Day 05 – Hungry Hobbit

Daily Weight BP Systolic BP Diastolic
09/01/2016 171.6 113 79

I take my weight and BP in the morning just after waking up. I do it before I get a drink or get ready for work. That way I am similarly (un)dressed when I weigh and measure myself. Since I wake up at 5:00 a.m. which is pretty early for most folks,  I wondered if I was getting inaccurate readings on the BP. I also keep wondering if I remember those numbers correctly as I don’t log them till I leave the pool and go to my office. I want to make sure I got it right because I could start getting giddy about what I am recording.

I need to keep composed and make sure I am not overly optimistic. Still, my weight measurement represents something I haven’t been able to get two in the previous two years of running/swimming/cycling. When I first started this, I was thinking 160 and 32″.  I wonder now if I might see that before I leave the potato phase. I have dropped 6 pounds in 4 days with no up and downs like I expect in normal weight variability. I may well be looking at 168 by Labor Day.

I should be starving. I am not. I feel my stomach from time to time asking for more. When I took up running, I learned that there were actually two types of pain: the pain of fatigue and the pain of injury. You don’t elf with injury pain. If the knee or hip is stabbing, you get an Uber and go home and make an appointment with a sports medicine doctor. If the leg feels like rubber or your lungs want to explode, you suck it up.

My brain is a millenial snowflake. It wants you to get back to easy street ASAP. It will say my stomach is sick. It will tell my side it has a stitch. It will make my legs burn and your ears ring. I have learned to tell my brain to hush when I am trying to run, cycle, or swim. I have learned that injury and fatigue feel very different.

Eating seems to be similar. My brain keeps triggering my stomach to bother me. Normally I feed it when this happens to shut the brain up.

Yesterday, my schedule got messed up. I got home late. My sweet potato dessert (stoopid American language) was not going to happen. My fed window closed two hours early; 4 pm was my last potato.  I woke up this morning a little hungry; but only a little. Any other time I would have been starving. I would have drained the fruit bowl, stopped at a donut shop, and sprung for an early, but extended lunch. Instead I went to my pool, and then to my office and cooked my potatoes. I tried to find a market that sold a sweet potato, along the way, but strangely, they aren’t part of  7-11’s inventory.

I made it to my office and cooked my three small reds and waited for them to cool while I did some computing. I ate just before 10 a.m. That’s a 18 hour fed window without feeling like I needed to eat or kill somebody, and then eat. This is a revelation. I am on the verge on enlightenment.

I still haven’t found a sweet potato.

I will be  traveling to VA on business in a couple of weeks. The scheduled dates coincide with my potatoes being finally acommpanied. I can’t cook. I will be with a party of consultants who eat worse than I do on my most depressed days. I’m trying to figure out a way to make sure I don’t get into a place where I feel like I have to eat something not on my plan.

This resulted in an argument with my wife.

“You’re going to be out of town that week.” She said.


“What will you do for the diet expansion.”

“I’ll have to figure something out.”

“Like what?”

“I dunno. Maybe by lots of packages of those steamers. My room will have a microwave. I suppose I will need to bring in my own lunch and be careful around the pastries that will be everywhere.”

“Well how about this,” she said with a tone that told me what was already coming, “How about you stop the diet for-”


“Well let me finish.”


“You don’t even know what I am going to say.”

“I know what you just said. No.”

“Don’t just shut me down. All I’m saying is you can resume it when you get back or -”


“Would you let me fin-.”


This banter of her trying to help and me being a tool continued to the bedroom where romance was off the table and anger was on the nightstand. I know I was wrong. I know I should always listen.

Cooking is a mystery to me. It’s alchemy. I cannot look at lettuce and tomatoes and other veggies and see a salad. She sees a million dishes in those same ingredients. She is a master at all things food, except when it comes to strictness. I say no bread, I get a piece of toast that is from a very naturally made bread with just a few ingredients. I say no sugar, she uses honey.

When I decided to go down this path, I was clear about what it meant; clear direct and repetitive.  I told her I will cook. It will suck, but it will be my way to ensure diet integrity. It is wrong to put it on her in the first place. She protested that she would help. She wants to help and I could really use her help. Unfortunately her help is often to provide an exit. She doesn’t see it that way and she isn’t trying to make it hard. She’s trying to do the opposite and make it easier with a spoonful of sugar in the most non-metaphoric sense.

I needed to be firm, but not douchey. I was douchey.  I was Douchey McDouche Baggins, one of the lesser known hobbits.