Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Who's body is, every day, feeling so much better as a result of his good choices?

Today, I finished a meeting and went for a quick walk downtown.

One of the quickest walks I've done in a long time actually:

I walked 1/2 a mile (including a hill) in just under 10 minutes.

Not much for most, but for my 550 lb self, that's the first time I've walked that fast in probably 2 years I'd guess. So, I will take it.

Big time.

Also, tonight I did 60 wall push-ups.

AND I feel great mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

I feel like I am being refined.

And improved.

And I am.

Oh man, I can't even wait.

I am in the process of something momentous here.

This is only the beginning.

So, remember: tomorrow is mine, like it is yours, to do for ourselves whatever we mold and sculpt our actions, decisions, and very beings into whatever we wish them to be.

For me, I am going to keep tearing it up in all that I do.

It's entirely up to you.

Monday, September 28, 2009

To Be Truly Healthy

When I lived in Salt Lake City a few years ago I went downtown one Saturday morning and auditioned for The Biggest Loser.

I had a phenomenal time with the people there, both BL hopefuls like myself, as well as with the casting staff.

Through a variety of call backs - on-site, phone, and video, I was just about to be, it appeared to me at least, cast on the show.

However, by the time they called me, that last, climactic time, to tell me, it had been months and months.

And I had gained over 100 pounds.

I got their message and never called them back.

Too fat for the show I thought, I'd lost my chance. They wouldn't want me anymore now that I was over 500 lbs.

Well, I may have been right, but more importantly, it doesn't matter.

I'm grateful I didn't go on the show. It's the same kind of gratitude I have around not getting Gastric Bypass despite the incessant urgings of family and friends over the years.

I have a lot to work through, and weight is only the symptom. And I want to do it all in a healthy way. That is the only real way for me, now: healthy.

I don't want to lose 200 pounds in 2 months spent w/o my job, day-to-day life, and normal responsibilities.

And I don't want to have a surgeon alter my body in order to induce medically-approved starvation.

When I didn't get on the show and when I kept turning down weight loss surgery, I had years of unpleasantness ahead of me.

It was painful. I suffered more failures, gained more weight, caused more anguish to myself and those who care about me.

But, I'm not in that place anymore.

I'm moving in a new direction now, and have been for some time.

And as to how I came about that new direction?


Through trials and tribulations and learning and growing.

So now, I don't want what the American Medical Association and the Biggest Loser want for me.

Now I want to learn about moderation and working hard to accomplish a goal that matters, for me. I want to love myself and treat myself with enough kindness that losing weight is a secondary result. I want to heal emotionally/mentally/spiritually AND physically so that I will be able to sustain my success for a lifetime.

And I will.

Recently I have been seeing this banner ad for Jillian Michael's website.

Well, last time I saw it, just for fun, I clicked it.

I had no expectation to do more than walk through a couple of the registration steps to see what it was about.

Well, on her homepage you get started with your "free" weight-loss plan. Again, no expectations on my part, so I put in the data: age, height, email, goal weight, and, of course, my current weight: 550 lbs, and I proceeded to CLICK THERE IT'S FREE!!!!.

Read what it said.

There in the screenshot above. The pinkish box on the right side. That box popped up when I clicked.

It's an error message.

It says: "Hey, please take care of the following: Please enter a valid weight."

Simply. Priceless.

Well, 550 is my weight. It's as real and valid as can be.

I obviously had some struggles during the last few weeks. And I hadn't weighed myself since 9/9. I knew however that I'd gained weight. I could feel it. How much I didn't know.

Thankfully, after getting back on track early last week, I've been back on in a big way. So, I'm back at 550 lbs, 1 pound heavier than I was when I got back from my trip.

I'm grateful I didn't do more damage, or maybe grateful that I was able to recover from the damage I did do so fast. Either way, I am grateful.

And moreover, I am excited.

Excited because my future is bright.

It may not have a weight loss reality show gig to offer, or a magical medical procedure to help.

No, it has so much more.

This week, as only any of us can do - one day at a time, I will continue to move into that future with exuberance and joy.

I am reclaiming my life through my actions.

That is beautiful.

That is healthy.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Broken Phone, but Whole Self cell phone broke in half a few days ago.

Broke. In. Half.

How could that happen?

Did I flip it open and smash it over my knee in anger?

Did I leave it open on the floor and accidentally step on it?

Did I snap it half with my fingers to impress a girl with my super human strength?

No, I opened it like I have a thousand times, and it broke in half.

And at&t, unfortunately, could not help. Could not get me a replacement phone.

Now, I am not a person who has a blind hate of corporations and thinks that they are inherently evil.

I think there is way too much greed in a lot of people who work in the corporate world and even among those who run them; I believe that greed hurts all of those people, and a whole lot of others too as a result.

But, the basic idea of Capitalism: I love it. It's one of the many things that makes America, despite our flaws, a truly unique and amazing country.

At&t has done a great job in the marketplace and have thrived, and I can earnestly say more power to them.

Anyway, where I start to take issue with a corporation is in a situation like this. And, first, do note that if I had dropped my phone, been careless with it, etc, I would be happy to take responsibility. I've lost phones before, I've dropped them in rivers and pools, I have damaged them, and so, I never called at&t to complain.

It wasn't their fault those was mine.

This time, it was their fault.

And they could do nothing to help me.

But, here's the thing:

Oh well.

I let it go.

I chose to let it stop bothering me.

What a powerful ability we have in THAT choice.


A few of the things I've been working on over the last 3 months, along with my physical health, is my emotional/mental/spiritual health.

And of those issues, a few sub groups come into play in this issue: Anger, Resentment, and Forgiveness.

While it may not seem like much, the few hours spent on the phone with customer support that ended with injustice could have, probably WOULD have, made me extremely angry. It likely would've put me in a nasty funk for the rest of the day.

As time went on I would stew about the injustice, and resent what happened. Resent the company, the actually good service people that I spoke to, and all cell phone companies!

Resentment man, it eats at your soul.

It really does.

It gnaws away at you, and every foothold it gets in your psyche is one where happiness, serenity, and love cannot exist.

Instead, I chose to let it go. I had tried to do what I could, but had run out of options.

So, why let something that I can't change make me feel miserable?

I'm not going to waste my valuable energy on resentment.

I'm not going to waste my valuable time being angry.

I chose to forgive the company, and move on.

And here's the thing, I think that most people have moments like this frequently in life. Whether it's with a company or a friend, a boss or a spouse, whatever. No matter what it is specifically about, it boils down to:

1) A situation or conflict that doesn't go our way, and;

2) A choice we have to make: Do we let the outcome rule us?

Do we choose to go into a funk because of what happened?

Do we choose to steam and froth with anger all day because of it?

Do we choose to treat other people in our lives less kind, and with less love and respect as a result?

Do we choose to not work-out because of it? To slack off on our plan at dinner? To stuff our faces with comfort food?

Well, we never have to, because it is always OUR choice.

Always our choice.

How incredibly powerful we are.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Peanut Butter Solution

I had a jar of peanut butter, and a jar of jelly sitting on my desk.

I guess I should stop briefly and mention that I work from home.

Anyway, I had these two jars of delectable comfort-food treats sitting next to my computer.

They looked harmless.

The jelly jar even featured a charming elderly couple posed similarly to the couple in the American Gothic painting. Only instead of the stern, fairly grim look of the AG couple, these two on the "American Northwest's Strawberry 'Real Fruit' Spread" label looked cheery and inviting. They looked like once I ate some jelly they might have just got me a glass of warm milk and made up a bed for me in the den so I could rest; perhaps leave a couple of Worther's Originals on my bedside table for the morning.

The reason these jars were on my desk may or may not have something to do with the fact that in the not so at all distant past ( a few days ago) I brought them in eat...out of the jars.

Well, because I was born on Abe Lincoln's birthday, I too cannot tell a lie (other traits Lincoln and I share include chopping down a cherry tree with an axe and my trusty blue ox Babe, and the power to grin down bears by the age of 3.)

So, I must truthfully tell you that I ate some of these jars contents.

"Some" being a relative term.

To put it more accurately, I ate about 14 ounces of peanut butter and 18 ounces of strawberry jelly.

In one sitting.

But, THAT is not why I come here today.

No, today I write to say that last night I was pretty hungry.

I started thinking: "Self, you know what might satiate that longing hunger inside you?"

To which I replied: "The Peanut Butter and Jelly!"

"No, not the pb&j. Remember, you need to put those kind of ridiculous desires aside. After all, you just TODAY started your end of year weight loss and health re-start: 'The Hotness Begins: 100 days of Autumn (& Winter) ~ Motivationathon 2009, Version 2.0 - I'm Here for the Gangbang!"

Bitterly I protested: "Yea, but so what, tomorrow is when it really starts, on day 99. The hundredth day is just kind of a starting place for show. Kind of honorary, but not a real rubber-to-the-road, kind of starting day."

"No." I firmly stated. "Don't do it."

"But why?" I continued "Why should I trust you? Look at your ridiculous moustache!"

Well, I felt kind of betrayed and insulted, but I knew that I was You know, both.

Anyway, long story short (ish), I decided to not eat the remainders of the pb&j, or any at all for that matter. In fact, I threw them away entirely. Just a small thing, but more moments like that will ultimately reap huge rewards.

I believe they call that a NSV, which I think stands for Non-Sexual Vacuum. I don't really know.

In any event, I said no to the urge to binge and hell yes to keeping on the path to where I want to be.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

take me in and dry the rain...

Here's the thing: when in Vegas a few weeks ago it sounded like a good idea to my friend and I that we both shave our beards into moustaches because we were soon going to Tombstone and a bewhiskered homage to the gunslingers of yesteryear sounded right.

So, we did.

And, as it turns out, that was an epic victory. I had never worn only a moustache before, but our strolling down the dirt roads of the old west with them was just about perfect.

Now - fast forward to this last week: here's what I have learned: while moustaches can be funny and cool during an old west road trip, once you've got a week's stubble, a noticeably larger face, and you've been drinking, a moustache seems to really come into its own and show its true a**hole colors.

I once thought my moustache rested on my face in a dignified posture with a hint of badass and a touch of ironic amusement. Now I see it smugly splayed out above my upper lip, making itself obscenely comfortable; openly mocking me because it knows I've succumbed to it's insidious power - succumbed to that same dirtbaggedness that almost all moustache wearers fall to at some point.

Bad times.

So, in summary:

Moustache on road trip = good

Moustache during downward spiral = evil

Now, moving on:

South Beach Steve (I like that name. I know it's related to the diet, but I like the "place + name" naming convention. I want to be known as Erie Canal Chad, or Hudson Bay Chad, or maybe Mississippi Chad. Hmmm, yea, I don't know. None of those are what I want. The problem probably starts with Chad not being my name. Meh.)

Anyway, today South Beach Steve is starting his " The Hot 100 – Going Out With a Bang!" contest. And while I'm opting not to participate, I do like both Steve's blog AND delicious pickled vegetables (I'm referring of course to the contest's prize: a jar of the ridiculously good sounding, homemade "smoked, sweet & sour, pickled jalapenos.")

However, I am very grateful that Steve pointed out that, including today, there are 100 days left in 2009; a great goal-ready timeline if ever there was one.

As such, I am going to start my own end-of-year weight loss and health effort. I humbly call it: "The Hotness Begins: 100 days of Autumn (& Winter) ~ Motivationathon 2009, Version 2.0 - I'm Here for the Gangbang!"

The key for me to have a successful THB100DOA&WM2009V2.0IHFTGB is going to be the starting point. Nothing can be achieved without first having been begun (as I believe Yates once wrote), and given that I am just coming out of a streak-breaking funk, this initial push is most important indeed.

So, here is my plan:
1) Eat healthy - roughly 1500-2000 calories a day w/almost all whole foods.
2) Exercise - walk, or get some form of cardio, at least 4 times a week. Lift weights at least 3 times a week.
3) Do the mental, emotional, and spiritual things that were working so well and leading me into recovery.

I have a couple of different numbers in my head of my ideal weight loss success for this effort, but I'm not going to stress them. I know...KNOW, that if I do what I need to do over the next 100 days, that I will be very happy with where I'm at.

Alrighty, and there we are.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Stage 6: Relapse

I relapsed over the last few days regarding food and drink.

I've relapsed countless times before in my life: felt like crap, hated myself, believed recovery hopeless, yet swore fervently never to relapse again.

This time I don't feel that way.

I feel disappointed, but I also know the change I've created over the last 3 months has been the most real of my life, and it's only just begun.

I don't feel the same extreme urgency and intense passion to stem the tide and swear off these issues again. I don't plan to do these things again mind you, but I KNOW what works now. I've done it, and so I KNOW I can do it again.

I never KNEW, from experience before, because before my change had never been comprehensive, holistic, and driven by what has proven to work.

So, as the Stages of Change say regarding stage 6, Relapse, I now plan to:

Evaluate trigger for relapse: Relapse triggered by not doing necessary daily routines (spiritually, emotionally) while on my road trip thus leaving me unrooted and weakened once I returned.

Reassess motivation and barriers: Motivation is feeling as good as I did this summer: the best I've ever felt in my whole life. Barriers are not taking the necessary daily steps.

Plan stronger coping strategies: I will return to doing the work today, and with help from several resources, will regain traction over the next week. From there I will simply continue to strengthen in all that I do, the same way I was before, and consistently, over time, my abilities to cope, deal, live, love, etc, will all grow amazingly strong.

"When we are sure that we are on the right road there is no need to plan our journey too far ahead. No need to burden ourselves with doubts and fears as to the obstacles that may bar our progress. We cannot take more than one step at a time" - Orison Swett Marden

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ramblin' Man

pix: click on any of them to see the much bigger, better versions.

The Two of Us, Vegas, Green River, Route 66, Oatman, Wild Burros, Wigwam Motel, Rural Truck Stop Strip Club, Tombstone, Driving, Indian Ruins, Monument Valley, Old Town, Coal Mine, Dry River Beds, Bisbee, Grand Canyon

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

RoadTripping Route 118

I just spent almost 2 weeks traveling around the southwest with a buddy...

We saw the Grand Canyon: north and south rim.

We drove the great, historical route 66.

We received excellent straight razor shaves at a little barbershop south of Vegas.

We paid an Indian 3 dollars to spray a water bottle on the ground to show us "dinosaur tracks".

We watched one of the most hilariously amateurish gunfight reenactment shows imaginable in Tombstone.

We walked around Monument Valley feeling like John Wayne.

We drove through a polygamous community (we stopped for gas and the first thing I heard when I walked inside the station was one woman, in a homemade dress from her neck to her feet, say to another similarly attired woman: " we finally decided to have one of us be in charge of the schooling, and the other one be in charge of the cleaning...")

We bought machetes at a convenience store.

We laid in the middle of the highway, in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere in Utah and enjoyed one of the most amazing views of the stars I've ever seen.

I ate a green chili burger with fries, a 1/2 pound hot dog, and the buffet at the Bellagio.

With the exception of those three meals however, I ate on plan every day, all day. I mostly ate food I bought at stores and cooked myself, but also ate a number of other meals at restaurants. Alllllll of which were healthy and beautiful.

I walked my ass off all over the southwest.

I arrived home at 5:30am this morning, and at 8:00am I got up and made the journey across town to the old folks home.

And the scale said this: 549 lbs.

I went on a 12 day vacation...

that included 5 days in Vegas...

and I came back 28 pounds later.

I saw a lot of milestones on this trip, but I didn't pass the sweetest one until I got home.