Archive for the ‘The Management’ Category

Had a great day yesterday. Got a decent workout in, went to State College, saw a cool flick (went with Skyfall), had a good dinner, and a visit to Wegman’s. I can never complain about that.

So I woke up this morning with a little bit of gastrointestinal urpiness but I know I still need to go to the gym. I know I’ll feel better if I do, but it’s very hard to summon up the energy to go when I just kind of want to sit around until it goes away. I normally would do that, but if I do, I probably won’t make it to the gym.

Helluva bind.

I guess I need to just do it (even though I prefer New Balance to Nike) and I know that when I get there and get started, I’ll wind up feeling that much better. Funny how that works out.

Ok… More in a bit.

So I made it to the gym. Decent session… Started a little slow, but had worked up to 3.5 mph by the end of my treadmill time. Wanted to do 45 minutes, but cut short after 35 minutes by an extremely chirpy young woman jawing on her cell phone. Talking (apparently) with her boyfriend. Talking about their time together last night. When I heard the phrase “you made me come alive” (I am not making this up) I figured it was time to bail. The worst part is that I had my ear pods in, volume cranked, and I could still hear her. How loudly must she have been talking?

I love being able to yammer about my gym. It’s a really place, but some of the people who go there are well, eccentric. I have not seen Gratuitously Naked Guy in a while, but I think he has a cohort… Mostly Naked Guy. This is another wrinkly old guy who actually works out, but then wanders around the locker room wearing nothing but a jockstrap. As far as I can tell he doesn’t have mostly naked conversations with complete strangers like GNG, but who knows what mischief lurks in the heart of MNG.

It has been a decent sugar day. Went to bed reading a 128 last night, woke up with a 113. I took my insulin shot, ate a banana and about half of a pretzel roll, then headed to the gym. Took another reading when I got home and stuck an 84. Figured I could do with some protein, so I beat some eggs and threw together a tasty ham and cheese omelet. That should keep things nice and stable until lunch.

Not sure what’s on the agenda for today. Do we take down the Christmas decorations or do we say “the heck with it” and do something else? Guess I’ll have to wait and hear from The Management (aka Supportive Partner Woman).

tumblr_memp653uuS1rhvr5io1_500So, yesterday, SPW (love of Hugh Jackman!) and her friend went to see Les Miserables. They were, predictably, gushing about it. It dawns on me that maybe it’s a gender thing. I mean no disrespect to either gender, and I have never seen the stage production, but it seems that women love the movie and men, well, not so much. This review was located online and is well worth the read.

Hope you all have a great day!

Song of the Day: Gimme Your Love – McAuley Schenker Group

Currently Reading: The Black Box – Michael Connelly

Greetings!

Supportive Partner Woman (builder of Lego sets!) and I decided to beat the heat yesterday and take a drive to the King of Prussia mall. See, we have many pseudo-nieces and nephews and one of them, Ian, recently had a birthday. Ian has a bit of a Lego problem, too, but whereas I’m particular about which sets I buy, he will build darn near anything. So, since we needed to get him a birthday gift (late, but that’s how we roll), we felt a visit to the closest Lego store was in order.

Sopwith Camel

The Lego store at K of P is pretty sizeable. It should be, seeing as it pretty much serves most of eastern Pennsylvania and south Jersey. There’s also one at Christiana Mall in Newark, DE that is about the same distance away, but takes about 30 minutes longer to get to. Beside the point. We wound up buying a Lego Werewolf set and a couple of minifigs for the boy, and a Sopwith Camel set for us. Yes, for us. This will actually be the first non-architecture set that The Management will be building. She acquitted herself well building the top wing assembly all by herself. It’s a big achievement when you realize that she never built a Lego set as a child.

 

Save the Clock Tower!

So, after leaving the store we decided to pay a visit to the new Wegman’s, also in King of Prussia. They were having plenty of in store tastings, they even had a guy shilling the VitaMix blender. Our last visit to the K of P Wegman’s was a bit of a letdown… but I think it was because of the time of day… see, we stopped after the Neil Diamond concert. They really did redeem themselves. We managed to score a nice piece of sockeye salmon. It’s not Copper River, but the color is still a vibrant red and it should roast up beautifully.

Every time I’m in one of these stores, I can’t help but compare it to the big national grocery chains, like Giant. The selection, the cleanliness, the friendliness really make me want to never set foot in a Giant again. So, until such a point as they put a Wegman’s in cow country, I will be forced to shop at the same old boring stores, because it really doesn’t make a lot of sense to driver 45 minutes to grab a gallon of milk. I have hopes, though, of someday soon seeing a clock tower rising above the farm fields and retail power centers of Cow Country.

Other than the lovely salmon, we departed with some cherries, strawberries and bananas, a few other items, and some poultry sausage. That was recommended to me as a healthier alternative to boring old pork sausage. I look forward to trying it.

After leaving Wegman’s, we went in search of sustenance. My sugar had started to fall off and, well, we were hungry. We headed up the Turnpike and decided to make a return visit to The Drafting Room in Exton, PA. This is a lovely taproom and grill that SPW (drinker of many beers!) and I had last been to on my birthday. Perhaps not the healthiest choice, but considering the time, we were able to get seated right away and have food in belly soon after. SPW (avowed carnivore!) went with their hot roast beef sandwich while I decided to go with a burger topped with some Vermont cheddar. We both opted for a crab and corn chowder as an appetizer. The soup came, topped with a spicy, smoky jalapeno bacon, and it was delicious. If we would’ve been there alone, I might’ve licked the bowl. It was that good.

Sorry Mom, not a clean plate

The burger came and after a few bites, I was starting to run out of gas. Then it’s decision time. Ask yourself how many times you got the starving children speech when you were growing up. Or, as my very Catholic mother would tell us, it’s a sin to waste food. According to the psychologist I saw, that actually contributes to weight gain. We’re taught to clean our plates, but the portion sizes are insane these days, as a result, we wind up consuming way more calories than we should. A good idea when confronted with a huge portion would be to ask for a box first, and pack up half of your meal for later. That’s not really an option with a burger… they usually don’t reheat well, so I did the next best thing. I ate the rest of the meat and the garnishes while leaving the vast majority of the fries (I think I had two or three) and half the roll.

So today’s lesson… just because it’s in front of you, doesn’t mean you have to eat all of it. You can save some for another day or eat the portions that are better for you (protein and veggies, for example)

So, Supportive Partner Woman (she who is flossing-challenged!) and I went to the dentist today. It was my second first visit with this particular dentist. You might be wondering how that can be, well, it’s like this.

A few years ago, I had a toothache. As it turns out, I had a plastic container fall out of the cabinet and hit me in the lip. It must have hit the sweet spot, because it pretty much killed a tooth. So, seeing as I didn’t have a regular dentist in Cow Country at the time, I let my fingers do the walking. I came upon the dental offices of one Frank Carano, DDS. I called and they were able to fit me in. Dr. Carano, a gnomish little man, told me I would need a root canal. We scheduled it, but Carano wouldn’t be doing it. He did, however, take the time to plug the custom color match service they offered, for an additional $125.

Doogie Howser DMD?

Carano’s associate, Dr. Kingston, actually did the procedure. He seemed awfully young but very competent. He even managed to pull off the second part of the root canal without any anesthesia. At the time, we didn’t have dental coverage, so I just let the cleanings and exam go by, even though I know that dental health is very important because of The Beetus. It just wasn’t a priority.

So fast forward and we noticed that Doogie the Dentist* had opened his own office, away from the gnomish Dr. Carano. We hemmed and hawed and eventually made appointments for exams and cleanings. We set them up for today and, of course, we almost forgot about them. The appointments were at 10:30… I woke SPW (sleeper of great soundness!) up at 10:14 and we managed to make it there by 10:44.

We get checked in and I get called first. The hygienist, Shannon, comes and takes me back to the exam room, which is dominated by a big-ass monitor. She does a load of X-Rays (surprised I’m not glowing), takes pictures of fillings and the like, and does some sort of laser test on my teeth to check hardness. I was sure that the laser would slice part of my jaw off… I’ve seen the movie, but I’m just fine.

The final score is that I have my second cavity of my 41 years. I also need to have an old amalgam filling replaced. It’s served me well, seeing as I got it when I was 13 or 14, so it doesn’t owe me anything. Finally, I have six (now four) teeth that need to be sealed. I also should have a crown done, but we can wait a little on that. The important thing to take away is that being attentive to dental care is as important as taking care of everything else when you have diabetes. It can really help your long-term health. So, pick up the floss, or as Shannon suggested, the dental picks. I know I have a long way to go with flossing, but like every other change I am making, I’ll get there.

Oh, and not once did Dr. Kingston attempt to sell me anything like my former dentist, Dr. Beefyhead. Dr. Beefyhead (not his real name) was convinced that all health problems were caused by my jaw being out of alignment and for only $13,000 (financing available), he could break may jaw and fix the alignment, curing me of all maladies.

Riiiiight.

* Please note that this is not meant to sound derogatory in any sense. Dr. Kingston strikes me as a fine clinician and his staff is first-rate. I am quite pleased with his work and would gladly recommend him to anyone. If you are in the Lancaster, PA area and are seeking a dental professional, check out  his website.

I’m going to predict that between 1:00 and 5:00, the air conditioning will not be running.

OK, OK… there was a call last night from PP&L saying that they would be cycling the AC off due to expected load concerns. See, in an effort to save $8.00 a month, we let them install a switch on the AC that would allow them to cycle the AC. Maybe we should go shopping or go to work early in an effort to stay cool.

The primary focus of today’s post is the recovery from yesterday’s visit to the gym. I ached in quite a few places, and while my ankles are a little tender (you try carrying 368 pounds), the only other part I’m having issues with is my quadriceps. And only when I try to sit down. I blame the squats. I felt so good yesterday that I even took a 15 minute walk last night during my second break.

I was really pleased to see that the efforts of Supportive Partner Woman (user of the elliptical!) and I have inspired one of our friends to start a major weight loss effort. She’s even started writing about her process on her blog, which you can check out here. We are so proud of you, April… keep up the good work!

I never really compiled a list of what my process is for losing the weight. So, I’ll take a stab at it.

1) Exercise. Even just a regular walking program. We’re not talking Olympic speed walking, but a nice 3 mph pace… something to get the heart pumping and blood flowing.

2) Physical Activity. Take extra steps. Make two trips instead of one with the laundry. DO SOMETHING!

3) Nutrition. Be mindful of what you put in your mouth. As a diabetic, this can be quite challenging for me. Keep the carbs to a minimum and lots of fiber. Fiber kind of counteracts carbs, so if you eat a Mission Carb Balance wheat burrito wrap, it may say there’s 32g of carbs. There’s also 26g of fiber, making a total of 6 net carbs. It’s tough for somebody like me who could (and often did) eat a dozen potato dinner rolls at one sitting. Does this mean you can’t have any carbs? No! Just exercise some restraint. Also, when you’re jonesing for a snack, consider an alternative. Instead of reaching for the chips, grab a half cup of pistachios and get the protein instead of empty carbs.

4) Fluids. Fluids are important. Water is your friend. I was guilty of swilling Diet Pepsi the same way that a wino swills Boone’s Farm. It was nothing for me to drain six 20 oz. bottles of DP in a day. I’ve gotten that down to two. I’ve reduced my consumption by two-thirds and I’m still managing. That means I’ve also reduced my daily caffeine intake by a corresponding amount. Instead, I located a 64 oz. water bottle in an insulated case and I’ve been trying to drink that much every day.

5) Support and Goals. This has been the biggest struggle. I’ve found that having SPW on board has helped a lot, as has the support I’ve received from you, the readers. Many of our friends in the Disney community have expressed support, even volunteering to do a 5K alongside us when we reach such a point. That might be many months into the future, but it’s one of my goals. My immediate goal would be to keep losing and keep learning how to keep it off.

The author in 1998, right around 400 pounds.

So, there you have it. It’s not scientific… it’s mostly common sense. This is stuff that I always knew and just chose to ignore. You can only ignore the 800-pound gorilla in the room for so long (or the 400-pound fat guy in my case). My advice is to face the gorilla early and avoid the struggle later. Your body and your self-esteem will thank you.

Enjoy the weekend!

Good morning!

To all my Facebook peeps, I know I just posted a piece this morning… that was actually done last night. For whatever reason, WordPress doesn’t seem to like to post to Facebook automatically.

June 26 route

I set a new distance record last night on my walk. I’m posting a picture of it… gotta show what you do and a picture is worth a thousand words or something like that. The red is what I travelled and when I reach my goal, I will have covered the blue. Supportive Partner Woman (getting healthier in her own right!) tells me to take my time getting there and she’s right. After months of inactivity, my feet are still a little tender and it would be good to not get a blister again. You will note that there’s a little hiccup into a store. As it turns out, I won $100 through our walking challenge at work and I stopped to pick up some Propel Zero Kiwi Strawberry water for our team captain.

So, moving on to today’s menu. One of my favorite things to grill is pork tenderloin. I usually do a simple spice rub, mainly seasoned salt, garlic powder, and thyme.This time I’m going to try something new. For years, SPW’s sister has done a beef preparation that simply involves slathering horseradish on the meat before roasting it. The serious bite of the horseradish is pretty much roasted out, leaving a slightly zesty flavor that permeates the meat. I’m going to try this on the pork tenderloin. Since I have two tenderloins defrosting, maybe I’ll do one of each preparation and see which tastes better.

I also have soaked a bunch of black beans to make chili again. Since it went over so well the last time, I never got to freeze any of it, so I hope to this time.

Due to the prodding of SPW (aka The Management), I’ve started making use of an iPhone app called LoseIt. This helps me track my daily calorie consumption and subtracts calories burned through exercise. One of the neat features of the app is that you can use it to scan barcodes of your food and the app will pull in the relevant nutrition information. It’s not perfect. there’s some things you have to guess at, for example, it might take a while to enter a Chipotle meal, because each element of your burrito bowl needs to be entered separately. It allows you fo add custom foods, though, so theoretically you could easily total up what your burrito was and add a burrito line. I’m still exploring the app, but so far so good. There are many other apps out there to assist you in tracking calories… you might need to try more than one until you get one that suits you. That’s part of the fun.

One othe rthing I’m considering is posting a series of pictures of me and my weight over the years… from the good to the bad to the orca fat. I’d like the opinions of you, the readers, so I added a poll.

Until the next time, have a great day!

Good afternoon!

Pico de Gallo

I spent a good portion of the morning trying to make pico de gallo again. My last attempt was not bad, maybe a little too citrus. This time I added more tomato and cilantro in an attempt to moderate the sourness of the lime juice. At the very least, it’s very nice and colorful. It should cheer up any plate, even if I usually wind up putting it in a burrito.

It brought back to me that cooking should be fun. For me, one of my biggest beefs with my job is never really seeing the finished product. When you cook, you see that and it’s much easier to take pride in getting a perfectly diced tomato or onion. Getting beautiful diamond-shaped grill marks when you grill a steak or a piece of chicken. I’ve said before that cooking is not just about taste. It’s smell and appearance and texture, heck, even the sound if you’re eating fajitas.

I also cannot stress the importance of having quality cutlery in your kitchen. You can get by with substandard cookware, but poor quality knives make cooking much more of a chore than a joy. I speak from experience… I was always the guy to buy the 54 knives for $20, figuring a knife was a knife. One day, not long after The Management and I sealed the deal, I was attempting to thinly slice dry rubbed pork tenderloin. The cheap knives were shredding it and I finally reached my wits end. I said that we needed to invest in at least a good carving knife. The Management (aka Supportive Partner Woman (Possessor of Good Ideas!)) suggested taking some of the Bed Bath and Beyond gift cards that we received as wedding gifts and going to find a carving knife. We came home with a beautiful Henckels carving set in a presentation box. What a revelation! It went through the meat like, well, a hot knife through butter. Paper thin slices? Not a problem! It was like I had died and gone to paradise.

I started thinking about upgrading other knives, checking eBay regularly, thinking that I should keep in the same family. I studied up on knife manufacturing and what to look for (full tang, balanced, polypropylene riveted handles, etc.) and I also found out that you could test the knives at Williams-Sonoma. One night around the holidays, SPW and I visited our local Williams-Sonoma and were gazing longingly at the cutlery when we noticed a decent sale on a Wüsthof starter block set. Wound up with a 10″ chef’s knife, two paring knives (serrated and non), a boning knife, a 9″ bread knife, a 5″ Santoku and a 6″ slicing knife. To say I’m happy with these would be an understatement. I even bought a knife sharpener to keep them at optimum sharpness. We’ve since added a tomato knife, a panini knife and steak knives to the block.

So, my cooking tip of the day is to spend the extra scratch and invest in good knives. Even if you don’t get a full block, a good chef’s knife will make all the difference. Whether you get Wüsthof, Henckels or even Shun, you won’t be disappointed.

Also, for the good of the order, I find it amazing that 90% of German cutlery is made in Solingen.

Greetings from the land of the slimmer!

I had an appointment this morning with the exercise physiologist and dietitian at the bariatric center. First thing, I got weighed. It was a cool 368 lbs. That’s a vast improvement over my last visit to the clinic for group where the number was 380. So, 12 pounds in about three weeks. Much better. The funny thing is that before you can have surgery, they ask that you lose 10 pounds. Guess I took care of that.

The first part of my appointment was with the exercise guy. I found Ryan to be very upbeat and encouraging. He was impressed by my walking regimen and wants me to keep it up. He also set up some appointments for me in their fitness center. It’s not big, but they only have six people at a time in there. They have shower facilities and most importantly, Ryan and/or Cory are there to show you how to exercise and lift weights safely and correctly. I start with a one hour session on Thursday and I’m really looking forward to it. Apparently, one of the risks with bariatric surgery is the  loss of muscle mass. As such, they want to build it up so you don’t lose all of what you have.

Cedar plank roasted Copper River salmon with mushroom risotto and steamed broccoli

Following my appointment with Ryan, I met Cory, the other physiologist. Then it was off to meet the dietitian, Shauna. She also seemed to be very supportive and was pleased with some of the dietary progress I’ve made. She was pleased to hear that both The Management and myself like to cook, and she was really pleased with last night’s dinner. We were at Wegman’s on Friday and I managed to pick up some Copper River salmon. I roasted it on a cedar plank with a sheen of olive oil, fresh ground pepper and sea salt on top. To go along with it, I made a mushroom risotto and steamed broccoli. The Management approved.

Today’s route.

So, I also added a new track to my walking playlist. I think my hair band loving friends will like it. Many might remember an 80’s hair band called Warrant. They were in the news in the past couple of years thanks to the death of lead singer Jani Lane. So, this weekend, XM 80s on 8 was playing a countdown from 1989 and Warrant’s little known track, Down Boys came on. It was very catchy and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. It sets a pretty good pace and I’m kind of scared to check my feet, because I might have overdone it a little. I did manage to walk about half of the Red Rose Commons perimeter. This gets me a little closer to my goal.

The one constant today is that everyone assures me I’m on the right track. It’s not easy, but when I saw 36_ instead of 37_, well, that’s a nice motivator. I’d love to have a 35_ next time. We shall see.

what I will be writing about today. I have a streak going that I don’t want to break, so I’ll just start typing and see what happens.

I mentioned in the little biography blurb that I have a wee bit of a Lego problem. It’s true. I’m fascinated by those little plastic bricks. Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money, but the few Legos I had were very well-used. I spent a lot of time building spaceships of my own design, knowing then that since there’s vacuum in space, my ships could be very rectangular. Well, that and there weren’t a lot of round pieces back in the dark ages.

Fast forward to December 2011, we were visiting the Lego Imagination Center in Orlando at Downtown Disney. I was taken by the sheer number of choices available. Being as I like Star Wars, I was checking out some of the Lego Star Wars sets, lusting after the Super Star Destroyer that cost $400, things like that, when I saw the AT-AT.

WANT!

To quote my friend Jed, “I’m generally very pro-AT-AT.” I thought it would be a great set to build after being out of the Lego game for 20 years. It was only about 815 pieces, reasonably priced as such things go, and the last one they had. I bought it, then realized I had a problem. How the heck would I get it on the plane? This was a pretty big box and The Management and I were only travelling with carry-on bags.

Luckily, a friend of ours we would be seeing at New Years was travelling via Auto Train and was willing to take the AT-AT home for us. It was sad, though… I had to wait another three weeks to build it. Or even to see it again. Sniffle.

So, December 30, The Management and I headed to scenic Glenside, PA, to take in a Cinematic Titanicdouble feature featuring two of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. One was called Astral Factor. Starring Robert Foxworth and a pantsless Stefanie Powers, well, it’s as bad as you might think it would be. The other was called Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks, and that was even worse. All that is beside the point… I was finally reunited with the AT-AT. I was rather happy about this, as you can probably tell from the picture.

The Precioussssssss

The next day, I was able to start construction. It came back to me and I was again struck by the attention to detail. This even had movable legs and a General Veers minifig! I started understanding why the sets were so expensive and just how much detail goes into them.

After watching me build that, The Management decided she wanted to join the fun and we managed to pick up a model of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, from the Lego Architecture Series. Lego Architecture takes some of the world’s landmarks and renders them in Lego bricks… some results are better than others. I consider Fallingwater to be an amazing rendering, whereas the Sydney Opera House was a dud, IMHO.

Anyways, she built that in one night and our family addiction was born. Currently, the Nerd Lair is populated by many of the sets from the Original Trilogy films. There’s a TIE Fighter, X-Wing, Y-Wing and the Millennium Falcon. On the bar is one exception, an Ultimate Collectors Series version of Obi-Wan’s Jedi Starfighter. Also on the bar is my birthday present… an Ultimate Collectors Series Imperial Shuttle. That took me nearly a week to complete, but it was certainly worth it.

In short, Legos were a big part of my childhood and one I’m very glad I’ve not only been able to rediscover, but one that I’ve been able to share with The Management. Her next build is in the house… an Architecture Series rendition of the Robie House. We’ll see how it goes.

Hope you all have a great weekend and can treat yourselves well. I have a regular doctor’s appointment on Monday. Hope I’ll be able to report a few pounds lost.

I’ve really talked about a lot of things over the 50+ posts I’ve thrown up here. Few tidbits about life, some social commentary, shared some humorous moments… I’m here to tell you that I’ve not been completely honest with you.

It’s not that everything here is a sham… it’s not. I truly am overweight, I like to eat, cook, all that stuff. The places I’ve  been, the stories I’ve shared, all true. However, there’s a huge part of me that I’ve not shared. I want to remedy that. But first, how about a little story.

I’m hopelessly addicted to Next Food Network Star. Have been since Season 2, when Guy Fieri won. I like Food Network (big surprise) and a lot of the personalities. I watch Iron Chef America and want to actually go to Cleveland, just to eat at Michael Symon’s restaurants. I would go to Atlantic City, not to gamble but to eat at Bobby Flay Steak. I’ve been to Emeril’s Orlando. One of my favorite Food Network personalities, though, has always been Alton Brown.

Alton Brown and fishy friend

Alton is a food geek, and that appeals to me. I was intrigued by the new season of Food Network Star, where Alton, Bobby, and Italian diva Giada DeLaurentiis would each be mentoring a team of hopefuls. I started rooting for Team Alton, just because, well, they seemed quirky. Like him. At any rate, during Sunday’s episode, the remaining members of his team were all up for elimination. One of the team members, Judson Allen, finally homed in on a culinary point of view based on his astounding weight loss. However, the network was not convinced of his sincerity. Alton interjected with the following:

Being heavy… I was heavy most of my life… is painful. You learn to create a different version of yourself to project to people. You have to sell yourself because you’re not attractive and you’re heavy and you’re clumsy and all of those things.”

That just really hit me. It dawns on me that I’ve been using my alter ego so much that it’s become very difficult to know what is the real me and what is the me I’ve created. The line between the two has ceased to be clear. That’s not a good thing. So when I said earlier that I’ve not been completely honest with you, well, I haven’t exactly been honest with myself, either. I’ve actually gotten to the point where I don’t know who I am anymore. I’ve molded my exterior persona to be so middle of the road in an effort to be liked that it comes across as complete bullshit (“bovine scatology”). Nobody likes a bullshitter (or perhaps I should say “bovine scatologist”). I always say that I don’t like phony people, and yet, I’m actually a phony. I’m not the jolly fat guy. I HATE BEING FAT. I am so envious of the normal sized people sometimes that it just hurts. Really, really hurts. And the only way I’ve been able to quell that inner pain is by eating. A lot. I believe that SPW (aka The Management) knows how much I hurt because she sees me in my unguarded moments, when I don’t put on my fat armor and mask. Not many other people do. It’s not something that I’ve ever really talked with her about, so consider this my coming out party, dear wife. However, the aforementioned  conflict between my two personas tends to make me, well, cranky. Or perhaps bitterly sarcastic. Or both. Mostly both, methinks. Either way, that conflict manifests itself in my hardly being able to really experience and appreciate the goodness and joyousness that I want to believe is still in the world.

I really started fearing that this was happening when we made our annual December trek to Disney to see all of our friends for Reunion. It was like I was going through the motions rather than enjoying the company of like-minded people. I wasn’t having fun. I hurt, mainly from carrying the weight around, literally and figuratively. I kept thinking to myself, “How the hell can I be in the Happiest Place on Earth, surrounded by some of my favorite people, and be as miserable as I am?” I did what I normally do… I sucked it up and did the best I could, but I wanted nothing more than to be elsewhere. I usually feel that way anymore… just want to be elsewhere, to find a place where I don’t have to wear the fat armor, because that’s heavy weight to lugging around all the time. You know what, there is no such place. It’s still accepted to discriminate against fat… just look around at all the popular culture. The fat guy is usually portrayed as dimwitted and slow while the this handsome guy is always the hero.

I’m done playing the role. I’m fat, but I’m not always going to be. Maybe I didn’t get the winning ticket in the good looks department, but I’m not going to let being fat steal anymore of my life. It’s taken enough for two lifetimes. Bear with me… some of the bovine scatologist will linger. One does not exorcise the demons immediately. After all, I have to relearn how to be me and to love being who I am. That’s not a task I’m relishing, although I think the reward will be worth all the pain. To look in a mirror and see me, not what I think I should be, but who I am, well, that will be one of the best days of my life.

I’ll keep you posted. And thanks for reading.

For most people, when they hear the words “daunting challenge,” it usually conjures up an image of something so difficult as to be nearly unachievable. To Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, the climbing of Everest would have been a daunting challenge. What I’m embarking on doesn’t sound like much, at least not when compared with climbing Everest or running a 5K, half marathon and a marathon IN ONE WEEKEND. To me it has the same level of challenge, though.

See, I had my first group class today in the bariatric program. What I’ve taken away is that I’m going to have to relearn how to live. This is quite a daunting challenge for me, because one could argue that I haven’t exactly been doing so well thus far, and maybe going back to square one is a good idea. It was a very good session, though. Things started off with a presentation by the dietitian, Shauna, who gave the class an idea of what changes they need to be making. One of those changes is the cutting down on fats, and they, of course, showed a picture of bacon. That’s going to be tougher than caffeine, because I can live without the latter. Bacon, however, was created by God because He loves us and wants us to be happy. Of course, what’s the point of being happy if you’re not healthy? She also suggested that we be mindful of what we’re taking in, calorie-wise. I can see that being important. They even said that if we’re not sure what to look for on a label, they will cover that in a one-on-one session. Tracking can be an issue, thankfully they suggest some apps and technology to make that a little easier to do. Everyone knows I love my tech.

Following Shauna’s talk, Ryan took over. Ryan is an exercise physiologist who took us through some of the things we can do to exercise productively. He suggested that anything can help, even if it’s an old Richard Simmons VHS. This of course, inspired me to find this gem:

It seems to me that everyone at the bariatric clinic is super supportive and they genuinely want people to have success. That’s good, because this sure as hell isn’t going to be easy. I’m glad that I have such fine support amongst my friends, coworkers and family members. The one who has been the most supportive of me and whose support I need more than any other would be The Management. Seems to me that I do her a disservice referring to her as The Management. Maybe I should take a page from her blog and refer to her as Supportive Partner Woman (Drinker of Frozen Concoctions!)

Thoughts?