Realigning Priorities

With society being on various forms of quarantine, those who stay home have mentioned things about learning a new skill, or finishing some sort of project that has been worked on, but never finished. I’m realizing that I need to start working on some of those things as well. I still have to work, and being on the night shift doesn’t make my motivation for the waking hours any easier.

I realize that I need to work on stuff that I’ve been working on, and I need to practice skills that I’m still in the early stages of getting better at. On the plus side, I’ve low-keyed gotten a few things done here and there, so I’ll take that as a win. The fact that I’m putting out blogs one to two times a week seems to align with the things I tried to do the last time I was on the night shift. I know that there were a few months that I didn’t seem to have much going on besides staying awake, but I’m going to do my best to keep providing the content. This is both for the purpose of being a creative person, and my mental sanity.

It feels like I don’t have enough time to do anything, except the physical activity that I do throughout the day.  Truth is, I have all these things that I have on the back burner, and I don’t want that to be an excuse, however sometimes I think that I try to take on too much and that’s why I tend to get stagnant when actually getting something out. Man, I also have this plethora of ideas being churned around in my head about this whole Coronavirus ordeal. In fact I think I have come up with a few story ideas, that I think I’ll start notes on here in the next few days.

This situation has also made me realize that I want to start keeping in better contact with those who I actually want in my life. I’ve been reaching out too those that I actually find to be important to me, and hope that I can keep the solid bases for the relationships I have. Doesn’t it bother anyone to want to do more with friends, and find that life has gotten too busy, or that we’ve become too distracted for communications? I know that I’d like to blame it on the fact that I’m too busy doing things all the time, but the truth is, I’m easily distracted.  What is the distraction, you might ask? Video games, movies, social media.

That last one kind of skirts the edge of a complicated relationship, not for just me, but I’m sure there are plenty of others who might relate. I know people like to keep up to date with what’s going on with who. Have we just gotten to the point where we want to know everyone’s business? Has it always been that way? So, there comes the other question: What about you, Chris? Why does social media distract you so much? I know that my view of social media changed after I started going to film school. I also know that my reason’s behind why I do social media has changed quite a bit.

I used to feel that I wanted to share every problem, opinion with everyone. Yes, it’s still true, but I do things a bit differently. I mean I would complain online about work, relationships, etc.. I would also celebrate the triumph and happy stuff too. How is that different than what I’m doing now? Social media is about promoting my brands. That’s what it’s about for me. Part of what it is, using my experiences to show people that there’s a better way, that the thoughts of depression and suicide aren’t always the final answer.

I’m about uplifting, encouraging, seeing others succeed. Watching others succeed in something I wish I was successful at isn’t always the easiest thing too endure. I’d love to be making the incredible content that I see some of my friend’s doing. I’d love to have that job that pays me to do what I actually love. Don’t get me wrong, I love my health and wellness brand, that’s where I find the most success as it is, with the most response. I’d just like my film company to be making something all the time, and I’m sure we’ll get there at some point in the future, it’s just hard to see others take that train to glory town sooner than expected.

I knew that I would end up running into a stump along my path, as I have a few times. It’s not uncommon or unexpected. I knew that putting this burden on myself, would be an undertaking, but I also knew that it would help keep my mind busy, which is a good thing.

One of the bright and consistent things, while I haven’t completely been motivated to workout, I haven’t done too bad otherwise. I’m still getting in workouts, even if they’re not always as intense as I usually do when I workout with Sam. I’m not feeling a shrinkage of any of my clothing that I wear day-to-day.

That’s one of those weird things about my  weight loss journey so far, that I’m in-between  sizes for somethings. I wear an extra-large to a two-x in shirts. I was up to a five-x for the longest time. Now I can wear large shorts, sometimes an extra-large in shorts depending on the make.

I didn’t ever consider that would be in anything under a three-x. So, I’m happy about the work that I’ve put into myself. I’ve also started working on getting to the point where I can do a hand stand, while I’m not there, I think that’s one of the next goals that I’m looking to achieve. This might take sometime, but I know that it’ll be worth it. I think I want to get into parkour at some point in the future. That’s one of those things that Assassin’s Creed(2007) had gotten me interested in.

I can’t believe that I’ve been living this new life for almost two-and-a-half-years now. I have no regrets, and I do think that I wish that I would have made that decision earlier to have the surgery, but I think that I had been in a kind of limbo from the end of 2013 and I was just actually understanding how to come back from it in 2015. It took the instance of actually coming to the realization that I could meet my maker in 2017, that gave me the view of needing to be reborn.

That is exactly what I’ve done, and I have the cognitive view to see how I’m changing. It’s something that I still see, and the realizations coming with that. I’m in the process of dealing with my past and self abuse. I’ve still got a long way to go, and I hope that I can figure it out.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, as it does deal with me as a whole, coming from focusing on my weight loss journey, and my mental health. Things are going well,  considering everything going on in this world. Remember to subscribe, and leave comments to help make this whole thing better and help me to keep improving my content. That’s the director, and that’s a wrap.

A Walk In the Moonlight

So, I went out for a walk on Saturday night, and it was clear out. I was surprised by how clear the sky was that night. There was a cloud that cascaded across the sky and was lit up by the moon. It reminded me of looking out across icy dark water, when I was in South Dakota. Looking at the dark, clear sky gave me a feeling that I haven’t had in a long time, peace.

I’ve tried to remain calm through all of this, and I’ve done pretty well so far. I know that I have to keep myself together for the sake of my family, especially since they have the compromised immune systems. That’s been my biggest fear is my family. I mean if it was just me, I wouldn’t be worried as much. However, because of my family, my anxiety has been a bit high.

It has been so much so that I’ve been burying myself in Animal Crossings: New Horizon, just so that I can keep from over thinking things. Yet, thinking about going to work, and the possibility has taken me to thinking about things that I don’t need to think about.

Back to the feeling of peace though, it was a welcomed feeling as these events have affected my sleeping as well. The positive here is that I’m not dealing with insomnia. That usually comes when I’m in a highly stressful situation, or if I’m dealing with my depression.

The world is in a crazy state at this time. I watched a video of someone jumping out of a window in a skyscraper, and landing hard on the ground. This is a dangerous time, not just physically, but mentally too. I think that people who deal with depression and anxiety need to be careful and mindful of their mental health at this time. This is the time that we need to be stronger than ever.

I had a guy come up to me today, and read my shirt, which stated that I was a member of the National Sarcasm Society, and he said that he had the virus and aids. Then he proceeded to cough on me. In my thoughts was that this older gentleman was kind of an asshole. Then I realized that it’s sad because he might be denying what’s happening, because it’s a real situation. I think it’s something that we do to protect our own mental sanity. He didn’t have a mask on, and honestly, might be one of those people who’ll get it. Hell, anyone of us can get it, and that’s a sobering fact.

As I keep getting away from that Saturday night sky, I really wanted to focus on that brief moment in time. As I was feeling at peace, I also had a feeling of clarity, and with that, I knew that everything was going to be alright. I couldn’t even begin to tell anybody how that feeling came about, but I knew it right then. I know that we’re going to have some hard times for a while, but we’ll get through this.

I think that the resiliency of our people are coming from some unexpected places. We’re seeing people coming together to help solve our problems. Yes, our medical staff still needs to supplies and things to take care of themselves.

I’ve heard that some of those places are being asked to take care of Coronavirus patients without protection. This is unacceptable, and the people in charge need to wake up, and realize that all that does is make the problem worse for all involved.

Note: This was last weekend, and I had a week of work between then and now.

While I have an optimistic feeling about things getting better, I’m not going to lie; work has been really long lately. The pace is different and we’re seeing people come through at different times, so it’s kind of feeling like we’ve been doing the eight week of Monday’s in a row.

I mean the situation at work has improved by the fact that we got masks to cover our mouths and noses with while working, but it just seems so long, and I’m having a hard time being motivated to get my extra projects done. I know that it will pass, it’s just a struggle, and I have to get through this.

Now is the time to check on those you know who deal with depression issues. Something like this isn’t good for those who suffer anxiety and over thinking things. I think that overall while I’ve had a few issues, I think that I’m staying fairly sane.

Part of my motivation went out the window this week because it had been raining a good majority of the week. It happened while I was on duty, and while I was off duty. I don’t have any really good rain wear so walking in the rain, just gets me soaked. I did adapt fairly well this week, that is until yesterday(Friday). I think that my tiredness might have something to do with it. Hell, it might just be an excuse, and I shouldn’t let the fact that I don’t have the space I normally would at Flawless Victory be a deterrent for working out. It’s part of that thing that keeps my mental sanity. Sam once told me that the chemical release from the workouts make for the best anti-depressant out there. I’ve discovered how true that is.

Coming back to the subject at hand though: I feel that everything will be alright, it’s just going to take time to get there. Unfortunately if you are to believe the media, there has been a rise in domestic violence since this quarantine has started. I guess that just goest to show that some people aren’t really meant to be together. Work is an escape from the family life-spouse, kids. That’s also why I think parent’s prefer to have their kids in school. It’s not that they don’t love them, it’s just sometimes people feel they need a break.

I guess that I got lucky, because while she drive me crazy at times, I like being around Sarah, I mean we spent so much time together that she’s easy to be around. Plus, I love my kids. I mean Autumn is an adult and stays with her grandparents, which is totally good, because of the fact that we’re so much alike, but I do love my kids.

Little Chris and I share the bond of superheroes and video games. Now I’m also working on educated the little ones in film. Since they both help me on movie sets. Then the fact that they were already doing online schooling makes them being home more normal.

The only thing is that the last time I was on the night shift, they were in regular school and I could get uninterrupted sleep. I find myself waking up when Chris starts to stem. That’s one of the bad things about his autism, otherwise everything else is fine. Getting woken up with just four hours of sleep isn’t fun though.

With that being said, we are living in some strange times, and this is going to test all of us. If not in faith, maybe in fortitude, and we need to be sure that we’re prepared for whatever is thrown our way. I’ll do my best to help keep trying to be that positive light that people need, and that’s why I do what I do. We’re all connected and this whole ordeal has made me realize that I want to be closer to those that I want to have in my life. I want people to actually know that I care and not be someone that just says that.

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

When The Inspiration Hits

I’m not ashamed to admit that some of the topics I talk about come from things I see or hear around me. As a matter of fact, most of my podcasts end up starting out by conversations found in the groups that I follow. That’s my mode of operation; to pick up on a subject and go for it. Improve has always been one of my favorite things to do, and it seems to have done me well so far.

Being a writer, not only for blogging my experiences, but as a creative person who writes scripts for visual storytelling, I’m always looking to draw inspiration from other mediums. I’m about to do a series of blogs, vlogs, and podcasts addressing a subject that has recently been on my mind.

So, there was recent news that they were going to edit out a scene depicting suicide on a show called 13 Reasons Why(2017). Now this show was something I had put on my watch list to see at some point, but I’ve got so much to watch that this wasn’t even on the radar for me to see in the immediate future, until the news came out. While by the time I got to the scene it had already been edited out, my wife had found an unedited version online for me to see.

First off, I found the scene to actually not be as graphic as I was expecting it too. I’ve actually seen it done a bit more graphic in other movies, however this show is powerful. The subject of teenage life and the trauma that can occur has taken me back to my own days in high school, hell in school generally. It’s taken me back to conversations that I’ve had with former classmates, and even experiences that I’ve had as a parent.

I’m speaking on this as I know that it happens to deal very much with mental health, and physical health, bullying has been a factor in my own weight gain as a youth, and I feel that as apart of what I’ve been doing over the last few years, that this is just another subject to talk about, and maybe help someone get through their own struggles with it.

The fact that I still witness bullying in other areas of life, is actually sad. I figured that we would have been done with this after school, but to see it in various aspects of the adult and professional parts of life makes this topic kind of a hot point for me. We’re actually going to do a bit of research to help with this subject, and I’m feeling that we might take this show, an episode at a time and touch the subjects that each episode goes over.

Again, do to the extreme sensitivity of this subject, we feel that a bit of research, besides personal experiences will help us to justify our subject matter, though I can tell you that I had a tough time with bullying in school, and as I’ve become more self-aware, I see how it has influenced my life.

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.

Dual Identity

As a child, I would play this game with my friends where I had a twin brother named Kevin. He was the cooler, slightly older brother, by twelve minutes, and he was liked. I’m not saying that I wasn’t liked, but Kevin seemed to give me a safe place as not to get hurt.

I was a sensitive child and was easy to make cry. Not only that, but I was easily pushed around, and I would get beat up, even by the girls. It was looked at as a sign of weakness, and would add on to the humiliation that I had already been enduring. At this time of my life, I was seven and this was the first time I had ever really felt that dreaded sense of loneliness, and the first thoughts of taking my own life.

I can’t remember if it was before this or just some time after that I started to pretend that I had a twin, but he felt like he was the best parts of me, and non of the parts that people seemed to focus on. He never manifested at school though, and living on a military base, there where biases about enlisted children, being one myself, on a base full of officers.

I never realized that classism was one of the first factors of discrimination that I ever faced. Oh and the fact that I was over weight contributed to others forms of bullying(I find writing about this gives me a reflection of things I never realized). Yet, being a target of bullying followed me pretty much my whole life.

When we moved away from Okinawa, Kevin kind of disappeared. I don’t know if it was that I thought that a new place, new beginnings mentality was in place, but I was willing to see where things would progress. On to the Black Hills of South Dakota. I got the nick name Okie, but coming from where I had been, I felt that it was something that I was being made fun of, and I didn’t like it. I was sensitive, and being on the defensive was always something I came up to know.

I had been in Rapid City for about a year when I was rejected by my crush, and being a kid, I was careless on my bike and with that I got into an accident and almost died. I had broken multiple bones, and suffered from severe head trauma. I was in a coma for about three weeks because of it.

Now, this is where things are unclear, because I don’t remember things very well from this time, but I don’t know if I was just being inattentive, or if I had another suicidal thought, but this accident changed me. I became a different person due to the trauma I suffered. My parents basically compared it to going from the “light side” to the “dark side of the force.” All humor aside, I became a far more cynical person. My humor had gotten different, and I reacted differently to things.

Now when someone suffers from a head injury, processing emotions and empathy become more difficult, and can at times be lacking(https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mouse-man/201001/traumatic-brain-injury-leads-problems-emotional-processing). At the time I didn’t understand, but as I’ve recently seen my mom go through the same thing, I’ve been enlightened by this. 

Lacking the emotional reactions, explain quite a  bit as I’ve had troubles when it’s come to my own kids getting hurt at times. I’ve gotten better about it over the years, but now I understand my lack of reaction to these events.

So, I worked hard to get through my injuries, and I had to relearn to do basic things, like going to the bathroom, I also had struggled to learn how to do class work because I would process things slower. I also had to relearn to walk as I broke my pelvis in two spots, and took a chunk out of my femur bone.

I had viewed my life as I was still quite unpopular, and I struggled, because all I had ever done my whole life was wanting to fit in. One summer, a friend suggested that I tell a little lie to help gain confidence, and I basically reinvented “Kevin”, only this time it was my story. I told one little lie and it helped, then I told another, and after a while I got popular, and too be honest, high school at the time felt good to be on top, but I really didn’t like who I became, and how I treated the people who really did care about me the most.

After high school, we moved to California, and I decided that I was going to be who I was and that honesty was the best policy. The funny thing was, that I had become the best of myself, and my alter ego. That’s who I am today, and with the events that have sculpted my life, I’m just getting better every day.

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

See the Stage, Hear the Critics

It’s funny, because I just did a podcast about this very subject tonight, as well as a few unexpected things in the process.

I’ve been asked about the backlash of sharing my mental health struggles, and how I deal with those things. I also get asked if I’m ever afraid of how being so open about them could negatively affect my livelihood, and how I would react to that as well. The simplest way to start, is to say that I started to share my story and struggles in hopes that it would save a life. That’s where it all started, and I had the duel purpose of helping me sort out myself.

People don’t like to talk about mental health issues; it’s not something that people can see, usually, and honestly, it’s not something that people who don’t deal with it can understand. Yes, I’m aware that having come out and say that I’ve had a few suicidal episodes, that it has opened Pandora’s Box, and yes I understand that it can, and does bring some harsh judgement with it. Truth be told, I’ve yet to deal with someone who’s actually had something negative to my face about it. Is it because we live in a world with mature adults, full of understanding? No. Could they be afraid to talk to me about it because they think I could go crazy on them? That I can’t answer.

I do notice that there are people in the professional world, who seem to lack a bit of maturity when dealing with a co-worker, like at Wal-Mart, and I remember observing the same when I worked at Kmart, so before anybody thinks that I’m mentioning specific people, I’m not. I also notice that there are few that actually have the courage to say something to somebody’s face. Society doesn’t tend to like one-on-one confrontation. In a way I guess that could be a survivalist way to go about the day, because you never know who’s having that one bad day that could turn into something far worse.

Back to the story at hand; yes, I’m aware that I opened Pandora’s Box, and to be honest I’m glad that I’m open about it. It’s given me such a wheel to start a dialogue with people who are afraid to speak up about their struggles with depression, and the other uncomfortable emotions that can go with that. I know that people tend to focus on the negative, but my story isn’t about where I was, it’s about how I survived. That’s one thing I think people should try to understand about me, I survived.

People have said that they’ve thought about taking their own lives before, and I know that it isn’t uncommon to have that glimmer even for a moment, and not taking that away from anybody struggling with those thoughts, it becomes a different story when it’s been reoccurring since I was seven. I survived, and I’m better than I was. So, I have no shame in the choice to be open about it, and I never will, again.

I had someone confide to me on messenger one time and tell me that it was nice to know that going through those grueling times I came out on top, and it had inspired them to seek the help they needed. There it was, the reward I got for writing about it, and talking openly about it, someone had sought the help they needed. That is exactly the reason I do what I do. People copy and paste on Facebook about doing buddy checks to know who they could talk to, or to show that they are an option. I stopped copying and pasting, and simply replay, that is why I do what I do. Those friends who I respond too already know what the CK Project is about, some of them where there while I was in the bad spots.

This is more than a copy and paste to me. By the time I was a year into my absence of work, seven people that I knew, or knew someone I was associated with had killed themselves. People will never know how bad I felt knowing this, I had distant family members pass this way, people I liked, and I felt worse because I had thought that way. This is why I do what I do, because I saved someone from over dosing on pills, and I was able to help talk them down and get them the help they needed. I felt like Superman. I felt like the figures I had looked up to my entire life, the characters who had helped me build the strong ethic and moral code that I live by. I saved a life that day.

Sure people are critical, and they think that I should keep my “issues” silent, but why would I ever do that when I saved a life? Can the critics honestly say that? Can they say they chose to listen and help someone off the ledge of the building that could have costed someone their very essence in this world? This is why I do what I do. This is a purpose that I honestly feel I was put on this Earth for. I’m here to help and inspire people, and that’s what I’ve been doing for the better part of eight years now. That way when I saved the first person from making a bad decision.

Everything else came along as I grew and evolved, even when I had my break down, all that ever did was make me stronger in the end. It took that period at “rock bottom” to help me develop what I needed to be motivated, and take initiative to find out who I truly was. While I don’t have the powers of a comic book hero, my gift is that I’m wiling to stand up and be brave enough to reach out a hand in friendship and guidance. Being someone who’s gone through hell and come out the other side, has given me a bit of insight and understanding on the struggles in life.

I think it’s human nature to be self destructive, and it takes so much work to get out of that habit. So, I’ll stand here and say it as loud as possible, I’m Chris Keeling, and I’m a survivor of having self hatred and self destructive tendencies. How can I help?

Connecting Flights on The Weight Loss Journey

Sometimes, we get wonder what it is that puts us on this earth and wonder what’s our purpose here? For as long as I remember, I’ve always wanted to entertain, and make people happy. As I got older and matured, I was fascinated with the idea of causing different emotions by my performances. There was something that was always intoxicating about the power of influence.

I’ve also always wanted to help people, sometimes that ended up being a fault, because not everyone wants help, and they’d throw it in my face, or take advantage of my good graces. So, I’ve become cautious over the years because of it. The expression of experience is the best teacher is very true, almost unfortunate to a fault at times. I’ve had a lot of lessons taught to me because of this.

Sometimes, these lessons come in unexpected ways, and lessons that I wouldn’t expect happened. I had a time where I felt like I stopped growing and learning, and it caused me to be unsatisfied. In all honesty, I would love for Luckey Bom Films to be the thing that takes me where I want to go in life, but I think the divine plan is to have The CK Project is where I’m truly going to make my mark in this world, which is just as worthy to be an end goal.

This has been an incredible journey so far, and I’ve met some of the most inspiring and beautiful people by taking this journey, by sharing, and supporting others who are trying to be more healthy. I think one of the most interesting things about the weight loss journey is that there are many ways to get there, and there is no one right way to get to the ultimate goal. I think that those who lose the weight without weight loss surgery is awe inspiring. That’s not to take away from those of us who had the surgery because it takes just as much work to lose the weight, the surgery is just the “tool” to help get the jump start on the journey.

Being involved with the weight loss community, especially for those who had the surgery. I’ve had networked with all these people through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and these people inspire me to do better. The voyage has made us a type of family, bonded by the fact that we share similar experiences. For some of us, the weight was gained because of depression, and that’s why we appreciate what the journey has done for us. These beautiful souls still have  doubts that they’ll make it through the process. Hell, I have days that I think I won’t make it, and another commonality I see is that there are times we all view ourselves as the heaviest version of ourselves, and I’ve discovered that is something that doesn’t ever really seem to leave.

I’ve seen some people give up on the journey as they felt that they’ve lost all the weight they will ever, and sometimes that brings part, if not all the weight back for others. As long as people find their happiness, then I’m happy for them because it’s important to be happy. I still remember what it’s like to not be happy with myself, and the rage that came with it. I just know that I’m not ready to stop, until  I get to the ultimate goal.

I think the biggest motivator for me is the fact that I’m in competition with myself. I’m pushed by the numbers that I see, because I feel that in the least, I should be able to hit the bare minimum, and yes, I’ve not had motivation to get even the minimum some days. Having those lazy days is what makes us human, and I’m not ashamed. I remember making excusing as to why I wasn’t doing something, and again there are days that I find myself doing that, but at least it isn’t the end of the world. In that end, I do keep pushing myself to do better, and find ways to grow, even in ways I never expected.

Even if the weight loss journey has established me in a community, it’s even more amazing how much it’s effected the rest of my life. I find losing the weight and having a better self-image, has lead me to being a better parent, and husband. It’s helped me better in my creative endeavors as well. That motivation has shown me what I’m capable of doing, and I want to see how far I can take it.

To those whom I am in communications with in the weight loss journey category, I want to say thank you for the words of encouragement. I’ve enjoyed watching you in your successes and I feel blessed to be able to add to your support system. Nobody should have to go through something like this by themselves. There should be nothing but support and encouragement, because it’s the fertilizer that helps with personal growth. It’s a shame we live in a world where more people want to be “trolls” and tear other people down.

On a final thought: live, love, and speak your truth. Don’t ever falter from who you are, because that’s the bravest thing anyone can do. With that, I’m the Director, and that’s a wrap.

Fifteen Month Check-Up

I had my check up on March second. I was greeted by Dr. Morgan, who has been the man that I’d been seeing mostly for the last year. I was glad to see that I had another loss and that I’m now currently sitting at 276 pounds on the dot. It’s amazing to see where I was last year compared to now, or even compared to where I was two years ago.

It feel good to go to work and someone that I hadn’t seen for a while comment that I looked malnourished, I found it to be funny that people think that I’ve lost so much weight that it was hard to recognize me.  Man, I really feel that I’ve come a long ways, and even better I’ve got to a twenty-two year low, with the fact that my pants are smaller than I was when I first moved to California.

I will admit that I think that I started to fall into a bad habit again with sneaking a few snacks here and there, but I’m going to correct that. I think that the fact that I can admit that and am aware is a step farther than I was before this whole thing started.

Before I continue on with the story, The CK Project has started a podcast: https://anchor.fm/CkProject/episodes/Introduction-to-the-weight-loss-process-e2qsnt/a-abgq9b 

https://anchor.fm/CkProject/episodes/Depression-1-e2qso8/a-abgq9b

These are our first two episodes, we’d really like to get them out to everyone, and get an opinion on what we’re doing.

As I look back, it’s been almost a year since I started to train with Sam over at Flawless Victory MMA, and I’ve enjoyed it. It’s not easy, but anything worth doing is never easy, but there have been so many benefits that have come from this whole process, and I’m getting that much closer to my goals. I remember when I had over 100 pounds to go, and being stuck in the sizes that I had been wearing since I was the biggest size I was.

On top of all that, I’ve decided that it was time to purge my closet of those things that are too big for me. I think this is a big step because it’s another step away from the past self that I’ve held on to for so long. I know that mentally I still have a ways to go, but I’m getting there, and I’m mentally more sound than I have been for some time.

I finally got past my creative funk, and all it took was for me to finally release The Reunion(2019), and I’ve gotten so much positive responses for it. If you want to see it, just hit me up and I’ll send you a link. I don’t try to cross the brands too much, but it’s always good when they come together for something that each can benefit from.

The crazy thing is, with working on three brands, I find that each one takes the main focus at different times. The CK Project is where most of the every day focus goes, and I’m making amazing connections through those who would be on the weight loss journey as well. I find that Luckey Bom Films is where most of my true passion is, because it’s the part that really saved my life when I was lost. With the Geekultural Experience,  it showed me something else I had a passion for, all things related to pop culture, and this last one is dedicated to my friends, and the son they lost because of the connections that has been brought into my life.

They come together and add to the layers in my life as it is. I’m happy that I can use my experiences in life to help others, there’s a joy there. I like that I can tell a story and have people connect somewhere emotionally to it. I also love the fellowship that comes out of celebrating what people are passionate about.

What is it that you’re passionate about? What makes your day get going? How do you feel when others tell you that it’s okay to follow your dreams? Sure people might think that it’s bullshit, and that they should play it safe, but like I said before, anything worth doing is never easy. If you can find a way to make a life out of what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. Not all of us are gifted with the silver spoon, but the journey to get there is fun, and I’m excited to see what it’ll be like to finally make it.

This is a much lighter director, and while doing what I love, this blog is another wrap.