Moving to Mexico: Chapter 16
We Will Be There Soon!
240 Pounds: 5 Pounds to go.
OK, so this is not supposed to be a diet guide, but I mentioned that part of my reason for choosing Tulum is the healthy lifestyle. I don’t want to bring the same ME that I have lived with here to my new life there. Part of a move like this involves a self-evaluation and there are some things that need change.
I also love the beaches and don’t want to look like this guy:
Do you want to lose weight? I found what works: starvation.
American adults are encouraged to eat about 1,800 to 2,400 calories per day. I think I mentioned that I like doing the numbers for things like this so here are how my numbers look:
BMR (Basic Metabolic Rate)
66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years) x 1.725
My Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) with regular workouts is 2,680 calories per day. I was advised to eat clean and to reduce my calories by 20% to lose weight, so eat about 1,851 calories. I did this, and it did not work. I reduced my calories to 1,500 per day and it still did not work. Even with regular workouts (cardio for 20-30 minutes followed by a cardio/resistance weight workout of 30-45 minutes) it just did not reduce my weight.
And then I found a very silly YouTube video:
“How to lose 10 pounds in 3 days/Military Diet: Does it really work?”
The guy in the home-shot video is very animated and does not look like he was ever in the military. But he tried this diet and it worked, kind of. He lost six pounds, not ten. But he started at 157 pounds so he’s not even close to the average weight of the American male: 195.7 pounds. (Apparently, that number has been rising as we get progressively fatter as a species. From 1988-1994, it was 180.7 pounds.) Proportionally, he did well. At almost 250 pounds, percentage-wise (3.8%) even if I fall short like he did, I should still lose about 9.5 pounds on this diet.
Here is the diet: http://themilitarydiet.com/
So far, it works. I have not really been hungry save for a couple of late-night cravings when my stomach was rumbling. I fought it off, telling myself, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” So far, so good. Most people will scoff at this diet as it seems to average just under 1,000 calories a day for me. I modify it a bit; swap ice cream for more meat and/or fruit and vegetables. It’s working. I’m not hungry, I don’t have headaches, I’m drinking plenty of water, doing light workouts and I feel fine. If you would have told me last year that to lose weight I would have to cut my calories in half, I would have told you to keep walking. But right now, just eating less (a lot less) is working. I doubt I’ll be considered “slim” in my swim trunks when we visit Mexico in less than two weeks, but I will be “slimmer” and that’s a good thing.
A recent Realtor estimate of value of our home in Walnut Creek reflected the same range I calculated, with the possibility of a higher price if the market holds, a much higher price if we have people who really want the place and a bidding war begins. That is reassuring news.
When we bought our place back in 2001, there was another family that wanted the house, so the listing agent suggested we increase our offer a bit. I followed her advice, raised our offer by just $1,500.00 and wrote a detailed, personal letter to the seller about our family and how we would use the home to raise our son who was due to join the world in just a few weeks. We got the house. *My “worthless” English degree paid off again.
Speaking of education, my son and I just took a trip to the University of Nevada Reno. He wants to specialize in sports journalism and UNR is listed as one of the schools in the USA where that niche degree program is a specialty.
It was a two-hundred-mile drive and we did not know how long we planned to stay so we packed an overnight bag, just in case. Betty had a trip to stay with friends up north, so it was a boy’s trip.
The trip was a great bonding time for us. We talked a lot on the ride up, mostly about family stories, passing on our legacy as a people down to the next generation. My lineage is a complicated tale and explaining it to my son was illuminating for him.
“You have four cousins from your two aunts. I have six cousins, but only two are real blood cousins. The other four are ‘half-cousins’, something like that.” I said.
“How does that work?” He asked.
“My grandmother remarried after my mother was born and had two more daughters, so the kids those two daughters had are from my mother’s half-sisters.” I explained.
“Wow. That is complicated.” He said.
“I never knew any of this growing up. My grandfather treated my mother and us like we were his own. I learned the truth when I became an adult and my mother explained it to me.”
“Did that hurt you?” He asked. What a perfect question.
“It did.” I said. “At my grandmother’s retirement party, she introduced me to some of her friends, describing me as ‘one of the dark ones’.”
“That’s what I thought. I have green eyes, brown hair and I’m as Caucasian-looking as anyone. I guess she was comparing me to my cousins. Three of the four are blonde. Maybe that’s what she meant. I don’t know. I’m sure she didn’t mean to hurt my feelings, but she did. Never before had I felt different or self-conscious about my appearance. I never forgot that comment and it drove us apart a little that day.” I explained this carefully to my son. I did not want him to dislike his great-grandmother, but I have made it a point to be honest with him.
“Did you ever talk to her about this?” He asked.
“No. Son, my grandmother has said lots of things that had barbs attached. It’s just her way. I didn’t need to call her out on it. I was probably just being too sensitive anyway.” I said.
“I don’t think so.” He said.
We were treated to a tour of the university campus by a 3rd year language student who said “like” and “ummm” so many times that I questioned his choice of major. The tour was amazing, though. We were both very impressed by the campus, but I was a little wary of the school being just a few blocks from the casino area. Downtown Reno is not as safe as the gambling area of Lake Tahoe. It’s like a small, low-rent Vegas. Fortunately, our son would not be old enough to partake in any of the bars and casinos for years, but I was sure he would explore the place. I would.
We decided to head home. The ride was filled with conversations about the university and how surprised we were. It was a lot nicer than we had anticipated. Traffic was light, and we made good time. We clocked just over 400 miles that day so when we got home we had some food and hit the sack. We have a few more colleges to visit. It’s an exciting time but one that is also a bit worrisome. I just want him to get into a good school, like any parent.
Leaving our home state (and nation) with a one-year countdown reminds us every day that we are on our “last” of many things. We attended the Walnut Creek Twilight Parade Saturday night and were reminded that this would be the last time we would attend that annual celebration as residents. If we get to see it again in the future, it will be as returning visitors. The weather is getting a bit cooler and the days are shrinking as Fall descends upon us, reminding us that our last summer is over.
Our days are numbered here so I’m doing all I can to make the most out of it. Knowing that we are leaving after so many years here is a bit melancholy. I find myself lingering over a view, a shop or a restaurant a bit longer than I normally would. However, I have to admit that when we tell people what we are doing I always get the same reaction: envy.
“I wish we could do that.” They say. And I am reminded of just how blessed we are to be able to take this leap. It’s going to be an adventure and while I sometimes feel pangs of anxiety and even sadness to be leaving, most of the time I am grateful and looking forward to the next chapter in our lives. We have gotten too comfortable here. It’s time to shake things up a bit.