Life is a marathon for sure. The Facebook Page Big Fit Deal ” is dedicated to helping everybody – and every body – find their fit. While we respect the right of every person to decide what to do with their body, this page will not engage in or promote pro-diet or intentional weight loss discussions.” I love this approach because we see “fat shaming” all the time in our society and often it is not obvious…or it is? Look at any diet or fitness page or advertisement and you will see perfectly sculpted bodies drinking their scientifically designed shakes and doing exercises with ease. They are happy and enjoying life as the beautiful perfect people that they are. HOGWASH. Hey, if you want to be “in shape” with a six pack and chiseled everything, more power to you! Some people don’t have the genetic makeup for that, period. I don’t have it! I tried and I got close but it just didn’t work for me. Personally, I gained all my weight back from drinking alcohol. It was a terrible period of self doubt and a deep feeling of insignificance that lead me to my binge. It lasted for several years and although there were times when I was able to put down the booze and pick up a protein shake, the monkey jumped back on me. I’ve finally beat it and that’s thanks to the support of my family and friends as well as the work of Annie Grace – you can see my interview with her on the podcast/webcast.
Let me get back to Big Fit Deal. They posted a link to a story about a woman who finished last in the Boston Marathon. She’s 46 and almost didn’t make it. It is a story about going after a goal with a laser focus and not giving up. There’s a lot more to her story and I’m not the one to relay the info here – but I wanted to use this posting as an example of why we need to pay attention to our society and what we idolize. My Facebook feed is lousy with ads hocking slimming shirts and other things to make people look like society thinks they should look. I am not going to tell someone that they are wrong if they want to lose weight or if they have a certain physical goal they wish to accomplish. I do want to tell people that they should go after whatever it is they want and not give up – regardless of what the onlookers say.
Is it a big deal that this woman finished the Boston Marathon? Absolutely! Everyone else went home – they were cleaning up the finish line. Her son was waiting there and she finally crossed the line. She did it! She cried tears of painful joy. This story touched me deeply because we all have our own personal Boston Marathon. Yours could be losing weight or quitting drinking or smoking. It could be auditioning for a play or trying to get that big client. Whatever your goal – make it your Boston Marathon – make sure you get to the finish line – and don’t listen to what people are saying about you.
I’ve been very vocal about my former job at Carnival Cruise Lines. I have not come so far as naming my direct supervisors, but I have definitely openly called them out about how they treated me and others in their personal pursuit for corporate domination. At one point, I was sitting on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean, about 1 or 2 days out from Nassau, Bahamas and I was in tears because I was forced to create a “crew video” from tons of footage given to me by crew members and stuff I shot. This was technically not my responsibility. Our department was onboard this brand new ship to shoot and incorporate video into the production show as well as produce some corporate training videos. That’s it. My boss had this grand plan to make our little video department a big corporate department with big budgets. He played to my mid-twenty year old dreams of having a six-figure per year job at such a young age. (At this time I was in considerable debt for my age, so I was really interested in the career track he dangled before me). He promised that if we dug in and did this kind of stuff – showed “them” what “we” could do, we would be sitting pretty, making lots of money and delegating this lowly work to others. I’ll admit, I was onboard! But I soon came to realize that I was the main guy who was to do the majority of the work to get there.
I actually left school for the job, with only 5 classes short of my degree. I was a supposed to go into radio, but I had a good knack for shooting and editing video. Plus, I was a radio guy and therefore, free Voice-Over talent! (For many years, my voice was on over 20 ships’ TV systems). I often wondered about the qualifications of my boss. He seemed so much older than me and really talked the talk. I soon realized he couldn’t do anything I could do and he was mainly self-taught. I found his resume one day when I was searching for some paperwork. It was wedged in the back of the file cabinet so I was intrigued. I will sum his resume and qualifications up with this: he spelled College “Collage”. ‘Nuff Said.
Generally, he was a nice guy when we were having beers and smoking way too many cigarettes. We’d have some fun here and there – just enough to keep me in line with the dream. But, then it would kick back in – the stress and the impossible deadlines. I would be working late, until 10 or 11pm. I would oversleep the next day because he expected me to be back at work by 9am. I was tired, burning out and he would just keep hounding me.
If I was late he’d make me work the weekend. If I needed a day off for a doctor’s appointment or if I was sick – I was expected to make up the time on the weekend. I was so green and naive, I had no idea that he was breaking corporate rules. Add to this, the fact that he would often call me a “fat bastard” and make fun of the fact that I was often single. He would poke fun at me because I could never “pull” when I was out on ships. (Basically, that means chatting up girls and sleeping with them while I was onboard). I loved women very much, but I always wanted a girlfriend who was wife material, not a one-nighter. I could have gone to HR to complain – but the VP on HR was one of the people who he was always trying to impress – so we could take our little video department to a higher level.
Keep in mind that this takes place over the course of 4 1/2 years. The company was cranking out a new ship per year and each time, our department had something to do with it. Many times, it was not really something that was in our job descriptions, but we were all seeking that Holy Grail of the big budget corporate video department, so we agreed that we needed to “show them what we could do”. In that time span, I think he chewed up and spit out 5-6 other staff members. I have a very cool management style. I would never make my staff do something I wouldn’t do myself and if they had a skill that I didn’t have, I would never exploit it or worse, pretend I could do it better while “choosing not to”. My supervisor forced me to emulate his management style – which was autocratic and unforgiving. I failed terribly. Meanwhile, he was grooming someone else who would take up that style.
I finally quit. I was done, I was over it all. I had to move on. I was really depressed and started self-medicating with various substances to escape from the constant stress. The 4 1/2 years really changed me. While onboard the ships, it was customary to go to the crew bar where drinks were very cheap. Everyone would buy a round and I was told it was rude to decline. One of the things he stressed to me was the importance of having the crew on your side. You see, we were from the head office in Miami, so we were considered management to the crew. If we had them on our side, we could get things done onboard outside of the typical chain of command-ish.
I left the company and moved to Rochester. I brought all of that emotional baggage to my poor soon-to-be-wife. The escaping from problems with self-medicating, emotionally over sensitivity, general depression and so many self-esteem issues I cannot even begin to enumerate them. Now, I am sure not all of that came from the job, but I am positive any of it I had was exasperated because of it.
You know how some women cannot leave an abusive relationship? It was like that for me too. I had difficulties finding work in Rochester and an opportunity opened at Carnival and the old boss called me back. It was actually a sweet deal so I took it. I figured that this time would be better and it was a marked improvement. But, there was a huge difference this time. So much had changed in the department – and the one guy he was grooming along with me, took over my position in the management chain and he was a clone of the boss. We got into it a few times because I taught him a lot and he would take that condescending tone with me and I would not have any of it. We got called into the boss’s office a few times because of that friction. The guy was once my friend and I could not wrap my head around the idea that he would treat me the way he was. This was a different position and so I was travelling quite a bit and working on my own. I had a 10 month contract with the option to renew..but I didn’t. This time it was because my wife and I were going to have a baby and she wanted to come back to Rochester.
I went back one more time for a stretch of 3 years and that was the last straw. I felt oppressed in that environment. Even with the boss leaving me mostly alone to do my own thing. I had a family with young kids now and I wasn’t going to let him stop me from doing what I needed to do. The depression and the self medicating was still an issue – so I finally got fed up and decided we were moving back to Rochester for good. That was 2007 and I am so grateful that I made that choice. It has not been an easy road, but I have the love of my wife and kids and some great friends. I am getting therapy now because to this day I still have nightmares that I work in the video department of Carnival Cruise Lines. That department is no more. Initially, the boss was fired (forced to resign) for misappropriating funds. He didn’t steal, but he robbed one account to pay someone else more money so the job would get done faster and make him look better. Ironically, all of the senior management has since gone and he is back there in an adjacent department.
There is so much more to write about but I think you have the general idea. I let him control my life – I take ownership of that. I signed up for acting classes one time and he convinced me to quit, I lost my $700 I paid for the class.
If you have a son or daughter and see them going down the corporate path…pay close attention to them and their mental well-being. No job is worth the years of emotional pain I’ve endured and caused my family. Yes, the skills I learned there are a big factor in my life now, but I mostly try to practice sound management. When I direct a film, I am approachable and honest. I actually have trouble delegating jobs because I sometimes feel the task may be “beneath” the person I am asking to complete it. I can work on that.
I never really realized how much therapy could help me get over this and I look forward to not having dreams about working there.
Today it has been 30 days since I ingested the poison. Now, keep reading – I am not going to bash your beloved single malt or craft whatever. This is my understanding of what alcohol is at a chemical level. It is a highly addictive poison which is not good for any human. Historically, it was used to kill germs (antiseptic) and as a pain reliever – but they eventually found (arguably) better chemicals for that. Read This Naked Mind by Annie Grace for the skinny on alcohol.
After 30 days I have logged how many times I really wanted a drink: 0. Absolutely a huge goose egg. I am amazed that I didn’t want a drink because I’ve had some not-so-stellar days here and there. It is the first time in recent years that I have not sought some kind of substance to ease my stress. Nearly everyone does it – but some people use healthy things like jogging or weight lifting to beat stress. Others like a glass or two of wine or a martini. Some like a few beers to unwind. I have now become privy to the fallacy therein.
Here’s what I have experienced:
I have the ability to fix my own problems, rather than ignoring them or masking them with self-medication.
My sleep has improved by leaps and bounds.
I have the clarity of mind to remember things I was forgetting often.
My brain is a wonderfully complex organ that has all of the power I require for everything life can throw at me.
People are beautiful and I need to be more open to learning from each and every person I come in contact with on a daily basis.
One thing at a time. In the past I have always attempted to fix everything all at once and then wondered why I fell flat on my face. It’s perfectly fine to focus on one thing and not move on until it is fixed.
I have every right to be angry at things, but I have no right to affect others negatively because of that anger.
I am so much more productive than I used to be, simply because I am not tired and feeling low.
I am looking forward to how life will be tomorrow and 30 days from now and so on.
I am not going to be an evangelist for temperance. To each his or her own. But I can offer advice…and that advice is to quit drinking for 30 days and do an honest personal inventory.
In just about every sport I’ve ever tried, one of the keys to being effective in said sport was having good follow through. In golf, baseball, soccer, track and field and other sports I am in no way qualified to coach, they all required good follow through.
Recently, I was at a networking event and a bunch of aspiring folks got together to chat about doing voice overs. It’s a great new group here in town and the people who showed up obviously want to work in that field. There were two speakers who are very successful in the biz and shared much wisdom with the audience. I had to leave a bit early because I get up at stupid o’clock and whatnot, so I didn’t catch the very end of their presentations. It seems that they were about to wrap things up as I left, so hopefully I didn’t miss much.
One thing I did miss – or I didn’t hear them talk about was follow through. They talked about microphones, acoustics, websites, SEO and all kinds of other stuff. But they seemed to miss one key factor: follow through. You need the perseverance to ‘sally forth’ when things look bleak, because they will! Starting out as a voice actor later in life (as most of the attendees were) means you most likely have a job, kids, bills, responsibilities…you know, excuses. You can easily get side-tracked, you can easily be dismayed by the outlay of money you will need to start your new side hustle.
The key thing to remember AFTER you’ve set up your booth, microphone, etc. is STAYING POWER! Yeah, not giving up when you have gone 6 months with no gigs. Not using your mic stand as a laundry rack. Not following through with getting that website updated or demo produced.
I won’t drone on and on with examples of what you should or should not do – except to say that you have to stick with it with a laser focus. Don’t be deterred, don’t lose sight of the prize.
Tuesday was a crazy day. I had to shoot video, record voice overs, record a radio show, make dinner and then get over to Geva Theatre and see Thurgood. One of my favorite perks of this radio job is that I get to see all the shows. I brought my 15 year old son, Shaun. I figured he should see a play about Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to sit on the Supreme Court. I’m a bit of a history buff and casual wonk, so I was interested as well. I knew that name, Thurgood. I thought I knew why I knew that name, but I really didn’t know anything.
Lester Purry delivers a captivating performance as Thurgood Marshall. I went into this play not knowing anything about it. I didn’t know it was a cast of one. i didn’t know it would be a guy on stage talking to the audience the entire time. Well, it really was a whole lot more than that.
First of all, we get serious insight into Thurgood Marshall, the man. By the end of the first act, you feel like he’s a kindly old man you met on the train who had amazing stories of his life to share. I think we’ve all been in that situation, where a person keeps yapping and yapping about this or that and we couldn’t care less. This was NOT one of those times. Learning about the 14th amendment to the Constitution was something I had not intended. Plessy v Ferguson and Brown v Board of Education both ring a bell from my school days, but I had forgotten why.
It is important to remember these legal precedents. It’s just as relevant today as it was back then. I would argue it is even more relevant today, because we’ve come a long way as a society, but not far enough.
Thurgood Marshall was a smart and fair man who brought a new perspective and set of experiences to the Supreme Court and he was there at the right time. I only wish he was still there.
My son and I were mesmerized the entire time. I made the perfect dad joke after the curtain call. “Thurgood was ThurGreat!” Yes, he gave me the 15 year old eye roll too…
I am trying to get back on my correct path. Which path are you referring to, Fitz? Well, whichever path is the correct one for you. That path will be easy – effortless. You won’t have worries on that path. Your correct path won’t even seem like a path that you follow, rather it will seem to be correcting itself as you go forward – as though it was always going that way. You won’t necessarily be able to see where the path leads, but every time you make a turn, you’re still on the path.
I am not saying that it is impossible to stray from the path – it most certainly is possible. But, deep down you will know – through some form of instinct, that your decision will lead you off the path. You may choose to ignore those inner warning, but I hope you don’t. I have chosen to ignore my inner most warning signs.
What happened? I veered off the path. I KNEW I had veered off the path and it has always been in my power to hop back on – but I didn’t. Why? I cannot pretend to know the answer except to say, perhaps, I was too scared. I had been on the wrong path for so long that I think I was confused as to where my path really was. I forgot that my path was effortless and joyful, not riddled with doubt and fear. I forgot these things and I decided to remember them. Honest writing shows me the path and once again it is up to me to allow the path to lead me out of the muck and the mire. My path leads through groups of amazing people who are strong and positive and caring. Where does your path take you?
I posted a status on Facebook last night while I was waiting for my son to finished golf camp. The post was about how I am grateful for the people who blew me off and couldn’t be bothered to respond to my correspondence. This post caused some folks to reach out to me thinking something was wrong. It might have been how I worded it – but I was really surprised and appreciative of the response. I went back and edited it so that it seemed less dire! But I really felt the need to express my gratitude for the idea of unanswered prayers. There is a Garth Brooks song about it and it is pretty spot on.
The concept is that what you THINK you want really bad at the time might not be right for you in the long run, so if it doesn’t happen, it is upsetting at first but when it all plays out, you’ll look back and say “ha, thank God THAT didn’t happen!” Even recently, there are people in my network who have ghosted me or never bother to respond to messages. It used to piss me off, frankly. But now I understand why it is happening. Right now it is not meant for me to work with this person. One day, perhaps that person will decide to reach out. Maybe he or she will apologize for those actions. Maybe not.
I have learned that what I thought I wanted all those times – those jobs applied to, those people I reached out to – didn’t happen because I was not supposed to go that way – that was not my path.
So I am thankful for the unanswered prayers. I would not have ROC Vox – I would not have a lot of the things I really enjoy now. There is a peace of mind that comes with this realization and I hop you can find it. When something doesn’t work out for you, try and think about the road it would have lead you down and understand that there is a different road you are supposed to be on.
I’m a small business owner and I also have a full-time radio job. I am fortunate that my radio gig is a morning show and so I am out early enough to still have a good chunk of the day to kick things into gear. BUT….the most productive hours are the morning hours – AND I AM AT WORK AND NOT IN MY OWN STUDIO!!!! Then I get to the studio (my second job) after I have lunch with my kids (who are due back at school in just a few weeks – but who is counting?) Now I have to catch up on doing VO’s, editing, Podcasts, general biz admin and…oh yeah…marketing, following up sales leads, answering emails and much much more. Sometimes, my workload actually takes up all of that time and the next thing I know I am rushing home to make dinner and perform my Dadministrative duties – then it is time for bed so I can be up early for the show. All by myself. But darnnit, I am not an island.
An island is all by itself, with only the resources it has or whatever washes up on shore. That won’t work forever if you want to grow. There is only so much room and whatnot! I looked into all of the below possibilities”
Find someone to help! A part time employee who works maybe 10-20 hours per week at minimum wage could be a huge help to get the busy work done. Retirees and students are perfect candidates. Yes, it is not ideal and there are risks. Plus, you have to jump into the “employee” realm! If you are a sole proprietorship, that may be tough…and I get that.
Invest in some kind of CRM software to help with the data being thrown at you all day. After the learning curve, it is like having an employee there that never sleeps.
If sales or marketing is lacking – try for an intern or a commission only contractor who can work remotely and do thy bidding for a piece of the action. I am exploring this option currently and I am seeing a positive trend just in my time management. Again, you have to vet this person because you are giving them some power representing you and your company. Starting with friends and family is a good idea, just have an agreement in writing.
Virtual Assistant – I have zero experience with this option. I know VA’s are not cheap, but I also know that when you find the right one for you, he or she will be a game-changer. I have heard from friends and colleagues who swear by their Virtual Assistant. They can cover so much for you and free you up for the important work.
None of these are an easy fix and require an investment of time and money, but the ROI’s are pretty positive.
The important takeaway from this Blathering, is that you need help. Figure out which kind of helper will make a difference and do it. If you need to take a loan or sell a kidney, maybe you should – it will pay off in the end. (I do not endorse the sale of any human organs, the above comment was used to illustrate a point)
If I were to name this new phase I am venturing into, I would not name it Fitz 2.0. Why? Because Fitz 2.0 happened in 2012 or something. Then came Fitz 3.0 in 2013 and there was one in ’15 and in ’16. I had a short-lived reboot in 2017 but that wasted away in Margaritaville. So, I will not name this reinvention because it would probably be Fitz 7.876 or something mathematically confusing. Check out my old BLOG which chronicled my fitness ADD. For a while, I was really doing well…but I let it fail because I was unable to control my brain. I am not doing a crash diet or a starving plan.
What I Plan on Doing
I am going to eat mostly clean. I am going to make my meals on Sundays and Wednesdays (which may change depending on how this works). I am going to follow a 40/40/20 macronutrient ratio and try to hit 2200 calories per day. I will do a 24 hour fast once to twice per week and I will have one cheat meal per week, which will be my family’s typical “pizza and wings” Friday night. I will only consume water, tea and coffee, fat free milk and mineral water. I will not drink Diet Sodas or any N.A. Beer. (I quit drinking real alcohol). If I have a sweet tooth, it will be a nice healthy snack. *(See pudding recipe below)
I am going to lift 3 times per week and run for 30 minutes after I lift. Each session will be journaled and posted for everyone to follow. if I miss, I will not lie about it – and I hope I will be held accountable. I am prepared for the possibility that nobody will care enough and that it totally fine. In years past, that would affect me. Now, I do this for me and not for recognition.
I will track it all with CronoMeter:
Today’s Snack Recipe: Fitz’s Muscle ‘Pudding’
You can use a vanilla or flavored yogurt if you want, but I try to avoid that added sugar. This is not a new invention, but I like it. You can also add quick oats or muesli to up the carbs if you want.
Plain Greek Yogurt (1C)
Chocolate Whey (1 scoop)
Frozen (or Fresh) blueberries (1C)
fresh cinnamon to taste
.5 oz chopped raw almonds
465 calories – 51.1g Protein – 47.1g Carbs – 9.6g Fat Macro Ratio (45/38/18)
Want to do it With Me?
I invite YOU to restart yourself and we can make it public! WHAAAA? Yes, I mean public. As in – post it all (more than usual) for the world to see. What you’re eating, how much you’re exercising, etc. No secrets! (Well, you can keep the real personal stuff secret…there Tiger!)
Hey, I am not a professional trainer or nutrition specialist – but I know what works for me and I’d love some partners! Let me know if you want to try it with me.
If you’ve read a few of my Blatherings, you know that my life revolves around movie quotes. The one above makes my point succinctly. Plus – Burt Young and Keith Gordon – two fantastically under celebrated actors.
I’ve learned that you really need to CYA at all times regardless of how well you “think” you know who you are dealing with. This holds true for business and personal encounters. I might be slightly naive to believe in my heart that most people want to do the right thing. I think it breaks down when it comes to the part where they must take action, and if it is at all an inconvenience.
If you’ve ever had to barter services for mutual benefit, you know how easy it is for one or even both parties in the transaction to devalue the services being bartered – especially when any out of pocket expenses are involved.
Let’s say you have a service that a friend of yours needs. That friend has the ability to really get your services out to his or her network. Do those values match? You really need to figure that out, otherwise you might be on the losing end of the bargain. If you would normally charge $2,000.00 for your service, you had better be sure that your pal gives you equal or greater value. Sure, if your service is no out of pocket and you want to do your ‘bro’ a favor, that’s totally cool and totally your call – “The Dude Abides”.
If you enter into any kind of barter arrangement – WRITE IT UP! Make sure both parties have the deal in writing. It is all too easy for someone to say they misunderstood and not deliver the quid pro quo. I have had this happen to me and it is really unfortunate – especially if you like the person who suddenly ghosts you when you’re looking for your part of the barter.
I’m a forgiving and understanding person, so I get it. Sometimes you can be excited about a barter situation because it will really benefit you and you’re not entirely worried about the end game when you have to pony up your end of the deal. Protip: don’t promise something you cannot deliver – and get it in writing. I’ve moved on from my disappointments so I’m good with it all, but I won’t make that mistake again!