Friday, May 9, 2014

Complete and Utter Failure

I can't believe it's been over 4 years since I last wrote in this blog. At the time, I had gotten bored with it and felt like I was just starting to piss and moan all the time, plus I was busier at work and and was planning a wedding and didn't really make time to write. I often thought about starting up again in the years since but could never quite pull the trigger. But a lot has happened in the past few years, most of it bad, and it seems like as good a time as any to put it into perspective and maybe find my way forward.

First off, I'm fat again. Anyone who has read my other posts knows of my endless battles of the bulge and how much I've struggled with it. While I was able to basically keep the weight off, sometimes more successfully than not, it was always like walking a tightrope. My bad habits had not changed all that much, but I was able to temporarily find the discipline most weeks, and hit gym regularly, to offset my sins. However, by the end of September 09, all that went out the window. All it took was the loss of my job.

I had set a weight goal for myself in the months leading up to my wedding but due to the stresses of planning that wedding, plus some additional stresses from work, I actually came into the wedding a full 20 lbs heavier than I wanted. After a beautiful honeymoon in Italy (I highly recommend it) I returned to work and was promptly laid off due to restructuring thanks to the economic meltdown of 2008-09. Now, I knew that at some point I could lose my job; after all, it wasn't an important job nor could it be considered a full time job. It was only a matter of time before the bean counters decided they could save the $38600 a year in salary they were paying me. At least they waited for me to get married; they could have just as easily ruined our wedding. As it was, they just ruined the honeymoon phase.

I was trained in high tech, programming to be specific, but I hadn't used those skills in over 5 years. The job I had, while at a software company, was non-technical and the skill set required to work there in a technical setting was beyond mine. So when I lost my job, I had little to sell a new employer, especially one who was most likely feeling the pinch of tough economic times themselves. I had discussed this inevitability with my wife a few times prior and we considered sending me back to school in the event that the worst happened. I did attend an IT workshop to get a lay of the land and discovered that I would have to basically retrain if I wanted to re-enter the IT industry. But sitting there with quite a number of experienced laid off IT folks who couldn't find work either didn't exactly offer a lot of promise. So I went in another direction: business administration with a major in Human Resources.

Now I didn't want to go back to school so soon after having graduated with my programming diploma, but I didn't feel like I had a choice. So the combination of being laid off with no real job prospects, a looming return to higher education yet again and a very real concern for my future put me into a funk. And when I go into a funk, I eat. My entire gym schedule went out the window; I did go once in a while but my eating was offsetting any good it was doing. Stress, depression, anxiety, my life became a mess. I became quite sedentary, I was sitting all day in a classroom, sitting all evening doing homework, going to bed and then doing it all over again the next day. As a result, the weight starting piling on.

You know what the worst part was? I could see it happening and I couldn't stop it. I felt powerless. It was like my inner fat guy had been lying in wait for just the right moment to strike and completely take over my life. And once he emerged, that was it. The guy who spent countless hours in a gym, struggling with not snacking and trying to eat properly, who took pride in the way he looked in clothes, was gone.  Everything I had worked for had disappeared. Now, not only was I fat again, I was also unemployed with no job prospects. A loser.

I look back on some of my previous posts and I see myself fretting over 5 lbs, or over some bad weekend. I would trade that for where I am now in a New York minute. It was very real back then, those few pounds either way really bothered me, consumed me. But they're nothing to where I'm at now. If I want to be normal sized again, I have a long road ahead of me. A long, hard road. When I did it before, I was focused, driven. It didn't really seem like work. I ate well and lightly and went to the gym daily for 2-3 hours. I can't find that drive anymore. I still go to the gym, but its not the same effort. 35 minutes at a mid range tension on the elliptical and another 30 minutes on a treadmill. I used to do close to an hour on the elliptical and another 30 on a bike. Then I'd hit the weights for strength training. My diet is horrible. I eat salad but not daily, I eat way too much bread and cheese. And I do buy some snacking foods here and there which are promptly devoured. Yes, I am one sad puppy. Oh, and I'm still unemployed and there are no half decent jobs out there so I'm stressed out beyond belief. And you know what I said about me and stress: munch munch munch.

So there you have it; a brief update on what's been going on. But wait! It gets better! There's a little issue of a mild ischemia that has developed. If you want to know what ischemia is about, see this. I'll talk more about this later and how it's impacted me.

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