Thoughts on food

I have been thinking about food a lot the past two days, but unlike most previous days this year, the thinking has not been followed by eating. I’ve also gone out for two walks and even ran a bit today despite it being 29C. Hopefully I can keep this up and get the flab under control. If not, I am putting in for a sexy robot replacement body.

May 2021 weight loss report: Up 1.6 pounds

Yeah, oops.

May was not a good month, but some of this was legitimately out of my control. What was in my control were the cookies I bought, which I shoved into my mouth. Repeatedly.

So in that sense, being up only 1.6 pounds is not that terrible. But it is still terrible and as far as weight loss plans, about as well-executed as the Titanic’s dodge around the iceberg. The sole consolation is that I am only up 0.1 pounds over the past month, so despite the cookies I was mostly treading water (fat).

For June, I am going once again with the cold turkey approach: no snacking at all. It will not be easy, but I think this is the only thing that will work. If it does work, I should see some actual weight loss over the next 30 days. If it doesn’t, I will be sad and a little puzzled.

The overweight stats:

May 1: 178.7 pounds
May 31: 180.3 pounds (up 1.6 pounds)

Year to date: From 174.2 to 180.3 pounds (up 6.1 pounds)

Body fat (year to date):

January 1: 22.4% (39.1 pounds of fat)
May 31: 24.8% (44.8 pounds of fat) (up 5.7 pounds)

Shot fired!

Into my left arm, to be precise.

Today I got my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine to protect against COVID-19. It could be up to four months before I get my second shot and it’s not guaranteed to be Pfizer, though I am actually optimistic that it will be the same and will be ready in less than four months.

The actual process itself went very smoothly and efficiently. Outside the Anvil Centre in downtown New Westminster, I was directed to use some hand sanitizer, put on a mask (over the one I already had on) and then basically follow the arrows on the floor inside and talk to someone at each appropriate point. Within minutes I was sitting in my chair, confirming that my allergies (to penicillin and a few adjacent antibiotics) do not induce life-threatening reactions and getting ready for the jab.

Since it had been a long time since I had gotten any kind of vaccination shot, I was going to ask the woman administering it what it would feel like, if I should do anything to prepare or whatnot, but before I barely had my mouth open to ask she had stuck me and it was over. It was basically a quick pinprick. It was delightfully underwhelming.

I had to wait 15 minutes before I could leave, with my escape time conveniently showing on a sticky note on the plexiglass partition in front of me. The last minute seriously felt like five minutes. I was also struck by how drastically my smartphone usage has evolved over the years, as I don’t have a single game installed that might have kept me entertained for a few minutes.

As I write this in mid-evening, my left arm is feeling sore and a lot of the strength has ebbed away. I tried opening a pasta sauce jar at dinner, and it resulted in a lot of giggling but no open jar.

I am sort of expecting side effects to worsen overnight as it seems they sometimes take 12-24 hours to materialize, but we’ll see. I am just happy and relieved to have the first dose done. I feel a tiny bit safer and can see a smidgen of light at the end of the long COVID-19 tunnel.

P.S. Pandemics suck.

April 2021 weight loss report: Up 0.8 pounds

I successfully erased last month’s weight loss and gained a little more on top of that, so April, even though it was largely a holding pattern, was overall a big fat fail.

I ended the monthat 180.2 pounds. I have not been north of 180 since 2008, before I began my first (and successful) weight loss round, when I tipped the scales at a chunky 187.5 pounds before putting on the brakes to eating everything I could grab hold of. I am way too close to that mark now and feel bad having regressed so much this year.

Sure, I could blame the pandemic and not having a commute which forces me to walk at least a little every day, but those are excuses. The reality is I am just not trying hard enough. I just had breakfast as I type this and I’m already thinking about snacking.

It also doesn’t help that my partner (also very much overweight) is keeping a bunch of snacks around. One of the keys back in 2008 was not having stuff like that handy–removing the temptation. Oh well. I know I should be strong enough to resist.

No predictions for next month.

Stats:

April 1: 179.4 pounds
April 30: 180.2 pounds (up 0.8 pounds)

Year to date: From 174.2 to 180.2 pounds (up 6 pounds)

Body fat (year to date):

January 1: 22.4% (39.1 pounds of fat)
April 30: 24.5% (44.1 pounds of fat) (up 5 pounds)

Pleading guilty in the court of fatty foods

This week Pop Tarts went on sale, but I remained strong when I went grocery shopping, gliding right past them in the breakfast aisle.

Actually, no, I didn’t. I bought a box of Frosted Blueberry Pop Tarts and ate all of them in two days. That’s eight of them at 185 calories each, for a total of 1,480 calories spread (ho ho) over those two days.

This morning I stepped on the scale and was:

180 pounds

At least I can still see my feet when I look down. For now.

I’d love to blame work and in fact that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Everything has been off the rails since I returned from my leave and I’m not going to hide the fact that I find work an awful ball of unfun. Now I just need to find the drive (I already have the motivation) to come up with an escape plan.

File this under physical and mental health.

With five days left in the month my new weight loss goal for April is now to get back under 180 pounds. It’s about as modest a goal there is, but if I hit it, I will be…modestly pleased.

Noted: Something is up in my body

Unlike Chekov, I do not think I have creatures in my body, but I am coming around to the idea that something is going on. Maybe not something horrible like cancer, but something still not right. The symptoms began a few years ago and initially seemed to be the unwelcome onset of seasonal allergies, with some of the typical signs, like a stuffed up nose.

But over the last while I’ve noticed the stuffed-up sinuses seem to be happening all year, even in the dead of winter when pollen is tanning somewhere south of the equator. I am plugged up constantly, to the point I consider it now a quality of life issue. Any remedy I take to clear my sinuses, such as nasal spray, are randomly effective–sometimes working for the day, sometimes for less than an hour. And now as I sit here and type this, it feels like the drip of congestion is moving from my sinuses, down my throat and entering my lungs. I don’t know that this is what’s actually happening, but it feels that way.

I’ll be talking to my doctor soon. He had basically suggested using something like a Nettie pot twice a day to keep the nasal passages clear. I think the issue is too big to be solved by such simple remedies, and more than that, I am increasingly uneasy with not knowing what exactly is going on. For all I know, I may have picked up a more serious allergy to something common, like dust. If so, I want to know and better plan on how to deal with it.

Anyway, this post isn’t really written for anyone but myself, but I wanted to put this down so I can refer back to it in the future. In summary:

  • Allergy-like symptoms started a few years ago
  • Symptoms have become worse over time, with sinuses being plugged on a near-perpetual basis without some kind of intervention
  • Tonight it feels like the drip of the congestion is moving down my throat and into my lungs (making me want to cough a bit at times)
  • Remedies such as steam, nasal spray and so on only provide temporary relief, sometimes lasting as little as an hour before I clog up again
  • This sucks
  • ???
  • Profit!

This blog of mine and a bonus fat update

I’ve decided that it’s time to give the entire site an overhaul. As groovy as the Cooper black logo is, the overall design of the site is stale and a bit cluttered, as some sections have been neglected and others are a bit too buried.

I also need to find a way to make the running posts optional. Or maybe start a running blog. And then start running again.

My current thought is something like this:

  • Come up with a new compact logo that can sit in the top-left
  • Remove the entire set of menu bar items along the top
  • Add a left sidebar with simple links to all the usual stuff (archives, etc.)
  • Have “noteworthy items” in the right sidebar
  • Continue to post the usual nonsense for the actual blog part in the middle
  • Try to allow for a “customized feed” so people can skip stuff of little interest to anyone but me, like my running updates (or maybe post them elsewhere, like in a journal or a private/separate blog)

This is going to take a while, and I’m going to try to make it work with my current theme, GeneratePress, because I have grown so used to it (and it works well). For now, I will be frequently playing around with different fonts and things that are easy to change on the fly.

BONUS FAT UPDATE: I have hit a high of 179.7 pounds. This is ominously close to 180 pounds, which would be a bit devastating to hit psychologically. Today I weighed in almost two hours earlier, which usually results in the weight being higher. I watched the numbers flick past 180 before settling back to…179.7 pounds (again).

This week I have returned to work and I have experienced an odd combination of stress, frustration and simple boredom. I have partaken of crackers, but not excessively so.

On the other hand, I’ve gotten very good at not eating anything after dinner. Yay on that. I am also drinking more water, as I find more than a little (diet) soda now seems to be giving me heartburn.

Further incentive on losing weight: I have a bunch of old t-shirts that still look great but are too snug to wear right now. I tried on a pair of cotton shorts I normally wear in the summer–they are a size 31 waist, which is one size higher than my usual 30–and could not do up the button. It was physically impossible. I was embarrassed. But I vowed not to buy new clothes that would fit–I’m not going to backslide and give myself an out in the battle against fat.

I will lose the weight. Just weight and see (ho ho).

March 2021 weight loss report: Down 0.7 pounds

Even though I am down for the month, the reality is my weight was pretty much unchanged for the last 30 days or so.

I started the month unusually high (178.9 pounds), which made the bar for losing weigh correspondingly low. In reality, I hovered at or just above 178 pounds for pretty much the entire month, dipping slightly below on just a few days.

Clearly my restrained snacking has not worked as well as I’d have liked. It also occasionally hasn’t been as restrained as it could be. But I have avoided the following in the past month:

  • Donuts
  • Cookies
  • Pop Tarts
  • Entire cakes or even partial cakes

I must work harder on keeping the snacking down, though, plus some daily exercise might help to goose my body toward shedding some fat, or at least gaining a little more muscle. Or something.

Anyway, it could have been better, but it also could have been worse, so I will take this month as the wash it was and try to do better in April, no foolin’.

Stats:

March 1: 178.9 pounds
March 31: 178.2 pounds (down 0.7 pounds)

Year to date: From 174.2 to 178.2 pounds (up 4 pounds)

And the body fat (now year to date rather than just the past month):

January 1: 22.4% (39.1 pounds of fat)
March 31: 23.7% (42.3 pounds of fat) (up 3.2 pounds)

February 2021 weight loss report: Up 1.3 pounds

Fat fat fat.

Although I went up a not-terrible 1.3 pounds month over month, this does not tell the full calorie-rich tale.

The more interesting stat is that since the start of the year I have acquired three solid (or perhaps jelly-like) pounds of body fat. This is not good.

At one point I basically gave up and just started eating whatever. Except donuts, since none are convenient. Cookies? Yes. Crackers? Yep. Pop-Tarts? They want on sale and I laid claim to them.

The result is that I have now undone all but about 10 pounds of the weight I shed in my Big Year of Weight Loss back in 2008 (and remembering, too, that I actually dipped even lower in subsequent years).

Tomorrow is a new month and I will be going snack-free, except for fruit and vegetables. I will not eat giant, fatty meals. I will keep walking and resume running.

And hopefully my weight will finally trend back downward again.

We shall see.

Stats:

February 1: 176.5 pounds
February 28: 177.8 pounds (up 1.3 pounds)

Year to date: From 174.2 to 177.8 pounds (up 3.6 pounds)

And the body fat (now year to date rather than just the past month):

January 1: 22.4% (39.1 pounds of fat)
February 28: 23.7% (42.1 pounds of fat) (up 3 pounds)

January 2021 weight loss report: Up 2.4 pounds

It’s a new year but the same old fat.

I started January with good intentions, but the combination of plantar fasciitis (keeping me from running or even walking very often) and a lot of unstructured free time took its toll.

Specifically, it made me fat. I gave up and gave in and while I remain donut-free, I indulged in the worst sort of cookiepalooza. I ate boxes of them. Boxes!

The results are not surprising.

However, I’ve thought of this as the beginning of a purge, in which I will do the following:

  • No more snacking (healthy snacks like bananas are OK)
  • No more soda or carbonated beverages. This includes diet soda, which I think is just making me feel gross. Back to good old water and the occasional sugar-free Gatorade or glass of milk.

We’ll see if I can stick to this. I really have no excuse not to, but that hasn’t stopped me before.

I’m also going to try keeping a daily journal (not on the blog here) to see if that helps keep me honest or honest-like or even honest adjacent.

But let’s stop avoiding the subject and consider the following. After being up a bit in December, I am up quite a bit more this month, topping out today at 176.6 pounds.

I was 174.2 pounds on January 1st, meaning I am up 2.4 pounds for the year to date.

Ugh.

Here’s to a hopefully slimmer 2021.

Stats:

January 1: 174.2 pounds
January 31: 176.6 pounds (up 2.4 pounds)

Year to date: From 174.2 to 176.6 pounds (up 2.4 pounds)

And the body fat:

January 1: 22.4% (39.1 pounds of fat)
January 31: 22.1% (39 pounds of fat) (down 0.1 pound)

2021, the year of fat

It shouldn’t take much effort to lose weight in January because I tipped the old-e-scale at a hefty 174.2 pounds this morning.

I’m blaming the mid-evening pizza. And chocolate milk. And general lack of activity.

But this year will be different!

In theory.

Also, these are healthy because they’re “low fat”, right? I’m buying a case of them at Costco to help me lose weight this year.

December 2020 weight loss report: Up 1.9 pounds

Well, poop.

The bad news is I did gain weight both for the month and the year (I jumped 0.8 pounds overnight, which didn’t help).

The good (?) news is that the wright gain was only 1.7 pounds. Stretched over a year, this is pretty close to a rounding error, albeit a big, pudgy one.

The definitely not good news is that I went from 36.1 pounds of body fat to 39. I have been trading my muscle for fat, which would be great if I was a bear and planning to hibernate through the winter.

For 2021, it will not take much effort to improve. When I look back on the year, I can see that I managed to get into a holding pattern, so if I nudge myself a little, and apply some consistency, I may actually see my weight not only drop below 170 pounds again, but possibly keep dropping.

A boy can dream.

As my resolutions post attests, though, I am aiming at a more modest goal of 160 pounds for 2021–I officially have 13.5 pounds to go.

The stats:

December 1: 171.6 pounds
December 31: 173.5 pounds (up 1.9 pounds)

Year to date: From 171.8 to 173.5 pounds (up 1.7 pounds)

And the body fat:

December 1: 22.1% (38 pounds of fat)
December 31: 22.5% (39 pounds of fat) (up 1 pound)