Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Words Up, Weight Down - 9/19/12

There's not too much to report this week.  My weight loss came to a near-screeching halt with my losing .2 pounds since last week's weigh in.  I'm blaming my sister-in-law . . . okay, it's not really her fault, but she DID come to visit last week, and while she was here, it was so much more fun to order out and go out to eat and all than to really watch the calories.  I'll do better this week as I get back on track with both the exercise (I also let myself slip here a little bit) and the calorie intake.

On the writing-front, I've spent most of my writing time on my Kindle project.  Because it's not a traditional story, it's hard to give a real word count, but after reviewing my progress earlier this afternoon, I can mark my progress at being 10% done with the finished product.

Again, I'll have done better by next week's check in.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

On politics and religion . . .

Those of you who know me can probably guess where my politics fall. And those of you who REALLY know me know my thoughts on religion.  But you'd have to know me, and I mean KNOW me outside of Facebook, Twitter, podcasting, Plan D, etc.  You probably need to spend some actual real life face time with me to know exactly what I think about where we are in this country.

But I'm not going to post that on my Facebook page.

Look, I get it.  You support a candidate.  Or, more specifically, you don't support a particular candidate.  You post links to various websites and news article that lambast "the media."  You found a meme, a candidate-as-Hitler graphic, or some statistic backing your own stance on gun control.  And I'm a little guilty.  I posted a few things right after the Aurora shooting, left a post in a long diatribe of a conversation about the 2nd Amendment, and immediately regretted it.

The thing is - and this is something I learned a long time ago - once you leave something on the internet, it's going to take an act of God to . . . well, there I go getting ready to make a comment about religion.

And that's not my "job."  I'm a writer and a media creator.  I want my online presence to be reflective of that, free of any political or religious bias.  I figure if you're going to read "Granny and the Hole," it's not because of what I said about who's running for president.  But if I do post something that is contrary to who YOU'RE backing for president - and maybe I'm being na├»ve here - I wouldn't be surprised if that would be something that might put you off from what I have to say in my stories or podcasts.  I might be in the 99%, the 47%, or the 87%, but that shouldn't impact the quality of my work, so why make that such an important part of my online presence?

I've not read one thing left on any social media website that's changed my mind about "the issues."  But I have read PLENTY that's given me a stronger and clearer picture about the person posting these things online.  Sure, once I have a loud enough "voice" and large enough audience, something I say online might influence somebody politically or societally, but, really, I don't know if I really even want that influence.  And I'm shocked that some folks seem to think that they are able to change somebody's mind by posting their own beliefs wrapped up in insults or attacks against someone else's.

I give my opinion loud and clear about zombie movies on Mail Order Zombie, and rate them accordingly.  And sometimes my opinions differ from my real life friends, as well as my listeners and my Facebook and Twitter connections.  But, really, in the grand scheme of things, something like giving Shaun of the Dead a 4-Headshot rating and Zombieland a 5-Headshot rating isn't something that's going to negatively follow me around as I build a career as a writer (outside of some gentle ribbing).

So, no, I'm not going to post which way I'm voting, what I really think about politics, or how I really feel about (any) church.  As someone who's working on creating a career that's dependent on other folks supporting me, I'd like people to know me for my work as opposed to knowing me for my politics.

This isn't directed at any one person.  I'm looking forward to when the election is over, but even then, there will be links to Fox News for this or the clip from the Daily Show for that or whatever.  I can handle that.  Just don't expect me to get into it myself.  I've got stories to write, a brand to build, and a handful of zombie movies to review.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Words Up, Weight Down - 9/12/12

The weekends kill me. Catching up on rest, chores, and errands keep me from sticking to my exercise and writing routines, and I feel like I did a terrible job this past weekend in terms of taking care of myself. (Although I did have a good weekend otherwise with the Rose City Comic-Con, spending an outdoor movie night with some friends, and getting ready for my visiting sister-in-law.)

That all said, I didn't lose much weight since last week. I'm only down one pound. I don't know if this is a matter of plateau-ing or I just let myself slide a bit either on the morning walks (I did cut a couple short since I was running short on time) or food intake (sometimes my dinner meals are harder to track calorie-wise when we eat out or order in).

As for the writing, I finally licked a Kindle formatting problem I was having, so I'm able to move forward on a non-fiction project that's been hanging out in the wings for WAAAAAY too long.  And when I get tired of working on THAT project, I have a Marc Temple short story in the works as well.  Bouncing back and forth between these two vastly different projects has helped keep me from getting bored with either (although, it's kind of hard for me to get bored when Marc Temple's around!).

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Words Up, Weight Down

I grew up skinny. My grandparents used to tease me by telling me that a good gust of wind would blow me away. I was a thin kid.

Then I got my first apartment, started fending for myself, and decided that if it took longer to make the food than it did to eat it, it wasn't worth it. And besides, I lived less than a handful of blocks away from a part of town my friends and I called "Fast Food Row." I had a Burger King, a McDonald's, a Taco Johns, and a Wendy's (and a Subway, but no drive-thru meant I didn't go there often) less than five minutes away. Needless to say, a good gust of wind wasn't going to carry me away anymore.

When we became vegetarian, I think some people assumed I'd lose some of that weight, but less meat turned into more carbs for me, and since I've never been the most active guy to begin with (I used to fake asthma attacks to get out of gym class in junior high school), I may have even gained more weight at that point.

Over the past few years, I've made some attempt off-and-on to get into better shape, and I've always failed. I've either let time get the better of me, hurt my already bad back (I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease several years ago, which was partly brought on due to my weight), or just lost the drive.

Things needed to change.

Inspired by my friend and 1951 Down Place co-host Casey who's had an amazing health and fitness journey of his own, I started looking at what I could do to start my own journey.

I found an app for my phone (the Noom Weight Loss Coach). I decided I could start getting up earlier in the morning so I could take advantage of a trail by my home. And I set my mind to really watching my daily caloric intake.

Since the beginning of August, I've been getting up anywhere between 5:00am and 6:00am, before going for a walk for about half-an-hour, trying to write for about an hour, and then going to work (during the week - I skip the work-part on the weekends!). And since the beginning of August, I've lost 15 pounds.

My writing did stall for a little bit while I adjusted to this new schedule, but the words are starting to flow again while I reevaluate my various works-in-progress. Right now, I'm working on a short story, and I'm very happy to be hanging out with an old friend again.

Moving forward, I intend to use Wednesday as my "accountability day" here at Plan D. Here's to hoping for more Words Up, Weight Down . . . !