Day 369

Any day that the bathroom scale registers a drop .6 of a pound I will be satisfied. It is not likely to be a daily occurrence, but that is the average of what I have dropped the last four mornings, and I am very content with that! If the trend continues then I will arrive in Dallas at precisely 290.0 lbs., and Leslie will be utterly shocked when she wraps her arms around me. That is not to say that a pound up or down would influence that – I know she loved me when I was at my heaviest too – but she is the second main reason I want to succeed on my weight loss journey. Before anyone tries to read into this, the number one reason is for myself!

I came to two realizations yesterday. Oddly enough, they both came in public washrooms.

The first of these was when I walked into the washroom to pee, and there was someone at the first urinal, so I just walked by him to use the second one. It was only after I was past that I realized that a few months ago I would have had to pay special care to pass through the opening between the man and the wall so that I did not bump either. Today I walked by without slowing down and did not touch either. That is a huge non-scale victory. Just the other day a friend asked me at what point I would stop worrying that I would bump into things, on account of my hips being so wide. I told her that I never worried about that because I wasn’t a klutz. I hadn’t thought about it, but she is right… I would so often have slowed down, turned to get through, said ‘excuse me,’ or whatever. Hmm.

Later in the day, I realized that my shirt was untucked, so I unbuckled my belt and the pants button to tuck them in. As I secured the belt, I realized that the top of my pants were folding over. If you have been morbidly obese then whether you were ever on a weight loss program or not, there is a very good chance that you have worn a pair of pants that did not fit just right. In order to hold them up when they are a little loose, you tightened your belt another notch (or two) so that they would stay up. It might not have mattered to you, or it might not have that as you did that, the top of your pants folded over the belt. However, I did not think, knowing that less than one month ago I ordered these Size 40 pants – and then ordered another pair because they fit – less than a month ago. I know the timing because I looked on my Amazon app as I walked back to the table… I ordered them December 25. I pressed the Return button, and I will take them to the UPS Store to send them back tomorrow. I will also order a couple pair of Size 38 pants… but as I am going to be in Dallas in three days, I will order them to Dallas and not to my Canadian address. While there is a slight savings, the big issue is that I want to wear them when I am in Dallas. I am hedging my bets though… I am only returning one pair of pants and bringing the other. These may be loose on me, but I do not know if I am quite ready for a Size 38. On the other hand, I have actually lost more than fifteen pounds since I ordered these… I am optimistic!

Now that I am most of the way through my first coffee of the morning, I realized that while I likely will order new pants, there are two things that I should remember. The first is that it is possible that they will not fit me… yet. I was all excited that I will be wearing a smaller size and had visions of whatever going through my head. It is possible that my Size-40 pants are a bit loose, but the Size-38 will still be too tight. I realized this initially this morning as I was buttoning up my second pair of Size-40 pants… the ones I ordered a few days later, so I have a few extra days before deciding if I am going to return them as well. Okay, I will not be returning them; with this pair, I will exchange them for the smaller size. However, I am going to wait and see if the Size-38 actually fit first. The second realization was that I might not have to wait a few more days to find out. Last week when I reorganized my clothes, I was left with one final bin of clothes that did not fit yet. In that bin there are two bags of pants labelled Sizes 36-38. I did not realize that I might be so close to needing them, so that bin went downstairs into my locker. I was going to have to go to the locker today anyways to get my suitcase (so excited!!), but while I am there, I will go into that bin and get those bags out. I do not know what is in them – I have not opened the bag in over a year – but I suppose it is likely that there is at least one pair of Dockers in there that are the right size… and possibly a couple other pair that I will try as well. I know that my Size-40 jeans are still pretty snug, so I do not expect that a Size-38 Levi’s 501s (which I know I have in there) will be going into my regular rotation… but I am going to spend ten minutes trying on pants this morning. For the record, in my life that is not a sentence that I ever thought I would be excited about. I have always hated trying on clothes. If it shows visible progress, then I am happy to make that exception. Last week, when I did the same exercise with all of my shirts, I was equally excited!

I made a huge mistake yesterday. I forgot to bring my meal replacement with me. Couple that with my outing being much longer than expected (culminating with a couple of friends telling me they had something to talk about, and let’s talk at the restaurant). I sat in the restaurant as they ate, watching them eat. I used the usual excuse that my stomach has been funny lately… they did not need to know that ‘funny’ really means ‘much smaller than it was, and still shrinking.’ It turns out they wanted to discuss a business opportunity with me, and I was completely not interested. I also sat through the rest of their meal wishing there was a polite way to tell them that I was leaving so that I could go home to a meal replacement shake, but without telling them about my diet… well, not an option. I also wish there was a polite way to tell them that talk is cheap and if they want to propose a business to someone then they have to show up with a business plan, but again, not really an option. All of this to say that I did not enjoy my third meal replacement until 8:30pm… which meant that unless I wanted to stay awake until 2:00am, I would not be drinking my final one. My total daily caloric intake for yesterday was under 700 (including my coffee dressings), which is definitely not advisable… but once in a while is not the worst thing to happen. I was a bit hungry from 6:30pm, but not so much that I needed to cheat.

On my way into Toronto, I spent nearly 45 minutes talking to one of the women from the Facebook group who has been doing the program with no real support. She read my blog and asked to talk. Wow, I heard what ‘support’ she was getting (or not getting) from the clinic where she gets her shakes, and I was silently thinking that I wish I could have them shut down for malpractice. They gave her very little guidance, which was counterbalanced by a lot of really bad advice. I told her that I would be happy to support her as she starts (in addition to her reading my blog) back on the program, but that she might want to find a woman who is going through it (or who has gone through it before) because there are a lot of issues that will be the same for men and women, but there are also going to be things that I cannot advise or guide her through. I know how my sex drive has changed, but I do not know how it would affect a woman. I also know very little about the program’s effects on menstruation… and so many other things. I think for now she will rely on me and will look for a woman for when she needs… female advice. I realize that I enjoy supporting people who are going through the same challenges as I am. She told me that she liked me because I was not pulling punches. When she told me about one of the pieces of advice her ‘support person’ from the clinic gave her, I told her that it was complete bullshit… in those words. That would offend a lot of people; I do not think that I would have the patience to counsel or support someone through the journey who needed me to blow sunshine and roses up their rear ends while they were faltering or being given bad advice. When I was a Company Sergeant in the Army, I was a hard ass… just like I was when I was coaching high school basketball. In business, I know I have to be more professional, and I know very well how to do that. On this particular weight loss program, where there are a thousand ways to fail but only one way to succeed, I do not think I can be that person. I probably could be… but I don’t think that I want to be. I want the people I spend time and effort with to succeed, and none of us (myself included) got to be fat because people were being mean to us when we ordered that 2-pound plate of wings.

It is Monday morning, and I am eager to start the day. I have a meeting with an organization called CompTIA at 11:00am which is essentially to tell me what free or discounted materials are available to me as a trainer. It is nice to know that like Microsoft and CompTIA appreciate that trainers are not only teaching their materials, but they are in many ways their evangelists. When I teach a Network+ Class, I have the opportunity to remind students that CompTIA also offers great exam prep material that they can buy; I might also encourage them to consider the next logical course for many, Security+. While I get paid by the training organization to teach the class (who in turn buys the courseware from CompTIA), it is nice that CompTIA recognizes that building a relationship with me will encourage me to encourage my students. I did this for Microsoft for so many years (and will continue to do so for them for years to come I am sure), it was only recently (the last 2-3 years) that I have expanded my course offerings to CompTIA; I am happy that they are now reaching out to help me with it… especially knowing that the retail price for my next CompTIA exam retails for $392, and that every dollar of discount helps!

After that, I am going to do some studying… as well as some playing around with my Linux environment because there is so much to explore in it. Yesterday morning, I was using it a lot for my study group and I as seeing a lot of things that I want to play with. As eager as I am, I know that for some of them it will be better for me to go through the courseware and then do it along with the demo videos… and then go from there. Most people do not realize that the difference between a hacker and a cybersecurity specialist is which side of right and wrong you are on. While hackers are criminals, a lot of what they do (which are things that we are exploring in this course, so that we can defend against them) is actually a lot of fun! Maybe I will go to the gym too… I really should.

Something else that I should spend some time on today is preparing my laptop for the trip to Dallas. While that might sound like a dichotomy – aren’t laptops designed for portability, so that you just take them and go? – I am not taking my teaching laptop with me; I will be delivering two classes from Dallas, and I will be taking my much lighter (and much more powerful) laptop with me. I know that I have never taught from it, so I want to make sure it has everything set up properly. That means that I need to have the courseware on it, and make sure that the remote training software is installed and working properly. I will probably spend a few minutes teaching from it tomorrow evening to make sure that everything works before flying on Wednesday. I am not worried about the slides – I know that even if I did forget my slides and my notes on the other computer, they are all synchronized to the cloud and easily accessible. I want to see if the built-in camera and microphone are good enough. They should be (it’s a really good machine!) but I do not want to get there and realize that I missed something.

I am astounded that it is only 8:45am, and I am almost ready to publish… even though I am not teaching this morning. My eyes popped open early, and while I tried to get back to sleep there was a combination of a pain in my knee (that pain that only shows up when I am lying down for longer periods, but then goes away when I have been upright for a few minutes. It did not help that I kinda had to pee… had my knee not been a factor I would have gone back to sleep for another hour. That was not in the cards, so I kicked out of bed at 6:45am. The ground outside is a combination of icy and salty (for my southern friends, we use a rock salt to melt snow and ice so that people can walk without slipping and falling), so Princess Sophie walked over to the nearest grass, peed, and said Let’s go back inside, Daddy! I was happy to oblige her… we will go out a little later one, when it is not quite so cold and windy (I hope).

I am going to go down to my locker now to get my suitcase and the pants that didn’t then but might now fit. I’ll be back as soon as I have tried them on. Don’t worry, I’ll only be a minute (or so it will seem for you!)

I told you I wouldn’t be long, right? I am now sitting at my desk comfortably wearing a pair of Size-38 Dockers pants. I could hardly believe how well they fit! I was expecting them to be tight, that I would have to suck in my belly to button them up. No, they fit… and I have two pair of them, which means that I will not be ordering another pair to Dallas; rather, I will be bringing two pair down with me… along with several pair of shorts that did not fit me the last time I tried to put them on.

The collection of clothes that are too small on me is shrinking. A year ago, there were four full bins… pants, shorts, button-down shirts, golf shirts, suits, and t-shirts galore. suits Was it only a week ago that I consolidated what was left into a single bin that was not quite full, but certainly close to it. Now… I left several pair of Size-36 jeans and pants (most of which still have the tags on them) in the bin, along with three button-down shirts, a few golf shirts, and some t-shirts. While this morning was another best-weight-yet day on my current journey, I am now thirty (and a half) pounds from my best-weight-ever… or at least in the last twenty years. I have vague memories of weighing close to that when I was on Weight Watchers in February 2005 when my first marriage ended, and I remember walking out of the last meeting feeling dejected because I had gained a pound, and how sad I was. I stopped losing weight that day and began the long ascent into morbid obesity.

I have so much more to say, but I am going to save something for tomorrow. It is now 10:15am. I am wearing Size-38 pants, and I called my wife so that we could kvell about that for a few minutes. Princess Sophie heard her best friend Charlie somehow, and begged me to go spend time with him, so the apartment is quiet. I have my next call at 11:00am, and after that I will study for a few hours.

Have a great day folks!

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