This post is part of the series Losing Over 100 Pounds
Other posts in this series:
Current Weight: 290.6 lbs
Body Fat %: 39.3
Lost Weight: 1.6 lbs
Avg Per Day: 1.6 lbs
Target Weight: 180 lbs
Need to Lose: 110.6 lbs
I’m thirty-two and a quarter years old, male, born in New Hampshire, big into psychology and how it pertains to politics and society as a whole, enjoy competitive pinball and poker, collect and don’t play enough board games, and believe that I have a lot of untapped potential.
That’s me in a nutshell.
Some more of my history includes; an under honorable conditions discharge from the military due to asthma and a situation that occurred due to my “excessive daytime sleepiness”, Sleep Apnea, and weight I was putting on due to depression, a semester of college which turned into a long expensive party, six years of high school due to moving between schools (being kicked out) and having zero ambition as a freshman, five years of hell in a Catholic school as the awkward/weird kid in the same class of 30 unforgiving and apathetic classmates, three years in public school which seemed absolutely awesome by comparison, and four years of absolute ignorant bliss where everything seemed good.
Today, I’m the IT administrator and project manager for a rapidly growing sign company. I started with the company only doing IT part-time while working in the graphics department, but it became a full-time position due to the rapid growth.
I’ve never liked my body.
I’m the only person that’s ever taken a good photo of myself.
As one of Myspace’s first users, I probably helped invent “Myspace angles”.
The only two times I had ever lost a decent amount of weight was 20 lbs without even realizing it after a breakup and a month before and during basic training. That was the fastest I had ever been as an adult. Had a 10.5 minute mile and a half. Maybe I’ll hit that or better one day.
I’ve also never had upper-arm strength. Even thinking about it last night, I remembered how my dad would try to help me do push-ups correctly when I was 8 or 9 years old by putting a belt around my chest and taking some of my own weight off my arms.
Growing up, I never saw a goal and asked “What does it take to get there?” to then be able to act on it.
Not to be used as an excuse, but I didn’t trust anyone. I didn’t even fully trust the grandmother I would cry for when my parents were being ridiculous. I didn’t realize this lack of trust until I understood very well how trust actually worked, if someone says or does something that contradicts the way things actually are (or they at least seem to be) and can’t explain how they’re right while the reality seemed wrong, I couldn’t trust them. Actions always spoke louder than their words, including the unknown, yet real, dishonesty.
It was always the temporary safety I sought after, never their unfounded promises that things would get better. I could never take anyone’s word on blind faith and therefore, no one could guide me. It very well could have had the opposite intended effect, choosing no wisdom rather than accepting the wisdom I couldn’t trust, because one seemed safer than the other.
I can probably attribute a lot, if not most, of my own dishonesty to not caring about integrity to others when most people didn’t care about being honest with me, let alone themselves. Seemed like a pointless endeavor given how most people got by without it.
The high level of distrust in people is in large part due to my Dyslexia. I only realized that I’m very likely (seeing as I’m not diagnosed) Dyslexic a handful of years ago. The symptoms seemed to be getting worse; omitting or doubling words as I typed, switching words or syllables when I typed or spoke, phonetically misspelled words despite knowing the correct spelling (ie. there vs their), a scatter-brained sense of long-term memory and an unreliable short-term memory, and a handful of other symptoms, both obvious and not so much.
Upon reading The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain, I realized why the Dyslexia wasn’t easy to catch and in turn accommodate for (if they even had the means to at the time). There are various types of strengths and weaknesses that simply weren’t associated with the stereotypical Dyslexic.
Instead of seeing words all jumbled up like those with Dyslexia stereotypically affecting their “Material Reasoning” the most, the way they perceive shapes in three dimensions, mine affected my “Interconnected Reasoning” the most, my ability to see (or rather not being able to look away from) how things relate to one another and the big picture it creates. Not only did this make me great at coming up with highly accurate analogies which made it easier for people to understand complex issues, but it also made it so that I couldn’t trust anything or anyone that created a contradiction. I learned to be skeptical of everything at a very young age, but that didn’t give me the wisdom needed to deal with my depression or become goal orientated. My “Dyslexic Advantage” was wasted, like so many kids with Dyslexia’s advantage often is.
“Strengths for Interconnected Reasoning, which is primarily the ability to spot, understand, and reason about connections and relationships (e.g., analogies, metaphors, systems, patterns)” -dyslexicadvantage.org
Because people couldn’t handle acknowledging, let alone considering, the contradictions they took part in due to the unknown threat to their pride and self-esteem, their ego’s self-concept of “I’m a highly moral person, consistently think well, and are superior in both ways to those who haven’t achieved either in my eyes” (which is usually attributed to the misconception “I’m older than you, I’ve graduated high school/college and have a job, so therefore I’m wiser and ultimately better in any way that actually matters” in addition to whatever personal attacks they could use in order to discredit the opposition), I would often be punished in some way for pointing out the contradictions… the very thing I was great at. Writing a list of ten contradictions in the form of Socratic questions after an argument with my mother is what ultimately got me kicked out the first time or at least it was the very heavy straw that broke the camel’s back.
It’s a great example of how most people lack in both fair-mindedness and intellectual humility. Can you imagine a world where pride didn’t get in the way of people being corrected by people other than themselves or didn’t prevent them from ever reviewing and scrutinizing their long-held and very possibly false, yet comfortable, beliefs?
When you can’t help but see every contradiction that is in front of you, regardless of who it’s from, you end up learning how the human mind (intentionally doesn’t) work without even trying to.
Have been a life long fan of Penn & Teller and everything they’ve done, especially their show Bullshit!. Currently working on a walkaround card routine. I wanted to be a magician when I was a kid. Still want to as a semi-professional hobby one day. The first trick I ever learned was passed on to me by family and it’s the little one’s favorite as well.
I have a very smart, beautiful, and funny fiance who I look at daily thinking “What is she doing with me?” and a 4 year old I plan to formally adopt some day even though I consider her my daughter and she calls me “daddy”. She doesn’t know that I’m not her bio-dad yet. The right way and time to tell her is something I have to do some major research on.
That’s me in a much larger nutshell.
How the Diet Applies to My Nutshell
When I look at Penn Jillette and myself in comparison to one another, there are some obvious differences. He is nearly twice as old as me, he’s highly accomplished and extremely goal-orientated (I assume that’s because they often go hand in hand), and he’s much more knowledgeable than I am about everything.
Due to my issue with recalling memories, it’s no surprise I don’t try to become as well-read as he is. Most of it would be lost. Regarding his 61 years of age to my 32, I believe that making this first major change, among many in my life, will give me plenty of time to become established in a handful of meaningful ways. And as far as being goal-orientated goes, becoming goal-orientated is my very goal.
Just like any pursuit, intellectual or otherwise, you practice by doing and that’s what this is.
I’ve already had someone mention to me that they’ve done the South Beach Diet and that it should be very similar to this, but seeing it like it’s just a diet meant to lose weight or detox doesn’t see it for its deeper purpose, to completely change how we feel about food and our addictive nature towards certain types on both a biological and psychological level. The South Beach Diet and Atkins diets still allow food to be a routine behavior, to be entertainment, and emotionally comforting. The mono-diet does not, and therefore breaks down our addictive nature towards food at its roots.
It’s only the second day and I’m still craving crap.
I haven’t even hit the dreaded third and fourth day yet.
It’s going to be very interesting having them land on a large family visit out of state and on a New Years Eve party with said family.
They don’t know I’m doing this yet and started a group message via text the other night going over all the awesome food and drinks people are bringing for the party.
I said I’d be bringing the potatoes.
Continue reading this series:
Video: How Dyslexics Like Me Won’t Get Left Behind