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Making long-term lifestyle changes that gradually but continually result in a significant altering of the physical form has been accompanied by, for me, a sort of existential soundtrack that I hadn't really considered at the outset of my process. As above so below, they say, or perhaps as below so above. So it goes. I relish the swirl of all things, as much as I'm horrified by it, so I welcome the mental bewilderment associated with the physical disorientation. I'm prone to believing that the only version of you that really matters--if any version of you really matters in truth--is the one happening right now, because any past iteration only exists as a memory, yours or someone else's, and any future version of you is as yet a projection of the mind. Frankly I could, but I won't delve into existence as a projection just now. But, there does appear to prevail a cumulative element to life--a spiral, not a circle, I would posit (although it has been said that time is a flat circle)--albeit I think some of us find it easy to get used to being inside of the "same" fleshy body day after day, while I find it hard to forget that I'm temporarily inhabiting this space, spinning this blood. Recently, many people have commented on the significant change in my appearance, often saying, "I hardly recognize you," and the truth is I hardly recognize myself, but that is nothing new. Yet hearing it never gets any less strange. Oh friends, paradox abounds!

In any case, I've been asked over and over what the big secret is, so now that the conjectural musing portion of my post is a distant memory, diary, I'll provide some practical insights I've accumulated along the way while achieving and continuing to achieve significant weight loss and increased physical health, along with maximum grrrrrr, baby (to boot!). This is what works for me.

Godspeed and all that.

  • Eat good food, hard. I'm talking lean meats, non-starchy veggies, and healthy fats, and a lot of it. Eat food that is high in water, fiber, and protein. Cut sugar, starch, and grains. Ain't no body got time for that. Learn the difference between food and edible products. Shop around the edges of the grocery store. Learn how to cook things. Don't you dare whine about how much it costs.
  • Move your body. It doesn't have to be hard. You don't need to spend hours in the gym. You don't have to hate it. Just do something. Literally anything.
  • Make it personal. What works for everyone else may not work for you, so experiment a lot in order to understand how you tick. Try out mantras, seek out partners in crime, write about your experience, whatever. Don't be afraid to dig around in your brains to figure out what you need.
  • Don't bother counting calories or weighing yourself. Those numbers are bullshit. Cutting calories, in spite of what we are told, isn't the best method of burning excess fat and staying healthy. The quality of the food you are eating is the absolute end all be all of what matters in regard to your health. Thus spake Zarathustra.
  • Sleep. If you don't have time to sleep, you're doing it wrong.
  • Listen to your body. This is a lot easier to do when you're not distracted by the numbers. Your body is like a machine with specs, and it requires the best input in order to get the best output. You'll know when you're eating too much or too little, moving too much or too little, sleeping too much or too little. Just feel it out. It is as organic as that.
  • Don't feel guilty at all about having tasty treats now and then. It doesn't mean you've failed. Unless you're trying to be a fitness model, there's no call for total deprivation.
  • Don't pay attention to hype. Crazes are just that. There's no mysterious formula. Resolving to take care of yourself, forever until you die, is the hard part. The functions required to take care of yourself are truly simple.
  • Practice self-compassion. This makes everything (EVERYTHING) in life easier, and the more you can employ it, the more you will learn.
  • If you need a break, take it. Grit and persistence is important, but even better is being able to be honest with yourself about what you need, even if what you need is a bit slovenly. There's a place for that if what you wish is to walk the middle way.
  • Find resources that inform and inspire you. I recommend sticking with those that reference actual scientific studies on how the body is impacted by food and exercise, not just relying on anecdotal evidence or marketing. I like The Calorie Myth (formerly known as The Smarter Science of Slim).
  • Taking a general interest in gradual self-improvement, overall, will aid in your success.
  • Do. Or do not. There is no try.


It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic, of all things physical and metaphysical, of all things human and all things superhuman, of all true manifestations of the head, of the heart, of the soul, that the life is recognizable in its expression, that form ever follows function. This is the law.
— Louis Sullivan

Although I have not persisted in any religious belief or practice, I remain thoughtfully devout to ritualistic behaviors in one form or another as I sojourn through this strange life. Throughout the transition into 2014, I observed as many creatures around me made resolutions for the coming year. I abandoned the concept of New Year's Resolutions years ago, simply for the fact that they rarely stick. However, I am of the mind that humans--whether it be the result a biological craving formed to benefit the species in some way, or due to the nature of habitual, prevalent cultural tradition, but most likely a co-mingling of both nature and nurture--can use personal rites and rituals in order to flourish on both conscious and subconscious levels. For that reason I have no real disdain for the idea of resolutions, but personally I feel compelled to make deeper roots when it comes to the process of self-transformation. The transition from one year to another makes a good marker for assessment, but without a true underlying desire for transformative internal development, I'm not convinced that resolutions as a means to an end in themselves are actually very beneficial. Pray without ceasing, it has been said. This is a worthwhile philosophy in my eyes.

For those who are less than inclined to desire transformation in the form of self-actualization, I would say that although it is my nature to be in a consistent state of reflective flux, I can empathize with the notion of resigned acceptance of the impending oblivion of it all. Why should we bother with anything when we're all hurtling toward nothing, as far as we can see? But I would be inclined to suspect that even in you there is a very basic, albeit delitescent wish to be worthy (forgive me as I proceed to carve all of human desire into a more palatable portion), and I would argue that this method of thinking is a practical way to approach desire and subsequent action. Worthy of what, you might ask? Of the fulfillment of needs, of redemption, of satisfaction, of enlightenment, of love, of acceptance, of happiness, of whatever The Source has to offer. I don't actually claim to know the answer to this question, but I recognize the presence of such desire in humanity, for good or ill, though some of us would seek while others rebel against the paradigm. We have our reasons.

Regarding desire and action, some might say a wise man accepts that there is a hole in us all that cannot be filled, and I agree with that, but I would add that such lack is what makes the antithesis of lack possible, and thus wholeness is dependent on that very hole that would and cannot be filled. This is tensegrity. It is need that makes having possible. It is a hard-wrought harvest that profoundly increases appreciation of the crop. Effort is a refining process. Trying is beautiful.

I view rituals as repetitive methods of creating and perpetuating meaning which is beneficial to living, and rites as interruptive ceremonies serving to mark a passage from one form of self to another. Taken together, rituals and rites are actions with personal or cultural significance but no real intrinsic meaning. Why do these serve to function as transformative tools? Because form follows function. When a methodical or ceremonial endeavor is mindfully initiated and practiced, it is a sort of vessel that carries conscious and unconscious information. Perhaps there is no actual meaning in the act itself, but there is the expression of purpose which creates the necessary conditions for change, eases life transitions, dispels inertia, generates momentum, interrupts old patterns, moves you. Whatever you decide to do, let it make you worthy.


Sometimes you know a thing long before you know that you know. Sometimes a thing knows you.

Welcome to my Songbird series. These are original songs.

Twisted, turned in the places you've grown
Bring the rest to this vigilant girl
Devil-angel, pulling you close to me

Fires burn where you recently tread
Your scent is all over my bed
My words cradle your destiny

Don't run
Don't hold me too much
But don't run

Puzzle pieces we make of our hearts
Indestructible circles He spins
With seams much tighter than we can see

Sleepy eyes, I witness your stir
Speaking secrets between us once more
You know we will always be