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.

The One-Sixty Point

So, I stepped on the scale the other day to do my weigh-in update, and I was fully clothed and I couldn’t process the number of 271.2 pounds. For a minute I couldn’t think about if I had lost or gained weight. I replaced the batteries because they were low, and took off my shoes to check in again and saw 269.9. I even checked it three more times. Yep, I lost more weight, six pounds as a matter of fact. It was strange that I couldn’t fathom the thought that I had lost that much in such a short amount of time.

Even more craziness is the fact that I haven’t been this weight since we first moved to California in 1997. It’s like I finally shedded off all the stress weight that had haunted me from the last nineteen years. Could this be part of the next part of a new phase for my life? My depression has been under better control than ever before, and life is taking off in unexpected directions.

I’m in a pants size that I hadn’t been in since high school, and that’s even more incredible. I find that funny that as I’ve lost weight, the places that I’ve lost inches and changed shape in areas that I wasn’t quite expecting. I guess that’s why twenty-two years ago, things hung on me different than they do now. Different movements, exercises, it’s crazy. Though I think it’s far different now, because experience has given me a different look at being disciplined  in life, and how my values have changed.

Today things are different because I’ve found the path in life that I wanted to take. I mean I knew at a young age that I wanted to eventually be a father. Yes, it’s not been easy, especially since my eldest child is way too much like me, and we’ve often times butted heads because of it. I never regretted having children, and they are everything to me. I love them, even the one who isn’t my blood, she’s a great kid, even if we struggle with some of her experiences in her early childhood. I’m not sure the want of kids because I was raised an only child, I do wonder if that could be why?

I think the decisions to becoming a filmmaker, and in turn a blogger, and then a podcaster was the focus I needed in order to embrace that which made me, who I was, both good and bad. I’ve added the layers to help become the person I am.

Becoming a director and to tell stories was given because it was a skill that I ended up developing when I was younger and telling stories. It’s the outlet I always needed, as I’ve been involved in various forms of entertainment since I was in grade school. Writing was something that I discovered that I enjoy as well.

Dealing with depression and viewing others experiences, and losses had lead me to blog about my struggles, as a means to help express myself, and always had the hope that others would find some sort of enlightenment from it. I’ll admit that wasn’t the only motivation to blog. The other reason was that I wanted to become a better writer, and apply that to my scripts. So far, I think that it’s come along quite aways. Again, I have no regrets in that decision.

I had the idea of becoming a podcaster for a while. It was always one of those ideas that I had in the back of my mind and we had toyed with it a couple of times before we found a solution that would work for us to present our material. As we go along, we’ll get better and develop better techniques. Again, hosting has been an idea that I wanted to do.

160 pounds down, and it feels that life is just really starting to take off. It motivates me to get more done. Life is getting better, and I’m always glad that people have taken to joining me on this journey. It really gives me a sense of validation, and I have a few who have been more than vocal about the changes they see. The praises are more than humbling, and it drives me to do even better.

I had no real direction, and I had to find a point to start to put my life back together. If you ever feel that way, the first thing I would suggest is take a long hard look at yourself, and ask the question, “why do I feel this way?” It’s not always an easy answer, and sometimes it ends up being a bitter pill to swallow when the answer smacks you in the face, but don’t deny it. It’s easy to be in denial about oneself, I’ve been there a few times, at least. If you can get over the ego, and the pride, you will grow. I think that self improvement is the only way to better themselves. The key to find myself was to invest in myself, and it’s gotten so much better.

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

Stuck In A Box

As I sit here, I find that I’m having a feeling of frustration. It’s a bit windy out and the night shift has me pondering all sorts of crazy things. I feel that I need to find a way to better fill some of my time up. I think that I should start brining my scripts to work on while I’m at work, during my down time. That’s after I do get my 10,000 steps in a night at work. I can’t forget that’s part of the reason I decided to take the night shift at work.

As the weather gets better, I know that I will continue to keep the momentum up. I’m not a fan of the cold wind that presents itself to me when I’m doing the work outside of my box. Losing the weight, I really notice the cold now. Yet it’s nice to be on a shift that I’ve gotten to meet and talk to a different set of people than I’ve been used too.

I think part of what’s been driving me crazy is that I get stuck searching the messengers for people to talk to, or the updates between the social medias. I’m finding late at night, Twitter seems to be the more active late at night than any of the other social medias that I follow.

One of the small reliefs that I’m able to enjoy is a mini vacation at the end of the month, where I’ll be able to go to Wonder Con, and geek  out on all the things I’m passionate about.  For a set of five days, I’ll actually be back on a normal schedule, and be able to sleep next to the wife that I’ve slept next too for most of the last eighteen years. Yeah, the night shift has been rough on most of the family because of my absence at night.

The bright side is that I’m counting down my time, and I’m about three-and-a-half-months until I can switch shifts again. Oh, and someone reached out to me on LinkedIn to discuss a possible job offer too me. I hope that this interaction leads to something amazing, because it would be great to have a new opportunity for professional growth, and it would be even cooler if that job was seeking me out.

Sometimes my box at work gets me to thinking a wide variety of things. As I’ve discussed before I’ve had some dark times at work, and then I sometimes get the feeling of loneliness, but I’ll never revert back to those dark times. Those feelings where the worst, and seeing people with those same kinds of feelings made me feel even worse than I had already felt. Seeing people end their own lives actually made me feel guilty, because I had felt that way. I’m not even sure if that was an appropriate response, but that’s how I felt.

Even in those brief moments in time now days, life has gotten better. Hell, this week marked my one-year since I graduated from Los Angles Film School, and it feels so good to have that accomplishment. If it wasn’t for all the events that happened so long ago, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Am I where I want to be? Not completely, but I know that I’m heading in the right direction. After releasing The Reunion(2019), last week, and getting the feedback that I did, I’m on the right path. Positive reactions, and being told that I’ve done a good job, and even got asked about specific aspects of the process, has shown where the talent lies.

The avenue of podcasting has been another topic at hand between me and a several people lately. The comments on that have also been surprisingly positive. I’ve always been one to shine when it came to personality and charisma(not my own words, I promise), and I guess this really shows where the talent lies as well.

I’m blessed to have the support system, and they enjoy putting the work in these projects as well. Some of those in my family seem a bit more eager than others, but it’s beautiful that I can share these passions with them, and watch as everyone grows into something more.

Has anyone else ever felt stuck in a box? How do you deal with the feelings that come with it? Where I work, I actually work in a small building that feels like a box, and getting to talk with customers is probably the best part of the job. No, matter what happens to my future, I’ve been lucky enough to make friends both out of co-workers, and customers, and some of those customers have becomes some of my strongest supporters. Hell, one even hooked me up with a place to film Nash Gray(2017). Customer service has always been my strong point in the professional world, and I think most jobs require some sort of customer service, no matter the industry. So, that’s a tip, learn good communications and customer service skills, because both seem to be lacking in the world today.

This is 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.

 

 

 

Hey Jealousy, Stop That Negativity

Going through the life changing events in my life has revealed so much about some of the people that I have to deal with throughout my days. While most are decent and very supportive, there are those individuals that bring nothing but hate and discontent wherever they might be. While this is nothing new to me, I do feel that addressing the toxicity of possible jealously brings out of people towards myself, and others.

Some people are never happy, and they bring that negative energy with them wherever they might go. Fortunately, the individual’s that I could be referring to, have come across as cowardly because they’ve not said such things to my face. To be honest, it saddens me, yet maybe it’s for the best that they keep the words said away from me. I know them words to not be true, and I wish those people the best.

I have to wish them the best because I’ve always been able to read people and I see that they don’t feel happiness in their lives. Some of them decide to blame the worst of their situations on others, and not accept that their actions have brought misery on themselves. How hard is it accept that the misery that has been caused was a person’s own doing?

This, ladies and gentlemen is a toxic person. They usually come off self-entitled, and ungrateful. They never want to congratulate anyone for their achievements, and if they do, you can tell it isn’t heartfelt. They expect the world is owed to them and never want to be thankful for what they have.

The things that I do, are for mine and my family. I will say that I’ve been blessed with a fantastic amount of support, and it helps keep me motivated in those times I don’t feel like keeping it up. I’m actually surprised by the amount of positive that has come into my life with the whole journey that my life has been going on for the last several years. Yet, there are those neigh sayers out there still.

As my mom has been in the hospital, there was an amazing amount of support from both friends, and family. As a matter of fact, people who aren’t directly associated with me, have seemed to ask in support of this tough time. If I was a more emotional person, I think I would cry about the beautiful support from my fellow travelers on this earth. It’s truly awesome the concern shown, from co-workers as well.

The wonderful new on that is that my mom was brought home last night. It was a great way to end my fortieth birthday. I got to have my mom come home. I went and spent time with her today, and I know that this is going to be a long road to follow, but I think she will over come, because she’s a fighter, and I know this because she raised this pain in the ass.

Going back to the original point of this post, get rid of the negative, and you’ll be much happier. I know that it isn’t always easy, because sometimes it’s a family member. There’s been a few family members that we’ve had to cut out of our lives. Yet we get blamed for our decisions because of it.

Life is too short to hold on to the bad, and toxic people love to drag people down. They drain people of their time, energy, and sometime finances. I’ve actually had to cut out some longtime friends because they were just too toxic. I’ve also been too forgiving and had let them back into my life a few times, and each of those times ended with the same result. There are some that I’ve remained friends with, but only from a distance because I know what they are, and I’m always ever hopeful that they will finally learn their lessons, and grow to be the better person that I know they can be.

There have been times where some of them had come up to me, and told me that I was right, and they wish that they would have learned sooner. There’s a part of me that sometimes wishes that I would say that I told them so. After all,  I’m not perfect, and I know that I shouldn’t let that bit of pride escape my lips. At least those who have, generally have turned their lives around, but too much has gone on to let them back in with open arms.

Forgiving someone can be hard. It took me many years to forgive my ex-wife for the things that happened. By forgiving her, I in turn ended up forgiving myself, because I had my own faults during our time. We were both young, and didn’t know what the hell we were doing. I had to forgive her as a part of my own personal growth.

That’s the key there, anything you do should help you with your own personal growth. Try and see your own flaws, and get rid of them. If you can’t see them, someone will, and if they care enough they’ll point them out, and help you over come them. My weight loss journey is just another part of my own personal growth. My schooling was another part of my growth. Sometimes the shitty parts take you back, and you don’t think you can go any farther, but that’s just not the case. If you find a way pass the bad times, your growth can go so much farther than you would ever expect, and that’s a beautiful thing.

Keep it positive, and continue to grow. This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

 

When Considering Weight Loss

Being heavy set most of my life, I’ve had a very hard time with self image. I’m fortunate in not having Body Dysmorphic Disorder(adaa.org), however I found insecurity in the way I looked and was ashamed to have any part of my body exposed in public. That pressure got a bit worse as I got older and heavier.

I had let myself get to a point where I was going to eat myself to death, and I didn’t really care. At worst, I hated myself at what I became, and I didn’t feel like I was in the body that I belonged in. Yes, I know that this is things that I’ve gone over before, but I want to give some advice for anyone who wants to loose weight.

There are several ways to loose weight, we’ve seen the commercials for Atkins, Weight Watchers, Hydroxy Cut, and I’m sure questions about which one is the right way to loose the weight, and keep it off? In my experience, there is no one right way. The truth is this: eating right and maintaining an active life style is the only true way to keep healthy.

If you decide to go on pills, or diet drinks, then that would be something that would be apart of the rest of your life. Just like any of the other options, it takes commitment. That’s the key here, commitment.

That’s what the whole weight loss journey is about, commitment. It’s not going to say that you have to be spot on all the time. There are cheat days for a reason. I’m not always spot on. I’ve had moments that I’ve over indulged. The thing to remember is that one cheat day isn’t the end of all the hard work, and the next choice can put you back on track.

Remember, the weight didn’t get put on over night, and it won’t come off over night. So don’t get discouraged. I had the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, it was the tool that I needed to get me to the point where I could help get myself to lose the weight. It’s not cheating, but this is perhaps one of the most serious choice decisions to make. This can’t be reversed, and the only way to go is to have a full by pass.

So, my success story seems to have inspired you to get the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy? You want to lose 148.1 pounds like I did? So, here is the things you need to learn, and accept before even going for it. First off, you need to strongly consider your relationship with food, and if you’re willing to change that relationship. Thinking that you can’t change, or aren’t willing to change, has to go out the window. If you want to be successful, then you have to be willing to make those changes. If you think that you’ll lose all this weight, then go back to eating like you used too, stop, right, there. This isn’t for you.

Now, if you can accept all of this, that’s good, but there’s more. The surgery is going to change you, and not just the removal of two-thirds of the stomach, but hormones are going to change. There’s probably going to be bouts of depression that will hit. Just remember, that it’s a mental game. Once you can accept this, you can accomplish anything.

As I’ve been doing this journey for almost two years, and thirteen months since I had the surgery there are things that I’m preparing myself for, and you’ll have too as well. The big on is the fact that as a big person, you’re going to have saggy skin. My trainer and friend Sam says that’s the punishment we get for treating our bodies bad. I’ve heard people getting depressed about the the way they look after having the loss of their fat, but feel that disappointed. Some people get the skin removal, and I am strongly considering it. I’ll donate it to burn victims. That way, I can turn my negative into a positive for other people.

If you can handle all of this, and have the willingness to  change. I wish you the best, and hope you reach out and share your own personal journey with me. 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.

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.