Day 421

Yesterday was a day off from exercising. I had a relaxing morning at home, and after Leslie and I had lunch I headed to the cigar lounge where shortly after lighting my cigar, I got a wonderful surprise. My son the elder, with whom I have not spoken in several months, reached out and we had a thirty-minute video call. It was wonderful to see his face and catch up with him about so many things. The odd thing is that while we discussed so many things about our lives (including my recent diagnosis of ADHD, and the progress I have made on the medications), one of the most important, relevant, and front-and-centre topics of my life did not come up. I did not say to him that since he last saw me (probably in October) I have lost fifty pounds, or that my total weight loss is 128 lbs.… and I don’t know why. I was going to send him the before and after picture which I posted just yesterday, but I think I’ll just let him see for himself. He told me that at some point in the near future he will try to make time for us to sit together to share a dram and a cigar. It is amazing to realize that the little boy that I met when he was nine years old and adopted shortly thereafter is turning twenty-five on Sunday. How time flies! The grains of sand in the hourglass flow one way only, and they flow at their steady pace no matter our attempts to retard them.

The response I received to that before and after picture is amazing. Hundreds of people liked and commented on it on the two Facebook support groups that I am in, and it drove over eighty hits on my weight loss blog. To put that in perspective, the previous week had sixty hits… not per day, rather a total of sixty hits! When my professional blog was in its prime, and I was posting on a regular basis, there was a day when I was sitting in a conference room in Phoenix, Arizona when I got a notification that my blog stats were blowing up. It had been given an award that had been published in a magazine, but the magazine had forgotten to notify me about it. This was the same level of ‘blow-up.’ My professional blog went from 200-250 hits on an average day to over a thousand hits on that day in Phoenix. The difference is that with my weight loss blog, today the stats will go back to normal… which is okay, I don’t mind! I reach certain people daily, some people occasionally, and others once or once in a while. I write for me, to keep myself accountable to myself.

From the cigar lounge I went to Whole Foods because they were having a special on sockeye salmon marinated in a mango glaze which both Leslie and I thought sounded very tasty. I also picked up a head of cauliflower, which I prepared before my class started. I cut a quarter of it up, drizzled some olive oil on it, then Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning (a favourite of Leslie’s and mine), and a little bit of shredded cheese. I put the mixing bowl into the fridge until my class break, at which point I put the fish into one tray of the air fryer, and the cauliflower into the other. With ten minutes left in class (and while my students were all completing their in-class assignments) I turned both sides of the machine on so that as soon as class was over we could eat. This fish was much tastier than my recent attempt at ahi tuna, and the cauliflower was tasty as well… although I suspect most of the cheese melted to the bottom of the pan and ended up not getting to our plates. Still and all, it was very tasty!

Unlike the previous evening, I opted to stick with my non-alcoholic iced tea to accompany my cigars, and it paired better with the second cigar than the first. I did not make this decision because I had not exercised, I just did not feel I needed the alcohol. Once again, Leslie and I spent a very lovely evening on the balcony enjoying each other’s company. We both know that until I get my visa, these nights together are precious and too few to waste. We both hope that it will not be too much longer to wait.

I mentioned to Leslie yesterday that I expected, after yesterday’s tremendous drop, the bathroom scale would likely take a couple of ounces back this morning. It did not. In fact, it gave me another drop, and I am again in best-weight-yet territory. I am now under 7 lbs. from beating my best weight from 2020, and if I continue to lose at an average of .4 lb. per day, I will achieve that by April 2… a full ten days ahead of the time it took me nearly three years ago. This morning the comparative pace to that time was 6 lbs. better now. I do not plan to slow down.

Speaking of weight loss (this is, after all, a journal primarily about losing weight, right?), I am thrilled that after the initial ‘shock’ from travel and from the first-night cheat meal I have recovered all of the weight that I had gained, and I weigh 2.5 lbs. less than I did on the morning I flew to Dallas. While my stated goal was to gain no more than two pounds during my trip, I also knew that on my last trip I had lost over three pounds. I was hoping to repeat that trend, even though I knew I would be eating (comparatively) indulgently during the trip. At this rate, even if my weight stays the same from now until Sunday, I will have bested my stated goal, and actually lost weight again. Leslie told me that she is relieved that being with her does not cause me to gain weight. I am too, especially knowing that I have had partners in the past who were less than encouraging with my weight loss efforts. When I told her yesterday that I was expecting a weight gain this morning she told me that she just hoped that it was not significant, and that I stayed below the 270 lbs. mark, which she knows for me is a psychological trigger. The difference between gaining one pound and going from 268 to 269 does not have nearly the same psychological impact that would gaining .2 lb. and going from 269.8 to 270. At the rate I am going, it is not impossible that I might actually drop to 265 by the time I leave… but that would be a lot to hope for.

It is a rainy and blustery day in Dallas, not at all conducive to jogging outside. As such I am going to make my first trip to the gym in the apartment complex. I do not know all of the equipment that they have, but Leslie tells me that it is all nice and modern. I will decide when I am there what I will do, but my first attempt at a ten-kilometre jog will likely have to wait another day or two. I can run on a treadmill, but I do not know if I would jog that long on it. We’ll see. In the afternoon we are going to do some work on a system that we both want to learn a bit more about, and which I will probably write a blog article about for my professional blog before we are done. I know we both love that we are in the same profession and can talk shop, but the fact that we can occasionally work together to figure something out that will benefit both of us… that’s really cool to me!

We will be going out for dinner. I do not know where yet, but we will pick something that will suit both our tastebuds as well as my dietary needs. Tuesday evening we were planning to go for Indian food, until we realized that the restaurant she had in mind likely did not have anything suitable for my dietary needs. Everything that she would have recommended to me would have had meats prepared with dairy, which is a no-no for my religious beliefs. She told me this restaurant did not have a great vegetarian selection, and that the dishes that would have been suitable would likely have been too spicy for me. If that sounds strange for a man who enjoys spicy foods (and who used to win hot-pepper-eating contests in the Army against Moroccan and Yemeni soldiers), I answer that Indian food has always been my nemesis. I was essentially force-fed spicy chicken curry by my mother as a very young boy and hated it from the beginning. As an adult I went to India but came home with dysentery. All this to say that if Leslie is going to re-introduce me to Indian food so that I will enjoy it, we should do it carefully. I love her for understanding me!

Mindfulness is the order of the day… and exercise. I am heading out now and will do my best to get in a good workout, and then after my shower I will pick up salads for lunch. Have a great day folks!

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