I finally got a full time job! I’m working at Arvato Services, a call center, and I’m a customer service representative for an American bank. Yes, I moved to Canada to work for an American bank. Too funny!

We’re an inbound-only call center, so customers call us. (I didn’t want to work in a telemarketing outbound environment.) Basically, I’m a phone bank teller.

My orientation was on Friday, November 20th and training started Monday, November 23rd. Training is Monday through Friday, 3:45pm to 11:45pm and lasts until January 14th. After that, (THANKFULLY) I’ll be on a different shift.

I still have my part time job at the clothing store and am working around 12-14 hours per week there in addition to my full time job.

I love my new job! I’m learning so much about how call centers work and also about how banking works. Also, working in an office has been so much better for my back.

Adjusting to this crazy schedule of mine has been rough and my wife has been a real trooper because I’ve been a real jerk lately about my long days and running on little sleep. I’m not a good candidate for the late shift and realized that half way through training. However, this shift is temporary and I’m almost done. I’ll know my new schedule the first week of January. I’m hoping for 7am-4pm or 7:30am-4:30pm, this is more up my alley.

My weight lately has been up and down. I’ll be getting back to daily posting with food pics soon (probably Jan 1st, you know, ha ha.)

Thank you all for the kind comments and check ins. In case there are no more posts the remainder of this year, Have a happy holiday season and a happy new year!

Learning About My Behaviors

I’m gaining insight into my binge eating behaviors.

I currently sporadically binge eat due to stress from my chronic back pain, job hunting troubles in my new country/city, and adapting to my new living environment.

The back pain isn’t anything new in my life. It’s been an ongoing issue now for a few years. I’m sure if I was to graph my weight loss, there would be a correlation to my regain of over 100 lbs to the time my back injury occurred. The current outlook on my back problems is pretty good. I believe my back pain is related to leg muscle imbalance and tightness. My quad muscles are very developed (and very tight), while my hamstrings are not as developed (and not as tight, but tight nonetheless.) As a result, after standing for many hours at work, the leg muscle imbalance and tightness cause my pelvis to shift, which makes my lower vertebra shift around and pinch my lower discs causing extreme pain and spasming in my lower back.

I learned about the details of my leg muscles from a recent deep-tissue massage. It was the most painful massage that I’ve ever had, but my body felt the most relaxed it’s been in a long time, after the massage. There was no tightness anywhere in my legs or back, and the massage therapist told me about my leg muscle tightness and development. He showed me some stretches and exercises that I can do to hopefully make things better. So, now I need the discipline to do what he showed me on a regular basis. I have yet to do what he showed me because I don’t have a theraband (yet) and my crazy schedule with work, wife’s work, errands, and other excuses.

About the job hunting troubles, I’ve griped about them before. I’m just in a different place with different standards from what I’m accustomed to. I get really depressed when I look at job postings because I’ve already applied to so many jobs and haven’t heard anything from them. I’m having to fight those negative feelings. I start to think that I’m unneeded or unwanted here, which is probably some weird ego thing going on. Hell, I’m feeling depressed about it just typing this out. There are some services at the YMCA and another place for job hunting which says they’re for immigrants and newcomers but I’ve been told they’re really for homeless people, so I haven’t been because they were dissed. I just feel some help would be nice in this area. School is out of the picture because I need full time work now… Take these thoughts, then add in my back pain and the limitations that it puts on my work capabilities and I get super stressed.

Finally, adapting to my new living environment means that I’m still adjusting to living with my wife. We’re figuring out the joys of living together, which is up and down. She has her personality and I have mine, and sometimes they collide. A very normal part of being human, haha. My new living environment includes the sharing of one car between us instead of having a car to myself. This has been one and sometimes continues to be the most difficult area for me. Rachel and I have to keep up with our work schedules, her school schedule, and off days to track who’s going to use the car. She has to occasionally take the bus because I work too far away to use the bus (which I feel bad about.)  Anyway, going down to one car was unavoidable because of budgetary reasons especially with me having only a part-time job at the moment. If I could have brought my Birmingham job up here, life would be a whole lot better, but that’s a fantasy, and I have to make the best of my current situation.

I do want to mention that my wife works so many long, hard hours, and then also goes to College. Sometimes I’m so selfish about my work situation and adapting to all this that I take her hard work for granted. I love her very much and appreciate everything she does. I want to do more for us and I will as soon as I find work and get a back transplant (back humour.) I know things will get better. We both just gotta have patience. :)

Back to the binge eating… When I’m feeling overwhelmingly depressed and stressed from the above, my first comfort is food. It’s been happening more lately. I’ve thought about going to more counseling but that’s expensive and I don’t know how effective it is. I’m thinking now that I’ve got to better manage my stress because there is always going to be something causing stress. I just have to figure out a way to manage it without resorting to any sort of substance abuse.

This is my insight for today.

Monday, October 26, 2015: Blah Day

I have been feeling a little down about my career prospects. The job market is different up here in Canada. There are tons of competition and I believe my weight and lack of college degree are a turn off for employers. I can’t do manual labor or work on my feet full time because of my back injury. Also, I don’t have the funds to go back to school. Maybe I need to change my attitude about the job market, but it’s tough. I really miss my Birmingham job. It was fulfilling. I felt apart of something great. Up here, not so much.

However, I am losing weight and working part time on my feet. Hopefully this combination will ease up my back pain over time. I just have to stay the course. 

Breakfast was two toasts. One with peanut butter and the other with avocado. Also a banana.

I had an additional banana later in the day for a snack.

Snack: pita chips and hummus
Snack: Dad’s oatmeal cookie
Lunch: Chicken parm and grape tomatoes with poppy seed dressing
Dinner: grape tomato and poppy seed dressing
Dinner: chicken pot pie
Livestrong numbers

Sunday, October 25, 2015: Good Day

 Good Sunday! Yesterday was a horrible food day but I’ve put it behind me. My back is feeling better.


Breakfast: 2 peameal bacon, 2 scrambled eggs with cheese, and a banana.
Breakfast: coffee and a cup of skim milk
Snack: cinnamon roll
Lunch: beef stew
Snack: 2 peameal bacon
Snack: banana
Snack: cookie
Dinner: chicken parm, brussel sprouts, and toast with butter

Tuesday, October 20, 2015: Weigh-In, 5.4 lb loss

  • Last Weigh-In: 437.4 lbs
  • This Weigh-In: 432 lbs
  • Change Between Weigh-Ins: -5.4 lbs
  • Change from start of weigh-ins (Starting weight, 632 lbs, 02/2009) : -200 lbs
  • Last weigh-in date: Wednesday, October 14, 2015


I was pleasantly surprised by this weigh in because I had a brief binging episode recently. My quick rebound from the binge allowed me to have a killer weigh in. I’m back in the 200 pounds lost club.

Sorry I’m posting this so late (this Tuesday post is being made on Thursday). My back pain has been really bad this week. I missed work yesterday because of it. Fortunately, I was able to get a massage yesterday and I have a chiro appointment today after my short shift at work. Also, I have permission to wear black sneakers to work instead of my dress shoes. I still want to get that book on low back pain relief but it’s gonna have to wait until my next payday.

The reason why I don’t post when my back flairs up is because my back pain affects my sleep. This combined with the constant pain, I get extremely tired (and sometimes grumpy) and don’t feel like doing much. The good news is my eating has been fine this week. No binging.

I will stay on path and hopefully have a post for you tonight. :)

Monday, October 19, 2015: Election Day in Canada

It’s election day in Canada, also known as Monday to me because I’m not allowed to vote. Permanent resident’s aren’t allowed to vote. Only citizens are allowed, which is fine with me because I don’t know enough about the Canadian system to cast a vote.

Work was painfully slow today. I worked the closing shift and I’m guessing the election combined with the Blue Jays playing tonight in the playoffs kept folks at home. I’m about to go pick up Rachel at work and wanted to get my blog post completed before leaving.

Tomorrow is weigh-in day. We shall see how my horrible Friday affects the numbers. See you tomorrow.

Last night, I ate this after making my blog post for Sunday. A little lasagna and garlic bread. The items were added to Livestrong for Sunday.
Breakfast: toast with peanut butter. Later I had an apple and a cup of skim milk as well.
Lunch: chili and butternut squash soup
Snack: strawberry-apple sauce
Dinner: lasagna and butternut squash soup
Snack: Granola bar

Sunday, October 18, 2015: Productive Reset Day and a book by Dr. Stuart McGill

Sunday, here lately, has been my reset day at home. A day in which I get ready for a new week. I started the day strong by washing clothes, cleaning up the kitchen, making the bed, taking a shower, and even taking out the trash. My goal was to knock it out early so I could enjoy the rest of my day. Mission accomplished.

I’ve got a busy week ahead at work. I’m pretty sure this is going to be the most hours in a week that I’ve worked thus far at the clothing store. I know it’s only thirty or so hours, but the longer shifts tend to kill my back. I just keep telling myself the best thing I can do is lose weight, which I’m working on. I would like to find a consistent back exercise regiment for the back, but it’s so difficult to do every day. My pain is up and down, and sometimes a spasm can pretty much have me in tears (happened today.) Fortunately with a spasm, it’s a brief moment of pain that goes away. Also, I’m not really having that much numbness in my foot. Another plus.

I might purchase this book, “Back Mechanic: The Step-by-step McGill Method to fix back pain” by Dr. Stuart McGill here at the University of Waterloo. When my back pain flairs up, my first go-to is Google, and I stumbled upon Dr. McGill’s books and he appears to be the leading authority on lower back pain and the exercises to possibly alleviate the issues. However, here lately I haven’t been disciplined enough to be consistent with my rehab programs. So, there’s that.

Didn’t take a pic of the apple I had for my final snack. Calories were tracked in Livestrong app. Here’s my food for today:

Breakfast: toast with peanut butter and a cup of coffee with a cup of skim milk added.
Lunch: 1.5 cups of chili and 1.5 cups of butternut squash soup.
Snack: tortilla chips and salsa
Dinner: lasagna and garlic toast

Saturday, October 17, 2015: Quick Rebound

I’ve rebounded quickly after having a horrible food day yesterday. Today was approached as a new day. A clean slate. While next Wednesday’s weigh in will be affected by my choices yesterday, it is nice to recover so quickly. I worked all day today, my feet hurt, and I’m tired. I’m hitting the hay. :)

I had a wasabi tuna melt and salad for lunch, and then a tea biscuit for an after dinner snack. (I didn’t take pictures of them.)

Breakfast: 2 tea biscuits with peanut butter and a banana
Snack: bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich
Dinner: chili and a salad