Sunday, October 31, 2010

Brunch with a Conservative

I had brunch today with my friend Austin and his dad Lyle who is a hard core conservative. It got a heated in a few places, but I knew there was no way I was going to change his mind about anything, so I simply stated my side of the issues. His basic attitude was this is what is wrong with America and this how Democrats caused that to happen. It was not as much frustrating as informative in that I saw someone who had a completely opposite attitude on the nature of government and the form and function of said government. Many of the things he said seemed to come straight from Fox News, fear of illegal immigrants, Acorn, welfare, and all other abuses of the system, but unlike some people I know, Fox News merely validated his already existing attitudes as opposed to being strictly a source of information. You would think there are a lot reasons for this with generational and life experience being two obvious things that would lead to such drastic differences of opinion. I guess with someone like Lyle he sees America as a vastly different place that what he grew up in. While you could say there have been different programs that have helped equalize inequalities and provided a social safety net to certain groups of people, it has also lead to a lot of abuse of the system. For a lot of people of his generation all they see is the abuse of the system instead of people that have been helped. I guess in a lot of ways this is a microcosm of the national debate that is currently going, and some of the issues we face in the next few years. Right now both sides are dug in and we really need to find a way to work together to come with some solutions long term. It made for interesting conversation and greatly delighted Austin who likes playing devil's advocate with both of us and saw this as some kind of showdown of two people he knows with different views of things.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Project Glen Update

I have been spending the last few days preparing for this year long project. Admitting that I have a problem is freeing, even if it is just admitting it to myself. Denial is a powerful force and it is not easy to deal with. However, I just have to take the bull by the horns and hang on for the ride. I feel like I am motivated and willing to take this on. My first goal has been to eat less and eat when I am hungry instead of eating for the sake of eating. I don't think I am going to every be that person that can just eat veggies and rice cakes, so I have tried to focus on cutting way back on unhealthy food. Right now that means sweets, fried food, and fast food. Dealing with a food addiction is like dealing with any other addiction you have to take one day at a time, keep a positive mental attitude, try to have some kind of support system, and if you do have a bad day or fall of the wagon do not beat yourself up too much. I am trying not to approach this like a diet, which is a short term solution that may succeed but you ultimately fail because you go back to old eating patterns and just gain the weight back. I want to approach this as a lifestyle change, and that changes I make now will serve me well the rest of my life. I simply must do this now, because if I don't I will die a painful and nasty death within 20 years. In addition to being healthier, looking better will give more options in doing acting and improv. I don't just want to be the funny fat guy. I had said I wasn't going to start until the first of November, but in many ways I started with that the blog post the other day. Over the years I have gained and lost weight. With me the mental aspect is crucial. You have to want to, and have you fight your own self destructive tendencies. I need to be able to find joy and motivation in something besides food. I think this will not only help me lose weight, but will improve my life in other ways as well. I just have to stick with this, don't get too down on myself, and don't let the old ways come back. Like they say one day at a time.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Project Glen

Occasionally I have a problem insomnia when I simply can't sleep. I am having that problem now. Often at these times I will lay in bed and think about things, I have good ideas, but usually they fade and disappear like a dream the next day. However this time I do not want to let this idea go, so here I am.

To borrow a phrase from the 12 steppers, my name is Glen and I am addicted to food. There I said it and it is out there. I am not a big drinker, I don't do drugs or smoke, but boy do I love food. I think I would rather eat than do just about anything. Greasy, fried, sweet, salty there is not much I do not like. I hear people that are dealing with addiction and they way they talk about it is the way I feel about food. I think about it all the time. How can I make recipe better, what if I added this or that, or wouldn't be good to have some of ________. Now that I have said that I need to move on to the phase of this project and that is change the bad habit. Unlike some addictions I simply can not stop eating, but I want to stop the destructive nature and bad habits that got me where I am today.

Today is Monday October 25, 2010. In a little under two weeks on November 6 I will turn 45. By the time I turn 46 the following November 6 I want to be a different person. Before I met my wife Dabney I just didn't care about certain things, and even though I had lost and gained weight plenty of times in past I had been in a bad cycle that I could not break out of. Being with Dabney has made me a much happier person, and because of the that I am ready to move on and make other changes in my life. Over the course of the next year I want to lose 120 pounds, which breaks down to 10 pounds a month or even further 2 1/2 pounds a week. I am giving myself a week to prepare myself and want to begin the adventure on the first of November. I feel like I am stuck in a rut and there are changes that I want to make in my life and while I am not sure what direction I want my life to go I do know that I want to change the way I look. If I can change that for the better, what else can I do. It is something that I can not postpone any longer. I am not trying to live forever, I want just want to live a longer and healthier life.

I am not going to let this addiction beat me, and like most addictions it will be something I will have to deal with the rest of my life, but I can't just give up because it is hard. I have to change my approach to food. People like me seek solace in food, eat when you are happy, sad, bored, or whatever reason you can think of. To make it worse you feel bad about being overweight and you comfort yourself by eating more. It is the nastiest of vicious circles and one that is very hard to break out of.

I am not sure who will read this but somebody will and I just want to put this out there if for no other reason that to acknowledge this to myself. There will be good days and bad, triumphs and defeats but in the end if I stick with this I will be a better person for it. I will be begin Project Glen this week but right now I am going to try to go back to bed.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Footballn' in Bham

I was in Birmingham this past weekend. Alabama was scheduled to play Florida and Auburn was playing Louisiana Monroe. Both teams won easily Saturday night and the buzz around town for both teams was very high. Unlike Memphis that has its various factions various for several SEC teams and those diehard few University of Memphis fans, football fandom in the Birmingham is pretty cut and dry. In seasons when one or both teams are down or having a mediocre season there is still interest but there is more talk of what is wrong or how can be fixed. This year both teams or good and there is already some talk of two undefeated teams playing each other in late November. Alabama fans are giddy with Sabin at the helm for the foreseeable future and a team kicking butt on the field, life is good. Saturday there were tons of Alabama shirts, car flags, and you could just feel the excitement in the air about the Florida game. The Sabin years have not been as much fun down on the Plains. The Auburn fans are showing their pride as well but unlike the Alabama fans there is more of a quiet confident but hopeful feeling about the team. Nothing would please Auburn fans than to be the ones that unseat Alabama from the top perch and this year Auburn has a pretty good team and relatively easy remaining schedule. Not living there for a while you can forget what a football mad town Birmingham can be, and Saturday I was reminded what it can be like. If both teams keep winning the stakes will be even higher for the Iron Bowl as the eyes of the nation turn to Tuscaloosa to see who will make the trip to the SEC Championship Game the next week.