Saturday, November 15, 2008

Day 61 Over Confidence and "Super Sized" Dominance

Day 61

Over Confidence and “Super Sized” Dominance

Part of this process is learning important things about myself and about what I need to do to stay focused. Yesterday I learned that even when I'm feeling unstoppable, I'm still vulnerable to my emotions. I needed yesterday to show me that. I needed to have my confidence tested. It was indeed. I think I was getting over confident. Over confidence can sometimes make us drop our defenses a little. I was so confident about my will, that I didn't even see the weakness coming that engulfed me last evening. When it hit I panicked and decided the best thing for me to do was go to bed immediately. I did, and I'll tell you, it was the best decision I could have made. I woke up today feeling much better about things. I went in the bathroom to brush my teeth and I noticed something on the wall I hadn't noticed before. Oh I'm very familiar with it, I just had never noticed it was on my own bathroom wall! How could I have missed it? I don't know, but it really caught my attention this morning. It was a framed prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...Courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” It's easy to get so wrapped up in something, so focused, that you don't even notice things around you that may need your attention. These things can be a variety of different subjects, from very dear loved ones, to an inspirational prayer framed on the bathroom wall of your own house. Staying focused is extremely important, but not with blinders blocking out everything else around you. It goes back to what I know and what I've talked about before...You know you're on track for the long haul when the calories and exercise are doing well in the background while you live your life in the foreground. Not letting stressful situations and everyday happenings derail you is one thing, refusing to deal with them at all is another. I hope I'm communicating this correctly. This blog is all about my daily experiences along the way from 505 lbs to below 250 lbs, and that includes what I learn about myself and the process as the days go by.

Today was a busy day, a stressful day, but a great day. I feel wonderful. I've stayed within my calories and I had a great workout! Earlier, a report on one of the news channels caught my attention. It was a familiar story about a study on obesity in America. It really got me to thinking about the differences between 30 years ago and today. While everything looks bigger when you are a kid, everything was smaller when we were young. There was no such thing as a “super size” or “going big” or “King Size” anything. A large drink at McDonalds was 22 ounces, the same size as a medium today. There was no such thing as “free refills.” Thirty years ago you ordered one drink, you enjoyed it, and when you finished you threw away the cup. The idea of having a fountain in the lobby of your favorite fast food establishment would be absurd. “You mean I just serve myself? And, uh, I can drink as much sugary soda as I want at no extra charge?” The concept didn't exist back then, so we didn't miss it, it was normal to have just one fill of the pop. Two liter bottles didn't exist either. A family size bottle was the glass one liter bottles...remember them? Those were what we kept cold in the fridge when somebody wanted a Coke. It wasn't a personal bottle, it was the family bottle. If you wanted some, grab a glass and pour it. Today, the one liter is a plastic bottle sold mainly at convenience stores, and designed for personal consumption. Remember when Squarts were introduced? Those big 32 ounce bottles with the big hard plastic straw. Everybody seemed to get one, full of there favorite fountain drink. I had one! An 8 ounce “serving” or even a 12 ounce can of pop was laughable compared to these things. And today, it's common to see people carrying around 64 ounce jugs of soft drink. And many still wonder why obesity in America has ballooned to epidemic proportions? Way back when, a personal bag of chips was just that, made for one. And although they still have the single serving bags in multi-packs and singles in some grocery stores, the big sellers in the C-stores is the “Big Grab.” There wasn't as many buffets when I was a kid. I remember going to the Sirloin Stockade on the Strip in Stillwater for Sunday dinner, there was no buffet line. You ordered one plate of food. That was it, and everyone was satisfied. I think we became so focused on getting the biggest value for our dollar, many people lost sight of their waistlines. But they got a great deal and that made them happy. I've learned bigger isn't always better. And in the age of video games and computers, kids have no reason to go outside and use their imaginations. Who needs a plain old stick, when you can have a virtual identity wielding a shiny sword inside a game? Drive down the street in most neighborhoods and you'll notice a much calmer sound. Hardly anyone out playing. They're inside drinking one liter Cokes, eating “Big Grabs”, and playing video games. When I was a kid I would often be the only obese child in my entire class. Ask any teacher how many obese children are in class these days. I feel bad as a parent who got swept up in this super sized obese revolution and allowed it to effect my children. I'm so happy that they are following us out of that way of consuming and re-learning what really is a serving. I've been a bad example for my kids for so many years and now it's most important to me to lead by a good example.

Wow, that was kind of a social commentary rant huh? Pardon me, please. I feel really good about today, and what I accomplished after the weakness I showed last night. I've never claimed to be absolutely perfect and I've said many times, I'm not a doctor and I don't know everything, but I know one thing...I'm doing my best to be a good student along this journey. I'm trying to understand my behaviors and learn from them and correct them as I go. If I can do this one day at a time, I'll get to my goal for sure. I'm headed there! Thanks for reading about my journey along the way. Your support and all the wonderful comments and advice are greatly appreciated. And to my number one supporter, cheerleader, and soul mate Irene...I love you and thank you for standing by me for all of these years and the countless times I told you “someday.” Well buddy, that “someday” is now. And there's no turning back! We're doing it! Until tomorrow night, good night and...

Good Choices,


  1. Your comments about the change to super-sized drinks and free refills helping Americans along the path to obesity remind me of one of the big differences I found when I moved from Indiana to northern Ontario a few years ago. No free refills! Blank looks when you ask if there are free refills on anything except coffee. Once in a great while I'll be somewhere and see self-serve fountain drinks, but they are not the norm up in my neck of the woods. It is also very rare to find iced tea that doesn't come in a bottle or can (shudder), and there are certainly no free refills on it, even when it is homemade. Imagine that! And it is so expensive! A glass of iced tea (and I'm talking about a regular-sized glass, not an iced tea glass) costs $1.75! More than a cup of coffee! I still can't get used to this difference between what I am used to and what the reality is up here. We rarely eat out, but when we do I drink water--from the tap, not the bottled kind. I didn't at first. Over and over I tried to find good iced tea and paid the exorbitant price for the awful stuff that was served, until I finally gave up my quest.

    You would think, and I suspect that many Canadians do think, that by differing in such a way from Americans with respect to drink sizes and the availability of refills there would be far fewer obese or overweight folks up here than south of the border. Not so, from what I see. Being overweight myself I am keenly aware of the body shape of people I see around me and, believe me, there are a lot of big people up here. I think that if there were to be a change to larger drink sizes and free refills here (and again, I am speaking about the area I live in) waistlines would expand dramatically. Much as I loved the free refills, especially those of iced tea, back home in Indiana, I would not wish on my Canadian friends the temptation to take in all those extra calories from sugary soft drinks. Lord knows people have enough temptation, obviously not resisted, from Tim Horton's coffee and doughnuts!

  2. Great post Sean. I've had my days too. I would and have handled it the dame way. Sometimes you just need your body and mind to rest and you wake up the next day feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world.


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