Turning Negative Into Positive

Posted: November 18, 2010 in Daily Weirdness

In what ways does a positive attitude affect you?   I am of the firm opinion that it can, does and will affect you in a myriad of different ways.  I am pretty much guilty of always pointing out the negative, what started as a small annoying habit has turned into years of negativity.  I read through some of the posts here and I think to myself…”sheesh, what a pessimist!”  Some of those posts I have never published some where and serve as a constant reminder of “look at the good Gene!” Although its not strictly pessimism, rather a list of demands placed on myself in which I can never achieve…leading to yet more negative feelings and finding the flaws in everything.  A vicious circle it is, and if you have ever been caught in it you know of which circle I speak.  The slowly building vortex of negativity that quickly clouds even the clearest of visions and drags you further into the tunnel vision of negativity.  I was reading in a church newspaper recently about a challenge a pastor threw down about thanks, wherein he challenged the congregation to write down each day 3 things they where thankful for and to repeat daily for 30 days.  There was one caveat; you had to come up with 3 new things a day.   Since we are approaching that time of year where we all should focus on what we are thankful for I find this a good segue into changing negativity into positivity (not a word) and reverse my normal thought process to that which I am thankful. 

It would be easy to take all of the credit and accolades that are thrown upon me for losing weight, I mean after all I am the one that tortured myself on the road sitting atop that wee little seat, pedal stroke after endless pedal stroke.  Sweat, tears, vomit, Gestapo like dietary self demands, blood and in a case or two injury…they are all my doing right?  NO!  While I am the face of what I did the body is a laundry list of others who should take their turn in the limelight for they have never once been listed here.

From time to time I come up with near insane ideas, they span from odd vacation plans to the most absurd tattoo anyone has ever seen….I say insane because to me they are crazy after some thought, to one particular person they are not really that crazy.  Who is this facilitator of the insane you inquire?  My wife, she who never batted an eye at the mention of me converting my diet to strict vegetarian.  She who offered to plan out, shop and prepare all of the meals I would need.  She who for nearly two years has never complained about anything I needed or wanted….patched my gear, had hot coffee ready when I finished riding in the dead of winter and has supported me every step of the way.  Thanks Babe!

8x10 glossy's are $19.99 without an autograph....with an autograph the price jumps to $99.00 (thanks Erwin for takin the pic)

Today I am going to wander just ever so slightly off of the usual topics found here at 100poundsago…well not really that far….ok fine I am going to write about something totally in line with what you usually find here but in a different kind of way. 

Let’s talk about responsibility shall we?  We all know the word; it was probably introduced to you by your parents in the form of taking out the garbage or picking up dog poop in the yard.  You have to have it in your life right?  I mean responsibility essentially forces us to go to work, pick up the kids from school and pay the bills.  Its an inescapable fact of life for even the most foot loose and fancy free type of characters in the world have some form of responsibility, as much as it pains we “grindstone” folks, in the end its there.  Where am I going with this you ask?  Actually I don’t know I am hoping it will come to me sometime before I finish typing this sentence.  Yup!  There it is!  A little while ago I alluded ever so cleverly about something big that was going on around 100poundsago HQ.  Well here it is kids.  I have agreed to serve as the 2011 American Diabetes Michigan Tour de Cure Adult Advocate.   This was not without reservation and some serious soul type searching.  Right there the whole time the “R” word was whispering in my ear.  It whispered things like “You can make a difference to someone” and “you could be the spark one person needs to reverse the effects” So I acquiesce and agree with only two conditions….everyone has to salute me and refer to me by my official self appointed and self invented title of “The Most High Exalted Majestic Ambassadorship Gene” I didn’t think that was too much to ask do you?  As much as I hate being serious I feel I need to be serious about this all kidding aside.  Diabetes sucks I was able through some really hard work to stymie the effects of Type II in my own body and I am willing to do or say whatever I can to help others do the same.   

 Want to help me?  Find the 2011 Tour de Cure in your area, join a team, get on your bike…and ride.

I get asked on occasion “Just how is it you come up with the stuff to put on the 100poundsago site?”  My answer….”life” Which I think is one of the founding principals of what a “blog” truly is or should be right?  It’s that simple. If something happens while I am cycling or I come across something unusual I will write it down here.  There is no  real secret formula really.   A lot of the deeper personal stuff comes from my journal…yes I keep a journal.  Here is a brief peek into the birth of the post A YEAR

It started as a journal entry.  Then I mulled it over for a while trying to decide whether or not I was comfortable allowing the world a small glimpse into my mind.  Being about 51% sure I was comfortable with it I type it out and publish it.  Then I spend the next few days regretting such a thing but leave it up anyway hoping and praying that no one I know will mention that they read it.    That is where the body of that particular post came from.  The saying at the bottom was actually a different journal entry from a different day.  I combine the two and the result was A YEAR

Frostbite and Sunburn

Posted: November 1, 2010 in Daily Weirdness

Has it really been a week since I have updated this site?  Apparently yes it has.  I know how you all hang on my every post, follow me like disciples and feverishly read and digest every word I write like it was a great prognostication telling of future fortunes and greatness.  I have let you down making you wait a week for any of my wise tidings.  My most humble apologies and may the fleas from a thousand camels infest my armpits!

 After months of waiting we Michiganders are in that time of year that delicately balances upon “I wore too much riding” or “Sheesh I didn’t wear enough”  it’s a tough time of year for we noble people that call the “Mitten” home we are seemingly always in a state of weather related flux.  I mean seriously how many people out there have to wear 3 distinct outfits for riding…at the same time?  There is a saying here in the Great Lakes State….if you don’t like the weather wait 5 minutes it will change.  It is not uncommon for you to start out in winter riding gear and by the end of your ride you are in summer gear.  You think I am lying…ask around.  People from Michigan will regale you with stories of sunburn and frost bite that occurred on the same day.   I have to relearn my dressing tactics from last year and have not quite got it down “just so” yet having spent Saturday sweating profusely and Sunday a shivering frozen mess.  I am in the process of writing a “How to Survive Michigan Cycling” guide that I will be posting on the site very soon.  As usual it will be chock full of sarcasm and hilarity. 

In other news I was asked to do something truly AWESOME last week!  What you ask?  I will tell you once it goes public and official but it has to do with the American Diabetes Association.  Needless to say 2011 is going to be an awesome year around these parts. 

 Stay tuned and stay away from the Halloween candy!!!!!!

P.S. The word “Michiganders” is not corrected in spellcheck….which gives us from Michigan some Street Cred.

Dear Santa,

Posted: October 24, 2010 in Gear, Jackassery, Life, Minor Psychosis, Ramblings, Ridin

Dear Santa,

I know it’s a little early to write to you and give you my Christmas list this year but I figure you would be cool with it because Target already has Christmas decorations out in their store. I don’t always subscribe to the Target stores method of seasonal changes but I have quite list this year and some really expensive stuff so I thought I would give you as much advance notice as possible so you can reward my awesome “good behavior” over the last year. I know you are going to check that list twice and each time you will see my name on the very tippy top of the “good” and nary a mark will be found on the “bad” side….ok ok fine I know there was a time or two I misbehaved…your not going to begrudge me that are you? Ok here is my list and this year just like last year you can expect some gluten free, egg free vegan cookies and some almond milk at the bottom of my chimney. I am also going to leave you the E-2 book and an American Diabetes Association cookbook, to be frank and honest with you I have some deep concerns about your health.

You will notice that everything on this list is cycling related which should not come as a surprise to anyone really.

1.  I ride to work everyday now and when I leave in the morning it is quite dark still.  I could use some new lights for my bike just like the Mininewt.700

2.  Speaking of darkness I could really use a new monster bright jacket.  Mine has seen better days and is in need of retirement.  I would like the Sugoi Helium jacket….yellow please! 

3.  While your elves are stitching the Sugoi Helium jacket together why not have them also thow the Sugoi Neo in your sleigh as well?  It looks nice and warm and since Michigan winters rival North Pole winters I am sure you can appreciate a nice warm jacket? 

4.  I could really use some nice socks for those long winter commutes by bike.  My old smartwool socks are done…finished….kaput.  I like the socks this dude has.  The crazier the style the better I say…why be normal? 

5.  I was starting to think that all jersey makers pretty much sucked until I got my ADA Tour de Cure jersey….love that thing.  So I will pretty much take anything thing from here.

6.  I am pretty sure the Giro Prolight would look really good on me while protecting my melon.

7.  You can pick which one of these you want to give me:  this one -or- this one

8.  The Chris King “Dreadset”…..this requires no explanation.

Thanks a bunch,

Gene

Saturdays ride started like any other autumn ride, check the tires, throw a little lube on the chain, fill the bottle and toss the snack in the jersey pocket.  I say it started the same but about 2 miles in something truly odd happened…a wave….by another cyclist.  He was fully kitted out in all matchy swag.  I nearly fell over; I reluctantly threw my hand in the air to return the wave.  Then a little further down the road yet another, this time from a jogger?  I was dumbfounded until I realized the reason they where probably waving was the kit I was wearing which is by far quite possibly the raddest kit this side of the Pyrenees.  A kit that demands respect and admiration from all who lay eyes upon it a kit that simply yet sternly says “the wearer of this kit rules the planet on a whole different level” just what is this mysterious yet magical set of cycling awesomeness you ask?  Well it was hand delivered to me on Thursday and you can see it below. 

This jersey is reserved for rad people who raise a silly amount of money for the ADA Tour De Cure

The matching shorts....notice how my legs look instantly more superior and my butt looks absolutely breathtaking.

I was reading some things Jody was saying this morning at it set me off on a thinking tangent.  You can recognize one of my thinking tangents by the following symptoms:  deep blank stares, babbling, drooling, and possibly smoke emanating from my ears and or nose.  I tell you that so you will know I gave this somber thought. 

 Anyway…..What if we just pretend for a minute….just one minute…What if ALL doctors across the country treated and talked to their patients like mine did?  What if instead of sugar coating everything and throwing pills at symptoms they actually investigated and found the root problem of the ailment?  I had a laundry list of physical problems Diabetes, Hypertension, sky high Cholesterol, Cardiac Arrhythmias….sadly I was perfectly at ease living with these problems, actually I was perfectly at ease DYING from these because it never really dawned on me that I was in fact dying.  I had been placated by doctors for years as they threw more and more pills at me. They pacified me by pretending to be looking for a cure to my problems all the while because of a sense of not wanting to offend they let me live the life I was accustomed to.   No one ever said to me “You know Fattikins if you lost a bunch of weight most, if not all, of your problems will go away!”  There is a complacent attitude in not only the general populous but seems to be running rampant in the medical community as well.  A mind-set of absolute and total denial about just how much weight can impact and influence your overall well being.  Take me for example, I lost weight and I no longer have Diabetes, Hypertension, sky high Cholesterol, Cardiac Arrhythmias.  It was that simple lose weight, lose the problems.   

 I know exactly where I would be if he would have calmly and dismissively said to me “Cuts some pounds, try to quit smoking and eat more white meat blah blah blah” I would still be over 300 pounds, still ramming Big Macs down my gullet, chain smoking and slowly waddling my way to an oversized casket at a very young age.   It took a bit of foul language, some evil eyes, and a grotesquely painted picture of how the rest of my pathetic fat life was going to play out, or what was left of it.  Now from a monetary standpoint this doctor had an honest to cash cow (both literally and figuratively) with me as a patient.  I was looking at a lot of office visits, lots of tests, lots of misc expenditures all that where sure to pad his pockets.  Instead he set me off on the right path from the word jump.  So why is that so hard?  Why is he the only doctor I saw in nearly 2 decades of visiting physicians that took the time to bust my chops?  Denial, complacency, afraid to hurt feelings and offend?  I wish I knew but I am eternally thankful that he took the time to cuss me out.

Nearly every day I say the following quote “If I can do it anyone can” and I am being dead serious about it.  If a slovenly, morbidly obese, chain smoking, un-motivated person such as me can decide to put down the cigarettes, jump on a bike and take the reins of my own health over anyone can.