Eats, December 11 – and The Philosophy of Brutal Honesty

Had my 1  – 16 oz coffee at 4:30am – with my 400 cals of 100% fat cream.

Before I left for work I had a teaspoon of crushed ginger as my stomach was not quite right.

I stopped on my way to work to get water in glass bottles. I wrote a while back about plastic bottles not being good for you because of the chemicals that leach out of the plastic – thank GOD they found this out only 25 years after they were introduced, right? 

I finally got around to making this change today.

Finding water in a glass bottle proved harder than I imagined – no plain water comes in glass – and of the sparkling types, even Perrier is in plastic now.

I settled for the San Pellegrino, one of the last glass holdouts.

I like the Pellegrino, but I can’t bear the thought of cases and cases of this stuff being flown all over creation just so I can burp impolitely at my desk. When empty, I’m just fill them with water from my water filter.

I had my hard-boiled egg at about 10am. Hungrier than yesterday, with an upset stomach, I had my 1 cup of the Italian chicken – the same stuff from yeaterday at about 11:30.

Today was destined to be a bad food day, as I had 2 – yes – 2 events I had to attend where food was part of the event: a meeting over lunch and to celebrate a corporate anniversary of sorts.

The lunch was at 12 – I had completely forgot, or I would have not eaten what I brought. My lunch mates ordered fish and chips with a beer – I had a bacon cheeseburger sans bun, with lettuce, pickle, onion & tomato – with seltzer.

Then at 3pm, at the anniversary party, where a spread of cookies, cakes, chips, sandwiches, wine & beer was laid out, I had the inside of a philly cheesesteak (no bread), some cheese and pepperoni, and two Cokes.

Not that I needed this, mind you – I’m on my third lunch here – but there’s an inner need, I think, to participate in these group food orgies. 

And I’m a gavone – what can I say?

Still, my stomach was upset. Not sure of the reason. The Irvingia? Nah – probably the darn coffee on an empty stomach and wine before bed – and the years are creeping up on me – I can’t abuse myself like in days of old.

I didn’t eat until 9pm, when I had a 1/2 cup of the Italian chicken (the recipe was in this post) – yes, it does seem I’ve been eating this way too often, but it really came out good, in my estimation and I’m enjoying every bite.

I also drank a bottle of seltzer.

And…that’s it. Though I had 3 lunches in so many hours, they were all Atkins induction – friendly. 

The weight today was 206.2 – down maybe 1.5 lbs. from yesterday.

It has been 7 days since the start of the Irvingia, and I’ve lost 3 lbs. since the start. I can in no way attribute this to Irvingia, as this is well within my normal range of weight fluctuation. The fact that I have somehow weaned myself off of a major coffee habit seems to be a strange coincidence. It is real important to note that correlation does not equal causation. To tie a change in my coffee habits to Irvingia is like seeing faces in the clouds – we humans are great at detecting patterns – so much so we see patterns where there are none.

Still, this is a dramatic change in behavior – perhaps a short-term fluctuation, but we’ll see on this.

My evening moderation might also be partly Irvingia – it might also be a result of the day-long stomach upset – and maybe partly because of the stinging comment from a poster yesterday to ‘GET ON INDUCTION ALREADY’.

This blog is a lot of things – a place for me to post my so-called recipes, a place for me to exercise my overactive mind – and it’s also an experiment in a kind of brutal authenticity.

Did you ever play that card game where each player puts a playing card to their forehead? The basis of this game is that you can clearly see what every player’s card is – except your own.

Life is a lot like this.

I’m sure you go through life and see other people walk around with these glaringly obvious flaws that they themselves don’t see.

It’s really hard to see our own flaws, however. Nothing to feel guilty about – it is such a deep-rooted part of our human nature. It’s how most of us get through the day.

We usually see these in other people and we don’t point these out – either as a kindness or because it’s none of our business.

But when we’ve connected with a person on some level, some of us might bridge that chasm and point out to another person what we see in them.

Can this be wrong? Boy, it sure can! How many people have you known that decided to ‘tell it like it is’  and merely only revealed how clueless they might be?

But sometimes their aim is true, their shot pierces the armor, and you’re legitimately wounded. Their observation resonates.

I’ve always been of the mind that having as small an ego as possible is a pretty good way of getting through life. I don’t mean having low self-esteem, which is having a big ego that isn’t reinforced by the world around you.

When you have a big ego, it’s always in the way, and you’ve got to spend a lot of time defending it and maintaining it, making excuses, and running other people down so you can compare yourself to them and win the competition.

I try to keep my ego small and manageable, so I’m interested in other people’s perceptions of me – especially the negative perceptions. Because of this, a while back I started a ‘Labels Collection’ – I started writing down the labels other people put on me. Here’s a couple:

  • “Passive-aggressive” – SL 5/13/07
  • “Resiliant” – TB 2006
  • “Has alligator skin” – JM 2006
  • “Calm, understated, gets the job done.” – LN – 3/08

So what can I learn about this? Someone once said that we are actually 3 different people:

  1. The person we know ourselves to be
  2. The person we think we let others see
  3. The person that others actually see

I like to think that my life so far has been an unending effort to merge these 3 people that I am, and each day I welcome insights that allow me to peel away yet another layer of ego defense and see myself for what I really am.

I’ve been doing this for a long time, and each time there’s still more layers to peel away.

So when something pierces my armor, I try not to rush and plug the hole in my armor – or put new armor on.

I try to respond: “Oh – I am wearing armor I didn’t know I had!”

Then take that armor off.

This, I think, is what helps to make me ‘comfortable in my own skin’.

What new personal delusions and blind spots will be revealed to me today?

I can’t wait to find out. I might not enjoy it, but I can’t think of a better way to go through life.

Just my personal opinion.

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8 thoughts on “Eats, December 11 – and The Philosophy of Brutal Honesty

  1. Yours is a personal progress blog, you don’t have to have all of the answers. People saying “just do it already!” usually have a point, but I find they don’t really give me much motivation. It’s not as easy as flipping a switch, and we all know it.

    Induction is probably a good idea. I don’t know anything about Atkins but I know it’s probably easier to have non-compromise rule when it comes to carbs for a while – especially since you can’t eliminate them from your house.

    Exercise might help as well: some walks, stair walking.. you don’t have to sit on the treadmill for hours in order to see some results, a little effort might go a long way?

  2. It all has to be your decision when you’re ready. I lost 30 pounds a couple of years ago on Atkins. I had to talk about it for months before I finally took the plunge and started again. I knew I needed to get started, but I had to talk myself into it and get myself pepped up for it- low carb is a big change! When I read your blog, that’s what I felt you are doing. Preparing for the leap.
    Keep it up! We’re all rooting for you!

  3. Hey, LCC, are you using 4 *ounces* of heavy cream in your coffee, or 4 *tablespoons*? I’m trying to figure out where 400 calories comes from. Because 4 tablespoons (the figure you mentioned a few days ago) only has 200 calories.

    Don’t forget if you want to be eating induction (and yesterday it sounds like you did, assuming those Cokes at the party were *diet!*), the limit for heavy cream is 2-3 T. per day or 6 T per day if you use your Special Limit food allotment on it. That means you can’t eat olives or avocados too on that day if you’re eating that much cream.

    I don’t like coffee, but I like cream. But I find myself using less and less lately. I used a 250 g. block of lite tofu in my pumpkin pudding last night and it was SO GOOD, fluffy and creamy! Of course, tofu isn’t for induction either…

    • Oops – you’re right on the cream – I read the label at 4am in the kitchen – must have been mistaken. 200 cal then.

      I cut back to 2T on the cream today – didn’t seem to bother me.

  4. How much of it is honesty, and how much is projection? Or delusion? Denial? Or just plain rudeness, as one poster so aptly put it? The word “brutal” in the phrase “brutal honesty” is there for a reason: What you hear is always brutal, but maybe not truly honest.

    • Statements that other people make about you – good or bad – are more times reflections of them than you.

      Every thief thinks everyone else is a thief. Every liar thinks everyone else is a liar.

      So people’s comments always need to pass through some personal filter to see how much is about you – and how much is about them.

      Someone once said: there’s two kinds of fools – people who believe everything other people say, and people who believe nothing other people say.

      I think it’s good when discussing ideas to tussle it up – I frequently have meetings to generate ideas, and I wish people could check their egos and personal baggage at the door, come in, fight, argue, and defend their ideas – then leave without residual acrimony.

      Doesn’t happen. People either are real polite and say bad ideas are actually OK – which wastes time, or their feeling get hurt.

      So being polite gets nothing done sometimes.

      I don’t consider what S.S did a personal attack – not in the least. She was trying to be helpful in the best way that she knows.

      It *is* a reflection on her – and maybe her style is not everybody’s cup of tea, but I think she read my stuff, saw I could take it – and spoke her heart.

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