Day 398 (The Real One)

Somehow, I did it again. I noticed yesterday that I had missed a day. I went back and fixed it in the journal, and later today I will take care of it in the online blog. I have no idea how tired I must have been to just skip a number. Sure enough, both my on-line and off-line entries skipped from Day 385 to Day 387. I’ll fix it today, I promise. Sheesh!

When I set out for my jog yesterday, I was not sure if I would be able to push myself farther than I did last week. After the previous Sunday’s outing when I was able to jog the first 3km of my route, I was hoping to improve upon that two days later. I could not. I set out on much the same path as I had that day, hoping. After the first kilometre I was unsure if I would even make it to three kilometres.

If there is one thing they teach you in the Army, it is a drive to push yourself. When I hit the 3km mark I decided to try to make it just a little bit farther… maybe 3.2km, maybe 3.5. I was shocked when I made the turn off of Appleby Line onto Upper Middle, still jogging. The pace for the last two kilometres was as unimpressive as they come, but I logged 4km at a trot, and I am taking that as a win. I stretched the remaining route home into a 3km walk and felt good when I got into the shower a few minutes later.

One of the women I am trying to support through her journey and I spoke after I got home, and she asked if I felt that jogging sped up the weight loss process. I told her that I do not know, and that it certainly did not prevent a nearly two-pound gain after my run-in with the nachos and salsa last weekend, but other than that, I know that even if it does not help, it certainly does not hurt! It is unfortunate that this morning, after a very good jog and not a bit of cheat, my weight was still up more than half a pound. It is frustrating, but I know it is the downward trend that matters so much more than the individual points on a graph. I also know that I was not able to have a successful bowel movement this morning, which might have made at least a bit of a difference. Tomorrow is my official weigh-in at the doctor’s office, and I am hoping for another good loss… 3.5kg would be huge.

I am on this giant push to get to my best weight ever. I want to weigh less than I remember myself ever weighing. I want to be in better shape than I have been since I was in the Army, although I know that there is no amount of weight loss or exercise that will ever help me get back into that shape again. I just want to be the best me that I can be. My email signature has the Japanese word kaizen at the bottom, which means constant incremental improvement. I do not have to make huge, giant leaps… I need to make small improvements day after day.

Getting through class last night was harder than usual. I am not sure that is not because I jogged in the afternoon but did not increase my caloric or nutritional intake. I did not even make myself a cup of tea during the class, which means that my total caloric intake for the day was about 910 calories (between the three cups of coffee I drank I probably had a third of a cup of cashew milk between them, which would be about 8 calories), but I did not have my final meal replacement until after class, which meant that I was working on 685 calories; between the three activities I logged during the day (walking the dog, jogging, then walking) I burned 1055 calories. I doubt anyone will be surprised that I was a little light-headed by the time we took our mid-evening break. I thought about drinking my shake then but decided against it. I did drink a couple of large cups of water throughout the evening, which helped me to get through the class.

I was exhausted by the time I finished, happy to have my evening meal replacement… which I ate far too late, and which might just be a contributing factor to this morning’s weight gain. I got into bed and spoke with Leslie for a bit, comforted by her beautiful smile and the sound of her voice. I am losing weight for myself first and foremost… but when she tells me about improvements she sees in me – even over the tiny screen of the phone – it always makes me smile. I feel ridiculous saying that when I arrive there is to be a full eighteen pounds lighter than the day I left there, an insignificant loss… when I know that eighteen pounds in thirty-six days comes out to an incredible half-pound-per-day lost. Were I to maintain that pace, I would weigh 210 lbs. by my birthday, and I would let Leslie take me out for a cheat meal without worrying about counting carbs and sugars. Maybe for my 52nd birthday we can do that.

I am driving into Toronto today for two reasons. I will pick up my meal replacements, and I am helping a community organization with some computer issues they are having. I am happy to volunteer to help them, as long as they understand in advance that my visit is a one-time deal. I know they pay a consultant to maintain their systems, and I have never yet walked into an organization like this one where there was not a board member who ‘knows someone who works in IT’ and who makes sure that person – either a friend or a relative – gets the paid work. They can call someone like me in to advise on more complicated issues, but if I was expecting to be paid for it, I would be holding my breath for a long time… and if I was expecting them to say ‘Oh my G-d, Mitch… you are definitely better than this than our board member’s friend… we are going to fire him and hire you!’ then I might as well expect them to send a unicorn-drawn chariot to collect me. No, today’s efforts will be a one-off, and if they have the wherewithal to give me a charitable donation receipt for my work then I’ll be happy to put that against my taxes.

I will stay on course today. I may be driving into the city to pick up my meal replacements, but I do not want to have to open the sealed box to take from there. I will bring two meal replacement pouches with me, along with my shaker bottle. How ironic would it be if I were to fall off the program because I went to get my shakes and was not prepared? No, that will definitely not happen to me. Not today. Preparedness and mindfulness will win the day. I am sure the nurse who works at the clinic will talk with me for a bit; she is very nice and chatty. If she asks, I can honestly tell her that since I saw her last on January 16, I have lost nearly seventeen pounds, and since my first day on the full fast, meal replacements only program (January 11) I have lost over 23 lbs., which comes to an average of just over .5 lb. per day. If anyone wants proof that this program works, they can just ask me! Of course, I will also tell her that includes a week in Dallas on my modified program, which makes the pace even more amazing.

The forecast for the rest of the week does not look jogging-friendly, so tomorrow I am going to go to the gym. For two reasons, today will not be a good day for me to get out and exercise, either outside (and it should be a nice day for the morning at least) or at the gym. I have to go into the city, but also, I want to give my body a rest after yesterday’s jog. I know that last week after I jogged two days in a row, I really felt it in my quadriceps for a few days. Taking a break between outings might go a long way to preventing or at least minimizing that. If it does not, then at least I will know.

Stay on track. Stay mindful. Succeed. That is the order of the day! Tomorrow morning, I will be seeing the doctor who will be happy to see that I continue to make progress. I suspect that if not this time, then one day over the next few visits he is going to start asking me about my plans for long-term sustainability. Platitudes like ‘mindfulness and vigilance’ are great mantras for me to follow, but at the same time I also know that they are just that, and I will have to start planning for a future which includes food… hopefully healthier foods and smarter quantities of it, but food, nonetheless. I expect he will be encouraged (as am I) by my ability to spend a week in Dallas and actually lose weight on the modified program… but what about when the program is completely over? How will I structure my meals and my meal planning? Will I have to go straight to the Internet whenever someone asks me to meet them at a restaurant? Will I be checking the nutritional values of every meal option, weighing the pros and cons? Will I ever be able to sit down at a restaurant, look at the menu and just say ‘what am I in the mood for today?’ Probably not. I am an addict, and an addict who lets himself go just a little can fall off that cliff. I suspect that app that I use that lets me know the nutritional values of every meal and every morsel will be a permanent part of my life. It is a small price to pay to get slim and to stay slim.

Have a great day folks!

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