I assure you, my days of secretly hoping to be discovered and become famous are well behind me. Courtesy of the Narcissistic Death that comes with persistent survival – oops, aging. That said, even knowing that phenomenon, I must admit that I’m not exactly aging with any substantial degree of grace. Or dignity.
That journey from young buck in his prime to my present day is fairly wide when measured in years, unless you are a planet and I was recently beginning to feel a bit like Pluto in all its mass and rejection. I promise, there is a draft diving deeper into my aging disgracefully forthcoming, but for this morning I just want to focus on something that happened over the last weekend.
I had committed to myself to do a bit of a cleanse to shock my metabolism over the weekend. My Dunlap was unacceptably over-inflated. OK, fine…the plan was for the weekend before last, but that somehow derailed fairly early on and I had scrubbed that mission by 10:00 Friday morning. I am fairly permissive with myself…when the Fox challenges me that I’m too hard on people, my stock reply is that “People aren’t hard enough on themselves”. Well, for the sake of argument, let’s consider me one of the “people” in that scenario and I have the body to prove that I am not nearly hard enough on myself.
By a wide margin.
Also, by clothes that breathe a sigh of relief when I take them off.
Cider Con was also last week, so I had hoped to get a jump on the calories I would be recreationally adding to my diet over the course of the week, thanks to a tempting event line up the guys at Cider Bite had created. That being said, I knew that I wouldn’t be starting my cleanse until Saturday morning of this past weekend because Friday was going to be a bit of a blowout between the final event of Cider Con and dinner with my Junior High friend, Ms Vermont.
As expected, I overindulged on a level that would make Henry VIII’s gut clench. Three pints at Cider Bite followed by a margarita – of course, with salt! – and an mole enchilada dinner at Verde Cocina that was so big I could scarcely finish it. I thought it would become literally to die for as I grew concerned that my gut could possibly bust. Dodging that bullet, somehow, by 10:00 pm I was still completely stuffed! I think part of my overindulgence wasn’t just the good company of Ms Vermont, but also a little self soothing I was doing after having to turn down a potential two-week casting as a Stand In on Grimm the day before. I was unavailable for the call times due to interviews for jobs I doubt I will get anyway. Case in point, I was due to drive to Seattle today for a hopefully final interview for a position up there. I’m 90 minutes into my drive and the EVP calls and cancels because his subordinate that I was due to meet with is sick.
Yay, getting up at 5:00 am for no reason.
Oh, who am I kidding…my bladder would have had me up.
So, I come to Saturday morning and begin my Frankenstein-ed diet. I call it Frankenstein because it’s a blend of two mentalities:
The first is a complicated alleged “Star Secret” diet and involves two days of water and specific vegetables. Those I can remember from the list are: broccoli, carrots, celery (all of which I like) and onions (which I appreciate in a nice mirepoix but certainly not as a stand-alone food). You can eat as many of these veggies as you want, but I have learned from experience that sometimes, just sometimes…it’s better to feel hungry than bound up inside.
Also, black coffee. As much as you want. I – of course – consider that a dare, as should any self-respecting Portlander.
This particular program is designed to run for seven days, and on day three you start adding in proteins again with two eggs at breakfast and I forget what else after that. I have done this step before, but not this time around. I just wanted a bit of a shake up to get my body burning the soft stuff around my middle more than the tasty lean stuff it had developed an appetite for over recent years.
I miss the days of having arms almost as big around as my neck.
The second bit of advice I used to cobble together my plan was from the owner of X-Gym in Seattle, who had twice over a five-year period gotten me into the best shape of my life at ages 40 and 45. The results as I celebrated my 45th turn around the sun being even better than those we accomplished for my 40th. His advice was “Don’t eat anything after 6:00 pm” which earned him a nice side eye from me as I asked if he understood the schedule of someone in retail management. Once he understood that I simply was generally not home until after 6:00, he regrouped with the suggestion that I stick to chicken and green beans or broccoli if I had to eat later than 6:00.
That I could do.
So my weekend was basically looking like black coffee, carrots, broccoli and celery in abundance with a dinner each night of chicken and…more broccoli.
And the gym.
No Monster Energy Drink.
No Diet Coke.
Apparently, no razor blades or pills around to just end it quickly, either.
But I was recommitted, and kind of in a big way.
I had gotten a second casting opportunity from Grimm – two in one week is kind of a big deal – and this one points back to that whole I’ve no desire to be famous opener up top. It was for the Wednesday following my weekend of under-indulgence. The call came in the form of an email looking for someone to play a character named Black Claw as an Extra. The hook, if you will allow the pun, was that the same character comes back to shoot again next month in a featured role, although I’m sure it’s still non-speaking since they were putting this out to non-union peeps like me.
That would have been fun, something more than just standing around in a crowd, pretending I knew what I was doing.
They were looking to cast off file photos only and were looking for someone who was “tough and in good shape”. Well, I don’t exactly think I have ever been one to be able to pull off “tough”, no matter how hard on people The Fox claims I am. And “good shape”…well, the person who I had been seeing in the mirror for the last month was becoming less and less of any shape other than round.
Ethically, I had to pass. Even at the scoffs of my mother when I shared that with her – she has my last appearance on the show saved onto her DVR. She thinks. Could be some other Extra with a build like an olive stabbed through with toothpicks.
So, having to say no to that part – where potentially my name would flash by at the end of the show – was tough. Not that I was a shoo-in to get it, but just that I couldn’t even put myself up for the satisfaction of the rejection.
Yes, I did go to the gym both days and lifted some moderate weight before submitting to cardio.
I ate three pounds worth of carrots and two pounds of broccoli, as well as two severely hefty chicken breasts. I think I had a protein shake after the gym Saturday, too. Otherwise, I stuck to the liquid allotments for my plan and consumed two-and-a-half gallons of water and 60 ounces of Cold Brew, from beans The Silver Fox brought me back from Cuba…so there was that indulgence!
And some jitters, to be sure…
At the end of the weekend, I was waking up feeling more svelte – a common trick of the body in the morning as you are both laying down and dehydrated, which will both skew the reality. Visibly, once I was up and around, I noticed that I was thinner through the middle, from below my chest to my slightly-less-overinflated Dunlap, by about an inch. While I may not have lost a figurative ton of weight, I know that I lost a good deal of fluff.
For which my pants thanked me.
Motivated, I adhered to the regimen through dinner on Monday – when I met my parents and we went to Merriweather’s for some small plates.
And a couple glasses of red, red wine.
Walking away from that meal, I decided to reinvest and see what I could do to maintain that diet for the remainder of the week. I’d effectively given myself a cheat day at Merriweather’s so I should mentally be able to remain disciplined for the next four days. Maybe with a small slip here or there for a drink with The Fox. I am stocked up with veggies and chicken thanks to a Costco run he made, so being flexible for a drink here or there with him seems like a reasonable trade.