Friday, July 31, 2009

A Walk In My Shoes

First, a warning: You may trip while taking a walk in my shoes unless you too have size 17 feet.

Second, actually don't bother. You don't need to walk in my shoes, I already did last night.

In fact, I walked quite a bit, for me. The most I've walked in some time: 1 1/2 miles. It was great. I have to say I'm pretty impressed with myself. And not only did I walk 1. 5 miles, but I did it in about 40 minutes, which is very cool, especially when I realized that my last "big" walk like this was 1.3 in 50 minutes. So that means that this time I walked a longer distance and I did it faster.

Today I'm feeling good. I feel like I'm healing.

I feel strong - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I feel grateful, happy, and measured.

That's it for now. Good luck Good choices to all of us this weekend!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Let It Be

This last week has been great.

I've been working at, well, at what amounts to "livin' right".

I've been trying to embrace the fundamental truths of life and just stay that course.

Now mind you, I'm sure this lifestyle likely sounds incredibly obvious, but I know enough about human nature, and myself most certainly, to recognize that the obvious things in life aren't often the things that are acted on.

So anyway, here are some basic truths I'm finally living:

1) I'm telling the truth. AMAZING, but maaan, what a relief it is. How good it feels.

2) I'm treating my body well.

3) I'm actively exercising faith. Another great feeling; it's freeing.

4) I'm putting good things into my body in regards to what I read, listen to, watch, etc. Now, I know not everyone will believe this, but, when I read daily meditation/self-help/recovery/weight loss/etc. books, I feel better overall that day than when I read nothing but celebrity gossip websites and negative political blogs. When I listen to Bach cello suites or excellent Ben Folds songs all day I feel better than when I listen to Rammstein and Ice Cube.

Yes, astounding though it is, I'm beginning to suspect a correlation to not only what I physically put in my body and how it thus feels, but to what I listen to, watch, and read, and how I feel as a result. I love Elliot Smith, but I dare you to listen to his catalogue exclusively for a couple days without feeling depressed, and I've only heard a couple of songs by Slipknot, but I can't imagine listening to their stuff for any significant period of time and being able to feel like I was at peace with myself.

5) I'm living in the moment. I'm not planning a binge tonight, I'm not looking for the next opportunity to sneak out and drink, and I'm not preoccupied with trying to create a new lie to cover for another one I previously told. I am in the moment, and I'm in it with the people I'm with in that moment, for example: I'm eating lunch with my sister, and I'm just feeling the feelings of the moment: the thoughts and the actions of the moment. I'm bringing none of any past negative interactions we've ever had into the moment, I am simply enjoying the time spent with someone I love. I'm doing that with everyone.

6) I'm letting anger go. A big one for me, but guess what, Anger sssuuuccckkkkssss. It makes me ssssssssssssooooooooooooo tiiiiiiirrrrrrreeeeeeeddddddd. It takes a massive toll on my body, mind, and spirit. I can't have it. I have an anger problem, albeit not a frequent one, but now I'm trying to let things be, and starting to do the work to let long standing resentments go, and forgive others and ultimately, hopefully, eventually, myself.

Ahhhhhh, just talking about all this makes me realize, and be grateful for, the weight that's been lifted off of my shoulders through all these actions.

I've found that, basic and obvious though it may be, it helps to lighten ones load by letting go off everything unnecessary, and just doing what's true; what's right.

And speaking of "lightening ones load" (dig the segue), I lost 12 unbelievably unnecessary pounds last week.

Thanks to all for their support. Good luck to us all tomorrow

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Weigh I Am

I drove the lonely drive of the formerly damned this morning. I drove across town in the early morning with the sun just beginning to tease the heat soon to follow.

My destination was the only place in 100 miles (outside, I assume, of truck weigh stations) that has a scale that I can get a read on.

So, as I've mentioned before, it was there I went. I walked in as I always do, which is to say: unannounced. I was told once by a woman who used to work at the old folks home where in the facility their scale is located. Since then, when weighing, I just walk in, head to the room, weigh, and take my leave.

It does add an admittedly surreal quality to the whole experience. An experience which, when you have a body as big as mine, is (like virtually anything I do in public) already fairly surreal. It often seems as if one of the guests on a very special "Human Oddity" episode of Maury Povich has escaped the television studio in search of sustenance.

I digress.

I walked in to the senior center and, as expected, for whatever reason, every staff member I encountered at any point within the stale smelling labyrinth seemed to think I had an acceptable reason to be there. It's pretty weird frankly; I have never, not once, been asked what I am doing there. It seems a nice place, but I'm kind of glad that no one I know lives there - you know, what with the big fat bearded men they allow to wander the place.

So I walked in as usual and successfully made my way to the room with the scale. No staff or anyone stopped me from getting there because I am apparently TOO BIG TO FAIL.

I stood on the scale and saw a 10 pound loss.


Here's to a good tomorrow and another great week!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Start Me Up

The other day I was reading WHO ATE MY BLOG? It's written by a gentleman named Stephen from Alabama who started his weight loss journey in the same neck of the woods (600 lbs +) as myself. Well, since I've come back to reading blogs again I have been stoked to discover he has been kicking it hard the last few months and is now safely below 600, and well on his way to Talladega (read his blog to learn about that cool challenge).

Anyway, as I've been getting back into the blogging world, I've been reading his often for inspiration. The other day I was reading Stephen's blog and was looking over his great list of Goals and Milestones: on the list was walking a 5K.

Now, I haven't exercised much at all in the last three months, and I have not gone for a walk once. So, as I thinking about the 5k goal, I figured I ought to get back out there and walk. Walking has always been one of my favorite exercises and the one I've had the most success with.

So, last night I decided to go for a walk. I've gotten so big and haven't walked for so long I wasn't sure how far I could go - I really had no idea. I thought a couple of blocks would likely be all.

Well, I walked 1.3 miles (I drove the route afterwards to gauge the length with my odometer). And though in some respects I feel weird at how good it felt, and still feels, to have walked that far, I don't care. It's great! When I lost almost 200 pounds a few years ago, I got up to walking 10 miles at a time, and I know I can get back to that eventually. But honestly, I've got to start somewhere, and as heavy as I am, and as out of shape as I am, 1.3 miles feels fantastic.

Thanks to Stephen for the motivation and inspiration - and thanks to all of you in blog land as well. I haven't gotten back to the frequent commenting yet, but I am reading.

I've had a great few weeks. Some of the best I've ever had. And best of all, it's not just exercise or eating right that is the reason: it's everything, it's all encompassing. After years of knowing I needed to take a "holistic" type approach to self improvement - I am now truly doing it, and it is excellent.

Monday, July 13, 2009

20 Things I've Lost and Hope to Never Find Ever Again

This week I lost weight. I've probably lost weight a week or two since I gave up my last real push towards health in February, but this week I'm sure I have and I know the number. I weighed last week and I weighed today.

I lost 20 pounds and that feels good. However, I have gained so much weight prior to this week, I still feel disheartened.

However, this I've learned: I don't need to spend any more time thinking about how heavy I am and how much that sucks, so, I won't.

I also don't feel like, or more importantly, don't see any benefit in, thinking how awesome the 20 pounds is, and how I'm like, totally back on track now.

I'm trying to think of what I should write. What would help me right now? I don't know, wow, this is very stream of consciousness.

Okay, I'm going to write a list of reasons why I want to keep losing weight to remind myself of reasons to keep the momentum going:

1) I want to - side note: these are likely to be worn goals or whatever, and everybody does this, but meh, I don't care - I want to go out in the world and not have my first impression automatically be: "Fat guy".

2) I'd love to buy clothes from anywhere other than a big and tall store. Actually, I'm so big now, the clothes there do not fit me, so even clothes from a B&T would be a start.

3) I want to go out and not see kids overtly laugh, point, and make loud statements to anyone in the vicinity in stores, etc.

4) I want to ride in one plane seat.

5) I want to not worry about breaking seating no matter where I go.

6) I want to be able to wear a suit and enjoy it.

7) I want to be a holistically healthy person who has largely conquered their issues, and I know if I lose this weight and keep it off, it will be because I have accomplished that.

I'll write more on this at some point when I have more time; I have always wanted this sort of a list around just as something to look at now and then as inspiration.

One last thing, a start to a list of things I'm grateful for:

1) This blog

2) This blogging community.

3) My family

4) My health

5) My friends

6) All the support I have from so many sources

7) The ability to change

8) Humility

9) Sufjan Steven's "Illinois" album

Good luck to all, one day at a time.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Good Morning, Good Vibrations, and Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts:

- I love the morning. The earlier the better. In the early morning is when I'm most in touch with the massive potential of every day. Everyday is a whole new opportunity; I know that's a cliche, but do you know what has two thumbs and doesn't give a damn? *points thumbs at self* this guy. Seriously, I love the morning, even though I've not yet mastered being a "morning person".

- Good Vibrations is an amazing song, Wouldn't It Be Nice is a great song. Bottom line: the Beach Boy's Pet Sounds is one of the best albums of all time. Go get it and listen to it if you never have. Not to be too Kate Hudson in Almost Famous on you all, but truly it will make your life better - even if just for the 40 minutes you spend listening to it. See also: Abbey Road.

- Other music I'm enjoying a lot right now: Dr. John's Greatest Hits, a few old Johnny Rivers songs, "King of the Road" and "Little Green Apples" by Roger Miller, "Grapevine Fires" by Death Cab for Cutie, a "House of the Rising Sun" cover by Tom Rigney, Roy Buchanan's 20th Century Masters Album, a bunch of Sam Cooke stuff, Random Jenny Lewis/Rilo Kiley stuff, the few good songs off of Eminem's "Relapse", etc.

- So, I've read the term "lurking" in reference to the blog world a fair number of times now, and my thought is: what the hell? What a silly phrase. So, I am to understand that in the blog world there are only two ways to go: 1) comment on peoples blogs and become an active participant in following their blog, or 2) "Lurking" - in the shadows presumably. Sitting back and nefariously only reading and not commenting. I just think the negative connotation associated with the word "Lurk" does not at all jive with the experience of simply reading a blog for pleasure, whether that be motivation, inspiration, simple entertainment, knowledge, etc. I do have a suggestion for an alternative title for the blogging term of reading people's blogs without commenting...ready? "Reading"! So one would "Read" a blog or "Read" AND "Comment" on a blog. I know, it's pretty outlandish, but just a thought.

- And while thinking of blogging, let me say that I still can't get behind the term "Blog" or "Blogging", and while we're at it, I'm not down with Twittering or "Tweeting" either. I sometimes think that a thinktank got together in the late 90's and mapped out the stupidest, most inane things to engage pop-culture in over the next 10-20 years, and the results they managed were substantial. "Hey man, want to listen to my new Panic! at the Disco album? No, oh well, do you like my new kicks? No, oh, well, did you read my Blog last night, or peep the Vlog I posted? Ah, no again, hmmm, well, did you see the 30 Tweets I wrote on my Twitter know the link, I put it on Facebook? Anyway, did you see my Tweets, I was talking about how I was getting ready for bed, then in bed, then reading a book, then got up to go to the bathroom, then went back to reading? It was awesome. No!? Oh. Okay."

I love playing the piano. The majority of my playing life I've largely just made up songs and played improv stuff, etc. This year though I've been working on learning a ton of mainstream songs and it's been pretty fun. Some of my favorites to play so far are "Come Sail Away" by Styx, "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey, "Rockin Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu" by Johnny Rivers, "Hey Joe" by Jimi Hendrix, "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor, "Zac and Sara" by Ben Folds, "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Sknyrd.

- Ruby Red Grapefruit is freaking tremendous. One of the best fruits there is. I've been eating a lot of it lately and it's wonderful. Grapefruit juice too is a glorious thing. And V8...and carrot juice. All of these things are excellent. I need a juicer. If I had the money, time, etc, I would eat nothing the rest of my life but Sushi and drink nothing but fresh squeezed fruit/vegetable juice.

This whole "changing my life entirely in almost every significant way possible including the very serious way of losing 400 pounds" thing has turned out to be um, really, incredibly hard. Anyway, the good news is that I am trying, and that's the good thing, I gave up for a while, but now I'm back. I'm eating well, exercising, doing the emotional work, starting the addiction work, doing the spiritual work. It's all I can ask of myself; that, and to better remember the next time I start to get off course to just NOT GIVE UP. Good hell.

For now, I'll just keep on keeping on.