Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September 7th, 2011 - Day 60 of 60

I am going to open up a little bit here and lay bare one of the parts of my personality I wish were different.  First, some background... If you met me at a party or in line at the store or maybe at a bar, you'd probably think I was a decent sort of guy.  I am sure I am not everyone's cup of tea, but in my experience most people seem to like me.  A lot of that is due to the fact that I am what I appear to be.  I don't put on a different mask for people, I just allow myself to be myself.  Yes, there are protocols and decorum, so one should behave a certain way in certain situations, but I am usually myself.  I tend to be a tad too cerebral (that doesn't mean I am smart, it just means I think too much), I use humor (No, I've NEVER said "Pull my finger") as a means of facilitating ease and breaking down walls, but I also use it as a defense mechanism.  I'm cool with that.  I am opinionated and I usually don't suffer foolish arguments.  I will, however, buy you a drink even if your views and mine are at odds, as long as you think your position through and can give it a credible defense.  I believe man is a mental, physical and spiritual creature and needs to nurture all those components.   I genuinely care about people and the world and have tried my best to do my part.  But, I also realize I am one person and I have no desire to be a martyr or hero.  I believe ANYONE can sing and encourage it.  I believe men should dance together (not cheek to cheek, but more like this).  I believe we live in a system that is terribly broken and outdated and in need of replacement.  I believe every person has a song to sing, a story to tell an a unique insight to offer.  As I age I have less patience for foolish distraction.  I enjoy seeing young people having fun.  I tend to be able to see both sides of an argument and don't always feel someone has to be "right".  I think advertising is one of the worst things ever foisted on our society and the profession is one step above pedophile.  No, I don't mean putting out a sign stating you offer a service, I mean making it your mission in life to convince the world their lives are meaningless without your useless crap.  Seriously, you suck.  I don't like professions that feel doing things quickly is better than thinking them through.  I like cats AND dogs equally.  I think animals are an equal creation in the world and we have no right to treat them the way we do.  And, finally, I think I am addicted to Cacao Goji Seed Chunks.

So, the part where I open up a bit... When Halloween rolls around,  I start to get edgy.  It isn't because I worry about my car being egged or the cost of candy (I live in the country so I think I've had three "trick or treaters" in twenty years).  Rather, it means that the next holiday is Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas.  Now, I will quickly say that I have nothing against these holidays.  I find the excessive eating on Thanksgiving to be a bit much, but if it is only one day a year, go for it!  As for Christmas, I despise the commercialization of the holiday and I loathe the rampant consumerism.  But, as a holiday, it has many fond memories and I enjoy it.   But, the thing I don't like about these holidays is the mandatory family gathering.  I just can't take it.  It drives me mad.  It doesn't matter if it is my family or my wife's family.  They are all wonderful people.  Salt of the earth.   It is just that they at are all... so... BORING.  You'd think that in a room of forty or fifty people that someone would have something interesting and stimulating to say.  Not so.  Literally, I want scream and run away.  I don't care who is on "American Idol".  I can't imagine finding the latest gossip from church the least bit interesting.  I don't care about your child's bowel habits.  I guess I am just a bad person or something.  I hate it so much that it is scary.  I know it is my issue, so don't think I am blaming anyone or thinking myself better than anyone.  I know I am the loser here.  My favorite holidays have been the one's where we had our friends over rather than family.  Just spectacular days.  Interesting people with actual thoughts in their heads and a healthy curiosity over how the world works and a mind that turns in the direction of considering what that all means.  And FUNNY.  Shit, my friends are funny.  Family... not so much.  It is sad.

So, my point?  Once I manage to grit my teeth, put on a happy face, tell myself to get over my petty, immature bull and be human to everyone, etc.  I find that I get through it all and the world keeps turning.   I will sit there and smile for a while, knowing that it is now the longest possible stretch of time before I have to do this again.  What a wretched thing to think!  I should be ashamed.  I'm not, but I should be.  But even when I realize I have a long time between "performances", I know it will happen again.  It is one of those things we do because we must.  I feel guilty because I'd rather spend time and holidays with my friends than with my family.  My friends ARE my family.  Then I get into a guilt spiral because I know my family all love me and wish we were closer... blah, blah, blah.

So, here on the last day of my Reboot, I am feeling a bit unfulfilled.  It has been, without a doubt, a spectacular Reboot.  I feel so good that I sometimes can't believe it.  I have yet to get bored with my monotonous diet.  I have more energy, sleep less and just feel like a new person.  So, if all that good stuff is true, why am I being such a "Negative Nelly" here today?  Well, I think it is because I realized, like my holiday obligations, that a Reboot is an ongoing obligation.  I also realized that I need to step up a few things.  The danger of giving things a name and giving them finite time limits is pronounced.  When you name something it becomes some kind of a spectacle.  Instead of thinking, "I think I'll try to eat well and walk around the block every night for a couple months and see how it goes," it now becomes, "Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to announce to the assemblage that I will be undertaking a Reboot over the next 60 days!"  Once you do that, expectations are high.  And, when you assign starting and ending dates, each day near the end becomes more and more vital.  Did I do enough?  Should I try harder?  And, when you combine these things, it stops being just a start to a new way of thinking and living; it almost becomes a type of contest.

I do understand the benefit of all the things I just said.  I like goals.  Goals help us see we can make progress in bite-sized, manageable portions.  It gives us focus and a target toward which we can aim.  I do know this.  But the sort of personality I have never lets me just relax there, just like I can't relax in a room filled with my family.  The Reboot is the door to a new world and over the last couple days the full force of that notion struck me.  I wasn't finished, I was just at the end of the first beginning.  Now I am on to the next beginning.  It is "the song that never ends, it just goes on and on my friend..."  Even before this Reboot ended, I started to consider my next steps and the next after that.  That is good, but it is also a bit frightening.  I am happy my mind is thinking in that way, but I am also certain that all my thought on this means it is not easy.  That hardest part is fitting in with everyone else.  I find that so hard.  I don't like sticking out and being a spectacle.  I don't mind being different, but it appears I am always that person who does things differently.  That is something I'll have to work on in my head over the next weeks and months.

My Reboot is over, yet it has just begun.  I don't mind telling you that I am a tad uncertain over what the next weeks hold.  That is odd coming from me, because I am overly-confident in all I do.  I am not uncertain I can do it, I am uncertain over how I'll handle my life.  This really is a change of your life.  No one who is "normal" generally thinks like this.  They eat what is there.  Burger?  Super!  Macaroni Salad?  Yum!  But now I've become "one of those" people.  I don't like the idea of being "one of those people."  I don't want to be a problem, nuisance or "special case".  I don't want to be the guy on the airplane who gets the "Kosher, Vegan, Organic, Fair-Trade, Non-GMO, Cruelty-Free Meal."

I've lost about 15% of my bodyweight on this Reboot.  That isn't much, but I didn't have a lot to lose in the first place.  My next phase will include more rigorous exercise for a few weeks.  And, now that my 60 days are up, I will include cooked vegan food in my diet if I so desire.  At this point it is easier just to stay mainly raw.  I foresee smoothies, raw food and the occasional rice and beans dinner or maybe lentil stew.  Not very thrilling, but it works for me.

You guys have been so amazingly inspiring to me.  I've heard your stories and been so motivated by them.  This community, which has the WORST web page in the world, has the best people in the world.  Everyone rides along on the energy wave of each other.  It is contagious motivation.  It is real people who care about one another.  It is very moving.

I've thought about it for a bit and I've decided it is probably best to end the blog at this point.  I will keep it open in case I decide I have a new insight or decide to do another Reboot, but I honestly think there are so many of you that have wonderfully insightful and motivating things to say that I really won't be adding anything to the conversation.  I've said all I need to say here and that should be enough.  I don't want to be the old guy who keeps repeating the same story over and over.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank each and every one of you for the inspiration, motivation and illumination.  You guys are the best of the best.  Don't give up on your Reboots or on each other.  See it through to the end.  Once you've done that, I pray that, like me, you'll be faced, not with a finish line, but a broad expanse.  You'll see that your Reboot was just the start of change.  It was to show yourself that you CAN change anything you desire if you want it badly enough: your eating habits, your health and even your world.

Thanks Joe, Phil and all of you for a transforming 60 days. 

We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do. 

M.K. Gandhi

I am 100% through the 60 days.

Weight: 147.1 lbs.

Food: Banana, Almond Butter, Clementines, Watermelon, Salad, Broccoli Slaw, Cacao Goji Seed Chunks
Breakfast and lunch (minus almond butter)

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