My Health Journey—Day 2, Pound 2

The clock on my iMac says 6:42 a.m. Allison Krauss & Union Station are playing in the background. (I still remember the day I bought that CD; it was at Cracker Barrel.)

 I’m about three-quarters through my Drizzled Berry Crisp bar. Outside my Florida room, the emerging sun radiates wispy layers of pastel coral and pink into a Wedgwood blue sky.

 Today is starting off well: At my morning weigh-in, the digital scale blinked 375.3. (My starting weight was 377.2 pounds.) I’m smiling.

 My lovely, talented, and smart wife is joining me on my OPTAVIA journey, a fact for which I’m grateful. (At age 71, I’m apt to forget things. She’s much younger, with a lightning-fast mind—good cook, too. By the way, she’s lost 3.6 pounds so far.)

 Except for my afternoon snack, things went well yesterday: Breakfast bar in the morning. Chocolate shake about 9:30. Left-over salmon with a salad enhanced by Skinny Girl Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing. And water. Plenty of water.

 At 3 o’clock I picked out my snack: Olive Oil & Sea Salt Popcorn. I planned to start munching at 3:30, but when the clock hit 3:01, I had a panic attack. Why? Here’s my best guess:

 While serving in the Navy during the Vietnam War, I was assigned to VQ-1, a reconnaissance outfit based at Naval Air Facility-Atsugi in Japan. (Lee Harvey Oswald had been there during his time in the Marines.) The Navy routinely deployed our squadron to the Da Nang Air Base where we had lots of down-time because our aircraft (Lockheed Super Connies, P-3 Orions, and A-3 Skywarriors) flew long spy missions. Ground-pounders, like me, were on-call during the flights in case there were technical difficulties.

 Waiting can be boring, so sailors found ways to kill time. Playing Ping-Pong, for example. Me? I liked to make popcorn—with real butter. “Yum.” (Besides tasting great, popcorn drew a friendly, talkative crowd around my workstation.)

 For a moment, I flashed-back to those days, so many years ago, and got a slight tightness in my chest—feeling like I was going to hyper-ventilate. (Strange.) For some reason, I wanted to rip open the snack-pack and scarf down the entire bag. Why? I have no idea.

 A minute later, I was OK, but not for long. Every tick of the clock felt like a sledge-hammer smacking a giant stale marshmallow. Thump. Thump. Thump. By 3:25, I thought I was going to scream. Time seemed to stop at 3:29. To put myself back in control, I decided not to open the bag immediately. Instead, I took a deep breath. Then, at 3:31 p.m., I gently split open the top and ate the puffed-out kernels—one-by-one.

 I’m sure a really sharp psychologist would have a field day with this story.

 Well, that’s that. It’s 8:04 a.m. Only one-and-a-half hours until my morning shake. (Think I’ll have strawberry.) Looking forward to a great day—though I won’t have popcorn as my afternoon lip-smacker. I’ll try Puffed Ranch Snacks instead.

 Until next time, take care, and God bless.