Thursday, February 18, 2010

Using Another's Path Doesn't Make You A Follower

“I got to say, you get absolutely no support from me. It's not that I don't want to see you succeed in your own personal sacrifice (that's a good thing) but to do it when the church is doing it, that's sucking up to the church…” --Micky-T

My buddy Mick uttered those words in a comment to me yesterday as I began my 46 day long Lenten sacrifice of not eating bread, pasta, etc.

I was slightly amused at first, because I know how Mick hates the Catholic Church and many religious things in general. And…that’s cool, the Mick-Man is his own man and a good guy.

I thoughtfully pondered his comment. Within my mind Mick’s comment raised a good point, but not the one which he had initially proffered.

Allow me to ‘splain…

Four years ago I began giving up meat for Lent. Well, that had become easy and lacked challenge. I almost looked forward to it, because it offered me an opportunity to come up with off the wall meatless recipes for six weeks a year.

So this year, I opted for giving up bread, pasta, and the like…and that’s where we are today.

Of course…that doesn’t answer the question of why I began doing this, nor does it address the concerns raised by the aforementioned Mick.

Back in 2005, before I even began this site, I had ballooned up to 270 pounds and started dieting. Four years ago, I still weighed some 225 pounds. I had hit my wall. I couldn’t lose anymore weight.

I had just gotten my Driver’s License in February of '06 and I hated the picture on it. My head was incredible evidence of how big I had gotten, and I didn‘t like it. In fact, I hated myself. So…

Lent was drawing nigh and I thought…What can I do to push myself over this wall of weight stalemate? And then it dawned on me.

Lent is coming up, I’ll give up meat for those six weeks and eat healthier. I managed to make it through the first Lent and continued the same the sacrifice up to this year.


Today I weigh 173 pounds, and as far as that part of my life goes, I dig it.

I weigh less than I did in High School, although the weight has shifted since then, and I had more teeth and hair, so I still looked better in High School than I do today, but nonetheless…

But, it goes far beyond the weight thing. When my No Knead for the Devil Tour is done come Easter, I will feel better about myself because I accomplished something.

You see…I’m pretty smart, fairly creative, and a hard worker, but I lack discipline. I’m a big picture kinda guy who says, “Fuck the details.”

Using Lent as a timeline to get something done gives me structure for at least part of the year, and it affords me the opportunity to know that if I put my mind to something I can get it done.

It’s not at all about the Catholic Church, but it does in a roundabout way have something to do with religious teachings.

How can I, as it is written in Leviticus, love thy neighbor as thy self, if I don’t love myself? How can I do unto others, as the Sermon on the Mount teaches us, if I don’t want to do a damn thing myself?

No, this has nothing to do with any church, Catholic or otherwise. This is all about making myself a better person. A stronger person. A person who can answer the call when met with change and challenge.

And yes…it really is that simple. I like doing it for myself.

Before I go, I want to post a video for Clay Perry. He made me laugh last night and he digs Schmoop so here it is…

A Half Naked Thursday video that Schmoop and I did a year or so ago. She’s uber-cute at the very end. Enjoy.




Cheers!!

49 comments:

3 Men and a Lady said...

Wow, so you lost around 100lbs? Awesome! Maybe I should rethink a Lenten sacrifice after all.... but I probably won't. I don't care if you do it for yourself, a church, Jesus, whatever... it's your call. Enjoy your breadless existence :-)

Mike said...

Hey, have a donut for me today. And I watched your nakedness and then the Schmoop bathroom video. Did she ever get a different colored towel?

Matt-Man said...

Lady: Yes I did lose all that. Back then I wore 42-44 pants and now a 34. I hated it. Maybe one of these days I'll post the pictures...bu tI doubt it. Thanks for the luck. Cheers D!!

Mike: Ha Ha. I'll have to go back and look at the Bathroomm video. I remember shooting it, but can't remember what towel was involved. I'll have to look and report back. Cheers Mike.

Desert Rat said...

I love the, "Sorry, we're going to bed, I need the camera!"

It feels good to set a goal and stick it out - I know what you mean. Congrats on losing, like, an entire person! Wow!

Matt-Man said...

Rat: She uses the camera so she can crtique me. She usually ends up saying something like:

"See Mahoney? You touched me there, when you could have been touching me there."

I hate the pointer she uses to show me; it's so German. But yeah...I got big and then I lost it. It all worked out. Cheers Rat!!

Dana said...

... and even if you were doing as a sacrafice to your God, that doesn't make it any less an accomplishment.

You may be a "Fuck the details" kind of guy, but there are some of us who get stuck in the details!

Matt-Man said...

Dana: That's true...It all comes down to whatever it takes to make one all that they can be. Whether it's a belief in a God, themselves, or a mixture of both. Everyone wins.

I hate detail people and detail people hate me, but together sometimes good things happen. Cheers Dana!!

Jay said...

It's good to challenge ourselves every once in a while. And it's good to prove to ourselves that we are capable of sticking to something and not giving up. ;-)

Dianne said...

I feel much the same about the church and all it's crapola as Mick does but ...
I also feel that if someone does something for reasons that make sense to them and it doesn't hurt anyone else and they don't impose it on anyone else then good for them

I love that video
youse guys are so fucking lovable

Matt-Man said...

Jay: Exactly my reasoning my good man. And you and I shall do just that. Here's to ya. Cheers Jay!!

Dianne: I feel the same about churches myself, but this aint about Blitzkrieg Benny. As for the video?

MOre than being lovable in that video; we were shit faced. Cheers Sexy!!

bobbybegood1 said...

See, I told you you could do anything you put that brillant mind to on my vegetarian post. Well-done on the weight Matt. Seriously. I promised myself, too, that starting this year I am turning over a new leaf. Taking on and overcoming challenges is what life is about. It gives depth to a person's character and provides a whole new dimension to their life. Good for you!

You guys are just tooooooo freaking funny. Nice video. But, I gots one question. For what do ya need the camera in the bedroom? I mean ya is going to sleep, isn't cha? Ha. Cheers Matt and Schmoop!!

Clay Perry said...

LOLOLOLOLOLOL.. im still laughing... classic... LOLOLOLOL... best. hnt. EVER.

Scott Oglesby said...

Congratulations on losing all that weight, and you did it all without the Subway diet…even better! I agree with your assessment. Although, I haven’t been to church in 10 years, lent is the one thing I do follow for the simple reason that it’s a great structure to practice sacrifice. And that is an amazing practice in any spirituality.

Matt-Man said...

Bobby: Thanks. The things I have done or in this case not done have carried through the rest of th eyear for the most and that's why I have been able to not balloon back up.

And as I said, Schmoop uses the camera to give me a post-coital critique of my performance. Cheers Michelle!!

Clay: Ha. I found it amusing as well. Bu today? It's all for you funny man. Cheers Clay!!

Matt-Man said...

Scott: I find aspects of many religions useful and/or thought provoking and I employ them in different situations. And thanks...the weight loss was my greatest and perhaps only achievement in the area of personal discipline. Cheers Scott!!

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I am Catholic, so I do follow the structure of the church teachings (no meat on Fridays, etc.), but I also enjoy Lent for the challenge as well.

Micky-T said...

You do know that I'm just a jealous guy?
I also know that it has a lot to do with the catholic upbringing as to why you pick these 6 weeks. That was my point. You of all people shouldn't need to keep following the monotnus(I like that spelling) tune of the vatican.
You used that time span, the first time and others to prove to yourself that you can do it(that's where my jealousy forms)and you did. Congratulations!!!
You may not be a catholic anymore but your still following along.
I didn't really mean anything by that comment other than start marching to your own tune.
Cheeky Cheers Dude!

Schmoop is so damn cute in that video.

Matt-Man said...

Evil: The only Catholic thing left in me is that I can still recite the entire Mass from the priest's perspective and my three years of Latin are still with me. Godd luck on your challenge. Cheers ETW!!

Matt-Man said...

Micky: You jealous? WTF? I know you to be a man who can and has done whatever you have put your mind to.

The only thing about Lent and its relation to Catholicism that I am following is the time line. It worked the first time so I continue to use it to correct any bad habits or change things. I wouldn't care if Lent was a time of oppression developed by the Swedes to persecute pesky Norwegians, the time period offers me the framework I need.

On top of that, it comes at the perfect time of the year to get back into shape or health or whatever as the warmer months approach by Lent's end.

And you're right...Schmoop is cute as hell in that video. She has since gone downhill with rapidity. ; )

Cheers Mick!!

Irene said...

I wish you did more videos.You guys are too damn cute.I loved your video series on the bagwine digs.Thanks for making me smile yet again.(8

Matt-Man said...

Irene: I am glad you got a smile out of it, and you're right...Neither I nor the two of us have done any new videos in quite awhile. I shall have to rectify that soonly. Cheers Irene!!

Micky-T said...

Yeah, but I've never been able to put my mind to not eating something if it's still in front of me, or I can reach it.

Matt-Man said...

Micky: Ha...Yes that is a challenge for most of us. Especially as for me, when it's pizza, which I can't frickin' eat until Easter!! Cheers Mick!!

Anonymous said...

What would Randolph Scott do?

Matt-Man said...

Anony: Hee Hee. Shoot his horse and eat it. Cheers Hair Care!!

Phfrankie Bondo said...

...Mic likes stirring up trouble, just like that rogue Sarah Palin...

Matt-Man said...

Phfrankie: Ha. I know he'll love the comparison P-Man. Cheers!!

3 Men and a Lady said...

The Vatican doesn't hold a patent on Lent, it's about Jesus and personal sacrifice, not Catholicism. And I don't think you are "selling out" or giving in to your Catholic roots, do it for whatever reason. I don't know why anyone should give you a hard time why.

Matt-Man said...

Lady: Damn right, D. Lenten Season can be open season for anyone who wants to make some changes. It has nothing to do with the Catholics or Blitzkrieg Benny. Cheers D!!

Micky-T said...

I actually had a dream about her, she bought my first boat "Caprifol" and I was kissing up to her to make it easy for her...........then Tod showed up and tried to put me to work but I broke his cheap little plastic pressure gage and he wanted to talk it out, like it was going to break his budjet so I went mute on the prick.

Doc said...

Yeah, forget the Catholic church... Do your own thing Matty

Bond said...

#7

If you really want to sacrifice give up booze like Jay

Matt-Man said...

Micky: Ha. That's funny. Did you punch Todd out and then have sex with Sarah? That would be cool. Cheers Mick!!

Doc: I can't forget about the Catholic Church; it provides me with a plethora of humor. Cheers Doc!!

Matt-Man said...

Bond: Don't you have to post something about a new, up and coming, cutting edge artist? Tend to yourself; my sacrifice is plenty. Cheers Vin!!

Lu' said...

Hmm since you've nailed the weight issue wouldn't a better Lenten sacrafice be to stop procrastinating and send out one audition video daily for the alotted number of days? A far more difficult task I'm thinking than giving up bread. I do support your efforts though as this small picture illustrates.

Matt-Man said...

Lu: Ha. The picture is great, Well done...or medium well, or whatever.

I'm already working on the other, but you do bring up a good point...I have not the equipment to make a really good tape, and I think about that often. Cheers Lu!!

Bond said...

roar....what you don't like the fact that he is giving up something more difficult than you?

lol

Matt-Man said...

Bond: It's more difficult based on your perspective. Plus, it's not a contest as you said on your site today. Are you being hypocritical, or is it that you have some unresolved issues with me?

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm listening to Mary Chapin Carpenter and she is in the great wide open and I'm almost home. Please don't harsh my buzz with your petulance. Cheers Vin!!

Schmoop said...

Regardless of what I might say about you giving up something at Lent, I actually think it's pretty cool. You need to challenge yourself sometimes. I wish I had the courage to challenge myself. Besides, all the dishes you come up with are yummy!!

Matt-Man said...

Schmoop: Thanks Schmoop. I can always count on you. I mean, except when you're drunk or whatever, but even then, you're still my best friend and pretty damn hot. ; ) Zoves and Cheers Schmoop!!

Phfrankie Bondo said...

...out on the job we called we Many Chafing Carpenters...

Matt-Man said...

Phfrankie: Ha...You never fail to amuse me. Is that wrong? Cheers P-Man!!

Phfrankie Bondo said...

...it's only wrong if you desire photos of me wearing nothing but a tool belt...

Matt-Man said...

Phfrankie: That would be cool. It's winter in Ohio, and we're fricking exasperated. Cheers P-Man!!

Four Dinners said...

"Sorry we're going to bed I need the camera"

right. fine. yep. no worries. um...

I'm with Mike.

Although there's nowt wrong in principle with religion men have used it ever since it started up as an excuse to commit acts of evil.

I stay well away myself.

Matt-Man said...

Four: I'm surprised by you, being an enlightened individual, staying away from religion. There's nothing wrong with religion.

Stupid people are the problem. Most religions are but mere philosophical offerings. It's people who ruin their intent. Cheers FD!!

Four Dinners said...

Oh I agree wholeheartedly. I respect all beliefs and belief does nobody any harm.

Faith has got people through awful times.

Stupid peeps are indeed the problem. It's them I try and avoid.

Matt-Man said...

Four: I'm right with ya there brutha. Cheers FD!!

Angell said...

Matt - been away for awhile, but I applaud your efforts, as I do every year.

growing up Catholic I never succeeded in giving something of "value" up for Lent, so I always went with "I'm going to give up giving up things for Lent" or "I'm going to give up agreeing with mom". LOL.

I wish you well in your endeavors and will be cheering you on from the sidelines.

Although maybe I can find something to (belatedly) give up for Lent. If I do, I shall let you know.

Git 'er done guy!

(Can SEE the video but don't have audio here at work so comments on that will have to wait)