Dreaming While Awake

28 04 2012

“All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible.”
– T.E. Lawrence

I know i’ve posted this quote before but I love it. This is what it boils down to, isn’t it? We all have dreams. The people who are successful are the ones who take undeterred steps to see them become reality. It starts with only one step followed by another and another. It can start today.



Come Fly With Me

4 04 2012

The mind/body connection is an amazing thing. For years now I’ve had dreams where the floor below me crumbles under my weight, where the path is not easy to navigate due to my size or where I must use physical strength that I’m not sure that I possess any longer to overcome a treacherous landscape. In my dreams people have gawked and stared at my size. Sometimes they have made comments under their breath and other times they have just come right out and said horrible things about my weight.

It’s frustrating when the nightmares of the waking hour haunt you in your sleep. And yet for some reason, I was too paralyzed to make the necessary changes during those waking hours to really improve my situation. Sometimes I would try but I quickly met with failure. The light switch in my brain had not been flipped yet. I was only going through the motions and was not fully engaged or committed to being my better self. I was a self-imposed prisoner in an ever-growing body.

This morning right before waking I had a dream where I was thinner. Not completely thin but at least thinner than I have been in most of my other dreams. I was thinner and I was flying. Sort of. Not really flying like Superman but more like the movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”. Sort of like levitating while in a forward motion. I would shuffle my feet quickly and I began to leave the ground. I then started bicycling my legs and I got a little higher off the ground all the while moving forward. Maybe I got as high as 6 or 7 feet towards the end. These episodes of weightlessness would last for durations of what seemed like 5-20 seconds. When I landed I said to those unrecognizable faces around me “I’ve always been able to do this, I just didn’t know how until now.” Then I awoke.

It’s freeing to be able to fly in a dream. To feel like you are light enough to leave the ground. To let go of the weight of the things that hold you down. To be able to propel yourself forward from the things that hold you back.

For two weeks my weight has pretty much stayed steady. It’s gone up some days and gone down others but it hasn’t dropped to a new low. Today that changed and my sleeping mind knew it before my scale did. Again, the mind/body connection at work.

“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”
– T.E. Lawrence

What do you dare to dream today? What do you dare to dream for your life? Flip the switch in your brain that tells you “no”, the one that says you are a failure. This is where all roadblocks come from. Flip that switch. Make up your mind one final time to “get all in” and take a step. The most important step. The step that needs to be taken for any race to be won. The first step. Take that step and come fly with us, the dreamers who dream with eyes wide open.

Waking From a Nightmare

6 02 2012

And so begins week seven of a plant based diet in order to shed some massive weight, reverse some health problems and to be better able to enjoy life. I lost one ounce shy of 6 pounds this week. This brings the total weight loss since sickness and lifestyle change to 42 pounds.

It feels good to finally see the needle move on the scale. Alright, so my scale is digital, but you get the idea. When you are this big, it’s hard to find a scale with a needle. Honestly, when you are this big, it’s hard to do a lot of things. It’s hard to sit comfortably in a Toyota Prius. It’s hard to sit comfortably while wearing a seat belt. It’s just hard to sit comfortably period.

It’s hard to go to the theater or a concert or a sporting event without sitting on the end of an aisle. Otherwise you’re wedged into a seat between two people and you become the total focus of their scorn (and I don’t blame them). Having a 7 year old now, I try to take her with me to as many events as possible. This way I can encroach on her space and not tick off the other person next to me.

Going out to a restaurant when you are this size is no picnic either, especially if its a crowded tiny place with little extra space or a place that only has booths. I’ve backed out of many a gathering for fear of there not being enough room for me to be able to be out of the way. I’m sure most of the times it has come off as anti-social or rude, but it was definitly fear that kept me from going. The whole going out to eat process is a very uncomfortable experience for me, especially if it’s a place I haven’t been to before. Walking in the door, head on a swivel, looking for that seat with enough room around it that the waiters and other patrons will be able to move around me freely. Grabbing that seat before someone else in my party does. Asking the server for that specific table. It’s interesting really now that I think about it. Being so big, I’ve spent so much time just trying to get out of the way all the while allowing my out of control eating to grow me bigger and bigger.

Plastic lawn furniture…also not a good choice for sitting in when you are this size. I’ve shredded plastic chairs, broken lounge chairs and bent folding chairs beyond repair. I am a destroyer of cheap furniture . I’ve destroyed old wooden chairs, even crippled a “big guy” leather office chair that we bought especially for our home. I don’t think it lasted 6 months and it cost a small fortune. The armrests and back of it no longer useable. Now it has been reduced to an armless, backless hybrid that is so uncomfortable that any real length of time sitting on it will leave you nearly in traction.

Why would anyone want to live this way? This is the recipe for unhappiness! It has distanced me from life and forced me to live apart from so many things that make me happy. For a long time now, I’ve felt disconnected and it totally sucks. Funny how when you are in the midst of it though, you don’t realize the extent of the problem. On the inside I generally feel like I’m my 18 year old self. When I look in the mirror though, I wonder “who the hell is that?”.

I’ve been hiding in my food for so long. Using it to build a wall around me. Hoping that no one will see my fear, anger, pain and insecurity. Hoping no one will put it together that once a week I’m hitting the pizzeria and having four giant NY style slices. When really it is all as plain as day. I’ve been a walking billboard that says “this guy has major issues that he is not attending to”. Food was/is the emotional “go to” for me. Whatever temporary relief it provided was followed by a descent into deeper despair.

I’m sick of living this way. It’s so completely limiting. No more pink elephant in the room. I want to live. Really live. I want to be able to do things that normal sized people do. I want to sit at a booth in a diner again. I want to sit in plastic lawn furniture and have it support me. I want to sit in a sub compact and not feel like the steering column is pressed into my chest and gut. I want to feel light. I want to be free.

There is no going back now. That wasn’t living. I’ll never get that time back. It was wasted (except in the fact of the lesson that was to be learned).

I’m well on my way now. Nothing can stop me. I’ve finally woken up from the nightmare.

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.” – T. E. Lawrence, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom

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