Food

So I guess I had better put it out there.  I’ve had a real hard adult life.  This isn’t about that though.  What this is about, is how I coped with it.  I ate.  I ate a lot.  When I got married, I weighed 190 pounds. More than I had ever weighed in my life.  During the first part of my marriage, I was forced to ride my bike every day.  It was horrible at first, but I went down to 170 in a little more than a month.  When I got there, I had a 32 waist and you could see my abs.  I physically felt awesome.

I felt physically awesome, but my life was a horrible mess.

Then the need for me riding my bike stopped, so I stopped.  Soon, I was back to 190.

230.

250.

I felt like I couldn’t stop gaining weight.  I was snoring so badly, I caught myself doing it when I was awake.

I ceased all physical activity that was unnecessary.  I was hungry all the time.

270.

Double extra large clothes were a getting tight on me.  A small thought went through me every time I put on my pants, I thought, “These are huge.”  Every time I looked in the mirror, I hated myself as I looked at my face, then thought of how fat I was when I looked down.

One day, I looked down and my left calf was puffy in a few areas.  Varicose veins. It is genetic, but my weight was making it much worse.

Fat fatty fat fat.

That pressure I felt when I sat down and my gut didn’t fit where it settled.

My belt buckle hurt a bit after a while because my fat was pressing down on it.

I starved myself because I felt guilty about eating.  Then, I would say, well I have to eat, so I will fill myself up.  Really fill myself up.

Tucking my shirt in constantly because my fat would keep pushing it out.

The phrase, “I’m fat,” never leaves your mind.  I’m being literal.

So here I was at 270.  I woke up one day in the spring, and I was super thirsty.  My mouth was completely dry.  I drank and drank and drank.  I had to drink.

Get this, I was drinking 5 45 ounce sports drinks per day.  Waking up at night, thirsty.  Urinating every 30 minutes.

But I started to lose weight.  So in my food addiction, I thought it was a GOOD thing.  I was full all the time because I was always full of liquid.

Here is what was happening.  My pancreas stopped producing insulin in levels necessary to process glucose in my blood.  As a result, my body triggered a thirst response in an effort to flush out the excess glucose.  I literally could not quench my thirst.

If you cannot quench your thirst, you are a Diabetic.  You are close to dying.  Go to the hospital NOW.

I was in this condition for several months.

230.

I got sick.  My colds usually lasted three or so days, but this one was going on for two weeks.  Then one evening my breathing became a weak whistle.  My throat was closing shut.  I was rushed to the E.R.

In the morning, prior to eating, your blood glucose levels should be 100 milligrams per deciliter.  When I got to the E.R., mine was almost 400.

I was sick because of all the sugar in my system.  My temperature was 105 degrees.  All the sugar made it a buffet for infection.  I also had pneumonia, strep throat and the swine flu.  I would have been dead in a few days.

So now that the sugar was under control, I was no longer thirsty.

230.

240.

250.

But I cut some things out of my diet, so I topped out around 250.

Forward to last year.  My best friend, Karen, who is in great shape, called me a food addict.

She told me I was killing myself.

That made me mad.  But who was I mad at?  I thought I was mad at her, but I realized I was mad at myself because it was true.

She also told me and still tells me that she doesn’t see me fat.  She sees me in a healthy body.  I hadn’t had that thought in years, and I couldn’t quite understand it.

A month ago, I knew it was time.  I joined a gym.  I’ve been working out for a few weeks now, and I’ve realized something.

What you eat is of paramount importance.  Also, how much you eat is key too.

It’s much harder to buy that bag of chips at the store, when you just put yourself through an hour of pain to only have that pain be a waste.

A sandwich is harder to eat when you realize two slices of wheat bread is 138 calories and that means I have to stay on the elliptical for 20 minutes to burn that many calories.  And most people think that bread is good for you.  It is not.

I am beating my food addition.  I lost three pounds my first week.  Three pounds the next.  Not because I’m special.  But I see myself as a healthy person, and I only have to make the journey to make that a reality.

I’m not special.

I love the pain I get in when I go kick my butt in the gym.  It means I’m closer to where I am going to be.

If you are overweight, you are killing yourself.  You are going to die an early death.  You will not live life like you were meant to live it.  It’s not easy.  It’s hard.  But you can do it.

Let’s do it together.

Advertisements

Happy Fathers Day

 

 

Hey Dad.

Happy Fathers Day.

I want you to know that I love you so very much.

You have always sought to protect me while trying to prepare myself for being an adult.

You know, when talking to people about their home loans and the importance of paying them off, I would always refer to you, and the great lesson you taught me about debt.

You are the hardest worker i know. But you have always seemed to be able to balance it with your family. I hope I can be the dad you are to me.

When life turned on me, you have been there for me. All the nights that I called you up crying about how bad my life was. How I felt trapped by my marriage and my own demons. You helped give me hope when I had none. I remember you telling me it was going to get better.

And you know what?

It is better.

I found God. You helped. Even though I thought I had it all figured out. That God had cursed me. You kept telling me that I was strong. I was wrong about God…everything I thought about Him. He made me strong. And you were telling me all along that I was strong. That I was going to make it. You kept saying it, even though I didn’t really believe it.

Hope is so strong, and you never lost hope in me. I know you love me, and I feel that and am not discounting it. But your gift of hope for me saved my life.

Thank you daddy. I remember you always used to introduce me to your friends, “This is my boy.” I loved that. I love you dad. More than I could ever express.

Your boy…

Ruben Kelly Ramon

Friends

On my journey that is my life, I have encountered something wonderful.

Friends.

Family is great, but that isn’t the focus of this blog. I have a small group of people who I consider true friends. People who I trust completely when I tell them something.

These people have been there for me to cry to as I explore my wounds. As I heal. As I discover what my wounds are…the painful process of opening them up…one by one…letting the poison out.

These are people I met while trying to rebuild my life. They saw value in me when I felt like I didn’t have any. Those are people you need in your life. That’s what a true friend is.

I used to lay in bed at night, and cry cause other than my sister and parents, I honestly felt like nobody loved me. I’d yell at God, asking him why nobody loved me. What was my problem? I had nobody to turn to. Nobody to tell what was really happening in my life. Nobody to tell me with a firm voice, and a loving voice, what my problem was.

I covered it all up. But I was only fooling my self. My soul was dead. I no longer wanted to live.

But then I found a friend. My friend saw value where I found none.

I found out what love is. Love between friends. I’ve never felt that before. Maybe I did, but I simply forgot. I had friend after friend abandon me because of my living situation. Well, maybe they weren’t friends.

I realized last week, that I no longer cry out to God about being lonely. No, I don’t have many friends.

You know if I count you as a friend.

I want you to know that I love you.

Thank you for realizing that I have a life worth living now, and a future that I am finally looking forward to.

My mom on Mothers Day, 2012: Cathy Ramon

As I sit here on this beautiful day on Mothers Day 2012, I am pondering what it means to be a mom. Not just any mom. What it means to be MY mom.

I got mugged at Gardner when I was 12 by a guy who should have been an upper clansman at Everett, but kept failing. As I got in the car, mom asked, “How was your day son?”

“Well, this guy choked me and held me upside down for my lunch money.”

My mom reacted completely beyond my little expectations.

“#@%&!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I got a little scared at this point. She left the car running, left me in the car and ran into the school. I shut the car off, and ran in after her.

My mom is a five foot tall roaring tiger. Don’t mess with my mom.

That same year, I got scarlet fever, and was sick through the entire Christmas Break, and missed six weeks of school. Mom was there for me every day, all day and every night, all night. Helping me eat because my throat was almost swollen shut, helping me with my homework so I wouldn’t fail.

My mom is a physician and tutor.

I remember my awesome cousin Cindi told me one day when I was young that when her mom, Aunt Nancy, told her to clean her room, all she did was shove everything in her closet and chill out for a little while, then when Aunt Nancy would check progress by opening up the door and seeing a clean room, the scam was complete.

I thought, what an awesome idea!

Soooo, when the time for me to clean my room, I shoved everything in my closet.

Mom came in.

Opened my closet.

Sigh.

My mom has hidden cameras…my mom knows.

I got in trouble at church for something…I don’t remember what it was. I was like in middle school or something. She yelled at me that she was going to spank me when she got home.

When we got home, I conjured up bunches of tears and bent over the couch.

“Go ahead, spank me.”

“Nah, you learned your lesson.”

Hehe.

My mom is compassionate.

Angel, my sister, doesn’t hide her opinion. One time, it made for an interesting conversation at the countertop.

Mom: Angel, we fight too much.

Angel: No we don’t.

Mom: I really think we do. We should fight less.

Angel: Mom, we don’t fight too much.

Mom: Yes we do.

Angel: No we don’t.

Mom: Yes we do Angel.

Angel: NO!

As the argument ensued, I couldn’t help but laugh.

My mom cares about relationships.

We had an outdoor grill attached to the side of the house that was part of the chimney. We decided to burn a bunch of leaves in the grill for some reason, and it turns out that the mortar had a crack in it. It started a slow burn of our house. By a miracle, mom woke up to their room being filled with smoke. She called 911, and ran to my room, ran to my bed, and calmly shook me awake and said in a gentle, calm, loving voice, “Wake up son, the house is on fire.” I smelled all the smoke and yelled something incoherent and ran outside.

My mom is calm under pressure.

I loved my childhood, in large part because of mom. My mom has been there throughout the disaster that was my marriage and beyond it. I could always call her and always get a loving response. Sometimes I hate calling her with bad news because it will make her cry, and I don’t want my mom crying. The last 15 years of my life has been a very difficult journey for me, and she has been there every last step through it, praying for me unceasingly. I am so blessed to have Cathy Ramon as my mom. She is the best mom in the world.

Even though she is a bit short.

Travesty

I have been watching the Zimmerman/Martin tale unfold. I am not a lawyer. However, I do know something about the process. Here is my opinion.

We don’t know what happened.

Secondly, there is a lot of emotion regarding what happened. Understandably so. I personally believe that race is still a big problem. However, at this point, a lot of the emotion around the assumption that Mr. Zimmerman considered race in his killing of Mr. Martin does not contribute to at this point to the adage, “innocent before proven guilty.”

Third, the emotion surrounding this case at this point, only serves to take us away from what really matters.

Courts have been established to only answer specific questions. In fact, when you are taught to write briefs of court decisions, you have to present the question that that particular court sets out to answer.

This provides some focus. In my mind, there are two questions to be answered.

The first one, did Mr. Zimmerman kill Mr. Martin in self-defense as defined by law.

The next question is contingent on the aforementioned question being answered negatively.

Did Mr. Zimmerman use race as a motivating factor in killing Mr. Martin.

It is not illegal for a person to be a racist. The First Amendment assures us of that fact. However, the Supreme Court in Wisconsin v. Mitchell upheld increasing sentencing based on racial discrimination. This was a 9-0 vote…yes even conservatives voted in favor of it.

Nothing else matters in terms of the justice system.

I am not advocating guilt or innocence of either Mr. Martin or Mr. Zimmerman. What I am trying to say is that we need to let the facts stand for themselves, and we frankly don’t know what happened. If you maintain that you do know what happened, you are not being completely honest with yourself. That, however, is understandable, just be aware of it.

The fact that Mr. Sharpton is calling for an escalation is unacceptable. So is the bounty that was placed on Mr. Zimmerman’s head. So is the tweeting of addresses. I call for all this to stop. We live in the day of CIVIL disobedience and the rule of law. I am not calling for any of the protests to stop, but this vigilantism has to stop. It will only hurt the progress of justice for minority violence.

I also call upon the media to stop sensationalist reporting. Mr. Zimmerman may be a monster, but at this point, we don’t know. It has come out that the Today Show, edited the Zimmerman 911 call to show that he said, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.” However, what really was said was as follows:

Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.
Dispatcher: OK, and this guy–is he black, white or Hispanic?
Zimmerman: He looks black.

This needs to stop.

It needs to be noted that prosecutors are “rated” on how many cases they win. If they don’t believe that they can’t win, they will not pursue charges against that individual. In this case, on the surface, that appears to be so. Is it possible that the prosecuting attorney is a racist? Yes. However, at this point, we don’t know.

The real issue that isn’t really being discussed is that according to the Bureau of Statistics is 2006, the Department of Justice said that 94% of all murders of black people were commited by black people. This is a travesty. This needs to stop. African Americans will not truly see equality until they stop this.

New Years 2012

I’m sitting here alone for the New Year. But I don’t feel bad. I pledged to myself to begin my life anew this year, and I am on the right track. I want to thank Cort Langeland and Keri Lowe for playing a crucial part in my survival. Literally. I will count you as friends the rest of my life. I want to thank Phil for being a friend and one that I could yell at…even though it wasn’t he that I was upset with. Evan, thanks for keeping your standards high for me. Liz, thanks for being the only one who understood what I was going through. For always being kind and supportive. I will never forget that.

I have made new friends and gotten a hold of some old ones. All of whom I cherish.

As for the people who don’t know what I went through at my old church…the one that hurt me so bad, I have also forgiven that church. I had to do it over and over and over…but I have finally forgiven you forever. Now, I pray for you. I pray that you see what God is trying to show you. It is such a good thing to begin to know what God is all about.

Mom and Dad. I love you so much. I am alive because of you. You have enriched my life beyond measure. Your love and support will last for generations.

I finally have some friends. I am healing. I now am starting to experience what it is like to be happy.

I am at peace.

I understand that God had a good purpose for what I went through.

I am pregnant with dreams and messages. 2012 will be a time of chasing those dreams. 2011 was a time for testing and learning. I did it. Not alone, but I did it.

Here I come world.

Sacrifice

I have been pondering my life lately. I have always lived been of the philosophy that one should sacrifice to get what they want. I remember telling Phil Worfel, my adviser at Compass College of Cinematic Arts, that I would sleep in the parking lot in my truck to get that degree.

This past year and half was the most difficult in my life for many reasons and while I didn’t have to live in my truck, the degree is in my sights.

Sacrifice. It’s not really a sacrifice. You are gonna pay the price. Either you sacrifice to get what you want, or sacrifice by living your life knowing deep down that you didn’t really do what you were meant to do on this planet.

What were you put here to do?

Shut your eyes.  Clear your mind.  Now think of what makes you smile.  What is at your core?

You have purpose.

You have reason to give up things that aren’t important.

You have reason to be around.  Even if you can’t see that reason right now.

You have reason to put that gun down.  Or knife, or that bottle of pills.

You have reason to give up that addiction you are struggling with.

You have reason to forgive.

Even forgive yourself.  God does not want you to hate yourself.

There are many people out there that think that one person’s ability to change the world is fantasy.  So what if it is?  Isn’t it better to try to hit a goal that is near impossible than to not set a goal?  Besides, who is in a position to make that judgement?

What is it worth to sacrifice to do what you were put here for?  Never ever give up.  As long as your alive, never give up.

I used to live in despair.  I thought that God would never use me again.  I hated everything about me.  My church told me that since my life was messed up that God didn’t want me to serve Him.

I didn’t want to live anymore.

Slowly, God showed me that my church was wrong.  No matter what your struggle is, God has a place for you.  A place that you want to be.  A place that can be fulfilling.

God has given me reason to live through my shame and despair.

It’s possible for that homeless man, or that person who has to live a life inside a shell, hoping that people don’t see the real them.

But you have to choose to live the life God wants for you.  That life you secretly hope is still possible.  There is a way.  It’s simple.

Not easy.

You never ever give up…