"He will know from an early age that failure is not a disgrace. It's just
a pitch that you missed, and you'd better get ready for the next one.
The next one might be the shot heard round the world. My son and I
are Americans, we prepare for glory by failing until we don't."
I can't say that I expected to learn more about failure from baseball and a reformed alcoholic Scots immigrant comedian than in theater school or from all of my family and friends put together, but that may be a bit over-dramatic. Those two may have just been the right lens through which to view my other lessons. As an actor getting one callback out of ten auditions is about average, and booking one out of ten roles you callback for is about average too, or so I have heard. I am lucky that I have been more successful in theater than booking 1% of my auditions, but certainly far from a .300 average. That paragraph hit me immediately though, because it started to knit together many threads of thought I have had about this experience. They are lessons I should have taken to heart sooner. I have until know thought of failure as just that, failure. Each instance was a separate test. Pass or fail. I should have been thinking about my failures in two ways. In the immediate moment of course I have failed and a certain amount of disappointment is expected. But in the grand scheme of things it is one of one thousand opportunities in a day to make the right choice, and one failure may teach me the lesson that leads to more success in the future than I could have had otherwise. This of course applies not only to my health, but also to my acting, and even when dating or working at the day job. I spent so long paralyzed by fear of failing even once that I never gave myself a chance to succeed. Now that I have seen that the wins far outpace the losses, even at my worst, it is easier to keep going.
I look back on my posts and I can see that this way of thinking has been just around the corner for me for some time, but it is easier for me to think this way now because of how far I have come. I have realized that if I never lost another pound I wouldn't too upset about it. I like the way I look and feel. I am not where I need to be for my health, however. Today I calculated my BMI, or Body Mass Index, which, while crude, is a decent indicator of how one's weight is likely to impact one's health. My BMI is just over 35, which is considered Obese class 2. The website suggested I talk to my doctor about ways to lose weight. Any BMI over 30 is considered obese. Any BMI over 25 is considered overweight. Now, as I said, the standard BMI calculation is crude and does not take muscle mass or frame into account. Just to break the overweight/obese line I need to get down to 246, and to be considered "healthy" I need to get down to 204. This is ridiculous. I have a very large frame, my waist to height ratio equates more to the border between overweight and obese. Supposing I split the difference between the two measurements then a weight of around 220-230 and a waist size in the 36 region are good final goals, as long as I work to tone and keep my fat/muscle ratios healthy. At some point I am going to need some professional advice as to where is a healthy place to start the maintenance portion of my health journey. Educated guesses have done me right to this point, but I can see myself stopping short of where I need to be without some advice. Hopefully my new day job will provide me the means to get a decent health plan so I can actually see a nutritionist or bariatric specialist. For now I need to keep moving in the right direction, and take more steps forward than back. I have lost some of the urgency from the start of my journey. I am okay with that, though I imagine the effect on the entertainment level of this blog might be detrimental. What I have to do is channel the energy I had previously devoted to weight loss totally to other areas. Now is the time for me to really focus on my career. After this post is done I am buckling down to write cover letters for submissions to agents. I start a new day job next week. I open a show in 10 days. I have plenty to do, but in the new world of "good enough" is not good enough, I can always do more. Now off to do it.