Brain Matter on my Mind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lose And Gain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Helping Others Through The Journey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Turning Up The Motivation

I have so much going on in life. I have many things that could knock me down and keep me from moving forward, yet I choose to keep my head up. I’ve got so much else going on in my head that keeps me going forward. Recent events have reminded me that it’s all in how you respond to the situation at hand.

One of the things that has come up with the change of shifts is that now I’ve been reminded of what the heat is like. I choose to continue to get my steps in, and I’ve had to pay attention to how my body feel so that I don’t over exert myself. I had to take some time and cool off so that I wouldn’t get sick while working. It’s something that I have to be more mindful of as other’s including myself have suffered from heat stress at work.

The scale hasn’t been my friend lately as I’ve not been consistent on when I weight myself and what I’m wearing. My numbers have been jumping around from about two-sixty to about two-six-eight. Those numbers feel a bit deceiving as I’ve weighed on different scales. It’s strange because my clothes still feel like they’re getting bigger on me.

I’ve been having a strange feeling of being uncomfortable in my skin lately. It makes it feel itchy, and sticky. I know that I wear protective wear at work, but it really doesn’t help me being conscious of how much extra skin I have. This has been a new sensation for me, and I feel at odds with it. I find myself battling with wanting to rip my skin off, and wanting to continue to push myself past this to lose more weight.

Something that we ended up doing last weekend was visiting Disneyland. It was something that we had been planning for awhile and we took Sarah’s cousin with us. It was good to watch someone experience their first time, and watching the reactions of my kids are always the best. I laughed at the shouts of joy and fear. I smiled watching everyone get excited for the drops and turns. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was the whole reason we decided to go, so we could check it out finally.

The exciting part of the trip was that I got to stand under the Millennium Falcon, my twelve-year-old-self got to experience something that I never thought that I’d be able to do. The land was exciting,  yet crowded. Seeing the droids, and the different collectables were very nice. We even had breakfast there. This experience really made me realize a few things about The CK Project.

The CK Project is more than about mental health awareness, and my weight loss journey. It’s about living life to the fullest, while bettering one’s own personal self. I think next summer we’ll start going on more adventures. One of the things I want to do is white water rafting. I also want to go cliff diving, and more challenging hikes. Experiences are better than any thing that can be bought in a store. Shared experiences and adventures are what I love to do with my family and friends. I feel that it brings us together and strengthens the bonds we share.

Now more than ever, I think it’s important to remind those we love that we do love them. Hold them, embrace them, remind them that they are important. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve lost people that I’ve known for years, and it reminds me  of the important things in life. That is one of the unfortunate things about getting older; the fact of mortality reminds us more often than not, that life is often too short, and there are times that we take for granted the things we have.

I guess that’s where my motivation has been lately: thinking about the important things. Keeping the outlet going for me to find a level-headedness. Life tends to throw things at us, and it can build up to an unmanageable pile, if we let it get there. I’m doing my best, and that’s all anyone can expect of anyone else.

Well, for a bit of cross promotion, I’m getting ready to do the final parts of the pre-production process to film my next short. Now’s the time to break it down into smaller, more manageable parts. The next process is breaking down the script into a list of characters, props, and scene pieces that are needed.

On top of that, The CK Project is getting ready to march in it’s second parade, and I’m finding things that I will need for a later time to represent the brand better. I feel like a banner will be something that I need to obtain for future things that I’ll be involved with, i.e. videos, marches. What a time to feel like things are really starting to pick up.

This is the director and that’s a wrap.

 

The Position Changes

There are things that happen in a relationship that can change the dynamic. I know that a I’ve talked about how the ideal relationship that’s supposed be fifty-fifty isn’t usually the way things are, and my relationship has never been that. The most beautiful part of my relationship is the fact that I have this wonderful support system that’s been formed as a part of it. I have the most loving and supportive wife, and a great set of kids that do the same.

As I’ve had my struggles with mental health and being overweight, the brunt of a lot of our relationship has been placed on her. No, I don’t think that it’s fair, but it happened that way. Now that I’ve been in a better place, things have come up that have caused me to have to pick up the slack. Sarah was officially diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in November of last year, and we are still discovering everything that is related to her health issues.

We discovered that she doesn’t have Rheumatoid Arthritis, so that is a check in the win column. There were other things that came up in her results that had left me more questions then answers. I also know that we are in for a long journey to get her to where she can deal with her issues in a better manor.

One of the great things is that I do have a support system, and they’ve reached out to me, too help be a support system for her. People that I’ve known longer than I’ve known her, have talked to me personally about it, some who have to deal with Crohn’s themselves. That was the most touching thing that happened while at work.

Relationships, aren’t fifty-fifty, and I think that when the majority shifts in the other direction, that’s what shows what a relationship is truly made of. You see these examples all over Hollywood. Look at Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, as soon as the popularity switched, they were done as a couple. If you explore the net, I’m sure you could find so many more examples, I just don’t have time right now.

Back to the fifty-fifty though: I’m not sure how I’m doing with this change in dynamic. I want to say that this has been the easiest transition, but it hasn’t. It’s been hard to deal with the frustrations that come with Sarah’s problems. I get frustrated because I can’t do much to help her as her joints ache and her body swells. She can’t grip things like she used to and then the frustration of that gets projected on the rest of the family.

I understand her being pissed off because her hands don’t work as well as they used too. I understand that most of the time she doesn’t feel well. I’m frustrated and pissed off for the same reasons, but it’s hard when that energy gets directed in a different direction. I’m trying to be strong for her, but it doesn’t always work out that way.

It’s put some insecurities on me, but I’m overcoming any traces of depression. My frustrations with the situation has caused me to want to quit. I haven’t because I view it as a pretty shitty move, especially since she’s been there for me through everything. I want to help, but most of the time I feel helpless because I know that I can’t just make everything better.

I think that the recent switch in shifts is going to help out so much. I know that it’s helped put me in a better mindset, and that with recent news not going the way I was hoping, I’ve been able to handle everything fairly well. I’m not letting this stuff keep me down, and I hope that all her news won’t keep her down.

I know that while we are dealing with this, other things in life tend to get in the way, i.e. children going through puberty and getting attitude with the hormones. Me, not getting the promotion, us still dealing with the aftermath of the Earthquakes and the aftershocks that keep coming. Yet, we remain vigilant. We will overcome.

John Lennon put a line in his song, Beautiful Boy, and it says that “life is what happens to you, when you’re busy making other plans”. I’ve quoted this line before, and it’s probably one of the most relevant things ever to speak to me, and it’s so true. In the end, we will overcome, we will survive. I’ll do my best to love and support my wife for as long as we are allowed, I just know that it isn’t easy.

I remain diligent on my weight loss journey, and my self care is just as important as it ever was, because if I don’t take care of myself, I’m gonna be useless to my family, even with their own issues.

I leave you with this final thought: We all have a journey that we take in life, we all represent something that we stand for. Some people take this serious, some don’t care for how they represent themselves. My own representation has evolved over the years, as I was toxic to myself, more than others. I had close minded ideology, and I needed to change. I now represent positivity, and stand for physical and mental health. The uplifting of others is how I choose to present myself to others as well.

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

Fix That Motivation With Time

I have been off of the nightshift for two weeks now, and I can’t say how much happier I am. It felt like the last six-months has been nothing but a dream. I am aware that I did some things, but I felt like I was in a fog for most of the time. My days were filled with zombified waling around.

I think part of the problem was that the night shift made me feel a bit lonely. I was reduced to being in bed with my wife for only two nights a week. There wasn’t many people coming through where I was stationed at night, and the night’s that I got the easiest post, I would begin to feel even more secluded. At least I could generally get in my steps with no problems.

Now that I have hours that the normal, sane, living person has, I am getting more of my creative flow back. I’ve been writing more than I had been in the last six months, and my mind is on fire with creativity and ideas to get things back on track. So, I’m back to providing content, and life is feeling good again.

There were things that I was thankful for about night shift though. The weather was over all cooler, and being back in one-hundred-degrees-plus during the day time reminded me of that. Oh and the fact that the earthquakes happened at that time. I don’t think I would have wanted to deal with the amount of people trying to get access to places they couldn’t because of the damage.

Getting back on track of things though, I’m thankful that there are people who do like the night shift. They are a special breed of people that thrive there, and I’m just not one of them. I mean I did well enough, but I just found that it wasn’t my cup of tea.

I’m finding that getting into the full swing of being on a normal shift seems to be taking me a bit longer than I expected to adjust, however I do know how resilient I can be. The 10,000 steps I take, seem to be a bit of a struggle to get too in the heat, but I know that it will be worth it in the end.

The shift in my mindset has been noticeable, as I’m working almost constantly to get more content out. If I’m not actually doing it, I seem to be thinking about it. My sleep patterns have gotten so much better. There really is something to be next to the person that I’ve spent almost half of my life with. I sleep better, and she sleeps better. Even my dog sleeps better.

With that being said, while I’ve had some set backs on getting the big content I wanted out. I have made the steps necessary to get that moving. We did some test shots last night as a part of getting ready to film our short. Re-writes are underway as I continue to work on getting the script ready to shoot. I’m just glad that I’m getting that motivation back to get things done.

I’m not sure if the night shift was conducive with my mental health, but I did learn so much about myself while being on there, and my appreciation for the people I deal with has grown. I’ve gotten so many reactions about not being seen for six months or more, and it makes me feel good to know that I was missed.

Sometimes I feel like I don’t make much of a difference in people’s lives, but then the reactions tell me otherwise. It reminds me of when I was in a darker mindset that if I wasn’t around, then nobody would miss me. I don’t actually think that way anymore because of all the praises and comments I get on a daily basis. Getting called an inspiration does feel good, and being able to reach out a helping hand has built in a new confidence in me.

The biggest thing that I can say about walking away from night shift is that I realized that I learned a part of my job that wasn’t likely to get too during the day shift and if that skill even needed to be applied during the busy hours, I could accomplish that aspect of the job.

Things have been set in motion and I can only look forward from here on out, I don’t ever think I will volunteer to go back on night shift, however if something was to force me onto it, I think I would survive it just fine.

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

Sometimes We Fail, and Sometimes We Succeed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shifting Gears And Shifts: Better Days Ahead

So I finally am free of the night shift at work. It was a great experience, and I’m glad I did it, however it seemed to keep me in a zombified state for the last six months. To be quite honest, I felt like there was what seemed like a pause on life for awhile being on this shift.

It’s funny that as I got towards the end of my time on the night shift, I started to feel like I was starting to finally get the hang of it, and now I have to adjust to the fact that I’m back on a reasonable schedule again. I had done many days of staying up for over twenty-four hours to spend time with the family, and I’m glad that won’t have to happen again.

Truth is this: The hours were easy, the part I didn’t like was that it would take me away from being home at night with the family. After being with the same woman for over eighteen years, it was hard to only spend two-nights a week in the same bed with her there. It made it difficult for my children to stay quiet while “daddy” slept. Otherwise, it was easy.

Now that I got that out of the way, let’s get to the points that this blog is about, mental health and weight loss. Sometimes, it leans more towards one than the other, but I’m going to adjust to both tonight.

I could easily get in my 10,000 steps in a night, and even get an additional 10,000 before the shift was over. The weather was cooler, and I had a lot of time to myself to work on my physical condition. I picked up on doing about one-hundred wall push-ups a night, and it kept me busy. I would often leave at the end of my shift physically tired from the cardio and strength training. This part was the simplest of the job, I got to learn skills that I hadn’t had the chance to work on before, and so I know it added to my capabilities as a worker.

Now, there were nights that I had even less contact with people, and there were a few times that my thoughts would go to insecure places. It happened a few times, but at least I was able to work through those moments. The best thing was that I was doing my best to keep busy, both mind and body.

Quick Disclaimer: I felt like it had been a long time since I actually wrote substance, and I want to give better details on what’s been going on.

I had to pass a physical agility test at work in April, this I know that I’ve stated, however I hadn’t really talked about where that was going to take me. I had passed and I started to make moves to get myself a promotion. Within the last couple of weeks, I was able to have an interview, and it looks promising. I’m not going to say that I nailed all the questions that I had been asked, but I feel that I did okay. I feel that I was able to competently get through the gauntlet of questions, and show that I would be capable of the said position that I’m  trying for.

I’ve had friends and co-workers ask if I knew anything about getting the job, an I don’t know yet. I suppose that I will be finding out here in a couple of weeks how I did. Hell, I might just see if I can run into one of the decision makers, and see if they could at least give me a hint on the progress there.

A mental health win is the fact that I’ve never felt so supported in achieving a better position as I do now. I’ve come to discover that I have some of the best co-workers that I’ve ever had in the eleven-plus years doing my job. As a matter of fact, it was at the suggestion of more than one co-worker that I actually would be good in a higher standing position at work, and that was part of what motivated me to try and get to that next step.

Now, I’m finding challenges adjusting to my job with this 100-plus degree heat, and the fact that I work outside most of the time, trying to get those steps in. I know that I have to reacclimatize to the hottest part of the day, but I also feel better having a more busy pace at work. It helps the work week go by so quickly.

At least pushing through the heat is helping my steps give me more of a sweat! Mentally I feel better seeing people that I’ve talked to for years at my job, and I’m pumped for the changes that should be coming my way.

I will be pushing out far more content with the blogs, vlogs, and various other things that I work on. I’m back and ready to be here for you all. With that, this is the director, and that’s a wrap.

Alone with My Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?