Digging in and out

Itadakimasu! “Let’s dig in!” I have seen the Japanese word translated that way occasionally, and it can certainly look like it, as it is said immediately before one starts eating. But actually this is a religious custom and the phrase means “I will receive”, “I humbly receive”, “I gratefully receive” depending on whom you ask. Now, having this attitude toward snow…

As I told you yesterday, I came halfway at best in my attempt to dig myself out of the house and establish connection with the nearest cleared road. On the bright side, I did get my heat pump excavated, and the general vicinity of the house, and started getting into the biggest snow drift before I gave up. I also got to experience the feeling of being exhausted without being winded, something that I hear is perfectly normal for humans.

I guess the reason why I have rarely if ever felt it before is that my family tends to burn a higher proportion of fat rather than carbs. It is not just us, it is very common on the west coast of Norway. This kind of people can eat lots of fat but it melts away again as they go about their daily life. It is probably an adaptation to a climate that is great for rising livestock but bad for grains. People would have less starch in their diet and more fat, so the genes of the survivors reflect this. Heart infarct is generally uncommon in the province where I grew up, and extremely rare in my family on my mother’s side. I know less about my father’s family, but it seems it actually could happen if you lived long enough. In any case, the point is, your blood sugar does not run out if you are not burning it, or very little of it.

It may be just old age, or perhaps my years on a low-fat diet has caused the body to switch to an alternate mode. (Although I currently have enough body fat, though it took me a year to replenish it after I was forced to shift to low-fat by some mysterious illness.) In any case, today I consciously worked slowly, to make sure I did not get winded, just breathing deeper than usual. This keeps the body in fat-burning mode, as fat is a more plentiful but slower energy source.

(By the way, if you are looking to get rid of a few pounds, the “fat burning” slow exercise is overrated. Yes, you are burning mostly fat, but because of the slowness you are not burning MUCH of anything. You will have to keep it up for a long time, and most people have too much to do to actually keep exercising for a long time. For the average modern person, who exercises for health, it is better to work out harder (if your health allows, of course). If however you have a fixed amount of work to do (like, say, shoveling a ton or two of snow) then doing it slowly will indeed burn off fat. And if you live on a low-fat diet for unrelated reasons, then it will take its sweet time coming back on.)

Don’t worry, I still have fat enough to survive for weeks at the very least! Just a little bit less of it than yesterday. As an added bonus, I kept radiating heat for a while after I came in. So yes, I gratefully receive! Although I am sure I can get fed up if it just keeps coming and coming. Even if it snowed candy, I would be fed up after some days, I am sure!

PS: I do have food too. Today I had leftover rice / pasta / tomato / maize stew from yesterday. Pretty good, although it was a bit too spicy for my tastes yesterday. It felt less intense today, quite enjoyable.

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