Archive for February, 2014

life is a choice

Posted in Personal, Weigh-In | 3 Comments

What a long but fun weekend I just had. I hopped in my car Friday night after work with my friend Tami and headed to Fayetteville, NC to get some new ink at Sacred Heart Tattoo shop near Fort Bragg by artist Jenni “The Wild Yenni” and while I do have to go back in a few weeks to finish it up (and will share those final shots with you) I wanted to share the progress thus far because this tattoo is simply amazing.

The tattoo to remind me that life is a choice, one I have willingly made instead of giving up and the dates under the tattoo (which will be tied in when I have the piece finished in a few weeks) each have a meaning:

12.09.1977 – day I was born and I chose to take my first breathe

09.04.2011 – day i quit smoking and started breathing again

11.09.2012 – day my doctor told me I would not live another year

04.01.2013 – day I had my weight loss surgery

As you all know by now I started my journey at a staggering 555 pounds and this weekend I not only got some new ink I also lost another few pounds so the icing on this proverbial cake was stepping on my scale at 5:30am when I woke up to read the numbers TWO HUNDRED NINETY-SEVEN (297) meaning that I can officially kiss the 300s good bye and if I’m being honest, which I do try to be, I cried for a moment after stepping off the scale and sitting down, because for the first time in quite literally more than a decade I’ve not had the number TWO (2) lead off my weight read out on a scale and even though I knew this number was approaching and I thought I was ready for it, I actually wasn’t.

So as I seriously contemplate the next phase of my life in doing far more than I ever thought I would with this weight loss journey I find I am truly rediscovering myself, and in ways I’d not anticipated even in the slightest. I’m working on a podcast network which I’ve mentioned already, but I’m also thinking about getting back in you comedy which while I’ve talked about for years haven’t done in more than ten and in the background I’m also writing a drum cover for an up coming YouTube video on my personal channel that I’ll share once I do it…

I’m rediscovering things that make me happy, I’m re-examining things that make me smile, laugh, cry, relate, want, and love. I’m not even done with my journey and as I approach now being literally half the man I used to be (which is only 20 pounds away) I’ve started to find that I wasn’t prepared for how my life would feel at this point. I knew my taste in food would change and I was as ready as I could be for how to approach eating and exercise, but nothing has prepared me for what I can only describe as my rebirth into the person I am becoming. While I know at my core I am still very much the me that was over 500 pounds I also know that I am a very different person in how I interact now, and I’m learning slowly how to take a compliment when someone say’s I’m attractive instead of just seeing the fat guy in the mirror, and this isn’t a negative post, this is a positive one so when  I say these words I say them not to you, but to myself to remind myself that life is a choice and I chose to live it, I chose to embrace it, and I chose to take it for everything I can. And while I’m still trying to figure out the next phase of my life I do know whatever it is, or how ever long it will be, it’s gonna be freggin awesome because I chose it to be, PERIOD.

And with that I do hope you will al continue to follow this journey with me as I try now not to simply find my lean, but also find myself in ways I can’t even describe, know or imagine.

~rev (297 pounds)


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Posted in Health, Personal, Weigh-In | 5 Comments

As I approach the 300 pound mark for the first time in I can’t even remember, and I am getting closer by the day, I wanted to stop and take a moment to talk about some of the personal trials I’ve endured over this journey because I don’t want it to seem like things are always perfect. So sit back and bare with me as I ramble on for a moment or ten.

Starting all the way back in April of 2013 (and FYI this will like be a Pulp Fiction timeline) having just had my surgery and still taking Morphine Sulphate at the rate of 90mg per day it should be needless to say, but pain management is not an easy thing for me. You all know by know my ability to walk more than 100 feet prior to starting this journey was non-existent but what you may not know is entirely why. It’s true the obvious nature of my size made it difficult to walk, but my lower back problems which I’ve had most all of my life, my two bad knees and over all poor health had in general put me past Tylenol and Advil..beyond the reach of Hydrocodone and even OxyContin and was soon going to go beyond the ability for Morphone Sulphate to ease my pain which by the way leaves pretty much only diacetylmorphine out there as an option, which for those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a very science-y way of saying Heroin.

And while it is true I’m saying this in part for the dramatic effect I’m also saying it because to be honest that’s pretty much where I was headed. and not due to addiction to pain killers. I was still in pain much of my day even on that much morphine. So much pain in fact when I took a shower I had to then sit for nearly an hour just to recuperate form the pain that even eating morphine pills like skittles didn’t seem to keep enough at bay.

This brings me back to April 2013 and my issues with pain management meant that I was put on a hydromorphine drip post surgery, you may know it by it’s more formal name “Dilaudid” and even that wasn’t entirely enough to ease my pain to the point it didn’t hurt, which I was fine with as I’d accepted I’d always be in some amount of pain my entire life. What I was not however ready for was what happened after and this is the point. Once discharged from the hospital I was obviously no longer on my IV Drip meaning that what little Dilaudid I still had in my system was wearing itself off, And when that happened, and I mean the second that happened I went form mild discomfort to earth shattering pain like I’d never felt in my life. I rarely cry due to pain, and it’s not because I’m macho, it’s simply because that for the most part when you’ve lived with pain like I have you’re whole adult life it tends to not hurt that deeply. This however was not my normal pain, and no amount of tolerance to pain prepared me for what happened. It felt literally like my insides were being pulled apart and I swore something had ruptured. In the end nothing was torn, no stiches undone, it was all completely just my problems with pain management finally catching up to me as I was readmitted to the hospital to basically suffer for an entire day with the bare minimum amount of pain killers they would offer as I’m sure they assumed I was an addict or something. And while it’s now been approximately 8 months since I’ve taken any pain medication (and even then I was all the way back down to Hydrocodone) I will never take for granted what little amount of relief I do get form the medication I take when I need it, ever, ever again.

Moving from Surgery pain (which BTW is not the norm) to something we can all relate to whether you’ve had surgery to help you lose weight or you’re doing the diet and exercise methods…I would like to take a second and remind you that even as good as I’ve done and as much weight as I’ve lost since October 2012 when my journey began the weight loss plateau is a struggle that I’ve had to overcome a few times and am at the time of writing this in the last states of one. I’m not here to offer advice on how to get past one because honestly I‘m still figuring that out. But I am here to say that it’s not always sunny in Philadelphia and sometimes I need to make sure I remind the reader that my journey is just as trying at times as is yours because I don’t want to be the person who talks about the good. And with the weight loss plateau comes the pretzels and yes that wasn’t a typo. I can eat them but I now know I should likely never buy another bag of them again as long as I live because for the first time since surgery I found a food that I’ve struggled stopping eating to the point I felt sick because of it. Granted for me that’s a lot less in volume now than it used to be because for me to feel sick it only takes me eating about two cups of pretzels in a short period of time to accomplish that, but it can and has happened and if I buy another bag will happen again.

I talk about it because I don’t just want you to know I also want to remind myself that as good as I’m doing I’m NOT superhuman in the effort to lose weight and if I am not careful and I fail to identify these issues I can and will end up back to where I was before starting this journey or worse. And by worse I mean dead, because as morbid as it sounds that is the only direction I was headed in and in all likelihood could very well be dead now instead of writing this article reflecting on my journey thus far and contemplating what the next step in that journey is.

The last thing I wanted to mention is that no matter how motivated I get keeping up with my gym time is hard at best. I work out three days a week for the most part but more often that I care to admit I fail to do so because I still fall prey to the predator that is my inner excuse machine. And while it does seem to get a little easier to go to the gym it’s still very very easy not to go at all and to find a reason why that is just okay and that I shouldn’t feel bad about not going, but I do, deep down I know better and I know I need to push myself more to do better.

1601250_10152850867452366_473942457_nSo all in all while I know in my heart my journey has gone better than most in a lot of cases I admit I still sometimes feel defeated, I sometimes look in the mirror and see this guy –> no matter how much weight I’ve lost and while I joke sometimes about the fact I still can’t look at a pair of pants, that according to the size inscribed on its tag I know in my head will fit me perfectly or even loosely, without my heart telling me there is no way in hell you’re getting your giant fat ass in those. and Even though I do honestly have as I put it to a friend earlier charisma oozing out my pores I must admit to myself, and please don’t mistake this for a self-deprecating pity party because I promise it honestly is not. I’m simply not used to being what other people may find as attractive, I’m not used to being someone who is as I put it to another friend just today the “sought after” type and before I start sounding brag-y about how hawt I think I am, I honestly don’t. I still don’t if I’m being entirely open. And the notion that anyone finds me physical attractive is for lack of a better word, odd to me.

I don’t say any of this do be self doubting/loathing, because I have self confidence to spare and I am comfortable in my own skin…all of it, even the extra baggy bits, I’m honestly just saying it as a matter of fact. It’s just how I feel, wrong, right or indifferent it is what it is, and I don’t let it stop me from being social or active now either which is why I say I don’t say any of that in a negative connotation, or at least not purposefully so.

Lastly I wanted to share something that both made me giggle but admittedly is a nice stroke to my ego, and that is with regard to recent conversations I’ve had with friends about a topic I don’t feel like going into here, but the over all consensus from my friends is that I’m too nice…am I really too nice? I mean really? I only mention this because for those who know me personally and those who have been able to glean this particular trait about me through these posts know that I basically don’t put stock into what people think about me, but having people call me nice kinda touched my hearts (both of them).

And with that I choose to end this on a positive note and remind you that I’m training for my first 5k and that I have lost now a total of 253 pounds and hopefully my next message on this site will be about how my scale dropped below the 300 pound mark, or and one last thing….I’m getting a new tattoo very soon and I don’t want to talk about it just yet, but will post pictures and talk about it’s meaning once I’ve had it done, so be on the look out for that.

~rev (302 pounds)