The Joke Diet Actually Works?

Some of my most popular posts are about weight loss and diets. Readers really liked my Cereal Killer Diet post. It was meant as a joke. But then, I stepped on the scale last weekend and reacted like this …

Holiday gorging combined with no exercise due to illness left me wondering if I was really seeing those numbers on the scale. It’s demoralizing. You make progress in the good weather, try and hold the line in winter, and all it takes is one batch of extra-yummy Christmas cookies or a few days off from exercise and this happens …

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A SAD Forecast

These cold, wet, and grey days are not good for my SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I think I may actually be getting a simulated sunburn from all the sunlight-simulating lights I have on in my office. Fortunately, living in the greater Chicagoland area, the weather frequently changes. Let’s take a look at the upcoming weather and see if the cold, wet, grey days will become more palatable.

Hmm, it looks like colder, snowy, and grey days ahead. However, if I substitute gray for grey, gray seems a bit cheerier to me. It’s not much, but I’ll take it! And we are just one week away from the days starting to get longer after the winter solstice!

For those who struggle with depression and can’t do the mental masturbation I do to convince myself that it’ll all eventually be okay, dial 988 nationwide in the USA to speak with a counselor. The holidays are hard. Get help when you need it.

Me, Make Money? Fat Chance.

The opportunity seemed to be well within my grasp. I could finally parlay my fat into cash. I just needed to be overweight and willing to lose weight. As you may know from prior posts, I am both.

There are two weight loss clinical trials that caught my eye. One was more local in downtown Chicago. I could easily take the train into Chicago and walk to the clinic, but I wouldn’t want to walk so fast that I would lose too much weight so that I would no longer be considered fat. I would have to leisurely stroll. It paid okay, but the real payday was at a research clinic a couple hours north in Madison, Wisconsin. Their weight loss clinical trial is paying $18,000+ for participation in their 6 month trial which includes some overnight stays with meals provided. Yes, it would include several all-expense-paid vacations for me.

But there is a problem …

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For One Night, I Was Young Again

There was a time when I thought nothing of going out at 10PM to start my night out. These days, if it is dark out, regardless of the actual time, even during a solar eclipse in the middle of the day, I want to go to bed. Last week, I was experiencing some anxiety about heading into Chicago on a work night to go see a punk rock concert with my son. It seemed so wrong on so many levels for someone my age.

But I sucked it up and drove to Chicago during rush hour. To my surprise and relief, I made it on time! My son advised me we were going to take a bus. I had never ridden a Chicago Transit Authority bus. In fact, we were supposed to take the very bus that was half a block away and about to leave. We ran, and I felt young and fast once again as we caught the bus. My balky left knee not only held up, but it felt better than ever after the short sprint. As we entered the bus, I wondered how many altercations I would be in as we rode. I had prepared for the evening by not shaving for a few days in a futile effort to look tougher. As it turned out, we didn’t get in even one scrape, although I swear a matronly grandmother gave me the stinkeye as I snagged the last open seat before she did.

We had a casual, relaxing meal before the concert, but my anxiety rose again as we walked to the concert hall. This would be a concert by the Australian punk trio The Chats. If that name sounds familiar, you may have been one of a couple people who read my post about their latest release. I figured I would be the oldest in the concert, but it turned out there were plenty of olds at the show. Being a senior with hearing loss was probably good. The Chats were loud. Take a listen.

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Covid Booster Boosts What?

Yesterday, I went to get my second Covid booster. The pharmacist offered me the Bivalent booster. I asked him what the difference was. He replied, “Covid blah blah blah, and booster yadda yadda yadda.” That’s all I needed to hear. I willingly took the Bivalent booster. I haven’t had any severe side effects to the Bivalent booster, except now I appear to be equally attracted to men and women.

If Meat is Murder, Then What is Dairy?

Maybe robbery? I’m not sure, but I am certain that I do try and avoid eating meat, primarily for religious reasons as I am an ordained Dudeist priest. But it is also a super-healthy way to avoid eating very tasty, enjoyable food. So, when I got the call to do a taste test for a plant-based food, I was all in. Plant-based eats and paying me money to shovel them into my pie-hole? It was too good to be true. I headed over to pick up my food for an at-home taste test.

As I drove over to the testing facility, my mind spun with all the plant-based food possibilities. Maybe it would be a savory rump roast made entirely from chickpeas? Or, perhaps it was a complete Thanksgiving dinner molded out of ground brussel sprout meal.

Instead, it was this …

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Bonjour France, J’ai Un Blaireau Dans Mon Pantalon

For you unsophisticated readers, I believe that title translates to “Hello France, I have finished my Channel swim,” but I could be mistaken and it may mean “Hello France, I have a badger in my pants.” I’m hoping for the former as I have figuratively arrived in France after my swim across the English Channel this summer. The French were quite excited for my arrival earlier this week.

You can see my route from the beach at Dover in England to just southwest of Calais per this map.

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Cereal Killer Diet

Some of you may be wondering why I have not recently chronicled my battle with weight. Well, there has been a sort of detente between me and my fat for one year now. Sure, there have been minor ups and downs, but for the most part, I have maintained my weight for exactly one year.

Although this stable weight was not my ultimate goal weight, it is 15 pounds down from my portly apex and a weight I’m semi-comfortable at. I still jiggle but don’t draw as much attention as I used to.

I’ve been somewhat resigned to being 5 pounds away from my goal weight which would still put me at about 10 pounds overweight. But then, I discovered what I am calling the Cereal Killer Diet. It seems like only yesterday that I stumbled upon it, when in fact, it was two days ago. Let me take you back in time to those events of that fateful day.

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Defeeted

I have successfully recovered from my bout with cellulitis. Not that any of you care. I can count on one hand the cards, letters, boxes of candy, flowers, cash, gift cards, etc. that I received, and I don’t have to use any fingers or even my hand. Fortunately, as I recovered from the cellulitis, I developed a case of plantar fasciitis so that I can still have something to complain about.

If you are not familiar with plantar fasciitis, it’s quite painful. But sometimes, from pain comes amazing art. However, in this case, I wrote a poem. More accurately, it is free verse, because I was too lazy to rhyme. Before you click to continue reading my new creation, I should warn you that the two people I have read this to have been at a loss for words upon hearing it, and not necessarily in a good way.

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Cellu-what’s-this?

I hate it when my wife is so dogmatic and then turns out to be so right. She didn’t take a very long look at my infected arm before rendering her diagnosis … cellulitis. And she highly suggested I listen to her and seek medical attention before I headed off on a trip to St. Louis. I always value her suggestions, especially when I feel threatened, so I trudged off to the clinic to receive a diagnosis of …

That’s right, my wife was 100% correct … again. But is cellulitis serious?

Uh-oh. Considering my case of cellulitis was spreading up my arm toward my armpit where I know my lymph nodes like to hang out (they’re kind of weird that way), I realized how in debt to my wife I was once again. A pic of my diseased arm follows for those with strong stomachs.

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The English Channel is a Cold, Lonely Place

I’m getting close to finishing my swim across the English Channel this summer. More importantly, I’m confused as to how I should refer to the swim. It’s not a literal swim across the Channel, but it’s also not figurative. I am literally swimming 21 miles, just not actually in the Channel. Maybe a combination of literal & figurative? Liturative? Figeral? Regardless, you get the idea. I’m swimming a lot this summer. But maybe not enough. I’m still 5 miles away from France’s shores, and summer is quickly slipping away.

I am close enough to almost smell the French fries fying, see the French rolls rolling, and hear the French champagne corks popping. Just a couple weeks ago, I almost threw in the towel, although not lituratively or figerally. My pool succumbed to mustard algae again and turned this lovely color.

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Halfway to France

Well, I’ve made it over halfway to France as I attempt to swim the equivalent distance of the English Channel this summer.

If I flounder now, it’s on France’s shoulders to come rescue me. Who knows what my French rescuers may throw to me as floatation devices in case I am in distress? Maybe empty champagne bottles and merveilleux fromage français (or wonderful French cheese for our English-speaking readers). The French have so much cheese that they use for so many things that I just assume that they also use it for water rescues. But will it float? Fortunately, we have an expert on the buoyancy of cheese (good name for an album) standing by who can answer that question.

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Channeling

A while back, I foolishly proclaimed in a blog post that I would be swimming the equivalent of 21 miles across the English Channel this summer. With the calendric summer half over, let’s take a look at where I’m at.

Well, that’s not far enough. At this rate, I will be at just under 17 miles out by the end of August. I will be too far from Dover for the British to mount an ocean rescue, and the French simply won’t care.

The reality is that crappy weather got me off to a late start swimming this summer, and I strained a knee ligament during my first open water swim which has slowed me a bit. Oh, and I also injured my butt when I had the “brilliant” idea to try jumping part of the way across the Channel.

I’ve been trying to split my swims between pools and open water. At this point, I have 5 miles of pool swims in with 3.4 miles in open water. Getting in the open water swims has not been as easy as I expected.

I had hopes of cycling through fields of Purple Coneflowers and Black-Eyed Susans to get to a secluded, illegal swimming hole, which is typically the best kind. Well, the flowers didn’t disappoint.

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My Apple Watch Review

If you recall, I got a totally free Apple Watch that I must wear in exchange for a company using the data from the watch to study my brain. Yep, you read that correctly – my brain. I absolutely got the better end of that deal.

It’s worked out okay so far. I had no idea how many people wear Apple Watches until I started wearing one and noticing others wearing the same. I feel like I’m sort of in a club now, like a biker gang. You know how bikers signal each other when they pass?

Well. I’ve started signaling to other Apple Watch wearers. I think this signal is subtle, but effective. Take a look.

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I Got Vaccinated, or Did I?

I really don’t know for sure. Not for COVID, silly readers. I’m twice vaxxed and boosted against COVID. I just got vaccinated against RSV (click HERE for more info on RSV), which stands for Respiratory SomethingIcannotspell Virus. Or, did I get vaccinated? I really don’t know. I’ll explain.

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In Over My Head

I kicked off my summer swimming season when I was on my recent trip with my daughter. I swam indoors over 3 mornings and totaled 1 mile. It felt good getting back in the pool, but I yearned for open water swimming. Today was the day. The only thing keeping me from a 7:30AM swim in a deep water quarry with 66 degree F/19 degree C water when the air temp was 62F/17C was common sense. Well, that has never been much of a deterrent to me in life. I would definitely literally be in over my head today in the water.

I was also figuratively in over my head today. I pulled in as another swimmer was having his wife (assuming they were married because who else would be crazy enough to be out there with him?) help him prepare for his swim with wetsuit, goggles, swim cap, emergency inflatable, amphetamines, swim diaper, etc. He and many others present were serious swimmers training for triathlons. Don’t believe me? Take a look at his car.

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