The Fat Crawler Experience
Journal (January 2006)
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My Journal for January 2006

January 1, 2006
Happiest of salutations and many happy returns for the new year!  Dramatic, n'est pas?  Well, it was a big event at IROC, doing the same thing I did last year.  I, along with a slew of other volunteers, babysat about a hundred and fifty kids for the big New Year's Eve bash.  There were games and music and dancing and prizes and food and food and more food.  I certainly ate way more than my dietary quota of brownies and pizza, but those calories don't count since it was a holiday, right?  Sure they don't!  Well, as for my thing with Deveney on Friday, I waited for an hour after she was supposed to have shown up, and then finally I decided I had been stood up and just went grocery shopping.  That kind of sucked, but she probably had a good reason.  I still haven't heard from her, so I'll have to wait and see, but I sure hope it was a good reason.  I've decided to give her the benefit of the doubt, as tragedy seems to follow this girl to no end.  In health news, I've been doing very well with my diet and exercise (with last night's exception), but I haven't had a chance to weigh in just yet.  Hopefully I lost some weight this week, but I'm not holding my breath.  My anticipation and hopefulness always seems to end up in the gutter, so I'm not counting my chickens just yet.  My scars are healing nicely, and in fact, I've healed faster from this surgery than anyone before.  The swelling is already almost gone, the scar has been completely healed for about a week and a half, and it's only been three weeks since I had surgery.  Yesterday I was bored, so I learned the Japanese alphabet, Hiragana, but I still have the other two to learn.  It only took about an hour, but now I have to ask this guy I know if he will give me lessons so I can keep going with it.  He's married to a Japanese woman, and as far as I know, speaks it fluently, so I hope he'll consent.  I've known him almost my whole life, though not closely, but I'm crossing my fingers.  I would really like to become fluent, or at least proficient, in at least one Asiatic language before I turn twenty-five, and since that's only eight and a half months away, I better get cracking.  I reckon that's the excitement for today.  Domo arigato Mr. Roboto... (I just know I'm going to look back on the sentence one day and cringe at my stupidity, but that's what youth is all about, right?)
January 9, 2006
Man, this year is just dragging on forever, huh?  Well, maybe not, but this month sure seems to be for me.  It's probably because I've been so busy, and there's a lot that's been going on in such a short time.  I had another follow-up on my thighplasty, and I have a consult for my chest and arms on the sixth of next month.  Three of the doctors there have told me they think I'd be a perfectly ideal candidate for the surgery, so now I only hope my insurance company agrees.  I haven't worked out in nearly two weeks, which is so weird because I had been going so religiously when it was a big swollen challenge.  And I guess I'm going to be shaving my head with my friend, as she has to undergo some chemotherapy, and I offered.  I'm a little nervous about it for some reason.  God, that just proves how shallow I've become.  I'm glad to do it, and honestly, I couldn't think of anybody I'd rather do it with more (except the circumstances it has to be done under), but I remember once when I was about ten years old, I got a normal haircut that was very short, and I was so embarrassed afterward that I walked around all day at school with my jacket pulled over my head.  It's not that I mind, I'm just anxious about what it's going to look like... sheesh, like I'm some kind of supermodel or something.  Man, I make myself sick sometimes.  And when I think of my friend and the hell she'll have to go through, I get even more sick thinking about it.  We have a great rapport, and I'm so glad I can be there for her in this time of need.  I know how important my supporters during my time of need.  Keep laughing and keep fighting, that's what's important.  "We're gonna make it after all!"  (A little Laverne and Shirley for those of you wondering where that came from.)  I really care about her a lot and I hope it helps that I do this with her.  And I was supposed to have my first cathechism class tonight, but it got cancelled on account of the snow that stopped hours ago and turned to rain.  That's very abnormal for Vermont this time of year.  Not that I'm complaining.  I hope it warms up to eighty degrees!  You know I hates me some snow!  And I did another personal training session with Faith a couple of days ago.  She likes doing them with me because I don't let her slack.  I'm fat and saggy, so she knows when I say something, I must mean business.  Ha ha, who would have ever thought I'd be giving workout lessons to anyone, much less somebody who is in much better physical condition than I am.  I'm glad to do it, though.  I only need to get my own pudgy ass back in the gym!  I have been slacking off myself entirely too long with absolutely no good reason.  Tomorrow is the day, and I will be back in that room!  I have goals to meet, and lawd knows my ass isn't going to eat itself!  Oh, and in about a week, a couple Peruvian guys are coming up to my house to hang out and spend the night.  I met one of them online a couple of months ago, and they are having a horrible adjustment period (just like all of us travelers seem to), and this is my way of helping out.  Apparently they are only here working until March, but they already want to find a different place to work.  I don't know how that's going to work out for them, but I hope they can adjust somehow.  They have some different kind of names, which is cool.  Edwar and Yon Carlo... or something similar, but that's how the second guy pronounces it.  Anyway, I'm looking forward to it.  Oh, and Mom and Dad are going to Florida at the end of February with their friends, my brother, and his girlfriend.  I'll be watching the three little kids, which I don't mind so much, but they'll be on vacation then, as well.  I hope nobody dies, is all I'm saying.  At least I hope it's not me who bites the big one.  Ugh, I love the chitlin's... when they're not mine... and I don't have to deal with them... and I can view through a powerful telescope or some sort of television screen connect to an OFF button.  It probably won't kill me, but I'm being paid mega bucks to do it, so I guess I should stop bitching already.  I mean, think of all the games of Disney Trivia I'll get to play!  HELP!  SOMEBODY SAVE ME RIGHT NOW BEFORE IT GETS HERE!  I CAN'T DO IT!  KILL ME, KILL ME NOW!!!  OKAY, OKay, okay, I can deal with this.  I just need a big ruler and a Walter Mathau expression.  That'll get me through.  We like discipline!  God, they're gonna eat me alive...
January 12, 2006
The best of all possible news came out today.  My friend is cancer-free!  Her biopsy came back negative, though her doctors had been sure she had the disease.  It's so fantastic that I could cry tears of joy for her!  I had actually started looking forward to shaving my head with her, a real bonding thing (weird, I know), but I am simply ecstatic for her.  We're going to get together soon and life will be great for her again.  I haven't worked out yet.  I have simply gotten lazy, and we all know what word goes with lazy: fat!  Though all fat or lazy people may not necessarily be the other, that tends to be the way it goes in my life.  In depth reading into that meaning only leads to one conclusion, and that is the fact that I'm going to get fatter if I don't start working out more.  Shame on me!  I also had a great French lesson with my friend, Ahn-Thu, the other day.  And I've been studying German like a fiend, trying to take advantage of the time my new friend, Leonard, will be here.  I also met this Vietnamese kid, but I don't know if I could pull in another language at this point.  Well, I probably could, but it would be a lot of time and hard work, which I could really focus on the two I'm already improving.  You may have guessed that I gave up on the Japanese for a while.  The other two teachers are just so readily available, and I can do a lot of that work on my own as I've already studied both of them in depth before.  Exciting, I know...  And now I'm off to the grocery store!
January 15, 2006
I'm bored and frozen, but that second part is a given.  Today I had so much planned, but the universe (or I should say, my stupid car) is working against me.  I went to Church this morning, but only after it took me about fifteen minutes for it to start.  Then the driver's side door wouldn't shut because it was frozen open.  So I locked it, and it stayed shut... permanently.  When I arrived at Church, the stupid thing was frozen shut.  Well, after Church (and climbing in and out of my car through the passenger's side door), I filled up with gas and came to IROC.  I left the car running, but some guy said I shouldn't do that, so I went back out to take the keys out.  After I closed the door, I decided to re-open it just a crack so I could be sure I could get back in... but the door had frozen shut instantly and wouldn't re-open.  I was less than happy.  So now I'm waiting for Dad to come and tow the piece of crap and bring it back to me after it thaws out.  I'm meeting Deveney at her cousin's Special Olympics practice this afternoon, then we're going out for pizza.  That is, we are if my car gets back in time.  And in other of life's recent events, I still haven't been working out.  I'm sure I've gained at least five pounds, if not more.  I have to weigh myself, but I can't today because the guy that has the scales I use isn't here.  It's not like I'm dying to find out, anyway.  Laziness is seriously addicting.  I also watched Monster's Ball last night.  It was an okay movie, but I don't think it was necessarily an Oscar-worthy performance.  But who am I to judge?  Considering Halle Berry won that like two or three years ago.  But I don't think I know anybody who even saw it.  Though I suppose she probably did deserve it just for making out and pretending to have sex with Billy Bob Thornton.  I mean, he's pretty nasty.  Frankly, I can forgive her overrated performance just for having to go through that.  I'm also trying to have this little party for these international highschool students I've met.  The only problem is that their host-mother is this ancient, lonely, single, super-religious woman who doesn't trust anybody.  I've met her a couple of times, but she said she doesn't know me well enough to decide if they can go or not.  I'm not sure what she exactly wants me to do.  I mean, we're just going to sit around, watch movies, play boardgames, and eat pizza.  Leonard, the German kid, told me she said she has to pray about it and wait for the answer to come from God.  I hope He's in my corner, ha ha.  Sheesh, you'd think I wanted to take 'em out boozing for women, the way she's acting, but whatever.  It's not the end of the world if they don't come, but they've told me that they are bored to death with sitting in her house all the time.  All they do is study, come to IROC, and go to Church.  Well, I'll have to wait for divine inspiration to come, I guess.  And whatever weather may come, I still plan to go to get the Peruvian guys.  It's supposed to re-warm up to around fifty degrees the day I have to go, but that usually equals icy roads.  However, I don't have to leave until the afternoon, so hopefully the ice will be melted by then.  Exciting, I know!  Sha-sHA!
January 22, 2006
Has this been the most eventful week in my recent life?  Sure thing.  First I went to my Cathechism class to find that the host-mother to those kids is also in the class.  Talk about divine intervention, though she still hasn't decided either way, as far as I know.  Then I met the Peruvian guys, they stayed a night at my house, we drove the next day to Burlington in an ice storm, stayed the night at Rodrigro's girlfriend's house, then I finally drove them back to Windsor and returned back to Newport.  I was so tired I slept ten and a half hours that night, leaving me with a splitting headache for the next two days from sleeping so much.  But it was all worth it, because I had a great time and met the most awesome people at Carla's house.  The first is Maritsa, who I shamelessly flirt with at a constant rate, and I know I can woo her with my charmin' ways... (slipped into my Ernest P. Bass accent there for a second, sorry.)  She's super cute and funny and just a lot of fun to hang out with.  I'm not in love or anything, but it would be cool if we could see each other a little more.  All of them are only here until early to mid-April, but we could have fun while it lasts.  Anyway, I also met a bunch of other people, including Fermin, who I am sort of giving English lessons to on the side.  He speaks significantly less English than anyone else in the house, but they are all working together at the ski lodge up the road before they head back to Peru to start the new semester.  I've been speaking almost solid Spanish for a week, and it's actually a little difficult trying to get back into English completely when I'm at home.  On top of that, I got an official date to get fitted for my leg brace on February 9th, and then it should be about a month until I see the finished product, or at least a version of it.  I'm really getting excited about the prospect of walking full-time again.  It's been so long that, in a way, it's like returning to my childhood.  I'm really looking forward to it, though.  I also reconnected with an old friend from college who is now married and living in Switzerland.  He's trying to learn German while living there and teaching English to the locals.  He invited me to come visit him, so who knows?  I'm might just get my shit together, finally, and plan a big cross-European extravaganza for next year, or something, because not seeing it is simply getting ridiculous.  I figure I could cheap-o my way across the continent over a few months, or maybe even a year, if I plan it right.  I'd just have to seriously tighten down the budget here at home for now, but it's certainly feasible.  Mom and Dad are falling apart worse than ever, but I honestly haven't been all that involved in it.  I'm supportive and helpful where I can be, but staying out of the middle of it was the best decision I could have made.  I sat down with Dad yesterday to plan out our trans-America trip.  If we go roughly according to the route I've mapped out, I will have visited all lower forty-eight states by the time we get back from month-long gallavant.  I'm beginning to look forward to it now.  I'm thinking we should leave around mid-April and be gone exactly four weeks.  We'll see the places each of us wants to see and then head home.  Couldn't fail, right?  Ha ha, depends, of course, on the weather more than anything else.  Hopefully blue skies will be smiling at us, but the way things have been going for me lately, that shouldn't be a problem.  Famous last words, right?  The calm always comes before the storm?  Well, there's been nothing but a storm for quite some time, now, so I figure we're due for a longterm calm.  Here's hoping.
January 31, 2006
Wow, how life seems to have changed in such a relatively short amount of time.  Once again I saw a picture of my friend, Luis, while online.  He looks bigger and better than ever in his new fitness lifestyle, and it reminded me of an article I read in a magazine not too long ago.  There was a guy who had become like a model after his previously sedentary life.  He said that anybody can do it if they are simply willing to do what it takes.  It's a conscious decision to eat right and exercise and put up with the hard parts that go along with it.  So I wrote out a very simple eating plan, six small meals a day, and totaling a little less than a thousand calories.  I haven't lost any weight in a while, now, and there were good reasons for it.  Even when I was working out before, I wasn't very strict with my diet.  Don't get me wrong!  I was eating pretty healthy and certainly better than I ever had before surgery, but I wasn't doing what it takes to get the body I want.  Well, I told myself that I knew what it would take, I would have horrible cravings and muscle aches in the beginning, but it was something I have wanted for a very long time.  I want that discipline and the body that goes along with it.  I don't want to end up like so many gastric bypass patients that I have met, who have started gaining back the weight and are upset about it happening.  I see it more and more.  Between two and three years out, there is a crossroads.  If you go left, you mentally choose to do what is right with diet and exercise.  If you push hard enough, you will get the results you want.  If you go right, you forget that the surgery was never meant to be a long-term solution, but merely something to set the foundation for a lifestyle change.  I had started to go right.  I had started gaining a little weight and then refocusing to relose what I had gained.  Well, I've done a complete turnabout now, and I'm headed in the right direction, finally.  I've lost four pounds in the last week and a half, and I know I'll keep losing as long as I do what it takes and make the sacrifices.  I won't ever let myself be out of control again, like I was before.  I simply won't let it happen.  And you know what?  I feel better than I ever have in my entire life!  I was a little sore the first day or two, and the cravings for junk food were out of this world, but I mostly stuck with the plan like I had written it.  Now I did cheat on three occasions over the week.  The first time I had a fatty stew at Heather's house.  It was delicious and I felt sick for about three hours afterward.  I haven't gotten sick from fat/sugar content in nearly two years.  I went to McDonald's with Deveney and had chicken nuggets and part of a double cheeseburger.  I thought I was going to die.  Then I went to a party and accidentally got drunk.  Very drunk.  Very accidentally.  (Since then, I've resolved not to drink anymore.  It has too many calories, I don't really get anything out of it but sickness, and I'm getting too old for that shit anyway.)  Life isn't perfect and I know I'll stumble now and then, but I'm now reaffirming my commitment to this new life and its style.  And I'm so happy for it!  I look and feel better than ever, and it can only get better!

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