1.31.2013

That Quiet Voice Inside My Head That Says "F**k Yeah, I Got This!!"

I threw this out on FB after I got home from my workouts. OK...after dinner and a shower after I got home from my workouts:

"The pain is real. The aches are real. The exhaustion is most certainly real. The gallon+ of sweat I'm sure I left on the mats tonight is real.
And I wouldn't have it any other way. Every time there's a challenge... a bit of adversity...a move or form I don't know or don't think I can master I hear the Universe speaking to me.
It's asking me "How badly do you want this?"
My reply is almost always non-verbal. A single nod of determination and I let it fly. The kick...the punch...the break fall...the jump....whatever it is. It is my answer to the Universe. "I want this more than you could ever know."
These bruises...aches....pains are the reminders that I'm on the right path.
No one said this would be easy.
But it will absolutely be worth every drop of blood, sweat and tear."



It was what was going through my head at the time. It actually started in the shower. All my great ideas start in the shower or on the shitter. Or driving.

OK...SOME of my great ideas start in the shower.

And this one was kind of like that. Only I didn't quite post it accurately on FB.

You see where I said that "...I don't think I can master" part in there? That's not entirely accurate (Mr. President).

Thing is...I don't believe that there's anything I can't master if (a) I put my mind to it, and (b) it's part of my life's mission on this planet (this lifetime).

Don't get me wrong. That's not arrogance.

Let me backup.

After kickboxing (which was the hour after an hour of Hap Ki Do), Han Sa Bom Nim and I were putting away the heavy bags and there were 2 left that were standing like pillars about 4 feet apart. He ran, jumped and kicked them both. It was badass.

So I looked at him and said...'I'll do it next week' (because we started moving bags)...and then I stopped and said 'No. Not next week, but someday.' And I know I will. What was cool was that Han Sa Bom Nim looked at me and said 'Yes. Someday.'

It was at that moment that I realized something. Not only did I believe that I was capable of completing this course lain out in front of me, but my teachers believed it too. I think they can tell when there are some people passing through the school, and which ones have the drive to stay.

I'm a stayer.

I'm staying until I advance through, not only the rank, but until I unlock the key. In every martial arts, there is a key. There is the physical aspect and the training, but there is always a key. It's this 'key' that makes it the art.

And Hap Ki Do, which i picked first, is the "Way Of The Harmonized Flow."

I don't know how anything could be more fitting for me at this point in this life I'm living.

So...back to thinking there's nothing I can't master, given the criteria mentioned earlier.

It's absolutely not arrogance. Arrogance seems to be associated with immediacy.
I'm the best and I can show you RIGHT NOW!!

For me , it's more of 'hey...I know I can do this. It may take me a while, and I may get banged up along the way, but I got this shit! I'm gonna be the master'  I'm not out to prove anything. I'm just stating that if I set my mind to it, it's going to happen (As long as it fits my life's mission).

And maybe THAT's the key to the harmony. Things will come and go (the flow)...but to be in harmony with that flow is the key.

Yeah. That about sums it up. (see too long for a status message :-)

Have a kick ass evening my friends (what's left of it).

I will catch you either in Dreamland (a story for another time), or on the other side of slumber, which I'm gonna be doing here soon.

Peace out!
-AT

1.29.2013

Tuesday Morning Tiredness

This has all the potential to turn in to a bitching about my job kinda post.

And...let's be honest, if I had been writing this same post a year ago, it probably would be (in fact, it wouldn't surprise me if I did).

Nah...this is just an "I'm kinda tired" post. Not like "sick of it all" tired, just physically tired.

After being sick for a week or so, I jumped back in to my routine of doing a double workout (kickboxing/Hap Ki Do) last night. It had been 12 days since I'd done said workout.

And it literally kicked my ass. Somehow I dug deep and stuck out the full 2 hours, but I'm not going to lie--I really wanted to pack it in and go home after the kick boxing and just take a pass on the Hap Ki Do. I'm glad I stayed. But damn--I'm tired as shit this morning.

I probably wouldn't be, but I had dialed in to work to finish up some things from the day and I had to get ready for my software installations this morning. Net result...I got to bed about 12:30...and was up at 4:45. Sooooooo...I'm a little tired.

Here's what's funny...a year ago I would have been like 'Eff this...' and 'screw this horseshit'  But I don't feel that way now.  I actually still love my job. It's been almost a year (9 1/2 months) and I still find something cool to dig about my job every day. Sure...I'm a little wiser to the pitfalls as time goes on. And I still get frustrated. The difference is, I'm not frustrated about the job. I'm frustrated because I know we can be doing a better job at helping our customers (the users in Home Office and the associates at the retail locations).  So, it's actually more of a motivator to get things turned around.

Who'd a thunk? I actually love my job AND the company I work for.  It's really a win-win.

Another upside to having to get up early for installs is that I missed my window to hop in the shower before the high schooler in the house got up. Which means, I get some time to write.

And I'm pretty sure this posts lets me pass the totals for 2011. I'm pretty stoked about that.  At some point, I'll need to go back through these posts and see if there's anything work keeping...or re-working in to something bigger, or if they truly are cerebral vomit on the interwebs (as I've oft suspected them of being). Time will tell.

Alright. I think I have just enough time to edit a photo for a client before I need to get ready to face the day.

Have a fantastic Tuesday my friends!

-AT

1.28.2013

Living the Dream

Some days I wake up and wonder why I'm not living my ideal life right now.
My perfect day would be

  • Wake up
  • Breakfast
  • Shower
  • Surf the net for a bit
  • Do some writing
  • Chill for a bit
  • Lunch
  • Edit some photos or
  • Set up/Do Photoshoot
  • Workout
  • Dinner
  • Surf the net for a bit
  • Chill
  • Go hang with friends
  • Bed
And I used to think, "DAMN, I can't WAIT until I can have a day like that."

Then it hit me. I had a day like this.  My "perfect days" are actually Saturday and/or Sunday. It's pretty awesome, actually. So...I really am living the dream. It's a blessing to be able to look on your day and be thankful for all the beauty and love you find in that day. In the form of friendships and unexpected surprises.

It's even more of a blessing to be thankful for those things before the day begins.

I am thankful for all the blessings this day brings.

-AT

Bed Time

I should definitely be in bed right now.

I'm helping a friend with their laptop (something I'm trying to do less of, because, honestly...I just don't like spending as much time tinkering around on computers as I used to.) But for some peeps I don't mind.

But yeah...day 6 of anti-biotics, and I really hope the shit is helping. I don't feel as super cruddy as I did...but I know I'm not up to 100% yet either.

I've got a load of laundry in. The last load. I have to stay up long enough to make sure that the spin cycle is not out of balance, then bed time. Tomorrow evening will be wash the work out clothes, fold the rest of the clothes. Pull out clothes for the thrift shop. In other words, laundry night. Which, I'm good with. Has to happen. I don't mind.

So, with regards to the Fuji camera, I misspoke. It's actually the HS20exr, not the HS25 as I had originally thought. Very similar in scope and spec though. And I'm digging the pix I got with it. I need to test it out on the HD arena and then also make sure I can edit the footage with Vegas. I can't imagine there would be an issue.

I'm tired.

Hey. With this (lame) post, I just matched in one month, the number of posts I had ALL year in 2011. That makes me smile. It points out to me that I'm on target for the goal of writing more this year.  I concede that some of what I write is just tripe. But by writing and getting it out I'm getting back in the habit of writing. Which is a good thing.

OK, spin cycle is almost done.

Night!
-AT

1.27.2013

I Hate Being Sick

I can't tell you how many times in the last week I was seriously ready to pack up my work out gear and head to either kick boxing or Hap Ki Do. Actually, I can. Seven. Seven times.

And each time, a coughing fit from walking one area of the house to another convinced me that (A)I wasn't quite up to it yet, and (B) others taking the class might not appreciate my dedication through sickness plan.

So I refrained. And fuck if I didn't put 4 pounds back on. The 4 pounds I had lost in the last 2 weeks are now back. Granted, some of it may very well be water weight. But some of it is not. Some of it is "I wasn't working out enough" weight.

That shit pisses me off.

So...While I'm probably not back up to 100%, there's no way I'm missing workouts this week. It's the week leading up to the Warrior Competition Sparring Tourney at the Do Jang next Saturday, so I'm not sure if I'll be attending all of the Hap Ki Do sessions (I probably will even though I'm not competing), but I know I'll be doing at least 3 sessions of kick boxing. Maybe 5 if I do Saturday and Sunday.

It's kind of funny to me. If you had told me when I started that I would actually be pissed about missing workouts, I might have semi-believed you, but not really. But now, it's like I know how much my body needs them. And how important they are in getting me to my goal.

My goal is in sight. I am 39 lbs away from my goal of 225. Once I get there, we'll see if I set the next goal to be 195 or not. It's really going to depend on how well I feel and if I think that there's still some fat left to shed. I figure by the time I get to 225, there's going to be a lot of the fat that has been converted to muscle and at that point it's going to be a matter of toning.

I know, though, that I need to hunker down and really get too it. No more of the occasional slip ups. Sticking to proper calories with the right foods is going to be crucial from here on out.

I'm up to the challenge. Afterall, I need to get my ass in to Warrior Dash shape...because, well, I already paid to enter. And while I know I'm not actually doing it to race against anyone, it is a personal race against myself. I need to prove to myself that I have what it takes. That I have the Viking spirit in me that the Skegg clan came from. Born of Norsemen, conquering the Emerald Isle, and on to the New Frontier. That is the story of my clan...my tribe...my family and my heritage.  At this point, I'm all about embracing where I came from. It makes the path ahead of me so much brighter.

In fact, I just posted over on that (anti)social media site "The path to your future is illuminated by the lessons of your past"

Granted, I'm not the first person to say the same thing. The concept of experiences shaping reality is not a new one. I just like putting shit out there that comes to mind. Maybe it will help people, maybe not. But it definitely helps me to say it.

So I do.

And with that, my loyal readers and dear friends, I bid you adieu until later today. Still left on today's list is photo editing, photo delivery, a trip to Mom and Dad's, laundry, cleaning, and some test video with the new HD cam. And I'll probably try to sneak a workout in there (maybe a quick jog on the treadmill) to see how the body's gonna hold up.

Have a fantastic Sunday!

-AT

1.24.2013

It's About Time

So...with this post I will be 2 posts away from as many blog posts in January of 2013 as I had in ALL of 2011.

Not sure why this is a benchmark for me. Oh way, yes I am. I am focusing on writing this year. And you poor bastards...er...loyal readers are stuck with the...er..um...get to be a part of the fruits of those labors.

I'm on day 3 of the anti-biotics. And I fucking hate it. I haven't been kickboxing or at a Hap Ki Do class in over a week and I feel lost. It was such a part of a routine and it kind of scares me how quickly I shifted out of it.

Oh, don't worry. I'm going to go back...Monday for sure...possibly Sunday.  Test run on the treadmill tomorrow morning to make sure that the coughing won't do me in.

Annnnnnd, yeah. Where are we going from here?

OH...I got word of a new short film project that I'm excited about. It's actually for a friend's wedding reception, but we're treating it like an actual short movie. It should be a blast and it will be a chance for me to give the HS20EXR (I misspoke in yesterday's blog), a run through for it's HD capability.

I have to say that I'm pumped about it. Think Spinal Tap Meets My Big Fat Greek Docudrama kinda thang.

and with that, I take leave. I'm tired and I've run out of things to say.

at least for now.

-ATS

1.22.2013

Fittingly Circular

So...some of you may or may not know this, but I was a filmmaker at one point in this short life of 41 years.

You may know that, but you might not know that my first short film that I ever saw through from start to finish (that wasn't a family vacation film) was a little piece called "Air Check." This 'film' was shot using a Fuji Finepix A210. The camera was 3.2 MegaPixels (and considerably lower video quality). And it DID shoot video...but without audio. And the video clips were a maximum of 90 seconds each.

I was pretty proud of how the whole thing turned out. I still am, actually. You can check it out here. It's lo-fi...not because I was making some artsy statement, but because I was using what I had available to me at the time.


So, in a strange twist of all roads leading back upon themselves again...I find myself once again in the possession of a Fuji point and shoot camera. Don't read too much in to it, Fuji's have pretty much been my go-to for point and shoots when given a choice. So...due to some friends not really being keen on the one they got for Christmas, I am now the proud owner of a Fuji HS25EXR .  Which...I have to say is pretty sweet, because get this, this camera shoots HD Video. Like, full on 1080p HD video. I know, right? Crazy. And...on the photo side, it stores the files in RAW. It's seriously my dream point and shoot. The lens is an ultrazoom so it goes macro to telephoto. And it has a manual focus ring (which, I'm still not convinced about its effectiveness yet, but they get A for effort).

So, yeah, I'm kinda gushing over this thing because, oddly enough, it ties back in to my creative process. My Nikons are solid. And for straight up awesomesauce photography shots, they're my go-to's. But this thing, as my carry around every day came and digital video sketchpad (along with the combination of iMovie, and the video from the iPod) could open some crazy doors, creatively.

Time will tell.  Needless to say, I'm pumped. I may start going back through my old short script ideas and see what can be shot with some shoestring guerilla filmmaking stylings.

And I'm thinking that LardA$$ is probably closer to being made than I ever really thought.

Again, who knows where it will go. 

I pretty much just like new toys. Especially when those toys feed the creative urges.

ATS

The Insanity of Time Travel

I've been asked often what would be the first thing I would do if I were given the ability of time travel.

OK. That's actually a lie. I've never been asked that. Like ever. At least not that I remember.

But I have given the answer to this imaginarily oft asked question some serious thought.

And I have to say that the first thing I would do would be...

Nothing.

Well, OK  That's actually not true. The first thing I would do would be to go to the bathroom. Now, that may be because I would be so overcome with the possibilities that I'd be apt to piss myself.  Or it could be that I have to go the bathroom as of the time of this writing and really should have planned better before I sat down to write such a seemingly insightful (or arrogantly empty) post as the one I'm about to pen about why the idea of time travel makes great science fiction, but has no place in the world we live in. Or at least this plane of existence.

So...bathroom break taken care of. Back to the matter at hand. And that matter is time.

I used to think that if I had a time machine (because it's always a time machine, right?) that I would try to do something that would benefit mankind. But there's that whole slippery slope of not knowing who you touched...or who would be affected by changing just one thing. The calamity involved with time travel has been pounded in to our heads time and time again.

So...ok...short of stopping Hitler, what then? Would I repeat the same day for years, a la Groundhog Day? Honing my craft as an artist...musician...writer (lord knows, I could use the practice).

No. Probably not.

The thing is...I don't know what I'd do if suddenly presented with a time machine. And that probably goes back to the fact that I don't really believe in time. Oh, sure, I play along with it because I have to. But my ultimate goal is to get the point in my life where the clock no longer matters. Where I can live my life completely free of the shackles of time.

Time.

Time is a myth. So...here's the thing, time travel as it's depicted in the books and movies just won't work. For the simple reason that it's based on a quantifiable measurement of time.  But you can't measure time in a straight line.

Past, present, future all exist at the same time, pardon the pun.  But it's true.

There you are, sitting on the East Coast.  It's 3 in the afternoon. You call your friend in California. You both look at your watches at the same time. Yours says 3 in the afternoon. Theirs says Noon. How can that be? How is it you are talking to someone in the past? More impressively, how can your friend be talking to someone in the future?

Think of flights from one side of our country (or globe) to the other. There is the very real possibility that you are actually travelling time when you are on said flights.  How is that? How is that even possible?

Because "time" doesn't exist. It's an arbitrary unit of measurement. A universally agreed upon group hallucination. Everyone in the world agrees that this magical, imaginary line somewhere in England is the beginning of time. And time "zones" emanate around the globe. And we make mathematical adjustments based on where we are in the world to that time zone so that we always have the correct 'time.'

What happens when you leave the planet? Time zones, even time itself is a wholly 'earth' based concept. It's based on the planet's revolutions and rotations around a star in our solar system. Once you leave earth, time really has no meaning.

Gravity, however, means something. Gravity can be measured on the moon. In space. On other planets. Light. Dark. Heat. Cold. All of these are measurable constants.  Math is a constant. The formula for Pi is the same wherever you are. Country, planet, solar system. It's a universal constant.  And it's measurable.

Time is an illusion. Time is a dimension. A bubble, if you will. This bubble encompasses our current plane of existence. It allows our human brains to process life events. To categorize things in to nice, neat little boxes. We as humans are very keen that there has to be an order to things. But Nature is not like that. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday....10A.M., 11.A.M...3 in the morning.....these things have no correlation in nature.

Think of it this way....think of your dreams.
In your dreams have you ever had massive spans of time pass in one night's slumber? I have. I have lived multiple lifetimes in one 7 hour sleep session.  And who's to say that I didn't actually live those life times?

We are so keen to categorize things in to boxes that we think of dreaming as 'not real' and the waking world as the 'real world.'  But what if they are both dreams? Have you ever had a dream within a dream? Have you ever been different people in a dream? Seen the world through the eyes of another?

Have you ever had a conversation with someone in your life in a dream that you both knew about when you next met in the real world? I have. And the first couple of times it can be a little freaky.

Mathematically, some physicists will tell you that time travel is possible...however, that's based on a linear model of time. The thought that you can manipulate time AND space to appear at another point on the time space bubble is great for sci-fi, but I don't believe it will work.

Do I have proof of this? Yes. And No. I'm not a specialist in quantum physics. I'm not a brilliant mathematician. But there are some truths that are universal, whether we acknowledge them or not.

If someone came to me and told me they could travel time via some mechanism borne of this world, this reality, I would look at them with very skeptic eyes. And I would somberly ask them if their affairs were in order. Because at this point in the game, I don't know of anything that could be made on this world, that followed the physics of this world that could adequately manipulate the bubble of time without disastrous consequences.

Truth is, we are ALL time travelers. You travel time every night you 'go to sleep and dream.' Sure, scoff if you want, but your dreams are more of a reality than you know.  There have always been time travelers. Ancient cultures called them Shaman. They knew that there are multiple bubbles of reality and knew how to navigate between, through, over, and around them.

There are still shaman in this world, this time. They don't make themselves known too often.

But they will when the time is right.

-ATS

1.17.2013

Throat Punching Does Not Help

It's been a while since I've wanted to throat punch someone.

And not just any ole throat punch. I'm talking about the one from the Matrix. Where Neo punches Agent Smith and Agent Smith deflects the punch and then Neo extends his closed fist in to a knife hand causing Agent Smith's eyes to bulge and his throat to make that "guunnhhhh" sound.

That kind of throat punch.

Although, to be fair....the person I wanted to do it to would not have been able to block my first punch and would have had a broken nose. It's really a limited application when you think about it. Which is why it does not often cross my mind.

But I thought about it yesterday.

Let me set up the scenario.

On Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays, I work out. I do a one hour session of Hap Ki Do (Korean Martial Arts...and it's no joke) and a 1 hour session of cardio kick-boxing. Also no joke. I typically do these back to back and usually burn about 1800-2100 calories when I do. This effectively doubles my caloric intake for the day.

Now, if you know much about exercise physiology, you know that you need to try to consume as much if not slightly more calories than your physical activity is going to burn. If you don't have enough calories on hand, your body will take the calories from your muscle (it gives up energy quicker than fat).  That's why there are people who can exercise for hours a week and never lose weight (and in some cases gain weight). If the fat/non-muscle calories ARE there, the body will burn those. And once it's in fat burning mode, it will go ahead and burn some fat from your fat stores. You lose weight, you get muscle tone and definition. Everybody wins.

Therefore...on the days I know I'm doubling up, I will typically have a larger lunch than I do on my non-workout days.

Yesterday's lunch was a delicious BBQ Pizza from Cottage Inn right around the corner from work.

And now the throat punching.

I'm sitting there in the break room, munching my pizza and reading some Scott Pilgrim when a co-worker walks in and starts razzing me about my lunch choices.

Now, FatTodd would have said "Fuck Yeah I'm going to eat this whole pizza!! What you got to say about that?!"

But I am not FatTodd.

And I was pissed.

How dare you assume that just because I'm bigger than your scrawny ass, I'm going to consume this entire pizza. You've never seen me eat a whole pizza. You've never noticed that my lunch choices are healthier than yours on a consistent basis. And you've apparently failed to notice that I could quite literally pound your smug, cynical smirk in to the faux pine veneer of this break-room table.

I didn't say those things though. I smiled. And kept eating.

I didn't have to explain or justify my actions to him. And when it comes to my dietary choices, I don't have to explain or justify them to anyone.

He wasn't the only one that assumed I was going to eat the whole thing (for the record, I only ever intended to eat 1/2. and I stuck to that).

And here's the realization. I've hit a milestone. A milestone where I get pissed when people assume that I'm
'over-eating.'

Don't fucking judge people by what they're eating. I could do it. I could sit there and give a dissertation on the evils of pre-processed and frozen TV dinners that I see consumed in the office everyday. Or give my assuming co-worker a nice little lecture on the poisons of all the fast food that we as a society (let alone my co-workers including mister smirk) consume on a daily basis. But it's not my place to offer unsolicited and patronizing comments on my co-workers culinary choices.

I could have lashed back and been just as much of a dick as they were being (whether knowingly or not).

But I kept my mouth shut and ate my pizza. Because I'm better than that. And they would have almost assuredly missed my point anyway.

Figured I'd vent about it here because the likelihood of anyone from work seeing it is slim.

And it's not like I want to actually hurt anyone. I huff and puff, but rarely have I been in a situation where someone has provoked me enough to blow the house down. Besides, I love this job too much to get fired over something stupid.

It just pissed me off and hurt my feelings.  I've worked so hard to get to where I am and to be basically called a lard ass (in so many terms), was NOT fucking cool.

The good news is...I have leftover pizza for lunch :-)

Peace Out
-A.T.

1.15.2013

Plateaus Suck

I'm back down to 260 as of today. I've been here before. Just once, a month ago, I dipped below 260 for a week or 2. Now with the Holidays recently past, I've come back to this familiar place.

I ran a few reports on Myfitnesspal.com (member name filmdude71, you should friend me) just to see where I was at.

1 year ago the weight was at 295. So...to come down from there to 260 was kind of a big feat. Or at the very least, it was progress.

And then I ran a 30, 60, 90, and 180 day report. Hovering in the 260's the whole time.  Which pretty much means that a year ago, I lost about 30lbs in 6 months and have been hovering there ever since.

Which prompted me to question why that would be the case.

Am I doing anything differently? Probably. I would bet I'm getting  a little looser with some of the calories I'm taking back in to my body.

There were also the 2 trips to Baltimore for work in that time period. Travelling and sticking with healthy eating don't always go together.

But what really just hit me, as I'm typing this post sore from last night's work out---I'm working out.
I started kickboxing in August. I started Hap Ki Do shortly thereafter. I now realize that the weight hasn't stopped coming off. Well, ok...the weight has slowed down in its exit from my body...but the FAT is coming off.

My legs are pretty well cut now. My biceps and arms and shoulders and pecs aren't chiseled yet...but there is some very obvious and clear definition to them now.

And the abs. Holy fuckballs I'm getting abs. I can see them. No lie. I have a pic that I took today that's even better than yesterday's slightly creepy foray in to Topless Todd land. But you can see them. There's clearly a 6 pack buried there under the remaining belly fat.

My mission is to blast that belly and get that 6 pack ready to come out and play this summer.

So...the weight is holding somewhat steady. As annoying as that is (and you have to believe me when I say that it kinda really irks the shit out of me), I have to remember that body is getting trim. The pants sizes are still going down (down from starting pants size of 54 to currently wearing a 42. Shirt size has gone from a 4XL/3XL to a XL.

I'm learning that it's all about focus. And that are certain realities that I have to embrace if I expect to succeed in my journey to #nomorefattodd (and believe me, I expect to succeed).

  • Fat does actually convert to muscle if you stick with it.
  • Muscle does weigh more than fat (it's denser so muscle in the same space as fat weighs more).
  • That number on the scale is a guide, not the bible. don't live and die by it.
It's taken me over half my life to get my head to a place where I love myself. Now it's time for the mind to catch up in regards to the body image.

Here's a startling revelation...It would take me another year to get back UP to the weight I used to be. And if I went back, I would likely die as I would have to double my caloric intake on most days and STOP working out.  I'm pretty sure I have reached the 'no going back' point. Well...let's be honest...I reached that point a long time ago. It's just making the conscious decision to stick to that choice of #nomorefattodd
Every. Single. Day.


Stay strong my friends. It's only life...this too shall pass.

Peace Out
-A.T.

1.14.2013

Abs-Oh-Freakin-Lutely


Don't worry dear readers (all 5 of you)...I'm not going to get in the habit of posting my half-naked (or even all the way naked) pics on yon bloggy blogge. I just wanted this one out there as proof of concept.

If you squint just right, you can see the slight shadows where my abs will soon be. I'm not going to lie, I'm excited. I have never had a washboard stomach...I can't even recall having more than a pony keg, let alone a six-pack. But in looking at this pic, it looks like both might be a very real possibility.

The weight loss has slowed a bit. I'm still hovering right around 260...nearly 70lbs down from when I started all this. I know it's a combination of my metabolism sorting in to its rhythm as well as the fat being replaced by muscle. My legs...ripped. My arms...toned. My gut....a work in progress. So, I know the fat to muscle thing IS happening. It just makes it a bit frustrating.

The key, though is simply this. I'm not giving up. I've come too damn far to turn back now. I'm 2/3rds of the way to my goal. And that's just simply too far to back slide.

There is no going back now, my friends. The Journey to NoMoreFatTodd continues.

Have a fantastic day!!
-AT

1.09.2013

No More Fat Todd

So...it occurs to me that I need to update a few things.

First off, I need to say this. "FatTodd" was never  about a weight or a number on the scale. Fat Todd was a culmination of things in my life that had built up to put a shell of a man around the man that I actually know that I am.

FatTodd was a dick. I'm not going to put it mildly here. Out of shape....morbidly obese...depressed...shitty self-worth.

It's not exaggeration to say that that fucker was trying to kill me. And by kill me I mean that in both the physical and meta-physical sense.

So...when I say #nomorefattodd, know this. I'm saying to Fat Todd, "No More, motherfucker:" No more of your bullshit in my life.

I'm at a good place now. Many things in my life are falling in to place. And it's stupidly awesome. I'm not going to lie. I'm fully loving life right now. But not only am I loving life, I'm loving me.

Todd.

Not FatTodd...not ThinTodd.

Todd.

It is me looking at the hell I put myself through and saying 'No More.' Never again will I let myself get in to the situation where I am getting shit on by others and thanking them for not also pissing on me.

If the tone of this post seems abrasive....it is. I will not for one second give quarter to the old todd. FatTodd is on his last breath. Very soon he will be buried. And I don't miss him at all. And neither should you.

If you knew me then and you think I've changed, I can only hope you feel it is for the better. Otherwise, you have no place in my life. I know that sounds harsh, but if for one second you think i was better off then than I am now, then you don't really know me at all and I don't need that kind of ignorance around me right now. I've got no time for that. I'm on my way to a life of fulfilled living.

Am I there yet? No.

But I'm closer today than I was yesterday than I was the day before that than I was the day before that...(you get the idea).

Growth is awesome.  So is living from a place of love.

It's fairly fantastic and I know that it's just the tip of what's waiting.

And with that, I leave you.

Have a great evening!!!

-ATS




#nomorefattodd

1.08.2013

I Tried Being Dead Once...It Didn't Take.

Some of you may or may not know this about me, but I've actually been dead. At least once that I know of.

In the summer of 1997, I found out that I had a congenital defect in my heart that was going to basically kill me in 6 months if left untreated. That's some heady news to get at age 25. I had a wife of 4 years and we had a 3 yr. old daughter. I wasn't quite ready to lose my daughter (the wife is a story for another time).

So, that August I had open heart surgery.

I just recently went back and watched a video of the procedure (the internet is a wonderful thing). And I confirmed something that I always kind of knew in the back of my mind but always played off in my joking manner. They stopped my heart to repair it.  Which pretty much means I was on life support for most of the 5 hours that I was on the operating table.

Which, in my mind, means I was pretty much dead.  While not technically dead in the medical sense, they actually killed me (stopped the heart) to fix me.

And while that might freak some people out, I've actually learned to take comfort in that knowledge.

I'll tell you why.

What's the worst possible thing you can think of to happen to you right now?

Dying?

That's many people's answer. And with good reason. It has a certain sense of permanence to it, doesn't it?
Many people when faced with that, decide to get busy trying to make sense out of their lives. Live each day like it was their last, and the like.

And that's cool. So..why would I take comfort in the knowledge that I was for the most part dead for 5 hours on August 25th, 1997?

Because the worst thing that could happen to me in this life (which is the end of it), has already happened.

I've already been dead. I didn't much care for it.

What it comes down to is this. It's a reminder of (A) my mortality. There's a whole side story to the Fix Todd's Heart Saga that I won't go in to here and now, but lets just say...August-December 1997=WORST 4 MONTHS OF MY FUCKING LIFE and leave it at that. But it's also a reminder that (B) there's not much I can't do now. I mean, fuck, I've been dead. What's the worst that can happen to me now? I have no fear of death. I had tea with Death and played cards for 5 hours. I can't remember (consciously) what it was like, but I know my sub-conscious can, and that's partly responsible for my current outlook on life, the universe and galaxial hitchhikers. There's a piece of me that has seen and been where few humans have been or where few actually can recall being.

Do I think I'm special?

Absofuckinglutely I do. But here's the rub. I think YOU'RE special too. In ways you aren't yet aware. We all have this gift...this insight within. Sometimes it just takes a little push to release it.

Like a cool scalpel blade on a hot summer day.

I wouldn't recommend trying death in an uncontrolled environment (the Doctors made sure I didn't actually STAY dead, which was nice of them)...but I would recommend sometime remembering who we are and where we came from. And that we are all one.

But that's a post for another time.

Have a fantastic day my friends.

-AT

1.07.2013

Same As It Ever Was

As so often is the case, I am starting this post without too much of an idea of where I want to go with it.

For those of you that don't know, the original name of this blog was 'Random Meanderings' (which is why the URL is randomtzp.blogspot.com). I named it that because, well, that's what it was. A stream of consciousness spewed forth in this realm of 0's and 1's.  The fun thing is, I write like I talk (and think), so if we never meet (which would be a shame), feel comfortable in the fact that I'd talk, ramble and philosophize pretty much just like this.

Not sure why you'd feel comfort in that fact. Or again, really where I was going with it.

I just want to write. To maintain the habit of writing. Of getting the jumbled mix of thoughts in my head out somewhere. To either make room for new thoughts or to *gasp* actually organize the existing ones in to something somewhat coherent. It's a stretch, I know, but I think I can do it.

The holidays brought a few extras pounds with them this year which I apparently embraced with open arms. I was slightly less diligent this year. I figured, since I was working out at least 3 times a week that it wouldn't be an issue. And it wouldn't have been, if the school I go to didn't take a Holiday break. So...yeah. I'm back in the groove of it now and hopefully those pounds will come off again and I'll be back on track.

Actually, I'm back on track now...just waiting to reap the rewards.

I've been listed as eligible to test for my white belt this coming Saturday. And I'm not going to lie. I'm excited and nervous. I don't think I'm ready, but my instructor assures me that I am. That with additional practice between now and then, it won't even be an issue. Perhaps he's right. One thing I've learned is that you never really know what you can do until you do it. And I'm sure he see's my progress a lot more clearly than I do.  I still feel like I'm fumbling, but he sees the forms getting more solid, and the kicks getting a little higher.

Which is kinda cool.

I looked and the post I posted yesterday actually dated today...so I could have just counted it. But I wanted to do some writing today and had some time before work.

On the other areas of my life....work is going quite swimmingly. It's busy, but I love the job--still. It's been 9 months and I still love it. Which is pretty cool. I figure it's going to take at least another 3 or 4 months before I start to get jaded about aspects of the job. But I don't think I'm going to actually dislike this job for quite some time yet.

Speaking of the job...I need to finish getting ready and head in.

Thanks for stopping by. Hoping your day is filled with more blessings and less bullshit.

Peace,
-ATS

Timing Is Off...And A Fake Apology

There comes that time when all the thoughts in my head seem to crystallize. The point in time where I know what I need to say. I know what my purpose is. And I see the effect those thoughts would have on the world (or at least the area within it that I have any influence over).

That time is, generally speaking, when my body has sounded the 'alright, that's in, we're done' alarm. And started the shutdown for the evening slumber.

And I can't help but wonder if that's not on purpose.

I have long held the belief that this world that we claim as our own when we are 'awake' is the actual dream. And that wonderful place we go to when we sleep (and dream) is the 'real' universe at large.

And yes...I thought this LONG before I ever saw the Matrix movies.

So...if that's the case then there must be something of a gatekeeper. And I think that when I'm close to those breakthroughs is when my body starts to feel sleepy. The gatekeeper is doing his job well. I think in olden times of yore that gatekeeper was called the Sand Man.

Already thoughts are getting muddied again. Things that were so clear to me as I started typing are now fading in to a drowsy haze as I get too tired to really think of any flow.

But before I drift off completely. I want to let you in on a little secret.

The Todd that is over on Facebook isn't the 'real' Todd. I don't think it ever has been.
The Todd that is on Facebook now is a residual self image of the Todd that I want to (and eventually do) become at some point in the future/past (don't get me started on the concept of time right now). So yes...in true Matrix fashion...it's how I see myself. The Todd that's on Facebook right now is the Todd that is going to wind up doing the most good in the world. And while he IS me, he's not the real or complete me. Just the me I will wind up to be.

So, sorry if there was any confusion. I do actually have bad days. And have negative thoughts from time to time. I just try to keep them off the wall over there. That's not why people read my posts.

And apparently they aren't reading it for pictures of baby spiders either.

But...um. Yeah. So...Facebook Todd by himself...not so much the full-on Todd effect. Blog Todd by himself...same thing.  Party Todd Photos...same thing. But, combine all those with all the other roles I play in this plane of existence and you start to see the full picture.

If that makes any sense. See...I told you I was getting too sleepy to really string it all together.

With that, I take my leave. Good night all. Sleep well. And enjoy Dreamland!

Peace,
-ATS

1.01.2013

2012 Was A Kick Ass Year

As the year has officially come to a close, I take the time to dust of ye olde blog. For the 3 of you that still periodically pop in over here, thank you. I'll do better about keeping it up to date. I'm planning on going back to using FB as the the place for quick hits and weight loss updates and the blog for my thoughts.

Speaking of thoughts. I see the familiar trend of people bidding good riddance to the year that just past and vowing that the year a head will be even better than the last.

And this is not that kind of post.

First off, 2012 was an amazing year for me. For a number of reasons, including:

  • I left a job of 14 years and took a new job that fits me like a pair of fine Italian loafers.
  • I lost 70lbs.
  • I started kick boxing and Hap Ki Do and have put my body through some amazing physical workouts that I never thought I could.
  • I saw my daughter graduate high school.
  • I participated in my 2nd Help Portrait event.
  • I had some amazing photo shoots.
  • I reconnected with some old friends and made new ones.
How could I look back on any of that and say Fuck You 2012? There's no way. Sure...there were some rough spots. I buried both of my grandmothers with in a one month period of each other. And there's been some other rough spots along the way. But not so many that I would like to chuck the entire year. No friggin' way.

 

2012 was an amazing year and I feel closer to actually living my purpose than I've ever felt before.

 

I have no intention of pissing on that.

 

Nor do I have any intention of dwelling on how great things were to the point where I lose focus on what I need to do in 2013.

 

  • Namely:
  • Write. Every day.
  • Take more pictures. For fun. For profit. Or both.
  • Stick to the weight loss. 35lbs to go. I'm in the home stretch of that final 1/3rd. It's not going to be easy.
  • Laugh More.
  • Dance More.
  • Make more music.
  • Love.
  • Live.
And I don't really need to put a year on them. Most of those are not so much resolutions as things I need to do to live my purpose in this life.


My mission on this earth, this time around, is to inspire. I used to think it was to inspire creativity in others. And to an extent that may be. But I think the bigger picture is to actually inspire people.

 

Inspire people to do what, T-Bone?

 

I'm glad you asked, fictional voice of imagined reader.

 

I think that my purpose is to inspire others to see the true gifts they bring to the table. To let them know that there is something unique and special about them and that they have something to offer that is every bit as awesome and beautiful as that which moves them.

 

Maybe it sounds lofty. Maybe it sounds delusional. I don't know. And quite frankly, I don't give a rip. That's the deal. For me to live this mission, I have to be unwavering in my belief that you can be inspired to greatness. And that all it takes is something simple. Something ordinary. A word. A kindness. A post about how many pounds I lost this week. Whatever it is, it will trigger something in you that sets the chain in motion.

 

And, through that inspiration...we can get people to live and act from a place of love. Not fear. There's too much fear in this world. It's propagated for far too long. Had far too much of a stranglehold on the collective consciousness. It's time to start loving again. To start believing in each other again. To believe in the greatness in others.

 

It's about friggin' time.

 

Happy New Year

 

-A.T.

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