Day 358

It is not often that I get out of bed in the middle of the night and come to the computer to write. I have not fallen asleep yet, so while it is now tomorrow, I feel like it is yesterday because I have not slept. As expected, I had a very uncomfortable conversation yesterday evening, and I cannot get it out of my mind… nor the repercussions, and things that I will have to do to finish that off. It is too painful to sleep, and I wish I was not on a diet so I could crawl into a bottle of scotch and drown myself in my sorrows. I do not really have that option though, do I? It is the middle of the night, and I have to be bright and alert to teach tomorrow… and what a long day it will be; I am scheduled to log on to my daytime class at 9:00am, and I will sign off of my evening class shortly before 10:00pm. I will have three 15–20-minute breaks during the stretch but my lunchtime, usually reserved to sit, relax, and eat, will be taken by an appointment with my therapist. While it will be a very long day indeed, I can think of no day more in need of a conversation with a therapist.

The only thing I am looking forward to tomorrow (today?) is stepping onto the bathroom scale. After my first full day on the strict program, I expect I might be down a pound. Yesterday morning (or today?) I weighed 310 lbs… which means that in the next day or two I will finally break through that elusive 300-pound mark and into what I once dubbed two-town. I do not know how my stress and inability to sleep will affect the numbers on the bathroom scale; while I am hopeful for progress, I am not expecting anything. The stress of the day might affect my body in unpredictable ways. I might be five pounds down or five pounds up for all I know. There is no way to predict it. I am just going to have to wait and see.

While yesterday was supposed to be my first day on the strict program, I actually did not conform completely. I was meant to have five meal replacement shakes for a total of 800 calories. In fact, I only had four, totaling 640 calories. Add to that my three cups of coffee, including almond milk and raw sugar, and I did not even come close to seven hundred calories on the day. Yes, I have been hungry for the last couple of hours… but I do not want to eat after 9:00pm. I did drink a lot of water during the day as well, which is prescribed on the program. I really should keep better track of my water intake, but it was probably at least two large Blender Bottles – probably between 1.5 and 2 litres. I will try to keep that up for the next few days and will endeavour to keep better track of it.

Okay, I am going to go back to bed and try once more to sleep. I will eat another melatonin gummy in the hopes that sleep will not continue to elude me. One can always hope, right?

It is perhaps a bitter irony that on the morning after I got the terrible (but expected) news, after the restless and mostly sleepless night that followed that news, I stepped onto the bathroom scale and I saw the number that has been just out of reach for two months. My weight this morning has dropped below 300-pounds for the first time since I started my diet just under one year ago. I wish I could share the celebration with Leslie. Unfortunately, that is not in the cards. I am at a loss for words on that subject.

Yes, today is the first day of my residency in Two-Town. I was going to say that I hope that I am now a permanent resident, but I remembered that hope is not a strategy. I am going to have to work hard to stay here, and to become more deeply ensconced in it. While the Jeffersons moved on up, my goal now that I am here is to move downtown… I am at the very top of the Two-Town neighbourhood; by spring I hope to be in the 260s, and by the end of autumn I would love to be around 210. Is that possible? I do not know. These are goals; whether I will achieve them in that timeline I cannot say, but I am going to work on it. To quote Paul Simon’s Crazy Love: “Well this will eat up a year of my life… and then there’s all that weight to be lost”

When life gives you shit, it is important to try to find at least some positive. You can see shit as smelly waste that leaves a bad stench, or you can see it as fertilizer that eventually give you roses.

  • Let’s start with the fact that I was able to stick to the full, unmodified program yesterday. I was truly concerned that I would not be able to. Whether that will be sustainable for a couple of months or even a week or two is still unknown… but I will do my best to stick with it for as long as I can. More on that in a few minutes.
  • As I mentioned in an earlier article, I have decided to wear a shirt and tie (often with a jacket) when I am on camera from now on. The first three days of this week I wore shirts that I had custom-tailored for me when I weighed sixty pounds more than I do and had altered to fit me again about forty pounds ago. Today I put on a shirt that I had tailored when I weighed thirty pounds less than I do today, in 2017. It fits perfectly… even over an undershirt. In honour of that, I am also wearing the tighter sports jacket that I had made at the same time.

…yeah, that’s about it. I cannot think of any other positives this morning. I am glad that when I start telling them I will have the full support of all of my friends… but I am not ready to start telling people yet. I will start with my therapist, with whom I have my first regular appointment today during my lunch hour (which, with the consent of my students, I pushed by 30 minutes to accommodate). Two of my friends knew (not suspected) that it might be coming. Everyone else? I do not feel the need to advertise my pain.

I want to get back to the meal replacement program. I mentioned that yesterday was my first day on the strict program, and that I have enough product to make it through next week when I will have the time to drive into Scarborough (with the current traffic it would be a one-hour drive each way). This is a combination of the American and Canadian products, which are different in a number of ways. I have done the math, and I have enough American shakes to get through the third meal replacement Sunday. If I replace two of the shakes with soups (also American product), then I make it through Sunday night. I will have a couple of soups left over, but that’s neither here nor there. Monday morning, I will start on the Canadian product, which changes the program in two significant ways. The advantage of the Canadian program is that it gives you an extra 100 calories, which is that much more energy consumed. From experience, I know that I have been able to survive and even thrive on the Canadian program. The advantage of the American program is that while it is fewer calories, you eat more often throughout the day – five meal replacements instead of four. Eating less, but more often throughout the day, has real psychological advantages, and even with fewer calories, I know I was able to survive and thrive on this program too, and eating less but more often is a good solution to the boredom-eating that I am prone to. Starting with a few days on the American program and then changing to the Canadian one after a few days will give me those few days to get used to only eating meal replacements… five of them for five days, before transitioning down to four of them on Monday.

My goal most days is to stay on track, or right the course, or to not cheat. Today is a much harder day, and my goals are:

  • Make it through the day without falling apart.
  • Do not fall off the program – consume my five meal replacements, and nothing else.
  • Figure out how to be completely professional all morning, then open up to my therapist at lunch, and then immediately transition back to being professional right after lunch.
  • Stay awake! I am working on a total of three hours of fitful sleep, and I have a twelve-hour day ahead of me. While I seldom do this, I expect that I will be preparing a second pot of coffee today.
  • Try to get a good night’s sleep tonight. However tired I might have been, sleep eluded me last night, and I will pay for it today. I might need the coffee to stay awake today, but however tired I might be, I will need to cut myself off around mid-afternoon so that the only thing impeding my sleep is my brain, and not the chemicals.

Will I succeed? I have to… my career depends on it. No matter what is going on in my personal life, I have a reputation of being a top-notch technical trainer; I have learned the hard way a couple of times that a minor slip can have devastating consequences… and this cat is on his seventh if not eighth life in some things. No matter how sad and depressed I might get, I have to put on a brave face for the students… and for the training centre. I can fall apart on the weekend… as long as I schedule it in advance.

Have a great day folks!

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