We were in Nashville on Broadway in the Redneck Riviera and Amber looked at me when I said something about her drinking and being a lightweight, and says: “Dude you outweigh me by how much?”.
And that’s how that trip started. I can’t help that we are both lightweights now. But we hadn’t eaten yet. Stupid me didn’t know that Nashville is an hour behind. You know the Central Mountain Time we hear about once in awhile? Yup that’s central and apparently in the mountains. So, getting to our hotel at 8am wasn’t super smart but we gave them our suitcases and headed for the fake redneck capital of the world. Btw, the only one wearing cowboy hats and boots were tourists so what’s that tell you? We did many of the things that everyone told us to do.
Tootsies, Famous Saloon, Tin Roof, Redneck Riviera (my fav spot), Kid Rocks Bar a few times….. Legends, Music City Chicken Co…. you name it I drank there for at least 1. We dropped tips all over Nashville. We definitely spread our money around. We Uber’d all over the place. We didn’t see many taxis at all honestly. We went to Broadway a few times over 3 days that we could. All things Nashville gravitate there.
We saw the Country Music hall of Fame and lots of lots of famous peoples clothes. Went to the Johnny Cash museum, The Grand Old Opry too. We were over paying for tours to see people’s clothes.
But guess what? I did it. I wasn’t scared of fitting in any seat, in fact I’m on the plane right now and Amber is in the window seat. I didn’t worry about getting in the back seat of the Lyft or bus or whatever. I felt what I’d call normal. But hey I’m still 6’2 so this will always bring a few challenges at times. Like right now the guy in front of me is going to get jolted if he keeps pushing back on my legs. Fucking jerk. Meanwhile he’s in the front seat and has the most leg room on the plane.
We had hot chicken, amazing Mac and cheese and I had chicken and waffles. The BBQ was delicious and we experienced what a Nashville had to offer. Wasn’t very keto and guess what I could feel it on my body.
I did not sleep too well. Think I miss my pups and was worried and G the wonder dog who wasn’t feeling good when I left.
So I’ll probably post a bunch of photos from Graceland. I have three Elvis tattoos on my arm. There was a neighbor growing up named Aunt Sue. She would literally play Elvis vinyl all day and night. Elvis was one of the first singers that I ever memorized a song￼ from.
She would watch old VHS tapes. Her entire bedroom was a shrine to him. Her poor husband just let her do her thing. I grew up loving Elvis.￼ And it’s all her fault. When we decided to go to Nashville we talked about going to Graceland but heard all kinds of various stories about the area etc. We also realize they were six hours in the car back-and-forth. And we just forgot about it. Two weeks before we were leaving Amber did some research on day trips and things to do in Nashville and sent me a text that basically said we’re not going all the way to Tennessee and not going to Graceland.￼ I am going to book us a trip. So she took me to Graceland and then we got to see Sun studios where he first recorded.￼￼
I definitely had a few spine tingling out of body moments. Graceland isn’t anything spectacular as far as the house. It might have been in that area in the 70s but to today’s standards most people in upper Bucks County have bigger houses.￼. Christ my singer and drummer definitely have a bigger house. But Graceland is kind a like a time warp. He passed away and no one touched anything￼￼. In one room Lisa Marie’s teddy bear is still sitting in a chair. Just overwhelming. The other thing Elvis did that was very smart was surrounded himself with land. They literally bus you over to his house from a whole other property where his airplanes and all his belongings are at.￼ It’s there where you see all his cars and wardrobe and creepy things. These people knew what they were doing and saved everything. At one point I was almost in tears. It is overwhelming. I was so glad that I got to see it.￼
We also went to Beale Street, ate ribs at BB Kings￼, and saw the Peabody Ducks in Memphis.
The tour of the Sun Studios was cool. Lots of information and it just turned out that I was already standing on the spot where Elvis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, and many others including U2 and Aretha Franklin sang. It was a great day. ￼
On Wednesday we took a tour of the grand old Opry in the country music Hall of Fame. And I have to be honest with you by the time we were done in the Hall of Fame I was done paying to see famous people’s clothes. Because in the end that is all you’re seeing. Gold records, guitars, music awards, and cloths. Here is a replica of a guitar that Garth Brooks played.￼ We were over it.
Wednesday night we went to see the Glorious sons and the Struts. That show was fantastic. My body definitely does not like standing for hours to get a good spot in the pit. By the time the show started I could barely move my back hurt so bad. I was not wearing the best sneakers either￼. But it was awesome. We navigate in Nashville very well. Got a little nervous when the Lyft driver told us she’d never been to the concert hall.
Thursday we went deeper into Nashville and saw a Dukes of Hazzard museum, the Opryland hotel, and at that point we were pretty much done and ended up seeing toy story four just to stay in the air-conditioning.
We went into town that night and got One last southern meal. I had hot chicken and waffles.
We had a drink at our two favorite bars and called it a night. The flight home was uneventful and perfect. That’s kind of what you want out of flying. I sat in the middle seat like a pro.￼
Let’s catch up quickly, I was denied by Allmed For my skin removal surgery. Apparently in the last two years there was some research done and they are saying that removing this skin will not benefit me whatsoever. That’s what they were going for. So no matter how much pain I am in they’re saying the skin removal won’t change that.￼ Amber and I talked about it. And I will most likely still have it in January and we will just see what we have to do to pay for it. My friend Phil also spoke to someone and I’m going to see a new doctor at the end of September to see if maybe he can code things better or help.￼ I need to plan this out so either way I am going to stick very hard to my diet and exercise routine to be in the best shape possible going into 2020. And we will do what we have to do. All the loose skin makes me very self-conscious anymore. I look fantastic standing up. But sit down and gravity takes over everywhere. It is what it is. I will continue to work hard.￼
So a good humor ice cream a day at the hotel, a few bags of junk food, some sweet drinks, and a tracking for a few days. I came home 5 pounds heavier than I left. Most of that weight has come off already. June was a very emotional and hard month for me and that extended into Fourth of July weekend. And I am playing catch-up. Not what I wanted to do but life happens. I have buckled down this week￼. And my body is very thankful because no matter what it was very angry at me in Nasheville￼. Moderation is hard for some people. It’s very hard for me. I know it is very easy for me to binge, and spiral. Some people can handle it and I know I am not one of those people. I don’t want to go crazy before my next vacation in Florida in September. I don’t want to track everything while I’m in Florida for a few days. But I do know when I come back from Florida and I will make some heavy changes to finish out the year. It’s already sinking into my head. I might finish the year with no alcohol, because frankly I don’t need it. I want it very much in the summertime. But once summer is over I don’t really think about drinking that much. All my social things kinda shut down. Pool gets closed. Shore trips end.
But I am back at it. We got back Friday and have been in the gym every day but Sunday since.
I never used to let Amber Watch 600 pound life around me. Now I find myself watching it because it reminds me how similar my life was to the people on that show. I was 550 pounds once. . I could hardly walk or move. I only had a handful of shirts and a few pair of pants that fit me. I was incredibly afraid to wash those jeans too. I couldn’t fit in the chair or have a seatbelt go around. When I was that big, it often felt like time stood still. I was watching others live their life while I just sat there. Sure I did the van thing. I was still very successful at it. But those tonight on stage would ruined me on Sunday and sometimes for a few days later. I can tell you personally the taking control of my life was one of the best decisions of my life. It did not come easy. Transformation takes time. I did not drop 200 pounds in one day. Losing weight takes consistency and determination. You have to really want to and you have to act properly to get there. If you have been in the battle, don’t give up. Keep going. From day one I had an activity tracker. I got Amber one two. I’m not even sure if anyone remembers the Nike fuel bands that were out right before the fitbits took over. I track my food intake daily. I started caring about the things I put in my body. Lately I have even thrown away most of the pre-workouts and stick to only vitamins and caffeine; ( I am not a heathen). This summer has definitely been a mental struggle. Just know that you can do anything and you are a warrior. We are in this together.
I know this was little long but it has been a while. I am back in the swing of things. I hope you are too.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for caring.
Elvis has left the building.