Hello Walls

When it comes to walls, I’m a masterbuilder. I can put up a wall faster than most people can blink.

I’m that good.

Throughout this recovery/lifestyle change/whatever else you want to call it — I’ve confronted a lot of these barriers that I’ve built.

And I’ve begun the process of demolition.

But as my wrecking ball swings heavily into the brick, it releases the thoughts and fears that were being protected in the first place. They become vulnerable. And as a result, so do I.

I’ve taken care of my fears like they were my own children. I’ve given them food and shelter, and in some cases encouragement.

And while I’d much rather charge through these walls with all the joy and charisma of the Kool-Aid man, it’s a bit more complex than that.

As the days go by, and my thoughts become clearer and my body gets stronger, I realize exactly how many of these barriers I’ve put in place.

There’s a shitload of them. I mean I’ve got more barriers than Jay Leno has cars.

And it’s not like I can seek them out. They just kind of pop up out of nowhere. Forcing me to think “now, why the hell am I reacting like this?”

The good news is that I’ve become much more analytical during this whole process. The bad news is that I’ve become much more analytical during this whole process.

I tend to overthink sometimes. In some cases it doesn’t take much to swing that wrecking ball, but the chain it’s attached to can get caught up in my self-examination.

I am, after all, a tangly bag of wires. Ask the missus, she’ll tell you.

The sheer amount of “stuff” you uncover when you do something like this constantly amazes me. It’s like unraveling an unending ball of yarn, only it’s all knotted up, and you have to take out each knot as you go… and you don’t know how many knots are there. I mean, it can be maddening,

But at the same time, it can be inspiring. Once you tear down one of these walls, you feel like a million bucks. That is until the next wall you hit. And then you just repeat. Wall after wall until all that’s left is rubble.

Sweet, hard-earned, and beautiful rubble.


For those of you who followed this blog prior to today, well you’ve now got more company. A lot more company.

Downsizing, a 6-part weekly column I’ve written for CBC Radio began early this morning. It’s spun from this blog. There are fewer swear words and a fancier sound track, but essentially it’s the same kind of documentation.

Here’s a link to the page: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/downsizing-losing-weight-is-hard-but-it-s-the-only-option-1.2763235

Isn’t that pretty? Gotta love a URL. I’d shorten it, but… I just got back from a run and… well, I just couldn’t be bothered. Blame the interwebz.

So, people from all over the country can now read the transcript online and or hear it on their respective CBC Radio Morning Shows.

So that’s why there are so many new folks here. Hi guys. Can I get anyone a coffee? Tea? Biscuit?

In all seriousness — welcome aboard. And thanks so much for all of the support and kindness you’ve shown me. It really does do a heart good.

19 thoughts on “Hello Walls

  1. You are empowering self and others with your sharing – and inspiring me to continue with my work – which has been really hard to get people to pay some attention to and be even just curious about. http://www.RxRadio.com
    Change is hard – but staying in ill health and in a place where you don’t belong (and have the power to change) is even harder. Onward you go!!! Health to you Dave!!

  2. Dave,

    Another great blog post my friend that echos for many….my heart goes out to the many whom have a battle with that “in your face everywhere” drug…FOOD…every texture, taste “up and down” the spectrum…to pull one “in”…

    My issue with weight was 30 lbs over in my early 20s. An old childhood friend’s brother-in-law’s first words comment (whom I had not seen for a few years) “shoot from the hip” as Don always had been……i never resented him for it though as that was “just Don being Don…”..comment involving a baking grease and ones back end….set me into biking, biking then more biking…hiking in the woods followed by more hiking in the woods……the 30 pounds over time was no more…….fast forward to today (did smoke though…quit at 38)……i am 56 with an every second day indoor biking (arms up with trunk doing the “boxer weave” on every down peddle) followed by light (my daughter laughs at how low in weight i started at and still use after so long…i am at 17 lbs…. now on very slow increments..with goal to ramp a pound at a time after long stretches of time) weights..love the dumbbells for “body balance movement” focus. Yet two strength sets…30 push ups on carpet using dumb bells as stands with feet 3 feet off floor (on “pill ball” on bed)…10 “very slow full gentle touch heels on floor” pull ups (or chin ups as some folks call them)….ending in a “pile of sweet sweat”……great feeling just “doing it”…

    The above, however, outlines the mechanics of the physical (mental benefits of workout is huge too) yet ….i have other demons and your blog gives me the courage to face and whittle them down as your courage to face the ultimate drug of FOOD “in my books” is “Mountain High”……..thank you my friend for taking us with you on your journey.


  3. *^%$ #@$* insert some lovely swear words Dave) You must be suffering from a wicked vulnerability hangover today. Ice – heat – rest and a little protection(I’m sure the missus is good for it). You are “deadly gear” and I am humbled by your courage. xoe

  4. Listened to your CBC first voice track for the first time just now…..

    It kind of just “gets you right there”….some parts really, really “gets you right there”…….amazing, amazing job my friend. Power on.

      1. You are very welcome Dave. That word “enjoying” is partly right as in a segment of it…. “joy”. It is a joy to have a taste of the experience you very vividly describe as you carry forward with courage through the “ups” and “downs”.

        Tonight my wife and i watched your YouTube vid in honour of Sgt. Michael Francis Kelly titled “Newfoundland Regiment Monologue”. We had few words to say afterward as we sat absorbed in the pathos.

        You sir are a very talented man. And to honour with caring and feeling as you did is to truly deeply understand the ultimate price they paid.

  5. Hello Dave,

    I’ve appreciated the candor and sincerity in your posts. The past few years for me have been a mindful exercise of the demolition of walls and the fostering healthy wakeful living. Many of the experiences you share tug at my own heartstrings. I’d like to share that mindful awareness meditation has been just as essentially healthy for me as has been the adoption of healthy eating and exercise. Both our mind and body require care and healthy exertion. Here’s a local secular mindful awareness meditation group that you or some of your readers may be curious to check out: http://stjohns.shambhala.org/

  6. Just read your story on CBC. Way to go, sounds like you’re making a difficult change to your lifestyle, but one that will surely pay off. Keep going.

  7. Appreciating your candor. I’ve been 420 lbs, and only lost it becuase of a battle with leukemia. Still battling with the compulsion to eat. Your thoughts are blunt and yet encouraging.

  8. Hi Dave – I’m in bed wondering how did this happen. I’m 59 years old and have spent the last 6 years caretaker to my husband who daily fights for his life. The sicker he got the more I stayed beside him in bed and the more weight he lost (128 lbs.) the more weight I gained as his Dr. Said just keep feeding him good food but also high calorie food (junk). So I gave up on a healthy me and ate along with him.
    So today (50 lbs overweight ) I was diagnosed with serious cancer which usually happens to obese people.
    Stunned, just packing on the lbs. for one year – that could contribute to my health in such a dramatic way. I was only looking after my husband. Why should I look after myself-I’ll do that later.
    I can’t have surgery, chemo. And all the stuff that goes with that! I still have a seriously I’ll husband who is kept alive by a new trial of chemo n transfusions.
    Today I did a lot of thinking. The biggest factor of my cancer is my weight.
    Could I, should I dare look at an hour a day to walk? Am I neglectful?
    Finally I by chance saw your blog.
    Hmmm if he could do it one day at a time maybe? Could I?
    Yes my inner mind said! You owe it to yourself. Or do I?
    By gosh I’m going to try! I give you my word. No treatments for 3-4 weeks.
    Why not get that little motor running now? Can’t hurt!
    Thanks Dave. I’ll follow your blog! I promise if you keep going I will too.
    Thanks for showing up just when I needed you!
    God Bless!

  9. Hi there! I read some of your posts on CBC, and they are compelling. I was struck by how your brother died at the age of 22 in his sleep from a heart attack. I struck me because I was recently diagnosed with a sleep breathing disorder that was not caused by weight, but was exacerbated by it. Now I sleep with a CPAP, and sleep better than I probably ever have in my life. Your brother may, or may not have had a sleep breathing disorder that contributed to his early death. But the vast majority of obese folks (including me) do have sleep apnea or a variation on it. If you do, treating it will give you energy and help you lose weight, and almost definitely extend your life. Your doctor can give you are referral to a sleep lab, where you will only have to suffer one bad, weird night’s sleep hooked up to wires in order to find out what’s up. Good luck with your journey. Jennifer

  10. It’s great job you are doing and keep it up. Folks over knives the movie is very good. Please make some time to watch it. It’s on Netflix. It changes my life for ever.

    Good luck with your challenge.

  11. Call it what you will; I call my own experience in weight loss and personal discovery a ‘journey’. I met and exceeded my goals over 4 years ago and have not looked back. At 44 I feel better than I ever have in my life, but the struggle to do the right thing is a daily one. As such, my journey continues and will never end. The progress you’ve made so far is fantastic; I know so well the satisfaction that comes from literally getting to the top of the mountain. Let that be your motivation to continue. Clearly, your journey and your written chronicles are an inspiration to others. For that, a tip of the hat. Keep on keepin’ on!

  12. 350 lbs and theee weeks into a lifestyle reboot. First three weeks has been way harder than i expected, and everything you are writing is a mirror to my own experiences. Thanks for this, and keep strong! Lookign forward to more inspiration in the days to come.

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