Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Day 107 Little Whiny Excuses No More!

Day 107

Little Whiny Excuses No More!

I really enjoyed talking to my Dad today. That was good. Real good. We exchanged e-mails and cell numbers and we agreed we needed to stay in touch. Now I'd like to meet my brothers Daniel and Chris. We'll see how that turns out. It's really a necessary thing for me. I'm not real big on dramatics, and this certainly has the potential for being over-dramatic, but I just wanted to feel some wholeness when it comes to that side of me. And I'm getting that. What does this have to do with losing weight? Having that contact makes me feel good, and when I feel good, I do good. Could I lose the weight without ever contacting my Dad and siblings? Sure, I'm doing it everyday, but I just feel better after reaching out for that contact.

I've been teetering on sickness all day. I think we ate something bad around here. Amber had it first, then KL, now I've had that “I'm gonna be sick” feeling most of the day. I still have some calories remaining, about 80, but I don't plan on having anything else tonight. We've had a little get together tonight and I watched the Holiday Bowl with KL. What a disappointing game for us Cowboy fans. We'll look forward to next season like good Cowboy fans will. I had trouble calculating the calories of Rotel and Velveeta cheese dip. I just over estimated and went on. I know I didn't have 400 calories worth, but that's what I counted. It's very rare that I'm stumped over a calorie count, but occasionally it happens, and when it does, I just over estimate.

I'm really disappointed in my workout performance of late. Since the 5k on Christmas Day, I've only worked out once. Of course I had the blister on my heel and today I've been feeling really sick. I really hate excuses. They're both valid excuses, but not really when you get right down to it. Feeling sick shouldn't stop me from getting in the floor and doing the exercises that have been suggested by family and friends. Am I being lazy? Is it the Holiday's wearing me down? I've navigated all of the scrumptious food without tripping, but my workout schedule is horribly lacking. I know that 7 pounds is a good two week loss, but at this weight, I know I'm capable of a little more. I also know what it takes to get there. I've got to move, I've got to do whatever I need to do to protect myself from blisters and unless I'm uncontrollably heaving, I need to have my behind out there working it. If this sounds like I'm scolding myself, I am. My head is actually tilted down in shame. How dare I use the weak “I don't feel good” excuse for not working out. You know I have a good mind to make myself go out and walk a couple of miles this late. I'm doing great calorie wise, but my workouts have fallen short of the commitment to which I've dedicated myself. The blister is healed now...I still feel a little sick, maybe a good nights rest will fix it, and tomorrow if I don't blog about the best darn workout ever I've had at the YMCA, then someone close needs to come over here and kick my butt in person.

It's like a football team leading by a few touchdowns going into the 3rd quarter, so they start making careless mistakes. Their over confidence, cockiness, eventually loses them the game, or they still win, but by a very short margin. I think that's what's been happening here. 82 Pounds so far is a great start, but I can't allow myself to get comfy and cocky. I can't allow myself to relax and cruise into 5 to 7 pound weigh days, when I know at over 400 pounds, I can easily lose 8 to 12 every two weeks, at least until around 320 or so. It might tighten up and slow at that point. But if I don't lose at least 8, then I don't think I'm doing all I can do. And I don't like that feeling. I must refuse the lure of that line. You know the line I'm talking about....The libe of least resistance. I've talked about that before. Sometimes we naturally look for that line. For me, that line is the place where I can still lose weight at a comfortable pace, without exerting much effort. That line needs to be ignored at all cost. I must reach for something higher, something I know I'm capable of doing. Maybe I need to call Shane at the YMCA tomorrow. I think I will. He's the director at the YMCA, I've talked about him before running past our house. We're on his running path. He's in fine shape, as you would expect. And I don't think he'll buy my little “I don't feeeeeel good” excuse. I bet I can get some words out of him that'll fire me up. He's already said that if I don't stick to it and see it all the way through this time, he's coming after me. I wouldn't want that! I better get some needed rest and get over this queezy feeling stuff, because I see a really intense workout in my immediate future. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Day 106 Physical And Emotional Health-Both Important!

Day 106

Physical And Emotional Health-Both Important!

Courtney is starting to see and feel results too! She just came in and announced that she discovered her collar bone! Yes! You see, to me, my family's success is more important than mine. We've spent years setting a horrible example, now it feels great to set a new and improved example and have them follow our lead. It's really a great feeling. I'm very proud of Irene, Courtney, and Amber! They're all doing great. I'm cruising right along too. The eighty-two pounds I've lost so far has made such an incredible difference in so many things. I read over a few early editions of this blog this evening. I try to do that at least once a week. It's important to remember the foundation of this journey and remind myself of all the valuable things I've learned along the way. When I go back and realize how far I've come in 106 days, it gets me really excited for the changes to come in the next 106 days.

Today I did something that's very important to my emotional growth. And although it may not seem like it would make a difference on this journey, it does. This journey is about getting a complete understanding of everything that has made me who I am. To be the best person I can be inside and out, I need to fill some voids that have been with me way too long. It's a very long story, and extremely personal, but I'll try to give a quick abbreviated version. The relationship between my Mom and Dad never survived long enough to see my birth on October 23rd 1971. My father was not a part of my life ever. As a kid, my mom would show me a picture of a man in uniform that “looked like” my dad. So at 19 I decided to find him. Armed with a couple of clues and a telephone, I found him within 45 minutes alive and well in Arab, Alabama. Any resentment and hard feelings over his absence in my life completely disappeared the moment he spoke. It was the most awkward moment of my life. What do you say to your father for the first time in your life at 19? I said “Whatever you do, don't hang up!” “I'm your son.” Well, he didn't hang up and we talked for a really long time that night. We exchanged pictures and phone calls several times over the course of a few months, then we planned a meeting. My first trip to Alabama was too much to handle. We turned around after coming within 150 miles of his house. It wasn't until a couple of years or more later that we made the trip. We spent two weeks in Alabama and met almost the entire family. It turned out I had an aunt living in Midwest City, so we also visited her family down there. It was a wonderful experience, but still I just wasn't emotionally ready to handle it in a positive way. After that trip, I completely fell out of touch, and haven't really pursued contact since. I've never met my two half brothers, and that's something that I really want and need to do. As for a relationship with my father? I'd really like to at least talk occasionally. I don't want to someday find his obituary on the internet, and realize I don't have another chance to know him in some way. That happened recently when my dad's mom passed away, my grandmother, whom I only spent a very short two weeks of my life around. I hear she was an amazing woman and someone I would have really liked to have known better. Today I talked with my aunt and a cousin on my dad's side, and soon I hope to talk with the brothers I've never met. It's important to me, because it's a part of who I am. One of the very important aspects of this journey to a new me is understanding my past and coming to terms with all that has made me who I am. It sounds very deep and it is really, but I approach it with an open mind, a smile, and a positive attitude. Just as my physical health is important, so is my emotional health. And this was a positive thing to do today. I feel great about it.

Staying on track has been a breeze today. My mind has been so focused on losing weight, that making good choices is almost automatic. Notice I said “almost.” Yesterday I had twice as many chips as I planned, and it cut my calories short early. Making the good choices is something that I have to work on everyday. It's the good choices that make this as easy as it has become over the last 106 days. The bad choices have tested me and my calorie budget several times. One bad choice can lead to an evening without any calories left at all. So that's why I went back and read “Calorie Budgeting” from an earlier edition of this blog. I've never claimed to be perfect, Lord knows I'm no where near that, but I try to learn everyday, even if it means going back and learning from my own writings. Call it an attempt to always practice what I preach. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Day 105 The Amazing Pie Diet

Day 105

The Amazing Pie Diet

My new iPod Nano rocks! It's so small and so far I have 30 songs. I'll add more, in fact I have some new songs to add after the great suggestions from Dana, Rach, and Deb, thanks guys! Some of my favorite songs are not exactly workout songs, but I'll figure out how to make a playlist exclusively for working out. I need to read the instruction manual. I had my iPod on while I shopped at Wal-Mart tonight. It was great, I was in my own little world rockin' out to the Red Hot Chili Peppers while the regular world went on without me. I just hope I didn't start singing out loud while I shopped. I don't think I did. Usually people who listen to their mp3 player at the store or anywhere else out in public, except the gym of course, annoys me. But I totally get it now. It's a mood adjuster. When I'm listening to my favorite songs, I feel great. I feel like I can do anything. I love music, can you tell?

I'm really starting to notice some profound differences in my body size. Driving Irene's little car is a breeze. Before it was always so unbelievably cramped and actually a hazardous thing for me to do. When simply breathing can cause you to accidentally turn the wheel, you're way too big for the vehicle. But it's so easy now. In fact, Irene and I have agreed to switch vehicles. As soon as our van is ready from the shop it'll become Irene's primary vehicle, and I'll have her little car. I think it's a great idea. We'll of course use the van on family outings, and I'll drive it occasionally, but my day to day vehicle will be the little red Grand Am GT. I use to dread the thought of squeezing into that thing, but not now. So it's all good! And it'll just keep getting better!!

I had pumpkin pie for breakfast again today. I know it must sound horrible, but 1/6 of the pie is 280, but we cut the pie in eight pieces, making each slice 210. I usually cut that down a little to make it under 200, then make it two hundred with a dollop of Cool-Whip. The thing about this is, we never have pie around the house except for this time of year. When this pie is gone, it'll be Thanksgiving 2009 when I encounter another pie. For a late lunch we dined out with my mom at one of her favorite places in Ponca, El Potrillo. It took some convincing for Amber and Courtney, they're not real big fans, but Irene and I love it too. I went a little nuts on the chips. I'd planned on allowing 200 calories for chips, I ended up doubling that. I had the calories, but after dinner tonight I have exactly zero left. No late night snack for me! As i sit down to write my blog, I noticed someone left a Little Debbie Fancy Cake by the computer! I've never looked up the calories in these little cakes, but my calorie radar says they're loaded, so I avoid them. I'll have to look and see, but even if that little cake is 10 calories, it's still too much for me tonight. I threw it across the room to the table where everyone was sitting. I didn't want that Fancy Cake sitting there staring at me the whole time I write my blog. I know good and well that my choices have consequences. I chose to eat 400 calories worth of chips and salsa, and my consequence is not having enough calories left over to enjoy even a 70 calorie Dream Bar after I finish writing. Some might say, “Sean, come on man, you're doing great, a 70 calorie Dream Bar isn't going to hurt you!” Maybe not, but it would hurt me psychologically. I'm really strict about my calories. I can't “fudge” them even a little. Because if I do, then eventually I'll get carried away with it, basically I don't trust myself with food. I've been a food addict way too long. I know how it works. If I give myself a little extra, soon I'm finishing off the rest of that pie in the fridge. I'll have a Dream Bar in the morning on my way to work, there, that'll hold me. I really must sound like a nut case sometimes. But seriously, I haven't made it to day 105 by being soft on my calorie limits. I have to stick to the plan of 1500. When I get to around 300, and I'm working out like a recruit in boot camp, then maybe I'll add some calories to my daily limit, but until then it's 1500 with only two exceptions, and as of Friday, those exceptions are not coming around again for 11 months.

I'm really excited about my new appearance that is slowly emerging as the weeks go by. It's such a gradual change, and I'm such an impatient person, so it gets frustrating sometimes, but I know it's definitely worth the wait. I was in a public restroom the other day looking at myself in the mirror. I was giving my body a real long look. The other guys in there probably thought I was full of myself or a little nuts, and I wasn't going to explain anything to them. I don't talk to people in the restroom unless I know them personally, even then not too much. I'm in there to take care of business, and here lately to look at my gradually changing appearance. It's fun! I'm slowly becoming what I've always wanted to be. And at the same time, I'm still me inside. In fact, I think that losing weight just enhances my natural personality. So for the couple of people that have said “Just don't let it change you in a bad way”--No problem. I'm too upbeat and positive for it to change me in any bad way. It just makes me feel good to notice the changes that are taking over my body. Losing weight is simple, getting your head in the right place to succeed at losing weight is another story all together. It's not the losing weight part that's hard at all, it's the mind-set part. Because once you make up your mind, you can do anything!

I'll be testing that theory on Friday when I lay down the cigarettes for good. And I couldn't have picked a better day (I'm being sarcastic) It's a Friday, we're traveling to Tulsa that day, and it's a weekend. But, it's the day I picked, and I'm sticking to it. I don't expect it to be easy, but I have to do it. I may go back to drinking coffee though. Yeah, that's it, I'll trade cigarettes for coffee. No, no, no. I'm not going to start trading one habit for the other. Anyway, I expect a full on battle with my nicotine addiction, but one that will definitely be worth it in the long run. I can't continue getting healthy weight wise and ignore my smoking habit. It's too contradictory. If getting healthy is my ultimate goal, then it's pretty simple: The cigarettes have to go now. Well, not now, oh no...I'm smoking like a chimney until Thursday night at midnight. I'm kidding, not a chimney, but maybe a burning toaster. I'm horrible sometimes. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Day 104 Riding Like The Wind and Sailing Into Casa Bonita

Day 104

Riding Like The Wind and Sailing Into Casa Bonita

I started the day with a small piece of pumpkin pie. Even with the Cool-Whip, it couldn't have been more than 200 calories, but I counted it as 230 anyway. What's not to love about a weight loss plan where you can start the day with pie and not feel guilty about it! It's the holiday season people! Eat pie and enjoy! I don't know if you noticed, but I've made no mention of pecan pie. Because I didn't have any! Not even a bite! Oh, we had one waiting to be sliced, but everyone passed. I guess when you discover the obscene calorie count of pecan pie, it kind of makes it tough to enjoy. I honestly didn't miss it. There are just certain things I avoid altogether. Pecan pie is one of those, along with “pan”pizza, and frozen custard, and real mayonnaise. I tout the “eat anything” attitude, but it has it's limits. It's true, I can lose weight while eating anything I want, but in those food choices I have to be smart enough to manage my calories to last all day.

I feel absolutely horrible missing the Y and the walking trail the past couple of days. On our Christmas Day 5K I developed a blister on my heel and it needs to heal quickly! I bought some triple antibiotic and some heavy duty band-aids today in hopes of medicating and padding it well enough to pound out a couple of miles this evening, but it's still raw and painful even with the big band-aid. It's not that big of a blister, so it shouldn't keep me out much longer. I should be ready to get back in there tomorrow! I think I'll try the exercises Dana suggested. They sound interesting and wouldn't bother my little blister at all. Thanks to Rachel for clearing up the Sternum mystery! Apparently I have a very large xyphoid process, and I'm proud of it sticking out so prominently. I mean, it doesn't look freaky or anything, I had just never noticed it before. When I miss a workout like this, I feel horrible about it. I feel like I'm not losing because of it. But the reality is, I am losing weight at a very nice pace. I'll soon hit the 100 pound mark and beyond. So I need to quit beating myself up so much. If I bit the bullet and ignored the blister, it would get much worse and extremely painful. I need it to heal, then make sure I don't allow that to happen again. I think I'll start bandaging my heal even without a blister. That should keep me blister free.

I'm getting my new I-Pod loaded up tonight and tomorrow. If you have any suggestions for workout songs, please post them in a comment! I can't wait to introduce music to my workouts, I really think it will make a big difference, I know it has for Courtney and Amber. I've talked about the role of music as a motivator anytime, I guess it makes sense to plug it in our ears during the most intense moments of our journey. I talk like this is such a new discovery. People have been jamming out while exercising forever. The music has changed but the concept is still the same. The same way a song at the right moment can bring us to tears, it can also push us to our workout limits. Music taps into our raw emotions and then brings them up or down depending on the song. Can't wait to rock out to Christopher Cross's Ride Like The Wind. Ok, I'm a dork, but I loved that guy. His “Sailing” has brought me to tears before. I wonder what he's up to now. He just kind of dropped off the face of the earth. I'm pretty sure he's still alive. Maybe I'll google or Wikisearch him.

It has been decided that Friday the 2nd we're going to Tulsa. I have to go for business reasons, but we're making it a family trip. And guess where we're having lunch that day. Casa Flippin' Bonita! The great thing about Casa Bonita is, you don't have to order the “all you can cram into your body, and then raise the flag for more” platter. They have a regular menu. I'll be ordering from the regular menu. I'm kind of looking forward to the newly revitalized interior. As I've mentioned in a previous blog, they've brought it back to the Casa Bonita of the good old days. I wanna sit by the water fall! Or maybe in a cave! Just keep me away from those freshly fried sopapias! I'm pretty strong willed, but we don't need to get crazy with testing that will. It'll be nice to walk out of that place without feeling like a stuffed whale.

I sincerely appreciate you reading everyday and posting your thoughts in the comments. This blog is doing exactly what I knew it would do, it's making me stay on track. And the longer I stay on track, the more I learn about myself, and the more I learn, the more I understand how to properly portion my food. The differences so far in my appearance and breathing are just the beginning, what lies ahead on this journey is something I've never experienced: Freedom from obesity altogether! Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Day 103 Numbers To Live By and I Have A Sternum!

Day 103

Numbers To Live By and I Have A Sternum!

I was fasting overnight in preparation for my blood work today. By the time I arrived at the doctors office it was nearly noon. Lucky for me they got what they needed on the first stick. The other day they stuck me several times to no avail. While they were at it they decided to give me an EKG. My heart rate was 59. They said between 60 and 80 is perfect. They also said it wasn't a big deal that mine was 59, in fact the EKG looked great. The blood work was going to take a couple of hours to get back from their lab. That gave me a little time to think. “What if my numbers are bad?” I thought. I don't know how they could be, since they were pretty good to begin with. I seem to never pass up an opportunity to worry about something, even if there's no immediate reason for concern. When I made the call for the results I was very happy at what I heard. My cholesterol was in the 180's before I started losing weight, and that was good. Now my cholesterol has dropped nearly 40 points to a super nice level of 147. It's nothing more than a genetics blessing. Like I've said before, except for the last 103 days, I've done everything in my power to give me horrible cholesterol. I'm just real fortunate to have a 147. My triglycerides were 102, anything below 150 is good. My blood sugar was 99, well below the 119 limit of normal. My LDL was 96, under 130 is great. And my Vldl was 20, which is in range. I guess “in range” is good. They said everything was in range, just perfect. How crazy is that? I told you, I've been hiding an athlete under all this fat! I had to lay down and pull my shirt up for the EKG. It gave me a perfect opportunity to ask a question I'd been real concerned about. A month or so ago I was laying down on my bed feeling my ribs. I'd never done that before. I came across a hard bump at the base of my rib cage where the two sides meet. It was very hard, a bone no doubt, but it was sticking up a little. I immediately wondered if this was normal. So there with my shirt up laying on the table at the doctors office, I had my chance to find out. “Is this normal?” “Uh, yes, that's your sternum.” OK, wow, silly me, of course. I was hiding a sternum in there all this time, I just never could feel it, or bothered to notice. I wonder what else I'll notice as the weight continues to melt? I might end up having a tail bone, that would be cool. By the way, the doctor I mentioned on day 2 of this blog, you know the one that brought me to tears while describing how easily I could die at over 500 pounds? She was there today. When I saw her I proclaimed, “there's the doctor that scared the heck out of me not too long ago.” She smiled and said “It worked didn't it?” Yes, it did, and it's continuing to work everyday. She was just brutally honest, and I'm thankful for that honesty and thorough description of what my insides were going through at over 500 pounds. I'll never forget her. She really made a difference in me.

I didn't have as much trouble with temptation today like I did with all of the leftovers from Thanksgiving. If I remember right, I was spending 200 calories left and right on pumpkin pie in the days after that holiday. Tonight, leftover pie is still in the fridge untouched. I didn't even break into the leftover cheese from Christmas Eve. That's amazing, because you know all about cheese and me. I've always had an unhealthy relationship with cheese. But for some reason I've left it alone. Getting the good blood results was a nice boost to my confidence and strength. I feel really good about myself right now. I can see and feel my results, and now I can see results from a medical perspective. My insides are very relieved I'm sure! I bought some more Dream Bars today. I still can't believe they're only 70 calories. The same dream bars I use to chase down the ice cream man for, these things are awesome. I don't have to chase down the ice cream man anymore, although if I did, I'd probably burn off the 70 calories before the first bite!

I've postponed working out until tomorrow. I put myself on the DL with a small, but painful blister on my heel. It happened during our 5K walk yesterday. My socks were rubbing real good against my heal, and it wasn't until my feet started sweating that the socks stayed in place and stopped rubbing. I tried to prevent this by stopping along the trail yesterday, taking off my shoe, and readjusting the sock, but it still wore off some skin. I need to pick up some band-aids for padding and get into the YMCA tomorrow afternoon for a real nice workout.

Tomorrow I have another 9 to 1pm Wal-Mart broadcast. Since that “inappropriate talker” guy, I'm always concerned about what I'll have to eat during my broadcast. I think I'll actually get up early enough to have breakfast before I go. Maybe some pumpkin pie! Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Friday, December 26, 2008

Day 102 Christmas Day Edition and A Holiday 5K Tradition

Day 102

Christmas Day Edition and A Holiday 5K Tradition

Before we left Stillwater today we made sure to pack everything and load the car. I usually double and triple check to make sure we grabbed everything. And we did, except my Christmas Day food diary. I left it on my mom's counter top. We'll be back on Sunday to take my mom back home, so I can get it then, but as far as tonight's blog, I'm out of luck. I knew I had 900 left when we departed Stillwater, headed for Christmas dinner number two at our house. So it's not like I was completely lost. We opened up our home for hosting a dinner with Irene's side of the family. Everyone came over and prepared the dinner while we were in Stillwater. When we arrived back in Ponca City, everyone was already here and had been here quite a while.

I have 170 calories left and I'll probably leave them on the table tonight. I can't consume anything, not even water after midnight because tomorrow morning I get the blood work done. They'll check everything from blood sugar levels to cholesterol. So tomorrow evenings blog will have some interesting numbers included. I'm looking forward to seeing these results and comparing them to before I started losing weight. The only problem with that? They were good back then. My cholesterol was well below 200, my blood sugar was like 92, and the other stuff was also miraculously just fine. So, at the risk of sounding boastful, I don't know how they could improve. I just hope they haven't gotten worse! Of course I've always said, those good numbers were always a blessing of genetics pure and simple. I did nothing to earn those good numbers, in fact I did everything I could possibly do to sabotage them. And still I was blessed with good numbers at over 500 pounds. The only numbers that were bad back then was my astronomical blood pressure numbers. Those were out of control, could have a stroke any minute, bad. But that seems to be well under control now. I have to say I'm a very blessed person, and extremely thankful for those blessings.

So what did I have today? I'll try to recall without the list. Sharp Cheddar cheese log and crackers and a half a cream cheese everything bagel for breakfast. Then I had some of that German liver sausage stuff that's so hard to spell. For Christmas Dinner number one I had: Turkey, Ham, a roll, mashed potatoes and gravy, turkey stuffing, and French style green beans with melted American cheese. After dinner I had a small slice of pumpkin pie with Cool-Whip, then an even smaller sliver of seconds on the pie. Add a small hand full of peppermint M&M's, and one miniature Reeses Cup and I was right at 1,600. With 900 left and another Christmas Dinner to go, I was a little concerned. I would have to be very careful the rest of the day to make sure I stayed under the holiday allotment of 2,500. I did easily, with room to spare. I wasn't that hungry really. For Christmas dinner number two: a small slice of ham, a small piece of turkey breast, a little scoop of mashed potatoes with a drizzling of gravy, literally a bite of stuffing, and a 100 calorie roll. That little sampling was 600 calories, leaving me 300. Then I had a 130 calorie ice cream bar for desert leaving 170. Oh, wait! I almost forgot!!! I had one chocolate covered cherry before I even looked at the calorie content. I very rarely do that. I have to know what I'm getting into first. After I popped that thing in my mouth I looked and discovered that little indulgence was 75 calories! So here's a correction: Instead of 170 left, I only have 95 calories remaining. Oh well, I'm “under budget”, and that's a good thing!

I encouraged everyone to take the leftovers away, but only one person took me up on it. So we have a fridge full of all kinds of stuff, including an entire pumpkin pie. Oh boy, I can see having that for breakfast in the next few days, at least once right? I'll be fine!

Our Christmas Day 5K went very well. DebBdimples and her daughter Candi and grandson Austin joined us for what will surely become a holiday tradition in our family. The wind was horrendous out of the south, and it slowed us a little, but it was all good. If we were giving out awards for finishing, Debbie would get first place! She out did everyone with a pace that left us about 15 minutes behind by the end of the 5K. Way to go Deb! I even jogged about 75 yards in the beginning because Keith and I dropped way behind early adjusting my socks. At first we were content with being way behind. But then I asked Keith if he wanted to jog to catch up, and he asked me if I could do it, and I said “I think I can.” So we did, until I had to stop. Like I've said before, at 423 pounds, I'm still not ready for jogging, but occasionally I flirt with it a little. It did take me a while to recover from that 75 yard burst, and we still didn't catch up all the way, but hey...it was a wonderful effort. The Christmas Day 5K was a wonderful experience. You get to see all of the other holiday exercisers out there. There's quite a few really. 102 days ago the thought of exercising so vigorously on a holiday would have been so completely out of the question. The only exercise I use to get on a holiday was lifting my fork to my mouth and walking all the way to the couch for an after dinner nap. But I'll tell you, the feeling of accomplishment when you cross that imaginary finish line is amazing. It feels so good! If I could bottle that feeling, I'd sell it and become a billionaire in a few months. It really feels that good!

Oh my, I just had a scare. Someone knocked on the patio door, but I couldn't see anyone out there. Of course I think of the worst possible scenario. Home invasion? That's the first thing that came to mind. I got up and loudly proclaimed “I have a gun.” Not really. But I sounded real tough when I said it. Then I grabbed an aerosol can of fake snow and started spraying wildly toward the patio door. I then had a moment of bravery, when I slung open the door and franticly sprayed fake snow in every direction while letting out my best “kill scream”, or at least some kind of macho rambling, I really don't remember, it's all kind of a blur. Still, nobody to be found. The neighbors probably think I'm drunk or worse. I quickly shut and locked the door, and by this time I had woke my mom. She came in the kitchen with a worried look on her face and a puzzled expression that I swear said “snow?” It was the first thing I could grab! And I bet it hurts if you get it in your eyes. A few minutes later a face pressed against the glass door. It was the face of my angel, Amber! Her and KL made the trip early! They were trying to scare/surprise us and they succeeded! What a great surprise! She's home from school for the holidays, and we get to keep her for more than a week! We're very happy about that! I better get to visiting! Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Day 101 Christmas Eve Weigh Day and The Snack Buffet

Day 101

Christmas Eve Weigh Day and The Snack Buffet

Today was a busy Christmas Eve. We had so much stuff to wrap up. Plus Courtney had an eye doctor appointment this afternoon and it was weigh day! When we started this journey I weighed 505...Today I weighed 423. I’ve lost 82 pounds. I really expected a few more pounds then that, but I’ll take it. I know exactly what I have to do to amp up the weight loss any more. I have to adjust my workouts to make up for the pounds I’ve lost. If I can push my workouts longer and harder, I guarantee I’ll lose 10 or more next time. You heard it here first! It’s pretty basic stuff. You get out what you put in. After 82 pounds I’ve grown past my current workout routines. Tomorrow’s 5K walk will be a nice start to a new level of workout. I guess what I’m saying is, I’m thankful for 7 more pounds lost, but I know what I’m capable of doing. And trust me, it’s not uncommon for someone my size to lose weight faster in the beginning, and yes this is still the beginning as far as that’s concerned. When I get to around 350 and under, it’ll start getting a little more challenging. Once I get to that point I need to have “boot camp” style workouts. I wonder if such a thing exist around here? Really I’m just talking about a trainer designing a tough workout and me adhering to the letter. I don’t necessarily need a personal trainer, but an outlined plan designed for my specific workout needs. I’m pretty sure the YMCA has just such a person. One thing that will really get my workouts moving is the IPOD Nano I opened this evening. It’s my gift from Courtney, Irene, and Amber. It’s exactly what I wanted. It’s really small and extremely thin, but with 4 gig of space, so I can fit all of my favorite songs to pump me up! This may be the last weigh day in Stillwater. Yesterday I snuck in an unofficial weigh-in at the doctors office, and it gave me the exact results I found today on the Stillwater scales. Finally I’m small enough to weigh without driving 45 miles to do it! That feels real good.

I’ve added an extra 1,000 calories to my allotment tomorrow, just as I did on Thanksgiving. I’ll also keep a written record tomorrow of everything I consume. I totally forgot all about our tradition of opening gifts on Christmas Eve surrounded by piles of snacks. I didn’t allow for any extra calories tonight, and man, I’ll tell ya, it hasn’t been easy. On the counter in my mom’s kitchen right now: Lays Wavy Potato chips, sour cream French onion dip, Miniature Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey Kisses, Peppermint M&M’s, An extra sharp cheese log, Triscuit Thins, Chips and salsa, Sugar Cookies with Frosting (160 calories each!), Chex Mix, Spinach Dip, cheddar cheese, braunschweiger spread, and snack crackers. Wow. That’s a lot, no wait, that’s too many snacking choices!! I didn’t allow myself an extra for this buffet of snacks, so I only had 600 going into the Christmas Eve celebration. I have 25 calories remaining. I think I’ll use it on a miniature Reeses Cup. Oh wait, no…I don’t have enough for that. Maybe a couple of chips with salsa. That’s what I’ll do.

Tomorrow I’m cooking a traditional Christmas Dinner for everyone. I have my gum on stand-by to prevent “picking” or “testing” of the food as I cook. Talk about calories that will sneak up on you fast! I made it through Thanksgiving easily, I’ll get through this one too! I better get back to the party, they’re waiting on me to start a movie. Before I go, I just want to say I miss my Amber! This is the first Christmas Eve party she’s ever missed! And I don’t like it! I love you Amber, we all missed you tonight. Thank you to everyone that sent me a reply text of congratulations on these latest results. It just keeps getting better and better! Thank you too for reading this blog. Your support is greatly appreciated. Have a very Merry Christmas. Until tomorrow evening, good night and…

Good Choices,
Sean

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Day 100 Me? A Firefighter? And Lasagna All Day

Day 100

Me? A Firefighter? And Lasagna All Day

We're in the triple digit days now baby! And almost in the triple digit pounds lost! We'll find out for sure tomorrow just how close I am to the first 100 pounds. I'm excited for sure! Today was weigh day, but since we're going to Stillwater tomorrow anyway, and I found out today that the health department will be open tomorrow all day, well...it just made sense to wait. Besides, after today unfolded, it turns out I wouldn't have had the time for a Stillwater trip even if I wanted. Today was extremely busy. With all of the last minute holiday production at work plus a doctors visit plus a remote broadcast from 4 to 8pm, then more production after that, I didn't get home until after 10pm. And I started at 5:15am. The only workout I've had today came from walking Wal-Mart during my broadcast. I just didn't have the time. But now I'm off until Monday the 29th with the exception of another Saturday morning broadcast from Wal-Mart and some weather forecast recording late Saturday night. Today was a necessary evil if I wanted to enjoy the time off. And I will! And I'll have plenty of time to exercise including the Christmas Day 5k. Debbie and Candi are joining us for this one. If you want to join us and are in the Stillwater area on Christmas Day, we plan on hitting the trail at 3pm on the east side of Boomer Lake. If you'd like to join us just send a message and let me know, then I'll send you back more detailed instructions of where we'll meet and start.

When I arrived at the doctors office the new front receptionist greeted me in a way I've never been greeted. She said, “Hi there, you're a firefighter right?” I had to look behind me to see if she was talking to someone else. Me a firefighter? That's a scary thought. With my speed, strength, and stamina, I'd last maybe a half a day as a firefighter. I took it as a compliment. I thought, “Does she really think I look like a firefighter? Wow, this weight loss is really making a difference in my appearance.” If you are a firefighter, you should really be offended. I'm in no condition to be a firefighter. I'd probably be rejected from a volunteer fire department. I asked a few questions as to what made her think something so unlikely, and I found out. She said she recognized my voice and that she remembers me on the air with the firefighters that day we were collecting toys for tots at Wal-Mart. Suddenly it became clear. Surely she witnessed my heroic dash across the parking lot to save a runaway shopping cart, if so I could totally see where she might mistake me for a firefighter. I was really hustling that day. I probably didn't look near as good as I felt while chasing down that cart. I explained why she had me confused and we all laughed at the thought of me being a firefighter. Anyway, she checked me into the office and I was ready to be tested and poked. My blood pressure was 132 over 85. She said “that's good”, I guess compared to what it was at 505 pounds (219/118---or something like that) I was really looking healthy. My pulse was a very athletic 65. The nurse said anything between 60 and 80 would be fantastic. I was 65! Yeah! Take that obesity! She told me that if I wasn't already on blood pressure pills, and I came in with that blood pressure, they wouldn't even start me on medication. That's how under control it was. What a blessing. Unfortunately I can't give you the cholesterol numbers and blood sugar results just yet, because my veins wouldn't cooperate. They poked me several times and finally told me to come back Friday morning and they would have the PA do it. I even offered to do some jumping jacks right there in the office, you know, to get my blood pumping. They just looked at each other for a second and politely declined my offer. Once they draw the necessary three tubes worth on Friday morning, it takes them about an hour to give me the lowdown on all my numbers. That'll be interesting.

I did something today I've never done. It probably wasn't a good idea, but oh well, I didn't go over my calories so it's OK. I'm kind of ashamed to mention it...But I have to tell you. I had lasagna for lunch, a late afternoon snack, and again for dinner. That's all I've had today. Leftover lasagna. Garfield would be so jealous! It just worked out that way. I didn't set out to have leftovers all day, it just happened, and I was happy to let it happen. I love lasagna, and at just under 300 calories a piece, I'll enjoy it as much as I can! I had four pieces of lasagna today for 1,160 calories. A piece of garlic toast for 150 and a 130 calorie ice cream bar. As it stands right now I have 60 calories left. I think I'll go lick the lasagna pan. I'm kidding. How nuts is that? I had lasagna and ice cream today...and I'm losing weight doing it! That just doesn't seem right huh? No other weight loss plan in the world could accept this, but mine does. Counting calories is a wonderful thing.

I'll tell you what, I'm so pumped about the amount of weight I've lost so far. The differences I see and feel in myself will be multiplied by the time I reach my ultimate goal. I just keep thinking about, if it feels this good now, then what in the world will it feel like when I've lost over 250 pounds? I guess I'll find out in good time. I must rest now. Thank you for reading and giving me your support and encouragement. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Monday, December 22, 2008

Day 99 On The "Fasting" Track and "Zero Calorie" Lasagna?

Day 99

On The “Fasting” Track and “Zero Calorie” Lasagna?

Here we are. Day 99. We're on the edge of 100! I'll find out tomorrow just how close we are to 100 pounds lost. I was at 75 lost two weeks ago. Tomorrow's total will break me into the 420's...I'd really like to completely surpass the 420's and head straight into the 4teens. Ya know what I mean? But I'll be satisfied with whatever total rings up on that old scale. OK, I need to stop before I start speculating. Speculating leads to wild guessing and that leads to expecting and that leads to disappointment. Have I done everything I can do calorie wise? Yes. Have I done everything I could have done exercise wise? No. I'll be honest with you, my workouts are starting to be of little challenge. I've got to push myself harder, I've got to upgrade my workouts to another level. I've talked about doing it enough already. It's time to put it in gear. Here's the deal. When I first started, a quarter mile walk was a tremendous workout. Then it became a mile, and before I realized how quickly I was adapting, two miles was not a real big deal. Now a 5K walk is still challenging enough! And a really hard workout in the racquetball courts at the YMCA can still be a very nice workout. But not like it once was. I get more out of the jumping jacks I did the other night. So I guess my body is asking... “So, is that all you got?” “You call that a workout?” And I'm like the worried parent telling it to “be careful!” “You're gonna hurt yourself!” I'm going to the doctor tomorrow. I need to have my blood pressure checked and make sure we're good, plus they need to do blood work. So they tell me to “fast” before I go in. No food or drink after midnight. Ughhhh! How am I going to get through my show without liquid of some kind? I'll have to figure that one out pretty quick. Then as quickly after 9am as possible, I'm headed there to get a complete profile. Is that what they call it? They'll check my blood sugar, my cholesteral—good and bad, and several other things I'm sure. The last time they checked all that stuff I weighed over 500 pounds. We'll see what a difference my results have made. Can't wait! Then it's off to Stillwater for an early weigh day, then back to Ponca City and the studio to do whatever work I need to get done before the holiday, then I have a live broadcast scheduled from 4 to 8pm at Wal-Mart. Very busy day planned indeed! I may call ahead to the Payne County Health Department and see if they're open on Christmas Eve. If so, we may move weigh day to Wednesday. I would really hate to do that, but I'm just thinking about all that needs to be done tomorrow, and I don't know if it'll be possible. We'll see how it goes. I really want to weigh on Day 100. I like that number a lot.

DebBdimples (My cousin Debbie) and her mom, my Aunt Violet came up tonight for a visit. We took the Christmas lights tour through Ponca City after a very nice dinner. I fixed my lasagna. 290 calories per piece. And my lasagna doesn't taste low cal, I promise. It's meat and sauce and three kinds of cheese, including a soft cream cheese. The last time we fixed it, we calculated all the ingredient calories and divided by the number of pieces. Not bad for 290, considering it's lasagna! I could have gone ultra low-cal with some grilled chicken, but we had that last night. I wanted something good for our guest, but not too loaded down with calories. Lasagna was perfect. Debbie is actually in the living room as I write tonights blog. She's a fantastic supporter of mine. She always finds a way to make me at least smile, and sometimes she makes me laugh out loud. In fact, I think Debbie will declare tonights dinner calorie free, because hey, we were celebrating the holidays! Sure! Don't we wish it worked that way. It is fun to dream a little! I was very happy about Debbie's response to my appearance, she was surprised at what she saw. She said she expected to see a change, but not this big of a change! It really is nice to have noticeable results! Feels incredible.

These days leading up to Christmas are usually very busy in the radio business. So my plan to get into the Y early fell through. Then I planned on getting in by 8pm. But we were having a good time visiting. So I opted for a quick two mile trek at the Hutchins Trail. It's weird to call it a “quick two mile trek.” But it really has become fairly simple. And I did it in under 40 minutes. Since it's 28 degrees outside, I might have pushed myself to move along a little quicker. I hated to leave our company here without us, but they certainly understand that I have to do it. I could have missed with a perfectly acceptable excuse but tomorrow is weigh day! I need to make a good push for the scale!

I better call it a night already. It's been a fun day. Tomorrow is weigh day, unless the weigh place is open on Christmas Eve, if so, we'll do it then because we'll already be there. Can't wait for more results! It'll be a good thing! Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Day 98 Limit Pushing and Pasta Cooking

Day 98

Limit Pushing and Pasta Cooking

I'm feeling really excited about Day 100. It'll be weigh day too! I never looked forward to weigh day like I do now. I'm counting on more forward progress! I always feel like I could have done more, ya know? But as much as I hate excuses, this is going to sound like one...I have to remember my size and my limitations. I'm still over 400 pounds. Not for long, but at least for the next 3 or 4 weeks I am. And I have to be careful, because I certainly don't want to hurt myself. I do look forward to some serious, crazy, boot camp style workouts in my near future. I want to be pushed to my limits, I just don't want to discover them by way of an injury or worse. Knowing where my limit exist, suggest going past it once to find out, and I'd rather not. But pushing my limits slightly, sure, we'll do that. I guess I'm always a little nervous about putting too much stress on my body too soon. I really need to do one of those medically supervised stress test. I need to see how fit I really am inside. The weight I've burdened my body with for so long can't be good. I'm very blessed not to have any cholesterol issues, at least at last check, but pumping blood throughout a 500 plus pound body for years had to have been a lot of work. I'll consult with my doctor on that topic.

I discovered a new favorite snacking option today! The Tostitos Bite Size chips are only 140 calories for 24 chips. That's quite a bit of those little things. I enjoyed salsa with mine for a really low calorie snacking indulgence. Chips and dip for under 200 calories? Yes, yes I can! I fixed a wonderful meal tonight that checked in at 750 calories total. Sean's Grilled Chicken and Pasta Marinara. It was a little on the heavy side, but as long as we had the calories coming, why not? It was very easy to do by the way. I fixed a bed of spaghetti with chunky mushroom Ragu and placed a perfectly baked/grilled skinless chicken breast on top. It was delicious! And a nice change of pace for us around here. I've always been a little cautious with pasta while counting calories. I guess it's because we always fixed it so incredibly loaded, that I couldn't imagine having it in an acceptable fashion. I mean really, we would never have spaghetti unless we added a pound or two of the fattiest, cheapest ground beef we could buy into the sauce. I went ahead and served tonights meal with a full chicken breast each, but I could easily trim this dish down to 500 or 600 calories by slicing the breast in strips and making one large breast serve two or three, and of course cutting the serving size of the pasta and sauce. It would still be a really satisfying meal.

I'm getting ready for a very busy first part of the week. Aren't we all? We never do Christmas shopping early, it's always a last minute rush! We've shopped right up until closing time on the 24th in years past. It's kind of fun doing that. I guess I like the “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of excitement. I often give my best performances in this mode. At the same time I don't recommend it! Strictly for trained professionals, this whole flying by the seat of your pants thing. I also know that I'm going to have to up my internal security force as many different calorie temptations will find themselves in front of me this week. Irene was given a gift of Velveeta, Rotel, and a big slow cooker to melt it real good! Her secret Santa at work couldn't have known what a high calorie temptation that is for me. You know about the relationship I have with cheese. We're crazy about each other. And if the cheese is melted and creamy, well, that's almost too much seduction to handle. But I'll be strong. I must be strong. I'll be strong, no problem.

I plan on working out early tomorrow because we have company coming around 5:30pm. And weigh day will be a little earlier on Tuesday because I have a broadcast that evening from 4 to 8pm at Wal-Mart. So here we go, the final stretch of the holiday season. Oh wait, New Years...I almost forgot. Oh boy, that'll be fun. Maybe we'll save the cheese dip for that party. I talked with Irene and yes, we're ready to quit smoking on January 2nd. I'm sure we'll be chewing a bunch of Trident! We can do it! Irene did it once, cold turkey for two years without one ounce of support from me. I kept right on smoking. I feel horrible about that, especially when she started again, but I'm here for her 100% this time. We'll do it together. But I certainly couldn't blame her if she blew smoke in my face everyday while I tried. I would totally deserve it! She wouldn't do that of course, but if she did, who could blame her? It'll be fun doing it together and maintaining our weight loss momentum at the same time. It really sounds kind of adventurous huh? I like adventurous. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Day 97 My Home Gym And Indoor Walking Trail

Day 97

My Home Gym And Indoor Walking Trail

As a kid I remember my mom getting in the floor to do her exercises. She did the leg lifts, the arm rolls, and the face exercises where you mouth the vowels in an exaggerated fashion. Sounds funny, but hey she lost 100 pounds doing that stuff. I missed the four hour window for the Y today and it's brutally cold outside, so I decided to do some house exercises. Wow. I haven't done a jumping jack since I was a kid, and let me tell ya, it's a workout as a 400 plus pound adult. I just did 100 and I'm about completely spent. I did some legs lifts too...very easy at first, but after about 30 in a row the burn starts. I even did the vowels, just for the sake of childhood memories. I feel like I need to go back and do it all again after I write this evenings blog. I thought about even walking in a circle through my living room and kitchen area for 40 minutes...wouldn't that still be 2 miles? The scenery would be boring and the dog might think I was crazy, but I could feel good about the workout! Weigh day is quickly approaching and this is no time to miss workouts!!

I'm so proud of my progress so far. I feel so much better and that feeling will multiply several times as I approach my ultimate goal. I know it sounds crazy, but when I wake up in the morning hungry, I like that. I like that morning hunger. I usually don't feel hungry at all because I budget my calories to last all day, but first thing in the morning I'm ready for something, that is after I notice that empty-hungry feeling. I look forward to it now. I know that must sound looney, but for real, it just confirms to me that I'm doing well. Feeling hungry isn't something I'm use to at all. Even in our toughest times there was always enough food to over-eat. We're very fortunate to live in such a plentiful place.

As Christmas quickly approaches I'm getting ready to handle it the same way I handled Thanksgiving. I'll allow a little more calories (1,000) and I'll workout out doubly good. We plan on another 5k around Boomer Lake in Stillwater. Even if it's freezing cold we're doing it! We'll just have to bundle up real good! That's right, no house exercises for us on that day! We're getting out and getting it done! After having trucked through Thanksgiving without any trouble, I will be fine on Christmas. I tell ya, I will be glad when all the festivities are over. I know that must sound scrooge-like, and I don't mean it that way, I'm just saying that counting calories is so much easier when you don't have a million goodies to navigate.

Thank you to everyone that responded to my “dirty little not so secret.” I feel better about it today. I've numbered my final days of smoking. And I'll talk to Irene about it and make sure we're on the same page, but on January 2nd I will lay them down. You read it here first! Maybe between now and then I can cut down, but either way I plan on cutting them out completely on that day and for the rest of my life. Because really, what good is it to lose weight and get in shape and be healthy that way, if I'm going to cut my life short by smoking? I have to do both. Is it impossible? It will be if I think it is. I don't think it is. I've recently been noticing stretches of time without smokes. That broadcast I did with the fire department, it was four hours long and I didn't smoke one cigarette. I spent two hours at the company breakfast the other morning without sneaking out for even one puff. I believe if I can do that I can cut them totally out. I know that by saying I'll do it on January 2nd I'm kind of violating my attitude toward weight loss. But this smoking thing is a different animal. I have to approach it different, but with the same determined attitude. Can I lose weight and quit smoking at the same time? Yes. Just watch me.

I just found out today that Debbdimples is coming up to Ponca on Monday! If you're a regular reader of the myspace version of this blog, then surely you've read her comments before. She's my cousin Debbie, and she's bringing her mother, my Aunt Violet. I'll prepare a nice low calorie dinner for us all and then we're taking a holiday lights tour through Ponca City! Aunt Violet is really looking forward to seeing the Festival Of Angels Holiday Lights, and they really are spectacular! Cousin Debbie lives in Branson in the middle of the Ozarks, where she's no stranger to holiday beauty, it's all over the place up there. But I bet the displays here will impress even her!

I just splashed my tea with not quite an ounce, but about 50 calories worth of Peach Schnapps! Oh yeah, that's real good! I still have about 200 calories left tonight, I need to use them somehow right? I normally don't drink but hey, I'm celebrating. Uh, well, because it's Saturday night. Oh---and my sister in law is turning 30 today! That's it! I'll have to call her and tell her that I used her birthday as an excuse to spike my zero calorie ice tea. Have fun! I am. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Day 96 My Dirty Little Not So Secret

Day 96

My Dirty Little Not So Secret

This blog has always been about losing weight while counting calories and exercising and all of the mental aspects that go along the way. It's been about humorous experiences and serious decisions too. When I say “good choices” I'm talking about food and exercise choices. With that said, there's one thing I've never talked about in the previous 95 days worth of blogs. I make nearly forty, sometimes more bad choices every day. I sometimes make the bad choice without even thinking, I just do it. I smoke cigarettes. I have since I was 17 years old. How am I not dead yet? A twenty year smoker with a top weight of over 500 pounds? That's committing slow suicide my friend. And yet, as I've grabbed control over my weight loss world, I've allowed the smoking to continue without regard to the possible consequences. How is it that I can completely get in the zone and re-teach myself how to eat and exercise to lose weight, but I can't seem to go too long without lighting a nasty cigarette. I'm completely addicted to nicotine, but that's not a valid excuse...I've been completely addicted to over-eating too. I have to say that losing weight is much easier than giving up the smokes. A doctor once told me to quit smoking first, then worry about the weight. The exact opposite of what I've been doing. It was the exact opposite of what I thought he'd say. I was sure he would say lose the weight now, quit smoking as soon as you can. That's pretty scary when a doctor feels it's safer to be nearly 300 pounds overweight than to smoke. I haven't addressed this topic out of shame. Although many people who read this and know me already know I smoke. And even though losing weight and quiting smoking are two different things, I still have felt like a hypocrite. I've alluded to the smoking before, but I've never come right out and admitted or talked about it. I've talked about “other habits” that I need to work on. But this blog isn't about hidden messages and dirty little secrets. It's about being honest with myself and the reader everyday. It's about being 100% accountable. That's why it's worked so well. But how can I continue to talk about making good choices when I make a bad one every time I light up? Well, up until now this blog has been all about losing weight. I can and do make good choices everyday along those lines. But from here on out, I plan on also making an effort to drastically cut down on my smoking and eventually quit completely. If I can learn to apply the same determined principals I've applied to losing weight the past 96 days, then I should be able to do it without any problems. This blog is still all about losing weight and getting in shape, but occasionally I'll write a paragraph or two about my progress in giving up tobacco. You would think it would be easier to quit smoking than lose weight. I mean, really, I love food, but I really hate cigarettes. I hate the way they stink up a room, I hate the money wasted to buy them, I hate the stigma that's attached to being a smoker, I can't stand these nasty little killers, and yet I find it so hard to lay them down. I almost tackled both addictions at the same time when I started this journey, but then decided that might be setting myself up for failure. That's been my excuse so far. I'm losing weight, that's what I'm doing. I'll ignore my nasty smoking habit until later. But I can't continue thinking that way. I must grab control of this now with the same rugged determination and spirit I have with losing weight. So if you didn't know already, there you go... “Mr Good Choices” smokes. Completely stupid, I know. I gave up coffee! Why wasn't that a problem? Oh yeah, because I get my caffeine from other sources. I could go with the gum or patches, but a part of me inside says to “man up” and lay 'em down. The same attitude that keeps me from buying “magic pills” to lose weight, keeps me from buying patches and nicotine gum. I know several people that have just laid them down one day and never returned. They did it with 100% will power. They made a decision, an iron-clad promise to themselves to quit smoking. Sound familiar? So I will begin immediately incorporating my philosophies and attitude toward losing weight into my efforts to eliminate smoking all together. I can do it. It's just a decision right?

The company breakfast was really good this morning. I had a small serving of the breakfast casserole, and after taking into account the ingredients, I made an educated guess of 250 calories. 250 was probably a little high, it was more like 200, but I always make sure that if I'm wrong, It's because I over calculated, not under. I did avoid the mini turnovers on the table. They looked all good and flaky but I resisted without any problems.

The one thing I haven't done yet tonight is work out. I'm getting ready to throw on the shoes and head out for a late night walk. I need to do at least 40 minutes worth. That's at least two miles. I'll feel good about myself if I do at least that tonight. I better get out there. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Friday, December 19, 2008

Day 95 Fruit N Yogurt is Yummy and My Incredibly Shrinking Fingers

Day 95

Fruit N Yogurt is Yummy and My Incredibly Shrinking Fingers

What a difference a day makes! Yesterday I spent the morning playing in a poker tournament at a holiday party, today I made up for it! The great thing about extremely busy days, it keeps you moving and your mind occupied. I had little time to think about food. Now sometimes that might lead to bad choices, but not today, not at day 95! I'm developing another habit I really shouldn't. Fruit and yogurt parfaits from McDonalds. I had one for breakfast not too long ago and I was hooked. With the granola it checks in at 160 calories and has all the taste and goodness I crave. It taste kind of naughty! But it's good for you right? I like things like that! But, it's a dollar...That doesn't sound like much, but it really adds up. I've had one for breakfast five times in the last two weeks. In comparison, my fruit and cream instant oatmeal is only 130 calories and two bucks worth last two work weeks. Maybe I just treat myself to a fruit and yogurt parfait once or twice every two week weigh period. I could handle that. I don't think the employees at McDonalds know what to think about me swinging by in the mornings and grabbing yogurt. For the longest time, the morning guy on the country station and I have occasionally taken turns at buying each other breakfast from McDonalds. And 9 times out of 10 it was biscuits and gravy. And they always loaded it down with gravy and chunks of sausage. It's funny, because you can't even find it on the drive thru breakfast menu. If you ask for it they'll sell it to you, but I'm not sure it's an official breakfast item of McDonalds. It may very well be, but for whatever reason, it's not listed on their outdoor menu. Perhaps they're ashamed of it! I have no idea how many calories it has, but if I had to guess, I'd say at least 650, maybe a little more. Now I buy yogurt parfaits and I leave 'em wondering... “is this the same guy that requested a side cup full of extra gravy a few months ago?” Yep, sure is! Biscuits and gravy was always like another food group to me. At one time I could tell you the price and quality of every order you could find in my hometown. The best was a restaurant called Johnny T's. They closed in Stillwater years ago. They had a giant order of biscuits and gravy for 99 cents. It covered the entire plate! If you only wanted a half-order (which was completely satisfying) it cost a whopping 50 cents! On week nights you would see plenty of cash strapped college students studying and eating 99 cent plates of B&G! Ah, those were the days! The days that pushed me straight up the scale to over 500 pounds! I still love the taste of biscuits and gravy, but now I'm smart enough and determined enough to make the better choice every time. I'm not saying I'll never dive into another order as long as I live, but I better be in great shape and working out on a regular basis! But at that point, I may not want them at all. I can't really imagine that, but who knows how my new body and lifestyle will effect my future cravings and choices.

I completely missed working out today. It was that busy. I was on the air until 9am, then in production until 2:30pm, picked up Courtney, ran a few errands, paid a few bills, then came home and collapsed for an hour and fifteen before I had to go back on the air for a special promotion from 6:30 to 9:30pm. I guess I could have cut my nap short, but I was tired! And I needed to be rested for the special evening broadcast. I was also letting my right leg recuperate after I wrapped it way too tight yesterday. Remember me telling you about my damaged right leg and how I depended on Irene to wrap it in low stretch bandages everyday to prevent swelling? I don't remember the day I blogged about that personal health issue, but I do remember talking about how someday I will have lost enough weight to enable me to easily wrap myself. Well, I'm there. I can do it, just not real good. I wrapped it way too tight and nearly did some horrible damage. The pain from the constriction was so bad this afternoon, I could barely walk. Irene saved the day with a nice and loose lotion wrap that quickly ended the pain. I need to be careful! My leg is completely healed up since taking that time off way back a couple of months ago. I almost brought all that progress down because I didn't realize how tight I was wrapping myself until it was too late. Anyhow, it's all better now, thank you Irene!

I may need to have my wedding ring resized soon. It's getting really loose! At over 500 pounds, I sometimes thought that I could never take it off again. It was on there tight! But now, it only takes a little pull to easily slide it off and on. See! Even my fingers are losing weight! I've always been big all over, so it's no surprise that I'm losing it all over too. Even weight distribution is one of the reasons I've been able to carry as much weight as I have over the years. And it's the reason most people would have never guessed I was over 500 pounds at my top weight.

Tomorrow morning we're having a company breakfast prepared by the owner himself! I'll get through my show without anything, because we're all meeting at 9:15 for this holiday get together! Bill fixes this amazing dish with eggs, mushrooms, cheese, sausage, I think it has sausage...anyway, I plan on quizzing him on the ingredients in the morning, because it's going to require my best educated guess to determine what it'll cost me to partake. I can't turn it down, the boss might get offended! I'll let you know how it goes in my next blog post. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Day 94 The Holiday Party and An Obesity Myth Busted

Day 94

The Holiday Party and An Obesity Myth Busted

Here we are in the middle of the holiday party season. Holiday fun time can certainly spell trouble if you’re not prepared. I always have my game face on in these situations. Today was the holiday party at Irene’s job. She’s a floor supervisor for a large casino. Once a year they close the casino down for 10 hours and have a huge party and plenty of food. They come up with free games for the employees and spouses and everyone has a great time. I stayed away from the “goody” table completely. I did enjoy a nice roasted white meat turkey dinner. I dipped some green beans, a small portion of mashed potatoes and gravy, just a tiny bit of stuffing, and I even had a roll! I snuck a peak at the package the rolls came in, it checked in at 110. As for the other stuff, I judged the calories by what I learned from Thanksgiving, and quickly concluded that my plate equaled 700 calories. I normally don’t spend 700 for lunch, but I decided to have a light dinner later. While I was there I won the Southwind Holiday Party Poker Tournament. I beat out all 44 other players and won a really fancy poker chip set and a very large, very heavy hold ‘em poker table top. I was thrilled. Not as thrilled as last years winner, who took home a big flat panel LCD TV. But hey, it was good. Not as good as cash like the winner the year before last took home. It didn’t cost me anything and it is a really nice setup. I guess I have to get a home game going now. I certainly have everything you need! The bottom line: It was fun. And that’s what a holiday party is all about right? While I was there three people commented on my weight loss. I really don’t talk about it that much, so it’s really cool when someone can’t help but notice, and offers a congratulations. I always say “Thanks, I’ve still got a ways to go, and I’ll get there…Thank you for noticing.” It’s cool to be at the stage of undeniable-completely-obvious results. When you have as much to lose as I do, it takes a while to get there. I wasn’t there after the first 21, or even 30 or 35, but now at 75 plus (weigh day is in less than a week) I’m there. People who know me, but rarely see me especially notice the change. The family, friends, and co-workers that see me everyday, they too can see the difference now, but it always takes them a little longer to notice the gradual change. I can’t wait to reach my ultimate goal and then run into someone I haven’t seen in a couple of years. They’ll walk right by I guarantee it!

By the way, I just wanted to clear up a popular misconception about the obese. We still get cold! Our fat doesn’t act as a blanket like many slim for life people seem to think. I mention this because I over-heard a couple of people talking in the convenience store while paying for gas the other day. Obese Stranger: “I sure hate this cold weather we’re having.” Slim and trim stranger: “You hate it? How do you think I feel? I don’t have any extra insulation like you.” They obviously knew each other and they were laughing about it. I felt like chiming in… Me: “True, I mean it might be 17 degrees out there, but I’m burning up under all this blubber.” Could’ve been hilarious to say, but I didn’t. It all comes from the old saying “fattening up for the winter.” I think this is a survival mechanism for animals, in case inclement weather makes it difficult to find food. That way their bodies can take energy from the extra fat they’ve added. I don’t think it’s for a blanket of warmth. I get just as cold as the next guy. And just a little bit below our surface we’re all close to 98.6 degrees. If the “extra fat” equals “extra warmth” theory were true, we wouldn’t have severely obese people in the world, we would have all died from excessive fever. Could you imagine if it were true? Talk about incentive to lose weight! If gaining weight raised your body temperature, we would all constantly monitor ourselves. How scary would that be? I mean, really, obesity kills anyway, it just usually takes a while. But if being fat made you get hot inside, well…that would be really quick. So, I think I’ve made a good point. Being obese doesn’t make me all warm and fuzzy. On the other hand, it can take more out of you in the summer, because you have to exert more energy to move. Ok, I feel better now.

I’m going to bed early tonight. I just feel much better when I’m well rested. My body probably works better at losing weight when I’m well rested. I don’t know that for sure, but it sounds reasonable. I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season. Thank you for reading. Good night and…

Good Choices,
Sean

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Day 93 Looking Back Like A Student, Looking Forward Like A Champion

Day 93

Looking Back Like A Student, Looking Forward Like A Champion

I watched the last fifteen minutes of NBC's Biggest Loser at the YMCA while I kept a steady pace of 3.4mph on the trusty treadmill. That's the most I've watched that program the entire season. I was watching without sound because I forgot my headphones. The kind of workouts they were showing in those montage segments are the kind I eventually want to do. I noticed the guy on there started at, oh I forget, I think 336 or something like that. I'm still almost 100 pounds more than that, so I feel like I have to work my way up to that level. Although some days I really feel like I could do that level now, I know it might not be smart just yet. The guy on there looked really good after losing over 40% of his body weight. That really is a great show. I haven't watched because I just don't watch that much TV anymore. I don't play that much poker anymore either. I haven't really made a point of cutting down on those things, they've just naturally taken a back seat to working out, writing, and losing weight everyday. It's like the moment I really, honestly, 100% committed to this journey, everything kind of fell into it's place. My priorities re-aligned themselves without much effort. That's how I measure my commitment to this mission. My commitment to losing weight and writing about it along the way was so strong, that nothing has stood a chance at getting in it's way. I still watch a little TV from time to time and I still play a poker tournament on-line every now and then on a weekend, but nothing like I was doing before. This mission I accepted on September 15th is a very demanding one. It's too easy to slip and let it go. I knew that in order to see this all the way through to the end I had to commit in every way. Still, after 93 days, I get tested, I get lazy, I get rebellious. But no matter how I feel, I always swing myself back around to the challenge at hand. In the beginning it was harder to fight my naturally bad habits, now it's still tough sometimes, but I have results to back up my determination. In the beginning all I had was my hopes, now I can actually say... “I can wear that seatbelt” “I can wear those pants” “ I can shop that entire store and not get out of breath even once.” I can see and feel a new version of me emerging. And I welcome this new and improved Sean.

I can hardly find words to describe how it feels to be on day 93. Had I not made it past day 20, I would've been looking at the calender all depressed and telling myself... “wow, you would have been on day 93 by now.” I've done that so many times, only if you've done that too can you know what I'm talking about. It's a horrible feeling that I refuse to ever experience again. I remember thinking on New Years Eve 2005 about this. I thought about how different things would have been at that moment had I just stayed with the 2004 attempt. I would have started 2006 a completely different looking and feeling person. Why it took another almost three years to come back around, I don't know. That's one for a psychiatrist to decode. I have my theories and philosophies on the why and how I've done the things I've done to myself, but I'm not a doctor. If you're trying to lose weight too, re-read this paragraph. You never want this to happen to you again. You never want to look at a calender and realize where you could have been by now. It's a wonderful way to help keep yourself on track.

I didn't even notice that yesterday was my three month anniversary! I'm so glad I didn't put it off until after the New Year celebration. I really thought about that back then. You know why? The holidays. I didn't know if it was a good idea to start right before the biggest eating season of the year. But, I just felt that I didn't have time to wait any longer. I was quickly approaching dire consequences, the kind I had always feared, but still felt was too far away to worry about. I suddenly felt like my time was up. I really felt like it was too late. That's a very scary thing to contemplate. Did I wait too long? Horrible thing to think. I knew that I had to turn it on and rev it up all the way right then and there. I remember praying that I'd be given enough time to reclaim my health and live again. I may be only about 30% of the way so far, but I already feel like that prayer has been answered. It really feels like that big of difference on my body. I can't remember anytime recently of having a “scary moment.” Like feeling a strange pain in my chest, or being so out of breath from walking through a parking lot that I felt like I was going to collapse. I was experiencing those things all the time 94 days ago. Now my addictive personality is clinging onto this new feeling of success and accomplishment, and I want more and more!

Someone asked me again the other day why I don't list more of what I eat and what I do in my workouts. It's simple really. For the most part this blog is about me confronting my day to day feelings as I do this. It's about understanding my behaviors, past and present. It's about getting to know myself better by writing out how I really feel. The plan right now is simple: 1500 calories a day and exercise. I stick to that. When I slip, I confess right here in these writings. When I'm particularly proud of how I handled a food challenge that day, I describe what I had and how I handled it. When I notice some amazing progress in my workouts I can't keep from sharing that information. So why don't I just make this a simple laundry list of intake vs. physical output? Because losing weight, getting in shape, and keeping it off starts in our heads. Believing we can do it starts in our heads. Understanding what has derailed past attempts and what can propel future success and how it feels along the way to be successful is so much more important, interesting, and motivating to me. I'm not saying that this is the absolute right way. But it's right for me. Because when I look at the calender now, I think about where I'm headed, not about where I could've been. Thank you for reading my daily blog. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Day 92 Losing Weight Is My Sunshine

Day 92

Losing Weight Is My Sunshine

It's amazing how heading in the right direction can completely change your outlook on things. Everything is a little brighter to me. Some things that use to stress me out completely, still stress me, but just not as much. Things that I always knew I should do, but was too lazy to even try, seem easily doable. I've talked many times about the positive mental effects of losing weight. This is what I'm talking about. When I'm feeling good, I feel like I could take on the world. And with this weight loss so far, I'm feeling good 96% of the time. I notice this “renewed” feeling all the time. It shows up in little things, like happily springing out of the vehicle to run into a store, when I could've (and normally would've) asked Irene or Courtney if they minded running in. It shows up in big things, like making plans and setting lofty goals. When you're extremely overweight, sometimes just getting through the day is a struggle enough, you certainly don't feel like looking at the future with a positive attitude and goals in mind. It's much easier to work with someone you like. If you don't like the person you see in the mirror everyday, it makes it very difficult to have any kind of positive anything. I'm starting to like the big guy I see in the mirror. I can see and feel changes that seem so much more pronounced than before. I certainly appreciate the changes more than I did in 2004. I have to say, after losing 115 pounds in 2004, then gaining it all back, I had serious doubts if I was ever going to pull it together again. I remember thinking how horribly tough it might be to lose that 115 all over again. I was extremely frustrated and disappointed in myself. And that attitude does nothing but generate more bad attitude. We're not that far away from getting back to where we were. And then we'll go beyond into unchartered territory. I don't have anything to reference beyond 115. So as much fun as the first 75 plus pounds have been, the real fun will start when we hit 116 lost. I can't wait! But I will!! One day at a time, I know, but I get so excited!

One thing I must focus on is my workouts. Truth be told, I've really gone easy on myself. I really feel like I could do so much more than I've been doing. I've talked about “amping up” the workouts, but I haven't really. I've worked out good, don't get me wrong. But there's just a noticeable gap between working out good and doing what I know I'm capable of handling. I'm capable of handling a bigger and better workout. I'm not talking about jogging, not quite ready for that just yet. But I am talking about a more intense cardio routine and weight training to burn fat. If I need my behind kicked for anything so far, it's making plans to upgrade my workouts, even talking about in this blog, then not following through. I still get a workout, but not like I need and could do. I have to be very careful because I tend to get into a “comfort zone.” A comfort zone encourages the absolute minimum that is required to maintain “the comfort” part. I have to make a bigger commitment and break out of that area I seem to love. When I do, I'll see dramatic increases in my results, both pounds and inches wise. I'm not going to say what I'm going to do here and when I'm going to do it, because I've already done that. It's time to stop talking about it and start doing. But believe me, when the workouts reach a new level, you'll be hearing about it in these pages for sure!

I can't believe it's Day 93 tomorrow. When I look back and read over the early days of this blog, I can truly appreciate how far I've come. Now, as I look ahead, my destination doesn't look that far away. I'm doing it! I'm really, really, really doing it. I'm so happy about this. I'm going to hit the hay and get ready for Day 93 in a few hours. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Day 91 I Believe I Can Fly, Someday Real Soon

Day 91

I Believe I Can Fly, Someday Real Soon

After giving jogging a mild test run today at the YMCA, I've decided that perhaps I should wait a little bit before I get too adventurous. Deb left a good myspace comment on yesterdays blog, and she's absolutely right. I'm still over 400 pounds, I shouldn't try to push my self too far too soon. In the racquetball court today I tried jogging around a little mini-lap. I could do it, but I quickly realized that maybe I was trying to do too much at such a large weight. The really pumped up, trainer in the face, giving it all kind of workouts will come in time. I guess it all goes back to not being in a hurry. Taking one day at a time and not getting impatient. The weight is falling off. 75 pounds-plus so far is really a great thing. Eventually I'll be at a weight where I will not question my body's ability to handle the intensity. It's handled a bunch already! Every now and then I just get a burst of energy that makes me think I could run if I wanted. Every now and then I look in the mirror and I see an athletic build underneath. It excites me to think that someday I could be an athletic person. I've never been athletically active. I've discussed my ambitions before, like adult dodge ball, a softball team, and competing in an organized run. I'm neither the Old Sean or the New Sean yet. I'm somewhere in between. I'm developing, I'm evolving into what I will become. And that my friend is a healthy, active, neat looking, successful adult. I've been successful in some of the most important areas of life already, number one being my family and parenting. Now, as I continue to do my best in those areas, I want to achieve success in my body and health.

It's really hard to find success in some areas when you're burdened with morbid obesity. Being so grotesquely obese really holds you back mentally and physically. I'm not saying you can't be fat and successful in whatever it is you do, there are a lot of people who accomplish great things while being obese, I guess it comes down to the mental aspects. And that varies from individual to individual. Me? I've allowed my weight to make me lazy, to keep me tired, and to hold me back from my truest potential. That is why I must stay true everyday of this mission. I want to do what I know I'm capable of doing. And with me, it all starts with getting the weight gone. You see, it's not just about losing the weight and getting in shape, it's about all of the wonderful changes, opportunities, and possibilities it could make possible.

We had a great time last night with Rachel and Niel. I wasn't the least bit worried about the food or drink. I handled everything within my self-imposed limits and had a wonderful time. I think it all comes down to what we expect in certain situations. Before, I always expected to load up on all sorts of goodies at a special get together. I always made food one of the main focuses. In fact, it wasn't until we were finished with dinner last night that I realized we hadn't planned anything for desert! We could have had something, but we just didn't think about it. The old Sean would have had something really loaded waiting in the fridge. But that wasn't the most important thing. Enjoying our guest was. I've taken this approach several times throughout the last 91 days and it's never failed. The lessons I'm learning along the way of this journey are lessons that teach me how to handle food and portions in every situation. Over the next couple of weeks I know that I'm going to be in some festive situations were food will be available and encouraged. It's good to know that I have the power to set a limit and stick to it. It may mean making some educated guesses along the way, but that's alright, I've done it before. When someone makes a special dish, I don't expect them to calculate all of the calories for every ingredient. I may ask what it's made of, but from there I can come to a reasonably good conclusion to the serving size and calories. Some might think that I'm a walking-talking calorie count computer, but I'm not. I rely on nutrition labels, the Internet, and if I still don't have a calorie count I try to make an accurate assessment. I probably over estimate if anything. And if the ingredients are just way off the chart loaded, I have the power to pass.

The learning and losing continues as we quickly approach day 100. I'm really looking forward to a strong push before the end of the year. As of last Tuesdays weigh-in, I'm only 40 pounds shy of getting back to that 115 I lost in 2004. The next 40 pounds will be really nice to lose. Then every pound after that will be proof-positive that I'm making a permanent life change. Thank you for reading along my daily journey. Your support is imperative to my success. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Day 90 Big Dinner and Drinks Completely Handled

Day 90

Big Dinner and Drinks Completely Handled

From the start today I was ultra conservative on my calories. I knew we had company coming over and a dinner planned, plus we planned on having a couple of mixed drinks. Whenever I'm this conservative, I worry that I'm not doing my metabolism any favors. By the time dinner rolled around at 7pm, my total so far was 350. I had a bag of Baked Lays chips for 160 and a small bowl of chili for 190. It's funny, because I really wasn't that hungry. I knew what was coming. A small ribeye steak, baked potato with sour cream, corn on the cob, and a dinner roll. My dinner plate pushed me to 1,000. So then I had 500 remaining to have a couple of peach ice teas and a snack later as we played cards. The peach schnapps had 72 per ounce, so I had two ounces per drink, times two drinks for 288. I used the last 212 calories on some pizza we were snacking on as we played cards.

During my remote broadcast from Wal-Mart this morning, I had a really cool experience. We were outside at the start of the remote with the fire department collecting toys for Toys For Tots. Wal-Mart and the fire department do this every year, and we were there to promote it. We had three empty baskets, a large fire truck, and the remote broadcast vehicle. The wind was blowing around 25 to 40 mph, when all of a sudden one of the empty baskets started rolling into the parking lot. The 505 pound Sean would have had to watch as it flew into the parked cars across the way, but not now. I started running, OK, maybe jogging is a better description, to keep the runaway cart from doing any damage. I caught it just in time! It actually felt good for some strange reason. I wasn't winded at all. I felt like I could've gone further. It was really amazing. I made me think that maybe I should start adding a little jogging to my routine. I would have never thought of doing that yet, not until I lose down to 300 or below. But now, huh, I just don't know. Maybe I could handle it. It felt that effortless jogging to that runaway cart. I may give it a try and we'll see how far I can go. Maybe it was a fluke. I'll find out!

Courtney and I had a great workout at the YMCA this afternoon. We usually workout in the evening, but I knew with company coming, we wouldn't have a chance later. Speaking of company, they're still here, and I need to get back to the table! I'll cut this one short and re-join the party. For the rest of the early morning it's just straight zero calorie tea for me! Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Day 89 Self-Motivation When No One's Looking

Day 89

Self-Motivation When No One's Looking

Sometimes battling will power has nothing to do with food. Tonight it was exercise. By the time Irene left for work it was time to take Courtney to her friends house for a sleepover, then it was off to the Y for a workout. I was tired, real tired. I didn't get but a ½ hour nap earlier in the day, so I wasn't in the best mindset for movement of any kind. When I got to the Y, I didn't go in right away. I just sat there in the parking lot trying to talk myself out of going in. I even started the vehicle and left, then drove around the block and back in. I just wasn't “feeling it.” But then I made myself a deal. If I would just go inside and workout for even a half hour, I would enjoy a 200 calorie Braums jr. frozen yogurt cone and a nap as soon as I got home. I did go in, and although it was nowhere near my best workout, I was still moving. After grabbing what seemed to be an exceptionally small frozen yogurt cone (barely above the top of the cone) I headed home for a little power nap. I say “exceptionally small”, because when you're counting calories, and I had more than enough left for a 200 calorie cone, you want it to be 200 calories worth! I still counted the thing as 200, but it had to be less. That's the thing about counting calories on things like this. There's going to be some variances in size. I've mentioned this before. If this frozen yogurt cone averages 200 calories, sometimes it'll be made a little big, say 240 calories worth. And sometimes a little small, perhaps 160. It's the human element. The person making the cone is only human, they're not going to put the perfect amount in the cone every time. I understand that! But did this person know that I had a deal with myself? If I took my lazy but into the Y and moved enough to just break a sweat, I was being rewarded! And this was my reward! It may have been the 165th cone he's made tonight, but this one was special! It was my reward. Don't skimp on my reward! I'm over it now. As soon as I walked in the house, I looked at the computer and thought about sitting down to write, then just going to bed early for a Friday night. I mean really, who takes a nap at 9:15pm? I felt like I was being a big old baby, because I wanted my nappy time! And I didn't care that it was already a reasonable bedtime. The plan was simple: Nap until 10:30pm, then get up, write and do my household stuff I promised Irene I would do. I must have set the alarm for 10:30am, because it didn't bother to holler at me. I slept like a rock until 1am!! Now I'm up writing Day 89 in the first couple hours of Day 90. Then I have some vacuuming to do, and something else I can't remember, oh well, I'm sure Irene will remind me! And no telling when I'll be tired enough now to get back to bed, and I have a 9am broadcast at Wal-Mart in the morning, or technically later this morning. If the “are you gonna sit there all day and eat those?” guy comes around, he's liable to get an earful from a sleepy little grumpy radio personality! Maybe I'll choose something for breakfast that will provoke him, say, uh...a submarine sandwich from the deli. That ought to do it! A fat guy eating a sub while sitting in a chair in the middle of Wal-Mart at nine in the morning. surely that will bring out the stupid mouth. Did I just call that guy a “stupid mouth”? Did I just turn into Richie Cunningham? All I know is the “Bucko” better just walk on by! And why am I still talking about that incident? Wasn't that like a month ago? Note to self: LET IT GO already!

You see what happens when we're left alone? If I would have had someone with me, I guarantee I would have never even contemplated not working out and I would have immediately started writing when I got back home. Sometimes, when there isn't anyone around, it's too easy to be easy. Make sense? It's similar to walking at night somewhere scary. If I'm with someone, no problem, I'm the biggest and bravest around, but if I'm alone, then I turn into the biggest 430 pound fraidy cat in the world. I guess it's natural to gain strength from others expectations and perceptions of us. But when I'm alone, and the only one left in the room to disappoint is me, it's easy to lose strength. That's when I remember you! The accountability aspect of this blog steps in and says, “get you lazy butt out of this vehicle and get in there and sweat!” As you may know, I sometimes, especially on weekends, post these blogs really late, or early depending on how you look at it, so I didn't mind trying to sneak in a little shut-eye. Policing myself is sometimes a full time job! The bottom line is this: It was a great day calorie wise and I moved until I sweat, and that's better than no movement at all.

Oh, I almost forgot, I fixed the most amazing sandwich for dinner tonight. I'll call it the toasted chicken breast melt. I grilled a chicken breast on the Foreman Grill, then I put some bread on the grill with the breast and a slice of cheese, put the lid down, and in a matter of minutes I had an amazingly delicious toasted and melty sandwich that came in at 350 calories.

Saturday night we're having company! Rachel and Niel are making the trip up from Stillwater to enjoy dinner and play some Texas Hold 'Em at our dining room table. We're just playing for fun, and I know we're planning on some light drinking, so I have to manage my calories strategically tomorrow so I can be sure and enjoy the dinner we'll prepare and a couple of peach schnapps splashed ice teas later! I'm not really a drinker, but occasionally I'll have a couple of social drinks. But beware! Serious calories can hide in mixed drinks! I haven't had alcohol at all in the first 89 days, so I haven't dealt with liquor calories yet, but I will now and I'll be sure to tell you all about it in my next blog. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Day 88 The Morbidly Obese Brother From A Different Mother Of Tom Cruise

Day 88

The Morbidly Obese Brother From A Different Mother Of Tom Cruise

Lately I've run into several people that haven't laid eyes on me in a while, or very often. Out of five people in the last few days, four of them have mentioned the difference in my appearance. Three of them know nothing about this blog. It's most always a good thing, except when someone blurts out a negative right after giving a compliment. One of my sister in-laws complimented my weight loss today, then followed with “it's making you look older!” What! I don't want to look older! Hold on while I go eat a gallon of Blue Bell. I'm kidding. She then followed that with another compliment. “You've always looked so young!” Thank you sis, you found a way to make me feel great, then horrible, then great again in a span of twenty seconds. I'm really not bothered by it at all. I'm 37, and that's NOT old. I'm thirty-something. That's not old. Even if I were ten or fifteen years older, I still wouldn't be old. Perhaps losing weight will make me look my age, but in a handsome, Tom Cruise kinda way. The way I look at it? I'd rather look 37 and be thin and healthy, than look 29 and be dead. Love you Billie Sue! OK, maybe Tom Cruise looks is asking too much, I'll settle for Mathew Perry looks. Is he good looking? Geez, I hope so. You're going to think I've lost my mind, but I actually have Tom Cruise eyes and ears. Crazy, I know...but let me explain. I've had several people over the years, independent of each other, say that I have a slight resemblance to Mr. Cruise. Not in my body of course, but certain facial characteristics. I'm like the morbidly obese brother from a different mother of Tom Cruise. I would jump up and down on my couch, but I'm afraid I'll break it. I've always looked in the mirror and thought I could recognize potential, ya know? Ask Irene about this Tom Cruise facial feature resemblance thingy. We have the same eyes and our ears are minus lobes that hang down...They just connect to our faces. And we both have a lot of hair. Wishful thinking? Delusional? Perhaps, but I have no idea what I'll look like when I reach my goal. I've never been there as an adult. And that's a really fun thing to think about. I swear, if I end up looking like Ducky from Pretty In Pink, I'm gonna be upset! I guess I'll look like the best me I can be. And I'm totally cool with that. I'm going to go put on a bomber jacket now and give myself sexy looks in the mirror.

I enjoy the many ways of telling a difference in my body. It's so much more than the results every two weeks on the scale. It's clicking a seatbelt with complete ease. It's putting on a perfectly fitting shirt that I've never been able to wear. It's fitting into these Levi's 560's. It's getting in and out of Irene's little car without needing rescued. It's wrapping my right leg in bandages by myself. It's using the next hole in the belt. When I started this mission I had a brand new belt in the closet that wouldn't fit at all. It was completely impossible to fasten. Then, I don't know, maybe after the first month, I could wear it using the very last hole. Now, on Day 87, I'm using the fourth hole, and I can use the fifth, but it's a little tight. The belt only has seven holes. That's awesome! These are fun times indeed. The more I lose, the more I notice these things. Results on the scale are great, but the results I notice in everyday life really fire me up. Seventy-five pounds makes a huge difference. A friend of mine suggested that when I reach 80 pounds lost, I should go to Lowes and try to pick up a bag of concrete. Or maybe he just wanted me to look at it, I don't know. Deke? Do I try to pick it up? Or just look at it? I honestly don't know if I could pick it up. It'll be a nice visual of how much mass I've lost so far. When I reach my goal I'm going to go to the zoo and look at a baby elephant.

We ordered out for dinner tonight. Arby's Jr. Roast Beef sandwiches are really tasty, really cheap (on the 5 for $5.95 menu), and only 273 calories. We even picked up french fries from McDonald's. A small order is only 230 calories. I had enough calories for ketchup, but I opted for mustard with my fries. I like mustard and if I can save 50 calories by using mustard, then I usually do. This isn't the first time I've had those world famous fries on this journey. It was probably the third or fourth time. I guess I can't call this “The Amazing McDonald's French Fry Diet” just yet. But it's what I love about calorie counting. I don't have to feel deprived. As long as I educate myself on the calorie content of what I want, then make choices that fit comfortably within my daily calorie allotment, I'm all good. Eating slower and smaller portions are critical. I use to easily polish off a “Super Sized” order of those fries, then steal my daughters leftovers. Now I occasionally enjoy a small order, and I'm completely satisfied. I still get the taste and pleasure that McDonald's fries provide without one ounce of guilt. Maybe I could become the “Jared” of McDonald's. I could just make sure to eat a small order of fries everyday, then send out a press release when I reach my goal weight proclaiming my McFry assisted victory! I could get a photo op with the Fry Guys I'm sure. Do the Fry Guys still exist in Ronald McDonald Land? Someone get Mayor McCheese on the phone!

I do know one thing, I'm a little goofy tonight. But I feel really good. Thank you for reading and providing your support. I write this blog every night because it keeps me accountable, it keeps me honest, and it forces me to study my past and present behaviors. It really has given me a better understanding of how I reached 505 lbs in the first place, and that knowledge is helping me get my life back one day at a time. When someone tells me that they read this blog everyday and they enjoy it, well, that's just the icing on the cake. When I hear someone say that my journey has inspired them on their journey, well...that feeling doesn't have words. Thank you. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean





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