Monday, 17 January 2022

A year in review: Health and wellbeing, part six

This memorial contains almost a month’s worth of parts – though not all of ‘em are about my health! – and the post you’re reading is the twenty-fourth in the series. 

Blood tests done after I visited Dr Nanda’s clinic on 12 July came back with a normal result on the 15th – the receptionist phoned me to tell me the news. On the 12th I also visited the pharmacy where they keep my scripts; it’s also in Pyrmont. I got some more of the antipsychotic I take each night, and left with them the beta blocker script so that, if my existing supply ran out, I could go back to get more. 

On the 16th I’d been about a week at my target weight (see image below), and was still dieting to maintain my gains; if I let myself go it was easy to put on weight. However I started to alter my regime as too much cheese had resulted in some constipation and for this reason I would eat scrambled eggs for lunch (a meal I take at about 9am).

I was still eating a piece of fish with vegetables for dinner (at about midday), but from time to time adding something new, for example olives or artichoke hearts. Scrambled eggs for lunch might include broccoli and sliced chicken breast and mushrooms, and at Coles I bought bacon and cauliflower so I’d have different things to eat. Dr Nanda had told me to vary diet so as to assure a reliable plenitude of nutrients.

Ten days later I began to have palpitations upon going to bed. I thought this new development might be due to stresses Ming had occasioned but had to promise myself to consult about it with my psychiatrist. I’d in fact on that day tried to make an appointment but they hadn’t picked up the phone, so I’d just left a message for them to call me back. 

At this time (see image below) I was still losing weight – though here I wasn’t actually aiming to lose weight rather I was aiming to keep it off, but in the process of attaining one goal a second comes closer. I’d started by this time to boil veges to have with lamb chops or baked fish, usually something like cauliflower and broccolini, but also pumpkin. 

As usual, my main meal was in the middle of the day – I’d eat dinner when other people were eating lunch – and I was still mostly having cheese with an apple for lunch (taken at about 9am) since I’d decided long before that mum’s preferred regimen suited the achievement of my aims. I could sit on the couch watching ABC News channel while the daily disaster report came over the airwaves while munching on savoury and sweet, and I might add variation by, instead of an apple, choosing from the fridge a plum and a kiwifruit, with the effect (as you can see) being identical.

On 1 August as usual I put up the monthly “Shopping list” but due to personal circumstances this time found the process intensely painful so resolved, in future, to scale back. On the same day I resolved to stop putting dietary intake into my Fat Secret app, though I’d still be entering my morning weight. Noting the bathroom scale’s electronic reading is the last line of defence necessary to keep tabs on food intake; if it goes up I know that I must curtail what I feed myself because otherwise I’ll just keep gaining and things will quickly spiral out of control. As for continuous reliance on recording everything I eat, it’s ponderous and becomes more difficult when eating with friends or at a restaurant because every possible meal ever devised is not found in the app’s database. On the day in question I had hotpot with Ming and Omer at their house and found it impossible to enter the meal using my phone’s software.

I’d started the shopping lists in December 2018 and it wasn’t until 18 September the next year that I included images, in that initial case a screenshot taken at an online interface while shopping with my computer. Photos of receipts started to appear on 24 December the same year, initially to illustrate a trip made to the Fish Market. The first Woolworths receipt appeared on 13 January 2020. At the outset posts comprised mainly lists of items bought and used text only. Once I started diligently including images of receipts, the amount of detail increased but I think that some of the charm of my early posts was lost. In some of them I’d talk about the person who served me behind the counter, or about a fellow shopper in an aisle. For online shopping I’d relay information also about the delivery of each shipment as it arrived at my apartment building. These aspects of the undertaking were eventually abandoned – I’m not sure why – but on 18 October 2020 I began to include screenshots taken from the Fat Secret app in order to illustrate the progress of my (remarkably successful) diet.

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