Brain Matter on my Mind

Whether it’s the weight loss journey or mental health awareness, I find that the brain can trick the body into feeling something that’s not always there. I find that my brain wants to tell me that it’s time to eat, and that if I don’t actually take a moment to really analyze the situation, I might not really be hungry.

I find that if I get left alone in my thoughts for too long, I can start to over think, and self-doubt comes into play. This is one of my bigger weaknesses, as depression has always been there. It’s not nearly as bad as it used to be, however, I can still sense it at the outer edges lingering and giving me a moment to pause.

I suppose that’s why I try to stay constantly busy. This way I don’t have to give my mind to start lingering on stupid insecurities, and anxiety. I find that multi-tasking comes easy when I can listen to a conversation, and still type. This actually drives my family crazy as I can look at them and work on a blog at the same time.

The endorphins from exercising is an anti-depressant, and I know that if I take too long between my workouts, that I start getting depressed too. If more people knew, and I mean really knew about this little life hack, I’m sure everyone who suffers from depression would be in shape(joking).

It’s strange to realize how much the body and mind end up reflecting each other. I know at my biggest, my mind was in a terrible state, and I hated myself. Having the Gastric Sleeve sent me down a path that I never expected. I connect with people better, and it wasn’t like I was ever someone who would treat people negatively in the first place, but I seem to relate better to others, and myself.

It’s also helped me to realize my ambition, while most people spend their lives developing a brand that represents them, I’ve gone so far as working on three. The CK Project is probably where my legacy will be. As I’ve been making some great progress with it over the last year or so. It’s not surprising as this is my oldest and longest running of the brands. It all started as a way to hold myself accountable to others when I originally started my weight loss journey with Weight Watchers, eight-years ago.

It’s amazing that The CK Project went from weight loss, to mental health, and back to being both. It’s come full circle and I love it. We’re making plans on turning it into something bigger and better. Hell, we’re looking to make this go more professional, and can’t wait to let out the details. Speaking of growth, the experiences that I’ve had in the name of the project, has given me growth both personally and professionally. Things that I can carry unto other jobs that I may take in the future.

Another mind opening realization is that experience is the best teacher. I find that talking about my issues, has allowed me to regain control of my life. The more I talk about struggling with my mental health, the less power it has over my decisions in life. I find that I need to do better about pushing myself  when exercising. My mind still wants to tell me that I’m 430 pounds. I know I have issues with lunges and falling backwards.

I’m finding that inner strength that I have. I kept things quiet for so long, and it’s like I’m finally finding that voice to start the process to going Super Sayian. I have a ways to go, but it does help me push for those extra reps. Also, I’m afraid to push myself so hard that I want to puke when I work out. So, does that mean I’m not pushing myself hard enough?

I guess having a negative mindset for so long, really has done me some harm, and I hope that it’s not irreparable. The mind is fascinating, and is the most powerful tool in any person’s tool belt for improvement. At the sometime, if you don’t treat it well, or if you don’t get help to tune it up, it can do damage that might never be repairable. Keep that in mind when venturing on this journey of life.

Self-care is more important than most people want give the focus too. This is coming from my professional view point. Often time, mental health is considered taboo, and no-one is comfortable about sharing their feelings. Toxic masculinity has kept the man’s man, cold and hard of feelings. Yet, things are improving, people are becoming more woke to the issues at hand. I believe that it’s over all for the better, yet I think we’ve lost some things in a world of political correctness.

With political correctness, I feel that people have forgotten how to laugh. We’re no longer given the permission to laugh because of a joke, and people seem to get more offended now than ever. Maybe, it’s more that it’s not as easy to keep quiet these days? Where is the proper balance in-between the truth and satire? Can we laugh at the wrong things, and not be judged. Maybe that’s why Cards Against Humanity is such a popular game? I know where my humor is, and it’s got some dark places at times.

Anyway, keep a clear, focused mind, because it’s the one asset we have to help us get through life. This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

Something Big Is Brewing

I’ve gotten off from a great weekend. I got in an excellent workout on Saturday, published two blogs, broke down a script, and did a podcast. It was a great weekend, full of productivity, plus it was nice to give my three brands the love and attention they deserve.

As much as I’ve been struggling lately with the stars in life, it’s always good when I can get a weekend of positivity in. Mentally, being creative helps save me from myself. I can pour the energy and focus into it. It’s almost like an emotional rest for me. It gets complex, because of what emotions can develope from my writing.

I find that as a writer, I’m quite different than as person. In the real world, I’m generally positive, funny, and laid back. There isn’t much that upsets me, accept the enternal struggle with my mind.

As a writer, the subject tone is usually serious, and deep. I think that deep down, this is a way that I might be working through some of my emotional things. They say that a writer pours a bit of themselves into the characters. So, that either leads me to believe that the tragedy and traumas that I’ve suffered, might have helped lead me understanding a bit about other events that I might not have suffered myself.

At the same time, I know that anything I write, I would like guidance to give it authenticity. As I wrote the project Unexpected Side Trip, I wanted to represent the LGBTQA community as much as possible for the lead characters. As I work on the project I’ll be doing after, I want to do it justice as it deals with how people deal with grief from the loss of their child to juvenile leukemia. While I haven’t lost a child myself, I’ve had friends and family that have, and I want to represent it in the best possible light that I can. This is important to me, because this story has been in development for the last four years, and I’m just now able to get back to writing it.

We are working on some ideas to present with the Geekultural Experience, as right now the podcasting is some off the easier things to do. At the same time, it’s been a bit slow to gain momentum. https://anchor.fm/geekultural-exp/episodes/Cosplay-and-Halloween-e5d4v5 here’s the episode in case you’re interested in seeing what it’s all about. We’re thinking about hitting another convention for one day as we’re still really just trying to find our niche in this world.

Now, the big one that most people come to read about on these blogs, the CK Project. We’ve been working on merchandise, and I’ve had a few of the shirts made, and I think that they’re good quality. We just got some pull-over hoodies designed and in various colors. The response is great, and I’ve got a few people who’ve said that they were going to buy something. As this is going for motivation for weight loss and for mental health awareness, we’re looking to turn this into a non-profit organization. I think that I’m both excited and torn by this idea, but if it helps get the message out, then I’m all for the affect of progressing to something a bit different.

As for my progress, I’m currently at a stand still on my weight. I did however up the weight that I’m lifting. twenty-pounds added to my deadlift, and I felt like I was going to die. I’ve progressed on my kettle-bell, and the dumbbells that I’ve been using to do military presses.

I find that my circuit training had started getting to a point where I wasn’t getting the sweat like I had. I do also realize that going heavier comes with the complications of being able to injure myself easier, that’s why form is important. With that, I’m trying to take a bit more time with my reps so that I can be sure that I don’t hurt myself. Yet, I think this was also something I needed to help me get past this five-pound curse.

I will be checking-in with my doctor’s office tomorrow so that I could get back into my check-ins and to start the discussion of getting the skin-removal-surgery. I’ve been feeling uncomfortable in my skin lately. As I’ve been going along, I’ve started to feel that the surgery’s the answer that I need. Itchy, uncomfortable skin is a thing, so I’m going to deal with it until I don’t have to anymore.

I know that I put off my last appointment because of the fact that we had some earthquakes during that time. Now, I feel that I hadn’t because there’s something inside of me that’s afraid of getting the surgery. I’ve heard that it’s painful, and to be honest, I’m a bit anxious about having another surgery. That would include having to take off another six-weeks from work.

I guess that it’s the unknown that keeps me hesitant. I also know that I talk about self-improvement, so I should just take the plunge. This would be career wise as well. At least this is something that I’ve been actively taking into my hands over the last few years. It’s been slow, but with the weight loss, I’ve learned that I can and do deserve to be able to grow professionally.

I’m the director and that’s a wrap.

Please Pass The Fat Free Content

Going with the weight loss journey has brought forth several things to for me. As I’ve lost weight, my ambitions have pushed me to want to do more. Being open about my weight problems, and mental issues has been the most therapeutic thing that I’ve ever done. As I’ve stated before, the physical and mental state of a person’s body go hand-in-hand, and the state of one usually reflects the state of the other.

Getting exercise in, is one way to help keep the depression at bay. It’s a way to show one’s self that things can be accomplished as long as you have determination. I find that my phycological self tends to limit me from doing complete range of motion for some of the exercises. I noticed that it comes down to the fear of injuring my knees. I also hate the fact that I have a fear of falling backwards.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve had hurt my knees before, and the falling comes from the fact that I’ve suffered severe head trauma. As long as I get assistance, I’m not afraid go down in a lunge. Being heavy-set for such a long time has really done some damage, and brought about self-doubt about the things I can do.

This leads me to believe that while your mind is your most powerful asset, it can also sabotage your success. Ever feel like you need to eat do to time instead of hunger? Yeah, me too. As a matter of fact, it still tends to happen, then I have to remind myself that I need to pay better to what my body is saying instead of what my mind is telling me.

So I have this mind that has so much negativity thrown on me my whole life that I still have issues getting over the verbal damage as well. Remember, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me? That’s totally bullshit, why you ask? I still hear the taunts and names that I was called as a child. How’s that for having something define your life choices for so long. I do have a tolerance for people staying stupid things these days, so it takes something more original to really get me going.

The crazy part about the weight loss journey and the mental health awareness is the fact that they do go hand-in-hand. When I set out to do the gastric sleeve, I only thought about how it was going to affect me physically, In ever thought about how it was going to change me mentally. The truth is that I’ve been fundamentally changed for the better. I don’t have the negative outlook in life that I once did. I’ve become more positive, and it wasn’t like I was trying to force it, or fake it until I made it.

All any of it ever had to do was  start by taking the little steps forward. Talking about the things that bothered me. Some people have told me that I was brave for opening myself and my experiences up to others. While I’m glad that it’s guided people in  better directions, it’s only part of the reason why I do the things I do. The other side of that truth is that talking about it, takes the power have what happened away. The more I talk about it, the less power those events have on me. I can accept that what did happen isn’t the defining moments of my life.

With that being said; I find that sticking to mental health, and occasionally weight loss isn’t as easy to talk about any more. I mean I started talking about my mental health issues to help sort out my own feelings and leave an example for others to follow. I don’t struggle with them like I used to.

Yes, I still have an occasional bout of depression and insecurity, but over all, I’m in one hell of a better place than I was before. Now, I have to witness my wife go through these struggles with her Crohn’s Disease. This ends up being something that gets hard for me to deal with as I watch her get more discouraged as something new shows up with the things she deals with.

I sometimes find it hard to talk about the weight loss journey because I plateau, and it can be for long periods of time. I get frustrated getting stuck between a four and five pound difference. I know that eventually I will over come this, but it’s discouraging just the same. Again, remember the things we’ve been talking about the mind? Yeah, this is one of those things I was referring too.

In the end, we all have to choose the journey that we follow. Some of us choose to follow the journey to try and obtain the ultimate answer to eternal youth. Some look to follow the path to fortune and fame. Some of us look to better health. I myself follow the journey for better self-improvement. It has brought me closer to a section of people who share the common journey, and I’ve grown so much because of it. Especially in such a short time. Keep mindful on where your journey takes you.

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

Lose And Gain

So, it’s been a while since I’ve done the official “weight-loss” update. Here goes; I gained four pounds. Yep, that’s the official update, I’m back up to 264 pounds. I’m not even mad, I knew the plateau’s and the weight gains would just all be apart of the process. So remember that!

You see the commercials on television and in print ads that someone can help you drop all the weight you want by a pill or a drink, with minimal work. It doesn’t work that way, ever. The truth is that while you will drop the weight, there will be times that you level out, and even gain some. Remember that it’s just part of the journey, and I know that’s the part that people hate.

It’s the plateau’s and the gains that cause most people to quit. I mean who wants to see the number stick or go up? We didn’t get into losing weight to see the momentum go anywhere but down? I gained five pounds, and I’ve worked so hard not to gain, what kind of bullshit is this?

I remember the first time I plateau’d after my surgery, God it was frustrating! Man it was the longest time before I dropped weight again(actually it was like three weeks). I don’t think I got mad at myself, but it was disappointing. Yet, I knew even then that it was part of the process, but after seeing my first hundred pounds just melt off, it sucked.

I think some habits have also snuck back into my life, especially since I’ve been in a bit of a stressful situation. I still have a win because one, I’m aware of it, and two, I’m still staying active. I’m going to overcome this situation. This is just another bump in the road that I have to overcome.

Mentally, I’ve been a bit down, but nothing too discouraging to know that I can’t overcome it. The mind is your most powerful weapon that you have. If you believe, then you can achieve. I know that my mind tells me that I can’t do things, like lunges. It doesn’t let me do lunges, and it makes me feel afraid that I’ll injure my knee. I don’t ever recall injuring my knee that way, but it makes it hard for me to go down without some sort of support. If I use a chair, then I know that I can do it.

On the positive side, I’ve been learning about various exercises from the Men’s Health Magazine, Twitter page. One of the exercises, that I’m excited about is the Mt. Climber, I’ve seen it done, but I realized that when I’ve done it before, I didn’t have the proper form for doing it. Another exercise is called the Halo. It’s an exercise that can use either a dumbbell or a kettlebell and it works the shoulders. This one excites me because it hits the shoulders from several angles. A third exercise that I’ve seen on video from Twitter is called a pike press. Modified, I think it would be a good exercise for me to do a shoulder press.

Another thing that I can say that is on the positive side, is that I’ve been looking into what kind of mindset an entrepreneur should have. I know that it’s going to take time, and a massive amount of hard work, but I will get there. I also know that I’m pushing for “maximum effort” because while one brand, or business is a full-time job, I have three that I’m working on.

With that, this is where things get a bit more convoluted, the CK Project is my oldest and most popular of my brands.  It’s great because I find that it’s the easiest to give most of my attention too. I support the fact that I get to help others with mental and physical guidance. This is what helped me become a happier person, and the privilege to help others has been fulfilling.

The birth of The Geekultural Experience actually spun-off of a group that I helped create called The Geeks of the IWV.  The group was formed as a way to help my friend cope with the death of her son, and it’s done fairly well. While The Geekultural Experience started on Facebook, it seems to have a better following on Twitter. I find that I get the news on Twitter so much easier more readily than Facebook.

While I enjoy my these brands and they fill a very different aspect of my life, the one I’m most looking forward to picking up is my film company, Luckey Bom Films. It’s more because I would love to have them all to be more equal then they are, but I’m sure this will get there at some point. It’s hard trying to keep things sorted out, and each get more attention, at different times when the focus can shift to what’s taking the more precedence at the time.

What would you like to see me talk about? Is there anything you think could help take my brands to another level? Leave a comment, and let’s start a dialogue, I’d love to interact and get feed back on the things I’m doing. After all, criticism is just a tool for improvement. This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

Hard Work For Better Gains

As with anything else in life, you get what you put in. Eating right can some times be hard, especially since there are so many temptations being marketed out there. I find that it can be hard also because most “healthy options” are costly. Yet, this is an essential part of the weight loss journey.

Exercise is the second part that is essential for the weight loss journey, and is just as important as eating right. The harder the workout, the better the progress for shape and strength. This is something I struggle with because I find it hard to push through at times. I want that brief second of rest so that I can power through the rest of my sets. It’s usually right as I’m getting to my fourth round of my circuit training. Every time I do push, I feel like I want to die after my workout, which is a good sign.

Then it comes the really hard push, that will give me the momentous gains. That’s my brands. Working on one brand is a full-time job as it is, but I’m taking it even farther by having three brands that I work on. This is where I feel most of my success comes from, it gives me the focus that I need to carry out all my plans.

I have filled my life with all these positive things that keep me going in the right direction. I’ve had times where I was lost and I wasn’t sure where I needed to go, or where I wanted to go. With depression, there is many times that I would doubt myself. I would feel unworthy, I would feel like a failure. I felt that the world would be a better place without me.

With this mental level, I felt that my family would carry-on and eventually find better life if I no longer existed. At this time, I also felt that I was the worst person ever and undeserved of love. This is what depression feels like. Yet, if you would ask if I was okay, then I would say yes, because I didn’t want to burden anybody. I felt that I needed to deal with it on my own.

This is why I evolved the CK Project. It started out as a weight loss thing, to hold myself accountable, but after my period in the darkness, I had to make it something more. After watching people be affected by seven suicides, I knew that I needed to do something else. I felt guilty for having those feelings, I felt even more guilty that I wasn’t able to reach out to these people and try to let them know that they weren’t alone in this struggle.

I took my experience, and decided to use my story as an example that there are other ways then suicide, there are better options. At this time, I didn’t consider myself a survivor. All I wanted to do was help someone else. This was at a time that I still didn’t see the “value” in my own life.

Once I found purpose with going to school, things started to change. I found my direction, and the accomplishments that I was doing started to add value to myself. Investing in myself, was the right choice, and once I got to be a director, I found the thing that was going to keep me going.

By this time, I was getting used to putting in the hard work, but I needed to gain more. See what I did there? So, I was in the last leg of my schooling, and I started to realize that I wanted to change more because I didn’t like the way I was physically feeling. I felt that I wasn’t in the body I was supposed to have, and I was ready to change that too.

So, I started to look into having the gastric sleeve surgery. I had heard that it was the safest option, and I’ve known people who had it done, with no regrets. At that time, I decided that I hadn’t heard anything about the negative side, and one of my best friend’s had also considered the surgery, so I decided that I would blog about it, both the good, and bad. I wasn’t going to hold anything back.

So, using my CK Project platform, I decided that my experience could be used as a tool for others to learn from. I realized that it went full circle from weight loss to mental health, back to weight loss, but I didn’t fully realize the connection between the two.

This is why I keep so busy, because everything I do, outside of work is just another way in attempt to have an outlet. It was a struggle when I felt that I didn’t have that release from the stressful situations, and it just brought me down. I find things that could serve more than one purpose for me.

This blog is the perfect example, as it started out as something for a class, I did a bit of research after and discovered that this was a good place to start out as a blogging site. I decided that this would be a better platform than Facebook to talk about my issues, and it would make it easier to distribute on other social medias. So, where does this serve more than one purpose? Well, I figured that blogging would help me sort out my thoughts, and it has in so many ways. It also helped me as a writer, that was the other thing that I wanted, to be a better writer.

So, I’ve gained a therapeutic way to sort my feelings and experiences while using my struggles and examples to help others, and it has helped me with the written word, and to think as a writer. I’ve gone from writing an average of 412 words per blog, up to over 830 words a blog. My scripts have gotten better and longer as well.

So, my suggestion for everyone is to put in the hard work. The reason is because you’ll benefit and grow in way that would be unexpected. How do you find the motivation? Do the things you love, damn what others might say, unless you’re a serial killer or something, that’s not a good thing. Too many people seem to lose passion from their lives, and passion is a strong guide and motivator. Self-improvement is the best investment any person can have, because it isn’t something that can be taken away.

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

 

Helping Others Through The Journey

Through Facebook, I’ve made several contacts in the Gastric Sleeve support groups. Through Twitter, I’ve made several contacts in the weight loss journey. It’s not only nice to network through these, as we all have common goals, and interests, but it’s a great feeling to be able to provide guidance throughout the process. It’s even better when you can bask in their successes with them.

I’ve recently befriended someone who doesn’t feel like she’s got the best support system at home, so  I’ve offered to be her support system. I can only imagine what it would be like to go through this process without the support that’s needed to get there. I’ve been more than abundantly blessed with the people I surround myself with. I attribute it to the kindness and charisma that I present.

That means, that treating others the way you would want to be treated is kind of a key rule if you want to get that support system that is needed. Do unto others and all that kind of philosophy in life. I can attribute that as how I live, and it’s done me well so far.

This brings up something else I’ve been trying to accomplish; being the support system people need. I’m aware that not everyone has the support they need, but I’m here to say that if it’s needed, reach out. I’ll be that cheerleader, I’ll be that guide. Everybody needs a safe place to turn when things seem bleak, or when things don’t seem right.

While I’ve felt like I’ve slacked off a bit, I’m continuing my journey, and I’m keeping up with what I’m supposed to do. I know that I’ve always been in my head about things, and I think that might be what keeps me going in the right direction. I feel that keeping mindful, does help me to know what I need to work on. This is something that I didn’t quite have in the past.

At the same time, I have the never ending battle within myself that wants to do the opposite. There hasn’t been times that I’ve wanted to give up, and I think that’s a check-mark in the right direction. My clothes are telling me that I’m doing the right thing as they seem to be getting bigger on me as well.

This isn’t a journey that’s ever going to stop. It’ll evolve, it’ll grow, but it will never stop. It’s also a journey that’s lead to other journey’s. The biggest fact on my weight loss journey is that it took a cross path to a mental health awareness. Mental health has been something I’ve dealt with just as long as my weight. The only difference is that I didn’t have the resources to deal with my depression.

All this experience, is available to those who ask for it. I’m willing to share, and if it’s something that personally can’t give an answer for, then I’ll do my damnedest to help find the right direction to go for those answers. I do have a friend in the phycological profession that I turn too for finding resources at times. She’s been a good friend for years, and I adore her company.

This is a world that would benefit if we all would be kinder and willing to help get through our struggles. However, there are negative energies in society that would rather watch the suffering and pain of others. It’s sad that greed and pettiness tend to dominate the world around us. While individuals are starting to get “woke” to what’s going on around them, progress is slow and it’s going to take time before we get to the state where we’ve evolved enough to realize how silly greed and pettiness are.

Yet for the sake of transparency, I have these brands that I strongly support. The CK Project  seems to be my more popular one, and I have merchandise for sale. The goal is for the hope that my experience can help make me some money and help support the movement, and support my family. I would love for this to be my full-time job. I would hope that this would one day be one of my main focuses, aside from Luckey Bom Films, and The Geekultural Experience. 

So, if you find that you support my message, and that my experiences have helped, please take a look at: https://teespring.com/stores/the-ck-project. Not only is this a way to represent the CK Project, but it helps get things moving in a better direction for us to keep going, and becoming more independent. It’ll allow us more time to dedicate to the movement, and other projects that we’re involved in. Also, don’t forget that we have a podcast, that we’re working on providing a weekly show at: anchor.fm/CkProject/. This podcast is available on seven different listening platforms.

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

 

 

Rollercoaster Of Weight

I’ve been struggling with a few pounds here or there. I think it’s probably because I’ve gotten into a few bad habits, and the fact that it seems like it’s been a bit of a struggle to keep my momentum up with my activity, especially since it’s stupid hot outside, and it’s not very motivating going out in one-hundred-degree-plus weather. I know that I’ve got this; it’s just taking a bit more time to get back to that spot of motivation.

I know that I’ve come a long ways, and I still have a long ways to go, so I’m not discouraged about this. I will continue to make progress on my journey, and this is just a slight hiccup. The fluctuation in weight is always a small part of the journey to losing weight.

I know most people think that it’s just a drop and that’s the measure for success. Hell, there are even infomercials on television that try and sale that dream as well. Yet, the truth is, it doesn’t work that way. No muscle doesn’t weigh more than fat, it’s just more compacted. One pound of fat is equal to one pound of muscle, the only difference is in the amount of space each takes. A fat two-hundred-sixty-pound man takes up more space than a lean muscled two-hundred-sixty-pound man. The shape is very different as well.

I can attribute my current struggle with a couple of things. The first factor being the heat. Second factor is that I did change my work schedule, and everything that’s involved with that tends to be a bit of a distraction, however, I’m now working that out to maximize my walking. I’ve been able to get my ten-thousand steps in, even just barely at work.

Another factor that I have only let on in a few blogs is that I have life stressors that have been getting to me a little. With Sarah’s Crohn’s Disease being something that we’ve been trying to deal with for about a year, I find that the change in our life flow has disrupted a few things with me emotionally. Another being that we are now really seeing the after effect damage that the earthquake did to our house. It’s one of those things that I realize is going to take some extra money, that we don’t necessarily have access to handle it effectively.

This all goes along with the fact that I didn’t get that promotion at work. I’ve been trying to play it “cool” and act like it doesn’t bother me, but it does. To know that I’ve come a long way, and have grown so much, just to know that it wasn’t good enough, is very disheartening. I think it’s made worse by the fact that over all, I thought I had it in the bag. I was making plans for something that I thought was going to be guaranteed.

On the plus side, it has motivated me to seek other paths to take, and I’m going to put forth my best effort. I think the hardest part is selling myself. I have to find those tricks that would help show the better side that people want to see when looking for new employees. I’ve been settled in the same position forever, and the fact that it has taken me the last few years to finally find some amount of self-worth is really just the beginning.

I think that’s the valuable lesson here, is that improvement never stops. We continue to learn, we continue to grow. That’s part of the defining factors for self-improvement. I do know that I have value, I get that feeling all the time from the people I interact with. I do know that I’m an inspiration, because I get told that all the time too. I think I just need to find a better way to represent myself on paper.

Something I think is great, is the fact that I’ve gained so many skills since I’ve been doing this whole life change. I’ve become a filmmaker, a blogger, a podcaster, an apparel designer, writer, editor, motivational speaker, pop-culture reporter. That’s quite a list of skills, and I know that some people are thinking, how does that apply to the “real world” with “real jobs”.

I can’t completely answer that yet, but I do know that I’m making an impact and I plan on continuing on doing that. It fulfills a requirement inside of my soul. This helps my balance in life, and it keeps me striving to be better at being who I am.

I’m going to focus and get back on track. The creative part is more alive in me now than it has been in quite some time, and I’m feeling better about it. Now I do have a feeling I know where life plans on taking me, but I also know that I’m in for a bit of work to get to the success that I need to have. I know most people only see the success for people, but never really witness the work that gets put in to get there. This is it people, this is the tie for me to really push to get where I need to go, and not let myself get distracted like I have in the past.

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

Sometimes We Fail, and Sometimes We Succeed

So this week turned into a week that had both ups and downs when it came to my progress in life. I was trying to get a promotion at work, and it got denied. I was told that I was very close to passing the interview and test process, yet I came up short. While I had a very common response from co-workers about the results, I feel that the blame was to be put on my shoulders.

I was talked too, and advised on ways to improve and I could apply again in six months. The truth is, I feel that I was just stuck too much in my head, and my confidence wasn’t where it needed to be. The interview was different from any other type of interview that I’ve ever had. Couple that, with the fact that I hadn’t really had an interview for anything in about a decade, I just wasn’t quite ready for what was ahead of me.

I’m not taking this as something negative, because it just goes to show that I need to work on presenting myself better for the next time. I’m also going to reach out and look for other options that might be out there. All I do know is that it’s time for me to really start looking for something that would provide me with a better income while I work on my brands.

I wasn’t going to let that bit of news dictate my week, instead I had some fantastic news in the form of a non-scale victory. I decided to purchase an extra-large, shirt to have something to work towards in my weight loss journey. The best part is that it fit really well. I mean it hasn’t even been two years since my surgery, and I’ve gone from a five-x in shirts, to an extra-large. I’ve also gone from a three-x in athletic shorts, and I can fit into a large. All this in just about a year-and-a-half.

This news has put a positive feeling in my life, and I’m carrying it as far as I can. I seem to be maintaining weight at 260, and as of now I’m okay with that. I’m still moving down somewhere at least. How my clothes are fitting is just as important as the numbers on the scale.

I still have to set an important appointment with my doctor about setting up a date to get my extra skin removed. The last appointment I had, the doctor said that it’s probably about twenty-pounds of skin to remove. Twenty-pounds? That’s crazy! My only issues about it is this; the unsightly scar that will be left, and the pain.

I know the scar issue seems a bit small, I mean who’s going to actually see me without a shirt on, except in my house? I know that it’s a bit of a vanity thing, and they do say that ego get in the way of smart choices. Still, I’ve got more than enough scars to last me a life time. Everything from surgical scars, to acne, keloids, and stretch marks. I’m gonna do it still because it is twenty-pounds.

The second issue I have is the pain that comes with recovery of the surgery. I have someone that I currently follow on Instagram just go through the skin removal process, and I’m watching and waiting to see how her process goes. I’m sure going to reach out to her and ask her questions as she progresses along. I’ve heard people say that it’s about one of the worst pains in regards to recovery. I hope that I’m not going to get in my head that way.

If there was anything that I learned from this week, is that I have a wonderful support system. As for the job, my co-workers  gave their reactions, and the next response was, what kind of help do I need to get me to that promotion status. This last year at my job has renewed my faith in my fellow man. I’ve been able to connect, and make better friends with them.

I know that most people look at work as a way to make money, and that they aren’t there to make “friends”. While I some what agree with that, it helps if you can get along with them. It makes the monotony of the day go by easier. I’ve been in spots that co-workers would rather back stab people to get themselves farther up the ladder. I’ve been “thrown under the bus” too many times to count.

I don’t know if it’s because my own attitude has changed, but I’m truly amazed by all the support I’ve gotten over the last few years. I find that my biggest obstacle in anything is myself. There are times that my insecurity issues sabotage my success, but that doesn’t happen as much as it used too. Having control over the way I react to things is liberating to say the least.

Anyway, that about sums up this little piece of mind. This is the director and that’s a wrap.

Giving Into A Bigger Cause

As I sit here, I’m reflecting on all these past memories that come up on Facebook. I find where I’ve had motivation, and I see where I lacked the insight that would later help to develop the person that I would become. Seeing the first real developmental moments of starting the weight loss process with Weight Watchers in 2011. Seeing how I had started the CK Project as a way to motivate myself, and hold myself accountable. Then to watch it inspire people along the way.

It was an important time in my life, and I wasn’t even sure that it would turn into something more. I always that that the CK Project stood for the Chris Keeling project, hell I originally called in Project Keeling. I knew that I wanted to keep a record of whatever process that I was going through at the time. Little did I know that I would give into negative thoughts, and have a meltdown in which my life would take an unexpected turn.

Two years into trying to become physically better, my mind would shut down, and the CK Project was dead. It was just something that had gone to a back burner, and ignored. As I look back to this dark time period, I realized that I would respond more to negative things, and lunge out in a defensive manner. It came down to a “bring it on” type mentality, and in person, I wasn’t prepared for the things I would have to come to terms with.

I was angry, and at the time I felt rightfully so, because people get mean, nasty, and entitled. I didn’t have a way to vent out the frustrations that would come out of these daily interactions. I would internalize every ounce of negativity, and it would be mirrored back towards my family. Towards myself, I had been stuck in a spot that wasn’t pleasant. I felt trapped, not just professionally, but personally. What made things worse was I wasn’t any good to myself, and I resented being with my partner. We had issues, and it was more because of the fact that I didn’t want to deal with the situation. I just wanted to shut the world out, and be numb. Often times, I think that’s the way people deal with hurt, and trauma, is to go to a place where they attempt not to feel the emotions and pain that comes with these high pressure situations.

It took another major event in life to get my attention and make me realize that I needed to snap out of the dense haze of self loathing. Some people consider it “divine intervention”. This event had caused me to look at myself, and realize what it was that I needed to do to get better. If there is one thing that is difficult to master, it’s taking  a critical look at oneself and looking at one’s flaws.

I needed to prepare myself in ways that I knew had to bring me back to a presence that I hadn’t really been in mentally for a long time. I made decisions to take back my own life, and had to realize that part of my problems where that I didn’t have purpose, and that I needed to learn to react better to the situations in life.

The change was a hard and slow process to go through. I had to learn to not hate myself, and I needed to find that relief of not feeling so trapped. Finding that purpose in life, and how I wanted to be represented to others were the start of my healing.

I’ve always had a good heart and I loved to help people, unfortunately, that’s also lead to a lot of heartache and caution when interacting with others. I find that new relationships that develop often times come with a bit of paranoia when trying to figure out what angle these people are playing. Most often it comes up when it comes to actually needing assistance in some way. Myself and my family have been hurt by this more times then we would care to admit.

Back to the subject at hand; there were so much emotion, and loss that had happened in life that I realized that I needed to do something. I more than ever wanted to share my story in hopes that others wouldn’t feel alone when suffering in depression. I started telling my story, and doing mini-blogs on Facebook, and this time of year is when they all start to appear on my memories. It’s made me realize that everything happens for a reason. The good, and the bad, it’s in the balance that people grow.

Going to school and finding WordPress was a blessing. It was about two-years after I decided that I wanted to talk about my mental health, and it presented me with a platform that I could get my story out to more people. It was easier to spread out in my various platforms of social media as well.

As I started to present this as the new and improved CK Project, it’s funny how it went back full circle and went back to my weight loss journey as well. Seeing that my physical and mental health are very intertwined, has allowed me to connect better with people. It’s allowed me to form more bonds with others, because my story isn’t that uncommon.

It’s strange to think that mental health and obesity are both subjects that are taboo, and how much people judge on  those basis. I even know people who have a dislike for “fat people” while they aren’t exactly small either. Is this another form that goes with mental health? I think that I’ll have to go down that rabbit hole with research at another point in time.

Sometimes people regret the decisions that they’ve made in their past, and often times, “if I could only do it again, I’d do it differently,” are often spoke. If you asked me that same question, my answer would be no. I’ve been through those dark times at various points in my life, do I wish that I knew better than I did? Hell yes, but I wouldn’t change it. I think it took that last time to allow me to get my head right. I needed to get through that rough time, just so I could evolve. I’m better now, I’ve invested in myself, which isn’t something I would have ever done. By investing in myself, I’ve been given the motivation to help others, and I’ve seen what my helping others is doing. I get to watch these people I help, grow, and become better version of themselves.  To me, that’s one of the best gifts that I could think of.

I want to share a conversation I had at work the other day:

I was working with a co-worker, and we got into the conversation about God. I'm by no rights a religious person, but I do have a spiritual belief in a higher power. God, and my personal beliefs don't usually come up, anywhere but we started talking about the Bible. Act 7:48 (God) dwelleth not in temples made with hands.




It got me to thinking that if the body is the temple, and you fix it, and build it strong, is that why we feel better mentally? Or how about the fact that I also feel better spiritually? I know when I go out for my walks, it feels like my meditation. I feel closer to having a conversation with God, or even just the fact that it helps me talk to myself and sort out ideas in my mind.

Life is a puzzle, and I know that I’ll never have everything figured out. All I know is that I was put here to help people. If there’s anything I can do to help, please reach out and I’ll see what I can do. This is the Director, and that’s a wrap.

Alone with My Thoughts

While everything’s going well, there are those days that the negative thoughts cross my mind. I had an issue the other night while being left alone at work. The strange part isn’t that there’s anything wrong, but I started fixating on past decisions, and possible choices that I’m in the process of doing. It was followed by a bit of depression.

On the plus side, self harm was never part of the thought process, but it just made for a slightly rough night. The other part was that it’s caused me to feel a bit off for the weekend, and I’m not completely sure why. That’s one of those problems that comes with depression, you can’t always know what it is that starts an episode.

I guess that part of what has set me off is that fact that I’ve also been feeling a bit on the fat side lately. I know that sounds crazy since I’ve lost so much weight, but it happens sometimes. I was talking to a friend and he said that it could take up to seven years to get out of that mind set.

One of the other issues that has come up is the fact that I’ve seemed to hit a plateau again. I’m very aware that this is all apart of the weight loss process, and that it’s about the ups and downs, yet it still gets a bit discouraging. This however will not stop me from continuing the journey or the progress that I’ve started so long ago.

When I started this blog, it was last weekend; around May twenty-second. It was in the last have of the No Zero Day May challenge, with at least thirty minutes of activity a day. While I haven’t done 10,000 steps everyday, I did manage to get in at least the minimum activity. So much so, that most days I seemed to go beyond the minimum requirements that had be presented as the challenge. I upped my game by attempting to average about five miles a day, and I was mostly successful with that. Within the last few weeks, I had also started doing wall push-ups. Sam, my personal trainer said that doing 100 push-ups a day, in any form would help me get better at it. So, I’ve also been getting those in, and this last week, I added doing about 100 Squats. It’s added a bit more to my working out, and doing those exercises has challenged me.

With all these added activities that I’m doing, I’m really starting to realize how important rest days are. As I got to the latter part of this week, the push-ups and squats were really starting to be a challenge to knock out. So, as this is now the weekend, I’ve decided that aside from doing my steps, I think I’m going to take some rest days, and we’ll start concentrating on making the challenges this month be about continuing getting the 100 reps in a day for five days a week. One of the goals is to actually document what effect these continued reps will be doing to my body. I noticed that doing the push-ups have really started to add a bit more shape and muscle to my arms. I really felt the “burn” in both my back, and my pecs as I would do them, yet I think it is becoming more noticeable in my biceps.

Going through this challenge, I had my long-time friend Terry Bays take up the challenge. He’s dealt with health issues his whole life, and diabetes has been a major factor for the last nine, or ten years. I’m proud of the fact that he took this challenge head on, and has noticed that he’s been feeling better about himself. I am so proud of him. My kids adore him, and would like to have their “uncle” Terry around for a long time.

Getting back to the point I started to make, I think part of why I’ve been feeling the way I have, is the fact that so much is going on in life right now, that it just seems to take more time to process than I have been. Sarah’s  Crohn’s Disease has been keeping her down. My oldest child is about to walk down the aisle with her graduating class, and then a couple weeks after will officially be an adult. Plus, I’ve got two other kids getting ready to embark on the next phase of their adolescent journey of middle school. On top of that, Sarah is also dealing with preparing for empty nest syndrome. I guess it’s hard on her because Autumn is the oldest, and they have a different bond than I do with her.

My philosophy on parenting is this: We are giving the gift to bring life into this world, and the responsibility to raise our offspring to the best of our abilities.  It’s never easy, and there isn’t an instruction manual on how to operate a small person, but we do our best. I think it’s our job to raise these little people to become responsible and functioning adults. I find relieve in knowing that I didn’t fuck up too much as a parent.

Even at my lowest point in life, I loved my kids. Even when I wasn’t the best parent that I could be. That was the time that Sarah had to pick up more of the slack, and in all honesty, she’s the one that gets depend on the most. That’s the way it goes in most families, mom is the glue that keeps things together and running.

With that, this is the Director, and that’s a wrap.