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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Mixed Bag of Stuff

There are a few small thoughts I’ve been wanting to share… none warranting a post of its own… but each important in its own small way. With your permission I’ll address them all here today… so skim the titles and feel free to read only the topics that interest you:

Far Flung Fans (say that 3 times fast!)

I feel a bit self-important calling any of my readers ‘fans’. I mean, for all I know, many of you may come here in order to poke fun, or perhaps to learn what not to do in your own journals/blogs. This wouldn’t be the first time someone regarded me as a cautionary tale!

That having been said, I have noticed a significant increase in traffic from Germany. Now I’ll admit that when I first started treppenwitz, I didn’t anticipate a large readership. But even more so, I didn’t dream of a large non-English speaking readership!

I am in awe of anyone who can regularly slog through my ramblings… but to do so when English is not one’s mother tongue is amazing! I sometimes see links from Lila’s blog in my referrer logs. This might explain some of the traffic. But every day the German audience seems to grow… even without referrals!

All I can say is Willkommen!

Whatever it is that brings you here, day after day, I hope I can keep doing it. Feel free to say hello… even in German. I have a few friends (not to mention a nifty online translating tool) who I’m sure will help me with the translation.


I’m back on a strict diet.

I’ll wait while the laughter subsides from my wife’s side of the office.

This really is nobody’s business but my own, but I feel like I need to start treating my unhealthy eating habits the way an alcoholic treats his/her drinking problem: It’s a sickness, and the more people know I’m sick, the more likely I am not to keep doing unhealthy things to myself!

In my case the problem isn’t food in general… but rather Carbohydrates.

I am addicted to pasta and bread and cake and chocolate and candy and potato kugel and donuts and brownies and challah and oh-my-goodness please chain me to my desk so this list doesn’t lead me straight to the corner store!

Several years ago I realized that my weight issues were tied to this one food group. On my doctor’s advice (and under his supervision) I went on the Atkins Diet and started a reasonable exercise program. Within 6 months I had lost almost 50 pounds (bringing me to my ideal weight)… my cholesterol had dropped dramatically (it was never really high)… and I promised myself I would never allow myself to become a slave to carbs again.

Again, we’ll wait a moment while Zahava composes herself…

The misunderstood thing about the Atkins Diet is that it isn’t about completely eliminating carbs from one’s diet (well, it is in the first stage, but not after that), but rather finding the delicate balance at which you are eating just enough carbs to avoid gaining or losing any weight. This balancing point is different for everyone, and requires first losing the weight, and then slowly reintroducing small amounts of carbohydrates into the diet until you notice that weight loss has stopped. But once that happens, you have to also figure out when to stop adding carbs before weight gain begins again. This is tricky to do, and requires a level of honesty with oneself that I apparently lack.

Ideally, once you reach this delicate equilibrium, you are allowed to occasionally splurge on birthday cake or a celebratory milkshake, and then compensate with a comparable reduction in carb intake the following day. But for some reason, every time I had ‘blown’ my diet for a particular day, the carb train just kept chugging along past the station! To use a crude analogy… each time it happened I was like a recently deflowered virgin who thinks, “what the heck… now that I’ve given in I may as well make up for lost time and become the neighborhood slut”.

So now I am back on the diet, and back on an exercise routine (more about that below). But in addition, I am telling my family… my coworkers… my friends… my regular hitchhikers… and now YOU:


[anyone out there who wants to become a ‘diet buddy’ with me is welcome to send me a note]

Tai Chi

As I mentioned in the previous topic, I needed to combine my improved eating habits with an increase in physical activity. I used to do a lot of indoor wall climbing, walking and Tai Chi. There is an indoor climbing wall near my office in Beer Sheva, but it is temporarily closed for renovations… so that will have to wait. I have started walking again after work (one lap around the grounds of my office = 1 km, so I can set tangible goals), and I have just found a Tai Chi class that I really like.

The Tai Chi form that I used to practice was the Ch’uan long form, and this new class is using the Yang short form. This means I really have to start learning from scratch. However, the teacher has the one quality that makes the setback worthwhile: He teaches only the form… not any sort of eastern philosophy/religion. I already have a philosophy/religion (Judaism, in case you just tuned in) and I’m not shopping for a new one. I just want someone to teach me how to do the form correctly, and I trust that the ‘Chi’ will be smart enough to go where it needs to go once I become proficient.

Good Readin’ List

I’ve added a couple of new names to the list of places I frequent. If you feel like you have a little extra time on your hands, please consider checking out some of these talented (and fascinating) writers. You’re all (presumably) grownups… so go, or don’t go as you see fit.

‘Nuff said!

Search Me!

A few people have mentioned that my archives are a bit cumbersome to navigate, so I have added a Google search for my site. You'll find it up there just under the ‘SOUL’ button. If there is anything in particular you want to find here at treppenwitz, just type a kew word into the window, and if I’ve ever mentioned it, you’ll find it right away!

Happy Hunting!

Photo Meme Update

I have taken about half of the pictures that you requested already. You can feel free to continue making requests because I have a feeling I’ll probably have to serialize the pictures. By this, I mean that I will post the pictures over the course of a few weeks… each posting will be the response to one person’s ‘three wishes’.

GeeMale Invites

I am positively swimming in invites, so if you or anyone you know is in need of a GeeMale account, please feel free to send me a note.

[yes Virginia, I know I misspelled the name of the product… I don’t want the search engines to bring the bottom feeders here like they did the last time!]

Posted by David Bogner on October 19, 2004 | Permalink


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Looks like ze Germans have found you ;) But...by now they have only good words about you. Mossad's been busy.

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Oct 19, 2004 4:13:49 PM


Posted by: zahava | Oct 19, 2004 6:32:12 PM

Good luck with your diet- and thanks for the link :-)

Posted by: Alice | Oct 19, 2004 6:48:32 PM

About Far Flung Fans.

Dear David,
As you know, I am German, too. It was by chance that I found your weblog when searching for information about Israel. Since then, I am visiting your site regularly, enjoying your fresh style of writing. I told lots of my (German) friends about your blog as we are all on desperate search for serious but at the same time entertaining weblogs (which are still hard to find).
To make a long story short: We are more than happy that we found you and will do our best to bring even more Germans to your website.
All the best

Posted by: Sandra | Oct 19, 2004 8:02:09 PM

Congrats on the diet. I just lost 57 pounds doing low-carb. Most of that was weight I gained during my recent pregnancy. And I am keeping it off. Feels awesome!

I'd recommend reading The South Beach Diet book (if you haven't already). It contains great recipes and is an interesting read about health, good carbs vs. bad, and how the body processes foods.

Good luck to you. :)

Posted by: Stacey | Oct 19, 2004 8:41:34 PM

Mademoiselle a... I doubt the Mossad has taken much of an interest in me. After all, I'm the last surviving centrist in Israel!

By the way, in case you didn't get the hint, you're one of the first people I'll be running to if anyone decides to leave a comment in German! :-)

Zahava... I love you dearly... but you might not be happy with my response the next time you ask me, "Does this make me look fat?"

Alice... Thanks for the encouragement (G-d knows I need it). Enjoy your trip to London (I'm jealous).

Sandra... Ahah! So you're the instigator?! Well, thanks so much for the compliment. I really meant it when I said how impressed I am that you and your friends can make sense of my journal in English. Heck, I have English speaking friends who claim not to understand me half the time!!! :-)

Stacey... I was reading your blog and was quite impressed! Not just with the weight loss (I don't have the pregnancy excuse... unless you count sympathy weight), but with your writing, too. Consider yourself bookmarked!

I especially liked the Jewish Geography story. It really is true... if two Jews don't know someone in common it just means they haven't talked long enough.

Anyway, I hope your baby feels better soon.

Posted by: David | Oct 19, 2004 9:22:36 PM

Ah, Tai Chi Ch'uan. I miss it so.

Studied the Yang style (long and short forms) for several years. Great stuff. You'll learn to love it!

Posted by: Lachlan | Oct 26, 2004 6:13:04 AM

Lachlan... Why am I not surprised? I want to be you when I grow up. :-)

Posted by: David | Oct 26, 2004 8:53:26 AM

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