Day 399

I was expecting this morning to fall slightly back in the comparative number from 2020 because back then, following my return from Las Vegas, I dropped 2.2 lbs. the following morning. An unexpected massive drop of the same number from yesterday kept me on pace, and while I know that will fall off somewhat tomorrow (I had two straight days of that same pace in 2020, followed by two days of terrible gains), it will level out Friday.

After taking HRF Princess Sophie out for thirty seconds this morning (she hates snow and freezing rain), I prepared my shake and my coffee, and I sat down at my computer as I always do. I was midway through the first sentence of the first paragraph when I realized that I had a doctor’s appointment! I locked my computer, put the remainder of my morning shake into the fridge, and headed out the door. I honestly did not know what the shake would taste like when I got home, but it was not bad. It was not as good as it usually is freshly blended, but it was drinkable.

On Monday I wrote that I was hoping to drop at much as 4 kg from two weeks ago. I dropped 3.4 kg, and am not disappointed by that… especially when I think back on the Great Nachos and Salsa Debacle.

Both the doctor and nurse are extremely pleased by my progress. The doctor asked me what I have been doing, and I told him about how I adjusted my program. Remember that he had not seen me since January 18, and I have lost 8 kg in that five-week period. I told him that with the exception of my trip to Dallas, I have been on the full-fast program, and that even when I was in Dallas, I was able to maintain and even lose weight. He is extremely happy to see me doing so well. We discussed BMI, and I told him that mine was currently measured at 35.4, which means that another .5 drop will have me in Obesity Class I.

We discussed several other issues, including the difficulties of the long-distance issue. I told him that things are looking rosy in every aspect of my life right now. I also told him about one conversation that Leslie and I had just yesterday, that will need much further discussion. More on that in a minute.

I am not stupid. I told the doctor that I have started jogging, and that I have been out four times in the past ten days. I told him that so far, the jogging has not affected my knee at all, and that my issues when lying down are the same – no better, but certainly no worse. He told me that it was more important now to do the imaging for it, and I went downstairs after we were done to finally have that done.

He asked me why I prefer to jog over a brisk walk. I told him with a grin that I am a soldier, to which he replied, ‘Yes… but you are an older soldier with a lot more weight than you once carried.’ I then told him my real reasons, which are a lot more practical. Ten minutes earlier, his nurse had measured my resting heart rate at 62 bpm, which is even higher than what my fitness watch usually measures it at. It has always been so… even my commanding officers joked that I was truly cold-blooded. The point is that it takes a lot to get my heart rate up. A brisk walk might get my heart rate up to 140 bpm (I took a moment to look back, and my average heart rate during an 8.5 km walk in September was 125 bpm). On Monday’s jog, I see that my heart rate was 164 by the end of the first kilometre, and steadily climbed to 180 throughout the rest of my jog. The higher the heart rate, the higher the metabolism, the more fat burned. That’s why I jog. He was convinced but told me that we are going to keep an eye on my knee, and if it starts to get worse then I am going to have to cut back. I agreed.

The conversation that Leslie and I had that I told him about was what will maintenance look like? At what point will I say to myself and to my doctor that, ‘I do not need to lose any more weight, because I am happy with where I am.’ From there, Leslie asked me to start thinking about how she can best support me when I am there. For example, was this program something that I could go back onto if I gain weight again? Could I just decide at any time to do it for 6-8 weeks? I told her that yes, I could do it any time I needed, but that I hoped that I would never let myself go to a point where I would need to do it for that long. I do not know what my ideal weight will be, but I know that whatever size clothes I fit into at that point will be the size that I want to wear the rest of my life. I doubt then that gaining more than ten pounds would be comfortable. These are conversations that Leslie and I will continue to have, but the truth is that until I am there, I do not know where there will be… and so I cannot be sure how she will best be able to support me. The fact that she is asking though means the world to me.

I honestly do not understand why some people join Facebook support groups for weight loss, unless it is just to brag about how well they are doing, and to make themselves feel better when they talk down to others. The interaction:

Original Post: Second time around and I can’t find myself to stick to it… clip_image002…I need encouragement or a support buddy.

Response: How do you suppose an Internet support person can change your behavior? This is your journey, your call. If you can’t do it admit it and try later when you ready.

My response: that is extremely short-sighted and just bad advice. I have supported several people through their journeys. They cannot change your behaviours, but they can be there for you to talk you through challenges, they can help get you back on track when you falter, and they can celebrate your successes. If you think weight loss is just about doing it alone then why bother with support groups at all? Why is it that so many clinics that use <The program> require regular meetings and support sessions? Do you really believe that THEY cannot change your behaviour, so they must be useless? Come on… 95% of this journey is psychological and knowing that you are not alone is a HUGE support.

I then reached out in a private message to the original poster and wrote:

I am begging you to ignore the TERRIBLE and completely counter-productive advice of <Response>. diet buddies and supporters are HUGELY important and beneficial, and it is not JUST about accountability. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ignore her and find someone that you can have regular check-ins with, as well as being able to call them when you are weak.

There is a weight loss support group in Toronto that used to advertise on the radio, and they ended all of their commercials with the tag, ‘If you could do it alone, you’d have done it already.’ How true is that? Yes, there are people out there who are going to be able to lose as much weight as they want, and they are going to do it on their own. I have tried and failed many times, and I have spoken to so many people over the years who are in the same boat as I am. In 2020 I organized a number of support groups where we would have our weekly check-in meetings and discuss our successes and our failures. We would learn from each other, and we would lean on each other when we felt weak. We would celebrate and commiserate. One of the women I met in one of those groups is my diet buddy today, and she and I are helping each other once again. We both failed in 2020, but in 2022-3 we are succeeding, and we check in with each other on a weekly basis. We also call or text each other when we feel weak. There have been several times one or the other has texted and said ‘HELP! This is what I’m facing!’ The other would always talk them down from the desire to cheat.

The weather will be getting progressively worse over the next few days. Even during the drive home from the doctor’s office, it was snowing. The temperatures were a little below freezing. We are under a freezing rain warning, which is never pleasant. While I might go to the gym today, knowing what the driving could be like this afternoon I am going to take a wait and see approach to that.

I do have a lot of work to do today, both studying and preparation. I am trying to build my virtual environment to be able to do every demo that I want for my classes, but also so that I can have every tool that I might need to prepare myself for my own certifications. It is not easy, but I am up to the challenge. One more thing that the doctor and I discussed today was the dosage of my medications. I told him that most days I am okay, but there are still days when I cannot focus at all. I told him that if it’s okay, I would like to give this dosage two more weeks, and then re-evaluate then. He thought that was a good idea, but told me that if we need to, he is not opposed to increasing my dosage. I will see how that is in two weeks… the day before I fly back to Dallas. I am truly so excited about that trip that it has the potential to be all-consuming… but I am trying to be calm!

My plan for today for activity will depend on the weather, but for food it is simple… stay the course. There is no reason for me to fall off when I have been doing so well! It is amazing to think that I have lost over 17 lbs. since January 27, the second day of my last trip to Dallas, which is twenty-five days ago. I know that pace will not continue as I lose more weight, but it is still encouraging.

Tomorrow is Day 400 of my weight loss journey, and I have lost an absolutely astonishing 30% of my body weight. Yes, I have lost 119 lbs. in that time, and I am just amazed by those numbers. If I lose another 30% of my body weight then I will weigh under 195 lbs., which is a weight that I simply do not remember… ever. I do not know what I weighed during the Army, but I remember clearly standing on a scale a year prior to my conscription (when I was living on the kibbutz) and weighing 100 kg… 220 lbs. I was a completely different person with a very different body back then, so whether I could get below that is possible but another unknown. I only have to lose another 20% of my current body weight to get back to that number, and I look forward to seeing what I look like then… and then evaluating if I want to lose any more. If I get there, that will account for about a total drop of 43% of my original weight… and I will not be unhappy with that!

Stay on track, stay mindful. Whether or not I exercise, I will not cheat. If 220 lbs is my ultimate goal, then I am just over 55 lbs. from reaching it. In the meantime, looking at my short-term goals from just a couple of days ago, I am one pound from dropping below 275 lbs. before I see my tailor next Thursday, which means that unless I fall off the wagon into a vat of Buffalo wings, then I will achieve that goal easily. I am 3.4 lbs. from dropping to my lowest weight from 2017, which at an average of .4 lb. per day I will achieve by next Thursday as well. Lastly, I am 5.8 lbs. from dropping below 270 lbs. before I fly to Dallas in fifteen days… which means that if I lose an average of .4 lb. per day, I will do it. At the rate that I have been losing weight over the past few weeks, I know that I can do it all… as long as I stay on track and stay mindful.

Have a great day folks!

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