Day 345

For all of my recent trepidation about my stalled plateau, I had a real non-scale victory yesterday. The pair of Size-40 pants that I ordered arrived, and they fit! I was so happy about it! I was on the phone with Leslie when they came in, and I tried them on with her. We were so happy. I am going to order one (or two) more pair, and I have removed the two pair of Size-42 Dockers that I have been wearing and placed them in my ‘ready to donate’ bag.

In the movie The Hunt for Red October, Captain Marko Ramius (brilliantly if insensitively portrayed by the late great Sean Connery) says: “When he reached the New World, Cortez burned his ships. As a result, his men were well motivated.” Sometime in 2020 I was at my best weight since I started gaining weight after the Army. I had collected a huge Ikea bag filled with clothes that did not fit me anymore. My plan was always to take them to a donation box and to help clothe the homeless. I never did, and that bag of clothes ended up as my safety net. As I regained all of the weight that I had worked so hard to lose, I did not have to buy new clothes; all I had to do was reach into that bag. I will not do that this time. Eleven months ago (on Day 12 of this journal) I wrote that I had separated all of my clothes that did not fit because they were too small into five bins:

  • XXL Shirts & T-Shirts
  • Pants Sizes 40-42
  • XL Shirts & T-Shirts, Pants Sizes 36-40
  • Suits, etc.…
  • Taekwondo – doboks & non-current belts

Over the course of these eleven months, I have emptied most of these bins. My XXL shirts fit me and are now mostly too loose on me. My suits and tailored shirts are now hanging in my closet, dry cleaned and pressed; they fit, even if I do not have a lot of opportunity to wear them. I still have a bin filled with XL shirts and t-shirts, many of which do fit or are still a little tight but will fit by the time the warm weather returns. I still have a few pair of Size-36-38 pants that will not fit me for a couple of months.

I am not going to go through this again. I gained the weight back because of a lot of bad decisions coupled with a lot of hard and traumatic times, but it was easier to do because I had my fat clothes that I could fall back on. I will not make it that easy for myself this time. If I fall off track and find that my ‘slimmer’ clothes do not fit anymore, it will be a financial burden to gain the weight back. Why? I am donating every pair of pants, every shirt that does not fit me. I am not leaving them in a large bag in the corner of my room for that scenario… I am getting rid of them. When Leslie was here in November, we took a few bags to the donation box, and it felt good to be rid of them. Not only am I shedding pounds, but I am also burning my ships. As a result, I will be more motivated to succeed. Just like Cortez did (or at least, as he did according to Captain Marko Ramius). Every time one set of bags is gone, I am ready to start a new one. I did that yesterday… and I ordered another pair of Size-40 pants, which should arrive early next week.

I had my usual lunch, and then sat on the patio with a cigar, video-chatting with my wife. It is wonderful to be able to talk with her more freely again – when she has her son, it is harder. We have now had two cigars together in as many days, and two long conversations catching up on so many things we have not had the time or freedom to talk about for a fortnight. After that time, I went out to buy groceries, as I at the last of my lettuce for lunch. Supermarkets are always a great place to be tempted and to fall off the wagon, but I think I did pretty well. I did buy challah for tonight, but no other real cheat items.

The universe tested me at the supermarket! I picked the first grocery cart in line, and in it there were two boxes of chocolate almonds that kids sell to raise money for their cause. I love chocolate almonds! There they were, two sealed boxes. I left them in the cart, thinking about what to do with them. I bought everything that I had planned to buy – chicken, vegetables, challah rolls, and as I mentioned a few days ago, I picked up a box of Corn Flakes breadcrumbs to make my breaded chicken. When I got to the self-checkout, I asked the girl overseeing the area if these boxes might be something they actually do sell in the store. She confirmed that it is not. She was probably in her late teens and was astounded that not only did I find one, but two of them. It was a spur of the moment decision to give her one of the boxes. She was extremely grateful. As I was walking toward the exit, I made the decision. I could lose weight, or I could bring the second box home with me. I found another employee in her late teens and handed them to her, wishing her a happy new year. It was the right thing to do… and it made two kids feel good at the same time.

I had a good chat with my diet buddy, who is now a month post-surgery, and seems to be on the right track to shed a lot of weight. For the few cheats that she told me about, I reminded her that there are much better reasons to go to Mexico than weight loss surgery; I told her that while her stomach has shrunk, it would not take a lot of effort to stretch it again… and the best way to not let that happen again is to not fall back into the old habits. As one of the ADHD reels I watched yesterday pointed out, I am much better at giving good advice than I am at following it.

Following our call, I went out onto the balcony for a cigar. Princess Sophie asked to invite her friend Charlie over, and the two of them romped and played for a couple of hours. When he went home, she jumped up onto the chair where her blanket was already laid out for her, and she hardly moved the rest of the evening. In fact, it was the first time that I can remember that when I got up to go into the house (not to get a drink or a cigar, but for the night) and she did not make any move to come inside. I cleaned out the ashtray, I washed my dishes, and when I was ready for bed, she was still there. I finally picked her up, blanket and all, and carried her to the bed. She is really a sweet princess! I was reminded of a childhood memory when we came home late from somewhere, and my father picked me up out of the car and carried me to bed, and I fell right to sleep. I do not have any memories of doing something similar with my own children… although funny enough, the ex-girlfriend in California had a teenaged daughter, and one day her friend’s father rang the doorbell and told us that Hannah was passed out drunk in his car. I picked her up and carried her up the driveway, into the house, up the stairs, and put her into bed. I can assure you that Princess Sophie showed me more gratitude and love just for carrying her in last night than that twat did the entire time I was with her mother.

My plans for today are simple. After lunch I will go to the gym for my last session with Kezi, which will not only be fun, but it will also be important because I need to remember to stay on track and go to the gym on a regular basis after she and I are done. When I am home from the gym, I will likely sit on the patio with a cigar. It might be raining, but as long as it is not windy, I will be able to stay dry and enjoy it. At the moment the mercury reads 13°, and by the time I am ready balcony it should drop by two degrees… which still makes it unseasonably warm for the Greater Toronto Area for this time of year. In fact, according to the long-range forecast, the next time the temperature is predicted to drop below the freezing point is Tuesday night. I can live with that! At sunset I will light the candles and say my prayers, and then I will once again retire to the balcony. I see no reason to sit inside, when I can comfortably sit outside.

On the subject of weather, it has been so nice these last two days to not need my heavy winter jacket. Yes, during the day yesterday it was a bit breezy, and I opted to put on my gloves with my spring/fall jacket… but it is still infinitely more comfortable than having to wear my heavy ski jacket. I will ride this weather as long as it lets me!

I just added a calendar reminder for myself every day to go to the gym. Knowing that most of my currently scheduled classes are in the evening, I have haphazardly added it in for 1-4pm every day. Of course, there will be a lot of days that I cannot go, and there will be a lot of days when I will not go in that time slot. For the second week of the year (January 9-13) I am teaching during the day, so those reminders have been deleted. I am also teaching two nights that week, but I have created reminders for the other days to go. I know it is so cliché to start this at new years, but in fact that is a coincidence, and I really started a couple of months ago… it has just taken me this long to get my shit in order. Hopefully it is.

My only real cheat yesterday was a small handful of almonds (which were not covered in chocolate) on the drive home from the supermarket. In the evening I realized I was hungry again, and I am completely out of meal replacement bars, so I prepared for myself a meal replacement shake. The new bars that I ordered a couple of days ago are scheduled to arrive tomorrow, which will make my life a little easier. Yes, I enjoy the shakes… but there are times when I would rather chew my calories than to sip them. That is one huge advantage the American plan (on which my modified plan is based) has over the Canadian plan. In Canada, you spend twelve weeks drinking four shakes per day, for 900 calories. In the US, you have five meal replacements per day (for 800 calories), but rather than having the choice of chocolate or vanilla shakes, you can choose soups and meal replacement bars as well. Sometimes I find the bars more satisfying than the shakes. All of that to say that this morning my weight was down once again, and I am less than a pound and a half from my best-weight-yet. It would be a nice end to the year if I could get there by tomorrow, or by New Year’s Day.

I just now found out that my plans for New Years Eve fell through. Lyle and Dorothy are going to have a quiet and intimate movie night, which actually works in my diet’s benefit because I will not be tempted to make excuses for another cheat night. The weather for tomorrow evening is cooler than today, but by the evening the rains will have stopped. To make up for it, he and I are going to have lunch tomorrow, which will be leftover turkey at his place. This is likely the longest stretch in over a year that I have not seen Lyle, but that will end tomorrow. We have a lot to catch up on!

Okay, it is time for me to get cracking with my day. Today is Friday December 30th, which means that everything and everyone is allegedly business as usual. Of course, we all know that is not entirely true, but for my needs it is. I cannot think of anything that I have to do that will require the input of anyone who might be taking a half day for the holiday or blowing off work (sorry… calling in sick) to extend their weekend. I have to focus on me… food, gym, cigars, Shabbat.

Have a great day folks!

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