Free Leaf

"Don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold..."

Location: Falls Church, Virginia, United States

I have a lot more questions than answers, but I just keep asking. I constantly want to leave, but somehow manage to stay. I am both perfectly happy and completely miserable because of it. I think I am misunderstood but that could just be a huge misunderstanding, either way I guess the best way to put it is, "I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong."


I'm done

This space is no longer free as some people have claimed ownership of my thoughts and tried to make them about themselves. Because of that I no longer feel comfortable posting here. I will leave the site up as a record of this past year in case anyone would like to stop in and read some of the old posts. I will also continue to read other blogs and may start writing again myself but not as Leaf and not here as the principles of this site no longer exist. This was supposed to be a place where I could free my thoughts from my head and let people see them. Unfortunately, people can not handle the true thoughts of others and because who I am negatively impacts the lives of others I will give up on something I have enjoyed.


Social consequences of a cutting diet

This is a short follow up to my last post about my new restrictive eating habits. While, this is a thing if followed properly should be expected it is harder at sometimes over others. I made it through my friends BBQ and a Basketball game with some ease. A Friday night out in Adams Morgan was a bit harder. Even though I am allowing myself cheat days which could include drinking after nearly three weeks of eating well my desire to do so has seriously waned. So, on Friday night after picking up one of my best friends at the airport and heading straight out I spent the entire night not having a single drink. I did drive which is reason enough not to drink, but I drove only because I did not intend on drinking. I could have just as easily taken the metro or cabs but knowing I did not want to drink driving made more sense. However, as someone who can barely stand Adams Morgan when absolutely hammered it was near impossible to have a good time there sober. Being the only sober one I thought I would be the only one to notice what a bad night it was out in DC, but my friends from Florida noticed despite lots of shot. It was really cold out, which might explain a little bit of it, but the ratios were horrible, seemingly 10 guys to every girl that came out. And of the girls that were out they seemed to be the dregs of DC nightlife. Most places were crowded still and I do not like crowds when drunk, especially when it is almost all guys, which usually just lead to fights. All in all, my friends and I had a decent time even though a night out sober is way different than a night out drunk. I somehow managed to not get home until 5 am after driving my drunken friends back home and stopping at least half a dozen times for one of them to throw up. He thankfully, did none of this in my car.

My friends I am sure appreciated that I was driving and I bet they were happy that I was not drinking while driving them. However, I wonder if I had told them that I was not drinking because I was trying to be healthier how they would react. And I think it will come up eventually because after a few weeks of eating better I can already feel an emotional and physical change to how I eat and in this case drink. For 3-5 days a week I restrict myself while allowing for about 1-2 days of cheating and increased calories/carb intake. On those cheat days I find myself oddly not craving bad food or drinks, just the normal good foods that I am not eating. Yesterday was my cheat day and I ate brown rice and other whole wheat foods, nothing you would consider bad for you but it felt like I was cheating. Today I am back on the restricted cycle and it really isn’t all that hard, plus the results are pretty intoxicating on their own. I just hope my friends will be able to understand, most people don’t like when their friends change.


I have language envy

There I said it. I am not one of those people who can easily pick up a second language. I have certainly tried, but they just do not seem to stick. My mom speaks Yiddish, my Grandma spoke at least 4 languages, but I am not even so sure I am good at one. When I was a kid I tried learning Yiddish from them but quickly got bored with it and didn’t have anyone to speak it to. So, then I started taking Spanish classes in elementary school and did that all the way through 10th grade. And I can not use much of that either, although I do understand a little. When I lived in Israel I picked up some Hebrew but certainly not enough, when I would try asking questions in Hebrew most people would just ask if I spoke English, I am that obvious. But I didn’t give up; in college I tried my hand at Italian, did pretty well in the class and still remember a little bit. But, I really want to be fluent in a second language and I am jealous of all the people around me that are.

My team at work is the one of the most diverse groups of people I have ever encountered. There are three Indians, an Iranian, a Bolivian, a Nigerian, a Korean, and I. So, all day I hear these people having conversations in their native languages and I kind of wish I could do the same. Most of them grew up in English speaking countries but there are a few who have not been in the US very long and when they stumble over the English language or not understand some of the terms we use I do not get annoyed by it. I am impressed at how much they have mastered and wondered if I would be able to do as well in another country as they are doing here. I think if I were to live in a foreign country for an extended period of time I would be most frustrated with myself and my own lack of ability, perhaps more than the person on the other end of the conversation. Still, I would really like to try someday.


If it tastes good, spit it out

This is a follow up to yesterday’s post about my gym rat status. I am pretty intense about working out, but I have rarely let that creep over to my social activities. My thinking has been that there is no point to working out and trying to look good if you can not go out and enjoy yourself. And while I still sort of believe that I have recently entered into a 12 week cutting contest, my thinking has changed. I am two weeks into this contest and already my new eating patterns have crept into my social activities. In the past no matter how serious I was about eating at home I would always make exceptions when going out with friends but not this time. Since I weighed in two weeks ago my eating habits have been very strict. In those two weeks I have attended two events that would have easily been exceptions for me in the past, a BBQ and a basketball game. I am one of those people who think the food is an integral part of viewing sports; BBQing is a must when watching a game on TV and when in person you have to have hot dogs and beers (and sometimes cracker jacks or cotton candy). So you can imagine how hard it was for me to bring food to a BBQ and have a protein bar and water at the Wizards game. Thankfully, those situations only come up once a week or so unlike the food that is constantly available and staring at me at home. My roommates, who are constantly cooking or baking, are my biggest challenge in all of this and I am not sure they understand the position they put me in. I don’t want to disappoint them but I just can not eat everything they are making right now, especially the damn cookies that are always in the kitchen.


I’m a gym rat

Not sure why I feel like writing about this today after all these years of doing it. Maybe someone will take something from it. Anyway, I am a major gym rat, I have an addiction to working out and while most people view it as a chore or something they must do I prefer to think of it as something I want to do forever. When I am in the gym and I see the senior citizens walking around with their trainers I think that someday that will be me. Well, minus the trainer. I wasn’t always this way of course but once I got a taste I was hooked. I grew up just like any other kid playing sports, baseball, basketball and football. But it wasn’t until I tried playing football in high school that I had to lift weights. I still remember when I got the football team workout plan and how I could barely lift any weight at all. My bench press max was like 100 pounds, maybe 110, so for the workout plan I started out doing sets of 55, 12 times. Luckily, my legs were real strong, so I could squat away the embarrassment of my weak upper body. Back then it didn’t take too long at all to get stronger, but the first time I got sore I couldn’t lift my arms to wash my hair for at least three days and a tiny poke in the chest felt like being stabbed with a hot knife. I loved every second of it.

It was that love that led me to lie about my age for the first time. While other kids my age were lying for much better reasons, like buying cigarettes or alcohol, I was lying to get a gym membership. Granted, I did later lie about my age to get alcohol too, someone had to. Now here it is a dozen years later and I have consistently had either a gym membership or free access to a gym. My workouts have changed, my diet has changed, I do more cardio now, and I even do yoga once or twice a week, but fitness in some form is here to stay for sure. Currently, I am in a weight loss contest at work, not because I need to lose weight, but simply because I know what I am doing and feel like I can win.

Here are some resources I really recommend:

The Abs Diet from Men’s Health

Real Men Do Yoga


The Upper Hand

It has certainly been a while since I wrote something significant. Sure, I have put up some quick things and pictures but I have not actually sat down and thought out a post in maybe a month. But I feel ready to do that today, for some reason I doubt the posts will return in abundance but every once in a while I feel capable of putting out something good. Hopefully, people will continue to stop in from time to time and let me know how crazy I am. Here goes.

I guess I should try to cover just what the heck I have been up to that has kept me from writing and the truth is it isn’t all that exciting. Since coming home from the National Championship game two weeks ago I have barely done anything. I worked a lot, I watched TV, played video games, I basically have been a worthless loser. But with the euphoria of my vacation still lingering I have felt no need to do anything exciting. On MLK day I joined my roommates for an early dinner at Sakura, the day before that I went to a BBQ at Scott’s to watch the game again (would you believe some of us were actually cheering for plays that we knew the outcome to?). Scott, his girlfriend and their roommate put out an awesome spread that included football and football helmet shaped cookies with orange and blue icing. Also, Go Gator cupcakes, I am telling you, I am surrounded by perhaps the best young baking ladies in the country, if not the world. Do not tell my mom but they kick ass and she would be impressed. But, I digress; this is not what got me back in front of the lap top, although, I think the year of the Gators will keep me happy until the summer. No, the reason I have decided to sit down and write something again has been some deep reflection. In my complete laziness and seclusion over the past few weeks I have really looked back on my past relationships and why they have failed and have come to one conclusion.

I only enter into situations where I perceive myself to have the upper hand.

And that my friends can be a huge problem. I don’t take risks and therefore never reap the rewards of taking risks. Sure, this is something that can be said in other aspects of my life. But in this one particular area it is something that I feel is needed for success. With careers or many other ventures you can get by being conservative and playing it safe. I don’t think that is true when it comes to relationships, you can’t play it safe and expect something truly great to happen. You have to take risks, sometimes stupid ones, you have to put yourself out there and be vulnerable (OK, I totally sound like a chick now, shoot me). But, I really believe that the reason I am indefinitely single with no prospect of that changing is because I just don’t put myself in situations that would be hard to walk away from.

I do just the opposite; it limits my options greatly, but also allows me to not invest much emotionally. Why I do this could stem from many reasons: child of divorce, abandonment issues, trying it once and not liking the outcome. But those are really just excuses for something that I need to get over. You see, every relationship I have had except one, and this goes back to, maybe all the way back to middle school, have been ones where I have been pursued more than the pursuer. Some of these situations were more extreme than others and in most there was mutual attraction. But, in most cases the other person could come or go and it would not greatly affect my life. That seems to be the one unifying characteristic of 95% of the girls I have had anything more than a friendship with. And on top of it, I have realized that I have the ability to totally fake all of it. What I mean by that is that I can fake all the little parts of relationships without ever having strong feelings. It makes me one confusing person; I can send a heartfelt letter that can make you cry but a month later not care a lick when you sleep with your ex-bf (this actually happened). And that little scenario pretty much sums it all up, I can throw emotion around and enjoy being in a relationship while never being fully invested or convinced it is going anywhere. So, when it ends or something bad happens I hardly miss a beat, I just roll along because whether it appeared I cared or not, I probably didn’t care all that much. Pretty messed up, isn’t it?

And now everyone knows why I am indefinitely single and even when I do meet someone it won’t last more than a few months. It also probably explains why people don’t believe me when I tell them that I am an asshole or not to set me up with their friends. The question then is how I fix it and stop making excuses for myself.


Championship Hangover

I've got one bad. Still haven't recovered from the flight home that landed early yesterday morning either. Basically, I am out of it. Slow and tired all day, and all I want to do is read articles about the Gators or come home and watch the game that I had to record. Instead, I think we will be having a game day BBQ on Saturday to watch the game again. Right now, it feels really good to be a Gator and I think we can ride it out pretty much until March or April unless we win the NCAA tournament again. And that is totally possible. OK, none of this makes sense, imagine how bad I am at work during the day. Just wanted to say I am still here, going through the motions, walking around with an endless smile and amazing memories from a near perfect 5 days in the desert.