Friday, February 27, 2009

Being True to the Process

I wrote the below post earlier this week. However, I removed it pretty quickly because of several things. One is that I just sat down to write a blog without much thought as to what it would be and when I was done I realized I had written the post like a poem or something. And don't get me wrong, I really enjoy writing (professionally, essays, blog posts, etc,) but I've never written poetry really - maybe a couple cracks at it in school, at most.

So to see that I had written something that was not really just a post but kind of a poem or a, hell, I don't even know. Anyway, suffice to say I didn't intend to, and one of the reasons I took it down was that I didn't want people to either think it sucked because I was trying to write a poem (though it clearly has no structure) and/or that I was a pretentious asshole who thought he could write good poetry and needed to share it with the world.

The other reason was how negative it was.

However, I've now decided that whatever it is, it most importantly is where I was when I wrote it, and that is what matters. The purpose of this blog is not to write things I am proud of technically or even content-wise, but to share honestly, openly, both the ups and the downs I experience as I try to create massive change in my life.

The post:

Food, you fucking evil bitch.
You cutthroat, joking, tricky trickster fuck.

Food, you never sleep - you're tireless.
You needle me through night or day, or both.

Food you drain my energy.
The want for you clouds my need to act.
Desires to move and change crumble in your hands.

You're a marrow sucking bastard, gnaw away at all my strength.
You're a junkie's junk, food.
You trap me in a prison constructed from you my greatest vice.

A crack head with a room devoted to the storing, creation, and preparation of crack.
A crack head with another room devoted to the act of smoking it.
Food, what's a more unholy hell than that?

The alcoholic gives up the bottle,
He must not pick it up for at least 3 moderate drinks a day to sustain his life.
What an insidious evil you are.

Food, you are comfort in infancy, childhood.
A reward for success.
A gathering centerpiece, a foundation for fellowship.

A life enriching thing, lauded for millennia in books and stories.
You're an art form at best, a travesty at worst.
A guilty pleasure.

Food you fucking lousy lover, you don't fulfill despite your bluster and bravado.
Your sweet nothings whispered are just that.
When it's over I'm left with no comfort, no thrill, no hope, no calm, no peace.

Food you fucking mother fucker.
I can't BELIEVE I have to stay to survive,
I'd fucking leave.

Like an abused spouse I stay with you and come each day to you.
To feast at your trough.
To gorge on your empty promises.

Fuck you.

I sit on the precipice of fatal sickness from you
Yet healing is to ingest your germs?

Fuck you.

Fuck you for who I have become.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Don't Call It A Comeback

I haven't been to my blog, or any at all, since probably Feb 5.

Towards the end of Jan things started going south for me. I lost motivation, started eating poorly, didn't work out as much, etc.

This continued until just recently.

I was chalking it up to not being vigilant. If I didn't stay focused, aware, in touch with my goals, etc, I figured that was enough to derail me. Essentially: the more I didn't do those things, the more I didn't do those things.

And not doing those things meant the opposite: mindlessness, disconnect, poor eating, binging, not working out much, etc.

I realized recently that while it is true that you breed more of whatever you're doing, at the core of my off-track behavior was emotional unrest.

I was recently able to deal with the issue those emotions were stemming from. And while the outcome was not what I ultimately would have preferred, I know that it was the most healthy decision to make. Extremely hard, but honestly, probably one of the most healthy things I have ever done.

After all, again, what is more important to me then getting healthy, in every way. And what do I cling to now that prevents any possible leg-up, any untapped resource, any available assistance, any untried process, any necessary decision? I've known for the better part of the last year that it was time to put aside any pride, any fear, any wants, and accept that changing my life is a By Any (healthy) Means Necessary affair.

Now, that doesn't make every instance of personal examination any easier.

It doesn't make every internal realization of some unhelpful trait or part of myself that I discover needs to be addressed any more fun.

It doesn't make any of the bountiful times over the last 10 months I've had to humble myself any more enjoyable.

And it doesn't make facing fear - the fear at the heart of choosing to live a life I've never known, the fear of exiting my comfort zone in every healthy action of every day - accepting what I must do does not make that fear go away.

However, every time I do those things: face those fears, own who I am and realize the changes that need to be made, throw away pride and embrace what's necessary to increase my well-being - I grow stronger.

The experience I went through recently brought a vast amount of sadness, but you know what feelings are persevering for me, and are only growing? Empowerment and peace.

Can you imagine such a thing? A life of failure and sadness, despair, hurt, hatred, anger, melancholy, depression. A life seeking a means to heal those feelings through quick fixes, sleep, a drink, a pizza, the pressing desires of the moment, the NEED to be comfortably numb.

That I have been that person, but that I can now step outside the confines of that brutal, self-imposed emotional wasteland and face life, and make the hard choices, and feel empowered? And feel peace wash over me?

It's beautiful. It's so beautiful.

And it never gets old.


Thanks to everyone who commented or emailed to inquire about how I was doing. The support, outreach, and caring of this community is an amazing thing. Thank you again.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Groundhog Day

The groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, seer of seers, prognosticators of prognosticators, awoke yesterday morning to say to that he had indeed seen his shadow and thus winter would continue. However, Punxsutawney Phil had more than just the weather to address; he continued: "I did indeed see my shadow, but oddly enough, I did not see the shadow of a much, much, MUCH larger human. For some reason he didn't cast a shadow. So for him I see no more winter of discontent, but only the springtime of growth and health".

Thanks Double P. Thanks for having faith in me and thanks for inspiring one of the all time great Bill Murray movies.

As you may have guessed from my absence from my blog and from the community, I have struggled the last 10 days or so. But you know what? It was not at all the near chaos I've experienced in the past. I only binged once and still exercised 4 times. Still I was fairly mindless in my day-to-day and my actions, my eating, my workouts, and my overall emotional and physical health suffered for it.

But, that was last week. Now?

Onward and upward baby.

So, here, as I do every year (note: not true in the slightest), are my:

Post-Groundhog Day Resolutions

1. No cheese and no mayo or mayo based sauces (lite or otherwise) for the next year - Inspired by Fried Jeff's cutting hamburgers out of his life, and by Zeus Meatball's saying no to Ben and Jerry's for a full year, I have decided to cut a couple things out of my diet too.

I realized yesterday that cheese and mayo are at that heart of almost all the food I crave and binge on. Cheese on pizza, cheeseburgers, sandwiches, on fries, in burritos, quesadillas, nachos, etc. Mayo on burgers, sandwiches, dipping fries and pizza crust in mayo based sauces, putting chipotle mayo or creamy pepper jack sauce on Mexican food, etc. As it turns out, I'm not so excited about binging on 5 hamburgers plain with ketchup. Not so much.

So, as I no longer have an qualms about doing whatever it takes to prevail in this battle, I say, why the hell not?

I think there is joy and peace to be mined from such a decision. The joy to be found in every single time I say no, and the peace to be found in the burden of my desires for those foods being lifted from my shoulders. Just thinking about it makes me feel like a weight has been lifted. I simply won't eat those things again.

So for now, I'll say this: the next time I'll eat cheese or mayo (or mayo based sauces) will be February 2nd, 2010.

2. Okay, actually, that was the only one.

Now, moving forward, the overall plan continues. One day at a time. I'm going to continue kicking ass, continue working out, continue increasing my awareness, continue eating right, continue fighting this fight.

I'm never going to stop. Because the rewards that this process PROMISES me, and us all, are too fucking amazing to give up on.

Like many people who struggle with any of a myriad of issues, I find life much easier living it in the extremes. Sure its easy to binge and do nothing all day, but its also a lot easier to be super strict about food and almost starve myself and workout 2 hours. What's hard is accepting a moderate day of moderate success and consistent measured effort.

But I think I've found a way to, in a healthy way for once, be extreme while making steady progress:

Never stop. I'm just never going to stop being healthy. I will lose all this weight eventually, and I will keep it off forever. Because, people who keep the weight off and people who never gain it share one thing in common: they eat pretty healthy and they exercise often, and they do those things forever.

I love being able to throw myself as hard as I want into that mindset. It makes the day-to-day journey easier. And it's great because I'm in a so much healthier place mentally than I was, I'm able to recognize the failures that do and will happen in this journey, and yet feel great about it all.

It's all good.

It's all part of the process.

And as long as I keep going I will continue to get healthy, and grow, and change, and mature, and learn, and experience, and just LIVE. Live life to the fullest. Live a rich, evolving life.

After all, I am no longer living life the same way again and again. Being stuck in the same terrible, frustrating existence day after day. Reliving the same failures over and over.

Groundhog Day for me is over.