Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Up & Down...no, not like that!
It was shaping up to be a good day. It happened to be my birthday, and I got the new Family Guy dvd from The Squeeze that morning, so I watched a few episodes while I was on the treadmill. Damn funny stuff. After that, I dragged a vacuum through the house, did a bit of dusting, cleaned the kitchen, scoured the bathroom and had a shower just in time to leave and pick up Brynn for a doctor's appointment. We had a fun few hours together. She's just so darn cute! Every time I looked at her in the back seat, she'd crack a smile and giggle. Melt. My. Heart.
On the way home, I picked up a few items at the grocery store to snack on with FWIG, his friend Jiggs, and The Squeeze before heading out for dinner and a play. As luck would have it, The Squeeze got stuck in traffic and got home just in time for us to head out to the restaurant, which meant that it was up the the three of us to eat the munchies and drink the wine.
Our first choice of restaurant near the theatre happened to be closed on Mondays, so we cruised the downtown and settled on a sketchy Thai place. I go there quite often with other friends. The food is great, but it's not the cleanest place. As I told Jiggs, if you have to go to the bathroom, hold it until we get to the theatre. I had Pad Thai and I decided to experiment with a coconut shake with "black pearls", which essentially is huge honkin' tapioca at the bottom of the shake. Thanks to the 1" diameter straw, I had little problem sucking those babies up.
We made our way to the theatre and parked in a nearby lot. Good thing Jiggs was there. She informed me that although I did put the Club on my wheel, locked the doors and set the alarm, I somehow managed to miss the fact that my window was all the way down. Ya, I know. That's enough out of you.
The play was entertaining. Not the greatest, not the worst, but a fun yet predictable romp.
We drove home, said our goodbyes, and got to bed. When I woke in the morning, I did my ususal treadmill routine with a few more Family Guy episodes, had my shower, got on the scale and OHMYGOD!!!! I was up three pounds! WTF? Those damned snacks. OK, let's see...baguette with balsamic and olive oil, cream cheese & red pepper jelly, a wedge of parmesan, crackers, grapes, spiced olives, wine. Damn it! It was the grapes! Those damned grapes made me gain three pounds! Or...maybe it was everything else but that. I had more carbs that day than I've had in a long, long time.
Today was a bit better. I'm at 293. I've also been checking my percentage of body fat on the scale on a weekly-or-so basis. When I first broke the 300lb barrier, I was at around 33% body fat. That's right, I was about 1/3 fat. Last week, I was at 29%. This morning I was at 27%. I guess that means I'm gaining muscle, and that's good. Muscle burns fat. I have to keep telling myself that. It's not just the weight on the scale, but what's making up that weight.
When I was heading to work this morning, I crossed paths with a woman from the shop next door.
"Dave, you've lost weight!", she said.
"Ya, I've been working on it for a few months now."
"Well keep up the good work, you look great."
As she walked toward her car she turned back and said, "I'm stopping at Tim Horton's on the way back, do you want me to pick up something for you?"
"Sure, I'd love a honey lemon tea. Nothing in it."
"Is that all?"
She seemed disappointed. It's like she wanted me to have a dozen donuts or something.
Maybe I'm just paranoid. But just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean everyone's not out to get me!
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
1. Leave me a comment saying “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with a post containing your the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
Alright, so where was I? Oh yes, now I remember.
1) What made you decide to lose weight?
I've tried it several times before with limited success. The idea to finally get my act together hit me just over a year ago after Brynn was born and I immediately fell in love with her. I realized that I wanted to be around to watch her grow up and one day walk her down the aisle. Also, the thought of her not having a dad to spoil her was heartbreaking, and I was determined to do whatever I could to remove that possibility. I drove around with a picture of her propped up in my car to remind me to stay out of the fast food drive-throughs. Sort of like how Homer Simpson covered up the sign that Mr. Burns put in his work station that said "Don't forget, you're here forever", so it said "Do it for her" and had pictures of Maggie up there covering the extra letters. (I guess he made the "i" out of the "n" & the " ' "). Look at me over-thinking! Anyway, after some stress at work earlier this year, I didn't have much of an appetite, and I figured, if life hands you tapens, make tapenade. Mmmm...tapenade. So I started to go for walks in the morning to clear my head and then started to keep an eye on the scale. I figured this is something I could control as opposed to many other parts of my life that I couldn't. Serenity prayer, anyone? Happily, it all seems to be going well. I've set a realistic goal and I'm more than half way there now. Feeling better is a huge bonus, and I'm not feeling deprived, which is very important for me. I still have occasional treats, but I make them small rather than extra large. We tend to not bring crap into the house, so we're not tempted to eat it. Of course, the most important part is staying active. I'm on that treadmill for one hour every morning, rain or shine. My goal is to be able to shop in a regular clothing store and not a "big & tall" shop where everything is twice the price. Damn it, fat people aren't necessarily rich! What, because they think we have lots of cash to blow on food we can sign over our paycheck for a dress shirt? whew...rant over. Another big reason for doing it was because unlike most people who are carbon-based, I am fear-based. I thought, "If my business fails, I'll need to get a job somewhere, and who would hire a 375 pound guy?" I also recall seeing an interview with some doctor who made the comment that obese people generally do not live long lives. "Show me an obese 80 year old" he said. Good point. The fear of dying early and leaving The Squeeze alone tore me apart. I want us to live a long happy life together. 'sniff'...Tito, pass me a tissue.
2) Is your life how you thought it would be after agreeing to help Weezie have a baby?
It's better than I could have ever imagined. Looking after Brynn when she was younger was a bit scary because I didn't have a freaking clue what I was doing. I certainly didn't ever sleep when she stayed at our place overnight in case I didn't hear her crying in the night. Slim chance of that slipping past me! The Squeeze and I had some discussion about my doing this. Mostly about how this would change our lifestyle and the responsibility involved in being a father. I am SO glad we agreed to do it. I really can't get enough of Brynn. I also get the added bonus of being Daddy to her big sister Zoe too, so that's really cool. We see them every weekend, and it bums us out when we have to leave and they head off to bed. The Squeeze and I keep looking forward to the time when they are a couple of years older and we can take them to different functions and events, have them as flower girls at our wedding...stuff like that.
3) What's the best part about living in your city (Hamilton)?
Good question. We're actually living in a neighbouring city with lower taxes and a cleaner and less scary downtown, so I'm loving that. A benefit is that there's a fairly good cultural community here that offers lots to do (theatre, music, movies, festivals). We're close to the big city of Toronto and close to Niagara Falls and its wine country. Ya, I suppose the best part would be its proximity to all we need.
4) Other than your recent trip to St. Louis, when was your most recent trip to the States? Where did you go and what did you do?
Hmm...I'm terrible with dates and things, but I think it was a few years back when we visited a friend in Vancouver and we took a day trip into Seattle. Pike Place Market, the original Starbucks (ooh, ahh). I'm kind of hard-pressed to think of what all we did there besides shop.
5) How did you know FWG?
Or...he's been friends with The Squeeze for over 20 years and that's how I know him.
Take your pick.
So if anyone wishes to be interviewed by yours truly, lemme know and I'll see what I can come up with.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
It's Hard To Get Good Help & An Update
"Taco salad to go", I said.
I waited for Buddy to figure out the buttons on the register and was asked for $6.49. I handed him a $10 and watched as he looked into his cash drawer with the look of utter confusion.
"Uhh...hang on a sec", he said as he walked away with both his mouth and cash drawer wide open. The supervisor came by with rolls of coins and traded them with buddy for some $20s.
While she did that he gathered up my salad and the chili that went with it. Meanwhile, the man that was standing at the counter when I walked in was still there waiting for the rest of his order. "Can I just get my fries so I can go home?" he finally snapped to anyone in the back that might have been listening.
Buddy handed me the order and I looked at him and informed him that I was still waiting for my change.
"My change from the $10 I gave you before you ran off to get change for your till."
He gathered up the change while I looked into the bag he handed me.
"And also the salad dressing, the chips and the sour cream for the salad."
"Oh......what kind of salad dressing?"
"The one that usually goes with the Southwest Taco Salad."
I've had this salad enough to know what goes with it.
While Buddy gathered up my salad components, the other man at the counter was gifted by another worker with the extra large fries instead of the regular size he ordered.
As I was heading home I wondered, is giving someone extra artery-clogging fries really doing them a favour?
Several months ago I would have thought that would be worth the wait, now I'd see it as sabotage.
Speaking of which...here's the newest update!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Another Update...And Canning Season Hits
I got on the scale this morning and for the first time in ...hell, I can't remember how many years it's been, I came in under 300 pounds. It looked to be around 299. The Squeeze suggested that I get on the digital scale that I've never been able to use due to it's weight restriction of 300 pounds.
I stepped on that scale and expected to see an ERROR message because I figured I was still too heavy for it, but instead I watched the digital numerals scrambling until it determined my weight. 296 pounds. Oh. My. God. I really can't believe it. It's still a pretty big number, but it sure as hell beats 375! Just shy of 80 pounds lost. I wonder if I can make it to 275 by Christmas. How awesome would that be to be 100 pounds lighter than I was last year? When that time rolls around I must decide whether to do my usual Christmas baking and be sure to give it all away or forgo it entirely. Out of sight, out of mind, and all that stuff. I just love the creative aspect of it.
Speaking of cooking and all that fun stuff, canning season has hit and I've got the bug. Yesterday I went out and did some shopping so I could make my red pepper jelly. I haven't made the stuff since Sept. 11, 2001. Seems like a strange time to do it, but I already had that day planned to make it, and it sure beat sitting in front of the TV watching the carnage over and over again.
But back to yesterday...I had to pick up some new jars because I think I sold them all in the yard sale when we moved. When will I learn? I hit the grocery store to buy a pile of red peppers, sugar, vinegar, pectin and all the other little things I'd need. I cleaned and sterilized the jars and began cutting the peppers. I was making a double batch (12 one cup jars). Turns out I had enough peppers to make three, possibly four double batches. When will I learn?? After blending the peppers and vinegar, I poured the mixture into a large pot and added the 13 (yes, 13) cups of sugar and added the pectin at the appropriate time. The mixture filled 12 jars perfectly. They were all processed and after removing them from the canner, I was rewarded with that satisfying click as the lids formed their seals. Ahhhh....all is well. How is it that 13 cups of sugar, 3 cups of finely chopped peppers (plus a few chopped jalapenos), 3 cups of vinegar and 1 1/2 cups of liquid pectin makes 12 cups of red pepper jelly? Go figure.
Wednesday night I'm making corn relish, and on the weekend I'm making bread & butter pickles and relish. I might also get some chutney going too. We'll see how time holds out. Half the fun of making this stuff is giving it away to friends and family. Let's face it, that stuff is packed with sugar. Better them than me. ]:o)
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
A Weekend of Food
I suppose it all started Saturday when I joined a friend for lunch at a sushi buffet. I didn't really overdo it there, but by the same token, I could have stopped before I did. But it's sushi!
There was one thing that pretty much guaranteed that I wouldn't continue eating there, and this comes with a warning for the squeamish. Just as we were finishing our meal, an Asian family of some configuration (two old women in their 70's or 80's, one man in his 40's, and I'm assuming his 20-ish son and daughter) was seated behind my friend. We continued chatting at our table for quite some time as food was being delivered to the table behind her. As I glanced around the restaurant my eyes locked on that table. Seated between the two youngest members was one of the old women. What I witnessed nearly made my jaw hit the table. This old woman would take her chopsticks, pick up a piece of food, chew it for about ten or fifteen seconds and then spit it into a bowl beside her plate. No, it wasn't just a bone or some item that most people would put aside rather than swallow, but we're talking every bite. Yes. Every. Bite.
My friend was quite entertained by my disgust and fixation on this woman's practice, but I really had a hard time absorbing what I was seeing. The biggest question (and there were many) was "why is she spitting it all out?" Other questions such as "why would they take her out to a restaurant?" came to mind.
As she continued chewing and spitting her meal, not to be confused with actually eating her meal, her bowl quickly began to overflow. This bowl was about a foot away from her mouth, so she literally spat the masticated projectiles toward the bowl. Many times she missed, many times it hit the mark and rolled down the pre-chewed mountain onto the table.
I felt sorry for the server who would eventually have to clear the table. Picking up plates, glasses and cutlery that people have had in their mouths is one thing. Carrying a bowl full of the food someone chewed is another thing entirely. Let's not forget whatever was on the table near the bowl. It also seems to be a bit unfair to the owner of the restaurant. It's all you can EAT, not all you can chew and spit. If everyone did that, we could chew and spit every buffet restaurant out of house and home.
I am so curious as to why someone would do this. A few options come to mind:
1, She's a bit nutty.
2, It's her way to control her weight (even though she was quite thin already).
3, My friend thought she may be unable to swallow for some reason (throat cancer?).
4, She actually disliked absolutely everything she tried.
5, They had a bet to see who she could make throw up first.
I had to get out of that place, so my friend and I went for a drive to an apple farm out in the country where I picked up a couple types of apples, some cider, and an apple pie. As we were leaving, we heard one of the staff telling another customer that the MacIntosh apples were ready to be picked if they wanted to pick some themselves. Now Mac's are The Squeeze's favourite apple. He loves the tart taste, but the ones that the grocery stores are selling right now are last year's apples that have been in cold storage. Their texture changes quite a bit and they become mealy, so he hasn't had a good Mac since early this year. We loaded up the ark and headed back to pick a bag. It was a pretty big bag, actually. We have enough apples to choke many horses right now.
I've been doing some research into apple pie recipes, so I'm going back to the farm to pick up different varieties in a week or so, and I'll be on a baking mission. I love harvest time! All the farmers' markets...all the fall colours, cozy warm clothes and autumn comfort food.
Which takes us to Saturday night. FWIG, The Squeeze, a couple of his buddies and I made our way to a little event called Ribfest. It's an event that draws thousands and thousands of people to enjoy their choice of ribs from any of about 16 vendors from across Canada and the US. It's an outdoor event on the lake with live bands, booths of assorted merchandise and beer tents, but of course, it's all about the ribs.
Due to the fact that FWIG and I had a few stovetop s'mores at the house while we waited for The Squeeze's buddies to arrive, I was only able to eat half a rack of ribs while everyone else had a full rack...or more. Then of course, there were the funnel cakes. After we got home that night, we had to sample that apple pie I bought earlier. It was ok, but I think I can do better.
Sunday morning, The Squeeze, FWIG, and our friend Karen went out for a brunch buffet. Oh my god, kill me now! It was a fun time. We sat and lingered afterward and chatted for quite some time. But The Squeeze and I had work to do. Due to a neighbour complaining to the condo property manager that our back yard tap was dripping, we needed to replace some washers. Or so we thought. In the end we wound up having to replace the entire faucet and the shut-off valve in the basement. While we had the water shut off, it seemed like the time to replace our laundry faucets as well because they were on their last legs.
We finished those chores with just enough time to give the house a very quick cleaning in time for The Squeeze's cousins from out west and his brother to come buy before - yep, you guessed it - going out for dinner. We went to a very nice Thai place and had a rather sensible meal. Perhaps Dairy Queen for dessert was pushing it.
We got to spend some time on the holiday Monday with the kids, which was quite nice. Brynn is walking now. A bit unsteady, but that should be replaced with confidence in the next week or two. She's getting brave. She can walk across the room, squat down to pick something up, stand back up and keep walking. They grow up so fast.
Food-wise, we did ok on Monday, and we even spent some time in the evening making freezer peaches to enjoy over the winter months. But, like I said, the scale was not my friend this morning. I've been upping my treadmill routine over the last couple of weeks. From 45 minutes each morning to 50 and now 55 minutes. I'm attempting to get rid of unnecessary sugar, which means this morning I had Shredded Wheat & Bran instead of Mini-Wheats (wheats, wheats, la-la-la-la-la-la-la) which had a fair bit of sugar. Today there was none. The Squeeze asked how I liked it. My response was something like, "It's ok. A bit dry and tougher to choke down, but I'll get used to it".
Wow, it's almost lunch time. I'm back on the wagon with my salad, an apple and yogurt.
You know, the more I think of it, the more I think that old lady at the sushi place may have been on to something.