Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm not like you/You're not like me...

I realize that the longer that I have a blog, the more toes I will step on.  But, hopefully, not many people will find this blog. As I've said before, it's more of a therapeutic device for me.

I realize that I'm not like other humans in so many ways.  I am quirky, close-minded on many subjects, innapropriate, and just plain weird.  So, my thoughts on this may be be off base. But, here it goes:

My wife speaks to a lot of moms in at school.  Many are very busy trying to keep things running at home and getting the kids to and from school and taking care of family matters.  That is good.  So far in my story, I appreciate the moms for that.  But, there are a lot of Moms that can't wait to get their kids in school so that they can play all day.  That's where my close-mindedness thoughts take over.

Let me tell you where I'm coming from.  I think that my wife's drive and attitude about life spoils me.  When the kids are in school, she either wants to work, volunteer, or meet with people to help them on life's tough road.  She nevers sits down to relax and she is always trying to find a place to serve to make life better for others.  I guess that's why I feel so fortunate to have her.  I feed off of that and it makes me want to continue to look for ways to make life better for others and help wherever I can as well.  For example,  she spends Thursday at a local Homeless shelter serving lunch. I went along with her yesterday and enjoyed it so much that I'm going back every week that I can.  When she's not doing something like that, she's looking for other places to help.

Fast forward to my point - She spoke to a Mom this week who said that she can't wait until all of her kids are in school so that she can play tennis all day.  Holy Cow! That doesn't even compute in my tiny little peanut brain.  Here I am living with a work machine that can't find time to paint her fingernails and there are stay at home moms out there whose only desire in life is to chase a tennis ball around all day.  I realize that this is not an uncommon thought or desire for many "soccer moms", but it pains me to hear about it.  Hey, if the husbands can afford to let their wives stay home - more power to them.  That's a superdy-duper deal for the wives.  I hope to be able to allow Cindy to stay home and not worry about helping out with bills.  However, I have to wonder what the husbands think about their wives staying home and living such a pampered life all the time while they are at work all day paying for their "happy fun times".  Are they bitter and resentful? Or, is that just expected.  Don't get me wrong, I wished my wife would pamper herself more often.  I'd like for her to go and have her nails done and shop for things that she wants not needs, but that is not in her to do that sort of thing.  I'm just astounded that there is so much pain and suffering and poverty and injustice in this world and there are people out there who have time to play all day.  How selfish does someone have to be?  How self absorbed are these people that they won't get up and do something to help others.  Hey,  play tennis, go to the spa, take a trip to Canton.  That is great!  But, for gosh sakes, balance it out with a little outward care.

I realize that I live in a tiny little bubble and am very one-sided in this, but hey, it's my blog.

I now have to say that I was once one of the most selfish, inward thinking, non-caring bums in the world.  I lived every moment for myself.  But God had different plans for me and he put my wife in my life to help mold me into something different.  I am not better than anyone else (probably worse than most).  I don't want to paint a picture that I'm some fantastic man who is constantly giving and giving and trying to be "holier than thou".  I am very selfish myself.  But, I do see that life is more than sitting around letting life pass me by while I sit around and watch Sitcoms and Sports all day.  

Here's a challenge - Go out and do something nice for somebody once a day.  See how it makes them feel.  Who knows, it may make you feel pretty good, too.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

7-11 = Good Times

Before I start, I need to give an update - I am 9 days into my new "Eating Habits" and have lost 12 pounds. A couple more pounds and I may go "Shirt Off" around the neighborhood.

Anyway, I thought that I'd try to reconstruct a conversation that I witnessed at 7-11 with a less than fortunate cashier and a somewhat mentally unstable customer. I was 3rd in line yesterday waiting to pay for a drink refill. The gentleman in front of me was in line to buy a paper.
The customer at the register was a 50 something woman who had seen better days. She was wearing "mom" jeans. You know, the pleated pants that are pulled up about 4 inches above the belly button. She had no socks on and wearing Kaepa tennis shoes that were once white, but now more of a brownish gray. Her sweater was a bit worn and covered with what I assume was an animal hair of some sort. She also seemed to have problem keeping her teeth in place when she talked. I assume that her dentures may have belonged to someone else, but that's not for me to judge. OK. Stage set. Here's the conversation:

Woman: "I'll take two packs of Merits and 5 of those scratch offs. Wait, I'll have 3 of the "Texas Tornado's" and couple of those new ones there."

Cashier: "That'll be $XX.XX."

Woman: Pays the cashier and then says, "Honey. I said I want a carton of Merits, not 2 packs."

Cashier: "We don't have a carton of Merits. We don't really sell many cartons here. Mostly packs."

Woman: (As she is scratching her lottery tickets) - "What do you have in cartons?"

Cashier: (Gets on his hands and knees and opens up the locked cabinets and proceeds to name all of the cartons that he does have).

Woman: "Is that all you have? Why don't you sell cartons? Oh, Here's a winner. OK. cash in this ticket and give me my money back. I'll just go somewhere that wants my business."

Cashier: Returns her money and cashes her lottery ticket (for $5).

Keep in mind that the two of us are standing behind her waiting to buy 1 item each. The guy looks at me and says, "This is freakin' ridiculous!".
Back to the story:

Woman: "Give me 5 more scratch offs. Hey, what about "Basics". I'll take a carton of "Basics"."

Cashier: "Ma'am, we don't have a carton of Basics. I told you what we had in cartons."

Woman: "I can't believe that you don't have anything in cartons. OK. I'll just get my gas and go.

Cashier: "You haven't paid for any gas yet. How much do you want?"

Woman: "Just use the money that I got for my scratch off."

Cashier: "You bought more tickets with that."

Woman: "Oh, OK. Let me scratch these off and I'll see how much gas I can get."

Man in front of me: "For the love of God, can you just ring me up for this #$%&$#@ Paper?"

Woman: Scratches off tickets and doesn't have any "winners". "I don't have any more money. Now I can't get gas".

Cashier: "What about the money you had for cigarettes?"

Woman: "Those are still for cigarettes?"

Man in front of me: "This is unbelievable! Lady, either pay the man or just go?"

Woman: Storms out of the store and says, "If you're in that much of a hurry, why don't you just leave lunch?"

I looked at the cashier and said, "What does that mean?"

He shrugged his shoulders and told me that the drink was "On the house". I left with a free drink and great story.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"Big" news - in more ways than one!

It's been a while since I last blogged. Why? Because I am lazy and I like to do lazy things.

First of all, I was offered a job last week. And, I took it. I will now be the North TX and OK rep for Medpro (a non-invasive cardiology device company). I have tried to break into medical sales for several years now and starting on March 15th, I'll get my chance.
My brother actually found the opportunity for me. An ex-colleague of his is now a Sales Manager for MedPro and, my brother, must have been a good reference, because I hardly had to interview for the position to get it. I am not going to question it, I'm just going to praise the Lord for it. I am so relieved to be out of the "Hi-Tech" world and into something that I hope to enjoy more. As I mentioned above, I start March 15th. I have almost 5 weeks to sit around before I begin. I'd like to find a job and make a little money before that, but I'm not sure what I'll be able to find. Also, as I sit here, I see a ton of house projects that need to be done, but with no paycheck, it makes it a bit difficult to actually do any of them.

OK, enough of that - let's get to the "Meat" of my blog. I'm fat! Yes, indeed. "Chubby" is now an understatement. Let me put it this way - if I was a 10 year old boy, my Mom would now be unable to buy "Husky" jeans. She'd now had to move to a specialty shop for "big" boys. For those who used to know me, it is probably more of a shock because, once upon a time, I was much more athletic looking (i.e. my chest was bigger than my waist). Now, I have "Furniture Disease", which means my chest has fallen to my drawers. I heard someone say to me, "Well Tim, at least I know you're on the level, because the bubbles in the middle". Good times!
My kids have always given me a hard time about my "chub". My daughter really love to poke my belly. Man, that's a lot of fun for her, I'm sure. Actually, I guess I could consider myself "Svelt". How? OK. Here's my reasoning: Svelt sounds like a Swedish word for "Swelt". Swelt sounds like a form of the word "Swolt", which is slang for "Swollen", hence Svelt.

I've been on diets off and on for the past 10 years or so. I've tried Adkins, Body for Life, Gluten Free... They all work fine for me - for about 8 weeks. I lose a ton of weight and start feeling good. Then, BAM! I start cheating a little and the next thing I know, I'm the old Tim (plus 5). This past year has been even tougher on me. Although I worked out regularly, I found out just how much I liked Popeye's Fried Chicken. They have this really neat "Tuesday Special" where you can get 2 pieces of dark meat (leg, thigh) for .89 cents. I thought that I was in heaven. I would order 2 "Tuesday Specials" for under $2. But, as my body "grew" accustomed to that, I decided to move it up a notch (no pun intended) and started getting 3 "specials". My brain was convinced that there was no problem as long as I'm working out and running 3-4 times a week. Well, 3 specials turned into 4 and things really started going down hill. My chicken addiction was born. They started running daily specials like "8 pieces for 5.99 or 10 pieces for 6.99. I was now able to feast on "Cajun Yard Bird" almost every day of the week. Awesome! I was out of control. My once, drug addiction, had a new face, and it was now spicy and fried. Anyway, I could go on about my love affair with chicken for a long time, but I want to get down the road a bit with my story.

I finally got another job that didn't allow Popeye's visits because I worked from home and there were no "chicken" outlets close to the house. And, I wouldn't be able to pull it off as well, because Cindy was home all day and I couldn't have hidden the Louisiana Hot Sauce breath from her. Anyway, my Chicken was just replaced with more bad foods. Hey, a junkie can find a fix anywhere. It ain't that hard when you want it bad enough (know what I'm sayin'?).

Just to give you an idea about my "figure" - I am 6 feet tall and have hovered between 230 and 240 pounds for the past several years. I could gain and lose 10 pounds over the course of a weekend depending on what I was eating. However, when I was laid off in December, I went into high gear looking for a job. I spent 8-10 hours a day at the computer looking for work. I know, I know, everyone says that you have to stay active and mix a little workout into the mix. And, I did (a little). But, I became a little depressed and lethargic about exercise and obsessed on finding work. I got on the scales about mid-January and had reached an all time high of 242 pounds. I started to feel horrible. I could feel my heart actually having to work to push the blood through my body. My arthritis was killing me. Not a joint in my body felt good. My stomach always hurt. I developed heartburn and my snoring had become unbearable (OK ladies, settle down. There's enough of me to go around). Pretty sexy picture, huh! That is only the tip of the iceberg regarding all of my "fat induced" aches and pains, but I'll spare you.

Well, since being offered the job on Friday, something snapped (besides the button on my pants). I realized that I was going to start a new job traveling around and doing a lot more physical activity by simply going in and out of hospitals and lugging around equipment. If I was going to do this job without having to take a nap every day, I had to do something. Also, I was eating my way out of all of the remaining clothes that I had and couldn't afford to buy new ones for the job. Although, this is a motivator, I started laying in bed at night thinking how my kids viewed me and how my wife sees me. I couldn't imagine her ever wanting to walk in on me naked (unless it was just morbid curiosity). I realized that I can't get fatter and not be able to play sports with Nik and "Monster and Tickle" with Scout. So, I did what all middle aged, proud, virile, good-looking guys do - I joined Weightwatchers! That's right! I went down to the nearest location and got my "point counter" book and started the Weightwatchers program.

Yesterday (February 9), I walked in paid my monthly dues and got on the scales. Holy Crap! I can only dream that I still weighed 242 pounds. I now tipped the scales at 252.4 pounds. That's over 1/8 of a ton. I looked at the little booklet and saw my starting point and almost passed out.
How could I have ever done this to myself or my family. Because I have a severe eating addiction - that's how! And, yesterday was my first day in overcoming that addiction.

Starting today, I will now blog about my progress (either good or bad) in my attempt to become a much smaller version of myself. I'm not sure if anyone will ever see this, other than my wife, but I hope that blogging about it will act as therapy as I attempt to slay this dragon.

Man, this blogging is making me hungry!