Archive for January, 2011

Up and at ’em.

January 15, 2011
Note the frost on my beard.

Note the frost on my beard.

Well, I got myself out of bed at 5:00 and out on a walk, even though it’s Saturday, and my phone told me the temperature was 12° F.

So I got that goin’ for me…

Which is nice.

Day Two Hundred Sixty-Eight

January 15, 2011

Friday was similar to Thursday, although the hit-in-the-head-with-a-sledgehammer feeling was much diminished and I did get some tasks done. In addition to my 5:00 AM walk, I went on another two-mile walk to run some errands in Larchmont. Other than that I did some cooking and cleaning, and followed my diet reasonably.

Day Two Hundred Sixty-Seven

January 13, 2011

Thursday was unpleasant. I did get up at 5:00 and take my walk, but again I had that hit-in-the-head-with-a-sledgehammer feeling. I judged that if I didn’t get more sleep I might be setting myself up for illness, so I got back in bed.

It was after noon when I woke up. After noon. What the hell? Even taking into account my new early rising schedule and the zombification effect it has on me, my body needing that much sleep is unprecedented. I figure there are a few possibilities: I’ve been balancing on the knife edge between fighting off a sickness and succumbing to it for four days; my allergic reactions are affecting me much more than I realize; or I’m subconsciously ten times more terrified of my career change than I am consciously.

On the bright side, I did much better with my diet. I had plenty of bread left from last night’s batch, but I barely ate any of it. I got plenty of fruits and vegetables and kept my meals small.

October 13, 1774

January 12, 2011







Day Two Hundred Sixty-Six

January 12, 2011
My perniciously delicious bread

My perniciously delicious bread

Well, once again I did pretty well until my own creation turned on me. I blame Mary Shelley.

I got up at 5:00 and took my walk in the deep new snow. And I did not go back to bed afterward. I was tired, but I felt human. I hope this means that my body is getting used to the new schedule.

As I did my job-searching and budgeting and sundry tasks, I followed my diet well — right up until the time the bread came out of the oven. Then I started nibbling. By the time dinner came around, I’d already had far too much. Then I had another piece with butter and honey.

I need to find a way to limit myself on this bread, or I’m going to have to only make it on weekends. And that would be a shame, because it’s so easy and cheap! Maybe I can get in the habit of cutting it up into portions immediately after it comes out of the oven, and scheduling the eating of the portions.

Yeah. It does sound unlikely.

Well, let’s see, can I think my way out of this problem? Treat it like an addictive substance. What if I was manufacturing crack cocaine, and in order to keep making a profit I had to maintain strict control over my own…

No. That’s a bad metaphor. This bread is much better than crack cocaine.

I’m going to sleep on it. Good night.

The Hershey’s Kisses I didn’t eat at the Jay House

January 12, 2011
One of the several inviting containers of Hershey's Kisses at the Jay House

One of the several inviting containers of Hershey's Kisses at the Jay House

Whew. That was a tough one.

About a month ago I went to the Jay Heritage Center in Rye for the first time. I met John, who does maintenance at the site, and we had a lovely conversation about history. He offered to give me a tour, and I’d arranged to take him up on that offer today.

John started giving me his tour, and then some other folks showed up. It turns out that they were from France, and were doing some historical sightseeing before they headed back. We all followed along as John told us about the sleuthing that had gone into the reconstruction of the building. Unfortunately I had two distractions.

My first problem was sleepiness. I was yawning and fidgeting nearly nonstop, and since the context brought the late eighteenth century to mind, I couldn’t help worrying that, at any given moment, I was probably violating at least one of George Washington’s Rules of Civility. I was able to mitigate the sleepiness by drinking some of the tea in the thermos I’d brought with me. But this probably just exacerbated the main problem.

On shelves throughout the house sat the second problem: Hershey’s Kisses. Hershey’s Kisses wrapped with festive colors, there for the taking.

See, free food sort of breaks my brain. I find it difficult to explain, but there it is: when there’s food just there for the taking, it triggers an obsessiveness in me that makes the eating of the food seem nearly imperative.

So I spent a lot of time distractedly glancing over at the Hershey’s Kisses and vacillating between thinking about taking a handful, and resolving not to. The outcome was very close; I probably would have caved if I hadn’t talked myself down: I kept telling myself that I was not missing out on some great cost-saving opportunity, because if I wanted some Hershey’s Kisses I could just go to CVS and spend a couple of bucks on a bag. Since I knew that I’d had no thought in my head of buying any Kisses at the moment before I saw the free ones, the compulsion that erupted within me was clearly irrational.

So I made it out of there without eating a single Hershey’s Kiss. I feel good about that. And when I consider how good those Hamantashen at Zaro’s in Grand Central looked last night, and that I didn’t buy any, I feel even better. I think I’m almost fully recovered from the holiday crazies.

Morning walk

January 12, 2011

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Today marks the beginning of my second week of getting up at 5:00 AM. I’m hoping that it also marks the passing of me feeling like I’ve been hit in the head with a sledgehammer. Although I was tired when I got up, I did not feel like a zombie. I went on my walk and, when I got back, I bent to my tasks with reasonable alacrity.

Two more weeks. Just two more weeks and my body will be used to it.

Day Two Hundred Sixty-Five

January 11, 2011

Wow. What a bleary day. I got up at 5:00 AM and, though I managed to drag myself on my usual walk, I was even more of a shambling automaton than I was yesterday. I grabbed another hour of sleep afterward because I knew I’d be useless otherwise. Turns out I was useless anyway. I’ve spent the entire day feeling like I’ve been whacked between the eyes with a twelve-pound sledgehammer. It’s possible that I’m getting sick but it seems more likely that this is simply my body reeling from being forced to rise about two hours later than it’s been doing. Such changes always take my body three weeks to adjust to — three weeks that I spend being a zombie. Hopefully today was the worst of it.

The good part is that I did very well with my dieting. I had an egg sandwich for my first meal and a bowl of soup for my second, along with the usual fruits and a big bowl of broccoli. For the second half of the day I had three Zone Bars with a thermos full of tea, my usual suboptimal-but-better-than-buying-junk-in-Manhattan solution for eating while out on the town.

I was feeling quite pleased with my dieting performance when, suddenly, in the middle of my walk home from the train station with Grace at about 10:00 PM, I got a case of the raging munchies. Grace whipped up some oatmeal and I had that just now with some honey and garam masala curry. I was still feeling peckish, so I had a small bowl of plain fat-free yogurt with a very small serving of nuts and raisins. I don’t like that I ate anything at all this late at night, but as a response to a very powerful food craving I could have done a lot worse.

Well, I must get some sleep if I’m go continue rising at 5:00. Good night!

Day Two Hundred Sixty-Four

January 10, 2011

Monday gets a “pretty good” for sticking to my diet and a “enh” in the exercise department. I did manage to get up at 5:00 for a walk, but I was zombie, complete with the shambling and the mindlessness. No craving for brains as of yet, though. So I got that goin’ for me… Which is nice.

I seem to be having less of a problem restraining myself to reasonable amounts of the brain-blisteringly awesome French peasant bread I’ve been making. I had my usual egg sandwich, two Zone Bars, an apple, two oranges, a banana, a big bowl of broccoli and a medium-sized bowl of my homemade soup. I also cooked more of said soup.

I got to bed at a fairly reasonable hour but, as the next day’s entry will show, it wasn’t early enough.

Day Two Hundred Sixty-Three

January 9, 2011
Grace and me after a very cold run

Grace and me after a very cold run

Maybe in a few weeks I’ll have become reaccustomed to a rising time of 5:00 AM, and will be able to get up for a walk after only four hours of sleep. Not today, though. I got up at 5:00, but I went right back to bed.

My first two meals were Zone Bars with tea. In the afternoon I had an egg sandwich with a little ham and sausage, and a biscotti with tea. During the day I had two oranges, an apple and a banana.

For dinner I had a slice of pizza and a hot dog. After that I still had the munchies, so I had a few slices of my homemade bread, toasted with butter and honey. That was a slip. This bread is a little too good. I’m going to have to set more careful limits.

Well, 5:00 AM awaits. Good night!