science based weight loss program

where the scientist is me, the test subject is me and the peer reviewers are me, myself and I. What I am trying to say here is that I don’t want to do any braining today.

I finished reading Jeff Galloway’s nutrition for runners and I shocked myself. I have always said I am not reading any self help book but this felt like one of those. The advice given is quite helpful to runners and non runners alike. If there is anything I took from that book that I think makes a lot of sense, is to separate your weight loss plans from your fitness/ exercise plans.

If you are a woman, don’t feel bad or give up if the fat loss is slow, evolution it seems intended that you become efficient in fat storage and energy use. All you need to do is maintain a healthy diet. And moderate exercise for good health. Research shows that women generally lose fat 2x slower than the man next door for the same amount of exercise.

So back to the science, exercise should be fun. If after a run you are feeling sad and angry, you are running hard or wrong. And so that me and Jeanne are still good friends, consult your doctor before you begin any exercise regime that goes beyond walking a few steps a day.

born to run

A Hidden Tribe, Super-athletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall is a book that makes you want to run as you read it. At other times you get tired thinking about the many miles these people run (I mean who runs 100 miles in a day? ) and still have energy to do other things instead of laying dead for 3 days!

It also takes you to a tour to strange places in Mexico where one would to visit not to run, but maybe hike. Who runs in steep hills?

How do you run without injury? Maybe you run fast, tall and happily. I am not making it up. If at the end of a run you are not laughing/ happy you are doing it too hard or wrong. You should enjoy running. So your pace should be such that you can smile during your run. I smile sometimes, especially when I am going fast (maybe because i can’t believe I can run that fast).

You can outrun a horse, if you are fit enough over long distances. And maybe even hunt without a weapon. Just run the antelope to death, literally. It has happened before, so I read.

What Christopher’s argument basically is human beings are running machines. We can outrun almost if not all animals on the planet.

Even if you don’t like running, the book makes for good reading. You may actually disagree with all he says about running injury and all but find the story intriguing, especially about the Tarahumara country and their running.

Get off that couch and get running.

religious disservice

It is Monday, Easter is around the corner and maybe it is time for some sermons. I have been rereading Okot p’Bitek’s Artist the Ruler: Essays on Art, Culture and Values which I highly recommend, if you can find it that is. He quotes Eric Mascall who wrote

It has been emphasised that Christianity is historical in a sense in which no other religion is, for it stands or falls by certain events which are alleged to have taken place during a particular period of forty eight hours in Palestine nearly 2000 years ago.

Eric Mascall, inaugural lecture

Okot continues to say after this that all sorts of strange things happened during these few hours

  1. how for one do you interpret Peter’s so called denial? Why should a rugged fishermen deny his friend
  2. did Jesus ever claim to be king?
  3. who were the other thieves who were hanged on either side of the Christ?
  4. when some fellow, Joseph of Arimateus took Jesus’ body, was he really dead?

Elsewhere, he quotes from Rene Fullop-Miller’s Lenin and Gandhi

It is truly sickening….God creating: is this not the worst type of self reviling? Everyone who occupies himself with the construction of a god, or merely agrees with it, prostitutes himself in the worst way, for he occupies himself, not with activity, but with self contemplation and self reflection, and tries thereby to deify his most unclean, most stupid and most servile features or pettiness.

Lenin in response to Alexei Maximovich’s god-seeking

Have a pleasant Monday, will you.

On ubiquity of google

Or is it algorithms.

Sometimes I know it makes life easy. You search for an answer to a question and Google remembers so your next search for the same is much easier but must it show up everywhere. The other day I was researching on cement plaster failure and now the mails I get from quora always has something on cement plaster or something on fitness & weight loss.

In other news, covid spread & morbidity seems to have increased in my hood and Jayden has imposed tougher measures indefinitely: no bars, no dining in, no team sports, few attendees at funerals and weddings among others. Yours truly will continue running and cycling. These I am sure are not covered in the directives.

All this is just to say I don’t have something serious to tell you good people.

Have a good week.

no braining Wednesday

One of the interesting things i have discovered during my morning runs, especially the days when I have long runs is how challenging it is to map out 15K and above. I could do a route on any one of the apps that I use in advance but then where is the joy in being random and approximating distance by feel and of course I have a smartwatch that provides aid with the distance covered. Or maybe I should get a team mate who is slightly faster than I to make this long run short.

And talking of running, I feel very proud of myself. My first specific running shoes have told me they have done their duty and need a change but because the feet have got so used to them, I will do an additional 117km in them as i plan a replacement. Maybe that will be a good reward for myself for having surprised myself with running that much. I think i have mentioned it elsewhere, if you asked me at the beginning of 2020 if I could run, I would have laughed you out of the room. Now look at me, clocking 45km weekly and hopefully it will get to 60 or 80km per week.

Have a good week everyone.

On labels or that kind of thing

A number of the readers here identify as atheists. Some who don’t do so identify as either non religious, agnostic and a few as anti-theist. Yesterday I was reading a paper, An argument for unbelief: a discussion about terminology by Nickolas G Conrad in which he makes the case that the best all encompassing term to use is unbelief. Atheism as we all know is loaded politically and socially and doesn’t cover the nuances of say Barry, who for all intents has rejected the orthodox dictates of religion but still find some relevance or utility in religion (a term that you might realise is not so straightforward by the way) or my friend from across the lands Veracious Poet or Nan.

He also argues, and I think I agree, that referring to some ancients as atheist do not do them real justice. They could have rejected orthodox religion but never did refer to themselves as atheists. They were freethinkers in France, Fouriers, positivists or followers of Saint- Simon but not atheists.

What do you think?

Tomorrow sex will be good again

By Katherine Angel

Is a book I would recommend for those still actively having sex or who plan to get some action in the future.

In it she addresses the issues surrounding consent especially following #metoo and other campaigns aimed at addressing sexual violence against women( especially women because they are overly represented in the number victims of sexual violence) and explored whether that active consent is a sufficient guarantee that women will be safe.

She explores arousal, desire, vulnerability and asks some very pointed questions. Many times men are won’t to say that women when they say no actually mean yes or that their bodies speak a different language which is not said for men. It is argued that the female body is disconnected from her person. And this unfortunately has been used in legal cases to argue against rape where defendants have said the woman was wet and so she must have wanted it, regardless of her protestations.

A very interesting question or theme that runs through the book is how can sex research which claim to be objective give us any results when sex is removed from its very subjective context of negotiation, desire, arousal and all those things we associate with sex?

Sex she argues is political. Especially in the manner in which the female body and desire is policed. And asks whether to demand that women be performative in the sex game will lead to any liberation? Is it the panacea to sexual violence? I don’t think so.

Go read the book. Happy week everyone and have some good sex while at it.

Things I never learned in Sunday School

By Nan Yielding

First, thanks Nan for the free copy. It is an interesting and easy read. I think a revised edition is due especially because I think you have in the intervening period learnt something that maybe was not available at the time of first publication.

This book is not a polemic against religion or an apologia. Maybe we could say it is an argument against taking someone as an authority without good reason. In this respect, I think Nan makes her point clearly throughout the book.

That said, I have a few issues with the book.

On the pentatauch, she alludes to Moses writing the first five books. First comment is that the existence of Moses is highly doubtful but that’s a story for later. On the authorship of the first five books, research that I have read point to a multiple group of writers. My preface to the African Bible( used by the Catholic Church) is explicit that while it is commonly believed Moses wrote those books, this is no longer tenable.

On Jesus, Nan writes in a manner that shows she is convinced of at least two things; he existed and had a message of love that he taught. The interesting question here is which Jesus. And having read several researches on Jesus life, I would ask with Ark, which Jesus? Nan writes we are certain Jesus died but this is putting the cart before the horse.

What can be said of the resurrection? She points out the various contradictions in the narratives telling of this special event. And I don’t think much needed to be added. Maybe we can say with Mangassarian that if he went to the sky it is best to live him there.

She writes a lot on Paul which is understandable because of his influence in Christian teaching. The first question is Paul who? Does the author of Acts know Paul? And while her conclusion is correct that without the Pauline literature, we would likely end up with a different religion today. She takes it for granted that Paul was. And I would think, as the theme of the book is not taking things on authority, a little bit of rigour would not be asking for too much.

Her exposition on the devil is quite illuminating. But in that chapter she says we are certain a supreme being exists? But does it really? Are we certain about this? What is the nature of this being & though in the final chapter she makes the argument that resembles that of Aviciena( via negativa) that maybe we can’t begin to name or even describe this being, this gives us no light on whether we should assume such a being exists.

I am not convinced the argument about the Roman empire persecution of Christians hold against scrutiny. I will have to dust my books & update this criticism but her position is not tenable.

I am African and it is a pet peeve of mine when I find African deities or religions referred to as tribal gods. This is following Hegel where everyone else has national gods or just religions but the African, no. His is a tribal god. I know it is not Nan’s fault here that most literature sees Africans only through the lens of tribe.

I think on matters where there is doubt, to express certainties must surely take away from the value of the work. To claim a supreme being/ god certainly exists is to stretch credulity a little far. My other general comment that covers the whole work is on miracles. The bible which is the source document for Christian belief is said to be a miracle- that is, it is not of natural production but involves the action of god(s) in unknown ways- is in need of defence.

While reading the book, a thought occurred to me concerning monotheism. Is it a belief in the existence of only one god or the belief in & worship of only one god While not negating the existence of other gods? The israelites are told not that other gods don’t exist, just that they should worship a specific god. Or as Nietzsche put it, the other gods laughed themselves to death when one of them said I am on the only god. Am I missing something?

Happy Sunday everyone. And thanks again Nan for the book.