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#lifewiththegillians – January 25, 2015

Posted on January 27, 2015 by Slim

There’s really not much to report this week, despite the longest video we’ve ever uploaded!

All is really well! We both feel great and are enjoying our recently revisited flexibility, as well as the benefits from eating super clean again. I’ve found myself with so much energy again; too much, at times, it seems.

I’ve always been apprehensive about going to the dentist. Since I didn’t know what to expect, I’ve always been a bit nervous on account of seeing a pretty traumatic dentist appointment go awry with my brother when we were younger. Sadly, he found out the hard way that he was allergic to the anesthetic they used and his visit ended with an ambulance ride to the the hospital.

Couple that with the horror stories that I hear from the apparent disdain for the dentist and the astronomical bills I hear about from my friends, I was genuinely uninterested in passing the threshold of one of these torture factories, despite the fact that I desperately need some work done.

Fortunately, a new insurance plan at Laura’s work made it possible for me to obtain dental insurance.

Yesterday, I went to the dentist for the first time. I think I was noticeably a bit on edge. The staff truly went WAY above and beyond to make me feel comfortable and as if I was part of the family there. After a thorough exam, I’ve been scheduled for an emergency surgery to extract four of my teeth next Monday. I’m sure that will make for a rough week, but hopefully I can still plug through it and stay on track!

If you haven’t yet, watch the video above for some shenanigans from #lifewiththegillians or click through to watch it on YouTube: http://youtu.be/EjIyYTXxh60

Wish me luck, friends!!

Peace, snugs, and MEGA love,
SLIM

We’re Not Lost Yet! Video Update: week of Jan 19

Posted on January 20, 2015 by Slim

**WARNING! I DID NOT PROOFREAD THIS POST AT ALL, so it’s likely laden with errors. Please forgive me.**

I must say that I’m a bit surprised by how many negative emails I received last week for not having posted a new update. Emails and messages of genuine concern were very nice, however the majority that came through my inbox were, at times, a good bit on the negative side. With that in mind, I’ll help squash a rumor real quick: no, I’m not “already off the wagon.”

My cousin Chelsea is a few years younger than me, and despite our close proximity in age, we’ve never been in the same room before.* For Christmas this year, my older brother Bishop and I decided to fly Chelsea down to FL from WV for a week-long vacation and family time. When I picked her up from the Punta Gorda Airport, I was filled with excitement as we rushed towards each other and finally shared a hug we all had desperately been longing for!

For those that don’t know much about me, I come from a very blended family. As with any broken home or blended family, there is inevitable fallout or just straight up relationship casualties. It’s not much a secret, especially if you closely follow the things I post online late at night when my filter has been lessened, that this is one area of struggle for me. It’s always bothered me that I can’t tell you the names of all my FIRST cousins. Hell, I can’t even tell you the name of their parents (my aunts and uncles) most of the time.

To sit alone in darkness and know that there’s so much family, so many people that I share a bloodline with that I don’t even know often hurts me.

Usually, though, those thoughts and feelings tend to fade away as I think about the amazing family that I AM in contact with, and all of my dear friends that have stepped up and taken over the position of brothers, sisters and cousins that I never had.

I’m so blessed to have spent a week with the cousin that I’ve been able to connect the most with. Chelsea has even transcended DNA and simply become one of my very best friends! Naturally, I wanted to maximize my time with my sweet cousin, so I was intentionally vacant from much of the internet, really only posting things on a whim here and there.

Here’s a dreadful picture of Bishop, Chelsea and me (from right to left) on Chelsea’s last night in town:

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We’re back to regular posting, although we never stopped our 40 Days of Diamond Cutters challenge! In fact, we’ve been absolutely THRIVING in this challenge! I have yet to see how much weight I’ve lost since tightening up my eating habits again and hitting the mat every day. I’ve even found myself becoming more and more disciplined, and turning down food a good bit more easily. In fact, Laura and I were walking through Target on Sunday and I was loading my cart up with snacks and goodies for the day, and even though the things in the cart were totally well within the realm of “healthier choices”, I found myself putting everything back and exchanging them for fresh fruit instead.

Just last night, Laura asked if I would like a second helping of what she prepared for dinner and I just said “eh… nah.”

She was shocked. She was so stunned, in fact, that she thought I didn’t like what she had made. (It was chicken fajitas. They were breathtaking!)

I’ve found my clothes fitting better again and my energy to be through the roof. All in all, I feel like a million bucks!

I DID have to make a little addendum to this challenge though. I realized that especially on days that I have a performance contract, but the time I get off the stage after performing for 4 hours, it’s incredibly hard for me to find the strength and energy to workout. In reality, each of those contracts (1-2 times per week) carry with it 4 hours of performing plus at least an hour each of set up and strike. What’s worse than no energy or ability to workout after a show, is the the inability to FINISH a performance strongly because a workout I had earlier in the day.

So here’s the change that we’ve put into place: we’ll be doing the Diamond Cutter workout every day with the exception of show days. At 6-8 hours for each performance contract, I put in a brutal cardio workout there on stage.

Other than that, all is well in our world! We’re rockin’ and rollin’!

If you haven’t yet, be sure to watch this week’s episode of #lifewiththegillians (you can watch above or, or watch directly on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAiHXfORRe4) but excuse us in advance for some audio problems during filming. Something was causing some interference with the audio, and we’re not sure what it was. We’ll do our best to correct it for next week’s episode though. ;-)

Thank you all so much for your love and support! You guys are awesome!!!

Peace, snugs, and MEGA love,
SLIM

*it’s entirely possible that we were around each other when we were too young to remember.

A New Member of the Family!

Posted on January 8, 2015 by Slim

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I usually try to refrain from blowing up my relatives and friends on this page, however the birth of my new baby nephew definitely merits some bragging. ;-)

I posted this earlier on my personal page, but wanted to share my excitement with all of you as well:

“My little nephew had to wait for the first snow day of the year to come into the world. But alas, he’s here!!! Mr. Avett Lee Rocket Carter, 9lbs, 20″ born at 5:22pm on January 7, 2015 after an incredibly short labor.

This dude isn’t even a day old and he’s still more awesome than pretty much everyone I know.

Haley [my baby sister] and Luke Skype called us last night so that we could see him. Haley must be the most graceful new mother ever! She was acting like she didn’t even.. y’know.. just have a kid… Haha… Handled it like a boss! Baby and mommy are both healthy and happy, under the care of daddy’s watchful eye.

If I may:

Dear Avett,

I’ll be the first to admit that this planet can be strange at times. Life will not always end up as you plan it, but I will tell you this: if you work hard, roll with the punches, and use what you’ve been given to help those around you, you’ll end up right where you want to be, young man.

Your mom and dad are two of my very best friends. They’ll never steer you wrong. Trust me.

Never be afraid to stand up for what you believe in and for what is right and when given the option, always choose love.

There will be plenty of people that will tell you otherwise along the way, but truly I tell you this world is a beautiful place, and while you may not know it yet, you are the world’s most precious gift. Don’t waste it. Change the world, nephew.. I know you will.

Welcome to the party, Rocket! Strap in, ’cause it is going to be an awfully fun adventure!

Love you, buddy!
-Your Ride or Die Uncle Slim”

#rocketlaunch2015

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Video Update – January 1, 2015

Posted on January 2, 2015 by Slim

Due to some technical issues (read “my spit wasn’t strong enough to stick the suction cup that our camera was mounted on to the windshield…”) our first update of 2015 and our first update in a few months is in two parts. Watch them above or continue reading for the blog version.

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It’s certainly been a while, hasn’t it? I think our last update was back in August. Since then, I’ve received many messages from people that were concerned that I was stuck in a ditch somewhere or just completely off track. In reality, there’s a little bit of truth to both of things, however there’s not really that good of a story behind it. Truth is, I got so busy that I had to let a few things kind of fall to the way side for a minute.

With just my career, I stay insanely busy. Too busy for hobbies usually. This past year, after taking nearly three years off from performing and entertaining, I started to feel the urge to be on stage again. I decided that I would start to get my chops back to where they needed to be and put out a plan to put a new band together later in 2015. Apparently life, the universe, or whatever cosmic being you subscribe to had other plans.

My former singer from FELLOWBLISS walked in the door to one of our favorite restaurants. She was there to play music that night. Since Sheena, my older brother Bishop, and I were all in the same room together for the first time in years, we thought “hey, we should play some music while we’re here!” Sheena invited us up on stage with a plan to perform 3 or 4 songs. We ended up performing for 3 to 4 HOURS that night. After seeing the kind of tips that we brought in, we realized that we may have just stumbled on to something and thus “GypsyNative” was accidentally born.

From there, I began to get even more busy. I didn’t really have time to be performing 1-2 nights a week right now, but I also needed the money, so I found myself in a bit of a “catch 22″ as it were. As I started to get busier, I found it harder and harder to keep all the plates spinning that I need to, and some of my ventures began to suffer.

In September, I found myself incredibly ill for over a month. I mean… ill. Like… really ill. I genuinely thought it was the end of me.

I was already slowing putting weight back on due to focusing more on my busy schedule than my health and fitness. I went from the 380lbs that I had worked so hard to get to, back to 430lbs before I was put on heavy duty steroids and antibiotics. In a month, I gained 35lbs from the medications. Naturally, it was a bit heartbreaking for me. As I tried to climb out of the funk I had been in, it became more and more apparent that after spending a month not being able to work to my fullest potential, I was dreadfully behind in aspects of my life and work.

I was faced with the reality that I would have to put several things on hold until I could get my life straightened out.

My clothing line got put on hold, my monthly gathering of bearded fellas got put on hold, and sadly even The Next Forty Days had to be put on a back burner as well…..

Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes though, we’ve finally caught up enough to relaunch one of our biggest passions!

We decided to scrap the season of TN40D that we were in and just reboot the whole project. What better time to do that than now… the beginning of a new year!?

We’re relaunching with physical challenge: 40 Days of Diamond Cutters! For the next forty days, we’ll be doing the 50+ minute DDPYoga “Diamond Cutter” workout every day!

This challenge will really stretch us, as we’re only in the second day of the challenge and are already having a bit a difficulty with scheduling considering my performance calendar being slammed this week. As of writing this, I’ve just finished my time on the mat today. I’m feeling great, motivated, and truly inspired!

The timing of challenge couldn’t be any better, as I was recently asked to stand up with one of my dearest friends, professional MMA cage fighter, Bryce Lawrence, as he marries his fiance, Brooke (yet another incredibly good friend of mine.) I made a vow that I would fight with everything I have to weigh less at his wedding in April than I did at mine! I weighed 370lbs at my wedding, and as of this challenge I’m 430lbs (thankfully I’ve already lost the weight that the medications put on!) so this is going to be a pretty serious challenge to lose 60lbs in just a few months.

I’m committed though. I know that I can do it!

I’m also really excited for the challenges that we’ve chosen for Season 3.2 of The Next Forty Days:

January 1 – February 9: 40 Days of Diamond Cutters
February 10 – March 22: 40 Days of Love
March 23 – May 2: 40 Day Food Drive
May 3 – June 12: The Awesomebox Challenge
June 13 – July 23: 40 Days of Freedom
July 24 – September 2: 40 Days of Compliments
September 3 – October 13: 40 Days of Art
October 14 – November 23: The Bucket List Challenge
November 24 – January 3: The Acts of Kindness Challenge

For more information about each of those challenges, click on the “Schedule” tab above!

This is going to be a great year, friends… if you allow it to be. ;-)

Buckle up, kids… this is gonna be a wild ride!

Peace, snugs, and MEGA love,
SLIM

Video Update and RAFFLE WINNER – August 1, 2014

Posted on August 1, 2014 by Slim

It’s been a hot minute since we’ve been able to get a solid update video to you, but never fear: this one brings you awkward laughs, magic tricks and even an announcement of who won the guitar raffle!

Give it a watch, send it your votes for the two things mentioned and share with your friends if they need a chuckle.

Watch below or click through to YouTube here: http://youtu.be/HII2VWYGeCQ

Peace, snugs, and MEGA love,
SLIM

MAKE LIFE BETTER!