Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday December 13th 2010 - Bedtime Meditation

One of the audio files made available from the Gabriel Method is a bedtime meditation. I loaded it up onto my iPod and listen to it as I take my final bow for the night. Jon Gabriel speaks about relaxing and visualizing the next day's schedule and goals with positive reinforcements. The track is 22 minutes, but I have only made it through the first few minutes. Maybe 5 minutes if I'm anxious, but after that I am 'a snoozen.

I think I am able to be hypnotized easily is because I have a fairly deep focus. I really concentrate on the suggestions because I want it to work. If you felt uncomfortable or didn't want to be hypnotized I doubt that you would be able to relax enough. The meditation/hypnosis, whether in Paula's office or from the cd's, make me feel good. I awake with a positive attitude and my cravings for fatty foods have gone down dramatically.

I am easing into this struggle with realistic expectations. It has taken 45 years to build up all of these root cause issues. I doubt that they will go away overnight.

Maybe I wrote about this, but I have realized that there are some key issues that make me fat:

  • When I was in football in the sixth grade I got pushed around and beat up from practice and games. I desperately wanted to be bigger for survival purposes. The desire to be "football" large continued for three more years.
  • I was very sensitive to adult comments like my step-dad insisting that I had a Ubangi Butt (his way of saying I had a big butt). However, he started telling me this when I was very young and still as skinny as a lamp post. In addition, my loving aunts teased me about "filling" out. I was skinny until I got married at age 19. All of these comments were without merit, but they became very powerful negative reinforcements.
  • My uncle committed suicide when I was 14? I never thought it bothered me, but I found out through talking to Paula that it did have a huge impact on my young life.
  • I had a horrible diet when I started working at the warehouses. I over ate with the other warehouse workers and then go days without sleep and proper nutrition. I think the years of abuse messed up my metabolism.
  • I was heavy before my dad committed suicide in '93, but I really started to pack it on after that.
  • In 1998 to 2001 I presided over a dot com that I had co-founded. It couldn't have been more stressful. In 2001 we had grown to the point where we needed venture capital to continue and I lost my best presentation. The company went under and I had a major bipolar episode that landed me in the hospital(s).
  • After that I worried about survival more than I did food so I just ate everything until I was full. On top of that I was taking bipolar meds like Depekote that makes it incredibly difficult to lose weight. I also had a bout with rashes that required steroids which also made me gain weight.
  • Up to the point I had tried every fad diet under the sun. I had lost weight just to see it come back with reinforcements. 
  • Then I was told that I was sick with everything plus Leukemia. I started ballooning and then went into the hospital and just stopped eating. I starved myself for several months and lost 60 pounds or so.
  • Then I started gaining it all back plus reinforcements.
No one wants to be fat. It just happens. You let your guard down and gain tons of weight and then fight and starve to lose the weight. My body is programmed to be fat. I am now trying these alternative therapies to re-program myself to be normal. It may take a while to see the results, but I know that solving the root causes of my obesity is the key. If I can control my mind and body, I will lose the weight and keep it off.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

December 9th 2010 - Feeling pretty good

A major element of the Gabriel Method combined with Paula Robbins' hypnotherapy is the feeling of contentment with the stress of everyday life. The idea is to reduce or eliminate the emotional scaring and reoccurring issues that block weight loss. Through this process I have realized that I have a lot more prior life issues to deal with and I realized I like being big.

I think its a mechanism of protection. I, admittingly, have a soft heart and I get my feelings hurt even if I don't show it. I am also afraid of being picked on. When I was young I think friends and strangers liked to pick on me because I like to talk about my victories and share the excitement of life which they interpret as boosting or ego. Some of that may be true, but I like to be on the positive side because the alternative is being a vessel of negativity. Who wants that?

Anyway, I realized that when I work out I try to build up not trim down. It's the same with fat. I am fat so I am bigger and people don't pick on me. The bad side is that people treat fat people like they choose to be fat. Seriously? My subconscious has directed my body to protect me in the only way it knows how... by helping me be big by turning my fat receptors on. The subconscious mind also protects me from losing weight. That's why diets only work for a while and then your body turns on its fat protectionism and retains calories and white fat that is usually burnt off by skinny people.

I have been working on my fears with the therapist and working on my positive vision of health through the teachings of Jon Gabriel and I can feel it working. I tried the sleep meditation tape last night and feel into a deep hypnotic state. When the 22 minutes that felt like 5 minutes finished I rolled over and had a great night's sleep. The power of hypnotic suggestion is trying to allow me to think thin and feel safe enough to let go of the weight. The multi facaded therapy has helped me stop over-eating and late night snacks. I have a lot of work to be done, but I already feel more control over my eating. I'm still eating and I am not restricting or causing my body to lack, but I am not over-eating because I just don't have that desire; that craving. I like this new program. Deal with the cause not, the result and then the weight magically sheds. I have already lost two inches on my waist. Nice.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday December 7th 2010 - Bipolar type II ?

Someone asked me if I was bipolar I or bipolar II. There are a bijillion different types of bipolar. It's not as simple as type I or II diabetes. I guess the difference is whether you get depressed more than you get manic. In that case it is simple. I am manic-manic. 

I get angry. I get frustrated. I have down time, but, for the most part, I am this: Manic. I enjoy manic like some people enjoy breathing. I like thinking big and multitasking. I like over achieving. However, I am probably difficult to live with. 

No. I am difficult to live with. I run at full speed for 16 hours a day and move smoothly from one project to the next. The busier I am the better. When I am not busy I start to get upset or over thinking things. I am over-barring in the sense that expect others to work as hard as I do. I am not over barring in terms of controlling who they hang out with or date or how they dress. 

I just want them to commit to something, anything, and give it 100%. Yuck. I am over barring. I'm like a bear. Don't poke the bear. I can be a grizzly bear or a cuddly bear. To most people I am a teddy bear. My boys might have a different interpretation. 

As you might be able to tell, I had an altercation with my son regarding make-up homework. After a difficult evening, we have come to a truce. We have a new policy regarding D's and he pledges to not fall behind. If he falls behind, I confiscate his phone, iPod, and computer. Sounds strict, but there is a history of untruthfulness that has degenerated the situation. I wish I could be the buddy; the friend, the cool dad, but I am the father... damn it.

I went to the hypno-therapist today and I didn't think she would be able to get me under. It took awhile, but near the end I had successfully gone way too far under. I tend to concentrate on the goal of relaxing so hard that once I achieve it I go too far. Funny huh. I think we may have worked on enough of my issues that the next time we can talk about losing weight.

In the mean time, I am listening to and reading the Gabriel Method. He really does make a lot of sense and I know understand why I have failed at holding off weight. My big lesson today was about "Lacking." For example, if you deny chocolate and your body know that you are denying something on purpose it thinks that you are about to deny more (ie: famine) and it kicks into defensive mode. The idea is to feed your body what it needs within reason and eat as healthy as possible while offering your body the things that it needs like probiotics for digestion and Omega 3's. Do not diet. Make you body believe that it is safe and okay to lose weight. Be in touch with your bodies needs and eat properly. I'm being repetitive. I'm tired. I need to read for an hour and then sleep. The therapist is giving me a hard time because I only want to sleep for six hours. You lose more fat when you sleep. That's a fact. Since I have a lot of fat to give, I should be sleeping about 14 hours a day. Ha! Just kidding. 7 hours is fine. So I am learning something new everyday and I already lost two inches and I haven't even started trying. Oh yeah. You have to eat at least six times a day and never ever let yourself get low blood sugar. Your body thinks it needs to conserve. Put down the keypad and walk awayyyy

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday December 5th 2010 - My current weight loss strategy

I thought I would briefly update my current events and then explain the diet strategy that I am working on right now as well as describe my bipolar treatment.

Well, my son was released from the hospital yesterday morning, so we both got to sleep in our own beds. He looks about as swollen as he had the first day we noticed swelling which is a dramatic improvement. Now he is on 300 mg of clindamycin four times a day. Normally, that would be a monster dose for a 14 year old, but we need to completely eradicate the infection from his body.

Our household, in general, needs holiday cheer in a major way so I made an ambitious attempt at decorating our front yard. I must admit, it looks pretty nice and it seems to have had the desired effect. Today is the last regular season football game for my fantasy football team so I'll probably watch the Denver game and then the Colts game. I should finish in first place and then we have three playoff games. I hope to win it all because, as Vince Lombardi said, "if winning isn't everything, why do they keep score."

My current diet strategy revolves around reconciliation with the root cause of my weight gain and I don't mean deep fried Twinkies (although I have heard they are like sex). No, my weight is mostly in my head. It is my way of giving myself comfort when other things in life gets me down. It's about layer upon layers of emotional protection. When I get stressed I eat. When I give up on dieting or become depressed, I eat. And, of course, sometimes I over eat because the food is just so heavenly prepared. The fact that I am a fantastic cook is both a blessing and a curse. When I cook, I cook with passion and love... and butter.

Contrary to every diet I have ever tried, I am not as concerned with what I eat as much as I am concerned with over eating. But that too has a qualifier; the food must be freshly prepared or raw (vegetables and fruit, not meat). I am avoiding processed foods because they process and over cook the potential nutrients right out of the food. I am also concentrating on never letting my blood sugar get too low so I am going to concentrate on eating vegetables, fruit, and nuts for snacks. The idea is that I eat healthy and balance out my supplements. On top of the regular vitamins, I am taking digestive probiotics and Omega 3 in the form of Flax Seed Oil because I hate to burp after I have taken a fish oil capsule. I almost through up one time. Gross.

Healthy eating is paramount, but I have to get rid of all of this stored emotional crap so I'm seeing the hypnotherapist. Most of the appointments are regular old therapy which is great to identify issues and then we use hypnosis to allow me to let go of these issues or forgive people and myself. I've found out that I really do have a lot of baggage to clear before we can get into weight reducing hypnosis. I'm looking forward to reaching that part.

In concert with the hypnotherapy, I am following the Gabriel Method because he strives on healthy eating, proper body chemistry and emotional healing. Two favors: Use my affiliate links to visit the Gabriel site because I get paid (a little) and because you will quickly see why I am into this method right now. I really think this current approach could be the combination that I have been looking for.

Quick tip: Your body temperature is partially regulated by the good brown fat. Brown fat burns white fat to generate energy and heat. When you jump into a pool it feels cold for a while and then you get used to it. What is really happening is that the brown fat starts burning white fat to bring your cold resistance up. So here is the trick that I recently stumbled on. When you take your shower, run warm water to wash and then slowly start to cool off the water to the point where you are standing in a cold cold shower. If you do it gradually it won't shock you, but it will kick in the brown fat regulations. I haven't tried it yet, but I will later today and I'll let you know if it feels like a complete line of crap. Supposedly it makes you feel energized. We will see. 

My bipolar disorder is regulated with therapy and medication. Sorry people that don't believe in drug therapy. Bipolars NEED medication. When ever a bipolar hurts themselves or others it is usually because they decided they felt "cured" and went off of their medication. I never miss a dose. I take lorazapam, Lamictal, Hydroxyzine, and Seroquel. I also take synthroid for my hyperthyroid and supplements. As a matter of fact, it is time for my next dose. Good holidays and football to you! 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday December 3rd 2010 - Hanging out in the hospital again

Actually, I'm not the patient. My youngest son complained about a sore jaw on Monday night and I gave him some Ibuprofen. He looked a little swollen, but nothing alarming. Then, on Tuesday morning the pain had increased and his right jaw was definitely swollen.

Thinking it was an abscessed tooth, I took him to my wife's office. The dentists and the doctor next door concluded that it was not dental related, rather, it had the earmarks of parotitsis. An hour later our old PCP confirmed and placed him on antibiotics.

Wednesday his jaw was so swollen I cursed myself for letting him sleep in without checking his swelling. Within a half hour we were in our current PCP office and he gave him a massive shot of antibiotics and added a more powerful antibiotic. By now his low grade fever and become a constant temp over 101 degrees.

On Thursday the swelling was extreme so I brought him to the ER and he has admitted into the hospital and that's where we remain right now. Today the IV antibiotics seem to have taken hold. We maybe able to go home Saturday or Sunday. My wife brought us both new clothes and shampoo. My son was freaked out about the extreme swelling so I haven't left. The room is nice and I have a fold out bed so all is fine, but I haven't had a laptop until today.

I was going to write about my interview with the museum. I had a perfect interview, but they gave it to someone else. It's frustrating to have the experience and education that everyone used to want and then be told you're over qualified. It's okay. I'm not upset, so I must have agreed with them that it wasn't the right job for me. Besides, I'm very busy with the columns and book and painting and the art business and... whew.

I was doing pretty good with the advice from the Gabriel Method, but then all hell let loose with this infection and I have eaten like crap. I hate hospital food, so I went out and got a sub from Quiznos and over ate and now I feel like a fat pumpkin.

And then, I forgot to bring my CPAP and I snored so loud I kept my son up. I also had stupidly only brought one day of bipolar meds and I didn't get this mornings dose until my wife brought it this evening. Most of the meds are fine to take late, but I get real edgy when I don't have my lorazapam. I took 2mg and now I feel okay.

So, while I have neglected to write on the blog, I received an email today that this blog is #17 out of the top 50 blogs covering the Global Obesity Epidemic. Now I feel guilty about not writing everyday, so here I am. Click here to see the award.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday November 30th 2010 - Gabriel Method & my museum Interview

The problem with diets and surgeries is that they don't fix you. Why are you fat? I'm fat because of stress and pleasure. I wear my stress and eat for pleasure. I don't just want to be thin, I want to BE thin. By that, I mean that I want to be thin and healthy in my head as well as in body.

I wear my baggage. While I knew in my heart that the barrier to becoming thin was the emotional scars that I have built up. I thought that hypnotherapy would magically make me eat thin, but it's purpose is to clear the baggage and then change my eating habits. I didn't realize just how much baggage I had until I started meeting with Paula. 90% of our appointments are traditional therapy with hypnotherapy to subconsciously give up the stress that has built throughout my life. I have about 150 pounds of stress.

Oh man, excuse me. I have a head cold and an interview tomorrow and I'm wiped out. I will continue this line of thought tomorrow. click.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday November 23, 2010 - Hypnotherapy Update

I went to my third hypnotherapy appointment on the 16th of November. I think this may be the most important part of my weight loss campaign. I've always said that weight loss or gain is in the head. I believe that most bariatric surgeries that fail in the long run is because the subconscious doesn't accept the change and will eventually try to regain the weight. Something else that we have been talking about is change on the cellular level. By that I mean changing the way your body processes fat. One of the ideas we had was to do an outright sprint for 10 minutes before each workout, thus, tricking your body into thinking that you're being chased and you need to be lighter and faster or you will become lunch. Kind of silly when written out like that, but it does make some sense and I am going to try it.

I had a lot more "issues" than I thought, so the hypnotherapist and I still trying to untangle my protective web and then we will start attacking the weight straight on. In the mean time, I am renewing my gym membership and falling back into the 3 to 4 workouts per weeks. It does more than burn calories; it also helps me feel better and, thus, helps remind me to watch my diet.

I am also going to break down and buy the Gabriel Method and incorporate that into this weight loss chapter. Hopefully, I will be able to record some weight loss soon. And I may revert to veganism after Thanksgiving. After about two weeks your body feels cleaner and more energetic.

Bariatric surgery really does need to be a last resort and, even though I have tried almost every diet under the sun, I don't feel like I have exhausted all options. So now I will continue the hypnotherapy (because I enjoy it) and do the Gabriel thing and cut back on the animal proteins and get back into the gym. Wow, I lost weight just thinking about all of that. I have confidence in this attempt because I am trying to settle the root cause of my "mental" weight.

Tuesday November 23, 2010 - Top Body Weight Blog Award

It would figure that while I have been the busiest with the art estate and neglectful of my blog posts that this blog has been recognized as a Top Body Weight Blog. 
2010 Top Body Weight Blog
The obsession with body weight is at an all time high in this country. Diet programs featuring eating plans and coaches and counselors are all over television and print media. What is a healthy body weight? What is your BMI? So many questions about weight and proper nutrition, how do you know which information to rely on? Our award winners can help with that, from experts in nutrition to fitness to counselors these blogs will entertain you, inspire you and steer you in the right direction to find those answers!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday November 10, 2010 - New York City trip

The last few days have been pretty good in terms of diet. I wanted to make sure I wasn't feeling bloated for my trip today.

My wife and I are flying out to NYC for some intense meetings with the Greene Naftali and the Anthology Film Archives. We will also be meeting with reps from the Whitney, MoMa, and NY Film Coop. In addition, we will be meeting with our new contract counsel.

The funnest part of the trip will be our night out on Broadway. We always try to make a show when we are out there. This time will be particularly exciting. We will be seeing the Addams Family musical with Nathan Lane and Bebe kfaff something (lilith from Cheers and Fraser).

I don't have to worry about exercise since most of our destinations are within 10 blocks of our hotel so we will walking most of the time. We will be back late Saturday.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

November 6th, 2010 - Finally getting serious again

Sorry for the length between posts. I will start using this as a daily journal again starting today. I have a lot going on right now and I am spending the greater part of each day writing articles and wishing I was writing the book.

A few days before, during, and after the election I had a huge surge in readership. This week I had over 10,000 reads. Unreal. Just thinking about that many people reading my articles was a shot of adrenalin. My reads have stabilized at about 200 reads per day for both columns combined, but I am very competitive so I will continue to try to increase that average. I would like to have 300-500 reads per day and that takes good relevant articles. It is the same as this blog. If you don't write consistently, then your readership drops.

This coming week Cheri and I are going out to NYC to meet with our gallery and film distributors to try to establish a unified strategy for the future. We are a little cautious, but eager to proceed. The highlight of our four day trip will certainly be going to the Broadway show Addams Family with Nathan Lane. Very excited about that. Today I have to prepare a portfolio of information so we can make the best use of our time. I will be borrowing my sister's laptop so I should be able to write this blog.

At this point, I am writing two blogs, two Examiner columns, and the book. Soon I will add to that three additional weekly columns for a new publishing company. I am writing more than 6,000 words per week which doesn't sound like much, but the columns have to be well researched, cited, and concise. Concise is not so easy for me. Take this post. I've only been writing it for about 15 minutes and I already have what looks like 500 words. Free writing is easy. Concise writing is harder.

I went to my second hypnotherapy appointment this week. She is a good therapist even without the hypnosis, so the hypnosis is kind of a bonus. This week we continued to work on issues that have been bothering me for years. It is very healthy and the hypnosis is very relaxing. Either I fell into a deeper trance this week or I fell asleep. HA! Maybe that's what hypnosis is supposed to feel like. I don't know what normal is.

My diet has been crappy, but I'm starting to gear up to go back into healthy eating. I think I will have greater success with the hypnosis backup. At least I hope I will.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday October 25th 2010 - Sunrise Hypnotherapy

Today was my first appointment with Paula C. at the Hypnotherapy. We went through a lot of definitions and introduction stuff. She gave me a CD to get used to her voice. Kind of funny, but I like her. She isn't all crystal and rock worship. She was about energy and spirituality and didn't stomp on my inclusive Christianity. I feel safe with her, but tired so, for once, I am going to cut this short. I have an appointment for my first hypnotism ever. I love new stuff. I can't wait. At some point I want to try acupuncture.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday October 21, 2010 - the Gabriel Method

I started to read this "Gabriel Method" book and I completely understand his "how I got so damn fat" story. We'll have to see how it goes. I will probably try this along with the hypnotherapy.

The Gabriel Method is the revolutionary new
DIET-FREE way to get fit by getting your
body to want to be thin.
Idistinctly remember the moment that changed my life forever.
It happened in August of 2001. I weighed close to 410 pounds.
Over the previous twelve years, I had gained more than 200
I had just gotten off Route 4 in New Jersey at the Paramus /
River Edge exit. As I was getting off the exit, a thought stunned
me like an electric shock: “My body wanted to be fat, and as
long as it wanted to be fat, there was nothing I could do to lose
weight.” I turned onto the nearest side street and just sat there in
my car.
Not another thought came into my head for the next twenty
During the twelve years in which I gained two hundred
pounds, I had tried everything I could to lose weight, including
every diet under the sun—from low-fat diets to low-carb diets
and everything in between. I had spent time at both Nathan Pritikin’s
institute in California and with the late Dr. Atkins himself
in New York.
I spent over three thousand dollars with Dr. Atkins, and
in the end, the best he could do was yell at me for being so fat.
I also spent several other small fortunes on every conceivable
holistic cure and alternative health treatment available. No matter
what I did, my body continued to gain weight.
Every diet or program I went on always followed the exact
same pattern. It started with my having to count something—
calories, fat, carbohydrates, salt, whatever—and a list of things I
could not have. I followed the diet to the letter. I usually lost
weight quickly in the beginning, but then the rate at which I
lost weight would start to slow. Eventually, I stopped losing
weight altogether. At that point, I was dieting, not to lose weight,
but simply to maintain my current weight.
All the while my cravings for the foods that I was not
allowed to have escalated. Discouraged and dejected, there
would come a time when I was just too exhausted to fight my
cravings anymore, and I would binge. Weight that had taken me
a month or so to lose came back in just a matter of days. A few
weeks later, I was invariably 10 to 15 pounds heavier than when
I had started the diet.
No matter what I did to try to lose weight, my body fought
me tooth and nail, and in the end, it always won. After years of
banging my head against the wall and trying to force myself to
lose weight, I had to concede that, as long as my body wanted
to be fat, the situation was hopeless.
From the moment I made this realization, I renounced dieting
forever. I decided that instead of trying to force myself to lose
weight against my body’s will, I would turn my attention toward
understanding why my body wanted to be fat in the first place.
I then went on a quest for real answers. I spent hours a day
learning everything I could about biochemistry, nutrition, neurobiology,
and psychology. In the eighties, I attended The Warton
School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. While I
was at Wharton, I became very interested in biochemistry and
took a full curriculum of biology courses. I also did a year of
research into cholesterol synthesis with Dr. Jose Rabinowitz at
the VA medical hospital in Philadelphia. This gave me a solid
enough background in biochemistry to make sense of all the
current obesity research.
I plowed through twenty or thirty research reports a day, and
after reading several hundred—if not a thousand—research
reports, I rapidly became an expert in the most cutting-edge
chemistry of obesity and weight loss. I also studied meditation,
hypnosis, neuro-linguistic programming, psycho-linguistics, Thought
Field Therapy, Tai Chi, Chi Kung, and the field of consciousness
research. I even studied quantum physics. I was convinced that
the answers lay somewhere between the space that separates the
mind from the body.
But more than anything, I started studying my own body.
I stopped seeing it as the enemy that just wouldn’t listen to
me. I realized my problem was not my body but my lack of
understanding how to operate it. From that moment on, I
started listening to my body very closely. I also stopped trying
to push it around and force it to do something against its will.
Instead, I became its student, and as a result, I started learning
from my body.
Because I became a receptive student, my body became a
highly effective teacher. It taught me why it wanted to be fat and
what I would have to do to make it want to be thin.
As soon as I understood that there were reasons why my body
wanted to be fat, I stopped dieting. What was the point of trying
to diet if it was not going to solve the problem? I later discovered
that not only does dieting not work, but if your body already
wants to be fat, dieting will only make it want to be fatter.
Giving up dieting forever was the greatest and most liberating
thing I had ever done.
I hated dieting.
I hated being so obsessed with food and treating every hunger
signal as a battle I had to fight. I hated ranking every day
according to how good I had been: “Oh, I was good today!” Or
on a bad day: “Okay, today’s a baddy, so let’s just go for it. Let’s
go to the store and buy every cake, cookie, brownie, and flavor
of ice cream. No, don’t get chocolate! It has too many calories.
Get this one that’s fat-free—the vanilla bean ice-latte sorbetbanana-
sunshine. And now that you’re here, you might as well
try the passion fruit and the peach as well. Ah, screw it! Since
you’re getting all that, you might as well get the double fudge,
chocolate brownie, real ice cream. But don’t just get that one,
because today’s the day; if you’re going to do it, you might as
well try that other one you’ve been hankering for too.”

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday October 20th 2010 - Hypnotherapy

Well the idea behind bariatric surgery is that it is a last resort. I tried veganism and I still workout, but I have never been through hypnotherapy, so I am trying to make a consultation appointment. I have delayed my appointment with the bariatric surgeon until I have given this hypnotherapy gobbley gook a try.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday October 19, 2010 - Next step: Realize-band

Sorry for slacking. I've been at war with a business relationship and the bipolar person inside me. Stress sometimes can elevate or create bipolar episodes and I had or am still having a very elongated episode. The mood swings and panic/anxiety attacks have been exhausting. I had decreased my Seroquel because it gives me horrible wiggly hands and feet when I'm trying to sleep. In addition, it can leave me groggy during the day, so I cut back... maybe too much. I have since started taking a higher dose, but still not as much as I was prescribed. I think it may be helping to pull me out of this episode which upsets me because I don't like the side effects. Plus, I was able to sleep 6 hours and feel refreshed. Now I will have to sleep at least 8 hours and I don't like it. Plus I felt sleepy today. Anyway, I have to get a grip so I can write. I can't be flipping out and writing well at the same time.

As far as the re-energized quest to get the Realize Band, I have an appointment with the surgeon on the 27th. In addition, I have to confirm that I actually do need to put $4,000 cash into a hospital escrow account. I think I could part with $2,000, but that leaves me an additional $2,000 before I can set the date. My insurance contributes $7500 and the procedure should only really cost about $10,000 but they have to have extra in the bank in case you have to stay in the hospital. Updates as they come. Daily once again once I get going with the procedure.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thursday October 7th, 2010 - Colorado elections

Well, I thought it might be fun to rattle some political cages by suggesting that online education threatens the public school system. Everyone likes to call themselves the education God, but the truth is that their true colors come out when you ask them something of particular subset of education. I have found my interviews with the Colorado candidates interesting and revealing. Bob Kinsey is old school. He hate texting. Paul Fiorino supports the integrated model. and Buck, Tancredo, and Hickinlooper's camps have contacted me and I may get a few more responses in the morning.

Here is the story that kicked off my series on the politics of online education...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saturday October 2, 2010 - The baby made me sick

I don't feel good. Head cold, cough, sore throat, and fever. I sound like a stupid commercial. All diet bets are off when I'm sick. Although, my diet consisted of granola, bagel, and home made chicken soup. I napped earlier and now I need another. nite 

Here are the last two stories I wrote for the examiner

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday 29th 2010 - Self publishing

My diet has been crap, but my cooking has been smashing! Seriously, I'm having trouble resisting food. If I don't get a grip, I am liable to gain way to much weight, as if any extra weight is acceptable. I have been thinking about the surgery. As I collect the larger checks that I should be getting from the art sales, I will set some aside. I think I should have about $3,000 to go with my insurance. Then I will begin the process. I guess my old doctor and nutrition letters are out of date.

A friend recommended that i look into which is a self-publishing site. Check it out. I think I may do that. At least for the e-book. Now, I really want to finish the book. I'd like it to be available by Christmas or the spring. I don't suppose it would matter too much. ASAP. I'll stick to that.

I have, to date, written 18 articles for The last three are listed here... 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday September 25th, 2010 - First Chapter of my book Positano

Today's post is my first chapter of my book Positano. I've completed about 30 chapters, but I had to rewrite the first five chapters to reflect a tragedy that happens later in the book. Let me know if you like it. You can the first four chapters at

Chapter One
Suicide. It runs in my family. It runs through my blood. Merely speaking the word sends shivers down the backs of anyone within ear shot. They are watching me; always watching me. I don’t know what they expect. It is all around me. You hear it on the news every day. I talk about it with my therapist twice a week. It’s as much a part of me as I am a part of it. They tell me not to think about. My mom says, “Honey, don’t talk about it. Let it go.” She might as well say don’t breath. Suicide. There, I said it again.
I don’t want to die. I know I have a long and beautiful life ahead of me. I have a girlfriend and my life is rebuilding, but, still, it’s there. They don’t understand the difference of awareness and honesty as opposed to the verb. It is an irrefutable part of me. It’s forever in my core. I can’t stop it. The very act or thought of suicide is lurking deep in the dark damp recesses of my mind where no one dares to travel just waiting to strike.
I know the road to death. It is littered with hopelessness, isolation, humiliation, hate, loneliness, loss, and confusion. That night; on that night I felt all of those things. By God’s good grace and caring hand, I failed, but I can’t erase that moment. I hear the gentle waves lapping up the black pebble beach. Swish; swish goes the deep blue sea below me. My crying eyes burn with every salty gust of warm wind. The moon is so beautiful vicariously hanging above the shimmering and endless water. I’ve slowed my panting and I take one final deep breath. I slowly close my eyes and let one foot free. I’m not scared. I can do it. One more step as I felt my body lunge forward and my last foot slipping off of the earth and dangling in the wind as I slowly spin around seeing the surf then the sky then back to the earth.
Pain. I was paralyzed with pain. It hurt to hear, but I could hear. I could hear the ghosts swarming around me speaking in Italian. Then everything went black. I rose again and painfully opened my eyes. I was in a blindingly white room with the rhythmic sound of beep, beep, beep. I couldn’t swallow. Something was in my throat. I could move my arms or feet. They were being held. It hurt to flex my fingers. I realized I was in a hospital. The rhythmic beep was now in a chase as it quickened into a beep beep beep, then I heard people rushing into the room; again speaking in Italian. Then an angel bent down to my ear and said, “It’s going to be okay poor bambino. Just sleep. You’re safe.” My eyes grew blurry and I feel into a half consciousness. I could hear people, then black.
How can I forget that? Seriously; how does one forget that? I’m writing this story today because my therapist said it would be good to write it down and then throw it away. I’ll write the story because I need to. I’ll write the story because I can. I just hope; no I pray, I beg for peace. I just want some quiet. Is that too much to ask?
Sometimes when that moment of terrifying reflection subsides, I wonder what it would have been like to die. Was it as painful as living? Does your light just gracefully fade or do you hang around a while like ghosts in movies? What is heaven really like? I’m sure it’s not like sitting on some stupid cloud looking down at all of the fools. It has occurred to me that I could have gone to hell. That’s what the Catholic Church says. If you take your life into your own hands and deny God’s will you have committed a mortal sin again God. So then I wonder what hell could be like. I seriously doubt that there is any fire involved. Maybe you are cursed to revisit all of your sins and watch the world around your crumble over and over again for all eternity. That would really suck.
I was raised in the church. I’ve been told that God is a loving God and he doesn’t give you more than you can handle. That’s wrong. I couldn’t handle it then and I can barely handle it now. Maybe God does love me. Maybe Jesus died for my sins. Maybe God saved me. Although I live in fear, I am much better than I was two years ago. I’ll go with the God loves you thing, because it comforts me.
I’m free to talk about my new found faith, but not about death. About a year ago I felt compelled to start an anonymous blog. I called it “Suicide Interrupted” and I didn’t use my name or anything that could connect me to this poor soul. However, I did mention it to my best friend and he felt he had to tell my parents and they told my therapist. I tried to explain that the blog was an homage to death, but they put me back into the hospital. They took my clothes; they took my shoe laces and they checked in on me every 15 minutes. For the first 72 hours I didn’t see anyone except for my parents and nurses. I was there for a week. In some weird way, the mental ward is a comforting safe place. They tell you when to eat, when to sleep, when to do anything, but it’s safe. I still wouldn’t recommend publishing a blog. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday September 24th 2010 - Productive day whew

I've been thinking about it and talking to my wife. As soon as I can afford it, in a couple of months, I will go back in and start the process for bariatric surgery. I definitely prefer the Realize-band. .
I will chronicalize every step.

Today I did everything, but make it to the gym. I wrote and published two articles...  and .

Tonight I am going to indulge myself by writing my book after I finish the laundry, make dinner, go to the store, pick up my son from work, take a pee. Oh, got do that one right now.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday September 23rd, 2010 - Examiner article on bariatric surgery

I decided to write an article for the Examiner on bariatric surgery -

Obesity in Denver – Find the facts and the best Denver surgeons online

Losing weight is easy. Consume fewer calories than you burn and you will lose weight. Yeah right. Dr. Richard Tillquist from Colorado Bariatric Surgery in Englewood said, “Most people can stick to a diet for up to a year, but very few can stick with it beyond that.”
Take a look around. See any overweight people? Believe it or not Colorado is one of the fittest states in the union. According to The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (CDC), Mississippi is the fattest state with 35% obese (adults) while Colorado is the fittest state with only 19% obese.  
Obesity is the leading preventable cause of death worldwide. Childhood obesity is on the rise at an alarming rate. Obesity has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and stroke as well as certain kinds of cancer.
Obviously a low calorie diet and exercise is the best way to lose weight, but for hundreds of obese people in Denver losing weight is more frustrating then I-25 during rush hour. For those people who are experts on losing and gaining back weight, weight loss surgery may be an option.
The first thing that people need to know is theirBody Mass Index (BMI). If your BMI is greater than 40, then you are considered to be morbidly obese and surgery should be considered. Types of weight loss surgery range from the rather invasive gastric bypass to the lathroscopic “Lab-band®” or “Realize-band®.” To learn more about each type of surgery, consult
There are over 40 bariatric surgeons in Colorado. Check with your health care insurance on plan coverage. Most surgeons can offer or refer you to various financing options. Most insurance will only apply benefits to surgeons with the “Center of Excellence” designation. To find a qualified surgeon in your area, visit .

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday September 22nd, 2010 - Bariatric Surgery

When I started this blog it was to track and follow my bariatric surgery. I had jumped through the hoops with my insurance who would pay up to $7,500 and I had passed the psychiatric evaluation. I had already been cleared by my surgeon, Richard Tillquist from Swedish Medical Center Englewood Colorado, and I was ready to set a date.

I wasn't comfortable with surgery so I tried to lose the weight myself. On July 4th, 2009 I became a vegan. That lasted one year and I had lost 37 pounds, but I was already gaining it back by July 4th, 2010. I have  been vocally against surgery unless the weight was life threatening.

Lately I have been trying to psych myself out so that I could start losing weight, but I take one step forward and two steps backwards. I am still gaining weight.

It is time to reconsider bariatric "Realize-Band" lathroscopic surgery. This will be day one: Research. Now I have already been down this road so I know as much as a physician would know, but I'll start from scratch for you. So, day one research

First finding; New insurance, Anthem HMO Colorado will also pay $7500 towards the surgery.
60% for the facility and 40% for the surgeon.

In the next post I will paste my article on bariatric surgery

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday September 21, 2010 - Working diet

Well, today my diet was much better. Perhaps a bit too much bread at dinner. I had three slices with light butter. However, tonight's dinner was steamed mussels and asparagus, so it's overall value was high. Today was paperwork and follow-up day which cost me my gym time. I really need to get into the gym tomorrow. It helps me remember to hold down my calories.

Opps. Almost forgot another "bad" from last night. I take my bipolar medication, Seroquel, right as I am falling to sleep because it gives me twitchy arms and legs. If I take it at the last minute, I usually sleep through the twitches, however, if I wake up prematurely, the only way to calm them down so I can fall back to sleep is to walk upstairs and get a snack. I did that last night because I needed every minute of sleep I could get. Sometimes I sacrifice my diet for sleep. Bad. Bad. Bad.

Today's follow up(s) were all about collecting $$$. A little here, a little in Spain, a little in Oklahoma, and a little in NYC. At this particular juncture it all helps.

Today I wrote an article for the Examiner on the 2010 Colorado State Ballot Measures. Four of them are absolutely insane. Check it out...

Confused? Alarmed? Research the 2010 Colorado ballot measures online

How much do you really know about this year’s Colorado ballot measures? Did you know there are three measures that could reportedly bankrupt the state? Did you know that Amendment 62 redefines a “person” to include the unborn biologically developed?
This year the State ballot measures may eclipse the gubernatorial vote. Why? First, the potential impact of the ballot measures to the State of Colorado is huge and second, national statistics estimate that only 37% of all voting-age citizens vote in midterm elections, thus, leaving these monumental measures to be decide by a small minority of voters.
The following list is a summary of each of the State ballot measures followed by official Colorado State and non-profit, non-partisan links detailing the measures:
  • Amendment P: Regulation of Games of Chance -
    Transfers the licensing and oversight of games of chance, such as bingo and raffles, from the Department of State to the Department of Revenue which already regulates casinos and Colorado State Lottery.
  • Amendment Q: Temporary Location for the State Seat of Government –Allows the governor to designate a temporary meeting location for state seat of government in cases of disaster emergencies.
  • Amendment R: Exempt Possessory Interests in Real Property -
    Eliminates property taxes for individuals or businesses that use government-owned property for a private benefit worth $6,000 or less in market value.
  • Amendment 60: Property Tax -
    Increases the impact of the 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) by requiring school districts to cut property tax by half by 2020 and recover the loss from state funds.
  • Amendment 61: Limits on State and Local Government Borrowing -
    Prohibits the State government from borrowing money and limits the local government from borrowing money unless approved by the voters.
  • Amendment 62: Application of the Term “Person” -
    Changes the term “person” in all Colorado constitution provisions that address inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process to include every human being from the moment of biological development.
  • Amendment 63: Health Care Choice -
    Adds health care choice to the bill of rights in the Colorado Constitution, thus, prohibiting the State from requiring or enforcing State requirements that a person participate in a public or private health care plan. The measure does not supersede the federal government’s ability to require coverage.
  • Proposition 101: Income, Vehicle, and Telecommunication Taxes and Fees -
    Gradually, over time, reduces state income tax from 4.63% to 3.5%. When fully implemented, it will reduce or eliminate State sales taxes and/or fees on vehicle sales, leases, and rentals. In addition, it will eliminate State and local sales tax and other fees for any telecommunications services, except for 911 fees.  
  • Proposition 102: Criteria for Release to Pretrial Services Programs -
    Allows only a first time offender of a nonviolent misdemeanor to be released on an unsecured bond to the supervision of a pretrial services program.
Colorado State Ballot Measures – Project Vote Smart (PVS) is a non-profit, non-partisan research org
If passed, Colorado 2010 Amendments 60, 61, and 101 will have a profound effect on the budget as well as public education.
If passed, Amendment 62 will not only have implications on future abortions measures, but also on certain forms of birth control, women’s health care choices, stem cell research, miscarriages, property rights, and potential inheritance rights.
Vote smart. Research the arguments and implications online.  
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