There comes a time in everyone’s life, where one sits back and reflects on a decision that was made or perhaps a series of decisions that were made, that led to a particular outcome and one thinks, “What was I thinking?!”
Most of you know by now that I am a guitarist. Now, the funny part is that before I started playing guitar seriously, I was a sports nut. At that point, I dabbled in guitar and excelled at running around outside like a lunatic. By the time I hit 15, things changed and I became all about the guitar and all but quit sports cold-turkey. As a result, I gradually put on a few pounds over the next few years.
After that, I spent a few more years taking the weight off and putting it back on plus a few extra pounds just in case. In case of what I was never really sure. I mean, a few extra pounds isn’t going to help me escape during the impending zombie apocalypse.
Year after year I fought with my weight. Every New Year’s Day it was the same old resolution. I’m sure you’re familiar with that resolution, too. I’ve decided to do things differently this year. I’m taking the fight live. At least once a week, I’ll stop by on the blog and let you know what I find out.
Ultimately there is only one weight loss solution – eat less, move more. Just like any other journey, however, there are hundreds of different routes you can take to get there. What I’m looking for is a long-term solution. Long-term solutions only come from one thing and that is digging deep and making changes.
Where do these changes start?
Motivation. Why am I more motivated to lose the weight this time? Guitar. Yeah. Ironic, isn’t it?
Let me explain. I knew when I was 6 that I was going to play guitar for a living. It’s crazy, but I knew it. Between the ages of 6 and 15, I really didn’t do anything much on the guitar because I just knew it would happen. Well, at 15, something hit me. I couldn’t play guitar for a living if I couldn’t actually play guitar. I started practicing. Not just practicing, living. I woke up 2 hours before I had to leave for school to play scales. When I turned 16, my first paycheck from my first job was spent at the music store between work and home.
I practiced between coming home from school and going to work. I took my guitar to school and practiced during any free periods I had.
The problem with all that playing was that only my fingers moved. And let me tell you – I’ve got the strongest fingers of anyone I know. If I could walk up a flight of stairs on my fingers, I’d be doing well. That is, unfortunately, a little impractical.
Sitting and practicing took its toll. I put on weight. You may have noticed. You may not have. If you didn’t notice, feel free to put yourself on my list of favorite people EVER.
I never noticed. I had kind of a reverse body dysmorphia. I kept seeing myself as I was when I was younger and extremely athletic. Worse yet, I never noticed the incidental side effects of the weight gain. My self-esteem was being eroded on an almost daily basis. I started getting major anxiety before performances. I started worrying about what people were thinking about me when I went out in public.
About 130 extra pounds later, it hit me. I woke up one day and realized I was fat. Fortunately, there was this new fitness club thingy opening up pretty close to home.
That was when I met Sharon. As I’m sure you can imagine, I started learning a lot. Like don’t call Sharon a “Valley Girl.” That didn’t go well. What did go well was my weight. It went way down – about a hundred pounds. I was ecstatic. I was teaching guitar at a music store, thereby fulfilling the whole “working musician” fantasy, I was working out every day fixing the whole “Gee, I’m fat” problem and my bassist and I were both in Martial Arts class, which solved the “what notes are we playing now?” problem.
Then the gym closed. After a year of working my butt off (literally), I slacked back into old habits. This became a cycle that repeated over the next 20 years or so.
Check back on Friday for Part 2.