take one woman with low self esteem, but quite good hair
add one moronic illness
stir in some medication which causes hair to fall out
mix it all up and this is what you get...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The news in (not very) brief 

I've applied for a new job.

Same as what I do now, but for a large, American corporation.
Same as what I do now, but 30 miles down the road, rather than 5 miles up the road.
Same as what I do now, but for 30 - 40% more salary.

30 - 40%.

And the company I'm at now wonders why they find it hard to recruit. Over the past few years, they've benefited from a couple of big companies in the area either making people redundant or off-shoring their IT to India (or both). They've benefited from those people who have ties in the area so want to find a job locally. The majority of these people took a pay cut to work there, because our line of work is so specialised, you have to take what you can, when you can.

But 30 - 40% just shows how behind the game they are.

It was a no-brainer, I had nothing to lose. I had to give it a try. Me and several others from where I work.

Let's face it, I don't do this work for the love of it, I do it for the money. One pointless corporation is no better than another. The extra money would mean we could refurbish our kitchen diner significantly sooner than if I stayed at the current place.

So, two interviews down (telephone, then face to face) and I'm playing the waiting game...

From hopefully gaining pounds in one area, to definitely losing them in others. Since June last year, I have changed my diet, adopting a "pre-agricultural" regime (also known as "Paleo", "Stone age", "hunter gatherer" etc.). Essentially, I no longer eat cereal-based products (bread, pasta, rice, breakfast cereals etc), the idea being that although our technology has evolved to cultivate and produce these products en masse, our bodies have not evolved to properly digest them. Particularly those of us with the most primitive blood type, O. (And I am O+)

I have spent many a year sneering at low-carbohydrate diets (for this is what it is), but having read the theory behind it and seeing the results (lost around 3 stone and at least 2 dress sizes), I am a true convert.

As a low-carber, there are some comments that are inevitable:
  1. "Oh, the Atkins diet"
    Well no, it's not actually. Any diet that tells me I can't eat fruit is not a diet I would want to follow. Fruit is arguably the most natural food for a human being.

  2. "I couldn't do it. I love bread, I love pasta"
    Do you think I don't? But let's think about bread for a moment. Think about the amount of grain that you need to make enough flour for one loaf of bread. Think about the processes that the grain of wheat has gone through to become a loaf of bread. Though we may think of bread as a "staple", it is a highly processed food. And a food that would not be available to primitive, pre-agricultural man. So for me, bread is now an occasional treat, and one that I savour.

  3. "But what do you eat?"
    Meat and fish. Eggs. Vegetables. Fruits. Nuts. Seeds. Anything that is essentially unchanged from its natural state (other than being chopped up and/or cooked). I also allow myself dairy products, although the pure version of the diet argues that milk and its various sidelines would be unavailable to primitive man (how do you milk a wild animal?).

  4. "But what do you have for breakfast?"
    Yes, breakfast is the tricky one. Toast is out. Cereal is out. Bacon and eggs every day, that just can't be particularly healthy. So I have berries and natural yoghurt, topped with toasted nuts. At weekends, I allow myself a pain aux raisins, a bit of toast or eggs and bacon.

  5. "What about a quick lunch when you're out and about? You can't just grab a sandwich!"
    No, you can't. Eating on the go is probably the trickiest thing about the diet, because our lunchtime outlets are just packed to the gills with sandwiches. Browse the aisles of Marks and Spencer for a takeaway lunch, and virtually every salad contains pasta, rice, couscous or legumes. So you end up assembling your own lunch from a selection of disparate ingredients. A packet of cooked chicken here, a slightly dreary side salad there.
I allow myself the odd sweet, the odd cake, the odd chip (for potatoes are also not part of the regime). And when I have them, I really savour and enjoy them.

I never feel bloated, but equally I do not feel hungry. I eat plenty. I eat differently. I eat delicious, natural, home-cooked food.

And as a result, I maintain a healthy weight. All the weight I gained through steroids and inactivity, I have lost. And more.

It's given me one less thing to worry about.

Anyway, how are you?