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Welcome to the Thunderdome.
That is my pet name for this newsletter. It would also be an epic name name for a newsletter.
I would open every edition with this 6 second video:
But alas. My last name isn’t Thunderdome.
So I will stick with the play on words thing I got going here. It always gets a rise out of people when they put together the name of the newsletter.
Who am I to take that away from them?
On to the newsletter!
Table of Contents
Lessons from 43 days of doing an elimination diet
Two recommendations on what to watch
1. Lessons from 43 days of doing an elimination diet
I kicked off an elimination diet with this edition of the newsletter.
I updated you three weeks ago on where I was at in this edition.
Eventually I will write one mega post on this entire experiment, but for now, you must accept this small offering as tribute.
2 short lessons I learned from taking all the joy out of my diet and reintroducing it
Your world is a single 43 day experiment away from being completely different.
In the last 43 days (January 4-February 16), I lost 20.5 pounds. That is a lot of weight. Sure, a lot of it was garbage weight that I picked up over the holidays in the form of goldfish, cookies, IPA, and cake. But still, it is astounding that you can lose that much weight in such little time.
20 pounds is the kind of weight loss that is noticeable to people. The kind of weight that changes the way your pants fit and makes someone at work say “oh wow have you been working out!”
Yes. Yes I have, Dale. Thanks for noticing. Also I secretly hate how conversational you are. Generally speaking, I want nothing more than to be freed from the social obligation of standing here and exchanging pleasantries with you. These conversations are the bane of my existence. However, in this particular instance, can you talk a little bit louder about how good I look? I would like more people to overhear and give me compliments. Compliments are compliant with my diet as they are zero calories and have not been shown to cause any adverse reactions when ingested.
I went through this kind of weight loss before so I don’t find changing your visual appearance in this short a time “shocking” anymore. But it would have been mind blowing to the high school version of myself.
In high school, I was a heavy kid. In my head, there were fat people and skinny people. You couldn’t really “fix” it. You were just big boned, ya know? These were fixed qualities and everyone had them. I was smart, I was funny, and I was heavy. That was my identity. I had a fixed mindset.
If I could go back in time to that 16 year old version of me, I would tell him that you are only 43 days away from changing your life. Not because losing 20 pounds on its own changes someones life, but because once you see that you can change this previously unchangeable thing, you realize that everything else is changeable too. You develop a growth mindset. You internalize that you are changeable!
Thus the larger lesson from losing that much weight is:
Once you see that you can change everything, everything changes.
Deep. I know.
Today I realize that I wasn’t ever a fat kid. I was just a human who couldn’t process the shear quantity of General Tso’s chicken that I was consuming into anything but fat.
I was always 43 days of changing my inputs away from being not fat.
Solving by subtracting
In our culture, we are always taught that you solve problems by addition.
Having skin problems? Try Proactiv.
Having stomach problems? Try Tums.
The essence of an elimination diet is to solve your problems by subtracting. You solve your problems by not doing something.
Having skin problems? Try not eating sugar and dairy.
Having stomach problems? Try not eating nightshades and not drinking cofee.
After this elimination diet experiment, I am a believer in solving things by subtracting.
Two quick results that I have seen so far:
The most effective acne medication I have ever used is not eating sugar and dairy for 3 weeks. As soon as I added sugar back into my diet, the acne returned.
I used to take a melatonin to go to sleep. I have not required a sleep aid ever since I stopped drinking multiple cups of coffee every day. Now I just do one standard 8 oz cup and if I want more, I drink decaf. Because I have found that it is about the coffee ritual more than it is about the “energy” I get from it.
What if the solution to your problem is doing less of something?
2. Two recommendations on what to watch
Your next Netflix binge is Money Heist.
This show is great. It is about a robbery, but very Ocean’s 11-esque in the execution of the crime. Very entertaining and it has an absolute banger of a “theme” song.
Seasons 1 and 2 are especially great. I think it was originally written to be a two-season show, but it became so popular that they brought it back for a few more seasons to milk the series for all it’s worth. Needless to say, I have not been super impressed with Season 3 so far. Albeit there have been some solid callbacks to Seasons 1 and 2 that I have enjoyed reliving. But there are apparently two more seasons after 3 so maybe they get better.
It’s in Spanish. So you have a few options like subtitles or having it dubbed in English. I chose dubbed in English and didn’t find the voices that far off from the lips of the characters.
Watch it if you are looking to have a fun time and fall in love with an odd ball cast of characters that are named after cities!
Documentary on the downfall of the New York Times
I am amazed at the amount of trust the New York Times has lost over the last year. And in a wild turn of events they actually chose to publish a documentary on their own downfall! For some reason they called it "Framing Britney" and there is a bunch of stuff about Britney Spears and this awkward financial relationship she has with her father. But it is pretty obvious that the real story is how far NYT has fallen in its ability to tell a compelling and interesting story.
It cannot be understated how poorly researched and supported this documentary is. IMO to call this documentary trash would be offensive to trash.
The kicker is that I agree with the main takeaway. It feels unfair that Britney Spears cannot opt-out of this conservatorship that she is in with her father. But that’s all you are left with at the end of watching it. Feelings. There are no facts. I sat there for two hours waiting for the bombshell. "Oh I bet her dad is embezzling crazy amounts of money!" Nope. He is taking 1% to be the person who looks over her finances. Is that an unfair rate? Idk. Do you know what could have helped me answer that? Actual journalism where they actually look up similar cases and explore fair market rate for that job. Instead, they found:
Three salty people from Britney’s past that all said some form of “her dad was always in it for the money” while stroking their framed "Oops!... I did it again" platinum album that they for some reason still have hanging on their wall
A #FreeBritney cult that spends an insane amount of time trying to Ouija board out Britney's tweets to determine if she is crying out for help.
But of course, the Internet loved it. Because it was another cultural hit piece that fits our narrative de jour. I long for the days where we were allowed to have standards.
Watch it if you are interested in train wrecks and the death of journalism!
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1. Congrats on the weight loss! 2. We loved Casa de Papel too. Bella Ciao is catchy as hell. It’s an earworm - so thanks for that. Well done on the newsletter.