Pins and Pounds
This post is going to be a little self indulging, so I apologize in advance.
Today we soft launched the TTA logo pins on Etsy, which is to say I set up the Etsy store this afternoon and limited the announcing of it to our podcast Twitter. Tomorrow we'll be recording this week's episode and that's when we'll be for-reals announcing it.
It was an exciting day! It sounds silly to make a big deal out of something that's also being simplified, but a few months ago we had this idea to make a TTA pin. We talked about the idea, I made the logo, we researched the pin manufactures, we ran the numbers, we committed, and now here we are. The pins are real and they've begun to sell and that idea is now a reality.
It's no more special than the billions of other ideas people make a reality in this world, but it feels good to have done it, and it helps me stay fueled to accomplish other ideas.
When I first decided to take this year off of work to focus on the channel and try and turn it into a full-time income, I told myself that there was a very real chance that I would fail and have to return to advertising a year later. The silver lining, however, was that even if I failed at that I would still manage to do something I've been wanting to do for years: lose weight.
I told myself for all those years I was working on the channel that I just didn't have the time to juggle a full-time job, a relationship, the channel, and a social life, and going to the gym. That was my excuse for never going as much as I had wanted.
However now without a 9-5 taking up most of my week, I'd easily be able to go to the gym every day and still work on the channel! So even if I failed at YouTube, by the end of a years worth of daily working out I'd at least slim down.
Boy was I wrong. Six and a half months into this year and I'm pretty sure I gained weight from when I had quit. It was due to two reasons, which are typically the two reasons anyone gains weight:
For one, I started eating like crap again. I tricked myself into thinking that I'd be able to maintain my poor diet while working out all the time, and that one would make up for the other. Back when I was at my healthiest food like Chinese and pizza were treats. They were the kind of meal I would have every other week or so. Within a few months of working for myself I was back to having both multiple times per week.
What made that worse was that I wasn't even working out as much as I said I would. So ignoring the fact that hitting the gym five days a week was not going to offset that kind of diet to begin with, it didn't matter, because I wasn't going to the gym anyway.
I think I wrote about this in the past, but I became a gas. I filled the space I occupied. Where once I would wake up, get ready for the day, and walk out the door in a 30 minute window, I was now spending an hour or two just "waking up" before getting to work. I had all this extra time to work with and I was wasting it by taking everything slow, putting me back into a situation where I "didn't have time to go to the gym."
I'm cool with the fact that I did that the first week or two. It was my vacation from office life, but I'm embarrassed that I kept it up afterwards.
Most people who choose to try and lose weight will usually tell you that it's a decision they have to come to on their own. It's not the kind of change you make from external forces.
For me, the decision came last week when Kat and I impulsively booked that Disney Cruise for January. I realized that I'd be at pools and at the beach and naturally I'd be vlogging our trip. I was preemptively embarrassed at the idea of either putting myself on screen while still fat, or being that guy who wouldn't take his shirt off at the beach or at the pool for the one obvious reason that the shirt wouldn't be able to cover anyway: because I'm fat.
That thought pushed me to another thought: what if this whole year doesn't pan out? What if I have to go back to a 9-5 job and end up going back bigger than when I started? Could I really live with myself knowing I wasted an entire year of extra time that I could have used to make myself healthier and better?
No. I wouldn't be able to stomach it. I needed to put the rest of this year to use. Luckily I've never been burdened with the outlook that it's too late to do anything, and so even though I had already wasted half the year, it wasn't too late to try and save the other half.
No planning to start. No conditions to start. Just START.
It's obviously too soon to act like this was any victory. I'm still at the "losing what I've since gained" stage, but as far as first weeks go, it's been pretty good.
I cut soda completely out of my diet and had a two day headache from caffeine withdrawal. I'm pretty much at water only now. I've replaced pizza and Chinese with chicken and vegetables. Even when I've had my "normal" lunches, I've swapped out the big heroes for normal sandwiches and substituted the mayo-based salads (potato, macaroni, etc) with, you know, just regular salads. I also went to the gym four times. I'm getting back into C25K because Kat and I decided that we're going to do the Castaway Cay 5k in January.
And most importantly, I managed to do all this while still going away for the weekend AND keeping up with all my channel work. As I suspected months ago, I could indeed live healthy and workout while still working on the channel.
I've only lost about 3 pounds so far, but it's a start.
To me, one of the more important changes I've made is that I'm putting this up on the same level of importance as the channel. As much as I want to hit 100,000 subscribers by a certain window of time, I want to hit a certain weight by a certain window of time. Much in the same way I always have a tab open with my channel stats from over the years that I track to look back for motivation, I too now have a document called "Cruise Prep" always open tracking my gym days and my weight. Hell, part of that is writing this very post. The more I talk about this, the more embarassed I'll be if I quit, and so all the more motivation to not quit.
I've already proven to myself that I can take an idea and make it a reality. I've done it with the channel. I've done it with the little things like pins. Now it's time to do it with my health.
Hopefully you'll see a new Rob by the time those cruise vlogs drop.