Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Getting To Neutral

Day 57: 4/19/2016

I don't write this blog for anyone other than myself. From day one, I started to write this as a journal and a mind-vomit collection basket.

I was asked by a couple of friends if I was still getting as many views as I used to, and the answer is no. However, it is surprising to me that it doesn't bother me. In fact, it helps relieve a bit of pressure. The one and ONLY reason that I share this with anyone else, is that if my journey, has the opportunity to help even one person, then I need to share it.

I needed to write this today because I feel it is allowing me to remember the reason that I started writing about this in the first place. I need to get my gears back to neutral.

I didn't get to where I am in life on my own. It just so happens, the one person that is my constant in life, has a birthday today. My beautiful wife Alysa. I wanted to share what I wrote about her, not because I want people to ooh and awe, but I want to remember the post, because the words to express my feelings for her came freely this morning. The journey continues.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Hitting The Wall

Day 56: 4/18/16

Sure, marathon runners, triathletes, yada yada yada - awesome fit people (insert thinly veiled insult out of jealousy, here) hit the "wall" when they compete. At that moment, they have to choose, to bust through it, or let it stop them.

Today, I hit my mental wall. I don't know why. I could choose any number of excuses to give. I'm just going to be honest and say it.


I do, I love Netflix, and my couch, and my movie/TV collection that at any time, I could spend endless weeks watching and enjoying. I love my kitchen, where I can spend time creating any number of things that could make my inner (and outer) fatman squee with glee!!!

While I still want to be lazy, the battle of the century is within the battlefield between my heart and mind. My mind says "dude, do you know how many things are in your Netflix queue?"

Meanwhile, my heart says, "You could totally rock a Batman branded banana hammock in the Caribbean if you would only get up off of your sinking love handles and exercise"

Then, I'm quickly reminded why I do most of the difficult things in my life. The woman who puts up with my jackassery every single day..... We have two of the most beautiful and fun and furry children anyone could ask for. I have a great job with people I enjoy being around. I have great friends who support me, love me and want me to succeed.

So, really..... what is there to bitch about from here on out. Time to make the love handles sink less.

Friday, April 15, 2016

I'm Stressed... That Doesn't Make Me Special.

Day 53: 4/15/16

I avoid talking about the things that cause my "down" moods as much as I can. I've been thinking about it today, and maybe that's a mistake. I try to be as honest as I possibly can on this blog, so here I go.

Here is a list of things that cause that stress level to impact my ability to fight on at any given time.

  • Work stress
  • Feelings of inadequacy in my job/marriage/friendships/life
  • Family drama
  • Marriage woes
  • Physical illness
  • Financial worries
  • Home ownership issues (stupid friggin dryer)
  • insert whatever else here
The point is.... these things aren't special. I'm just like everyone else. Everyone has stress in their life. The reason successful people are successful, is their ability to stare the stresses in the damn face and move forward in the direction they want to go. 

So, as I'm preparing to truly tackle phase II, I need to learn how to cope with stress. I'm thinking getting back into boxing just may be the trick. Thanks to my pal Patrick, I'm going to get a crash course on Monday 4/25....

I'm going to post a video of me puking during that workout, just you wait.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Blah... Blah Blah.... Blah.

Day 52: 4/14/2016

I'm not sure what I'm feeling, today. I think there is a heaviness.... no pun intended. I don't really know how to express myself, right now.

Have you ever felt like you are lost in a moment?? I don't feel lost overall. I just feel lost, today. I'm not sure what it is that I'm supposed to learn today other than to know that I get a chance at life again tomorrow.

Not every post can have meaty thoughts, right?

I dunno, I guess I'll let someone else say some inspiring words. Here's a clip from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Facebook that I thought was cool.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Day 51: 4/13/2016

This isn't a 4 month, 6 month, 1 year, 5 year journey. This is a lifestyle journey. I deserve to live a long, happy, healthy life, but it comes at the cost of giving up the gluttonous and lazy lifestyle.

I am now able to give myself a little bit of the foods that normally I'd have to say "absolutely not ever" to. On day 6, if I gave myself some of my favorite pizza (Village Baker here in UT) I wouldn't be able to stop. One pizza would turn into many pizza's, with cheeseburgers as the topping.

Being healthy is something that has been an abstract concept to me. Healthy has meant that I get my 3 meals in a day and I get some sleep. That's not enough. I owe it to myself to be the best version of me. I remember a year after my gastric bypass surgery, I was truly able to do things that I had not been able to do since I was a teenager. I want that again. Sure, I want to look extra beefcake-like to my wife, but that's not anything she's ever asked me to do. She'll love me no matter what, but it doesn't hurt to have your spouse want you even more.

This provides me freedom. I don't feel trapped by this journey like I did when I started. This phase is slow to start... I'm not going to lie. I'm not giving every effort that I know I have. I have no doubt that I'm ready, though.

I've had some excellent feedback to my challenge I gave a couple of days ago. Some of the goals that were sent to me, inspire me to improve my own. Kudos to you who have made those goals.

Until tomorrow!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Be The Hero

Day 50: 4/12/2016

It's no secret that I'm a comic book fan. I wear Batman on my skin every day. I mostly wear some version of a comic book hero on my t-shirt everyday as well. I'm obsessed with certain characters more than others, sure.... but all in all, the reason that I love comic book heroes is that I connect with their struggle and lock in on what makes them amazing.

I've been thinking about the similarities between the comic book heroes that I love and the heroes that I know in this crazy real life we live in. I narrowed it down to these three things.

1. Courage: No, not just the jump in front of a punch, courage. It's that "no matter the obstacle, I'll take it on" type of courage. The obstacle can be one that they know is going to hurt them, or possibly take them out permanently.

2. Confidence: It's not confidence in a prideful way. It's that when the challenge is presented, the hero will have the courage to take it on with the attitude that they can do great things.

3. Determination: No matter what story arc you read, the hero is determined to be ready for the fight. They're determined to do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of others.

I think about one my biggest heroes, and it's my mother. She may find it weird that I say that, but that's what makes her great. She thinks that what she does is not super. She maintains humility even though she has impacted the lives of thousands of people throughout her life as a teacher, mother, and friend. I've seen my mother take on whatever has come at her, and she stands tall before, and after the battle.

I want to be like my mom in the sense that I can look at the goals that I've set, and be so mentally strong that even though the end goal is daunting, I can stand tall, with confidence and know, that as long as I am determined to make things happen, I will stand taller and stronger at the end of this journey.

Mark my words.... When I hit my goal of weighing 200 lbs, I'll wear a cape for my after photos.

Believe it.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Phase II - It's On. Please Join Me

Day 49: 4/11/2016

I literally just stepped off the scale. I'm sitting in my living room after my wife and I took our dogs on a nice walk. I giggle about the reason we went on this walk. It's because we are having our own little Fitbit "steps" competition between us. There really isn't anything on the betting line but the competition makes it fun for us.

If you haven't read my post titled "My Story", I would encourage you to do so, and to share it. Creating awareness for depression, suicide and mental illness is something that I'm passionate about. I would love for that message to be shared as much as possible. The link is HERE

Now, onward to the task(s) at hand. Weight loss, health, commitment, goals, willpower, self control, discipline... I have learned that these are things that pretty much ALL people deal with. It's not just me. I've said it before, that I don't write this blog to gain viewers. I don't write it for shock and awe, and I don't do it for attention. I do it because it helps keep me accountable, BUT! I receive feedback from people who read this blog, and it is humbling to learn that I'm not alone in how I think and feel. It's inspiring to me that my struggles, failures, and successes have motivated others to take on their own health challenges.

I've been on vacation since April 1st. For the most part, I was pretty good about keeping my food choices in check. I didn't gain anything and I didn't lose anything. While on vacation, I did partake in eating some bread, and some fried goodness. I made and ate my amazing chocolate chip cookies. I truly enjoyed my vacation. Now, vacation is over and it's time for me to dial things in.

Phase II is what I'm calling the next calendar quarter. From now to June 30th, I'm going to take the things that I learned in Phase I and apply them to harder, and more intense goals. I learned that I am more than capable of looking my demons in the eye and denying them the control over my actions. I learned that I can do hard things. I learned that as long as I have the type of support that I received in my first 30 days, I can push through the hardships that these challenges will bring.

Here are the goals that I have made for the next quarter.

  • Learn how to incorporate new forms of lean protein into my 1400 calorie a day diet.
  • Increase water intake to 120oz a day.
  • Participate in a minimum of 30 minutes of activity a day, 7 days a week.
  • Find a way to afford to join the boxing gym that I want to join, and go 3x a week.
  • Increase my nightly sleep hour average to 7.
  • Have a daily step count of 10k+ on Fitbit, 7 days a week.
  • Incorporate a video portion to this blog.
  • Increase my endurance of jogging to be able to jog 1 mile without stopping.
Anyone reading this. I encourage you to make goals with me for the next 3 months. I would LOVE for you to share them with me. Join me on Facebook via the "Geekshow Fit" fitness group. 

"When you decide not to be afraid, you can find friends in super unexpected places." - Ms Marvel

Thursday, April 7, 2016


Day 45: 4/7/2016

YEP! I'm still here. I'm still on this journey. I decided that I needed a vacation. After my last post, I needed some time to enjoy some R&R and be able to be lazy and reset my batteries.

I will return back to writing and sharing each day this coming Sunday, April 10th.

I am going to be adding some new things to the blog, like trackers, pictures, possible videos, etc.

Friday, April 1, 2016

My Story

Day 39: 4/1/2016

This post is different. The topic isn't really about weight loss. It's not about dieting, or exercise. It's about hope and love.

I have only shared this part of my life with individuals who have wanted to know. I don't share it to boast, brag, or bring attention to myself. I believe that part of growing is being able to acknowledge, and accept the things in your life that have made you into who you are. Some of those things are positive, and some of them are trials and hardships.

Let's take a minute and imagine that you are person that is in constant pain. Let's say that pain spreads to your whole body. Nothing you do for that pain, helps. You have no rest, or relief from that pain. Then, something comes along, and allows you to not feel that pain, even for a few minutes. You are now in control of whether you feel pain or not. That gives you a power, that you could have never imagined before. The problem is, the solution, has side effects. Along with not feeling pain, you no longer feel anything else, including happiness or hope. The other side effect is that you now have to find a way to keep yourself supplied with that solution, because the fear of the pain returning is now insurmountable. You are willing to do anything to keep your power. You have to keep it a secret because others won't understand or will try and take that power away from you. You then obsess so much over it that you are now consumed by your fear, your power, your pain, your shame, and your secrets. Welcome to being an addict and welcome to depression.

This issue for me, started many years ago. I would say at age 11. I began trying to replace dealing with hardships and depression by introducing substances into my body. It started off with cigarettes, then to things like marijuana and alcohol. It eventually led to addictive drugs like cocaine, methamphetamines, heroin, and opiates in the form of prescription pain killers. Of course I was taught that these substances were bad for me. I was well aware of the dangers that they could cause. The only thing that mattered was keeping it all a secret, and making sure that I could keep myself in arms length of my pain solutions.

This lasted off and on through junior high, and high school. After high school, it started to bleed into every aspect of my life. This included hurting friends and losing friends. This included stealing from my friends and family. It led to me losing the trust, and respect of my friends and family.

Things changed when I had friends starting to die from the same problems. I knew things would need to change or I would be another bad statistic. I decided, on August 24th, 2003 to be honest about these problems with my friends and family. I sought out help at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, through the Dayspring rehabilitation program. While I was there, I learned about depression. I learned about how this is an illness. It's an ugly one that is becoming more and more prevalent in all communities throughout our country.

The C.D.C. lists suicide as "the third leading cause of death among persons aged 10-14, the second among persons aged 15-34 years, the fourth among persons aged 35-44 years, the fifth among persons aged 45-54 years, the eighth among person 55-64 years, and the seventeenth among persons 65 years and older." in the "suicide data sheet" of 2015.
The permanent solution to temporary problems is the second leading cause of death for people aged 15-34..... That's sobering.

I'm writing about this because I am a person who suffers from depression. I've seen many therapists, and continue to see one now for this issue. Last fall, I was at a point that I was willing and able to go that route as a solution to my depression. Instead, I chose to cry for help in a stupid way and scared my wife, and family (and my neighbors I'm sure) while being wheeled off in an ambulance.

Since then, with the love, and support from my wife, my family, and my friends, and some great therapy, I can happily say that I am living a life with hope, love, and gratitude. I look forward to my future.

Today, I was able to put a period on that chapter of my life by participating in "project semicolon". If you're unfamiliar, Project Semicolon is a global non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and love for those who are struggling with mental illness, suicide, addiction and self-injury. Project Semicolon exists to encourage, love and inspire. The semicolon in the english language is used in writing when a sentence could have ended, but did not. In context, bearing that symbol is one that says "my story is not over".

I chose to have this symbol tattooed on my arm today. It is a reminder to me that I am not finished yet. I choose to continue. I had the semicolon placed as a note that originally would have ended the first bar of Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings". I did this because music has been and will always be my place of solitude and peace. It is the thing that has been the constant in my life. This song is my favorite classical piece as well. Here is my freshly tattooed arm.
I must give my sincerest gratitude and thanks to the artist who took my idea and came up with this piece. Seth Jordan at The Raw Canvas in Grand Junction CO.

Ultimately, I want the message of this post to be one of hope and love. To those who struggle with self image, depression, mental disorders, eating disorders, abuse, addiction, and self mutilation; there is hope. There is help. There is no shame in admitting that you need help. Contact a mental health professional, visit a hospital, or you can call 1-800-784-2433.

If you're interested in learning more about Project Semicolon. You can visit http://www.projectsemicolon.org/

If you would like to hear Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings" click on this link