Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday #2-The Chains that I Revere

"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere."

I like sweet food.  I crave it.  I will do stupid things like get groceries and then "sneak" an Oatmeal Cream Pie (really 2) into the cart and eat it on the way home.  I like drinks that are sweet too, and soda has been a staple of my diet for almost two decades.  Dr. Pepper is always involved with those Oatmeal Cream Pies.  Sugar is a constant in my life.  I also like meat.  Any kind.  Pork, beef, chicken, possum, wallaby...I have actually never eaten possum or wallaby, but if you held up a plate that looked half decent and said, "This is possum or maybe wallaby!" I would take a bite.  We have rabbits that run around in our neighborhood and I always tell my kids and wife that they look "delicious".  This disgusts them to no end, but I find it hilarious and halfway truthful.

Oatmeal Cream Pie

Dr. Pepper


I eat to fill the time, I eat to relax, I eat to not "do" whatever else it is that I am supposed to "do".  I eat late at night.  When everyone else is asleep, I will go down to our kitchen and open the fridge.  I avoid healthier options like an apple, pear, or grapes.  I want something that is sugary--both to eat and drink--because that feels like a meal.  I want to eat something meaty as well so I will both get sugar and salt in the same binge eating session.  

Instead of doing something productive, I seek out the destructive through my late night eating.  I know I need to give that up to achieve this change in my life, but a big part of me finds the habit slightly satisfying.

I have several regrets.  You always hear famous people say, "I have no regrets.  I would not change ONE thing about my life, because if not for those things then BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!!"  That is official bullshit.  Sure, the painful parts of life have put me at this point in my life, but I would change that shiggidy in 1/2 second if I could.  

As an example, if I could go back I would dress up for "picture days" at school.  Why not look good on the one day that the school officially records your picture for all of posterity?  Do I have to look like a homeless troll with non-connecting facial hair in every class picture I have taken?  Could I have added one less wrinkle in my shirt?  Could I have had a haircut within the week before the picture or made my hairline look like anything other than an upside down U?  The answer is "Maybe"...actually it is "YES, DEFINITELY, YES"!!!

2nd regret:  I would have taken full advantage of playing Varsity high school basketball on a team in the great state of North Carolina.  I was able to play a sport that millions of people play, for a team that was able to face incredibly stiff competition and I never took it serious enough.  

I treated it like a hobby, which was not a bad thing since I focused on my academics, but was not intelligent because I limited my options.  I was in the best shape of my life, because I got to jump and run around after an inflated ball all week, but I didn't see the privilege of what I was doing.  People could not walk and dreamed of walking, but I was upset about running so much.  I was a Varsity athlete on a team and guys who dreamed of playing for our team were cut, but I took it for granted that I would get to be on and start on that same team.  If I could go back I would have run more, practiced much more, and WORKED at the game of basketball.  Who knows what could have been?

3rd regret and the biggest one of this essay, I mean blog:  I wish I had been there for my sister when she needed me.  My cloudy memory of this is that my younger sister and I were at a private daycare which consisted of some woman's house who my mother knew.  I was probably ten, maybe older but somewhere around that age.  I remember the babysitter had two kids: a boy younger than my sister and another older son around my age--let us name him SATAN.  Well, for some reason us kids were all left alone outside near the back door and SATAN had some issue with my sister and me.  I remember SATAN reaching back and punching my sister in the stomach.  I remember my sister doubling over in pain and then I remember freezing...doing absolutely nothing after SATAN punched my only sister in the stomach.  

All I remember about that moment is my thought process.  Fear was present, but mostly my mind was going through the rules of civility.  My young mind could not comprehend how someone who knew we were guests in his house, whose mother was inside, could act violently towards said guests, especially said guest who was a small, young girl.  My mind would not allow me to believe what I just saw so my body reacted by doing nothing..not one thing.  I don't remember anything that happened after that.

I am 33 years old.  I have gone to college, law school, got married, fathered two children, and now with my wife I am raising those two children.  My sister and I have gone through so many life experiences since then together and separately.  But that one memory stands out, and I know I could be 97 on my deathbed and if I thought of that moment I would have the same shameful feeling of futility.  

When I relieve that memory I always feel like I am watching my favorite team go down in flames and I just want to yell at the screen, "GODDAMMIT DO SOMETHING OUT THERE!!"  I want to say to her I am sorry that I missed that moment to protect you.  I love you and I would never want to see you hurt like that again.

We do not get time machines in life.  Staying tied to the past is part of the reason I have allowed myself to mindlessly eat my way to my current weight (which as of 10:45 p.m. on Monday, September 8, 2014 is 325 pounds).  If they did make time machines and the machine only allowed me to go back to the moment of my shameful inaction then you would not be reading my blog. You would be reading another blog post called:

The moment I will always live to regret when I punched some kid's sister in the stomach and then he beat me so badly that I lost my ability to say the word "the" properly, use my left arm, walk without a limp, and smell apples.

by SATAN (foreword by Tyler Perry)

SATAN (the lighter version)

Tyler Perry (the actual version)

But we do not get time machines, so I live with that memory.  I have rarely in my life given in to my animal instinct.  With this fight, battling my unhealthy weight, I have to use my mind and my instincts.  I can not afford to be a punk about this or anything else for that matter.  Death does not discriminate and if I keep up my unhealthy habits that or a terrible quality of life are the only options that await me.  I want to live, I want to be happy, and I want to get more moments to show that I can take care of my family.  Join me next Monday to see where I am headed on this journey.  Thanks for watching.  

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