Ship’s Log–February 4th, 2015

PicShells

I shouldn’t have had that late night beer and snack tonight, I know that. This doesn’t help me reach my goal; in fact, it will probably put my weight up higher tomorrow. I really needed it, though.

What I do for a living involves going to public hearings and helping my clients present their development applications. This might be something as large as a 200 unit townhouse development with 60,000 square feet of retail along the roadway…or it could be as small as a single home that needs a little setback relief. Both are just as likely to bring out crowds of neighbors who oppose the application, and nights like that are NO FUN.

Tonight was especially NO FUN. My client was trying to rebuild a home that had been destroyed in Superstorm Sandy two years ago. The new floodplain regulations require the new home to be built much higher. He wanted to move it from its original location, which was only 3 feet of the shared property line, to a comforting side yard setback so that the taller house wouldn’t loom over his neighbor’s lot quite so much. This meant moving it closer to the street (it is a corner lot), which required variance relief because his lot was so darn narrow that the only house he could legally build within all the required setbacks would have been 15 feet wide (a.k.a. a railroad car).

It seemed like a no-brainer to me, but the whole neighborhood showed up to oppose it. I don’t enjoy hearings at all when they become so…adversarial. I prefer a collaborative process, where everyone can leave feeling satisfied, but once the neighbors started testifying that their issue was mainly personal, saying things like “Well, I wouldn’t have a problem if it was the old owners building this, but I don’t agree with this man doing it,” it became clear that there was no compromise possible.

In the middle of the hearing, I learned that the crowd included one of the Things’ elementary school teachers. She’s a really nice lady. It’s hard enough to make a roomful of strangers unhappy, but it’s even harder when you know and like one of them. I did the best I could for my client, because that’s what professionals do, and his application was approved (if only just barely), but the stress of being in that situation is immense. A cup of chamomile tea just wasn’t going to do it. Stress eating won this round.

Distance to goal weight: 24.5 pounds.

Fitness:

  • 10 push ups, sit ups, and squats
  • 30 minutes strength training

Breakfast:

  • Whole grain English muffin with egg, vegan Canadian bacon, and Daiya cheddar (about 250 calories in total, which I double checked today just to make sure I wasn’t overdoing it with this combo)
  • Whole fruit juice: banana, strawberry, blackberry, oranges, frozen blueberry, mixed greens, chia seed, and water
  • Coffee with vanilla soy milk

Morning Snack:

  • White tea

Lunch:

  • Tempeh, shiitake, and red pepper with spicy miso glaze
  • Kale salad
  • Coffee with vanilla soy milk
  • Apple with peanut butter and brown rice syrup

Afternoon Snack:

  • Chai with soy milk and honey
  • Homemade macadamia nut cheese and crackers

Dinner:

  • Friend rice made with vegan chicken

Late Night:

  • Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale
  • Gluten free crackers and guacamole
  • Handful of chocolate chips

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