Well I’m not trying to lose a real quarter horse but more of almost a quarter of a horse. A quarter horse roughly weighs about 1000 pounds. I’m on a journey to lose 208 to 258 pounds depending how I look and/or feel when I lose 208 pounds. I wish today was my official weigh in day. I’m going to jinx myself but I’m down almost 61 lbs. I’m going to go ahead and say a little bit about myself and why I started this.
When I started this new lifestyle almost 20 weeks ago, I weighed 458 pounds (let me pause for a moment for you all to gasp and become “unshocked”.) It was definitely the biggest that I have ever been. My knees hurt and I just didn’t feel good overall. When Renee and I left for Nerdtacular 2012 we said when we return home we would start our new lifestyle. We had no idea exactly what we were going to do.
We had purchased HBO when Game of Thrones had started its second season. One of the benefits of doing this is that you can DVR a lot of stuff before you got rid of it at the end of the season. One of the things we DVR’d was a documentary named “The Weight of the Nation”. It talked about obesity and the problem here in America health and weight wise. The documentary was broken up over four days because it was four hours long and each hour having its one part. It was very informative and not only did it tell us about the problem but it also gave solutions.
One of the misconceptions that I had was that if I go to the gym and work out, I could still eat like I wanted and still lose weight. I had thought that working out was the key to losing weight. Alas, I was wrong it was actually managing what I eat.
Thus began our adventure to LoseIt.com land, where we would begin to journal all our food that we would eat, log our calories, and really work in a budget. It has truly been an exciting journey for Renee and me. As of this writing, Renee herself is down almost 55 pounds after 20 weeks.
Now let’s get to the amazing part and talk about community. During our weight loss and sharing that experience with people. We are part of such a great Frogpants community that revolves around many podcasts, nerdisms, and major geekery. We have had a number of folks join us on Loseit (as of this writing we have 270 members in the group and 194 folks in the challenge) and as expected they are so supportive of each other. That makes me want to work even harder.
My plan is to periodically update here on my blog my status and insight that I have gotten. I consider this my day I finally accept the fact that I had gotten so heavy and reveal my weight. It may not seem like a big deal to many but to me it means a whole lot. I’m thankful for the people around me. I’m thankful for those that support Renee and I. I’m thankful for those that are in our lives and together we’ll all make each other a better person both physically and mentally.
Taken from Wikipedia:
Flirting is a playful, romantic or sexual overture by one person to another subtly indicating an interest in a deeper relationship with the other person, and can involve verbal communications as well as body language. Body language can include flicking the hair, eye contact, brief touching, open stances, proximity etc. Verbal communication of interest can include the vocal tone, such as pace, volume, intonation. Challenges (teasing, questions, qualifying, feigned disinterest) serve to increase tension, test intention and congruity.
Flirting usually involves speaking and behaving in a way that suggests a mildly greater intimacy than the actual relationship between the parties would justify, though within the rules of social etiquette, which generally disapproves of a direct expression of sexual interest. This may be accomplished by communicating a sense of playfulness or irony. Double entendres, with one meaning more formally appropriate and another more suggestive, may be used. …
People flirt for a variety of reasons. Flirting can indicate an interest in a deeper relationship with another person. Some people flirt simply for amusement, with no intention of developing any further relationship. This type of flirting sometimes faces disapproval from others, either because it can be misinterpreted as more serious, or it may be viewed as cheating if either person is already in a committed relationship with someone else.
This has been a topic that I can say I have not fully grasped. When I say “grasped” I mean I don’t understand those that are in a “happy relationship” and they seem to want to flirt with another person in a “happy relationship” and this isn’t just a simple “Oh you’re cute” type flirt this is a full on advance. I never understood how this is acceptable by either parties. I can say I’ve been a sucker and I took some simple flirting done to me possibly to far when I was in high school and thought someone was flirting and was interested in me but they weren’t. The flirting to this person was a game. Wait…what? A game?!?! A game of what? The person could not explain to me what the game was.
Was it a game like “chicken” to see how far one could go before they suddenly swerve off the road only to crash? A game to see how close you get someone believing that you are interested in them and then just drop them like a fly? A game to try to break up a happy relationship only for your own selfish reasons? I don’t understand what this “game” is.
I’m that type of guy (cue LL Cool J) that don’t play a game when I flirt. If I’m flirting that means I’m interested. When I say flirt I’m not talking about “Oh my you’re looking smoking hot today!” I’m talking about the flirting when it’s to the point where you’re doing full own advances. Talking about how you want to caress, hold, grab, kiss the target of your flirtation. I’ve never understood how this type of flirtation has become acceptable. Maybe I’m old fashion or maybe I think anyone that does this, knowing that the person your flirting with is with someone else, is truly treading on unsafe ground. I’ve seen plenty of “flirting” move away from just “flirting” to breaking up relationships and leaving hurt feelings. I’ve seen it where it didn’t break up the relationship but left history that no one should have to deal with.
I’ve been in the restaurant with my dad and I’ve seen him flirt with the waitress to the point where it was flat-out embarrassing to me and the waitress. I mean my dad is in his mid 50s and still acting like he’s in high school. Is this OK behavior to have with a perfect stranger when the person you’re flirting with ISN’T FLIRTING BACK? If the person isn’t flirting back that should tell you something. Either “Stop!” or “Now isn’t the right time.” In either situation you should probably stop.
So I have to ask for you when is flirting ok and when is it not? Be specific as in the flirting that is harmless (You’re looking hot today) or too far (Oh if I get a hold of you I’m going to turn you out!)
Tao of Cao: Innocent flirting can lead to feelings hurt on both parties. If the person is in a relationship really think about what you’re doing aside from your selfish feelings if you’re doing it just for pure kicks. If you’re doing because you’re interested you should move on until that person isn’t in a relationship any longer.
I’m a forgiving kind of guy and I really try to understand people, I really do. I find them intriguing and interesting. I find us humans quite familiar yet different. I really seek and try to understand people to no end, but there are times where I cannot understand somethings and I will say, “That irks me!”.
Why do I say this you may ask? Well I don’t understand how a person can do something good for 95% of the time I mean really do something good for 95% of the time and when that 5% comes up and it is interpreted wrongly that this 5% ruins the other 95%! Here are the things that go through my mind?
- What kind of sense does that make?
- So does this 5% ruin the other 95% or is it a human thing?
- Does this 5% define this person?
So let’s say a person is age 40 and for 2 of those years this person had a horrible time with drinking and they were an alcoholic for those two years. This two years can be somewhere in the 20-22 years of age. Does this one thing keep that person from moving forward and being an “honorable” person within society or is that person labeled an alcoholic for the rest of their life? Too big of a time frame? OK let’s say for 365 years a person has stayed healthy for 346 days a year. Throughout that year sprinkled through was 19 days of where they were sick. Is this person labeled a sickly person? If in your mind they are I just think that is dumb.
Another thing that irks me is that if you think someone is saying something and you aren’t quite sure they are saying what they are saying, ASK!!!! Plain and simple don’t let some dumb ass decision you are going to make be on some shit that you “think” is the issue. If you aren’t quite sure on it, just ask. It’s not hard, not hard at all.
Where is this coming from you may ask? I’ll just say this:
“I’m tired of opening myself up to relationships where I feel like someone understands me and allow them into the many, many layers of Big Ole Jerry V only for them to misunderstand something and use that against me and piss me the f— off.”
I’m not a perfect man and I’ve never said I’ve been one. One thing is for damn sure, I’ve tried my damned hardest in everything that I’m in. Be it my marriage, friendships, work, you name it. I’m a true friend and I will stick there to the end and even though someone misunderstood me and let me down I will still remain their friend. It just sucks that it had to be within my many layers of Big Ole Jerry Valentine.
I will say it’s rough sometimes as I know its rough for a lot of people out there. I love Renee so much as she understands that I can sit there and talk to her and let my heart open up and with tears coming to my eyes explain to her the struggle of being an overweight, black male in this society. There are stereotypes that a lot of people have to fight against and I will say the typical stereotype of an overweight, black guy that loves video games are:
- He’s lazy.
- He’s a slob.
- He’s going to eat all the food.
- He’s not going to get <insert task> done.
Wait, wait, wait! Don’t run off! I’m not going to continue a discussion that I had on twitter here but I just thought it would be a cool title to have.
What I would like to discuss, however, is the topic of “When is too much information, too much?”.
Here is how I break down information sharing:
1) Know your audience. If you know your audience you know how much is enough, too much, or not enough. In most situations this is a “majority rules” type audience. If a person is in that audience I would think they know who the information giver is.
2) Know yourself. What’s comfortable for you to share with your audience? Are you more of a type that likes to holds one cards to their chest and not let others see? Or are you a “I’m human and my audience is too and I’m quite sure I’m not the only one that does this.”?
3)Know your platform. What platform or place are you giving this information? Is it verbal or written? Is it being recorded or not? To some people this makes a difference. Actually being on record of saying something they will change what they will share.
So with me. I tend to view my audience as a majority rule and think that everyone is human so I know I’m not the only one that’s seen or heard the information I’m about to share. If it’s recorded I wouldn’t change what I would say. I learned a long time ago to be myself and not change who that is. I lived a life where I was not myself and it was hell.
So let it be known that most humans do wear underwear or they are commando. Also most couples have sex. That’s not too much information is it? Naw, it can’t be!
Tao of Cao: Don’t live a false life. Don’t be afraid to show who you are to people. You will be respected more if they know you are the same person in and out of public. Being fake doesn’t get you anywhere but into a hill of trouble.
PS I must say. I have to take a bit of my own advice and include the photo above. I was too embrassed to share it on Saturday as I felt I looked HUGE but it’s me. Who I am, I can’t hide behind it…but you can! Ha! I made a funny about myself. Love you guys and gals.
Oh how many of you folks out there are happy that Valentine’s Day is over? How many of you are not? How many of you even care? Me having all the luck in the world to have the last name Valentine I fall in the last category to be honest. I know a lot of times the running joke is my “hatred” of the day because of the corny jokes that happen during the holiday. It’s enough to make me smile. In our house any day can be Valentine’s day because I make sure I show Renee that I truly love her.
One of the things that hit me this holiday though is the fact that there are a lot of people who feel like they do not deserve a rose, card, or even a cordial greeting. Sometimes this is caused by hurt, loss, or just flat-out don’t like the propaganda during the holiday. I’d like to take a second and address at least the first two.
Hurt: I can relate to this. I’ve been hurt plenty in my life and it’s not a good feeling. You feel like you been done over, taken advantage of, or just flat-out stupid. It seems with some guys it easy to separate yourself (re: shut down the feelings once held) and move on. I find this interesting as it’s easy and nothing is resolved but one must do what they must to move on. With some gals it seems that there has to be a process of removing the person that’s done the hurt from your heart. This normally takes time and there’s a process of removing such person or object.
Loss: I’ve had my share of loss in life. I still remember the day my grandfather passed away. I was raised by my grandparents and this impacted me hard as I was only 15 years old. I remember my grandmother telling me I was know the man of the house. I remember not crying at the funeral and felt like something was wrong with me. I also remember walking up to the graveyard 2 months later and talking to my grandfather, bawling my eyes out as I screamed and asked him why did he leave me here to take care of the family and I was only 15. I still look back and wonder why’d it take so long for me to grieve? I know each person grieves differently.
I feel that much like hurt people deal with these emotions the same way. The shut-downer and the recoverer. (Yes I made these names up).
Sometimes it’s hard for one to understand the other. The shut-downer shuts down that bridge looks at the recoverer that’s trying to remove the object and leave some what of a bridge and doesn’t understand how it’s so hard to let it go. The recoverer looks and wonders why was it so easy for the shut-downer to “shut the feelings off”. I feel that it’s not about if one is male or female any more.
I wonder if it goes back to how one was raised? What was their childhood like? What are their defense mechanism to protect them in life? I know in my life I was the one that in order for me to move on I would shut down. I couldn’t operate if I allowed all my feelings to just unleash. I do know this though, the past 4 years with Renee has allowed me to not shut down immediately. I’m thankful for her and what she has brought into my life. I thank God, Zeus, whoever you wish to acknowledge here for her every day.
Propaganda: As far I’m concerned we as humans are going to try to make a buck off an idea. That same steak dinner you can get for 12.99 any other day suddenly goes up to 17.99 on Valentine’s day, Mother’s Day, etc. Is it right? Probably not but it is what it is you can even give in and participate or not.
What do you think, what are your mechanism? What’s your instinct tell you to do when hurt or loss comes about? Do you feel that’s too much ammunition to admit to?
Tao of Cao: Love yourself like you never loved anyone else. Love yourself and those that love you will love you more. Believe that you matter no matter what, because you do matter.
I have no excuse on the lack of post on http://taoofcao.com as of late. It’s been well over 4 months of goodness that has been going on. I figure most of those that read here follow me on twitter/Facebook or other means of communicating. For those that don’t know Renee and I have started a joint blog over at @Valentine where we talk about a topic that we enjoy together. Things like a particular restaurant, movie, or item.
Never fear though I’ll still bring the boring-ness of what’s going on with me here in a sporadic fashion in the least creative way possible (lol). As of late here at my job we’ve been and are going through a migration that is taking a lot of time, man hours and headaches. I’ve horribly been in and out of touch with things during the work hours and fall way behind on what’s going on in everyone’s lives. Most times when I’m get home I’m beat, wore out and tired. I know one thing is for sure I’m sure am glad I have a job.
I believe that’s enough belly aching from this guy. How’s it been going for you all out there?
Tao of Cao: Too much belly aching may cause you to get the medicine that you least like. Don’t belly ache too much or only when necessary.
So today is my 35th birthday, and it has been amazing. Today’s post may be a little long winded and I want to apologize up front. A year ago my now wife, Renee, gave me a gift for my birthday. It was one of the best gifts I’ve ever had. It was a cookie jar filled 365 things that she loved about me and us. I took it upon myself to revive my blog and start posting them. I did pretty well for a while then things got busy and life just happens. It was good stuff that happened and I’m thankful for the time. Then I would post catch up blogs post and what not and I moved here to http://taoofcao.com. So today I present to you, the last list of 365 things that Renee loves about me and us.
“246. You can carry a lot of bags when we come home from the grocery store.”
“277. You melt faces as a warlock.”
“196. I have never seen anybody wrap presents as awesome as you do.”
“237. I love how you fold clothes…and you always do it better than I do.”
“331. You gave me time to study when I needed it”
As I read over these it makes me realize how one lucky of a man I am to have someone as wonderful as Renee. She is my True North, the place my “hearthstone” is set, and such a rock in my life. She is so grateful for me and I am so grateful for her. I am a happier and better man because of you, Thank you.
So let’s go over the things that were listed here, lol.
One of the things I’ve learned over time with living any where that isn’t on the first floor is to learn to carry as much groceries as you can up the flights of steps to where we live. I’ve succeeded in doing this quite well to the point where grocery bags don’t always cut into my hands when I’m carrying so many. The thing that’s going on now is that we have to fight who gets to carry the most up because she wants to help.
When this list was made we were playing our warlock/hunter combo on World of Warcraft and she seemed to be quite impressed in my abilities as a warlock. I must say a little tutorial from Toni and Glenn, they were two people that helped me out with the warlock class on Earthen Ring. I think Glenn was so proud he made me an abyssal bag I still have it and it was awesome.
Ok whoever said if you are a man you can’t wrap presents is a lie. Maybe it’s just the fact that I’m so anal about even edges and perfection that I tend to over do it. I might as well tie in the fact of my clothes folding abilities. Why are you looking at me like that? You think I’m domesticated? So! My mom and grandma taught me to do stuff so if I wasn’t lucky enough to marry that I could take care of myself in some way. Not just be some man unable to take care of myself. So if that’s a bad image of me…so be it! Renee loves it!
When Renee was finishing school I allowed her time to do what she needed to do so she could finish well. That was important for her and important for me. We both knew in the end it would pay off. There was no need for me to guilt her or make her feel bad or vice versa for what needed to be done. I know some might think how is this hard? Well for a lot of people it can be hard.
Well there it is…my cookie jar is empty and each thing is in a zip lock bag and you might wonder what will I do? Well I’m about to unzip the bag and pour them back in the cookie jar and I’m going to read through them again next year and the next year and the next year. As far as this blog? Well it will keep going So don’t be a stranger and I hope I can put out some decent stuff to help you along. I know writing this blog has helped me out a ton. So here is where I try to figure out if I should say what my week has been like so far or make a new post give me a second while I try to figure it out…
Well my week has consisted of new game, Trans Formers: War for Cybertron, commissioned work from Obsidian, and new iPhone so far! It has been a crazy and exciting week for us. I’m sure in the near future you will be hearing about each of these.
Tao of Cao:
Tell your mate that you love them, show them that you love them, talk to them like you love them, now. Don’t wait just do it now. Make them feel like if they wanted the sky to be painted yellow that you would do it for them. Even if it’s going to buy them a pair of yellow tinted shades. Don’t wait until it’s too late just do it. That’s my plea to you.
Thank you all for reading my blog and bearing with me. I hope to meet each and everyone of you before we pass on. OK, this post is getting a little emotional for me so yeah I think I’m gonna end it here! You guys rock.
Good day to you all and Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there. I hope as you read this post you find your day going well! It has been a warm weekend to say the least which means there wasn’t much venturing outside in the heat. If any of you are out there in this heat please be careful and stay hydrated. On to the things from the past 3 days and todays.
“4. You have gotten better about arguing with me when I want to pay for something.”
“220. You want Lucas to beat up Daniel (Ha!Ha!).
“132. I love how your pillow smells”
“333. You would have waited for me if we had met when we were teenagers”
One of the things we do is have our own bank accounts and a joint account. We do this so that we can put in for our bills and then have our own for things we may want or need for ourselves. Also its done so when we want to surprise the other with a gift we don’t have to explain the purchase on the joint account from Amazon or Woot! I also say this because this leads to many discussions of who is going to pay for dinner, lunch, snack, quick tid bits from Walmart just to name a few! after her explaining to me that she likes to be able to do something for me so I’ve eased off on this issue some.
Who is Lucas and Daniel you might ask? Well…they are two of the guys that play on Days of our Lives. Yes the soap opera. What? You don’t watch soap operas? Oh now you’re laughing at me because I do? Well if you ever watched wrestling or any continual TV show it nothing but a soap opera that happens to not be on TV every week day. Yes, less kissing and drama but I’m just saying! Plus Lucas beating up Daniel is something he deserves!!! If you want to know why well…you’ll just have to watch!
Now you’re probably wondering what my pillow smells like, eh? Well I’ll just say and it’s quite simple, it smells like me! I love the way her pillow smells because it smells like her. Its just that comfort of the person you loves aroma to be around when they aren’t near you can just bury your face into their pillow and think of when they will be back.
OK I know the fourth is one that everyone does. You know when you just play the “What if this had happened?” game. I’m thankful for the path that we both taken it made us the person that we are and who we are thankful for. From what I hear about how she was as a teenager and I was also she was just as wonderful a person back then and she’s just gotten better as she has gotten older, I definitely would have waited.
Tao of Cao:
Sometimes it’s OK for a person to sacrifice a little defense (the colloquial term for this is called a cherry picker) to score that winning goal the pay off of it all out weights living with the thought wondering what would have happened if you did do it. This doesn’t always just apply to hockey or soccer. Sometimes you can apply that to life don’t always stay in your comfort zone shake things up every once in a while!
Oh man I got a little behind and I have three things of the day to talk about today.
“226. We set our hearthstones to each other.”
“259. You speak truth.”
“116. Taco Bell is our default.”
A hearthstone is something in World of Warcraft that you use to go back to where your home is set. I know this is a totally geeky thing to do Renee and I gave each other a hearthstone and we set it to one another. Just a sign that home is where the heart is and our heart is with one another.
Another thing that we do with one another is speak truth to one another we are each other’s best friend and we try to let this be a trait in our marriage.
Oh Taco Bell how we love thee. This is always our default when we don’t know what to pick up. You would think we would get tired of this place but there are some things that are so good there. Can you say Cheesy Gordita Crunch or Beef Meximelt?
Its been a crazy few days and the rest of the week may be the same. Thank you all for stopping by and I appreciate you all reading. If you aren’t reading then it’s OK I’m glad I have a place I can go back to.
Tao of Cao:
Don’t try to be like anyone but yourself. Never hold a person up on a pedestal as perfect no person is perfect. If you do this, you set yourself up for disappointment when that person fails. Be honest with yourself and be true to yourself and be happy.
As many of you may or may not know I have three kids from a previous marriage. They are ages 13, 10 and 5; the order goes girl, boy, and boy. They live in another state and I try my best to stay in contact with them which brings us to the thing of the day:
“325. You call your kids EVERY day.”
I try to talk to them every day to see how their day had went with school, friends and just everything overall. Recently we added video via Skype when we talk to one another and it adds a new aspect to it. It’s amazing and I’m thankful for the technology.
This has been one helluva of a week! Take it easy and have a good weekend!
Tao of Cao:
Words are like toothpaste when used incorrectly they can make you lose teeth. “How” you may ask? Well if you say something stupid to a guy he can knock your teeth out! Just saying!