…pretty much describes my weeks feeling like I’m actually settling down into this city.

Driving back to Buffalo every other weekend for one event or another is taking its toll on me energy-wise. July 5th–8th was for the Witebsky Center‘s DNA Replication & Repair symposium. After that was the Salas–McCulloch wedding on July 20th. This coming weekend (on the 3rd) will be Belgium Comes to Cooperstown (BCTC), at the Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY. I’ve been looking forward to BCTC for a year and a half now since I discovered it, so I have to at least push through this weekend. After this one, I’ll nearly the entire month of August off to recover, and finish this chapter revision Barb & I are writing, and then really dig my teeth into some lab work. Once August is over, I have one last wedding to attend over the Labor (Labour now that I’m in Canada?) Day weekend, and then I’m home free for recovery once again.

Productivity hasn’t been for naught lately, thankfully. Over this week, I managed to get some homemade pickles setup in the fridge, finally finished making some baked cha siu bao (Cantonese BBQ pork bun), and prepared some pickled red onions just this evening after my bike ride. The pickled vegetables will have to wait on the taste-testing, but the cha siu bao was consumed rather promptly (well, half of the dozen were). The flavors were delicious, but the texture of the pork could use some work. I’m really enamored with the tender strands that pulled pork produces, so I think I’m going to play with the pork preparation to recapitulate the pulled–pork texture with the seasonings of the cha siu pork and the sauce filling for the bao.

I also had intentions of making some more hummus tonight, but that fell to the wayside after my evening shower. Roasted garlic & dill, and cracked black pepper hummus are the two planned for this week. Unfortunately, I forgot that I don’t have any portable edibles to consume them with, so I may need to take an early stab at making injera this week to shovel the hummus with.

Speaking of exhaustion, I took an approximately (because the Runkeeper app on my phone started freaking out after the first 9 miles and missed about 3-4 miles after it) 29 mile bike ride today. The plan was to cruise for about an hour and then turn back to head home. I got a little distracted further out on my ride, and I was really dreading the ride back home. Aside from the initial climb out of the Don River Valley, it was not nearly as physically traumatic as I was expecting. My legs have developed a lot of flat & gentle hills strength/stamina, and my steep incline climbing power is better than I would have hazarded (I still need more stamina in this regard, however). I needed about ten minutes to recover my heart rate after the final climb home (and to stretch), but after that I was more than fine to just go walk back down the hill and take a 1.5 mile stroll to get some pizza for dinner. 17–mile rides used to leave my legs like Jello, hardly able to climb my stairs when I got home. This is one hell of an improvement! 50–mile bike rides may actually be in my future before winter hits!

In addition to that, the weight loss has also gone slowly but surely. I still haven’t slid down past 200–lbs, but it dawned on me the other day just how significant this weight loss has been. I moved to Buffalo for graduate school, and I was somewhere in the 220–lbs range. Never in my time living in Buffalo did I ever weigh less than that. In fact, I was often 230 lbs or heavier, even when I was having good periods of chronic exercise. So where I’m at now is some mid-college years weight that I haven’t been at in about a decade now. That was a shocker when it hit me; it’s been ten years since I was this slim (if you can call it that)! So. Now, whenever I have a meh week and make little progress (if any), I just remind myself that my body hasn’t dealt with this since my college years. Take a deep breath, and just keep trying next week. ‘Cause I certainly have not been a slouch about this thing, definitely not anymore.

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