Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Update - Struggles already with new diet.

Wow, I didn't realize I was already on Day 4.  Here is my diary so far.

DAY 1 (SUNDAY, 7/24):
On Sunday, I just had my juiced vegetables and water.  My wife made me some coffee, and even though this is not the best way to start, I figured that it is a good idea to start one step at a time.  I don't function well without coffee.  For dinner, I cooked some sweet potatoes and then blended them with some spices.  It made for a very delicious dinner.

DAY 2 (MONDAY, 7/25):
Same as day 1; everything was going well.  I decided not to have coffee (too acidic), so I was moody and groggy for much of the day.  Also had a huge headache from the hunger pangs.  However, at night, my wife was starting to bug me about me doing this.  She asked me, "so are you going to only be drinking juices? Will you be eating meat or anything else at all?" and I answered, "[Eve,] I have not decided exactly what I'm doing yet.  But yeah, sure, I'm sure I'll be open to eating meat."  Then I saw that she made this gigantic leg of some kind of beef.  I'm talking the kind of meat that you would see being sold at a carnival!  I'm telling you, the meat was red, it looked like corned beef on a bone, and it smelled amazing!

Inside, I had this dilemma.  I really didn't want to eat this meat, but I didn't want to seem like an extremist either.  Also, how bad could this one piece of meat be?

I took a few bites, and then I stopped.  Then I took a few more bites, and then after being upset with myself, I finished off a bag of parve cheese doodles.  "Damn," I thought.  I wish I were stronger.

DAY 3 (TUESDAY, 7/26):
Being slightly upset about the night before, I resumed my "vegetable juice only" regimen.  I drank my water throughout the day, drank green juice throughout the day, all was good.  In the afternoon, my wife made the same kind of soup I made just a few days before, but she didn't spice it at all... plus, she used carrots.  When I asked her about it, she said she made it for me.  After tasting it, I decided to improve the taste (or at least give it some), and so I added some salt, an apple, and some spices.  The problem is that I poured clover instead of ginger, and then when I realized it was the wrong one, I used too much ginger.  I tasted it and I dealt with the horrific taste of clover between my tongue and the top of my mouth.  Later that night, my wife tasted it and almost spit it out.  She said it was terrible tasting, and I apologized for ruining her soup.  In the evening, I saw my wife cooked the kids some chicken nuggets, a minimal amount was left on their plates after they went to sleep.  I gobbled up what was there (maybe a piece or two), and then I decided that I need to balance that with something healthy.  I steamed some organic broccoli, and that, along with some green juice and Yerba mate tea was my dinner.  Tea tasted disgusting without any sweetener.  I think I'm going to go get some Stevia or something healthy.  All in all, this was a good day.

Today I was having a difficult day.  In the morning, I saw that my weight had dropped to 238 lbs -- holy smokes!  This was the first time in years I had broken below this weight!  I started my morning with my green veggie juice, but I had a serving of Halva my mother-in-law got us from her trip to Israel.  Throughout the day, I drank water - a liter or so, but in the afternoon when my wife was cooking herself that yummy meat (my piece from Day 2 that I did not eat), I took two pieces of cheese and ate them (dairy is no good for my diet). A few minutes later, I had another serving of Halva, two more pieces of cheese, and then I walked away realizing that I suck at sticking to this healthy food thing.  I'll be having more green juice and some veggies for dinner.

All in all, this takes a lot of will power.  I'm used to having lots of coffee each day, and I've cut that out, at least for now.  Part of me thinks I can use the caffeine, and so the Yerba mate tea does have a lot of caffeine, so I'll try that instead.  I went to IKEA this morning with my wife and our kids (the two not in day camp), and we spent two hours roaming the room setups.  I purchased a strainer so that the tea doesn't get mixed with what I drink.  Yesterday I brewed it in my coffee maker, but the instructions said that to benefit most from it and not kill the enzymes (or whatever nutrients are in Yerba), let it sit in cooler water first, then pour the hot water and heat it up.  My coffee brewer shot boiling water all over it.  The problem is that now that I have a strainer (it cost $0.99), I need to toivel it because it is metal.  Now I need to figure my way over to the shul and gain access to the mikveh.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

New weight loss regimen. Time for some life changes.

Image: greenphile /

It is motzai shabbos, July 23rd, 2011, and I am taking something on that I could use some support on.

Last year, I went to the doctor and he told me that I was months away from a heart attack. I wasn't significantly overweight -- at the time I was 245 lbs and being a tall 6'4" with broad shoulders, my weight was bad, even "obese" according to the BMI chart, but I wasn't walking around with a gut. As a result, he told me that my good cholesterol was low and that I needed to start taking Niacin pills to hold me over while I change my lifestyle.

With the permission of my wife, I used our income tax return money to purchase a Vitamix 5200 Juicer, and an EasyGreen sprout grower. I also bought a step counter and committed to walking 10,000 steps each day. I did this religiously for a while, but I never reached 10,000. I also grew sprouts regularly for a while and juiced them with vegetables, but as the document review project that I was on ended and I started studying for the NY bar exam, so did my exercise and my diet.

Since then I've kept it up only intermittantly, juicing maybe once every other week, growing sprouts, etc. but the exercise dropped off a cliff and never returned. Similarly, the step counter ran out of batteries, and I got tired of seeing that I only walked 4,000 steps that day which was embarassing, especially since my wife hit 10,000 on her step counter just running around with her smaller steps doing regular chores. Then she got pregnant, and I quit the whole health thing.

However, now it's almost two years later, and I am just as fat, unhealthy, and I've been getting sick a lot, especially since I have been working the law firm each day without leaving the home. It seems as if every other week, I come down with the flu or some cold which knocks me off my feet. Theraflu has become my tea of choice these past few months. In short, I'm getting tired of being sick and tired.

So my wife started exercising, and I've been listening to old audios of Tony Robbins (Living Health) that I have in my audio archives. I've also been re-reading the books I have on the shelf regarding the importance of staying hydrated, keeping your body alkaline, etc. I'm also watching streaming health videos on Netflix (at this moment, "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead" which I am finding humorous since I relate to the character so much) which is a stark improvement from the Prison Break series or Battlestar Galactica which took up many months of my evening viewing in the past year.

So here's my plan, and this time I hope to stick to it. I will resume juicing and eating greens so that every day I have healthy liquid vegetables to drink. I will resume drinking at least three liters of filtered water each day. I will go to the gym at least twice each week. I will also get my sleeping habits in order so that I can wake up early and immediately start on this regimen -- this is my commitment. Hopefully being away in the morning will also lead me into the halls of the Empire Shteibel, my shul. In the past, this has been sufficient to get my health back on track. I cannot and will not commit more than this because this seems to be an overwhelming lifestyle change. I will not give up food, snacks, junk food, coffee, soda, or other vices, at least not yet. I am adding the good before I start subtracting the bad. Step by step is the way I will go.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Afraid Hashem is firing a shot across the bow.


First of all, this is the first time I have gone through my e-mail since December, 2010.  I am floored, honored, shocked, and a bit embarrassed that many of you read the blog.  For a while, I thought this was merely my sounding board for people who hated my guts and called me all sorts of names.  I liked it because for once, I got an honest answer to the issues that were bothering me in life.  Now I just checked my e-mail, and holy smokes, you actually read this stuff!  As if the dysfunctional parts of my life are fodder for your reading pleasure.  I actually almost cried because I felt cared for when I read all your e-mails, and I apologize for not returning any of them.

I usually don't write because I really have nothing to say.  I'm working my law firm out of our bedroom closet, and we've made more money than ever and I'm scared as hell that this won't last.

I've been successful in my niche area [which kills me that I can't talk to you about it because there are so few people doing what I'm doing], but the problem is that where a few months ago I was pulling in weeks where the firm was making $9K-$12K a week -- don't get me wrong -- this happened only a few times -- my average these past few weeks has been $1,000 - $2,000 per week.  That's still more than I was making at document review, but it is no longer so impressive.

While on the surface it appears as if the niche area of law I've been working on has had its time, I have this sneaking suspicion that our berachas are running out.  G-d has given me such an opportunity to allow me to be frum and I've blown it by not davening with tallis and tefilin, and by separating myself from our community.

Today, I almost cried because we got a check for $1,000, but the help the new client needed was moot and so I e-mailed him that I was going to return his check because I couldn't help him.  I told my wife that I was sure that this was Hashem firing a shot across the bow.  He is saying, "I gave you this parnossa; I can take it away at any time."  But all over me not davening?!?  This kills me.  I am so strong in so many areas of yiddishkeit -- kashrus, Shabbos, learning Torah, especially nigleh!  I spend roughly an hour each day learning torah, and over Shabbos, sometimes I learn up to four or five hours.  Plus, whenever I get bored, instead of picking up a book on whatever, I usually grab for something torah-oriented.  I love learning!  I hate davening.

Anyway, that's it for now.  I'm wiped out because our kids have gotten into the bad habit of waking up at 5:30am, and this infuriates me because I really don't do well with getting enough sleep.  As you all know, when I become sleep deprived, I am not at my best.  My days start by how I wake up, and the way I have been waking up lately has made me a mess.