May 2020 weight loss report: Down 1.5 pounds

A miracle in the plaguelands! While the world struggles to flatten the curve, I have struggled to flatten my own curve and the past few months of working from home have led to me getting dangerously close to my previous high bar on weight (from 2008). Not good.

But for the first time in awhile, my weight has gone down instead of up.

This month was the first real attempt to curb snacking and exercise a bit more. I have been walking more and did a treadmill run, but regular jogging is still not a thing, so I have work to do on exercise, but at least I’ve (re)started.

I have cut snacking, but not enough. Despite being down 1.5 pounds for the month, my actual body fat increased slightly, so I’m in a holding pattern right now.

For June, then, I need to improve my efforts, to break out of the holding pattern and start seeing numbers drop. I’ve done it before; I can do it again.

May 1: 178.5 pounds
May 31: 177 pounds (down 1.5 pounds)

Year to date: From 171.8 to 177 pounds (up 5.2 pounds)

And the body fat:

May 1: 23.2% (41.4 pounds of fat)
May 30: 
23.5% (41.7 pounds of fat) (up 0.3 pounds)

Laziest treadmill workout ever

It was noon, I was waiting for a delivery and didn’t want to go out for a walk and miss it, so I stayed in and thought I could do a workout. But I didn’t want to be in the middle of some hardcore exercise when the delivery showed up, so I got on the treadmill, set it to 5–a leisurely pace of 12 minutes per km–and walked for exactly five minutes. I did not sweat.

But I did burn nineteen calories. Woo. Behold:

I gained more than 19 calories back later just by looking at a container of Goldfish crackers.

The delivery showed up about a minute after my workout was complete, so I like to think I handled the whole thing perfectly.

And lazily.

Crazy but true, I am still using Edge

Why am I still using Edge (to be more precise, the new Chromium variant of Edge)? Have I at last gone mad? Did Firefox kick my imaginary dog?

No and no. Well, probably no and no.

I decided to try out other browsers because Firefox was starting to feel a bit sluggish and was exhibiting inconsistent behavior on startup:

  • Pinned Gmail tab stopped loading Gmail. I actually suspect Google is the villain here, as the pinned Gmail tab still works without issue in Edge. Boo, Google. I am still in the process of moving away from Gmail, so this is probably not a knock against Firefox.
  • This very blog is my homepage, as I am a secret narcissist. But most of the time Firefox now refuses to load the page, falling back to a new tab page instead. The behavior seems to be worse in Windows 10 than on a Mac running Catalina.
  • As mentioned already, it starts up quite slow. I figured this was due to the perhaps ironically named extension I use for the new tab page, FVD Speed Dial. But even after disabling it and just having Firefox’s default new tab page load up instead it still takes longer to load. Edge, by comparison, opens in a blink.

A couple of things hinged on me sticking with Edge for more than a day before going back to Firefox, flaws and all:

  1. Consistent behavior on startup.
  2. Faster performance.
  3. No weird issues on any of my usual sites.
  4. I needed to find another new tab page extension to try out in place of FVD Speed Dial.

#1 and #2 have both been fine. #3 has been mostly fine, with a few little quibbles:

  • Some Twitter embeds will not play video. However, I confirmed the same issue in Firefox, so it’s either a problem on Twitter’s end or an issue with an extension I use in both browsers.
  • When downloading my Kobo books, Firefox grabs them properly as epub files (and loads them into Adobe Digital Editions), while Edge grabs them as acsm files, which need to be opened first in Adobe Digital Editions, converted and then moved to my iPad into the superior Marvin ereader app. This is more a minor convenience, as it’s really only one extra step. Still, it’s an extra step and extra steps add up over time into gigantic staircases. Or something.

#4 was the big one. There are lots of new tab extensions out there that offer some variation on bookmarks/speed dials. Some of them are very pretty, some offer unique options, some require a subscription to unlock decent features (boo), but all of them usually lacked in some fundamental way. I like what FVD Speed Dial does–it just offers large thumbnails of sites, lets you divide them into groups (in this case, tabs within the new tab page) and offers robust customizations of the page. I thought about sticking with FVD Speed Dial, but I really wanted to try something else. I did try using the built-in Collections, which actually work reasonably well–except they don’t sync between different machines (despite the toggle existing to allow sync) and this is a deal breaker because I am not manually maintaining two (or more) sets of Collections. UPDATE: Collections suddenly started syncing across computers today, like my post scared the feature into working or something. Weird. This is good, but I still prefer the extension I found, which I mention directly below.

After passing on Collections and nearly giving up, I finally came across Toby, which is a weird name, but a good extension.

The presentation is minimal and tidy. The organization is there, this time with collapsible sections instead of tabs), it’s very fast (it syncs between PC and Mac almost instantly) and it’s simple to drag sites into different groups. It has a few little niggles, but overall, it does pretty much what I want, and the clean look really appeals to me.

Overall, I now have Edge running in a way that works the way I want most of the time. It still has a few annoyances, but surprisingly, it mostly gets out of the way, and is pretty speedy to boot. Having it available on Mac and PC is a plus.

I’m not abandoning Firefox, though. In fact, if Toby were available for Firefox, I might be using it right now (the Toby website erroneously claims it works in Firefox and it’s odd no one has corrected this. I suspect it may exist for the pre-Quantum versions of Firefox, but these are now obsolete).

We’ll see how long I live on the Edge (ho ho), but for now I am content to stick with it.

And have uninstalled Chrome as a result.