Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Don't Die Daddy Initiative: Week 2

One week down and the good news is that I am still alive. I have been telling everybody about my initiative and you wouldn't believe the amount of support I am getting....barely any...more like eye rolls. I can understand, this is not the first time I have cried wolf...but dammit, I really feel like this time it is going to be different. First of all, I am telling a national audience about it, so I have less of a chance of letting myself off the hook. Secondly, I have a feeling if I don't do something about the wolf this time, my house is definitely going to get blown down soon. And thirdly—and maybe the most important reason it is going to work this time—I am calling in the professionals. That's right, I am going to actually interact with a Dr. that does not have Dre, Ruth, or Pepper in their name....wish me luck.

If you can't measure it, you can't manage it. This means that it is time to set the baselines and see what the damage is. If you are like me, then you believe that if you don't pay attention to something, then it will just go away. The bad news is that it doesn't really work out all that well in the end. I decided that it was time to go to the doctor for the first time in 3 years. There are several reasons that I have not gone to the doctor in a while. The first is that I believe that I am immortal. The second is that it is really uncomfortable to get "felt up" without having somebody buy me dinner. And finally, they always tell me the same thing, "You need to lose a little weight. Make sure you are getting some exercise. And eat your fruits and vegetable". While this is painfully obvious, I don't know why I always ignored it. I guess I was expecting something bigger for my buck. I mean if I am going to go to a doctor, at least let me know that I have a very high level of midichlorian levels (nerd joke—ask your IT guy at work if you don't get it).

I asked around and got the recommendations of a new doctor. My goal was to go in guns a' blazing and lay it all out on the table. "Hi. I am Chad. I am broken. Please fix me so that I live forever." What I actually said was "Hi. I am Chad. I am getting older. I want to start taking better care of myself. Let's check everything and start working on building a plan to improve the things that need work." The doctor was actually really appreciative of my openness. Rather than facing this like a test that I was trying to pass, I was honest about my concerns, direct about areas that I thought needed focus, and open with my family history and my long term goals. He gave me a full exam, ran all the appropriate blood work, and even went as far as giving me an EKG test (it was hell on my chest hair). In the end, everything looked good...except my weight. I weighed in at 219. I am 5' 9". and 219 puts me in the obese category on the chart. I am supposed to be around 170 to be healthy. That is 50 pounds. My kids together way about 50 pounds. So he is telling me that I need to lose a Dumptruck and a Puddin'....wow. I have not been 170 since high school. I have always been "husky" or "square", but I never thought I was obese. But rather than wallow in my fat tears, I did something I have never done before. I asked him what the plan was to get it down. He told me the standard "exercise, fruits, vegtables" line, but he also offered to schedule time with a nutritionist. Normally, I would be defensive and say "No. I got this. I am a man. I can do everything on my own," but I agreed to it instead. I am going to see her next week, so I will keep you informed. But for now, I am starting at 218 and am going to exercise, eat some fruit, and maybe a vegetable or two.

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been seeing psychiatrist for a couple of months now.  The decision to go to a therapist was not an easy one. I was raised in a small rural town where the only people that went to therapists were people that had to go because of a court order or because they were "crazy". For years, I had often thought about going to talk to somebody about how I felt. I was angry. I was depressed. I was generally unhappy. But dammit, I come from a blue collar background and "we don't cotton your fancy therapy...I will keep my feelings to myself and just drink away any issues that come up."This however was not working. The final straw that put me over the edge was that I started to see how this was impacting my relationship with my wife and kids. I was constantly yelling. I was constantly on the brink of a pouting fit. I was constantly napping. And I was constantly annoyed by everybody. I was the complete opposite of the man I wanted to be. It was time to talk to somebody.
If you have never done this before, I highly recommend it. It is a great way to truly get to the bottom of what is going on in your life and start working toward things that will get you on a path to happiness. I won't get into the greater details on my first session, but it was an amazing experience to talk to somebody and not worry about impressing them—or having the ability to say exactly what you think without worrying about the ramifications. My first session was two hours long and it was the best 120 minutes I had in a long time. After some initial consultation, my psychiatrist and I agreed on a plan and have been working through it for the past couple of months. I immediately started feeling better. The days didn't seem so daunting and I started to really act like the man I wanted to be in my head. This site is actually one of the results of my sessions. Every day is getting better and I walk a little taller now (even though Im actually still only 5' 9").

Now that I have addressed the gut and the strut, I have to start thinking about the What. What does all of this mean? What am I doing on this planet? What am living for? I have started to explore ways to better understand this. I recently started reading a number of "self-help" books and discussing this questions with a number of my family and friends. I don't have any major "ah-ha's" yet, but come on, I am two for three on the Gut, Strut, What plan this week. Cut me some slack.

One week down and it looks like I have a long road ahead of me. The weight thing actually excites me. I like a good challenge and I think I am finally mentally ready to take it on. What about you? Have you started your own Daddy Don't Die Initiative? Are you thinking about your Gut, Strut, and What? If so, let me know. I could use the support on my journey. StumbleUpon Pin It Now!


  1. Keep on good sir!

    I'm 23, 5'9" and 175 lbs. Over the next 4 weeks I'm going to eat fruits/vegetables, exercise extensively and drop my weight down to 165 lb so I can be fit and lean for the holidays.

    Then when I go back home for the holidays, see my old high school friends and go out on a date with a girl I had a crush on 6 years ago, I can impress them with my defined six-pack abs and svelte waistline.

    We all have our goals and we all have our reasons. Just set a plan for achieving them and stick to it.

  2. That is awesome. I would highly recommend that you get a calorie calculator on your phone. It is crazy how high in calories things are. Another thing is to avoid high calorie "sides". Skip the fries and get a salad...