First Year Journal

One year of (almost) weekly notes about my experiment

Week 0

  • Weight: 370.0

This is what I weighed the week before I started taking the mints in September of 2018. 

Week 1

  • Weight: 361.0
  • Loss/Gain: -9.0

My first week has really been nine days. I took my first mint last Saturday at the lake. We were having a day of family fun but, as I often do, I felt nervous and worried. I put one of these mints I’ve had for months under my tongue and a little while later felt my anxiety go away. It seemed very fast. It came off me like water evaporating. The big surprise was I immediately didn’t care about food. It made me wonder if I have been overeating mostly to feed my anxiety. Time will tell.

I took two mints each day since. I have a nice routine at work. I take one after I get there and one when I leave. The mints seem to last about 8 hours or so for me. When I take a mint, I don’t feel “high” or happy. It just seems to make all of those artificial nervous feelings and thoughts go away.

I decided to weigh on Mondays. So, I stepped on the scale and found I had lost exactly a pound a day. Nine pounds! That would be a common occurrence if I had started a diet but I didn’t. I just take the mints and track my calories. Obviously, tracking calories has an effect on what a person eats. But I have used this same calorie tracker in the past as a diet and this is different. I am just recording calories, not agonizing over what I have eaten and how much I have left.

I’m not sure the weight loss will keep up long term for me. One time, I started taking a blood pressure medicine that completely took away my appetite. That effect only lasted for about two weeks. As long as these mints keep working on my anxiety, I will be happy.

Week 2

  • Weight: 356.6
  • Loss/Gain: -4.4

No anxiety but a lot of shock this is still working so well. Don’t have much interest in food. Weight loss was surprisingly high. I know that will settle down soon. I am perfectly happy to be in the 0-2 pounds per week range. I also know that I will gain from time to time. I don’t think that will bother me. As long as when I eat more, I can stop without anxiety, that is the key.

 

Week 3

  • Weight: 351.6
  • Loss/Gain: -5.0

A bigger loss than last week. That is a surprise. Three weeks in and almost 20 pound lost without dieting. Obviously, my anxiety was in check all week.

Week 4

  • Weight: 352.2
  • Loss/Gain: +0.6

First time the scale showed a gain. Definitely temporary. Probably catching up with the extra pounds I lost the previous weeks. On the plus side, my anxiety is still in check and I don’t really think about food unless I’m hungry. Assuming this continues, the scale will right itself eventually. Regardless, it is just a metric I am collecting to measure if losing anxiety translates to losing weight. Reduced anxiety is the real goal.

Week 5

  • Weight: 351.2
  • Loss/Gain: -1.0

This was the first week where I can say I honestly cared more about the anti-anxiety benefits of my mints than the secondary weight loss. Good thing! The big loss I was expecting didn’t show up. However, I had a great week enjoying my low anxiety life. I still don’t care about food and I’m eating less. There are so many variables in what the scale says that it is pointless to worry about it, even if I was capable of worry which I don’t seem to be these days. The point of the weight metric in my experiment is to see if my reduced anxiety leads to weight loss over time. One or two weeks just don’t matter. I’m looking forward to another good week coming up and maybe some more weight loss.

Week 6

  • Weight: 348.0
  • Loss/Gain: -3.2

There it is. The nice loss I was expecting last week. You just can’t keep eating less food than you need and not eventually lose weight. I had an interesting experience one day this week when I noticed I was snacking more than usual. Realized it was 3 PM and I had forgotten to take my morning mint. Put that mint under my tongue and my need to snack disappeared.

 

Week 7

  • Weight: 344.6
  • Loss/Gain: -3.4

Good week for weight loss. Went away for the weekend and forgot my mints. I ate more than usual but didn’t go crazy. I think I’ve been counting my calories so long that eating less has become a habit. When I took a mint on Sunday I actually felt the return of not caring about food. That was nice. There is so much else to do in life besides constantly thinking about what I am going to eat next.

Week 8

  • Weight: 342.8
  • Loss/Gain: -1.8

This week is a good example why I use a calorie counter. I went out to a steakhouse on Saturday and I used my app as a tool to plan my meal. Although I eat less naturally as a consequence of lowering my anxiety, it is very easy to eat too much just out of habit. Also, I can keep track from week to week. Metrics are important. I have been noticing a trend to eat more calories. This I attribute to slipping into old habits because I am not any hungrier than I have been in previous weeks. Next week is Thanksgiving so it will be interesting.

I had my six month blood test this week. I’ve had problems with a high glucose number for the last few years. Yesterday, I had my first glucose reading in recent memory that was in the normal range, 104.  That beats my previous three year low reading of 112. I also had the lowest triglyceride number that I can ever remember. I should have a good doctor’s appointment later this week.  Update: I actually got a high five from my doctor. Didn’t care for the actual high five, but having a happy doctor makes you feel like your health is good.

There was one interesting development this week. I played board games with some old friends. It has been a running joke over the years that no matter how carefully the rules are explained I just can’t pay attention. I was shocked at how much more I was able to concentrate. I felt like I was able to start a new game with as good an understanding as anybody else. I hadn’t expected a better attention span to be a side effect of the mints. If it is, they are worth taking just for that!

Week 9

  • Weight: 342.0
  • Loss/Gain: -0.8

The holiday season has started! Not sure what all of the vacation days, office parties and holiday gatherings have in store for my waistline but if this week was an indication, I should be just fine. I went to a party and two Thanksgiving celebrations this week and still lost weight. I didn’t feel the need to overeat so my mints are still working. The only issue is that I like to have all my favorite foods and that is hard to do and still have a lot of uneaten calories at the end of the day (according to my calorie counting app). Since I’m still losing weight, I’m not going to worry about it. The only thing I avoided was candy. History tells me there is no filling that void. Once I start on the chocolate, there is no way for my body to tell me I am satisfied. So, sweets aren’t forbidden, I just don’t feel like there is much point. 

Week 10

  • Weight: 340.4
  • Loss/Gain: -1.6

Very happy with a loss this week. Besides being in the holiday season, we went with the kids and grandkids to an indoor water park for a three day weekend. Not a lot of good food options there but it wasn’t a problem. Because I still don’t seem to have any anxiety about food, I was able to stop eating pizza when I was satisfied after 2 slices and just leave 2 slices uneaten. That is something that hasn’t happened ever in my life.

One interesting development this week was that I wasn’t able to do my usual routine of 1 mint in the morning and one in the afternoon.  I ended up taking 2 mints sometime late in the morning. Taking 2 at a time still seams to reduce my anxiety in general but it seemed to have a remarkable effect on reducing my appetite. I will need to experiment with this in the coming weeks. Not sure if this is a timing issue or a dosage issue but I will find out. Usually I like to take the least amount of any “medicine” that I can get away with. In this case, there may be a better way. So far, I have only experienced not really caring about food but I still get hungry. If I can reduce my actual appetite, that is worth exploring.

Week 11

  • Weight: 339.8
  • Loss/Gain: -0.6

Pretty meager weight loss but it was enough to put me in the 330’s. It is oddly encouraging when the second number changes. These posts are going to be boringly repetitive until the holidays are over. With so much socializing, it is a lot harder to pass on food even when one is less interested. Oh well, I’ll be happy as long as my anxiety is in check. The losing may have to wait until the week after New Year’s.

Week 12

  • Weight: 340.4
  • Loss/Gain: +0.6

Gained a little bit this week. Nothing new to say. Holidays.

Week 13

  • Weight: 342.2
  • Loss/Gain: +1.8

Amazing how often I forgot to take my mint this week. Lots of time off away from my routine and its schedule. I’m not even reminded by my anxiety because I really enjoy this time of year. One interesting discovery this week, I made a double batch of chocolate chip cookies because I thought people would be disappointed if I didn’t. Turns out, it’s just me. Apparently, for me, they are the one food that doesn’t respect the CBD. Whether I took it or not, I couldn’t stop eating them. They are the only food so far that I have found like that. Candy, nuts, ice cream and cake are no problem to turn down. Even other cookies are no problem. But I literally ate myself sick day after day on those cookies. Looking at my calories for the week, I would have actually lost weight if it wasn’t for the cookies. So, I am never making those again. Easy fix.  

It is only Christmas Eve but most of our festivities are over. It will be interesting to see how difficult it is to get back to normal. Previously, this is where my diet would tank. Once I’d get off, the anxiety of restarting would begin and keep my from getting back on track. I have no fears this time. I’m not dieting. Can’t wait to see what happens in the next two weeks.

Week 14

  • Weight: 342.8
  • Loss/Gain: +0.6

Hopefully, this is the end of the weight gain and I will have a nice loss next week.

Week 15

  • Weight: 338.2
  • Loss/Gain: -4.6

I guess a lot of that weight gain was water. Nice way to start the year. I’m back taking my mints every day. Had a bit of general anxiety yesterday. I was afraid that was coming back because of my return to work and the fact that I’ve taken very few mints the last two weeks. Took one this morning and everything returned to my new normal. No anxiety about eating less nor any at work. The true benefit of the mints. The weight loss is a spectacular secondary effect.

Overall, I lost weight during the holidays. That is great considering I ate what I wanted. Obviously, I could have lost more but I am very happy with the outcome. If I continue to control my anxiety, I’m hoping the weight loss will continue. That is the great experiment after all.

Week 16

  • Weight: 338.0
  • Loss/Gain: -0.2

Still taking the mints and don’t have any anxiety about eating. Held on to my big loss from last week which is great. Unfortunately, my doctor told me it is safe to start exercising. That was my last excuse. Next weekend is a holiday weekend for me. I will probably start hitting the treadmill.

Week 17

  • Weight: 337.6
  • Loss/Gain: -0.4

 

Week 18

  • Weight: 333.4
  • Loss/Gain: -4.2

Week 19

  • Weight: 334.4
  • Loss/Gain: +1.0

Week 20

  • Weight: 332.8
  • Loss/Gain: -1.6

Week 21

  • Weight: 335.2
  • Loss/Gain: +2.4

Week 22

  • Weight: 333.2
  • Loss/Gain: -2.0

Week 23

  • Weight: 336.2
  • Loss/Gain: +3.0

Lost 1.6 over the last 7 weeks. Took a long break from my weekly entries.  As I will probably mention on the home page if I ever get the web site done (I have to work on it first for that to happen, apparently), the reason I finally started taking CBD is that my heart arrhythmia was as bad as it ever has been. I finally got in to see a cardiologist and I had to wear a heart monitor for 5 weeks. I don’t think it was the latest model. Basically, I was wearing something the size of first generation Sony Walkman on my belt with 4 leads stuck to my chest with wires going to the device. Feeling trapped or stuck is my number one anxiety trigger so it was an interesting time. I don’t think I could have completed the test without taking mints every day. So, with 5 weeks for the test and a couple after, I didn’t really feel like writing the same whiny blog entry every week. However I got though it and managed to lose a little bit of weight along the way. I am fully recovered from a mild ordeal that seemed major because of anxiety. And, very excited to see what this week brings. Also, I think I have put off exercise long enough. Had the treadmill serviced on President’s Day so I lost my last excuse. (Since getting the OK from the doctor was my last last excuse.  I had to create another one.  “This treadmill must have maintenance before I start!”)

Week 24

  • Weight: 330.6
  • Loss/Gain: -5.6

Obviously a great week weight loss wise. More importantly, had my best anxiety week probably ever. Started walking on the treadmill finally. I usually start very slow to protect my knees but I have already lost so much weight I started with 30 minutes. I will probably stay there for a while and just increase the speed slowly.

It’s always disappointing the first week of eating less to know that although you lost a lot of weight, it was mostly the water that your body carries when you eat a lot of food. The flip side of that is that if you gain, or don’t lose, when you have been eating healthier for a while, you haven’t really gained as much as you think. So, even though a lot of this 5.6 was water, it is still the water I added the last few weeks and my total loss is still valid.  

Week 25

  • Weight: 326.4
  • Loss/Gain: -4.2

Another great week. Walked almost every day on the treadmill and stayed more than 1,000 calories below my calorie counting app maintenance goal like it was my religion. Which I sort of turned it into since I’ve made it my goal for Lent. I usually don’t give up anything for Lent but I did a small fast on Ash Wednesday and enjoyed it, so I thought I would continue eating less through Easter. Attending church on Sunday is one of the few effective natural anxiety reducers for me.

Week 26

  • Weight: 322.6
  • Loss/Gain: -3.8

I expected to lose less this week. Usually, when I start eating less, I see a two weeks of big losses and then settle down. This was a surprise. It will probably settle down next week. If not, I will have to look at how many calories I am eating.  I do not think it is a good idea to lose consistently more than 2 pounds a week. I am going to continue with my current goals through Easter and re-evaluate.

My anxiety is still in check. The unfortunate part of setting my goals for Lent is that my tracking is starting to feel like a diet. Diets encourage the idea that you must be perfect therefore they naturally add anxiety which ultimately leads to failure. I do believe that short term goals are OK but perhaps 6 weeks is too long. I am going to continue for now but plan for a day after Easter that I eat extra calories and then just get back to tracking calories only as a metric.

Week 27

  • Weight: 321.0
  • Loss/Gain: -1.6

There it is, back to a normal weight loss. Great week. Hit my calorie and exercise goals every day.

Had a good week with my anxiety. Kept walking on the treadmill and started physical therapy for my back. It is amazing how much daily exercise helps. Also, our grandkids came down this weekend. I’m getting into cat poster territory but snuggling with grandchildren is the best natural anxiety reducer in the world.

Week 28

  • Weight: 318.8
  • Loss/Gain: -2.2

Nice, normal weight loss this week.  No trouble with anxiety.

The big excitement this week was Tubaggeddon! When I started this experiment, I as wearing 5X shirts. I quickly went down to 4X and now those are too big. I have storage tubs in the garage with clothes from 2X (never worn) to 5X. I went through every tub and replaced my 4X clothes in the closet with 3X and donated 65 items to Goodwill. It was very satisfying.

Week 29

  • Weight: 314.6
  • Loss/Gain: -4.2

This is crazy to me. Looking at the metrics, this week I ate fewer calories than any other week and burned more calories through exercise.  Even so, I am surprised by the amount of weight loss. I am not starving myself and I am eating when I am hungry but I don’t seem to have the same appetite as before. I still think 0-2 pounds is the best weekly range for long term weight loss. Although it occurred to me this week that the 2 pound limit doesn’t take exercise into consideration. Even so, I am losing more weight than I should. If this continues, I might try to eat a little more than I currently am doing. This may be the best problem I’ve ever had.

Week 30

  • Weight: 312.2
  • Loss/Gain: -2.4

Solid week with anxiety in check. Lent is over so I am free from my goal to have 1,000 calories extra each day. Back to my normal where I only try to eat less than I need most days. I made it every day except one during Lent when I missed by 70 calories.

Week 31

  • Weight: 315.2
  • Loss/Gain: +3.0

Um, what? I’m sure this looks like I went crazy after Lent but I had a perfectly normal week. Most days I had 1,000 extra calories, never went over and ate all of my calories on two days. I also burned more exercise calories than ever before. The good news is that I laughed when I saw the scale. I know it will correct itself. Looking forward to next week. I don’t recommend weighing more than once a week but I have a mystery to solve so I guarantee I will weigh every day (this week only).

Week 32

  • Weight: 313.4
  • Loss/Gain: -1.8

Had a lot of fun weighing myself every day this week. Still have no idea what happened last week. My wife said I must be building muscle due to all the working out but she said it in her mom voice so I’m not sure I believe her. Anyway, back to the weekly weigh ins. The best part of this is how little it bothers me. My anxiety is in check and I continue to be a healthier person. If I keep doing that, I will weigh less.

Another negative is that my treadmill broke. It is going to take a while to fix. I am trying to walk at lunch but it doesn’t work well for me. On the plus side, we are going hiking on the weekends and I love that.

Week 33

  • Weight: 310.6
  • Loss/Gain: -2.8

Had a nice week, especially considering how little I exercised. That is all.

Week 34

  • Weight: 309.8
  • Loss/Gain: -0.8

Weight loss this week was not too far from what I expected. I ate more and couldn’t exercise most of the week so there you go. Two huge pluses this week was that my treadmill was fixed and I went to the doctor.  Best blood test results in years. All of my previous bad numbers are now in the normal range. My doctor was very happy with me. We talked about how rare it is for a patient to actually lose weight.

Week 35

  • Weight: 307.4
  • Loss/Gain: -2.4

Good week for weight loss and anxiety.  Bad week for exercise. A few weeks ago I turned my ankle.  It coincided with the treadmill breaking so it hasn’t been a big deal.  I guess this past week my ankle decided that it was going to be a problem. I could hardly walk.  Almost had to get the cane out. It was not unusual for me to use a cane when I was over 400 pounds. I went to see the doctor and she said no major damage. I just need to wear a brace for a few weeks and let it heal properly.  So, I won’t be counting on any exercise for a while. I went ahead and bought a rowing machine though. I need to be prepared. It will get better.

Week 36

  • Weight: 306.0
  • Loss/Gain: -1.4

This ankle brace is awesome! Really helps. My ankle continues to improve and I am super calm about the whole thing. Still lost a little weight this week. Good for me.

Next week will be a challenge. It is my annual geek fest. Origins Game Fair in Columbus Ohio. I meet up with some old friends and play board games for a few days every year. Lots of fun and lots of food.

Week 37

  • Weight: 300.8
  • Loss/Gain: -5.2

 

Week 38

  • Weight: 303.2
  • Loss/Gain: +2.4

The Origins convention is over. I had a blast. My ankle was mostly better but I wore my brace anyway.  We walk about 20 miles in 4 days. The scale said I gained but the app said I ate less than I needed so I expect that it will be a loss by next week. I am very tired. Wish I had one more day off.

Week 39

  • Weight: 299.8
  • Loss/Gain: -3.4

Wow, first time I have been under 300 pounds in 30 years!  Never thought I would be at this weight again. I expected to lose but it was still a shock.  I don’t think much about weight and what it means anymore. When I did, it was mostly, “well maybe I’ll get under 300 again”.  Now it is officially weird. Not sure where I am going to end up but I expect it will be lower.

Week 40

  • Weight: 297.8
  • Loss/Gain: -2.0

Another loss. The only problem this week is I had a return of my anxiety some days. It is two things, I think. One is that I am very busy at my job, plus I am doing some contracting on the side and I am working on my web site that this blog will go on. It is a lot of work. I am going to give up on the consulting for now. I think the web site is more important and I actually enjoy it.

I believe my other problems is since I am just under 300 pounds, I have a little anxiety about gaining weight. I think I need a cushion. I will address this next week.

This week is July 4.  There will be lots of food at our house this week.  Next week will be an interesting weigh in.

Week 41

  • Weight: 299.6
  • Loss/Gain: +1.8

I am not on a diet but sometimes if I become too concerned with how much food is going in my calorie tracker, I would say that my eating is diet-adjacent. This happened during Lent when I tried to hit 1,000 extra calories per day. My ankle is much better and I want to get back to walking every day and I feel like I need a cushion between my current weight and 300 pounds. For the next 3-5 weeks I am going to try a little harder to have extra calories at the end of each day. Since I need fewer calories as I lose weight, the only way to accomplish this will be to exercise. This might temporarily add some anxiety but I think in the end, I will end up with less in the balance.

Week 42

  • Weight: 295.6
  • Loss/Gain: -4.0

Great week. No problem eating less food. However, woke up this morning all achy and coughing. This feels like a “feed a cold” situation. I always seem to eat more when I have a cold. My 3-5 weeks of eating less might end up being 1 plus 2-4 later. That’s OK. Still doing well with my anxiety.

Week 43

  • Weight: 298.0
  • Loss/Gain: +2.4

The week went as expected. I ate more than usual. This cough might be settling in for a long run. My wife’s lasted about 6 weeks. I think I have the same thing. Also, we had a 4 day babysitting gig with the grandkids.  So, eating more food but between my mints and the kids, I had a great week.

Week 44

First Monday I can’t weigh. I am out of town and away from my scale. Probably would have been higher. I am on a 5 day vacation and eating strange foods. Having a blast though. Seeing lots of family and beautiful views.

Week 45

  • Weight: 293.4
  • Loss/Gain: -4.6

I had a wonderful trip to see family and friends plus some sights along the way. I love taking a long scenic drive and I had about five days worth. Still took my mints and had an anxiety free week. I did really well with eating for being on vacation. My weigh-in was a surprise.

Week 46

  • Weight: 296.2
  • Loss/Gain: +2.8

So many parties and get-togethers since I came back. Trying to make the most of summer while it is here. Mints are doing their job and my anxiety is in check. Weight went up but like usual, I think that is temporary because although I have eaten fewer calories than I need, I’ve been eating more than usual so that adds some water to the equation. The increased eating will last a few more days then it will be back to usual. Always amazes me that I can just do that now. Eat a little more then go back to eating less with no anxiety at all.

Week 47

  • Weight: 295.8
  • Loss/Gain: -0.4

I try not to use words that people like to use about diets.  I avoid using these words mostly because I am not on a diet but there are several reasons why I avoid different words.  Among my least favorite expressions are, “I was good today” or “I was so bad today.” Those feelings are what most diet companies prey upon. Equating eating too much as a moral failing.  It is not.

I also do not like the word “struggling.” Not because it offends me, it just doesn’t really apply. For me, struggling was what happened when I ignored a diet I was on and ate whatever I wanted. Then, my anxiety would bubble up and I wouldn’t be able to get back on the diet. That is not the case any more. Physically, I have been having a rough 6 weeks or so. I had a cough that lasted a month and now I have sinus troubles. I hurt my wrist and then I hurt my ankle (again). Along with all of that was the end of Summer activities. In the past, I would have said, maybe I’ll diet again in the Fall. Instead, even when I eat more than usual, it almost always turns out that I am within the calories I need for the day. Because of my mints, if I do eat more than usual, it doesn’t bother me at all. Calm is good.

Week 48

  • Weight: 290.8
  • Loss/Gain: -5.0

Excellent week with anxiety. Excellent week for weight loss. It’s so strange that even after all of these months, I often forget to take a mint. It’s not until I notice that I am anxious or that I seem to be obsessed with food that I remember I forgot my morning or afternoon mint, or both. It is also strange that each time I obsess about food and then remember I did not take a mint, as I’m taking it I think, “Well, it probably won’t work this time.” But it does. Every time. You think I would believe that by now. I guess 48 weeks of magic hasn’t yet overtaken 48 years of disappointments.

In order to lower my general anxiety level that the mints fight, I thought I would like to put at least 10 pounds between me and 300.  I made a special effort to take all of my mints this week and the results were fantastic.  I also managed to get exercise back in my life. The main purpose of exercise is that it lowers my anxiety but burning the extra calories is very nice too.

Week 49

  • Weight: 291.0
  • Loss/Gain: +0.2

Another great week managing my anxiety. Lots of exercise helped. I ate less food than I needed so the scale is irrelevant this week.

Week 50

  • Weight: 292.8
  • Loss/Gain: +1.8

Interesting week. I added a bonus small game convention to my annual rotation last week. Had a lot of fun and very little anxiety. I ate less than I needed and walked a lot but the scale showed a gain. Just shows how irrelevant the scale is week to week.

Week 51

  • Weight: 295.2
  • Loss/Gain: +2.4

I had a big meal the night before my weigh-in. That seems to temporarily add a few pounds. We’ll see what next week brings.

I have been discovering the last few weeks that I have lost weight in my feet. A lot of weight. I started out wearing extra side shoes with Velcro straps and now the straps can’t go any tighter. I need to find a shoe store one of these days and see what my shoe size is now. I feel like I am wearing my big brother’s shoes. I’ve also lost a hat size. I don’t wear many hats so that isn’t a big deal. Still, it’s crazy to think about getting smaller in your head and feet but it is happening.

Week 52

  • Weight: 289.4
  • Loss/Gain: -5.8

Great way to end my first year with CBD. Great week with anxiety. Great week for weight loss. I have my 10 pound cushion between me and 300 pounds. I will finish my year with a separate post that summarizes my first year.

Find your Calm

CBD affects everyone differently. But studies have shown that CBD may help increase concentration, maintain healthy stress levels and reduce the desire to “stress eat”. CBD does not make you feel high, just calm.

Find your Calm

CBD affects everyone differently. But studies have shown that CBD may help increase concentration, maintain healthy stress levels and reduce the desire to “stress eat”. CBD does not make you feel high, just calm.

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