An End-of-October Update

A few things of interest—

  1. Weight. My weight continues to drop at a steady clip. From my birthday in mid-September until this morning, I’m officially down 18 lbs. and unofficially down an even 20—I started recording on 9/15 but at the beginning of September, I had weighed myself at 2 lbs. higher than that starting baseline. I’m not doing anything dramatic. Two things, mostly: the Mediterranean diet and almost no alcohol. I enjoy what I’m making (steel-cut oats with blueberries for breakfast, chicken caesar salads with tons of spinach and kale for lunch, pan-seared fish and steamed veggies for dinner, the occasional cup of yogurt or packaged of mixed nuts or an apple as a snack) and never feel hungry. I continue to be surprised that my current rate-of-loss meets or exceeds what I experienced in 2005 despite that at present, I’m doing no cardio, compared to 60-minutes of recumbent cycling, seven days a week, back then. I think the real difference is diet. In 2005, the only thing I looked at was calorie counts. So, yes, I ate 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day, then as now. But then, I paid no attention to macronutrient ratios or the contribution of sugar and salt to that endless litany of Lean Cuisines I chowed down. Now that I’m cooking for myself and looking more holistically at the composition of my food, it’s a different story. And that’s despite the passage of almost 15 years! I’m now at the weight I was at, on 11/1/2014. I have tracked my weight in MyFitnessPal since late 2012, so I can see the graph. At this clip, I’ll be well below my 12/1/2012 starting weight (and low point) by the end of the year, which will put me at a level I haven’t enjoyed since 2011.
  2. Autumn Cold. Contributing to the weight loss, I think, was that last week, I was sick, so my appetite suppressed a bit. I caught a cold, which, in fairness, is still in its wrapping-up recovery phase. It started Monday afternoon with a vengeance. Then it calmed down by mid-day Tuesday. I said to myself, “Self, that’s weird.” Then Wednesday, the River of Snot™ returned. Then Thursday through today, it was there, but as mild as a cold can get. I’ve never had one like this before. And all that, without taking any OTC meds for it.
  3. Saturdays! Last Saturday, Tony came to town to record a four-show marathon for VLO. That was fun. And this past Saturday, I spent half the day at Grand River Cigar engaged in substantive business planning, working through my 2020 goals between conversations with Cigar Bob and Dr. John and the occasional stogie and beer, and lamenting the atrocious first-half performance of MSU vs. Penn State. This planning session was necessary to wrap up a bunch of other things. And next Saturday, with the start of National Novel Writing Month, I’ll be again hosting my Saturday Morning Write-In. On the plus side, I’ve been able to stagger my work so that I’ve got it all wrapped by Friday evening, rather than letting work bleed into weekends. Which means weekends are … weekends again, a phenomenon I haven’t really enjoyed in several years.
  4. Sundays! Yesterday was my fourth consecutive “Sabbath Sunday.” This practice, I think, is now going to be part of my permanent schedule. Here’s what I do: Wake up whenever nature or Murphy d’Cat decides the night is done. Make coffee. Recite Lauds then read. At 11a, I bathe and put on a suit, then hoof it to Sacred Heart for Mass under the Extraordinary Form. Stop somewhere for lunch afterward. Come home, and read until dinnertime. Read some more. Recite Compline, go to bed. In the interim, I do not touch my computer or my phone. No checking email or responding to text messages. When I started a month ago, I also began Vol. 1 of The Gulag Archipelago. (The unabridged version of Solzhenitsyn’s classic; the one with a foreword by Anne Applebaum.) As of last night, I’m at the 60-percent-done mark of Vol. 3, having just read of the Kengir rebellion. I also, in that time, wrapped up The Conservative Sensibility by George F. Will and The Madness of Crowds by Douglas Murray, both of which I had started in September.

So that’s mostly it. I’m spending my weekdays working (I’ve got a contract document-review job) and planning the delicate pax de deux of closing down a bunch of stuff that’s currently on my plate while starting up other new things for 2020.

Life is pretty good right now.

Sabbath

Catholics have it on good authority that man wasn’t made for the sabbath, but sabbath for the man. Regardless of your own religious beliefs, there’s an essential kernel of truth there that the atheists and the not-very-observant lose at their peril.

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A Descent into Silence

Climatologically, October ranks sixth in terms of overall warmth in West Michigan, barely edging its closest rival, April. The decline of high temperatures, which peak mid-July, accelerates. Already, signs of the color turn dot the trees.

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A Grand Excursion

Had a great opportunity today to take some mental-health time with my friend Scott. He and I kayaked 15 miles on the Grand River. We put in at Veteran’s Boat Launch in Grandville and pulled out at Eastmanville Bayou. Basically, almost half-way between Grand Rapids and Lake Michigan. Perfect day for it. No bugs, nice […]

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A Bit About a Bite

While catching up with some news websites yesterday, I stumbled across an article that linked to a two-year-old study about sugar. The TL;DR is that added sugar seems to be bad for one’s health — obesity, diabetes, etc. In fact, there seems to be a growing consensus among researchers (and not the sky-is-falling conspiracy-theorist variety) […]

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