February 2019

Some folks have asked for updates on how I’m doing with some of my initiatives for the year as outlined in my birthday post, so if you are not interested in personal stuff, you can skip this post. :)


In January, I shipped something that’s really rough for confidence screens in event streaming. I’m still working on the rest. Finding time to engage with this has been a bit of a struggle. Let’s file this one as “not yet really in progress.”


My diabetes has been a struggle so far in 2019. I am in the middle of making some fairly significant lifestyle changes right now, and am still waiting for things to shake out to see if they are enough.

I tested a five-day fast in late January, which reduced my glucose numbers to human-normal and proved that my body is indeed capable of doing so. I used the time to do a bit of a reset into my new structure. Here’s what happened to my daily measurable numbers with the fast and then immediately thereafter:

(I need to find a better way to chart these over time instead of pulling from my data sheets.)

As you can see, both numbers practically cratered during the fast (though it took four days for me to hit a “normal” glucose number), then rose sharply when going back on food, and since have been gradually decreasing. I’m hoping this trend continues. Based on the fast, I carried around 7 to 10 pounds of nothing more than carb-based water weight.

One thing the long-term fast did teach me is that I can summon the willpower to avoid foods that are worse for me if I really commit myself to the action. I avoided food completely for four-plus days, so not eating between meals or making smarter choices should be easy, right?

My current food adjustment rules are:

  • No soda, diet or otherwise, or milk as a drink
  • No food out, with exceptions made for travel
  • One indulgent meal per month that I just don’t count in any way
  • No rice, bread, pasta, or potatoes, very little “underground” vegetables
  • No eating between meals
  • No breakfast
  • Avoid as much sugar as possible
  • Lots of water or tea

This is essentially driving me towards a combination of not-quite-ketogenic diet (I’m under 50g of carbs a day or so) and intermittent fasting, since I am only eating around noon or 1 p.m. and again between 5 and 7 p.m. and then nothing after that point.

A typical lunch for me before this change was a sandwich with some kind of chips as a side, or some kind of frozen convenience option. Today’s lunch gives you an idea of what I’ve shifted to:

On the left: dark salad greens (spring mix), with a frozen chicken tenderloin (I’m eating the breaded ones we have until they are gone), Provel cheese, and Italian dressing. On the right: wasabi and soy almonds and some cheddar cheese. This whole meal is fairly easily under 15g of carbs.

I am trying to fit my meal portions largely within a small bowl, as you can see above. If it overflows that bowl, it’s too much.

I am currently testing whether I can accomplish a normal blood glucose level without re-introducing a secondary control medication—with the permission of my doctor—and will give it another two weeks to see if I can control it.

What I have not done yet is get back to the gym, which I know is a failing on my part. I haven’t been back since my wife broke her ankle last fall, and I didn’t want to re-start heavy physical activity while I was testing a long-term fast. The only excuses I have left are my own shame, which I should just get over and show up. If I can control things with diet alone, I can imagine that combining it with re-upped physical activity will increase the rate at which I’m making changes. We’ll see.

Mark this one as a “not sure I can make 250 by Combo Breaker, but I’m giving things a good faith effort for once in a while.”

Local Event Streaming

I may have a gig here in the St. Louis area! I have a tentative agreement to stream a Dead or Alive 6 tournament at the Microsoft Store at the St. Louis Galleria the first week of March. I’m still working on doing some tech adaptations to make sure I can create a decent event stream. More on that to come. Let’s mark this as “I think it might happen.”

Japanese Proficiency

This is going more slowly than I would like, but I have kept up with it every day. I’m half-way through level 4 of WaniKani and it looks like a level a month or so is what I can manage with my available time. I won’t be level 20 by the end of the year at this rate, but I am making steady progress. Mark this one as “yup; doing OK.”

That’s it for February; I’ll try to remember to update this again in March.

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