Smorgasborg - Random Objects

October 20th, 2009

Thank You All

Thank you to all who have offered condolences and warm thoughts in the past weeks.

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This photo is from the “Celebration of Life” event we had at Mt. Soledad, the last formal event as part of my Grandfather’s funeral services. Other posts about this are here: Previously, previously, and previously.

I semi-dropped off the grid, quit my dayjob, went freelance, and Leah and I are working our issues out in a mode of honesty and quasi-separation and a sensitivity to good BOUNDARIES. I have acknowledged the fact that yes, she is mentally ill, and yes, that affects our relationship, and no, her feeling shame about that is no good, and me being in denial about that is no good either. I was in denial a long time. So we take it a day at a time, and move forward.

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That’s me explaining San Diego harbor to my cousin Michael.

Other changes have been in the area of health. I had had a housemaid’s knee for a full month. It was a collection of viscous fluid just below the skin and over my knee — painful, sensitive. I was concerned it would last forever, that it would need to be drained, etc. Luckily, After 8 weeks it did eventually subside. I got it after falling heavily on pavement on September 12th. It might be hard to see, since I was nearly 400 pounds, is that in the past year I’ve lost about 70 pounds. The numbers are iffy here, because my scale’s accuracy is poor. But I have lost several pants sizes and now fit into shirts I very much did not fit into a year ago. In fact, one pair of pants looks like one of those “big pants weight loss photos” on me. So I’m happy for the weight loss and the better mobility that affords. It’s frustrating to see photos of me and see a fat man, still, but I can see that the fat man is less fat anyway.

Weight loss is maddeningly gradual, and unpredictable for me now. I eat less, and I do more. But I’ve not given up sweets. I tried a Hostess Orange Cupcake and for many months a staple meal was McDonald’s: small coke, milk, 3 chocolate chip cookies, and a double cheeseburger (skip the bun). This is a cheap meal (my boys love the Carl’s Jr. burgers which cost about the same as my whole staple meal), and has been a part of my weight loss non-plan for about 6 months.

The main thing that I can feel has changed has been my awareness of stress eating. Eating out of habit, eating for emotional reasons. MAS has been instrumental in getting me to think about eating. I know I don’t eat as he might recommend me to eat, but I have started to think more about what it means to eat, and fast, and exercise, and live. I never used to do that. To me, the body was not important: it’s the mind – intellectual pursuits are paramount; or the soul – spirituality is the only thing that matters, ultimately. Only with time have I come to realize that a healthy life must encompass all of the parts lest it derail like that train at the beginning of The Fugutive.

So I’m getting back into the swim of things now and feeling better.

The new directions feel good and healthy, for which I’m thankful.


Comments: 8

MAS

October 20, 2009 9:57am

I am glad to hear you are making progress with your diet. Small changes are the ones that last. It is the healthy approach. It is sad that our culture too often takes a “go big or go home” attitude. I do minor tweaks every week or so. Gradually improving.

Since you mentioned McDonalds, there is a great documentary on Netflix called Fathead. This guys is brilliant. He covers a lot of Gary Taubes stuff in a very understand manner and debunks the Super Size Me movie.

Joe Crawford

October 20, 2009 10:26am

I like the characterization of the culture of “go big or go home” — like if it doesn’t all happen in a big way, and quick, people are prone to give up. Your documentation of the Glitter Gym influx of gym attendance in January has stayed with me as en emblem of the empty promise of “I VOW TO LOSE WEIGHT.” The profound changes are the one that are deeper, and longer lasting.

I’ll check out Fathead. Super-Size Me was pretty good but another perspective sounds good.

Jenn

October 24, 2009 5:43pm

wishing you the best…

Christine

October 25, 2009 7:00pm

I’m glad you are doing better. You’ve sure had a lot come at you this past year or so. 70lbs is nothing to sneeze at – wow! You seemed to really love swimming when you were writing about it. Maybe it will become part of your non-plan too :). You are inspiring me to make strides in an area I need to as well. As you say, it is all about balance and to quote you, “onward!” BTW, I think a subcaption for the pic with your cousin could be, “And then I explained how the loch ness monster used to rare up and eat sailors.” Maybe that is only funny in my head. Probably ;).

Joe Crawford

October 26, 2009 10:15am

Thanks Jenn and Christine. And yes, I think swimming will be back. I am glad to do some inspiring of others — in 12-step programs they talk about spreading the message to others. I’m not sure what exactly my message is, but I do try and spread it.

And it wasn’t the Loch Ness Monster, but I was talking about how the Coronado Bay Bridge was designed to be easy to clean up and get out of the way if it was turned to rubble by the Soviets. Actually, Soviet attack of San Diego is scarier than a little old sea monster. 🙂

Thanks for the thoughts. More updates on the radical changes we’re implementing to come this week.

Yes, swimming would be the best.

Sassy

December 8, 2009 12:57pm

Joe C where are you?

Krisztianna

December 15, 2009 12:13pm

It has been a while since I’ve read your blog – and I’ve spent the last few days reading over the posts you wrote of your Grandfather. He sounds like a wonderful treasure of history, stories, love, and good times. I offer my condolences as a fellow grandchild who has lost the physical presence of a beloved mentor and caretaker. May his memories stay strong in your heart.

I wish you strength and love in all other mentioned endeavors.
Much Love.

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