Fitness – and a smoothie recipe

I’ve been trying to recover some of the bodily good feeling I had when I started writing this blog. A few years ago, some shit happened that made my body a continual source of pain for me, that caused me to gain substantial weight, become even more inflexible than I had been before, and, generally, feel like shit. Pretty much constantly.

In recent months, I’ve been stretching, I’ve resumed working out twice a week with a long-time hot trainer, and I’ve been eating healthily. When I was at a friend’s kid’s birthday party a couple of months ago, my friend, his husband, his sister, and his best friend all were singing the praises of Noom. I had been hearing the ads for Noom on all my favorite podcasts (Lawfare, Rational Security [RIP], Lovett or Leave It, The Daily, etc.], but had been – as I generally am to advertising – mostly immune. But hearing them rave, and seeing them look much trimmer, pushed me over the edge, and I thought, OK, I’ll try it.

So I downloaded Noom, and quickly, I was sold on the game-ification of healthy eating it does. And, I was learning a lot. I wasn’t crazy about the purported “PSYCHOLOGICAL,” “SCIENCE” claims they make about how, why, what they do works. But it was fun. And I was learning a bit – not so much the psychological stuff – although even some of that was helpful – but more, about food. I learned something I should have known intuitively, and, if not intuitively, at least from the world around me: that if you eat less calorie-dense foods, they make you full, and don’t make you fat.

I previously had struggled to keep my calorie intake below 2,000 a day. I get very hungry, and I’m a bit of a hungry ghost: I don’t easily deprive myself of that for which I hunger. See: addiction. But I found that snacking on grapes was a great way to avoid the sensation of intolerable hunger while avoiding meaningful caloric intake.

And all of this has been working. I can’t claim to be much more flexible, alas – notwithstanding diligent (and even compulsive, manic) stretching with beautiful women. Nor am I much stronger – notwithstanding my twice-weekly workouts with a hot woman with whom ten years has dulled the original sexual energy that brought me to her, and who now has a husband and a 2-year-old who often joins me in my workouts (and LOVES to hear me say “gesundheit” when he fake-sneezes).

But I do feel better. My pain is diminished. And I’m losing weight at a rapid click. I’m 5’8″. A year before I started the blog, I weighed 220. I was, genuinely, fat. At peak fitness – 2011-2014 or so – I weighed between 175 and 180. I was lifting weights. I looked as good as I’ve ever looked. I didn’t have fat on my body. I did have muscle. Not like gross muscle – but muscle. My waist was approaching 32 inches. Abercrombie & Fitch 31-inch jeans fit me.

And then, things started to go sideways. I started feeling more and more pain and discomfort, and it culminated in a really major surgery. I gained weight in the nine months or so leading up to the surgery, and continued to in the two or three years thereafter. I stabilized – at about 205-210 pounds. And felt (as I said) like shit. That’s where I was until quite recently. I didn’t gain weight in the pandemic, but I did start drinking more.

On June 6, I got Noom. I weighed in at 208.6 pounds a week after that – my peak since that time. Today – about eleven weeks later – I weighed in at 188.9. I’ve lost 19.7 pounds. That’s about a quarter of a pound a day – about 1.8 pounds a week. (Numbers may not add due to rounding.) Noom tells me I’ll hit my (current) target of 175 pounds on October 2. My own little spreadsheet, shown below, is a little less optimistic: it says I’ll hit my target on October 21. I don’t much care. I’m definitely making progress, and that’s good.

Starting weight:6/6/2021208.6
Current weight:8/21/2021188.9
Days76
Weeks10.9
Weight lost19.7
Lbs/day0.26
Lbs/week1.8
Goal175
Days to goal53.6
Weeks to goal7.7
Goal dateOct 21

Yesterday, as my trainer and her son were together on Zoom, my trainer was drinking a bright green smoothie. She was extolling its virtues. We share some tastes; we don’t, others. She recently recommended a god-awful podcast to me. I hated it because, among other things, the host seemed to answer all her listeners callers, Alex-Jones-like, by recommending they buy her products. (I can’t remember, now, the podcast, or her products.) When I complained to my trainer, she said, “Oh, I pay no attention to that. And anyway, I don’t need her products: for three years, I’ve just drunk this smoothie every day, and it’s GREAT!”

“What’s in it?” I asked.

I’ve struggled, in the past, to enjoy a green smoothie. I love me a peanut butter/banana/almond milk smoothie. But that’s not gonna help me be full in a low-calorie-density way.

“Apple, pear, banana, lemon juice, romaine, celery, spinach, cilantro, parsley, and water” she said. I had been waiting to hear “ginger” – a flavor I don’t mind, in moderation, but always hate in smoothies.

That combination actually sounded palatable to me.

So this morning, I went to my local bodega and bought two big bags worth of all those things. [I’m often a little manic.] I got myself three apples, a bunch of bananas, three pears, two lemons, and a shit-load of greens. I did some washing, and just a little crude chopping – so I could fit the stuff in the blender. I started with the stuff that took up the most space, that would condense the most upon blending. First the romaine. Then, the spinach. Then, the cilantro, parsley, and lemon juice (because, at this point, I realized I was going to have to divide the whole thing into batches, and I figured, might as well mix that in once).

The big blender was, at this point, full. I poured out 2/3 of the green goop (which I tasted, and which was foul). I left a third in, and added a pear and an apple – each peeled and cored and seeded – and a banana (peeled, obvs). I pureed that, and poured it out into some plastic-storage-containers-we-call-Tupperware-but-which-aren’t. And then I repeated two more times. By the end, I had six big pscwcTbwa’s full of this green stuff. And, I tasted it.

Yum!

I actually liked it!

I mean, it’s a little chewy – I subjected it to more blending before drinking a full glass – but I can see how this well might serve the same purpose for me it does for my trainer: an afternoon snack, between lunch and dinner.

Enjoy!

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