Time to Get Real – Week of July 28

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Too angry and depressed to even talk about it.

It was a stupid week.  My office has no air conditioning so I’ve been trying “alternate office space” at local coffee shops.  Which means I’m drinking iced tea and lemonade with the “occasional” treat.  All week.

The result was fairly predictable.  This week my daughter is coming for her first visit to our new home.  We’ll do some restaurant touring.  Which means that next week is going to be a mess as well.

My goal is to just hold station this next week.

Crap.

My resolution remains :

I want to am going to be The Guy again.

The next milestone is getting back below 190.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

195.8 pounds

Weight Change this week – +1.6 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date – 9.0 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/30

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Exploring Richmond – Episode 2

As we continue our intentional exploration of our new home I will, from time to time, offer these special posts.

So we tried again for a Farmer’s Market.  There’s a big sign saying there’s one every Saturday all summer just down the road from us.  We saw no other sign of said Farmer’s Market and decided to just move along to the next item on the list.

Which was a stab at the market we had failed to find on our first journey.  This time we headed to the right place, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Richmond.  When we got there we were greeted by live music, friendly people, LOTS of fresh veggies, fruit, cheese, eggs, meat and more (beer soap!).  It was everything we were hoping for and someplace we intend to check out on a regular basis.  We got some fresh tomatoes and onions and eyed the cheeses, soups and even fresh oysters.  Ok, I eyed the oysters, my Lady Wife declined.

Just part of the market place

We included two wine stores in our journey today and were impressed by both of them.  Corks and Kegs, and Once Upon A Vine (South)  both offer excellent selections of both wine and beer.  The staff at both locations were friendly and helpful.  We grabbed a bottle of a Virginia red at each place.  We selected a Cabernet Franc from Jefferson Vineyards, and the Spotsylvania Claret from Lake Anna Winery.  We popped the claret open when we got home and quite happy with it so far.  Lovely color, just a little peppery and smoooth in the mouth. (That extra “o” was intentional).  Both wineries are just over an hour away, so we may go visiting.

The rest of our exploration was a return to “Carytown”.  This is a funky and fun part of the west side of Richmond that is filled with cool shops and restaurants.  We hit Nacho Mama’s for lunch.  The carnitas cubano, and quesadilla were fabulous.  Another amazing Mexican (fusion this time) meal in central Virginia.

After that we strolled down Cary Street and just enjoyed the energy, the fun, the cool stores like Plan 9 Music, Guitar Works, and World of Mirth.  That only scratches the surface of where we visited and where we want to return.  Carytown is going to be a regular part of our lives here in the Richmond area.

It was a great day.  The weather has been quite mild for this time of year (highs only in the low 80s, lol!) with lots of sunshine.  Too nice to stay inside!

Still so much more to explore!

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A New Beginning – July 24

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Something silly and something sad this week.

Bad news first.  I have never been in a city anywhere and seen this many, what to call them, panhandlers, beggars, homeless people looking for some help.  I have certainly seen them in Buffalo, Pittsburgh, NYC, Toronto, Chicago, San Francisco and more.  But I have seen more in my driving around in Richmond than anywhere else.  I think I was over by VCU at one point and saw one at every intersection for five straight blocks.  It’s sad in so many ways.  And I’m not quite sure how to react.

On the silly side, will someone please tell me how I keep losing my lady wife in an 1,100 square foot apartment?!?!?!?  Can not tell you the number of times I will wander completely around this little place and not be able to find her.

In other news…

Weather – Temps and humidity dipped then soared this week.  I felt chilled when it was in the ’70s, so I’m definitely acclimating.

Things I’ve discovered this week:

  • The grumpy people census remains at zero. This is what, two months now?  It’s hard to imagine but no one has been cross or surly or ill mannered.  Welcome to the South, I guess.
  • Been exploring coffee shops (which is a challenge since I drink neither coffee nor tea) as “alternate office space”.  There is a big section of the air conditioning unit for the building where my office is that is being replaced.  So my office (second floor, one small window) is fairly unlivable.  So I’m trying other places to work.  And, YES, I’m actually being productive.
  • Not so much eating out this week.  Tried a pizza place on Cary St. that had been recommended to us, Mellow Mushroom.  Very nice.  Had a nice Virginia beer too, Liberation lager from the South Street Brewery in Charlottesville.  Nice crisp, German style lager.

It’s a new beginning.

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Time to Get Real – Week of July 21

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Back at it.  Better food discipline, better exercise, better result.

Gee, who knew it was this simple?

The reality is that I don’t have any underlying factors for being overweight.  So, for me, it is just this simple  – eat less, exercise more, lose weight.  I know that it can be much, much more difficult for some folks.  During my time at EYE two weeks ago, I got the chance to hang out with folks who have lost much more weight than I have.  Just three of them have dropped more weight than I weigh!  My weight loss goals are much smaller than some folks.  I appreciate that me getting too whiny about dropping another 20 pounds sounds pretty foolish to someone with three times, five times or even ten times that amount to lose.  In fact if I can replicate this week’s progress ten more times I’ll be done.

That doesn’t mean that for me this continues to be a challenge.  I am in awe of the discipline and courage it takes to conquer those bigger numbers.  My hope is that I can offer some small inspiration to folks who need to lose ANY amount of weight.

Yes, it’s hard.  Damn hard.  Sometimes unfairly hard.  I can tell you from personal experience that the feeling that waits at the other end is worth it.  So let’s journey together toward that goal.  I’ll encourage and push and play gadfly for you if you will do it for me.

And we can get there.

This was a very nice week.  Let’s make the first of many.  Back to double digit weight loss.  I need to keep it there.  Another step closer to the next milestone.  My knee has pretty much stopped being any kind of problem.  Even ran hard on it this week with no bad reaction.

My resolution remains :

I want to am going to be The Guy again.

The next milestone is getting back below 190.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

194.2 pounds

Weight Change this week – -2.2 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date – 10.6 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/30

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A New Beginning – July 17

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Don’t have a lot to add this week because I spent most of last week in Philadelphia.

Which was fun but not really part of this series of posts.

I am struck by the racial diversity I encounter on a daily basis here.  Living in rural/small town WNY there was a very limited diversity to the community.  Not so here.  Many more people of all races and religions.  Many more mixed couples of all descriptions.  And it seems to be “No Big Deal”.  I am in no position to have an opinion on the state of race relations in central Virginia and the Richmond area but it just feels different here.  It feels better.  More relaxed, maybe?Maybe I’ll learn otherwise but that’s my feeling so far.

In other news…

Weather – I caught myself thinking how cool the forecast for this week was when it was all low to mid 80’s.  Which IS, in fact, quite cool for this time of year.  I think I’m acclimatizing.

Things I’ve discovered this week:

  • The grumpy people census remains at zero.  I’m serious, everyone I’ve met has been nice and cheerful.  Not cheerleader perky kind of happy but happy.
  • Saturn (the now sadly defunct auto manufacturer) clearly sold a lot more cars here than WNY.  I do not go a day without seeing at least one and usually several.  Many different models and years.  Currently I see a fair number of Fiat 500’s, and Minis.  And BMWs.
  • We’ve checked out a couple of eating places. The two that stood out are the Midlothian Apothecary (which has an old school lunch counter and some majorly good chocolate shakes).  A true, old fashioned neighborhood kind of place.  Really enjoyed it.  Also checked out the food trucks!  There’s a food truck “court” somewhere in the Richmond area, pretty much every night of the week.  Thursday it’s at the Huguenot Road Baptist Church.  Tonight they had about 7 trucks serving everything from hot dogs to Greek to crepes (savory or sweet) plus gelato.  There was also a live band playing oldies rock (including “Freebird”!).  There was even some dancing!  OK, all by small children.   It was relaxed and fun.  Basically my first experience with a real food truck meal.  Got a “Carytown Burger” which was quite good.  The Lady Donna had a black bean burger with guacamole that she said was very good too.

It’s a new beginning.

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Time to Get Real – Week of July 13

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Sigh.

There are weeks where you fool yourself.  You fool yourself that you’re being more disciplined than you are.  You fool yourself that you’re getting more exercised than you are.  You flat out lie to yourself that all that extra exercise means you can eat more food and you’ll still lose weight.

I had just such a week.

In the end it might be said that it could have been worse.  The Episcopal Youth Event was great fun.  At the same time it is a complete disruption of my routine, my eating discipline and my exercise discipline.  Was it inevitable that I would have a bad week?  No.  But it happened.

I need to break down the issues here so I can have some level of success moving forward.  A big part of it is that because I’m on the go, with a “what’s happening next” focus I’m not particularly focused in the now.  Eating takes place in the now.  My plan moving forward would be to stop before each meal, get my head into the right eating place and only then go into a meal.   The whole “I’m exercising more so I can eat more” thing just needs to go.  If I eat the normal amount and exercise more I will, gasp!, LOSE WEIGHT FASTER!  You wouldn’t think someone of reasonable intelligence would need to review this concept but there you go.

It could have been worse.

The good news is that my knee is almost back to feeling 100%.  And the disruptions to my routine should be mostly behind me for the rest of the summer.

My resolution remains :

I want to am going to be The Guy again.

The next milestone is getting back below 190.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

196.4 pounds

Weight Change this week –  +2.0 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date – 8.4 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/30

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Report From the Travelling Circus – UPDATE!!!!

July 13, 2014 –  If it weren’t so frustrating it would be wonderful to be me.

So after I watched a bit of the World Cup final (didn’t see the goal), I wandered over to my new gate for my new flight.  While it was in a completely different concourse a few things seemed familiar.  The flight was delayed.  And overbooked.  And they were looking for folks to volunteer to be bumped.  You’d get a seat on the next flight, plus $350 to spend with US Airways, no blackout dates and it was transferable to anyone.  This is pretty much the gold standard for this kind of offer, so after consulting with my lady wife again (you don’t stay married for 30+ years without learning a few unbreakable rules), I volunteered to be bumped.  The gate agent took my boarding pass, told me that she would call me up if there turned out to be room on the flight or would take care of me after.  Cool.

Flight time finally rolls around and passengers are boarded.  There is room for one final passenger and he’s boarded too.  The plane pulls away and await my golden ticket.  There were three of us left.  One young lady had some discussion of being “refused boarding” and was going to be cut a check by the airline.  The other young lady was the other volunteer to be bumped.  They gave her a form to complete and her new boarding pass.

And that was it.

The agent went back to her desk and got busy with whatever it is that gate agents do between flights.  With my most charming smile uploaded I wandered over and inquired about myself.  She looked puzzled so I re-introduced myself, reminded her of a few details about our previous conversation and waited.

There’s that look of blank incomprehension mixed with just a dash of panic that humans get when confronted with a situation that is completely outside the boundaries of our world concept.  She repeated my name, bent over her computer and said,

“Did I have two Phillippis on that flight?”

While my mother was a Smith, my father bequeathed to me one of the less common surnames on the planet.  At one point the Census Bureau said that both “Rambo” and “Fudge” were more common in this country than Phillippi.  So the idea that there were TWO “Jay D. Phillippi”s on any given flight is about as small as mathematically possible.  (Actually, for reasons unknown to me, the airlines insist on taking my middle initial and making it part of my first.  Consequently my boarding passes all read “Jayd Phillippi”.  My daughter should be happy we didn’t decide to name her that).

Then the fun really began.

Turns out that the agent had flagged that name as a problem, so she had gone into the aircraft to double-check on that passenger.  AND SPOKE WITH HIM!  There was in fact someone on that plane with a boarding pass (she saw it) with that name on it.

Why would anyone pose as me?  I mean, really, those of you who know me, can you see anyone, ANYONE, choosing me to impersonate?  It boggles the mind.

In the meantime the agent dutifully checked my ID, checked the date of birth in their records, checked with her supervisor three times.  I don’t think they have a ready procedure for this situation.

I kind of HOPE they don’t have one!  I would hate to think this kind of thing is common!

It took a couple of hours but I now have my compensation slip.  And a new boarding pass.

My original flight would have gotten me home at about 2:30 in the afternoon.  This one will get me there at midnight.

The question is this – would I trade this story for getting home sooner?

Not in a million years.

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