Courage: weight loss program and speed dating: cisdude.

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Courage: weight loss program and speed dating: cisdude.

Postby oak » November 27th, 2015, 5:23 pm

I am a 39 year old straight cis dude. Or man, I guess.

This is the story of how I didn't want to go either a weight loss program meeting, or speed dating.

I guess the point is that I found courage to take small steps. Not because I'm awesome, but because I want to do better. Sometimes wishing to do better and actually taking action are two different things. Also, because I've posted many times here encouraging others to take action, so I have to take my own medicine!

Weight loss

I started a new job, and one of the benefits is a health assessment. My numbers came in normal to slightly high, with a few fairly high (weight, cholesterol).

I also read a report that Caucasian men in their 40s and 50s are dying very rapidly, and nobody knows why.

One Saturday in early October I went to a meeting of a well-known weight-loss company. Oh how I didn't want to go. As much as I didn't want to go, I didn't want to die prematurely in a few years even more. I walked in, not knowing what to expect.

Speed dating

The other night I went to speed dating right after work. My phone's GPS got me to free parking nearby, but utterly failed me as I couldn't switch from driving to walking, and in my haste I neglected the obvious solution of looking at the address I had entered earlier.

I walked all over the little gentrified neightborhood, all cold, and then had to backtrack a mile. I eventually found the venue, introduced myself to the organizer, got a nametag, and sat by myself for a half hour while it started late.

Results

The weight-loss program is pure genius: given so many points (basically healthy food equals zero or very few points, fatty/greasy/sugary food is many points) I can eat whatever I want. I just have to write down everything I eat during the day. This was no problem for me, since in Debtors Anonymous years ago I was told to write down and categorize every cent I spent each day.

Great as the program is, the in-person meetings were problematic for me for a number of reasons. Eating and exercise are big topics, and each person brings their own history and struggles. The half hour meetings must be helpful to those who often spoke up, and while I didn't feel threatened in any way, it was not a safe space for me. After several weeks of feeling weird and unwanted, I brought my concerns to the leader. I'll not get into the he said-he said, but I felt he put my discomfort back on me. Another leader (whose meetings I went to several times) never showed any interest in me or my needs, but was carefully to invite us to a scammy MLM "party". Boo!

(I don't want to discourage anyone from weight-loss program meetings, but I do encourage running like a bat out of hell when things get weird at them. Just walk out. YMMV.)

Conclusion

Final result: Program = awesome and I'll keep doing it. Pure genius. Meetings = mentally damaging, and didn't care at all about me as a person.

Speed dating turned out to be a lot of fun. I had a great time. There were six women there, while all were nice, I chose 4 of the 6, and of those 4, 2 selected me. I messaged them yesterday and neither got back. :cry:

So what's the point of this post? I'm not sure.

My brain was telling me not to do both of these actions, even though both would be steps forward to clear goals that would be good for me. I can't always trust my brain. Or maybe my brain is all good, but my mind is the culprit.

Either way, I faced my fears and lived to tell.



Bonus courage story!

To tie this up, last Sunday I went to give this weight-loss meeting one more try, against my better judgment. I waited for five minutes to get weighed, totally ignored. I walked out, because I value my time. I walked next door and invited out the dishwater blond cashier for steaks. She said yes.
"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran

"We gotta make a decision: leave tonight or live and die this way." -Tracy Chapman
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Re: Courage: weight loss program and speed dating: cisdude.

Postby Fargin » November 27th, 2015, 6:20 pm

There you go. :D

I'm still struggling, but I'm struggling with 20 kg. less and I've stopped being alarmed about my health. I really want to get better at cooking my own meals, because when I do, I get so much back: Energy, pride and a just the enjoyment of being more productive and healthy. I live above a bar, which isn't the perfect match for a highly sensitive and anxious person, so I've finally decided to move out. Although my stress levels are currently so high, I can't relax enough to eat home cooked meals, I've still been able to turn down a few unhealthy dials. I've begun strength training and I try to go for more healthier choices and more water.

As for dating, I'm getting closer, but still terrified. I've been single since 2003, either because that whole Y2K thing or because I didn't want to burden others with my nihilistic self image. I've come a long way these two last years, but although, I'm not quite ready yet, I'm inspired by your courage. Maybe in a near future speed dating could work for me, as it did for you. I mean, maybe it was easier to ask the neighboring blonde out, because you did a training run under controlled circumstances first.

Anyways many thanks for the encouraging update.
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Re: Courage: weight loss program and speed dating: cisdude.

Postby oak » November 27th, 2015, 7:46 pm

Hi Fargin.

I'm glad my humble report has inspired you.

If I may offer some advice, which you are welcome to take or leave.

1. Yeah, I agree that moving away from above the bar will do you alot of good. Bars are noisy and chaotic. Let us know how it goes.

2. Though it is sort of a joke today, we had no idea what Y2K was going to be, and it could have been real. Real real. I experienced the remnants of Hurricane Katrina as a torrent of rain, and a strong punch of Hurricane Sandy (I live far inland) and both were no joke. That there were no crises from Y2K doesn't mean that it wasn't a very serious matter.

3. As far as your dating, here is what I would try first: when people are attracted to us, they'll send a very clear and very limited number of signals. Once you know these signals, and I'll explain them in a moment, you'll know when people are attracted to you, and that's the first step.

a. Laughing at things we say that aren't particularly funny.

b. Speaking in a slightly higher, sing songy way, especially with a little upward lilt at the end of a sentence.

c. Leaning over.

d. Asking our names, where we work.

e. Touching hair and other self-grooming tics.

My challenge for you, Fargin, is in the next week or month keep an eye out for these signals. Report back when someone flirts with you. Bonus points if someone strikes up a conversation with you.

Being receptive to flirting is the first step in dating.

Meanwhile, I'll text that dishwater blond tomorrow in honor of you, Fargin. I'm going to invite her to a jewelry making class. Who wouldn't want to go to a wire-wrapping jewelry class?

:)
"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran

"We gotta make a decision: leave tonight or live and die this way." -Tracy Chapman
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Re: Courage: weight loss program and speed dating: cisdude.

Postby oak » December 7th, 2015, 7:47 pm

Update!

Of the six women at speed dating, I chose four. Of those four, two chose me. I contacted them and neither got back to me. (Sad trombone.)

I'll do better next time!

In six months I'll have a beautiful significant other, I mean really fine and kind, and each of those four women will see me with her and realize what they missed out on. They might privately shed a single tear when they realize what could have been, the opportunity they so willingly squandered. (Then they'll meet awesome people soon too, because no hard feelings.)

In weight loss, oh gosh were those meetings not for me but I continue to track what I eat. Somehow, I lost about ten pounds. I feel slimmer, and last Thursday without meaning to I notched my belt one hole in!

Lastly, over the weekend I taught myself the basics of computer aided design. I can create a box, a cube, or a rectangular box. I can even set it to specific lengths. I can easily add another box to the first box. I could easily create an infinite number of boxes of any description if I had enough time.

I can make cylinders, too. Any sort of polygon, really. A hexgon in centimeters or an octagon in inches: both are equally easy. I didn't know any of this a week ago.

I say all these things not because I'm awesome, but because I want to use my words, and be objective that I am trying in life.

I'll never probably be a hero in the usual sense of the word, but maybe I can be an everyday-hero. No statues, but when I face the end of my life someday a quiet dignity that even though I often fell far short, at least I tried in 2015.
"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran

"We gotta make a decision: leave tonight or live and die this way." -Tracy Chapman
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Re: Courage: weight loss program and speed dating: cisdude.

Postby manuel_moe_g » December 8th, 2015, 2:41 pm

Congratulations on the success with weight loss and also the learning of computer aided design! :dance: I admire you so much.
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Re: Courage: weight loss program and speed dating: cisdude.

Postby Applecider » December 8th, 2015, 6:17 pm

Hi Oak! I wanted to just offer my congratulations on the weight loss - I believe I know which company you are referencing! Congratulations! While the meetings are sort of silly and not always for everybody, I always got the impression that they were really ways to keep yourself accountable. If you can do that for yourself though (Hell, tracking every cent?! That's amazing!) then you are on the right track! Congratulations!

On the Computer Aided Design... Let me just say as someone who studied Digital Arts as a BFA student and then had her ass-handed to her by her self-taught boss who taught himself Autodesk Inventor in six months... YOU CAN DO IT! AND YOU ARE GOING TO BE AWESOME! There are so many tutorials for any programs out there, especially on youtube. Just play with the programs! They can be so much fun, and crawl forums.. you are going to learn so much and be amazed with yourself!

- From one person seeking to improve themselves to another,
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Re: Courage: weight loss program and speed dating: cisdude.

Postby oak » December 8th, 2015, 7:08 pm

Aww. Thank you both.

Both of your encouragement means so much to me. If you guys believe in me, maybe I can believe in myself. Even if it is just for five minutes a day.

To express my appreciation, I created a special STL for you guys. I did this in Sketchup, as you can see. lynda.com is amazing.

You can't tell, but that is a hexagon on top, with the words on it. I think a hexagon is a really beautiful sight. Such elegant lines.

Manuel Moe gets a cone because I find cones particularly pleasing to the eye and satisfying.

AppleCider gets a triangle, which is actually a half cube. A cube would have been fine, but I wanted to show a little flair.

Thanks again. Much brotherly love.
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"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran

"We gotta make a decision: leave tonight or live and die this way." -Tracy Chapman
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