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...


The Weekender: First Edition

     Seeing as how we take Sundays off 'round these parts, I have deemed Saturday "Recap Day" when it comes to the blog. Future installments of "The Weekender" (pretty catchy, right?) will include weigh in results, food diaries, findings from the field, and assorted scuttlebut. Big things and huge steps to report this week, though.

     First of all, I am very happy to report an increase in overall mobility after just two weeks of not hardcore dieting, but simply reducing my portions and making good and learned choices at the drive thru or grocery aisle. "Now, wait just a minute, my zaftig friend!" You may be yelling at your monitor right now "DRIVE THRU!!! That don't sound like healthy options!" To which I will first refer you to the NO DICKWAD ZONE sign that hangs over the doorway to this humble blog, and then tell you that you can still make healthy choices and eat well, and not eat just boneless skinless chicken.

How do I know this?

     My Mom, ever the vigilant warrior, sent me a copy of a book called "Eat This! Not That!" which is basically about eating healthy in the real world. You know, the Real World?  The world where most of us spend most of our days either at work, running around like headless poultry, or both? The world where we don't always have time to fix ourselves a garden fresh salad made of the finest Romein lettuce and Arugula leaves? Yeah, that real world. Obviously, the book doesn't teach thinness by way of The Whopper, but it offers a wealth of information about what the healthiest choices are at pretty much any chain restaurant you'll be eating. Bigger than that, it taught me a lesson in portion control that not only is feasible in my mind, but it's not an earth shattering change.
     Myself being a man who knew not of this mythical "controlling of portions" you speak of, is learning that simply cutting back on the simple amount of what I eat can pay dividends. Like I said earlier, I've only lost a little bit of weight, but I can already feel the change in my body. My job is very demanding physically and it requires being out and about in this punishing heat. Usually I could keep up, but not without my share of huffing and puffing. Now, I can get in there and do some heavy lifting and work up a good sweat without sounding like an iron lung in the process!

     On another note, I'd like to welcome my first 5 followers! Ok, Ok, they're made exclusively of people I know, but, hey, least they're following! You guys, spread the word! Let em know what I got going on over here! Bring me your chunky, your husky, your fat, and your round! We're all about the big people love here! Who knows? Maybe this blog could be the start of a support network amongst ourselves, leading to some interesting and frank discourse on the weight loss game. As always, I love reading the comments you leave either here or on my Facebook, and thank you all for the continued support.

Until next time, you stay classy.


The First Cut is the Deepest

     As far back as I can remember, I've always been a big guy. My Mom will tell you that I started gaining weight after I got my tonsils out, which was, indeed, a loooong time ago. Ever since then, I've forged a love-hate relationship with food and eating. On one hand I love to eat. I love to try new foods and recipes, and I can definitely appreciate a good cook. The problem with that is that I have a long and not-so-great track record when it comes to making healthy choices.
      In grade school it was eating some of the other kids' lunch portions. In High School it turned into second helpings from Football-Booster Lunch Ladies. Beyond that lies a road paved with Ramen Noodles, Whole Pizzas, Oversized Portions, and soda, way too much soda. For a while I had what you could maybe call a good handle on my weight. By "Good Handle" I mean that, while it may not have been a healthy weight, at least it stayed coinsistent.
     Something has gone a bit haywire over the course of the last two years, though.  My weight has increased significantly and my health and life are suffering as a result. Be it from my own negligence or by dumb luck, I find myself at a crossroads that more and more Americans my age are finding themselves.
     So, I'm presented with 2 choices: A.) Lose the weight, thereby leading to a healthier lifestyle and better quality of life or B.) Die. Trust me, I hate to be that blunt about it, but facts are facts. If I don't make significant changes to my life, I will not see the age of 30. Trust me, I'm as concerned as you are, which is why the only option is option A. A lot of you might see that as a bit morbid, but I made a promise to myself that this blog, while being funny and informative, would also be an honest, no-bullshit look at changing a lifestyle that is in serious need of changing. Sugar-coating is what got me here.
     So, what am I up against? A trip to the doctor last week revealed some alarming facts about me. Here now, is the rundown of that visit: My recorded weight on that visit was 405 pounds. Let me repeat that. 405 pounds. That's two people. That's 3 B-List actresses. Hell, that's 4 A-Listers! To put it in Lehman's Terms: "That's a lot of ass." 405 pounds means the rest of the story is not pretty. I now have Type 2 Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, and Sleep Apnea.
     The good news, however, is that all of these ailments are conquerable. Through hard work on my end, and a few medical buffs on the Dr.'s end, I am confident we will kick all of these in the ass. How will this figurative ass be kicked, you may very well ask? Well, I will tell you.
   The three key methods to getting where I need to be are as follows:

1.) Taking care of the sleep apnea. I've got a sleep study scheduled for August 17-18 to determine exactly how severe a case I have. The one thing that is for sure is that I will be sleeping with what is called a CPAP machine, which will open up the airways while I sleep, allowing for better breathing, and, in turn, better sleep. With better sleep comes more energy, and an increased metabolism. Two big pluses there.

2.) Getting my blood pressure in control. I am currently on medication to regulate it, and the Doc tells me that this particular med will contribute to my metabolism some as well.

3.)As far as the diabetes goes, it's kind of a "Wait and See" situation. Seeing as how my "Diabeetus" is almost exclusively tied to my obesity, simple weight loss and a good diet will certainly stop this train.

I'm adding a 4th element as well:

4.) This blog. Now, I know what you're thinking. You as well as I know that weight loss blogs are a dime a dozen, and why should you care about what I'm doing to rectify certain inconsistencies in my life. Well, first of all, this blog is a "No Dickwad Zone," so take your ill-will and nay-saying elsewhere, Bucko. Secondly, I plan on including Movie and Music reviews, weird Internetty things, and general musings on whatever to keep things fresh. This is a blog about ME, so to just write about the weight loss would just be wrong.

So, anyway, that about does it for the ole first entry. My friend Casey, who is also doing a weight loss blog, found a neat motivational quote to end his first entry. Not to be outdone, I have a bit of Inspirado to lay upon your eyes as well:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Until next time, keep your unit on you.