My Weight Loss Journey: Part 1 Why?

I have a confession to make… I’m a big fat guy!

Sure, I can point it out and laugh, just as anybody else could… and did, back in my school days! I can accept it as a part of who I am and just move on with my life. OR… and here is the awesome part… I could fight against it!

 Shadow of the Colossus by ChasingArtwork

Shadow of the Colossus by ChasingArtwork

When you think of the word “Epic”, many things might spring to mind. The thing that springs to mind for me is a single hero, with the support of many, going to war against an unimaginably huge army for a cause of saving everything! Or maybe that hero is facing an enemy so large that there is seemingly no way that he could possibly survive the encounter, much less win. I like to think of my weight loss journey the same way. After all of the times I have tried and failed at losing weight, that’s what this has become, an Epic battle against insurmountable odds that truly are stacked against me.

Yet, throughout all of my trials and tribulations, one question seems to keep popping up out of nowhere. Why? Why are you fighting this battle? Why do you keep moving forward? Why wont you just give up already? This question is a test. It’s the puzzled look on the bowman’s face after he has just shot an arrow into your shoulder and you continue to charge! It’s the look in the eyes of the Giant who has just finished trying to shake you off of him for the 8th time. It’s the astonished look on the enemy general’s face as you walk towards him unscathed passed a pile of his dead soldiers. It comes up at some of the worst times too! It shows up 3/4 through that run when your hitting your wall. It shows up just as the reps start to hurt. And it always shows up when you’re staring at that last big hill before the finish line. You see it hanging there… all goes quiet… and in your mind, the loudest whisper in existence… WHY?

Nerd Fitness Academy BannerMost recently this question popped up in a new program that I’m trying called Nerd Fitness Academy. In it, you take your desire for health and fitness and put it in the form of a Role Playing Game. You name your character, choose your class (warrior, Ranger, Assassin, Druid, etc) and it gives you quests to complete on that chosen path. You can stray from your path as much as you want, or stay firm on your chosen course. Regardless of the path, one of the First quests is titled “Find Your Big Why” This makes sense, because at times it’s the only deciding factor in your decision to keep going or sit on the couch and down a box of cookies.

a picture of me.

Told Ya!

Now, I could take the easy way out and just look at the top line of this blog. I’m a big fat guy! That’s a pretty good “Why” right??? No… that’s way too easy! We need to dig deeper! Why do any of us want to lose weight? I can name a few of those I relate to. To be healthy, to fit into better clothes, to look sexy for the ladies, to have more confidence at work, to have more energy, and to have the options to do more activities are all good reasons. I think this is close, but I feel like we need to go at least One more layer down to really get to the heart of it.

If you are going to find your why, you have to be completely and brutally honest with yourself. This is YOURSELF you are talking to. Don’t beat around it. Just say it and get it off your chest. Not only will you feel better, but you will finally be able to move forward and in my Nerd Fitness case I will be able to get some “XP” in the process. If bringing your “Why” to the surface, doesn’t make your eyes well up at least a little, your doing it wrong and you need to go deeper. Find what you are here for Emotionally. It’s the only fuel your engine will take.

Here it goes! Fragdemented, why do you want to lose weight?

It’s not just one thing… It’s Everything! I’m sick and tired of always being sick and tired! I wan’t to know what it’s like to feel like a normal human being! Sure every guy imagines himself as the winner of the strongman competition or the sexy male lead in an action movie that all the women swoon over, but I just want to be normal! Is that so fucking hard to ask?

I’ve had people on multiple occasions suggest lap band surgery or stomach stapling! Why in the hell should I have to cut into my body and artificially modify it?!?! It shouldn’t be this hard to be a normal sized individual. I can’t just live my life and be a normal size, I have to spend several hours of my day exercising, and the way things are looking I will have to continue doing so for the rest of my life. jim carrey tweetThat’s an even better “Why”! Why do some of us need to practically kill ourselves to be healthy and others can spend all day indulging on the sweets of life and never gain a pound?!?!?! I hate it! I hate being Fat!

I want to know what it’s like to have someone admire me for my body. I want to be able to walk into a store and pick out clothes my size no matter where i am. I want to not have to ask the stewardess in an airplane for a seat belt extension. CAN’T THEY JUST BUILD RE-TRACTORS INTO THE SEATS AND MAKE THE BELTS LONGER?!?!?!?! I want have the satisfaction of not worrying if something will hold my weight. I want to be able to zip up my jackets. I want to not have to pull my pants up over a giant belly flab!  I want to eat an ice cream cone and not worry about the calorie intake. I want to eat ALL of  my meals and not worry about the calorie intake!

Skinny people all over the world, you have NO IDEA what it’s like to be stuck in a fat body! You have no idea the pain and agony we put ourselves through emotionally and physically! Can you say that you worked your ass off to lose 57 pounds in two months only to have it fall right back into your body in half the time!? I certainly can, and it’s some of the most crushing emotional pain you will ever experience in your life!

fat guy in a little coat

Why am I here? Why am I constantly torturing myself by changing the way I eat, the food I eat, and the activities I do? Because I want to know what I’m doing wrong! Something is seriously and horribly wrong with the way I live and I don’t know what it is. I’m depressed all the time, I’m lethargic all the time, there are days when I can’t think straight at all, and I don’t know what I can do about it.

I don’t eat much. When I have a meal now, it usually consists of a couple spoonfuls of meat (turkey, beef, chicken), and a mixture of vegetables that I steamed up a bit. I’m drinking water all the time, and I don’t drink coffee anymore. I’ve switched entirely to tea with the one exception of a chai latte from the coffee shop sometimes.

piggy swimming

This is pointless

I am exercising every single day now. I go lap swimming every other day on the weekdays, usually completing anywhere between 36 and 48 Fifty yard laps and 192 pull-ups on the bars at one end of the pool! Doesn’t that sound awesome and healthy?! last year I was able to jog a full 5k! I’m pretty sure I still could, but would it do me any good?

My weight doesn’t want to budge. I still weigh 366lbs! WHAT AM I DOING WRONG??? That’s why I’m here. I have to solve the puzzle. I have to know my body! Only when I figure it all out, will I be able to move on to other important things in my life.

I hope you enjoyed reading my angry weight loss rant. I plan to do more of these in the future. They will mostly be based on the things I’ve learned on my weight loss journey. If you are trying to lose weight, let me know your “Why?” in the comments below! I would love to hear that I’m not alone in my struggle. Feel free to ask questions or let me know any future topics you would like me to write about!

Thank you for your time!

The Peaceful Warrior and Weed

I recently took ill a couple of days ago, and had a chance to catch up with some movies that I had been collecting on my shelf. One of those gems was Peaceful Warrior. If you haven’t had the chance to watch it, I HIGHLY recommend it. It’s a life changer of a movie. An Amazingly Awesome friend introduced it to me during a time in my life when I desperately needed some guidance. It was the first of many steps I took to start really getting what I need out of life. I think it was also the most important of the steps.

Peaceful Warrior Movie Poster

Awesome Movie! Awesome Book!

However, when I watched it this time, I made a connection with a previous topic I have touched on several times in this blog. Specifically the topic of Smoking Pot. Upon watching portions of the movie where “Socrates” is trying to teach Dan that there is never nothing going on, I realized that the way of the Peaceful Warrior and the effects of Marijuana on the mind have an inverse correlation.

In the past, when I have talked about my experiences with Mary Jane, I have mentioned a “shrinking” of the world around me. More specifically it has been a “shrinking” of my awareness. First, I drop all awareness of the universe, Then the rest of the planet leaves all conscious thought, then my country is all that is left, then the state I’m in. Before I know it, the town, the world outside and even for a brief period the rest of the house is all non-existent within my head. All responsibilities and worries tied to those places and the things in them have dropped away. They might as well no longer exist at all. That’s the feeling that kept me drawn to smoking weed. After my “Bad-Trip” I never touched the stuff again, and never will. Curiously though, after watching Peaceful Warrior again, I think this may be a good thing for me.

Spoiler Alert Comical Image

You have been warned!

“There’s never nothing going on… There are no ordinary moments.” – Dan Millman, Peaceful Warrior

In the Movie, the Character Socrates attempts to heighten the awareness of the character Dan. At one point (after a hilarious scene at a bridge) he gives Dan a dose of clarity with some kind of pressure point move. During another point he makes him sit on a Car for hours until he comes to the realization stated above.

In the Book they have a conversation where Socrates asks him a series of questions starting with “Where are you?” in which Dan answers (among others) “the Universe”. To which Socrates replies “And Where is the Universe?”

I started thinking about the idea that there are no ordinary moments. At every possible moment, somewhere, most likely in several places all over the universe, something AMAZING is happening. Becoming a Peaceful Warrior is about being able to see that thing. If not in person, than at least in your minds eye. There is always something beautiful to behold.

World looming over head

All those problems… are still on your shoulders.

I believe now that Pot dims the light that lets us see those amazing things. It turns the universe into a dark place that you don’t bother thinking about because “out of sight, out of mind”. Then, when it starts to wear off, the light slowly gets brighter showing you all the scary things that have crept up on you in the dark. Had your light not gone out, you could have kept an eye on those things, but now they loom over you like evil ogres in shadows of your mind.

Of course, this is all just my opinion and speculation. I just wanted to talk about the strange connection between a random movie and a drug that will be legalized in Alaska very soon. Like I said before, I don’t mind if anyone wants to go and smoke some weed every now and then. I just won’t be in your smoke circle. And now I have one more reason to say why.

Thank you for your time!