Posts Tagged ‘weight loss’

There is a popular link going around Facebook that basically says, “don't worry about other people's lives, go out and enjoy your own”. The premise is that the perception we put out on social media may not be reality. But I have always heard that someone's perception is their reality. Which is it? Are we being real or not? Who am I? Who are you? More importantly, why are you stalking me on my blog that I probably had to beg you to read in the first place? You sicko!
My social media consists entirely of letting you know what I am eating (cheese) and sending out invites to play Candy Crush. However, about a month ago, a friend of mine echoed the sentiment of the Facebook article. He is going through a divorce and his comments were directed at couples who look like they have a perfect relationship…on Facebook. I don’t think he meant it as an attack, but he was specifically talking about my relationship. My wife and I had just had a date and we posted a picture from it on Facebook.
Here is a pic of me and my hot wife:
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Okay… not really. Here is a pic of me and my SMOKIN hot wife:
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A couple of days later my friend and I were talking about our relationships and the challenges we were facing. It wasn’t quite as deep as the typical male talk that is repeated numerous times a day. You know the one:

Guy: Hey
Other Guy: Hey
Guy: Did you see the game?
Other guy: Yeah, it was ____ (either “awesome” or “horrible” depending on whether OUR team won or lost. Of course, if it was a loss, we also insert an insult about the refs or umpires).
Guy: Boobs rock.
Other guy: Yeah.

This particular conversation wasn’t like that. This was two old friends just sharing sincerely about our relationships. Then he made a comment about the picture posted on our date night. Interesting. Does a facebook post of a husband and wife just enjoying each other’s company create a false impression that they have a perfect relationship? I would hope not, but who knows? My wife and I love each other dearly (when we aren’t trying to kill each other) but we are far from a perfect couple. We argue (too much) over the most trivial, worthless stuff. We’re both stubborn. I get angry too quickly and in my opinion she doesn’t say “sorry” quick enough. As similar as we are, we have very different super powers. I have my super love handles and she has… well I’ll let her fortune-telling tea tell you.
My wife drinks a brand of tea that has a fortune, similar to one that you would find in a fortune cookie, tied to each tea bag.
Here is an example of one of the “fortunes”:
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She had one over the weekend that said, "Your super power is forgiveness." I read that and thought, "funny." Cute, right? The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that it was True. If possible, it was even more accurate than the one I pretend to get each time I read a fortune: "Help! I am being held prisoner in a fortune cookie factory." On a serious note, without my wife's super power of forgiveness, we wouldn't be married today. The fortune describes her to a tea (Tea… get it???). Maybe my super power should be the gift of being very unfunny? Not funny? Funnily challenged? Sexy? Whatever, I guess they are all the same thing!
Anyhoo, if a pic together on social media is supposed to tell who we are (or aren't?) as a couple, what does a pic of just ourself say? I've got friends that literally probably post a "selfie" everyday. Does that mean they are narcissistic? Sure they spice it up by including exciting things like them eating toast, breathing, or rejecting my Candy Crush advances, but almost every day there is a new selfie. If you think your friends are narcissistic, does that make them so? Personally, I don't do the daily selfie (I am still trying to master the nose-hair filter) but I make sure that I flex in every photo that I do take. My secret goal is to have someone ask me, "Have you been doing buns of steel?" Sigh…Someday.
Do the photo's we allow of ourself on social media say anything about us? We don't want the bad ones on their right? 107% of mine are bad ones. If that is the case, maybe that is who I am. What about the people that gain or lose a ton of weight.
This is me:
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This is another version of me (please note the gratuitous use of a recent “after” pic from a weight loss contest):

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Is one version of the same person better or worse than other?

Is beauty really just skin deep? Don’t worry, I am not kidding myself that I am beautiful, but what if we go deeper? I had someone ask me on Facebook last week, “Were you this funny in high school?” I replied with some quip that I am sure was just hilarious, but when I think about her question, my serious answer probably would have to be, “No.” I was usually too busy trying to impress others to just be myself. Now, in my ripe old age of 73, I really just care what people think. Or maybe that is what I want you to think, I don’t know. I know that I’m being judged almost all the time. I think we all are… which is sad. But are WE being judged or are people judging their perception of us?
Take me for example: To the non-religious, I am too religious. To the religious, I am too much of a heathen (the fact that I said “boobs” in this post is proof enough). To the bald or follicle challenged, I have cornrows that they would kill for (unfortunately they just happen to be on my back). The intelligent make up imaginary words about me (like I am going to buy that “halitosis” is a real word). Fish love me and women fear me. To women that I know I’ll never actually meet in person, I give them a description of myself that matches Brad Pitt… unfortunately as he was as in freakish baby form in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
>benjaminButtonBaby      

What about even deeper than that? What could be deeper than our relationships, our appearance, our personalities… I’ll give you a clue: James Brown. I know that to some people the extent of, or belief in, our soul stops right there. But are we just this flesh and bones that we are walking around in? Hmmm… let’s pretend that you are in a terrible accident tomorrow and the lower half of your body is crushed. The doctors have no choice but to amputate. You now have half of your physical body, but are you half the person? No. We are not our bodies. Your very essence, or your soul, would not be halved or even damaged.

What do people smarter than me say about the soul?
Inside us there is something that has no name, that something is what we are. Jose Saramago

Laughter is the sound of the soul dancing. My soul probably looks like Fred Astaire. Jarod Kintz

Whatever satisfies the soul is truth. Walt Whitman

And finally, getting back to the original Facebook article about how people put out false perceptions of themselves to look more beautiful, happier, more exciting: Beauty is the illumination of your soul. John O’Donohue

So don’t worry about how others appear on social media (unless you ever see a pic of me in which case please feel free to inquire about my Buns of Steel). What about you though? Is your soul illuminated? Not on Facebook or some other social media, but in real life. Who are you? No… really?

The TV show, “The First 48” details the first two days of incarceration. It is gritty, mean, ugly, and smells of rotten eggs on cooked spinach leaves. That is exactly what the first two days of Paleo have been like. Wait… Maybe it would be more like Paleo if it detailed the last 48 hours when someone takes the (non-carb) lethal injection into their veins and dies a miserable death. OR just maybe I am on a Paleo high that has me as intoxicated as a guy in Colorado that besides any medicinal stuff, also just had two buck chuck come to town. Speaking of the “medicinal” stuff, my new Paleo app says that catnip is Paleo friendly. Seriously. Catnip. Besides the obvious question of what lucky intern got to test that, the only question left is: How bad do I want to win that fish oil.
I woke up 48 hours ago ready to take on the Paleo Challenge. I had no idea what I was allowed to eat but I guessed an egg was okay so I headed to IHOP for all you can eat pancakes. You are allowed black coffee on Paleo so I ordered a tall glass of milk. After I was 47 pancakes and 8 glasses of milk in, I remembered that not only was this not Paleo friendly, I am allergic to milk. As my chest got tight and breathing labored, I realized that maybe my wife was right and I actually do have control issues. Luckily I passed out due to a carb coma/allergic reaction and that was the end of day 1.

Let’s just call Day 1 a miserable Paleo Faileo.

I was determined to make Day 2 a success. For breakfast I had the eggs that eluded me on Day 1 (sans pancakes). So far so good.

For lunch I had a nice healthy salad. After I finished my salad it dawned on me that although my salad was Paleo friendly, the salad dressing may not be. So I did what the cavemen did and checked my app. Nope! Salad dressing in not Paleo friendly. I can put freaking catnip on my lettuce but heaven forbid if I want a little ranch dressing!!!

So again, I did what the caveman always did and drove back to my cave and drank beer (I know I am not allowed alcohol on my Paleo Challenge but I think this is okay because I was drinking Rolling Rock. I mean… How much more Flintstone can I get than a beer that has “rock” in its name?).

Day 2 also equals a Paleo Faileo.

So here I am on Day 3 pacing while asking myself repeatedly, “what would a caveman eat?” The pressure is getting to me and I can’t hear myself think over the squeaking of my kids guinea pigs. Here is A picture of Nibbles and Princess (I think her name is Princess anyway):

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Finally… The lightbulb in my caveman noggin turned on:

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I ate the cute furry one in the front of the picture (Nibbles I think).

PS: Guinea Pigs don’t actually taste like chicken. However, along with catnip… Are Paleo Friendly!

Okay, apparently the one time this stupid blog has more than one reader happened to be the time that I risk my life by calling Crossfit a cult. Now they are trying to murder me in the most painful way possible: through exercise. They are on to me I just know it! How do I know? Well when I went to a “class” yesterday I overheard whispers of, “look at that fat furry guy rocking the midriff shirt!” Which you and I both know is code for, “The geezer is trying to share our secret with the world before the leader says it is time… we must kill him.” Before this dumbbell slips and has a real dumbbell “accidentally” impale my groin, I’ll help you make your own decision by listing the characteristics of a cult. We can then see if crossfit matches those characteristics.

—CHARACTERISTICS OF A CULT—

—The group displays excessively zealous commitment or obedience to its leader— So crossfit is very sneaky about this. They rotate the leader on a daily basis and it is never announced who the designated leader really is at any given time. In fact, the only way to know who it is, is by paying attention to who is wearing the very discrete shirt that says “coach” on it. Of course, he or she is also the one offering instructions. If you don’t follow those instructions, you get “coached” into submission with things like: “You are actually supposed to bend your knees, not your back, when doing squats!” It’s their subtle way of saying, “submit or risk injury.” —Cult and Crossfit characteristic? Check.—-

—The Cult plays cool, loud songs like “Love removal machine” to “motivate” you. —Cult and Crossfit characteristic? Check.—

—Members are encouraged to spend and inordinate amount of time with the group.— Let’s just say that there are SOoooo many classes! —Cult and Crossfit Characteristic? Check—

—The group is elitist, claiming a special, almost exalted status of itself.— Whoa! This one is scary how much it describes crossfit. Crossfit is elitist to the point where our common language just isn’t good enough, so they invented their own. I’ll give you some of our inside lingo, just so you can also be indoctrinated. I should warn you: even though all of it sounds dirty, none of it really is. So here is this new member’s understanding of it (I think enlightenment doesn’t truly happen until I reach higher levels… ie. I can do 100 burpies).

Box – The specific gym where crossfit is performed. They all have names that remind you of death or pain, like “Death Crossfit,” “Pain Crossfit,” or the very worst of them, the one that makes me cry and whimper like a 41 year old fat out of shape blogger, “Backcountry Crossfit.” Each Box is in secret competition with the Box across the street, and ALL of them are superior to your weak, girly non-crossfit “gym”.

Snatch – This is a G-rated blog so I can’t go into great detail about this one but, again, trust me… it isn’t dirty.

Burpies – Not really sure what these are. All I know is that we do a ton of them. You jump up and down and burpy a lot. It seems to be increased on the mornings following eating Mexican food for dinner.

Paleo – Crossfits equivalent of the kool-aid (with, of course, no sugar added). Don’t know much about it yet… but this is why I happen to be risking my life blogging about crossfit in a blog about weight loss. Stay tuned!

WOD – This is an acronym for, “Prepare to Die Sucka!” It is also something more advanced members feel compelled to post to their facebook daily. I would pretend to be advanced by also doing this, but how could I do that and let my facebook peeps know that I had toast for breakfast? They are about as equally exciting on facebook so I’ll stick to my toast posts because it at least rhymes.
—Anyhoo, having your very own lingo… Cult and Crossfit characteristic? Check.—

Nice people… I mean REALLY nice people – I haven’t officialy found this as a cult characteristic but I can’t help but think of that cult that castrated all of its members while waiting for the Hale-Bopp’s comet. I don’t know about you, but if a grouchy guy told me to get in line to get my nuts cut off, I would at least have to think twice. However, if a smiling nice guy suggested that he has a way to literally cut a couple ounces right off me, I would reply, “That’s great! Where do I sign… and why are you holding a cleaver?”
So even though it might not be an official cult characteristic, isn’t it a little odd that people that work at a gym…err… box, would be so nice. I picture an Arnold Schwartzenegger looking character with a thick mustache insulting my girly muscles… and the men that worked there would be even nastier! However, at least at my crossfit, everyone seems really nice. From the kind people at the desk, to the helpful people wearing the coach shirts, and even the other “members” who are dying right next to you: EVERYONE is extremely nice. I don’t know, but it just seems odd that with what seems like someone’s last breath they would offer a, “good job buddy!” —-Crossfit characteristic? Check. Cult characteristic? Inconclusive.

Well since crossfit and cults don’t share 100% of the same characteristics (and because I have a wife and 4 kids who kind of need me around… the kids anyway), I’ll have to rule this as inconclusive. Now I’ve gotta run… I’ve got a comet to catch!

Shhh… I need you to keep this on the downlow. The only reason that I am almost comfortable sharing what I am about to reveal is because my blog stopped notifying my (two) readers who used to actually enjoy reading this thing (Hi Mom!). However, I know with Al Gore’s invention, complete strangers could stumble upon this thing so I’m going to need you to pinky swear that you won’t say anything. Seriously. If you do, I’ll have to kill you. Okay, not really… but we’ll probably have to paddle each other’s bare behinds while asking for another.
Okay, here goes nothing, I joined a cult. The last time people thought I joined a cult was in 2001 when I announced that after studying it for myself, I was leaving my agnostic views behind and committing my broken life to Jesus. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have shaved my entire head but my ponytail and started hanging out at the airport while passing out flowers. Anyway, this is a real cult. You’ve seen it, you know members, you’ve heard their secret language. I feel like if I was announcing this on a 60 minutes type show, they would have my face shaded and distort my voice for my own protection. So considering this is a blog, I’ll do the next best thing and disguise my writing. Okay… deep breath… here goes: I joined crossfit.
So right now you are thinking one of a couple of things. If you are local and know me, you are thinking, “I knew it! So THAT is why his buttocks look so taut!” On a tangent that I probably should just leave alone as it has nothing to do with me joining my cult (shhhh… on the downlow, remember??), have you ever noticed that the word “taut” can basically only be used to describe buttocks. It’s like “supple” with bosom. I, unfortunately, screwed up and have taut bosom and supple buttocks. Anyhoo, back to me being newly related to John Travolta, most of you are thinking, “You idiot, how could you just join a cult???” Please… give me some credit, I didn’t just sign up… I took advantage of the free trial week first.
On my very first class the head cultmaster (get this, they call him “coach”) introduced me to my new family, “This is Tom, who has the misfortune of taking his very first class during Hero’s week.” The class giggled and whispered under their breath about eating my love handles with fava beans. Well, I wasn’t intimidated! I huffed, and I puffed, and I passed out… about 7 times. However, once the class actually started, I was fine.
When the class was over the “coach” encouraged me to come back the next day to combat the “soreness” that was surely waiting for me the next day. Ha! Shows what he knew, or didn’t know. I wasn’t sore the next day… I was completely numb. It took at least a week until I could even feel my limbs again. And then the pain was much more extreme than “sore.” In fact, I was seriously considering making an appointment to see a doctor (probably my gynecologist to help with my taut bosom), when I overheard a woman that was probably in her 60’s but looked like she could benchpress a bus, mention that she could finally straighten her arms again. If Arnoldina was also “sore”, then I knew that I would be just fine.
Sometime during that first week (probably in a secret subliminal manner), the brainwashing was complete. At the end of the week, I was ready to sign up. I marched right up to the front desk and turned in my enrollment form. Just like that, I went from being Fat Tom to being Ralphie of The Christmas Story fame when he turned in what he was sure to be his A+++++++++++++ essay. I sat there and gazed at my new leader lovingly while I pondered how glorious it was going to be when he taught me the secret handshake. After about ten minutes of me staring at him with a stupid grin on my face, he finally said, “Okay… again, welcome aboard… if I give you a free sticker will you stop staring at me like that?”
What??? A darn sticker! Doesn’t he know that if I added a “Crossfit” bumper sticker to the “140.6” sticker that I already had, I wouldn’t even be able to make it to my local Krispy Kreme without the cops looking at me and saying, “that fatty is driving a car that obviously belongs to some sort of a fitness god, let’s pull him over and beat him!” Anyway, in spite of getting swindeled with an Ovaltine decoder ring, I went ahead and joined the cult. Why do I think it is a cult? I’ll explain that in my next post. In the meanwhile, I’ll tell you that I’m back to about 5 lbs. lost. Taut I say… taut!

Did you know that I was this close to becoming a Buddhist?  I figured any religion that was going to make statues in my image I least owed it to them to bet my salvation on.  So, I turned part of my mullet into a ponytail and shaved the rest of my head.  I borrowed the tambourine out of some kids music set, stole some flowers out of my neighbor’s garden, and headed to the airport.  It probably only took me 200 Hari Krishna dances to realize that I even screwed up becoming a Buddhist. 

By the time I realized my blunder, a new movie was out starring my twin brother and Morgan Freeman.  They were both detectives and were hunting down a serial killer that chose his victims based on the seven deadly sins.   The movie was called “Seven,” and for probably more than seven years, this become the standing nickname for me and my college buddies.  What can I say, I wasn’t a believer yet and based the important decision of where I was going to go to college on where it ranked in Playboy’s list of top party schools.  So what most people took about 4 or 4.5 years to complete, it took me seven (and that was just to get out of the junior college). 

Anyway, one of the seven deadly sins was gluttony and the movie showed  my body double laying naked on a table and the image was forever burned in my fat skull.  This was what my buddies and I were referring to with the nickname of Seven.  So here is basically how it went… One of us would be dancing with a woman or otherwise being smooth, and the other guys would come up and make sure the woman knew that she was dancing with the guy from Seven.  She would think it was a joke on that the buddy she was dancing with thinking he was Brad Pitt and give us a gratuitous laugh.  We would then make sure we clarified the joke for her (I think the guy that said if you have to explain your joke it isn’t funny never tried to explain a joke over and over again to a stranger on the dance floor while she did the macarena).  That should answer the question as to why we were such a hit with the ladies.

So on this day of gluttony, I think I’ll publicly declare that I’m going to lose some weight.  I was exactly 239 lbs when this blog started.  I should probably point out that one of my heroes  is also 239lbs.  There was a time when he stood on the scale and it eventually landed on 239, and Homer exclaimed, “239…ohhh… I’m a whale! ”  So if this weight is good enough for Homer Simpson, why isn’t good enough anymore for Fat Tom?  Well I’m preparing for my blog swimsuit calendar and trying to get that “six pack” look in my abs.  Yeah right!  Never mind a six-pack gut, if I could even get down to six chins I would be happy.  So if it isn’t for a vanity reasons, why in the heck would I want to lose these pounds that have stuck with me through thick and thicker?

Four of the reasons I’ll be thanking God today are my children.  I know that if I want to be around to walk the last one down the aisle (4 weddings…I’m already feeling faint), I better get out of the morbidly obese category now.  So, for the blogger that has tried everything to lose weight, what is going to be different this time?  Well this time, this big guy is going to turn it over to the even bigger guy in the sky.  Yep…just like most of us, I’m turning what should be the first thing we turn to as a last resort: Prayer.  Every morning I’m just going to pray that if I ever exceed 2000 calories in a day, that the good Lord will just shoot a lightning bolt down and strike me dead while roasting my sausage fingers from the inside.  So…I guess it was good knowing you. 

Before I head off to the great buffet in the sky, I’m just going to put out an unnecessary reminder.  We all have a LOT to be thankful for.  No matter how broke you think you are, you are wealthier than over 95% of the people in this world.  You can choose to worship  wherever or whenever you would like…or you can choose not to.    Even the freedom of expression that we take for granted.  Last week some people in China were arrested because yahoo turned over their information to the government as the Chinese law said it had to.  The government didn’t like some emails they sent, so they arrested them.  A fat blogger wouldn’t stand a chance there. This is just some of the stuff we take for granted in America.  Take a few minutes today and tell God thanks.    You don’t need to recite any fancy words, just talk to God like you would talk to your best friend.  If you need any inspiration, maybe a recent prayer my 4 year old said will help: “Dear God, thank you for all of our stuff.  Thank you for my friends and my dog.  Thank you for Mommy, Daddy, and my sisters E and D and M, that is the one that is always telling me what to do and thinks she is the boss of me…but she’s NOT!  Amen.”

HAPPY TURKEY DAY TURKEYS!!!!