Archive for January, 2018

Can you see me now?

January 25, 2018

Well, the whole weight loss thing isn’t going poorly. I’ve been steadily chunking off the weight since I began. I was hoping to get below 240 pounds by the first of February and I have an outside shot at it.

My diet is evolving. I’m basically learning to eat again and to manage my time. Which partly means I’m eating yogurt again. I’ve latched onto Flips, mostly because they have bits of candy and junk to dump into every serving. It helps.

What doesn’t help is getting chocolate flavored Flips. This isn’t my first foray into flavored yogurts (my previous favorite had been Oh My Yog before it disappeared from my local grocery stores) and I had developed one hard and fast rule. Don’t buy the chocolate flavored yogurts.

There is something about the mixture of sweet and bitter, the chocolate and the yogurt m that just turns me off. The chocolate hazelnut Flip I’m eating this morning is better than the vast majority of chocolate yogurts I remember having in the past, but it still has that sweet and bitter thing going on. It’s also 40-50 more calories than the non-chocolate flavors I have been eating.

Part of me hates thinking about my food this much. Before I would just eat and then I would feel miserable about my weight afterward. Now, I feel better about my weight loss, but I’m also entirely conscious of trying not to eat lately. It wasn’t like this when I first started keeping track of my intake, and I’m not sure why this has changed.

Is this the withdrawal part of my dependence on food kicking in?

Is there a part of me that is so self-defeating that I’m trying to get myself to just go ahead and eat and fail at this?

I don’t know. It’s something. I just finished that chocolate Flip, I have a massive cup of coffee next to me. I can’t stop thinking about the possibility of making a ham sandwich with go-chu-jang sauce (a spicy-sweet korean sauce, sort of like American BBQ but way better). Of the Tim Tams in the cupboard. Of the leftover homemade pizza. Of the leftover lasagna. Or McDonald’s down the road and if I can go there after taking the daughter to head start. Of fried chicken in general.

Or is my life just this empty?

The USDA is telling me how fat I am

January 17, 2018

I eat too much. I’m not Orca fat, but I’m not tiny. I weigh 250 pounds, I stand 5’11”, there’s a lot of roundness to me. I’ve tried losing weight in the past. It’s went well at times, less well at others, and like annoying family on the holidays it always showed up again at some point.

So I finally took my wife’s advice and am keeping track of what I eat. The USDA has a life tracker website where you can catalog what you eat, how much you exercise, whatever. A few days ago I took the dive and started keeping track of everything I crammed into my face.

Now, my wife is  a vegetarian, which means that pretty much everyone in the house is a vegetarian 85% of the time. After a couple of days what stood out to me was how few veggies and fruits I ate.

A lot of carbs.

A lot of beans.

Occasionally way too much cheese (and always too much sodium, salt is everywhere).

But not nearly enough veggies and fruits and rarely enough protein.

So, I am a vegetarian who doesn’t eat veggies. Or at least enough of them. But that’s changing, and so am I. I’ve lose 5 pounds since starting, and I still don’t feel hungry. I want to eat, because that’s what I’m used to doing. Eating. Like washing my hands. Breathing. Eating a handful of oreos.

I’m still breathing, but I’m eating fewer oreos.

So many smiles

January 2, 2018

The Thanksgiving holiday was a long one for me. Dealing with family, in-laws, plumbing issues, kids, etc.  It was funny but the most hassle free and comfortable interaction was with my dad and he was the biggest pain in the ass to get a hold of and set something up with, finally getting him to call back Saturday morning to set up lunch before having to pack up our car and drive home Saturday night.

The plumbing issues were my mom’s. She has multiple filters on her lines because she won’t just get a water softener, so every time I’m home I have to change the filters. They don’t always come apart easily, and I had to apply a bit too much ooomph, breaking the seal on a nearby joint. So, I had to do some plumbing work.

My mom thought she had CPVC glue, so I didn’t grab any when I grabbed everything else. When I got there I found it had dried out, so I had to get some more. Having set up lunch that morning, I suddenly had a time crunch, so I decided to gamble and drive into the nearest small town and hope that the was still a Gamble’s hardware store and that it carried the glue. The good news is that they had the glue. The bad news is that I also got to drive past my old high school.

Or what was left of it.

I come from a small town. I graduated with 62 other people, give or take. My class had significantly more than that before graduation, which is a sadder thing to realize now than what I noticed then. But everything looked good. Not new, but not old. Not unkempt. Not roughly patched.

Driving by the high school now and I discovered the school board had been moved into the high school and half the entrances appear to no longer be used except for special events, sports, etc. They had build a new middle school twenty years ago (ten years ago? Time has a way of getting away from you and I honestly don’t remember exactly how long ago this was), and now they seem to just push the high schoolers through the new middle school towards the high school classrooms. Which is alright, but it looks like they did it in a panic, like the folks boarding up a shopping mall to keep out the zombies.

But appearances could be deceiving so I checked their website and, like a true weirdo, started looking at classlists throughout the school system and counting the number of students and trying to see how many names I recognize.

I recognized a lot of them.

There were also about half the number of classes in every grade as there were when I was in the school. Half, or less, the number of kids. There wasn’t a list of courses offered at the high school but there was only one high school student in the national honors society. I remember there being several in my grade alone.

My little town seems to be dying and it kills a part of me. It was a small town and I can remember pretty much everyone, even a number of kids going back to the first grade who were only there a year or two before disappearing to somewhere else in life. There was a tall, gangly kid in second grade named Robert with a perpetual snot ball hanging from his nose, and who sort of hung around with me and a friend named Mike. Both moved after that year, and I remember Mike trying so hard to make Robert a part of…something…at school but no matter what he did, Robert couldn’t pick up the ball and run with it and one day Mike just blew his top, the fact his seven year old self could have held it together this long before becoming too frustrated that his attempts were continually fumbled away. And the look of Robert’s face as Mike exploded, this whole thing clearly coming out of the blue for him. All of us still hung out together afterwards, but it was different.

There was Kevin, this nearly feral blonde bowl cut kid. I’m not sure when he moved away, but he was gone by the fifth grade. I’m not sure I ever heard him utter a single actual word, and he always seemed to be off by himself bouncing one of those big red playground balls on the cement or off the school or tossing into the air for himself to catch. You could try to play with him, he would greet you with this goofy big smile and goofy big enthusiasm, but it just never quite worked. And you would wander off and he would keep going. One day, I’m not sure why I was there or why I was alone, but I was at the school playground and there were like five or six mini-Kevins running around with full elementary school sized Kevin and all of them seemed just as crazy feral happy.

Later there was Amy, but not the Amy who was there at graduation. There was Don. And Clarence. And Justin. And Ben. There was Catherine, who we lost one summer to a car accident between seventh and eighth grades, and who I had formed a small hard crush on the previous school year when she was literally the only other kid who had ever talked with me about Star Trek: The Next Generation.

I wonder about the kids now going through my old school. I wonder about all of the kids who went through it with me. There were so many smiles. Not all of us liked each other. Obviously. But it was also so tiny, so interconnected and known that the dislike was more like not wanting to hang out with that one cousin who just pesters the hell out of you. It was family. Driving past my old school, seeing Time’s wearing on it, seeing the shifting of America wearing on it, and it’s a funeral I’m not ready to witness yet. I hope all of those kids I used to know so well are doing well. I hope they still remember how we used to smile.