Tag: #weightloss

ACTING IN CANDiLAND – Motivation & Psychological Impacts of the Crash Diet – Part One.

I had two of the most frightening and at the same time enlightening moments of my life during the last two days of CANDiLAND. For the entire 9 weeks of the crash diet (#crashdiet, #weightloss), I honestly had it in my head I wasn’t losing any weight. The human body is remarkable at surviving. One of its coping mechanisms is the ability to repeatedly reset to a new normal. This feeling of being normal is intrinsically tied to how you visually and body sensorially identify with yourself. When you reach a new normal you occur, look, and feel like your original normal state.

This was how my weight loss would go: Firstly, to ensure I wouldn’t cheat, I set up a militant regime to my daily diet. I ate at the exact same time everyday: 9:30am, 2:00pm, & 5:00pm. 9:30am was the lemonade drink (#mastercleanse) and vitamins. 2:00pm was vitamins/electrolytes/minerals mixed with water. 5:00pm was the V8 juice (#v8juice). Lots of water throughout the day. To take the commitment to the next level, I had all the ingredients, v8 juice, and vitamins in the exact same placement and order in their respective fridge and cupboard spaces. I would remove and place all ingredients in the same order outside of their resting place and would combine/ ingest everything in the exact same order everyday. I even had an order to cleaning and how/ when I would take out measuring spoons, etc. I was a well oiled machine and after nine weeks of this, I hadn’t realized how much of an emotional anchor it had become. Saying goodbye would be hard. More on this in Part Two…

Secondly, dropping the weight was very easy. I lost a pound a day until I reached a plateau. During these weight drop periods my energy would dip and I would experience weird body sensations. It wasn’t until the second week I realized the body sensations were my body literally feeding on itself. That’s a lot to absorb. It’s creepy actually.

Every ten pounds I would hit a plateau: 170 lb., 160 lb., 150 lb., 140 lb., etc. During these plateaus, I would have an increase in energy and would feel like I had gained my full weight back! It still wouldn’t look like I lost any weight when I looked in the mirror. My fear the diet wasn’t working would only be calmed when I jumped on a scale.

The body is stubborn when it hits a plateau. That’s the point when you have to cut calories. When you do, you experience an even further loss of energy and what’s more, your body won’t lose weight! Not for about three to four days. During that time, you’re literally fighting your body to acknowledge the fact its not receiving food and it will have to yet again feed on itself. When it does, the weird body sensations kick in and the body begins to drop weight like nothing. Pound a day. Pound a day…

Fast forward to the second last day of shooting. I had reached my target weight of 132 lb. and I had just finished having my head and upper body shaved for a pivotal moment in the film. That’s when I turned and looked at myself in the mirror. I can only assume my very large, long hair had been a structurally integral card in the house of cards which represented my self-image (#selfimage). For when I saw myself in the mirror, the house of cards crumbled, and a stranger looked back at me. In a flash, my brain registered the extreme weight loss, the shaved down tooth, emaciated skull, and protruding ribs. I silently freaked out. “What had I done? I completely destroyed myself. How have I survived? How am I surviving? Can I bring myself back?” I experienced a kaleidoscope of emotion. And as quick as the fear came it transitioned to a moment of enlightenment.

In a new way, I was in awe of the capabilities of the human body and spirit. And that’s anything! I experienced the proof if a person sets any goal in front of him/herself and applies a purpose bigger than any self wants, that person will accomplish their goal. That’s not to say we don’t stumble along the way.

Two steps forward, one step back is the saying, right? The key is to continue to take the two steps. Logically speaking, the statement of taking a step proves all dreams can be accomplished. The very act literally closes the physical and mental distance of a dream. It is impossible to not draw closer to a dream with an action. How easily we can all become discouraged and stop chasing. We forgot we just need to take another step, take another action, to instantly get back on track. Crisis averted! No stress!

So, in the end, I experienced to the core of my bones a moment of inspirational enlightenment. I saw the accomplishment and it invigorated me. If I could let myself deteriorate to this level, I could certainly rebuild myself to an entirely new level. Most importantly, there is nothing special about myself, my commitment, or experience. If I can do it anyone can do it. The key ingredient was applying a purpose bigger than my own self wants. I believe in the incredible talent of our community, my family, and my friends. My goal is to create as much opportunity for the community to express their unique, individual voices. Our life is art and art is our life. Let’s champion our community’s art. It’s a legacy worth investing everything in.

Not to sound redundant but: Anything is possible if you don’t straddle the line of life. Place both feet firmly on the side of commitment, dive in fully, and don’t look back. You will arrive.

I had one more big moment and this happened when we officially wrapped. More on this in a couple days…

James.
@JClaytonActor
@Candilandfilm

ARCHIVE – MAKING OF CANDiLAND – Starvation Will Spiritually Change Your Life.

APRIL 12TH – 2014 – 7:33 AM.

Due to the extreme #weightloss, I’ve become a recluse in the last couple of the weeks. It isn’t because I can’t resist temptation. My stomach has actually shrunk so much when I look at food it appears like an abstract piece of art. Like a Picasso or Dali. I literally have the mental thought, “That’s not food. That’s something foreign to you.” Of course, I do have my moments of #hunger panic (though they are thought induced as opposed to originating from a body sensation). For the most part this warped way of thinking is making these last eight days more bearable. And because I’ve been #fasting for so long, I’ve had an epiphany.

I’ve realized how lucky I am to live in a society where if I’m hungry I just go out and eat. Conceptually, I’ve always understood my luck but now I really feel what hunger must be like in parts of the world. My heart is an open wound to this suffering now. To my core, I now know, I’ve never had any real problems in my life. I’ve had 1st world problems (#firstworldproblems) and that’s an ignorant way to live. I’ve always considered myself to be a good person but that doesn’t mean I haven’t just been taking up space.  I don’t know how yet but I must contribute to the betterment of the world in some way. It is now my duty as a human being part of humanity.

#Christian Bale, #Michael Fassbender, and #Matthew McConaughey all revealed their #weightloss experience to be a spiritual journey, and I agree. It does become a journey of #spirituality. It’s been a blessing to feel a taste of what someone like Gandhi or Bobby Sands would have gone through in their hunger strikes. Make no mistake, I am not saying for a second my fasting is in any way comparable to the causes they stood for and the strength of their conviction. Nor am I comparing myself to these great men. It is, however, the knowing of this difference, of my little experience in relation that moves me to tears at the thought of their commitment and sacrifice for #worldchange. Wow. It’s huge.

Tomorrow is the first day of our second block of shooting.

CANDiLAND has changed my life and added a lot of #perspective. I’m grateful for this experience and excited to discover what possibilities are present as we complete our final week.

If you haven’t informed yourself about the contributions of #Gandhi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gandhi)or the #hungerstrike of #BobbySands (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_sands) , Wikipedia is a great start. Their stories are moving and a necessity to know.

James Clayton

@JClaytonActor

ACTING IN CANDiLAND: Part Two – My Crash Diet, & Weight Loss

Today has been hard. I officially weigh 139 pounds and it’s the first time I feel an intense dip in energy. That’s not to say I don’t feel good. I actually feel great. I’m also cognitively as sharp as ever. Though, as someone who takes pride in his inexhaustible energy, it was a blow to only make it five blocks on my morning walk.

Having lost 43 pounds, in the last 7 weeks, on a 300 calorie liquid diet of lemonade and V8 juice, the body is finally telling me to slow down and conserve energy. I’m totally fine spending more time on the couch right now because…

We are officially five days away from our last shooting block on CANDiLAND

A lot of you are probably wondering how the heck I’m doing it. To be quite honest, it’s been very hard. Losing the weight is the easy part. Once you begin restricting your calories the body naturally sheds the weight. It’s the mental aspect that’s excruciating. You don’t realize how large a part food is to your schedule, conversation, and identity until you stop eating.

Don’t worry; I’m taking a plethora of vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and lots of water as well. And I’ve been taking note of all the #weightloss #weightgain #cleaneating #healthy (the list could go on!) advice that experts have to offer for when I start eating again.

During this time, I’ve taken a lot of comfort listening to Matthew McConaughey and Michael Fassbender’s weight loss experiences. Both reached a weight of 135lbs for their respective films Dallas Buyers Club and Hunger which I will match for CANDiLAND. There are countless interviews on their experiences and everything they relate is exactly what I’m going through. I feel like a brother to them now in a funny way. And I completely agree with their accounts of fasting being very spiritual. It is.

The experience has been extremely informative for Peter’s state of mind but has also been an invaluable learning experience for myself personally. I will write more on that later, but for now here are a couple great links to interviews on the subject with Mr. McConaughey ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEY59GltVjw)  and Mr. Fassbender (http://www.tribute.ca/interviews/michael-fassbender-hunger/star/33695/)

James Clayton

@JClaytonActor