365: Day 294

365: Day 294

I woke up without an alarm clock shortly after 6 am, and as any non-young person would do, I got out of bed, made some coffee, and opened up my computer to start being productive. Then I remembered I need to weigh myself before drinking or eating anything–I believe morning weigh-ins are the least susceptible to variables. The slight upward trend continues, but I remain optimistic, and I credit that entirely to keeping a record of the data. As I mentioned yesterday, I suspect that my weight has not decreased because of muscles adjusting to the recent activity. I have been more careful with my eating, and I’ve been more active than before. The lovely thing about data is that it will either confirm my hypothesis or rule that out and show me other possible scenarios. This, in turn, will allow me to correct course.

365: Day 293 – Weighing myself

365: Day 293 – Weighing myself

I’ve continued weighing myself every day since I posted about it several days ago. Additionally, I have been more consistent with exercising and logging than I have over the last few years. My weight has remained remarkably constant since I started, which would be discouraging if I didn’t know my body. I’ve always had a lag with weight loss when starting a new exercise regiment and even gain weight if I go right into strenuous exercise. I suspect it may have to do with neglected muscles building themselves up a bit to compensate for the sudden increase in activity.

Mentally and physically, I’ve felt amazing this past week, and I’ve even had trouble staying up late like I tend to and wake up even more quickly and cheerful than I usually do.

365: Day 292 – Rewined

365: Day 292 – Rewined

It’s been about a year since I last had a proper glass of wine with dinner at a restaurant. It’s not that I haven’t had any wine, simply that the environment of take outs and half-decent attempts at moving the restaurant experience to outdoors has not been conducive to pairing your meal with a wine.

Today we were at one of my favorite seafood restaurants. The tables had white table clothes and the everything was served on proper dishes and utensils—none of those disposable atrocities. So I ordered a wonderful Bordeaux Blanc for myself. It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed dining like this.

Seems like I’m rusty at these food posts given that I didn’t bother to take pictures of most of my meal.

365: Day 291 – Virtual Classical Music Performances

365: Day 291 – Virtual Classical Music Performances

One of the things I miss the most from the days before the pandemic is the classical music performances I would routinely attend with my mom. On Wednesday of last week, I came across a program of past performances at the Hollywood Bowl. I immediately called my mom so she could tune in and also watch the concert. I got a little emotional as I watched footage from some of the performances we had attended. After the program ended, she called me to thank me, and I could tell from her voice that she, too, was moved.

Now that I knew that each Wednesday at 8 pm they would present LA Phil performances, we planned to watch this week’s show. Yesterday, the Hollywood Bowl performances were all new, and it was a somber difference from the footage from previous seasons. The musicians wore black jackets instead of their customary white dinner jackets. They were also wearing black masks, except for those playing wind instruments. It was a stark reminder that we’re still in the middle of this pandemic, but at the same time, it gave a glimmer of hope that despite our circumstances, we are finding a way to get back on our feet. It’s as if I were seeing the emergence of that faint first light of daybreak promising at long last an end to the long night.

My mom again called me after this week’s program ended. She thanked me and commented on a few of the pieces. I, in turn, had to ask what she thought about the fourth movement of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, or the Danzon No. 2 adaptation for piano that Yuya Wang played. To a certain degree, my mom and I were partaking in our usual ritual of talking about the performance we had just seen.

365: Day 290 – Streamlining

365: Day 290 – Streamlining

I feel proud and relieved for my decision yesterday because it was the responsible thing to do: I am no longer taking up a seat on a board that I can’t fully dedicate more time to. This allows me to focus more on other areas of my life. In that spirit of streamlining my life to focus on critical areas, I spent a few minutes decluttering my phone by deleting some of the apps I don’t use. 

I did a little research on the running apps I have on my phone–all of which I’ve used at one point or another. I wanted to see what the verdict was on the different apps to decide which to keep. The consensus I found is that Strava is better suited to more serious athletes and has a strong social component. As a former user of Strava, I enjoyed having a public page showing all your metrics. Run Keeper is another excellent app, and although it’s great for all levels of users, it targets runners who are just starting their journey with features that let you create training plans based on your goals. After my research, I deleted both of these and decided to only use the built-in Apple apps on the phone and the watch. The app integrates flawlessly between the phone and the watch (obviously), so I chose simplicity over robustness. 

Since today was my usual busy Wednesday, I took a break from my daily walks, but I continued keeping track of my metrics and continued logging everything. The metrics I am keeping on a spreadsheet, and my log is on good old-fashioned pen and paper. I’ll share once I have more data points I can analyze. 

365: Day 289 – Closing a chapter

365: Day 289 – Closing a chapter

My intention today was to again write about fitness to keep me motivated in my goals. I went on my walk and didn’t eat anything too unhealthy. So everything is right on that front. I will instead write about something that has been on my mind for a while now.

Tonight, I resigned from my position on the USC Lambda Board of Directors. It is a volunteer board for the LGBT alumni associate of my Alma Mater. I have been involved with this organization for nearly a decade, and it has left me with many fond memories. It wasn’t a decision I made lightly, but tonight it was time to face the truth and admit that I could no longer commit the appropriate time to the Lambda. I put on Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and sat myself in front of my computer to draft my letter of resignation. As best I could, I emphasized how grateful I was to have enjoyed a leadership role within the organization for so long. I would have liked to have had my swan song, but alas, the pandemic has put an end to in-person events. When I was finally satisfied with my letter, I hesitated once more and turned to face the dimly lit bookshelves of the room. Convinced this was the wise and necessary choice, I sent it. Another chapter closed.

I sat there for a few more minutes and switched the music to Leif Ove Andsnes’ Album Sibelius: Piano Pieces. 

Now I am writing on here and pondering what new chapters may lay ahead.

365: Day 288 – 256.6

365: Day 288 – 256.6

I’ve been feeling a little bloated these last couple of weeks, and it’s gotten me thinking about getting my fitness back on track after a few years of neglect, if I’m honest. I’ve been going on my walks for the last few days, and I keep telling myself that I’m going to try a different approach this time. I won’t focus on numbers, the scale, or maintaining records other than my walks.

But who am I kidding? If it doesn’t get measured, it will never get done, especially for myself, who loves data. 

The other reason I took a hard look today at what I need to do and hence why I’m writing about it here is that I watched Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead. People being fat because they overeat unhealthy food and exercise too little is nothing new to me. However, I found a shockingly common attitude of people willing to risk a shorter lifespan in exchange for “enjoying” those fewer years to the fullest, rather than sacrificing their current lifestyle to pursue a healthier and longer life. It was eye-opening because have told people this many times, convinced it was a good rationale. To hear someone else utter these same sentiments seemed tragic and heartbreaking because, like me, they must feel so utterly hopeless that they give themselves this fabricated comfort of living a happy life. 

Rest assured, my outlook on life is very positive. However, I need to bring this part of my life in line with the rest. I want to be that person again to get up and run 13 miles just for fun and compete in 26.2-mile races. I don’t want to be the person that has a closet full of clothes that don’t fit. I want the person in the mirror to look as good as I feel every day. 

I want to journal about it and make it public: post my metrics and goals for all to see. Even if it’s only me who reads these, the simple act of documenting my efforts and keeping a record will help keep me motivated. I resurrected an old food journal that I used to fill out for a boot camp program I did years ago (this was what got me started on my weightloss journey). I copied a blank page and intended on uploading a scanned image of it here, but it seems that WordPress does not allow PDFs to be inserted as an image. So I’m hoping to figure out how to effortlessly scan and upload my food journal images to post on here.

To start me off, I am posting my subject weight in the title of this post. It is over 40 pounds from where I was when I was running, and I’m a bit embarrassed by it, but I need to get over the shame of the now and focus on my goal.

My workout today
365: Day 287 – Boring Sunday

365: Day 287 – Boring Sunday

I forgot my phone this morning and didn’t realize it until about 40 miles away from home. I felt a little vulnerable not having my phone with me and strangely I also felt a little liberated. I am not constantly on my phone life I used to be, nevertheless it is still an important tool that makes my life run more efficiently. Althought it was slightly crippling not to have it available for a few hours, I was also free from all the distractions that inevitably creep up by having your phone on you. Full disclosure, I wasn’t completely tech free: thankfully I had my watch and was still able to purchase things through it.

If you’re reading this post, I’m sorry it’s so boring. There wasn’t anything exciting in my day. It was essentially just errands and cleaning.

365: Day 286 – Just a Saturday

365: Day 286 – Just a Saturday

The winds have been very strong over the last couple of days. I was thinking how therapeutic is was to feel the chilly wind, the warm sun, and the hearing the wind blows through the trees. Then a couple of small prickly balls fell from the tree I was under and hit me on the head. Shortly after, a small branch came crashing down a few feet away. The therapeautic quality of the lunch at the park was soon forgotten as I started thinking about the safety risk or sitting next to a tall tree bending considerably in the wind.

I keep seeing this chile sauce displayed on the counter from a place we order from often, and today we decided to take one home to try it out. It’s supposed to be quite spicy, so I am bracing myself for the inevitable runny nose, teary eyes, and sweaty head.

Finally, I sneaked in a quick walk before sunset.

365: Day 285 – Walks

365: Day 285 – Walks

I have kept up my daily walks around the neighborhood using the Apple Fitness+ walks except for today: work and a couple of appointments for my dad kept me from walking. I am reasonably impressed with the “Time to Walk” feature on Fitness+. When I saw that they were motivational talks by famous people to accompany your walk, I was hesitant to try it out. I abhor apps that have virtual coaches providing overly enthusiastic motivational cheers. I cringe when I hear them. However, these “Time to Walk” workouts are just personal stories that these people share while on your walk. It is as if you’re taking a stroll with a person and casually getting to know them. I am now tempted to check out the other workouts on the Fitness+ app. I’ll probably start with some yoga.


The above is obviously from the front door of a pet groomer. We were sitting across from this door, and it was amusing to see.