Forty one weeks out from surgery, and here are the numbers I care about:
- Weight: 252
- Blood Sugar: 93
The scale has not moved an ounce. This is mostly my fault, but I’m choosing to be as kind to myself as I’m able to pull off (beating myself up is instinctive, and I’m exceptionally good at it). Blood sugar’s five points lower, but ultimately it’s been hovering in this neighborhood, with very few exceptions, since early February. This is fantastic, given how little I’ve exercised this last week.
When I instruct students on how to do peer review, I give them a few specific questions to answer as part of the feedback they leave their classmates, and I always end with these two questions:
- What’s working well in this essay?
- What needs some improving?
So, with those two questions in mind, I’m gonna try applying what I’ve learned from eight years of writing workshops to myself, and give an honest accounting of my behavior from the last several weeks (BECAUSE I’M FUCKING SICK OF SEEING THAT NUMBER AT THE TOP STAY AT 252…sorry, had to get that out):
- What am I doing well? I mean, the world is going fucking bananas right now, and my country is effectively on fire, democracy is under brutal attack, and leaving the house is considerably more dangerous than usual, so…
- I’m staying on top of my job(s). I’m teaching five classes for three campuses, and none of my students are looking at me like, “What the fuck?” I’m barely treading water some days, but I’m staying on top of my jobs and I’m not openly sobbing. And I’m about to start organizing the creative writing workshop again, and I’m not even a little worried about the additional time requirement. I’ll get it taken care of. Here’s a nice thing I can absolutely say about my father: that motherfucker taught me how to work. Seriously, I have ONE friend who has a work ethic that puts mine to shame, and beyond that, I get shit taken care of, and I owe that, in large part, to my father. Thanks dad.
- I’m communicating with my wife. We have little moments of communication failure, and those can usually be spotted by us being pissy with each other, but for the most part, she’s been my rock through this terrible shit, and I hope I’ve been able to return the favor, at least a little.
- I haven’t put any weight on. The slow down isn’t great, but it could be a lot worse. I see several posts on the WLS support groups on social media where people are talking about how the lockdown has completely trashed the progress they were making. There but for the grace of God. But I’ve been staying on top of my shit enough to at least not start undoing all the progress I’ve made, and that’s without question, a good thing.
- I’ve taken my vitamins. Every day. If you haven’t had weight loss surgery, this might sound like nothing. For those of us who’ve had WLS, it’s crucial. Stopping this leads to all kinds of malnutrition and medical nightmares.
- I’ve maintained a sense of humor. I’m almost hesitant to even list this because it’s so instinctive for me. I’m the guy who makes jokes at funerals. It’s how I deal with shit. BUT…when your country is on fire and you’re still able to laugh at the dickhead playing the fiddle? Achievement unlocked.
- What can I be doing better? I can be doing several things a LOT better, but it all boils down to self care.
- I need to start tracking my calories again. Like, religiously. Every bite of food. This is what I recorded for yesterday:
- I need to start walking every day again. Even when it’s too hot. On those days, I just need to get my ass out of bed earlier in the morning, or I need to suck it up and go for a walk at night. Either way though, exercise has to be a daily thing.
- I need to be better about limiting how much work I do. Taking care of shit is great, but that graphic novel I said I was gonna read last week? Still haven’t read it. I have to start being better about reading for the fun of it. Work can’t consume 100% of my intellectual capacity, that’s just absurd. Hand to God, I’m putting a book – an actual, paper-y book – in my hands today and I’m fucking reading it for at least an hour. This will happen.
- I need to find a way to self-impose a little structure into my life. I’ve written before about how easily I can fall into low-grade depression when I’m not teaching, but the way things are looking, I might not be back in a classroom until 2021, which, for the record, fucking blows. But not as much as dying a horrific death and/or putting the public health at risk, so I’ve gotta figure out how to self-impose a little structure in my life. I gave up cigarettes. I gave up fucking bread. I can figure out something.
Just those first two things should get the weight loss moving in the right direction again. But those last two are probably crucial to a lot more than just weight loss. As ever, I’m a work in progress.
I. Am. Frustrated. This week. Next week will be better though.
Here, have a graphic: