Health at any size.

Monday was uneventful at the gym. I took it easy due to being extremely tired. Turns out the reason for that is I was getting sick. I actually skipped today because I feel like crud, and I don’t want to be that guy who brings his cold to the gym (though I think that is where I picked it up.)

So for today, I want to talk about the “Health at every size” movement and obesity.

I saw a great video on the topic from Obese to beast today.

Honestly, I agree with him. I am all for being “happy in your skin” and respecting everyone, regardless of size, age, gender, pronoun choice, color etc. However, “health at any size” is dangerous. Being obese, or in my case, morbidly obese, is not a good thing. Even IF my heart is healthy, other parts of my body suffer. My knees hurt. My lower back is being compressed in ways it is not supposed to be compressed and I have back pain from it. I have bounced from pre-diabetic, to diabetic, to in remission, to back to pre-diabetic, depending on how much care and effort I am putting into my diet. That is not good for my body.

Being morbidly obese has affected my sex life. I can pretty much only have sex in 2 positions and that gets boring, fast. It isn’t the cause of my current impending divorce, but I am sure it is factor.

It has affected my relationships with both my wife and friends. My wife likes going for nature walks. My best friend loves to hike. Both have invited me countless times, and I have passed because A: I sweat like a mule and B: My back only holds up for so long before it becomes a major problem. It sucks not being able to spend quality time with my loved ones in nature, because my body doesn’t want to cooperate.

And quite frankly, and kind of chest pain becomes terrifying. I tweaked a muscle in my chest at work one day, and it hurt. It started hurting more and more, and I got so legitimately worried that I was having a heart attack, I went to the Emergency room. I spent 4 hours, and $200 to find out I was fine. No signs of heart problems…but even after being told that, I had it in the back of my mind that this was it.

I have a 4 year old nephew. I would like to see him grow and mature into an adult man. The other day he asked me to chase him and I couldn’t because I can’t really run.

I want to sit on a porch as an old man with my best friend, smoke a pipe and yell at teenagers.

I want to live damn it!

That is a large part of the beginning of this journey. I don’t want to be another obesity statistic. I am tired of being tired all the time. Tired of being sweaty and uncomfortable. Tired of having to pay 2 extra dollars for a t-shirt because of the extra fabric. Tired of Walmart only havig 2 pairs of pants that will fit me, and one of them being camo pattern. (Blech).

I am not getting any younger, and it is not getting easier, but I have to do it.

I have to do it for me.

And if you are out there, comfortable in your skin, but obese or morbidly obese…I am happy you are comfortable and confident, but drop the weight. Do it for you. Do it to live longer. Do it to defy expectations. Do it.

Remember, there is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

08/16/19

So I was alone at the gym tonight. Erin has not felt well this week, and Friday is husband night for Ashley.

As seems to be what I do when alone at the gym…

I…absolutely…CRUSHED IT!

Shaved a whole minute off my mile time!

I should mention…I am a 368 lb man, so this is amazing to me. The last time I had a mile time like this was high school, and I cheated! Lol. I did 3 laps and told the gym teacher I had done 4.

This was the full cardio. I was raining sweat. Like…literally. Felt great though.

Even my arms were sweaty!

I then went on to do shoulders, biceps, back and core.

Afterwards, I went to Erin’s to smoke our tobacco pipes and talk stoicism. It was a great conversation.

I was having a rough brain day today from a conversation with Christine last night, but it has passed. I tend to succumb to emotional extremes more when I am tired, and I have not been sleeping well lately.

Listened to a great episode of “The Practical Stoic” Podcast today.

And posted a video to my Reptile Nexus youtube channel. I have not done that in a long time, as I have just not been in the head space for it.

That’s it for now. I will post another stoicism based post soon. It is 11:54 pm and I need sleep.

Remember, there is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

08/15/19

So went to the gym yesterday. Ashley and Erin came with me. We all looked and felt just straight up tired and worn out, so we took it easy. No personal bests, no crazy lifts…just a basic work out. Legs and cardio.

Ashley is a ballerina, so that frog looking leg press deal is her working specific leg muscles to make dance easier.

I don’t really have the desire to go into a stoic speech today, or talk about much else. Christine and I have decided that divorce is imminent and her moving out is an ultimate goal. Until then, we are married on paper for convenience (I have awesome insurance) and that is fine. I am not even close to thinking about a relationship with anyone else for a LONG time, be it someone new or our marriage working out. Either way, us living apart is going to ultimately be a good thing for both of us in the long run, and something we both need to fix ourselves.

I’m sure I will have more to talk about in the next blog, I am just literally tired (haven’t been sleeping well), and in a poor head space today.

Anyway, remember…

There is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

08/12/19

Alone again for the gym, but I went…and CRUSHED IT HARD!

Took a full minute off my mile time. I got tighter shoes, and had a slow jog going for a minute. Then I wrecked my chest and triceps and literally dripped sweat. I love it!

You can see how soaked that sweat band is.

Today’s topic is anger. So Christine (my wife that I am separated from) has a date Saturday. My best friend Tim, got so angry at this when I told him. He went on a rant about how I should be angry and if he was me he would kick her out and make her life miserable etc etc etc.

But I am not angry. Hell, I told her to start dating other people. It was my idea. We have been together since she was 20. For 11 years I have been her only adult relationship, and I messed up by not dealing with my problems and hiding from them in video games. I would come home and bury my attention in Ark from the time I got home until I went to bed, only taking a break for dinner (during which I often kept the game up…), and it took a toll on our relationship. I see this, and I accept it. That is part of being a mature adult, and a practicing stoic.

“Keep this thought handy when you feel a fit of rage coming on—it isn’t manly to be enraged. Rather, gentleness and civility are more human, and therefore manlier. A real man doesn’t give way to anger and discontent, and such a person has strength, courage, and endurance—unlike the angry and complaining. The nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength.” – Marcus Aurelius

The whole point of this journey is to become a better person. Breaking down, whining, crying and pointing fingers at others serves me no purpose. Embracing my failure and using it to strengthen myself as a person, brings me closer to calm and therefore, closer to a virtuous life.

Here is one from Seneca on the matter of anger.

“How much better to heal than seek revenge from injury. Vengeance wastes a lot of time and exposes you to many more injuries than the first that sparked it. Anger always outlasts hurt. Best to take the opposite course. Would anyone think it normal to return a kick to a mule or a bite to a dog?” -Seneca

Sure, I can be angry. I could be hateful and spiteful and full of impotent rage, but what is the point? It won’t fix my problems, or marriage. It won’t fix me, and it will steer me farther from the path to inner tranquility and virtue. Remember this the next time anger wells up in your heart…will smashing things and screaming vulgarities really make you feel better?

Remember,

There is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

08/10/19 My gift to me

So today I went to work and got myself some sweet, sweet overtime.

And my gift to me was dropped off. What is it?

This.

I have to remember to take sideways pics with my phone…because I still don’t know how to rotate them here. Anyway, I got myself an aluminum canoe.

Now I plan on hammering out some dents, sanding it down and painting it. Give it some new life…

And with that, comes the chance to take friends, myself, my nephew…whomever, on lake adventures! Enjoy some solitude and nature. Fish. Just be present.

Can’t wait, but I have to do it slowly. I still need cross-bars for my roof rack, a life vest (I am gonna get a belt that has a pull tab deal and inflatable thing, that way I am not wearing a bulky vest all the time) and a few other odds and ends.

I am excited. I have wanted a canoe FOREVER, and I finally have one.

Remember,

There is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

08/09/2019

Today was nothing out of the ordinary. Went to work, filled glue. Going in tomorrow for 4 hours of overtime. 6 hours total this week. Fine by me. It will pay for my present to myself that SHOULD be delivered tomorrow. Can’t wait!

So again I was alone for the gym today. Ashley had family stuff, and Erin was working second shift. I wanted so badly to skip and relax…but that is how it starts with me. I skip a day…then another, then pretty soon I am not going again…

Not this time.

I went to the gym. I did my shoulders, back and biceps. Then I did cardio, even though my legs are still quite sore from the 748 lb leg press on Wednesday. Still though…

I managed to keep it under 20 minutes for a mile, again! Even with super sore legs. I think slow jogging comes next, but I need slightly smaller shoes. I always buy my shoes a tad larger due to super flat feet, but that doesn’t do me any good when on a treadmill. My feet slide around in my shoes, causing friction.

I got quite sweaty today.

And now, I head to bed. I am tired and need to be up around 5:30am tomorrow for work. Sweet, sweet overtime. It happens rarely, so I take it when I can.

Remember,

There’s more to life than paying bills and dying.

8/8/2019 Luke Smash!

So today was a long one. I usually work 7:30-3:30. Due to some errors, which were not a big deal, I was super busy today trying to get an order that absolutely HAD to ship today, as well as all the products for Thursday’s weekly shipment to Germany, filled. Had some help and got the syringes done, as well as most of what I could get done for tomorrow. I can finish the last of it in the morning.

Erin canceled on me for the gym due to not feeling well. He hasn’t had a day off work in a month, so I get it. Ashley had family stuffs to do. So I had two options…skip today and make it up tomorrow for the gym, or go…and gym it alone.

I went.

And boy did I go.

First…

My goal of getting my mile under 20 minutes. You know, the one I set two days ago? Absolutely obliterated it! This wasn’t the whole cardio stint. I do 30 minutes.

I also set an arbitrary goal of pressing double my body weight on the leg press. Well, I was 372 this morning, so I would have to press 744 lbs to do twice my body weight.

Set 3, 10 reps…748 lbs!

LUKE SMASH PUNY GOALS!!!!

I got a bit sweaty too, as I tend to do. Lol.

I don’t really feel like waxing philosophically today, but I will mention that therapy went well yesterday. Cindy is nice, and she doesn’t seem to think I have ADHD. She thinks it is a combo of depression, video game addiction and a traumatic childhood. (No joke, I can’t remember before age 8…when my parents got divorced.) Going to keep at it. Tuesdays at 4pm from now on. I think it will be good.

I am getting myself a present this weekend. Something I have wanted forever. I will post pics when I get it.

Remember,

There’s more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

Monday 8/5/19

Had me one of those good old fashion down-in-the-dumps days, where my brain was reeling and being quite vicious to me. I stuffed it down and worked. Popped a Ritalin (I have ADHD, but only take the Ritalin when my brain is ultra chaos and I need to straighten it out), but it didn’t really help. So music and podcasts distracted me from the din.

Then I came home and fed all the any colonies that just hatched workers. (I am into insects as well. I collect queen ants with hopes to sell some colonies to other ant keepers, and keep a few for myself.)

Ate dinner. Watched some tv, then it was gym time.

Chest, triceps and cardio. I am close to getting my mile time UNDER 20 minutes, which seems like nothing for some people…but for me, is pretty monumental.

I can’t figure out how to rotate that sideways pic…

I’m not really sure what to write her today to be honest. Nothing from any of my stoicism podcasts or studies really resonated with me today, so I will post this instead and say that it seems Lao Tzu had a lot in common with the stoics.

Realizing you have enough is hard to do in the age of next day Amazon deliveries. I can have damn near anything delivered to my hands with the click of a couple buttons. 99% of the time, it is not something I actually NEED, but more the whim of my ADHD brain saying “That is neat!” or something for the “next project.” I struggle with spending money without inhibition, and it has caused me some problems. It is something I am working on, and struggle with even now. I am, however, working on it…and hopefully one day I can say to myself “I have enough. Stop.” and actually stick to it.

Remember,

There’s more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

Memento Mori

I think the way this blog is going to be formatted, is a quick update about my day, some pics and things that occurred, then a more serious moment.

So let’s start!

Today I went to work. Blah blah blah. Filled some glue. That is what I do. I take UV cured adhesives from larger containers and put then into smaller containers, for selling to customers. Enough of that.

After work, I went to Walmart and bought cat supplies. Then I did something I have wanted to do for a while but kept putting off. I went to my old high school, and collected a few branches from the willow tree planted near it. Why? To grow into bonsai trees. Bonsai is a hobby I am into. You can bonsai pretty much any tree, and I have wanted some willow for a while. Basically, take a branch from a willow, put it in water and it will root. Transplant to pot, and train into a bonsai.

Then I watered the backyard garden, which really needs it because it has not rained for a LONG time, and played some Ark on my pc.

It was my turn for dinner tonight, so I made some Paleo friendly cottage pie. Cottage pie is essentially the same as Shepard’s pie, except it doesn’t use lamb. I used beef and sweet potato. The sweet potato makes it paleo friendly. It came out pretty dang tasty.

Then the crew and I hit the gym. It is shoulder, back and core day. Erin was having intestinal distress, so we skipped cardio and it was a quick day.

And now I am home, updating the blog.

For today’s serious topic, I would like to talk about Memento Mori.

Memento mori (Latin: “remember (that) you will die”) is the medieval Latin Christian theory and practice of reflection on mortality, especially as a means of considering the vanity of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits.

This is not meant to be a morbid concept. The idea is, one day…you will die. Everyone does. It is a fact of life. So what are you going to do about it?

If you died right now, this very second, how would you feel about what you have done with your life? (Assuming you were conscious after death, aka an afterlife.) Did you squander your precious time on this Earth? Did you laugh enough? Love enough? Enjoy the beauty all around you? Did you work 80 hours a week, spending your money on fancy cars and accessories to impress people you don’t even like?

Did you die happy? Fulfilled? Loved?

Sure, you may have a fully decked out World of Warcraft character. You may be in the top 100 Fortnite players in the world. You may have $100,000 in the bank from working every hour of overtime you could get your hands on…

But when was the last time you watched the sun set? I don’t mean saw it set, in traffic, on the way home. I mean, sat next to a lake, disconnected from the hum and buzz of every day modern life, and watched the sun go down over the hills.

When was the last time you sat in a chair and just watched the birds in your yard, flitting back and forth and listened to their tunes?

My Uncle got sick a long while back. He spent the entirety of 2011 in the hospital, and I never visited him. We were close. I didn’t take the time to go visit a loved one, while he was stuck in the hospital, because “I don’t like hospitals.” That was my excuse. I figured I would see him when he got out…

Except he never did. He got sicker and sicker, and passed away…and I didn’t see him, for almost a year and a half. That is one of my biggest regrets. It made me realize…if you care about someone, spend time with them. Visit them if they are sick and in the hospital. I went and saw Erin, my best friend, when he had his appendix removed…because of my uncle. It wasn’t a serious operation, and he was only there for a night or two, but…you never know. I have visited several friends and family members since, in hospitals, because I am never allowing that to happen again.

Memento Mori.

Live your life. Find your meaning. Die happy and fulfilled.

And remember,

There is more to life than just paying bills and dying.

-Luke

A blog? What?

So I have started a blog! What is this? Well, this is going to be where I chronicle my self improvement.

“But Luke, why?”

Well, first…I NEED this. I need an outlet for thoughts and ideas. I need to document so I can see my progress.

Basically, my wife and I had a discussion where we realized we are both just not happy with the current state of our relationship, and amicably separated. There is no blame, no right and wrong. There are two people who care about each other deeply, but are not “in love” with the current versions of said people.

And so we are still living together, but with boundaries, as we work on ourselves. Falling back into our old routine and stale life is not happening. It’s a change or lose situation. Challenge accepted!

Things I am working on:

Finances: Not spending money on stuff I don’t need, and/or forget about even days after unboxing it. I am also going to be 38 in 27 days and I have literally nothing saved. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I have been working since I was 16. This is insane and unacceptable to me.

Health: As the title of the website might indicate, I am large. I am 5’8″, 370 lbs (down from 383 lbs)m and I have a LONG way to go. I have my gym team in place, and I am working on attainable loss goals and changes to my health regime. (I am the middle one in the pic. Obviously. )

My mental well being: I am a new student of stoicism, and will be talking about it here. I start therapy next Tuesday. I am working on being less connected to my computer and the internet, and more connected to my thoughts/mind and the REAL world. I also have depression and ADHD, so those are things I am constantly working against.

My mindset: I tend to be naturally pessimistic. I am trying to be more positive and grateful for the good things in my life.

So stay tuned people. Big changes are on the way, and I invite you to take this journey with me.

Remember, there is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke