La La La La – Elmo’s World!

I don’t know what I offer with this blog except for a place that I a) vent, b) rant or c) list a lot of goals that I have not yet achieved. Kind of stuffy around here as far as content goes, eh? My wife is finding and becoming way more secure in her writing, and I am so happy for her and to see it, but dammit! I am the creative one, why do I not express myself well in this blog.

Actually, that is the note I ended up wanting to talk about. She posted a good post something about looking in your neighbors window and lusting after their spouse and stuff and shit, or something like that. Wait no, it was judging yourself based on the kind of car your neighbor drives, that is it. We shouldn’t do that was her point and that she had been trying to write for others, instead of herself.

Go get them babe! Make sure to tell them all of our dirty laundry. Literally, the pile that grows on my side of the bed.

OK, seriously now though. Too much we judge ourselves by others standards and it is not fair to us. I am totally guilty on all counts of this. Man, I have been to the top of the mountain, I have held the ring son. What do I mean? Settle in, I will tell you.

It’s like this. I had never been a confident young man. I am shy, and I have many neurosis. It blows my mind that people look to me as a leader professionally and personally. But that is another story; I am shy. I would rather curl up with a book than go out, anywhere. Then I got fat, then I got a divorce (you all have read this part over and over), then I lost a lot of weight and on the way I stopped giving a shit what people thought of me.

THAT was the magic that is missing in me right now. Not giving two shits about what people think. I am so mired right now in being the guy that lost a lot of weight and gained it back. Oh yeah, people are saying and thinking it. But what happened to my Fuck Them attitude? I was balls out losing the weight the first time; I’d show up for a dinner ‘date’ wearing the shorts, tee and sweatshirt I had just worked out in, carrying my back pack and bleeding from the fall I took cornering too fast, and I DID NOT GIVE A SHIT.

I am sure people looked and judged, they always do, that is why the marathon was attacked this week (a basic judgment by one over another), but I have lost and need to find that feeling; I need to rise above the masses, hold my middle finger to the world, and be Mike, the impossible modern day warrior. I have fucking goosebumps right now.

This mid-week check in is different than I wanted to go; but I have ti tell you, this week has been one big pile of horse shit and I am ready for the weekend. Yep, I am broke, but it doesn’t cost a damn thing to sit out in the sun with your beautiful wife, reading, going to the gym, and just thinking about your place in the world and the good you can do. Doesn’t cost a damn dime.

As I was saying, before I got all Ted Nugent, was that on a scale of 1 to 10, this week has ranked bullshit. I mean, the Boston Marathon is attacked, some major shit goes down at my work, The pres and some Senator are mailed ricin, and then a fertilizer plant blows up in Texas. What the fuck? And on top of it all, I’m broke. Shit man, the doobies broke up?

But I have had some joys this week, here they are:
Daugher 1 drew a couple pictures for me
Daughter 2 and I have a new game called scrunch the face and blow air outta your nose

Wife is regaining her smile and swagger

Son 3 has worked out at the gym twice with me this week.

I think, personally, the good outweigh the bad this week, and over the weekend, I am going to thank the Goddess and the God for being there, listening and loving.

Be blessed all, go do some good. And if you see sons 1 or 2, tell them to call pops.

Thoughts of a wannabe loser, a blog post

Trying to lose weight is very difficult. Its easy to stutter and have to start many times over. Its also very easy to get trapped into trying things to speed up the process, motivate you or just do out of some level of self-loathing.

I find myself over the last two to fifteen months in that hamster wheel where you start, stop and gain. The SSG principal a lot of dieters get into. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this and have decided there are some rules you have to live by. Some of them are not new, most in fact, but it is a new observation for me.

1. It is not a diet–This is the most important thing to remember. If you diet, you WILL lose weight, I promise, but I also know from years of experience that you will gain it back. The only successful way to keep weight off is to make long-term (life) changes to the choices you make regarding the food you eat and your activity level. They don’t have to be terrifically theatrical like a juice fast, going vegan, eating only non-processed free range organic duck liver; but they do have to be different than what you are doing now. And for the love of all that is holy, drink more water. If you think you drink enough, double it.
2. Do not keep up with the Jones’–I have a good friend, like a brother to me actually, and I have only known him a few years; but he inspires me so much but that can be dangerous too. You cannot chose to live vicariously through someone else. This friend is turning 30, he is a decade younger than I (I am literally 33% older than he) so his body acts and reacts different to stress, fatigue and activity. I cannot be him. In fact, as much as he inspires me, and we have similar interests, I don’t want to be him (sometimes I feel like our overlord does). I want to be the best me that I can and that includes doing some of the stuff he does like biking or hot Pilates, because they sound amazing and they are fantastically healthy. Let him be him, you be you and I will be the me; we will just be the best we can.
3. It is going to hurt, sometimes a lot, but find your inner super hero–I didn’t know I had inspired anyone. See, I yo-yo’d because I lost focus, reason, clarity and goals. I had gone from nearly 400 pounds down to 250-245, in a little more than a year. How? Hard fucking work. So much so that I was about to get those words tattooed on my knuckles. I started running, and it hurt. I biked to work, and some days it hurt. I actually became the bike guy. I did not have car, and I rode my bike everywhere. My son and I would go to the grocery store, ride the strip, I’d ride to work – hell, my wife fell in love with the bike guy (it is awfully hard an embarrassing to tell your first date, guess what I have no car; you become afraid she will be singing “No Scrub”). Somewhere I become the boyfriend guy, then the engaged guy, then the father to be guy then the truck guy, then the mini-van guy and then the 330 pound guy again. I forgot my superhero alter identity, Bike Guy – until recently. One of my employees who is new to my team, said that Bike Guy had inspired him and a lot of people. It made me feel good. I felt like Superman in Superman 3 when he is a drunk bum; or any movie where the hero got a gut and then a montage later, he was svelte again. I really need a montage, but I am willing to put in the hard, heavy work. And hurt from time to time.
4. You have to have a reason–Originally my reason to lose the weight was hatred, raw and burning loathing for the woman who told me it was impossible for me to change. I wanted to prove to my ex she was wrong. After 50 pounds, I realized it was really about me, then it became about wanting to run a triathlon. Then, well, I just forgot. It became easy for me to eat doughnuts again or skip workouts. But here I am at the nexus of turning forty, and it is going to get harder, and I have SO much I still want to be able to do like play soccer, climb, canoe and yes run triathlon. But the biggest reason is that I have a beautiful family that I need to be around to take care of, and to do that right, I have to put my health needs first.
5. You have to have the most amazing support structure–I mean the most amazing. Loved ones and friends that are willing to not roll your eyes when you say, “I swear, in the morning, no more hot dogs”, or when you come home “hone, I am not eating solid foods for ten days”. Hell, they not only cannot roll their eyes, they have to go out and buy you the veggies to juice. Your support system is there to listen and love you no matter what. That being said, they are not responsible for your weight loss and lifestyle and you cannot ask them to change to meet your needs. Remember that, let them be the best they can, but you be the best you can. That being said, if you can find a fitness or accountability buddy – do it, you chances for success are that much better.

Anyway, these are just some of the things I had been thinking over the last week and realizing where I had forgotten my path, especially the superhero alter ego. It is time for me to bring back Bike Man I think and do battle with the jack asses in their car.

Go move today.

Untitled Masterpiece

“Here is to good friends, tonight is kind of special” – Lowenbrau Beer Ad

Lowenbrau

It just so happens that my second oldest child has been visiting for the Christmas holiday this past week, and is going home tomorrow.  But for the short time he has been with me, I am reminded of his keen wit and sense of humor; of which, I feel a great responsibility for shaping, sometimes wrongly.  I am fortunate enough now to share my grandiose and often blue sense of humor with Anthony, Autumn and Ayden.

 As most families do, we were playing a game of “If Mom Died”, over dinner, we began to discuss the succession of the presidency of our house; this is a fun and educational experience where you learn a lot about who really rules the roost.  I decided if mom dies, that I as vice president would take over.  I said it would be a lot more fun, because I am more like Uncle Joe Bidden, out looking for poontang.  Immediately regretting this in front of my current audience ranging from 15 years to 7 months; I pushed on with the subject.

 I told the kids that Alex, as the oldest, would then be next as Speaker of the House, followed by Adam as the President Pro Tempe of the Senate (I likened him to Harry Reid for an inside joke, but he did not get it), and then Anthony as the Secretary of State.  At this point, I could not remember the succession, I told the family it would go to Autumn as secretary of something.  As I tried to remember if it was Secretary of Interior or Defense, she blurted out to nobody in particular, “I know, I am the Secretary of Poontang”.  To which we all tried to hide our laughter.  Me, I tried to hide my disappointment; I wanted to be Secretary of Poontang.

 This conversation for me sums up 2012.  It has been a year of highs and lows, mostly highs – but the lows run deep.  Both Amanda and I have had to fight back from a dark spot of the blues, and I think we are doing a fine job.  Some of our other remarkable achievements in this year of change include getting married, becoming a one income family, saying hello to a new baby, saying goodbye to the truck, welcoming in Mark with his marriage to Mimi, getting and losing an iPhone and finally, realizing maybe what we thought we had always wanted is not necessarily what we want or need any more, for both of us.

 A lot of 2012 for me was awfully sedentary and I have paid a huge price for it; mentally, emotionally and physically but luckily, ours is a house of love and happiness, for the most part; I will be working on some of the small pieces (see my last post) as will Amanda.  But in our house, all are welcome, and all are invited.  I am the most fortunate man to have married the woman I did and have the kids and family I do.  That is why my resolution list was short.  I summed it up to Amanda perfectly the other day, 2013 will be the year I become the man I want to hang out with today.  Easy, right?

 I see A LOT of changes coming in 2013; possibilities that two years ago I would not have thought, but it will amaze and excite.  I wrap up the last 16 hours of 2012 with a heart not heavy of things I left undone, but with the warmth of my family, the love of my life and the excitement to create 2013 in my view, and probably lots more events like the one at the start of the post.

 I raise my coffee to you, yours and all; here is to old friends, new friends and those I have not yet met.  Good journey and happy, blessed,  New Year

I hate this

I hate being fat.  I hate that I have to work so damn hard at losing weight.  I hate that I look in the mirror and see someone that I hate.  I hate that there has been more than one relationship in my life that has been ruined by my weight and self-deprecation.  I hate that I can’t breathe when I walk.  I hate that I lost 125 pounds and then gained 50 of it back.  I hate that I cannot wake up to go to the gym.  I hate that the fact that I am fat impacts my ability to earn income at my work more than my lack of a four year degree.  I hate the look I get from people.  I hate that sometimes the only happiness I feel is when I am eating.  I hate the shame after getting happiness from eating.  I hate that I can’t climb, run, bike, swim or even just play with my damn kids.  I hate that I use terms like flip the switch or turn it around.  I hate diabetes.  I hate that I have diabetes and high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  I hate lying to myself thinking I am going to start, tomorrow.  I hate tomorrow.  I hate the alarm at 5 AM.  I hate my ratty tennis shoes that have holes in them and are barely hanging on.  I hate my new tennis shoes that I haven’t worn because I gained weight too fast at first and they do not fit.  I hate that I cannot sleep at night.  I hate the insanity creeping up in the middle of the night waking me in a cold sweat and keeping me asleep.  I hate that sometimes I fall asleep on the toilet in the middle of the night because I am so tired.  I hate pretending.  I hate that I know what to do and don’t do it.  I hate people telling me they love me anyway.  I hate it when my kids when they say “you aren’t fat”, I hate liars. I hate that my wife has to love me.  I hate it when my wife tells me go to the gym.  I hate when my boss tells me go to the gym.  I hate when my friends tell me go to the gym.  I hate society when it tells me go to the gym.

 I hate that they are right.

 Time to do something tonight, right now.  Not tomorrow.  Flip the switch and turn this around.

 I love my wife.  I love my kids.  I love to run, swim, climb, and bike.  I love to play with my kids.  I love going to the gym.  I love the look in people’s eyes when they see me at the gym.  I love the way my clothes fit after a few weeks even.  I love being tired after a long ride.  I love that I can get healthier and battle these symptoms. 

 I am learning to love me.  That is a hard process.

 I love that I hate that it is totally worth it.