Challenges, Yet Results!

I think it is time to try and get this blog up and going again! The past three years since my father passed away has been met with many challenges. Starting with breaking up with my boyfriend of 5 years in April of 2009. Emotionally it devastated me, physically it took a toll on me. The depression set in and took hold… And by the end of 2009 I had ballooned to 249 lbs. Knowing that my father passed away from health complications brought on by not taking care of himself, the day I stepped on the scale and saw 249, I knew I was in trouble and headed down that same path if I didn’t do something!

That day came February 21, 2010… It was a wakeup call! I was unemployed, depressed, feeling completely lost and hopeless. I was struggling to keep up on my bills and trying desperately not to loose my house. I had been paying for my membership to the gym for years but never really made use of it… As my ex and I always referred to it, it was our Fat Tax. Well, this morning I woke up with a fire inside me that drove me to the gym! I tried my hand at the weight machines, but it was depressing me as I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing… My friend, Jason, who is a personal trainer and Group X instructor at 24 Hour Fitness told me to give their Group X classes a chance… The next day I came in and gave Bodypump a try (Think aerobic paced weight lifting, high reps low weight choreographed to high energy music). I won’t lie, it kicked my ass and I didn’t think I wanted to do it.

I hurt head to toe like never before in my life (I had never really considered myself athletic by any means) but I got the guts up and came back the next day and tried spinning class. I was hooked, the group class is all different levels of experience. People there for the first time, and others who have done it for years… I liked the fact that I had watching to make sure my form was right, and I didn’t feel the intimidation I felt out on the floor with the machines where I felt like I was always being starred at and judged. I never felt the judgement in the Group X classes.

After 3 months of getting myself in almost daily, I was starting to have results, I had lost 30 lbs! Then I hit the plateau… I went another 3 months at that weight and couldn’t move past it. Jason told me to give the Bodybugg a try. This is a device worn on the upper arm that monitors your body and keeps track of the calories burned. This in combination with keeping track of my daily food intake on the web helped me to figure out just how to keep my eating deficit where it needed to be to loose the weight again! It worked and over the next few months, I shed another 20 lbs. This took me under 200 lbs for the first time since Jr. High!

By this time, I had found a job, and was managing to keep up at the gym… Then my car had problems and I was without it for 6 weeks… This fueled the last 15 lbs I needed to lose to get to my goal of 185 lbs. I started biking to work, 24 miles a day round trip for 6 weeks… My body started a major transition from fat to muscle at this time, and I went from wearing XL shirts to mediums and a 38″ waist when I started to a 32″ waist by October of 2010! Since that time I have been in maintaining mode… I still keep up on my classes at the gym, and have been a lot more active… In 2011 I accomplished completing 3 Ironmans at the gym in a 6 week period, went on to complete the MS Bike 150, The Warrior Dash, Hiked 3 14’rs as well as getting up to ski quite regularly!

There has been lots of problems that have come along over the past few years… I seem to have a curse that if something bad is going to happen it does, however, the one thing that I have managed to control is my health… I have days where emotionally all the bad stuff makes it hard to go on, but somehow I manage to not let it get me down… I still am working on my self esteem, as I still see the big me in the mirror at times… I know it’s psychological and I am working at it, but it takes time. I hope that I can inspire others out there to, as the Nike motto say, Just Do It! You won’t regret it and your body will thank you!

The biggest thing I can say is that setbacks will happen, it’s a given… Losing my job last August definitely challenged me, but with 2012 being here, and a new job, a great group of friends in my life, and even a new boyfriend, I have started the new year off with a renewed sense of hope, and am working on the post holiday gain that happened.. I have set the goal to complete 4 Ironmans this year at the 24 Hour Fitness contest. I am well on my way to completing the second one, with plenty of time to get the other 2 done before February 15th! I will continue to post my progress!


I Got Inked

After years and years of not wanting a tattoo… This past couple year’s challenges and accomplishments has made me change my mind. To celebrate loosing 50+ lbs and getting back under 200 lbs for the first time since like elementary school, I decided to mark the occasion with a tattoo that I have designed.

It’s a rough interpretation of an eye to represent having my eyes opened to what is possible when I stop saying I can’t accomplish something or I’m to afraid to try because I might not be good at it. I have learned that it feels great to ignore the fear and just do it… Like the pain of getting the tattoo… The final outcome is worth a bit of being uncomfortable, because the pain goes away, but the beauty remains.

The Grief Process

My family, at my brother, Rob’s wedding two summers ago.

My family, at my brother, Rob’s wedding two summers ago.

Losing my dad so soon has been such a surreal experience. The last few days have been such a roller coaster of emotions. From just breaking down completely after hearing, and not being able to control my emotions to trying to just figure out how I am supposed to feel right now. Everyone has been great, assuring me that there is no wrong way to be feeling right now.

The realization that I will never get to see my father has started to set in, and it is very hard for me to grasp right now. If one good thing has come out of all this, it’s that my brother and I worked great as a team pulling together to make many of the necessary calls needed to help get my father to his final resting spot with his parents. We were able to put all the awkwardness of our past aside and just deal with trying to do right by our father.

I don’t have any time frame as of yet when anything is to happen… I know that I am going to be making a few trips down to Arizona I am sure. I will have to help Darlene sort through all my father’s belongings to figure out what is what. I am not ready for any of that… Being the oldest, I am the executer, and that is a responsibility that just terrifies me!

I am going to try to go to work tomorrow, but my boss has assured me that whatever I need during this time, he will do everything he can to accommodate it. Dan is being so good to me! I have had moments where I have frankly been a right ass… and he said that I have every right to be that way right now… I still hate that I am… but I have not quite gained control of my emotions yet.

I thank all my friends that have offered their condolences and support during this time. It has been a great comfort to have everyone reach out like you have been!

Dealing With “The Call.”

Tonight has been the hardest night I have ever had in my whole life. A little more than an hour ago, I got a call from my father’s new wife, Darlene. They met a little more than a year ago, and got Married this past Thanksgiving. It took a very confusing call to get it out of her, but she finally told me that my father had a heart attack and was now with my Grandparents.

I have often wondered how I would deal with this first person that was really a part of my life died. Well, this is it, and I am wrecked. It is a bag of mixed emotions, I haven’t always had the best relationship with my father… Growing up, he tried, but failed over and over at truly understanding me, and I failed to understand him. For much of my life, I resented him for being that absent father, to being the one that left when I was just starting to struggle with my teenage years when my parents got divorced.

He tried, when I was young, to bond with me – taking me on a fishing trip to Canada… But he hurt his ankle the first day, and the rest of the week, I had to spend with the people we went with, not really knowing them. He tried getting me to be interested in his life… taking me to the dunes when I was a kid and getting me to ride the big wheel motorcycle… I hated it, and even more, hated falling in the sand and getting it in every crack.

When my parents got divorced, it only separated him and I more. I really came to resent him at that point, not wanting to go over to his place, but having to because of visitation. All through college, he was not there for me. I don’t know if he resented that I didn’t want to follow in his interests or wether he didn’t care at that point, but we didn’t talk but at holidays at that point.

It wasn’t until about 6 years ago, that he started trying to make amends for earlier by helping me get financially back on my feet, and trying to get together for a once a month dinner. It was an effort on his part, but I struggled to get past the past. It wasn’t until I had been with Dan for a year, that I finally decided it was time to have the conversation with my dad that I was gay, and it went way better than I could have imagined.

Since that point, my father and I had been in close contact and talked more often, and I felt like we were really getting to know one another. Then his health prevented him from being able to stay in Colorado, and had to move to a lower altitude. It was there, that he met Darlene. Obviously a good influence on him, it really seemed like things were better. He had a hard time visiting here with his condition, but seemed like things were getting better for him down there with a little exercise.

He and Darlene decided that they were going to take a trip up to Alaska to get away from the heat of Yuma, AZ. They were to go up for a few weeks, meet up with my aunt and uncle and godparents. Tonight, he was enjoying dinner with some of Darlene’s friends and after having some ice cream, sat down on the couch, and the rest we know already.

While we may not have always had the best relationship growing up, we had made amends, and I finally felt like I could let the anger go. I am thankful that he and I had that opportunity before he left this earth, and I hope that wherever he is now, that he is finally at peace. I haven’t always said it Dad, but I Love You, and I will miss what we had been able to start.

Today is 4 Years!

Today marks Dan, and my 4 year anniversary together. Having met at Gay Day at Elitch Gardens, and our first awkward encounter exchanging phone numbers, who would have guessed back then, that we would of still been together. 

Well here we are, we have been through a lot, like trying to live through a 550 square foot condo together for a year, and now his upcoming surgery to correct a birth defect with his kidneys! 

I honestly can’t imagine life without him around at this point. He has become such an integral part and I love him for it! He and I are considering that next big step now! Yes, adoption… We have finally settled on it, and we are going to be looking for a cute little runt to add to our family in the coming months. So if anyone out there has any connections, we would be grateful in your help for our search for a female Boston Terrier puppy! The one in the picture belong to our friends. That is Pearl, a very precious little pup that has won my heart over to having a dog again!

I look forward to many more years with you Dan! Thanks for making my life interesting!

An Updated Look For Myself :)

Well, I went to the eye doctor, and my eyesite continues to go south. But it gives me the opportunity to update my look a bit. I got my new glasses this past weekend. They are from a scandinavian designer named Öga. He has some great architecture inspired frames for men. I really like the wood frames he has on his site, but I am sure those are way out of my price range!

I will get pics soon of myself in them… Especially this week while I am away in Florida at Disney World for my friend’s Bachelor Party!

An Interesting Thanksgiving to Be

I got a call from my dad last Monday, and he informed me that he and his girlfriend had moved up the date of their wedding. It was originally planned for sometime next summer. Now, it is scheduled for Thanksgiving Day… Not a lot of notice, and had already made plans that I unfortunately had to cancel.

It is just starting to sink in now, that my dad is, after 24 years divorced finally with someone new. I am very happy for him, and they do seem to be happy together, but, Dan pointed out that I will soon have a Step-Mother, and that is starting to weird me out a bit. I had gotten used to my parents being single, and guess I had just expected it to be that way.

I am trying to figure out how I will refer to her. How does one refer to their step-mom? Will I call her by her name, or something else… I could never get used to calling her mom, but step-mom doesn’t seem right either. What has anyone else out there in this situation done?

It will be interesting,I am flying into Phoenix, AZ, and getting a rental car to drivedown to Yuma, AZ for 3 1/2 days. It doesn’t sound like there is much to do there. I will be around a bunch of people that share very different ideas of fun than I do. They are all sand dune ATV riding people. Guess I better have a lot of video on my iPhone for the trip!

Going Along the Same Theme…

Well, the Drug theme that is… You see these things on tv, but it is much scarier to witness in person! In what I can only assume was a drug bust, I was driving, and a U-haul pulled out of an alley… I noticed they had forgot to put the door down, then even more bizarre I noticed that there were a bunch of people in the back.

At first I thought maybe it was a bunch of illegal immigrant workers being dropped off at their homes. But as I got closer, I noticed that they were all dressed in black and all had automatic rifles in their hands. There were roughly 6 of them in the back, with a german shepherd. It was a swat team… I was a little scared, and didn’t know if I should continue following them.

Luckily, just as I was going to turn as to not be behind them anymore, they turned down a street. I was too scared to try and find out what they were doing, but I am going to watch the news and find out if they have any info on a big bust! The picture above is a very close representation of what they looked like in the back of that U-haul.

Cooler Days Ahead for Us!

ac.jpgWell, now that I finally have the money to start fixing up the house, I started by buying us a portable AC unit for the house! I didn’t want too powerful a unit as I was afraid that even the 7000 btu unit I bought would be too much for our circuits… but amazingly, almost 24 hours later it is still going and hasn’t knocked out our power yet! If only I had been able to buy it a month ago!

Needless to say, it was probably the most comfortable night’s sleep we’ve had in months at the house! Other than waking this morning to the sun shining right in my eyes an hour before I was supposed to get up… We had to re-arrange the bedroom to accomodate it. I guess it is time to put up a curtain or something on that window! It did an ok job in the living room yesterday as long as you were close to it.

Dan and I enjoyed the comfort while he read, and I listened to the new Harry Potter book yesterday. I had also bought a shredder to get rid of old bills and invoices from many years of collecting… Something very calming about shredding… Felt like I had my own little Enron going on yesterday! Although the first one crapped out, so I had to return it and get a little bit nicer one!

Weekend Getaway!

ootp.jpgWe started the Saturday morning off by finally getting to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. As far as Harry Potter movies go, I think this was one of the best attempts at interpreting the books. Especially one of the longer books like this one. One of the biggest problems in the past with the movies is the fact that the overlook much of the book. While they had to do it in this movie as well, they did find some creative ways of brushing over some of the important details they didn’t have time to get to. So when you go to the movie, pay close attention to the headlines in every newspaper. More subtle hints are throughout the movie just based on little one liners that people have throughout. Overall, I would give OOtP 4 out of 5 stars!

lordofthesoccer.jpgThat afternoon, we headed up to Manitou Springs with friends… Just outside of Colorado Springs, this quaint little town is well know for it’s historic Penny Arcade! This month, our game night gayleague.jpgwent on the road. We spent the evening playing all kinds of historic pinball and arcade games… as well as a few newer games. Games like this classic soccer game (above left) that when playing, as Mark pointed out, looked like Lord of the Dance Soccer. A penny to play though, very affordable! Also fun, was this basketball game (right). Take a close look at the people in the background having a very “gay” olé time!

swingbattabatta.jpgDan had some fun playing the baseball pinball like game where you had to try and hit specific gates to get single, double, triples or a homerun. The homerun was pretty much imposible on this game, shootemup.jpgbut still a lot of fun! They also had a large collection of shooting gallery games! (right) Click on any of these thumbnails to get a larger view of the different games. They had real homemade funnel cakes there… nothing compares to a homemade funnel cake!

Dan and Leslie had their nuttiness on the various rides there that they could barely fit into. leslieshelicopterride.jpgDan in his bright purple dragon, and leslie in her helicopter! Some of the other fun games were a newer pinball version of Lord of the Rings, and the Star Wars pinball games. Of course who can’t have a good time playing skeeball! It was a great time, and nice to revert back to childhood for an evening of fun back in a time forgotten by many! If anyone is looking for a great diversion while visiting Colorado, I highly recommend checking this Penny Arcade out. Much of it looks like it hasn’t changed in many many decades!

rosies.jpgWe got up the next morning, and drove back to Denver, stopping at a wonderful little diner in Monument, CO called Rosie’s. One of the few remaining classic diners out there, the food was great, and the atmosphere was fun! So thank you to Matt, Leslie, Mark, Walt, Bill and Clint for a wonderful time! Dan and I really enjoyed ourselves!