The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Spiderman 3

Adam Crafter, a biologist at the University of Kansas, is performing an actual, no-b.s. clinical study on I.F. We’ll be talking about it on the blog and over at the Lifewriting discussion group. I invite any of you who are interested to input your questions and discoveries over thar…the plan is to write a book on this subject in a year, covering aspects from health to performance to weight loss to meditation. We’ll see, but meanwhile…chime in!
Here are the general principles I use with I.F.:
1) Aim at no more than 2 pounds per week. If you’re losing faster than this, you aren’t eating enough on Feasting days.
2) Supplement seriously. Use broad-spectrum nutrients (cereals, powders, capsules, etc.) IN ADDITION TO plentiful and fresh foods across a wide range of healthy foods.
3) When breaking fast, use Warrior Diet: start with fresh fruit and vegetables, then protein, and lastly complex carbs.
4) Exercise. Use Sonnon’s Performance pyramid: Sanity, then health, then fitness. Protect joints and skeletal structure, organ systems, muscles. Tibetans, yoga/Sun Salutations, Tai Chi, Chi Gung, FlowFit are all appropriate.
5) Hoodia can be used to control hunger on Fasting days. Desert Burn is a good brand.
6) Small amounts of fresh fruit can help control hunger. Also raw carrot sticks, etc. Try to stay below 300-500 calories on Fasting days.
7) On Feast days, eat hearty, especially for the first few weeks. If you want to lose weight, cut carb calories first.
8) Drink 8 glasses of water/day.
9) Take 3 hours a week of the saved time. Use it for exercise, goal setting, meditation. Refining a hobby. “The Golden Hour.”
10) 6-6, Warrior Diet and Every Other Day and “Waving Calories” are all effective variations.
11) Use a meditation practice to help process the emotional material that arises. Heartbeat, breathing, mirror, chakra, etc.
12) A ‘Cheat Day” is a good idea. Mine is Friday, so I eat on Thursdays, Fridays, Sunday, and Tuesday.
SPIDERMAN 3. Oh, what the hell, I’m a Spidey freak, and have been since Junior High school, where one of my peak memories was watching Peter Parker knock the snot out of a trio of drug dealers without slipping on the red/blue tights. What a rush.

Anyway, I say that to say that I enjoyed this movie just fine, but it ain’t perfect. The middle lags a bit, it seems overly weepy, and at least one major character is given serious short shrift. But I loved it anyway. Basically, Spidey 3 features three different villains (Sandman, Venom, and the “New Goblin”) and their different relationships with Peter Parker. Very different. What Stan Lee did back in the 60’s, giving realistic human angst to superbeings, Sam Raimi has pretty much mastered. Of course, when a comic book is hit-and-miss, you just wait until the next issue. When a quarter-billion dollar movie does the same thing, you can feel the flop-sweat in the theater.

Now, Spidey 3 is no flop. Nor is it, in my opinion, as good as the second one. I LOVED me some Doc Ock. But all the supporting characters get good screen time, the FX are outstanding, and Toby McGuire has good, evil fun with the “bad” side of Spiderman.

Overall, I had a hell of a good time. A “B”

Recent conversations about I.F. went into weight loss, inevitably, and I spoke of my own attitudes about weight. And some of my readers pointed out that the obese deal with massive social rejection and persecution. I said “perhaps” this was true, and promptly, anonymous trolls showed up and said really ugly things about fat people. I would like to apologize, and say “yeah, you’re right.” There is simply no excuse, under any circumstances for such impoliteness. There is too damned much pain in the world to go and deliberately add more.

This blog is intended to be a place where I can empty out my head, to make room for new thoughts, my own version of Spiritual Autolysis, modified for public consumption. I believe in the sanctity of the human spirit, whatever its fleshly form. Yes, I encourage people to lose weight if it is affecting their health or happiness. Please note that I am equally pushy about healthy relationships and a satisfying career.

I’ve taken heat from black folks because I say the black community is responsible for pregnancy, crime, and radio filth. I’ve taken heat from whites for suggesting that much black dysfunction is a result of 400 years of oppression. From single people for saying that relationships are an excellent means of self-improvement, and from those without high monetary ambition for supposedly saying that if you ain’t rich, you ain’t worthwhile. In each of these instances I have, and will continue to explain what I mean, not out of guilt, but because I prize communication.

The weight thing is so obviously a land mine that I want to be especially careful, and state my position clearly: I have no right, and no intent to judge the quality of another’s soul. I say things based upon research and observation, and am doubtless often wrong. I don’t mind being wrong, but I hope I am never cruel or callous. That, I could not tolerate from myself, and I will not tolerate it from others, either.
So, what I’m looking at is the way that I.F. can feed into other aspects of life, starting with the old Golden Hour. Certainly, if you’re going to do this, you will find yourself with a least 3 extra hours per week. I strongly suggest that you use this time for meditation, goal setting, and exercise. The “Five Tibetans,” available all over the web for free, is excellent, and takes only a few minutes. If you can already do 21 of each Tibetan, perhaps you don’t need it. But if not, please consider it seriously.

Meditation? Focusing on your heartbeat for 15-20 minutes works great. Goal setting? Know where you want to be in 10 years. 5 years. 2 years. 1 year. 6 months. 3 months. 1 month. This week. Today. What are the “A” goals (critical, do At Once) “B” goals (important, do By end of day) and “C” goals (interesting but not critical. Can wait). Do all of you’re A goals, then your B goals, and then the “C” if you get around to them.

Start over again the next day. You’ll be astounded at how much you can get done.
Mushtaq has come up with a great way to blend I.F. and internal work. Let’s face it: dealing with physical hungers is a major part of becoming an adult. Sex, food, sleep, comfort…the call for these things can be blisteringly loud. On fasting days, you get the opportunity to interact with one of these demons first hand, for real.

Choose a time when the hunger is acting up. Find a quiet place, and close your eyes and go INTO the hunger. Learn about it. What does it want? Where does it come from? If it says it wants food, ask it what will happen if you don’t, if you wait until tomorrow?

You can go deeper: what color is the hunger? What weight? Temperature? Shape? Does it move, and if so at what speed? Does it make a sound? If so, what is it’s character?

What you have here is an opportunity to get to know one of your demons up-close and personal. Your demons all have similar character, even if they use different tactics. Conquer one, and you will increase your power over all.

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