Day 397

Thirteen months. I did not realize until I typed in the title for this morning’s journal entry that today is February 20th, which puts us exactly thirteen months since I started on this epic journey of change, of self-deprivation, of bettering myself, and of long-winded journal entries reminiscent of I don’t know what. It has been a journey of minor successes and failures that has amounted thus far to a huge, tremendous metamorphosis from the massively and morbidly obese to being on the cusp of dropping from Obesity Class II to Class I.

After dropping significantly yesterday morning, and not having done any physical activity yesterday, I did not expect a significant drop in the numbers on the bathroom scale. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I dropped a full pound. In comparison to my last go-around in 2020, I am now 3.8 lbs. ahead of that pace, which would have been the day I drove home from Las Vegas. I see that I weighed myself the following morning, so that timing makes sense. If I stay on course, that number should increase significantly over the next eleven days, as I can see that it was eleven days from now that I was last at this morning’s weight in 2020.

With so many of them on the near horizon, I decided, as I lay in bed last night, that it would be a good idea to list out my next few short-term goals. I have written of all of them in these pages, but last night I felt that a cohesive list would be helpful to me:

  • Drop below 275 lbs. by March 2 (the day I visit the tailor). Should I manage to lose an average of 0.3 lbs. per day between now and then, I will beat that mark by nearly one pound.
  • Drop below 272.4 lbs., my best weight from 2017. While this is a personal milestone, it will also mark a huge transition for the medical field, as it is at that weight that my BMI will officially drop below 35, and I will no longer be classified as Obesity Class II.
  • Drop below 270 lbs. by March 9 (the day I fly to Dallas). If I lose an average of 0.4 lbs. per day then I will still be 0.4 lbs. off that mark, but it would still be a success.
  • Gain no more than 2 lbs. during my trip to Dallas. The morning following my return from Dallas will be Day 425, March 20. On my comparative chart to 2020 I weighed 270.6 on September 4. Even though I see that in 2020 I would fluctuate around the 270-lbs. mark until September 21, I am going to revise this goal somewhat: Return from Dallas at or below 270.6 lbs.
  • Drop below 260.4 lbs., my best weight from 2020.
  • Drop to (or below) 255 lbs., by best weight ever post-Army (from February 2005). This, incidentally, will also double as the 140-pounds-lost mark… something huge to look forward to!
  • Drop below 250 lbs., that major milestone that I have no recollection of honestly weighing, the half-century.
  • Drop to 230 lbs., at which point I will be classified as overweight, but no longer Obese.

Looking back on this list, it is not realistic to call some of these short-term goals. If we could classify that term as a 45-day limit, then even if I were to consistently lose an average of half-a-pound per day without fail, I would still only barely drop below 255 lbs. on the 45th day. That would be an impossible pace to keep even were I not going to Dallas and off my full-fast program for ten days. No, it is better to cut off that list at dropping to my best weight from 2020. If I do achieve my goal of returning from Dallas no heavier than 270 lbs., then I will have to lose an average of 0.4 lbs. per day to achieve that on Day 52. Even that is a stretch, but I am going to do my best to exceed my 270-pound expectation for my return from Dallas. If you recall, I had hoped to gain no more than two pounds on my last trip and ended up returning to Canada five pounds down. If I do that, then I could theoretically achieve my 2020 best weight by Day 45. These are things that I will think about, but I am not going to try to push myself to do more than I can. I think we can all agree that I am doing as much now as is possible… and that not only do I deserve a little respite while I am in Dallas, but my wife also deserves a husband who is not depriving himself in her presence.

I did place an order for American meal replacements to Leslie’s this weekend. I calculated the price per shake is a lot less expensive than it is where I buy them in Canada (USD$2.35 compared to CDN$5.00), but I am not going to change my mind about sticking to the Canadian program for the time being while I am here. I ordered 42 shakes for the US, even though I am expecting to consume no more than three per day. I can either bring the remaining shakes home, or more likely I will just have them there for my next visit.

Knowing that I am driving into Toronto tomorrow to pick up another 28-day supply of my Canadian meal replacements, I am taking this opportunity to rethink my plans. Originally, I was thinking that this coming supply would be the last on my full-fast, meal-replacements-only program. With my ten-day break from the program, that would take me to March 31. I am now thinking that I might stick with it at least one month longer. My thinking is not only based on getting to my best weight ever (which I cannot imagine I would not accomplish by then), but also based on reading the experiences from others on my Facebook support groups for people on the same program. When I first went through the program in 2017, I was told that this is the way it has to be… twelve weeks and that’s it. I was led to believe that this was mandated by the manufacturer of the product and was based on health limitations. In 2019 when I first met Dr. Cottam in Hollywood, I realized that the program in the United States was slightly different… and there was no mandated end date. Since then, having found two different Facebook support groups, I have realized that there are so many different ways of doing it, and that the twelve-week limit I was told about in 2017 was actually mandated by the Ontario Bariatric Network in conjunction with OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan, the provincial body that regulates our socialized medicine, which the Democrats will admire on spec, and the Republicans will despise on spec). The medically supervised program in Ontario requires weekly visits with a physician, and that costs OHIP money. All this to say that I can continue on the program on my own and still be healthy… and yes, at a certain point I will wean myself off of it, going from the full-fast program back to a modified program with only healthy eating… four shakes down to three and a meal, then two plus two, then three healthy meals per day. I am not going to speculate on a timeline for this; I cannot imagine still being on the program through the summer, but there are a lot of factors to consider, and I will keep reconsidering them every time I prepare to drive into Toronto to buy more shakes.

I know it will sound expensive, but the meal replacements cost $560 for a four-week supply, which works out to $5 per meal. That might sound pricey to some people, and in my Canadian support group people complain about the cost on a regular basis; knowing how much I would be spending on food if I were not on the program, and that not only am I sticking to it, but the program is also working for me, I think that CDN$15 is an absolute bargain. I thought that before inflation sent the cost of eggs and vegetables and chicken and most of the food that I would be consuming on a regular basis through the roof, but I think it is more of a bargain now. If it were not, if the cost per meal replacement were double what it is, then it is still a small cost to pay to drop the weight that I have dropped over this past year. Yes, tomorrow there will be a $560 charge on my debit card; that, plus the cost of all of my new clothes, are just a drop in the bucket as compared to what I would have spent on restaurants this past year. To put this in perspective, I downloaded my credit card statement from June 23 – July 22, 2021. When converted into Canadian Dollars, I spent $2,356 in restaurants on that statement. Nearly $1,200 of that was on breakfast. Yes, I will gladly pay the $15/day for my meal replacements on this program.

It is a beautiful day today, partly cloudy with temperatures hovering around 5°, but with a bit of wind. I am going to kit up and go out for a jog, probably after my second meal replacement of the day. I will remember to bring my gloves and headband for warmth, as I will probably try to do a similar distance today as I was doing last week, but possibly a different route. I was thinking of checking out one of the park trails in the conservation areas, but it turns out they charge $10 to get in, and I do not feel the need to pay to jog. I will pay with the soreness in my muscles later on, believe me!

My plan for today is, once again, to stay on track with my program. As it has been these last few days, my resolve is bolstered by my weight drop this morning. I know I am 7.4 lbs. lighter today than I was the morning of my last weigh-in at the doctor’s office, which is about 3.3 kg. If I could round that up to 9 lbs. by Wednesday morning, I will be 4 kg lighter than two weeks prior. I would still be 25-30 kg (55-66 lbs.) from what I weighed the last time I remember weighing myself before my conscription date, but Rome was not built in a day… I have been in the obese category for twenty-five years and expecting to drop out of it quickly is simply unrealistic. With that said, I will take it one day at a time, which is why every morning in my journal I write that my plan for the day is to stay on track with my program.

Have a great day folks!

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