Monday, March 7, 2011

The Gambler

208.8 lbs. Well, I got to see my old friend 210 again yesterday for a brief bit of time. We reminisced and he was a little surprised to be back again. I felt bad because I knew it would only be a brief time for us to get reacquainted. He smiled as he talked about a massive slice of pumpkin cheesecake. I didn't have the heart to tell him that he was probably going to be gone in a matter of hours. Besides, I really couldn't concentrate because 205 was laughing his fat ass off in the corner the whole time. Bastard. He won't be laughing by the time Thursday gets here.

So if you look at the chart you will notice quite a jump from our low point. I literally ate and drank myself sick Saturday. Saturday's weigh in was a surprise since I jumped .2 lbs upwards but there was one saving grace because my body fat dropped to 27%. It has not been that low in a very long time and means I am just a couple of percentage points from being in the normal range for my age. I also did not have a very good sleep cycle Friday. I just didn't get the rest I needed and I tossed and turned all night. Lack of rest will get you every time since that is the period which results in the most fat loss and I kind of suspected the results to be lacking the next morning. Sunday's weigh in was a shock, however, but was also not completely unexpected either.

You see, I gambled and took this whole binge thing to a new level on Saturday. I had a protein shake the first thing in the morning and it all went downhill from there. Christy and I were basically forced to eat fast food because we had such a short period of time to eat between events for my youngest daughter's "Odyssey of the Mind" competition. The first place we hit during the morning break was Jack in the Box where I wolfed down an ultimate bacon cheeseburger and enough diet soda to float a battleship. I couldn't make it through hardly any of the fries. I was feeling a bit queasy.

We then ran back to the competition and walked and walked and walked. Around 11am, my youngest was practically starving so we ran off and grabbed some Arby's. As Marge Simpson so eloquently put it to Lisa Simpson: "Oh Lisa people do lots of crazy things in commercials - like eat at Arby's." I downed another half gallon of diet soda and had two regular roast beef sandwiches. I was stuffed and was still stuffed when we got to the major portion of this gluttonous day.

Around 5:30PM or so, the event was over and we headed home. My daughter had won 3rd place at the competition and was excited because she was now going to the State Competition on the 19th. We couldn't be more proud of her but the girl is a pip, I will explain further in a moment. I really really was not feeling well at all at this point. Christy had to run out to take our oldest daughter to a sleepover as soon as we got home. As Christy did her sleepover run, I read through some Facebook posts and waited for her to return. I also sat and tried to decided what projects I was going to do over the rest of our truncated weekend. As soon as Christy returned around 6:30pm or so, we dug into fixing the back sliding door that is attached to our bedroom. After we got done with that, we both looked at the clock and decided we should just order pizza - we were pooped. Oh and did we ever order pizza.

Now two hours and a medium pizza later, I was hurting more than ever. Yummy, salty, heart clogging bacon and chicken pizza. But somehow, in my addled brain, I decided I could still pack in a good part of a key lime pie like I promised. So I did. I also washed it down with more soda. My stomach was stretched so much I thought I would cause internal damage if I moved, seriously. It was awful. It was horrible. The rest of the evening was shot and once again I slept like crap. My body was screaming at me to make it all stop. There was no possible way to eat any more than I did. The upside is that my weight jumped and the downside is: my weight jumped. It still is number two among my all time weight jumps. I hate it because it is a huge weight jump but I love it because it gets me back on track a bit and makes the weight loss week over week greater. I have had a feeling I was getting diminishing returns the past few weeks because I failed to embrace binge day which put me at a "starvation" risk. It's a gamble but I think it will all work in the end. Right now, the losses thus far are more consistent with what I saw the first few weeks. So it is very possible to see 202 or even 200 this week which would be sweet.

Now I mentioned earlier that my youngest was quite a pip. She is headstrong, dramatic and dour about everything. Our mental picture of her little life away from us is one of constant struggle against teachers, fellow students and people involved in just about any extracurricular activity she chooses. By her own account, we would think she was universally loathed. It's Daisy vs. The World dammit! But, of course, this is the furthest thing from the truth. In all actuality, her teachers, fellow students and team mates all think highly of her. She is friends with almost everyone. Sometimes I can not help but view her as a little Hitler. She has Germany and Austria but, oh yes, she must have Poland and Russia! Muhahahahaha. But as I view her sweetness and kind nature away from home, it assures me she will not be plotting an ill fated land war against the Red Menace - yet. Gosh but I was so much better in 4th grade, wasn't I? Uh, no.

You see, I was quite a pip myself in the 4th grade. I was trouble with a capital T. I was in the Principal's office probably more than I was in class. I hated my teacher. I was the scourge of Lakeview Elementary's 4th Grade Class. Personally, I knew the world was against me the first day of school. However, I did have some logical reasons to believe such a thing.

The very first question my teacher asked, our first day of 4th grade, was: what LDS do you belong to? As each kid rattled off a number, I sat terrified. I didn't belong to a LDS whatsoever. I had no clue what it meant, really, when he asked. I did put two and two together after a moment and realized he was asking what LDS church I belonged to. We did live in one of the most highly populated Mormon cities on the planet at the time: Roy, Utah. The city had so many large Mormon churches, they actually gave them numbers. These numbers were preceded, of course, by the acronym LDS.

Now I really have nothing against Mormons, I honestly don't. I did learn more about Mormon history in grade school than I ever cared to or wanted. All in all, I believe Mormons to be nice people (part of my family is Mormon). But in Roy, the Mormons did seem to have a thing against anyone not Mormon. So when it got to be my turn and I said I went to the sole Baptist church in town, my teacher's face became overcast and he quickly moved on. Even though I liked living in Roy, I will tell you that our church was vandalized a number of times while we lived there. That was an awful feeling and another reason I knew my dark brown hair and olive complexion were not very welcome in Roy, Utah.

Despite all of this, I did love 4th grade. There were all kinds of new things to learn amongst the fair haired and blue eyed children of the damned. Below is a picture of my class (I am behind the teacher in this photo):

Around the middle of 4th grade, we started to learn economics. I remember sitting with my classmates and cutting up scores of "class" money the teacher had printed. We each got a set amount and we had to figure out some way to set up a business or a service to earn more class dollars. It was a massive project for our little 4th grade class and we also were going to join with another 4th grade class once a week and have a business fair where we would ply our goods or services.

My grand idea for a money maker? I brought in an enclosed shooting gallery I got for Christmas. You got 3 shots for 5 dollars. It was pretty cool. The tip of the gun was magnetic and you could pick up a ball bearing from the bottom of the gallery and a spring loaded plunger in the gun snapped at the ball bearing sending it flying into targets. No one got a prize, they just got the joy of shooting the gun. As you can well imagine, the novelty wore off pretty quickly and I was just sitting there beside my little game earning nothing. I did get to bring a toy to school and that, in and of itself, was priceless.

The next week I brought another toy to school: a set of over sized dice. I also found a way to increase my revenue stream outside of our little business fair with my toy: I inadvertently reinvented craps. Heck, I really had no clue what craps was exactly. In fact, I had never heard the term before. All I know is that I figured out what worked on the dice, number-wise, for me to turn a profit as the house. I soon set up shop in the boy's bathroom and raked in the dough. Some kids made money but a lot of kids lost money. Over a two week period, my little game became the most popular recess activity among 4th grade boys in our school and I wallowed in the excess.

By the time the next business fair rolled around, I was sitting by my lonely shooting gallery feasting on cupcakes and playing with junk I had acquired from other businesses. I had more money than I could ever spend, so I would buy out other businesses and they would then become part of my business. Need cool pencils with the Flintstones on 'em? Well step right up. Looking for a specific baseball card? Go ahead and look through my stock. I had created an empire out of a pair of dice.

About a month into my foray into becoming the 4th grade Vegas of the Rocky Mountains (the games became bigger and the stakes larger each day), I got caught because the other kids could not keep it quiet. There was no need for the children of the damned to shout after every freaking roll but of course they did despite my protests. The din could be heard up and down the hallway. Teachers are smart and they know where there are loud noises in a lavatory, trouble abounds. My teacher, having heard the shouts and laughs and "oooohs", marched right in and we were caught red handed. Wait, let me correct that, I was caught red handed and was frog marched off to see the Principal. The other kids were nothing more than dispersed for taking part in my loathsome criminal enterprise. The teacher and Principal kept throwing words like "gambling" and "craps" at me the whole time - like I knew what those words meant having lived in Roy, Utah for the last 4 years of my young life. The teacher and principal were exasperated. How could this little boy sully capitalism in our school?! He undermined the currency! He has made a mockery of 4th Grade economics! Let me get this boy's parents on the phone and we'll take care of this right away!

When I got home that night my dad looked at me with extreme curiosity and amazement. He still had this odd look on his face as he tried to admonish me without breaking out into laughter. Still, my dad desperately wanted to give me a stern talking to even though he was also simultaneously proud of my ingenuity. "How did you ever figure out how to do this? You do know that gambling is wrong don't you?! How much did you make? How long were you able to keep it going? It's just wrong son to take other people's money like that. Did you have a system to make sure you would always make money?" And so on and so forth.

In the end, I lost my dice and got a pretty bad grade for the class economics project despite having made the most money overall by a wide margin. If I would have stopped while I was way ahead, I would probably not even remember anything about our little economics project. It would have been just another grade school blur of a memory.

So maybe my little gamble on Saturday will pay off this week somehow. As I often said in that 4th Grade bathroom before the dice rolled across the tile floor, "It's not whether you win or lose kids, it's how you play the game." Especially if the odds are in your favor.

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