Saturday, October 3, 2009

Time Goes by So Slowly

Since Monday, I've been doing a modified form of Cambridge. I've been having 2-3 shakes per day and doing my best to have a very small dinner. It seems to be working, and weight is starting to come off.

The bummer is that it seems like time is going by so slowly. I'm hungry in the morning, I have my shake, I'm hungry until lunch, and then I'm hungry again until dinner time. After dinner, I'm sill hungry. I keep trying to remind myself that hunger is my friend, but it doesn't make the day go by any more quickly.

Perhaps it would be easier if I really loved my job, and I were able to get super distracted by my work. Unfortunately that doesn't help and the day just drags on and on.

I keep reminding myself that I need to focus on today, not all the tomorrows that follow. If I think about all of those tomorrows, the idea of losing weight seems enormous.

I keep reminding myself that I am just choosing for today not to eat.

And time just marches on, so slowly.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Trying to Remember Hunger is my Friend

I've been doing a modified version of Cambridge this past week.

Shake for breakfast, shake for lunch, sensible (and small) dinner. I'm trying to work up my courage to go back to Sole Sourcing, where I just have the shakes for three meals a day, but it's hard.

I'm hungry, and I really hate being hungry.

I know it's good for me. I know that being hungry is a sign that I'm losing weight. I've tried practically every diet out there, and the truth is that I don't lose weight if I don't spend a good part of my day with a rumbling gut.

So I'm just trying to remember that hunger is my friend.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Being Satisfied with Nothing

Back on CD again... It's hard to be satisfied with nothing.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ah, Meh!


I'm trying to get motivated and get back on the diet, but I'm having a really hard time. This weekend, The Neighbors held a birthday party, and we attended. There was Mexican food, cake, and plenty of alcohol for the adults.

I consumed more than my fair share of jello shots, though I don't feel particularly guilty about it, especially since it was my jello and my liquor that made them.

I had quite a few, but I didn't have as many as I could have. I never got particularly drunk (unlike some of the other party-goers) and didn't have a hangover in the morning.

Today, at least for breakfast and lunch, I was back to the Cambridge shakes. The Wife made my lunch seem especially unpleasant because she brought her meal (an Asian noodle bowl of some sort) into our office. She sat at her desk, slurping and smacking her noodles, while I stared at my already-empty shake cup.

And man I don't care what anybody says, those Cambridge shakes are not good. The strawberry ones are downright bad, while the vanilla and chocolate are tolerable.

I know I should go back on sole source. I know I should lose this weight because it's good for me. I'm just having a really hard time caring right now.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Trying to Get Back on Track

I've been trying to get back on track with my diet, but so far I haven't seen any results. This week, I quit eating breakfast and lunch, replacing them with Cambridge shakes, but so far, no loss.

I guess I shouldn't expect much, as I've really come to the conclusion that to lose much in the way of weight I simply have to starve.

I'm trying to get motivated to go back on Sole Source, but the idea seems so depressing. The idea of nothing but shakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner seems really awful right now.

I think the bigger problem with my motivation is that things with The Kid have taken over everything in my life. Although we've had a good couple of weeks since her last tantrum, it's hard knowing that another is likely around the corner.

So I just keep on keeping on, but my discouraged mood is affecting everything. I'm tired of The Kid, I'm squabbling constantly with The Wife, and I dread every morning that I have to get up and work at The Job. I'm tempted to run away from home, but knowing that I'm the main breadwinner, that makes for a difficult proposition.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's Hard to Care When...

...everything in your life is rapidly going down the crapper.

For at least six months, we've been dealing with increasing drama on the part of The Kid. Although the past week has been really good, over the past few months we've had more bad days than good, more lousy weeks than bad. Things came to a head late Spring when The Kid decided that the way to cope with frustration was to physically assault her parents to the point of leaving bruises.

It's not a pretty situation. Two weeks ago, The Kid had an especially ugly outburst, where The Wife and I ended up locking ourselves in a back room while The Kid had her tantrum. The next morning, The Kid was at it again, and after two and a half hours of raging, threats, and a verbal assault that wouldn't quit, I finally walked across the room and slapped my kid right on the face.

Yeah, I slapped my own kid.

I don't generally agree that hitting children has any lasting benefit, so The Wife and I have made it a point not to use physical discipline. This was the first time I've ever hit The Kid. Though it didn't feel good to do it, I will admit that it put an abrupt end to the morning-long temper tantrum.

Now before my critics go off on me for not being strict enough, it's probably worth mentioning that The Wife and I haven't had the benefit of raising The Kid since infancy. She came to us, a few years ago, as an angry pre-teen. She was abused and neglected by her first family, so she didn't come with a clean slate. The Kid carries around a lot of baggage, and though she's been seeing a therapist off and on since she first came to our home, I don't think it's done a great deal of good.

In addition to things being in the toilet with The Kid, things with The Job aren't much better. I'm frustrated with the terms and conditions set by my current employer. I rarely get time off, when it do it's on short notice, and I'm often been called back from my days off to work. I get calls evenings, weekends, and holidays, and it's frustrating. Last year, The Wife and I finally got married, and my boss called me on my honeymoon and asked me to work. I was gone for two days and he called insisting I work on a project while I was out. Fortunately, I refused, because the "little task" he wanted done took an entire day to complete.

I want a life that exists outside of my job, but it seems that what I do to make a living doesn't lend itself to having a life.

So I'm tired, I'm frustrated, and even The Wife and I are squabbling. As a result, I have had a really hard time caring about my diet.

A lot of dieters will say that "nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels," but I'm having a hard time believing it. Although I've put on about 20 lbs since I quit dieting in April, I don't feel any different. When I lost the 20 lbs, I pleased my doctor, but I didn't really notice any difference myself. I didn't feel better, I didn't sleep better, my clothes weren't noticeably looser, and I didn't have any more energy.

Just like everyone, I read all the gloom and doom stuff about the dangers of obesity, so I know I should lose the weight. Even though I know this intellectually, I'm just having a hard time caring right now.

Frankly, a big fat steak or an ice cream bar tastes a lot better than how I felt 20 lbs lighter. And, if nothing else, that steak is a delicious distraction from the otherwise unbearable horror known as my life.

That being said, I've quit eating breakfast and lunch and I'm back to drinking the Cambridge shakes twice a day. If I can get a little more motivated, perhaps I'll go back to sole sourcing it for a while.

But it's been really hard to care about my diet when everything else is going so profoundly wrong.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

More Dead Than Alive

Well my diet progress came to a screeching halt back in April.

The Kid has been acting out in ways that are almost too incredible to believe. She's now just a month shy of her 14th birthday, and has decided that hitting, kicking and making threats of great bodily harm is an okay way to behave towards her parents.

Since we've been dealing with The Kid's increasing drama over the past six months or so, The Diet has definitely taken the back seat on my priority list.

This has been, without question, one of the worst summers of my life. We weren't able to take a vacation this year for a variety of reasons, including a lack of money, very little vacation time, and The Kid's absolutely horrible behavior. I feel like I'm watching my life turn into a never-ending soap opera of horrors.

At the moment, I'm going through the motions of my existence more dead than alive, but I am still here, and I'm going to try and get back the ground I lost over the past few months.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day 79 - Swine Flu

No, I do not have the swine flu.

Despite my rather creative name, Oinkstop, I do not have anything particularly porcine around my home. I do not collect pig memorabilia, nor do I raise them.

What I do seem to have is a case of gum flu.

I've been busy chomping away on a lot of chewing gum.

Well, by most people's standards, it's probably not much. I've only been using one serving per day, but I've been chewing and chewing and chewing. I chew until my jaw is tired and I have to stop.

But it's helping keep me out of temptation. By the time I give up one the gum for the day, my jaw is so tired that I don't really feel like eating anything.

But I guess it's helping. I've managed to stick to Cambridge shakes with nothing else since Monday.

Of course I found out today that I have to go to the neighbor's house for a birthday party on Saturday. I'm wondering how I'll manage to avoid the cake, the treats, and especially the beer. I've been told our host is planning Jello shooters, and I think that will be incredibly hard to resist.

We'll see how it goes. Maybe I'll just have to be honest with myself, since I know I probably won't be able to resist.

I keep telling myself even five or six good days out of seven isn't so bad. It's certainly better than seven out of seven days of bad eating.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day 78 - Keep Going

Today is the third day back on the Cambridge Diet after being off while my MIL was visiting. I imagine that my weight is dropping, but I've been avoiding the scale like the plague. I'm going to give things a couple of weeks before I dare step back on, only because I'm sure I've gained and I just don't want to know the damage.

I'd rather stick to the diet for a week or two, step on the scale and say, "nice, I'm the same weight I was before I went off!"

I know, I'm deluding myself, but what the hell.

I've learned, because I've taken several "diet vacations" along the way that I'm always in for a not-so-wonderful surprise on the third day back on Cambridge. It seems the third day is marked by repeated trips to the bathroom while my colon rebels against the change in diet.

Of course after I spend the day crapping my brains out, I feel much lighter.

So, onward day three!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Day 76 - Back on Track

Well I never did make my goal before my MIL came, and we ate like pigs while she was here. The good news is that she didn't nag me about my weight, which was nice.

I'm avoiding the scales at the moment, because I just don't want to know the total damage I've done. I'm sure it's bad, because I've been hungry like crazy. So, I'm back on the shakes again, and I'll stick to it for a couple of weeks before I give myself the bad news.

Maybe it won't be that bad, but I don't want to know.

At any rate, I don't feel any difference in my clothing, but then I didn't notice much difference even when I was losing weight.

I'm going to have to really stick with the program, though, because I'm going to have to schedule my annual visit with my doctor, and I'm sure she will nag me about my weight.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day 63 - Ow, ow, ow!

So this morning I'm hobbling around my house like I've been crippled.

Over the weekend, The Wife and I decided to plant a vegetable garden, and it involved much digging, bending, and crawling around in the dirt. It also involved running to our local home improvement store to buy paving stones. We bought about 70 of them, and had to carry each one from the driveway into the back yard.

While other people were enjoying fancy Easter dinners, I was busy digging in the back yard.

We started just before 8:00 AM and didn't finish until at least 5:00 PM, and we didn't really stop for lunch. We took a few rest breaks, but basically we were on our feet for the entire day.

The scary part is that we only got about half the yard done. We'll have to go back to the store and buy more stones to finish.

I went off Cambridge for the weekend because I knew I'd need the extra energy. Even with all the extra exercise, it didn't help my weight at all. My weight popped up yet again, and now I'm about 10 lbs higher than my low weight from a week ago.

I'm sure most of it is water weight gain, and I'm back on the shakes as of yesterday morning.

But boy I am sore. Even my muscles have sore muscles!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Day 62 - Motivation for Loosing Weight

Last weekend, The Kid has had a friend visiting for a sleep over. The Kid is 13, and The Friend is 12. On Saturday morning, the two of them went outside and started kicking a soccer ball around in the backyard.

Just watching them made me tired. Really tired.

So then I started thinking about all the reasons why I should lose weight.

Some of them, are pretty obvious, and really are less about my reasons for wanting the weight off. It's the stuff like better health, a longer life, and all the good stuff that the ubiquitous "they" have to say about why people should lose weight.

When I started thinking about the reasons that I want to lose the weight, I thought about a number of reasons, but then just as quickly realized that a lot of those reasons aren't important to me. Here's the list:

Reason to Lose Weight My Response
I'll look better. I don't care
I'll feel better. Will I?
My clothes fit better. I don't care about clothing, and I hate shopping
I'll be able to buy clothes at regular stores instead of buying fat clothes at a specialty shop. It would be nice, but it's not a huge motivator, even though I'll probably save money.
People might find me more attractive. So what? I'm already married.
I might live longer. Maybe, maybe not.
I won't have to lift up my fat stomach to wash underneath. Good reason.

I guess the real truth is that my motivation doesn't really come from any of the typical reasons people want to lose weight. Mostly, it's just I'm tired of being fat, and I'm sick of my fat being in my way. I don't like how it feels when I try to tie my shoes, or the fact that I have to pick up my breasts and my stomach to wash underneath.

At my heaviest, it was starting to get hard to twist around to wipe my ass.

I know, TMI, but that's the honest truth.

I really don't care so much about what people think of me, and I doubt once I've lost the weight that anybody will think I'm attractive. I don't even think I'll feel better about myself.

It's just the fat is getting in my way, and that's why it needs to go.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Day 61 - Comment from Anonymous

On Thursday, I got an anonymous comment that's been weighing on my mind. It was written in response to my post Deciding Day by Day.

I'm going to post it here, in entirety, along with my response.
I don't have a blog so that's why I am anonymous. Nothing sinister.

Here's something I learned (and it was true) about losing weight.

Every time you drink a shake you are teaching your metabolism "Look, this is all you are getting today." And your metabolism says, "Well, I'm not happy about it so I'll dip into your fat cells and use some of those for energy."

In my experience, the only way I'm going to lose weight is to do exactly that. I've tried counting calories, Weight Watchers, you name it, and the only thing that I've found that works is to drastically reduce the number of calories I consume. I'm not sure that it's possible to eat a nutritionally balanced diet with real food if you are eating less than 1,000 calories per day, and that's exactly where I have to go in order to get any weight to come off.
Then, when you eat what you want to eat, your metabolism says, "Damn, man! You mean I don't have to work today and eat fat cells? Hot Dog! (pun intended)"

You have to either decide to be on Cambridge the rest of your life or learn how to eat what you KNOW you should be eating.

It may very well be that I'll have to use Cambridge products, or something similar, to keep the weight off. I fully expect, given my past experience with dieting and weight loss, that I'm going to have to work very, very hard to keep the weight off.
Otherwise, you are just shocking your metabolism on a regular basis and it just freaks out.

I agree I need to do a better job of sticking to my diet. I'm sure it will be easier once the MIL comes and goes. I expect that the rest of the summer will be mostly free of family gatherings, which are the biggest temptation when it comes to food.
It's not really the food that shows the pounds on the scale the next day ... because you know in your heart that if you eat a slice of pizza for dinner that it's impossible to show on the scale the next day.

The increase or decrease of poundage on the scale is only the result of what you ate 3-4 days earlier.

It is scientifically impossible to eat a piece of pizza for breakfast and show it as a true weight gain at lunch.

The only way this is true is that the pizza clearly has salt in it ... salt that you have removed from your diet. Salt has an immediate affect on the body's system, causing it to retain fluids.

If you ask any nutritionist, (as I did) you will discover that weight gain is not an immediate result of the [name food here] you ate for lunch.

I have been meaning to tell you this for a while.

I know this, and I don't believe that the fluctuations I'm seeing on the scale represent a "real" weight gain. I know it's scientifically impossible to put on 7 lbs of fat overnight, even if I did eat an entire box of cookies. I know about diet math, and the fact that 1 lb of fat is equal to 3,500 calories.
Bottom line ... I don't care if you use the Cambridge diet for 365 days with no cheating. The very second you go off it you are retraining your metabolism to stop working so hard to chew up those fat cells. And now you have to teach your metabolism to slow down. And you end up with hunger pains because you're giving it more food (instead of the drink) and it had been used to not having anything substantial for 365 days.

While I agree that going directly from Cambridge Diet to eating everything I want to eat would result in the described weight gain, I know of plenty of people who have not regained the weight. They don't quit the diet cold turkey, instead they gradually add in healthy foods while increasing their activity level as well.
It's a prescription for disaster. You will eventually gain it all back and then hate yourself even more.

I respectfully disagree. I don't think it's a prescription for disaster, and I don't believe that gaining it all back is inevitable.
And you're not being fair to yourself because you think you are trying to do the right thing with the Cambridge diet.

But you're freaking human. You gotta eat real food. You just have to work on your brain and tell yourself you can control food urges.

I've been reading your blog a long time. I think you are too hard on yourself

I don't think I'm being unfair to myself. I've come to realize that as hard as I've tried, I don't lose weight on conventional diets. It's easier to stick to a plan of less than 1,000 calories by doing the shakes than it is eating conventional foods.

Maybe I won't make it. But if I don't at least try, I haven't given myself the opportunity to fail.

I've decided that this is the last diet I'm ever doing. If it doesn't work out, then I'll just die fat.

And although that's an undesirable result, I'm not going to hate myself for it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Day 60 - Inching Along

Yesterday morning, I did my weekly weigh-in and I whipped out the good ol' tape measure.

The results were pretty discouraging, actually. My weight was up (still haven't lost all of the 7 lbs I gained overnight when I ate those cookies) from the week prior.

I've been dieting for two months now.

My body fat has gone from 50.0% to 48.6%. Statistically speaking, it's almost nothing.

What's even more discouraging is that even though my weight this week is down from where it was a month ago, some of my body measurements are actually bigger than they were a month ago.

Hips: Increased 0.5"
Waist: Decreased 1.0"
Bust: Increased 0.5"
Neck: Decreased 1.0"
Arm: Increased 0.75"
Thigh: Decreased 0.75"

Measurements are supposed to get smaller not larger!

Can I just go and scream now?

I've been taking pictures every month as well, and the truth is I can't see much difference between my "before" pictures, and the ones I shot this week. I'm still an enormous, lumbering elephant.

I'm gonna keep going, but I have to say I'm getting really darn discouraged!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Day 59 - Wondering What It Will Be Like

For quite some time, I've been wondering what it will be like when I'm finally back down into a normal, healthy weight range. When I close my eyes and try to imagine what it might be like, I draw a big, black, fuzzy blank.

It's not because I'm being pessimistic. I know I'll get there eventually. It's just that I simply can't imagine what my body will feel like when it's thin.

For most of my life, I've been somewhat on the pudgy side. I was more or less in shape (mostly less) during my high school and college years, and ever since I've ballooned in weight. High school and college are now more than 20 years past, and I have a very hard time remembering what I felt like during those times.

I can remember, during the one time in college where I truly was thin. I remember being surprised that clothing fit, and finding that clothing that I picked off the rack was actually too large.

But I can't remember what it felt like to sit, or move around. I just can't recall that at all.

Now, I look at my body and everything sags, especially my stomach. I wonder if I'll ever have a tummy that doesn't have to be lifted out of the way to care for my undercarriage. I'd like to hope that, even if my stomach is saggy, I won't have to keep lifting it, but I don't know. I'd like to hope that my body will shrink back to a normal look and that I won't have to keep lifting saggy bits of skin out of the way to wash.

But maybe I won't shrink. Maybe I'll end up looking like a deflated balloon when it's all over.

I don't know. I guess for now I'll keep wondering what it will be like. One day, I guess, I'll find out.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Day 58 - Deciding Day by Day

I have to admit that sticking to the Cambridge Diet is not always easy. Sometimes it is easy. I don't have to think about what I'm going to eat, ever. I just mix up a shake, chug it down, and it's over.

But sometimes, it's really hard, especially when The Wife or The Kid are eating something especially nice.

Last night, The Wife asked me if I wanted to join her and The Kid for dinner. She was serving Hamburger Helper and vegetables. They've been eating quite a lot of the stuff since I've been dieting, so I wasn't really tempted. Honestly, I don't like it all that much.

But last night, I was tempted. So allowed myself to consider the possibility of joining them. I imagined how the dinner would taste, how it would feel in my mouth, and the consequences of what I'd see on the scale in the morning.

Suddenly, it didn't seem all that worthwhile. I decided to have a shake instead.

What I've realized is that I decide what goes into my mouth, day by day. Sometimes, when things are hard, I have to make the decision hour by hour, or even minute by minute.

But really, I am the one that's in control here. I can decide to have a shake, or go out and have pizza if that's what I really want.

So I get to decide, at various points along the way, if I want to stick to the shakes or break the diet.

And that's okay, because I won't have to have these shakes forever, and I don't necessarily have to stick to it every single day in order to lose weight. The more days I stick, and the longer I do it, the more weight I'll lose, so there's certainly an incentive to keep going.

But deciding to give myself a break, as long as I'm on track more than I'm off, is okay. I'll get to the end eventually.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day 57 - Note to Self

Important Note to Self: When really craving for a single vanilla ice cream bar dipped in chocolate, just go out and buy the damn ice cream instead of eating an entire box of Girl Scout Samoas hoping that will satisfy the craving.


I gained seven pounds overnight from that little episode.

Well, I think this blows it as far as being able to get to my goal of being merely obese before my MIL arrives on April 17.

But that's okay. I'll get there, eventually.

And no for those who are asking, I don't feel guilty about it. The Samoas were pretty tasty. It's a good thing the Girl Scouts are getting stingy, though. There are fewer cookies in each box and the cookies seemed to be smaller this year. So, I guess they did me a favor, in a round-about way.

The stress around chez Oinkstop at the moment is pretty high. We have an influx of relatives flying in soon, and all of them are expecting to stay with us. Worse, none of them want to rent a car, so it means we'll have to be driving two cars and shuttling everyone everywhere. The Wife isn't working right now, so we've had to make a lot of cuts. The added expense of food and gas is making me worry.

Although I'll be glad to see the relatives, there's a part of me that wishes they weren't coming right now. They'll only be here for five days, but because of poor planning on their parts, we are going to have to make five trips to the airport (located ever-so-conveniently an hour away) because nobody is coming in or leaving on the same day.

Normally, I'd be mildly annoyed at the extra driving, but because The Wife isn't working and our income has been cut by half, I'm really scared.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Day 51 - The Weight Just Keeps on Droppin'

This morning's scale-hopping adventure: 227.2 lbs


I like that. Again, I know I shouldn't be getting on the scale every five minutes, but when the numbers are going so well, I like it.

When I know I'm doing well, I like the confirmation. When I know I'm not (like when I had pizza for dinner, or some other such rottenness) it's much easier not to step on the scale until enough time has passed until I know I've likely burned off the disasterous food.

I'm hoping that my super-fast weight loss will continue. Only 15 days until my MIL arrives.

Only 9.2 lbs until I'm merely obese. I wonder if I have any prayer of making it by the time my MIL shows up.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Day 50 - Breaking a Barrier

I've been really trying to resist my habit of scale-hopping, but the truth is, I just can't help myself. The scale sits there on the bathroom floor, staring at me, and I just can't resist. Some days, I'll jump on it 3 or 4 times.

I know, bad me.

This morning, my scale hopping made me very happy. I've broken a new barrier, and I weighed 229.0 lbs this morning. Of course today isn't my official weigh-in day, but it makes me happy nonetheless to know that my diet holiday didn't ruin things too badly.

I can't remember when I last weighed in the 220's, so this is a good thing.

Now, all I have to so is lose 11 more lbs and then I'll just be obese instead of morbidly obese.

I've been doing a pretty good job of sticking to just shakes since the beginning of the week, and I know it's making a difference. It's difficult, but my motivation, at least for the moment, is high.

With the exception of my Deaf buddy, who knows I am on a diet, nobody has noticed I've lost any weight. Yesterday, a friend stopped by the house, and I expected she, of all people, would notice. This particular friend had a heart attack a few years ago, and has become very health-conscious. Anyway, I haven't seen her in a month or two, so I figured she would notice I'd lost a few pounds.

Not a word. Pretty discouraging when I realize I've lost 28 lbs from my highest weight.

Of course I guess if I am not noticing the weight loss, nobody else is likely to notice either.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Day 49 - What Should I Blog About Today?

I considered not writing this morning because I really couldn't come up with anything diet-related that I wanted to talk about.

Sure, there's lots of stuff I could say, but mostly it would be repetitive griping. You know, the usual stuff like I'm tired, I feel grumpy, and I'm starting to get cold. Nothing positive there, so I feel like I should just shut up about it already.

Or, I could talk about stuff in the TMI (Too Much Information) category. I could share that during my diet vacation I became very constipated, but this morning I had an amazing case of the Atomic Butt Blasts and it wouldn't surprise me at all if I crapped out at least 10 lbs!

Well maybe not 10 lbs, but I'd definitely believe 3 lbs. It's happened before!

I suppose I could perseverate on the fact that my MIL is coming in for a visit in 17 days, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to get my weight down to 218 lbs by the time she arrives. If I can, I'll no longer be morbidly obese. Instead, I'll just be plain old obese, which is definitely better than being morbid.

Why is it they have to come up with such depressing names for fat people, anyway? Why don't they come up with nicer names that don't sound so terrible.

Here's the new names I propose:

Old NameNew Name
Morbidly ObesePachydermal
Super ObeseCetacean

I mean really, don't you think that it would sound just a bit nicer if someone said, "Hey check out that cetacean woman over there!" Doesn't that just sound nicer than "Hey, check out that super-obese woman over there!"

Well, maybe the truth is that none of it sounds nice, and that's why we should all lose weight.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Day 48 - Back on Track

I haven't blogged in a bit more than a week because I got to the point where I was feeling so lousy that I just couldn't take it any more.

So, I went on a diet vacation for a week. Now I'm back on track and feeling better. I'm back to sticking to my Cambridge Diet shakes and nothing else for at least a week. We'll see how things go after that.

After a break from the shakes, they actually taste a bit better. For a while there, they were tasting so bad I would gag every time I tried to have one.

I think the break was just what I needed. I hope I can stick to it, because now I have a bit less than three weeks before my MIL comes to visit. I'm hoping by the time she gets here, I'll have lost enough weight that she'll notice.

I'm sure my diet vacation didn't help, but I think if I hadn't taken it, I'd have decided to quit, permanently, by now.

And no, I don't feel the slightest bit guilty, even though I'm sure I put on a few pounds. I'm not sure what the total damage is because my scale is giving me odd readings, so I'm not going to step on the scale again until Friday.

We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Day 40 - Tired of Being Tired

Before I started Cambridge Diet, I seemed to have a big problem with being tired all of the time. I just never had any energy, and even my daily chores seemed like a big effort. I thought perhaps my problem was being too fat, and not getting enough exercise. I started to cut down on the food, and we started walking as a family, but that left me even more worn out.

So I started Cambridge. I've heard many people say that when they started to lose the weight, their energy started to pop.

Well guess what?

I still don't have any energy.

I suspect it's hard to have much in the way of energy, given that three shakes only amount to 420 calories. That's barely enough juice to keep the lights on, let alone have extra energy for exercise or anything else.

But I'm hanging in.

And although yesterday's post was pretty illiterate since I was so wiped out, I've realized that food and hunger really are my two biggest enemies. Food is my enemy because I want to eat it, and hunger is my enemy because it gives me the desire to eat food.

And food is also my enemy because when I eat it, I gain weight.

I ate dinner on Friday and some food on Saturday, and even though I did make an effort to keep portion sizes down, I still managed to gain two pounds since Friday morning.

I'm not terribly worried about, because I know a couple days of sole sourcing will get rid of it. It's still discouraging to see that weight pop back on so quickly, even when I try to make good food choices.

Even when I make bad food choices, I'm still eating far less than I used to, but that doesn't seem to make a difference, either.

There's no doubt that dieting is hard, and this diet is especially so. I'm just going to keep going for as long as I can. I still have about 2.5 months of shakes left, so I'm going to keep at it until they are gone.

After that, a lot will depend on our finances and whether or not The Wife has found a new job by then.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Day 39 - Food and Hunger are the Enemies

As of yesterday, I'd done a pretty darn good job of sticking to just the shakes 100%. I not only knocked off the weight I'd gained on the bus trip, I lost a few more pounds, besides.

But I've realized that I just can't stick to a 100% shake diet for more than about five days at a time. By Friday afternoon, I was feeling sick. I was hungry and nauseated at the same time. Friday morning, I couldn't get down my entire shake. I had to put half of it in the fridge and try again several hours later. I was too queasy to drink my afternoon shake until about 3:00 PM.

I'd also been having diarrhea for several days, and my poor rear end was getting pretty sore form all the wiping. In fact, I'd wiped so much that I'd given myself a nastly toilet paper abrasion on my poor behind! (I know, too much information, but I'm just telling it like it is)

Anyway, there's nothing more depressing when you know you've wiped your rear so much that you are bleeding.

By dinner time, I felt terrible. I took a hot shower and felt so lightheaded that I thought I might pass out. I slipped into my pajamas, and had a rest on the best. My stomach gurgled and growled. I wasn't sure if I'd be sick to my stomach, or if I was going to have to spend some more time sitting on the commode.

Finally, The Wife came in to check on me. "You look terrible," she said. "You really should eat something."

She was right. I did feel terrible, and by that point I was just too hungry and nauseated to care. She went out and got KFC.

I ended up gobbling down three pieces of chicken. As soon as I did, I felt enormously better. I also had one biscuit (instead of my usual two), some mixed veggies (as prepared by the wife with no butter), only some of the mashed potatoes (instead of my usual double helping) and about three sporkfuls of macaroni salad. I stopped eating when I was full, and had two cookies for dessert.

The food tasted good, and I felt so much better afterwards. I went to bed, for the first time in what seemed like ages, with a full belly.

I don't feel in the slightest bit guilty, because I was honestly feeling quite ill. Weight is up this morning about 1.8 lbs from yesterday, though.

I think I'm going to have to start making a habit of adding regular food to my regimen of shakes. Too many days of shakes alone just leaves me feeling terrible.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Day 38 - Changing My Weigh-In Day

Well, I've decided to do it. I'm changing my "official" weigh-in day from Wednesday to Friday, simply because I know I'll show better losses on Friday than I will on any other day of the week. I'm much better at sticking to the diet during the week than I am on the weekends.

So this morning's weigh-in put me at 230.2 lbs. That's down 3 lbs since Wednesday, and 4.2 lbs from the week before.

Just a tiny bit more, and I'll be in the 220s, which will be a nice little progress marker. As of this morning, I'm only 12.2 lbs away from being merely obese instead of morbidly obese.


Last night I was really struggling with hunger. It seems to really hit me at bedtime. I find myself struggling to fall asleep because my stomach is busy growling and yelling that it would like some food. I know it might help to take my evening shake a little later, but by dinner time I'm starving too. Yesterday was just an all-around hungry day, but I didn't give in. I just stuck to the shakes.

I sure hope this gets easier, but if I keep going at the rate I'm going, I'll definitely be down into the obese range by the time my Mother-in-Law visits in April. I hope she notices all the weight loss.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Day 37 - Cheating the Scale

I've been thinking about changing my weigh-in day from Wednesday to Friday, simply because my weight is always better on Friday.

I'll be honest, I'm not doing 100% Sole Source Cambridge Diet anyway, and on the weekends I tend to eat a bit more. Sometimes, my weight pops up over the weekend, and it doesn't always come off by my Wednesday weigh-in.

Not that it really matters, because I obsessively weigh myself several times a day.

I know you shouldn't do that, but I feel like it keeps me honest. If I go out and have Mexican food, I pretty much have instant feedback on the damage I've done and how much work I need to do to correct it.

So, I'm thinking of moving my weigh-in to Friday.

The Wife and I have had a fun morning. (Translation, not fun)

We found out that someone is out there frauding on our credit card, and so far they've run up almost $2000 in purchases. We've called the credit card company, we've reported the fraud, and they've sent us new credit cards. The worst is that they won't remove the charges until the statement cuts, so I'm worried the card will end up going over limit and we'll be hit with even more problems.

Of course the worst was when the credit card company didn't believe it was us calling. They actually made us go into our local bank and have the manager call and visually verify we were who we said we were.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Day 36 - Weigh In Blahs

Well this week I didn't do quite as well as I've done in previous weeks. My weight this morning was 233.2 lbs, down only 1.2 lbs from last week.

It's not totally surprising, given that I went off the diet for the school bus trip, and I had trouble getting back on program the following day. I suspect my results would have been better had I not agreed to go out to lunch yesterday, but my mother was in town, and I still don't want her to know I'm dieting.

So, I guess I should be happy about the 1.2 lbs loss.

Right now, my overarching concern isn't really my diet at all. I'm very worried about our money situation now that The Wife's job is suddenly ending. We'll be okay, but it's pretty scary to think that our business' gross income will drop almost by half.

I still have a job, which is good, but I'm scared it could be me next!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day 35 - More Stuff to Worry About

Well, as if I didn't already have enough stuff to worry about...

The Wife just got word that she's losing her contract as of the end of the month.

I guess I'm glad I bought a three month supply of Cambridge Diet. At least that's covered.

Ah damn...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Day 34 - Sick of Shakes

Since my last weigh-in, I've been really struggling with the diet because I've come to a point where I'm really sick of shakes. I know that's kind of stupid, since I just bought three cases (a three-month supply) of the stuff, and I know it's in my best interest to stick with it.

But just because something is in my best interest doesn't mean that it's easy to do.

Because, really, I'm just sick of shakes. I want real food, with a real taste, and I want it every day, not just on the designated food days I set out for myself.

I know this feeling will pass. I know that it will get easier. But right now, today, at this very moment, if I never saw another Cambridge shake, I wouldn't miss it.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Day 33 - Worried About the Future

On Friday, The Wife and I spent about 13 hours chaperoning a school field trip for our daughter's school. It was a long day. We spent 3 hours on a bus, each way, plus 3 hours walking around a museum, and the rest of the time was spent at our two meal stops and loading/unloading the bus.

It wasn't a bad trip, but it was definitely a long trip.

I went off CD on Friday because I couldn't figure out a way to bring along the shakes and be able to mix them on the bus. Instead, I brought a sandwich and some healthy snacks. Dinner was an all-you-can eat buffet, but I made one trip through the buffet line and stuck mostly to salad.

Yesterday, I just couldn't get my head around having the shakes again, so I ate small amounts of normal food. I did give in and have a few cookies -- only four -- which is better than what I normally would have done. Normally, I would have eaten the entire box in one sitting.

But still the damage for two days of eating was pretty bad. Looks like I've gained about 3 lbs. Of course I won't know the official damage until Wednesday, when I have my weekly weigh in.

So this morning I'm back to the shakes again, and I had a very hard time choking down my strawberry shake. I found myself gagging as I tried to get it down. At one point, I nearly vomited.


What I learned this weekend was that even moderate eating really sends my weight sky-high. Although there's no doubt I shouldn't have eaten the cookies, it's not like I had that many of them.

So I'm worried that I'll go to all this trouble to lose the weight, and I'll have to forever starve myself to keep it off.

Oh well, I'm trying not to think about it. Right now, I'm just trying to concentrate on getting the weight off in the first place.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day 30 - The Root of Sabotage

Well, I finally got to the bottom of why The Wife was trying to sabotage my diet at every turn.

It seems fear was her problem.

Fear? How's that work exactly?

Well, it seems that The Wife has been worrying that once I lose all this weight and become slim and attractive to other people, I'll just dump her and go looking for someone else.

I did my best to reassure her that was not the case. We've been together for a decade now, and I don't really want to end our relationship. That thought was so far from my mind that it was laughable, but I did my best to be kind, and not just laugh in her face at the sheer absurdity of it all.

I am not leaving The Wife when I lose weight. At least not unless she dumps me first.

At the moment I feel like I'm in the middle of a race between my stomach and the United Parcel Service truck. I ran out of Cambridge powder, so I'm hoping the truck gets here soon. Last night I ended up having a small dinner with the family, but it doesn't seem to have done much damage. I'll know better on my next weigh in, which is scheduled for next Wednesday.

I have to say that I'm struggling a bit with the big picture. Although I'm really happy about this week's 5 lb loss, I started feeling pretty discouraged when I realized I'm going to be at this for at least another 6-9 months. Even though I've lost 19 lbs since I started CD, and I've lost almost 23 from my high weight, I'm still not noticing a difference in my clothes.

Last night, I went through my closet to see what I had stashed away, and found pants as large as a size 20 and as small as a 14. I know I have even smaller clothes packed away in boxes in the garage, so I don't think I'll need to do much in the way of clothing shopping for a while. At the moment, I've got several pairs of extra-large sweat pants, and two pair of size 24 jeans. Oddly enough, the two pair of jeans are the same manufacturer, style and size, but they fit very differently. One is loose, while the other is tight. The difference? The two pair of jeans were sewn in different factories.

Tomorrow The Wife and I will be chaperoning a field trip for The Kid's school. Although I'm looking forward to the ultimate destination, I'm not looking forward to a three-hour bus ride each way. Fortunately, the school chartered a bus, so we'll have bathrooms on board. These days, I can't seem to go five minutes without ending up in the bathroom.

The joys of an all-liquid diet, plus trying to down 2 liters of water on top of it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Day 29 - Weigh and Measure

This morning, my weigh in was nothing short of excellent. I weighed 234.4 lbs, which is down a total of 5 lbs from last week. I've lost a total of 22.6 lbs from my high weight, and 18.2 lbs since I started the Cambridge Diet.

My percentage of body fat, according to my super-fancy scale, is now 47%. That's down from a high of 50%. Not too shabby.

Over the past four weeks, I've lost quite a few inches as well:
  • neck - 1/2"
  • bust - 1/2"
  • waist -2"
  • hips - 1"
  • upper arm - 2 1/4"
  • thigh - 1/4"
I guess I can't complain a whole lot, can I?

Yay me!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day 28 - So Tired

This morning, I'm feeling pretty darn tired. I had another frustrating day at work yesterday because my computer blew up and I had to re-install the entire operating system. Instead of actually getting some work done, The Wife and I spent the entire day trying to fix my stupid computer. I didn't get started on any actual work until almost 7:00 PM.

So I'm really tired this morning.

The weight dropped another .5 lb since yesterday, so I'm quite happy about that. Unfortunately, I still haven't noticed my clothes fitting any better. If I look in the mirror, it appears nothing has changed. My boobs and my rear end just go on forever!

Tomorrow will be my week 4 weigh-in, so I'll be taking pictures and measuring myself. I guess it's harder for the tape measure to lie than the scales!

I'm starting to run out of the Cambridge powder, so I hope my new shipment arrives on time. It's scheduled for Thursday, and I hope it makes it. If it doesn't, then I'll either have to choke down those dreadful SuperOats over the weekend or go without. Friday we won't be around because we are chaperoning a school field trip for The Kid, so nobody will be home to sign for the package.

Today is definitely a day I wish I wasn't self-employed. If I had a regular job, I'd definitely call in sick!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Day 27 - My Scale Must be Broken!

After having cake on Saturday, I really expected the scales to jump up. Yesterday wasn't much better for staying on plan. I had a shake for a late breakfast (almost lunch) because I wasn't hungry, and then we went to a meeting at The Kid's school.

The meeting took much longer than we expected, and since they had snacks and I was starving, I decided to partake. I had some cheese and a few grapes.

I managed to avoid the crackers and cookies.

By the time dinner rolled around, I figured I'd already blown it for the day, so I had some broccoli and a 1/2 cup serving of hamburger helper with the family.

So imagine my shock when I stepped on the scale this morning and it claimed I weighed 235 lbs this morning. That's down 4.4 lbs since last Wednesday's weigh-in! I have another three days until my next official weigh-in, so this is just crazy!

There is no logic to dieting. It doesn't make sense that I wasn't really on plan and I get rewarded for it.

Well, no complaints from me! I'll take that gift horse without checking its mouth.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Day 26 - Having My Cake and Eating It Too

Yesterday we went up to visit my mother for the day. When we arrived, I discovered that she'd made my favorite cake in the world.

So naturally, I had some. In fact, I had quite a bit. Probably way more than I should have had.

But the thing is, I'd given myself permission (for the first time since I went on the diet) to eat as much, and whatever, I wanted.

So I don't feel at all guilty.

Will it negatively affect this week's weight loss?


Do I care?


Now it's not as though I don't care about my diet. I absolutely do care about it. I also realize, though, that there's no way I'm going to be able to stick to a very strict diet for at least six to nine months without having a break once in a while.

So I had my cake, and I ate it too. Today, I go back to the diet as if nothing happened.

I figure if I spend more days on plan than off, I'm bound to lose weight in the long run.

Of course I didn't step on the scale this morning. I really didn't want to know what the damage was. I'll stick to plan and weigh-in again on Wednesday.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Day 24 - Will Our Marriage End?

A little background for those who live outside California.

Last year, the California Supreme Court ruled "that the California legislative and initiative measures limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples violate the state constitutional rights of same-sex couples and may not be used to preclude same-sex couples from marrying."

Last Spring, The Wife and I got married.

This morning, the biggest thing on my mind is not my diet. I'm still reeling from watching the California Surpreme court hear oral arguments regarding Proposition 8. For those unfamiliar, Proposition 8 was a ballot initiative that changed the California State Constitution to read "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

After watching the oral arguments, I left wondering if the State Supreme Court will void our marriage. It seemed to me that the judges were very hostile towards the idea of overturning Proposition 8, but were undecided on the fate of the 18,000 same-sex marriages that had been performed before the election.

The Wife and I have been together for a decade, but we've only been married for just over eight months. The court will issue their ruling within 90 days, and I feel like we are sitting on death row, waiting for our execution.

The most disturbing thing about the oral arguments was Ken Starr's opinion that the voters should be allowed to make whatever changes they wish to the constitution. Although he agreed that voters were not always wise, it is their sovereign right to make those changes.

It's a brave new world out there, folks.

Last November, the state voted to eliminate the rights of gays and lesbians to marry. Perhaps in two years, the state will vote to eliminate the right of gays and lesbians to adopt. What's next after that? Will they vote away protections for equal housing and employment?

Even more chilling, if they can vote away the rights of on unpopular minority, who will be next? Blacks? Hispanics? Asians? Perhaps they'll just go after Arabs in retaliation for 9/11.

If the court upholds Proposition 8, what they are really saying is that California's Equal Protection clause doesn't necessarily have to afford equal protection to everyone. It just affords equal protection to those in the majority, or those the majority deems fit to receive protection.

If that's the case, why do we even have a constitution in the first place?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Day 23 - In for a Dime, In for a Dollar

Earlier this week, I promised The Kid that we'd go out for pizza as a family on Saturday. I found out that's not going to be possible, as my mother called and wanted to know if we could come and visit this weekend. Since not keeping a promise to The Kid is just short of a deadly sin, I decided we'd go out to pizza last night.

I ordered an individual pizza to keep my serving size down. Even so, I gained a pound. I'm not terribly worried about it, as I suspect the majority of the gain was the weight of my not-yet-pooped-out pizza remnants.

It's all good.

Today, of course, I'm back at it.

I'm starting to run low on supplies, so I went ahead and ordered a resupply. Since the nice folks at Cambridge Direct Sales gave me a 10% off my next order coupon, I went ahead and ordered three cases of shake mix. That's a three-month supply of powder.

So I guess I'm really making a commitment to stick with it.

I'm hoping my losses will remain high, since I'll be seeing my MIL on the third weekend of April. I hope I will have lost enough that she'll actually notice I'm smaller, though I'm not really holding my breath.

Of course one of my friends already noticed I've lost weight. He's my absolute best friend in the entire world, but he also knows I've been dieting. On the other hand, his noticing may actually be legitimate because he's Deaf, and almost nothing escapes his very observant eyes.

I'm not seeing much of a difference yet. My size 24W pants don't really feel any looser than when I bought them last Spring in time for my wedding.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Day 22 - Weigh In #3 & Responsibility for Other People's Happiness

Despite my earlier grousing this week about my weight not budging, it seems something shook loose over the last couple of days. Today is my third weigh in.

Today's weight: 239.4 lbs, for a loss of 3.2 lbs for the week.

Not too shabby. Only 21.4 lbs to go until I'm merely obese. At this rate, of weight loss, I'll probably I'll be very close to obesity by the time the in-laws visit in April. Wouldn't it be nice for my MIL to notice I've lost weight?

Don't get me wrong. I adore my MIL. She does tend to nag me about my weight, though.

In other news, in pondering my Diet Saboteurs, I came to an important realization: I am not responsible for other people's happiness.

I know that sounds like a big duh, but when The Kid was giving me the big lecture about how bad my diet was making her feel, I was feeling really crummy. But then I realized something important -- how other people feel about my diet isn't my problem. It's their problem. So, when The Wife or The Kid start complaining how they feel so bad because I'm not eating, I'm going to let them own their own feelings.

I'm on this diet because I'm tired of being fat. I have more than 100 lbs to lose before I'll be at a weight considered healthy for my height, and I need to do something about it. So when family members whine, I'm going to have to remind myself that I'm not responsible for their unhappiness.

I'm responsible for my own happiness, not theirs.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Day 21 - Saboteurs

I am getting really tired of the diet saboteurs, namely The Wife and The Kid, who live in my house.

It seems like just about every night either The Wife or The Kid is trying to convince me I should eat something I shouldn't. Last week, I tried eating small meals during dinner. It slowed my weight loss to a screeching halt, plus I had to listen to both The Wife and The Kid whining about how little I was eating.

I told The Wife no more, and then she decided we were going to go out to dinner on Friday, and we ended up going out again on Saturday because my father unexpectedly popped into town. Then, The Wife and The Kid wanted to pop out and get pizza Sunday night.

I told them no, and there was a certain amount of sulking about it.

Last night we had a big Family Talk about something related to The Kid, and because it was a good family talk, then The Wife and The Kid wanted to go out for pizza.

I said no.

The Kid drew me aside and proceeded to give me a big lecture of how my diet was making her feel bad, and that she felt like she should also be on Cambridge (even though she's not overweight in the slightest) because it "wasn't fair" that they were eating and I wasn't. Furthermore, she told me, she didn't like going out for pizza without me, because it made her lonely.

I listened, but couldn't help feeling pretty darn mad.

Later that evening, I gathered them both up and told them flat out that I didn't appreciate their attempts at sabotaging my diet. I told them I was trying to lose weight because I am more than 100 lbs (more than what my 13-year-old daughter weighs) over the maximum healthy weight for my height. I also said that I was just tired of being fat, and I was tired of my weight getting in the way of things I want to do.

I wasn't trying to be mean, but I reduced The Wife to tears. The Kid is usually pretty stoic, so she didn't cry, but I could tell I made her feel bad.

I have to say, though, I am done being nice about the diet sabotage. Although I'm willing to go out once in a while, and I'm willing to give myself a break from time to time, I'm not willing to put up with invites to eat out every night of the week.

I've said my piece nicely. Next time it comes up, I'm going to start yelling.

And really, with the recession nibbling at our doorstep, and The Wife's job now converted to a month-to-month arrangement instead of an annual contract, I think the money we were spending on eating out would be better placed in our savings account.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Day 20 - Is There a Bridge Anywhere?

This morning I experimentally stepped on the scale, hoping to see a drop and I was greeted with a .2 lb loss.

Yep, that's right a 2/10ths of a pound drop.


That means I've lost a whopping .2 lbs since last Wednesday. Wow, a whole 3.2 ounces. Oooh, I can tell that's going to make a big difference in the way my pants fit.

I am not a happy camper. Can you tell?

This weight loss thing is so frustrating, I find myself wondering if I'd be better off if I just threw myself off the nearest bridge.

No, you don't have to worry. I'm not really serious. It's just the thought does cross my mind when I'm so very frustrated.

Besides, knowing my luck, I wouldn't have the decency to die. I'd end up living the rest of my life as a very expensive vegetable, and be a huge emotional and financial burden to my family.

No bridges for me.

But really, why is it I can't even seem to lose weight on a VLCD past the second week?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Day 19 - Motivation Lacks When Things Go Wrong

An Open Letter to The Kid:
Dear Daughter,

When you, in a fit of pique, decide to take a pair of scissors and chop off your hair, don't expect me to take you to the beauty salon to repair the damage. I'm especially disinclined to take you to the salon, as this is not the first time you've done this, and your excuse is especially pathetic. My refusal to allow you wear cosmetics at age 13 isn't sufficient reason to have a tantrum.

I love you dearly, but I'm not going to pay for any more salon cuts for you. If you need a trim, I have a lovely pair of scissors on my desk that will work just fine, and I'll be glad to help.


- Oinkstop

Raising kids is never easy, and it's especially difficult if the child you are raising hasn't lived with you for his or her entire life. In our case, The Kid has only lived with us for about 2.5 years. The first decade of her life was marred by poor parenting on the good days, and abuse and neglect on the bad, so we can't always expect her to behave in the same way a child born to us would behave.

Knowing that The Kid started out from a disadvantage doesn't make it any easier to deal with her behavior when things are going poorly. When things are going well, she's a great kid. When things aren't, The Kid can be very, very difficult.

I've found this week that it's been very difficult to stick to my diet entirely as planned, especially when it's been such a tough week. Not only have we had struggles with The Kid, The Job has been especially difficult, and I lost almost an entire day of work when my computer was infected with a virus.

So with all of this going on, it's been hard not to completely throw in the towel. I've managed to stick through the week, mostly according to plan, but last night I finally gave up. I went out to dinner, we had Mexican food, and I ate tortilla chips, a salad (loaded with dressing), two cheese enchiladas, rice and beans. I ate way more chips than I should have, but when I walked out of the restaurant, I wasn't completely stuffed.

But the truth was, I was hungry. When we got home, I had some buttered popcorn as we sat and watched a movie.

I don't feel particularly guilty, because I didn't gorge myself. The other reality is that I have to find a way to live with this diet. Starving myself forever isn't going to be productive, especially because I know it won't take long to reach my breaking point and just give up entirely.

So I'm still at it today. I had my breakfast shake and I'll have another for lunch, and I'll keep going, one day at a time.

But I have to admit, my motivation for sticking to the diet really lacks when things are going so wrong around chez Oinkstop.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Day 18 - Discouraged

Today is Day 18, and it seems like the scales have been stuck where they've been since Day 15. For the past two weeks, I've noticed a slow and steady drop on the scales every morning, but for the past three days, it's hardly budged.

Maybe it's because I started adding food back into my diet. The Cambridge USA folks say you shouldn't do the Fast Start (Sole Source in the UK) program for more than two weeks unless you are medically supervised.

Although I'm not opposed, at least in theory, to medical supervision, I'm trying to figure out how to pay for such supervision. I recently wrote to the Cambridge USA folks for their medical supervision guidelines, and they recommend the following tests:
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  • Blood Lipid Profile
  • Serum Sodium
  • Serum Potassium
  • Creatinine
  • Uric Acid
  • SGOT
  • Serum T4 (only if clinical hypothyroidism is suspected)
  • Urinalysis for proteinuria
  • Pregnancy Tests
  • Electrocardiogram

Sounds great if you are rich. They also recommend that some doctors might want to repeat the electrocardiogram every 30 lbs lost.

And how much is this going to cost?

I have no idea. The worst thing about the US healthcare system is that costs are not predictable. When you go to the doctor, you know how much the visit will cost, but there's no way to find out what the lab work is going to cost, and how much insurance will cover, until after you get the bill.

It doesn't make sense. It seems that if you are agreeing to purchase something, you should be able to find out the price first and then make the determination as to whether or not you can afford it.

So I've got three choices:
  1. Suck it up, ruin our monthly budget (can you say hello credit cards?) and have all these expensive tests done.
  2. Disregard Cambridge's recommendations for medical supervision and do the Fast Start program for an extended period of time anyway.
  3. Use Cambridge's regular program, which means three shakes and some regular food, which promises a much slower weight loss.
I have no idea what I'm going to do. It's a damn shame that money doesn't grow on trees!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Day 15 - Weigh In

Well this morning I had my second weigh-in since I started the Cambridge Diet. I weighed in at 242.6, which is down 3 lbs since last week. I guess that's a pretty good loss, considering my stupid metabolism never wants to let go of any fat.

Of course I would have been happier if I lost another 7 lbs like I did last week.

Maybe I should cut out the extra food at dinner time. It definitely helps me feel a bit more energetic, but I wonder if it really hampers my weight loss.

The vegetables have to stay, though. Otherwise, I spend way too much trouble running to the bathroom!

I live in a older home, and it's definitely in need of some work. One of my home's many problems is that the water heater doesn't stay hot. It's usually a good idea to run a load of laundry or the dishwasher to use some of the lukewarm water that's stored in the water heater, and then wait about 20 minutes until the burner kicks on. Then, the water coming out of the shower is nice and hot.

Last night, when I took my shower, nobody had run the hot water, so the water coming out of the shower head was just barely warm. I'm the type of person who likes my showers hot. If the water isn't coming out at a temperature warm enough to make my skin turn bright pink by the time I'm done, it doesn't feel particularly satisfying.

So I stood in the shower, water pouring over me, waiting for the water to get hotter.

It never did.

Now the water wasn't cold. It was quite comfortable, but not as hot as I wanted, so I kept standing in the shower, waiting to feel the particular satisfaction I feel when I've had a really hot shower.

It never came.

So I stood under the water, letting it run and run. It never got any hotter, and I finally gave up and got out. As I was drying off, I realized that my experience in the shower reminded me of the way I sometimes deal with food.

There are times when I'll sit down to have something to eat, and it doesn't really satisfy. Perhaps it doesn't taste all that good, or it's really not what I wanted. Whatever the reason, it's not satisfying, but rather than put it away, I'll sit there and keep eating it, hoping that eventually I'll be satisfied anyway.

Interesting parallel.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Day 14 - Anticipation

So tomorrow is day 15, my next scheduled weigh-in.

I am having a dreadful case of scale anxiety.

I know my weight should be down. I've done a good job of sticking to the diet. Although I haven't completely Sole Sourced (or Fast Started as they call it in the US), I've been really careful about the food I've eaten. I haven't had much, and what I have consumed has been heavy on the protein and vegetable side, and low on the unrefined carbs.

When I went out for Japanese food, I had miso soup, some boiled soy beans (because I needed the fiber, if you know what I mean!) and some sashimi. Logic would dictate that I did okay, simply because all my shakes add up to a mere 420 calories. If I'm only having a regular day of so few calories, a few extras shouldn't put me to the point of not losing weight.

When I went out for Mexican food, I only ate a few tortilla chips and I skipped out on the tortillas. I had chicken fajitas, which is basically seasoned meat with veggies. Again, I was really careful, and I tasted the heck out of the food I did eat.

In both cases, I had my third shake for the day about 30 minutes before I went out, so I was already feeling pretty full. Going out to dinner with a full stomach is sort of a self-limiting thing, because there's only so much room in there, and I'm not really interested in gorging myself until I feel sick.

So I think I did okay.

But I'm really scared to step on that scale. What if I didn't lose? What if my planned bits of food just totally ruined my diet? What if? What if?

I guess what worries me most is that I've found with every other diet I've been on that I have to eat next to nothing in order to lose weight slowly. Now that I really am eating next to nothing, I'm scared that the scales won't budge and I'll be stuck in Fat Land forever.

If Cambridge doesn't work, then I guess I have two choices: stay fat forever, or consider getting my stomach stapled.

I really don't want to have my stomach stapled.

Day 14

I've started adding very small portions of dinner with my evening shake, and I have to say that I'm feeling quite a bit better. Basically, I'm limiting myself to 1/2 cup of whatever the family is eating, plus as many veggies as I want.

I'm not eating much, because I take my shake 30 minutes before dinner, so I'm not usually feeling all that hungry by the time I sit down at the table.

I'm not sure how badly this will interfere with my weight loss. I guess I'll find out when I step on the scale tomorrow.

On bit of good news is that it seems to have dried up the extreme diarrhea I've been experiencing. Diarrhea isn't anything new around my house as I've had a problem with dumping syndrome since I had my gallbladder out nine years ago. It's nice things are at least a bit more under control, because it's not fun running to the bathroom 20 minutes after my shake!


Based on yesterday's comment, it looks like some of my dieting buddies from the UK have found their way to my site. Welcome friends! It's nice to know that someone's reading my blog besides me.

I feel especially tired this morning because I've been up since roughly 3:30 AM. I wasn't sleeping well to begin with, and a problem at work started weighing on my mind and I figured I'd better get up and see if I could make any headway with it. This is one of the problems of being self-employed -- it's hard to leave work at the office!

I'm still looking for (and not finding) changes in my body. My clothes fit the same, I look the same in the mirror, and my stomach still gets in my way. I keep hoping that one morning I'll wake up and notice a difference, but so far, no luck!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Day 13

Well, I'm still hanging in there. I did go out and have fajitas with The Wife on Saturday and I still lost weight. I did have a few tortilla chips, and I skipped out on the tortillas with the fajitas. Actually, I wasn't very tempted because our server forgot to bring them and I didn't ask.

I split the plate with The Wife, and I didn't eat any of the rice or beans that came with.

I've experimented with eating a little bit and I'm not sure what to think about it. Last night, The Wife served Hamburger Helper and broccoli for dinner. A standard serving of the Hamburger Helper was about 300 calories, which I thought would be too much. I had a half serving and some broccoli, and felt completely stuffed afterward.

It was nice in one respect, though. I was so tired I went to bed early, and didn't wake up in the middle of the night with hunger pangs. Instead, I woke up at least three times because I had to go pee.

Oh well, it's not like I can have everything. The extra sleep was good, I shouldn't expect that I would have extra and uninterrupted sleep.

I found a UK support group for folks using the UK version of the Cambridge Diet, and I've noticed that a lot of the UK folks consume nothing but the meal replacement shakes for weeks or months at a time. The instructions that come with the US version say you shouldn't do that for more than two weeks at a stretch, unless you are under strict medical supervision.

I wonder if it's because the formulations are completely different, or if the good folks over at Dean Distributors (the people who sell the US version of Cambridge) are afraid of being sued. I've compared the nutritional information of the UK and US versions, and it seems the US version has slightly more calories, carbohydrates, protein and fat. It seems to me that if the UK people can safely consume nothing but shakes for extended periods of time, it's probably safe to do the same on the US version.

Still, I'd feel better following directions, so I'll see about discussing this with my doctor the next time I can afford to go in.

Overall, I'm feeling pretty happy about my weight loss (looks like I've dropped close to 10 lbs, though I won't officially weigh in until Wednesday) but I'm still feeling pretty darn tired. I've gotten used to the shakes, and don't find them nearly as odious as I did in the beginning. The only flavor I can't stand is the Super Oats (porridge). That stuff is nasty no matter what you do to it.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Day 11

We have had a very tough week with The Kid this week. Even though she's 13 years old and should know better, she's been behaving much like a 2-year-old. Even though she simply didn't deserve it, we let her spend the night with a friend simply because we needed a break.

The Wife and I went out to dinner last night. I knew it was technically "cheating" but after such a tough week, we needed to blow off steam. I've also gotta live with this diet for the next however long, and I know if I starve forever without the possibility of ever having any food, it will just be impossible.

The Cambridge USA instructions say you shouldn't exclude food from your program for more than two weeks, anyway. Well, at least that's true if you aren't being medically supervised.

So, last night, we went out and had Japanese food. I tried to be really good. I ordered miso soup, some edemame (boiled soy beans) and some tuna and salmon sashimi.

The miso soup tasted really weird, everything else was good, but I couldn't eat much. I had a shake right before we left, so I was pretty full during dinner. Tonight, The Kid is going to be gone again, and The Wife wants to go out to dinner again.

I'm tempted, but worried this is going to lead me astray too quickly. On the other hand, I'm getting really tired of the shakes. The flavors are growing on me, and things don't taste as bad as they did in the beginning.

I suppose a little fajitas wouldn't hurt.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Day 10

This morning I had to cancel my guitar lesson because I've got a case of the tummy rumbles and I don't want to be more than about 25 feet from the bathroom.

The good news is that I don't feel bad. The bad news is that I know very well not to leave the house right now, or I might end up with an incredible ass explosion that would definitely ruin my day.

What's worse is that these atomic butt blasts are starting to take on the colors of the shakes I've been consuming. The other day, after I'd had several strawberry shakes in a row, I noticed that my bowel movements were taking on a decidedly pinkish cast. At first, I even panicked a little thinking that I was bleeding from "down there."

I felt a lot better when I realized that the pinkish skid marks on my toilet paper were probably nothing more than FD&C Red #40 mixed with poo.

Such a comforting thing to know.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day 9

I'm feeling a little bit less tired than I have over the past few days, but I definitely don't feel like my usual self. Not that I'm all that energetic on most days, but I feel even less energetic than usual.

Last night I had one of the chocolate shakes and I mixed it with a 1/4 tsp of peppermint flavoring. The end result was actually pretty decent. I think I'm starting to get used to the shakes, because they don't seem to taste quite as blah as they did in the beginning.

I guess if you get hungry enough, anything will taste good.

I've started dreaming about what life might be like when I'm thin, and it's frustrating when I wake up surrounded by fat. I can't see any difference yet in the way my clothes fit or the way I look in the mirror, and that adds to my frustration.

Of course I keep reminding myself that I didn't get fat overnight, so I'm not going to get thin overnight, either. It didn't help that this morning the scale hadn't moved from yesterday. So far, I've seen a small, but consistent drop every single day, but this morning it didn't budge.

Maybe the gourmet orange I had at breakfast, or the peppermint flavoring did it.

Probably not. I have a hard time seeing how the 89 calories found in a large orange can ruin your diet, when you are only consuming a total of 420 per day.

I e-mailed the folks at Cambridge USA and asked them for the medical guidelines to give to my physician so she can monitor my progress. I won't be able to afford a doctor's appointment for at least another month, since it turns out we owe the IRS additional money for taxes this year.

I have to choose to pay the IRS before I can afford to go visit my doctor. It's a sad commentary on American life, isn't it?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Day 8 - The Good, Bad and Ugly

Well today is day 8, which means I've completed a full week on the Cambridge Diet.

The Good - I lost 7 lbs the first week.

The Bad - I have a scale that measures your body composition through electrical impedance. So far my % of body fat hasn't budged.

The Ugly - I am really fighting fatigue. I haven't walked in a week because it's been raining gangbusters. Today was the first morning without rain, but I didn't walk this morning as I was just too tired.

I'm also noticing that it's way too easy to make me cry. Last night, The Wife decided to make dinner for herself and The Kid first. I went into the bathroom to take a shower, and as soon as I did, the heater kicked in and wafted the smell of their tamales throughout the house. Even though I only had to wait about 15 minutes for my shake, I found myself laying down on the bed having a good cry.

I managed to hide it pretty well from The Wife and The Kid, and I feel incredibly stupid. It shouldn't be this hard to stick to a dumb old diet.

Yesterday afternoon I was so fuzzy-brained that I gave in and had one of our gourmet oranges. It sure tasted good, and I felt better for a while. I was a little hungrier at dinner time, which may have contributed to the tears. Once again I woke up in the middle of the night absolutely starving. At least this time, I didn't dream about stuffing my face full of food while watched by an audience of super-obese folks.

So far, I've been averaging a loss of 1 lb per day. If this keeps up, only 127 more days to go!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Day 7

It seems that the two hardest times of the day are evenings and the middle of the night. I'm finding it very difficult not to obsess on food after my work for the day is done and there's nothing to do but sit around and wait until bedtime. Normally, some of that time would be occupied by the making, eating, and cleaning up dinner. Now, my evenings consist of slurping down a shake and waiting for bedtime.

I've been taking my evening shower much earlier, and hitting the sack earlier, too. It's just not much fun watching other people eat.

The middle of the night seems to be the toughest part. For the past few nights, my empty stomach has started rumbling and I've found myself wide awake and really hungry. The "good" news, if I can call it that, is that it's just stomach hunger. I've found when I get really hungry, I'll start to get headachy and come down with muscle cramps. I haven't had any of that, but my stomach has made it a point to shriek me awake in the middle of the night.

Last night I woke up to my yelling stomach, and I resisted the temptation to get out of bed and eat. Instead, I lay quietly running my hands over my body trying to see if I could feel any difference. When I finally fell asleep again, I found myself dreaming that I was stuffing my face with KFC chicken. I was peeling the skin off, and eating mounds of the greasy chicken. All the while, I had a dream audience of super obese people. They stood around staring at me, while their stomachs flopped around their knees.

I guess you can tell what is on my mind!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Day 6

Last night, The Kid came to me practically in tears. She wanted to start taking Carnation Instant Breakfast as a meal replacement, because she thought it "wasn't fair" that I was stuck consuming nothing but the Cambridge shakes. I told her that since she was slim, she didn't need to lose any weight.

"Although I don't mind if you have the Carnation Instant Breakfast once in a while because you like it," I told her, "it's not healthy for you to have it all the time. You aren't obese like I am, and you don't need to lose weight."

Then I lied to the kid. I told her I wasn't hungry, and I didn't feel at all bad about what I was doing.

"I'm doing this of my own free will," I said, "and nobody is forcing me to do this. I'm doing it because I'm very overweight, and I really need to lose a lot of weight to be healthy."

The Kid didn't seem very satisfied with my explanation, but at least it dried up her tears.

The truth is, I don't like Cambridge any more than The Kid does, but it has to be done. I've tried just about every diet out there, and it takes too long to get the weight off and eventually I get frustrated and give up because I'm not losing weight.

I know Cambridge works.

I realize it might not be the healthiest way of doing things, but I know that if I stick to the diet, I will lose the weight. Of course once I've lost it, I'll still have the huge challenge of keeping it off, but I guess I'll worry about that when I get there.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Day 5

Friday the 13th turned out to be less-than-wonderful for my diet. We had an ugly explosion at our house. The Kid did something Really Bad, and I was so much at the end of my rope with her that I decided to leave The Wife in charge and I went to pay my mother an overnight visit. I did pack my shake mix, but when I got to my mother's house, I decided I didn't want to tell her I was on a diet.

It turned out my mom had eaten a late lunch and wasn't very hungry, we had a few olives, some carrots and a handful of peanuts. I was starving, but I lied and told my mother I too had a late lunch and wasn't hungry.

In the morning, my mother fixed oatmeal. I had one serving, and went really easy on the brown sugar.

"My you are being good," she noticed as she heaped her bowl with the sweet brown stuff.

We had a late lunch of green beans, chicken tender strips, and baked potato. I limited the amount of butter I put on my beans and potato, and stopped at three chicken strips. The baked potato was very small, not even the size of my fist, so I figured I'd be okay.

I was still hungry after lunch, even though I'd had heaping (and probably harmless) seconds on the green beans. I wanted to eat more chicken, but I figured that if my mother could be satisfied with two strips, I darn well should be satisfied with three. I came home hungry, but skipped dinner, figuring I'd done enough damage for one day.

I went to bed hungry.

This morning I weighed myself and discovered I had still lost weight. I thought it would be really hard to get back to my shakes this morning, but it wasn't as bad. So far, it looks like I've lost about 6.5 lbs since I started. I know it's probably all water and no fat, but it's gratifying to see the numbers go down, anyway.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Day 3

Yesterday I tried one of the nutrition bars. They are much better than the shakes I've tried, but I then later read one isn't supposed to have them when they are working the Fast Start plan.


I also had one of our gourmet oranges around lunch time. There's no way I'm going to let them go to waste, considering they are part of a very expensive fruit of the month club. The Wife and I have wanted to subscribe to the club for years, and this past year was the first time we could afford the luxury.

I am gonna eat my oranges, darn it! Considering that the shakes only add up to about 440 calories, I'm sure one measly orange isn't going to ruin my diet.

Other than feeling tired and cold, I seem to be holding my own. For the most part, I haven't felt particularly hungry. Last night was the exception, and I really thought my stomach was going to gnaw its way out of my abdomen. I think the problem was that had one of the nutrition bars for dinner when I shouldn't have, and we went out to see a play at a local theater. I was up way past my usual bedtime, and I think I ran out of gas because I was still awake long after I would usually be sleeping.

On the drive home my stomach was screaming. I was so hungry I felt a little nauseated.

When we arrived home, I took a hot shower and climbed into bed. I thought my stomach would keep me awake, but I was tired enough that I fell asleep pretty quickly. I felt much better this morning, and didn't feel hungry at all.

I'm having a little trouble getting my shake down this morning. As I've said before, the stuff doesn't taste bad, but I've gagged a couple of times as I've tried to choke down the strawberry. It seems the only way I can get it down is to alternate sips of the shake with gulps of water.

I just keep telling myself to put on my big girl panties and take my medicine.

I haven't noticed any change in my body yet, and I wonder how long it will be before I start noticing a difference. The scale is already claiming I'm losing weight, but I won't post my official progress until I've been on the diet a full week.

Before I got out of bed this morning, I found myself running my hands all over my body and wondering what it would feel like if I actually manage to lose the weight. It's been 20 years since I've been thin, and I can't remember what it was like. I've been overweight for most of my life, and the brief time I was thin in college was really an exception and not the rule.

It's an interesting question to ponder. I hope I get there.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Day 2

I had another strawberry shake for dinner, and it wasn't much better or worse than the one I'd had for lunch. I didn't particularly feel at all hungry, and it wasn't particularly hard to resist eating, since I didn't join The Wife and The Kid at the table. Although they are certainly feeling a little unhappy that I'm not sitting down with them, I didn't see how I could possible sit at the table and watch them eat fried chicken while I had nothing but a strawberry shake.

Fortunately, a buddy of mine stopped by while they were eating. He'd already had dinner, so we sat on the sofa and chatted while The Wife and The Kid ate their meal. My friend was very much a welcome distraction, though if he had not stopped by, I probably would have sat down in front of my computer for a while.

As a side note, the instructions on the shake mix say mix it with cold water. Follow that advice. The shakes taste much better if they are ice cold.

This morning's breakfast was more Super Oats. They came out especially vile this morning because The Wife mixed them up for me. She knows that I usually like my oatmeal really thick, so she prepared them the same way as my regular oats. Regular oats taste good thick and chunky, but the Super Oats come out a consistency of glue. I ended up having to drink about a half liter of water along with my Super Oats glue to get them down. It didn't help that The Wife also sprinkled way too much cinnamon and nutmeg on them.

They weren't terrible, but they were definitely not delicious.

I'm still feeling cold this morning. The house is chilly because the outside temperatures are low enough that our aging heating system is having trouble keeping up. I started the day smarter than I did yesterday, making sure to put on my heavy jacket, socks and shoes before I felt really chilled. Yesterday, I spent most of the day shivering, and didn't fully warm up until I stood under the steaming hot shower for 20 minutes.

I've been making every effort to drink extra water, which is of course sending me running to the bathroom every 15 minutes. I didn't sleep very well last night because I had to make multiple trips, and then had trouble going back to sleep.

Other than feeling a little tired, I guess I'm doing okay. I don't feel particularly hungry.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cambridge - Day One Lunch

For today's lunch, I decided to try a shake. I chose the strawberry Food for Life formula, hoping it would be the tastiest. I tried the chocolate when I got some free samples a while back, and I remembered the original vanilla flavor from when I tried it in the 1980's, so I was hoping for some real strawberry action.

My opinion of the strawberry flavor can be expressed in one word: meh.

It's not bad, but I can't honestly say the stuff tickles my taste buds in any pleasurable way. The mix doesn't have a very intense strawberry flavor, nor is it very sweet-tasting. I was hoping for something that tasted like the strawberry instant breakfast, but it definitely misses the mark.

I've read reports from many Cambridge users that they are extremely hungry on the first day. I haven't found it to be true. I'm not particularly hungry. I don't feel at all different from yesterday, except for the fact that I have a bit of a headache and I'm freezing cold. I'm not sure that I can blame it on Cambridge, though. I didn't sleep well last night, which could explain the headache, and the reason I'm cold probably has more to do with the fact that our house is only a chilly 65 degrees right now. Our house is old and poorly insulated, and it's cold enough outside that the heater can't really keep up.

I hate winter.

Cambridge - Day One

Yesterday afternoon, while I was gone on an outing, the Big Brown Truck made an appearance at my house and left behind a box. The box contained my first shipment of Cambridge Diet, which I'd been both anticipating and dreading.

I'd ordered the 30-day starter package. It contained six cans of their food replacements, a shaker, instruction books, a tape measure, an introductory audio CD, and some samples of their drink mix and nutrition bars. I'd ordered oats, vanilla, chocolate, cappuccino and two cans of strawberry. For some reason, I ended up with no cappuccino and three strawberry, which probably will be fine, since I'm not a big coffee drinker, anyway.

I'd originally planned to do two weeks of their Fast Start program, which limits you to three of their meal replacements per day. That plan was immediately tossed out the window when I learned we received a box of gourmet oranges in the mail. They'll spoil before the two weeks are finished, so I'm going to do a modified Fast Start program -- three shakes a day, plus one of the gourmet oranges.

This morning, I started with the Super Oats. I mixed it up plain, exactly as the instructions described. It came out the consistency of really thick oatmeal. Although I wouldn't describe the taste as bad, I wouldn't describe it as good, either. I sprinkled some cinnamon on top, after a couple of bites, hoping it would improve the flavor. It didn't help much. Instead of semi-flavorless glop, I ended up with a bowl of cinnamon-flavored, flavorless glop.

If I was going to rate the taste on a scale of one to ten, where one was unpalatable, and ten was the best thing I'd ever eaten, I'd probably rank this about a four or a five. It's not terrible, but it's definitely nowhere near delicious. If anybody tries to convince you that this stuff is delicious, they probably need a bonk upside the head with a clue-by-four. Nevertheless, at least this morning, the stuff was edible.

We'll see how lunch and dinner go.