Update: August 2014

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Just wanted to check in with you all. I have now lost 124 pounds!

I am very close to passing my driving test. I should be completed by mid-October.

The 20th of September is the 5th anniversary of my fathers death and the day I sit my driving theory test.

My therapy is now monthly and no longer weekly or fortnightly. I have learned so much and progressed so quickly. I am glad I was able to share so much of it with all of you.

I started a new job 3 weeks ago and it is going very well. Good chance I will be made permanent and the money is good.

I have been on a date which went well but sadly there was no spark between us. There are many other guys out there and chatting to them all is fun. I am optimistic.

Finally with regards to the future of this blog I am still ironing out what I want to do next. Some small gems of ideas are around. As promised I will be sure to inform you all when I know what the final plan is.

Until next time…be good to each other!

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An Explanation

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I feel as though I owe you all an explanation for my absence.

When I started this blog I did so knowing that I was in a really bad place in my life. My relationship had ended, I was jobless, morbidly obese and frankly on occasions suicidal.

2014 was going to be my year of salvation (hopefully) and this blog would chart that.

Through weekly therapy sessions (sometimes twice weekly) I shared with you all my current pain and the pain of my upbringing. As the weeks and months went by I found myself becoming more and more honest with you all.

In amongst all of that we shared restaurant reviews, movie reviews, product reviews, quotes and interesting websites.

I took photos of the places I went and shared them for you all to enjoy. You always responded with likes and shares.

Last week when I went to therapy it was decided that we would reduce the sessions to fortnightly. In the meantime my romantic life has come on leaps and bounds. I have possibilities ahead of me that I never dreamed possible. I owe it all to my therapist and for the first time I can admit, myself.

In news that hopefully will please you all even more I have now lost 114 pounds in weight. I have shared my photos with the world on forums and my social media.

The whole point of writing this post is to tell you that, sadly, this blog must come to an end. It is no longer about being Here Still. I am more than here I am alive and loving life. I want to launch a new blog with more insight into weight loss and exercise. I will still continue to get on my soap box and I will always share photos with you all.

Keep your eyes on this blog for more news and until then…here is me in my old clothes over 8 stone lighter!

Respect, love & gratitude,
Jeremy

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I Don’t Even Know What To Say

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I had to post this. I’m like a huge ball of joy that might burst at any given second.

Tonight I think I just found a potential soul mate. The best thing is I think he feels the same. He is a nice guy.

I shall keep you updated accordingly. It’s early days but he is sweet and kind. I can’t believe my luck.

You have no idea how this makes me feel. I reached the half way point in my weight loss today and now this has happened.

2014…is my year!

Daily Prompt: Familial Feasts

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The great thing about this whole crazy situation that has happened in the last 6 months is I have gotten to spend lots more time with my Nan. I now live with her.

I would have dedicated a holiday to her 6 months ago and while we are still very close I can no longer call her a distant relative.

I would have to dedicate one to my Dad. No longer with us (you can’t get any more distant than that) sadly I think he should have his birthday as a holiday.

My Dad got few of the things he ever really wanted. He got me and he finally got himself a Jaguar car in the mid-nineties but apart from that he was extremely unlucky.

He lost his Dad at 13 and his mother in his late 20’s. He was in and out of jobs all his life with no formal education. His health was bad for about 10 years before he died and he didn’t deserve to suffer as he did.

On his birthday (April 19th) we can have a day where we all do something we have wanted to do for a long time. Tick one off the bucket list perhaps?

Daily Prompt Link

Daring To Date

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I’m ill-equipped to deal with online dating I have decided. It’s scary and people are extremely full on. Dispense with the process of getting to know someone and go straight in with “I have an erection” seems normal here. To say I am out of my depth is an understatement.

Where does that leave me? I’m not sure. I don’t think I can function in it. It seems so overwhelming. It’s at the point where I am questioning whether I have the basic tools required to function in this world. I understand now exactly what people have been moaning about for years about online dating.

Anti-Social Media

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I did it last night. I pulled the plug on my social media app accounts. I guess I should add that I don’t consider WordPress social media as such. I will also keep the HereStill Tumblr and Twitter accounts up and running. All my own personal social media app accounts have been deleted or closed. I had stopped posting pictures of myself for a long time on them. During the course of this weight loss I decided to refrain from adding to the, already horrendous, pool of photos of myself. So this morning when I got up and weighed as usual (2 pound lost!) I found my journey to work really hard. I kept going to the folders on my phone to open the social media apps that are no longer there.

Why did I do it I hear you ask? Well some of you may be aware of a video doing the rounds at the moment (it has been for well over a month now) in which a young guy points out through rhyme that we are all missing out on so much around us. That video didn’t especially move me. It’s a bit like using the Nuremburg rally to call for tolerance. I did however find that in one of my blog posts a little while ago that, essentially, I was agreeing with what he was saying. What better way to behave than to put into practice what you preach? So finally after a few days of wrestling with it I decided that it all had to go.

I wrote a little while back about the danger of the world we live in where the “selfie is king” and that meetings of chance are starting to disappear. I then caught Tyger Drew-Honey in his BBC 3 documentary series on Love last week. There is showed that even the people who used dating apps and found dates or partners were addicted to them. That you found this person who is good but…the next person could be so much better and only a few taps away. It was a wakeup call. I don’t want to be a part of that world. I don’t want to judge or be judged on appearance. I want to go out there and find the best person I can that feels right for me. If they happen to be tall, dark and handsome then all the better but really I just want to feel comfortable with someone else.

The wheels started to fall off my love of social media apps when I was being offered to pay for sex with students struggling to make their way or being offered all manner of quick and meaningless encounters. This is not who I am. I need to be careful not to condemn others for it but I am not going to compromise myself for anyone else. They even try and talk you into doing it. Imagine if someone tried to talk them into a life of chastity? They would go mental and rightly so. I found it especially sad that a profile making it clear I was not looking for these casual encounters was simply not read or ignored.

In the bigger scheme of things though, it strikes me as crazy that we meet friends for coffee and then sit there surfing these social media apps on our phones. What are we doing? How can it be that social media has made us less social? I personally feel if we are all honest with ourselves it is making us feel lonelier and even more insecure. When we are all alone and feel sad we reach for our phone and, in a desperate attempt for validation, we don’t care if we connect with either acquaintances or strangers. Our lives are slowly becoming reality TV for everyone’s consumption. What we ate, what we wear, who we see, what we see & even the entertainment we consume. We are slowly not only surrendering our privacy but throwing it away.

We have to halt these horrific changes that are occurring before we are living our lives as just another piece of disposable (social) media for mass consumption but ultimately as old as last season’s episodes.

Finding Fault In Inadequacy

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“It’s not my fault” was all I could keep saying in my mind over & over. Every time I thought it I burst into yet more tears. I cried all the way walking to the bus & nearly broke down a few times on the bus. I think what I was referring to was the way that I had been in my life to some of the people I had met along the way. It was nothing concrete or tangible. It was a feeling that had crept over me in the few days preceding it. I walked into therapy & just started crying. My therapist looked at me & said “what is not your fault”?

This, believe it or not, was me yesterday. Today I feel absolutely fine. As it turns out I have this small issue called “the feeling of inadequacy”. It affects a lot of us. We all at some time or another feel less in the presence of another or perhaps just not able to measure up to our peers. That we somehow haven’t made the best of the opportunities that were presented to us or we failed to even notice them. That the world is just more demanding than we could ever live up to. Rather than even attempt to figure out if the world, or perhaps those around us, are setting ridiculously high standards we just assume that we are the failure. We fall short.

As I wrestled with the question that he had just asked me & the question to follow which was “who would you like to apologize to”, I started to realise that unlike a lot of things in my life I seem completely unable to rationalise or be logical about this feeling. I stopped & thought for a while about why I felt this way. Everything I threw at him, which admittedly was feeble, he just explained was human & normal. He kindly reassured me that I was not my mother & that he had been prodding & poking me for months to discover if I was truly a bad person. Again he pointed out the holes in my, as we established already, feeble argument. I stopped crying.

We seem so unable to be logical about our place in the world. We only have to look around us at the muscle men searching for the perfect body that are in the nutrition aisle at the supermarket, looking like they could pop the lids off most of the canisters with just a flick of their finger. I have known people who have struggled with body image & eating. Now I am not saying that these things are easily solved with logic. What I am saying is that perhaps on the way to that stage if we were better able we could apply some logic & the problem would simply never go on to exist. If only we could all rationalise a little bit more.

My therapist & I established that some of my “problems” are actually very helpful. I will often take a problem on board & solve it before giving it to a loved one to become concerned about presenting them with simply the solution(s). We determined that this came from me being a toddler, having problems, going to my mother & my mother simply pushing me away from her with her hand. If I fell she didn’t want to know. If I banged my head she was indifferent. I learned to fix my own issues no matter how big or small. A handy trait, no? Well as an adult I feel bad that I might be shutting people out.

We are so quick to see the negative in ourselves that we very often overlook the positive. Every flaw we see we have has an equal positive. Selfish? Well that is perfectly normal. We get engrossed in things. Who hasn’t passed someone in the street that didn’t see us even if we shouted “hello”? When we get ill with a cold or flu we look after ourselves. Selfish is survival. Now I am not saying it is correct all of the time but very often we mistake the extremes of selfish behaviour of others as what we can sometimes do ourselves. This is not the case; extremes are often something else entirely. In my own case my Mothers selfishness is narcissism & not “selfish” in the way I view selfish.

So here we are a distorted view of ourselves & the world. People use words like “childish”, “petulant” or, yes you guessed it, even “selfish” to label other people. They do this because they do not agree with our behaviour at the time. If they stopped & thought about it logically for a moment they would see that we are not being labelled fairly or that it does not apply in that instance, they do not know (or care about?) our motives. When we label people with things we find distasteful about them, in that moment, we are harming them.