2011 – Time to make the resolutions…..

Originally I posted this as a note on my Facebook page but I gotta start this blog somewhere, so here we go:

I’m hoping for some changes this year. I need to improve my health and think about the future. In the past, I’ve set up unrealistic goals for myself and restrict myself to unliveable ideals. This in turn sabotages my best intentions, rendering the concept of a resolution to a temporary condition at best. I find myself discouraged and falling into old patterns before the year is even 2 months old. So this year, I’m going easy on myself in a way. Going to concentrate on things that are good for my physical and mental health and work on baby steps and only give myself a couple huge goals. And even those are pretty tame. This is not to say I’m not going to challenge myself. But I think I need to do this in small steps to achieve any kind of success. Otherwise, I’m doomed to failure again and again. So here goes:

1. Eat healthier – Yeah, I know, an old stand by…but I think I can do this. I know how to cook and I know how to make yummy meals that are lo-cal and quite tasty. That said, I will not deny myself entriely. Denial leads to failure, failure leads to bingeing, bingeing leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to… oh wait, thats something else.

2. Do not ignore temptation – You heard me. I will not ignore some deliciousness that someone has made for me. In the past, when I have denied myself something, it always backfires and I end up on a binge.

3. I will bring food from home ever day to work – Not only will this save me money, but it will eliminate some of the temptations I run into at work (boss buys chinese/pizza/subs, burritos from Loco Coco’s Tacos).

4. I will not beat myself up if I forget to bring some lunch and I do go out and buy a buritto.

 

5. I will go to the gym 4-5 times a week – This one is admittedly hard but I have some compromises that will make this easy. The gym is not always Planet Fitness, it’s wherever I can find time and get some sort of work out. Whether it be a hike, a walk on the beach (or a run, more on that later) everything where my heart rate gets elevated will work towards this goal.

6. A suit – This is one of my big goals for the year. By late spring, I want to buy a suit, something I’ve always rented but never owned. I think by then, I could rock a little tailored menswear.

7. Warrior Dash – Ok this craziness was introduced to me by my good friend Pam Shepherd. It’s not a marathon or triathlon but it is just as insane. Check it out http://www.facebook.com/WarriorDash copy and past the link if it doesn’t work. This is some crazy silliness that sounds challenging and a lot of fun. I’m hoping to be in shape for this for one of their fall events. Or something similar.

8. Running – I hate running. It hurts, I always fall because I’m a little clumsy, but dammit, I’m going to incorporate this into my workout even if it kills me. Ok, maybe not, but I need to get myself up and outdoors more often and this is a perfect way to do it.

9. Pedometer – Keeping a pedometer on me will keep me honest with my day to day fitness.

10. Rely on my friends – Listen to them more often, especially when their opinions differ from mine. I could have saved myself a boatload of heart ache this past year…

11. Never quit – I need to reach these goals, and I think all of these steps are attainable, but I have to remind myself: Never Quit, never give in to my self doubt and have faith in myself and the love in my life from friends and family to get me through this and achieve these goals.

12. Be a little more sociable – Yeah, I know some people have been pestering me to go out more and my problem has been my bed is just way too comfortable on most nights. I am going to change that. You will see me more, but at the same time, hopefully less of me too. 🙂

13. Travel – Going to plan a few trips this year. Need to get ot beyond New England for a bit. Thinking California or Washington DC or maybe visit family in Indiana or Montana. Course, I could always get my passport and travel to Toronto to visit some friends there. So many choices.

14. Writing – Going to try to spend more time writing. I know it’s been a while and this is a hard routine to work into again, but writing a little something every day is a workable goal.

15. Painting – Yes, I’m going to do it. Going to actually start painting again. I’m all set up, new paints are ready.

So thats it. Those are my goals and resolutions. What do you think? Attainable?

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Ah 2009, you will be missed….

Why hello! Fancy meeting you here. I know it’s been awhile. I have no excuses. I wasn’t sick, there were no major catastrophes either meteorological, financial, familial or sociological. Let’s just call it what it is: I’m a lazy ass.

Since June, I have been writing and keeping notes on life, but to be honest, I really haven’t sat down in front of the computer to bring those thoughts to a public forum because, well….I’m lazy. And even with some gentle prodding from other bloggers (Cas, Allison, Romi, Pam and Natalie, to name a few) I just couldn’t find the motivation. The computer screen had become another blank canvas for me.

Let me explain: In the spare room in my house, there sits a canvas. About one year ago, I set it up on the easle, broke out some paints, poured myself a huge cup of coffee, set up some music and I went in with every intention to start….something. Unfortunately, when I sat down in front of the canvas, I realized I had no idea where to begin. All I saw was white. No direction, no thought, no emotion. Just a blank field of white. I remember sitting there for several hours, listening to the music, sipping my coffee. Nothing changed. I got up, shut off the music, put away my paints, shut off the light and left. Every few days, I would wander in, stare at the canvas again. I don’t know if I was looking for divine inspiration but the motivation was eluding me. I couldn’t even get started. The canvas sat on the easle for 6 months before I finally gave up and put it away. And I think I did the same thing here.  I gave up.

This past year has been a wild roller coaster ride of emotions. I worked 2 jobs for awhile which nearly drove me insane. I travelled to Texas, fell in love and had my heart broken more than once. (That story is still on going and I definitely plan to write about that at another time…there may be a happy ending to that tale). 

2009 was a year of being caught in an emotional holding pattern. Afraid to move forward, refusing to go back and no chance for finding some firm ground to hold on to. I felt like my life was circling the airport, waiting for the word to land and finally find some peace.

I saw my best friends lose their jobs and I realized I was more worried for them than they are. They are happy and content with their lot in life. Found myself wondering: why wasn’t I? Could I be so centered and happy if life threw me a curveball like that? I can’t even be happy with my life as it is.

My mother’s health improved as mine kinda deteriorated a little. Nothing to worry about, but certain things in my life that I put on the back burner were becoming more and more of a problem. Stress from the two jobs, lack of sleep and a chaotic life had sent my blood pressure through the roof, resulting in some weight gain, lack of motivation, etc. Since losing the second job, my health and outlook has improved. I’m on a more positive path to wellness and health. By the way, I have stories to tell about that second job…..

It wasn’t a year of all doom and gloom, however. Amazing friends, loving family always make everything easier. I recconnected with scores of old friends from high school through Facebook. This strange phenomenom seems to be the norm for almost everyone. People reaching out across the internet to find each other once again. I love it. I love seeing what other people have done with their lives since the hellish days of Winnacunnet High School.

Music once again dominated my life with shows all over New England. Some I worked for the band, others I was there just to support the music. I fell in love with Pandora and LastFM, both introducing new music into my life while reminding me the of the joys of my musical past.

There was amazing food and food that should never be mentioned again! I’m looking at you, chicken fried bacon! The Texas State Fair may classify you as food and you may be delicious, but you are sooooooo wrong! Wrong on every level that is wrongness.

So many more things I could mention here, but I feel I have prattled on long enough. So without further ado, here is my official list of New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Find a healthy weight. (you’ll notice I carefully avoided the cliche of  “lose weight”)

2. Let my heart heal. Allow myself to finally just get over the hurt and find the happy again. Love has entered my life, crashing in, demanding and I want to explore this without the regrets and hurt of the past.

3. Yard sale!!!! Yes, I’m finally going to have a yard sale. I’m working on minimizing in my life (read: cutting out the unneccessary crap) and the first major hurdle will be to have an epic win of a yard sale. Need some books? Come talk to me, I’ll hook you up….

4. Take a real vacation. Ya know, one that involves real rest and peace…maybe camping on a lake someplace….

5. Spend more times with the crazy people I call friends and less time with the computer.

6. Paint. I bought a new set of watercolors, some good quality paper and a few new brushes. Now, just need to get my ass out there and do some real work. Watercolors are not my normal medium, but I figure trying something outside my comfort zone may motivate me more.

7. Finally commit to blog all the stories I have rolling around in my head and incomplete here in my drafts.

8. Finally read the manual for my new camera and figure out what it can really do rather than just winging it all the time… 🙂

9. Appreciate my mom more and remember to tell her I love her every day. It’s tough taking care of mom, this is not how I pictured my life to be, but she is my mom and my responsibility. Sometimes I feel burdened and sometimes I wish my life were different, but she needs me and this is what I have to do.

10. Find some peace and contentment, the kind we all dream about….

So Happy New Year everyone! Kiss 2009 goodbye and bring on 2010! I can’t wait…..

Before or How Resolutions Don’t Equal Loss

Thats me on the left, making as ass of myself. I think we were all singing along to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” at sunday night karaoke at the Daniel Street Bar and Tavern. As dives go, the place isn’t that bad and a huge crowd of us swarm in every sunday for the silliness and embarassment that is karaoke. A funny moment caught on film by my friend Jared. I hate it.

Don’t get me wrong, we had a great night and I love my friends dearly. What I hate is me in these pictures. In the past, I have been incredibly embarassed about my weight gains and losses and gaining again. A never ending cycle of self torture and overindulgence. Every year, on New Years Eve, I made the same resolutions over and over again, only to see myself fail, or even worse, sabotage myself to definitely fail:

1. Lose Weight

2. Find Love

3. Win the Lottery

Ok, that last one is more of a wish than a resolution but nonetheless, every year, those three resolutions would be written down, tucked into my wallet to remind myself of what my vague goals were. And what happened every year? I would diet like mad, starve myself, exercise constantly and painfully then relapse into old habits of eating fast food and chinese food, pizza, ice cream, etc and re-gain any and all losses and then packing on a few more pounds in the process. The cycle is evil and cruel and worst of all, I was doing it to myself.

To hide this from myself, to camouflage the damage I was doing to my self esteem, body image and own sense of self worth, I would go shopping. I would buy bigger and bigger clothes, clothes that were at least a size too big. This way, I could hide the truth, not only from a date, family or friends but also from myself. Looking at these pictures of myself, I realize I’m hiding behind oversized or black clothing, masking the reality and bullshitting myself into thinking I’m thinner because the clothes were over flowing.

I hate that about myself. I hate that for so long, the person I have been the most deceitful to, the one I have been lying to the most and treating like complete and utter shit is myself. And I think when I look at these pictures, I’m hit with the reality of how I truly feel about myself. I’m ashamed. Ashamed of my weakness, ashamed of how I must have appeared to people and ashamed of how I’m percieved. Don’t get me wrong, this is not my heaviest. I was once well over 300 pounds, but being in the 200’s for so long is no better.

So now we come to this year. The resolutions were the same. Scribed on the back of a business card and tucked into a corner of my wallet, I added a few more this year.

Ok, so a couple of those are unrealistic ( I really think I have a shot with Tori Amos, heehe) but in all seriousness, I need to learn to love myself more and to stop punishing myself for not meeting expectations. That revelation has made me a happier guy. Took me a few months to get on track but now, the weight is falling off, I feel healthier and happier than I have been in a long time. The workout has become a part of my life and less the’damnable activity I have to do to feel better about myself’. Every day has become a new challenge that I truly enjoy. I either go for a run in the morning and work out at night at the gym or, as my has been for the last couple of days, gym in the morning and a quick run late at night. I ache all over, my ankle is swollen sometimes, my knees complain and I LOVE every minute of it.

My true friends ground me in reality and remind me that no matter how down I get, no matter how disapointed I may be in myself, they still love me and that gives me hope every day as I struggle forward.

This is the year I “Lose The Buddha” (copyright) and get back at least to my rugby shape. Would be nice to be 220, be nicer to be 200 and nicer still to be less than 200. I haven’t seen under 200 since sophomore year of high school! I’m on track, I know I can do this now and knowing without a doubt that a goal is there and it’s achievable makes all the difference in the world. In the past, the weight loss was a vague goal, something I promised myself, tried and then, ultimately failed because my goal was not determined or defined. Now I have a goal, I have a number and lastly I am making one more important step: I am throwing out the oversized clothing. This is a little drastic, but a step I need to take. Otherwise, I’m just tempted to try to fit into them again. I can’t throw it all out, but a good majority of it is definitely going to goodwill tomorrow. I don’t want to hide any more, I don’t want to feel ashamed of who I am and how I look.

So far this year, I have lost a total of 32 lbs. I have lost 18 in the last 3 weeks thanks to some inspiration and support from a few good friends and not to mention a $500 bet on the line. My total has to be over 60 lbs of weight loss by august!!! I think I can do it…I know I can do it! That Money is so mine….. 🙂

Hopefully, photos like this, photos of me hiding behind clothes, will be a thing of the past. And I know you are wondering, but really I have no anser: why is Jen sticking her finger in my ear?