I Like Your Boobs, Daddy
I like your boobs, daddy.
My son said that to me on April 28th of this year. We were sitting on the couch, watching a movie. He and his sister were on either side of me. He had his head and a hand on my chest. One simple, declarative sentence from a 7 year old boy. I laughed when he said it, saying “thanks, dude. what every dad likes to hear.” It was funny, but, l don’t think he meant it to be. He was just saying what he felt (literally). One simple sentence and I decided right then that I needed to change. Everything.
On the surface was an appeal to vanity, sure, but not too far below it, a potent mix of self-loathing and despair. It’s one thing to disappoint yourself — as I had been actively doing in all my passivity (no new songs, no shows, still stuck in soul-suck day job, etc.), but it’s another to feel as if you’re about to, or could, disappoint your child. Within minutes of him having said it, I imagined picking my kids up at school, and hearing: “that’s my dad over there. The one with the boobs.” That’s where I went in my mind, which told me, in a way, that I needed to go somewhere else, decisively, with my body, my health and, by extension, my life.
This here Cuban Cowboy’s reinvention began in earnest the next day. I had been treading water on several fronts - health, career, art — telling myself I was making an effort, progressing incrementally toward some undefined ‘goal,’ as if such a thing could exist. Undefined goals aren’t goals. Compulsions or expectations, perhaps, but not goals. Expectations aren’t goals either. I’ve heard it said that expectations are simply down payments on resentments. If so, then I had made lots of down payments. What were my goals, then? Did I set out to look and feel like this?:
Look at my face. That’s me looking at my life as an artist. Did I set out to feel like I looked? I don't think so. While my boobs, moobs or whatever the fuck one calls them didn’t appear as big as my son’s comment made them out to be, it was the look on my face that helped me connect what was going on (or not-) with my body with what was going on (or not-) with my life. I look burdened because I was. It was as if my life, all the choices of my past, my music, and prospects were somehow all standing just outside the bathroom door I was facing. Looking at the picture after taking it, whatever ‘stood’ outside the door spoke to me as powerfully and wordlessly as the picture itself.
Like many of us in the arts, I set out early on for adventure, to forge a life driven by and dedicated to creativity. Like many of us involved with rock music, however, I ended up paying many of the high costs of low living. Relatively speaking, man boobs were the least of my expenses. The slow death of one’s spirit, accompanied by a piercing, silent chorus of fear and dismay, was the far more expensive item my choices had me buying.
The mind and spirit demand so much that we sometimes forget that both depend greatly on the vessel, the body and its health, in order to function in this form, on this earth, and in this life. For me, that form of forgetfulness was much easier to achieve in my 30’s, living the so-called rock and roll artist life in NYC. Hell, there was lots I found easy to ignore or forget back then. I was so busy rocking, making music, getting high, putting up fliers all over the Lower East Side, Williamsburg and Greenpoint, getting high, steering a band through two incarnations, getting high, getting lots of press, getting high, finally landing a big record deal and quitting my day job that I willfully ignored my health, my spirit, and, almost as bad, the feelings of people around me that I purportedly loved.
I paid the price for the choices I made, and then some. Thankfully, all of our lives, emotions, thoughts, and even said choices are subject to impermanence. That's a fancy way of saying: everything changes, change is the only constant, and you, too, can and will change. With that, it became as simple for me as my son's boob declaration. If you want to drive across the country, then you better have a decent, reliable car. If you want your spirit to soar and revitalize the creative spark, then you better put yourself in a vehicle that can help make that happen. Take care of your fucking health and body first. You can’t do shit without doing that. So that's what I've been doing since late April. Here's where I was after almost four months:
In the two months since the picture above was taken, my body has undergone even more change. Externally, there's more musculature, definition, and overall leanness. I'm stronger than I have ever been and have had to give away most of my clothes. Internally, however, the changes have been far more radical. From a hormonal standpoint, sure (the diet and excersie program I'm on is based on the premise that hormonal [insulin, testosterone, GH, leptin] optimization is critical to change), but the changes to my perspectives, to my spirit, hell, even to my life in general have been tremendous. I'm writing again. I'm playing more guitar. I left my soul-suck job, and now work to help teachers and kids in schools throughout the Middle East.
The old truism from academia, “Correlation is not causality” be damned. I feel like Neo at the end of the first Matrix movie.
PS: please let me know if this sort of pic posting is too TMI-ey. If not, I'll post new pics next month...Also, feel very free to leave a comment or question if you want to know about the diet/excersise program I'm relying on, as I'm happy to provide details and tips.« Back to Home