Archive for January, 2010


Call To Action

Wednesday, February 3 and

Thursday, February 4, 2010


  • Protest Uganda’s Pending Anti-Homosexuality Bill

(and the American religious right encouraging it)

  • Demand the Entire Ugandan Delegation be Dropped from

The Family’s National Prayer Breakfast

  • Quell Uganda’s “Kill The Gays” Movement By

Limiting U.S. Government Financial Aid

  • Require U.S. Asylum for LGBTQ Ugandans

  • Challenge The Family and National Prayer Breakfast Participants To Live Up To The Christian Ideals
    They Espouse

A Call To Action

A Call To Action

Join Full Equality Now DC on February 3-4, 2010, to protest the American-encouraged Anti-Homosexuality Bill currently being crafted in the Ugandan Parliament that calls for death sentences for AIDS victims as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender citizens.

This repressive bill is the culmination of the work of a secretive “christianist” cult known as “The Family” that oversees questionable and unsanctioned political and business dealings with the highest echelons of foreign governments.

Uganda’s proposed legislation would intensify and legalize the existing brutality and persecution of its LGBTQ citizens, including life sentences for the “aggravated homosexuality” of being HIV-positive. All Ugandan citizens would be required to report homosexuals to the police or face three years imprisonment. Any “promotion of homosexuality” would carry a seven-year prison sentence. Only recent international outcries have tamped down, at least for now, provisions for the death penalty for three-time “offenders” and people suffering from AIDS.

The Family’s February 4 National Prayer Breakfast is this organizations only public U.S. event each year. It brings together American elected officials and businessmen, many of whom support the sentiments of legislation’s authors, and their international counterparts. “Homosexuals must forget about human rights!” recently exclaimed Uganda’s Minister of Ethics and Integrity, James Nsaba Buturo, a co-author of the bill and member of The Family.

The night before the National Prayer Breakfast, February 3, participate in Full Equality Now DC’s Protest and Rally starting at 5:30 p.m., at one of The Family’s tax-exempt centers at 133 C Street SE in Washington. Stand against the pending anti-LGBTQ legislation in Uganda and in particular The Family’s actions supporting it. While expressing its religious hypocrisy and promulgating repression of homosexuals worldwide, The Family enjoys U.S. tax protections for its numerous properties, including C Street’s low-cost dormitory for Family members such as sex-scandal plagued Nevada Senator John Ensign and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford.

What: Protest and Rally at The Family’s DC location

When: Wednesday, February 3, 2010, 5:30 p.m.

Where: The “C Street House,” 133 C Street SE, Washington, D.C.

Organized and Sponsored by: Full Equality Now DC

The next morning, February 4, concurrent with The Family’s National Prayer Breakfast and as an alternative to it, engage in the District’s American Prayer Hour, part of a decentralized series of powerful and inspirational events across the country that morning, including Dallas, Chicago, Boston, and Berkley, California.

What: American Prayer Hour/DC

With: D.C. Faith leaders and renowned gospel singer Ray Boltz

When: Thursday, February 4, 10 a.m.

Where: Calvary Baptist Church, 755 8th Street NW

Organized by: Truth Wins Out

Co-Sponsored by: Full Equality Now DC

Most important, stay alert and continue to work to scuttle this legislation in the weeks to come, and stand in solidarity with LGBTQ communities throughout the world, especially Uganda.

Members of The Family include current and past conservative members of the U.S. Congress, and anti-gay lightening rods such as Pastor Rick Warren. Family members and anti-gay extremists in Uganda are working together to craft this life-threatening legislation. The new bill’s chief authors are Family members Minister Buturo and Member of Parliament David Bahati, both of whom have proceeded with the encouragement of Ugandan President and Family member Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

Only in response to mounting international pressure, The Family recently “disinvited” David Bahati to the February 4 breakfast, and this pressure must not cease.

Ugandan Martin Ssempa, Family member and vocal fundamentalist pastor, is championing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and has forced LGBTQ citizens and activists into hiding by publishing their names and addresses. Most recently, Ssemba has been organizing a “Kill The Gays” million man march demanding life imprisonment or death for every gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Ugandan.

The Family is based in the U.S. but operates more than 10,000 cells worldwide to promulgate its anti-homosexual agenda, especially in African countries where a fertile bed of homophobia has existed for decades. Although The Family has recently made rather specious statements saying that they are the secret allies of the LGBTQ community, its adherents were instrumental in setting the stage last year for so-called anti-gay experts to travel Uganda to help officials justify the extreme vileness expressed in the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

If The Family wants anyone to actually believe that they are advocates for human rights, we must challenge them to now publicly affirm their organization’s support for worldwide LGBTQ equality, less their recent statements again prove that they are the hypocrites and anti-Christian bigots they so obviously appear to be.

President Barack Obama has already condemned the bill but he must do more. President Obama must certainly boycott the Breakfast because of The Family’s support for the Ugandan bill. He should not be seen anywhere near the Ugandan delegation, much less share the dais with any one of them. In the days leading up to February 4, we call on President Obama and each elected U.S. official to come forward publicly to disassociate themselves from The Family and the National Prayer Breakfast and the scheduled Ugandan state delegation.

The Ugandan government has long misspent and wasted millions of dollars of U.S. funding intended for HIV/AIDS prevention and wellness services, and American elected officials have done nothing to make sure our tax dollars aren’t wasted or used to persecute LGBTQ citizens in Uganda or anywhere else.

Should this draconian measure pass, we will join together to call on the U.S. government to explicitly condemn it and to offer asylum to LGBTQ Ugandans, all of who personify the definition of refugees with a “well-founded fear of persecution.”

In the latest issue of The Public Eye, Kapya Kaoma, an Anglican Priest from Zambia nails it, saying, “Ironically enough, although American conservatives repeatedly accuse progressives of being imperialist, it is their dealings with Africa that are extremely imperialistic. Their flow of funds creates a form of clientism, with the expectation that the recipients toe an ideological line.” This sums up the explicit modus operandi characterizing all of The Family’s work.

Washington has one of the highest rate of HIV infection and has seen a meteoric rise in local hate crimes against our LGBTQ citizens, so we, especially, must redouble our efforts, protesting The Family’s actions, squashing Uganda’s pending hateful legislation, and fighting against the repression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people everywhere. It is surely a matter of life and death.

Full Equality Now DC is a grassroots organization dedicated to local and national actions in support of full federal equality for all Americans regardless of sexual orientation or gender identification. It was founded by the original DC Host Committee that helped bring a quarter of million people to the October 2009 National Equality March in Washington, DC.

F U L L    E Q U A L I T Y    N O W    D C

www.fullequalitynowdc.org

More equality activists have expanded membership through weekly meetings where actions are decided through democratic means. Recently these have included a public protest of WMATA bus advertisements that singled out LGBTQ citizens for discrimination, and a series of actions to interfere with the Ugandan politicians forwarding repressive laws that would jail its homosexual citizens.

For more information, go to www.fullequalitynowdc.org.

My interview with Kathy Griffin

Last night I had the pleasure of interviewing the best of the “D-List” herself, Kathy Griffin! I’ve included the beginning of my interview and the link to the full article. Read on for Kathy’s thoughts on her book, the alleged CNN ban, and what she won’t say about Anderson Cooper!!

Of all the adjectives used to describe Kathy Griffin, demure is assuredly not on the list.

As a two time Emmy recipient, Grammy nominee and host of her own Bravo reality show, “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List,” Griffin has decidedly redefined what it truly means to be “A-List.” And she’s bringing her talent this week to Washington, D.C., for two shows at DAR Constitution Hall and a signing of her tell-all memoir, “Official Book Club Selection” — so named because Griffin wants Oprah to include the volume in her renowned book club.

Griffin spoke briefly with DC Agenda to answer questions about her book, roasting Joan Rivers and dropping the ball and F-bomb on CNN.

DC Agenda: While in D.C., there will be a stop at the Borders Books located at 1801 K St., N.W., for a signing of your book, “Official Book Club Selection,” and two performances at DAR Constitution Hall. Many of your faithful gays will buy your book and commit it to memory. Why should everyone else?

Kathy Griffin: I’ve gotten e-mails from people saying they were reading it while on an airplane and laughing out loud, so everyone needs a laugh. Also, I deliver the real shit, you know? I talk about the pedophile brother and the divorce and the husband and the money. Dealing with growing up as an outsider — which I think is my connection with the gay community. I think the reason that I connect with all the gay community is because we’re in the struggle together. I’ve had gay friends as long as I can remember. There’s something about having to work harder, having to jump higher, and a lot of the book is about doing that.

Agenda: You have said your book will make readers laugh but also offend them a little bit — that “sometimes it’s good to be offended”. How do you feel people can people learn from being offended?

Continue for the full article…

Avatar: Beyond the Hype

I don’t doubt that most everyone in the Nation has heard of, seen the previews for, or been to the theater to see James Cameron’s “Avatar”. Today my partner and I ventured out of the District to take part in the phenomenon that Avatar has become.Written, directed, and produced by Cameron who is no stranger to epic movies. One only needs to look at his history to see the man is a box-office golden child with such gargantuan hits as “Titanic”, “The Terminator”, “Aliens”, and several others under his belt (in one form or another).

I will assume for a minute you perhaps have been living under a rock or in a cave so have not heard of “Avatar” so I will provide the plot summary courtesy of IMDb.com:

When his brother is killed in battle, paraplegic Marine Jake Sully decides to take his place in a mission on the distant world of Pandora. There he learns of greedy corporate figurehead Parker Selfridge’s intentions of driving off the native humanoid “Na’vi” in order to mine for the precious material scattered throughout their rich woodland. In exchange for the spinal surgery that will fix his legs, Jake gathers intel for the cooperating military unit spearheaded by gung-ho Colonel Quaritch, while simultaneously attempting to infiltrate the Na’vi people with the use of an “avatar” identity. While Jake begins to bond with the native tribe and quickly falls in love with the beautiful alien Neytiri, the restless Colonel moves forward with his ruthless extermination tactics, forcing the soldier to take a stand – and fight back in an epic battle for the fate of Pandora.

That should at least bring those not entirely familiar with the story line up to speed on the basic plot of the movie. I could tell you about the amazing performances by the stars of the film Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver. I could tell you about how many awards it has already been nominated for and how many box office records it has broken. I could also tell you about how I have never in my life experienced a movie as I did “Avatar” in IMAX 3D…but I’m not going to. What I do want to express are my feelings on who this movie could potentially piss off, who I hope it does piss off, and why I’m elated it does so!

Let’s begin with who I think “Avatar” might anger. Anyone who has served in, currently serving in, or has family members serving in the United States Military. Spoiler Alert so if you don’t want to know more about the movie you may want to see it before continuing to read this post. In “Avatar” the U.S. Military is part of the ruthless albeit well oiled corporate machine and, as a surprise, is the bad guy. My partner is former military and several of my family members are/were in the military so I have nothing but love and respect for all those who serve our country. “Avatar” forces the audience to take a hard look at that tried and true concept of manifest destiny. For those that need a history class refresher, manifest destiny is a term that was used in the 19th century to designate the belief that the United States was destined, even divinely ordained, to expand across the North American continent, from the Atlantic seaboard to the Pacific Ocean. Although in “Avatar” this concept spreads beyond the usual terra firma to another planet entirely.

You may find I leave out specific events and situations in the movie because first, I don’t want to completely ruin it for those who have yet to see it. Secondly, the movie was nearly three hours long so I could hardly do it justice. Suffice it to say, the U.S. Military acts as the muscle of a corporation attempting to mine a practically priceless deposit aptly yet somewhat ridiculously named “unobtainium”. Of course the largest deposit lies directly under the dwelling of the “Na’vi”.

There is an all out war between the species on a planet humans really had no business being on in the first place, other than being driven by our own greed. There were several very subtle moments in the movie that were the viewer to take them out of the existing context and place them in any other movie you would be cheering the great might and determination despite the smaller numbers of the U.S. Forces. I can guarantee that Cameron wrote those scenes as such because it attributed such an eerie familiarity to the sequence. James Cameron even went so far as to use such phrases as “fighting terror with terror” which was clearly used as a device to reach deeper into the audience and see past the stunning visualizations to potentially a larger truth. The question that is essentially raised would be is every action we take, as a country, the correct action?

The soldiers, commanding officers, and every other “power that be” in this movie believe they are doing the right thing by decimating the land and indigenous people to further our own species. With all the technological advances at our disposal the bulk of humanity in “Avatar” seem to almost be de-evolving into brutish thugs without any hesitation (save a small few) to exert whatever force at whatever cost that is deemed necessary. Coincidentally (or not so coincidentally) “Avatar” takes place in the year 2154, so those familiar with World history would know that 1954 was part of the span of years that made up the Vietnam War.

Just as the debate of the Vietnam War, “Avatar” raises the same questions of should we or shouldn’t we be in a foreign land where we may or may not belong. Having put a lot of thought into the movie, beyond the stunning visuals, I couldn’t help but wonder if any members of the armed forces would be angered by the portrayal of the military by James Cameron. They were, mostly, less than intelligent, thuggish, unfeeling, and frankly murderers. That would be the “hmm, I wonder if they’re pissed” portion of my diatribe, now on to the “I know they’re pissed” portion.

Religion plays a massive part in “Avatar” but the deity is no savior crucified for anyone’s sins but nature itself. It can easily be said that the “Na’vi” practice pantheism. A broad definition of pantheism would be that it is the view that “God is everything and everything is God; the world is either identical with God or in some way a self-expression of his nature”. The “Na’vi” worship a deity they have named “Eywa”, which composes every aspect of nature and life on Pandora. By the end of “Avatar” not only do you understand the religious views of the “Na’vi” but you believe “Eywa” exists as a powerful force in the world that Cameron has constructed.

“Avatar” makes no mention of any other religion so the audience has nothing beyond their own personal experience to compare the ideologies of the “Na’vi” with. The lack of acknowledgment of Christianity itself would, most likely, be what angers most Christians. No Jesus, no Saints, none of it period…Anyone who has ever been engaged by an evangelical knows they have issue with sharing (to the point of force feeding) their religious point of view with anyone who will listen.

By no means do I feel every theater goer with a crucifix around their neck has issue with “Avatar” but I do not doubt in the least that there are those who find the concepts expressed an affront to their belief structure. I can only hope that that belief structure doesn’t prevent anyone from experiencing this amazing film.

“Avatar” is, without doubt, being publicized on a level that is epic within itself. If you have been contemplating heading to your local IMAX to experience “Avatar”, do so so you can experience it fully. View the story that James Cameron presents beyond the stunning visuals, beyond the brilliant acting, read between the lines (and trust me 2 hours and 40 minutes provides a lot of lines) and take away all the beautiful lessons it has to offer.

What is Gained through Gossip.

This morning, just this very second I typed in “Celebrity Gossip” into Google’s search engine. When I limited the search to changes made within the past 24 hours can you imagine how many results were returned? An astonishing 36,400,000! It can easily be said that it is human nature to discuss the human nature of every other human in nature! However being that these are celebrities they put themselves in the public spotlight knowing every tiny action they make will be greedily sought after to make the headlines. Just ask Tiger, Lindsay, Charlie, and the list goes on.

Celebrities are the unwitting parents of bastard children in the form of Perez Hilton, Ted Casablanca, and any other Celeb Gossip columnist, blogger, twitterati, you can imagine. I myself quite enjoy a healthy slice of celebrity gossip but the question has to be asked…why? How would I feel were I in their shoes? Is my glass house so solid it can withstand the same stones? I think not!

This all dawned on me earlier this morning when I was a part of a local Twitter conversation where the statement was made regarding how quickly information gets around in D.C.; when “one knows, they all know” but this really is nothing new no matter where you live. There are persons who thrive on either end of the gossip spectrum…either they love to be the one WITH the information and happy to share it or they simply love to be the topic of conversation, good, bad, or indifferent just as long as they are the topic.

I am by no means stating that I’m innocent, nor were someone to tell me they have never participated in any form of gossip would I believe them. Either by relaying or simply passively listening you play a part. Now please don’t think I’m judging anyone because this has simply become part of our culture. The ability to access, transfer, and look up information has become so immediately gratifying that it’s no surprise every person out there is in the position to become a point of conversation.

Being a gay man, it’s written in the bylaws that I love and commit to memory every line of “Steel Magnolias”.

Steel Magnolias: Poster design by B.D. Fox Independent

Steel Magnolias: Poster design by B.D. Fox Independent

Specifically when Clairee Belcher (portrayed amazingly by Olympia Dukakis) states “If you can’t say something nice about someone, come sit by me”. We all love a good story, furthermore we all love a good story when we aren’t the topic! Showing my gay card again with my love of musical theater I’m reminded of the song “Schadenfreude” sung by Gary and Nicky in the riotous “Avenue Q”. Schadenfreude (German in origin) is the malicious enjoyment derived from observing someone else’s misfortune. This essentially is the root of why most people enjoy gossip, since generally it is less than flattering in nature, it raises you up to a different level.

Gossip is one of the oldest and most common means of sharing (unproven) facts and views. The functionality of gossip are varied, author Frank T. McAndrew gave several examples in “The Science of Gossip: Why we can’t stop ourselves“. Scientific American:

* normalize and reinforce moral boundaries in a speech-community
* foster and build a sense of community with shared interests and information
* build structures of social accountability
* further mutual social grooming (like many other uses of language, only more so)
* provide a mating tool that allows (for example) women to mutually identify socially desirable men and compare notes on which men are better than others.
* be used as a form of passive aggression, as a tool to isolate and harm others
* provide a peer-to-peer mechanism for disseminating information in organizations

Knowing that generally the “dirt” that is spread can be harmful to others why is it done, especially considering the backlash that can transpire to the individual(s) spreading the “dirt” in the first place. It could be an adult onset of the bully syndrome. It’s not socially acceptable to push someone down physically but you can certainly tear apart a persons reputation thus lowering their social status in the eyes of their peers.

Knowing it or not each of us is reaching for a higher status on the social food chain. This “Achieved Status” is important sociologically because it comes with a set of rights, obligations, behaviors, and duties that one is expected to adhere to. Moving up, or perhaps down, the social stratification is due (in part) to the flow of information. Who knows who, and who knows what…but this is a fine line that is not easily navigated.

The crux of gossip is this…for an indeterminate amount of time you may be the one with such salacious information that you indiscriminately share it at your leisure, UNTIL those listening determine your trustworthiness is lacking then you become the topic and drop straight to the bottom of the social ladder you clawed so hard for to reach to the top.

In the end what is really gained through gossip? A good story? Usually yes. A laugh? Almost always. Be careful how you use information though because it will most certainly turn on you in the end.

DJ Drew G at the Nightlife Helm

photo by Lander/DiLuzio

photo by Lander/DiLuzio

DJ Drew G is no stranger to the nightlife scene; you could say he always knew he was destined to spin. Being born into a musically inclined family, Drew learned to master an astounding 10 instruments as a youth. By the age of 18, Drew had already released five albums and had produced several others all leading to his first gig in New York City, Friday Nights at Stonewall. It didn’t take long for Drew to be accepted as a true professional as he also showcased his business savvy and love for the industry working as an intern at Peter Rauhofer’s Star 69.

What Drew does best is read his crowd and understands exactly what is expected of him. Each of Drew’s sets are a mix of current chart-topping hits, classics, rare imports and several of his own unreleased mixes. With such a varied cross-section of music Drew has been a resident DJ at bars, clubs, and events from one side of the spectrum to the other such as New York’s G and HK Lounge to GYM Sportsbar and The Eagle. To boot, he is also the youngest DJ to ever play the famed Black Party and The Roxy.

There is a drive that is very evident to anyone attending a set with Drew behind the tables. The initial push to succeed came due to “people telling me I’d never make it, so it goes to show when you do what you love you will succeed.” With his biggest musical influence being Eddie Van Halen it’s not hard to see why Drew was a guitarist in a metal band before becoming a DJ.

Drew is easily making his D.C. presence known by playing at some of the favorite nightlife spots and events DC has to offer.  Drew firmly believes that the club scene in DC is “very alive because there are three big room clubs which is just amazing”. This has been very evident due to the ever increasing appearances Drew has made at Cobalt, EFN Lounge, and Halo just to name a few.

When asked about what he sees as the most promising events in D.C. at the moment, Drew very quickly responded by acknowledging Dylan Davis and Jacob Nathaniel Pring. “Dylan really surprised me with what an amazing job he did making Pandemonium what it is” Drew said in regard to the monthly event held at Cobalt. “On the darker side of Promotions, Jacob Pring is doing a really good job with CODE in DC at EFN Lounge/Motley Bar. It’s nice see the fellow fetish enthusiasts now have a place to go in the Logan/Dupont area.”

Drew’s favorite event to play is “Gay Days” at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Va. Accompanied by a group of friends which only adds to the “insane energy” of the event, Drew premiered the “Don’t Stop Believin” mix there which generated “the most amazing crowd response ever. Just imagine 2500 people singing along to your remix. I just had this rush inside.” It’s no surprise to anyone who has been to a venue with Drew at the helm that he thoroughly enjoys what he does and feeds off the response from all in attendance.

The nightlife scene is subject to the whims of the style-makers; ever changing and always full of options. When asked about his thoughts on the evolution of nightlife, “I think the scene is getting better as we speak” he stated. “Online dating/hookup sites did a great job killing the scene and I think the people are finally kind of over it. We’re starting to go out more and be social in person and that’s how it was meant to be.”

There is a growing climate of new event promoters in D.C. which are quickly changing the landscape of nightlife options. When asked what advice he would give to a new, up and coming DJ, Drew stated with great passion that any DJ must be ready because “getting gigs is like pulling teeth. Clubs often tell me I’m not established enough, and I’ve produced major label artists and did an album for Mya. It is a hard business. Most important though is to play what you love and develop your own style; no one wants to hear the same stuff at every venue. I kind of think that’s why I’m so successful, I play what my crowd wants to hear”

It could easily be said that DJ Drew G is going to have a long successful career in front of him. There are already several appearances scheduled in the DC area in the next several months so be sure to keep your eyes on this incredible talent. For more information on DJ Drew G, such as obtaining his sets, playdates and mailing list check out djdrewg.com

Statistically speaking, ninety-two percent of all people who make a New Year’s Resolution will fail. Fourty-five percent will fail before the end of January alone! It must then be asked how do those eight percent make it through? What secret must they posses that the other ninety-two percent of the populous of “resolvers” not? It really comes down to a matter of definition.

A resolution by definition means “to do something or to behave in a certain manner”. I resolve to walk to the Starbucks every day and get a Venti Latte, that is an easy enough task because it is something I desire. A revolution, however, is a different story. Revolution by definition means “ a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something : a change of paradigm” and that is the key point in why so many people fail at resolutions. To resolve to do something, it is a simple and usually passive act. To create a revolution in your own life is they catalyst to lasting change. I will tell my own story and how I am currently creating a revolution in my life in hopes it may enlighten, inspire, or even just give a moment of pause to you, the reader.

My goal is this, I am currently 32 years old (turning 33 in August) and I plan to drop 30 pounds in two months. Some may consider that drastic when, in my experience, it isn’t that difficult. Growing up I was always slender and never really had much weight fluctuation. That is until I began working behind a desk, was happily in a relationship, content with my friends, and happy with life in general. I slowly started gaining weight going from around the 180 pound mark to upwards of 265 pounds. To break that down for you further, I wore a size 34 waist jean at the start and by the end I was wearing a 42 waist jean. I am 6ft 1in. tall so to say I was overweight was an understatement!

Ty at the beginning

Ty at the beginning

There is no real need to discuss why I let myself get to that point or how did it get that bad because it just did. Anyone who has ever gained weight can tell you it’s a slow process then you just wake up and realize what you have allowed to happen to yourself. My self realization was multi-tiered because it wasn’t simply that my clothes no longer fit. I suddenly found myself barely getting any sleep due to the acute sleep apnea that had developed. For those not familiar, sleep apnea is the temporary stoppage of breathing during sleep. The onset of my apnea caused me to wake up with severe headaches, I would be constantly tired, not to mention there is a possibility of death of suffocation during sleep.

I tolerated the sleep apnea for about a year before it became so bad I decided to go to the doctor to see what could be done; I had three options. First, I could sleep with a CPAP machine strapped to my face. The CPAP machine works by delivering a stream of compressed air via a hose to a nasal pillow, nose mask or full-face mask, splinting the airway (keeping it open under air pressure) so that unobstructed breathing becomes possible, reducing and/or preventing apneas and hypopneas.

CPAP Machine

CPAP Machine

The second option which was a bit more radical was to have a uvulectomy. Basically the surgeon would remove my uvula and a small amount of soft tissue in the back of my throat to allow my airway to be more open. Clearly I was in no way interested in having any form of surgery.

The third option, which was the option I chose, was to simply loose weight. I never had sleep apnea as a child and it could only be assumed that the onset was due to my expanding waist. This was the option I decided to take since the first two left a bad taste in my mouth!

You have to understand that the sleep apnea was only part of the answer to why I decided to lose weight. In addition to the health issues, I was single at this point and realized I wouldn’t date myself! Not that I am or ever have been so narcissistic that I would want a carbon copy of myself but I had to take into account the type of person I desired was nothing like the person I was. To that end, the decision was made and I started a personal revolution.

Let me now skip to the end and work back toward the middle. In the course of 8 months I went from about 265 pounds down to 155 pounds. Before you think it, no there was no illness involved, no drugs, no medical assistance, it was all on my own. The plan I followed was nothing out of any book, I didn’t use a personal trainer, I worked out by myself as a matter of fact. The secret to weight loss is an easy one and I’ll share it with you now. Sacrifice! For those who read the diet books and follow the diet plans etc etc etc listen very carefully…The only way to get what you want is to sacrifice. I’m not talking about starvation but all those plans that tell you that you can substitute “xyz” for your favorite treat is feeding you a load of tripe. There is NO SUBSTITUTE for the snacks, treats, and food you love. You (and I) love them because they are full of fat and the fat is what makes it all taste so good. You will have to get ready to accept the fact that there is no replacement, as much as I love apples they are by no means as good as apple pie with vanilla ice cream.

My routine consisted of the following, I went to the gym 6 days a week, only for an hour to 1.5 hours each time. I focused primarily on cardio with a small amount of weight training mixed in. For meals, I ate all those prepackaged Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, Healthy Choice meals. They were lunch and dinner, breakfast was usually a nutrition shake or bar or something of that nature. I ate a decent amount of raw fruits and veg in between but for me, as it is for most people, it was about portion control. I love to cook and when I do I go big and ate just as big. The only way to stop that was to stop preparing my own food because I lacked the self control. The packaged meals made it a lot easier and I adapted and eventually was able to cook for myself but in smaller portions and much lighter fare.

Ty at the end

Ty at the end

Eight months flew by, the weight flew off and I could not have been happier or more proud of what I had accomplished. That was about six years ago, and I managed to maintain my weight within a few pounds since. Last spring I found myself unemployed which of course caused a huge amount of negativity. Unfortunately situations such as that or any other life changes in the negative can cause persons who are prone to weight gain (such as myself) to start putting it back on. I would say I packed back on about 25 pounds in the past year. Is that horrible? I’m not 265 pounds like I was at one point but it is certainly a slippery slope.

This is where it is time to adopt the personal revolution I once made such successful use of. My partner has decided that we will be taking a weekend vacation at the beginning of March to Miami. That now leaves me with about two months to get back to where I was. This time however will be different because I have no gym membership at my disposal so I will be at the mercy of what I can accomplish on my own. I have no doubt in my mind I will succeed at the task I’ve laid out for myself. Plus I plan on documenting the process here on my blog as I go.

Some people may think I’ve decided to drop a few pounds because of the beach trip that is forthcoming when in reality it is nothing but a focal point for me. Just as anyone should have a clear and distinct point in their own personal time line to aim for. Fortunately for myself, I’ve found myself falling into the same old bad habits and have been able to cut them off before things grow too far out of hand. I’m not resolving to change my life, I’m creating a revolution in it and the paradigm will shift in my favor.

For those of you out there wanting to make changes in 2010, either weight or finances or relationships or whatever it may be…don’t simply make a resolution but join the revolution and make change happen!