On Working Out, Mindmapping, my Writing Backlog, and a Long List of Blog Topics

I must say, the past few weeks have been somewhat transformative for me. I’ve been going to the gym at my workplace for the past 2 weeks, and it has had the most restorative effect on my mind. Though as a downside, I haven’t felt much motivation to write anything worth reading. My primary goal is to lose fat. When I first showed up at graduate school, I weighed 208 pounds; now I weight 276 pounds. For the sake of my health, sanity, and for want of a Mrs. Unpropaganda, I have to lose the weight. I’ve kept my plan pretty simple: stay under about 2100 calories a day, MWF do weightlifting and 30 minutes of cardio, and TR do 60 minutes of cardio. That comes to 210 minutes of cardio; well in excess of the minimum amount of 150 minutes. I haven’t seen any weight loss yet, but it’s only been 2 weeks, so it is probably hard to notice any fat loss in so short of a period of time (e.g. water weight).

There have been other motivating factors as well for taking on a weight loss plan. At my workplace, there are some really fat people. It’s not hard to see why; they sit around all day at an office job, and constantly eat the garbage food they serve in the cafeteria. One of my co-workers has photos all over his desk of when he used to be thin and handsome; now he’s an old, fat, out of shape tub of lard. The health website my job has linked up to the health insurance company put me at an 80% risk of getting diabetes later in life at my current weight.

Another motivating factor has been, well… my life thus far. I was always overweight as a child. I have never known what it is like to proud of my body, and be happy with having my shirt off. I have always felt uncomfortable in settings where you are expected to be shirtless, e.g. a public pool or the beach. I feel it is time for a change.

Unfortunately, it will be some time before I achieve my goal of weighing 200 pounds. At 276 pounds, it will take between 38 and 76 weeks to lose the weight. Being on week 3 this week makes it easy to quit, just like I’ve always quit in the past. But I can’t quit. There is simply too much at stake. The effort will be long and hard, but the rewards are truly grand: a healthy, slim figure I can be proud of. My plan is to keep this up for a full year (as in, all the way to 9/20/2016), and compare my before and after photographs, and share them with friends and hopefully inspire other people to lose weight. Lord knows overweight people need all the help they can get.

Mindmapping

I find FreeMind to be an extremely useful (if imperfect) way of planning my writing. Typically I just start with one of the topics down below, and “fork out” from there whatever happen to be my thoughts on the subject at the time. Inspiration doesn’t strike necessary on the topic you want to write on at given time, but might instead strike regarding something totally out in left field. Its always good to have “buckets” available and open to catch thoughts as soon as they enter your head!

The Backlog

About a month ago, I brainstormed a rather long list of potential topics to write about for blog posts. I was inspired by The Essays of Michel de Montaigne, who has been (appropriately in my opinion) called the “Godfather of Blogging.” Montaigne was an interesting guy; a well-educated and well-read fellow who decided to pry around that noggin’ of his and find out exactly what he thought about random things. I emphasize “random”; here are the titles of a few of the essays Montaigne wrote:

Of Liars

Of Idleness

Of Friendship

Of Cannibals

My backlog of writing topics spans about 5 pages in my journal. I’ll repost some them here. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be inspired by this list yourself! There is always something to write about!

On Education (already written about here and here, though perhaps not enough)

On Montaigne’s “Essays”

On Sexual Attraction

On the Vagina

On Rulebreakers and Hoodlums (I haven’t devoted an exclusive blog post to this topic, but I’ve broached the subject here, here, here and here.)

On Arabs and Pashtuns

On Propaganda (discussed partially here)

On Young Women

On Mothers

On Important Matters

On Prioritization

On the Workplace

On the Oriential Peoples

On the Hindu Peoples

On Love

On Laziness and Idleness

On Good and Evil

On Liars (Montaigne’s idea)

On Religions

On Justice

On Punishment

On Crime

On the Internet (I can only imagine what Montaigne or Jacques Ellul would have thought of such a development)

On Fear

On Imagination

On Profits and Losses

On the Counseling of Friends

On the Dealing with of Enemies

On Moderation

On Friendship

On Felons

On Pleasure and Leisure

On Intellect and Stupidity

On Investment

On the Defects of Our Government

On Clothing

On Solitude

On Honor

On Inequality (discussed here)

On Sleep

On Names

On the Uncertainty of Our Judgment

On Ancient Customs

On Greed

On the Afro-American Negro

On Subtlety

On the Five Senses

On Prayer

On Aging

On Writing

On Power Politics

On Furniture

On Drunkenness

On Conscience and the Lack Thereof

On Practice Makes Perfect

On Mathematics

On Chemistry

On Children

On Books

On Cruelty

On Desire

On Libertinism

On War

On Liberty (though this fellow has already said more than a mouthful)

On Freethinking

On the University

On the Presidency

On Congress

On Advertising

On the Ends Justifying the Means

On Ancient Rome

On Cowardice

On Virtue

On Anger

On Catholicism

On Islam

On Good People I’ve Met in Life

On Assholes I’ve Met in Life

On Honesty

(going to drop the “On” for now)

Contrition

Commerce

Daydreaming

On the Holding of Meetings

Co-Workers

Engineering

Self-Control

Damaging Impulses

Sadness, Depression, and Malaise

Music

Experience

Apologies

Crowds and Gatherings

Driving of Cars

Christianity

Money (though I have discussed that subject at moderate length)

Handwriting

Opinions

Iconoclasm

Conventional Thought

Fascism

Communism

Science Fiction

Cults

Pain and Misery

Slavery in History

Happiness

Emotions

Stoicism

On Having Sound Judgment

Obesity

Talking too much and too little action

Animals

Video games

Differences between our world and Montaigne’s

Exploration

Glory

Concepts

Power

Doubt and Uncertainty

On the writing of essays

On homosexuality

Democracy

Totalitarianism

Exercise (already discussed in this article)

Weightlifting (I could say a lot more about this subject actually)

Sexual intercourse

Memories

Words and Vocabulary

Diversity

Multiculturalism

Technocracy

Silicon Valley

Slavery

Sexual deviancy

Zoos

Busch Gardens

The Strenuous Life

Being the Best

Sports, Bread, and Circuses

Disagreement

Virginity

Manliness

Femininity

Rap Music

Social Media

Jews

Introversion

Extroversion

Eneergy

Comfort

Gastronomy

Astronomy

Blogs

Death and Dying

The First World War

Life and Living

Suicide and Self Abuse

Masturbation

Pornography

Modern Art

Introspection

Government

David Carroll

Preservation of Data

Metadata

Optimality

Forecasts

Weather

Predictions

Scientists

Religious Fanaticism

Information Warfare

Racism

Mobile Phones

Probability

Airports and Plane Rides

Economics

Which pen to use

On thinking about and approaching problems

Engineering school (somewhat discussed here)

On Fathers

On Brothers

On Sisters

On Languages

Deception

Philosophy

Mathematics

Boy Scouts

Personal Responsibility

Wall Street

Risk and Insurance

Police Forces

China

Free trade

Mass Murder

Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

On the White Race

Drugs and Pharmaceuticals

Texting

Corporations

Engineers

Gross personal habits

The Female orgasm

Presentations before groups of people

Teaching of students

Being a good student

Bullying

Photography

Magic the Gathering

Homes and Houses

COllege

Professional athletes going broke

My Childhood

Adulthood

Personal Grooming

Personal Liberty

On the Setting of Goals

On Time-Management Systems

Mexico

Infographics

Revolutions

Charity

Poverty in America

Noam Chomsky

Labor unions

Big Data

Robots and AI

Nonlinear Equations

Initial guesses

Video Recordings

Lawyers

Corruption

Contemporary Film

Computer Passwords

Rage

Women’s Breasts

Cooking

The Criminal Justice System

Sports

Strategy and Tactics

Clean Living

Teetotalism

Prewriting

Assembling an Essay

The Television News

Mass Media

The Concept of Blogging for Money

Laws and Legalism

Self-Confidence

My Hatred of Prefaces in Books

Entrepreneurship

Persuasion

On a Deserted Isle

Being of Good Cheer

Disdain for Stupid People

On Romantic Dates

On Hierarchy

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