Well, clearly, I have been neglecting my mental health regimen. The only one I know works. I looked at my logbook and fuck, I haven't been flying since December.
Yesterday I called up the airport and asked if they had a slot today for a couple of hours. As per their usual practice, they put me on the request list and called me back (during Seder, in fact) to tell me I had a slot at noon with an instructor I've not yet flown with. Got out there on time and met him. He was eating a big thing of rice and beans. I love rice and beans. Sigh. When he finished, he said "so you need a review?" I said yep, quick refresh, do my 3 landings for currency. He said "Cool, let's talk for a bit" and took me in back and grilled me for a while (emergency procedures, airspace, charts) which I thought was a little overdone but also was grateful for the practice. After 30-45 mins we went flying, and did maneuvers, emergency procedures, etc. The main difference was that this guy basically let me deal with comms while flying - ATIS, Clearance delivery, Ground, Tower, New York Approach, etc. and all that in reverse to go back to the airport, only taking calls when it was clear I'd missed hearing Approach call me because he'd asked me a question. I fumbled around - as I'd admitted to him, cockpit management and workload is a weak spot for me, because I trained somewhere really quiet - but I managed to not draw any sarcasm or reprimands from New York Approach (if you ever listen to ATC recordings on YouTube, and see 'Grumpy New York Controller' videos - those guys).
When we came back, we were pretty high, on a straight in approach behind a Cirrus on base which neither of us could see until he turned short final. I ended up slipping us to get us down onto glideslope, and I landed with a bit of side loading on the gear because I was trying to get back to centerline and did it a bit late. I was annoyed with myself, but he said nah, it was fine, and for a 4 month return, a great landing. We went back in and did paperwork, and he said "OK, so next flight let's do the stuff we couldn't do, I want to see you operate out of Brookhaven to see how you handle uncontrolled fields, but given you trained at 7B2 you should be fine, and I'd like you to show me some VOR tracking, and then I'm happy to sign you off."
I said, a little confused, "I didn't get my three landings, you need VOR tracking to sign me off to rent?"
He said "Wait, didn't you need a biennial flight review?"
I said "No, I'm not due until December." He laughed and said "Whoops, I thought you needed a BFR, so I was giving you a BFR! No problem, I'll sign you off to rent right now, and if you want to do the next flight, I'll just sign you off for your BFR!"
Which is pretty cool, last BFR I studied for and everything. This one I think I had around 85% of the answers tip of my tongue without having touched an airplane or book for 4 months, so that's heartening.
Then I got in the car to go home and got back on the Long Island Expressway.
And I laughed for like ten miles. I felt great. I realized I'd been ignoring my critical mental health regimen. I hadn't been keeping up with the only thing I know for sure works. I picked up my phone and tweeted "Flew an airplane. Immediately felt better about everyfuckingthing."
Hung out with some friends on the way home, and stayed with them for dinner. They all had huge bowls of spaghetti squash and turkey bacon/sausage carbonara. I had one forkful, literally, to taste it, and took a minute to eat it. Then I had an apricot (one apricot) and took a minute to eat that. Then I had my strawberry-poop-flavored 11oz protein shake, a water, and a cup of tea, and I was fine with it. Finally, as I've been doing meticulously this week, I food-logged the bite of squash casserole, the apricot, and the shake and water.
I don't want to declare I've turned a corner or anything. I mean, I flew today, that always makes the day awesome. But I wonder if I'm just starting to come out of carb withdrawal after 5 days. That would explain a lot.
My scale informs me I've lost 10 lbs this week. I'm sure 90% of that is water weight, but, uh, it still feels awesome. And I'm not dehydrated, I'm passing water more frequently than usual because I'm tracking my intake to make sure I keep up with minimums - the high protein diet requires additional water.
Then, when I got home, I got a parking place on the first pass. On the side I needed to not touch the car until I leave for MA on Thursday, to go get my FAA medical exam and a haircut and see friends before surgery the 3rd.
Today was a good day.
Weight: 321 lb.
Today: 637 cal, 13g fat, 26g carbs (high, bad - the casserole and apricot), 109g protein. 1,426mg sodium (the shakes are full of it), 19 net carbs, 7g fiber (squash and apricot), 8g sugars (too high).