Never give up on your dreams.
Eight years ago today, I wrote my first post.
Today, I have the luxury of perspective and looking back.
Probably the biggest lesson I learned is never to give up.
Of course, I am still a work in progress, but my life has changed dramatically and for the better.
Whatever challenges you are facing, whether it is:
know that things can change for the better, and that change starts with you.
It does not mean that things will be perfect, only that they will be different, but better than you can imagine.
So, never give up on your dreams.
My new comments today are in italics.
Make The Decision To Improve
After living in almost a decade of silence, I have decided that it is time for me to find a voice and be more consistent and productive in the basics as best as I can.
I have been struggling with depression and obesity for quite a long time.
Instead of focusing on the past, I want to explore techniques, strategies, and how best to move forward constructively.
I want this site to:
- help me hold myself accountable to implement changes I need to make to beat obesity and manage depression, my two worst enemies. If I cannot help myself, how could I attempt to help anyone else?
- Share the best tips I have learned for improving your mental and physical health and
- be a place for you to share your strategies for living a more fulfilled, happy, and grateful life.
Where you will be six months, a year or five years from now depends on the decisions you make today.
The time will pass no matter what you do, so decide today what obstacles you must overcome to live a better life.
For example, if obesity is your biggest challenge, make the decision today to beat obesity and keep that thought in your mind at all times.
Never Give Up On Your Dreams
Motivate and Improve Yourself
Everyone deals with their challenges differently, but I hope that we can all check-in and walk away motivated to have a better day.
My first goal in what I am calling Hashi Mashi is to motivate and improve myself.
I also hope I can learn new ideas from you.
I want to be able to smile.
Now at this point, you must be wondering what Hashi Mashi has to do with anything?
Here is the reason that I have started on this path.
Last night, I was feeling uncomfortable from a bit of a binge, I am ashamed to say.
So, as a result, I have been wondering what it is that I can do to get rid of these awful cravings, almost to the point that I feel like I cannot breathe unless I get some cookies, pizza, pasta, bread or rice.
And I have seen information all of those processed carbs cause you to want more!
I am no scientist or expert on nutrition, just a guy who has been struggling with weight loss and overweight, husky, and chunky for most of my life.
I will admit to being a bit of an extreme personality; it is easier for me to live in a clear cut boundary than something more moderate.
That is just how it is for me with no offense meant to anyone else.
I have learned that while goals are important, the best way to accomplish your goal is to follow a system to form lifestyle habits that will naturally bring you to achieve your goal.
For example, no matter how many times I wanted to lose weight, I never succeeded until I followed a system to lose weight.
In any case, I decided that what I will do, will be to cut out all processed carbs, stuff like:
- bread (except for sprouted grain bread),
- Reese’s peanut butter cups (oh no, I could not imagine living without that),
Pretty much, my entire food selection!
My typical day starts with an omelet on bread, an egg sandwich on whole wheat, or a bagel.
So I had to come up with something different and asked my friends in Cafe Tudor to make me the egg omelet, but without bread, instead of the two slices of toast, to give me a lot of vegetables, with hummus, olives, and avocado on the side.
The chef told me I was mixing up too many ingredients, and what will we call this mess going forward if I order it again?
I thought to call it a Mish Mosh, a mix, a big mess from Yiddish, but then I asked the chef who was from Yemen – “How do you say this hodgepodge in Arabic?”
He said a word that sounded like ‘Hosh,’ so I called it Hashi Mashi, to represent:
- the name of this good morning breakfast,
- my first real food meal without processed flour bread,
- the chaos of my life with my hope that it can only get better
So that is where the name comes from, it’s as simple as that.
Gradual Improvement – Progress Not Perfection
I am in no shape as of now to do anything but gradually.
If I can do one pushup, I will be grateful.
I will write more about that in another post, but I believe I saw this idea first mentioned by Mehdi of stronglifts5x5 and attributed to Pavlov, the Russian scientist.
The idea is to do things gradually and get stronger over time.
In addition to the weights, I am going to try and get in more swimming.
My inner voice, my instinct for survival, made me think that swimming is a reasonable way to feel better, to get out of depression, and lose weight.
Hmm, I thought about it, I have not swum since high school where probably like many of you former athletes out there I used to compete on the swim team.
I remembered loving swimming, how much I wanted to make it to the Olympics; obviously, I did not try hard enough since I could not even handle the college-level workouts where the coach said to just be ready to hurl up.
But I gave it a whirl a few weeks ago at the Y, and it was awesome.
You know, I am very out of shape, hardly do exercise, the whole bit, I do not smoke, but I am obese, I can’t even look at the scale anymore, and if I am stretched out on board maybe 6’2″, but being in the water is a great feeling, especially when you’re obese.
Start a System
So, I started to swim.
I did it a few times sporadically over the last few weeks and did feel better, but I am a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to exercise as many are, that I need another path to push me, another way.
So, this is how I will be consistent and productive.
Every day I want to do two things.
The first is to swim and if I cannot swim, like when winter arrives, at least to walk.
To do my best to get healthy and I already know that swimming does give me a lift, I have no clue why, but it does, and it is something that I can do.
The second is to write, at least one post a day, maybe more, who knows, I have never done this before, but I know I have to be consistent.
So said a well-known blogger I never heard of until yesterday, so I have to give him credit, he said that it is essential to be consistent, that’s it.
His site is https://johnchow.com.
So, I have made right on the task of writing today my first post.
Now I have to make good on the swim.
So, I will make it to the pool and let you know how I did, how long I stayed, and how many laps and I will also be tracking weight and stuff like that.
I chose starry night by Van Gogh for my first image because it is symbolic of expression; actually, it is an expression, the feeling, the interpretation of a starry night, which conveys the emotions of the painter, to the viewer.
It has other significant meaning for me because I appreciated the art of Van Gogh to a greater extent just from looking at art in general, especially at the Met, where I have learned so much about dedication to a project.
I guess we all have masterpieces within us, but just some of us bring them into physical expression and complete them and publish them for the world to see.
I wrote essays about this picture to keep myself occupied when I was in a deep depression. While doing that, I began to have a different view of self-expression and revealed your thoughts through the medium where I can communicate best, which I believe is writing.
Art and Self Improvement
I think what makes art so powerful is the transfer of the emotions from the artist to the viewer’s heart or listener.
It is that realization of the passion that is in the painting, or the music, or in the architecture.
The viewer knows how hard and how long the artist might have spent to create the work.
For example, there are songs, paintings, photographs, and structures that affect many of us emotionally; they inspire us with the fire in the heart of the artist while creating her/his work.
They can elicit from each one of us, new perspectives, and new determination to grow in every way possible.
The meaning of this picture to me was, yes; it is quite dark outside, quiet and silent, there are swirls in the sky, and there is a sense of confusion because it is difficult to make out forms and shapes in the night.
There seems to be no way out of this darkness and confusion.
But the stars are still in the sky; they are sparks of light and an orb that appears like a sun in the top right corner, seeming to beckon and say, do not despair.
Because there is dawn around the corner, there is still light, even when you feel that there is no hope, look to the light, never give up on your dreams, the sun will rise soon, and you will have another chance of living a better life.
Never Give Up On Your Dreams – Final Thoughts
I hope I will be able to express myself, find my voice to navigate all of the challenges which lie ahead.
Surely, I am not the only one facing new choices and new directions and trying to attain the necessary awareness to do the best that we can at every moment.
I sincerely want to come out of this cold decade of night, of lonely silence, despair and depression, break out into a new day, participate in the world, help others as much as possible as my friend ‘coach Craig the Batman’ has suggested.
It is because I volunteered at Craig’s suggestion to help others in the present, instead of replaying and living in the desolate past, that
I am on the path I am on right now.
Being a volunteer cascaded into circumstances where I met people who have been a significant influence in getting me on a better path.
I also gained confidence that I still had something to offer the world.
First, it was a dirt road, then a bike path, and now I am driving on a paved road, I am moving, changing, growing, and I am grateful to them and any other support I have had from people in my life.
Of course, helping myself heal, recover, repair, and rebuild is the first step.
I want to find a better way to approach each day, so I can enjoy and want what I have, no matter what it is, to the best of my ability.
Thanks for reading and hope to hear from you.
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