Archive for October, 2010

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The Mike and Molly Controversy – My Thoughts

October 29, 2010

So… quite the controversy this week over a CNN article and subsequent Marie Claire article regarding the show ‘Mike and Molly’ and questions about promoting obesity on television, specifically intimacy between overweight people.  I have way too may thoughts about this that I need to address, so bear with me.

For those that are not aware – here’s a quick rundown… ‘Mike and Molly‘ is a show which centers around two obese people who meet and fall in love at an Overeater’s Anonymous meeting.  It is the #2 rated Monday night sitcom for CBS (Behind Two And A Half Men), and does spend a good portion of the show poking fun at the characters weight issues.  The characters do share intimate moments on camera, just like any dating couple on any show on television do from time to time.  The CNN article focuses on some people’s issues with a) promoting obesity on television, and b) people being uncomfortable watching overweight people be intimate.  In the subsequent article for Marie Claire, the writer gives a very strong personal opinion about the subject.  I know they are linked above for you to read them in their entirety but here’s a snippet:

“So anyway, yes, I think I’d be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other … because I’d be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything. To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I’d find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair.

Well… this is my blog, so it’s time for my opinion.  🙂

READ, THEN JUDGE – First things first, and I can’t make a more important point than this.  I would like EVERYONE to read each article… they’re not long at all.  Please make sure you read the Marie Claire author’s apology/ comments which she posted after the article was written as well.  Too many people form their own opinions on subjects that they either hear second- or third-hand or from opinionated items (like my blog for example) without ever reviewing the actual items themselves that may be causing the stir in the first place!  So, before you do anything else, read them.  Plus, it gets really old hearing people so passionate about topics they clearly know nothing about.

CONSIDER THE SOURCE – Maura Kelly isn’t me… she’s a writer.  I’m a fat guy trying to get better and share my journey with others.  She’s light years beyond me.  And she also battles anorexia.  This battle takes her article to an extremely personal level.   A level which, when originally written, was probably only known by few people – and now it’s a battle she has made public to her readers based on the uproar the article has stirred.  As someone who has made his battles with weight, therapy and depression public fodder in this blog, I commend Ms. Kelly for sharing this personal information.  However, she wrote an extremely personal article for a magazine that attempts to cater itself to women of all sizes so something like this, so personal and so opinion-based, takes on a life of its own since it’s not known as ‘Maura Kelly’s article’, it’s known as ‘the Marie Claire article’.  I equate the controversy surrounding this article to the recent events involving Juan Williams, NPR and FoxNews… Williams went on FoxNews, voiced an opinion about Muslims, and was subsequently let go as a Senior Journalist for NPR, basically because in his role at NPR he was not supposed to be opinionated, but impartial.  His comments affect his (and NPR’s) credibility in that capacity, so he’s no longer there.  He’s now at… wait for it… Fox News!  (I called this 30 seconds after I heard about his firing… it was a no-brainer they were hiring him).  It’s not exactly the same, but if you strip it down it’s pretty similar – minus the firing of course.

The opinion voiced in the article is a very strong opinion for sure but, in all actuality, it’s an opinion that she is certainly not alone in sharing.  As someone who is currently morbidly obese and working on that no longer being the case, I have thought these things about MYSELF for years.  ‘How embarrassing must it be for this beautiful woman to be holding my hand in public’… ‘Those kids are definitely laughing at me.’… ‘No chance I kiss her here… wouldn’t do that to her.’  And we’re not even getting into the things I would think behind closed doors – FORGET IT.  Sorry, but facts are facts.  Obesity affects 30% of America – and keep in mind that’s OBESE people… BMI over 30… not overweight people, just the obese people.  This is a real health concern in America, and one we really need to focus on, which brings me to…

TELEVISION MARKETING – Ahhh, where to go with this.  Well, there’s two sides.  One side is the ‘Smart Marketing’ side… we have an extremely popular show on television that many Americans can honestly relate to.  Whether that is good or bad is irrelevant to this point, the fact is so many Americans are overweight that this can really hit home with a VERY large audience (no pun intended), just like House of Payne and Meet The Browns are targeted to the African-American audience and are two of the most popular shows on television today.  (Note – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, anything Tyler Perry puts his name on makes a gajillion dollars – and as soon as he calls me back I’m hopeful my blog will then be called ‘Tyler Perry Presents:  Blubber To Mudder – My Quest To Total Health’).  To that extent, this is a very smart show.  It’s ‘real life’.  It’s a part of society we need to accept.

Then there’s the ‘WTF!?!?!’ side.  Why in the hell are we promoting obesity on any level to a large audience, when it is such a health epidemic in this country.  We shouldn’t be encouraging it, and showing overweight people loving life, having fun, and making fun of themselves and their weight is not the right message to be sending.  It’s the same thing as smoking on TV – you rarely see it anymore because it’s not healthy and does not promote a healthy lifestyle… and, let’s be honest, when you do – you know as well as I do – it kinda throws you a little.  You definitely notice!

So… What kind of focus should we be putting on this?  Which side do I fall on?  I fall on the latter… and I always have, regardless of my current health initiative.  I don’t think we should be promoting unhealthy living of any kind – smoking, obesity, anorexia, drug/ alcohol addiction – on primetime national television unless it’s being used in a positive light (ie: ‘The Biggest Loser’).  There are definitely venues for all kinds of programming – cable, online, etc. – but to have it so front and center sends the wrong message not only for unhealthy living, but more importantly that joking about it is somehow acceptable.  Trust me, as someone who had to laugh along with everyone when I wore a red polo shirt and they called me ‘The Kool Aid Man’ and yelled ‘Ooooh Yeahhhh!’ on the microphone at a karaoke show… it ain’t funny.  It sucks.  And it upsets me just thinking about that night while I type this.

BBM/ BBW LOVIN’ – This to me is actually the simplest thing to explain and understand.  Whatever you think is disgusting – it’s disgusting.  If a lesbian writes an article about how nauseating it is for two hetero people to be making out on television then, in her eyes, it’s nauseating.  Same thing with any race, religion, social status, etc.  I bet if you search the internet hard enough you can find articles about how disgusting it is to see a white man and a white woman make out on TV… seriously, someone has a problem with it – I GUARANTEE IT.  The issue with this, in my opinion, is the venue in which this opinion was presented – a Marie Claire article.  For an article from them to form such a strong opinion (and a quite personal one at that) is where the real concern – and controversy – lies.

Now, do I like seeing morbidly obese people making out and heavy petting in public or on television?  Nope.  But, I also don’t like seeing skinny white people, athletic black people, etc. do it either.  I’m impartial – I don’t care who you are… I simply don’t like it.  Occasional kissing, holding hands, arms around each other… all of that’s OK.  Even the occasional late-night drunken accosting at the elevator is hot… but it’s all about the right place at the right time.  I’ve always felt that people that over-do PDA in public – no matter what they look like – simply do it because they are VERY insecure in their relationship and need to do this to try and prove to everyone that are in fact secure.  Same goes for people that over-do it on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.  Although I have been very insecure in my relationships due to my looks, I never was one of those – because the reasons I listed earlier about my embarrassment actually overshadowed my issues of insecurity.

As for overweight smooching being acceptable on TV… I go back to my point about there being a venue for everything.  It’s no different to me than anyone else doing the exact same thing.  Plus, people are tuning in… A LOT of people are tuning in… and just like with any show not aired after midnight on Cimemax, people aren’t tuning in just to see Mike and Molly kiss goodnight on the front porch.

WHY WE ARE UNCOMFORTABLE – In my opinion people are uncomfortable with things they are very unfamiliar with, or things that hit very close to home.  Have you ever noticed how defensive some people get when you tell them something about how they look or what they are wearing?  Even if you don’t say something entirely negative, but it’s just not positive enough for them, they get all kinds of catty and obnoxious about it?  I think they do this because they looked in the mirror before they left and had the same exact thoughts about it, but decided to go with it anyway.  It’s the same idea with addicts, people with depression, etc.  Everyone that sees some of them in something else that could be perceived as negative they will battle it out simply to defend themselves.

Same goes for overweight people.  Are overweight people happy about how they look?  In my opinion, no… I don’t think so.  I know many that accept it, some that embrace it, even some that support it… but the health issues they have just trying to get out of bed in the morning, trying to get into a booth at a restaurant, being asked to get off the plane due to their size – or not being able to ever fly at all for that matter?  Overweight people may be a lot of things, but ‘happy’ about being overweight certainly isn’t something I think anyone in my condition can say that they are.

I’d love to get your guys thoughts on this controversy… seriously, leave your comments and let’s chat about it a little.  If you like what I had to say, share it with others.  Remember – everyone is entitled to their opinion… let’s be open-minded about what everyone says!

Thanks for reading what may be considered the longest blog in the history of mankind… your support is awesome!

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What I Learned From My Second 5K…

October 25, 2010

So, 5K no. 2 is in the books… yaayyy!  Here’s the vitals:

TIME:  44:55 – yes, that’s two minutes slower than last time.  The course was a little different, as there were some hills and winding roads, and the race path was measured via the road and not the sidewalks that we ran on so it may have been a little longer than 3.2 miles.  Now, to me, those sound like excuses for my digression.  But I am told that these are legitimate factors that need to be considered and I should be going by how I felt during – and after – the race.  I felt great… really I did.  One thing I hated was that I didn’t have my iPod, as I bought some fancy schmancy Nike running earbuds that, quite frankly, sucked a monkeys ass and wouldn’t stay in my ears.  I’m open to suggestions for running headphones… earbuds (phones that go in the ear only) are NO BUENO… need something that wrap around the lobes.

WEIGHT:  288 lbs.  This is 20 lbs less than my first 5K on Labor Day weekend and officially FIFTY POUNDS down from my weight at the beginning of this journey.  Pretty huge for me, pun intended.  For the first time all of this stuff I’ve been doing hit me when I comprehended how much that really is.  A lot to be proud of for sure.

PARTNERS:  My first race partner was back home in NJ, and it honestly felt kinda odd to be racing without her.  I mean, it’s only been one race, but it was still kinda weird!  However, for this one, I had NEW race partners – three of my friends down here in VA – who agreed to run with me (Scott, Anthony and Leah).  We all finished, with Scott finishing in 27 mins, Anthony in 36 mins and Leah in 40.  Hell, Scott was so motivated he just decided to go out and run the Army 10-miler THE NEXT DAY… I mean why not, right?  I hate him… ok, not really… but yeah, I hate him.  The night before the race, I had all of them – along with our official race photographer Kari – over to my place for a nice carb-filled meal of pasta with Mom’s Homemade Sauce.  Really fun night of sharing stories, diet horrors/ successes and great company.  The race was great and I was proud of everyone… but the night before meant everything to me.  Thank you guys for coming over and running with me the next day… no matter what everyone says about you guys, I still think you’re all great.  😉

FULL MOON – Outside of the race, it was a rough weekend for me… I got a lot of shit going on in my head right now – therapy’s in a few days but until then it’s all mine for the managing.  A few months ago I was given the heads up about watching out for the craziness that comes out of the woodwork when a full moon comes.  I’m by NO MEANS one of these guys that believes in astrology, zodiac signs, horoscopes, etc… but I gotta tell ya – at least recently, that shit is SPOT ON.  Seriously, why in the hell do all the exes, nut jobs, obsessed stalkers, addicts, etc. come out at the SAME TIME each month and:

*  want to repair a broken relationship,
*  need you for something,
*  wanna go on a date,
*  want another chance at a date
*  want a pair of your boxer brie… sorry, too much.

It’s really unreal.  Try it… here’s a moon phase calendar.  Pay attention to when the next full moon comes.  Then when it’s here – pay attention to how people act.  Everyone gets a little nutty… you watch, it’s gonna happen!

NEXT RACE – How about this… its THIS WEEKEND!  The Monster Dash 5K in beautiful Point Pleasant, NJ.  Right after the race is going to be the wedding of one of my closest friends… in PA.  Yup, I’m driving from VA to run a 5K in NJ before a wedding that afternoon in PA.  Can’t wait to blog about that race along with what surely will be a great new topic or two that will surely come from the ensuing shenanigans at said wedding. 

Until then… thank you as always for the support, share my blog with your friends and, if you don’t already, hit me up on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.  Thanks again!

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1 Year Ago… 1 Year From Now…

October 22, 2010

So I’m gettin’ ready for my next 5K – The Iron Aiden 5K – which is tomorrow, and I realized that today is a significant day for several reasons.  10/22… One year ago today I lost one of the coolest people I’ve ever known (my grandfather), and a year from today my quest will be complete – the Tough Mudder is exactly one year away.

It’s quite the conundrum emotionally – I can’t believe that one year from now I will be doing arguably the toughest thing I’ve ever done in my life.  But, at the same time, one year ago today I went through one of toughest things I’ve ever gone through in my life.

Lemme tell ya – my Grandpa was one tough S.O.B.  He was loud, ornery, and pretty much a big ol’ pain in the ass.  And he was AWESOME.  This guy worked with his hands from the time he was a young teenager making wagon wheels in Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia), then coming to the United States, being a cook in World War II, coming back to build is home from the ground up – literally mixing the cement foundation with my grandmother – to starting Michael’s Kitchens, one of the premier custom kitchen and bath locations in New Jersey.  Take your fingers… put your index finger and your middle finger together… that was the size of ONE of his fingers.  They were so big he needed a special phone so he could dial it.  If his hands could talk… Wow, what a story they would have.  At the same time?  Dude loved to bake.  I’m not kidding – pies, breads… you name it!  

Now, custom kitchens are a thing of beauty, and you need a steady hand and a keen eye due to all of the details that go into it.  As my grandfather hit his 80’s, he decided to slow down a little.  Yes, that is not a typo – HIS 80’s.  And when he decided this… he didn’t stop showing up at the shop at 6:30am every morning… he just made other things, like make wagon wheels, cutting boards, clocks and end tables to give away to family, friends and clients.  I’m lucky – I have a clock AND a cutting board!

Oh… he also, along with my brother, annoyed the hell outta my Dad – to their sheer delight.  Not so much my Dad’s delight, but this bonding with my brother was something he really enjoyed.  He wasn’t old school, he was ‘old country’… he loved his shop, he loved his family, and he LOVED having his family in his shop.  Many people have asked me why I didn’t go into the family business, and my grandfather, father and brother all have the exact same answer:

“Because he’s the smart one!”

When he passed away, my family asked me to be one of the lectors at the funeral.  If you don’t know, a lector is one of the people that read passages from the bible for the members of the congregation at a mass, wedding, funeral etc.  It was truly an honor that the family would ask me to do this.  As most of you know, speaking in front of people is not something that bothers me in the least.  Even at my biggest I still didn’t mind doing it.  But that day, as I was reading and looking out at family and friends, that podium was pushed to the limit b/c my legs were shaking SO much I needed to hang on to it to keep all 330+ lbs. of me up.  I have NEVER experienced that in my entire life – and I almost passed out in front of everyone.  Don’t think Ive ever shared that before… I may have, but either way – now you know!

So tonight, I am making a pre-race dinner for Scotty, Leah, Anthony and Kari (all of whom will be joining me for the race tomorrow… Angela will be too but she can’t make it tonight!), knowing that tomorrow’s race is just another step in my journey which will end one year from today.   For me there’s gonna be a little bit more meaning though – it’s going to be about knowing that, no matter what, I’ll never be alone, and that someone will always be keeping an eye on me and making sure that October 22nd will be a day to celebrate life – be it a past one or a new one.

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Some Random Thoughts/ Updates

October 11, 2010

Just wanted to fill you all in on a few things, as well as touch on a topic or two:

WEIGHT – I’m back on track this week, losing 5 lbs.  I will say that I was terrified weighing in because I didn’t know how I would do beforehand (since I got rid of my scale ‘n’ all) but deep down I knew I put in the work this week and, thankfully, it paid off.  Gotta be honest – I don’t know what I would be typing/ feeling right now if it was just another 1/2 lb!


UPCOMING RACES – I have 2 races coming up in the coming weeks (click the names of the races for additional information):

The Iron Aiden 5K – my friend Angela brought this to me because I mentioned to her that I was looking for a few new races.  This race, on 10/23, is in support of the family of one of the parishioner’s at her church whose infant son is battling cancer.  Click the name of the race for more details, but seriously you should come out and run it with me.  I’m running, my boy Scotty (one of the gentlemen I highlighted in my ‘motivation’ blog is running, my former ‘Quiet On The Set!’ co-host Anthony (AKA Mista Fingaz) is running – along with many others who say they are coming as well.  It’s $30 to run/ walk or free to come out on a Saturday AM, take some pics and show us runners some love… click here if you wanna sign up (you know you wanna) and let’s help out Aiden and his family!

Monster Dash 5K – My running partner and I are running this race at the beautiful Jersey Shore on Halloween weekend, the same Saturday one of our dear friends is getting married… in Pennsylvania.  I know, kinda crazy… but you know what?  WHY NOT.  What else am I gonna do – get to the hotel a few hours early and start drinking?  I’ll drink plenty at the reception – plus Lord knows my tolerance now borders that of a 16 year-old girl drinking her first Bartles & James due to the weight loss so in my case ‘less will be more… than enough.’

FAITH – I stated here a few weeks ago that, after talking to my friend Jordan, I realized reconnecting with my faith is something I have finally accepted as necessary for me – and my continued overall well-being.  After consulting a few friends, I attended The Edge at Mclean Bible Church last Sunday… and I gotta tell you it was absolutely amazing.  A totally different way to worship and, after the original feeling that I was ‘cheating on Church’ (let’s just say this wasn’t your stereotypical stained glass window, chapel and steeple type of church), I really felt like I was able to connect again with… an old friend so to speak.  It was nice to get back to that after missing it for so long.


WHAT DO YOU WANNA KNOW?!?! – As most of you know (I do have a couple of people I share with), I am a VERY private person… and this blog has been quite an undertaking in the ‘sharing’ department for me.  However, I want to know what YOU want to know about me… and honestly I will try to answer everything.  ‘Everything’ depends on how personal you guys get with the questions, but I will do the best I can to answer as many as possible in an upcoming blog.  Think about those old school MySpace ‘About Me’ quizzes – but this quiz will be made up exclusively of your questions… fire away!

CONNECT AND SHARE – I really appreciate all of the support each of you has given to me the past few months… and keep it coming!  I say it ALL THE TIME – ‘Lord knows I’m gonna need it!’  I encourage you to also share my blog with others if you feel so inclined… I have been fortunate to meet some really great and inspirational people because my friends have been telling others about this and I just hope for my sake you keep doing it!  If you’re reading this for the first time, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter – just click on them and it will take you to me!  🙂

That’s about it for today… thanks for reading, thanks in advance for sharing – AND SIGN UP TO RACE WITH ME WILL YA!

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Peaks and Valleys I Get… But Plateaus?!?!

October 8, 2010

‘Hello, everybody…’  (If you were a fan of my former podcast that would be very funny to you…)

:^D…

So anyway – I’m still fat.  DAMMIT! 

Kidding… well, not about still being a man of larger carriage… but I was just playin’ around a little.  Seriously though, I’m down 46lbs at this juncture which is approximately the weight of my beautiful goddaughter Eva.  She had realized I was getting “better” as she puts it, but when she was informed of this particular fact she had the stereotypical 5 year-old ‘OH… MY… GOSH…’ look on her face like somehow I ate a kid just like her and then decided to simply give her back to her family.

Now – for the most astute of my blog readers, you’ll realize it’s only 2 additional lbs in the last 2.5 weeks since the last time I let y’all know how I was doing, when I had been averaging around 4 lbs/ week prior to this… this… lull I guess.

Now, to me, this is a HUGE pile of suck.  I still look like I’ll be giving birth any day now so in my head I should be droppin’ this weight at around 4-5 lbs. each weigh-in.  The ladies at Weight Watchers should simply be in awe of me and my weight loss prowess.  But guess what?  That’s not the case right now:

‘you lost .6 lbs, nice job’,
‘a pound and a half, nice job’. 

THAT’S IT?!?!  WHEN IN THE HELL AM I GONNA GIVE BIRTH TO MY GODDAUGHTERS NEXT 50 LB FRIEND?!?!

Now, I know there have been some factors that have caused it, so I don’t want to get TOO concerned with everything… but seriously, I’m becoming obsessed with losing weight.  I weigh myself every day… OK, let me clarify – I weight myself 5-6 times every day.  I won’t eat if I’m not happy with what I see.  I work out if I don’t like the number, then weigh myself again to see the improvement.  I weigh myself before I go to bed, when I wake up, after my ‘Dr. Natura appointment’ (click the link to get a better idea… and click at your own risk), after meals… I need to figure out why in the heck the weight’s not falling off!

Guess what, Dummy… IT’S NOT GONNA IF YOU KEEP DOING THIS.  I always need to remind myself that it’s gonna plateau, and that 2 – 2.5 lbs a week is a great and healthy way to drop this weight.  The first few weeks are great when you dropping a bunch of weight, but eventually it’s gonna be less – and its not a BAD thing… it’s the RIGHT thing.

I need to keep eating right and following the plan… nice breakfast, filling lunch and a healthy light dinner.  I need to keep working out – running 3-4 times a week and mixing in my old friend P90X for good measure.  All of these are all back on track, going well again and I can tell I’m gonna have a great week and a positive next weigh-in.  But there’s one more thing I absolutely, positively needed to do.

I needed to get rid of my scale.

Seriously – what in the heck am I doing gettin’ on that damn thing so much?  I have enough shit in my head to deal with without worrying about all of the crazy thoughts a simple number can create for me every single time I see a number I don’t like – that may or may not even be right (I have hopped on my scale and gained 2 lbs in 15 minutes w/ o doing ANYTHING… I’m not kidding).  It’s one of the stupidest things I can do, and no matter how many times my Mom, my friends, my readers etc. yell at me… I still get back on it.

Well – NO MORE.  I Timberlake’d my scale… ‘you’re Gone’.  N’Sync’d that biatch… ‘Bye Bye Bye’.  To be honest, I wish I had some other witty songs I could equate to getting rid of my scale that didn’t involve former Mickey Mouse Club members but for some reason I’m drawing a blank right now.  Y’all get the picture though.  No more scale… too much of a mind-screw to throw me off my game after everything I’ve already worked for.  The only time I will know what I weigh is when I weigh-in every Monday… which is one less thing for me to worry about, which is NEVER a bad thing.

Don’t ever forget that if you’re being healthy and doing things right, results WILL come.  The level of results may change from time to time, but remember that YOU’RE changing at the same time, so things HAVE to change with you.  And don’t ever… EVER get discouraged.  If you’re doin’ it right, you’re gonna get results.

I step off my soapbox now, and look forward to a weekend of running on The Mall, catching my godson’s tee ball game (with bases that make noise… I have no idea what that means, but it’s intriguing enough to get me there at 10a on a Saturday) and checking out a brand new church (remember – getting back in touch with my faith is a focus for me).  I hope you all have an awesome weekend… I’ll chat with yas next week!

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