26 pounds!

As some of you may know, I made the conscious decision at the beginning of the year to change my life. I was concerned about my health, yes, but I thought it was more than that. I was coming out of a depression and I wanted to do whatever I could to turn my life around and move into a positive direction, beginning with my weight.

I entered 2012 weighing in at 238 pounds. Kids, I’m only 5’7″…that means there was a LOT of room for improvement.

Thought March and April were pretty stagnant in terms of weight loss, I’ve been able to get back on track in May. Sunshine is absolutely helping, though…she’s kickin’ ass and taking names. She’s out all the time running all over the city and that, my friends, is inspiring to me. Sure, this silly race is still taking place in a month’s time but that’s not what is keeping me motivated. No, it’s knowing that my partner in life is doing whatever she can to help inspire and motivate me in addition to motivating herself…and that’s a pretty cool feeling that I’ve never had before.

A boost in self-confidence helps, too. I’ve always had self-esteem issues in life, but I’m finally at a point where I look  in the mirror and I don’t hate myself and I don’t need approval from others to feel good about how I look. That has done WONDERS for me because any time I feel like I want to gorge on food or eat a ton of unhealthiness, I remind myself that I’M WORTH MORE THAN THAT.

So after five full months of changing my life, I woke up this morning to see this:

I’m down 26 pounds since the beginning of the year. That is AWESOME! I’m feeling better, I’m looking better, and my long-term goal of getting down to 200 pounds does not seem like such an impossible task anymore.

I’m a happy guy these days with a lot of change going on. But this change? This is a change that I can embrace with open arms.

Hurry Up And Wait

This past weekend was a 4-day holiday for me (gotta love working for American companies). Where Sunshine had to work, I spent lunch on both Friday and Monday with her. Each day we actually didn’t sit down for a meal, but instead we went outside for hour-long walks together.

On Monday’s walk, we had a discussion about my current job search and how it was going. The discussion was more me complaining and beginning to get frustrated with the whole process and her listening to me and trying to knock some sense into me.

Y’see, I only really started looking for a job about 2 1/2 weeks ago. I’ve sent my resume out to placement agencies and I have applied for about one or two jobs a day online. I’ve got five or six different websites that I visit on a daily basis while I scour my way through the junk in order to find something decent.  Here is what I’m finding, though…

There are obviously going to be jobs that I have zero qualifications for. Nurses, IT, teachers…all solid positions if that is the background and education that you have.

Most of the jobs that I’m qualified for are minimum wage positions or slightly better paying call center jobs. With my education and background, I’m not sure I need to be stocking shelves at the local grocery store just yet (but I would if I had to…I’m not “above” any job). I worked in a call center environment for over five years and, while thankful for the experience, couldn’t be happier to be at a point in my life where I don’t have to do that type of work anymore.

The other type of jobs that I’m seeing are all above my experience level: “Senior” business analysts, “senior” project managers, “senior” account managers…companies seem to be looking for others to simply walk into a role and immediately begin banging out results. Well, it’s frustrating to me because I know I could do a lot of those roles with a bit more experience…but how to you get that experience when nobody is looking for a “junior” business analyst or “intermediate” account manager?

So it seems like the job prospects are “all or nothing” positions…either lower end or higher end of the pay scale. And that is extremely frustrating because I don’t see anything that is really at the level that I’m at. I suppose it’s because those people are happy to be working those jobs…as I am now, actually…so they don’t become available. I also suppose it’s because intermediate-level positions are normally hired and promoted from within a company to people who have been there for awhile and have worked their way up.

Sunshine reminded me, though, that it’s only been 2 1/2 weeks. She reminded me that job searches don’t normally end up with results in a day or two. I need to be patient and not get frustrated because I actually have a job of my own at the moment…there isn’t any real rush.

But the thing is that I believe there is a rush.

I want to be living with Sunshine and her girls. I want to try to start my new life in a new city. Knowing that we have a 90% shot at getting a place that looks like a fantastic beginner-apartment for the two of us as of August 1st makes me anxious and antsy to move.

So I told Sunshine last night that if we get the apartment, then I would take just about any job and sell my home in order to be with her. I figure I could continue my job search while I’m in her city…maybe it would be easier if I was actually there. But at least I’d be working and we’d be together and my nights could stop being so damn lonely.

I’m trying to be patient, but it’s totally a “hurry-up-and-wait” situation right now…and I’m not usually good with those.

Wish me luck, kids.

Fun Music Friday

Hey gang!

It’s a beautiful day here in the Maritimes and I woke up next to Sunshine…the beginnings of a 4-day weekend. Waking up here on a Friday morning also means that I get to hang out with her two awesome girls, as well.

So in honor of my two future step-daughters (it’s so much fun to be able to say that), I thought I’d show some of their favorite music videos.

I’m absolutely thrilled to be here with three of my favorite girls. I never knew how absolutely awesome a blended family could be.

Have a great weekend everybody!

10 Signs I’m Getting Old

I’m turning 40 in September (**shudders**) and I’ve recently noticed a number of small things that have only helped to remind me that I’m getting older. 

Sure…age is just a number, but 40 is a pretty big number.

1. There are grey hairs on my chest. Sunshine has noticed the occasional grey hair on my chest from time to time and I didn’t think much of it. I also have grey in my goatee and didn’t really care about that too much, either. But I happened to get out of the shower the other day and saw three on my chest. THREE. And I could see them!! Eesh.

2. My overall musical tastes are mellowing. For pretty much my entire life, I’ve been a hard rock kind of guy. Sure, I love dance and hip hop, too (a product of my DJ’ing years), but I grew up on KISS and AC/DC. Well…my new favorite band is Walk Off The Earth, who are about as mellow as you can get. And Billy Joel is on a constant rotation on my iPod playlist, not to mention Phil Collins. It’s crazy. I still love my Quiet Riot and Kid Rock and Daft Punk, but I’m finding myself listening to more and more “mellow music” and it’s kinda weirding me out a bit.

3. I want to shop at Pete’s Frootique. This is an independent grocery store chain in the Maritimes that has a very unique set-up. I don’t even care if I buy anything…I just want to walk around the place and take it all in because I think it’s “cool”. Wow…I used to say that about strip clubs.

4. I ache…a lot. Mowing my lawn has always been a pain in the ass, but I’ve found that lately the days following that task I’m sore. It’s just not my arms, it’s my legs and hands and shoulders. Seriously…it’s not like mowing is a horrendously difficult workout, either. I don’t want to have to start taking back pills or something. 

5. I’m starting to take back pills. There has been more than one morning over the past few months where I’ve woken to pain in my lower back. I take a back pill and all is well again. I feel like I woke up on “the morning after” but I haven’t been anywhere or have done anything. It’s like my body is making fun of me.

6. I listen to talk radio. ‘Nuff said.

7. Staying in on a Saturday night actually sounds nice. Oh do I remember the “good ol’ days” of going out on a Thursday, Friday, AND Saturday night to party with the boys. Wow…does that ever seem like a million years ago. I’m certainly not opposed to going on out a Saturday with my amazing fiance, but I’m just as happy to stay inside and watch a movie on the couch with her.

8. The 21-year-old co-worker is young enough to be my son. When in the hell did THIS happen?? Somebody who is old enough to drink all over North America is young enough (technically) to be my own kid. Holy crap…when did this happen?

9. I say “dude” way too much. My own dad says “dude”. It’s depressing.

10. I actually enjoy “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor. I can’t believe it…I really like this song. And if this isn’t the ultimate sign of getting old, I don’t know what is.

Confessions From A Cubicle

Confessions from a CubicleSometimes I drift off at work a bit. It’s not like I actually fall asleep or anything…I just let my mind wander. But sometimes on a break or during lunch I’ll hear or read something online that sticks with me.

What I do is just jot something down and then finish the thoughts once I’m home. I haven’t done one of these since last October and had more than a few minutes of downtime yesterday, so I decided to take advantage and throw my thoughts down on paper.

– Here’s a question: When is an all-u-can-eat-buffet not really an all-u-can-eat-buffet? When you’re Bill Wisth from Thiensville, WI. Apparently, this guy ate so much fish at Chuck’s Place that they actually cut him off. It turned into an incident where the police were called and then Bill decided to picket the place afterwards because “people have to stand up for consumers”. Bill is 6’6” and over 350 pounds. He ate a dozen pieces of fish before being cut off, then was given eight more pieces in an effort to get him out of the restaurant. This, apparently, was not enough. Honestly…I’m on the fence on this one. Yes, Bill was eating WAAAAY too much food, but that’s the point of an all-u-can-eat-buffet…isn’t it?

– Have you ever wanted to know what it felt like to be shot? No…most people don’t. Of course, Shawn Mossow’s friend was one of those people who DID want to know what it felt like. So he asked Shawn to shoot him in the leg. Seriously. Shawn, being the good friend that he obviously is, gave in after multiple requests (apparently) and shot his friend with a .22-caliber rifle. With friends like that, who needs enemies? Of course, if you’re dumb enough to ask to be shot then you probably deserve to be shot.

– As a parent, I can understand not wanting to see younger kids grind up on each other like a new-age version of Dirty Dancing. However, I think I gotta draw the line at spraying kids with Lysol at a high school prom. And then on top of that calling them “whores” and “sluts” might be a bit extreme. I think the Manitou Springs High School should re-think who their chaperones are for future dances.

– I’m all for being proud of yourself and your body if it helps boost your self-esteem. I know that I’ve had my own problems dealing with body issues. However, being proud of yourself shouldn’t mean that you can walk around in public totally naked. Last week, 49-year-old Barbara Lafleur walked into not one but TWO New York businesses totally nude. She wasn’t doing anything other than shopping, which makes the situation even more strange. The video below comes from one of the two businesses and yes, it contains nudity.

NSFW

– Since we’re talking about public nudity, how about a large 32-year-old Pennsylvania man who parked his vehicle at a Wal-Mart, stripped down completely naked in the parking lot, casually walked into the store, and then proceeded to steal a pair of socks before wondering off. I mean, if it weren’t for the video you’d think I was making this stuff up. Oh…but this video has a blurry section where it needs a blurry section.

Kinda SFW

– With the impending release of “The Dark Knight Rises“, it only makes sense that somebody would create The Bat-Stache!! Ummm…no story to this. It’s just what some guy did and posted on the internet. Hello 15-seconds of fame!

– How many 6-year-old boys do you know who have been suspended from school for “sexual harassment”? Not many, I’m sure. I mean, at six I can only imagine that the term “harassment” doesn’t even appear on the radar, much less “sexual harassment”. Well…in Colorado a kid was suspended for saying, “I’m sexy and I know it”…the line from the LMFAO song of the same name that was a number one single for a couple of weeks. Apparently Sable Elementary School has a “zero tolerance policy”…which sometimes makes zero sense, as it does in this case.

– Hey…ever think about hiring a clown to surprise your child for their birthday? SURE you have! Okay…now what if that was an EVIL clown that stalked your child for an entire week and ended up hitting them in the face with a pie to “celebrate”?? Yeah…a little weird, right? Some people think this is a great idea, hence Dominic Deville’s business idea of creating a website called “EvilBirthdayClown.com“. I couldn’t imagine intentionally scaring my child. That seems like a form of torture to me.

– This video boggles my mind. For whatever reason, somebody in NYC was dressed up as Darth Vader and he was hanging out with a couple of other guys dressed as Stormtroopers (don’t ask me why…I don’t know). At some point during the day, Vader’s car got a parking ticket. In the video, Vader catches up with a traffic cop and tries to talk his way out of the ticket. Yes…seriously.

Hopefully I can do something slightly more productive at work tomorrow.