Day 374

This morning was the first since Wednesday that I stepped onto the bathroom scale to find my weight was down. While it is still up from Wednesday, it is the lowest I have weighed since. That is not a significant advancement, but it is huge because of how it happened.

For those of you who do not read my daily posts in order, I will summarize. I am spending a few days with my wife. Yes, she and I live in different countries, and until we resolve that we visit as often as we can. (If any of you have any influence with the US Department of State to expedite our file to the front of the line, I am not opposed to accepting your influence). I arrived in Dallas Wednesday afternoon. I had decided in advance of the trip that I would be taking a break from the full-fast, meal replacements only program for the week that I am here. Wednesday evening we got dressed to the nines and went to our regular sushi spot. I would not say that I gorged myself on really yummy sushi, but it is certainly fair to say that I indulged. Between the travel (which always messes with my weight a little) and the sushi, my weight the next morning was up by two pounds.

Thursday I was mostly good… and that is in large part due to Leslie’s reminding me that the Pringles were a really bad idea, so instead of eating the handful, I ate two and then threw the rest in the garbage. I taught in the evening, so while I had a salad for lunch, I only had meal replacements the rest of the day. I was expecting yesterday’s weight to drop at least a little, but it did not… it was up by .2 lb.

Yesterday I had a rather indulgent salad for lunch, but it was absolutely wonderful. Had I looked at the nutritional information prior to ordering it, I would nave picked something else, but it was delicious… 500 calories, but 52g of carbohydrates. Ouch. We had planned to go for dinner, and I decided to spend some time online looking at options. I spent ninety minutes looking at restaurants, examining food options, checking nutritional values (I had to call a number of the restaurants to see if they had them), and eventually settling on a choice… at which point I spent a full twenty minutes online checking the nutritional values of different options, and planned what I would eat based on that. I felt it was a very responsible and productive use of my time. Had I been working in a full-time job my boss would not have agreed with that statement, but my weight loss supporters will. Throughout the afternoon (a great part of which was spent together at our local cigar lounge) we vacillated… and had almost definitively decided that we would buy fish at the supermarket and bring it home to cook, which would absolutely have been healthier. However, by the time we were ready to leave the lounge, we were both really hungry. The prospect of driving to the market, buying what we needed, then driving home and waiting for me to cook the fish as Leslie cooked the rice… our mutual hunger helped us decide that PF Chang’s was the order of the evening. Despite my hunger, I stuck to my ordering plan… and aside from a couple of bites of Leslie’s yummy veggies (as she took a couple of bites of my yummy fish and spinach) I stuck to it.

On Thursday Leslie took a picture of me in the same pose as my before picture. There was another picture of me from Day 200 (by which point I had lost seventy pounds) in the same pose. I put the three of them together, ensuring the sizes were the same so that the comparison was as scientifically accurate as possible, and posted the results on my blog (as well as in my journal). The difference between the Day 200 picture and the recent one is astounding… but to look at the picture from January 2022 compared to now is absolutely tremendous. In the words of a friend who read how much I have lost… I have literally lost a supermodel. No matter how stark the progress is to my body, yesterday I realized another change that was truly outstanding for me. It was the first time in my life that I walked into a Chinese restaurant, ate a spring roll, soup, and a full entrée, and consumed under 1,000 calories… and under 150g of carbohydrates. I should also mention that I ordered what I wanted, and not what a host or parent wanted me to have. Not only did I accomplish that, but I walked out of the restaurant fully satisfied… and maybe a little over-satisfied. The difference in what I need to eat now to be fully sated compared to what I needed a year ago is mind blowing. I remember nights when I was eating alone when I would order the soup and the eggrolls, possibly an order of dumplings as well. Not sure if I was in the mood for General Tao Chicken or Crispy Ginger Beef, I would order both of them. There would be no leftovers to speak of. A quick look online shows that meal to have about 2,100 calories with 220g of carbohydrates. The calorie count is more than I eat in two days on my full fast, and still 250 calories more than I ate yesterday. The carbohydrate count is more than three times the indulgent meal that I enjoyed last night. The lesson to be learned from this is that I do not have to gorge myself to be completely satiated. By the way, for those wondering… I really did enjoy the fish, and the Peking Duck Spring Roll was absolutely out of this world!

So much of losing weight is a mental game. Would I have loved the deep-fried breaded chicken or beef completely drenched in sugary sauce? I would have enjoyed it as I ate it for sure, but I would have been kicking myself later and this morning for the bad decisions. How did I feel about the fish? I was pleasantly surprised to see that is was very tasty; I was satiated, and there is absolutely no feelings of guilt. I have to remember this lesson every time I walk into a restaurant for the rest of my life!! This is great stuff!

Leslie and I have several errands to run today, one of which will be picking up the ingredients for whatever we decide we will make for dinner. The fact that I was successful on my program yesterday does not mean that we should be tempting fate again today. It is also not written anywhere that we should be eating out in restaurants on a daily basis. Quite the contrary, if I plan to continue losing weight, and eventually maintain it, then restaurants will be an occasional treat, and the order of most days will be cooking for ourselves at home. I know that we will be out and about for a few hours, and I know that if I want to keep the temptations at bay then I have to bring a meal replacement bar with me. That way, I do not have to worry about having to make the choice between grabbing something quick (there is no healthy way to do that in these United States), suffering in my hunger, or coming home early. Planning ahead is the recipe for success. Leslie and I will likely have a couple of cigars on the balcony together – it is not a hot and sunny day, but with a forecast high of 18°, it is orders of magnitude warmer than it is in Burlington, Ontario… and a lovely day to sit outside. We will enjoy each other’s company, and we will have a good mix of productivity and relaxation. I will be able to stay on my program today, partly because I am energized by my success yesterday, and partly because Leslie is my greatest support.

I said before I left Canada that I would consider any weight gain of two pounds or less on the week a success. I think I can do that. We have eaten out twice, and there might be one more meal out, but I will be good throughout. I will make sure of it… and if I get weak then Leslie’s encouragement will remind me to be strong. It is days like today that I think to myself, ‘you know what, Mitch? This might actually work! You might actually be able to lose all of the weight this time!’ Twice before, I went through it alone. This time I have Leslie to support me.

Have a great day folks!

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