After taking a very dangerous slip at the kerb at the bottom of the stairs from the apartment (from which I recovered unharmed and without falling), I walked to the corner where the Uber was going to be waiting for me. Sure enough, he was late, but that is perfectly understandable. It was not only the walkway that is solid ice – the sidewalks and roads were a solid sheet of ice up until we got onto the PGBT highway. That I had to wait in the ‘cold’ for six minutes was much less an inconvenience than would have been his crashing and not being able to pick me up. The drive to the airport was slower than it ever has been, but again, that was perfectly understandable. Leslie was not kidding when she told me that I might not be able to get to the airport at all! The roads were exactly as bad as she predicted they would be. By the grace of G-d, I arrived safe and sound.
I checked in with the airline and sailed through security. I was not sure if the weather was going to cause the airport to be a mob scene or a ghost town, so I wanted to arrive as early as I could. That everything went smoothly was great, but that left me a lot of time to sit patiently. I was going to find a Starbucks, but there is another restaurant – Chili’s – across from my gate. Their coffee is just as caffeinated as it is at Starbucks, and the Internet is just as unreliable. The only problem is that I had two hours to kill… with a lot of temptations everywhere I looked.
Leslie and I both have a love of Japanese culture and language. Last night she introduced me to a word I was not familiar with (not surprising, since I do not speak the language). Kuchisabishii (口寂しい) is defined as ‘When you are not hungry, but you eat because your mouth is lonely.’ How many times have I told her I was going to eat something, and she asked if I was hungry or bored? I think this word is less about boredom and more about loneliness and sadness, but those are two emotions that I a feeling right now as I sit at the airport, less than 2.5 hours from when I hugged my wife for the last time until… when? I do not even know when I will see her again. It is common that we see each other every month, but that is still a month until I can hold her again… and that makes me sad and lonely.
I have walked through airport terminals on every continent, and without exception there is temptation everywhere you look. Whether I am sitting at Chili’s on my laptop (with the tasty and extremely unhealthy foods that the very nice Darryl will bring me just for asking), or walking through the terminal, there are scores of opportunities to cheat. Would it be so bad? The food would help me to feel a little better, if only for a few minutes. Who would know?
I would know. My weight loss program is not about show, and lying in my journal would not help me if I stepped onto the bathroom scale tomorrow morning to discover I gained weight because I was weak. As it stands, it is likely that I will have to purchase a snack along the way – either on the airplane or at LaGuardia – because the travel day that was supposed to be a direct flight to Toronto (3.5 hours) is longer than I thought (8 hours from taking off at DFW to landing at YYZ, not accounting for travel to the airport, waiting at the airport, collecting my luggage, clearing Customs, and traveling home). I do not know if the three protein bars that I packed will be enough to get me through. I will try to stay true to my program so that when I step onto the bathroom scale tomorrow morning I will weigh less than I did this morning… even though I spent the day on airplanes and in airports.
My mouth is bored, sad, and lonely. Frankly, so is the rest of me. I am now sitting at the gate, but Chili’s is only fifty feet away… not to mention the myriad other shops and restaurants that will gladly sell me chips and chocolates and candies and and and… but I am not going anywhere until they call my boarding group. The sign reads that boarding will start in nine minutes, and while I know there are other temptations on the airplane, I am going to stay strong… no matter how bored and sad and lonely my mouth is. I have a protein bar to devour the moment the flight attendant brings me a cup of coffee… and I decline the proffered cookies or pretzels. My mouth might be all of those things, but despite it all I am reminding myself to stay mindful and remember the mission I am on… to lose weight and to keep it off. I cannot do that if I do not stay true to my program. I might, depending on availability, sit down and have a salad at LaGuardia… as long as I can find something that is healthy and nutritious, and not detrimental to my program. That would be the extent of my program deviation… and really, it would not actually be a deviation, as I had always planned to restart my full-fast program tomorrow morning.
Okay, the gate attendant just announced that boarding will be delayed because the crew is not here yet… but they are on their way from their hotel, so as long as we are not waiting for them on an incoming flight, it should not be too long of a delay. I am crossing my fingers because the longer I am here, the better the chips at the convenience store are looking. G-d give me the strength to get on the plane without testing me too badly.
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