Day 350

I lied. Okay, no I did not lie, but I did change my mind after writing and publishing yesterday. I had originally said that I was not going to the gym. After lunch I thought to myself that I could stay home, be lazy, watch some television, maybe even enjoy a cigar on the balcony… and then at 5:30pm I could come sit at my computer to be ready to start teaching at 6:00pm. I realized that I could continue the patterns of behaviour that while not completely lazy (I would, after all, be working that evening), were certainly lazy-adjacent. These were hours that I could use to maintain the status quo (one that I have been unhappy with these last few months), or I could do something else. I have complained in these pages too many times about eating exactly what I am supposed to eat, yet not losing weight. If you want a reference, look at yesterday’s entry. Not this time.

Before heading out to the gym, I folded and put away my clean laundry from the previous night. This itself is a change – so often the clean laundry has remained in the dryer until I needed it, or until the housekeeper came (every 2-3 weeks). This is the second time in as many weeks that my clean laundry has been folded and put away in a timely fashion. I made sure that I had the right clothes for the gym, plus water and a pair of earbuds, and off I went. I worked on the machines for 30-40 minutes; I got on the treadmill for 20 minutes (including three bursts of actual running and not just walking). I spent ten minutes on the hydro-massage bed before hopping into the shower quickly to rinse off before sitting in the sauna for fifteen minutes. I showered again and was home by 5:00pm.

I did stop off for a handful of peanuts on my way home. This is still a bad habit, but considering the intensity of my workout, I suspect my body will have metabolized them pretty quickly.

Okay, it is time to head to the doctor’s office for my consultation and weigh-in. I was telling Leslie last night that I hope that I have lost 1.8kg from my last weigh-in, because if I did, I would have lost 40kg in total since starting my journey (according to the doctor’s scale. The nearly 2 lbs. difference between that and the 90 lbs. that I claim to have lost on my bathroom scale is based on the difference between weighing myself dressed versus naked. Wish me luck!

Missed it by that much! I lost 1.6kg, which leaves me just shy of the 40kg mark. I have great faith that will be in two weeks. My blood pressure is 97/67, which is not much different than it was when I was in the Army. There are a lot of health concerns that I have to worry about. High blood pressure is not one of them. If it were something I sought, I could have all the sodium that I wanted! No, I do not plan to change that – the fact that I do not add salt to foods is because of taste preferences, and dates back to childhood. Don’t get me wrong – I will add salt to my food if it is bland and there are no other options, but it is a rare occasion. In November when I made my homemade chicken soup, I looked for a saltshaker, only to realize that I do not have one in this apartment. I had been living here fourteen months when that realization came to me. For the record, I do have a pepper grinder, but it is the one that you buy in the supermarket that you throw out when it is empty and buy another one.

My doctor and I discussed how I have been feeling after two weeks on my ADHD medications. I told him that I am seeing a slight improvement, but I feel that I could benefit from an increased dosage. He told me that he expected that the lower dosage would not be sufficient, but he wanted to start slow. He doubled my daily dosage, so from today forward I will take two pills in the morning until my supply runs out, and I have a new prescription for the higher dosage in a single pill. I am glad that we are taking these steps. The more I see and read of others experiences with ADHD, the more I realize that so many of my faults are caused by this, and there is hope… as long as I am willing to ask for help. That does not mean that I am not going to continue with therapy – my regular appointments begin next Thursday, and I am eager for them – but I have been in therapy before, and I feel that a combination of that and the medications is a better course of action for the best possible results.

It is a foggy day, and Princess Sophie (who did have a good walk this morning before it started to rain) is on a play date with her friend Charlie (who begged to see her so much that I received a text message as I was coming home). I have a meeting at noon, after which I will make my lunch and then go to the gym. The forecast shows rain all day until about 10:00pm, but as long as the wind is not bad then I can sit outside with my cigar after my workout. We will see – I am binge-watching a show that friends have recommended to me for years, and I finally got around to it. I know that Leslie will be with her son this evening, so I will likely be alone. We’ll see… maybe I will go out to visit a friend.

I took a leap yesterday that most will consider unusual. I have been a milk fiend my entire life, and although I have not drunk it straight in years, I have always taken it in my coffee. To be clear, it has always been milk. It can be 1%, 2%, or non-fat… but milk is not cream. Also, it comes out of cows. While there are other animals that we can milk, the only fruit, nut, or legume that actually has milk is the coconut. Over the past two years I have changed my eating to kosher-style. If you do not understand the difference between kosher and kosher-style, do not worry about it. Suffice it to say, I do not mix milk with meat. In the Army, a completely kosher environment, we were not allowed to be served meat until an hour after we were last served dairy; going from meat to dairy was a six-hour wait. Those have been the guidelines that I have tried to follow these past two years. The only exception that I have made has been for milk in my coffee. I am not sure why I made this exception, but I did. It was a spur of the moment decision at the supermarket yesterday afternoon to buy almond milk instead of my usual cow-juice. I decided to give it a try and see if I can make the adjustment. As I sit here with my second non-dairy-milked coffee of the morning, I have to admit that I do not love the taste… but I do not hate it. I will spend a few weeks trying to adjust to it.

(It is ironic that this morning on my Facebook Memories page there was a post from three years ago that I wrote saying: ‘Until you show me the nipple on a soybean, almond, oat, or coconut can we please agree that milk comes from mammals?’ At the time I was living with Liza, and between her and her daughter (two California shprintzeleiahs like you’ve never seen), they had ‘milk’ in the fridge from all of these and more… but if I wanted actual milk for my coffee, I had to buy it myself.)

I mentioned last week that I added a calendar reminder to my Outlook to remind me to go to the gym, and I will keep it there. I know that I am a firm believer in tough love, but I am thinking that I might have worded it too harshly. ‘Go to the gym you fat, out of shape SOB!’ is more of an old-me, guilty, threatening, insulting toned message, reminiscent of the negative influences I got from my mother and an old friend named Andy. As of right now, I changed the wording going forward to: ‘Gym Time! Let’s get into shape!’ This is a more positive and encouraging message than it was. If I am trying to be a kinder and gentler me with other people, maybe it is time that I try to make the same change when speaking with myself.

Occasionally I will look at myself in the mirror and say something nice about myself. For example, yesterday when I came home from the gym, I put on a button-down shirt in preparation for my class and said to myself ‘Wow, you look pretty good!’ Occasionally complimenting my physical appearance is a sign that my feelings toward myself have improved greatly in the past year. I still look in the mirror and see a fat slob, but I also know that I have taken huge steps to improve myself, both physically and otherwise. My emotional state today is much better than it was a year ago. I mention this because if I am feeling better about myself, then maybe I am right and yes, it is time for me to be kinder and gentler with myself. When I was at my heaviest, I needed the tough love to get on track. It was not easy, but it worked. Now that I am on track and am for the most part out of the danger zone, then as long as I am not in danger of falling back into my old bad habits then maybe I can be less harsh on myself. I will keep an eye out though… if I start regressing then maybe I will have to revert to my old Drill Sergeant tough-love tone. For now, positive self-encouragement is my plan.

I mentioned to Leslie last night that I do feel good being back in the gym. Yesterday was my first trip to the gym without a personal trainer session. I might have gone once or twice at the beginning between sessions, but that was knowing that I was going back to the trainer in a few days. I am done with the trainer, and it is time for me to show that I have the discipline to do it on my own… and the dedication to stick with it. Yesterday I was in the changing room when someone came in, looked around, and said something like ‘Oh, we each have our own locker and the showers are separate. Good!’ he stepped out. I muttered that the ‘New Years Resolution Babies’ are going to be here for at least a week, and someone laughed. No, my joining the gym and starting to get into shape is not a New Years Resolution, but it is still something that I need to figure out how to stick with for the long term. If I do not, then I might as well be just another one of those quitters… and I do not want to be a quitter.

Have a great day folks!

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