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  • Writer's pictureEmil Tiedemann

My Private Revolution: Seeking Self-Improvement & Living the Good Life (Day 17)

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

Think back to when you felt like you were in your "prime" - when you felt like you were on top of the world and believed everything and anything was at your fingertips. If you're lucky, these feelings are a regular part of your life, perhaps even present most of the time. If you're like me, those days are seemingly long gone. That's not to say I'm not a happy guy these days, but those feelings of "the sky's the limit" come around fewer and farther between. I want those days back.

Although I have been overweight (and technically obese) for the last 10 years, I ballooned to the heaviest I have ever been in my entire life (219 lbs.) during the COVID-19 pandemic, settling into an even more sedentary existence. I've grown accustomed to casual aches and pains, steady heartburn, impeding anxiety, intermittent brain fog, shuttered motivation, lowered self-esteem, diminished self-respect, declining levels of energy, and an overwhelming feeling of being anchored to a life in limbo.

The sky's the limit... (photo by Greg Rakozy)

It's hard to grasp the amount of missed opportunities over the years because of my social anxiety and somber self-consciousness, nearly crippling my ability to take advantage of invites from local businesses, organizations, friends, and friends-to-be. I can't begin to imagine what I have missed out on over the years, or more importantly, whom I've missed out on. Such a waste.

Don't get me wrong though: like I said, I am generally a pretty happy guy and I have so much to be grateful for, believe you me! And I did take advantage of my "extended holiday," independently publishing not one but two books (and starting a third) during the pandemic, in addition to watching dozens of movies, growing out my hair, and shattering my old score on Ms. Pac-Man! More importantly, thanks to plenty of time to ponder, I have decided that I have had ENOUGH! Enough of not living to my full potential; enough of poisoning my body and brain; enough sitting back and seeing life pass me by.

And yes, I have said this sort of stuff before and I have tried MANY times to shed the pounds and get my shit together. Most attempts failed after the first couple of weeks or even the first few days, however. This time is different though, I can feel it. There is this sense of absolute certainty for the first time in the last decade or so. Perhaps it has something to do with me turning 40 last September? Whatever the reasoning behind my certitude, I am going to run with it and take this enthusiasm all the way to the bank, baby!! I AM SO FUCKING READY FOR THIS!!

On August 1, 2020, I took the plunge and made a commitment to myself: not just to lose weight or cleanse myself from ailments, but simply to live a happy, healthy, sustainable, and full life. Okay, that doesn't sound all that simple, but still. This is no longer simply a desire but rather an essential requirement. I need this! Because I want my life back and I want a future full of exceptional memories and extraordinary highlights. This is a game changer, to say the least.

Me in my "prime" (ca. 2009)

So, how do I get what I want...what I need? Well, it started with my eating habits, which were deplorable to say the least. I was a Coke addict and fixed on fast "food." I was a 7-11 regular, popping in for potato chips, chocolate bars, Slurpees, and other artery-clogging processed rubbish. Don't even get me started on my beloved donairs! Well, I cut all of this trash "food" out and replaced it with whole foods and less-processed options. Oh, and water! Lots of water!! On day 10 of my "journey," I cut out coffee - another daily addiction - and opted for the occasional tea instead, by which time I had started going for walks, organizing and cleaning my home, decluttering my digital world, bullet journaling, spending less, and maintaining mindfulness and minimalism. After two weeks, I was ready for something even more radical, to up the ante. I was more than ready to give up weed (after more than 15 years) and had been for sometime now (except perhaps for some special occasions). So, on day 16, I cancelled cannabis too.

Right now, I feel like I can do anything at this point. The fear or reluctance I once had over quitting things like soda, coffee, and pot are gone, barely registering anymore. It's bizarre but exciting. I don't want to overwhelm myself with all these changes and, in the past, this would have been overwhelming, but I have never been so ready for a revolution as I am at this moment. I feel ready to take on anything! Well, almost anything. 😉

So that's where I currently stand. I want to be as open, transparent, and informative as I can be with this journey of mine. That means documenting the mistakes and fuck-ups along the way, in addition to the accomplishments and achievements. I hope you can come along for the ride and maybe tackle your own revolution, if necessary. Stay tuned!

P.S. This all ties into my "50x50" project...check it out HERE!


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