Day 347–January 1, 2023

Happy New Years to one and all! It is usually at the end of the year, rather than at the beginning, when we reflect on the past year. After sitting and chatting with Eduardo last night, I have been thinking back on it. 2023 was a great year and a troubling one. I married Leslie, I lost over ninety pounds. During my weight loss journey (which is ongoing, and at the current pace will take another year) I wrote in this journal every single day (although I missed a day on the blog because I forgot to press Publish). I have had some professional ups and downs, but I am still standing. Fortunately, my career as an IT Trainer is still going strong… despite some bad bumps on the road.

All has not been sunshine and roses though. I experienced a lot of downs. Knowing now what I do, many of them were caused by outside interference, and many more by my only recently diagnosed ADHD. These were all very difficult, but I am hoping that with therapy (which resumes next week) and medications (which started last week, but which I hope to be able to increase my dosage of this week) I will be able to navigate my future in a much more positive way.

Yesterday I spent a few hours with Lyle and Dorothy. As promised, they served a homemade chicken noodle soup for lunch which was quite tasty. We exchanged holiday gifts, which was quite sweet. They really are very thoughtful people. I am sitting at my desk with my new Montreal Canadiens mug, which was only one of the eight Chanukah presents they bought me! We sat outside and talked for a couple of hours before I went home to take care of a few things that needed to be done. I arrived home and realized that Princess Sophie had been dognapped! No, not really… her friend Charlie asked his Mommy to pick her up, and they spent the afternoon together. By the time she came home, she was wiped out!

I enjoyed the soup, but it was not as satisfying a meal as I hoped for. By 4:00pm I was hungry, and I made my usual chicken and salad. I made an Israeli salad with tomato and onions. It was quite tasty! I am not sure why I held the lettuce; it probably has something to do with a photo I saw on my Facebook Memories. Either way, I will likely be back to my regular scheduled salad with my lunch today.

I did some work on the computer that I have been meaning to do, and then at 6:30pm I was ready to head out to see Eduardo. Her Floofness wanted to go out first, so we went for a quick walk (which included taking care of all of her business). I was not going to deprive her, especially since it was raining in the morning, and she held it in much of the day without an accident. I spent a few hours with Eduardo, and then was home (as predicted) shortly before 10:00pm… in time to take the Princess out for one more walk. I then spent a couple of hours on the computer until a minute before midnight, when I texted Leslie that I loved her, and then shut down my systems.

While I did have the soup and then a full meal, as well as some nuts at Eduardo’s, I do not think I went overboard. I think that for my first ‘back on track’ day, I did pretty well. My goal is to keep doing better, and that this year – 2023 – will be the last year that I will ever have to do a crazy intense diet. I know I will have to work on getting slim this year, and then work on staying slim every day for the rest of my life. I do not have the genes that some people have that lets them eat without gaining weight, so if I want to be thin and in good shape, it will have to be a constant in my life. I am not saying that I will never be able to have a cheat meal… only that I will not be able to fall back into the bad habits which plagued me for the past twenty-seven years. Also, I will have to work hard to stay in shape, which means not only from a dietary standpoint, but also from a physical activity one. I do not know if that will forever mean going to the gym, or fitness walking, or Taekwondo, or a combination of these and other activities. I just know that my obesity is only partly caused by my love for fattening foods, and it could have been held in check had I always remained active.

I have a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, but for today my bathroom scale is reading all over the place. The numbers ranged from two pounds up from yesterday to two pounds down. I was able to get two consistent readings at that lower number, so I accepted it. I am, once again, half a pound from my best-weight-yet territory. Considering I did not really veer from the program yesterday, I think it is best to start the new year on a positive note. Again, I will be weighed on the doctor’s scale on Wednesday, and that will be my next official weight. For now, I can be as angry as I want with my bathroom scale… or rather, with the floor of my apartment which is absolutely terrible.

Assuming that the bathroom scale is reasonably accurate this morning, it means I have two major milestones coming. First, I am only 3.5 lbs. from breaking under the 300-pound mark; after that, I have only another five pounds to go before I can honestly say that I have lost one hundred pounds. I confess that if it were not for life getting in my way (and myself getting in my own way) I had expected to hit both of those milestones in early December. Okay, I dealt with all of the crap I had going on, and now it is time to buckle down and lose more weight. If I am truly a creature of habit, then I can look at the past year and realize that after four months of weight loss I had lost forty-five pounds, and then plateaued for about two months. I then lost another forty-five pounds and plateaued again for a little under two months. If that is to be a pattern, then I do not mind getting down another 45-pounds between now and late April. Unfortunately, it is not so easy for me to sit on the plateau and know I will indeed follow the pattern. I also have to be careful to not aim for it, because while it would be nice to be down to that weight, I am trying to get into a healthy lifestyle, and by forgetting the pattern I could skip the next plateau altogether. We’ll see. In the meantime, I just want to press that elevator button to start going down.

I had a very frank discussion with Lyle and Dorothy about weight loss, and especially how important it is for him and me to continue on our parallel missions to get healthy and lose weight. I told him that until his recent stroke, he and I had a very dangerous problem: we were extremely obese, but otherwise we were perfectly healthy. Of course, that is not entirely true, as is demonstrated by my gout and his stroke, but on the surface, it seemed that way. We discussed the importance of regular medical visits and checkups, including heart rate monitoring but also bloodwork and more. I am glad that I have been checking in with my doctor every month (and occasionally more frequently than that), and for my American readers who may believe the Republican propaganda bemoaning the condition of the Canadian healthcare system, I can vouch that it is both extremely efficient, and completely free.

I suspect that stores are closed today, but that matters little as I have everything I need in the house. I took Princess Sophie out this morning, and of course I will do so again later in the afternoon. Between now and then I will likely have a lazy holiday Sunday. The only actual chore I have to do is to shine my boots, which needs to be done quite regularly during the snowy months. Aside from that, I will relax, watch some TV, maybe read a little bit, and possibly study some Torah. We’ll see what the day brings. I am sure that at some point there will be a cigar or two in the mix.

Have a great day folks, and happy new year!

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