Monday, May 19, 2014

Weight Loss and Zombies!...or, I Hate Running

Past and Present (Unfinished)
18 x 24"
Oil on Canvas

This is the piece that I am working on for a show in Vegas later this month. I'm having a blast! This isn't a subject I've ever broached before. The theme of the show is Robots vs Dinosaurs, where you can either paint a robot, a dinosaur or both. I figure cyborg counts so this is my work so far. It should be done by the next blog entry, so tune in next week!

I smell a book cover coming. Anyone writing a novel about a dinosaur and a badass chick with a robot arm??? If you hear of it, send the author/publisher my way.

Some of you couldn't care less about art. Some of you are here because you want to know about the 50 Pound Weight Loss Challenge. Let me fill you in.

In addition to my daily 1000 calorie deficit, over the past couple of weeks I've picked up my running. I get out of the house at 7am. The sun is up, but it hasn't turned on the heat yet. It's just a cold yellow globe in the sky bearing witness to my upcoming pain. I dress and do nothing else before I run. I hate running. Any delay and I'll find an excuse to go back to bed. Or worse...give in to the siren call of my XBox. So, I sit up, grab my shorts and a t-shirt, take down a slug of water, grab the dog and my cell phone and head outside.

Every step takes me closer to two things: running and NOT running. Most days, running wins. I've determined that if I can get up and out within 5 minutes, the run will happen. After that, I've got as much chance of banging your sister as I do running further than the mail box.

Once outside with the dog bouncing at my side, I don't have the heart to go back in. The dog is as responsible for my weight loss as any diet program. Pet owner guilt... I should market it.

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So, since I'm out here, I pop my headphones in and dial up my second saving grace: Zombies, Run! Today, apparently, we're checking out how sound effects the "fast moving zombies."

Great, I think to myself. I hate the fast-moving zombies. As if I'm really running around being chased by zombies.

Regardless of my misplaced sanity, I hear the gates of Abel township opening and I make a run for it. I spend the next 3-5 minutes listening to Sam explain the upcoming mission. This is better than listening to my body thud over the ground like a T-Rex chasing a meal. I lose myself in the story for a little while, which is good because the start of the run is the worst part, by far. So, rather than remind myself of how much I hate running, I remind myself how much I hate fast-moving zombies. In this, I'm not alone. Sam hates them too. So does Janine and Runner 8 and Runner 3. We're a unit of runners and controllers and I'm statin' the obvious when I say that everyone prefers to hate in packs rather than as lone wolves. Zombies, Run! Gives me a pack to bond with.

Then, there's a pause in the story and Zombies, Run! plays one of the songs from my playlist. Looks like I'm starting with the melodic bagpipes of AC/DC's "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock and Roll)". I lengthen my stride a little.

This pattern happens over and over. I get some story, and then a song plays. I run from a number of fast zombies, then listen to "Cum On Feel the Noize." I meet up with other Runners, and then run to "Synchronicity II." I dodge some zombies throwing rocks (you'll have to get to Season 2, Mission 12 to learn more about that one), and even manage to get a new puppy out of the deal, but first I've got to get through  "Land of 1000 Dances," and "Pompeii."

I reach for the music like a death row inmate reaches for religion. My lungs fight for breath, my heart is hammering, my legs want to quit...but I can't because "Running Down a Dream" just came on and the beat is too perfect to run to. So, I push a little more, a little faster, a little longer. And at some point I curse Tom Petty.

  Could the ending of this song go on any longer???

And finally it's over. I'm drenched with sweat and exhausted.

I hate running...

But I love HAVING fun! The second it's over, I am proud. I feel the endorphins coursing through me like electricity. My breathing comes easier and my pulse slows to that of a race car rather than a bullet. Even the dog is bouncing as if he could have gone another few miles. I'll stay energized all day.

And the best part: I can eat that piece of cheesecake that I didn't eat last night.

Why, exactly, do I hate running?

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Challenge Week 3 - Start Small

The High Priestess - Tarot

Before we get into The Challenge this week, I'm posting the progress of the latest painting. It's been too long since I've worked on one of the tarot series. It's been pleasant getting back into it; like being snuggled in the arms of some beautiful lover from your past. It feels like home.

Now, as for The Challenge, people ask me regularly what I'm doing to lose 50 pounds. Some people ask because they want a little advice. Some people ask because they wonder if I've thought about it. Fifty pounds is no small feat. For some of us it would be easier to fly to the moon by flapping our arms rather than pass on the second helping of Cheez Doodles. I don't claim to have any huge, life changing secret for weight loss. In truth, no one does. We all know how to get healthy. We've known since the first time either we made fun of someone or we were made fun of by someone for being overweight. This ain't the Illuminati.

By the way, Illuminati...I didn't get my invite to this year's "Illumi-Naughty" Bash!

But, there is one tip that I can give you. Start small.

Ok, this is starting to sound like the set up to a dirty joke.

Over the past two weeks I've been concentrating on one thing and one thing only: keeping my calories at a 1000 calorie deficit. Yes, I've been doing a little running, but not very seriously. To call what I do "running" would be to call the seven drunk sorority sisters at karaoke singing "Call Me, Maybe" a musical act.

Isn't that the lead singer from Paramore???

In fact, the main reason that I run is because I have a party to go to that night, or a dinner event, or because I had that second helping of Cheez Doodles. If I'm going to get that 1000 calorie deficit every day, I'm going to need to take a few extra steps.

What some people don't know is that, according to science or doctors or some kid who mowed my lawn once, 3500 calories works out to be approximately 1 pound. A 7000 calorie deficit each week should be roughly, all other things being equal, a two pound weight loss. So, that's what I'm going for.

Since this started, I've lost 3 pounds. Not bad. Slow and steady. Yes, some people can lose 3 pounds in a week by eating nothing but crackers and fizzy water. I'm looking for the bigger win.

Now, you'll have to excuse me. It's Cinco de Mayo. I see a lot of beer in my immediate future. So, you know what that means: I have about 95 miles to run this morning if I'm going to keep my 1000 calorie deficit for today.