Saturday, October 30, 2010

Weigh in #40

Not much to discuss this week.  I indulged a little bit too much, I was sick, so I was taking medicine that makes me retain water, and I didn't track things as carefully as I should have.  It could have been worse:

Current Weight: 294.8 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -1 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 145.4 lbs

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Weigh in #39

A late post today, but rest assured I weighed myself at the proper time.  I had to rush out to pick up my headshot reproductions, which look great.  That means my off hours (not that there will be many with rehearsals starting in earnest) will be spent working on submissions.  Chicago agents, prepare.  Like every good actor my weight on my resume is not entirely accurate, and I have toyed with the idea of removing that altogether.  My picture is a good representation of my build, why do they need my weight?  They are not casting a number.  What are your thoughts, friends?  As you think about it, here are the real numbers:

Current Weight: 293.8 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 5 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 146.4 lbs

So much for the off week I was worried about.  Talking about my feelings on closing Spelling Bee certainly helped me get a better handle on myself, but I think the extra bit of rest is what really helped.  Also the fact that easily 60% of my non-breakfast meals this week consisted of lettuce and chicken breast with different dressings/salsas to keep it interesting.  I am definitely back in the right head space about a lot of things.  Things are starting to be exciting again.  As an analytical guy I have been examining what makes the way I handled my recent experiences different than I would have in the past.  My mini-depression certainly lasted for far shorter a time than I would have expected, and my weight results were pretty fantastic.  It goes back to doing what I am afraid to do, which is name the fear and don't hide it.  I hide it because it is personal and I don't want pity or even understanding.  I want to fix it myself.  I bit the bullet and put it out there this time.  I didn't get much in the way of response, nor did I want to, but even speaking it aloud was enough to take ownership of it.  And then it really didn't matter that much anymore.  I have been known to think about things too much and this is a good lesson for me.  The sooner I act on a situation the sooner I have a measure of control over that situation.  Now, can I do it in the future.  We'll see.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Ouroboros - n, a circular symbol of a snake or dragon devouring its tail.

A fitting title for this post for two reasons.  The first is as a tribute to my friends Scott and Jenni Sumerak.  Their theater company of the same name has given me two wonderful opportunities since I moved to ChicagoIncluded is my most recent show, which closed Sunday and was Ouroboros Theater Company's last production.  I wish them the best and I know that even though Ouroboros has closed its doors this is far from the last time we will work together.  The second reason for the title is about what the Ouroboros represents, at least to me.  This is a time of endings and beginnings, and for me they are running right into each other.  This post may be a little uncomfortable for me, because outside of my direct feelings about my progress and struggles with my health I have not talked a lot about my state of mind.  It may have been foolish to try to segregate that part of myself before, but I am certainly not going to put my whole life on here.  It drives me nuts when other people overshare and I plan on avoiding hypocrisy if I can.

This past week I started getting the idea that closing this show might not be that fun for me.  It has been a while since closing a show was a sad thing for me, but I knew this time it would be.  I definitely could have run the show much longer.  I feel like I still had room to grow in that role.  I was also incredibly proud of my work.  I don't know that it is the best acting I have ever done; the writing for my character is a bit thin so there is not a lot of guidance as to where his many oddities come from.  I liken it to driving on a roadway with very wide lanes.  Sure, it is easy to stay inside the lines, but it is almost impossible to drive in a straight line.  What I was most proud of was the embodiment of my personal progress that the role had become.  I was able to sing the role because of quitting smoking.  The dance, such as it was, would have been beyond me even a month or two sooner, let alone before starting this process.  Combining the singing with the dance was incredibly difficult, and something I really wasn't comfortable with until tech week.  Pair all of that with the incredible people I had the pleasure of getting to know and work with and it is little wonder this closing was emotional for me.  

And then I went home.  And started nibbling.  Well, I felt hungry, even though I knew I was full.  Actually, I had started the grazing when I started contemplating closing the show.  My disastrous date experience this weekend did not help much, although now it is pretty funny.  It reinforces the need for constant awareness.  I am the same person I always was.  I eat to feel better.  I gain weight very quickly.  I have to put the bad choices out of my reach.  My cast gift included bags of candy for everybody, but I only used about 2/3rds of what I purchased, so I have had candy in the house since about the time I started to get a little depressed.  Bad combination.  I have saved a couple boxes of Nerds, but just today thrown away the rest.  I hate being wasteful, but it is the only way I can do it.  I cannot have a bag of sweets in the house.  It is hard enough fighting the urge to eat when I am down, and having bad choices to hand makes it double difficult.  At least an extra apple or some hummus has some benefit.  It is funny that the biggest challenge I have encountered from this show was from closing it.  I figured that once I closed I would be able to redouble my focus and get some good prep work done.  Now I am thinking it is a blessing I have a new show to go straight into.  I get the feeling that this new show will be less of a "family" and more of a professional workmanlike atmosphere.  That is ok, but I want to be sure I don't try to replace one experience with the other.  I am hesitant to share most of this.  Partly because it is such a small thing to be depressed about and I feel whiny and self-indulgent, and partly because of my own tendencies to want to handle all of my problems solo, but having already gained over 1 pound since Saturday and trending up I need to be accountable.  I think to cap off my experience I should show a few more photos from the production.  Thank you to all of the photographers who helped capture the show and to all of my castmates for a tremendous experience.

Thank you everybody.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Weigh in #38

I don't really have much to cover this week.  Because of gifts for my fellow cast members that I made I have had candy in the house, which is not great.  That may explain my less than stellar results this week, but my body has been asking for more food.  I have been genuinely hungry a lot more this week.  I have tried to use good options to snack on, but I need to assess where this is coming from.  It may be my body starting to get into winter mode and I just need to be careful.  I will work on it this week.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 298.8 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 0.6 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 141.4 lbs

After two great weigh ins I suppose I was due for a plateau  week as well.  I was thinking I would have a few weeks after my show closed to establish a routine, but I have booked another show and our first meeting is Monday, so there is no rest for the wicked.  I need to stay smart, but I wouldn't really mind if this was the new normal.  It is nice to have work.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

On Target

I took the opportunity this evening to look back a bit and see how things have matched up with my expectations.  I talked Saturday about how many of the fears I had that previously stalled my progress never materialized.  I had, of course, ideas about the positive changes all of the work would have as well.  Before I get too deep into those I want to reflect on my predictions.  Loyal readers may remember the most epic in what I am sure has been a series of moments of geek: my post Geek Time from July (  In that post I crafted a chart based on an equation I had come up with to not only fit a trend line to my weight loss, but to predict my future results.  It was not perfect as the line was already not quite fitting the data points, but it seems that I wasn't too far off after all.  I had already lost a bit more weight than it predicted as of week 23.  I am now 2 weeks and a day or so ahead of projections.  If I continue on that kind of pace I should be near my goal at week 70, but I am also beginning to think that goal may be too low.  One of my cast mates is maybe half an inch shorter than me and in very good shape and weighs about what I my original goal is.  Taking into account my very large frame and probable extra skin that will not go away for a while I think 240 may be much more realistic.  As I have said the goal is a zephyr, something to shoot for, but ultimately unsubstantial.  Where I stop I stop. 

As for the positive goals many of you can imagine what they are.  I of course want more acting work, and not only is that happening, but it is more musical theater work, something I have always enjoyed and the thing I was probably furthest from at my old weight.  I want good health and I am definitely on the track to that, and I have devoted quite a bit of time on the blog to discussing my progress in that area.  There are several other personal goals that I haven't devoted time to discussing, but I seem to be on the right track for those as well.  A friend of mine mentioned that one of her biggest challenges is making good choices on dates, and that is a problem I look forward to having pretty soon.  One of the fears I had, and one I did not discuss much Saturday, was of losing a part of my identity.  When my dad was up here a couple weeks ago he said my proportions are different than they have ever been.  He said the closest I was to this was at 3 years old.  I do not think I have changed, though.  Not in the ways that matter.  I still fight the same battles, but I have better tools.  I liken it to a sharpening.  When a knife is dull you grind away the old edge and set a new one.  You lose a bit of the original, sure, but in the process the metal is as sharp or sharper than it ever was.  I am now a more confident, capable, and certainly thinner version of myself.  It really feels like when you work and work a bit in a show and you put all of that technical preparation and thought into it and then you stumble upon the right combination of tone, intent, and timing that gets the response you know the moment deserves.  I am more able to be me know.  I am less in my own way.  It is dearly bought, but I have learned lessons that some folks twice my age don't get to experience.  I know for sure I will never go back.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Weigh in #37

Current Weight: 299.4 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 3.6 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 140.8 lbs

Why bury the lead?  This feels incredible.  Mid-week I was really worried about reaching the threshold this week.  I hadn't really lost a thing by Wednesday, but I was looking noticeably thinner.  I got a few comments from cast mates last night about that and I think my body really likes to work in chunks.  I think it took a few days to tighten up skin and tone a little bit and then shed a few pounds.  Who am I to complain?  If I am lighter, and I look thinner, and I feel good, then that is a good week.


Since about 350 I have been thinking about what it would mean to be under 300 pounds.  It is certainly the first time in my adult life I have been anywhere close.  Yesterday when I weighed myself I was 300.0.  Today I am 299.4.  The measurable, empirical difference is .6 pounds, or about 9.5 ounces.  The difference to the way I see myself, and the way others see me is massive.  Having a "3" be the first number in my weight was an automatic "fat".  Only 7 foot tall basketball players are healthy at 300+ lbs.  For everyone else it really doesn't matter how well you carry it, 300 pounds is obese.  The number has a connotative quality.  With a "2" in front of that number it feels so much different.  My goal weight is in the 2s.  Many people look great and are healthy in the 2s. Looking at it in a cold and calculated way I am only a cheeseburger closer to my goal than I was yesterday, but it really feels as if I turned a corner and can see the goal shimmering in the distance.  I have said before that I really don't know where my weight will end up, but all of the fears I had associated with starting this process have come to nothing.  I worried I would be less marketable, but I am in a show right now and just got called by an artistic director this week to be in another.  I worried I would be less myself, but I haven't changed a bit, I just have more energy to pursue the things I want.  I really worried that my self esteem would become tied to my weight, but I realized recently that that is how I was before, and now I have control.  I have finally been able to say, and pardon my language, fuck it to all of the niggling little mind games that I played with myself and the big rewards are starting to come.  Pardon me if I sound a bit full of myself, but I feel allowed today.  It is an exciting time to be me.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Weigh in #36

Howdy friends. As many of you know the annual OU-Texas football game was yesterday.  You can be sure for whom I was rooting, but due to the time constraints of my show I had to put in a shift at the day job yesterday and I missed watching the game for the first time since high school.  It was disappointing, but in the grand scheme of things it might have been for the best.  Of course the result was what I wanted, but knowing how much I struggle to control my diet at parties this might be the year it was a good idea not to go.  I still had a bump up in weight this weekend, but not too bad, and my overall results this week were excellent.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 303 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 6 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 137.2 lbs

That certainly makes up for last week.  That also puts me in real striking distance of breaking 300.  I would love for it to happen this week because I will have my aunt and sister in town to see my show, and I would love to share this with them, but in the next two weeks it is sure to happen.  One of my friends gave me an awesome suggestion to do something active to celebrate, so soon after breaking 300 we are going to laser tag.  All will be welcome, and I think a big group could be awesome.  It won't be this coming weekend or anything like that, but within the next month or so I will get the word out and we will all head out to the laser tag...arena?  I don't know what to call it. I do know there are so many exciting things happening now.  Good auditions, a great show, and a lot of progress on many fronts.  I am not used to this kind of momentum and purpose.  I have spoken recently about trying to keep it going, to capture this lightning in a bottle.  At least for one week it appears I have.