Reflections

As I sit here tonight, I am reminded of my intense love of philosophy. I was liberated from the prison of self-hate as a result of my relationship with philosophy.

I’ve learned that philosophy is more than reading the historical writings of great minds. This is part of it but, when one tries to live out philosophical concepts, we become face to face with our limitations. We come face to face with our programming and all of those things that make us who we are.

I’ve been reading a lot of Plato and listening to a lot of Cornel West lately and I feel a greater degree of awakening happening with me at my core. I feel challenged to share the journey of growth via the kind of wrestling that philosophical study leads to. It is a painful wrestling that lasts for as long as one is engaged.

I’m not really sure how to bring this to you, the reader, in a neat little package so…. I’ll simply share it in the only way I know how. Be aware my friends, it’s going to get messy. It has to.

Thanks for stopping by.

I love you.

~Bash

Happy 2021!

Greeting Family!

I wanted to take a moment and say, “Happy New Year!”

2020 was a year where a lot of things were disrupted due to COVID-19 and other issues. Many people across the world lost their lives and, as the pandemic continues, more lives will be lost. I hope that this pandemic is behind us all soon and that we will move forward keeping in mind the lessons learned from this.

2020 also revealed many of the things in our society that we like to pretend are not there. We have seen unapologetic white supremacy rear its head and we have been challenged to respond. We cannot afford to move forward without clearly rebuking white supremacy and the behaviors it leads to. I believe that people are waking up and that we will continue to see white supremacy be challenged until it is wiped out. I hope that I’m not being overly optimistic.

Now that we are in 2021, my question for each of us is simple…… What are we going to do with this year? This is an important question because, while there are some things that are beyond our control, mindset is not among them. We have a responsibility to ourselves and to future generations, to leave the world in a better situation than we found it. This does not happen instantly but it does happen as a result of consistent effort over a period of time. This effort will be challenged. Life will happen. The key is to make sure that each time life knocks us down or slows our progress, we keep our eyes on the prize.

Personally, I spent 2020 figuring out what I really wanted from life and working to align with that. The first thing I did was leave a job that did not speak to my sense of purpose. This was difficult because in doing so, I walked into a job that I knew had an expiration date. I also started to address some health concerns that I had not yet made time for. This has included fighting to lose weight and get my diabetes under control. I wish I could tell you that this particular battle has been easy but it has NOT. I love to eat and I love carbs so I have fallen off of the keto bandwagon a few times. My commitment to myself if that I will stick to keto this year and reach my goals. Another step I took was to reorganize my home work space in such a way that is conducive to actually getting things done. This was key because I have difficulty sleeping at night so, a workstation that allows for too much lounging is one that leads to unintended naps during the day. Lastly, I made my first major networking move since moving to the Midwest by pledging to a fraternity that will allow me to connect with others and build a better world for the next generation.

Now to the hard part. The hard part is being consistent. It is making sure that I don’t find myself falling short of my goals and standards this year. But how? How can I do this. Well, I’ve used the first days of 2021 to put a few things in place that are working well so far. The thing I want to highlight, however, is not giving myself permission to be a poor steward over my health. I do this by doing to difficult job of telling myself NO. This was particularly handy earlier today as I was sitting on the couch after enjoying a bowl of collard greens. I found myself craving a cheeseburger. This was a full-on craving that caused my mouth to water and tempted me to pull out my phone and have a burger delivered. I wanted to bread, the meat, the cheese, the condiments, the fries and a big cup of soda on the side. The craving was so strong that I could practically taste it. I almost gave in but I remembered what it would mean for me to not resist this urge and that was enough for me to do the right thing.

I encourage you to follow this example. If you are following this blog and you need to change the way you eat in an effort to get your health on track, please join me on this journey. I intend to spend 2021 doing hard things so that I can help others to do the same. This will get me into trouble in some circles but obesity comes with a price. There are a lot of illnesses that are obesity related and losing weight can result in a better quality of life for many. I know this from personal experience, research, and from watching others lose their lives to obesity related illnesses.

Having said that, I also know that losing weight can be very hard for a variety of reasons. Eating right, moving our bodies in certain ways, knowing what foods are good and what foods are harmful, and a host of other things can be very real barriers to weight loss. So, what’s to be done? How can we combat obesity against the odds? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question but there is room for conversation.

Please join me as share my journey and explore topics related to overcoming obesity.

Fear

Confession: I am terrified of publishing my book. I’ve been wrestling with this fear for years.

It’s paralyzing.

2021 has to be the year that I do this.

Please send me good vibes family. I’m struggling but I remain determined.

Keto

My latest appointment was not what I’d hoped. I was at 315 lbs at the appointment and my numbers were not where they needed to be as far as my bloodwork was concerned.

The changes I’ve been making have not been doing the job so I’ve switched to keto. I’m doing this after a discussion with my doctor about taking a more aggressive approach to taking my health back. I would encourage everyone considering something like a drastic change in diet to consult a doctor first.

Having said that. I’m now at day 3 of keto and it has been a struggle. I love carbs and before deciding to go keto I didn’t realize how hard it is to eat under 20 carbs a day. It’s a challenge but one that is worth it for the fitness goals that I have.

I’ll be posting daily on Instagram @bashshares. I will also be posting here as I move through the journey. I could use community while tackling this because, honestly, fitness is something I’ve always desired to through myself into but was afraid.

I’m ready to kick diabetes’ ass.

*I am not a medical professional, I am merely documenting my personal journey with Diabetes Type 2*

Water & Lemon

This week, I have a confession to make. I’ve been on partaking in sweet tea, soda, & other beverages which I have no business drinking. I’ve been doing very well with my food choices but I need to get my behavior around everything I’m taking into my body in order.

For that reason, I’m giving up the bad stuff and moving toward water and water with lemon for the majority of my liquid intake. The last time I lost a lot of weight, this was part of my methodology.

Notice, I said mostly. I will be ingesting things like smoothies with almond or oat milk as a base, hot tea with no sweetener, pre-workout, coffee with a splash of cream (non-dairy) and ACV. These things are a part of my daily routine as I increase my activity levels and engage in strength and resistance training.

Today is Monday and I will check in this weekend with results. For context, I am currently on a low carb eating plan. For the most part, I eat fruit, veggies, and either lean meat or plant based “meat”. I am doing this because I am, in addition to working to achieve weight loss, working to reverse my Type 2 diabetes. I’m not tracking my weight right now. I’ll get weighed at my next appointment at the end of the month. Instead, I’m watching how my clothing fits and whether or not I deal with inflammation on a daily basis.

*I am not a medical professional, I am merely documenting my personal journey with Diabetes Type 2*

Black Lives Matter ✊🏿

Police brutality must be stopped in this country. We must stand up. We all have an obligation to do our part.

Moving forward, I am dedicating this platform to seeking equality and justice for black people in the USA. I will remain dedicated to this purpose until meaningful change comes and beyond.

#blacklivesmatter #nojusticenopeace #justice #revolutions #blacktranslivesmatter

Day 21: Silence

Silence is amazing. It gives me space to sift through my thoughts. It grounds me.

I find that by intentionally seeking out quiet moments, I am able to lead a more thoughtful life. I am able to not have knee-jerk reactions to life as it comes at me.

Take 5 minutes each day to sit in silence. Close your eyes. Breathe slowly and deeply. It may change your life.

I love you.

~Bash

Day 20

It’s time family. It’s time to move forward and simply…. do it. If you’re someone who had been putting off acting on your dreams, I beg you to stop. Please.

Start now walking in the direction of your purpose. You owe it to yourself.

Day 18: Knowing Your Value

For this coming week, I’m going to reassess my worth. Presently, even while working a job that’s paying me the most money I’ve made in my adult life I’m still making far less annually than I should for a person with my education and experience. This is something I’ve accepted for far too long.

I owe it to myself to not accept less than what I should be making. I owe it to myself to stop letting “bonus potential” convince me to take jobs making far less than I should be. I should be able to afford to live in a great neighborhood. I should be able to pay all of my household bills on my income alone. Moving forward, I’m holding myself to that standard. I’ll be dedicating the next 5 calendar days to solidifying what that should look like and my plan for getting there.

I’ve had enough. I deserve better from myself. My wife deserves better from me. I will realize my potential.

Day 17: Hunger

Today I listened to Hunger by Roxane Gay. It brought me to tears. The stories of all bodies need to be told. I admire her courage.

I’m working on loving my body with all of its history and complexity. It’s a journey.