NEW ALBANY — I knew this day was coming. I just would have liked to have put it off for another few weeks.
But see, that would have robbed our readers of some of the impact. Today was picture day, the day in which I stood in front of a white sheet as my boss took a picture of me for the next issue of Southern Indiana Fitness Source. As my weight began to return to my frame in my late 20s, so did my aversion to cameras. I did get to work out for a few weeks before we finally got around to doing the photo shoot, but believe me, it's still nowhere where I wanted to be.
But it's all part of the deal. I get the opportunity to work with experts on my weight loss, the magazine gets to tell the story. Knowing that it'll be in the hands of thousands of readers is probably the part of this deal I looked forward to the least, but in a few weeks it becomes a reality.
• No pressure, right? I got a text from a buddy of mine after he noticed the new skybox running at the top of the sports page promoting this blog. He basically pointed out that I'm all in. Failure's not an option.
I guess it's easier to do a lot of things when you've got the microscope zoomed in on you. One of the things I like about what I do is that the only part where my name comes up in any story is the by-line. Now I'm the story, and that's a big change.
• Decaf is still evil in my book. I've seriously cut down on my caffeine intake since starting the diet a few weeks ago. If I have any soda, it's with my lunch whenever I get Subway or on its own when I'm out covering a game. But beyond that, I've more or less stopped drinking caffeinated beverages.
The first few days of withdrawal were no fun, and I think I had less trouble focusing when I went 48 hours without sleep during Providence's state-championship run in girls' soccer back in the fall. It's gotten easier, but I'm not ready to say goodbye to caffeine completely. Three new boxes of tea on my shelf say I can keep my caffeine intake where I want it without the fizzy stuff.
Why no carbonation? I'm not a scientist, but I'm pretty sure that one of the side effects of drinking carbonated beverages is that it stretches out your stomach and makes it harder to get full. I've done enough to stretch out my stomach already, thank you very much. I'm not opposed to having a Coke Zero every now and again, especially in a pinch. But I'm not downing it a liter at a time anymore.
• Turns out my worst day wasn't so terrible. I met with dietitian Stephany Ghoston for the second time today, and I walked in nervous. I had just returned from a visit with my parents and friends in Cincinnati, and part of those trips is always Mom's home cooking. My mom is excellent in the kitchen, and turning down her food is just about impossible for me. So yeah, I blew it on Sunday.
Or so I thought. After telling Stephany that I had screwed up, I walked her through the meal. Fresh salad with champaign vinagrette dressing, roasted chicken breast with breading, cornbread, noodles, gravy and a slice of eclaire cake for dessert. Add that to a cup of Greek yogurt and an apple for breakfast and another chicken breast with some crackers for dinner, and I felt like I had majorly gone off the wagon, but Stephany just gave me a look that said, "Not bad." And it wasn't.
It made my Super Bowl confession easier. I guess I'm doing pretty well, after all.
• Seems that my phone agrees. One of the wonderful things about having a smart phone is all of the cool apps you can download for free. I had a lot of trouble writing down everything I ate during my first two weeks (and then I lost the notebook at a game site, which I guess is a lot like 'my dog ate my homework'), so storing it in my phone where I (hopefully) don't lose it seems like the way to go. And the app I got, "MyFitnessPal," does a lot of the work for me when it comes to keeping track of my caloric intake. You can use the camera on your phone to scan barcodes and download nutritional information nearly instantly. It's not a habit yet, but I'm working on sticking to it.
• My heart's grateful for my efforts. It's told me so. Not by being more noisy, but by being quieter, especially when I'm getting ready to go to sleep. Just two weeks ago, my heart was working hard enough that I could hear my own heartbeat without having to look for a pulse. I already am noticing that my resting heart rate is down, it takes more activity to get it to go up to where it was, and I don't feel it with the same intensity during those quiet moments before I fall asleep.
That alone tells me I'm on the right track.