So the holidays have passed, I’m over my viral smorgasbord, and I’ve signed a record deal and am working a bit with the great Sol Philcox. These are all happy things. A new semester is here, and I intend to make all A’s. I also need to demo the entire 8-track record, which likely means recording about 12 songs and picking 8 to cut. Also, I have to drop 40 pounds. A fat guy doesn’t sell records.
While I was sick (sick enough to go to the ER), I stopped dieting and exercising. This was probably a smart thing; dieting while sick is a horrible way to get better. But I set a date for myself to start again, and stricter than ever: not even a morsel of a food that I have not specifically laid out that I can eat. Not one day off from working out. No cheating, ever, until the goal is attained: 165 pounds. I got to 210 pounds one bite at a time, one missed workout at a time. I’m currently at 202, and want to be at 195 by the end of January. Based on the fact that I was 207 nine days ago, I expect to attain this: it’s not unreasonable.
I’ve made a lot of lifestyle changes. I no longer enter a building that has a dining hall or food court in it for any reason, save for the bottom floor of the Fergeson Center to buy books. I have stopped drinking any more than 5 oz. of liquor in a day save for on the weekends, and even then I drink it straight or mix it with Diet Coke. Never beer or wine. I eat strictly vegetarian, mixed in with protein shakes, Carnation breakfasts, and milk, with multivitamins to get what I’m missing. I may branch out into eating the occasional eggs, nuts, and orange juice after a couple of weeks, actually: it would be good for natural proteins and vitamins B12/C.
All of the aforementioned lifestyle changes, combined with the grades and songwriting/improvement of my technical skills on the guitar and piano require a considerable amount of discipline, more than I’ve had since I was 16 and running a damn marching band by myself while taking hard classes. To this effect, I have largely isolated myself from my friends, and have told them why I’m doing so. They’ve been supportive and most said they would be there for me if I needed anything. I’m still amazed to have those kinds of friends. I have 5 other people that I allow myself to hang out with because they are closer to me than any others and will not offer me food that’s counterproductive to my goals, and I cherish them. As someone who had very few friends in high school, I’m still living a dream, even a year and a half later.
In other senses, I’m also living a dream right now for other reasons. I got a record deal and a publishing contract as well as co-writing sessions with hit writers at age 19. I’m so lucky that these guys would be willing to teach me what they know, and I’m still amazed at the stuff I’m writing these days (examples include an avant-garde song about redheads, a Southern murder ballad, a secularist jazz tune, and a beautiful folk song about a suicide pact). I want to write with the old masters who, though they may not be making hits anymore, can teach me so much about the craft: Ralph Murphy, Richard Leigh, Pat Alger. These guys had collectively about 50 Number One hits: they fucking know what they’re doing.
I’m excited about the record. I’m excited about the semester. Hell, I’m excited about my strict diet and workout plan: I’m ready to finally be lean and have sex (and therefore commercial) appeal (that sentence meant something else before the parenthetical statement, didn’t it?). I’m ready to succeed, in other words. I can’t wait.