the shirt that changed my life

warning: this blog is a bit...braggy. i don't mean it to be. it's just a cool story that is worth sharing that may or may not motivate people.

so...if you knew me over two years ago, you know that i was not "healthy." in fact...i couldn't have cared less about health. you could tell this because i weighed 235 pounds by the summer of 2008. trust me, i have plenty of hilarious (not really though) pictures to prove it. i actually have a before and after slideshow that is definitely worth a watch.

i never knew i was heavy. i never thought much about it. actually, i don't really remember feeling heavy, or remembering even noticing i was heavy, until just a few years ago. so what did i do? i tried losing weight. it sucked. bad. i started to "watch what i ate." you know...i literally "watched all the junk food i ate"...and that upset me even more. i also started to run a little. which was also miserable! running sucks in the beginning. it was the classic, "i'm so frustrated i'll now drop 20 pounds" type of thinking. which didn't work. this went on for a long time. and then it happened. i called jenny craig and my problems were resolved. JUST KIDDING...just making sure you're still reading. it all started when i went shopping to get a new shirt for a picture i was having done for the cover of my first cd i released. if you have that album (which was released in july 2008) you can look at the picture of me on the front and you'll see the shirt that changed my life. i remember being in the store, trying clothes on, and being disgusted with what i saw in the mirror. it's like the minute before i was blind, then i put this shirt on, and i saw myself for the first time. i remember seeing the fear in emily's eyes as i came out of the fitting room. i think she knew then that it was different this time. my thought process on losing weight was changed. i was officially determined.

and so it began...i started watching what i ate and started exercising. i actually learned how to count calories and started monitoring this daily. i even put back on my running shoes. i stuck with this for the longest time i'd ever gone before. i think i was up to an entire week. THEN, the coolest thing happened...i stepped on a scale. i dropped weight. that's all it took for me. i needed to see the results to gain the motivation and the drive to keep going. so that's what i did. i kept tracking every single calorie i consumed and kept running and running and running and running. i felt like forrest gump during the part where he is young and he starts running and all of a sudden his braces on his legs come flying off...but for me, the leg braces obviously were a symbol for my fat. i think that was a good analogy, right?

fast forward a couple years (to 2009) and i was there. my goal weight. it was unbelievable...honestly, it still is unbelievable. to think back on what i accomplished is a great thing. but the coolest thing of all is to think of all the other people that have done it, and will do it in the future. that is what pumps me up even more. anyone can do it. and i want everyone that needs to lose do it! all it takes is getting started...and sticking to it.

i'm a completely different person now. i lost 65 pounds total. i eat healthy and can probably tell you the calories per serving in 75% of the food in a grocery store. i kept running and have ran (and placed) in a 5K and a 10K. i'm currently training for a half-marathon that is in exactly 26 days 22 hours 2 minutes and 47 seconds. after guessed it...i'm training for a full marathon. after that..well we'll see. i even do strength training a few days a week. who would've thought..tony gould in a gym..lifting weights. i do still count calories and track all of the food i eat...and i might be a bit too much of a health nut at some times. but let's be honest here...if you had to pick between one or the other...what would you pick?

"health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospital beds dying of nothing."
-redd foxx


music is dead.

music is NOT dead. to some people i think it is. music will never die...i assure you that. i rest assured there will continue to be people out there like me who will not let that happen. when i hear people say, "dude. omg...i love music. i am so post-modern and you are not. where is my scarf?" it makes me nauseous. what? i hear that all the time. you don't? i guess i'm somewhat of a "music snob." the best way to understand what that means is to watch the movie high fidelity and get to know rob, dick, and barry. now, i'm not saying some of those people who say they love music don't actually love music...but i feel like people really throw that phrase around. maybe it's just the word "love" that's being thrown around. hmmm...that's for a different day.

usually when i think of something in my life...i can pair it with a song or something music related. does that make sense? good. for example: i just heard "work" by jimmy eat world and it immediately reminded me of when i first started dating Emily (now my wife.) futures came out fall 2004 and we started dating that it was playing a lot when we were hanging out. now "this day of change" by run kid run is on and it reminds me of my first day at lincoln christian college because my roommate (he ended up not coming to lcc until the following year, so he was never my roommate) played guitar for them. any song by c.c.r. reminds me of growing up because my parents listened to amazing music (60's and 70's mostly) when i was young. i am convinced that this is at least 60% of the reason i have such a strong passion for music today.

so, i'm listening to pandora right now. i was totally the first one to ever go to even before the people who created it. that's how much i love music. have i mentioned i am a sarcastic person yet? good. i love it how they do so well playing good music based on your first band entry...and then out of left field they'll throw something awful in. why does that happen?

i bet i know more bands than you. maybe i love music so much because i create it, too? i am a musician. and i have a cd that i released july 2008. i love finding new music to influence the way i write. does anyone care? probably 11 or 12 people total.

compilation tapes...or mix tapes as some call them are awesome. of course in my generation these "mix tapes" were mostly "mix cd's," but you get the concept. i used to make tons of them.

Rob: I will now sell five copies of The Three E.P.'s by The Beta Band.
Dick: Go for it. [Rob plays the record]
Customer: Who is this?
Rob: The Beta Band.
Customer: It's good.
Rob: I know.

^ that part of the movie sums this whole blog entry up. amazing music affects people. now if everyone could just agree on what "amazing" music really is and then toss the other crap. that was a bit harsh.


the first post

i'm sure i need to make this first post completely awesome. i can't hold anything back, right? it needs to be filled with loads of humor and mixed in with a little drama maybe? the thing is...i don't really know what to blog about. i'm caught in this whole mindset that no one really cares what i blog about and/or no one will ever see it. i mean c'mon...i don't even use capital letters and i have less than two hundred friends on facebook. that says something about a guy.

the truth is: i love the feeling of putting my complete, personal thoughts/opinions/ideas/beliefs straight from my head out there for anyone to see. i'm a musician, so i mostly do this by writing songs. i sometimes paint, which can work as well. there's something a little different about typing my thoughts word for word and then publishing them to a website for anyone to see. it's not like it takes a lot of courage (no offense to anyone who thinks it does) to do this, but it's still a little exciting.

my goal is not to offend/threaten/upset/hurt/sadden anyone by what i post now or in the future. i simply ask that you take the time to read it and maybe learn a couple things about me while doing so. if you don't like it you don't have to return ever again. i promise i won't be upset. and if you end up liking it...well then you're cool and we can be friends.