The Chexican

A blip on the blue marble

Plateaued

Over the past week and a half, I seemed to have hit a plateau with my weight loss efforts and have been bouncing around in the 196-200 lb range. I can’t even feign surprise, as I’m pretty certain I know exactly what the problem is. During the week, I do a pretty good job of keeping on top of myself to get in a workout and eat responsibly. However, when the weekend rolls around, I give myself “time off”, and I have a tendency to over-indulge on my non-working cheat days. One of Matthew Inman’s comics on the topic of running sums it up rather nicely: Eat smarter, and workout more & better. Feels like a tall order when you have a 5 mile route that you’re already hitting 3 to 4 time a week, but doesn’t change the fact that the occasion must still be risen to.

The Street I Grew Up On

Growing Up Nowhere

In addition to supporting the story/idea sharing goal inherent to a blog, I’ve been pressuring myself more and more to write about my past in order to give more context to my output as a writer. Admittedly, I’ve been resistant to the idea because it entails revisiting old memories that I’ve only recently finished putting to bed for good. As a result, going around and digging them back up hasn’t been the most attractive prospect, and admittedly, also feels like I’d be taking steps backwards. This leaves me with the option to either use that rationale as an excuse not to do it, or get it done and out of the way without dwelling on the matter. In the spirit of productivity, I’m opting for the latter. This is the story of how I grew up nowhere. Growing up with my mother being full-time custody holder, there are five instances of “home” throughout my formative years: Toddler Years: The house my family lived in right down the way from my dad’s place. Early Childhood: A duplex unit home in a nearby neighborhood. Childhood: A rental house in the city My Dad’s Place: The family home located above the family business, a liquor store in a low-income neighborhood. The fifth and final one was the one that became my mother’s fixed residence, a house she bought in residential development compound located off the road between Tijuana and Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico in the mid ’90s. It was a small community of […]

Finding the “Self”

Embracing Otherness, Embracing Myself Thandie Newton In her TED talk, speaker Thandie Newton speaks of a sense of oneness that newborns feel, and how she believes it becomes lost in the formation of the individual’s sense of identity. We go from an innate state of belief in oneness with everything to evaluating reality through distinctions and separations. In our early years, we are provided countless “facts” about ourselves, both from personal experiences and external input, and weave them together to form a projection of our individuality, a “vehicle for navigate our social world”. However, she also points out that it’s a projection based on other people’s own projections (and so on and so on), and questions whether the sense of self we have is the person we really are, want to, or even should be. Having recently concluded a years-long battle with my own identity crisis, I was immediately engaged by how effectively she was able to verbalize thoughts and feelings I’d long since grappled with but never seemed able to sufficiently capture in my own words. So this whole interaction with self and identity was a very difficult one for me growing up. The self that I attempted to take out into the world was rejected over and over again. And my panic at not having a self that fit, and the confusion that came from my self being rejected, created anxiety, shame and hopelessness, which kind of defined me for a long time. This was the root cause […]

Zen Habits

Zen Habits is a great blog filled with the kind of content I wish I could generate on matters related to mindfulness & mental health, but I think I still have a way to go before I see myself actually being on that level. Still, I definitely recommend everyone check out Leo Babauta’s blog, or better yet, subscribe to it.

Blerching

Physically, I’ve veered off-course and fallen off the wagon pretty hard. Just a few weeks ago, I was running my 20 mile per week quota even though I was sick. This past week, I have been minimally exercising and eating excessively, or what I derived from The Oatmeal’s comic on running to be adequately described as blerching. On top of not being active on the physical front, I’ve been pulling double duty on the stress smoking that I vowed to cut down on. A lot of it has to do with the mental strain I have coming at me from both my long-term plans and from my current income & workplace situation. Though I clearly still have some work to do when it comes to keeping myself steady on the path to realization, I just need to keep myself from getting lost in my own head. Reflect, read, write, and act, don’t react.

Joining the Pink Party: Ditching AT&T for T-Mobile

Friday morning, I had a customer service interaction with AT&T that left me so incensed with anger that I took to Twitter, and dropped a good share of f-bombs on the matter. My cell phone carrier managed to break my zen and reduce me to a raging ass spouting expletives on the internet. Rather than leave it at it that, I find it would be more productive to tell the story behind the interaction. I started my day by processing my email inbox to zero, which i’ve been neglecting to do all week. As I went through my messages, I noticed one from AT&T notifying me that my account was past due for the amount of $136.94 for the period of January 8th through February 8th. When I looked at the bill in detail, I saw that I was being invoiced for my monthly service fee of $89.99 — $39.99 for 450 Nation Rollover Minutes, $20 for Messaging Unlimited w/ Mobile to Any Mobile Calling, and $30 for my grandfathered data unlimited plan — in addition to a $40 service reactivation fee. My issue with this lay in the fact that my mobile services weren’t in effect during that time period.     It’s here that I’ll admit that sharing a story that’s resulting from the current financial hurdles I’m finally in the last stages of squaring away is a little awkward. However, considering that that seems to be the narrative shared by the majority of the American public in […]

Less Than 5 Months Later: A Visual Comparison

Last October, I was still in that place where I was constantly stress-eating and feeling too overwhelmed and demotivated to work out. It was when I really started applying myself to running what’s become my normal route, and so I took a few photographs to have on hand as “before” pictures at a later time. Despite that fact that I didn’t do ANY exercise throughout the entire month of January and the first week of February, I’ve made a lot of progress. I cast of that extra weight that I put on during my unscheduled “time off” at the beginning of this year in only four days, and I’ve been keeping up the pace steadily with another 20 miles completed this week. When I got home from my run today, I decided to snap a few shots since I’m now pushing into new territory after running all that necessary damage control. The snapshot in the top frame is the before photo that I took in October. My scale clocked me in at 203 lbs with an extremely high body fat percentage; I couldn’t even get a read because I was unable to get my body fat calipers around the fat on my abdomen. The picture in the bottom frame is the one I took today when I got home from my run. That hideous paunch has been reduced to a far more manageable pooch. My scale is still reading out in the 196-198 lb range, but I suspect that’s due to […]

The Other Body

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, getting myself back in the groove and undoing the damage I did during the early winter months packing the pounds back on. In spite of coming down with a cough last week, I’ve been persistently hitting the streets and hitting my 20 mile per week quota. I’m already back down to the range I was in back towards the end of December. In fact, I’m actually doing better than I was then – even though the scale reads out the same numbers it did back then, I can feel that a few of those pounds this time around are constituted by muscle instead of fat. While it feels good to be back “on track”, I have to admit that I don’t look forward to once again having to put together those weigh-in posts now that there’s going to be actual progress to track again — taking measurements and photos is a drag and one of my least-favorite things to have to do. Furthermore, still being in the initial leg of the journey I see all the work still left to do more than the progress I’ve already made can be frustrating at times. As I keep pushing forward on this project, now with more effort than ever before, I’m starting to notice a peculiar shift in my physiological self-perception. For the most part, I still feel heavy and, well, fat. It’s a state of constant awareness of the extra fat mass that still […]