Friday, May 23, 2008

i can do better...

it's happened before. and it's happened again. and again, i am doing something about it. a lifestyle fueled by the love of pints and cheeseburgers has left me, once more, in a situation where i wake up one morning and find myself about twenty pounds heavier than i'd like to be, moving a little slower than i'd like to be, and feeling my t-shirts and pants hugging a little bit tighter than i'd like them to be. so, as i have in the past, i've decided to do something about it. it is not unfamiliar territory. i have always been a bit of a yo-yo, moving up and down in a range of about 30 pounds, and i have always been able to pack it on or pull it off relatively quickly, sometimes see-sawing up and down twice in one year. (this will, i believe, come in handy if i'm ever cast in one of those "raging bull" or "the machinist" type of roles - one can dream...)

back in 2002, when i was sitting in my cubicle at universal, i packed on a whopping 30 pounds in one year. food court lunches with ted and click, the in-house cafe, and countless nights out drinking countless beers with porter all added up to the balloon popping at around 205 lbs., when i finally woke up one day and said "enough." in an instant, i changed my whole lifestyle...

-no more alcohol (alas poor heineken...)
-no more sweets (i will miss you butter tarts...)
-no more bread, potatoes, pasta, rice (you try going a month without eating a sandwich, let alone one day...)
-no dairy (the only exception i will make here, is a splash of skim milk in my coffee, as i just can't drink it black...)
-excercise for at least an hour or two a day (this includes walking).
-do push-ups and sit-ups/crunches every day,
so that my muscles are constantly burning, a continuous reminder not to fall off...
(i've documented this before, in this dear old blog of mine, i'll throw in a link here if i can find the old post, but i doubt it...)

it worked. i lost 40 lbs. in just a few months. i went from being a fat guy to having a woman from elite models hand me her business card in a line-up at a coffee shop. that felt good. i had done it. it had worked. i swore to myself that i would never let myself get fat again...

i got fat again two years ago. once more, lifestyle. working at a bar, jamming with my band on my off nights. drinking a 12-pack of heineken like most people drink a glass of water. this time i decided to try the heartbreak diet. well, i didn't decide to try it, life decided for me, but thank god, as it really worked. this one is simple, you simply have to find a girl that you're completely in love with, and have her break your heart to the point where you can't sleep or eat or drink for a couple of weeks. basically, you have to get yourself to a place where the very thought of swallowing food makes you want to vomit. you must survive only on water, coffee, and cigarettes, and, if she fucked you up bad enough to keep you on this diet for two weeks, you will lose about 15 lbs. it worked, but i don't ever want to try that one again.

two days ago, after feeling a little, uh, big for a little while, i pulled out my scale and stepped on it. i feel good in the range between 165-175 lbs., and the numbers spun up to 196. yikes. it's time, ryan. no more fucking around, no more "i'll start tomorrow..." i can do it. i've done it before. it's not easy, but it's also not nearly as difficult as it seems in the beginning.

i'm going to share this experience with you. i have talked to a few of my other friends who either have gone, or are going through similar experiences.

i'm going to start with day one, which was yesterday:

first meal of the day, breakfast. i went to the artsee cafe, here in bayfield, my daily morning spot. (excelling staff, and great food.) i ordered the small breakfast (two eggs any style, toast and fruit) - hold the toast. i also ate a banana and have a coffee. i then went for a 24 km. bike ride, which took about two hours (with a couple of stops, and a few large hills that i had to walk up with my bike).

i cycled the 8 km. to varna, which was a little bit scary. biking on the highway for my first time was an experience - the wide open fields and gusty winds coupled with constantly having to check behind me for oncoming trucks and ducking over onto the gravel shoulder...

varna is basically one intersection. on once corner, a pet food store. on the other corner - in this photo - the general store. i went in to see if they had anything to eat. in the back of the store was a lunch counter, with three older folks (a gentleman and two ladies) chatting with each other and the lady behind the counter. on one of the women's recommendation, i ordered a soup to go, and exchanged a bit of conversation with the gang. when i told them i was out on my bicycle, the gentleman, ralph, told me a few tales of biking around between here, bayfield, and grand bend in his youth. on a one-speed. uphill both ways. no, i'm kidding, but we did laugh about how it was downhill from varna to bayfield, but uphill on the way back - the way i just came. "tell me about it," i said, sweating through my t-shirt despite the cold day. when the soup was ready, i realized i didn't have any cash on me, and pulled out my bank card. "no debit, sorry." is there an atm in town? "nope." shit. sorry. fuck, what do i do? "i'll take care of it for him," said one of the ladies, "i've been treated before, so i'll treat." you are too kind, thank you. i told them all to pop by the black dog if they found themselves in bayfield. and then i was off for a ride through the country...

i was hoping to find a nice spot to stop and eat my soup, but it was way too cold outside, and i hadn't brought a sweater, so i had to keep moving...

and for dinner, back at the pub, a small village salad with chicken, easy on the feta.

later on, i hooked up with this cat adam, and we jammed out for a bit, laying down the beginnings of two new songs in about three hours. him on his acoustic, both of us freestyling lyrics and chorus ideas, recording it on the computer. good times. at the end of the night i broke down and drank a beer, which led to another one. i almost didn't tell you about it, but i decided that i am going to be completely honest about this whole process, the victory and defeat, the bitter with the sweet. shit, since i'm being honest, when i got home, after two beers, i was hungry, and i ate two sausages. shit. yup. i fucked up. day one, here's the tally...

-water and coffee
-two beers (arrgh!)
-sausages (arrgh!)

-two hour bike ride (yes!)
-i forgot to do my push-ups and crunches (arrgh!)

i'm not going to be too hard on myself, for day one, it was not a bad start, but i am a little disappointed in how i ended the night. old habits, right? i'll let you know how i do on day two. i can do better.

ps. the sunsets here are HEAVEN...

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