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Tony’s Tip No.9 — Do One Thing

When you feel overwhelmed…do ONE thing!


It is easy to set goals.

It is easy to picture where you want to be in six months or a year.

Saying “I am going to get fit and healthy” is a simple easy thing to do.

ACTUALLY getting there is NOT!

So, when you feel overwhelmed; when the number on the scale seems stuck; when you’re down, blue, not motivated and everything seems impossible…

Do ONE Thing…

Just one.  One POSITIVE thing.

It doesn’t matter what “thing” you do.  Bend over a pick up a sock and put it in the hamper.

Look at that unmade bed and straighten out the pillows.  Or pull the comforter or bedspread out flat to cover the mess.

Wash your face.

Empty the wastebasket in your office, bedroom, or bathroom.

Feed the kitty a few treats.  (And no, you can’t have any of the treats!)

Because when you do ONE Thing…


Doing the SECOND thing is easier…

I am not a neat person.

After 53 years of life, I accept that, even though I actually a “place for everything” — “everything” will NEVER be in its place.

At least not all at the same time.

My life is filled with clutter.  My outward living space often reflects my inner thoughts where I bound from one thing to another to another to another, leaving a trail of creative chaos in my wake.

Some would argue that the chaos is not so creative; don’t listen to them.

Few would deny, however, that it is entertaining!


Therefore, my “One Thing” often is something to do with cleaning…

Given that my home is usually a mess, for me, the “one thing” is usually a bit of neatening or straightening or cleaning.

Everyone is different.  Your “one thing” might be putting on a piece of music.  Or entering ONE check into your check register.  Or it might be filling up your 7-day pill organizer with this week’s medications.

Or…taking the dog for a walk.

Or…mailing a birthday card to a loved one.

Or…adding an item to the “shopping list” on the refrigerator door.  Or…

It doesn’t really matter WHAT you do as long as you do SOMETHING!

Minion and Money - Just one step awayIt has got to be a “positive” thing.  Take a step. Any Step.  It is that first step that is the most important one.  And it does NOT have to be a big step.

Step #1 is always the hardest, so make it a teeeeeeennnny tiny thing!  Make sure that you can succeed when you take that tiny step.  Do that tiny “one thing.”

Do something that you KNOW you can do….because who knows, when taking a step, just where any step might lead?

One thing I can promise you is that doing that one thing, WILL lead to doing another, which will lead to another.  IF…

…after you pick up that sock and toss it in the dirty clothes hamper, you do a mini-celebration.  After all you DESERVE IT!

You just girded your loins!  You mustered your gumption! You fought against the feeling of battling an overwhelming MOUNTAIN of things yet to be done and you STARTED!  You took a step FORWARD!  You just did SOMETHING good!

Woo Hoo! Yay! YeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeHAW!

You, my friend, my dearest readers, DESERVE to celebrate! Because…

Depression and other “negative”
feelings are no laughing matter…

Depression (CC)When I am feeling “depressed” it usually manifests in one of two ways:

  1. A feeling of futility or hopelessness
    OR less frequently as:
  2. Anger. — Which according to the articles I’ve read is VERY typical for men battling depression.For some reason that scientists can’t quite figure out yet, men suffering from depression often are more on edge, stressed, likely to explode over minor things.

Do a quick Google Search on “Depression in Men.”  The information is easy to find.

Doing SOMETHING positive for myself…

…no matter how small.  How “tiny” in the grand scheme of things.  Makes me feel better.

Upward SpiralThere is actual real science behind this simple idea.  Google “Feedback Loops” — they can be either negative or positive.

By doing one “good / positive” thing you are halting a negative feedback loop and turning it into a positive feedback loop!

And that’s the key.  With that teeeeeeeeeeny tiny step.  With one SMALL action. You are breaking a negative cycle.

Ooooooooooooohhhhhhh!!!  AAaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!

Yes, dearest readers, from your sounds of approval, I see that you are now amazed at my clever insights. 😉

Seriously, it really is that simple.  Not easy, no, but simple!

HOWEVER… you have to do the “celebration” part

Make a game of it.

And if you get silly and start laughing at yourself or if your kids or grand kids are present, then don’t worry they will start laughing right along with you! And you’ll be firmly on that positive feedback loop, putting negativity behind you.

Picture this:

Me.  Gloomy.  Not motivated.  Overwhelmed.  Hopeless.  Feeling like that it is all pointless.  Why even bother?  Who cares if I’ve lost over 40 lbs!  I still have over a 100 lbs to go!  It is impossible.  I’ve set my sights too high.  I’ll never get there.  sigh

There are too many hurdles. It is hopeless.  Then, bored, I scroll through Facebook, looking at all my friends living wonderful lives filled with fun, love, and skinny-ness.  SIGH

HUGE heavy friggin’ SIGH….


[ insert the theme music from Jaws — dum dum dum dum dum DUM DUM DUM DUM! ]

dirty-sockThere. On the floor.  I spot my enemy!  A foul sock!  Out of place!  Dirty.  Used.  And offending my latent OCD!

I leap out of my chair!

[ Ok, ok, I painfully push myself up out of my chair with a groan. ]

I spear the sock with my steely gaze and speak “Ah foul sock, enemy of tidiness and cleanliness and all things that my Mom said I should do…

Your. Days. Are. Numbered!!!!”

And I imagine a tiny fearful squeaky sock voice whimpering and quivering in abject fear of my rightful wrath!

And I bend over and carefully pick the sock up while dramatically holding my nose with one hand and pinching the smallest amount of sock between two fingers of the other hand.

I turn my head away in a dramatic swoop of the neck worthy of an Oscar and in my best Diva Voice say “I have you now!”

And off to the bathroom we go.  [Where we studiously ignore the mess in the bathroom] and deposit the foul beast into captivity with its brethren in the dirty clothes hamper.

Notice we are using the Royal “We!”?  snort giggle ROFL @ myself  This is FUN!

Now we celebrate…

Happy Dance SMALLWe start doing that circle in the air thing with our fists as we dance back to the bedroom chanting “Uh-huh!  Uh-huh! Uh-huh!

Then with a couple of fist pumps we chant

“We did it!  We picked up a sock! 

We did it!  WHOSE da man?!?  WhoseYerDaddy!?!

Then I collapse in a fit of giggles back into the desk chair in the bedroom.

And TAH DAH!  I feel better…

Even if you drop all the dramatics.  The simple act of doing one “positive” or “good for you” or “improving yourself or your environment” thing can trigger a cascade of more positive things.

And, in complete seriousness, when you are down in the dumps, fighting against that awful feeling of hopelessness…

…sometimes picking up a single sock and putting it away is a monumental achievement.

It deserves to be celebrated.

So…do…one…thing.  And celebrate.  You can do this!

See ya on the dance floor!



Sharing with the World: “Stuff that makes me Blush…” (Part Two of ???)

 The saga continues…

Game of FitnessIf you are jumping into the middle of this series then be sure to go back and read Part One.

Things will make a lot more sense that way.

I feel like there should be a voice over. like those you see on TV shows that have an ongoing story line…  Kinda like the Game of Thrones…  At the beginning of every episode, the dude you never ever see but who has that wonderful deep voice and starts out saying   “Previously on …”

Yesterday, actually around 2 am this morning, on Wed, I presented you with two thoughts / concepts:

  1. My body, is NOT happy with my most recent determination to become fit and healthy and to enable myself to dance again.
  2. As a writer of a blog about fitness and health; as a writer telling the story of one persons journey toward fitness and health, starring well “Moi”, I am faced with an ongoing question about just how much to share.  And right now I’ve reached a point where, in order to further the “story” of my journey, I am about to go past my comfort zone and share what to me is embarrasing.

We will assume that the deep voiced dude that you never ever see is finished with the voice over and that ya’ll are caught up —  And this episode is beginning:

So.. here it is..  In plain ANGLISH as it were…

I am out of shape.

Disgustingly out of shape.

I am NOT fit.

I am NOT healthy.

Even though I understand that there are reasons for why I am where I am,

the bottom line is that I,



the spirit that inhabits this suit of flesh…

I, have become so out of shape that every day simple tasks are herculean efforts!

I didn’t used to be this way.  But there it is.  I am a blob.

I am inhabiting a mass of muscle and bone and blood and I find it difficult to well,

. . . uhmmmmmm. . . MOVE!

At all.

EVERY movement is difficult for me.  EveryTHING I do is difficult.   And, I do mean EVERYTHING!!!   Even sitting and typing or using the computer causes my arms to ache after a while.  Showering is difficult, doing laundry is difficult, cooking a meal is difficult, going to the store or running errands or filling up the truck with gas . . .  Standing or walking for longer than 10-15 minutes at a time causes my lower back to hurt and my knees and my legs and.. well you get the idea.

The oh-so-sad truth is that right now, for me, the following counts as exercise:

  • Doing a load of laundry
  • Cooking a meal
  • Taking a shower and getting dressed
  • basically any activity that involves moving for 10 minutes or more is a workout.
  • Taking out the trash
  • Going to the grocery store.
  • Going to the drug store.
  • Running any kind of errand.

After doing ONE of these things, my heart is racing.  My chest is heaving.  I’m out of breath.  I am flushed.  And I need to rest.  After 10-15 minutes; after going down then coming back up one flight of stairs…





because I just did a workout.

And it is EMBARRASSING!  I hate that I’m like this.  I hate that I’ve allowed myself to get like this. I kick myself for it an beat myself up for it mentally and and and……..    Aaaarrrrrrgggghhhhhh!!!

and, frankly I don’t want to admit it in public to anyone.

That’s why I’ve kinda sorta “vanished” from sight…  Because honestly, in complete candor, I don’t want people who knew me when I could dance for hours and shut down the ballroom or shutdown the Roundup, to see just how bad things have gotten.

I mean, come on!  I’m a Eight- Time- Friggin- World- Champion!  for gawds sake!  But I don’t look like it any more.  I certainly don’t FEEL like it anymore.  I can not call myself a dancer any more – at least not in a physical sense.

And I don’t want people to know just how bad it’s gotten.

BUT…  things have changed  —

…some sort of mental switch has flipped.  I don’t understand exactly why and I don’t really care why — the important thing is that it has FLIPPED!

I realize that before others believe that switch has flipped, they’ll have to see the results.  And that will take time.

I also know that I’m embarking on a very VERY VERY extremely difficult path.  And I know that the hardest part will be what at first glance seems to be the easiest: the stuff at the beginning.

And I know that in order for me to move forward, well people have to know.

The thought occurs to me that what I am facing now, and, what I’m doing by professing all this to the world, may be something akin to doing step the first bits of a twelve step program.

I don’t know for certain, but from what little bits I’ve heard about how these programs work, is first you have to (1) admit you have a problem  (2) then you have to profess that problem to the people around you  I could be wrong.  I’ll research it later and share what I find…

BUT..  I know that if I am to achieve my goals then I have got to share all of my story, even the bits that make me blush.

I don’t want to… but I am . . .

…because I am now absolutely pissed off at myself…

AND because I truly devoutly miss dancing…

AND because I hope that this blog (all kidding aside) does indeed one day turn into a “before & after” “how he did it” story sorta like Jared the Subway guy.

In my wilder flights of fancy, I do envision myself using this material in writing a book about my experiences, then it is important that I share some of that embarrassing stuff.

AND because I “do better” when I have an audience, whether it be real or imagined — it doesn’t seem to matter; if I think I’m “performing,” uhhhhmmm, then well, I perform.  LOL @ myself!

Hey, we all have character flaws..  (get it?  “character” flaw a “character” well “performs” in a… never mind…)


You are not alonebecause I want my story to be out there to connect with other people like myself in similar situations in order to (1) know that I’m not the only one and (2) to enable them to know they are not the only one.  Mutual support in other words.


I want credit for doing what at first glance seems “ordinary normal day-today things”  because for me right now they are not ordinary.  They are not normal.  They are not day-to-day.  They take effort and planning and strength of character and perseverance and actually doing them COUNTS AS A FRIGGIN ACHIEVEMENT!  As meeting a goal.

Folks, don’t slam me for this comparison, please, but I wonder if this is how an alcoholic or drug addict feels?

For such a person, every single day sober is a victory.  Every single time “saying no” is a victory that should be recognized.  There is a parallel — for me, every moment of movement longer than I did the day before is a victory.  Every time I eat healthy sized portions or whatever “IT” may be that is positive then that is a friggin victory and should be recognized as such even if I’m the only one doing the celebrating!


I would really like for you folks reading this to send me warm fuzzies and positive comments and applause and “attaboys” and kudos to help keep me moving forward.

At least at first.

I know that in the final analysis that this is a battle that I have to face on my own.  I know that it will be a battle that is largely unseen, but right now, at the kickoff, at the beginning, well…  warm fuzzies would be really really nice.

The beginning is a tricky time; a critical time.  I know from personal experience how quickly one can become sidetracked and thrown off course and well, defeated.

I don’t want that to happen.  I really need a support group and for now, well you, my dearest readers, are it….

To do this… to make all “this” to really work this time round, for me to succeed, I need help.  Wherever I can get it.  From my friends, from my readers; from everyone.

I need all of you guys to understand that when I write in my blog and say something like:

“I did laundry today”

That task  is not some simple mundane curiosity, a mere routine chore, a passing thought, a whisp of activity.


It is a frigging OCCASION!  It is a monumental ACHIEVEMENT! It is a goal met!

It is something that should be applauded and recognized for what it is, the product of a MAJOR FRIGGIN FFFin EFFORT on my part!!!!!

It is in every sense of the word.  Exercise!

An educational moment

— depression in men isn’t discussed in the media as often as depression in women so dearest readers, this may be news for you.  It was for me:

I learned an  interesting thing when I first started reading about the “signs” or symptoms of depression in men: Depression in men often manifests itself as anger and aggression.

Being, basically a nice guy, at least in my own mind, I see things like anger and aggression as NEGATIVE things.

Things which I do not really wish to display, either in person or in my writing.

So when I find myself saying or typing things like “MAJOR FRIGGIN FFin EFFORT” well that is a big deal and it is a symptom of the depression rearing its ugly head.

MOST of the time, as I type them an they appear on the screen in front of me, I go back and take them out. I mean, there are choices in how to present things and well why make you guys suffer through poor choices?

But not in this post.  I want them there.  Because it makes a point.  It adds emphasis.

I want my readers to understand just how REAL this is to me.  In other words I’m not trying to put a happy face on things for the sake of lighthearted entertainment.

My goal is to give anyone reading this a real honest to goodness taste of the kind of stuff that is running through my head.

Because what is running through my head cycles into what I do with my body

which cycles into what goes through my head


well I think you get the idea.


…right now, because of the awful combination of all too frequent bouts of depression combined my truly disgusting awful terribly low level of fitness, means that

quote-unquote “normal things” that most folks do every day

are just not “normal things” for me.  Each one is a goal that has to be set, a task for which one must gird one’s loins and put forth maximum effort in order to achieve.

And as a reminder, I’m sure I’ve  mentioned that currently (in regards to the whole dealing with depression thing) I am in a “GOOD PHASE”  right?

The bad phases were the months where nothing was posted to this blog.  It wasn’t pretty. Trust me on this.  I know.  I was there.  I DO NOT WANT TO BE THERE AGAIN.

And that dearest readers is where we are going to leave it for today.


One final thought…

As I write this I’m experiencing something of a relief.  I feel as if I don’t have to pretend anymore that “things are going great..”

No, they are not going great.  But I feel as if they are going “better”

Watch for part three tomorrow morning on the 8th…See ya on the dance floor (eventually)

I Wish I Could Stop

Depression (CC)I’m sharing this post because, well, it hits very close to home for me.

I’ve been following David’s blog for a while now and I’ve admired how he’s managed to succeed and do what I’m trying to do. I never new until this post that he too suffers from bouts of depression.

Right now, I’m in the midst of one of those bouts myself. Think “Le Brea Tar Pits” and you kinda get the idea about where I’m at right now.

When this appeared in my inbox today, I don’t know what made me click on it. There’s nothing in the title that would lead me to think that the article speaks to being depressed and the never ending battle of fighting for fitness and NOT being depressed… …but click on it I did.

I’m so glad I did. It is nice to know I’m not alone. And that success is possible. And that even when you’ve “made it” that you’ll always have to “keep” making it.

Bravo David! And thank you. I’m not in the fight alone. Knowing that means a lot. Especially now.

And if Uhmmm… someone could maybe throw me a rope…  the tar is kinda up to my nose and if you’d tell me how to get this tar out of my clothes, I’d appreciate it.

Keep It Up, David!

Isn’t depression the best? I was first diagnosed with major depressive disorder after a scary hospitalization when I was a teenager, and depression has been a visitor that I suspect will come  a-knockin’ every so often for the rest of my life.

Depression has been a recent house guest. I’m getting over a funk that I’ve been in for the past couple weeks. It might be some post-holiday blues, perhaps, and it could be related to the bruised or cracked rib that I’ve been healing from. Whatever the cause, it held on to me for a good solid two weeks, and it planted a thought in my head that got stuck there. I kept on thinking these five words over and over again, like a song you can’t shake:

View original post 1,111 more words

Where Tony’s been hiding and Thank Heaven for the Affordable Care Act

I’ve been out of the loop…

I heard through the grapevine that people from the dance world have been asking “Where’s Tony?”  Hmmm…  Is that kinda like “Where’s Waldo but in cowboy boots?  Read on if you’re curious about what’s been going on and why I’ve not been around the dance scene lately

But first… let me share some good news!  On Jan 1st, I’m getting health insurance and…

I’m going to be able to see the Doctor!!!!!!

Handsome Doctor (CC)No, not the cutie to the right..  LOL  YummME!

First of all… some ground rules:

In this post I’m going to be voicing my opinion at great length on a “hot button topic,” the Affordable Care Act”, something which I’ve never really done on my blog before.

But this is important folks!  And, to answer the question of “Where has Tony been? well, it is sorta necessary.

Setting that aside though for the moment, it is important to let folks know that the the ACA not some remote political fight.  There are real people benefiting from this law.  People like me.  By sharing my story perhaps anyone who reads this can put a “real face” to the issue.

Having said that, I recognize that others may disagree and want to comment and/or voice a rebuttal to what I have to say, which is fine.

However… “No rude or mean comments!!!”  If anyone chooses to make a comment on this post, then awesome, but if you don’t like the ACA (I refuse to call it “Obamacare”) then also fine, you are welcome to post an intelligent politely worded comment and disagree with me.

I have absolutely no problems with people holding different opinions than I, nor with people voicing those opinions, BUT there is no need to be rude or mean or demeaning while doing it.   Any such posts will be deleted, not approved for posting,  and I’ll remove you from my “follow” list immediately.  So just don’t go there!

Say it nicely or don’t say it at all! There is too much of that kind of BS in Washington.  I don’t have to put up with it on my blog.

Now… where was I?   LOL  I do that a lot don’t I… start out with one idea then BAM “Squirrel” I’m off on another topic!  Woot!  I should make a tee-shirt…  Hmmmm… now there’s an idea!  Woot!

I have an awesome Doctor!

LOL kitty RXHer name is Karen King; she is caring and kind and sweet, and efficient and knows her stuff and well, she’s just AWESOME!  And for almost 2 years I haven’t been able to see her about stuff that I really do need to see her about.

Uh… you guys did catch that right?  LET ME REPEAT:

For ALMOST TWO YEARS  I have needed to go to the doctor and to the dentist for things and have not been able to do so because I can’t afford it.  We live in the richest nation on the planet and a citizen of that country like myself has to go without healthcare because of money?

It is just wrong, that a person, an individual, has to ignore health issues and scrabble and scramble to make ends meet while corporations are sitting on BILLIONS of dollars protected by loopholes in the tax law written by the guys they helped elect allow them to keep piling up the wealth while people in this country go homeless and hungry and without health care?

Almost EVERY other major industrialized Western nation on the planet has UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE for its citizens.  And we don’t?  There is something wrong with this picture.

ACA is getting a bad rap and it should not!

A case study of 1 — “Moi” who thinks it is AMAZING!

ACA imageRather than jump immediately into this big huge philosophical discussion of the ACA and it’s relative merits, let’s talk about this in a “real world” kind of thing.

Bringing it down to a “real person” level

Putting a face on it…  My face to be precise.

And after I’m done…  Read the rest of this entry

A Case of RVW Syndrome… …or the end of a “Waking Dream”

Mind over matter - Inside Tony's HeadBrace yourself…  You’re about to go on a trip through Tony’s mind.  It can get scary in there….

I bet you’re wondering whether you should be sending me flowers at a hospital somewhere and “What tha heck is RVW Syndrome?”

Well, dearest readers, RVW is short for “Rip Van Winkle.”

And, RVW Syndrome is an entirely fictitious disease I just made up, mere seconds ago, as I was staring at that blank box where the “title” of the blog post is supposed to go.

For a several weeks I’ve been thinking to myself, “I really need to do a post on my blog!“And the “Title” that has been stuck in my head every time I have that train of thought is “Rip Van Winkle.”

“Why? Huh? What?” I hear the teeming masses crying out…  all eight of you who are actually reading this…

Well, “Rip Van Winkle” keeps popping into my head because over the past few months I feel as if I’ve been asleep.  I feel as if I’m waking up from a dream — from a very long sleep — thus “Rip Van Winkle!”

Aha! say the teeming masses!  (I TOLD you that my mind was a scary place! *grin*)

In many ways, I do indeed feel as if I have been sleep walking through the past few months.

Another way to phrase this feeling is: I’ve been on automatic pilot.   Or, to say: I feel as if I were numb.  As if I have been taking pain medication and the pain meds are wearing off now.

Or, that I was in shock and Read the rest of this entry

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