Anniversaries

Anniversaries

Tomorrow is my one year anniversary from weightloss surgery.  I had the sleeve surgery.

My highest weight was 396.

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My surgery weight was 370.

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My current weight is, as of this morning, 254.6, even though I saw 249 on the 2nd.  Stress eating and not enough water and protein (aka junk food and carbs!) will do that to you.

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I haven’t seen 249 since I was 16.  I’m 30!

Non-scale victories:

  • No way would I have completed the three major races I did along with getting the 1086 miles I walked this year. That’s a feat in and of itself.
  • I can get into a Walmart size 20 pants. Before I couldn’t get into any pants and I was wearing one of their 5x shirts.  It was NOT baggy then.
  • Lane Bryant is the same: I can get into a 20/22 and an 18/20 shirt as long as it’s not clingy.
  • I put on a Torrid size 3 shirt; I didn’t think I’d see the day where that size shirt would be baggy.
  • I even dropped a shoe size!
  • TMI: I didn’t used to get my cycle.  Now, I’m every 45 days, like clockwork.

Choosing to have surgery was not easy.  The journey to get the numbers on scale to match what I feel I should be has not been easy at all and it’s still taking hard work.  But I’m almost to a “normal” size thanks to having the surgery done.

Now to find coffee!

Listening to:  Office chatter.

Reading:  between books right now.

Quote of the Day:  “Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.” — Jack Ma

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December’s Goals

Thirty-one days left in 2017.

Time to start thinking about next year’s goals and getting my bullet journal ready for next year.  Can’t believe there’s only 31 days left.

I didn’t complete any Day Zero goals last month.  I did add a few, but that will be in next month’s post.

Non-Day Zero things from last month:

  • Miles reached: 1048.22.  260.78 miles to Rauros!
  • Weight lost: 4.0.  I’m so close!
  • Books read: 23 books.  Posting monthly wrap-up video here.
  • Blog Posts: 7
  • Vlog Posts:  11
  • Complete a first draft during National Novel Writer’s MonthFinished on 11/21/17.
  • Complete five of the eight Hogwarts Running Club Virtual Races.
  • Complete eight challenges in November’s Read-A-ThinPosting wrap-up video here.
  • Host Thanksgiving.  It was awesome but exhausting.

December’s goals are just adding onto or finishing some of November’s goals, like editing my novel and such.

  • Reach 1150+ miles.
  • Lose at least 5 more lbs.
  • 10 blog posts.
  • 20 books.
  • 10 vlogs.
  • Start saving up for Boston!
  • Start saving for honeymoon cruise.
  • Sign up for Run the Edge 2018.
  • Host Christmas.
  • Complete Bookish’s December Readathon.
  • Complete two more virtual HRC races.
  • Come up with 2018 goals.
  • Edit my NaNoWriMo book.

A lot of these are fairly simple and some will take time to do, but they are all doable.

Happy last month of the year!

Listening to:  me typing and Milo playing with things

Reading:  Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel and Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

Quote of the Day: “We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers – but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change you’re the one who has got to change.” ― Katharine Hepburn

 

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Serious Conversation

I’m coming up on my one year anniversary of weight loss surgery on the 12th.  I’ll do a blog post about the stats with that on the 11th.

Today’s post is about a side effect, or a cause, or a redirection maybe, of addiction.  It’s about alcohol.

Last night, I got slurred stupid off of two cups of wine.  I’m not going to lie—they were not small cups either.  The apples didn’t help much, except as maybe a food source.  I don’t have an excuse or a reason for drinking last night other than it felt good and I wanted it.

Before surgery, I might have gone through a six pack of beer in a few days.  It tasted good and I enjoyed the relaxed feeling that came from it and stayed with me.  I wasn’t chasing demons or anything like that, not like what I was doing when I was in my earlier 20’s.  There were days I still wanted to get smashed to the point of being sick, but that wasn’t for any of the reasons that I’ve heard people say before.  I also wasn’t one who thought drinking before noon was cool, although I spent much of my 23rd and 24th years of life showing up for work hungover.  Fun, right?  Not really, but it happened.  Moving on.

After surgery…  I’m not even sure where to start.  One drink can either hit you like a ton of bricks within minutes or several hours later, but you feel it in different way than before.

Food and eating it can be an addiction.  Please don’t tell me it can’t be; a recovering foodie here, so I know.  It’s one of the few used substances that is completely accessible in so many different forms and companies make billions of dollars to create food that makes us want to eat it—constantly.  All because without food, we don’t survive very long.

For me, food was a comfort.  I didn’t know how to work through feelings growing up.  I didn’t care a lot of the times, and we moved around so much as kids that keeping friends wasn’t the easiest thing to do.  Every year, new school, new people to meet, etc., until 6th grade, and then I was the weird kid.  Not really going to get into that too much; I’ll save that for therapy.  But, hey, excuses right?

I’ve always been fat and have always turned to not-so-great food choices.  When I left home a month before my 18th birthday, I started drinking.  It didn’t replace food, but it become something that went with food and made me feel good.  Sometimes, it was the only thing that helped me get from day to day, just numb enough that I could over look problems but not so numb I couldn’t function.

After surgery, I took a shot for New Year’s Eve.  I was fine.  I made it most of the way through January without drinking; had a sip at dinner and almost didn’t eat anything because I was full.  Tiny stomach equals not much room for things.  Went another month and some change and had a beer with a friend.  Started drinking beers once every few weeks and gradually increased the intake, until Thanksgiving this past week, with a beer before noon and then three glasses of wine in about three hours.  I was floating and happy and I was pushing my limits.  I’d been pushing my limits all year long actually.

Why so much (Because…reasons)?

Didn’t I eat (Yes, and Ray had to take my plate from me because I’m used to eating a lot at Thanksgiving; some habits never stop being habits)?

Am I depressed (With work, yes; life in general, no.  I just completed a first draft of my next book; who would be upset with that)?

Demons finally catching up to me (Maybe)?

News flash:  Alcohol, like food, is addictive.  When you have surgery, what they tell you is that you should avoid alcohol, at least for the first year.  Well, there’s a good reason for that:  You just had surgery to help curb one addiction, they didn’t want you needing to cope with another!

It’s damn hard getting past one addiction when all I really want right now is to take a bite out of a Red Robin cheeseburger without being full off that one bite, or to have a slice of cheesecake without getting the sugar shakes and needing to fall asleep as soon as possible because my body can’t deal with the sugar content.  That last happened with a slice of apple pie last week; wasn’t expecting it, but boy was I happy I was at home.

This surgery thing is not easy, and there are plenty of ways to still screw up.  But I wouldn’t make a different decision because losing what I have has let me do so much more with my life and with my wife.

So, I just admitted I have a problem.  Now what?

Listening to:  My writing mix

Reading:  Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs and Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray

Quote of the Day:  Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself.” ― Henry Ward Beecher 

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Adulting…

…Can get bent.

No, seriously.  Whoever came up with this 9-hour workday, where we do things we don’t enjoy to make just enough money to cover living expenses and not much else needs to go away, because this is for the birds.

You’re probably fussing at me now and tell me to get a grip on reality.  Let me ask though:  Are you doing what you wanted to do as an adult or are you doing what you are doing because you make loads of money and you feel safe?

I’m doing what I’m doing because I feel safe.  Or I did, once upon a time.  Now I’m considering jumping off the ledge to go do something else.  Like, I’m close enough to letting go.  I have one foot off the edge, I’ve left my safety harness on the ground and I just need to fall forward.  Or a hard breeze to blow just enough for me to lose my balance.

That’s where I’m at, metaphorically speaking.

I don’t have a safety net at the bottom and I’m not sure wings can grow fast enough before I hit the ground.

This was supposed to be about what I wanted to be when I grew up, but so far, I’ve just told you where I’m standing and what I’m thinking about.

So what happens when I step off that ledge and let go?  Do I really have the kahunas to risk everything and just fall?

Answer right now:  No.  Because it’s a very short drop to the bottom.  And I’m scared.  I have a safe job.  And I’ve had people make comments about what I want out of my life.  I want to write; I want to share stories with the world and I want to see that world.  I want to share things with my family that I haven’t before, but some of those things take money to do.  So what do I do?  Stay is a safe job while looking for the next safe move that will hopefully get me out of my funk.  I’ve been taking my stress home with me and it sucks.

What do I want to be when I grow up?  Happy, whether it’s as a writer or something else, but I’m getting tired of feeling dead inside and when I write, I feel alive, especially this month.  I have a goal and I’m getting there; I’m going to blow the thing out of the water so hard, it won’t even have existed!

Off to go pen the rest of my book.

Listening to:  Say Something Loving by the xx

Reading:  Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray and Life, the Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams

Quote of the Day:  “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Just because you can…

…Doesn’t mean you should.

I’ve referring to borrowing books, not something tragic, like opening my mouth to someone who doesn’t need to know what’s really going on and just dropping all my emotional baggage onto them.

No, I’m talking about borrowing audiobooks and books fitting the reader’s state of mind.

A couple weeks ago, I borrowed Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert from Overdrive.  I put it on my TBR and everything, hoping to get to it.  I haven’t.  In 11 days, I haven’t picked it and up and now that I can, I don’t want to.  The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, same thing.  I also have a few physical books that I want to read but I’m just not in the mood to read them.

Eat Pray Love I have read a few times over the years.  I’m not in a truly dark place in my life now, but I think I want to make notes in my copy of the book so I’m holding off on that one until next year.  The Girl on the Train may also wait, since I own a copy of that book too.

Physical book wise, last night, I had a book picked out and was going to start it after reading a few graphic novels.  Something happened between me reading them and the other book.  When I went to go pick it up, I couldn’t crack the cover, metaphorically speaking.  I just wasn’t interested in it at that point.

I wanted dark.  I didn’t want light and fluffy.  I wanted dark reading.  I had quite a few books that fit that bill.  Thankfully, the one I picked up, I haven’t really wanted to put down but had to so I could get work done.

Whether my book choices are trying to help me gear up for the last quarter of my NaNoWriMo novel or not, I’m starting to be very particular about the books I start and those I don’t.

All books are meant to be read from a place of love because all books carry something for the reader.  The string of Meh books I’ve had lately, I’ve come to understand I don’t have to finish the books I don’t connect with because there are books, like You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day or History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, that deserve more of my attention.  I took things from those books (go get it because you’ve got this!  And being said after someone dies is okay; the destructive behavior afterwards, no so much) where the Meh books just sort of where a “What not to write” warning.

Longer post than I meant it to be, but I have to do this with real life, too.  Being stuck where I am not happy isn’t good for me or those around me.  Writing for NaNoWriMo helped me pull out some tools and I’m ready to get back on the saddle and finish other books outside of just the book this month, starting with Shadow.

Happy Friday folks.

Listening to:  Little Ones by Highly Suspect.  It’s not been on repeat all day today so that’s a plus.

Reading:  The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.  Holy *&^%.  I’m not far into it, but it makes me want to grab a warm beverage and a blanket and curl up somewhere so I can just devour the rest of it.

Quote of the Day:  “Let today be the day you stop being haunted by the ghost of yesterday. Holding a grudge & harboring anger/resentment is poison to the soul. Get even with people… but not those who have hurt us, forget them, instead get even with those who have helped us.” ― Steve Maraboli

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Keep Going!

I was thinking about how I’m doing my NaNoWriMo novel—how I’m keeping myself motivated, how I’m working through all my word sprints, and how I will actually finish this novel this time.  Also, how I’m liking it so far too.

My novel is a bit history, but a lot more romance and what coming to America could mean for dreamers.  I’m writing it without much research except what I can pull from random breaks in the word sprints.  The main characters are people that I like and the ones who are side characters are just as interesting as the main characters.  Are they interesting enough to make it beyond 50,000 words?  Well, considering it’s day 11 and I’m am at 18,334 words so far, yeah, I gotta say they are.

A mantra I have to keep telling myself is that what I’m doing is just a first draft.  This is just the first go around with this story.  This is just the first time I’m meeting these characters and they will evolve throughout the story, and more throughout the editing process.

The problem I have always had is that I am a perfectionist.  Everything has to be perfect the first time, every time.  That’s not a good way to live life.

So, what I’m attempting with this year’s novel is to just make good art.  Not great art, not this time and not yet, but so simply just make something good that can become great.  Because being great takes practice and even the greatest writers start their books with a first draft before their story is ready for their readers.

Happy Friday!

Listening to:  Little Ones by Highly Suspect on repeat

Reading:  History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera and Forever by Maggie Steifvater

Quote of the Day:  “I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn’t matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.” – Neil Gaiman, Commencement Speech 2012

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Bookish Nonsense

It’s NaNoWriMo!

Didn’t I say that already at some point?

Well, it is.  And since I’m writing my hot little hands off (I’m really not since I’m truly only spending 90 minutes focused on writing my next great novel), I haven’t been thinking about what to write as far as blog posts go.

Then it hit me:  Books!  I write and you read, or you write and I read?  Lately, when reading, I seem to find myself in a run of books that leave me feeling like I don’t want to really finish them other than to say that I have.

This week, I have run into three of them, one that I had tried before to finish and then two that I’m not quite sold on.  I’m saying this even though it’s the 8th of the month and I’ve already finished five books.  I’m not sure if it’s the writing style of the books or that I’m listening to them or what, but I seem to find myself with a run of mediocre stories.

Part of me wants to tell you what those stories are, but I won’t.  You may have enjoyed them or you may share my same opinion.  Won’t know until Sunday’s Wrap-up video, will we?

While I’m trying to decide if I want to finish books that aren’t grabbing ahold of me and making me sit at my desk and read them, I did find a new series, a great short story, and a new web comic to read.  Also things that I will mention in my weekly wrap-up video.

What about you?  Do you keeping reading books that you aren’t liking or do you move on to something else?

Listening to:  Little One by Highly Suspect.  When I make my playlist for the book I’m working on, that will be one of the few songs there since I’ve steadily had it on repeat since about 6 a.m. this morning, and has been the first song I play almost every morning when I’m sitting down to write.

Reading:  Antigoddess by Kendare Blake and See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

Quote of the Day:  “There’s a certain grace in accepting what your life is and embracing all the good things that have been – but there’s still an expectation of good things to come. Not necessarily what you expected.” ― Emmylou Harris

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