Tuesday, March 21, 2017

When Your Brain Is Ready To Explode


There are truly days when it feels like my brain just won't shut off! I have been having issues with insomnia and I will admit anxiety as I wrestle with fears surrounding my diagnosis of prediabetes, high cholesterol, and high creatinine levels. I have been making changes, from diet to quitting smoking yet it is hard to let go of the fear of not doing enough or the what ifs of potentially becoming diabetic or have serious kidney problems.

It is scary to be uncertain if I am on the right track. I hope I am but I have not lost weight  which concerns me as I have not eaten meat in what feels like forever yet nothing. Maybe it will kick in later. I will admit, fighting off depression has been impacting my ability to get an exercise regime going strong. Wow, anxiety and depression are a major roadblock but I just cannot let this
 roadblock lead me to a lifetime of having to take insulin.

AHHH. Need to come up with a serious strategy if I can get a good night's sleep. My brain is ready to explode if I don't get it together.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

When Your Doctor Scares You Into Healthy Living

My life has bumped up against some major challenges since last I blogged. To say 2016 was a stressful year would be an understatement. As the year came to a close, my anxiety levels reached some dizzying heights. That said, I decided to start 2017 with a new frame of mind.

I scheduled a visit on January 5th to the doctor to start taking my health more seriously by starting an annual physical and chat with my new physician for tips on dealing with my anxiety.  On January 20th, I went back to get my lab results.

Bottom line, things are not looking good.

Now, from the perspective of looking at things from a glass half full, I am happy to say, I am HIV negative, and have no issues with cancer. But here's where things got very REAL.

My doctor said:

1. I am PRE-DIABETIC and my blood glucose levels are so high I am literally ONE point away from becoming a FULL BLOWN DIABETIC.

2. My blood pressure is good but my Bad Cholesterol numbers are dangerously high.

3. My creatinine levels are dangerously high which may lead to some level of Kidney disease.

Cue, jaw drop.

Doctor's Advice:

3. Lose WEIGHT
4. Switch to a PLANT-BASED DIET

What can I say. Any delusions I was living under that I am a relatively healthy guy blew up in that moment. No longer could I pretend that my years of smoking was no big deal. The truth is smoking was my only tool for dealing with stress and anxiety. I didn't say this was a smart way to deal with stress but it was the choice I made and now I had a wake up call.

I am moving into March and happy to report I have been an ex-smoker for over a month and a half.  I've also been eating a plant based diet for a month and a half as well. Strangely, I have craved a cheeseburger more than a cigarette which no matter how you look at it a sign of success for a former chain smoker.

So why am I saying all this? Well, I am putting it all out on the table because, my fear of becoming a diabetic is real and very stressful.

While my dream is to make a living full-time as a working tv & film actor, this new reality has awakened me to the fact that I am more than just an actor. Duh... In fact none of that means anything if I don't have my health. Now again, being a diabetic is not like facing a cancer diagnosis but the fact is I don't want to be taking insulin everyday. In many ways this wake up call while stressful is my last opportunity to pull myself from the cliff regarding my health.

This has become my opportunity to make real changes for the better in all areas of my life. In so doing, this blog will become a space for me to channel my frustrations, map my journey and chronicle my ups and downs as I learn how to manage life without nicotine, on a plant-based diet and a ton of exercise.

This is truly one of those turning points in my life. With faith, hard work and many trips to LA Fitness, I may be able to transform my life for the better.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

LAFC coming to DTLA in 2018!

As a newbie to the world of soccer, I am excited to hear that they are building a new soccer stadium in DTLA and debuting a new MLS team in 2018 called Los Angeles Football Club or LAFC. I admit I know very little about soccer but I have slowly been becoming a fan. With this new team coming, it feels like the perfect opportunity to come in at the ground floor as a fan of my city's newest sports team. Yes, there is the LA Galaxy but they are based in Carson. I can actually see myself hoping on the Metro Redline to watch a game. I'm sure I can learn a lot from watching the LA Galaxy, and who knows, I may become a Galaxy fan as well but, LAFC is a team I think I can see LIVE and that is exciting to connect with from the standpoint of "LA City Pride"!

Also, watching a team being formed from the beginning is just what I need. So, I have just under two years to learn all I can about soccer so I can enjoy every moment of my new LA team!

Developing and Unexpected Love of Sports: Cycling & Soccer! Who Knew?!

The earth must is shifting on its axis. Saturday, I found myself enjoying watching NYC vs New York Red Bulls in a soccer match where the Red Bulls blew NYC out of the water 7-0. I actually enjoyed myself and yearning for more. And today, I turned on the tv and got engrossed in the final stage of the Amgen Tour of California, watching Mark Cavendish wind the final stage and Julian Alaphilippe win the overall race.

I have never been a follower of sports on television or sports in general to tell the truth. However, I have always had a fondness for cycle racing, largely for sentimental reasons. As a kid my brother Butch and his wife Mary were amateur cycle racers. So much of my  childhood is littered with outings to see them compete. To this day, cycle racing is one of the only sports I actually enjoy watching.

Now as I have three nieces, Butch's girls, who have been involved in soccer for years, I have had a slow growing interest. The truth is I know nothing of the rules of the sport, I have decided to learn what I can. Especially now that LA is looking to bring another soccer team to LA, as they build a new sports arena in DTLA, now seems like a good time. I have often been tempted to go to an LA Galaxy game but Carson is a bit too far for me to want to travel on a regular basis. But if a new team is based in DTLA, I may find myself getting tickets! In the meantime, I can get started and learn a little bit more about the soccer league in America.

I have no idea how to educate myself on the world of soccer but as a native Philadelphian, I might as well check out the team there, compare it with LA Galaxy and wait to see what the new LA team looks like before making a final choice who I will align myself with as a fan. In the meantime, I guess I should scour the web to learn about the sport itself, the key players worldwide etc so I can get the most out of this new adventure.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

My Birthday: New Year...New Beginning


For the first time in many years, I am excited to welcome my birthday and the official start to an amazing new year of adventure.  This is my time to re-ignite the fuse and let my SPIRIT SOAR.

Now more than ever I am hearing Life's call to LIVE FULLY, COMPLETELY, AND WITH LOVE OVERFLOWING! I'm listening Universe!

If anything has come from my now month-long meditation practice it is a swelling desire to LIVE with JOY and make every day count. I have shed a lot of crap over this last month. In
many ways it feels like I have been preparing for this year's adventure by learning to LET GO of a lot of the negative mental baggage I have been carrying around.

A new chapter has begun TODAY.

for all the wonderful things happening.

I am living the life I have always wanted but I have forgotten to be grateful and enjoy.

I am now grateful. I am choosing to ENJOY everything Life has in store for me!
I am willing to remember what it means to be HAPPY, to LOVE, to LAUGH, to DANCE and to DIVE headfirst into THE FLOW OF LIFE!

I get to choose...
how to live,
how to think,
how to be.

I choose to live from a place of LOVE.   
This is MY GIFT to MYSELF. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Heading to Philly in June!

It's official! I bought my Southwest Airline tickets and will be heading to Philly to visit my family!  Actually my biggest hurdle was finding a friend to take my boy Rusty in for a week. I am truly blessed because my good friend Monse stepped up and agreed to help me out.

Truth be told, I also think it is a healthy thing to step out if the high energy pace of living and pursuing an acting career. in LA. When I go home to Philly, I literally feel my life slowing down. Don't get me wrong I love my Los Angeles life, but a lttle break will be much appreciated.

Given my mum has had her share of health issues lately, this visit is very important to me. I cannot say how grateful I am.

Life is good!!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Focus on The JOY: On Set of "Hand of God" Season 2

Friday, I had the good fortune of spending the day doing what I love... acting professionally!!

I was on the set of HAND OF GOD, when I was reminded of what my mother always says when I tell her I have an audition.

"What is for you, is for you."

It's funny how whenever she said it, I would just sigh and think yeah yeah but I want to book it. The truth is my mother's sage advice has become the best perspective I could take to my work.

This simple statement reminded me that I had no need to be nervous or waste a moment entertaining any thoughts of nervousness or fear. As I drove down to the set, I repeated my mother's words and allowed myself to focus on JOY, I set the intention of lapping up every ounce of JOY I could experience from the day from every interaction with the crew to the wonderful director to my playtime with my cast mate.
Kevin D'Arcy & Anastasia Liddeck on set

There is something about staying "present" and "grateful" that opens a door to enjoyment. To my surprise, the sound guy on HAND OF GOD was the same guy who hooked me up for sound on my stint on AMERICAN HORROR STORY last year. Small world. It reminded me again just how much I have to be grateful for.

The day was a blast. I literally enjoyed every single moment. In doing, that I felt such freedom in my work it literally felt like play.

This is going to be my performing ritual moving forward.

Focus on the JOY and everything else will fall into place.