A Pirate Looks at 30

Wow...you guys are still here.

Well, THIS is awkward....

I have not made good on my promise to keep this blog up and running, and, for that, I apologize. For those of you looking for some sort of excuse or valid reason as to why this blog has fallen by the wayside, I hate to disappoint you, but they are few and far between, and none of them are really any good. I did, however, want to start this thing up again because I just reached a milestone in my life that, about a year and change ago, wasn't completely sure I was going to reach. On October 25, 2011 I turned 30 years old.

Now, I'm not gonna be that guy who's gonna bitch about how his Precious Days of Youth are now far behind him and how he's so depressed because now he's sooooooo oooooooooold. Honestly, I see no need for it. People turn 30, it happens. What really matters is what you plan on doing for the next 30, which brings me to why I've returned to this humble little weblog. I've come back in shame.

A main part of the Mission Statement of this blog has always been to keep it as open and honest as I can stand it. To that end, I'm here to tell you that, since our last conversation, I have failed MISERABLY in dropping all this weight. M I S E R A B L Y. Now, for a lot of you close to me and for me, as well, this is a tough pill to swallow, I know. I've spent these last few days doing a bit of soul searching, and, frankly I've really not liked what I've come up with. I wanna first apologize to all of you who are closest to me, my family and my friends. It's simply not fair for me to, in essence, slowly kill myself right in front of your face.

Some could argue that, yeah, sure I've lost quite a bit of weight. Clothes fit me better, and people are noticing the results, but "quite a bit of weight" was never the mission. The mission was to GET HEALTHY and stay that way; To kick the Diabetes and thus elongate my life. I've not been sticking to the original blueprint, at least not like I should, and the more I think about all you guys who have had to see me this past year, to see me do well and then suddenly stop, the more I know I've really dropped the ball here.

I'm not saying all this so that you guys will flood the comment box with sympathy posts and "it'll be ok's." I'm saying this because there's only one guy who can turn this ship around, and it sure as Hell ain't any of you. I've gotta get myself in check again if I'm gonna survive the next 30. That's why I'm back here. This blog was a great tool in keeping me motivated, to celebrate the big and small victories on the Road to Recovery. It was a great place to open up and talk about my struggles with the whole thing and get feedback from the (few) readers and bits of advice and words of encouragement. And, really, who else am I gonna whine to about really REALLY wanting a MacFarlane's Burger?

So, yeah, in summation, The Blog is back. I am back. The dedication is back. I've stepped away for far too long and I regret it tremendously. So it's time to redeem myself, and, mark my words, kids, I don't plan on letting myself down again.


Full Disclosure

Alright, Alright. Let's get this out of the way. Yes, I realize that it's been over a month since the last time I posted. Yes, I realize that that leaves many of you in the dark in regards to my progress (or the lack thereof, for all you haters out there). I mean, there are very few who are granted access to the inner sanctum, and those that are, well, they're probably looking for the exits right about now. First off, let me apologize for my absenteeism as far as this blog goes. There is no excuse for me simply sitting on my ass and doing nothing. Much like sugarcoating things, sitting on my ass and doing nothing also got me into this predicament. Let's never speak of this again. Anyway, onto the goodness!

So, first thing's first. Let's talk about my progress. I can't lie to you guys, it's been a rough month as far as the dieting thing goes. A series of financial setbacks including, but not limited to: having to out my car in the shop, having to spring for a brand new battery for said car after it came out of said shop, and catching up on the bills after this whole automobile fiasco. Let's see, I ran out of my blood pressure medicine and went for a good week or two without. As a result of this series of unfortunate events, I started to get a little down and depressed and a bit stressed, as well. One of my worst problems is whenever I get stressed or agitated, I usually turn to food, which is probably not the best solution at this point. So, I've done some stumbling. Not huge stumbling, sir, but stumbling nonetheless. So, I hit a few fast food joints. It still ceases to be an everyday thing as it once was, and, granted, fast food every once in a while is still a huge improvement, but it still doesn't satisfy me. In all honesty, it reads like me making an excuse.

In that time of depression and discouragement and some-other-d-word-that-probably-fits-here-but-I-can't-think-of, I turned to the people I've always counted on for counsel and advice, my Bestie and fellow weight-loss blogger Casey () and, of course, my girlfriend, Summer. Let me tell you guys something, I am nothing without the support of my friends and family. If you're struggling with weight loss, or, really, anything else, I encourage you to open up to someone you're close to. In addition to getting some pretty sound advice from a fresh pair of eyes, it's great for de-stressing. I truly believe that it was the support and encouragement from those two, in addition to My Dad, My Two Moms, My Brothers, and, well, pretty much my entire family, that set me back on the right path. I am eternally grateful and humbled by it.

The good thing about all this is that, despite the rough patch I traversed, I still am making some great progress. Perfect example was today, in fact. I have a few shirts, really nice shirts, that I can't wear or have never worn because, well, they weren't made to have this much torso crammed into it. Today was different, however. I was curious to see exactly how much progress I had been making, and I needed some sort of visual reference. Still being at that stage where the only scales that will hold me exist at large animal clinics and recycling centers, I can't weigh myself at home, so I decided to see if any of the aforementioned shirts would fit. I am happy to say that I can fit into a 4XL shirt again, which, if you'll pardon my colorful invective, is fucking monumental. Now, it's still a bit snug around the gut region, but, it's not uncomfortable.

I gotta say, man, that was such a great motivator that I had to call my Mom and let her know. She was as elated as I was, and was almost moved to tears. Call me crazy, but I honestly didn't think it was that big of a deal, until I actually took a step back and realized that, aside from my work uniform, most of my wardrobe had been reduced to six or seven t-shirts. Now, I am not hating on t-shirts, but I only really had about two shirts that I really felt comfortable "dressing up" in. Now, with a few more weeks of working hard, I'll be able to add a few more options to that queue.

So, I guess the lesson of this long-overdue blog entry is that none of you should get discouraged by how far you have to go. You need only look behind you, and you'll see how far you've come. I did it, and trust me, it was a lot farther than I could have hoped for.

That about does 'er for this week, kids. I promise I won't wander off as severely as I did. Stay tuned to this space, and don't forget to comment!


The Weekender presents: Where the Hell Have You Been?

Ok, so, Mom keeps texting me. Yes, my Mom texts. "Where's the new blog?" "When will you be writing a new blog?" "No use to have a blog if ya don't write in it." Of course, all her points are valid, but, you know, I kind of like the idea of people clamoring for the next new thing from me...even if it's just my Mom.

So, it is with much pomp, circumstance, and a healthy dose of aplomb that I present to you THE WEEKENDER!!!! Ummm...on a Tuesday.

Lot of things on my mind this weekend, but, first, let's get to the pertinents....

* Diet is going as well as it can. I am cutting portions like there's no tomorrow. I am, however, happy to report that my first answer to the question of "What's for dinner?" is becoming less and less driven by a desire for fast food. We still have a LOOOOOOOOOOONG way to go, but we are well on our way.

* After a little over a week on The CPAP (Which needs a name, BTW, if anyone would like to take a stab), I feel terrific! My body is adjusting to getting sleep at the appropriate time and, I never thought I'd say this, but it feels good to go to sleep at a reasonable hour.

* OK, so a bit of a confession here. I am terrified of weighing in. Terrified. My biggest fear is failing at anything, and to head in the wrong direction would not be a good feeling for me to feel. I must keep a positive attitude or this whole thing will trend downward in a hurry. I officially face the music when I see the Dr. for my one month follow up on September 16th. Fingers crossed and eyes on the prize.

* Now for the good news. For the first time in months, I can buckle my seat belt! Ok, look, String Bean, it may not be a big deal for you because you can buckle your seat belt so well that you almost never do it. I, on the other hand, had to opt out of riding The Incredible Hulk Ride at Universal Studios 10 years ago because I couldn't fit in the harness let alone buckle it in. So, a fastened seat belt is a small victory in my eyes.

So, I know that "The Weekender" is supposed to be not only a recap of recent weight-loss related events, but also a water cooler of sorts for me to kind of toss around things that have my attention, movie reviews, music stuff, and whatever else I see fit to put there. So, here now, are but a few of the things I've done/seen/become hopelessly obsessed about:

1.) Anything "Scott Pilgrim" related. The movie, the video game, and the soundtrack are all top notch. Shame on you all for not seeing the movie. Surely the Geek Movie gods will not take this lightly.

2.) Mad Men. I'm a little late to the party on this one, but I've watched the first two episodes of the new season, and I think I'm hooked. The story is quite compelling and I'd like to watch the preceding seasons to really get a fuller understanding of what's going on.

3.) I've also recently started a Formspring account. Formspring is a website where people can ask you questions, which in turn you answer. Far as I can tell there are no limits to what you can ask, but, on my Formspring page, I will be hanging the NO DICKWAD ZONE sign as well. So, if you ain't got anything nice to say, well then you can blow it out your ass, and I mean that in the nicest of ways. You can find me here: http://www.formspring.me/PreciousRoy

Welp, looks like we've come to the end of this trip into my little corner of The Blogosphere. Let me leave you with a little something I picked up a few days ago. I hope it warms your heart as it did mine. Until next time, Keep Your Feet on the Ground, and You Hand out of the Cookie Jar.


Brad's Funeral and The CPAP Experience

It's not often that one has what can be called a truly "Life Changing" experience. Some people would count the day they got married, the day their first child was born, or even the day they made peace with God. Well, Loyal Friends and True, I have officially had one of those experiences.

The day I got my CPAP machine was the day my life changed. And, after only three nights of sleeping with it, all I can say is "WOW!!" Actually, I can say a lot more because that wouldn't be much of a blog if all I could say was "WOW!!", but I digress. I've only had my machine for four days, and it's been an eye opening experience. Obtaining it, however, was an eye opening experience in itself. You see, I had to meet my aunt (who works in a pharmacy) at Bradley's funeral to get the machine.

Sweet Niblets, do I hate funeral homes. (And, yes, that was a Hannah Montana reference. Sue me.)

Top three places that I will go, but will ultimately loathe every second of it: hospitals, funeral homes, and Ryan's. Well, that third one is mostly self-loathing because, try as I might, I cannot deny Ryan's tasty tasty steaks.

I mean, it's not that I don't want to see any of my family or offer up my condolences. It's just that I never know what to say in those situations. Come to think of it, that's always been a flaw amongst my many flaws. I like to think I'm a nice enough guy, but I am no good at verbalizing my sympathy. Anyway, so, of course the bulk of my Mom's side of the family is there, so of course I've got to go in there and at least say hello to my Uncle Greg and see Brad for the last time. It just wouldn't be right if I didn't.

Craziest thing about viewing Bradley's body was that he was not as rotund as I had anticipated. In fact, dude looked to be maybe 250. I'm pretty sure I need to go no further than that. Dying from sleep apnea at 250 is shocking, at 400+ it becomes only slightly more likely.

Talk about a cure for any hang-ups I may have had regarding, say, discomfort of the mask, or how weird it feels to have air pumped into your nose. The mask goes on when I go to sleep and that mother trucker stays there till I get up. Which, by the way, is now about 6-8 hours later without any bathroom breaks. I can tell my body has some catching up to do as far as deep sleep goes.

Another great aspect is the energy I'm finding myself with. Used to be, I'd fall asleep at the drop of a hat, which is a pretty huge problem for a frequent movie-goer like myself. Hell, I couldn't tell you the finer points of that "Wolfman" remake that came out earlier this year. I also am notorious for dozing off in front of the TV during things I am genuinely interested in seeing. It's become a bit frustating as it has gone on.

These days, though, I don't even fall asleep in the work truck on long rides. I actually feel ready to attack the day when I get up in the morning. It is a welcome change from the sluggish rising and dozing off while checking my Facebook before I go to work. So good is the difference that I've taken to doing about Wii Boxing every couple days as a means of getting some exercise in. Fan-Tastic!

Well, that about does 'er for this edition of COOR. Check back this weekend because I actually plan on doing a Weekender this weekend. Should be fun.


In Memoriam

Look, guys, I gotta be honest with ya. I was gonna come in here earlier today and write up an amusing blog about how my sleep test went last night and I was gonna take a real "No Shit, Sherlock!" approach to finding out that I have sleep apnea.

And then Bradley died.

Bradley was a cousin of mine from my Uncle Greg's first marriage. I didn't really know the cat all that well, but, the few times I met him, like any Jenkins boy, he was an amicable, good-natured, and all-around nice guy. I think he gave me a mini-disco ball one year. Anyway, I digress. Brad and I were about the same age, with him maybe being a year or two older than me. While never an overly "Fat Guy." he, like most Jenkins boys, was not a small person. I guess it runs in the family.

Well, when I checked my Facebook this morning, I was hit with the news that Brad had passed away in the night. Sleep apnea was the culprit.

From The Wikipedia entry on sleep apnea: Sleep apnea (or sleep apnoea in British English) is a sleep disorder characterized by having one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from a few seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour.

That is some scary shit. Scary, scary shit. Scary to the point that I've taken to sleeping strictly on my side because it's worse if you sleep on your back. And, as if the risk of dying wasn't enough, sleep apnea affects nearly every facet of your well-being from your energy levels to your metabolism.

Long story short, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea after TWO HOURS of my sleep study. TWO HOURS. My oxygen levels had dropped so low that the attendant stepped in and put me on the CPAP machine. Let me put this into perspective. In the three weeks or so I've been making strides to change the way I eat, my girlfriend, Summer, told me I've been sounding a lot better while I sleep. This blows my mind because how much worse had it been?

So I'm gonna get a CPAP machine and I'm gonna use it. I will not let it take me the way it took Brad. I will not let something as fixable as sleep apnea take over my life, let alone take my life.

So, in closing, if you even have an inkling that you may have sleep apnea, I implore you to see a Doctor and take the steps to get it fixed. Your life could depend on it.


Midweek Ramblings

Dammit, was I hungry today.

I Had a bowl of Special K with blueberries (2nd best cereal ever, by the way. First place being Strawberry and Blueberry Fruit Harvest) with a side of Lisinopril (My High BP Medicine). The Beast was not sated, but time was short and I had to get to work. For lunch I had a small Oscar Mayer Lunchable (Ham and Swiss. Cheddar is for fatties :P) an apple, an orange, and a Vitamin Water (I've heard the Sobe Lifewater is better. taste-wise and health-wise. Anybody heard the same?). This only served to mock the enormous appetite of The Beast. Mid afternoon brought a snack of a Sobe Lifewater (I can vouch for the tastiness, but failed to take a gander at the label) and a bit of trailmix (I got the nut and chocolate mix. Shoulda got the fruit. I know, I know). The Beast smiled, knowing supper was but a stone's throw away.

So, after work Summer and I decide to go and grab something to eat. After a small discussion involving the specifics, we decide on Sonic. "Good thing" The Beast snarled from behind his pointy teeth, "because my ass is HONGRY!!" As we Pulled into the lane at Sonic, The Beast became rather excited at the prospect of Chili Cheese Tots and Jalapeno Cheddar Peppers. "You know," I said to Summer, "I may get a Super Sonic Cheeseburger combo. I am freakin' HUNGRY tonight!"

She didn't even have to say a word.

She looked at me with those beautiful brown eyes, which could have shot lasers through me at that point. And, in that second, I knew what I had to do, so I ordered the grilled chicken salad and a grilled chicken wrap, which were, by the way, ridiculously tasty. As it turns out, chicken and a lot of lettuce are quite satisfying!

So, what did we learn today?

Despite the amazing content of the "Eat This, Not That!" books easing my fast food fears and The Amazingly Persuasive Beast breathing down the back of my neck, urging me to enjoy some greasy Beef-N-Cheese, I came out like a champ. And, you know what? I feel great about it. You see, it's all about choices. Just because you're in a McDonald's (Which, by the way, try not to find yourself there, if you can help it.) doesn't mean sullying your intestines with a Double Quarter Pounder (As delectable as it may sound, it probably ain't worth it). Nearly every Fast food joint that doesn't wanna lose money has healthier options on their menus.

When all else fails, and you simply cannot imagine a trip to The Golden Arches without something drenched in grease lining your stomach, why don't you just sit it out? Maybe have a diet soda while you're there, and grab some healthier fare later. Subway is always good in a pinch, and, hey, who amongst us doesn't enjoy Subway? If you don't have at least one favorite Subway sandwich, You. Simply. Are. Not. American.

Anyway, that about does it for tonight's entry, stay tuned later this week for a Weekender for all my gaming peeps out there.


Sunday Snack: Incepcion

Found this looking up stuff about "Inception." I'll just leave this here...