Thursday, September 29, 2016

Wait For It.


Three days ago I was standing at my mailbox getting my mail (the coupon mailer, and the annoying letter from my internet company encouraging me to get cable. Nice try Comcast but I already spend more time on my couch.) and then there was a nice envelope. My first thought reaction was oh goody. Another wedding/we’ve reproduced announcement. Instead it was from alma matter.


          Dear Alumnus Blake,
          As a former Aggie we invite you to contribute…

As an English major it’s cute that they thought I would have money to donate to them. Included in the letter was the annual Alumni newsletter showing what my classmates were up to. Some were off building orphanages in Africa in the poor, one was creating Apps, and there was me whose biggest success today was bending over and tying his shoes and not ripping his pants.

Before I could help it I felt that huge wave of shame and embarrassment and oddly I felt fat. As if my size was in same correlation in what I’ve done with my life post college. Then I remembered DNS. Did Not Start.
I’m fascinated by this idea in this culture that you aren’t allowed to change, create, or do something till you are good at it. I’ve been paralyzed by this concept when it comes to losing weight. I’ve taken tons of classes, done tons of research, I’ve spent more money (*money I could have donated to my Alma matter. Yeah let’s be honest it would have been spent on ice cream.) than I have buying objects that will make me good. In the last seven years I’ve seen more people declare I’m going to lose this weight. I’m going to finally start my novel, I’m going to finally learn to cook etc.


The problem is that most people and myself included is we actually start becoming good or even great at our goals and then we quit. It seems I always quit when I have to defend or explain why I’m doing this blog. It’s easier to be the one that goes with the crowd. I’m a great creator but a terrible lawyer.


So I’ve stopped trying to explain or defend what I’m doing. If I’m eating great really staying within my macros but one day I say life is too short not to eat Chick Fil La chicken nuggets (yes, the grilled ones are amazing but they don’t come with waffle fries) I’m going to eat the nuggets and not defend myself nor am I allowing myself to feel guilt over it. My job is not to defend my creations. My job is to create and work on myself.


I’m not wasting anymore time not creating my best life by looking at the lives of others. I’ve been to a lot of funerals within the last few years and the things that stays, the things that resonates about you is not what bought, or looked like but how you made people feel.

Ugh. I’m sorry. I know this is very Oprah-esque. Tomorrow's post is my ode to waffles so there's balance. 


So I wrote a letter back to the Alumni magazine (I didn’t send it)


          Dear Alumni magazine,
          Thank you for reminding me that I’m seriously lacking in the success department. So I wanted to let you know that you aren’t that special. None of us are. So that’s why you aren’t getting a check from me.

Sincerely,

Blake



Wednesday, September 28, 2016

October. The land of Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Ugg Boots.

How you do you celebrate the fall?

I love fall. Like write send the whole I heart you text, stand in front of the lockers making out with each other, will you go steady with me kind of way. Fall is one of those tricky seasons like spring. It never just shows up rather it teases us with the leave subtly changing, the weather slowly drops, and in my neck of the woods tornadoes. There are things that everyone looks forward to. For some it’s hunting season (which for me growing up meant the sudden appearance of dead animals in the freezer and playing find the BB in game meat.) others its Halloween, and for basic white girls pumpkin spice lattes, leggings, and Ugg boots. For me it is the return of the Costco Chicken Noodle soup.


I know. Soup? Really? However I believe this soup has healing properties. I was introduced to the chicken noodle soup when I had pneumonia and I got in a care package. Which I’m still embarrassed about because my apartment was a disaster and had to expose it to the world. Anyway back to the soup. It was the only thing that I could eat. I had no energy to cook let alone go to the store. Since I don’t live in a city where you can order things twenty-four seven so hence the soup. It’s magical for the fact that it’s not like regular chicken noodle. The noodles are thick and homemade, the chicken is actual rotisserie thick and juicy not that weird stewed meat that makes me think of the cannery. The veggies are realistic not that weird freeze dried stuff that you wonder is this real or was this just created in a lab?


Which was why I was so excited to receive it a few days ago when Mr. Migraine and his sidekick Super Nausea hit. After they left it left me drained, tired, and feeling like I went rolling in the deep in my stomach. Thank goodness for Moms and their Costco memberships. One coke and bowl later I knew I was going to make it.

I knew it in that moment that Fall was here. Last year this time of year I fell off the cliff and hit three hundred and three pounds. Yes. That’s right. I finally had enough weight to be on the biggest loser and none of my clothes fit. For three months I lived in my LuluLemon pants and my draw string pants. Even though the last few days have been a roller coaster as far as my dates with the gym and food choices have been a little more lax but this fall I’m actually going in with a plan that’s working. Also I’m not three hundred pounds I’m 269.



Bring on the pumpkin spice.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Stuck in the Middle with You.

Why do we gloss over the middle of the story?

I have a guilty pleasure that I’m quite fond of. Whenever there is a weight loss story or before and after pictures I find myself clicking or stopping in the magazine aisle to read them. I’ve become somewhat of an expert on them. However, after reading my 500th* (?) *I’m not really sure how many I read but I needed a number) dramatic weight loss inspirational story on Yahoo I began noticing a trend.

Each would start out with the realization they needed to change, followed by a terrible picture of them looking sad and fat, (I call this the AH-A!) the I’m going to do it sentence or driving factor (My mom died of Diabetes, I want to go play with my kids, or my favorite I just wanted to see my toes again) the research phase and then followed by the I just started (I went for a walk etc.) to do something. The next paragraph is the plan (I stopped eating carbs! I joined weight watchers etc.) followed by a simple statement (It was so hard but I stuck with it) and then the TA-DA I can fit into my pants happy smile picture. The End.

While I love these stories I wanted to know more about the middle of the story. Why was it so hard? What did you do to gain more discipline in changing your habits or how did you redeem yourself when you ate the two pieces of peach pie with whipping cream? (Asking for a friend) The reason I want to know is it seems that the middle of the weight loss story is where the magic happens. It’s where the main character realizes that they can do hard things and solider on however they never seem to share it with the rest of us. Is it some secret club that you have to join? If so who do I have to bribe to get in the door?

The true reason this bothers me is that I am now in the middle of my own story. I can tell you the beginning and I can tell you what I want the ending to be but this middle business, the work business is what is driving me crazy. The frustrating part is that I find myself wanting to slip back into my old habits and fat pants.  My poor trainer has had to deal with random middle of the night texts of questions such as Who wins in the weight vs. Fat battle. (FYI it’s Fat. Weight has too many variables. Kinda like that crazy girlfriend you had in high school that you could never quite guess her mood.)  Which now comes down to the real question of my annoyance. The glow of something shiny has worn off and the end point is still far away. Do I still want to continue? Or just say that this was a glorious experiment but I love to have diabetes more?

What I have been doing lately is thinking of all the times I’ve run races and looked at the time sheets. When I find my name at the bottom (Yay for being a U) I see the words DNF. Did not finish. I’ve often wondered what the reasoning was. Were they unable to get time off work? Injury? Family situation? Or did the simply choose not to start?  So on my ever growing post it board I wrote DNS. Did not start. On this day when I feel stuck in the middle I have to tell myself at least I’ve started. I’m still trying to finish. It may take a year. It may take two years but I’m going to finish this damn race. And when I do I’ll make sure I include the middle of the story.


Let’s help each other finish shall we? 

Monday, September 26, 2016

I Wanna Take Your Picture Cause I Won't Remember.

Am I social media addict?

Last week as I was leaving the grocery store I was pushing my cart back into the return when I saw a flyer shoved into the bottom of my cart. In big graphic word art form, it shouted to me Are you an addict?

At first I was rather offended. What I did on the couch with my pints of ice cream was my own personal business. After I cracked myself up laughing I noticed in very small italics the rest of the sentence to porn.

After throwing the brochure into the garbage I began asking myself was I an addict? If so what were my addictions? If I was addicted to something was it stealing my time and if so was it part of the reason I had such a 
difficult time changing my relationship with food and exercise?

This had been a major excuse with my trainer for the last few months. It went something like this “I would love to work out but you see I have no time!” and all those people on Instagram have jobs that aren’t as stressful as mine. Plus, my personal favorite excuse. I would cook but someone cooked yesterday and didn’t do the dishes and so I have nothing to use. To which he replied “Don’t you live alone?” Touché Mr. Trainer.


Because I have been feeling very explorative (I.E no social life) I decided to do a little experiment. If I truly had no time to eat healthy and exercise where was my time going? After finding a time management sheet on Pinterest I decided to detail my time for three days straight to see where and what I was doing with my time.  After printing out the sheet and filling in the blocks of time with work, commute, and other standing social engagements I realized that every night instead of reading or just mediating I was spending up to an hour looking on Facebook and Instagram. It gets worse. I also discovered that first thing in the morning I spent time in the morning on the same social sites. Which raises a troubling question. What on earth did I expect my friends to do during the night from 9 pm to 5:30 am at night? Also if they were getting wild and crazy at night why weren’t they inviting me?


I felt dirty. Why did I care so much what people were doing instead of engaging in the psychical present? Also was this social media addiction making me feel better about myself? It had started so innocent. A simple way to keep in touch without having to actually having to contact the person and say hey what’s new with you? Also it gave me free reign to stalk what was going on in everyone’s lives. Now it had grown to a full on virtual stalking life in which I didn’t engage much on but was constantly aware of everyone else’s comings and doings. (Side note can we all agree it’s really annoying when you run into someone’s Instagram account and its private? Just saying for a friend.) I found myself judgmental and comparing myself to random people that I had never met. 
Why was I addicted to this?


Because it gave me a chance to escape my present reality. When you live in depression land as much as I did it was like the juice that fed into the depression. See all those happy shiny people? It’s too bad you can’t be like them because you are so dark and twisty. They lost weight. Why can’t you?   I realize as I wrote this last sentence that my brain has watched one too many Grey’s Anatomy episodes. Moving on after doing the whole work on myself bit (here’s the gist. Therapy. Tough love and some pills just to make it interesting) I changed the dialogue.


Which now has brought forth this realization that I have a social media problem not an addiction. It still doesn’t sound right I have been working the last few weeks in changing the habits that are tied with it. Wake up in the morning and instead of grabbing the phone I now grab my running shoes. Bored at work? I go for brief walk. Stuck in an awkward spot? I try to notice what’s going on.


I’m not perfect and I find myself on more than off but hey it’s a start.



Perhaps it’s time to delete some apps. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

99 Luftballons

Do our beliefs limit us?

For the last sixty days I have been religiously logging my food, getting both cardio and weight work outs in and trying to limit bad food choices to single guy night in. For the last sixty days I’ve only lost seventeen pounds. I may have done a fat hand clap however the scale has been hovering at the same weight for the last few weeks and it’s really starting to piss me off. 

In church today we had a speaker talk about how belief can be a great powerful tool or big hindrance. The speaker’s theory was that if we truly believed something that we could manifest it and make it happen and whereas those who lost their beliefs or had beliefs that were harmful could not progress.

Because I’m vain I had to ask myself about my weight loss beliefs. Did I start this journey with the subconscious idea that I was going to fail? Or even worse did I believe that I was a failure because I didn’t measure up to all the other weight loss inspirational stories I see on Instagram and Pinterest? Also was I self-sabotaging myself in order to protect myself from actually accomplishing my goals?

Sitting there I became more and more agitated. Embarrassed. So because I couldn’t run out of the classroom screaming I’m fat! I believe I’m fat and always will be and my goals suck and I just want a damn Almond Joy! I mean I could but people would stare and it wouldn’t solve the problem. So when in doubt write it out.

I went back to the basics of why I started this blog and realized that the piece that I was missing and the key to all of the other weight loss stories was discipline. The factor that I have been missing in the last few years was that when freed from the confines of school deadlines I had no one to really hold me accountable to writing every day, going to the gym, and a really good justification system (I can justify a Java Chip Frappuccino like it’s no one’s business) for all my bad food choices.

Is this just me? Did I truly want to lose weight or was this something I felt like I had to do like flossing and going to bed early?  Taking myself out for a walk I took deep breath and realized that maybe I was taking this too seriously. I had originally started this whole weight loss journey for just the fact that I felt like I had to. Yet as I’ve gotten further down the road I’ve realized that I want to do this. I mean I really want to change. This time feels different. It’s stopped becoming a have to a want to. So on a post it I have written the words I want to change myself limiting beliefs about my weight and bad habits. I didn't hear the heavenly choir but I do feel lighter. 



I’ll keep you posted. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

All the Single Ladies Put Your Hands Up

 As a single person who is in his thirties trying to lose weight I find myself rarely having time to just have a guy’s night in. Since I’ve been taking a timeout on the whole find the eternal companion love of my life dating scene this one night in is the one day of the week that I can eat whatever I want (Chinese or Tony’s), wear whatever I want (Lulu lemon pants and a big triple xxl large sweatshirt) and watch Netflix. Trust me as a single person this is the holy grail of weekends. We spend all day doing laundry, cleaning, going to the grocery store, and getting gas by the time we get home all we want is some uninterrupted television and/or reading (and not the serious intellectual books you always list either. Think People Magazine.) time.

 This Saturday night I found myself in the usual outfit, on the same spot on my couch and having the usual sweet and sour chicken dinner meal when I found myself looking at my food going is this it? Is this the reward that I have gone to the gym for all week? It made me perplexed and wondering why do we add such an emotional attachment to food? Mainly why is it when I call down to Eastern Winds the woman on the other end go you want sweet and sour or chicken chow mein? I found myself in single guy’s night ennui.

I didn’t’ even have anyone to call. With all my friends married and/or in committed relationships I realized I was now the token single male friend that people didn’t know what to do with. Have my friends out grown me? Have I become JNCO jeans and white sunglasses in my friend’s closets? Or even worse frosted bleach hair tips? 

Suddenly the sweet and sour chicken didn’t taste that wonderful. The large coke suddenly tasted overly sweet and syrupy. Was this how I want to spend the rest of life and/or weekends? Worse was I using these food choices as some weird coping method? Throwing the meal away(I’m sorry but we all know day old Chinese food is the one night stand gone bad.) I sat down to write this post.


Have I ruined single guy’s night in? Also where does a thirty plus year old go to make new friends? Also why is it friend making harder to do than dating? With dates you know that if it's a complete disaster you don't have to tell anyone and you can pretend the whole thing  never happened. With exploring new friendships you put more effort into it. Am I wearing the right clothes do I have the right conversation pieces stored away? You find yourself rehearsing how to talk to them so you don't come off as if you are trying too hard. You don't want to be the guy that is trying too hard. You almost want to give them a note with two boxes marked do you like me? yes or no? 

It is these questions that have made me create single guy's night in to begin with. A night free of all this pressure. 

Anybody have any advice for a thirty plus year old person looking for friends? 


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

And I'm Like Forget You.



I went to the desert. 

I went to the desert to complete an item on my bucket list. I went to go see Adele sing live. I'm not a concert person but this is one of the people I would spend the money on to go see live. 

Of course she canceled. 

Of course. 

So I spent three days in the dry heat in the land of the pretty and pulled. Some people were so pulled and stretched they looked like quilts. 

It had been a long time since I've gone on a trip to a town where no one knows me. I was truly alone. 


Sometimes you need to be alone with yourself to have a conversation of where you are going and what your goals are. So I wrote out a couple of things that I wanted to focus on. 

1. Stop adding emotional attachments to food. Eliminating words like "Cheat, Reward, Pleasure" etc. Food should not be an erotic fetish but rather a means of energy and creation. Creation in the sense of exploring and creating new recipes that full-fill instead of process. 

2. Unplug from the stress. Like yesterday. As I've left my 20's I've realized that my books have changed from fiction to the Self Help section. I call it Still Screwed Up in my 30's please advise or Jesus Take the Wheel!  I mean I've been Tidying Up, becoming a Love warrior, Suze Orzman and I are best friends, and just because I needed some inspiration Eat Pray Love. Or in my case I ate too much, don't pray enough, and love is a battlefield. 

3. The Gym is not the enemy. You can always quit tomorrow. 

4. Learn to love yourself even when the scale is a lying son of b!tch who keeps on being all yeah no you haven't lost much but thanks for trying. He's so mean. If you drive by my Apt one day and you see the scale flying out the window just know it's me. One of my fantasies is to take a sledge hammer and beat that sucker till it's just a scrap of plastic parts which I'll recycle cause it needs new life in the karma cycle. 


5. Write more. Share more.  This post once a month business is just rude to your followers. 


It's Tuesday and I realized that it's almost been two months since I've started this journey. So close to the 260's that I can almost see it on the horizon. (2 pounds away!) 

So there's that.