24 Sep 2007

Mental dump on the subject of ‘Chickless Headings’ and far more besides

We don’t really get Tornados in England (well not real ones like this) but today we had some little ones not far from here. Sky News got very excited as usual, but then they get excited about a particularly fruitful nose-picking…but only if someone has got some grainy mobile-phone derived video footage of it!

I feel I have been in a mental tornado of sorts for a while now myself. Whilst I may feel I’m getting blown from pillar to post all the while, I still manage to put up the appearance of serenity (just like the proverbial swan). Well sort of…

This may get a little rambling, but bear with me if the mood takes you!

I began this journey because I felt INSIDE that it was time to get something done. It was time to lose weight, time to get fit and time to expand my spiritual horizon. It just felt right, I can explain it no more than that. So far I have lost some weight, got a little fitter – not using my Asthma medication for months now is a MASSIVE non scale victory that it easy to overlook sometimes – and begun to more deeply explore my spiritual side (no sniggering at the back!).

The thing is, I know what I need to do to kick start my weight loss etc and it is mostly mental. I need a fresh beginning and a clean slate – in my mind that is. But like the beginning of this journey, I do not feel that this is in my control. I feel I will know when that time is right, and it most definitely isn’t now. I just wish it was….

Right. Positives. I am maintaining my weight at around 242Lbs – not my lowest but still nearly 30 Lbs down on my start weight. My eating is better but the wine and savoury treats are creeping back in – I know where I am going wrong and like I say, I know what to do but I have to FEEL its time to sort it out.

I am not ready to resume my full-blown ‘blogular’ duties (and I do see them as duteous – rightly or wrongly). It feels like something I really SHOULD be doing rather than something I can just play around with. I hope that doesn’t sound pretentious as it is not meant to be.

Anyway, since April, I have received a few unsolicited e-mails brought about by this Blog and they have been very humbling to be honest – to find that just one person takes inspiration and encouragement from my inane ramblings should be the fillip I need but it doesn't always work that way. I read a lot of Blogs (well I did until I fell into this slump) and I seldom take the time to contact authors directly and discuss their work. This mild and infrequent appreciation of my work actually contributes in some way to my feelings of inadequacy in a bizarre way and may even contribute to the base problem in the fist place.

As a consequence I have inadvertently (and ridiculously) placed enormous pressure on myself to write regular ‘high quality’ posts. At the moment, I don't have it in me...

Basically, since a child I have always wanted to be ‘good’ at something (the roots of this are probably far deeper than I want to go today). Something difficult, something that would challenge myself and impress others – I want to experience the adrenal thrill of achieving something that brings enormous pleasure to others. All I lack is talent, effort and application! No problem then….crack on!

I still have plans and I hope they will bear fruit soon but I am suffering ‘bloggers block’ and talking about it is not going to shift it I’m afraid. Clearly, the time IS coming when I will feel ready to ‘get back on the horse’ and turn Fat Bloke into Fat Bloke Thin. If not today, then sooner rather than later.

This whole thing is turning into the biggest challenge in my life by far – a challenge that I do not intend to give up on but a challenge that must be met on my terms and at a time of my choosing.

I know there are those that wish me well and I would like to thank you for your kind words. It may seem that I ignore you but you would be very wrong.

I will be back when the time is right.

He is able who thinks he is able.


13 Sep 2007

The Chewing Gum proverb and other cathartic meanderings...

Life can sometimes be very much like used (not-second hand..) chewing gum.

When you stick your gum to the bed post of an evening, though it may still be there in the morning, regardless of the question of flavour, it will almost certainly have hardened somewhat!

What do you mean; you don’t stick your chewing gum to your bed post, doesn't everybody?? Next thing, you’ll be telling me you get out of the bath to have a wee!

Anyway, like the chewing gum, some things in life get harder the longer you leave them. This Blog is one of those things.

Like most things I do, I start with huge and unbounded (sometimes almost evangelical) zeal and make great fantastical (mental) plans of what I intend to achieve in the future. I am not so ashamed of this as a 'fantastic' methodology of life, as there are doubtlessly many worse things I could be doing. The longer I leave it between posts though, the harder I find it to ‘get back on the horse’.

At times like these (there have been too many) I so often feel, like now, that I have let myself and others down – I feel depressed, deflated and also oh so slightly embarrassed when the ‘cold light of day’ of reality shows my great ideas and grandiose plans to be heroically out of reach. So often they have stalled through either a debilitating lack of self-belief or an equally chronic loss of primary focus. I am also embarrassed, to be frank, at my rather pathetic inability to confront problems and my penchant for looking the other way and pretending nothing is going on. I am also acutely worried about how people view me (though I regularly deny this) – not entirely though vanity but rather I have extremely high expectations for myself, and when I fail to reach these dizzy heights my black dog arrives snarling away like before!

I am sure if I was losing 2-3 pounds a week still I would be posting daily and rambling about all sorts of rubbish. The question for me is that am I unhappy because I am not losing weight or am I not losing weight because I am unhappy. This conundrum is a recurring one and I think I have answered my question many times before.

I MUST be happy to lose weight – and happiness comes from positive thought… so start thinking positive!

As a consequence of this unspecific ‘black dog’ episode, I have clearly neglected the development of the weight loss challenge, and more importantly to me I have neglected the regular contributors to the Blog including all those of you who kindly entered the challenge.

You all deserve better, and I apologise to you all.

I sadly have no real excuse for this, no obscure references to ‘personal problems that I don’t want to discuss’, no mental demons that torture me at night.

I just stuck the chewing gum on the post one night and now I find myself here….

I now realise that I created this Blog only in part to assist my weight loss journey. To a greater or lesser extent I also created this Blog for purely selfless reasons of aggrandisement. I wanted to show the world how clever I am and have the thoughts of Chairman FatBloke published in little red books across the globe. I only slightly exaggerate for comic effect – I know now that I need to reign in my expectations for this project and pick myself up and get on with it.

The primary focus for this Blog should be and WILL BE to encourage myself and others to live longer through better health and spiritual well being.

Whilst writing this post, I am reminded of some truly inspirational words. So many times, the word ‘inspirational’ is extravagantly attached to words, images or sounds that patently are no such thing but this, I hope you will agree, is the ‘real deal’.

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt

We as human beings are more complex and diverse as possible anything else in the known universe and we all deal with things differently. Tempting though it is to dream of being a simple ‘dumb’ animal, our friends in the animal kingdom are born without the awesome gift of cognitive thought. Cognitive thought is a twin-edged sword though…as I clearly think too much on occasion!

I have set off down a road to enlightenment using a combination of mental and physical challenges. Changes in the way I relate to food & exercise my body along with changes in my cognitive thought process, will hopefully combine to be a new way of living my life.

This fairly major bump in the road appears to be the first un-navigable obstacle in the journey – an obstacle maybe in my own mind, but an obstacle nevertheless. I believe that it stems from my long held belief that I have consistently under achieved in my life.

It should be understood that I do not mean under-achievement in the most conventional sense. I have a very highly paid job, I have a warm and loving family; I live an extremely comfortable and secure life. If Maslow were to use his pyramid to determine my position I’m a long way off the ground! But am I truly happy? Define happy for a start...!

I feel I have under-achieved in a spiritual and human sense. To judge me in the modern currency of material things, I am as rich as Solomon compared to literally billions of others in the world. But spiritually and emotionally, I feel not exactly bankrupt, but certainly short a bob or two! The older I get, the more things are becoming clear to me. I have spent too long concentrating on the what instead of the why.

Anyway, as Teddy so eloquently put it above, it’s time for me to get back in the arena…

As a reminder of just how lucky I really am, this is a photograph I took outside our house a couple of weeks ago. I need to look at these more often...

I hope everyone is well and thank you if you have commented recently and my apologies for my lack of reply - I will try to do MUCH better in the future.

And on that note, I leave you with this question…

‘If tin whistles are made of tin, what do they make fog horns out of?’

7 Sep 2007

I AM so sorry, no really..., I REALLY am sorry!

I am still here, fasting away like fury trying to shift the pounds....

I know I am VERY late with the update for the weight loss challenge (if anyone was interested) - usual excuses, blah, blah! It will be done tonight!

Until then, have a think about this...

Since my acts are caused by my choices and my choices caused by my beliefs and desires and my beliefs and desires are not in my direct control, how can it be that my acts are free?

Question - courtesy Show Me The Argument.

Loads of other stuff to talk about - check back tonight if you like or if you have some mind blowing, earth shattering, epoch making observation based on the question above, drop me a line.