Some Food for Thought

18 07 2012

I’m on a much needed vacation. I probably should be doing more with the blog this week because I finally have the time. But reading comic books and enjoying the kids is winning out.

Its been harder than I thought to stick to a plant based diet on vacation. For starters I have mysteriously grown an affinity for pancakes as I’ve had them for two out of three of the last breakfasts. Not going to help things with the scale. I did have a fantastic tofu veggie stir-fry the first night here. I’m looking forward to possibly getting that again before vacation is through.

The heat is oppressive. It’s really putting a crimp in my plans to do a lot of walking. Every year it seems to work out this way lately. Thank God there is no such thing as global warming! It’s a total fluke that the last 16 out of 17 have been the hottest on record or that 6,000+ new records have been set in the United States this year. Yet we still argue about what causes it. It would be nice if we could just all agree that something funky is going on. Who cares if its manmade or a cycle or a bit of both- its like arguing about how you got cancer. Why can’t we just agree that something needs to be done to save the place where we live? Now I’m getting fired up! Time to get back to vacation!

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The Weighting Game

27 06 2012

Okay scale, I don’t like you and you don’t like me either so let’s get one thing straight – I need to have dropped some weight by my next acupuncture appointment on Friday. I refuse to go two weeks in a row with weight gain even if it is just a pound or so. I’ve been jerking around with the same few pounds for over a month. Now this weight has to begin to drop again. I’m eating right, I’m eating less, I’ll be on the treadmill, lifting and doing yoga. I will make more time for better self-care. I will make time to get enough rest. I can do this. We can do this together. We can become friends again, can’t we? Two more days to go. Let’s make a deal. I’ll work hard and you be gentle…okay??





Grinding On…it’s Gut Check Time

5 06 2012

And so begins Week 24 of my switch to a plant based diet and increased exercise. I’m slowly on the road back, shedding three of the four pounds I gained last week. But I’m writing this after a night out with a bunch of friends that included three slices of pizza with the works and one fabulously made (from scratch) Bloody Mary. It’s alright to do this once in awhile but it’s not the way to really make the weight come off.

And that’s kind of where I am at lately. The first 65+ pounds came off relatively easy. I worked hard but my body gave up the weight freely. I wanted it and I stuck with it. Now the process has slowed. I know that if I want to see real gains made in my progress I need to turn the intensity, dedication and determination up big time.

I’m not losing ground lately as much as I am just hitting a stagnation point. In the journey of weight loss, I find myself in a deepening valley. I know that how I get out of this valley will be a predictor of how successful this overall journey will be for me.

The initial push of wanting to lose the weight and getting healthy cannot be allowed to fade. Everyday I need to wake up and WANT it as bad as I did on Day # 1. I need to WANT it like my life depends on it because IT DOES. I need to WANT it bad enough to cut out the foods that will harm me. I need to WANT it bad enough to make time for daily exercise. If I don’t do these things, then these are all just flowery words on a page. I need to push through this and get to the other side. These are the times in a journey that test the metal of a man. It’s gut check time. I’m not happy with my progress or my effort lately and it’s time to see how bad I really want this.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to share your story of struggle here or email me at 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





Flatlined

30 04 2012

And so begins week 19 of my switch to a plant based diet and an increased exercise regime. This week I stayed the same weight which keeps me at 62 pounds+ lost. This is not good. It means that I’ve only lost a pound in two weeks. I have about 135 pounds left to lose so this is no time to stall out. It’s my fault though, I didn’t make the time to do as much exercise as I should have and I haven’t been taking in enough water. I’ve eaten too many cheat meals with bread and my body has been deprived of sleep because I am way over committed with different activities. All excuses but still a formula that adds up to failure. It creates a difficult environment for trying to maintain my weight let alone lose any.

The real fear though is failure. I lost a lot of weight once about 9 years ago. In about six months, I lost 65 pounds by doing a 30 day cleanse/fast followed by eating a mostly vegetarian diet. I believe that the fast further damaged my slow metabolism and eventually I went back to eating the wrong foods which resulted in my gaining all of the weight back and then some – probably an additional 45 pounds or more. And so that is the reality of these types of things, people lose weight and people fall off their program and gain it all back. I don’t want that to happen again so I must really force myself to stay determined and live the program that I have set up for myself. I want to push through the barriers.

I was fortunate to speak with current fitness and yoga guru, Diamond Dallas Page, at great length yesterday and we discussed my predicament. His advice was to eliminate wheat from my diet as it is highly processed in the foods that we eat. He said that at my age and weight, my body has difficulty breaking wheat down. He also suggest increasing his DDP Yoga workouts to 5 days a week for the next several weeks until it becomes more of a habit. If I do this, I should start seeing major results. So, I’m going to flip the script and see if I can get the weight loss working for me. If not, you will be witness to a failure of epic proportions. Fun either way, right? Stay tuned!

***huge DDP audio interview coming tomorrow!





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.





The Fear of Being Small

24 03 2012

It’s weird, I don’t know who I am anymore. I look in the mirror and I don’t fully recognize the person looking back at me. 13 weeks in and 56 pounds down and people are starting to really notice. And so am I. And I hate to say it but I don’t always like it. I find myself missing the way the old me looked. I don’t miss being tired, worn out and sluggish. I do miss being that giant guy sometimes. I’m sure it sounds ridiculous. Its probably nothing a bunch of therapy can’t fix. I’m just not looking so forward to being “small” one day. I have a lot more energy now, I feel freer and a little less self-conscious about my size. Hopefully I’m extending my life and I’m definitely improving the quality of it. But there was something about being big that was nice. It felt safe. I never had to be anything but peaceful because no one screws with a guy that big. And as that weight comes off, I’m left with a lot of mental debris that I need to sift through and make sense of. Things I didn’t know I was still dealing with, things that I’ve never realized that I’ve been struggling with. There is a vulnerability in getting smaller. And honestly, I don’t like it one bit. There was a vulnerability in being so big too, but I felt strong at least. As the pounds fall off, I can’t help but feel like I’m losing myself. But I also know that the real me will shine through more and more as the journey goes on. I’m feeling physically good but emotionally conflicted for some reason. It’s strange, these are the things I never contemplated when I decided I was really going to lose the weight. I look back at the before picture and I miss that guy.








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