Part III: Why I Will Always Be The Problem

The Final Chapter (Not Really)

The struggle is real.  It is, and forever shall be an ongoing battle.  Making the choice whether or not to eat that cake or cheeseburger, or the alternative of pumping out that extra two reps and an extra five minutes on the spin bike.

As training persists, the latter becomes the obvious choice.  Psychologically speaking, the more “extra” training I do during the week, the less I feel guilty during my free meal.  I don’t gorge, but I feel more like I earned it, and the reward is all the sweeter.  It actually does taste better.

At first you will hate the idea of working hard to get into a better mental and physical state.  I know because I did.  But it becomes a feeling you enjoy.  Something you can become addicted to.  It has happened to me and a lot of people I know.  The “pump” if you will.  The feeling of tearing the muscle fibres and the swelling and rush of blood to them (or “pump” as my trainer buddies [Hi Chris!] call it).  It is an awesome feeling.

The biggest challenge is changing your routines and schedule to include activity.  Waking up half an hour sooner to start your day.  Prepping meals for five or six days.  Making time each day to go to the gym.  Trust me, it can be and is a fucking trial by fire.  But you need to make the change.  I had to adjust my schedules again to incorporate it.  It’s part of life.  Priorities pop up.  But your own well being is a major priority.  It needs to be.  You want to be around for your kids?  Make the time fuckers.  Want to impress that chick?  Put down the fucking cookie, pick up the freeweight.  It’s non-negotiable.

I know the struggle well.  Hit the snooze for five extra minutes, wake up a half hour later, day is rushed, gym is skipped.  Feel like a bag of shit.  Day ruined.

It’s so very easy to say “I’ll go tomorrow,” then skip the gym the next two days in a row.  Plan your days ahead of time.  Write that shit down.  It’s helpful and will keep you regimented.  I like to live free spiritedly a lot of time, but I work to make a set routine for getting to the gym.  You need to as well.  It’s an amazing way to let off steam.  Especially when dealing with people like “Janice-the-bitch-that-called-me-fat-but-doesn’t-even-know-me” from work (that twat can just ruin your day).

Remember when I briefly mentioned in Part II the portion of the mental battle?  I meant it.  Every word.  The mental game helps to tell that voice (let’s call him Bob for the sake of discussion from here on out) to leave you the fuck alone.  You have a task to do, and Bob being a prick to you doesn’t help one bit.  There is a movie I suggest you watch: Revolver, with Jason Statham (I know I didn’t mention the other things, but whatever).  The movie focuses on some key points dealing with the Ego and that little inner voice.  It’s very good, and you might learn something.

Anyways, I am constantly arguing with that inner voice inside my head (no I am not crazy.  I question my sanity on a daily basis, hour by fucking hour.  Even Bob agrees with me that I am not crazy).  Bob will try to convince me that I need to do something else of importance.  I usually agree too.  But I make him a deal and go to the gym first, or plan it so I go shopping, hit the gym, then home.  Or however you need to do it.  That voice is always there, being the disgruntled old man that swears at kids to get off his lawn.

He (or she) will be your biggest threat.  You have to master you, or you fail.  It’s all mind over matter.  Yes I know, cliche, but hey it works.  Tell yourself to do it.  Remember, you got your ass into this mess, you’re the only one who can get out of it.  Once you find your routine, change it up.  Not a lot though.  Just ever so slightly.  Otherwise it becomes stagnant and boring, you begin to plateau, and you give up.  Taking us back to square one.  Life isn’t supposed to be easy.  It’s all about learning.  You don’t want a challenge?  Get off now because you’re fucked.  But if you’re up for it, it’s a fun and interesting ride.

Oh, and all the things you will learn about yourself: what you can do and are capable of.  What your limits are and pushing past them, is a very exciting thing.  The things you learn about nutrition, and the physicality side, are actually pretty cool.  It also helps you to better teach others that have issues.
Enjoy the ride, and enjoy my misery, because remember: you’re next.

Part II: Why I Still Am The Problem

Remember Kids, You Are Too

So, I now knew that I was the problem: Me. My next problem was a doozy. How the hell do I fix it?  I was lucky because I now had a support group behind me that was willing to help me, and knew exactly what I was going through.  They had been through it, and still going through it.  Not everyone has that.  There are online forums and groups there to help people, but it’s not the same. A physical group around you, motivating you is different (and also, DOCTORS!  Seriously people, before doing anything, and I mean ANYTHING in terms of weight loss, GO.  SEE.  A.  DOCTOR.).

Anyways, I now had two key things in my pocket: a support system, and most importantly, I had admitted to myself out loud that I WAS THE PROBLEM.  

I spent the next couple months trying to figure out just HOW I was going to change.  I had no idea where to begin.  I researched different ways, routines, miracle pills (that’s a whole other rant), miracle diets, etc..  After talking to the gang again and getting help from them, I learned that I had two things to do first. First, I had to change my diet.

SIDE NOTE: This is a huge misconception.  Jumping to a 1000 calorie diet means you’re going to fucking fail.  A diet is not something you go on.  It is what you ingest on a regular daily basis.  You have to switch to a healthier diet for the long term, with proper portions, otherwise, you’re fucked (and not proper fucked).  Food is meant to be fuel, with the odd (once or twice a week) meal being a treat.  “But I heard about this miracle crash diet?”  Did I fucking stutter? No!  There are exceptions, but nothing you will need to concern yourself with for anything we talk about for the most part.  This is a life change for the everyday, not a two week attempt to fit into those pants.

Secondly, I had to change my own mindset.  I thought this was weird.  “Change my mindset?  What are these people?  Hippies?”.  No, they weren’t hippies.  Well, not all of them (hi Mike!  All of you!).  The mind is a powerful tool.  It literally will cause you to fail.  Remember, YOU, just like ME, are the problem.  Our own worst enemy.  Somewhere along the line, we picked up really bad habits, and made some piss poor decisions.  Thus, we are in this predicament.  We are the only ones who can get ourselves out of this.  It is up to us to find the tools to get us there.  I had to become confident with myself, and stop hating me, wishing I was different.  I had to become both okay with who I am, and what my goal was.

I bought some books to educate myself on the matter of the mental game, and snagged some videos as well.  They were/are powerful tools.  I re-watch some videos and reread a couple of books in particular once, maybe twice a year as a reminder.  I won’t mention them in the open forum, as I don’t own them and really don’t want to pay for copyrights (Cover Your Ass), but if you want to know, message me through the site and I will let you know.  That, I have no issue with.  The mental part of your change is the biggest thing people leave out.  It is insanely important! You are your worst critic.  You will tell yourself that you’re failing and to just quit.  That little voice on the inside? Yea, he’s a fucking cocksucker.  Tell that voice to eat a dick when you get discouraged, and push through.

The first, and most important, thing I did was I SAW MY DOCTOR.  I wanted to make sure that the first part of my journey was a safe one (I initially lost 120 lbs over TWO YEARS.  It was a healthy and safe progression).  Dropping large amounts of weight quickly can damage your body (ask most people from The Biggest Loser).  Your knees are a prime example, and more importantly, you heart.  I was at 350 lbs at the start of January 2014, and as of writing this, I am 313.  A TRANSFORMATION ISN’T SUPPOSED TO BE FAST AND OVERNIGHT, SO DON’T FEEL DISCOURAGED!  My goal is something that I know I can accomplish, as I have done it before, and know how to do it safely (our goal is to give you the tools to do the same yourself).

I then bought a gym pass.  I basically just renewed a pass I had at a local gym that I enjoyed.  It was (and still is) an awesome place run by amazing people (keep rockin’ it Kirby and crew!).  The best thing you can do in terms of a gym is find one that has staff that truly care.  No matter what they build up their clients and help with whatever, whenever.  I generally find privately owned gyms to be this way, but there are some branded gyms that are great too.  Shop around, and take advantage of the trials that are usually offered to find what works.  There are “On a budget” gyms too.  I am going to one now.  Great facility, and it’s cheap.  I enjoy it there, but I also know what I am doing.  If you are new to a lot of this, go see a trainer.  Like a doctor, they are awesome, and can help establish plans for long term, as well as properly show you moves so you don’t hurt yourself.  Key factor in working out and getting healthy.  Getting injured because of not knowing proper training techniques can and will delay your training.  The delay, even for a few days, can and will cause you to put off the gym (hurting your mental game drastically)

Over the next two years, I started to find myself and who I was.  I didn’t look at who I wanted to be or be like.  I just embraced who I am, not what I am, which made the process easier.  Massive amounts of hard work and determination, and a full on change of how I did things in terms of what I ate and how much.  I started to change.

At first, I felt discouraged.  I couldn’t see any results.  The scale was saying something, but I didn’t see anything.  Which is common.  You don’t notice the change too much at first, as you always see yourself everyday in the mirror.  People around you, will.  Which is why having that positive atmosphere around you is so important.

Don’t worry, you eventually will.  This biggest is you will just feel better overall.  You’ll have more energy, be happier, feel healthier, sex will be better (hard to imagine I know), you’ll glow, and people will notice a change in your mental state too.  Just don’t let it who you are.  I’ve seen that too.  Don’t become that dickbag that you hated to begin with.

Spice Blends: Healthy Food Doesn’t Have To Taste Terrible!

Terrible…Maybe Vegan?

First up, this is one of the spice blends I made up a while back.  I use it regularly and it works for almost all veg and starches.  It’s also great on chicken.  I will also add a list of store bought spice blends that are awesome for you folk out there that don’t have time or are too lazy to do it *cough cough* Lincoln. [L: Hey, that’s not an OR for me. I am both time-limited AND incredibly lazy.]

Anyways:

  • 2 TBSP Dried Thyme
  • ½ TBSP Dried Basil
  • ½ TBSP Dried Oregano
  • 3 TBSP Granulated Garlic
  • 1 TBSP Granulated Onion
  • 1 TBSP Kosher/Sea Salt
  • 1 TBSP Lemon Pepper
  • ½ TBSP Paprika

1) Mix together (don’t huff it in, stupid). 2) Cover and store. 3) Win.

Store bought blends for those with little time/lazy folk/Lincoln:

  • Greek Blend
  • Roasted Garlic & Peppers
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Lemon & Herbs
  • Garlic Plus
  • Montreal Steak Spice
  • Montreal Chicken Spice

These are basic mixes that are good to use.  They work well on their own or with added items, or some mixed together.  These are also good one shot items if you’re on a bit of a budget, and can’t spend the money to buy different spices.  You should though, as they last a long time and you can get creative.

They are not meant to be used in massive quantities, but in small doses, to add flavor to every dish. [L: If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing to excess.]  This is step one in helping to make your food not taste terrible.

For those worried about calories and such, when it comes to spices, the calorie amounts are so small, that you would basically burn the amount off from each one from simply scratching your ass (okay, that’s an exaggeration, but you get my meaning).

Part I: Why I am The Problem

Don’t Laugh, You Fuckers Are Too

Hidy ho there! How are you feeling today?  That’s good. I’m glad you’re doing well.  I do hope that thing that you are wishing for happens.  Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, I want you to understand something.  You may end up disliking us (hell, some days I hate myself too.  For different reasons then you may, mind you).  But what I can tell you, is I truly wish I had more of the advice and honesty from the people around me, that you are getting from us (not saying I don’t get it, but more back then would have been better).

Before I jump into this, and anything else I talk about, let me make this clear: I know what it’s like. I truly and honestly know what it is like. I have, from as far back as kindergarten, been the “big kid”.  I don’t just mean the tall kid in the class. I was that fat kid that everyone picked on.  I was the easy target.  Hell, I still am in some cases (working on that).  I was the kid that everyone made fun of to make themselves feel better.  The one they picked on by being the ass end of the joke.  The one that no matter how hard I tried, never felt like I fit in with most of the other little shits, and never would.

I was different.  I had a problem.  I just didn’t want to admit it to myself what it was.  Deep down I knew I did, hell, I even knew what “it” was.  But I always viewed THEM, the people around me, as the problem.  They never understood that there was something wrong with me.  Not going to lie, the jokes and the ridicule didn’t help one fucking bit (seriously it didn’t.  I had some pretty bad depression, and I did try to kill myself [ story for another time] but kids are fucking dick bags).  At that age, and with that being the “world” as I knew it, everyone else had to be the problem.

From what I “thought” to be true, I was supposed to be this way.   I had the genes in me to not fit into the jeans I’m in.  Yes, my parents are/were large people.  They weren’t always that way, but it happened.  My siblings the same.  We just all made some poor decisions along the way, and BOOM! unhealthy.  Doesn’t make any of us bad people (I might be, different reasons), but it all starts somewhere.  No, there was no major childhood trauma (don’t get me wrong, some shitty things happened, but it’s all on me no one else), just a series of poor decisions and really shitty impulse controls that got me to the point I am in.  I don’t blame the dick bags.  I mean I could, but that won’t get me anywhere.

I was the fat kid.  I mean, while writing this I still AM a fat kid, but I have learned the from my mistakes, and have chosen to fix them.  Better late than never I suppose.  Me<– That was me.  Like I said, fat kid.  I was 18 years old, and on my way to my high school prom.  I was 370 lbs.  Anytime someone asked me about my weight, I would LIE MY ASS OFF (not really, see photo).  The only thing it was good for was rugby.  I was a wall in high school (actually a house, as it’s how I got the nickname. “Fuck me boy you’re as big as a house,” and the rest is history).  Life moved on, I as did I, but with less moving.  Very quickly after that photo, something wonderful happened: I left high school, which meant no more dick bags (huzzah!).

I was still very fat, and thanks to the poor habits I picked up when I was young (leaving a fat kid to his own devices and decision making when it comes to food is never a good idea), I was not improving.  I wasn’t getting worse, but I was yoyoing between 355 and 370 lbs. Not good.  On the horizon though, the sun had started to rise, and magic was about to happen.  I was about to meet a group of people that I felt I sorely lacked: friends who were, and still are, assholes

That sounds way more harsh than it means to (I had friends before.  Some of the best and funniest people I know [hi Steve!], and will always be family).  About half of the guys were former fat kids, who made the realization that I had yet to come to.  We were sitting around one night talking about different things, when one person casually threw out that <insert names> used to be fat kids.  I was intrigued.  I knew a couple of them from back in school, but they were a couple of years older than me, so we had never really hung out.  What happened next was the best piece of advice that I have ever learned in my entire life at that point.   I asked what they had done, and (let’s call him Jim) said to me “I came to the realization that I was the problem.  I needed to make a change, and that I was the only one who could fix it.”

I was in utter amazement. I looked around to the others who laughed and said the basically same thing.  My life would be forever changed.  Things had started to make sense, as I too, was coming to the same exact realization: I AM the problem.