Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Theory of Relativity

Einstein was a genius.  We know this.  I have discovered it anew this week.  Among many things, Einstein's combined theories of relativity posit that the faster you move the slower time passes as measured against a stationary object.  This has been the story of my life lately.  I know scientists hate it when physical principals are applied to human interaction, but it is applicable here, so I will.  With the day job and the show and my family and my run last week seemed to have more hours in it than usual.  I got so much done.  Yes I was tired and my weight results were less than what I would hope, but for three years I let things happen to me and I felt this week more in control of my destiny than at any other time in my life.  Then this week I have four evenings in a row off.  And the test begins.  It is going to be easy to slip back into a more leisurely pace, but if I can capture the feeling of the last few weeks I can do so much.  I don't think I need to actually stay as busy, especially since a little rest has already helped my health and weight (I am down about 5 pounds so far this week).  I just need to keep the urgency and momentum.  This week has been a good continuation.  I got new headshots taken Tuesday, got them printed at Walgreens (time was short) yesterday, and had an audition with Marriott today.  And it was a pretty good audition.  We'll see how it turns out.  I think the key is going to be staying vigilant and aware.  I need to keep asking myself what I have done for my health AND career lately.  Before I post a couple of the headshots a bit of housekeeping.  Because I work early this Saturday I will be doing my weigh in on Sunday again this week.  It is going to give a truer and more consistent number if I don't do my weigh in 4 hours earlier than I usually do.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Weigh in #35

OK.  This week was nuts.  Rehearsals every night but one.  Opening Friday.  A couple of parties.  A 5k.  My parents visiting.  My results can easily be explained by these things, but I am still disappointed by them.  I was on a pretty good roll early in the week, and then I started backpedaling.  I think it had less to do with food, because I wasn't terrible even if I wasn't always making a very good choice.  I think lack of sleep and a little alcohol combined to soak up water and sabotage my metabolism.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 309 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -1.2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 131.2 lbs

Damn.  I was down about 305 mid week, so I am understandably a little disappointed.  I also learned a couple of things.  I relearned the importance of routine for me.  When things started getting busy this week is when I started moving the wrong direction.  The other is that I can still put on weight so easily that I have to stay vigilant.  I am not a big believer in "cheat" meals or days, but this week I had what you may consider one or two.  That was all it took.This pushes back my goals a week or two, but I still look forward to having a little get together to celebrate breaking 300 before this show closes.  I will have my evenings back Monday through Thursday, and I look forward to reestablishing a routine and enjoying a few weeks where I lose 3-4 pounds.  This is another dip on the trampoline week.

Before I go I thought you might like to see a few pictures from the events of the week.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Weigh in #34

Final countdown!  The show opens in 6 days and I am ready.  We all are.  Thanks so much to the whole cast for being incredible professionals and so giving on stage.  I know we have something that is funny, sounds great, and has a heart.  the last few runs before tech may be my favorite part of the process.  The kind of nuanced discoveries that feed me as an actor seem to come fast in the focused atmosphere of the last few runs.  Everyone has a firm grasp of who they are and it becomes so easy to play.  Because of all of that hard work, though, the amount of time I get to s[end on my health has been diminished.  I got out for a jog last night, but other than rehearsal that is the only real exercise I got this week.  Rehearsals are a bit demanding at times, and I am still struggling with the post show munchies, so my results are a little dampened by the late night eating.  I have tried to make a good choice with what I eat, but the best choice would be to not eat at all.  Oh well.  In both the rehearsal process and my health journey I have been fighting disappointment over not achieving perfection.  The words "good enough" used to be my mantra, but now they really bug me.  I just can't go to far in the other direction.  The struggle will be to appreciate my achievements, whatever they may be, and still stay hungry for more.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 307.8 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 2.2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 132.4 lbs

Decent results, and pretty consistent with my last few weigh ins.  Two pounds and change may be what I should expect for the near future, certainly until the show opens and I have time to build a more weight loss centered routine.  This next week I will be happy to take whatever I can get.  I have rehearsal every day except Thursday (weird, I know, but my director thinks it gives extra momentum into opening), so exercise in any meaningful way will be hard to come by.  I also have the Race for the Cure bright and early Saturday morning, so be advised that next week my weigh in will be on Sunday.  That will allow me to be consistent with my timing (I try to weigh myself around 9:00 am after sleeping in a bit on weigh in days.  Allows for pretty consistent measurements) and take a little reward from the race with any ancillary weight loss that might give me.  Don't forget to think about a donation to this worth cause, and also to check your calendars for when you can see my show.  Discount tickets are up on and great seats are still available at full price through the box office.  Message me for details or check out for all the information.  To quote my favorite book, "This is the deep breath before the plunge."

Friday, September 17, 2010

Training Day

With the 5k 8 days away and my first night off rehearsal since Monday I took the opportunity tonight to give it a shot.  I mapped out a 5k on my usual walking route, which in itself was a wake up call because it turns out what I thought was just short of 4 miles is actually about 3.25, so my evening walks up to now have not been as long (or as fast) as I thought.  I guess last time I mapped it I doubled back by accident or some other error.  The website I used is free, but not the cleanest experience so it is easy to mess up and have to backtrack.  This time I was exact though so here is how it went.

Distance: 3.13 miles/5.04 kilometers
Time: 41:08
Pace: 4.57 mph

Not bad in my mind.  I was able to jog about 2 out of every 5 minutes, which is an improvement over my last walk/jog outings where I was at about 1 out of every 3 minutes.  I know with time as short as it is I do not have much chance for improvement, but tonight's outing was educational, and I feel I can make some improvements just with a few simple changes.  Tonight I ate dinner about 5 minutes before going out.  About 10 minutes in I had a G.O.B. moment as my stomach felt like all of my dinner and the plate it came on were sitting between my lungs and stomach.

"I've made a huge mistake"

So in the future I will follow the old swimming rules and give myself at least half an hour after eating before getting on the jogging path.  I also think that in addition to the stretching I did before starting I should do some of my actor breathing exercises.  Muscularly I could have jogged a larger portion of the time than I did, but breath management forced me to slow it down.  Pushing like I have previously and did tonight has helped and will continue to help my singing while dancing, but maybe if I warm up my mechanism in that way I will give myself a better chance of managing my breathing on my jogs.  I would love to reach about 5 mph as a pace for the race, but I know that is really ambitious.  For now the goal will be to take time off every time I go out to jog.  My next go at it will be after rehearsal on Sunday.  I will go out for a walk after work tomorrow, but it will be pretty late, so I will keep it simple.  Weigh in tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Test For A Cause, and 30%.

Big week.  Monday night I committed to running in the Komen Race for the Cure on September 25th.  Many of you know I lost my mom to cancer almost 9 1/2 years ago.  Though it wasn't breast cancer I have a friend who went through a similar experience this year and she started a team for the race.  I had to participate.  It is a bit of a test of my health because I am "running" a 5k.  My evening walks are usually longer than that, but I walk those.  Here I will be trying to speed it up a bit.  Starting this Friday (rehearsals take up a lot of my time)  I will map out a 5k course near home and start pushing it a bit to see how I do.  You may notice that the race is the day after my show opens, and I have a show that night, so I will not be pushing it too much, but I would like to test myself.  As for the cause, if you are on facebook you have probably seen my messages about donations, but if you haven't please consider doing what you can.  A link on my facebook profile will take you right to my donation page, or if you email me at I will send you the details.  This is a great cause, so please consider even $1.


When I got on the scale this morning I weighed in at 308.2, which means that give or take an ounce or two I have lost 30% of my original body weight.  That is 3/5 of the way to my goal in about 3/5 of a year.   This gives me a really good chance to reach my goal weight, or at least be within striking distance, by spring of next year.  My pace may have slowed a bit, but it is hard to argue with the results so far.  30% is a bit more esoteric than a hard numbers goal, like 100 pounds lost, but it is double the major milestone that Weight Watchers sets, and those folks know what is going on.  It also gives me a measuring stick that is scalable.  Whether you started at 200 or 400 30% is huge.  The next goalpost is only a short way off, but it is one I have been looking forward to for a long time.  Get ready to celebrate because I am a stone's throw from being under 300 pounds for the first time in about 11 years.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Weigh in #33

Sick day has turned into sick week.  I had hoped a little bit that my illness would help my weight loss, but there is no such silver lining to this summer cold.  I actually have gained about half a pound since Thursday.  I knew before that DayQuil makes me retain water, but I have not been eating a whole lot, so it is a little disappointing.  I suppose that next week I will have some extra nice results, which should put me at 30% weight loss.  I am only about 2 pounds away, so that is a very reachable goal.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 310 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 2.6 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 130.2 lbs

It is never a bad week when that second number ticks over.  I am within shouting distance of a couple of very big goals, so I have a lot to look forward to.  132.07 pounds lost will be 30% of my original weight.  I am also just a touch over 10 pounds from being under 300.  My weight loss has slowed down in the last month or two, so I am not sure how quickly I can achieve these goals, but they are not far off.  Once my show gets up and running I expect to have more consistent success because of the extra time I will have to cook and exercise.  Exercise is what I missed out on this week, otherwise I feel I could have had a very good week.  Lately I seem to have hit a tipping point in the way others perceive me and my weight.  I am getting more notice from folks who knew me before for the difference and a little notice from strangers, which is always nice.  The next couple of days I plan to gather energy for the plunge of tech week, which is only a week off.  I will be getting back to an exercise regimen as soon as I feel well enough, but the real hard work may have to wait a week or two.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sick Day

I should be at work right now, but whatever illness it is that is going around I've got.  It is not that bad, but a little extra rest is definitely on the docket.  I am in that somnambulant nether world between tired enough to sleep and just tired that you get when you are sick, so between running lines and drinking water I thought I would make an entry on the ol' blog. 

Rehearsal for Spelling Bee has been running apace and we got into the space this week.  Until last night I had felt very artificial and self aware in the roll.  Last night I made a decision that that would stop, and to a large extent I felt much better, even with the illness.  On the way home I gave thought to where the differences in my performance were coming from and it struck me how similar the issues I had and changes I made were to the ones I had with my health.  I was so much in my head that I forgot about the doing portion of the task.  I tried to plan and structure everything in advance.  I got obsessed with "making choices".  What I did last night was simplify.  I embraced the unpredictable nature of live theater and took what I was given.  In short I did the things I know I should do, but my analytical nature rebels against.  Laying the ground work is vital, but at a certain point you cannot plan your way to success.  It reminds me of the old baseball truism that you cannot steal first base.  You have to hit.  My health success started when I stopped thinking about what to do and took the leap.  It has been a great lesson for my acting.  I make good choices, but they come so late in the process that they don't really help my fellow actors and I don't give myself a chance to further grow.  They really haven't come until I was forced to act by the short time remaining in the rehearsal process.  I get stuck in the trap that making choices and owning the roll is a mental process only.  I think this show is going to be the start of a new way of working for me.  Preparation is key, but I plan to be bold and open earlier.  That is the risky part for me.  It can't be in my head anymore.  It is scary as hell, but as I found last night it is by far the best way to a performance I am pleased with.  I hope some of that makes sense.  It does to me, but that may be the NyQuil talking.  See you Saturday.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Weigh in #32

Chugging along.  This week was a little too busy to get in all of the work I would like to in terms of cooking and workouts, but I am doing the things I want to be doing, so I will take it.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 312.6 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 2.2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 127.6 lbs

Not bad.  Could have been better, but with the time constraints this week I feel good about it.  One struggle I have had in the past few weeks is late night eating.  I get home from rehearsal at 10:30 or so pretty hungry after having eaten dinner around 6:30.  Eating dinner later isn't really an option because of rehearsal, so I end up eating whatever is to hand at home.  I have tried chugging water to try to sate myself long enough to get to sleep, but most of the time that does not cut it.  I am genuinely hungry.  So sometimes I have half an apple if I have it, but other times it is less healthy stuff because it is too late to go to the store and I don't have anything better to hand.  One method I am going to start trying is taking something to rehearsal with me to eat on the way home.  It is less than ideal, because I would prefer not to eat at all that late, but especially after a dance rehearsal or a run I really am hungry.  If I don't eat at least a little bit then it takes me forever to get to sleep and I have to be at work by 8:30 most mornings and if I do it on the way home I give myself at least an hour to start digesting before I get to sleep.  It is an interesting conundrum.  If you have any suggestions please offer them, because I am still trying to figure out what the best option is.  So, that is this week's challenge.  I still hope to break 300 by opening, so I will need to average over 4 lbs a week to do it.  I can get there, but I won't be too disappointed if it takes an extra week or two.  It'll be easier to celebrate not on opening week anyway.  Today's challenge is to eat and drink smart.  College football starts today.  BOOMER SOONER!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What Have You Done For Your Health Today?

I don't really have much to talk about today, but I want to post at least twice a week, so I'll go with a stream-of-consciousness style today.  So far the week has been successful, but not overwhelmingly so.  Weight loss numbers aren't fantastic, but this weekend I did go out for a few drinks, so the fact I have lost anything at all is great.  Monday was a strong day, with a good day of Meatless Mondays and a better work out.  Walking is just not cutting it anymore.  I overheard someone discussing their training regimen for a 10k last week, so I decided to apply some of their training techniques to my evening by the lake.  I only went out for about 3 miles, but instead of brisk walking the whole time I would jog/run for 1 minute and then continue waling with as brisk a pace as I could muster for 2 minutes.  As the weeks go on I will increase the jog time and decrease the walk time, but I am going to take it slow. 

The title of today's entry came to me sitting on the couch trying to figure out what to write about.  I think this is a question I need to ask myself every night.  It is inspired by what I remember to be a World War II propaganda poster.  That kind of attitude of chipping in for a greater good, and the urgency of need, is the kind of attitude I want to capture.  Of course I am doing this for me, but I can't pretend I don't want this blog to be seen and to inspire others.  I make a big deal to myself about doing this the right way.  I don't want surgery or quick fixes or pills or any of the other bullshit we get sold.  My thought is I got myself here, I can get myself where I want to go.  What I have to remember is I took 25 years to get myself were I was.  I am working fast, but it is a life long journey and will not get me where I want to be in a week or two.  Even once I hit at or near my goal weight my skin and metabolism and inner health will take quite a while to catch up.  The key to fighting off the boredom and discouragement over the  pace will be to focus on the things I can do.  To take a step every day to get where I want to be.  To ask myself, "what have I done for my health today?"