Vacation This Year

No posts last week because I was on vacation; I spent the week with about 3000 or so of my closest friends. To be just as plainspoken as possible, I had a GREAT week.

Now, before I go any further in describing the incredible things that happened last week I do need to admit that I did not follow my diet plan exactly. I was camping for the week, and it was simply not possible to follow the plan exactly. However I did follow it as closely as I could. I did not over indulge, I did not revert to any bad habits, etc. I just did not hydrate properly, and I did eat more bread than I had in months.

With that said, I felt great. The positive comments from literally dozens of people were great motivation for continuing with the program, but a much greater motivation was the simple fact that I felt good physically. In years past I would have felt awful after walking around that huge site all day. I would have sweated so much that my clothes would have been soaked through. That did not happen this year.

This year I was able to walk the site all day and at the end of the day my ankles, knees and hips did not hurt. Well, my feet did hurt a bit the second day, but that was due to some blisters caused by a new pair of sandals, not by the exercise.

This year I was able to help set up the 3 Dragon Camp, and engage in other strenuous exercise, and while I did sweat, I did not sweat enough to soak through my clothes. The sweat was not flowing like the Mississippi River.

This year, in short, I spent the entire time, doing all the things I always do, and I felt great. The fact that I was not carrying around 70 pounds made it possible to do all those things. I cannot wait to see what I will be able to do next year.

Oh, I did do one thing this year that I have never done before at Gulf Wars: I bought a teeshirt. I have been going to this event for years, and was never able to buy a teeshirt because the largest size the merchant carried was a 4x, and I was wearing 5x or 6x. This year I plunked down my 20.00 and bought the shirt on the first day. Damn, that was a good feeling.

Strangely Liberating

Another short post tonight. I had a rather amazing, liberating experience today: I threw away a bunch of clothes.Not real exciting, I guess, but it damn sure made me feel good.

You see, these were all clothes I have been keeping for months , or years in some cases. They were all clothes that no longer fit because I had gained to much weight to be able to wear them. I kept them because I always had a hope that I would someday lose enough weight to be able to wear them again.

So, this afternoon when I was dragging out my garb tubbies from my closet I  saw those clothes in the “currently to small but may wear again someday” section of my closet, and a switch just flipped in my mind. Yeah,  at the rate I am losing weight I may be able to wear those again, but I do not think I want to. So, into the trash they went. Hell, one was a suit I haven’t worn in 17 years (though to be honest I am not a guy that wears suits often anyway).

I know I will have to buy some new clothes soon. I have never, EVER, enjoyed shopping for clothes, and I do not expect to ever enjoy it, but I am going to enjoy buying smaller sizes than I had to buy the last time I actually bought any.

Throwing away those old clothes was, in a very strange way, liberating. It felt like I was throwing away unpleasant memories of my past. I doubt that makes sense to anyone but me, but it was a good, GOOD feeling.



I Feel Good.

It’s Sunday morning and I feel fine!  I have definitely passed over, or through, the plateau, and I find that the scale is moving again. Not as fast as it had been doing, but it is definitely moving again, and that is a VERY good feeling. I know this is not much of a post, but, frankly, I just do not have a great deal to say this morning. I just wanted report that I feel good.


Sunday Thoughts

Super Bowel Sunday. Hard to believe, but it is true.

This has been a good week diet wise. I’ve managed to stay on purpose all week. I didn’t eat any food from restaurants, nor did I purchase any snacks from the vending machines at work. Most importantly, I didn’t even want to do either of those things.

The most important lesson of the week may have been simply that I can join my friends in social settings with out eating. More importantly, I learned that when I do that, nobody cares. For example when Turlaugh, Jakob and I went out to Perkins after the SCA meeting on Tuesday, neither of them cared that I only ordered water and a diet coke. Also, none of the Dragons gave a damn when I declined to join them for breakfast this morning. My friends understand what I’m trying to do. Not only do they understand it, they are very, very supportive.

The weigh in for the company Biggest Loser Contest on Thursday was particularly enjoyable. Yeah, I said enjoyable. That weigh in showed that I had lost 50 pounds since the start of the competition. I was on vacation Friday so I don’t know if that still leaves me in the lead or not, but it was, truly, an enjoyable experience. I can’t weight until the next one.

The coming week my main focus, other than sticking with the diet plan is to exercise more. I managed to use my pedometer to mark a minimum of 2500 steps a day, but this coming week I’m aiming for 3500, and at least three visits to the gym. It’s time I start using what I’m paying for.

Today’s weigh in: 390.6


Sunday Weigh In

There is not going to be much of a blog post today, mainly because I don’t have a lot to say (amazing, but true); but just a wweigh in post:

January 11, 2011: 418 pounds
January 16, 2011: 407 pounds.

Total change: down 11 pounds.

September 3, 2010: Sunday Miscellany

Sunday afternoon, and I feel fine. Well, fine, but kind of odd, actually. You see, I’m not really sure what I should be doing. I’ve had a good day, and I’ve gotten quite a lot done so far.

I woke up early, and started my day i the kitchen. I fried some sausage for breakfast. Next up was setting some chicken pieces out to thaw, and finally I mixed together the ingredients to make Velveeta cheese dip/soup. I’ve had the urge to make that for several weeks, and finally got the needed supplies. Once that was going in the crockpot, I was ready for the second part of my Sunday ritual: The Shaving of the Head.

I took a quick shower, and then it was time to put a fresh blade in the razor, lather up my face and head and go to town. I can’t really describe how good a freshly shaved head feels. What I can describe is how I feel when my head is shaved, and that is, “I feel good”. I try to shave it every weekend, and when I do, I feel better about myself throughout the week.

I spent the next couple of hours doing my weekly review and planning. I’ve been refining that process ever since I first read Getting Things Done by David Allen.  I have found that I need that weekly review and planning time. The Review comes first, and it reminds me of what I had and had not accomplished during the previous week. Knowing that tells me what I need to focus and concentrate on in the coming week.
The next step in the process is spend some time with Google Calendar. Blocking out the hours I’ll be at work is the first step. Then I make a list of any other meetings I want to attend, or tasks that have to be done during the week. These tasks and appointments are listed in the tasks section of Google Calendar. The final step is to copy everything into the notebook I take everywhere with me. I also do a daily review, which is pretty much the same process just on a daily basis.

I spent the afternoon getting reacquainted with several old friends: Jean Valjean, Javert, and the rest of the cast of Les Miserables. You see, about 15 years ago a good friend/arch enemy introduced me to that show, and for the next several years that score and Jimmy Buffet’s music was damn near the only music I to which I would listen. It’s a well known fact that I have a special place in my heart for stories of redemption, and the redemption of Valjean is one of the better stories in that genre. I found the 10th Anniversary version on Itunes and just had to have it. I loaded it on my Ipod and then spent a glorious hour or so outside, just enjoying the weather and listening to great music.

Day 2 of Habit Rebuilding

It is Sunday night, and I feel good. I have no real reason for feeling that way, but I also have no real reason for not feeling good. Since feeling good is less work than feeling bad, and since I am by nature a lazy person, I have chosen to feel good

I finally feel that I have gotten back on my non-Gulf Wars schedule. One week of a week long SCA event can, and does, really miss with a person’s schedule. The first week back was the hardest; I was so sleep deprived I was literally falling asleep at my desk. My corporate overlords do not find that to be acceptable behavior, so it was a rather challenging week.

By the start of the second week, I had managed to get caught up on my sleep; I was no longer sleeping at my desk. It was all the other aspects of my regular life that were still out of wack. I had fallen off my diet during war week. Now, I didn’t go hog wild, or anything like that while I was at War, but I had stopped consciously thinking about what I was eating. During the week in Lumberton I had gotten out of the habit of thinking about what I was eating.

During the week at Gulf Wars I had also lost the habit of tracking my spending. Several months ago, in an effort to be a bit smarter about financial matters, and in an effort to find ways to save money, I had started recording all my spending. I didn’t do that at Gulf Wars. Now, this was not a big deal for the first half of the week, because I quite literally didn’t really have any money to spend. However, once my paycheck and quota bonus checks were direct deposited, and once I discovered that most of the merchants would in fact take my debit card, I went kind of nuts.

I had also gotten out of the habit of engaging in a daily goal setting and review. Such daily sessions were, and are, a ritual I had been building in my life since last October. I have found it very, very, helpful in keeping me on track and moving forward toward achieving my goals. Normally the Daily Review and Goal setting is the last thing I do before going to bed. I review the days “Get It Done” list to see what I did get accomplished that day, and what I did not. Then I create the “Get it Done” list for the next day. I didn’t do any of that at the War, and by the time I got home, the habit I had built for five months was gone.

Now, not doing my daily review, not paying attention to my diet, and not tracking my spending, none of these things were a big deal while at War. I mean, it’s my vacation. People are allowed to be a little lax on their vacations. Right? No, the real problem lies with the fact that I didn’t start doing them again when I got home. I let my lack of self discipline at war carry on, and that is, not acceptable. I really wish I could claim that I wasn’t aware of what I was doing, but I just don’t lie that well. I knew what I was doing – or, more accurately, what I wasn’t doing. What I can say is that the fact that I wasn’t doing what I new I should be doing was bugging me. It was like an itch that wouldn’t scratch. Day by day, the feeling of something not being right kept growing.  Kept getting more annoying.

This weekend that feeling finally got to be more annoying than I could deal with. So, I dealt with it by rededicating myself to doing all of those things again.  I started yesterday by recording what and when I eat. I didn’t spend any money yesterday, much to my surprise, but I did start recording  expenditures today. Once I’ve finished this blog post, I’ll do my daily review and set my goals for tomorrow. A small start, to be sure, but all great things start small. All of the “self improvement” literature I’ve read says that it takes 21 days to build a habit. I guess today would be day 2 of the habit rebuilding program.

So, it’s been a week…

So, it’s been a week since I got home from Gulf Wars. In fact, it’s just short of 1.5 hours of being a full week since I got home. I should have written about the War sooner, but the fact of the matter is that I had to recover first. By the time I got hone last Sunday I was so sleep deprived I was starting to halucinate a bit, which hadn’t happened since I quit drinking all those years ago. I have quite literally spent the last week sleeping as much as possible. By yesterday I was ready to do the Gulf Wars laundry and start getting organized again.

The War was wonderful. We had, I believe, the highest numbers since Katrina. The crew I traveled with arrived on site Saturday a little after noon. This was the first time I had been to Kings Arrow since Larry had cut down so many trees down. I was shocked at the changes to the site. It looked so different, but I quickly found I liked the changes. You could see so much more of the site, and I liked that.

We had a smaller camp to set up this year because Luca, Gresch and Cherie were not able to attend. We spent a couple of hours setting up camp, and then made the traditional post camp set up run into Hattiesburg. It’s strange, but no matter how carefully you pack,  you always forget something and you have to go to either Sam’s, or Walmart, or both.

Sunday morning was opening day.I took off early down to the Watch House to find Ariadne and find out what shifts I’d be working. As Iwas heading back to camp Sir Bart drove by in a golf cart and asked for some help with a project. Important tip, before agreeing to help with a project, find out what the project is: Sir Bart’s project was moving every porta john on site off the road by 5 feet. Now, most of the porta johns are set up in groups of two or three, and we discovered at the second group that we should both knock  and announce our presence loudly. I hope the gentleman we …disturbed, has recovered.

This was a very low stress war for me. I did volunteer a couple of days at Troll, and I enjoyed that as I always do. For the first time I also volunteered several shifts for the Watch. That was was very different, and it allowed me to see a different face of the War. The best part is that it also allowed me to meet several new friends. I plan on doing more again next year.

I could tell you about each day of the war, but I honestly don’t remember them all that clearly. I do know that I spent a LOT of time doing what I do best, hanging out and talking with people. I remember Wednesday clearly, because that is the day my paycheck got direct deposited in my bank account and that meant I could finally hit the merchant area. I got a bit stupid, bought a lot of jewelry making supplies: beads, wire, tools, more beads, more wire, more tools. I had a ball.

Friday was memorable because of Morgana’s Elevation. I’ve seen several elevations, for all three Order’s, and they were all moving in one way or another, but Morgana’s was the most moving one I had ever seen. It was  clear night. The voices of the ladies that sang, the hankerchiefs that were distributed, the testimonials of the Laurels, Knights, and Pelicans, and most importantly the testimonials of the populace, they all will stay in my memory for a very long time.

Court on Saturday was also special. Well, I always thing Court, at any event, is special, but seeing Gellis and Gida get their Court Baronies, and seeing the announcement of Caedmon’s elevation were memories I’ll treasure forever.

All to soon it was Sunday morning and it was time to pack up and come home. I was ready to leave, but about ten minutes after getting home I was ready to pack up and go back again.

This week, I got nothing.

Sweet jumping Jesus, it’s already 1:36 PM on Sunday after noon! Where in the hell did the last week go? How in the name of all that’s holy, or unholy for that matter, did it get to be Sunday already?

Bah! There is no use in trying to figure out where the time went; I just need to accept the fact that it is Sunday, and I haven’t yet written my response to Sarah’s quote challenge. So, with that admission, I’m going to do something I don’t normally do, and admit that I don’t have the time or energy to respond to this. I’m going to decline a challenge. Mark your calendars; this doesn’t happen often.

Sorry folks, but this week, I got nothing.


Take your philosophy where you can find it…

For the quote challenge this week the Original Sarah gave us this: ““Never put a sock in a toaster.” –
Eddie Izzard.

I have to admit that I haven’t thought a great deal about this particular quote; it’s such good advice that I just thought, “well of course, that makes sense. Who who wants toast that tastes like sock?”

So, I don’t have any great, long post in response to this quote, so I think I’ll just mention a few  other words of wisdom and advice that I have found helpful over the years.

“Never lick a frozen fence post, not even on a triple dog dare” – The Christmas Story

“It’s better to have loved and lost than live with a psycho for years”  _ The Big Dog

“Forget a word to the wise, it’s the stupid that needs them” – Bill Cosby

“Never bring a knife to a gun fight”

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; Courage is als0 what it takes to sit down and listen” – Winston Churchil

“If you can make another person laugh, you have made the world a better place” – Michael Hugo Fletcher (my Dad).

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing” Edmund Burke

“It doesn’t matter what you think you deserve, what matters is what those that wrote letters for you think you deserve” Tur””laugh an Grannda Fihr

“It’s not enough to be able to pick up a sword. You have to know which end to poke into the enemy.” Terry Pratchett

“Do, or do not. There is no try” – Yoda

“It aint easy being green” Kermit the Frog

I could keep going, but I have to get some dinner. Take your philosophy where you can find it.