Losing Weight, Gaining Perspective
July 9, 2009, 5:03 am
Filed under: Diet, Food | Tags: , , , , ,
Skinnier is the new first class....

Skinnier is the new first class....

Not really a serious post, but I thought I’d share some perspective or nuggets of wisdom that I’ve picked up lately from my experiences losing weight.

I’ve been on weight watchers since February, there are many reasons that brought me to this decision.  One of the big ones is the sinking (more squeezing) feeling I experienced at a trade show in San Diego.  I was as sick as I’d been in a long, long time and trying to get my company’s booth assembled.  I had a fever around 102 and probably should have been home in bed.  Miserable was a word that came easily to mind as I tried to assemble the contents of six red and black fiber cases surrounding me.  A task that normally took about two hours was taking around four hours.  In the depth of my pity party, I went to step around the back of the booth to plug in some of the electrical items.  I found myself unable to slip through a relatively generous sized gap around the side of the booth.  I quickly realized that my portable party keg I kept around my waist was preventing me from moving forward.  That moment of clarity coupled with the epiphany that my immune system probably wasn’t in much better shape hit me pretty hard.  So, I made the decision to lose weight and I have.  36 pounds in fact.  Only 48 pounds to go!

Things I realized losing weight:

Fat ain’t pretty – Well, at least, from all the positive reinforcement I’ve been getting.  “Viddy, have you lost weight?”  “Viddy, you look great!”  “Did you cut your hair?”  That last one threw me a bit, but I have gotten it a couple of times.  My guess is that proportional to my food storage compartment, my hair must have looked something like the green leafy stem of a tomato…Small, sparse, and leaving the observer to wonder why they bothered.   Seriously, if I am getting so many comments now, you have to wonder what the opposite of the comments I get now I must have been getting in various mental, one-sided dialogues else where.  “Viddy, you look like an XXL T-shirt model.”  “Wow, Viddy, that fat looks great on you.  Well, at least the parts I can see without walking around you.”  “Viddy, did you get a haircut?”

Positive Feedback and Dieting aren’t the same thing – Weight watchers is a great program and I love it.  I’ve recruited as many people as I can, because like Donkey from Shrek, I’m a believer.  It works.  However, the only flaw in the process is the negative feedback loop built into the point system.  You lose weight, you lose points.  Points equal food, and food equals blissful indulgence.  The less indulgence, the less fun a diet can be.  Other similar negative feedback loops include:

  • Dating  – The more you date the girl, the more you’re paying for her to eat, drink, and be entertained.  It’s like that guy that sleeps on your couch, but doesn’t spend the night.  You don’t kick him out because he’s funny and life affirming.(PS.  I’ve experienced that last one.  Not the dating, but the couch louch.)
  • Responsiblity – The more you got, the more you got to lose)
  • Losing weight – Ya, this is a double counter.  You lose weight, you lose the opportunity of wearing all your favorite clothes.  They don’t fit, and are left to be sold at a tent sale.  Depending on how big you were, they may be the actual tent.

Gravity Weakens the Skinnier You Are.  It’s amazing, since I’ve lost weight I’m able to leap single steps in a single bound. I can run and not feel like I”m going to puke afterward.  Stairs, a challenge for chubbier mortals and invitation to use the elevator, is what I call my preferred mode of escalation.  9.8 m/s2 has less of a hold on me now.

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All My Ex’s Add Perspective
March 17, 2009, 4:34 am
Filed under: Dating, Life is Wierd | Tags: , ,

The last few months have brought a lot of reflection to my life as I survey the pocked marked wreckage that has been my dating career.  There’s been a whole lot of stuff that has gone on in actual relationships, perceived ones, and just the brief dates I’ve been on.  Cruising facebook has brought back some of these memories when I look over the different girls that I’ve dated, taken out, and felt the cool slap of rejection from.

Surprisingly, not one of them has found themselves living in shambles since I left.  In truth, most of them are doing quite well.  Not that I would want any misfortune for them.  Well, if they grew an extra eye or even a small wart, that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.  Well…I guess that does seem a bit petty.  The most revealing is the quality of the relationship that I now hold with some of them or lack thereof in some cases.  99% of these have willingly added me as a friend on facebook which facilitates my stalking…um…er… checking up on them to see how they are.  That 1%, well, she’s still pretty ticked at me for what she felt was an emotional reversal that gave her the equivalent of dating whiplash.  Before I couldn’t understand, but now I can appreciate it… The perspective I’ve found changes with time.

Timing is the most important thing in life.  Good timing is the determining factor in whether you are the one person in the world who has ever really stepped and slipped on a banana peel.  Timing is the difference between getting hit by a car on a date and simply crossing your typical cross walk.  Timing is the difference between meeting a girl deep in a relationship or meeting her when she’s primed and ready.  For all of these, there’s no watch that you can wear on your wrist or shove in your pocket.  No timepiece that you can periodically pull out to see if you’re on schedule.  No alarm you can set so that to alert you its the very moment that  you should make your move when in a movie the music would be playing, your audience would be anticipating, and you’re sitting next to that girl that will change everything. Nada.

My determination…this all proves the accuracy of a time-tested quote, “Success is when preparation meets opportunity.”  So, taking and paraphrasing a line from Alma, “Whatcha doin’ now?”  What am I doing now to pull myself together for the very moment that she appears.  Am I my best self.  Do I know what it would take to get there?  The last thing, and this is the thing that I’ll close this post with and thus this tangent away from my attempt at a clever headline, is to be ready.  Am I ready for a relationship.  I find that as I look at my friends and ex-girlfriends with families and kids of their own.  I ask, am I ready for those things.  You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of a Talking Heads song wondering what happened to you.  If you’re blessed to enough to have those things: a spouse, kids, and a home (maybe a dog or a wheezy gerbil), you better darn well know how you got there. 



Family Reunion 911
June 30, 2008, 9:46 pm
Filed under: Dating, Ramblings | Tags: ,

matchingFamily Reunions are among the many rites of passage in this life.  Birth, the First Date, the First Kiss, your Graduation, and attending a reunion in the latter end of your twenties.  At this point, your old enough that the perspective you had picking your nose at the kids table is extremely different from the one you hold sitting among the myriad of ages spanning your family relatives in someone’s backyard.  In some ways, in the very extended family reunions, it can be the preview of the many disparate life-paths before you.  From cousins with kids, grandparents with grandchildren, professionals in all shapes, and marriages of all sizes.  You look at these, knowing more of family background than the casual observer, you have some idea what it takes to get there and you have the opportunity to ask if you want to get there.

Another thought, Family Reunions for single upper twenty-somethings and greater are a lot like being a 3rd world country hanging out at the UN.  A lot of people with a lot of experience, more than willing to give you all the advice and the counsel on how you should be running your country (your dating life) more effectively than you are now.  Now let’s not forget these countries own civil wars, diplomatic debacles (never get to use that word), and changes in identity.  Let’s forget the fact that your world is a whole lot different.  Where relationships can live and die based upon a text, blog post, or facebook wall message.  Let’s forget, switching metaphors, the finding a spouse is nothing like taking a trip to the batting cages and waiting for your pitch until it comes.

In truth, the advice is more a sign of affection in the form of an emotional nuggie that reminds us of Uncle Ted from Bobby’s World grabbing Bobby and tousling his hair with his knuckles.  These emotional nuggies are appreciated, because it shows that your family does care and love you, otherwise an absence of these could mean they could care less if you reproduce.  However let’s look at some of the repeated quotes and break ’em down like a fraction.

“Are you sure you’re trying hard enough?” –No, I’m actually not.  I need to spend more time doing background checks on girls not just that I know, but one’s that have the potential to be in my immediate vicinity in the coming week.  That way, knowing their likes and dislikes, I can come prepared with an arsenal of conversation topics that we both may find each other as fasciniating as possible.

“Aren’t you maybe being just a little to picky?” –True, marriage is nothing like the tattoo that once you wed it to your body, your stuck with what it has to say, looks like, or makes you feel.  And its removal can be a slow, arduous, and painful process.

“You ought to go back to the ‘Y’, and find yourself a girl there.”–Five years and several hundreds of gas and restaurant dollars spent, I think we’ve established that that diamond mine’s run out for me.

“Where are you looking, maybe you’re not looking in the right places.”–True, Russia, Vietnam, and others have flourishing mail-order-bride programs whose resources I have yet to tap.  I should look there for sure.

“Maybe you need to lower your standards a bit?”–You’re right, I should lower my standards and then at that very moment someone will pop up and suddenly fit my requirements.  Then, on our wedding night as we get on board the plane to our honeymoon destination, I’ll be sure to whisper in her ear, “Man, if I hadn’t lowered my standards, I never would’ve met you.”

All in all, I’m really not bitter, I just find the advice funny now and then.  I am looking forward to marriage and I am, for the record, looking.  I also very much look forward to the day that when I get married, I get endowed with all this dating advice from on high about the right way to date that I may impart on you sorry bunch of twenty-five and up somebodies out there.



The Significant Other Buffet
April 4, 2008, 2:16 am
Filed under: Dating, Ramble | Tags: ,

Of late, I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time around diapers. And by diapers I mean babies, and by babies I mean parents, and by parents I mean married people. By married people I mean friends who’ve gotten married, had babies, and bought diapers. So I’ve been spending a good deal around diapers lately.

At 26, I’ve seen a lot of my friends pass through these stages while I’ve chosen to remain single. And by chosen I mean, I’m that guy that everybody says is quite the guy (and I am) but for some reason hasn’t gotten married yet. Maybe it’s the mole on the back of my head (ew gross, i know, but it’s true, think of it as a tickle button). Maybe it’s my affinity for talking during movies or during tv shows or while the radio’s playing or while the radio’s off. Maybe it’s just me talking that drives people nuts. Or maybe it’s the go-to response that every single married person or any single person who thinks you should married,… “you’re just too picky.”

Right, I am too picky. Let’s consider the seriousness of the choice and the way people act when they say you’re too picky. When people say I’m too picky, I feel like I’m in a grocery store trying to pick out fruit. Then I get an image in my head of me walking around the ward pinching, poking, and mumbling to myself…”well this one isn’t ripe yet. Ahh, the Accountant’s must not be in season right now…” From what I hear, marriage is kind of an eternal option. So, being picky might be a good idea. I can barely decide who I want to hang out with on a Friday night let alone eternity.

And I don’t even know if I’m the best person to make that decision, up until the time that I moved back to VA, the list of choices in dating I’ve made has included two bi-polars, two people that refused to take prozac (for the record, I have nothing against people with depression. However, I do believe that if they’re prescribed meds, they should take them. I’ve got asthma, you don’t see me refusing my inhaler.), two candidates for Miss Cling-Wrap, and one foot mutilator (sound’s like there’s a story there, well, there is).

So, if I’m picky, imagine if I weren’t, I’d be dating ax murderer’s, reformed nose pickers, and britney impersonators or even just britney herself (I hear she’s on the market). It’s not like I can just walk up to just any blessed daughter of our heavenly father (almost rhymes) and say “will you”…and have it all work with me riding into the sunset on a Llama (sorry, allergic to horses). And there’s not Significant Other Buffet that I can just walk down the aisle and pick out the little traits that I want.

“Ooh, I’ll take some personality. Maybe some affection, well not too much, it’ll give me an upset stomach later….hmm, do I really want the crazy special?…”

There’s no such thing as the significant other buffet. BYU seemed like it was something close to that, but no matter where you are finding the right match is hard and I’ll give a shout out and congrats to Chris and his recent engagement to Jennie. They did it, but as they can attest it wasn’t an easy process.

If you ask me, you go to the buffet for fun but not to find something you really like. For the real thing, the real treat, you find this restaurant one day. Maybe it’s in the corner of the shopping mall you go all the time. Maybe, it’s in the middle of nowhere. Or maybe a friend of yours recommended it. The truth of the matter is, you’re investing memories, you don’t just do that any restaurant. You do it at the one that gives you the right mix of what’s important to you: food, ambience, staff, even the table linens. The same thing goes with mate seeking, you don’t settle for any person or an ok person. You go with the person that makes feel at your best and the person you with whom you want to make all your memories.



So, I like Chick Flicks…
February 17, 2008, 7:09 am
Filed under: Dating, Life is Wierd, Ramble, Ramblings | Tags: , , , , ,

Alright, I’ll admit it in front of everyone on this who happens to read this, well at least all five of you. I like chick flicks, always have. You could say that it’s was an imminent byproduct of having three sisters, also the reason why I know some playground hand slapping games. As a result, there is something of a hopeless romantic in me. While making confessions, I even own some of these chick flicks. My favorite belongs to How to Lose a Guy in 10 days which replaced My Best Friend’s Wedding. Something about Guy and Gal getting together aside from cleverly written obstacles and comical timing, that meet cute is what keeps me going after the many dating frustrations and faux pas(btw, meet cute, a reference from The Holiday)

I have discovered, however, some key elements that aren’t true in these films. Romantically that set me back a couple of steps, and have found the need to learn the truth. This same truth I’ve hammered out the kinds through many first dates, and very few thirds.

Love at the Speed of Light: Contrary to what many a film will try and tell you, love doesn’t appear in the morning and graduate into marriage by the end of the night. In fact, love rarely happens in a day. Sometimes it takes two.

Perfection doesn’t come in one form: No matter how much we’d like to think that one person should have the sum of all the qualities we think we would like. The more important thing is being around that person that makes us feel like the sum total of the qualities we’d like to be (kind of cheesy, but I think it’s true.)

Love only comes to perfectly witty people: Some of the most awkward people lack the clever repartee inherent in the gilmore girls and His Girl Friday (The first reference, I claim three sisters, the second, good taste). Clever conversation doesn’t always happen in meet cutes. In fact, very rarely does it happen, and since the writer’s strike, I haven’t had a clever thing to say to a girl. People just have to mesh.

When is a kiss about to happen? The music will tell ya.: Unfortunately, I ordered the soundtrack to my life, but I’ve been informed that the music comes when we get to heaven and are watching our lives on the ultimate HD Plasma Screen in the sky. If you want to know when to kiss, look at the eyes. If they want to kiss, look at the eyes, if you feel like those two peepers are boring into the back of your skull, but in a good way, then you’re in like pez at a candy shop.

More to come…If you’ve got any, leave a comment, I’ll add it.



Valentine’s Day Sucks, but don’t blame Feb 14th!
February 10, 2008, 2:18 am
Filed under: Dating, Ramble, Ramblings | Tags: ,

So, my single brothers and sisters, I’m here to tell you that Valentine’s Day is not inherently bad.  We all say we hate it, because we find the day as a reminder of everything that we don’t hold dear.  That is, we’re not holding anything at all and it just makes it sad.  Something about that day we all put such immense pressure for something to happen, and we often find it a failure.

In my long tenure in the dating business, I’ve never had a single successful  Valentine’s Day.  You’d think that with 364 days to prepare for this single day, I could lock down one date and one activity for the evening.  I mean this really has put my goal setting abilities to the test.  However, with a perfect record of failing I have to wonder why we have the holiday in the first place.  This should be called “couple’s spend too much money on things they’ll never get to use ever again day”  Let’s be honest, how many times during the rest of the year are you going to be able to use the bear with the heart sewn to his two arms.  How often am I going to use those valentine’s day socks?

Let’s go back to the day when everybody in the class got a valentine’s day, and you had to debate who got the Donatello or April valentine from the TMNT set.  Do I give it to Sara R or Jenny C?  I mean these decisions seemed so crucial to my romantic future at the age of 9.  As you can all tell, I failed miserably and do not find myself married to either Sara R or Jenny C.  In fact, I’m not even sure that I quite remember who either of them are.  So, if you all happen to know who these people are and have a current picture, please provide because I’m still in need of a date.

We might be better off calling it, “The day that everybody who’s bitter about dating, period, uses to be even more bitter…day…er”   more to follow…



Declaration of Dependence
December 10, 2007, 6:25 am
Filed under: Dating, Ramble, Ramblings | Tags: , , ,

So, many years ago when I was still a good old clean cut missionary. I had the blessing of being a missionary and one of those blessings was a short list of music that I was permitted to listen to. On that list, you could probably generalize it to most songs with christ-centered themes. While I have no problem with Christian rock, I’d preferred that it be played in rooms with population not me. Anyway, he had this one song that was called, “My declaration of dependence.” At the time, I thought it was pretty cheesy way for him to express his devotion to God. In truth though, we all are dependent on him and his plan. Now my next comment is a bit of a stretch, but its a truth. Another source of dependence, is that of the opposite sex.

Many of us who’ve reached the age of the singles’ ward might find ourselves feeling like we’ve had enough with the members of the opposite sex. In truth, I myself have fallen guilty believing that I’ve had enough with the opposite sex. Many have grown tired of the game, and have left the dice gathering dust on the table. I’ve been there, you’ve been there, and we all may be there again someday. However, I’ll make this clear, take a bite out of reality and taste it. You may not like it, but the game goes on whether you’re playing or not.

Everyday we all get invitations in the mail and announcements from our friends bringing tidings of marriages and newborns. This is cause for excitement, but for some I’m sure they find it as a reminder of their own lack of the little place of their own, the last phone call of the night, that snuggle buddy to keep out the winter cold, or the warm bundle that smiles back at you even though everybody claims that its just gas and newborns can’t smile. The truth of the matter is that the invitations and announcements will pepper your refrigerator or trashcan (depending on your disposition) over the next several years until you move six times without giving out addresses or you die. Even if you were to get married, these announcements and invitations will come. The world will keep spinning, unless the conspiracy theorists have it right and cotton candies are really small devices designed to reverse the world’s polarity…but I digress.

I’d bang a pulpit if I could, but all i have is the keyboard of my broken down laptop. So, if you please, smack some wooden object or your roommate’s head to emphasize my point. We, must get over it. We must get over the fact that dating and the opposite sex are beacons of frustration. They are the gauntlets in our paths on our way to the next stage of our lives. In speaking with a friend the other night, she mentioned to me there appeared to be a vicious cycle. When the stakes seem to be piled so high at this time in our lives on every date that we go on, we feel that making of the most of it is required of us. I’ll tell you something that I’ve learned from my 12 year old Halo buddies. Rushing the objective head on will usually leave you dead when you go at it alone. In fact, when taking this proverbial high ground, you’ll find bodies littering the very spot where you fall.

Take your time, take inventory, and take a breath. Dating is a marathon and as cheesy as it sounds, a headlong rush for a week does not an eternal marriage make, so why do we sprint to the finish line. When this happens, however, we find two sides. The heartbroken who have made the mad dash and found their efforts unrewarded and the rushed who feel afraid to move forward for fear of being tackled (kind of like when Christian tackled me on stage).

To the mad dashers, it’s okay to be you because we’ve all been you at one time. The key is not to get upset and frustrated and throw the dice in the trash can and call off the game. It just means you need to dust yourself off and take a different tact. We gots to be strategos, people with vision that is long reaching. Any con will tell you the long-cons are what pay up and not the short-cons. So, settle in for the long one and don’t give everything away at once. Be coy, be careful, be cunning, be desirable. Not every mark will pay-off, but any good salesman will tell you he doesn’t come by success winning every sale, he comes by it by brushing off the loses and chasing new possible leads.

To the dashed, bad experiences in dating happen everyday and you’re not the only one. Don’t not cross the street of dating, for fear of getting hit. You’ll become a recluse with whom no one male or female has any use for you. If you think you’re uniquely frustrated, you’re commonly wrong. We’ve all been you at some point and you need to get over it. Why let a bad experience color the rest of your life and make you go home? You gonna cry, because you got scared by one experience that ended badly for you? Get over it, sitting on your haunches saying that you don’t like the games and situations that you find all around you will not change them. You want to get out, you have to be proactive. You’ve got to be a Sampson.

So I guess, the underlying answer to the question how do we break the cycle is get over it. Get over yourselves. If you been crushed, crush on someone else if you don’t like it. If you been shutdown, open up to someone else. At the end of it, stop crying about your dating situation and stand up for yourself. My mission president, John Blood (that name used to scare me), once said, “Nothing changes until something changes.” Now, first thought, well yeah that’s kind of obvious. Well, if its so obvious why do we find ourselves looking for the bench every time we get knocked over in the game ( you loving the sports metaphors like I am?).

So, I’ve kind of taken up the flag for dating and I’m willing to be Denzel at the end of Glory. I’m willing to be the guy who’s trashed it all along only to realize at the end, that it’s all worth it because of an ideal. The ideal date, the ideal marriage, the ideal life. It’s there, take it, it’s yours (yep, that’s a quote from Troy).

Final Jerry Springer thought, Neal A. Maxwell had a lifetime subscription to a magazine called the “Lord’s Timing” Everything he did or said indicated that he subscribed to it. Get your subscription today, be patient for it to come because it takes time. We don’t know what the Lord has in store for us, but its big. Maybe not what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might get what you need (Rolling Stones). Seriously, though, take your time and be patient. Enjoy being you because your stuck with that image in the mirror. Sometimes I joke with people about how obnoxious my jokes are and say, “Well, if you think that’s bad, think about what I go through being with myself all the time.” We got to like who we are, and if we don’t, find a place where we do.

Be a stratego, be a subscriber to the Lord’s Timing, and be happy with who you are.  I declare to you we’re dependent on them, like it or not, pick up the dice and roll.

This video is for all of you, be patient. It’ll come. I love ya and there is nothing you can do about it.