Contributing Monkie V Ol Blak
Published on July 5, 2010
Hello world, my name is V Blak and I am a sickly looking vegan (was). I know how sad, poor Monkie.
Let me start with a memory, years ago, I was in New York City working with my friend Jay. My first day in town, he rushes me up to meet his new girl. She was transitioning to a raw food diet and exploring the whole vegan thing. She even had Jay embracing it. Big big change in lifestyle for him. He was so new to it, he really had no clue what being a vegan was. He would say things like, no red meat right, I can’t have steaks anymore? Yeah, Jay that’s it. You got it.
Anyways, back to the introduction. He introduced me, acting all excited, going on about how cool it was, that I had already been a vegan for years. His thinking was that she would be inspired or something. She wasn’t. She turned to me and said, oh yeah I can tell he is a vegan and she didn’t mean it in a good way. She meant yeah, he sticks out like a sore thumb. Pale, thin, gauntly, sunken in, walking skeleton, you know the type. The worst part is that she was dead on right. I was no vegan role model. I was looking pretty bad. Even worse, I wasn’t even concerned. I didn’t think anything was wrong with the way I looked. I didn’t even take in what she was saying. My mind just said, well that is her problem. I look fine, I am just a thin person, she just doesn’t understand.
The reality was, I was too busy working, trying to make a difference, trying to understand the world I was living in, trying to understand myself. Fighting through depression, fighting to just stay. I never stopped and thought about my health or what I looked like. And here is the thing, I was skinny for a long long time, but it wasn’t because I became a vegan, Vegans don’t have to be skinny and most are not. That is just a stereotype. I was skinny because I gave up on myself. I didn’t care about me. I had no balance in my life. I never ate. I would drink espresso, suppressing my appetite, so I could work longer hours, stay up more days. When I did eat, it would be something simple like a salad. A very very light near zero calorie salad. Very little fats or proteins. Worst of all, I sat in my chair day after day and completely gave up on working out. For me even the thought of working out turned my stomach. I would think, oh how boring, what a dull ill thing to do. I hated it. So, I just didn’t do it, ever. The last time I was physically active (until recently) was back in my early 20’s. So, think about it, a good 15 years just blew by as my body withered away. Amazing what we will do to ourselves.
Now I am sliding along the slippery road of my 40’s (41 1/2 to be exact). Yes, slippery road… zooming towards my 50’s, which is just amazing to me. Some of my favorite people in the world, where gone by their 50’s ( Joe Strummer). And here I am starting over. A big baby taking my first steps, stumbling into my future, tripping into my new body. I am starting over and this time I will have balance. I will feel good and look good. Not for the outside world, not for Jay’s girl, not for you, but completely and only for me.
My turning point started simple. One day I just layed face down on the floor, stretched my legs behind me and placed my hands in a sit-up position. I felt ill instantly. I told myself just try a few, try getting past the weakness and the pain. I told my stomach and brain to shut up. We are doing this. My arms slowly pushed my body up and back down again. As soon as I reached the bottom, in chimed my brain, working ever angle to stop me. Going on and on about what a fool I am, just stop this. What am I thinking. Just get back to reading or something. Give up on this stupid act of pushing us up and down off the ground. Grow up.. Knock this off, punk. I told my body and brain to just suck it up, we are going to do another one.
On day one, I think I did eight pushups before the brain won. I know how pathetic. Yes a pathetic start, but it was a start, not a great start but a start. The next day I came back and did twenty, next day forty and so on. A week later I was feeling better, stronger and ready to add another exercise. I attempted my first crunches. I was so clumsy, I couldn’t even do a single consistent set. I was wobbling all around the floor trying to feel the burn but all I was feeling was like a major dork. Well, here we are 8 months or so later and I am heading into phase two of remaking my body and mind. In phase one, I was able to put on 15 pounds of muscle and some fat. I was eating a lot of nuts maybe a few too many. I didn’t have a lot of options. I also didn’t really workout with weights, I just used my own body weight. My workouts where simple. I would do 160 inclined pushups in sets of 20, 300 crunches in sets of 50 (100 left side, 100 center, 100 right side), 100 triceps dips and 100 chest/ biceps dips. The next day I would walk for two hours and do 120 one leg presses, using my own weight. You just balance on one leg and steady yourself with something, a table or chair and lower your body to a sitting position and back up again. That is pretty much it.
Now on to Phase 2. I am coming out from behind the camera and putting my life out there. So from now on, when I do something in the realm of “G Living”, I am going to do my best to document it and share it with all of you.
My goal in Phase 2 is to put on another 10 pounds of lean muscle. To balance out my body and build strength. I am going to make sure I am getting enough calories each day and that the food I am consuming will also be actively helping me grow my muscles (I will read up on this in Brendan Braziers new book). I am also adding weight training. I know, about time. For the weights I am going to use some kettle-bells, which I already own and I will figure out something to perform bench presses. My chest needs a lot of filling out, so bench pressing is going to be an important part of this phase. That’s it. My goal is pretty simple, I want to go from sickly to mighty, Mighty Dark Monkie that is. A.K.A fit, fuller, bigger muscles, with more of an athletic build and some nice new glowing skin. I will achieve the glowing skin part by just getting some much needed sun, another thing I haven’t seen in years.
Too be continued. Next post, breakdown of my workouts and what is going down my throat. :) Wish me luck. I am going to need it.