7 Pounds Lost in 5 Days

13 06 2012

And so begins week 25 of my switch to a (mostly) plant based diet with increased exercise in an attempt to lose weight and get healthy. After 6 months, I’m down nearly 70 pounds. The last month or so has been a terrible struggle for me. I went off the rails for a little while and at one point gained about 11 pounds before shedding most of it. But the gaining can happen so quickly and the shedding is an awful lot harder. What I can gain in a few days, takes weeks to take off again. And a lot of the time what further complicates things is that I’m just not disciplined enough. I’m spread very thin with work, family and other endeavors and I don’t make enough time to exercise. I’m working at getting better with this.

Lately I’ve been trying acupuncture as a way to help get me through this plateau that I’ve been stuck on. I’ve also been incorporating some Chinese root tea and other medicinal supplements. It all tastes like dirt and bark to me but I’ve managed to lose 7 pounds in 5 days following the prescribed regiment – on my doctor’s scale anyway. That’s a whole separate issue. How the doc’s scale can vary so much from mine is a great and frustrating mystery to me. But as long as both scales are moving in the same direction, I’m happy.

My acupuncture sessions have been amazing. Despite often having a very unquiet mind at the start of the sessions, by the end I am in a near dream state. I really feel like these sessions take me places. I’m talking otherworldly here. Maybe they are just taking me deeper inside my self. Either way they are fantastically peaceful. During my last session, I felt energy traveling up and down my legs and through my gut. It was amazing. I felt like a living energy super highway. That’s not overstating the feeling either. I guess it is my energy meridians opening up. Really an amazing experience. This is how the healing begins. I’m so very excited for what the future holds in store for me on this journey.





Look Ma, I’m on TV!

27 05 2012

My friend Jaime has a fantastic new television show that teaches folks how to make amazing plant based meals. As you will see though, this show offers a whole lot more than just a few recipes. I make my appearance in the last segment to talk about how I came to adopt a plant based diet. I also get to try this amazing food. And that’s not hype, these dishes were fantastic! As you watch this you will see that it’s obvious that I’m not all that comfortable yet with sharing my story on camera but this was a very fun experience and a fantastic opportunity to let folks in my local area know about my blog.

I’m very much indebted to Jaime. People like her hold part of the map that I need to get to where I’m supposed to be going. The first night I met her I was really talking for the first time about my health, my new plant-based lifestyle change and my wanting to lose a lot of weight. I was terrified to talk about this in front of strangers (we were at a local bloggers meet and greet – yes, bloggers really do get out from behind the computer once in awhile. And when we do, we gather together and talk about blogging!). Jaime gave me a big genuine hug afterwards that completely disarmed me and made me feel much better about the situation. This is truly part of Jaime’s mission statement. She works to make the world a better place by putting part of her soul into so many of the things that she does. That night was the very first time that I truly realized that beyond my fear lies amazing and wonderful things.

please check out Jaime’s blog: http://savethekales.wordpress.com/





Re-Birth Day!

26 05 2012

Wow, what a couple of weeks it has been.  Work has been insanely crazy.  And some photography gigs and other artistic pursuits have kept me extra busy during my typical downtime.  Trying to eat healthier while running myself ragged is also quite a challenge.  Admittedly I’m struggling some days.  But that is the beauty of each new day, waking up and getting a chance to start over from scratch and make your life what you want it to be.  Each day is a chance to recommit and become my best self.  Last night I had the best sleep that I have had in weeks.  That alone makes such a difference.

This week I celebrated my 37th birthday.  As I get older, birthdays become a strange thing.  As a child I would look so forward to birthdays and presents and parties with friends.  Nowadays though, I’m content to push the day off and try to find a way to go in reverse.  It’s not getting older that scares me as much as it is having less time.  In some ways I feel like this lifestyle change is a way to counteract thatt.  To make some changes in order to lose wight while gaining energy and better well being.  In so many ways, eating plant based has been like finding the fountain of youth.

When I was in high school I wanted to get into law enforcement.  I always had this nagging feeling that I wouldn’t live past my 2o’s.  I thought for sure I would be shot and killed while in that line of duty.  It’s weird but true.  In college I was actually shot at (being somewhere at the wrong place and time) and got away physically unharmed.  That is a story for another time.  That experience though made me feel temporarily bullet proof and the fear of being shot has never really returned.  But over the years since then, I put on well over 125 pounds.  I started to think that my poor lifestyle would be the thing to do me in.  I thought for sure  I’d be checking out early just because I had let myself go so badly.  There comes a point where a person can feel like staying on the path they are on is just easier than making the difficult changes.

I’m happy that as I begin my 27th year on this planet, I’m making changes that should help improve my quality of life and hopefully keep me in the game longer.  I feel tremendous gratitude for my family and friends.  My life is blessed.  I am striving to be the best that I can be.  I feel thankful for a job that makes me crazy but really does do a small part to make the lives if children a little bit better.  I am extremely grateful for my outside pursuits in the arts, the chances it gives me to express myself and meet fascinating, wonderful people along the way who have amazing stories.  Life is good.  I’m going to try to make it even better in the next year.

Thanks for reading!

keep in touch: johnnysized@gmail.com





Don’t Give Up!

16 05 2012

This one is for the people who are struggling with their weight. For the people who feel broken. For those that have given up. For those that feel they are too far gone now to make a change.

Don’t give up!

I know where you are at. I was over 400 pounds at one point not so long ago. I thought it was too late for me. My friends and family had spoken with me about their concerns regarding my weight. I would “yes” them and then go binge for days. Their criticisms seemed to validate the feelings I already had about myself – that I was not good enough. That there was something wrong with me. I stopped going to most family gatherings. I further isolated myself. My shame grew exponentially.

I had tried to lose weight in the past and always failed. I always gained it all back plus some. I felt hopeless and sometimes worthless. My future looked so bleak to me.

I got to the point where my thought process was that I would die this way. It would be easier to just eat myself to death rather than lose this weight. Until I got very sick and dying became a real possibility. It’s funny how something like that will change a person. It was a blessing that came disguised as a trauma. (Doesn’t this happen frequently in life?).

Getting sick was the best thing that could have happened to me. It forced me to see what others had been trying to say to me. Of course I had known I was in very poor health but it was in getting sick that it really crystalized for me. I knew that I needed to make a change.

There is nothing special about me. My willpower is less than most people you know. I’ve failed constantly in the past. The only difference this time is that I’m willing to continue on for the long haul – one small step at a time. If it takes me 2 years or 5 to lose 200+ pounds, I’m going to do it.

I’m not telling you that you aren’t already perfect because you are. Zen Buddhist master, Thich Nhat Hanh said, “The wave does not need to die to become the water”. We are already what we seek to become. It is already inside us, we just need to find it, tap into it and bring it out.

Before losing 65 pounds, I was unable to wear a seatbelt in some cars, I could not sit in a booth when dining out, plastic lawn furniture was my nemesis, amusement park rides were often not possible, flying required seatbelt extenders.  Even just finding the energy to play with my kids or take a walk with them was so difficult.  Life was harder and I was missing out on some of the best parts of it.

So I’m not telling you there is anything wrong with you. I’m just trying to appeal to your desire to live the life you were born to live. The life you envisioned when you were younger. The life that your weight might currently prevent you from living. Inherit the life you were born to live!

How to start? Each race won starts with a single step. So take your first step now. I started by cutting out sugar. I failed initially. Even once in a blue moon I still fail but starting is the important part. Starting and picking yourself up when you fall are the most important things. As you have successes, cut out other unhealthy things while increasing exercise.

Don’t give up!

Aim for a pound. Just one pound. Show your body and your mind that you can do it. When you reach a pound go for 2,  then 5, then 10.   Mini goals are very important.  Sometime the only way a mountain can be climbed is to climb it one step at a time.

Don’t wait for your situation to become increasingly dire like I did. If you aren’t happy, make a small change today.  Begin to come up with a plan.

I’m an email or a message away if I can help in any way. If you need to talk and are willing to put forth some effort, I’m willing to spend the time.  I know you can do this, because I am doing it too.  Millions of us are.  Come join us.  Reclaim your life.

I wish you luck. But with some determination you won’t really need it. Don’t give up!

All the best,
Johnny
johnnysized@gmail.com





FEAR

27 04 2012

Fear holds us back. It tells us that we aren’t good enough. That we aren’t worth anything. It tells us that we can’t succeed. That we’ll never have the discipline to “make it”. That we shouldn’t try. It tells us to stay in our comfort zone. That we should not allow ourselves to become vulnerable. It tells us to be content. To not reach for something more. To not strive for something better. To forget about what we thought we were destined to become.

My fear says I’m failing. It’s says I won’t succeed. It says I can’t sustain this. My fear says that I won’t like what I see in the mirror tomorrow. It says there is no need to exercise today because staying heavy is safer. It says this slice of pizza won’t hurt me. It says go ahead, have another. It says eat and eat some more and keep eating after that…build up a wall around you. Don’t be vulnerable. Don’t let people in. Be lazy. You’re not up to this challenge. You can’t do this. Everyone is going to watch you fail. It says stay quiet. It says don’t share me with anyone. It says the person you have been is all that you will ever be. It says all hope is lost.





Eulogy

17 04 2012

Let me live among passionate people! It doesn’t matter if its a passion to make it as an actor, get a promotion or land a dream job. Maybe its a passion to become a renowned photographer, grow the largest tomatoes or to be the best at Parcheesi. It doesn’t matter what it is, the drive is the exact same.

Let me be around people who enjoy life. People who savor each and every moment. People who reach to obtain the seemingly unattainable. People who are perpetually on fire with excitement.

Let me be near strong, resilient people so that when I fall they will be there to remind me that I have to pick myself up and get back on track. Let me know people brave enough to walk through the fear and the pain in their lives. People who persevere long after the rest of us would pack it in. People who have the physical and emotional scars of life but recognize that in these experiences they have discovered their strength.

Let me know emotional people who truly “feel” life. Let me know men who can cry. People who can connect and empathize. Let them be close at hand for the times when I find myself disconnecting from life around me. For the times when I feel disconnected from myself.

When I check out, I want to know that I did a little bit of everything and that I did it as well as I was able. That I put pieces of me into everything I did and that I did it with pride and passion and love. That I butted up against every wall in front of me and tried my best to break through. That the times I met wih failure, I learned from it and did not give up. That time and time again, I surpassed my own expectations which I had set for myself. That in obtaining what I had sought, I appreciated it fully but was only momentarily complacent – wanting to strive further. That my life was interesting to me. That I lived the life I wanted to live and not the one that others expected I should live. That I had a little bit of passion in every aspect of it. That I did some good while I was here while minimizing harm to others. That when I did harm, people found it in themselves to forgive me. That those who truly knew me, didn’t judge me but saw me for the person I was. That I was able to see others in this same way. That I saw things not in black and white but in shades of grey.

Life is hard and its short. I just want to be able to say when my spirit separates from my body that I took the life that was given to me and I used it to its fullest. That for all of the times that I pissed my time away, there were more instances where I used it for something worthwhile. That after some years of stagnation, I finally stood up and inherited my destiny. That I actually LIVED.

Then I will rest peacefully.





Envision Something Different

16 04 2012

And so begins week 17 of my journey to better health through exercise and a plant based diet. This week I lost an additional 2 pounds which brings my total to 61 pounds shed in nearly 4 months. I’m starting to see that some of my bigger goals are within reach, especially life below the 300 pound mark.

I recently donated about a dozen pairs of pants because they are now too big for me. I’ve gone down several pants sizes and can barely keep the current size on. In the not too distant future I’ll be able to purchase my clothes at real stores and not specialty “big guy” clothing shops. I can’t tell you how liberating that will be. These are all big changes but sometimes the smallest of changes are the ones that really hit home for a person.

On two recent occasions I have gone out to eat and have been able to sit comfortably in a booth. This hasn’t happened in about 15 years. There was a pain associated with the dining out experience that just became so natural and engrained that I actually began to no longer recognize it. I just sort of became numb to it.

There has been a whole process with going out to eat that has been complicated and stressful for me. In the past if I was offered a booth, I’d have to ask the server for a table instead. I have a 7 year old and she wants to sit in the booth every time I take her out. So there is that whole process of trying to explain to her that it’s more comfortable for me to sit at a table. Often times this does not resonate with her and meals get off to a rocky start.

At the size that I have been, sitting at a table is no easy feat either. From the second I walk into a place, I’m on a scouting mission to find a chair that has some room around it and especially behind it. I don’t want to obstruct anyone else’s flow or make a person sitting at a nearby table feel like they don’t have enough room. It’s been a real headache but one that happens so often that the pain of it has dulled. It’s just become the reality that I have lived with – until now.

Lately I can sit comfortably in a booth. There is room between my gut and the table and it is a pleasant experience. My daughter is happy to finally be sitting in a both like a “normal” person and that makes me happy too. To be able to go out to eat like most people do is an amazing feeling.

With the way I have been living up until now, there were so many things I had taken for granted. In a lot of ways this weight loss experience feels like a slow rebirth. I’m beginning to realize again some of the simple pleasures in life (things that most people take for granted). I’m really recognizing deeply how my poor choices have limited me in the past.

How are our lives similar? Everyone has their own battlefield in life. It may not be weight. It can be anything really, whatever holds you back and prevents you from being your best self. We are all encumbered by “the weight” of something. What are our own lives trying to teach us? Can we pull ourselves from the wreckage of our past hurts? Can we become our own phoenix rising from the ashes of our past disappointments? Can we use our greatest weaknesses as rungs on a ladder and climb above all of the muck that seeks to hold us back? Can we inherit the life we were meant to live? The life that we deserve to live? I think we can. It takes just one single step followed by another and another combined with the willingness to walk into and through our fear. On the other side, something beautiful waits for us. We really can get there together.








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