Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 80:French fries are off the menu...

Wow. My daughter wanted Del Taco for supper tonight and I ordered the tacos del carbon with steak. The tacos came with a thoroughly unpalatable salsa and I couldn't eat them, so I decided to have some of the fries. Bad call. Bobo went immediately into rejection mode and rejected them outright. Not fun. Then I got hiccups for 5 minutes straight. Definitely not fun.

More [foxtrot]ing overtime today. Sick sick sick of overtime. On the bright side, It's a crap load of money for my next check.

I have never shied away from talking about me or my body except for warning those who may be easily offended by frank discussions of a personal nature. This is one of those warnings.

Step away now...

Abandon all shame, ye who enter here...

Last chance...

Moving on, then...

I have previously discussed the medical phenomenon of how heavy men can regain inches in their penis by losing weight. The ratio is 35 pounds to the inch, i.e., for every 35 pounds a man loses, he will regain an inch of length from the stomach and groin pad shrinking from the lost weight. Well, I have lost 106 pounds total and my measurement has regained 3 inches. I never really thought this particular bit of medical knowledge was real until I experienced it (pardon the pun) first-hand. Doing some calculations, with my goal weight of 200 pounds against my starting weight of 420 pounds, that's a difference of 220 pounds.

220/35 = 6.28etc.

If the ratio holds true, I could conceivably regain 6+ inches of my penis when this whole thing is done. Talk about regaining your life! Between that and my body better able to fit against my partner, I can see some seriously fun times approaching quickly. Yes, I avoided the obvious sexual joke I could have put into that statement. But I like where your mind is! I've never really been afraid to try positions or really much of anything with a partner, but this is going to be a whole new world for me and my partner...well, for me, anyway. If a certain someone is reading this...just keep it in mind.

I guess I've just gotten to the point in my life where I refuse to let what other people think of me influence my decisions. I'm going to live my life the way I want to live it, with who I want to live it with. Some people think I'm wasting my life waiting for something that might not happen, some (most) think that if I'm patient, I'll get what I want. I guess when they hear me talk about things, they pick up on the the depth of my devotion and love and they believe that things will change for me. At least, they want to believe in it as much as I do. What I know right now is that I'm willing to wait to see what happens rather than bounce through meaningless relationships that don't fulfill what I want that will end up hurting more than one person. It's not worth it to me. I'd rather wait and be able to look at myself in the morning than start something that I can't finish. Maybe that will change in the future, but it's not changing right now.

See y'all later!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 79: [FOXTROT]ing OVERTIME!!!


Now that's out of the way. More MO tomorrow and Friday. I'm...less than pleased with this development. It's a [FOXTROT]ing waste of time, especially for the online techs. Calls don't start until 8 am and they end at 5 pm, so we're useless before 8 or after 5. We don't get the training the offlines get, so we can't work their tickets. I really hate how short-sighted our upper management members are about this. Making us work OT doesn't solve the problem if we can't close the tickets.

Rant over, on with our regularly scheduled blog.

I noticed today that I have almost no dunlap on these slacks and jeans I've been wearing of late. I figure another couple of weeks and I'll be in a smaller size of pants, which suits me just fine. I may not have lost a lot of weight this last week, but I'm starting to melt the inches off and that works as well. My face is really starting to change with the weight loss, as well. Lose over a hundred pounds and things will change.

I get the feeling that something else is changing too. It feels like the dynamic between me and a certain person is undergoing a shift. That maybe, just maybe, there's a real possibility of a future for us in the future. Not back the way we were, but in a new way . Maybe the physical change is showing that things in the mind can change as well. Again, seeing each other in a new light. I don't have any sort of absolute certainty of this, but my faith is filled right now and again, things just feel different now.

A lyric from My Darkest Days' "Still Worth Fighting For" comes to mind:

Now that we know just who we are
Now that we’ve finally come this far
I’m ready for one more battle scar
‘Cause this is still worth fighting for

We'll see. We'll wait and see.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 78: Sometimes the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing...

That sounds the beginning of a really dirty joke, doesn't it? Our management at work gave us no indication of whether we would have overtime today or not, so I erred on the side of caution and went in early this morning only to have my manager inform me that there was no overtime today. This does not mean I get off work early for coming in early, it means I have to work an extra hour. Not fun. Just once I wish they would come out and actually say "Hey, no overtime tomorrow." instead of making us guess and second guess. Argh.

Oh well, what doesn't kill us make us stronger. Or in this case, a little richer for the OT.

I still went and worked out tonight, the first time in a week. Felt good, but I took it easy and I'll ease my way back into my full on workout by the end of the week. Got all my protein in and I'm working on my water now. The water is the hardest part. When you can only hold 4 ounces at a time and you can't drink for a half hour before or after eating it makes getting that 80-100 ounces of water in a chore. [sigh]

Had a little flash of melancholy, but I let it go and focused on something else. I got a pre-invitation to my youngest niece's upcoming wedding. I can't really claim to be close to either of my nieces. I joined the service when they were very young and I really wasn't around to see them grow up except in the occasional picture from my sister. But she and I are very much alike, according to my sister. We're both Aries and we're both smart and sarcastic. We're also the toughest in the family as well as being the risk takers. I joined the service and went off to war when I was called. She met her fiancé playing an online game and when his family invited her to come to Wales to actually meet, she took a chance and went off. With my sister in tow, of course. The wedding is in September, so I have a few months to keep losing weight so I'll look good at the wedding. If I can keep up my current weight loss, I might actually be at my goal weight by then. I'm within 4 pounds of my 50 percent mark. If I can do 4 pounds per week between now and then, I could be at my goal weight or close to it by September. The only concern I have is do I plan to go Stag or do I ask someone along. If I ask someone...well, I know who I want to ask, but I don't think that would work so well, at least not right now. I could ask my ex-wife, she wouldn't mind going,, bad idea. I'm thinking Stag is the only option right now. Ah well.

More things to consider for later. I'm going to just let things go for now and let them simmer.

Do Svidanja!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 77: Then and Now...

I post these kinds of pics on my facebook support group every few weeks. Kind of a comparison of then and now so I can what everyone else is seeing. This particular pic really got my attention, though. I compared the pics and thought, "I can't believe those pics are both me. I can't believe those pics are the same person."

On further contemplation, I guess I'm not the same person anymore. Things in my life have changed. Major, life changing events have occurred that I had no choice but to change. Change or give up on myself. Those were the choices I had. I look at then and consider what was in my head then. I was smiling, but I don't think I was truly happy. I know I didn't make that costume look good, my weight had me worried for my health and I was always scared of losing that special someone in my life, that she would find someone thinner and better looking. That I couldn't live up to everything she wanted, so whenever she wanted something, I would say, "Whatever you want, baby. It's ok.". I deluded myself into thinking that giving her those things would keep her with me. Foolish me, all she wanted was for me to think of her as an equal and act like a partner in the relationship. To share time with her and build memories together. I know now that I didn't do that. Not enough, anyway.

I look at the now and I'm rapidly losing weight, I feel better than I have in a long time, I'm fitting into smaller clothes now, and while I lost that special someone as my partner, she's still a friend and a good friend. A best friend. I care about her and love her with all my heart and soul, and I'm doing this as much as for her as for myself. I want to really succeed at this so she can see that it works and it will work for her as well as it has for me. And as friends, I can't lose her. Not as long as we want to be friends. Boyfriends come and go, but friends are forever. Maybe from that as a basis, we can make a new beginning in the future. When we're both ready to see each other in a new light. It's not going to be trying to regain what we lost the first go around. It's going to be building from all new. It's not going to be a try. As a wise old alien once said, "Do, or do not. There is no try."

This ends our broadcasting day for today.

Min tian jian!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 76: Never volunteering again...

Walked into a total shitstorm at work today at 7am. Yet another major outage on our system and it had started at 10pm Saturday night. Not fun. I worked my 4 hours and hauled ass for safety. I couldn't take another 4 hours of pissed off customers screaming at me for something I can't fix and didn't have anything to do with. The extra money is not worth the stress.

Then I got delayed at Walmart by getting in a line with a lady buying her stuff with WIC and Walmart has to process each damn thing by hand. Not her fault, and not the cashier's fault. you would think that they would scan the card in and then run each item through without all of the bs, but NOOOOO! I had to wait in line 20 minutes to buy my stuff. AARGH!

By the time I got home, I was more than ready to log on to chat and send a pick me up to a friend. She's been having a bad time of it this week and I send little things to her to get her mind off of it. Movie quotes for her to try to identify or little jokes to make her smile. Just about anything to distract her from what's bringing her down. It always seems to work and she's appreciative of the efforts. My sister says, "Acts of Kindness are greatly repaid." I hope she's right.

I'm signing off for now, the transmission will continue tomorrow.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 75: Prepping for more overtime tomorrow...

Much as I hate OT during the week...well, anytime, really...the management asked for volunteers for OT this weekend so I volunteered for a 4 hour shift tomorrow that will probably turn into 8 hours. I figured based on last week's 10 hours of OT plus 8 tomorrow and then another 2 on Monday, I'll be sitting on 20 hours of OT minimum on my next paycheck, which is worth about 500 extra dollars. I only volunteered for 4 in case I get fed up and walk out after 4 hours.

Today was busy from the time I got up. I had to make sure my daughter was ready to go because we were meeting her mom to get their passports taken care of for a trip in July. We had to go to three different places to get the damn pictures and then to the post office for the passports. The wait time there was too long so we went to lunch, then to my daughter's music lesson , then back to the post office. I ended up spending too much time with my ex-wife today. It always stresses me out to be around her too long. We start talking about things that I want left in the past and she insists on bringing up. I have enough drama in my life right now without dredging up more from the past, TYVM! But we got the passports taken care of, so that's one thing I don't have to worry about.

On a brighter note, I had no bouts of melancholy this week and no doubts about anything going on, so that was good. I started making plans for my 42nd birthday which is rapidly approaching. As in less than three weeks rapidly approaching. Before I always hoped someone else would plan a party for me, but when I realized that I can make my own plans and have the kind of party I want, I decided to make my own list and invite the people I want there. Those that make it, great. If they don't make it or don't even acknowledge the invitation, I know who I can just drop from my list of friends and not worry about them anymore. I figure if they can't acknowledge my birthday, I don't need to acknowledge them at all. Time for new friends to go along with my new life. In the geek world I normally frequent, the number 42 is the answer to everything, so I'm viewing my 42nd birthday as a new beginning. I've lost a lot of weight in the last couple of months and I figure that's a great start to a new life. I change my body, I change my mindset, I change my life for the better. From now on, I'm going to do things that I want to do. If I have someone in my life, then it will be we will do what we want to do. In that case, we will decide as equals what we will do. Not just one or the other decides. We will decide. No more just sitting back and letting someone else decide for me. From now on, I take an active part in my life, instead of reactive.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 74: Sucker Punched!

I took my daughter to go see Sucker Punch tonight. It's a decent flick, but on further reflection had I known more about it, I would have waited for DVD. The story shifts and changes pretty quickly. The timeline and storyline don't change up, but the sudden juxtapositions of the realities of the movie kind make you go "What the Hell?" But there was enough action and the story was easy enough for my daughter to follow, so we enjoyed our trip to the movies.

Prior to going in the theater, we had about an hour to kill so we went over to the arcade. We played a little air hockey and then she went to play the driving and dance games while I focused on one particular shooting game. She went through ten dollars worth of tokens where I only used 5 in the same time frame. But all that really matters is that we had a good time and spent some quality time together. After the arcade, we got some stuff from the concession stand. I got a hot dog and she got nachos and an Icee. I found out that Bobo does not like the concession hot dogs. It was too greasy and too salty. I ate maybe a quarter of it and then Bobo just said, "That's enough of that, boss. Yuck!" Not that I'm overly concerned about the whole thing. Just one more thing to learn.

There was one line in the movie that particularly stuck with me, it was this:

You will need to find five items. The first is a map. Then fire. Then a knife. And a key. The fifth thing is a mystery. Begin your journey. It will set you free.
The reason it stuck with me is because it reminded me of the journey we take as a sleever. The map is our plan to get to the surgery and life beyond the sleeve. The fire is the desire to get the sleeve and truly lose the weight for good. The knife I tend to think of as the surgery itself. The key to the whole thing is our will to do this and do everything we have to do to succeed (I tend to think to this as the will to conquer, which is the first condition of victory). The mystery, as revealed at the end of the movie is simple. The mystery is me. I'm the mystery. Everything else can be maintained and controlled to a great extent, but I am the random factor in the equation. If I eat the right things and do everything I need to do then I have to lose weight doing this. But if I skip working out or eat the wrong things, then things can go biblically pear-shaped very quickly. The last phrase is probably the most important. By starting my journey, I have set myself free from the bondage of my weight. All journeys take time, and the journey of weight loss is no different. It will take a while, but I will reach my destination of my goal weight.

To reach your own paradise. Just let go.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 73: An interesting new emotional development.

More OT today and a real beast of an outage laid the smackdown on our call centers today. They even decided to expand the OT to 12 hours today. Since I had to pick up my daughter from safekey, I was exempt from the extra two hours (thank God). But by the time we got home, I was worn out physically and mentally. The workout just has to be put on hold for now. I am doing extra walks on my extra breaks (we get extras on OT), so my walking isn't getting neglected. I'm taking my daughter to see Sucker Punch tomorrow night, so no workout there. I refuse to worry about it or beat myself up over it. The weight is coming off whether it's a lot or a little, so I'm just going to take this week in stride.

The emotional development came from a major revelation I had today. What I'm wanting hasn't changed, but something regarding it has. I realized that the power of my love and devotion is transmuting my melancholy moods to something different, but I don't think it's any less negative. I realized today that at the very core of my being, I hate a person. As much as I love what I want, I hate this other person just as much. The love I'm feeling for the one and the hate I'm feeling for the other is filling me with an energy and passion that I have never felt before. Yin and Yang are balancing. Love representing the positive and hate representing the negative. Black and white in equal portions. I'm seeing two things very clearly now. The first is that things had to happen the way they did. The second is that things will change again when it is time and that I can't rush it. I know in my heart and soul that things will work out. It's not a question now. It's just a matter of patience. To be truly happy with someone else, you have to first be happy with yourself. I don't think either of us were happy with ourselves or the way we let things go. I honestly don't believe that we wanted to let go, but we have to change for the better and then work at rediscovering what we saw in each other that first night. I think we saw the possibility, but we had to change to truly achieve that possibility.

To a certain degree, I've always been strong enough to do what I had to do alone. I had to start my journey so I could lead another through the same journey. Someone that I know is looking to me for guidance and support for when they have the surgery and are really on the path. I guess I'm acting as the pathfinder, the guide. As a guide you have to travel ahead, not behind, and not side by side. Partners travel side by side. When we're both ready,then we'll walk the path side by side.

There's more than one journey occurring here, it just took me a while to find the additional path.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 72: Getting worn out...

Third day of overtime and they have announced that we might as well prepare for OT right up to the weekend. I'm not pleased and I think this is going to be a 3 day workout week. I got home tonight and the thought of working out just left my mind. I've been doing extra walking at work on my breaks, so that's going to do for now. I'll go workout tomorrow and then probably Sunday. If I can work up the gumption, possibly Saturday.

Found out for sure that Bobo does not like peanut butter tonight. A couple of days ago I made myself a quesadilla and that went down without any issues, and I had a "sandwich thin" on my veggie burger last night, so the bread isn't an issue. Tonight I put a couple of tablespoons of peanut buter on a sandwich thin and tried to eat it. Less than half and Bobo said, "One more bite and it's out!" So I quit. I guess that's one of the things that will be out of my life now. Oh well.

Last thought for tonight. I know that I have regular readers. I don't really know what most of their interest is, but I'm not concerned with it. Some are following my progress, some have a personal interest in me for whatever reason. I figure some just like my writing style. Again, it doesn't matter that much. For whatever reason you read my blog, feel welcome and enjoy my efforts. I do this mostly for myself, but also for the readers I have. Thanks for dropping in!

Do Uzdrezni!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 71: Back to the grind...

3 straight days of overtime. Sunday was voluntary, but they hit us with it as mandatory yesterday with no warning so I didn't feel like working out by the time I got home last night. Even Feral was saying "[FOXTROT] it!" I had some dinner and sat down and watched a couple of movies on Netflix. Today wasn't as bad since we were prepared for it, and we have more tomorrow. I figure for every 8 hours of overtime we have to pull, that's an extra 200.00 on my paycheck, so I'm not going to complain. As long as I have notice so I can get in early and I'm not stuck there for 2 hours past my shift, it's all ok.

So I got home at a reasonable time tonight and went to work out after I got my daughter settled at home. The workout felt really good tonight, probably relieving some of the stress from the overtime. Got back home and had a veggie burger, the ones that actually taste like a hamburger and it turns out Bobo can tolerate the soy protein just fine. That's good to know.

I took some new pictures yesterday and posted them to Facebook and got a few comments of how different I looked now, especially my face. One even told me how handsome I was becoming, and that made me feel very good. I've had women telling me that I was already cute, and now I'm working on the hot. Again, makes me feel very good.

I'm also getting more and more hope that things will work out the way I want them to when it's time and that it's just a matter of being patient. I still have a lot of changes ongoing and I know emotionally things will be...well... helter-skelter for a while. Better that I keep to myself for a while and let things work out at their own pace. It's not that I don't want the things right now, but what I want is a whole new beginning to see in a new light. I want it to be forever. The only way that happens is if there are changes.

Catch you on the flip side!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 70: Monday weigh-in!

I dragged myself out of bed this morning and said my mantra, "Any loss is good, a stall is acceptable, but gain is unacceptable."

I took care of business and stepped onto the scales to discover...I'm down another five pounds this week. That makes 75 pounds lost since the surgery on January 10th and 102 pounds lost since last Thanksgiving. Again, I was hoping for more, but it's still a good loss because it is a loss. Five to seven pounds in a week is actually very good.

That makes my current body weight 318 pounds. When you consider that my goal weight is 200 pounds, that means I'm close to my half way point to my goal weight in just 10 weeks. That is amazing to me. I'm shooting to break the 300's by my birthday on April 14th. If I can hit 293 by April 10th, I would be ecstatic. That would 100 pounds lost in 3 months. Honestly, I think it's too much to hope for and a little too much to achieve safely. If I can just be below 300 by my birthday, I'll be happy with that. Hell, if I'm even close to the 300 mark by my birthday I'll be happy with that.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 69: Saturday's activities.

Saturday was a busy day. Went to work out at 930, worked out until 1040 and then had to get back and get cleaned up to take my daughter to her Music Lessons. Her lessons went from 1230 until 115 and then I had some shopping to do. Then I went to see Battle:LA. Good movie, but the "realcam" shooting techniques really need to go away. It makes it very hard to follow the action when you can't get your bearings. Good story, even if some of the scenes were completely predictable. It felt like a bit from Independance Day, but focused just on LA. I did think that Aaron Eckhart made a completely believable Marine Sergeant. It was a great deviation from his usual Chick Flicks he's been working of late (No Reservations, Love Happens). Michelle Rodriguez showed fine form as the tough military woman. She might be getting typecast a bit, but she's good at those parts.

Other than that, not a whole lot going on that was really noteworthy.

I'm working some OT today, making some extra bucks for the next paycheck. Today is going to be my second no-workout day for this week. When I get done at work, I'm going home and I'm going to get some laundry finished and clean up the condo a little and get ready for the week. The weather outside is pretty ugly today. Overcast and really windy. Blah. It feels like a day to stay inside and just relax. Pop a couple of movies in and just take it easy. Maybe go to bed early so I'm bright and cheerful for tomorrow...Yeah, right.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 68: A voice long unheard from...

Well, all this week I've been hitting the gym and doing my walking with the exception of Monday (Still did the walking, but the dr's appointment went WAY too long to bother with the gym). I've been making sure to do all of my strength training and to push myself on the tread with faster speeds. I've also been cutting out the mid morning and afternoon snacking. It's only an ounce of cashews or cheese, but I want to see if it makes a difference in my weight loss this week.

Anyway, onto the mainstream of today's blog. Last night I was on the tread, having already done my strength training and I was about 13 minutes into it and I started thinking I was tired and I was going to stop once I hit 200 calories burned or 20 minutes, whichever came first. As I approached the 15 minute mark, I heard this voice in the back of my head. I recognize the voice since it's mine, but it's got a rough, brutal overtone to it. Sometime ago, I acknowledged that I have a dark, dangerous, truly nasty side to my personality. We all do, but it's not a part of my everyday world. This part of my personality stays locked up until I need it released. That's usually not a good thing to have happen. Anyway, I acknowledged this personality and named it. When you name a thing, you have control over it. I named this part of me "Feral". Anyway, Feral decided it was time to make himself known again and it was that voice in my head. Not that it's a truly separate or split personality, it's just a part of me I normally keep locked away because I don't need him.

Anyway, as I'm considering cutting my workout short, Feral stepped into the back of my brain and started in on me. I could almost see my evil smirk on his face in my mind's eye. "Do you think you're gonna give up? Every calorie you burn gets you closer to that goal. If you give up now, you just delay what you want. Keep pushing until you make that 35 minute mark. Puss out on this now and you might as well give up on the whole damn thing. You'll be no different than a certain loser you keep raging about if you just give up."

Well, that did it for me. I pushed through to the end, sweating and a little sore, but I did it. When I finished, Feral stepped into the shadows, chuckling wickedly. I heard him say, "I knew that would get you going. Remember you're changing from fluff to buff. It ain't gonna be easy, buddy. And I'm gonna be right here waiting for the next time you decide to think about wimping out. SHE sure doesn't want you to wimp out, and you know it."

I know it seems odd to refer to a part of myself in the third person, but it's not so different from guys who refer to part of their anatomy as if it's a separate entity. My normal personality and the Feral personality really are polar opposites of each other. For my readers that know me personally, just take my normal personality and flip it 180 degrees. Where I really, truly care about people, Feral only cares about himself. That's really the key difference.

This was the first time Feral ever stepped up to keep me on task. I know I'm usually not happy when I feel the need to unleash him, but this time he stepped up to really help me. I'm going to take that as a sign that I'm changing both outside and inside.


Day 67: My observations on faith, hope, and my "signs"

Today's blog might be a little heavy (or not) depending on your point of view.

I've made it pretty public knowledge that I'm a man of Faith. I believe in God, I believe in Jesus Christ. What I don't believe in is organized religion. I'm not a church goer. I was for a short time, but then there was a schism within the church and people taking sides and I became disillusioned with the Church. I don't need someone telling me how to believe, anyway. I know my beliefs and I know God is there. He's always there.

Anyway, faith and hope are intricately tied together. If you can believe in something that cannot be proven beyond a doubt, then hope for what might seem to be impossible is easy. On one hand, I know my weight loss is working and if it slips, I know what I can do to get it going again. Hope and faith are lesser players in that scenario. On the other hand, there's something I want in my life now more than anything but I have no guarantee that I will have it, but I believe that it will be in my life and I have to be patient. Not having that guarantee means its a matter of faith that things will work out and sometimes that faith is a heavy duty test. I'll get melancholy and feel like it's hopeless and that's when I ask for a sign of what I should do, hang in and hold on or let go and move on. To date, when I get to that point and ask for that sign, something always happens and that's my sign to hold on and not to lose faith. The sign is never the same, but it always strikes a chord in me and tells me this is the sign that it will work out if I'm patient. I had one of these low moments a couple of nights ago and I asked for the sign. That event I was beyond simple melancholy. I was approaching all-out despair. I asked for the sign and went to bed for the night. The next day, something happened that was completely unexpected but it struck that chord big time and said (with apologies to Bill Engvall), "Here's your sign!"

The sign was so powerful to me that all I could do was look up to the heavens, raise my hands in supplication and say "I get it, Lord. I'll keep the faith and hold my hope. How may I serve thee?"

It was that powerful to me. Like someone opened the faith and hope valve inside me and started flooding my soul. I couldn't dismiss it, even if I wanted to.

Walk in God's hands, readers...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 66: Happy St. Patrick's day!

I'm one that has a blood right to celebrate this holiday. I have Irish on my father's side. I don't think that I should be the only one to celebrate because of my bloodline, but I'm not one of the "Irish for a day" crowd, either. Thanks to some work done by my grandmother about 20 years ago, we have a very good idea of our heritage. I'm proud to be of Irish descent.

However (getting back to the primary focus of this blog), that same Irish heritage is one of the reasons that I have an issue with putting on weight easily. I am genetically programmed to retain weight. However, I now have the tool to combat that genetic programming. I can't stop it entirely, but with the sleeve, I have a lot better control over the situation. As I said earlier in the week, I'm down 70 pounds since the surgery and 97 pounds overall since last June. Between the sleeve and my normal exercise program, the weight is finally coming off, hopefully for good.

I made a composite photo of then and now so I could see the difference, and the difference is huge. It was kind of a wake-up call for me that it really is working for me. I posted this picture to facebook and I had several of my facebook friends (mostly women) telling me how good I'm looking now. I had the same thing happen at work. Women telling me how good I'm looking now. It really makes me wonder what will happen when I hit my goal weight. It brings to mind a line from Linkin Park's "In the end":
Things aren't the way they were before
You wouldn't even recognize me anymore
That's not going to be just my body, it's going to be my mindset and emotional outlook as well. No more fear, no being afraid of losing something precious to me. Starting today, I am not going to allow my melancholy to drag me down. I will change the melancholy into something else. If necessary, I will turn it into anger and then channel that anger into a workout. Drain it off of me that way.

I'm not changing what I want. I'm changing my reaction to not having it.

See ya!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 65: Back to the old workout...

Since my doctor has officially put the smackdown on my KM class I went back to my old workout routine. 35 on the tread and 25 resistance training. It actually felt better than doing the hardcore calisthenics in the KM class, especially since my knee didn't collapse doing it (actually happened during the calisthenics at the class). I just got up, dusted myself off and continued the calisthenics. None of that tonight, just a straight forward workout. I really enjoyed that simple workout.

I found a great motivational phrase on Status Shuffle today: "Out of despair, disappointment and pain comes determination, strength, focus, self love and drive." I can honestly say that is very true. After the despair, disappointment and pain of my loss, I threw myself into my weight loss program with determination, strength, focus and drive. Not so much the self-love, but I do know my love for another is strong and stays strong. It motivates me to push on, hoping that when I've reached my goal weight that maybe, just maybe I'll get a second chance. Not so much because of the change in my looks, but more of the change inside.

And a final thought on my moods. Most days, it's not an issue. Most days I'm level headed and capable of anything I set my mind to. Some days I get struck by terrible melancholy and those days I really feel like I'm spinning my wheels. Those days are when I ask for a sign, some guidance, something to give me hope. I ask for a sign of what I should do, hold on or let go. Oddly enough, something always happens to provide that sign. When it happened last time, a Facebook Friend who is also a reader opened a chat with me and asked how I was doing. For the record, I haven't had any conversations with her before this point beyond trading comments back and forth on facebook. I don't really know her from Adam, but she opened the conversation with me. As long as I know the name from somewhere, I will go ahead and chat or add as a friend. I told her that I was feeling a little melancholy. Well, she's read the blog back to the beginning and she knew what I was melancholy about and we chatted for a little while and then she says, "She'll come back to you." Again, out of the blue when I'm at a lowest point and asking for a sign. The Lord works in mysterious ways, the universe works in weird ways, but this was too coincedental for me. Someone heard me and answered my cry for help. All I have is faith on this one, but sometimes faith can do miraculous things if you let it. So right now, my hope is restored and my faith is strong.

Patience is definitely a virtue.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 64: Report from the Doctor's office

So I saw my primary care physician yesterday, and other than the wait (2 hours to see him and then another hour talking to him), it was a good visit. He is very pleased with my weight loss and he wants to order new blood tests to see how my cholesterol and testosterone levels are doing with this much weight loss. He said my testosterone was in the high 800's on the last test. If that stays up and my cholesterol drops significantly, he will probably officially remove me from all of my medications. That would be terrific.

I also talked to him about my Krav Maga classes. He knew exactly what I was talking about and asked if I had signed any contracts or made any commitments to paying for the class. When I said no, he said, "That's good because now you won't be out any money. Until I release you, I don't want you doing that class. Although you have lost a lot of weight, you are still at too much risk of damaging your knees and ankles. Don't try to change too much too soon. If your current workout plan is doing this well, stay with it."

In short, he just told me to slow down and not to try to become a badass just yet. In this case, I'm going to take his advice and forget about the class for now. If I damage or blow out a knee or ankle, I won't be able to exercise and that's doing a lot for my weight loss right now. At the rate I'm losing right now, I'll be at my goal weight by the end of the year. I'm averaging 8 pounds a week right now, so if I can keep my weight loss between 5 and 7 pounds a week, I'll be golden.

Lots of things right now are changing for the better right now thanks to the weight loss. I am going to discuss part of this right now, but I'm posting a warning that this is very frank and discusses a very personal point of male anatomy.


Last chance...

OK, let's continue...

There's a study that shows that when men lose considerable amounts of weight, the fat loss in the groin area causes length to be regained for the penis. Not that it actually gets any longer, but the fat pad retracts and allows more length to be visible. The ratio is roughly 35 pounds to the inch. I'm down 70 pounds since the surgery and I can say for certain that I have regained 2 inches. I also noticed that my erections are harder and develop much faster than before. A friend of mine who had the same surgery stated that he also gained some girth. I haven't heard about that effect, but as long as he and his wife are happy, I'm not going to debate whether it's true or not. I can only speak for my own experience. Seeing as I was told that I already had the cute down and that now I'm working on the hot, I think things are going to change dramatically in the next few months. I hope to simplify things considerably by the end of the year.

Do svidanja!

Day 63: Step on the scales!

It's Monday morning and it's time for my weekly weigh-in. I stepped on the scales after repeating my mantra "Any loss is good, a stall is acceptable, gain is not acceptable."

My scale shows that I have lost another 4 pounds this week. Honestly, I was hoping for more, expecting less, and it is not the lowest amount I have lost. More importantly, I have lost 70 pounds since my surgery and 97 pounds since I started this whole thing back last June. Looking at the big picture, I am doing remarkably well with this surgery and that is the important thing.

I'm going to start setting myself mini-goals in addition to my total goal weight of 200 pounds. My current mini-goal is 320 pounds. That will be a total weight loss of 100 pounds since last June. My next mini goal will be 300 pound just because it is a nice round number and then 293 pounds because that will be 100 pounds lost since my surgery.

I have to see my regular doctor today to get my lab results from just after the surgery and probably a shot or two. I can't wait to see their reactions to my weight loss. A friend of mine is getting herself psyched up for her surgery in a few weeks, and I really want her to have the kind of success that I have had with the surgery. It is going to have a huge positive impact in her life, like it has had in mine and I will do everything in my power to help her succeed.

Based on my weight loss this week, I'm going to hold off on any further Krav Maga classes until I get below 300 pounds. My original exercise plan works just fine, and I think if I lose more weight, I'll be better suited for the KM classes and calisthenics.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 62: A new poem

Conversations with the Moon

I looked into the night sky and saw the crescent moon
Hanging in the sky, it's white light glowing with an aura
Of cool promise and gentle healing.
I sat back and slipped into the thousand-yard stare
And pondered on my life,
Wondering why things changed so quickly.

I compared my life to the Moon and its phases,
Thinking "how appropriate, a mere sliver of what it was before."
I tipped my head back and listened to the night, and
I heard a faint voice, ethereal in its quality
Whisper, "Your life is like me, but not in the way
you perceive it to be."

I stopped and listened, for no response was needed.
The voice took on a compassionate tone,
"Your perception of me is that I am a mere fraction of myself,
But that is only your perception. I am constant and full, but you
cannot always perceive that. Such is your life, young gazer.
Your life is more full than you perceive."

I asked the voice, "Then why do I feel so empty
when she is gone if my life is so full? Why do I only feel complete
When I am with her? Why can't I feel whole without her?"
The voice took on an amused tone, "It is only your
Perception that she is not with you. In truth, you two
Have a bond that goes far deeper than merely physical."

"This bond is not simply of your bodies or minds,
But of your souls. Do you think you alone have asked this question?
Everytime she sees me and shares it with you, that bond strengthens the two of you.
That bond cannot be broken by simple physicality.
It is precious to you and to her.
And this you know too well."

I smiled and sat back in my chair, and the voice changed
Back to the susurration of the night breeze.
I looked back at the moon and thought of her,
Wondering what she was doing right at that moment,
Wondering if she was thinking of me,
And knowing the voice was right...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day 61: Early Saturday

Thank the Maker, the weekend is here. I have some running around to do this morning before my parents arrive for their visit and just a few minutes to get this Blog posted. Once they arrive, I'll be too busy for the rest of the day to get this taken care of properly and I probably won't be home until after midnight tonight, so it's best that I take care of this now.

This will be the first time my parents have really seen me since they left in January, and I can't wait to see their reaction to my weight loss. They hear about how I'm doing every week, but they will be seeing it live this morning. It should be good.

We'll be going out to the Red Rock Children's Discovery Trail this morning/afternoon. I decided that unless my daughter is feeling out of sorts, that's where we're going. Her mom will be going with us, so it should be a good little reunion. Her mom and I are friends now, but we've both acknowledged that friends is the best we can manage. Too many mistakes and screw ups over the years for us to be anything more than friends really and that's OK with both of us. Our primary concern is our daughter, and that's easier for us and her if we aren't fighting a running battle with each other.

So after the afternoon activities, we will likely head off to get dinner and then I'll head to my party later tonight. I've been looking forward to this all week, and it's going to be good to get out and have some more mature fun.

I am going to have to give some serious thought about the Krav Maga class. I loved the class, but it made doing my regular workouts very difficult this week because I was so drained and sore (yes, it finally hit after about 18 hours). My regular workouts to date have been doing me just fine for my weight loss. I'll just have to see how I do on Monday when I weigh in. If I'm not satisfied with the result, then I'm going to put the Krav Maga class on the back burner until I get below 300 pounds. I'll just have to see what happens and take it step by step.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 60: TGIF and a milestone

I started this blog 60 days ago. In that time, I haven't missed a day of blogging. Pushed it to it's limit by posting after 11:50 pm, but I still got it posted that day.

Anyway, it's a Friday and the end of my work week. If work today is quiet or at least normal, I'll be very happy. My daughter's Pleurisy seems to be getting better, so I think the Pleurisy is backing off for the year and she'll likely be OK until next winter. I have a lot to do tonight. I have to go workout and then clean up the apartment for the impending arrival of my parents tomorrow. They're coming in for a visit this weekend, and will probably leave on Monday. I'm hoping i can convince my daughter to go out to the Red Rock Children's discovery trail for tomorrow's activities. I might also invite her mom along so she can visit with my parents as well. Then we all go to dinner about 5 and I have an invite to a party tomorrow night, so my daughter will go home with her mom and my parents will go off and gamble or something while I go to my party.

I'm really working at changing my mindset and my life. I want to work from a position of positive and hopeful energies. I will no longer work from a position of negativity and fear. Fear of loss, fear of anything will no longer be an option. Not that I won't feel fear, I will no longer let fear control my life. Like any soldier, we feel fear like everyone else. We just deal with the fear and move on. It's said that fear of death is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It could also be said that fear of loss is also a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you fear losing it, then it must mean more to you than you realize. In the sense that, "If you love something, then set it free. If it is meant to be yours, it will return."

If you want to free yourself of those shackles, then just let go and don't fear losing. Fear instead not changing. That will cost you more in the end.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 59: The sunrise

Someone very close to me sent me this photo of the sunrise this morning. This photo, inspired me to write the following poem. This is something very different from most of my poetry, which was written from a place of pain. This is written from a place of hope. I hope you all enjoy it...

Sunrise in my soul/Banishing the darkness

I saw a picture today, a picture of the sunrise.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
That picture perfectly described
How I feel when I'm with you.
The light inside me rises up and
I can feel the glow in my heart shining bright as the sun.

The light shines and reduces
The darkness inside me to mere shadows.
Dispersing the fog of missing you with its warm caress.
Chasing away the things that go bump in the night,
With a choir of Angels that rise with the morning glow.
Singing a heavenly song to overwhelm the dirge of the darkness.

What I feel for you makes all of this happen,
But it never lasts long enough after I leave you.
A few hours, perhaps a day.
And then my light starts to set,
Recalling the Angels and permitting the dark to take it's place
Until I see you again.

And the sunrise in my soul banishes the darkness...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 58: Another food Bobo doesn't like, a happy discovery, and something fun (for me, anyway)!

Ok, I got home with my daughter tonight and she's not feeling great because of her Pleurisy, so I asked her what she wanted for dinner. She wasn't real hungry, all she wanted was a tortilla with some peanut butter on it. I fixed it up and she went to her room to watch her show. I decided to give the tortilla and peanut butter a try myself. It didn't taste any different than before, but I got just a little past the halfway mark and Bobo started his own little rebellion inside me and demand the peanut butter and tortilla vacate office and leave the country. Quickly.

Any time that happens, my stomach is usually upset for quite a while and I normally don't feel like doing much of anything. But I had to get to the gym tonight and at least hit the treadmill for half an hour. I really didn't want to, but I made myself go. Funny thing is, after about 5 minutes on the treadmill, my stomach settled down, and I was able to enjoy the rest of the workout. Happy discovery time!

Then I checked the mail and found a package from Ranger Up!, my current favorite T-shirt purveyor. One problem, they packed the T-shirts into a single priority mail envelope, which is approximately 11" by 13" and about 2.5" thick with all the t-shirts inside. My mailbox is 5"x5" by 14" long. The mail person stuffed it in, making it very difficult to extract from the mail box. I got it out after some cursing and folding, spindling, and mutilating of the envelope. I walked home and opened it to find my new shirts. Yay!

The shirts look like this:

These delightful shirts and more can be found at , they have lots of great stuff if you are current or former military or if you're unapologetically American. Great gift ideas for those in your life that fit that description. The shirts are expensive, but well worth the money. They also retire designs, so don't wait too long, you never know when a design will be dropped.

Catch y'all later!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 57: An observation on focusing energies

Over the last few weeks, my weight loss has been phenomenal. 66 pounds in 8 weeks really is amazing, but I'm wondering how much of that success is coming from the focus I have on something I really want in my life. There's no doubt that I want the weight loss, I want to live longer, I want to get in shape, but behind it all is a deep-seated desire for something I'm wanting in my life. It's not something I can just go out and take. This is something that has to be earned and given freely. But that one thing is ever present in my mind. It pushes me to work out the way I do, it pushes me to change, it pushes me to get out and really do things now, to take an active role in the world instead of sitting back and letting the world go by. I know, deep in my heart, that if I already had what I want I wouldn't be nearly as focused on this weight loss. The weight loss isn't the absolute determinant of whether or not I will receive what I'm seeking, but it will help me change and that may be the determining factor in whether or not I will get what I want.

The last time I had this kind of focus to complete something was in basic training. Then I discovered that when I'm properly focused I'm very hard to stop and damn near impossible to sway from my course once I've started. You don't worry about the time it takes, you don't care how hard the road is, you don't care how many times you fall down. You pick yourself up and keep on going. If the goal is on top of a tree, you climb and don't worry about falling. Get to that goal. Sometimes, the people closest to you will try to shake your focus and get you to stop the pursuit. You don't let them stop you or even slow you. If you believe in yourself and what you seek, nothing will stop you. Sometimes, absolute belief is the only thing you will have left. When that happens, let that belief lead you. When you get to that point and no one else can help, you have to stop and ask for guidance. Then, you have to stop and listen. Quiet everything down and listen. Everytime I've done that, somehow I received the guidance.

Once you achieve that goal, you hold on to it with everything you have and you don't let go. Never let go. You have fought and struggled too long for it to just let go. If I receive what I'm wanting, I will never let it go. I will hold on to it forever.

Au revoir.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 56: My first Krav Maga class.

Unbelievable. That's the only way I can describe this class. We started with some seriously hardcore calisthenics for a warm up and I kept up as best I could considering it was my first time to do it. I did not give up and I didn't ask to stop, I kept going as best I could. The teachers gave me credit for not giving up. When we went into the actual training, brutal is the only way I can describe it. There's no holding back, no put the opponent down easily. The basic rule of this class is stop the opponent by any means possible and don't stop until they cannot fight back. If they back off and stop before it gets into an actual fight, you let them go. But once the fight starts, You don't stop until they are unconscious or otherwise incapable of fighting back. We went right into knife neutralization techniques. I've never seen that before in a class so quickly. The class was about an hour and fifteen minutes. I was able to go for about half an hour before my body sent me the stop signals. The teachers saw what was going on and told me to sit the rest of the class out but to stay and watch. I was ready to leave, but I was glad I stayed. I got really motivated to go back for more. This kind of hardcore training will get me trim and lean quickly. I'll keep going and keep training until I can perform the calisthenics the way they want it performed and I can get through the whole class without needing to rest.

The teacher said at the end of class that we have to develop a button that will tell us when to go into that kind of kill mode. I already have the button. I've always had it. Now I'm going to refine my techniques and really be able to handle any situation that might come up. If someone tries to hurt me, they will pay the price in blood. If they try to hurt someone I love and I'm there, that price will likely be paid with their life.

Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not looking to get into fights or hurt anyone that doesn't deserve it. But if my life or my loved ones are threatened, I will pull no punches and show no mercy. No quarter will be granted in that situation. I could see in the Kravists that had been there a while had the kind of well-earned confidence that comes from the training. The teachers just radiated this presence that said nothing less than "Fuck with me at your peril".

Plus the workout will help me lose more weight, and that's a huge plus.

In the spirit of the Israeli Defense Force, where this art came from:


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Day 55: A quiet Saturday night and a busy Sunday

My regular Saturday night got a little sidetracked. I was going to go to Karaoke at Calico Jacks, but my stomach started having issues and then my body started sending me urgent rest signals, so this time I listened to the signals and stayed in and watched some movies and had a good long chat with my sister. For two kids who couldn't bear to be around each other under the same roof, we've developed into two adults with a very loving, supportive relationship. Oddly enough, We've also had a lot of the same issues and events in our lives over the last few years happen in tandem. I don't really understand that. The Universe moves in weird ways. Not mysterious, just weird.

So today, I'm doing some serious cleaning and laundry around the house and I will be hitting the gym later this morning or afternoon for a good workout. Nothing too strenuous, since I'm hoping to get my introductory Krav Maga class tomorrow night.

Tomorrow morning will be my weigh in, and I have to remember the rule of sleeves and weight loss: Any loss is good. A stall is acceptable. Gaining is not acceptable. The key to success here is to remember the holy trinity of the sleeve: Make sure you get enough protein and water, exercise regularly and often, and take your vitamins.

Onward and forward!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 54: After Action report on my Friday night and a few contemplations...

The band was great, as usual. The change of venue meant that there were people to see that I normally don't see at this kind of thing, and some of them were...interesting, to say the least. A friend and I met up there and we had a blast just talking, dancing and having a good time. She chose to wear these boots that were really cute and set off her outfit perfectly,but about halfway through the show her feet started hurting. We finally cut it short about a half hour before the band ended and headed to the parking garage to go our separate ways and head for home. We really had a good time, and that's the whole point of going out, to have a good time.

I've been further considering my idea for a self-imposed non-dating social life. I'll go out to Karaoke, to bars, to parties, but I don't think I'll be actively pursuing one on one dating with anyone. I've got so many changes going on, physically, mentally and emotionally, that I don't think it would be fair to anyone to deal with me during this whirlwind. I think this is the best thing for me right now. I need to learn about all of these changes and adapt to accommodate them. When I'm ready and I feel more comfortable in my new body, I'll start dating again.

Who knows, maybe the universe will show me how to resolve my other complications going on right now in that same time frame.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 53: Friday night and the Reflex!!!

Yah and hoo!!! It's Friday night, work is done and one of my favorite bands is playing downtown tonight. I went home, got changed and hit the gym hard tonight. I increased the difficulty level of the treadmill and pushed as hard as I could for 30 minutes, then I hit all of the strength training for 3 sets of 15 reps each. hard and fast. I got home and found a fresh supply of my protein shots waiting at the door for me. Yay, protein shots.

I'm going to have a little dinner and then get cleaned up and head down to the venue for the band tonight. It should be fun. A new venue and all sorts of people there.

A short blog tonight, but it will do. It's all that's on my mind right now.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day 52: Thursday is nearly over

I'm noticing that I'm posting this later and later this week. I wonder why?

Today went pretty good, except that I forgot to grab a protein shot on my way to work, so I picked up a protein bar. While I was at the store, I also picked up a copy of muscle and fitness. I'm looking for some new ideas for working out and getting the most from my workouts. Boy, did I pick up the WRONG magazine. This mag is for the seriously hardcore bodybuilders and power lifters. I can't even imagine getting as big and ripped as these guys are. It's just insane.

Anyway, the protein bar gave me an extra 18g of protein for the day, which I needed today. After work I had to take my daughter to get a costume for school tomorrow. Some spirit day thing where she gets to dress up as her favorite storybook character. Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel? Not my daughter. She's been reading and watching anime for quite a while now. We lucked out and found a Full Metal Alchemist costume at the mall, and that's what she wanted.

I'm so proud.

I used tonight as one of my off days for working out. I allow myself two nights out of the week where I don't workout or even worry about it. I change this around each week so my body doesn't get to used to the routine. Shocking the body this way helps with weight loss. Same reason I swap around the exercise patterns when I do work out. I am seriously considering adding something completely new to the workout routine: Krav Maga. This is the same combat technique that is taught to the Israeli Defense Forces and it is brutal and lethal. No belts, no points, no competitions. Just pure, unadulterated combat. There's techniques in here that are banned by the MMA. Sounds like my kind of fighting.

I did get a bit of hope today regarding my test of faith I've referred to in the past. Just a little light at the end of the tunnel. It's not anywhere absolute, but my hope is alive. And a little hope is better than none.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 51: Thank God Wednesday's done...

This has felt like a rough day today. Physically I've felt a little off all day, Like things aren't quite right in my whole body. Stomach feels a little off, I'm hurting a little all over, and I got a headache this afternoon after lunch.

Mentally and emotionally everything has been good. Emotionally I've been pretty stable and happy this week, so that's a good thing. Mentally, I'm tired, but that's normal after a day at work. My job is very mentally strenuous, so mentally I'm weary by the end of the day. I did go and work out when I got home, 35 on the tread and 20 strength training, plus the 12 minutes walking to and from the workout room, so more than an hour working out. Add in to that two 15 minute walk breaks and I've done more than an hour and a half working out today.

Some things going on in my life right now feel like a major test of faith. My honest belief is that things will return to the way they are meant to be when it's time. Most likely when my task of losing this weight and discovering my new self is complete. And no mistake, everything going on right now is forging a new me. Mind, body, and spirit are all changing for the better. My core self won't change, but some of my thoughts and patterns will change for the better. I'll be more confident (not that I'm lacking in that now) and more open with whatever friendships I will have.

Until we meet again...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 50: Tuesday and we're off again

So I made myself get up early and walk to the gym only to find out they have the damn door deadbolted from 10PM to 8AM. Well, I got some extra walking in, so that was good. I did get my walks in at work. I noticed that I'm getting colder easier now. Probably because I'm losing my insulating layer of fat...

Our director at work came in for a visit and mentioned that I was looking really good and happy now, happier than he had ever seen me. I honestly never thought he paid that much attention to us drones. Anyway, it was nice to be noticed.

I had to go to GNC to pick up my protein shake mix and I went ahead and just picked up the small canister this time. Next time I might go ahead and pick up the big mother canister and see how long it lasts me.

Went to my first support group meeting for this surgery. I had a couple of friends there, so it wasn't too lonely feeling and I wasn't by myself. After hearing everybody else's story, I realized that I really am a "results not typical" patient. My weight loss is much higher in comparison and far faster and I haven't had any stalls or complications. I'm really lucky in that regard. I'm hoping my luck and dedication holds out and I can keep going like I am.

One last thought. I discovered tonight, that with all my talent and skill with words, sometimes the simplest statements have the greatest impact of them all. Provided they are true and spoken from the heart.