word, terrifying.

So I went through my pictures, since I’m also really missing Wayfare (I haven’t seen her in forever) and she has a really nice smile that just makes me feel good :)

And doing so, I realized that I have barely any photos of her at all. I know we’re both camera shy, but that’s borderline inexcusable. In particular, I don’t have any from within the last year… most of our picture-taking is done on vacation, at Halloween, and at Christmas, and this year I was too busy to take a vacation, she was sick for Halloween, and I was sick for Christmas, so there were none.

Looking at the pictures of myself, I realized that I’ve really gone downhill in the last few years. I’ve always been hard on myself, and cerebrally I know that, but looking back I wasn’t actually all that hideous in 4th year (the summer of 3rd year was also a particularly good one for me vis-a-vis working out, so it’s perhaps no coincidence that that was fall that I had the confidence to ask Wayfare out in the first place). I always had the problem of looking too young before that, then in 4th year the beard really helped me out, I think… and now I’ve swung too far into looking old and decrepit. At least I took advantage of what looks I had at the right time :)

I also found that photo of my bald spot buried in a Halloween folder. I had been meaning to compare for some time now, but just couldn’t find that photo anywhere (and it’s no wonder — I swore I took it in February of ’05, when I started Rogaine).

Anyhow, none of this really lifted my spirits much, so I decided that I had been subconsciously self-medicating with chocolate, and my good day had thwarted that. So, in a weak moment, I broke the one good diet day I had and had another few chocolate-covered granola bars (they’re not actually much better for me than regular chocolate bars — they’re just a little bit smaller, and have slightly more complex carbohydrates than sugar… they’re still really fatty).

In other news, this is my 100th blog post!. That’s not even counting my static pages (e.g.: recipes), so it’s moderately exciting! I had hoped to come up with some memorable post or event to mark the occasion, but simply didn’t. In my defense, it came up sooner than I had planned (I thought I would slow down my posting rate and not hit 100 until after my defense). So far, the site has been a little too much of a vanity project for my tastes, I was hoping to stay closer to topics of more widespread interest (and, sadly, this post is exactly the sort of thing I hope my site would not become). I blame the software — after the set-up headaches, WordPress has been surprisingly easy to use, and really handy for just firing up and hammering out some utter gibberish from whatever computer I happen to be on. The search function will come in quite handy, I’m sure, as I remember that finding something on my old site was quite a pain.

Oddly enough, I still miss the crappy gifs of various Potato-based dishes for the various sections of the site. Speaking of the old site, what piece of brilliance do you think I should salvage from it next? The Great Potato Encyclopedia was a clever idea, IMNSHO, but since its original introduction Wikipedia has come out and made it ridiculously big, so my effort will seem lame by comparison (particularly if I use a type of wiki software, which would almost be demanded for ease of use, even if I am the only writer). The Advice Column could come back with little difficulty, but it’s been a long time since anyone has asked my advice on anything. I suppose I’ve made too many terrible life choices myself to be accepted as a valid font of wisdom, multiple personalities or not. Plus my readership just simply isn’t high enough for even pseudoanonymity to apply.

Ah, well, aside from writing more drivel, the next steps for the site I plan on taking involve cooking some of the things in my recipe section and actually photographing the process.

8 Responses to “A Weak Moment”

  1. Netbug Says:

    Potato, you like numbers. You like formulas.

    Diet and excercise is ALL number crunching; body fat percentage, calories, macro-nutrients, reps. muscles, sets, rotation, intake, weight.

    I don’t see why you wouldn’t excell at stuff like this. I see you making these amazing charts and graphs to show what you’re burnign vs your intake and what percentage of what is doing what etc etc.

    Do some research, and get over the hump. You’ll feel better.

    Also, balding isn’t a choice. Bald is a choice.

  2. Potato Says:

    Well, as my overy-long master’s degree has taught me, I’m more of a theoretical scientist than an experimental one.

    Plus the hardest part is just the willpower and determination, and I have precious little of that to spare at the moment. And my brain is so flustered from the stress that I’m lucky if I have my pants on the right way around in the morning… and chocolate is a big comfort food (though after next week I’m going to have to stop the comfort eating cold).

    I have no idea what your last line means.

  3. Netbug Says:

    It means you could shave your head. :P

    As for the willpower, ya, it sucks. A lot. But as I said to Hayley, if you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way. Print out pictures. Remove junk food from your house (hell, I’m so lazy I’ll eat a head of lettuce if it’s in the fridge instead of driving to the store).

  4. Potato Says:

    Yeah, starting May 7th… :)

    I thought about shaving my head recently (I had to do an EEG study anyway, and the gel makes my hair all gross and it takes two washes to fully get out), but I realized that my scalp is so pale that I’d look like I escaped from a facility of some kind… of the science-fiction variety. That, and I already have to wear hats to keep from burning the top of my head in the sun, so I’d hate to have to put suntan lotion on all over…

    However, if the shave-off for cancer comes back to London this year, I think I might do it… for charity, you know.

    As far as willpower goes, I think it helps a lot that you guys are working on this too — even if we only encourage each other via our blog posts, it’s a support network :)

  5. Ben Says:

    I think if you shave your head, after a few days of daylight your scalp would take on a more normal fleshtone. Or you could just go to a tanning salon for 20 minutes…

  6. Netbug Says:


    let me tell you about my adventure to a tanning salon.

    I went in. Said to the girl “I’m a computer guy”. She says “Ok, lowest setting, for two minutes and I don’t want you to get in until 1 minute is up.”

    ok. Sure.

    I do that.

    5 hours later, I’m writhing in pain from burns over my whole body (yes… my WHOLE body). Sat playing warcraft for 2 days because I couldn’t move.

    So… tanning salon = bad idea for us pasties.

  7. Potato Says:

    What, did they lock you in the bed and forget about you? Don’t they have like a release on the inside? As if they weren’t scary enough to begin with!

  8. Netbug Says:

    No no… I was only exposed for 1 minute. It took 5 hours for the burns to surface. :(