Craving Compassion

I have noticed many changes in myself and my body over the years. Many of these changes are natural and most people experience them. More weight around the midsection? Check. Gray hair? Check. Aches and pains? Check. Yep, Father Time has started to beat the hell out of me, but it’s not all his fault. Year after year, I have made a lot of bad choices in my life when it comes to my health. Luckily, I have never gotten into drinking alcohol, drugs, or smoking. I guess I do have that going for me. Unfortunately, I have really let myself go. I weigh more now than I ever have and I very rarely exercise, even though I have workout equipment in my garage.

rooAnyone that has read my blog knows that I have covered the topics of losing weight over and over again. Well, not this time. This time, I want to talk about a change in me that makes me proud. I am guessing as I have gotten older, I have gotten softer. Growing up, we always had dogs in the house, so I was raised with animals around. When I was younger, I didn’t11722334_10207081619709006_2892522518993817534_o really feel the same compassion for animals that I do today. We have two Jack Russell Terriers, one rough coat and one smooth coat. Great dogs individually, but total opposites.  It is through these two dogs that I really began to develop my compassion for animals. Not just dogs, but all animals.

My love for animals has made me feel conflicted over my diet that involves burger after burger, sausage after sausage, and chicken sandwich after chicken sandwich. I find myself feeling hypocritical. How can I feel compassion and love for these animals on one hand, but then, basically, eat them with the other? I think everyone is aware of the conditions that most of the animals are kept in that eventually find their way to our dinner tables. For me, it has always been like putting money into a slot machine. You put your $100 bill in and you get a piece of paper out of the machine telling you how much money you have left. You no longer see your hard-earned cash, but only a piece of paper. I think that is a bit like eating meat. I see a hamburger on my plate, not a cow staring back at me. That bacon and eggs used to walk this earth as well.

I LOVE to eat. For me, giving up food that I have enjoyed for 50 years is like an alcoholic giving up the bottle. In my heart, I know, for me, it is the right thing to do, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

My wife and I recently traveled through Texas and saw thousands of cattle in small pens. Very crowded. You knew they were only steps away from their fates. It was very, very sad. Makes me sad still thinking about it. I know me not eating meat anymore isn’t going to make a dent in that type of operation, but at least I can have a clear conscience. I know that pigs and chickens suffer the same fates.

I will try with all my heart to change my diet. I am tired of being a hypocrite. Here’s hoping that the new year will help me achieve this goal for myself and all my furry and feathered friends.




Gut Punch

As my wife can attest, I am very good at starting something and then not finishing it. I do go into things with the intent to finish what I started, but my mind tends to wander more often than not, so before I can finish something, the old brain has already moved on to something else. Not sure, exactly, why that is. I get bored easily, I guess. I tend to over think things sometimes. I suffer from analysis paralysis so to speak. I DID just recently finish my degree after 20 years in the process, so I am feeling ready to finish something else. Something big.

I have left many things in my life unfinished, but the one thing that I have started over and over again and continues to frustrate the hell out of me more than anything else … weight loss.

I currently weigh 266 pounds, which would be fine if I were 6-10, but I am about 5-9.  I recently turned 50 and my thoughts have turned to retirement. Unfortunately, I feel if I don’t get my weight under control, I may not make it to retirement. What a kick in the ass that would be.

I have tried so many diets. Some have worked and some haven’t. Unfortunately, none of them have worked long term. I have tried Weight Watchers many times, which works for me until I get tired of counting points, which then leads to me falling off the wagon.

For me, this time, I don’t want to count calories. I want to make a change that will just be a lifestyle change. I want to just be able to know and feel that I am eating right. I don’t want to calculate every little thing I put into my mouth. I know this journey will have to include a little bit of exercise and weight training. I currently live a very sedentary lifestyle, which I know has to change.

I have very little will power. If it is in the house, it will likely get consumed. I almost have to have my kitchen stocked with only healthy choices. If there is a chip in the house, I will find it and consume it.

Another issue I have is that I eat when mad. When sad. When nervous. When scared. Unfortunately, these emotions have become more prevalent lately as it seems like the world becomes a worse place day by day. It is time for me to turn off the news, limit my time on social media, and, I guess, just stick my head in the sand for a while. I need a clear head to tackle this weight loss issue.

One of my most recent college professors told me that my goal to get down to 169 pounds was not realistic at my age, so, my current goal is to lose 75 pounds. That weight gets me well under 200 pounds, which I think would be great. I would hope at that weight, I could stop taking my high blood pressure medicine and, hopefully, ditch the annoying CPAP machine. Oh, how I miss sleeping like most people with that elephant trunk.

Oh, well, I would like to write more, but I have another thing I should be doing. I need to start planning my menu for the week. I will come back to this later.

Oh, damn it. There I go again.


Love is the Answer

Today adds another day to the well over eighteen thousand days that I have seen come and go. I continue to search for happiness and the reason I am here, all the while trying to make a difference and leave this earth a better place for me having been here.

As I have gotten older, my love for animals has grown ten fold from my younger days. My love for individuals has also grown, while my faith in society has waned. I struggle to love myself as I look in the mirror, disgusted with what my body has become. They say you have to love yourself first, which has been hard for me for so long. I’m not sure why I am so hard on myself. I wish I could find a way to be happy with the way I am and what I have and where I am in my life.

So much talk these days in the United States about race and racial inequality. It is not my place as a white man to tell any minority how to feel. How arrogant would that be of me to tell anyone how to feel and what’s right and what’s wrong in relation to prejudice. As a human being, I believe EVERYONE should be treated equally. I doubt that I will live to see the day that this will happen, but, hopefully, one day, probably generations from now, we can achieve human harmony.

As I’ve gotten older, I would like to think I have gotten wiser. I believe I have matured, at least judging by my gray hair and its scarcity on the back of my head. I try to have empathy for all living things. I think twice these days about killing anything, even bugs. I guess as my number of days on this planet are now more in the rearview than ahead, I have become more sympathetic to the preciousness of every breath. We all must remember that everyone on this planet is going through the same thing. We all have a story to tell. Well all have our own set of problems. We are all searching for the meaning of life.

I am very lucky. Both of my parents are still on this earth. I often shudder to think what it is going to be like when the two people who have shaped me into the man I am today will no longer be there for love and support. As I wipe the tears from my eyes, I know I will be ok due to their lifelong influence and the values they have instilled in me. I also have a daughter and a wife that love me very much, not to mention additional family and friends as well.

I need to get to bed. It is now 2:30 a.m. I love to write and think late at night. I believe God opens my mind and my heart to express emotions freely.

This topic makes me think of a song released back in 1995 by the Blessid Union of Souls called, “I Belive”. Take a listen.

… Love is the Answer.