Change of Schedule

From time to time, we have something that throws us a “curveball” and that is our schedules change. Mine is changing at work again. I’ve decided to go back to the nightshift, and while you might say, Chris I thought you hated nightshift? I thought you hated sleeping half of your days away, especially during the weekend? What about being in bed with your wife only two nights a week?

Yes, I agree that those are some of the downsides to the nightshift, however, I am going in prepared for the task at hand. I’m going to concentrate on getting my steps, and bring my 100 wall push-ups a night. I find myself missing doing those on days where I wouldn’t get interrupted with the customer service that I provide at my job. I also will get paid a bit more because I’m working a night schedule, and that will help me with the plans that I started laying out last year.

See that’s the thing, I’ve been working on a plan that’s been evolving for the last six-years now, and it seems like once I get something underway, I find something else to add to the whole process. The newest part is that I’ve been working on paying bills off and getting ready to get the help to fund my movie.

The biggest issue with that is the fact that it’s taking forever to get responses for permits and insurance when we’re trying to find ways to save us money when it comes to actually filming. We will get there though, and once we do start filming, I’ll be happy because I’ve put so much energy into each of my projects.

So far, I’ve done fairly well with the blogging process for the year, and I plan on continuing to write because it helps me sort out my feelings and helps me become a better writer. The biggest problem I had the last time I was on nightshift was that I really didn’t get any content out like I wanted too. However, I’m making this move to make sure that I don’t let the shift stop me from continuing to be productive.

Good thing about working on the movie project that I’ve been dealing with, is that most of it should be filmed at night anyway. I’m finding that to be a challenging situation because I’ve not done a whole lot with night shoots, and I want to use a campfire for practical lighting. Outside of that, I’m excited to actually get this production going forward. That’s part of the reason I’m looking forward to getting the extra money from nightshift. I can pay off bills and put more money towards the production.

The other thing about nightshift is that it’s slower, and I figured that I can work on scripts and blogs during the hours of down time, that is when I’m not getting steps in, or doing those push-ups. I’ve got a plan.

How does this affect your mental health? Well, I know that if I sit there and think, my mind tends to want to focus on negative things. I find that since I’ve gotten off of dayshift for the first time almost two-years ago, I like to get myself to work about a hour early, just so I can take my time and get mentally prepared. From some of the things I’ve seen, the nightshift is one of the easiest, yet most daunting shifts to work. It seems to take a special something to make it work. Usually those who work nightshift also prefer to stay on that shift.

You can always take any situation and look at it from a positive point of view or a negative. Yes, I realize that it’s the slower shift, and I’m usually one for the busier shift, but with this, I find an opportunity to work on things that would give me more of a chance to concentrate on. I like the quiet when being creative, and I was fortunate to have a couple people who had insomnia the last time I was on it to keep me company.

It also seems to help that I while the last time, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, I am more aware now, and look forward to the challenges that it will present itself. By-all-rights, the last time I was on nightshift it was actually an uneventful time.

Update:

So as I’ve been writing this blog, it’s taken a few days to get it completed. I finished my first night on the nightshift and the day actually started out promising. When working the nightshift sleep can be tricky to navigate. Six-hours of regular sleep seems different than six-hours of sleeping during the morning hours. I’ve had advice from people whom have worked the night hours for long periods of time. Blackout curtains, and staying up for twenty-four-hours are just a couple of the suggestions that I’ve heard.

Since I’m a family man, I dance between both a “normal” schedule and the night schedule. My kids are a bit older, and far more understanding of the situation, but sometimes can still get loud. My dog is much the same way only she likes to whine and get back on the bed.

I think that having some overtime the last couple of weeks, that had put me in a for a sixteen-hour-day has helped remind me of the good times of the nightshift, but I handled those well enough. So staying up Sunday night and not going to bed until after five-in-the-morning, had been okay.

I watched Apocalypse Now(1979), the redux edition that night. I nodded off a few times, as it is a movie that comes in at 202 minutes. When it was finally over, it was closer to five-thirty-in-the-morning. I had the hopes of sleeping until about one, but was up around eleven-thirty. I’m okay with getting six-hours of sleep, because I didn’t fall into the zombie state that haunted my waking hours the last time I was on nightshift.

I got in my personal training session, which also consisted of helping out with my personal trainers youth grappling class, and then did my workout afterwards. I was wondering if that would make me tired as sometimes my sessions push me to that point, but I made it out okay. The only down side is that I started my deadlifts wrong and hurt my back a bit.

This would make the first-three-hours-of-work a bit difficult to get the rest of my steps, but since I had also walked most of them after I had awoken any way, I was able to push through and complete them. I think the walking actually helped my back feel a bit better as I was going. Then, since my step counter restarts at midnight, I would finish through out the night another nine-thousand steps.

I did end up hitting “the wall” about three, three-thirty, which I’ve been told t is common. So walking around and being active helps put off any attempts to nod off at work.

I’ve done my first sleep after my actual shift, and while I did get about six-hours of sleep, I woke up from being too hot. Believe it or not, this isn’t uncommon from the last time I was on this schedule. The bed would get too warm as the morning goes by. Yet, I’m good, as I’m writing this right now.

Anyway, I’m working on maintaining the weight loss journey as being on nightshift is usually a difficult place to keep that going. So, here’s to the next six-months of not seeing a whole lot of day light during the workday, and I’m okay with that. This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

The Birthday Gift

So, I had another checkup with West Medical, out of town on January eleventh.  I went to my appointment with my longtime friend and former co-worker Chris Bennett. He also had a consultation about starting the weight loss process for the gastric sleeve. I’m glad that I could be there for him, and I’m excited to be there for every step of the way.

Not only was it the day I went in for a checkup, but it also was my forty-first birthday, and I was glad that I could spend the day with my extended family. While it had been a while since we did anything like that, it reminded me that these people are some of my favorites to be around for a full day. I’ve been through  so much with this family that I am grateful that we can just get together and have fun.

To get back to the story at hand, I went in for a checkup, and I was hoping that I would have finally made way with my weight loss. Well, I was surprised to find out that I did lose about four pounds. The scale came out to showing 258.8. The last time I weighed in a the doctor’s office I was still sitting at 262.4. This was about the weight I had been since May of 2019. The good part is that my BMI(body mass index) had still been going down during that time period.

Progress is the key, and my friend, Aj Jackson, who’s also a personal trainer keeps mentioning consistency is key on Twitter. He’s right, and with working with Sam Basco on my training, I hadn’t been getting as frustrated as I could have. I just had to shake-up the workout, and honestly, I feel that the food journal is helping me become a bit more responsible about what I do actually put into my mouth. I think that it’s something that will help as I evolve my knowledge about nutrition.

I’ll admit that the way yesterday went, being my birthday, being out of town, and enjoying myself, I did use it as a cheat day. I also forgot to log my food into the journal, but I’ve gotten back on it today. So, I’m not gonna talk about how horrible I may have eaten, but it really wasn’t that bad. I did enjoy seeing Star Wars: The rise of Skywalker(2019) for the second time. What a great way to end a series of movies.

As I share the experience of my weight loss journey, and I’ve inspired people, one of the bonuses that I’ve gotten was the fact that I can join some of them on their own journey’s as well. I would be there for anyone who feels they need that cheerleader in their corner. I know what it’s like to feel like doing things on my own. Though this journey has been sponsored by the most amazing support system of family and friends. I know not everybody else is quite as fortunate as I am, so I’m gonna put out the fact that I’ll be their cheerleader. I’m providing it to my friend Chris, and I’ve also provided it to others through Facebook, Twitter and various other social media sites. I’ve also voiced my support to people that I actually know in the real world.

Let’s make this a year where we can all kick ass together and make life better both physically and mentally. I know that it’s not always easy to maintain. I find that keeping myself going is constant work, and there are days that I really don’t feel like keeping up with the steps, and the miles. I’m trying to change that this year, and actually get my steps in. That was something I almost didn’t get yesterday, but, by the support of the people around me, they indulged me and helped me complete my steps. It wasn’t necessarily the 700 calorie goal that I try to reach, but I figured that if I can at least get my 10,000 steps, then I’m still doing well enough as it is.

Keep in mind that I’ve been pushing myself even with a slightly sprained ankle. It’s not been easy for me to get in the body weight work, but I had gone back to doing some of my weight training. I’ve been working on my form for squats, and getting into my basket, or putting my “ass to the grass” hasn’t been the easiest part of the workout. Getting lower has really worked my muscles and I find that doing this squat with the bar overhead actually keeps me straighter then if I had just had it on my shoulders.

The amazing part of these exercises is that I’m now learning more about my body and it functions. Yes, I know that it might sound weird, but do you ever realize how much the slightest movement in a different direction can change the way you use a particular muscle? Back Squats use more of your lower back, then say a Front Squat which uses more of your Quads. An Overhead Squat uses more of your legs and gluts. I’ve been told that the overhead is actually Olympic style lifting, compared to a back, which is for power lifters.

So, let’s bring this blog around to what today entailed. I was going in to workout with Sam Basco today, which doing weekend workout, isn’t uncommon. I like working out with Sam. The weekend workouts are different than the weekdays, because it becomes a bit more relaxed, and yet the workout is just as good. Strength training can have a slower pace, and I know that my muscles will feel it for hours. I did start today with trying to do my body/ grappling training, but my ankle still wasn’t having it completely. I think that I may still need a week to completely recover.

While I have that bum ankle, Sam was able to work on it a bit today before we called it a day. While it is feeling better and less tight, when he initially works on it, well it hurts. At least I’m okay to tolerate the pain. It’s a wonderful thing to have him as a trainer, because he seems to provide me with more than just a personal trainer. He’s a friend, philosopher, spiritual coach, and nutritionalist.

That’s one of the things we ended up doing today. I took him and his son out for lunch, where we discussed a bit of nutrition. I actually learned somethings today. One being about how to be more mindful about going out to eat a meal. I know that I have plenty more to learn, but this whole thing is going to make me more well rounded in my weight loss journey, and will help me when I start down the path to get my personal trainer cert. I think I’ll go for nutrition as well.

I can’t thank the people who’ve supported me enough. It’s helped keep me going. I want to thank those who actually have the hands on for my success, they help me get through this journey, and make it look easier. You all are part of this journey, and have been amazing. I see those who I’ve inspired to take up the reigns of their own weight loss journey. This particular group I want to give the biggest shout out too. I see what you’re doing, and that’s amazing, keep it up, because I’m in your corner too.

This is the director and this year has already shown me where it’s going, and all I can say is FUCK YES! Let’s keep this momentum up and show everyone how amazing life is and how much better it still has to go to be even more amazing. So, with that being said, that’s a wrap.

Haters Gonna Drink That Haterade

So my journey has gone fairly smoothly so far. I’ve had so much positive reactions to it, though I’ve had a few haters in the background. The good part of that was that until recently non of that feedback was spoken to my face. Maybe this was because someone was too afraid that I would react poorly to their comments? Who knows? In truth, I don’t really care.

So, I finally got my first naysayer on Facebook, by someone casting doubt on my results in one of the groups I’m a member of. The fact that someone doubted me, I could’ve handled a number of ways. I could have been petty and insulted this person for judging me without knowing my story. I could have let it tear me down, and make everything feel like a waste. However, I actually didn’t respond, and I had people who’ve witnessed my transformation actually take up the mantle and come to my defense.

I have the fortune to have traveled this path and find the most amazing and supportive people during this time. I want to think that my honestly and integrity is what helped me connect with these people. Maybe the fact that I’m not an asshole about my journey is part of the appeal? I’m trying my best to stay humble, and think that people are inspired by my work has caused me to find a purpose in my life. It causes me to want to do better.

All-the-while, I won’t lie and say that it wasn’t part of any plan. I always hoped that the way I handled things would be used as a tool to inspire others to improve themselves. That was something I did when I started any part of my self-improvement journey. All the way back when I started the CK Project, I just felt that it had to evolve when I was going through different stages in my life.

I used it as a way to keep myself accountable to myself and others, but as I had gone into a depressive state, it became part of my mental health, and the healing process. This was the point where I figured that people could see my struggles, and maybe be inspired by the fact that I didn’t let those negative thoughts end a life that had so much more potential than I would have ever expect at the time.

It’s amazing how that being in a mentally dark place can cause you too loose all sense of self-worth. I felt like the world would be a better place without me, and that I wasn’t as important as I am, or is it I must be? I’m not trying to brag, or sound egotistical, but I’ve found that I do have value in this world, and that if I were to disappear I would be missed.

Yes, I know that my family would miss me, that’s more obvious than you might think I realize. I do understand the value that I bring to them. As of the conversations that I’ve had over the last few years, and even people I talk to on a constant basis, I have discovered that there are people who put more value into who I am, than I ever would have expected.

This comes from people who have said they consider me their best friend. I’m humbled by this because some of these people I don’t feel that I did anything more particular then just listen without judgement and treat them decently. To be honest, those who are the one’s that I consider my best friends, I’m an asshole to. I love them, but I also give them so much shit and about everything. At the same time, I would have their backs through fire and brimstone.

Again, this comes at when is the appropriate time to be that way, and when to be serious. Part of the consequences, or blessings of being apart of that circle is that I’m gonna give it to them honestly, and it’s not always something other’s understand.

An example is, I have a friend whom I’ll call Sexy Beast. If he reads this, then he’ll know that I’m calling him out on something. Those who know my group might know this nickname, so then you can also know that I’m gonna call him out on something as well. As one of my oldest and closest friends, who’s seen be through two marriages, knows full-well that as I love him like a brother, I’m gonna call him on his bullshit. He’s dealing with diabetes, and his blood sugar has been high, more often than not. So, where is the calling out on his crap?

So, people on his Facebook give him words of encouragement, and hey I’m the first to say that I’m in his corner, as I’ve inspired him to get healthier. Look at his page and you’ll see it for yourself. However, I know that he’s eating poorly, and drinking alcohol, so that’s why his blood sugar is so high. My response, because I know what he’s doing is to stop fucking up. He knows better, and I wouldn’t be so harsh if I didn’t care. Sometimes, that brutal dose of reality, is what people need. I don’t want his funeral to be the next that I go too. My children love him like an uncle, and I’ve had to deal with the loss of too many of my peers over the last few years.

I guess in that way, to the outside observer, it would look like maybe I’m being the hater in that situation. The truth is, I care. Sometimes I care far more than I should, because I’ve been through the heart break of disappointment by someone I loved, and couldn’t help. The people who’ve I’ve had a lasting impact on their lives, and have left the same on me, I care about. I love them and want nothing but the best for them.

I think part of the hardest thing that I deal with is watching people hate on others. I know some of the reasons, and I can see where that might cause some discontent, but it comes down to people not knowing the whole story.

Remember the blog about the moms? How people give the nasty, judgmental looks towards misbehaving kids? Usually it’s from not knowing that the child could have behavioral issues. My fellow parent’s of autistic children, understand.

I know that it’s so easy to tear people down, when things are different than social standards. I know it’s easy to destroy something because of some insecurity issues. Think of what could be accomplished? Maybe people would feel less shitty about themselves? It’s okay to share in someone else’s success. You might not realize it, but that support could just be one of the things that helps make someone be better than they are.

The worst thing any of us can do is feed into the negativity that surrounds so much of this cynical world. We can continue to hate and tear everyone down, but why? Because of fear? Why, because of hate? To quote a little green man: Fear leads to hate, hate leads to suffering… Haven’t we all suffered enough from the world around us? Haven’t we had enough of this selfishness to last a life time? Let’s build something bigger and better for our children’s children.

I hate hearing about eight-year-olds taking their lives, because society makes them feel a certain way. I had been there once, and it’s a fear that I’ve had about my own children. It’s hard to see them go through similar situations, helplessly watching, knowing that you can’t do anything to really make it better.

This is the director, and I think I’ll step off the soapbox for tonight, and call the martini shot, because that’s a wrap.

Food Journal Time

I started a food journal on my Tumblr account a couple days before the new years, and I’m finding it surprisingly effective. While, my format isn’t at the complete place I want it to be, I am starting it, and I will evolve it until I get what I’m ready to put down all the information I’m going to keep track of. This is because I feel like I need to do a bit of research first.

The plus side of keeping track is that it actually makes me think about what I’m doing before I decide to eat something. This I feel is a counter to the mindless eating that I’ve done in the past. It’s easy when you sneak a bite here or there, but doing this and keeping honest is a way to remind myself, is that snack really going to be worth it in the end.

I’m eventually going to turn it into a calorie, carb, protein tracker as well. This way we will see what I’m actually doing with my intake. I know that this is just another step to get myself into a better health situation. Not that I haven’t been doing well so far, but I know that I can do so much better, and progress is the way to go.

I started my journal on Sunday, December twenty-ninth. So far it hasn’t been bad. I know that I started out doing the same when I was tracking for Weight Watchers, but I find that I have more resolve and a better commitment now. Though having the points be automatically calculated for you was nice, and made things less complicated. I think that having to do the math and calculations myself will be more beneficial as a part of my weight loss journey.

It’s interesting where this journey continues to take me. I mean yes I’ve plateaued, but I find mentally things are still changing. I’m getting more focused, and I realized that I let things slide for too long. I think this is prepping me for better things to come.

Mentally, I’m on fire! I’ve put out three scripts that I plan on getting filmed this year, and I know that I’m not even done with the final scripts on two of those projects. I’m more determined to get past 260 and have committed to getting a full 366 days of 10,000 steps plus this year.

As I had said in a previous blog, 2020 is going to be an even bigger year. The CK Project is going better, faster, stronger, and there’s no stopping the momentum. On top of that, one of my closest and best friend’s getting ready to embark on this weight loss journey too.

I’m proud that he’s decided to get a consult with West Medical because they are a great company, and they’ve helped me get my life back on track. I think it will help my friend in so many ways, and it’s great because he’s one of  the closest people that I would consider like a brother. I’ve watched him also struggle with his weight, and see how it’s affected him. It’ll be even more interesting because we are similar, and would get called by each others name at work.

The thing that I provide him is that support that he needs. It was something we had talked about way before even considering getting weight loss surgery, and it was one of the reasons that I had decided to get it. I wanted to go through it, and give the report of the good and the bad of the whole process. It’s something that we’ve kept talking about, and I’m excited that I can help with first hand experience for him.

I think it’s a bit bittersweet because I have my skin removal surgery consultation on my birthday, and one and a half hours later, he has his first consultation. My family and I will be there to support him, and I hope that it helps get him cured of his diabetes.

Let’s talk about keeping up the momentum, as of today, January seventh, 2020, I’ve had thirteen-days straight of getting an average of around 15,000 steps. My promise to get a year full of 10,000 plus steps had started just a few days after Christmas, and I plan on keeping up with the momentum. This, as well as the food journal is just the start for reaching even higher places in my weight loss journey.

This journey is wonderful, and even with all the time I felt less than motivated, and there were moments that I thought that I might want to give up, I haven’t. I’ve gotten into my own head with self-doubt at times, being left in my own thoughts have caused me to feel less than successful. However, I’ve come a long way, and I will continue to go for as long as I can. Part of that success is that support system I have.

I know that I’ve mentioned it a few times, but it’s true. A good support system can make things seem so much less effortless, than doing it on your own. Plus, I’ve had the privilege to be other’s support systems too. The network continues to grow. The human connection gets bigger, and I can’t even tell you how much these people mean to me.

It’s like paying it forward. I found people whom had already gone through the process of weight loss surgery, and then they supported me as I had gone through it on my own. Now, I get to help guide people as they start on their own journey’s. I’ve met people whom have had a variety between the surgery choices that are offered, and I’m continuing learning more about the various processes that this journey intel’s.

One of the things that they all have in common, is they all show the beauty of their souls with the results that changed their lives. They are all encouraging, and just the most amazing group of people I’ve ever met.

That’s not to say that every person has a success story. I’ve read about people who’ve got horror stories from their experiences. Some have regrets that they had the surgery. I’ve not actually talked to many of them, though I had a few who talked to me in person about their concerns for me going through the process.

The only real advice I could give anyone about making this decision is that you have to think about what you want to do. You have to conceder that not everyone wants to see you succeed. There are too many people who are all too happy too “troll” you. Find your pack, your support system. Listen and follow your doctor’s orders. Keep in mind that most of your struggles are going to be more mentally than physically. There are things that might not make sense, like why do you have to lose weight before the surgery? It’s because they want the liver to have less fat for when they go in to do the procedure.

You’re going to plateau, and it’s going to happen several times over. As a matter a fact, it’s going to seem like you’ll be stuck forever. I know the times that it happened for me, it felt like eternity, but in reality, just a few weeks. Just keep going, consistency is key. You hear it all the time with in the fitness world. The doctor’s will tell you to walk, and they’ll say 10,000 steps. At least that was the number I heard. That’s over four-miles-long. At first it’ll seem like the hardest thing to do. I started out just getting between 2,000 to 4,000 steps. Just keep active, and it gets easier. Replace food coping with life, with exercise, or an active life style.

It’s the mindset, it’s the changes that will come physically, and mentally. Things will surprise you. This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

 

A Shout Out to all the Mothers

I’m friends with a diverse group of people. One of the commonalties amongst my friends are that I have mothers in my life. I’ve seen some of them become first time mothers. I’ve seen some deal with the loss of children, yet they all share the common bond of creating life from within.

Being a parent can be emotionally and mentally draining. Some mother’s have the hardest time during their pregnancies which leaves a physical toll. While I usually don’t blog about this, I have to speak my mind because I don’t think mother’s always feel the appreciation for a job that often times goes thankless. So, without further ado, I dedicate this to my mom, my wife, and all the other ladies who have allowed me into their lives, and get to be called mom.

I’ve seen you post on your social media that you feel like you look like crap, you get no sleep, and you need a break. I see that you feel unattractive because you’ve got stretch marks, and you no longer fit into that size six you were in as a young adult.

I feel your frustration when the kids are screaming and fighting. They throw a tantrum when they don’t get their way, or are rude because of the food you make them. I hear you when you say that you don’t feel like you get any help.

I’m fortunate because I’m a father, and my kids have both parents in the house. I know that it’s not always the case for you, estranged, or single. I don’t say this to brag, or rub it in. I say it because I’ve seen the frustration in the eyes of the person that my children call mother. I’m dad, and I’m the fun one, and I’m the one that the kids seem to respect, and hate to get yelled at by. Again, I’m not bragging, I’m just stating that it seems like I have it easier than you do, and I have an appreciation for the hard work you do.

There have been a few times where I had to pick up the slack because Sarah was sick, and I find that it can be difficult to manage  the house as gracefully as she does. I know that when I was a larger person it would limit the way I maneuver around the house. I’m in awe by the magic of you, a mother being selfless in a place where those little lives depend on you. They don’t recognize it, not yet, but the moment you’re not there, they will.

Being a mother is under appreciated. Your children act out in public, and then you’re being judged about not being a good mother. We have an autistic child who has melt downs, and the judgmental looks on the faces of people who have no idea is there. So, I see and understand the feeling.

Being a mother means that you hold so many different job titles, and non of them pay what they are worth. The payment you get is this: You get to see your children grow up and use what you’ve taught them to become better human beings. You get to see them become adults, and hopefully have their own families. This is the chance for you to become a grandmother and reap the benefits of all that hard work you had done to help these small humans survive.

You don’t feel attractive because of the stretch marks, and you’ve gained the weight that seems forever to get off. I’ve seen those insecurities, and I’ve got to say this to you now-you’re beautiful. Those marks, and that weight shows that you did the most amazing thing that I couldn’t ever begin to imagine. You gave birth, you helped carry life for nine months. You are a Goddess, and no-one can ever take that away from you.

You put your life a risk for a small thing that took everything it needed to survive from your body for those nine months. Sometimes, it might have left a bigger toll on your body than it should have. Hell, I experienced that when my own children were born. Most of that time, my own wife was away from me in a hospital. Most of that time, the stress got too high for me to handle as well, but I was there everyday to support the person that would give me the greatest accomplishments in my life. My appreciation goes much farther as she had gone through great personal risk to have our two children come into this world. For this, my wife will never know how grateful I am for them.

This dedication isn’t just for my own family though, this is for those mothers who have some sort of connection in my life though.

I see the struggles of a young mother raising a child on her own. I know it’s hard because you can’t seem to have any adult time to unwind, and be yourself for a change. However, I do promise you that all that hard work you’re putting in isn’t getting unnoticed. Mark my words that no matter how things happen, one day your child will understand and appreciate the sacrifice that you made. I see it, and I know as frustrating as it is, I see the growth that’s coming from it.

Mother, I see that your teen children go off and treat you like you don’t matter to them. They roll their eyes every time you ask them to do something. They say those words that hurt, “I hate you,” and it gets harder as things like, “you’re ruining my life,” are said. I find that the most ironic part, as the children will never know the meaning of that. As a mother, you have to be selfless. As a mother, the life you had lived before conceiving had been ruined.

That’s not to say that’s such a bad thing, but until that realization comes to them, they’ll never know the truth. They’ll never grasp the appreciation they should. They don’t know that there are nights you’d stay up thinking of them because of their sickness. Hoping that everything would be okay.

So, while you don’t feel that you get the love or appreciation of being a mother, and you might not like the way you look in the mirror. Know that your job is appreciated and it does get recognized. From this father, friend, and son- thank you for all the mothers who’ve selflessly given of yourself. Know that what you might think has made you look less than attractive, is just the thing that should be appreciated so much more about you.

I can only fathom part of the journey as a parent, but the connection of a mother runs that more deeply. To quote Eric Draven from The Crow, “Mother is the name of God, on the lips of children.” I honestly think that’s one of the best lines I’ve ever heard. I also think that it rings true.

Thank you for letting me take this whole blog and dedicate it to you, the women in my life. Sarah, thank you for giving me the two biggest, best gifts that at many times frustrate me. Thank you to my mother, and to my step-mother, as they both have loved me, and help make me into the man I am today.

This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

 

 

 

 

Let’s Get Caught Up

Wow, it’s been a while since I last blogged. So much has happened. For one I did start a blog last month about it being my two-year-anniversary since my weight loss surgery, and how it changed my life, but life got in the way with other things, and I became less motivated to finish that blog.

With that being said, I figured that I would turn this into a hodgepodge of several things in a blog and cover all my bases.

I had my two-year-anniversary since I had my gastric sleeve done, and so far I’ve teetered between around 167, and 169 pounds being gone. That’s not bad by all means, but being at a plateau like that since May has been a bit discouraging.

In the last few months I’ve started training a bit differently and going from weight training to body weight training. It’s different, and feels more challenging for me. I do still get in the weights from time to time, but I prefer this new type of training because it seems to hit the muscles down deeper.

Part of the changes that have happened is that I have become more aware of my body. I realize the spots that have weakness, and I try to be a bit more mindful when they start to hurt. Stretching is one of those ways that I try to compensate for some of the issues. My left knee is usually the one thing I can’t ever seem to get completely stretched out. I’ve had to find a few different positions to get that right stretch in.

So, this brings me up to the things that I wanted to get caught up on for  the new year. I’ve started a food journal on Tumblr, and I find that it is keeping me a bit more honest than I thought. I defiantly consider more about what it is that I’m eating, and I hope that this is one way that helps get me back on the path of losing weight. This is also something that I’ll be adjusting and evolving as I go along. Right now, I just keep track of what I’m eating, and soon I’ll be adding calorie, carb, protein count into the mix. The bright side of this is that I’ve been constant over the last few days.

On the opposite end of this, is the fact that when I was doing Weight Watchers, I hated keeping track of what I would eat. I started out doing well, but it just kind of fell out of the way. I guess that it helps I’m in a different spot mentally.

Out of all the changes in my body since I’ve been working out, I feel that my shoulders have defiantly shaped up the most nicely, and I can’t weight until my stomach gets a bit flatter. I’ll have to talk to the doctor about the skin removal surgery in ten days, which will also be my forty-first birthday. I’ve been seeing some of the skin removal results from fellow weight loss people, and I’m still a bit nervous about this whole thing.

I think that’s where the vanity comes in. I’ve got surgical scars, but I’m not looking forward to having more, especially some that would literally be right under my nose. I know that for health and comfort, it’s probably the best decision and I can’t wait until I can fit in clothes better. I’m just not excited for the eye sore that will come from the end product. I’m also not looking forward to the recovery process, and I’m gathering how bad it’s going to be.

It’s strange because when I had two-thirds of my stomach removed, the recovery time wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The first month was hard, but it got so much easier as I went along, and the first month was the hardest part, both physically and mentally. the mental part is what surprised me the most.

So, as we continue on with this blog, it’s a new year. I’m not going to say the generic, “New year, new me,” statement because I actually have come to dislike it. I figure if you’re going to change habits, and be a better person, then why wait? Just do it! Start the change now, and keep it going into the new year. The whole concept of the new year is wiping the slate clean, just kind of baffles me anymore. It’s just another day, and things are going to continue the way you choose to handle them. All a new year does is give you a new number to deal with.

However, with that being said, this year is going to prove to be a step in the right direction as it is. With the shameless cross promoting that I do, we are striking the right cords to get Luckey Bom Films going with three projects in the works, and Unexpected Side Trip seems to keep getting pushed back for financial reasons, we’ll be hitting up the crowdfunding soon enough. I’m excited because it’s just one of the scripts that I completed last year. I’ve finished a second draft of Life Happens and I’m excited because I’m getting in front of the camera for that one. It’s a bit bitter sweet because I had been working on the idea for the last four years, and to finally see the story fleshed out feels like an accomplishment. It’s also the longest script I have done so far.

The final script that I’ve been developing is a rehash of the first short that I ever did, Appreciate What You Got. It’s one that I was inspired to create a character off of an amazing young lady the I had gotten to know through interactions at work, and it was the first short I ever developed. The original project showed me a glimpse of what I was starting to get myself into, and fortified my passion as a story teller.

One of the exciting things about all my stories so far, is that with my friend Ed, who played Nash Gray, and has let me use some of his creative properties to help tell stories, i.e. Nash Gray, Unexpected Side Trip; has helped me come up with the idea that I should have my own shared universe. That is something that I’ve been able to do, and is something that as a writer I find exciting when I can start tying things in together.

I’ve also got some other things planned in between projects that I’ll be doing, I just have to wait before I say too much about that.

The CK Project  is also getting some love this year, as the podcast is gaining momentum. Combining that with some magic of having a film production company, we’ve come out with our first multi-cast last month. That’s what took me so long to get anything out content wise, and I’m still developing my visual skills in post production.

As far as the podcast goes, I’ve been connecting and networking with so many people that we’re looking to bring on several guests with in this year. It’s going to be an adventure as we’ll be having people from across the states join us. People that I’ve known for years, people that it seems like I’ve just really gotten to know through the whole weight loss journey. The CK Project  is going to another level as we are looking to make it a non-profit business, to help raise awareness and funds for mental health. The niche that the podcast is finding is weight loss and the affects on mental health. While we talk about a number of things, mental health seems to be the subject that keeps popping up, and it’s seemingly getting people interested in our message.

Yet to finish off where things are going, I do have a third brand, which is gaining the momentum that we wanted. The Geekultural Experience is a passion project of mine and Sarah’s. As we are geeks, and it’s one of the many things that I’ve had that has gotten me connected with people. We’ve got a podcast, which we’re still finding our niche, but it’s also helped Sarah start a few things on her own. She’s started up a local Steampunk group called the Coggle Society, and I think this is something that she’s going to shine in. I totally support that she’s doing this, however I’m not into the steampunk scene like she is. Though watching her work on this and watching her grow as a person because of this has been a wonderful thing to see.

We’ve got a busy year a head of us, as we’ll be doing charities as well as working in the community on a couple of other projects that are in the early stages of development. More details will be coming out as we get further into it.

With that, holy shit! I had more to say then I thought I would. I am the Director and that’s a wrap.

A Change Of Perspective

Going through this weight loss journey has, taken some very unexpected turns. Physically I feel so much better. The way smaller clothes fit, the way I can move. These are the things that have been rewarding me in my everyday life. I keep going, even if there are times I don’t feel like it.

Some days, my motivation is better than other days. Usually getting my 10,000-plus-steps is where my focus usually is. I keep this up as a way to guide myself on the right path. I find that if I rest too long between my exercise and my walking, my movement becomes stiff. Once I get to working on my steps, the walking starts getting easier as I continue.

I find the recovery period has gotten way shorter between my exercise. There would be times that I would workout to fatigue and be sore for days after. Now, it maybe a day or two at the most. Changing up the exercises, and doing the kind of workouts that I do now, are a bit different, because they get into the deeper fibers of my muscle tissue.

As the physical aspect goes, it’s caused me to enjoy exercise even more. It’s not the effort that it once was. The only thing that I find myself dealing with is where I am mentally, because the fat person in me still tells me that I can’t do things. That’s part of where I still struggle.

My perspective on things have changed. I find that I’m confused about how I let people treat me most of my life. In return, I also know that I’ve not always treated people the best either. As a person with a sense of humor, I noticed that I would be mean and nasty with my joking around. I don’t think that I ever really meant any harm by it, but maybe that’s because of the way people used to joke with me?

I know that people have made fun of me, even as an adult. The only difference now is that much of what is said of me, isn’t too my face, and I get that information second hand. It doesn’t bother me because I don’t think people  have really said anything truly cleaver and hurtful enough to bother me. This is coming from the person who’s been made fun of his whole life.

So, how does one deal with a life that is rapidly changing? I’m changing as a person, my family is changing. My oldest daughter is an adult now and is starting to learn about the responsibility of being an adult. My wife is still learning to deal with her Crohn’s Disease.  That dynamic, has put some interesting situations on our relationship. She’s always been the strong, supportive type, and now I find that I have to be the strong one. I’ve always tried to be supportive, however I’m not sure that I’ve been the proper support that I should be.

Now, that puts me in a position to figure out how I can be that proper support. I’m more determined to be the best version of me, but I’m not always sure that means that I’ve been the best version for my family. How do I figure out how I need to be? It’s not always easy to figure out.

I’m always supportive to people who need it. Yet, I find it difficult to be that cheerleader and support that my family needs. I’m not even sure why that is. I do try to be there, but am I really being as receptive as I can be? I find that dealing with people who aren’t as close to me are easier to relate too. It sounds a bit weird, doesn’t it?

Something that I’ve been observing even more is the fact that by my helping other people, I’ve not had to deal with my own issues at times. That’s not saying that I have too many issues that seem to be bothering me, but helping others has always seemed to be the way to divert away from my own issues.

I’m not sure if the way I connect with others has just been better by a more sincere form of talking, or if it’s something else? I do notice that I’ve been getting a bit more irritated by the fact that people seem to try and take advantage of my kindness, even if it wasn’t intentional. I just know that I’m feeling that people should realize that their actions do happen to unintentionally put more responsibility on my job than it should be.

The on-the-spot-high-point of my perspective changing is the fact that I’m more determined to better life for my family and myself. I’ve been pushing forward with my brands, and things are really starting to pick up. We’ve got so much going on for all three brands that I barely have time to keep still. This is a great feeling, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m hoping that it will finally be the year that things start to really pay-off. I’ve poured so much energy into everything that I can’t wait to see how the fruits of my labor are going to pay off.

Anyway, this is the director, and that’s a wrap.

Don’t Lose That Focus, It’ll Be Alright

Sometimes we get distracted with the things that happen in life. Sometimes, life throws the bright shiny things in the way that detours us from our goals in life. In hindsight, it can frustrate us. I know that it does me often times. That’s when I personally have to stop and take a moment to reflect on where I planned on going.

Remembering where you’re going and thinking about how you got lost along the way, is probably the thing to do, when trying to reach for that determination. Sometimes the distraction can lead to unexpected and pleasant surprises. It’s all about the growth and journey.

Sometimes, you just have a general idea on where you want to be, and you’re not sure what’s going to happen along the way. This is true for when I started my weight loss journey. I was just planning on losing the weight, and I didn’t really expect much more then being able to move easier and have more energy. The things that have happened along the way have been unexpected.

How does that focus get lost along the way? Well, there are a number of reasons. I’ve noticed that sometimes the work doesn’t seem to pay off right away. That gets discouraging and frustrating, which can result with the feeling of wanting to quit. Sometimes it just seems too hard, and isn’t worth the effort. If that mindset comes into play, that usually means that the commitment wasn’t as important as first thought.

I had to really stop and pay attention to things when I first started. I had seen the numbers on the scale go down, but I didn’t really feel any different. It took me getting back into my uniform for me to realize that I had lost a lot of weight, and it was a rewarding feeling.

Sometimes the loss of focus can be good during the journey. Going the way that I’ve been going for the last two years has taken a lot of hard work. I’ve slipped a few times, and the “shiny objects” have gotten in the way. However, it’s reminded me that I needed to get back on track to continue my success. Sometimes the distraction is great for a rest from the end goal, it causes the mind to refresh and refocus.

Distractions can be good because you don’t want to burn out from doing what it is you’re doing. I know that working overtime causes me to burn out of my job after a while and that’s never good. Taking some time to get distracted can be useful to hep keep you motivated to keep going. Just remember to return that focus to the goals at hand.

I’ve put so much work into my weight loss journey that it consumes a part of my day. Depending if it’s a day I work out as well as my walking, I could end up being busy for close to three hours in a day. My training sessions are about a half-hour a piece, then I’m usually moving for at least two to three hours during my day. It’s crazy to think about as I look back on it. I mean if you would have asked me if this would have been my life two-and-a-half years ago, I would have thought you were crazy.  Now, it’s just something I do.

I think doing the walking has kind of become a bit of an obsession. I use it as a time to meditate, it gives me a focus that is all about my body connecting to the rest of my environment. It gives my body movement which helps me from cramping up after my workout. I just feel like I’ve accomplished so much more because of it. When I go for walks with my children, it gives us time to have deep and meaningful conversations, and I cherish that time I spend with them.

These talks that I have on these walks feels like a time for enlightenment. I’ve had conversations with my son that range from pro wrestling, all the way to making films. I give my youngest advice on how the world works. I even take the time to walk with a cousin, and we talk about his life goals. This is part of why I try to stay focused because I don’t get this level of connection in most of my daily activities. Plus, it’s motivated family members to make sure that I take my walks.

The walks I take while by myself, are times that I can reflect on the days events. There are times that I also think about the stories that I tell, and how I will frame them up, while filming them. Sometimes, it’s just a good way to sort out my feelings. I find that this is probably one of the more important aspects of my walking, especially since I’ve had issues dealing with depression in the past, and it helps when I can sort out the way I’m feeling, and the reason why I feel that way.

What are some of the things that help you focus? Do you find alone time to be more optimal? Do you find being around others distracting when trying to reach your goals? Does being around people help motivate you to get things done? Leave a comment and let me know. This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

 

The People Connection

On my vacation, I’ve realized that I’ve had a bit of a real writing block, however I do want to talk about the people that we connect with on a daily basis. Maybe a spouse, children, just society in general even. I feel a certain connection with people on different levels with the different things that I do.

As it is known, the CK Project is probably the biggest thing that I connect to people with. I mean my weight loss journey is something that people have taken notice of. As a matter of fact, I find people who I don’t even know have been watching the journey. I was able to go to a class that my trainer Sam teaches about Wrestling and Grappling and one of the parents there told me that they had been keeping up with my journey on Facebook and said that I was an inspiration. While it’s not the first time that I’ve heard that being said. It feels as good as the first time I heard it.

I feel humbled that people are watching me. I know that I’ve got friends who are supportive, but to meet random, and complete strangers say that is awe inspiring. I hope that the mental health aspect will help people as well. The subject of mental health is still considered an uncomfortable subject for most people, so maybe those people aren’t as quick to speak up? I’m here and what to know that it’s helping someone in that way.

The physical health aspect of things have also helped me connect with even more people though. I’m in touch with people that I would have never thought I would become friends with. I find that my networking is taking me to connect with people over in the United Kingdom, as that wasn’t something I would have ever expected. It’s cool that I’m meeting people with such diverse cultures and backgrounds. The beautiful part is that we are all there to help support each other.

If you’ve been following along for a while, then the words that film school was the best decision of my life. It’s true, not only did it give me a purpose in life, but it also has helped me connect even more with people. I’ve found friends in the filmmaking community, who’ve become supportive of not only my filmmaking goals, but some have even shown the support in my weight loss journey as well. These people are amazing talents, and I look forward to working with each of them at some point in the future.

I feel that the creative process that I’ve gone through with my filmmaking has bounded myself with the people I work with. It’s defiantly a different kind of connection, as those I’ve been friends with before hand have been pushed within their own creations. My buddy Curtis is a talented musician, and was a hard worker when we were doing Nash Gray(2017). Not only did he play Benny, but he constantly worked with me behind the scenes doing whatever I needed. I’ve also asked for him to write me a song for an upcoming project, Unexpected Side Trip, and I’m not going to lie, it’s really good. He told me that he hates that I can push him to reach uncomfortable spots to bring out some emotions, but I think that’s something that makes us better creators in the end. Going to those emotions that we don’t like.

Being a geek about different things has always giving me a connection to others. I remember that the first instances of this was when it came to professional wrestling. Now, it comes down to comic books and movies. It’s amazing how I connect with complete strangers in that way. I have those kinds of interactions with the people I deal with at work as well. The fellowship at comic book conventions is always wonderful.

Going back to the CK Project though, I’ve noticed that there is a strong support for those dealing with mental health issues as it is. While it is considered “taboo” in society at general, once your story is spoken, it becomes easier to talk about. Others open up about their struggles as well, and that’s where the connection comes in. The mind is powerful, and it can be our greatest asset, but at the same time anxiety and depression can become our greatest foe.

The key to remember is that we’re survivors. Some people want to paint it as those of us who have suffered from suicidal tendencies, just want the attention. In my own experience, it was just that I needed help and I wasn’t sure how to get it. I think the connection to another person is something that is needed by most. That might also be why loners are usually targeted as being strange, maybe?

I love connecting with people. I’ve even connected with different social groups that I wouldn’t have ever expected. I used to have friends in the various groups and not really fit in with a particular group. That’s how I felt at least. I think that the weight loss journey and mental health groups are the place I have found the most value in.

This is the director and that’s a wrap.

 

The Advice Challenge Number One

Okay, so I’ve been asked to anonymously give someone advise on their current situation. So, after already trashing two blogs, I’ve decided to take it on, head-on, and I’m not going to stop until I can get through this. So, I’m gonna set-up the situation, and give my two cents on the subject.

My friend had become a single parent, and being a newly single mom, had to have her parent’s help with taking care of her children. As she was living in Northern California, she was working full-time, and putting in overtime, so that she could provide for her children in a place that has a higher cost of living. As time went on her parent’s slowly started criticizing the way she would deal with her money and personal affairs in life.

A sense of bullying had started to become part of her relationship from her parents. She didn’t always make the right choices, but she was just trying her best by her kids. Things have gotten worse, between herself and her parents, and all of a sudden her frustrations had caused her to say things out of heated passion, and while not always the proper words to say, it has caused legal action between herself and her parents over the children.

I won’t get into more details on everything, but I will go ahead and speak on the whole case with everything I do know.

In the legal dealings with your parents, I think that having a combative attitude isn’t the smartest thing to do. You should walk in with a calm collected mind. I know that it’s not always easy, especially when it’s your own children involved, but they are the one’s who suffer the most throughout this process. We’ve talked about your tendency to be defiant, and that doesn’t look good in the eyes of the court when dealing with your kids.

Yes, it does suck that your parents would treat you the way they have, after all blood is supposed to be thicker than water, however,  speaking from personal experience, that’s not always the case. I’m not close to most of my family as it is, I’m just fortunate to be able to be close to my parents.

There are the pressures of other factors in your life, marriage, finances, dealing with work, and health. The best thing I can say for any of this is to figure out which things are priority and tackle them one at a time. Sometimes the ones that seem like the most important, aren’t always the easiest to work on first.

Be smart on your choices, don’t be brash and defiant. Remember that this isn’t about self gratification, this is about getting your children back and get your life back on the right track. Again, it isn’t the easiest, but I know you can do it, if you have patience.

This also means that you have to look at the other factors in your life. Do you have toxic relationships? Maybe you need to consider severing ties to those people. I think things will work out if you keep going to make things better for yourself and your kids, but you have to take that initiative and go for it.