SOBER CITY – Day 98

P523

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Sober City – April 8th, 2011
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We all have issues. Some are more obvious than others but we all have little hang ups and let downs that make us the complex and interesting people that we are. For better or for worse, the baggage we carry with us through this magical mystery tour of humanity shapes not only who we are but who other people see us as. Most of it is beyond our control (without extensive therapy at least) and as we get older we find little tricks to manage our issues in order live our lives as we see fit. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. The great part is, most people don’t even know about these little hang ups and they probably won’t ever discover them on their own unless we feel the need to open up and divulge the information ourselves. Well my blog friends, I feel the need to divulge. There’s a major issue in my life that I’m sure I share with many of you and I think it deserves a good hard looking at (for a couple paragraphs in this post anyway). I’m talking about the evil cursed demon that is weight issues.
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Ever since I can remember I’ve struggled with my weight in one way or another. When I was in junior high I was definitely the fat kid and I spent most of my preteen years in jogging pants and large MC Hammer shirts. Lots of Nintendo and ice cream, little to no sports and broccoli. The crazy part though, was that I really had no idea I was fat. I was never made fun of at school and I had a bunch of friends who never really pointed it out to me. My mom was well aware of my extra pounds and would encourage me to eat healthier and go for walks as much as possible, but for the most part I lived a blissfully ignorant chubby childhood. Nothing really hit home for me until my focus shifted from video games and potato chips to a much bigger obsession that would eventually provide the motivation and passion that made me who I am today. I discovered girls.
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Like any other budding teenager in small town anywhere, I was infatuated with the idea of “liking” someone or more importantly getting someone to like me. I very quickly came to the realization (or perhaps fabricated the idea) that I needed to get in shape and change the way I look to ever “get with” the girls I liked. While this type of thinking may be damaging it retrospect, it also worked. I starting going to the gym with my friends on a regular basis and paying super close attention to what I was wearing and how I was styling my hair. By the time I was in my Junior year of high school I had already had multiple relationships and felt pretty confident about where I stood with the opposite sex. It probably didn’t hurt that I was in a band at this point or that I was already getting a reputation as a crazy outgoing actor either, but that wasn’t by accident. I can honestly admit at this point that the attention I was getting from girls because of my singing and acting was a major incentive to take performing as seriously as I have through all these years. I’m not saying I got into the business solely “for the chicks”…but it definitely helped. Girls started paying attention and I was instantly hooked. Of course this was all after I lost weight.
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It’s not hard to see how I made the connection between personal fulfillment and weight loss but it’s also not hard to see how that shouldn’t be the overriding factor. The problem is, the experiences we have at certain milestone ages in our lives tend to stick with us no matter how illogical or silly they may be. It’s the same reason we all think the music we grew up with is the best music the world has ever known. The power of association. We attach deep meaning and profound importance to tons of things that not only don’t deserve empowerment but sometimes shouldn’t even be held any higher then a quaint memory. If that first kiss with the girl or boy you loved happened while watching Empire Records, you’ll always have a special affinity towards that movie (and maybe Liv Tyler) but it doesn’t mean that movie is why you fell in love. Of course it’s way more complex when dealing with serious life long personal issues but it’s really essentially the same thing. We are who we are because of who we were.
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Now what does all of this have to do with not drinking? Well besides the fact that I probably have an unhealthy association between drinking and getting laid, I’m really starting to think at least 90% of the reason I started this whole experiment in the first place was to lose weight. Being the sloth like procrastinator that I am, cutting out the booze was the laziest thing I could possibly do to drop the pounds. I literally have to NOT do something. Going to the gym and getting on a healthy eating plan actually takes effort, where as not drinking requires me to physically do less action. Sad truth ladies and gentlemen, but the good news is that it’s totally working. I lost over 10 pounds in 3 months doing absolutely nothing, so suck on that Billy Blanks! In all actuality, the fact that booze has so many calories is probably saving my life. If alcohol somehow disintegrated fat off my body, I’m sure I’d have an I.V. bag full of Jack Daniel’s hooked up to my arm 24/7. As of yet, this is not the case.
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That’s enough. I really just wanted to confess that I have body image issues and that my weight is something I’ve always struggled with and will probably continue to struggle with for the rest of my life. Being an actor doesn’t help matters any and the genetics on both sides of my family aren’t exactly ideal. The men on my dad’s side are all prone to big beer bellies and my mom (who is NOT overweight by any means) has history with diabetes and still struggles with weight issues on a daily basis. Does that mean I’m just inevitably screwed? Sure, maybe. But I don’t think it’s that simple. While these hang ups we all have run deep and in most cases are securely engrained in our psyche, once we recognize that they exist we can slowly start to see how ridiculous and unimportant they really are. It’s not easy stuff to overcome, but it is possible if you’re at least willing to try. Sometimes if you just look at something long enough, you’ll see something you never knew was there before and that something just might be enough to change everything. Cheers!

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