Big Milestone


Regular readers of this blog may remember that I track my food intake through an app called MyFitnessPal. It was referred to me by my therapist and it works very well. The database of foods is expansive, it lets you enter recipes or regular meals as you wish, it gives full nutritional information for everything, and it’s free. It’s been great.

This morning, as I entered my breakfast, I was met with a small notification.

“[I have] logged in for 365 days in a row!”

I’ve been doing this a solid year. My mind boggles at that.

For the past twelve months, I’ve done my best to record every single thing that I’ve consumed, food or drink, and I have a record of it to look back on.

To be fair, there are some things that I don’r record. If a soda has zero calories, I won’t record it, and certain meals – the trip to the churrascaria back in January, for instance – that just couldn’t possibly be recorded. (A churrascaria is a Brazilian steakhouse, where the waitstaff bring unlimited amounts of over a dozen types of meat to your table for you to choose from. There’s beef, there’s pork, there’s chicken, there’s lamb, there’s sausage, plus side dishes, and there’s just no way to accurately estimate how much of what you’re getting. The portions that you receive of most meats is very small, in order to allow you to try more varieties of them, and trying to log it is just too much of a headache to be worth it.) So there are cheat days. Once or twice I didn’t actually log a thing, although I logged into the app. But the vast majority of my foods are recorded and accurately so.

When I started this a year ago I thought it was a great tool to show me how much I was consuming. I didn’t try to adjust my diet any, I just wanted to see how many calories I was eating a day and then after a period of time adjust my diet to compensate, in order to lose weight. I haven’t really adjusted my diet that much – as I write this, I’m eating a bowlful of leftover chicken fried rice – but I’ve still managed to lose 14 pounds since starting this journey. Considering that I haven’t really done anything to try to lose weight, I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished.

So now the focus is going to be on watching how much I eat. I tend to overeat on a lot of occasions and that’s the main reason I go over a day’s allotment of calories. (Once again, see the churrascaria, a place that it is VERY easy to overeat.) Portion control needs to become a thing. Then we’ll worry about pulling my diet away from comfort foods and into something a little more healthy – with the occasional cheat day, of course, still being logged.

I’m really proud of sticking with this for a whole year. I never thought I’d be doing it for that long. I’m looking forward to what the next year will bring.


The Fullness of Meh


Today’s not been a bad day. There’s not been any real problem with anything today, and I’ve gotten through today with only brief dips into depression. But today hasn’t really been a good day either. I’ve been mostly going through the motions.

Watching a couple movies helped with distracting me from that, and having a radio show helped in the evening, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. But I can’t put my finger on a trigger.

I’m thinking it’s because the stress of travel and dealing with Mom and being apprehensive about the trip to see family and trying to get past a knee injury finally let go after a few days home and with me back to the usual day-to-day I’m not needing to function on such a high level, and the wind’s kind of been let out of my sails, if that makes any sense. I’ve dealt with a LOT in the past three weeks and there’s been little break to let that stress go. So I think that’s what I’m experiencing.

I hope it doesn’t last long. I dislike feeling this neutral. I dislike feeling negative, for that matter, but the neutral doesn’t feel like anything, and that’s a pretty empty feeling.

There’s a lot from my checklist that I’ve waited until the last minute to get done, so once more this will be a shorter blog post. I’m looking forward to having something to write about again that will take a while to process through. I feel like I’m cheating a little bit writing only a few paragraphs a day.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Better, But Not One Hundred Percent


Well, the stomach bug I had yesterday seems to be gone, but I’m still pretty run down from it. I cut a lot of corners yesterday in getting my full marks on my checklists, but today I’m playing catchup and it’s wearing me out. I’ve had some naps during the day, and that helped, but generally I’m kinda pooped.

Got a call from Mom today asking if I wanted to have dinner tonight, and I had to remind her that we’re in Austin once more. She also wanted me to know that I shouldn’t be in an infomercial under any circumstances, because she was and that’s why her back is hurting her today. I played along with what she said, though, except for the part where we couldn’t be there for dinner. She said “maybe this weekend” and I told her we’ll have to see. That much I was able to leave open-ended for now.

I finished Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology today. Excellent read, makes the pantheon much more accessible to the masses than the Eddas do. Each story is its own chapter, and the stories are quite short, so it’s a very easy thing to read a chapter a day. Took me no time to go through it, it felt like, and I’m glad I stuck to a chapter a day.

Still have a lot of stuff left to do tonight so I’m cutting this short today. (It seems like I’ve been doing that a lot. I really need to get a meaty blog post out at some point soon.) Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have more to write about.



I’ve gone and caught a stomach bug.

It is my opinion that there are few things that will wipe you out faster and harder than having a stomach ailment. At least, that’s been my experience today.

I am posting here just enough to say “I wrote a blog post.” Hopefully I’ll feel more like myself tomorrow, but for now, I think I’m going to go lie down.

Quick and Dirty Mom Update 4/19/2017


My wife got a call from my mother earlier tonight, something that’s highly unusual for Mom to do. Mom asked my wife if she could be outside the front door to her facility in 20 minutes to pick her up. Mom says they’re recruiting an army from the residents in her skilled nursing facility and Mom doesn’t want to be recruited into their army. We had to let her down easy by telling her that we live in Austin, Texas, which is over a thousand miles from her in Raleigh, North Carolina, and that there was no way we could be there in twenty minutes. She said she’ll “have to figure out other arrangements.”

Apparently this is pretty par for the course when Mom has a UTI, but I’ve never seen things this bad with her.

I’m not sure how much of this is the UTI and how much is the stroke.

That’s about all I have energy for tonight. For some reason I am bone tired and really want to go lie down.

A Semi-Expected Windfall


My insurance plan has a rewards program for wellness activities, such as getting an annual physical, a flu shot, and a diabetic eye exam, among other things. I try to hit all of them, not so much because there’s a reward, but because I like the idea of trying to live a long life, and given my various physical and mental illnesses, I need all the help I can get. I got a call about a month ago or so from the insurance company wanting to do what they’re calling a wellness interview. So I did it, and was told that the interview would be worth a $25 gift card. They also informed me that I had a backlog of unrequested gift cards and wanted to know if they could send them my way. I said sure, and let’s make them Barnes & Noble gift cards while we’re at it.

While I love reading, the B&N gift cards are to feed my other hobby – LEGO Architecture. The local store has a fairly good selection of LEGO Architecture kits and my plan was to get the cards in and go shopping.

So I ordered all the cards I had coming to me and then promptly forgot all about it.

Fast forward to this afternoon, when I went to go check the mail for the first time in a couple weeks (between the emergency trip to North Carolina to be with Mom following her stroke and the planned trip to Arizona to be with my wife’s family, we’ve been a little busy to hit the mailbox). Lo and behold were my $25 gift cards. All four of them. My wellness activities had netted me a hundred bucks’ worth of LEGO.

So this evening we went to the Barnes & Noble and reviewed the selection, and eventually decided on only one kit – the largest one I’d ever purchased, and the second-most expensive. (I purchased Fallingwater, the crown jewel of my collection, long after it had been retired, and the price reflected the retirement.) Today’s purchase is pictured above, and it ate all but about two and a half bucks of the gift cards. Note the number of pieces in the kit. I anticipate being at this for the rest of the evening and well into tomorrow before I finish.

So I told you all that to tell you that this is going to be a short post because I have a tremendous LEGO set to build. I’ll post pictures when I’m done.

Home For Good


We flew home to Austin from Phoenix this afternoon.

It’s good to finally be home, for the foreseeable future this time.

I enjoyed the trip to Phoenix and socialized in ways I didn’t expect, experienced things that I hadn’t counted on, and had a really good time overall.

Tonight, though, I think I’m going to be looking forward to sleeping in my own bed.

A lot of my streaks are a little wonky because of the changes in time zones that I’ve been experiencing over the past two weeks. They’re thankfully intact, but I think that’s something that I should bring up to the development teams on both my learning apps, and also here on WordPress (there was a post that I did after 10:00 pm on Saturday evening and WordPress is counting it as no post that day because of the two hour time difference between Texas and Arizona).

Tonight’s going to be one last short post because I’m knackered, and tomorrow it’s back to business as usual.