Thursday, July 29, 2021

already the end of July

Hard to believe July is almost over, and my birth month is now upon us. It's been two-and-a-half months since my stroke, and while I still have some balance issues and am still not 100% (I don't think I'll ever be quite 100% ever again), I'm doing a hell of a lot better than I'd been doing before and during the stroke. I can actually see the weight loss happening when I look in the mirror or at my shadow these days; I continue to marvel at the fact that I have a neck, something I haven't had since, oh, college. That said, I'm still plenty fat; the rolls and bulges are still there, along with the double chin, and I have a long way to go.

I'm reconciled to the idea that I won't make my goal weight of 90 kg by the end of the Newcastle diet, but once I switch over to the T Diet and keto, the weight loss ought to continue, albeit more slowly. And once my shoulder heals, whenever that might be, I can start building up my upper body again. In the meantime, I have full use of my legs, so the stair work will continue to ratchet up, and on some future weekends, I'll do 30K and 35K walks—probably starting in the afternoon and going on into the night.

I got the idea that I should take a blood-sugar reading in the morning before breakfast to get a better idea of where things are, so I might do that tomorrow morning. Sunday morning might give me a better reading, but that'll be because of the long walk done on Saturday, so the reading might be artificially depressed since Saturday is the only day of the week on which I do a long walk. So tomorrow it is for the blood sugar. More news on that as it happens.

T Diet and keto will represent a lifestyle change. This will be my life until I die. I can already tell you that I have a new appreciation for food, which I already loved, but sort-of took for granted. Random snacking, which was a reflex for me before the stroke, is gone. It is now extremely rare for me to break a fast by grabbing a slice of cheese or a handful of nuts. When it does happen, I don't punish myself for it; I simply move on and try not to backslide like that again. For the most part, that method works. But the result of this new discipline is that I now really look forward to good meals, and I no longer think those meals need to be the bad-for-you kind. I am, however, interested in meals with bulk to them.

I've been composing a list of eateries I'd like to visit on cheat days. There are videos on YouTube by what I assume are Korean vloggers who simply point their cameras at various restaurants and show the food being made, served, and sometimes even eaten. The establishing shot usually shows the resto's name, and sometimes the signs also show a phone number. Most are in Seoul; some are in places like Incheon and Jeonju. The idea of taking a field trip out to get some eats is appealing to me, but I have to figure out how I'll be doing long walks if I leave Seoul over the weekend. Very likely, I'll walk on site wherever I am (in Incheon, in Jeonju); I'm sure there are parks and trails I can hit no matter where I go. Korea is a great country for walkers. Trails and paths are everywhere.

So August 19 is the official end of the Newcastle Diet for me. Ten weeks. (I may have said August 16 before; that was a mistake.) I'm currently in Week 7 of the diet, so I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. I do plan on meeting up with my buddy Charles and pigging out; that day will be a cheat day. We're scheduled for Friday the 20th, which will also be an office-party day. My coworker's pro-chef wife will be prepping the food for that day, so I'll get to enjoy a nice lunch as well as a decent, rib-sticking dinner. Two cheat days in one.

I know I've already said this repeatedly, but it'll be nice to eat more or less normally again. I haven't had a full stomach in nearly two months, and while I've generally been able to endure this, there are moments when, if I think too hard about my situation, I start to go a little nuts. Just breathe, right? We're getting close to the end.

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