Random summer thoughts

No single topic today, just keeping the blog semi-warm while the mercury creeps back up as we expect in late July.

My health lately has been a mixed bag. I never have been able to shake the constant paresthesia in my right posterior thigh and lateral aspect of my right foot, which first appeared after my back injury in February. Neither gabapentin nor pregabalin seem to have had any effect. At this point, I must operate under presumption this will be permanent. Especially disappointing since it has affected my leg strength and gait. Whether spine surgery for the underlying pathology would help this, so many months out, is questionable.

Fortunately, the symptoms do not prevent me from getting in lots of walking time on the treadmill. And that brings me to the upbeat side of things.

Without having done a lot of research into it beforehand, I applied through the company’s wellness portal to participate in a weight loss program called Naturally Slim. Actually, though my weight loss goals were not prodigious, I have found it to be a very welcome aid to what I had already started with monitoring food intake. The primary emphasis in the regimen is on portion control, which I have always known to be my biggest problem. Where it helps the most is in putting some structure around the exercise: eating slowly to “taste every bite,” waiting until one is actually hungry to eat (which can zap snacking), and eating one food at a time. While I don’t profess to follow all the prescriptive habits, I have been able to add some of that structure into reducing the amount of food I eat each day. I know the NS gurus abhor calorie counting, but this quant can’t help it, especially when the Fitbit app makes it so easy. What I have been able to tell that since joining the NS program, my daily intake has dropped from the 1800-2000 kcal/day range to around 1400. The key will be, do the new habits I’m learning now result in the behavioral equivalent of “muscle memory” that will keep me in that same ballpark over the long haul?

Between that and the increase in calorie burn from exercise, the weight loss is coming right along. 24 pounds in a shade over two months. Other metrics are positive as well. Blood pressure is now in ideal range, and lipid profile done in June was better than I could have imagined. Perhaps at next PCP visit we try getting me off the lisinopril and atorvastatin and seeing how I do. Better living without chemistry?

Elsewhere in life. I have also been picking up the pace in the reading department. This is largely due to my next second-job endeavor, starting this fall as an adjunct faculty member in an online master of health informatics program. I just had to submit my syllabus for the fall course in healthcare IT networking and security, which required that I get through the required texts, as well as suggest some other readings for students that actually connect back to healthcare. I also cooked up some interesting writing assignments. The term begins in five weeks.

All of this, plus the regular work schedule, has cut significantly into social media presence. My Facebook time is way down, and I hope my much reduced volume of status updates isn’t disappointing to those who, I’m sure (LOL) hang on my every syllable of wisdom….

Last but not least, we have put some weekends aside in pursuit of Zora’s RAE (Rally Excellent Advanced) title. Having achieved all three of the basic titling levels in rally obedience, the objective here is to earn qualifying scores in both the advanced and excellent classes—at ten separate trials. Each one of these blessed events is referred to in the jargon as a leg, also sometimes termed a double Q or QQ. Well, after two QQs in Maumee at the beginning of June, and two each the past two weekends in Monroe and Moraine, Zora and Rita are up to six legs—though not to be confused with an insect. We return to Moraine for two more trials next month.

OK, enough computer time for now. I have a stack of print magazines to get through (hopefully with some useful nuggets of information I can leverage in one or more of my jobs) before the weekend is over. Stay cool!


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