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500 Days
2006-01-04, 1:24 p.m.

Day 500 Caught by Surprise

Well, who’da thunk it? As of 7pm tonight, it will be 500 days smoke free. Me – who couldn’t go 500 minutes without a smoke unless I was unconscious or drugged (or both).

Since I’ve posted something akin to a list of resolutions (back an entry or two I think), thought I’d use this post to review what’s changed, and some of what hasn’t, in the 500 days since I gave up the evil weed.

First, I found out I wouldn’t turn into an off kilter, emotional, short fused S.O.B. That was good.

Second, I would eat anything that couldn’t out-run me. That was bad. My favorite – the 5lb bag of snack mix from Sam’s club. I was dusting those puppies off 1 a week at work. Well, for 2 weeks anyhow. Served their purpose though.

Started bowling again – first time in 12 years. Kinda hurt the first month or so.

Got some disturbing, but not unexpected, news at my first physical in 5 years. My cholesterol was up there – 250+, and the ratio (LDL/HDL) wasn’t too good. Started lipitor. This was in October 2004

In January (not the first), got a copy of Fit Day – a diet/nutrition tracking program. Officially started a diet 1/13/05 at a whopping 265lbs. BP too high at 150/95. Start HCTZ. Cholesterol was marginally better. Promised Dr. B I’d join the Y and get exercising.

1/19/05 – Joined the Y. (Day 150)

2/19/05 – Got signed up for FitLinxx – cardio & weight lifting tracking program

2/22/05 – Took my first step aerobics class. Kicked my ass – but I stuck it out. (Day 184)

April ’04 Flew to Florida for Easter Break. First time I wasn’t frantically searching for a smoke lounge in an airport. Felt good. Felt bad for the wife. Sort of. 4/11 – weight dips below 240, marking a 25lb loss.

May, June, July – Boring, boring, boring. Painted the house in July. Workouts slacked off some in July.

August – Cindy gets a nasty blood clot in her leg. Spend mucho time in emergency & at hospital in general. Spent remainder of month driving Cindy to Dr. appts and in for blood testing. Fun. Workouts sporadic at best. Hit 1 year anniversary on the 22nd. Feel great, going strong. 8/23 weight drops below 220, 45 lbs dropped. Cholesterol bottoms out at 138, bp steady at less than 120/80. Taken off all meds.

September – Kids back to college, FIL back in Florida, Life back to normal. Workouts back to their pre-summer pace. Bowling out of my mind.

October – Cindy still on blood thinners. Testing down to once a month. Weight drops to 210. Getting harder to make progress. Holidays coming too. Cholesterol back up to 190. Staying off meds for now, but they’re not far off I fear. Dr. B says it’s ok to just ‘maintain’ for the holidays. We’ll see about that.

November – Get entire house re-carpeted, re-paint family room. Bye-bye deer season. Spent 4 hours in the field. Weight got down to 206. Smoked a lovely turkey for thanksgiving. Proud to say that all I smoke any more is a little meat.

December – Kiddies & their girlfriends home for Xmas. Cookies & candy galore. Really making ‘maintaining’ difficult. Still managing to hit the gym regularly. For the year, finished 12th overall in Fitlinxx workout points accumulated, 3rd for males 40 – 49. That’s like 99th percentile stuff. Weight got as low as 204.5 at one point. Then the cookies seized control (damn Oatmeal/Craisin/White chocolate – they’re EVIL I say)

So now, sitting here at smoke free day 500, I’m 60(ish) lbs lighter. I can actually run a 5K in under 24 minutes. I actually have veins and shit (muscles??) bulging out on my arms, and my legs don’t look like toothpicks. 350lb presses will do that I guess. To some extent, the lack of weight loss recently could be attributed to gaining muscle mass. Need to contact the Y’s fitness evaluator and get measured again. The 1 year anniversary of my first evaluation is coming up in another month or so. Better get that appointment. Then I can do a comparison of then to now. Ought to be pretty sweet.

Both boys are off to visit their respective girlfriends. Z’s been down in Delevan for 3 – 4 days now, E is off to Liverpool tonight. They’ll both be back this weekend for a family gathering at my brothers, then Z is off to Syracuse with J to get back to work and start up spring semester. E will be heading back to Fredonia later in the month. Hoping we can swing a transportation deal with E’s girlfriend K again. Love missing that 3 hour round trip.

Cindy has been mostly behaving on the drinking front, but today is the first day free of her dad in a few weeks. I have a feeling the next few days could be a bit of a bender. We’ll see. She’s also been nosing around Nutrisystem on-line. At $300 a month for the food, I’m hoping I can talk her into using my method of weight loss. A simple to use $20 program (Fit Day), 20+ hours of cardio a month, some sensible eating and little or no booze, beer, wine or other useless calories. She tried using Fit Day last year, but it didn’t seem to catch on with her. Plus, she never entered in any of her cocktails (at 500 calories each) and also never weighed herself. She claims to eat next to nothing, but uses Marie’s Bleu Cheese dressing (good dressing, but lordy – read the nutrition label) on her salads (100 calories of veggies with 400 calories of dressing – on a 1200 calorie diet?), then chases it with 3 or 4 of these huge, 22 oz. whiskey & ginger ale bombs at about 500 calories a piece. She more than doubled her calorie allowance with the self medication. Set up for failure I believe. And now she’s expecting to get back on Nutrisystem for $300 a month? After it’s already not worked for her twice in the past? Over my dead marriage.

Gah. Didn’t want to go there. But it’s down, and it’s what I think of the situation. Play it as it lies.

‘Nuff said.

500 days down. Seems like such a long time, and there’s still so far to go.

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