The Pizza Diet

To be clear, before we begin, weight is just a number. For me, this is about how you feel. This may be less likely to work for you if you feel like you HAVE to lose weight, it’s much easier to keep doing something if it doesn’t require effort. I went from 250 pounds down to my current 195 while eating pretty much all the pizza I wanted, but the only time it ever felt like ‘work’ was when I had to convince myself my hunger was an illusion (which is usually is when we’re surrounded by readily available food).

Sorry for what sounds like a click bait headline, but this is an important lesson. What you eat, overall, is important for your health. Eating broccoli, salad, and less-processed food on a regular basis is really good for you. But if you’re concerned about your health or weight and want to change either, it doesn’t mean you have to stop eating the food you’re more likely to crave (like pizza).

I first started focusing on my overall health back in the summer of 2015. I had slowly put on about 40-50 pounds in the 2-3 years previous, and was considered obese (I weighed ~250 pounds all the way from summer 2014 to 2015, despite playing soccer that summer). No matter how active I was, my weight never went below 245.

It turns out, as I learned in the fall of 2015, the only thing that matters is being aware of how much you eat, and being able to control it (at least, for most people… medical conditions notwithstanding). Through a portion controlled diet, wherein I limited my intake of things like fries, pop, and other typical ‘unhealthy’ foods, I was able to hit 215 pounds by December of 2015, and by the summer of 2016 I was 190, lower than I’d been since middle school.

Keep in mind, while I did ‘limit’ my portions, and stop eating certain foods, I didn’t limit myself in any other way. I ate burgers, pizza, and snacked pretty much the whole time. But at a restaurant, I would get a soup or salad instead of fries, and if I indulged one day or for a weekend, I doubled down on my efforts the next few days after.

By doing this, I didn’t lose weight every day, but I did drop 2-3 pounds a week while I was biking, and continued to lose 1-2 pounds a week once it got too cold for that. I had a strategy that worked for me, and I felt better, looked healthier, and needed to buy a whole lot of new clothes.

Now, in 2017, I’m still biking to work every day I possibly can, and I’m ranging from 192-197 pounds depending on the day of the week (I’m not as strict on weekends). I have been weighing myself every day since July of 2015 (except on vacation), and I’ve still never felt better. I know exactly how much I should eat in a day to maintain my weight, and if I’m enjoying a good meal or snack, I let myself enjoy it!

So, this brings us all the way back to the title of this post. It really isn’t clickbait. I eat pizza around 6 times a week, and it isn’t the reason I weigh more on some days than others. I probably shouldn’t eat pizza as much as I am for my general health, but in terms of keeping my weight where I want, the type of food I eat has almost no bearing on that.

It’s all about being aware of how much you’re eating, and reasonable portions once you figure out how easy it is to overeat. For me, even more than calories in/calories out, it’s much more s matter of grams in/grams out. And it’s been working for over 2 years now.

I’ll have more on how I got to this point in future posts.

Oh yeah, empathy.

Why do I care so much that millions of people in another country, only a handful of whom I’ve ever met before, might lose their health care very soon?

The Goldilocks iPhone

No, not this one...

At the beginning of this week, Apple announced 3 new phone models, the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. The ‘8’ models are available for pre-order now, with delivery starting on September 22, while the all-new iPhone X isn’t shipping until the beginning of November (and will start at $1319 CAD before tax or the AppleCare+ warranty).

I love getting new iPhones, and if you have one that’s more than two years old, you’ll probably start to notice new features slowing down the interface just a little bit. But for me, the biggest reason I spent about 5 years as a serial iPhone updater was the camera. Improvements to camera hardware on smartphones have been unbelievable since the first iPhone packed in a blurry 2.0 MP lens in 2007.

When I first upgraded from the 3.5 inch iPhone 4S to the 4 inch iPhone 5 in 2012, the tiny amount of extra screen space was barely even a consideration in my purchase. I liked having a small phone because my iPad was my lap-top (literally) computing device when I was at home, so the iPhone could really shine when I was out and about.

In 2014, Apple took another step up in screen sizes, releasing the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, at 4.7 and 5.5 inches respectively. At that time, while I didn’t love that my phone wasn’t going to be nearly as compact, I accepted the tradeoffs, and openly embraced the larger screen of the iPhone 6. However, what I don’t think I ever really forgot was the compactness of the screen width of the original iPhone (which stayed the same from its unveiling in January of 2007 all the way to September of 2014).

The iPhone 6s was the first iPhone release I skipped since the iPhone 3GS, for a combination of reasons (mostly financial). In hindsight, it seems kind of obvious that I wasn’t as much of a fan of the bigger sizes at the time either, but I recall myself repeating consistently that if Apple ever made a new 4 inch phone with modern internals (camera, processor, etc.), that I would be hard pressed to not upgrade to that one.

In the spring of 2016, when the larger iPhone 6 models had been out for almost 18 months, Apple made my dreams come true and released a new 4 inch phone, the iPhone SE. I got the SE and sold my iPhone 6, and immediately I was happier about every aspect of the phone except for the screen size.

When I had the iPhone 6, I was constantly having to deal with little annoyances. The best thing about it was the bigger screen, making looking at it and watching video nicer and easier. Unfortunately, the rounded sides were pleasantly curved, but made the phone a lot harder to grip compared to the chamfered edges of the iPhones 4 and 5.

If you watch a lot of video, or your iPhone is the only handheld computer you own, maybe getting the most screen size is the best way to go, size be damned. But in a world where iPads exist and are getting more and more versatile, for my needs, having a tiny mobile iPhone and a regular sized iPad is the perfect balance.

I’m very excited about the new iPhone X (ten), and I hope I can convince my lovely wife that it’s worth the upgrade, even though it probably isn’t (amazing cameras aside). But I still like to loudly, and with conviction, state for the record that if Apple put out a new 4 inch iPhone with current specs and cameras and functionality, I would spend whatever it took to get it.

Unfortunately, as with everything in computers, miniaturization is hard. Building a 5.8 inch screen phone with everything the iPhone X contains is much, much easier than doing so with a 4 inch phone. The more space you have to work with, the easier phone making is, even if you invented the modern smartphone with a 3.5 inch screen.