Always Forward, Rarely Straight

25 09 2012

So I was living the dream, 70 pounds down, plant based diet, feeling healthier and full if energy – then vacation time came. After making the proclamation here that I would not allow vacation to derail me as it has done to so many others – it did. Day one of vacation started with pancakes, bacon and sausage and I never looked back. And a week spiraled into two months of eating a lot more of what I hadn’t been. The last time I looked at a scale I had gained back 12 pounds.

How does it happen? How do human beings that are so focused on a goal slip up like that and completely fall apart? For me, I was frustrated. I was tired of feeling like I was depriving myself and barely seeing the needle on the scale move. It was frustrating to go to my acupuncture appointments and pay hundreds of dollars and see that I lost .4 pounds that week when I knew how hard I was working to lose more. Some weeks, I was even slightly up. So despite the tremendous physical benefits I was feeling from acupuncture, I stopped going all together.

And same was the fate of this blog…checking in weekly to give the weight loss report – I’m just not wired that way. The self imposed “foot on the neck” approach does not yield lasting results for me. I need to have a more gentler setup.

In the past several weeks, I’ve felt a whole lot less full of vigor. I started to feel like how I felt a year ago right before I got sick. I’ve recently been eating an 80% raw diet of uncooked fruits,veggies and nuts in an effort to get back on track. I’ll be frank, I have no idea of what the future game plan is here. I’m just trying to figure out what works for me. Mostly plant based / mostly raw feels good but I’m just not sure if I have the strength or will to limit all food intake to that – at least for the moment.

I’m thankful to the many people who wrote me to see if all was okay or to ask what happened to the blog. It would have been interesting to blog during this two months “in the wilderness” but I just didn’t have it in me. I needed to hit the reset button and clear my mind. I feel like I’m in a better space now.

So for those still checking in, thanks so much. Here we go again…always forward, rarely straight….





Hell Week

11 07 2012

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Busy couple of weeks lately. Vacation is around the corner and as usual I’m working like a dog to get everything done so I can go away and mentally be free of work. Late night stakeouts (I’m an investigator/glorified social worker) in a car is not very conducive to losing weight but the battle continues. Since beginning acupuncture treatments I’m 10 pounds down. (the pain reducing effects have been wonderful!) It’s a long, hard slog though. And frankly vacation worries me. I will need to really focus on getting my exercise in. The goal is to come home from vacation, weighing significantly less than when I left for it. We all know how difficult that can be. But at least for a week, I’ll be out of the car and out from behind a desk so I definitely feel like it will be possible.





The Fear of Hurting

9 04 2012

And so begins week 16 of my journey to better health and wellness through a plant based diet and exercise. After not seeing the scale move at all two weeks ago, this past week I was able to lose three pounds which brings my total loss to over 59 pounds. Of course just after I posted last Monday about not losing any weight, the weight started flying off. I’ve noticed that every 10-15 pounds of weight loss, there is often a significant lull before my body starts dropping again. It’s like my body is adjusting.

This week I switched things up and I know that made a difference. In addition to walking and lifting weights, I added my first two days of the DDP Yoga program. I’m on track to do this workout 4-5 days a week. So far I will say this, I’m extremely happy with it. I’m not in great shape so it is definitely challenging. But its not so hard that it is impossible. It’s completely doable because there are alternate ways (modifications) for many of the exercises. These are offered depending on physical ability and skill level. The modifications definitely make it easier. Because I don’t want to feel like I’m cheating myself, I try to go all out though and don’t use the modifications as much as I probably should. I’m not sure if that is wise, but we will see what happens. I should be patient and just gradually build up to where I want to be. But like so many of us, I want my results and I want them now. I can definitely feel the burn afterwards; sometimes for hours or even into the next day. I never expected to get such a great workout from a program like this. I would have saved a lot of money on weights, had I started this program first.

Realistically, the mental component of this is the hardest part. Over the years, I’ve conditioned myself to avoid pain. Somewhere during football season of my senior year of high school, I became afraid of pain. I was tired of double sessions (day long practices at the start of the season during the heat of August). I was tired of running so much and being pushed to my limit. I remember it being very humid and feeling very tired and thirsty. I just started to get mentally weak and began looking for short cuts as the days went on. That is how it started and its been a slow descent ever since. At times I’m a wimp and that is something I don’t like about myself. It’s not easy to admit. Guys my size are supposed to be tough and I have been in the past. But somehow that gradually fell away. So that is something I will need to change. And it’s scary because I still fear pain. It’s crazy though and I’ll be the first one to tell you that I don’t know what exactly I’m afraid of. Its not like exercise is going to kill me…at least it probably won’t if it hasn’t done so already. Maybe 59 pounds ago, but probably not now.

I need to keep telling myself that this pain is truly only temporary. At some point it will end and out beyond it is where I will find success. But it’s hard to tell yourself that and actually believe it when you are in the midst of it.

For the yoga program I also had to take pictures of how I look and what my flexibility looks like so that I’ll have something to compare my progress to down the line. I hated that. Despite feeling so good about my weight loss so far, the pictures are terribly unflattering. I look at them and I really dislike what I see. I look at the pictures and think to myself, “I thought you’ve come farther than this”. So this is both depressing and motivating. The road is long and I do have much more to go.

The last two weeks have been a good reminder that sometimes it just takes time. Sometimes the weight is going to come off easier than at other times. I just have to remain steadfast. I didn’t put it on overnight and it’s not going to come off that way either. I just have to keep my head in the game. I have to stay focused and determined. As Eric Thomas said in the videos I posted yesterday, I have to want this as bad as I want to breathe. I cannot become complacent. 60 pounds is not enough. 120 pounds is not enough. I need to see this to the point of actual health and wellness. There is no end to it. It will take working at it every day. I can do this.





Our Body is an Instrument… what kind of music are you making?

10 03 2012

The best thing about getting in shape is that success or failure rest solely with the individual. I’m in charge and if I stay diligent and have discipline I will achieve my goals. If I lack drive, focus and commitment, I will fail to achieve what I have set out for. With health and wellness there are no excuses. The only one I have to blame for allowing things to get so out of hand is me. If I want to change my situation then I am the only one who can ultimately do it. Sure I can solicit advice from those already on the path, but I’m the person that will need to put in the hard work and the effort. I have no one to blame but myself if I have a bad week or a bad day. I can take the journey as far as I want. It is completely up to me. How different are so many other things in life? .

I think about my artistic pursuits in music. I’m in a band; the clubber lang gang. I sing and sometimes I add hand synthesizer or other efx. I’m definitely not talented enough to make anything sound worthwhile solely by myself. We’re in the process of recording a new album right now. I need my friends who are guitarists, bassists, drummers, keyboardists and singers to make the songs shine. It is truly a group effort. Creating music in a band can be difficult. Everyone brings their own talents as well as their idiosyncrasies to the mix. In order for good music to be created, everyone has to function together as one unit. This can be difficult because as people we are all different.

With health and wellness, my body becomes my instrument. With practice and dedication I can turn this out of shape mess of a body into a perfectly working instrument. One that will yield beautiful music if I work hard enough and remain patient. This is something I can do on my own without excuses. The journey is mine alone and I’m eager to get where I’m going. The worthwhile part though is the struggle to get there. Once I have arrived, there will be some other hill to climb. But this is the big one, and I’m going to savor it. It’s freeing to be in control of ones destiny.

Wishing you all well in your individual pursuits.
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This is a song from our first album, Now Here This, available on itunes and many places online. The song is about getting on the good path and making changes, living the life you want to live for you, cutting out the excesses that damage, healing, finally getting it right. The seed was planted awhile ago. Unfortunately it took longer than expected to put it into motion. It’s too late to go back now so forward I go.

The Get Right by the clubber lang gang

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