Day 432

Yesterday was one of those days where very little went as planned, and almost everything worked out great. I had lunch with my son the younger at Lone Star Texas Grill, where I did eat four tortilla chips but only four. When the waiter told us he would be right back with the chips and salsa I told him not to bring them, unless he could bring celery sticks in place of the chips. He did not. The four chips that I took were off my son’s plate of chips and queso. He tried to ask the waiter to refill the queso at one point, not understanding that he was asking for another order. I explained to him that what he had eaten, combined with the chicken wings that he would be bringing home with him, was enough. He demurred. I ate my fajita bowl with grilled chicken, but I forgot to ask him to leave out the cheese. This was bad because I cannot mix cheese with chicken, but good because they were not mixed. I simply cut the food around the cheese and left that – along with most of the rice. All in all, I don’t think I ate too badly.

When I was dropping him off, I asked him to bring the present in for his brother. As I sat in the car answering a text, he ran back up to the car and told me I was invited in. His brother was thrilled with the bottle that I had selected for him and invited me to sit down for a wee taste of it… and insisted his mother (read: my ex-wife) join us. Theresa and I get along just fine, but I have known her for seventeen years and I have never seen her enjoy even the smallest drop of whisky or whiskey, but our son insisted and poured for her the smallest portion, just to taste it. The look on her face was exactly what I would have expected, and while it was mildly entertaining to watch, I felt bad for her having to drink something that she really does not like. The rest of the conversation (which lasted more than two hours) was extremely pleasant (Theresa did not stay for most of it) and my son and I caught up. It was absolutely delightful… and extremely interesting in ways that I will not share in public. I am so happy for him though!

Had I devoured an entire plate of tortilla chips, or even a full dram of whiskey (I did have half an ounce, and he was right insofar as it is absolutely the best Irish whiskey I’ve had), I might have come home and felt so guilty that I would have immediately suited up and gone for a jog. I did not feel guilty about what I ate yesterday (although I do feel bad about the previous day), but it was such a gorgeous day that I felt I needed to hit the road. Julie had canceled our meeting, and my buddy Eduardo was going to come over after 6:00pm for a cigar, so I suited up and did just that. I had no expectations, I just wanted to get a workout in.


  • pb Distance: 11km (13.45 km) **
  • pb Duration: 1:27:32 (1:18:45)
  • Average Pace (Min/km): 7m57s (6m00s)
  • pb Steps: 13,750 (11,350)
  • Calories burned: 1,400 (1,626)
  • Average cadence (steps per minute): 155 (155)

** While I know I have recorded a higher distance on the treadmill, due to calibration issues I have little faith in the accuracy of that activity. This distance was measured by GPS and I believe it to be accurate.

I killed it. I jogged a full 11km with fewer stops than I have done do far, and one of those stops was because I needed to take a chat. I would have gone farther if it was not for Eduardo, but I know that he would be arriving around 6:00pm, and I did not want him to wait too long for me. Had he not been coming over I would have tried to finish the 15km that would earn me the badge for the month of March. While I still have a few days to try to achieve that, I am not sure that I will… I was surprised that I was able to do 11km without falling down! I did, in the meantime, crack the top 22% for the yearlong challenge on the other app that I mentioned. While it is somewhat disconcerting to see that I am in something like 28,000th place, knowing that there are 132,500 participants in the challenge (and that more than 100,000 of those are behind me) does feel good. Also, I know that the point of the challenge is not to win, but to complete it. The prizes will be raffled off to those who complete the challenge, and not awarded to the winners.

I am still very upset that I lost my Black Belt. There are still two places where it might be, but I am resigned to the fact that I will almost certainly be buying a new one this week. While the money does not bother me as much (it will cost about $50 to replace), there is an emotional attachment to such an item. Unlike my previous belts which were tied on to me by my GrandMaster, this one I purchased myself (I was promoted officially after I had moved to California), but I am still attached to it. There are still two places where it might be – one is at the Taekwondo school where I will be training, so I will be able to drop in today to ask, and the other is in Dallas (which is much less likely) – but I am not holding out hope. I will check… but when I get to the dojang today and they tell me it is not there, I will bite the bullet and order a new one. It is sad, but it is necessary. In the meantime, I have a second belt with the appropriate rank. When I had my belt made, they accidentally confused inches with centimetres, so I have an embroidered belt that is five sizes too small. I will not be able to wear it properly, but at least I will be able to wear it.

Yesterday was a day filled with huge positives. I already mentioned that I spent some great quality time with each of my sons in turn, which was great. I also had a nice and positive conversation with my ex-wife about the progress of my son the younger and our struggles with getting him the appropriate help for him and his issues. Seeing a number of my friends who are divorced parents who have horrible relationships with their ex-partners, I am always so grateful that Theresa and I have always been able to maintain a civil relationship. We will never be friends, but there is no animosity. I thank G-d for that. I digress. My son the elder commented that he noticed that I have lost a lot of weight and that I am looking great. I showed him the most recent before/after picture that I took a couple of weeks ago, and he was so amazed that he called his mother downstairs to come look at it. Later in the evening I realized that while I had a milestone a few months back for dropping below the weight I was when Leslie first saw me, I am also now at the lowest weight that Theresa has ever seen me. When I lose five more pounds, I will weigh less than I did when any of my three wives knew me. That blows my mind… not only the weight, but the fact that I have been married three times. I never thought I would be one of those statistics. Hopefully with all of the work I have done to improve myself – both mentally and emotionally but also physically – Leslie and I will be able to live happily ever after together.

The next great feeling was when my neighbour – Charlie’s mom – commented yesterday that I have lost a lot of weight. It always makes me smile! She asked how much, and I told her. She was floored, and asked how I did it. I told her that it was a lot of hard work… and the realization that the pace at which Princess Sophie walks is not exercise. It did not hurt that I said this as I was coming in from my jog

I just had a conversation with my mechanic. The car has to go in to check the transmission. The first step will be to check the transmission fluid. If it is not that, this is going to be a very expensive week. I am truly hoping it is the fluid. MY appointment is an hour from now, so I should know more by lunchtime. I will bring my eBook reader with me to the appointment in case it is going to take a while… and a cigar. Yes, it is a bit chilly out, but if this exercise might cost me anywhere from $100 to $3000, I think a cigar to keep me relaxed would not be the worst idea!

After three days of gaining weight (2.8 lbs.) I was happy to drop 1.2 lbs. this morning on the bathroom scale, despite my cheat eating. I have to assume that the jogging really helps. I was still above 260, but only very minimally. I am now 1.6 lbs. heavier than my best weight yet, and 5.2 lbs. from my best post-Army weight ever. Knowing that, my plan for the day is to stay on track and to stay mindful. After my trip to the mechanic, assuming that my car is drivable, I will go to the gym for a good run, to be followed by a good hydro massage and a shvitz. I am teaching this evening, so I have to be back here by 5:00pm, which is not a problem. I am truly hoping that my car is still drivable, because if it is not then I will not be going to the gym, instead taking an Uber to come back home. I suppose I could take the Uber to the gym… I will consider that when the time comes. I should also plan to take my meal replacement with me to the mechanic. My appointment is at 11:30, and I am due for the meal replacement between 1:00p and 1:30pm. In the best-case scenario, I will be drinking it as I drive to the gym.

Have a great day folks!

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