FitChip

FeaturedFitChip

            Aaron shuddered against the cool touch of the antibacterial wipe on the back of his neck. 

            “Sorry. I should’ve warned you it’d be cold,” the nurse said. Her voice was light and airy in a way that reminded Aaron of his mom. It made him a little sad. 

            “It’s fine.” Aaron tensed in anticipation because he knew the needle would penetrate his skin at any moment.

            The nurse rested her hand on his shoulder. “Hey. You know you can still back out. You’d still get a full refund.” 

            For the briefest of seconds, Aaron considered this. He could save the money, maybe buy a new car instead or pay off some of his student loans. It would probably be a better use of the money his mom had left for him in her will. Would she even approve of this decision? She’d nearly had a heart attack over the tattoo he’d gotten on his left forearm two years ago. What he was doing now was insane—a literal body modification lifted from the pages of one of the science-fiction novels Aaron spent most of his time reading. 

            It’s probably why he was in this room. He was always sitting around. Reading. Gaming. Snacking. Chugging copious amounts of Mountain Dew and alcohol to escape from his feelings. It was no wonder he weighed over three-hundred pounds. But this? This would change everything. Helix Industries, Bay Rock’s high-tech corporation, would be seeing to that with a small needle in the back of his neck. 

            Well, he hoped it was small. He refused to look back at the nurse in the off chance he’d see the needle. Instead, he nodded his head. “I’m ready.” 

            “Okay. You’ll feel a little pinch…” Her voice trailed off and the needle bit into the back of his neck.

            A cool sensation rippled through his chest, almost instantly replaced by a blanket of warmth. Aaron swore he could feel the FitChip grate into his neckbone. He almost screamed but then all the sensations ended. 

            “There. Not so bad, right?” the nurse said. 

            “Not really, no.” Aaron eyed the machine that rested next to his right arm. An arm-sized maw filtered out an array of blue lights. “But I’m worried about that.” 

            The nurse walked around the chair Aaron was in and began fidgeting with the machine. “It’s not as bad as you’d think. It’ll be a little more painful, but what is it they say at the gym? No pain, no gain!” 

            “Right.” Aaron was certain people at the gym would be very insulted at what he was about to do. 

            The nurse rolled the machine toward him, the glowing blue hole encompassing his arm. She spent a few minutes checking an LCD screen hanging above the device, typing in a few things here and there, and then flicked a button on the side of the machine. It whirred to life with a loud thrum

            Aaron’s anxiety seeped out of his body, heart pounding against his chest like machine gun bullets. He braced himself against the pain he knew was coming. No pain, no gain and all that, right? 

            Searing heat burned around his wrist and it felt like thousands of needles tore in this his flesh, shredding and flaying. He gritted his teeth against the pain, his muscles tensing. The nurse’s voices was distant as she reassured him he was doing great and that it was almost over. He was about to scream when the blue light of the machine turned green. All the pain ceased, leaving a dull throb in his right wrist. 

            “Congratulations, Aaron.” The nurse pulled the machine away from him. “It appears the FitChip integration was successful.” 

            Aaron brought his arm before his face. A ring of black wrapped around his wrist, seamlessly fused with his flesh. He gingerly ran a finger along the grafted bracelet. It was smooth to the touch, almost spongy. But there was a gentle thrum emanating from it.

            The nurse handed Aaron a folder and pulled out a pamphlet. “You need to let the FitChip fully acclimate to your body for the next 24 hours. This means you should not, under any circumstances, program your body until then. It could cause irreversible damage to you. I will remind you that you did acknowledge this on the consent from you signed upon arriving today. Helix Industries cannot be held viable if you disregard this.” 

            “How often does that happen?”

            The nurse snorted. “Oh, more than I’d care to admit. People are so impatient these days.” 

            Aaron was silent. He knew the FitChip app he’d downloaded on his phone would connect to the chips in his body within seconds if he pulled his phone out. And he really wanted to. He was tired of his weight and chubby form being a deal ender for the guys he talked to on the gay-hookup app, Talon. Nobody wanted anything to do with him once they saw how fat he was. If you didn’t have a six-pack or look like the latest Hollywood actor, you were cut off from a chance of something more. Frankly, Aaron didn’t want anything to do with himself either. 

            A day later, after hours of apprehension and agonizing that the procedure wouldn’t work, Aaron stood naked in front of his body-length bedroom mirror. His chubby, scruffy face stared back, taking in the heavy rolls and thick legs. If it weren’t for the mirror, he wouldn’t even be able to see his average-sized dick between his legs. The fat made sure to hide that. 

            But that was all about to change, wasn’t it?

He held up his phone, opening the FitChip app, and programmed the job for the nanites to carry out in his body. With a sigh to reassure himself, Aaron hit the button. There was no going back.

            Fire raged through his body, extending through every fiber. Both his neck and right wrist tingled—no doubt the nanites doing their job. He stumbled forward, bracing himself against the wall. Muscles spasmed and tensed and chills raced down his spine. What felt like an eternity was only mere minutes. The flash of sensation and pain ceased and Aaron felt… different. 

            He stepped away from the wall to study himself in the mirror. There was a stranger staring back at him. Lean, chiseled, and somewhat gangly. Abs had been carved into his abdomen like he was some sort of Greek deity. He had a perfect V-line that seemed to highlight the appendage between his legs. His high cheekbones were more prominent. He ran a hand through his sweaty blonde hair—a surreal feeling considering he barely recognized the person staring back at him. 

            Of course, it was Aaron without all the fat and rolls. This is what he would probably look like without the throes of depression and anxiety that had taken over him the past few years. This would’ve been him if his brother hadn’t been killed in a drunk driving accident three years ago. It would’ve been him before his boyfriend had cheated on him with his best friend. This would’ve been Aaron before life it hard.

            But it wouldn’t have been him when his mom died of cancer six months ago. No, that was Fat Aaron. His mom had died knowing Fat Aaron.

            And now? Fat Aaron was gone. Replaced with a gay man’s fantasy. 

            But why didn’t he feel happy?  

            Why did he hate himself even more?

2016 vs. 2017: Battling for Identity

Sometimes I just need to write my thoughts, my ideas, my intentions. Other times I like to say I’ll write them down, but I never do.

For example, I last blogged on February 14th, 2016 with every intention of blogging regularly.

I failed. Obviously.

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And in many ways I think that’s pretty much what 2016 was for me. A bunch of strange failures. Now, don’t read that and say, “What a pessimist! Don’t be so hard on yourself! Stop it!”  But being hard on myself is kind of something I do. That being said, I don’t think it was a terrible year. However, it wasn’t a majorly successful year, either. It’s one I look back on and think, “Meh.”

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Pretty much how 2016 has treated me

Looking back, 2016 has given me a drive to change a lot of things in 2017; things I’m growing passionate about more and more each day. I’m dividing this blog into two halves. The first half I’ll discuss what didn’t work for 2016. The second? You guessed it! I’ll discuss my plans for 2017. If you find my boring rambling entertaining, then buckle up. If you think I’m a moron and dry, then please continue reading to reaffirm your opinion of me. Either way, it’s a win-win. Right? Plus, I have an addiction to GIFS. Be prepared.

2016: The Year of Stunted Growth

Writing:

You know I finished my first book I was proud of late 2015. I mean it was a grueling yet passionate process that yielded my first complete and ready to publish manuscript.

It’s the first of a dark and gloomy trilogy called The Aedonu Trilogy #1: Shadows in the Darkness. It’s pretty much about the end of the world, kicking off with a worldwide earthquake that deeply impacts the lives of three different characters. Each character struggles with their identity while the whole world turns into a depiction of absolute hell. They struggle with being heroes, having faith in a Creator, death, acceptance, and believing in the impossible–becoming the impossible. You know, totally normal everyday things. Just…in an impossible situation.

It’s a story that means a lot to me and I almost got it published back in February. I had a request from a publisher for a full manuscript. Crazy awesome, right?!

Ultimately, however, they decided not to pick it up to publish it. Not so awesome.

I would be lying if I were to say that experience didn’t both build up my confidence and, yet, dash it into a thousand pieces. I was left scrambling with so many questions: What do I do to change it? Can I change it? How can I tweak the story to make it more presentable? Can I even handle this anymore? Is the story worth it?

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Deep questions for a writer. Throttling questions. So I did what any logical person would do, especially after the growing list of rejection letters from other publisher.

I dropped the project.

I abandoned it, heartbroken in many ways, and fled even though I still believed believe greatly in its potential. You see, that story is super complex. It made me do some soul searching in a time where I had no time to search my writing soul. Therefore, I turned to writing a middle school realistic story about a kid who believes his English teacher is a superhero (wishful thinking, perhaps?). It’s a story that is a whole heck of a lot less complicated. It’s another story I believe in, but it’s also one that I haven’t “connected” with 100% which means it hasn’t been wholly productive.

All that to say….2016 stunted the writer within me. Maybe almost destroyed him. Perhaps obliterated him.

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Fitness:

I began a health journey back in 2012. I went from 225 lbs. to 165 lbs. in a matter of seven months! It was amazing, hard, and so rewarding. Since then I’ve been much more careful about what I eat and more conscious of staying active to avoid becoming 225 again. After an intense seven months, I actually had a lean body with a few abs showing! It was awesome.

Then I fell madly in love with pizza and milkshakes over the years once more.

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Those items and I have an abusive relationship. During 2016 I’ve had some good workouts and runs. I started around 198 lbs and worked down to 178. And now I’ve worked back up to 198 (I just weighed myself..and in my sadness I’m eating a cookie).

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Look, I’m an emotional eater. Don’t judge me.

I actually joined a gym back in November after a good friend of mine convinced me to.

It hasn’t been entirely fruitful. I’ve been binging on pizza, cookies, pop/soda, and chips vehemently the past few weeks. Also? Candy. Maybe some eggnog too. Oh, did I mention cookies? Maybe some wine as well. Yeah. You see the problem? I also make a lot of excuses to not work out.

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Plus, what if I went and looked like this?

So…with all that combined…..2016 has pretty much threatened my health.

Finances:

Look. I’m never going to be a millionaire. Ever. It’s a nice dream, but I’m a teacher with over $100,000 in student loans. I wish I was kidding about that amount of student debt. I’m not. And I absolutely love my job as a teacher. I’m never abandoning it, so I accept I’ll never be rich.

But that means I need to be smart with my money. This year I haven’t been that smart.

  • I’ve been collecting Funko POPS! like crazy. (Awesome collectables, but can get pricey)
  • I’ve been eating out. A lot. (See above category on fitness).
  • I went through a comic book purchasing phase from June-August. It turns out buying comics gets pricey when you read a lot. (Like $50-$60 a week in comics!)

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There goes my money…

I tried two months of Dave Ramsey’s plan to budget where you put cash into envelopes and spend only that money on things. It worked well for those two months. Then I got lazy and stopped withdrawing cash from the ATM because, well, it required me to drive to the bank. And we can’t have that, can we? No. It’s a lot of work!

So, naturally, I stopped budgeting and my eating out habits increased until last week when my car pretty much broke down and I needed a new battery. I went to spend the $100 for it and was informed my account had insufficient funds.

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Awkward. Pizza clearly betrayed me because, well, pizza on a night to night basis adds up.

Thank you, 2016, for turning me into a financially unstable man. (Disclaimer: finances and stability don’t work well together for  me.)

Current Standings

2016: 500

Me: 0

YAY!

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So, what’s next?

2017: The Year of Growth

First, let me acknowledge that I’ve strayed from making New Years Resolutions because I usually break them by the end of the day on January 3rd in some way, shape, or form. Why create them when they will simply be destroyed? It makes me feel awful. Plus, resolutions are simply begging to be broken. It’s like the fine print within the word resolution.

So, these are not necessarily resolutions as much as they are new life goals. In my mind, it always helps me to start something at the beginning of the month. It just so happens that the beginning of the next month is 2017. Therefore, I have some goals I’m going to fight to complete.

  • Writing:
    • Rework, tweak, refocus, and publish The Aedonu Trilogy.
    • Write at least once or twice a week
    • Saturday mornings = designated writing time
    • No excuses–I’m not hiding from my story.
    • Goal #1: Get published and/or finish writing The Aedonu Trilogy #2: Flames in the Darkness
    • Goal #2: Try to write at a minimum one blog post a month. However, I’d love to make it weekly. Start small, though, right?

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  • Reading:
    • Make time to read.
    • Read every night right before bed–even if it’s just for ten minutes.
    • Goal: Finish at least one book a month. Minimum of reading 12 books in 2017 (which should be attainable easy enough).

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  • Fitness:
    • Workout five times a week–which means going to the gym I’m paying for
    • Only one cheat meal permitted a week, mainly in the form of pizza.
    • Only eat out once a week, mainly in the form of pizza.
    • Goal: Regain my lean form and have some semblance of abs by March

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  • Finances:
    • Hardcore budget my money every month, which means withdrawing cash and putting into envelopes
    • No cash? No pizza treat once a week.
    • Stop impulse buying–I struggle there.
    • Goal: Have enough money at the end of the year for a new car

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Okay, so they aren’t resolutions, but they are goals. Goals are a destination to be reached vs. an absolute to keep in check from day one. You can stumble in your goals, but still achieve them. I feel like once you break a resolution, it’s easy to give it up for the rest of the year. Having distinct goals may help me stay on track in these four areas of my life.

Focusing more on writing will impact my reading a lot more and vice versa. In the same sense, if I’m more self-disciplined in staying fit, I know that I’ll be more self-disciplined in my finances. Those always seem to highlight one another.

2017 should be a wild ride, but I hope it’s one that’ll show 2016 it didn’t knock me out.

While 2016 revealed my weak areas in various ways, 2017 should be a year that empowers me in so many more ways.

Let’s do this, 2017. It’s morphin’ time!

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