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.

 

 

 

The Ex Conundrum

As a blogger, I get inspired to write about subjects that come to my mind. One of the subjects that I’ve often have brought up is my ex-wife. There was so much that came out of that relationship, that left me in shattered pieces for a long time. I’ve healed from the pain, and forgiven for my own personal growth. As, I’ve been in contact with her a few times through out my adulthood.

As I’m writing this, I’ve come to realize that self-improvement started for me in 2007, when I had run into my ex-wife in K-mart. We talked and I came out of that situation with forgiveness in my hearth, and we’ve learned to become friends over the years. There’s no way that we’ll ever have that connection that we had when we were younger and in love, but I care for the person she is.

Now, I’m married to another woman, who’s been my life partner for eighteen-years. I love her, and life is far better than I ever thought it would be. So, about five years ago, the ex sent me a text, and while we were talking she told me that she had come down with stage-four cancer. She had even sent pics of her in a hospital, without any hair. I was shocked, and a bit saddened by this news.

The thing about my first marriage was that there was a lot of shit that went down, and things went very south, in a rapid manor, and it would seem that this first chapter into adulthood would be closed forever. This was a time of tremendous growth into maturing, even in the most fucked up of ways. At least now the scars are finally healed.

So, now that I’ve made piece with the ex, there was no animosity between us, I had tried to be a person that she could talk to, because her bridges had been burned with plenty of people, and it wasn’t like I had to have a very strong connection to the situation that she was in. The cancer had got me to thinking about how things were, and how things might have been. That was the last conversation that I would have with here for many years.

For a few years, I would ask her family how she was, more so if she had passed, or if she had beaten it. The one thing I know is that I felt that knowing if and when she passed would give me some closure to that chapter in my life. I know that those questions were hard for her sister, at least she knew I cared.

There are so many things that we had done wrong while we were together. We were young, and very inexperienced, especially when it came to our emotions. While things were fucked up at times, and we had more bad than good, it was a defining moment in my life. I had lost friends over that situation, and I hit rock bottom. Yet here I am, stronger then ever, and it helped me to realize what kind of people I wanted in my life. The right people who left ended up back in my life, and I ended up with the right woman in the end.

In hindsight, I don’t regret the decisions that were made, as it helped lead me to where I am today. I think that’s how our experiences develop help us mature. Some take us down, and rock bottom happens at different points in our lives. I think that’s what shows us our true nature. Do we decide to have this destroy ourselves, or do we decide to use those choices to build upon the knowledge and experience to prevail.

I think that I want to take a moment to thank my ex for the experiences that we gained together, shitty or not, it was the moment that caused me to grow a bit. I was disconnected from so much because of what had happened, but it’s built up a pretty strong sense of what I wanted in life, and my principles are stronger than ever. I hope that you do kick the cancer in the ass and you survive. You and I both deserved better than either one of us had been willing to give when we were younger. I find myself caring about you as a person and hope that the future gets better for you. Even if it doesn’t, know that I only wanted the best for you.

One of the best things anyone can do, is learn forgiveness. That’s part of the CK Project, to better one’s self, and forgiveness can sometimes be the hardest part of our growth. Sometimes, it’s easier to just hold on to the grudge and let it eat away at our souls. That’s not how I want to live. I’ve been told that I’m very much like my grand mother, and she was a bitter person who knew how to hold on her grudges. I don’t want to be that person, and I strive daily not to be that kind of person. It’s taken years to get to the point where I feel chill and laid back, but I know that it’s not hard to feel those negative feelings.

Remember to keep looking for self-improvement, and as Michelangelo once said in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles(1990), “Forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for late pizza.” This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

Putting Tabasco on the Basco

I want to give a huge thank you and shout out to Sam Basco. We’ve known each other for twenty-years, and for most of that time we kept talking about doing some working out together. I would find excuse after excuse on why I wasn’t ready to work out with him, and that was how things went for many years.

Sam’s a good guy, he has a love of comics, martial arts, and health. Among other things Sam has written articles on the subject of physical fitness. As I’ve discovered, Sam is really a jack-of-many-trades when it comes to personal training. Not only is he a coach and a personal trainer, he’s also a dietician, a physical therapist, and teaches me life lessons.

Sam’s been the right element to help push my physical transformation. He keeps me honest, and knows when to push me to go harder. He’s also been helping me find my inner warrior, which is something that I never sought out before. I appreciate it because there have been times in my life that I needed more than I was getting, and I wouldn’t stand up for myself. I would just take, and take, until I exploded.

I was out of control and I had no direction. Now things have become different, I’m different, more motivated. It sometimes seems like it’s been easy, but these improvements have taken years to come, and my willingness to change. Sad part is, death was the eye opener. I felt like I was on my way there, and there was a point that I didn’t care.

It sounds kind of selfish now that I think of it. I mean, I have a loving wife, great kids, so why wouldn’t I care about living? Being a depressant doesn’t work like that, all the thoughts are, of wanting the feeling to end. I remember doing things while being depressed that would defer me from having to deal with those feelings. Sarah didn’t understand. The children just say that dad was closing himself off from everyone else. I just wanted the feelings to go away.

Again, it’s a shame that it takes something major to wake yourself up from whatever is going on. I think that the sign that God sends. You need to deal with your issue and buy putting something in front of you, or in this case myself. I had to decide how I was going to handle it. Did I want to continue down the same self-destructive path that I had been on for a few years? Did I want to find that light at the end of the tunnel?

Finding that light was deciding that I wanted to improve my quality of life. I had enough of quantity, and I needed substance to fulfill myself. When I say quantity, I mean I was living off of the pleasure of satisfying my insecurities with food. All the food, all the time. Depression, feed the comfort food to it. Boredom, keep the entertainment by feeding the mouth and keeping the taste buds distracted. Yet, there was always something missing. I wasn’t ready to be goal oriented. I was just skating by with a job, and home life, there wasn’t anything else, and I knew that I wasn’t satisfied, but I didn’t want to listen to myself until the possible loss of employment changed my life.

I wish that we as a a society didn’t have to wait or deny that our persons need a change from self-destruction. I wish that I was “woke” to the situation that I needed to change something. Unfortunately, that takes a courage that all too many times  we lack. Is this because of our vanity? Or is it that change is something that most people seem to fear?

Too often we are taught in society that different isn’t good. While it seems that some of society standards have changed there are those who can’t seem to grasp change. Racism was the social norm until the civil rights movement changed that. Yet, you still hear that hatred being perpetrated, just on a quieter scale. Classism on which people of varying economic levels, view those of a lower class to be beneath them.

Is this why people are ingrained to ignore changes needed in their behavior? Is it truly that rare case in where someone decides to break the social standards, and rise above their giving station in life? I lived a very self-serving life when I was younger, and while I was always a “nice guy”, I had my own motivations for doing things. In a way I still do, just now I choose to help others, because in my motivations, it brings me happiness to see someone better themselves. I wish there were more people like that.

I would hope that anyone reading this would take a look at themselves, and see what changes they might need in their lives. If for any reason is to reflect on the types of decisions that they might make, or constantly make. This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

Buck Fifty and Some Change

So, I had waited a few weeks before I decided to weigh myself. I was fully dressed and it was the middle of the day when I decided to get on that scale and check my weight. There’s days that I don’t feel that I’m doing well enough on my journey for weight loss, and when that happens, I don’t feel confident enough to check my weight. I had taken a week off from my personal training because I had changed to the night shift at work.

This move has defiantly been a challenge to adjust, especially since I’ve never had to put in late hours like that before. The first week, was about me trying to adjust and not feel tired all day. Yet, that’s how the first week on night shift felt like I was in a zombie state all week. This week was far easier to handle.

Any way, taking that week off from my workouts, I had a week where I felt fat. That is something I still struggle with. I’m not sure that those feelings are going to go away at anytime soon. It’s the reprogramming from the years of abuse that I need to remember isn’t going to be undone in the foreseeable future.

Anyway, as I stepped on the scale, I weighed-in at 279.9. The  awesomeness also came in the fact that my BMI is at forty-point-two. It’s exciting to know that I’m still doing well, and that a week didn’t hurt to take off, at least I was still getting in my 10,000 steps in.

Great news in the weight loss journey, plus the fact that I’m also down another size in pants, I’m feeling really damn good about it. I’ve been working so hard to get down, and I still have a ways to go, but to have a non-scale victory is just as good, as seeing the numbers go down. As long as the motivation to keep moving and doing the best job to keep active goes, that’s the important part.

I want to give a shout out to some people that have come up to me in the last few weeks to thank me, and tell me that I’ve been an inspiration to them. Thank you, and also you’re welcome. This is the reason I started to use the CK Project as a tool. I wanted to be an inspiration for people to want to better themselves. So comments like that, just show that I haven’t been waisting my time by putting my stuff on social media. That’s a skill that I’ve been working on for a while now, and finding new avenues to present things would be. Remember that my main page for it is https://www.facebook.com/ChrisKeelingProject/ and I’m on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Snapchat, and newly MeWe. 

Not only am I about inspiring others, but I feel that we as a people need to help and look out for each other. I had an unfortunate situation at work as I learned that a co-worker had passed on while at home. I can’t say that I was completely surprised as he was starting to get up there in years, and he wasn’t in the best of health. The hard part is that the last time I had seen him, he had been looking a bit rough, and then hearing co-works say that he’d seemed different, and that they had feared that he was getting too sick to actually be effective at work, makes me sad. If you see something wrong with a co-worker, please say something. It might be the thing that might help to keep somebody from perishing before their time. I wish that I would have known that it was that bad, I would have suggested him to get checked out.

He was a great guy to know, and I think work will be a bit less bright with out him there. This has been the third death that has happened within the last few months that has hit a bit too close to home for me, but life goes on, and I hope that this doesn’t keep happening for a while. Too many good people have pasted lately and it’s emotionally taxing when you’ve got those who need the support because of their loss. It’s a painful reminder that we’re all getting older.

On another positive note, my eldest child got done with school this past week, and I’m proud that she’s got a bright future in front of her. I can’t believe that she’ll be eighteen soon, and ready to fly the coupe. This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

Push Forth Good Sir

Sunday, the day of rest. Well that’s the way it’s supposed to go, but this weekend it was the day that I pushed myself harder. My trainer Sam asked me if I’ve ever thrown up from working out. The answer was no, however today I pushed myself into a nauseous state. After I was done working out, I had to take a few minutes to myself in the car to gain some type of composure.

So goes my Sunday, I call it the iron church. I find myself going to the gym on Sunday’s more than any other day of the weekend. Our bodies are our temple. I feel that building a better me, means that I have to build a better temple, and what better way to sacrifice by blood, sweat, and hard work. I’ve been working out for almost a year. I’ve been doing the 10,000 steps for over a year now. I’ve gotten better about getting those in. I do have a days that I don’t feel like getting them in, and some days life gets in the way, however most days are filled with 10k plus. My current record stands at twelve days straight of getting in my steps. Since my fortieth birthday, I’ve been attempting to get in forty-days straight for my steps. This is a challenge I know I’ll eventually accomplish.

So I go to the gym today and do some treadmill. It wasn’t really about speed or distance, but I found out that I can do a seven-point-one, and I can keep it up for an amount of time. The biggest problem that I’ve been finding doing treadmill work is that I move, and no matter how tight I’ve tied my sweat pants, they seem to start to fall down.  After that I worked on arms, shoulders, and back a bit. I used heavier weight then I’m used to, and I push through the pain a bit. So, I’ll say that it was for the win today.

I was also rewarded with a non-scale victory today. After I came home and took a shower, I noticed the pants I was wearing were a bit big on me. The size of my pants were a 42×30, and that was the size I was in in 1997. So, without me checking my weight, it’s nice to feel that inches are still coming off. I’ll have to get that weight check in next weekend.

Besides pushing myself harder in my workouts. My circuit workouts, do also push me, by the way. I think people should do that in other parts of their lives. Wither it’s work, or  new experiences, it’s the perfect way to grow as a person. The sad part is that there are  too many people comfortable in what they are already doing.  I feel that people should strive to better themselves. You can always improve on something in your life. Health, wealth, learning. There’s always room for improvement. I’ve had many friends confess that they were scared of change. I’ll admit, that there’s a bit of hypocrisy as I write this. I want to change my station in life, but I haven’t just thrown “caution to the wind”. Though I am trying to get to the point were I will be doing what I want to do, instead of keeping it as a side thing at the moment.

If you’re feeling stuck in life, or bored of the way things seem to be going. I suggest pushing yourself into doing something new. Get out of the comfort zone. You’ll never know what you’re capable of until you do it. Sure, not all of it will be enjoyable, but there are going to be some amazing things that you’ll discover.  I feel that everything in life is about self discovery. That’s how I’m living my life these days. Every day brings something new for me to try.

I hope that you continue to follow my journey in life, as one of those things I’m planning on trying next is writing a motivational speech and see if I can get people to actually come and listen to what I have to say. I think blogging has been a great avenue that’s helped me become a better writer, and helped me sort of some of the issues that I deal with. Remember to catch me on my various other social medias as well. If you want to know, just send me a message and I’ll get back to you on it.  As always, this is the Director, and that’s a wrap.

 

First Blog 2019.

I originally had started a blog about the new year, and how we shouldn’t look at it as a time for a fresh start. The truth is life is about ten percent of what happens to you. The other ninety is how you choose to react to it.

With that being said, I’ve found myself in a very emotional place over the weekend. My mother had a fall off of a ladder while taking down Christmas lights, and fractured her skull. She has multiply contusions and bruised her brain. I found myself looking at her in the bed, and I felt uncomfortable, and I was scared for my mother.

If it would have been my father, I could have handled it. We’ve been in that situation before. He had a heart attack in 1996, so mentally I would have been prepared for that. I was there when my dad was having neck surgery, and so I was even more prepared for that. This I couldn’t have ever imagine.

With everything that I went through with my wife, I think I could have been prepared for her in this situation. We’ve gone through her having a concussion and ending up in the emergency room. Through two pregnancies, and the various health scares, I would have been prepared for her, but not my mom.

Since this incident happened on Friday, January fourth, it’s all been a waiting game. I did get news last night, the eighth, that she did sit up, and that she spoke a little, which was good news. This is still going to be a long process, but any good news, brings me hope that this won’t be as bad as it could have been.

The outpour of love and support has been amazing. I truly feel touched by the texts and messages that I’ve received over the weekend, and continue to get on a daily basis. People, ask about how my mom is, and they ask me on how I’m doing. It makes me think on how valid my relationships are.

Though it’s been a rough start to the year, I’m not going to let this incident define my year, and I will just use it as a brief obstacle in my journey. I did miss a few days in my ten thousand step life. Yet, I’m going to be getting back on track for my forty-day step challenge, I’m just going to have to start over again, but I can do this. I’ve done a twelve days as my highest so far.

On the good news, I did my thirteenth month check-up on Saturday and I’m now down 148.1 pounds. It feels good to be 281.8, with a 40.4 BMI. It’s amazing how far I’ve come since I started this process almost a year-and-a-half ago. I’ve got about eighty-five pounds to go before I hit the ultimate goal, but I figure that my next goal is 265. I’m getting there, it may not be as fast as I was, but I’ll keep it going.

I’m not going to let the bad things define the rest of my life, negativity brings too many people down. I know that mentally, I’m a self-sabotage type of person. I’m also having doubt creep up in my mind when I do the various things in my life. I find myself leaning not to be that way, and I’m constantly  learning not to put myself down.

My personal training sessions have taken a different turn as we’ve started circuit training. This is defiantly a different process as now I’m having to learn to push through with a different kind of workout. I felt like I died a few times during my workouts, but it’s good, and yet it sucks at the same time. I will learn to make this type of workout my bitch though.

I’m hoping that this rough patch passes quickly, but I can’t let it keep me down as life goes on. Well, this is the director, and that’s a wrap.

One Year: Post Op

So, it’s been about a week since my one year anniversary of having my surgery. I was going to write sooner, but I had to sit back and reflect upon this past year. As I write this, I want to dedicate this specific blog to those who’ve had, thinking about having, or are going to have some sort of weight loss surgery.

Up until my surgery, I hated myself. I hated the body I had, and I hated that I had let myself get to the heaviest weight in my life. It’s truly a strange feeling to feel that I was trapped in a body that I didn’t belong in. It’s a outer body kind of experience when thinking about it. Being in someone else’s body, or at least that’s how it feels. Not believing in the image that reflects back in when looking in the mirror.

Going into this journey with a self loathing, and a feeling of hopelessness, was a big step for myself. Before I decided to take this step, I was ready to die. I was aware that I was slowly killing myself, and at the time before my decision, I didn’t care. This was part of the darkness of disparity. I let the weight and depression control me. I dealt with my pain with food.

While my surgery was a year ago, my journey had actually started almost a year prior, I started to walk and try to get a movement going to start the weight loss process, but I would grow frustrated because I would start to push myself and I would end up hurting myself.  Plus with the physical demands that I have at work, I was not able to heal correctly. I needed to do something, but I didn’t want to have surgery, yet after a few months, I ended up being introduced to somebody who was getting ready to have it, and that person was who helped lead me to that decision.

One of the things I had decided on, before I had the surgery was that I was going to document all the aspects of the process, including the negative aspects of it. The people who’ve had it have said that it was the best decision that they’ve ever made, and that they would do it again, but never talked about the struggles getting there.

The biggest things that happen when going through the surgery is that the abdomen gets pumped full of air. This caused me pain for about a week. It was as bad as when I get trapped air in my chest, which to think about, I don’t think I’ve had that happen in a very long time.  The recommended suggestion is to walk, that way it will help with relieving the gas.

The second hurdle to get through is how the feelings of remorse will hit. Being someone who follows Sleeve groups, I’ve noticed that people start to feel regret either right before, and they get nervous, or after it happened. The worst was when I got to the point where I could eat soft foods. I first time I could have something, it was the first taste that I had the moment of regret overcome me. My wife said that it sounded like postpartum depression. After she said that, it made sense. I did have two-thirds of my stomach removed, and it wasn’t like I could tell the doctors that I didn’t like the feeling so I decided that I wanted my stomach back. This feeling would follow me for several weeks off and on.

The biggest lesson learned was this: It’s a mental game, plain and simple. In truth that’s all the weight loss journey is. If you can mentally over come the reason of why the weight gain-mine was because I was an emotional eater. Depression and a few bouts of shit-getting-to-be-too-much, then the weight loss is a cake walk. Going into the surgery, I kept telling myself that it is a mental game. I went through the process up until that night of confident, and not nervous, until the reality hit about five hours before it was time.

The good news is that after a year, I’m down one-hundred-and-forty-five-pounds. The news that might surprise some people is this: It wasn’t just the surgery that got me there. I know that people might look at this as the easy way to lose the weight. Some might think that after the goal weight is reached, that eating whatever, and how much ever is the end goal. Don’t go with that pattern of thought, because it isn’t how things work. Yes, I lost a lot of weight quickly in the beginning. It felt good to lose fifty-pounds effortlessly. The rest of it has taken hard work and dedication. Life choices had to be changed in order to get myself here. The biggest suggestion the doctors said was to get in ten-thousand steps a day. It sounds like a lot, and holy shit, is it ever. That breaks down to a little over four miles in a day. Imagine traveling four miles by foot, every single day. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always get them in. two-thousand was a lot when I started trying to get my steps.

I started to do weight training to help lose the weight and get stronger. I have a personal trainer. Sam’s been a friend for years, and was glad to take me under his wing to help me lose the weight. The interesting part about my training is that it goes beyond the body, he’s also been helping me mentally and spiritually. I’m truly blessed to have his guidance in my life. With the training, my posture has gotten better, and my confidence has gone up. It’s fascinating to learn that the proper way to lift, and walk, when done right, feels a bit awkward.

So, for my final lesson, I have the most important piece of advice for anyone who wants to take the weight loss journey serious. Have a good support system in place. This is the biggest key to any success. My biggest supporters are my wife and kids. If she didn’t give a shit, then I would have not gone anywhere, but stayed the same. She is my biggest ally in all that I do. My kids want me around for a long time and they are also supportive, my son and I bound over going to the gym together one day a week. He learns, and I get to push myself so that he can see what the hard work and dedication does.

I want to thank the rest of my supporters- you who follow me on social media, subscribe to my blog, and those who know me in the real world, thank you. I’ve been blessed to share this journey with so many who’ve been nothing but supportive and positive. It’s nice to have people rooting for my success. For those who I’ve inspired, I want to give a particular shout out too, because this is part of why I do the things that I’m able to do. I needed to feel like I could help, and getting the heart-felt stories from people who call me their inspiration, it helps to know that is the way I’m going to help change the world, one person at a time.

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

Schools Out: Year One

There’s been a lot of things going on with my personal life, that’s kept me distracted and unmotivated from blogging regularly. I got a memory that popped up on Facebook the other day that reminded me that it was my last day, of my last class for school. Shit, that’s crazy to think that I’ve been out of school for a whole year now. It’s like everything I was working for was but a memory, yet I’ve been more satisfied with myself. I did it, and I did it to the best of my ability.

I’m so glad that I was able to go to school for something that I’ve wanted to do for my whole life, and I will continue to pursue it until the end of time. With that, comes plenty of downsides though. The biggest downside to it is self-doubt. It’s something that I think everyone goes through at some point, and right now this is part of my struggle. There are more positives though.

When I get creative, I’m happy, and building a whole world is amazing. Making thoughts tangible is incredible, it’s truly something awe inspiring. The feeling of taking thoughts, and converting them into words, just to see them be acted out by people is exciting. This was something that I truly discovered over a year ago. I’ve learned so much since then about what I feel comfortable doing, in the different positions, and where my creativity has taken me.

Currently, my biggest roadblock is adding special effects in post, while I’m on the right track for getting it done, it’s been a struggle, and I need to buckle down to get it worked out. This is something I would love to add somebody who’s proficient with After Effects to come in and help me get through this. It would be more efficient and I could get it done right.

Now, something I learned about myself creatively is that my origins for starting stories had to come from a place of tragedy, there’s something about coming back from a dark place that appeals to me as a creator. That’s how my first few stories started, that was what got me out of a writer’s block when I first started. Now, I’m in a place where I can find other things that spark my creativity. Watching movies shows me things that I think I want to try something like that. By the way, film school ruined so many movies for me. I watch them and find inconsistencies as a story teller.

Another problem I think I’m discovering is that my thoughts are everywhere, and I can’t seem to keep focus on just one project, instead, I’ve got several projects started and I’ve been working on, now I just need to organize them and focus, at least I’m getting that focus back as I get back to wanting to get things taken care of.

So, my plan is to concentrate on finishing The Reunion and to get Unexpected Side Trip funded so that we can film it and send it off to festivals. This is our start to actually get noticed as a film company. I’ve been trying to network with other film companies, and filmmakers so that we can have a contributing community. I want to learn from others and create something special. Everything that gets creative even if we find it bad or in poor taste, it just isn’t always for us.

This past year has been amazing, not only creatively, but as a person over all. I do feel that I’ve been slacking a bit, but sometimes life deals us curve balls that we just need to learn to deal with. I’m blessed to have the family I have, even in our rough patches, they are the ones I do so much for. There are things that going on that I’m learning to deal with and I look at them as challenges to over come. In the end, I think that my plans are starting to head in the right position and I plan on getting more things going.

Thanks for staying with me through everything. I’m the director, and that’s a wrap.

Living With A Higher Code

There are times when a celebrity makes an impact on thousands, even millions of people world wide. Elvis, Lennon, Cobain; these are some of the artists who contributed to the meaning to so many lives in this world. With out these artists, the world seemed to grow a bit darker.

This week my childhood died. Rest in peace to the man who had the most impact on my life, Stan Lee. I can’t remember a time that his creations weren’t apart of my life.

When I was small, I would watch Spider-man and His Amazing Friends, or one of the other cartoons based off of his co-creations. I remember reading an article about how today’s super heroes are our modern day mythology, I wish I remember where I read it. It was good. It compared our heroes to the God’s of old, and the entertainment of their stories.

As the father and co-creator of so much that is popular in today’s society, Stan’s stories leave a legacy that defines a generation. For me it starts with what some would call his greatest creation: Spider-man. This character reached so many people because he was the different hero. The alias of Spider-man, Peter Parker was an average kid with everyday problems. He wasn’t considered the good looking, popular person that was the arch-type celebrated at the time. He wasn’t a jock and was considered a geek, when geek wasn’t a celebrated choice. He was described in Amazing Fantasy number fifteen, as a “wall flower”. He was bullied, and didn’t get the girl of his dreams.

That’s probably why he ended up being so popular because he spoke to the realities of most people. When his Uncle Ben was murdered, the quote, “With great power comes great responsibility,” has been something that has spoken to my heart and has stayed with me. Spider-man was who I could relate too, much like Black Panther was a character that the African-American community could relate too. Stan’s stories were made for us.

Note that I did start this blog on Monday as I read of Stan Lee’s death.

I felt a loss that was like I lost a grand parent, I lost a teacher. This was like I lost a mentor, who taught me everything I ever needed to know in life. Grandpa Stan, telling me the stories to entertain and educate. I was fortunate to meet him in 2011 at the San Diego Comic Con, it was a moment that meant so much, because I looked up to his works my whole life. I thanked him for doing the work that impacted my life. I doubt that my personal story with his work, is unique. I mean he had a huge stage, and millions of fans. Some famous people are among the fandom, and I’m glad that I get to see people share the stories of how Stan impacted their lives.

I should say that my love of comic books helped me get into the highest reading level classes in school. My imagination is very open to the strange possibilities of what the impossible can do, and I don’t think many things would surprise me if that happened. (Alien invasion, anyone?) This is what carried on with my high work ethic, and part of the reason I like to help people.

My helping and motivating comes from the lessons learned in the stories that I would read, and I still continue to read to this day. Selfishly, that’s the way I feel when I help someone. It gives me a real glimmer into that world that I so love. I was able to save a friend from taking their life, and it was the greatest feeling, I had that impact, much like the hero’s on the page.

Stan got me to actually like reading and being a fan of comics got me into seeing all the comic movies that would come out. That in turn lead me to seeing the movie that would change the direction of my future. Sin City(2005) was that movie that changed my life. Watching how that movie looked just like a comic, caused me to want to become a director, and that’s one of the great things I get to do these days.

Stan has had an impact on my family as we bound over the love of comics and superheroes. I see that my son loves the Hulk,  and I’ve been able to sit down and read the comics to him. My oldest loves Spider-man, which I was surprised about, but I’m glad that our love for Spidey is something we’ll share over the rest of our lives.

If there could be something I would say to Stan Lee, I would say this: Thank you. Thank you for being the voice of reason, the voice of inspiration, and imagination. Thank you for giving people who felt like losers a safe place to escape too. This world is a harsh place, and your legacy will continue to inspire generations. As a fan of mythology, thank you for giving us a newer, updated mythology to follow. I hope one day to be as inspirational as you, and I thank you for making my life just a bit more enjoyable.