Fruit Cake?

Oh the weather outside is frightful…and so is fruit cake!

Traditional-Fruit-Cake

I was at a Christmas party with friends over the weekend and discovered that someone who I have known for years actually likes fruit cake.  Considering I didn’t realize that anyone actually consumed the gelatinous creations, I was even more shocked that someone I consider a friend considers them a delicacy.

It is amazing what you can find out about people if you just ask questions and listen.  In the same way that a fruit cake has all kinda “stuff” that is surrounded with different types of “goo” and shaped with some type of special “filling”, most of the people in your life are similarly fruit cake-ish.  Considering I don’t know how you actually consume an actual fruit cake (I believe that it is sliced, but possibly it is pulled like pork, I’m not sure), I can’t make this metaphor preserve nearly as well as the magic of a jelly loaf.  In whatever way you gain access to your seasonal party in your mouth I would assume that it makes a sound when you cut into it.  I’ve asked people questions over the years that I clearly remember hearing a sound in the pregnant pause while they were attempting to create an answer.

Are you still seeing her?

What happened that night after the concert?

Did you mean for your hair to end up that way?

If a horse is a horse of course of course, how much wood could a woodchuck chuck?

Silence can be some of the loudest moments of your life.

FC appears to be a fairly busy taste concoction.  I’m betting that no two bites are the same (either because of the layers of fruit or the fact that the actual loaf has changed its physical properties several times since its actual preparation).  There’s a lot of challenge when you are really asking questions but one of the biggest is that each successive question can give you not only a different answer but a completely different set of questions.  If you didn’t know that someone had a certain experience until you asked, you definitely don’t know where the conversation is heading next. Listening is a skill but we don’t give asking questions any credit for being an equally important skill.

Ultimately I think the most magical thing about squishy fruit bread is the fact that not only is it a holiday spectacular but it stays, in its current state, FOREVER.  One of my bits of advice I’ve given to my female friends over the years when they were interested in boys is for them to pay attention to the amount of questions he asks about you.  When someone is genuinely interested in you, they want to know you and ask lots of questions about you and your life.  Answers don’t go away, they stay with you forever.  You may not be able to recall them all, but they are there…in the same state they were given to you.  That knowledge of the people in your life is what creates depth in relationships.  I think we all crave deep, meaningful relationships (at least we crave them more than fruit cake).

After we were done teasing our friend about fruit cakes we continued with our festivities.  There were several other moments in the evening where I learned new things about my friend’s lives.  Luckily I was not required to actually learn what fruit cake does to one’s pallet after white wine.  In the interest of full disclosure, I did sample fruit cake once in my twenties…it has now replaced a filling I lost in a tooth since it is still with me all these years later.

Ciao

SK

41 Things…

My birthday is this week and I will be 41 years old.  So in honor of a birthday that gets little to no run in the list of important ones (no one really has a blow out 41st bday bash), I thought I’d share 41 things I’ve learned over my 41 years.

  1. Everyone wants to be loved, but very few of us are really good at loving someone…it really takes work to do it well
  2. Parenting is the hardest, most frustrating, and challenging thing I’ve ever done; but it also is the one thing that the reward is guaranteed to be greater than that challenge, frustration, and difficulty
  3. Eyeball the people you love the most and you’ll see not only who you love but who you’ve become
  4. All great relationships grow in conflict not in peace.  This is not to say fight all the time to get better, but it is when you have disagreement and compromise that you truly grow closer
  5. The highs are never as high as the lows are low (especially if you’re a sports fan lol)
  6. Start saving money and being healthy today…they both get harder the older you get
  7. Smoking sucks, don’t shorten you life with nicotine
  8. We all have way too much stuff…throw some out before you put away your Christmas presents
  9. Naps are underrated
  10. When you die…people will miss you…A LOT
  11. If you know who you are and what you want in life and can accept people for who they are and what they want…you win
  12. You need people in your life that love you enough to meet you where you are but love you so much they don’t leave you there
  13. Read stuff…a lot of stuff…it’ll make you a better person
  14. Peek a boo is always funny…you grow up and it becomes hide and seek and then you get old and it becomes surprise parties and then you become a grandparent and it is peek a boo…but it is still funny
  15. Most referees and officials aren’t very good at all levels.  You just have to play against and through their incompetence
  16. You need to learn to drive a stick shift…invaluable life tool
  17. The two most important things I learned in school were typing and word problems…life is all about the keyboard and problem solving
  18. Try different stuff, you never know when something will change your life
  19. The greatest commandment is to Love…if God says it is the most important we should listen, he did make the moon and the stars
  20. You have two choices in life…you can either make the movie or be part of it
  21. I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor and I prefer happy
  22. Not everyone is kissing compatible
  23. You never know when it’ll be the last time, so make sure to enjoy the ride
  24. Handwritten letters and cards to people…they’ll love it
  25. Caffeine is the devil (so is commercial TV for that matter)
  26. Blue ink is better than black
  27. God wants you to be the real you with him.  He knows what you did last night, stop trying to leave it out of your prayers
  28. Moms are amazing
  29. If you just show up to work every day and put in a good effort, you’re way-way ahead of the game
  30. Bucket lists are cool but I would say, just do stuff when the opportunity arises
  31. If you celebrate your bday for a week it makes it better
  32. Benadryl is the most powerful drug in the universe
  33. Your hair will grow back or you can always cut your hair.  Change up your look from time to time.
  34. Pedicures are amazing
  35. Every once in a while move the furniture and take a different route to work, I love routine but there are other ways to look at the world.
  36. Keep all your skinny clothes and throw away your fat clothes, don’t give yourself a backup plan for your waistline
  37. Alex Rodriguez is seriously the worst dude ever
  38. You can break your worst, most destructive habit
  39. Apologies are for the offender, not the offended.  Forgiveness what you need but not what you want when you have been done wrong
  40. Haters hate, that’s what they do…Wasting your time worrying about them just makes them stronger
  41. A year from now you’ll be a year older…you have control on whether that model is an upgrade or not

Ciao

SK

Do you remember?

I will go out on a limb and say that most, if not all, of us has a great moment we look back on where we were “in pretty good shape”.  It may have been playing sports in high school or when you completed a race in your 20s or after a biggest loser challenge at work in your 30s.  There’s some cool memory you have where you felt pretty good about who was looking at you in the mirror.

Mine was in my 20s and playing pick up basketball ALL THE TIME.  There is zero exaggeration in all the time.  I was probably on some kind of basketball court five days a week.  I played basketball instead of going out.  I wasn’t really trying to be in shape, we were just having fun and the by-product was I could run and jump and had a little bit of stamina and strength, pretty freaking awesome.

Fast forward from that happy picture you have in the full length mirror to the pictures you take now that are just of your increasingly round-ish face.  I was trying to think the other day when I got fat.  As with most things it is a slow and arduous process to reach the rotund physique that I created in my soon to be 41-year-old body.  I do recall a moment though when I was getting out of the shower and realized that my fat rolls on my back were now touching each other (sexy imagery I know).

Being sloppy was pretty fun though, aside from the aches, pains, shortness of breath, and ice packs.  I just ate and slept and ate some more.  I was lucky enough that my fat-boy was still able to be a fairly active dude.  Those good genetics allowed me to just keep on keeping on with my life because “it wasn’t that bad”.

I remember being smaller, but I really don’t remember what it felt like to be “in good shape”.

I remember the feeling of getting excited about a buffet

I remember the mouth-watering goodness of birthday cake

I remember eating a third plate in one sitting of a holiday meal

But I don’t recall what if felt like to actually be fairly fit…that’s pretty sad.

I remember someone telling me once that while recovering from alcoholism he had to create “new tapes” that would play in his head.  He had to create new responses for the situations his entire life that had previously been to take a drink.  I want some new healthy tapes too.  I’d like to know what waking up and craving green smoothies instead of chicken biscuits feels like.  Maybe I can automatically enjoy an apple the way I’ve enjoyed a Twix my entire life.

Reset

Restart

Re-live

Timehop is a pretty cool app that goes back into your social media archive and shows you what you posted in previous years.  There has been tons of cool stuff but something I have also realized

DUDE I’VE BEEN FAT A LONG TIME

and I’ve been putting it out there a long time and I’ve been fighting it a long time.

Finding that 20 something basketball kid isn’t about a resolution or a plan or a program.  That kid didn’t have any of that.  He just played and lived.  That kid didn’t eat great but that kid also knew that if he wanted to be able to not suck on the court that night I couldn’t destroy five trips back through the buffet line either.

Reset

Restart

Re-live

Making new memories takes time and most of us hate that part so we’d rather just keep pulling up the mental VCR on the old memories that are comfortable and safe.  Gang you can’t find a VHS tape now to save your life, yet you won’t upgrade your mental Beta tapes for fear of losing something special.  I think it is a good day to try this fancy new HD life guys…come on, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Ciao

SK

Excuses, excuses, excuses

This is the part of a blog where the writer tells you all the reasons he hasn’t been writing.

Fill in the blank _______________________________________________________________ is why I haven’t been blogging.

More than anything else, I just haven’t taken the time and sat down and wrote.  Writing is like running for me.  I love to do them both, but I have to schedule time for both activities and sometimes I just get lazy and stop.  Luckily I always come back because I love them both so.  Usually It takes a little bit of motivation for me to get on board and come back and today is no different.

Now for those of you interested in juice stuff, I have been actually writing down recipes and I will be creating a separate section on the blog for juicing and juice fast type things.  I’m not going to commit to when I’ll get it up, but hopefully before my next fast (January 5 if any of you want to start planning now).

This fitness journey for me really start with Carlos Whitaker and his #fitbyfourth initiative he started back in the summer.  That got me moving, fasting got some weight off and changed habits, and I’ve just kept at it.  Well ‘Los is back at it again with #fitbyfirst coming at us right now.  31 days to get a jump-start on a healthier me.  I’ve really done well watching what I eat, exercising, and continuing to lose weight, but everyone likes a little motivation from time to time.  One of the keys to the Journey with ‘Los is to journal.  I have terrible handwriting, so one again I’ll be bringing my journal here to share with you guys.

The first couple of days are easy…Take a before picture, make a video to yourself from yourself, and do the fitness test.  All items are complete and I’m ready to get after it.  2015 will be my year to get back into the under 200 lb club.  I also have plans for a half marathon and wait for it…muscles!!!!  I also have a pile of personal and financial things that I have been working on and improving that will continue to move forward for me.

So I’m back…again…don’t hate me because I’m wishy-washy, just love me because…well…just because I need love darnit.

 

Ciao

 

SK

So you wanna fast?

Next week I’m going to start my second round of a ten day juice fast.  I knew after the first one that I would want to make it a regular part of my life.  I’ve maintained pretty good eating habits since I finished round one, but my eating schedule and juice intake has gotten off since I started my new job.  The holidays are also coming and I want to reset things, plus my body it’s actually craving some green juice.

One of the cool things about juicing is people ask me about it and I get to get a testimonial on my results.   There’s also been a handful of people that have tried or are interested in trying juicing.  So this time I’m going to attempt to give a playbook of what I’m doing. 

The tools needed for this experiment are simple.  You need a juicer (not a blender), a blender (we will be doing smoothies with this fast), 12/18 small 12 ounce containers that are refillable, a scale, a tape measure, and a camera. 
The appliances are self explanatory, part of this process is making the juices yourself from fresh fruits and vegetables.  The containers are needed because you need to be able to carry them everywhere you go and have easy access to them.  The scale, tape measure, and camera are for progress.  The pictures and measuring will probably be harder for some of you than the actual fast.  I promise that when you finish and as you get healthier, you’ll want to see where you came from. 

I’ll lay out the plan and the first grocery list in the next few days.  Come on and try it, you don’t have anything to lose but pounds.

Ciao

SK

Basement Living

Basements are pretty neat creations.  They are dark and cool.  A lot of them have huge TV’s or super cool workout facilities.  Some people put customized bars or maybe a movie theater or a bowling alley.  Even the unfinished variety are cool places to store stuff and keep things out of sight.  The basement is generally one of the best places in a home.

A radio host that I listen to always refers to going in the basement when he is on vacation.  I adopted this term to describe when I want to go away on a vacation from life.  But unlike the physical hole in the ground below your home or his metaphorical place to reset from work, my basement is not really a good place.

I went missing and into the basement for about a month when I discovered that I would be losing my job.  I have had a tough time the last few years with jobs…some related to the economy, some related to me making bad choices, and some related to just plain stupidity.  I unplugged from writing and I shut down from friends.  The entire time I am down there I am telling myself that I need to get out before it goes completely dark.

As fate would have it I was able to find a new job and new direction and another new start.  It has been a month of learning the new job as best I can and trying to find a new routine for eating, exercise, and even writing.  The same thing that got me writing before is doing it again, as I prepare to take on another 10 day juicing adventure.  Hopefully this time I can get some of you guys to go along with my craziness.

I missed this keyboard and I missed these words and I also missed the fast.  It was so good for my body but it was also amazing for my mind.  I believe it is a good time to give it a rip again and see how round two goes for me.

Basements are only really cool when they are a part of your house and not necessarily when you stay down there full-time.  I’m back and the light feels good.

Ciao

SK

Ice, Ice Baby

Unless you have been under a rock the past few weeks, I’m guessing that you have either seen or actually dumped a bucket of ice water on your head as part of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge.  It has been an amazing example in what happens when the internet is good and something goes viral.  I donated, but I didn’t dump the water.

I love when people get motivated and involved, but unfortunately it is usually Haley’s comet and doesn’t become a lifestyle.  I wonder if people will match their donations and fervor next year when there are no videos and no challenges?

Most of my life has been an ALS challenge.  I get moved and motivated and I make some great change or have some outward expression of change, but unfortunately it was about as long as these videos.  Real change is progress and not viral.  There are no viral campaigns for sensible diet and exercise.  There is not a get an education video challenge anywhere that includes 90 seconds of someone reading Beowulf.  Some things just take time.

I hope this outpouring of funding directly leads to a cure.  That is something permanent.  I’m shooting for something permanent personally.  Part of the process is writing, part of it is planning, but the bulk of it is doing.

Happy Friday everyone…you can thank me later

 

Ciao

 

SK

Gooooooaaaaaaaalllllllllllll

I ran into a friend over the weekend and they had seen my Facebook posts and asked how the fast was and complimented me on my success.  Then he hit me with a question, that I really hadn’t thought about:

“So what’s your goal?”

If you know me offline, there’s a pretty good chance you know that I love goals and goal setting.  It is in my DNA but somewhere during this process I totally forgot to think about what in the world I wanted to accomplish for this to be a success.

Of course I want to lose more weight, but how much?

Of course I want to be healthier, but how do I measure that?

Of course I want to look good in a speedo, but really who actually wears a speedo?

I also need to work on some type of reward for reaching this goal.  I’m always looking for something to celebrate, so this could be yet another reason for a party, right?  I realize that my body is not like anyone’s else body so I need to use my data to see where I need to land in order to be healthy, so let’s do the word problem…

Body Fat Chart

 

 

 

 

 

 

Based off of my last measurements (231 lbs and 26.38% body fat), I am carrying around 61 lbs of fat.  No I didn’t stutter, I’m carrying around a 7 yr old boys worth of fat on a daily basis.  No wonder my blood pressure is high and I haven’t felt well.  In order for me to get into the “fitness” category I would need to lose approximately 27 lbs of fat.  That would bring my goal weight to 204 lbs and my body fat to 16.67%.  On a safe weight loss goal of one pound per week, that puts my target date as approximate March 1, 2015.  That really can’t be all the goals I have though right?

I want to complete another 7 day juice fast in November and another one in January.

I want to complete a “how to” .pdf/book/pamphlet and make it available to the masses before the November fast.

I want to complete a minimum of one 5k in 2014.

I want to complete 6 races of various lengths in 2015.

I want to keep my daily calorie intake under 2000.

I want to completely overhaul this blog and turn it into something special.

I want to get my blood pressure to a normal, healthy level.

They, whoever they is, say that putting your goals in writing increases the likelihood of them becoming reality.  I don’t have time to waste.

************This blog post has been sponsored by the sodas and candy that I no longer crave and that I hope will be dead to me forever************

 

Ciao

 

SK

So now what…

As awesome as it was to do the 10 day fast, it had to come to an end.  Which means going back to the world of French Fries and cheese dip and fried everything.  Wow this is intimidating.  There is an entire world of bad choices out there advertising, attracting, and dangling my favorite foods in my face.  Being fat is a whole lot more fun than being healthy.  Being fat doesn’t require me doing any preparation or thinking about anything.  All I have to do is decide and then consume and then repeat.  I also have the challenge that involves my taste buds and the fact that I don’t have any experience eating healthy ever.

The first weekend, post fast, was a pretty normal weekend.  There was a basketball tournament, baseball workout, baseball scrimmage, Xbox, fantasy football draft, running around, and general time-consuming chaos for three days.  There were plenty of opportunities to fall off the wagon and snack or cheat or generally go back to being that guy.

I still have to plan

  • It was such a key when on the fast, actually having my juices ready to go and easily accessible made the fast a success.  I believe that it is even more important going forward.  Now that I have the ability to eat Big Mac’s whenever I want I need to plan and schedule out my juices and meals accordingly.

Buying produce is harder than I thought

  • I sat in Publix trying to buy juicing items and I realized that I do not have a clue what Kale actually looks like.  I was overwhelmed by the colors and options and how little I actually know about fruits and veggies.

I have to stay ahead of the meals

  • When I was in the fast I just waited until I was hungry to have one.  This plan with eating “normally” doesn’t really work for me.  I need to start with some kind of breakfast and plan out my meals, snacks, and juices.  I want to build a healthy eating style rather than one meal and two juices being all I consume during a day.

When eating out, ALWAYS GET A TO GO BOX WHEN THEY BRING YOUR MEAL

  • Restaurant portions are gigantic.  I did very good ordering my meals but I realized very quickly that even eating slowly and trying to be mindful I eat too much if it is on my plate.  I can make all the correct choices I want but if I consume everything I see, I’m not really making the progress I want.

This entire journey is such a process.  The good thing from the weekend was that I succeeded in not totally blowing my diet out of the water.  Now I’m back to the routine at work and will have a better chance to set some new eating routines.

 

Ciao

 

SK

If I can do it…

…So can you

I guess this is kind of my new mantra as well as the direction I’m going to take the blog.  This ten days has had a major effect on my life.  Before I get to what I’ve learned, let me get to the results.

Starting weight-244.8

Finishing weight-231

Starting BMI-35.12

Finishing BMI-33.14

I also lost 4″ from my tummy and hips

8265

I don’t really know what I expected the results to be, but I’m truly amazed at the before and after (and no there won’t be any pictures until I really, really get my body together lol).  I am not even close to where I think I want to be, but I am so proud of the jump-start that I gave myself…yay me!

The physical difference can be measured.  What happened between my ears is a little more difficult to quantify.

I slept better

I didn’t ache

I crave exercise

My energy level is off the charts (and I’m already a high energy guy)

My mood has been amazing

I have prayed constantly

I feel better

I look better

I see myself better

My clothes aren’t as tight

I could probably go on another ten or fifteen things that I clearly know have changed as a direct result of the juicing.  My mind has also been opened to the possibility that I can live a different way.  I’ve had plenty of self-inflicted wounds in my life that have gotten me here.  My health choices are only one of these wounds.  But my health is not that far removed from my finances which is not that different from my relationships which is shockingly close to my spirituality.  It is all interconnected.

I have absolutely opened up a new part of my brain and embraced the possibility that I can live a little bit better than I have before.  That’s really all this is about, getting better.  There are so many things we have in our life that are going to cause conflict and prevent us from being the best we can be.

I also want to make this blog the best it can be.  So over the next few weeks I’ll be in the lab working on changing it to better fit this direction that I think I want to go ;).  I love you all and I greatly appreciate the support.  Let’s see if we can start something big.

 

Ciao

 

SK

so can you