Day 434

I found my belt! I cannot believe how relieved I am by this. I do not know if people who are not martial artists can understand the emotional attachment that we have to our belts, which were in many cases not only awarded to us, but actually wrapped around our waists by Masters and Grandmasters for whom we have such love and respect. While searching high and low for it, I went through every square inch of my apartment, but I also carefully went through the bin that contains all of my old uniforms and belts (back to my white belt), and was reminded that I have a couple of ‘doubles’ – I was working with an organization as a Second Dan Black Belt that wanted me to have a belt with their school name on it – so I am still happy to have ordered a new belt and uniform with the name of the school where I will be training for my next belt. That does not make my original belt any less special. When the new belt and uniform arrive (within the next ten days) I will happily start wearing them, and my original ones will go into the bin. With that said, I will always keep every belt and every uniform from my Taekwondo journey and will always treasure them.

The islands are calling! This weekend will be so exciting, I can hardly wait! I finally got to the gym yesterday, and knowing how much I enjoy pushing myself, I realized it best that I set an alarm so that I do not do that. I had a 1:30pm appointment that I had to get to, and had I run longer I would have been late. I weighed the benefits of a longer jog versus fifteen minutes in the sauna. Knowing that I was also going to Taekwondo, I opted for the sauna. I hopped into my car after my shower and parked in front of my doctor’s office at 1:29pm.

Jogging (Treadmill)

  • Distance: 5.6km (7.4km)
  • Duration: 39:09 (53:41)
  • Average Pace (Min/km): 7m01s (7m16s)
  • Steps: 6,075 (8,165)
  • Calories burned: 767 (1,000)
  • Average cadence (steps per minute): 155 (152)

I really screwed up when I left the house yesterday. I even wrote in my article that my plan was to: ‘…. take my meal replacement to eat after the workout (and before my appointment).’ Well, guess what? I forgot. I tried to pick up a handful of almonds, but it turns out that this is the week that Bulk Barn is moving, so their old store has closed down and the new store has not opened yet. I could have gone into a convenience store to get a bag, but decided I did not want the temptation of more than 25 almonds. I went to my doctor’s, then after that appointment I drove back to my barber (which is a few blocks from the gym, demonstrating unfortunate planning), and then came home; my second meal replacement of the day, scheduled for 1:00pm, was finally enjoyed a little after 4:00pm. The fact that I did not cheat was a testament to the advancement of my willpower.

My diet buddy came by for a catch up and we had a shake together. While my second meal replacement was much later than usual, the third was much earlier – rather, it was exactly on time, but only a little over an hour after my second one. I will not make a habit of this. What is important is that I stay on track; moving the times when I have my meal replacements is not a problem (unless, of course, I make it too late at night). Eating more than my meal replacements could be. In any event, it was great to catch up with her. We were both surprised by how good the other looked after only what… three weeks of not meeting? Short-term goals really do lead to long-term success!

My stomach and bowels have been giving me slight issues these last few days. I do not know if it is because of the food that I had on Saturday and then again on Sunday, or if the teaspoon of fibre that I am adding to my morning shake is doing it to me. I have had a lot of stomach cramps and gas these last few days. Yesterday afternoon I had a second bowel movement in the day (which is unusual but not unheard of for me), and then in the evening I had a third one (which is nearly unheard of). They were both loose and made me think that over the next few days I will pay closer attention to that. I do not know if it is a simple issue of ‘cleansing’ after a couple of cheat meals, or if there is something I should be focused on. For the moment I am going to just keep an eye on it, taking a wait-and-see approach. I opted to not add the usual teaspoon of fibre to my shake this morning.

Taekwondo was interesting. I was pleasantly surprised by how well I was able to stretch! I am going to have to work on that, as well as my push-ups. That will be something I spend a little bit of time on every day. I was really disappointed by my kicking, but what was I expecting? I had not thrown a kick of any sort in eight months. I will spend a few weeks working on stretching and kicking before I try to dive into my patterns… I want to relearn them the right way, which is going to be slightly and infinitely different from how I learned them when I was seventy-five pounds heavier. It is amazing to think that I am fifty pounds lighter than I was when I tested for my Second Dan Black Belt!

I was going to bring Princess Sophie to Eduardo’s to meet his wife today, but because of a few other things I need to do, that might put a damper on my schedule. Instead, we will go tomorrow afternoon (and I have already put that into my calendar). I am less concerned with how the wife (who loves dogs) will take to her than I am with how Evita (his cat) will. Brace yourself, it might be a very short visit.

While it looks sunny and calm outside now, today’s weather does not look promising, with high winds predicted until 3pm, when the rain should be starting. I will not try to chance it by running outside… I will go to the gym, where I can spend much more time on the treadmill than I did yesterday (without the time restraints) … after I spend some time stretching! While I am teaching this evening, I do not have to prepare for class. There will be a few classes in the next few weeks for which I will have to prepare, but tonight’s is not one of them.

It was only yesterday that I wrote that, ‘…I would like to reach my Best Weight Ever by Saturday morning.’ I went on to say that I was 4 lbs. from achieving that. Following a tremendous drop this morning, I am now only 1.4 lbs. from that goal! I am thrilled! How amazing is it that the next time my wife sees me I will almost certainly weigh less than any of my three wives have ever seen me at. In fact, I cannot think of any woman I have been in a serious relationship with since Shani (who I dated when I was in the Army) who has seen me at that weight. I am less than 1.5 lbs. from achieving that, and while it is possible that I will not get there by Saturday morning, it will certainly be within the next few days. That is really so exciting for me! I am jumping out of my skin, knowing that within a few days I will have no more comparative short-term goals… I will no longer be competing with my previous attempts to lose weight, rather I will just be striving to get back into better shape while losing weight.

I keep looking at the goals that I wrote into this journal on Day 2. I wrote that I would be jogging again, at least 5 miles per day, at least 4 times per week. It took me much longer to start that than I had hoped – I had written it under ‘When I have lost 80lbs.’ – but I am certainly able to run that and am jogging nearly every day. The days when I do not hit 5 miles is usually based on time, but I can certainly do it. I also wrote that, ‘When I have lost 120lbs I will start preparing to run a marathon.’ Yes, one day I would like to run a marathon… but I have too many other things to think about before I do that. If I can keep increasing how far I can jog in a day, then I will eventually get there. It was less than a month ago that I was only able to jog 3km without stopping to walk. I am up to 11.5km now, and that will only keep improving. I wrote that, ‘When I have lost 140lbs I will resume teaching Taekwondo… hopefully in a Size 6 dobok (uniform).’ I am going to make a slight change to this one, because I do not have an organization that requires a teacher. As I approach that milestone, I am officially back at Taekwondo… and preparing for my next belt test. That preparation will take me another six months or so, but I am back at it. I am not in a Size 6 dobok, but my Size 7 dobok fits much better than it ever has before! I guess what I am saying is that the only long-term goals that are left (from my original goals) are to run a marathon, and to take a picture in my Army uniform. I am probably forty pounds from that last one… and if I do not do it, then I will move the goalposts and declare victory.

My plans for today are to head to the gym for a good stretch, workout, then sauna. I have to try to speak with my rabbi this afternoon and am hoping that I will be able to be home from the gym in time for that. I will stay mindful, and I will remain focused, and I will keep my eyes on the prize. As is often the case after I have had bowel issues, my stomach feels a bit delicate today. I will pay attention to it just in case, but I suspect the issues are behind me… whatever might have caused them. I will do some paperwork, then I will head to the gym. In the afternoon, weather permitting, I will have a video cigar date with my wife before class time. I hope to get a good night’s sleep because I know how important that is to general well-being, not to mention weight loss. With less than 1.5 lbs. to go to that last comparative goal, I will not veer from my meal replacement program. I know that success is within reach, and failure is just one misstep toward that slippery slope.

Have a great day folks!

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