Saturday, February 28, 2009

Day 166 Poisitive Feedback Adds Fuel To My Fire!

Day 166

Positive Feedback Adds Fuel To My Fire!

The positive feedback from yesterdays blog pictures and videos have really been an incredible boost for me. Just when I think I can't possibly be more fired up, I get more fired up! The positive feedback came from all directions today. On myspace blog comments, phone calls, e-mails, private messages , and even unexpectedly from people I've never met. When I called the bank today, the nice lady who answered the main line recognized my voice immediately. She told me that she was in attendance during the “Lose To Win” kickoff event, and she thanked me for my story and inspirational message. By the time our conversation ended, I almost forgot why I called in the first place. It was cool. Then, I ran into a gentleman at the convenience store whom I remember calling me a couple of months ago requesting this blog address. I talked to him for a moment, then decided to stop by his business and talk with him a little longer. He told me that he started his journey on January 8th and he reads this blog all the time. He was solidly on his way, I could tell he totally “gets it.” He told me he immediately purchased a membership to the YMCA, not because he could afford it, but because he knew he couldn't afford not to. I love his attitude! We talked for fifteen minutes about our workout experiences, approach, and progress. It was really apparent that he'd made a very important decision to prolong his life by getting healthier the natural way, by cutting down and exercising. That's exciting. I stopped by the hospital today, now the number of people joining the “Lose To Win” program is fast approaching 600. That's just incredible!

The power of an individual decision to change can be so incredible, now multiply that by hundreds, and the possible effects of the “Lose To Win” program on Ponca City is immeasurable. I received an e-mail from a doctor today telling me about a flood of positive energy she's noticed around here. People are excited about breaking down everything that's ever held them back, and really going for it! What makes this especially exciting is the fact that this is a community recently hit hard by bad news about hundreds of local job losses, and instead of slumping down and being depressed about the economic times, nearly 600, probably more by Monday at 6pm, are lacing up their walking shoes and getting after their own individual journey. I speak with experience when I say...If you stay consistent, It will positively effect everything you do, touch, see, feel, and hear. This journey has completely changed my outlook on life and the possibilities the future holds.

I've gone back and looked at those “before” and “in progress” pictures over and over again today. I still can't get over how big I really was. Or how dramatic the change is in my appearance and in my life. I think I'll go check them out again, you'll have to excuse me, I just can't help it.

Tomorrow we're leaving early for Weatherford to visit Amber. We'll be staying over, so we'll be exercising and blogging from the road. I can't wait to share it with you. I'm really tired tonight, so I'm going to do myself a favor and drop in! Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Friday, February 27, 2009

Day 165 Bonus Video Blog---My First Motivational Speaking Event

Day 165

Bonus Video Blog—My First Motivational Speaking Event

The following videos were recorded on 02/19/2009 in the cafeteria of Ponca City Medical Center. It was the “Lose To Win” Kick-Off Event, and my first motivational speaking engagement in front of a standing room only crowd of 400 plus. It was like stand-up, only 1,000 times better, and one million times more “real” and sincere than I've ever been on a comedy club stage. Special thanks to Gayle Williams and Anne Crail of Womyn Aloud Productions for their hard work in getting these videos ready for broadcast.

I hope you enjoy watching. But just a warning...Each of the first three segments are ten minutes long, the last segment is over six minutes. To watch the whole thing you'll have to invest roughly 36 minutes total. I hope you enjoy, and please, please post a comment at the bottom of this entry and let me know how you feel. The MC introducing me in part 1 is Cathy Cole, the director of the “Lose To Win” program and the “Healthy Woman” program at Ponca City Medical Center. You know, originally I thought I spoke for 45 minutes, then I was told 40, and now that it's edited down, it looks like 36 minutes.




Day 165 Bonus "Before" and "In Progress" Pictures

Day 165

Bonus “Before” and “In-Progress” Pictures!

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“Before” With my dear grandmother, she's so beautiful! Look at the size of my head!

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“In-Progress” Shot of me tonight 02/26/2009

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“Before” With my cousin Troy from Michigan

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“In-Progress” Tonight 02/26/2009 --This is the “confident arms crossed” picture

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“Before” With Aunt Jean, my mom's sister, My mom, and grandma. Wearing the “Big Jeans.”

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“In Progress” The “Big Jeans” are wayyyy toooo big now.

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“Before” At a popular Stillwater Restaurant with family. Always hated side views!

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“In-Progress” I'm liking the side view more and more these days!

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“Before” at my cousins house with family. Can I hide behind someone? Please????

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“In-Progress” Trying to hold up the giant sized jeans. Really big and extremely baggy! I look “street,” you dig?

Day 165 My Integrity Isn't For Sale and The End of The "Brow-Bird"

Day 165

My Integrity Isn't For Sale and The End of The “Brow-Bird”

If you have read the “global” version (same content as the Myspace blog at myspace.com/comedyboy) of this blog in the past, then you might remember seeing Google Ads along the left-hand side of the screen. I originally accepted these advertisers as a way to earn extra income from my blog. But I've learned a lesson in the process. You see, Google would automatically scan my blog and then place ads that somewhat related to my topic. Since my topic is always losing weight and getting healthy, of course they placed ads about a variety of products. The revenue generated was based on per click and per order numbers. It never really added up to too much, but tonight I proudly tell you that I recently told Google to keep that money and go away! My reputation and integrity is worth more than random checks in the mail from Google, no matter the amount. If you ever noticed these, most of them were advertising crazy products with claims like “Lose 18 Pounds in 4 Days!” or “How I Lost 45 Pounds In Three Weeks-order Now,” or “Oprah Approved Product Will Melt Your Fat Away.” For one thing, Oprah doesn't endorse, let alone approve the Acai Berry product---it says that on her website. And neither do I. Nor do I endorse losing 18 pounds in 4 days, or 45 pounds in 3 weeks...or any product that makes such claims. I sincerely hope that none of my readers bought this junk. It feels so good to be free from the spying eyes of Google Ads. I couldn't say what I just typed, had I still been using Google Ads. They would have been upset! It says so in the contract. Any derogatory comments about the products or services advertised is grounds for immediate termination of my Google Ads account. Now that I think about it, I should have tested how closely they monitored my blog by exposing the outright scandalous rip-offs as they popped up. Might have been fun to see how long it would take them to dump me. They're gone, and I no longer have to cringe every time I open the page and see “I Lost 9 pounds in 5 minutes...” OK, I made that one up. I think the claim was in 1 day actually. The people that buy this kind of advertising do it for one reason, to take advantage of people with desperate emotions, who are looking for anything that works and are willing to spend whatever it takes to get it done. I'm ashamed they ever appeared on this blog in the first place. Lesson learned: You can't put a price on your integrity, never, ever, ever!

Tonight at the YMCA I was feeling adventurous! My plan was to do a “hard” two miles. For me, a hard two consist of simply setting the speed at 3.6 mph. I immediately get my heart rate amped up at 3.6, but tonight I wanted to see what I could handle, because soon 3.6 mph will no longer qualify as a “hard” anything. So I tried 3.8 mph. Ok, I can do this...a little different, but doable. Then at about seven minutes in I decided to get crazy. Why not? What's the worst that could happen? Maybe I have to pull the emergency stop plug? I reached down and pressed the button twice taking me to an impressive 4.0 mph! I not only handled it, I stayed there for the rest of the two miles! I've posted an “On The Go” video straight from the treadmill below! What an amazing workout! When I first climbed on that thing months ago, I couldn't even think about getting past 2.9 mph...in fact many times I did 2.7 mph! I know I've said it often, but I'm showing you proof of this everyday: It gets easier and easier! Just keep that in mind if you too are doing this, and perhaps just getting started. When you feel like it's “impossible,” it's not. When you can't imagine ever doing more, you can, and when you're “just not feeling it” Do It ANYWAY! Remember...consistent, positive effort gets results every time. You just have to be patient and trust that the results will come, because believe me, they do!

I've discovered that when you start feeling better about yourself, you just naturally want to improve certain things that really didn't matter in the past. My entire life I've had a Uni-Brow. Just one big eye brow like Bert from Sesame Street. Except I always considered mine to be “stealthy.” You see my friend, from a distance you couldn't tell that my eye brows connected. But when you would get up in my grill, as the kids would say, you could clearly see that two had become one a long time ago. I never really cared much about it. Irene's unconditional love for me was all I needed, she knew it was there, and she must have thought it was cute, or at least tolerable, because she never really insisted I do something about it. But hey, I want to look good for me and my special lady! So today I bravely went where no non-metro-sexual guy would dare go...The Beauty Salon—Snip-N-Clip to be exact. For less money than a value meal, they eradicated that monstrosity once and for all. After an entire lifetime of wearing the Uni-Brow so proudly, it's days have come to an end. I've canceled my membership in the “Guys That Don't Give A Hoot” club. I remember fondly, making Irene laugh as I made my eye brows go up and down...making the uni-brow look like a bird in flight, a bird with big bushy wings. Where the uni-brow met in the middle was the beak of my brow bird. I even had a stand-up routine at one time based on the uni-brow. Ah, the memories...And today, with a dabbing of really hot wax and a super quick rip, I start a new era of personal grooming. Soon, I'll address the ear and nose hair issues, in time my friend, in time. I'm pacing myself. By the way...Another “On The Go” video is posted below, this one shows the “head” of my brow-bird being ripped off. Oh yeah, I don't know if you know this or not, but I'm a big baby when it comes to pain. I once stalled a nurse nearly 30 minutes because she needed to prick my finger for a blood test. I'm a, oh, what do you call it?...oh yeah, a wimp!

Tonight's dinner was absolutely amazing. Irene found some really small inexpensive steaks at the store. Each one had an average calorie count of 240. We grilled 'em up on the Foreman Grill, made some potatoes, boiled some corn, and steamed some green beans with cheese to make a nice balanced meal. And the best part? This filling and delicious dinner took less than 20 minutes to put on the table and the entire plate checked in at 460 calories. A picture with me and the plate is also posted below. This isn't “dieting” my friend, this is learning how to enjoy normal sized portions and eating real food. Any substitute for real food and learning what a normal portion is, can only be a temporary results maker. Long term success, the kind we all want, the kind that last a lifetime, is only found when we have a clear understanding of food and how to properly use it to live. I may not know everything about it yet, but I'm surrounding myself with people that do, and I'm learning everything I possibly can from them.

Tonight I'm posting a bunch of “bonus material.” Below you'll find two “On The Go” Videos and a picture of our meal tonight. On a separate Day 165 Bonus Picture Blog you'll find “before” and “In-Progress” pictures. And on a record setting third blog page you'll find the Day 165 Bonus Video Blog. I have to give giant props to Gayle Williams and Anne Crail of Womyn Aloud Productions for making the impossible possible with this four part video collection. After hours and hours worth of rendering, editing, converting, uploading, and processing...They have provided me four 10 minute segments of my first try at a non-comedy club public motivational speaking event. Melissa Walden, the Fitness Trainer and Life Coach was also a part of the program, and I would have had her on the video too, but decided I better not, since I didn't have her permission to use her image. I enjoyed it immensely, and I strongly believe I may have discovered my future career last Thursday night. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean


The Uni-Brow is history.


Progress measured by speed and endurance!

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An amazing meat and potatoes low-cal meal!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day 164 The Steel Curtain Zone

Day 164

The Steel Curtain Zone

I feel like I'm in another level of zone. There's the zone and then there's the steel curtain zone. I've been in both zones, and I have to say, the steel curtain zone is amazing. In the regular zone, you workout and make good food choices, but you still are sometimes vulnerable to random cravings and excuses as to why tonight's just not a good night to workout. In the “steel curtain” zone, excuses bounce off, your resolve is impenetrable. If you're tired of excuses and rationalizing bad choices, then get in this zone! How do you jump in the steel curtain zone? You decide to do it. Sounds simple, and it can be, if you let it be. But if you can't commit to an excuse and rationalization free performance, then it's nearly impossible. First of all, I had to be honest enough with myself to even recognize excuses . Excuses and rationalizations pretend to be our friends, because they get us “off the hook” for a little bit. I ran with those crazy cats for so long, and there's a bunch of 'em, I just got use to them. I put excuses to work and they made me feel alright about the poor decisions I was making for years. When the frustration and feelings of hopelessness are at their worst, and the decision is made to do it no matter what, that's when the “steel curtain zone” guards take their post. All of a sudden excuses and rationalizations are left at the gate wondering why you don't call anymore. You don't call on them anymore because you know that they're bad news. You have to place a negative value on excuses and rationalizations far greater than you ever did before. It feels over-dramatic to say that excuses and rationalizations are sneaky little cold blooded killers, but they are! You've got to assign any excuse that tries to get in your way the title of cold blooded killer. Because if your health ever becomes critical, and you realize your time is really up, you know what excuses and rationalizations will say? “Oops, too bad, I guess you shouldn't have given in over and over.” And then they'll go off to find some other victim to bring down.

I don't know what it was that made tonight's 3.6 mph on the treadmill feel like 4.0, but it was awesome. Maybe the treadmill I climbed on tonight was amped up a little, or maybe the one I did the 5K on the other night runs a little slower. I don't know, all I know is, I was working harder than ever to keep up. The sweat was rolling, and when it would sting my eyes, I would close them. My heart rate was awesome. I was a fat burning machine on that thing! I could've stopped short of my “hard 2 mile” plan tonight, because of the sweat stinging my eyes and my overall tiredness, but I couldn't do it. I couldn't stop until it turned over 2 miles. The excuses were screaming at me... “you're tired! That's why it feels harder tonight!” and “Hey, watch the eyes, ouch, ouch...ok, enough of this, we need to go wash our face and invest in a headband, then we'll get back after it tomorrow.” These excuses were powerless to my steel curtain zone. They didn't stand a chance and I felt so accomplished in finishing what I set out to do. It was easily one of the best workouts I've had in a while. Even topping the recent 5K's!

I spoke with a young woman today who told me she reads my blog almost everyday. Almost? Yes, almost. She was overweight, and like me, obesity has been a constant struggle her entire life. She was complimentary and I thanked her for the kind words. She then shared that sometimes she has a hard time reading because she relates too much to my experiences and feelings, and it hits home, straight to her heart, stirring up all the painful emotions that obesity can bring. She shared that her medicine for a chronic condition had a side effect that created an enormous appetite, leaving her feeling even more desperate and scared. I really didn't know what to say to that. The pain that showed in her eyes was so familiar to me.

If you're reading this today, just know I'm here to listen and offer any advice or suggestions I can. Just keep in mind, I'm not a doctor, nutritionist, or dietitian. I'm just a guy who's tired of being fat and who's been back and forth down this road many times. I certainly don't know everything, but I've discovered that mental exercises play a bigger role than physical exercises. I'm a guy who can't help but tell people about how I feel, it's my passion. I want to get to where I'm headed, and then spend the rest of my life motivating and encouraging people to do the same. What could be better than that? Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Medium Diet Limeade: Under 10 calories!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Day 163 The Insane Search For Anything That Works and An Unlikely Dinner

Day 163

The Insane Search For Anything That Works and An Unlikely Dinner

I searched for years, well, not really actively searching everyday, but curious always at least, wondering what really works? I was conditioned by our culture and society from an early age to believe in order to lose weight, you had to have a plan. Not your own sensible plan, because that would be too simple and free, and we know that if it's free it can't work, no, no, no...we gotta pay to lose weight if we expect results. We need someone else's plan! A plan or product someone else designed and now charges large amounts of money for. Now if this plan is all about learning portion control, self-analysis, and exercising, then great...sounds good, but kinda boring...and boring doesn't sell. I want amazing success claims! I want you to tell me that I can basically sleep and gorge all day long and still lose weight. I always thought that the secret must be in a product or system somewhere on a store shelf near me. When I would run into someone who had lost weight, my first question was always: “How did you do it?” This is often the first question that comes to mind for anyone. I always wanted to hear about a miraculous new product that would magically melt away my fat in the middle of the night while I slept regardless of my food intake or lack of exercise. As crazy as that idea sounds, that's exactly the message I've watched before on an infomercial in the middle of the night. Perhaps you've watched the same one. Did you notice the fine print too? “Product to be used in conjunction with a regular diet and exercise regimen.” Really? I have to make an effort? Then why would I want to take these again? Do they even contain anything other than a placebo and a slick marketing campaign that targets the desperate and dangerously overweight at 2am? But for years I had an open mind and a willing ear to listen to anyone that had any information on what worked. As long as that solution didn't involve certain things, like personal responsibility, educating myself on portion control, understanding, analyzing, and reconstructing my behaviors and please don't say exercise! Noooo! I can't move! What? You want me to kill myself? Listen, I understand the hopeless feelings that consume grotesquely obese people. I've been one for years. The dream is a miracle cure, that never comes along. Oh sure, people lose weight on all kinds of products and systems. I'm not saying you can't lose weight on some of these things. People do everyday, but it's like spending money on cleaning up the mess from a broken sewer line, but not fixing the broken sewer line. Sorry, that's a gross but effective example...but you see what I mean, right? That's why so many people gain back everything they lost and more! They cleaned up the mess caused by the real problem, but they didn't address the real problem. When they repeat the process over and over they call it...”Yo-Yo Dieting.” I've always heard the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result...that's yo-yo dieting! What has driven me to get down to the honest bare truth behind my lifelong battle with obesity? I don't have time to yo-yo any-mo-mo. That was kind of lame, but it made me laugh, so I'm good. I'm learning everyday about food and how to properly handle it, I'm learning about exercise and how to properly do it, and most importantly, I'm learning about me on a level I didn't know existed. For the first time in my life I'm finally finding what I was looking for, and the strangest thing is, it was inside me all along, but I wasn't looking there. It's like searching for your lost car keys for 30 years, then one day finding them in your pocket where they'd always been.

Tonight we made a trip to Guthrie to meet Amber half way from her university. We were switching her vehicles, because her car needed some serious attention. Of course I knew this meant we would be dining out somewhere in Guthrie. Of all the fantastic choices I'm sure Guthrie has available, we chose Pizza Hut, not that Pizza Hut is bad or anything, they're not. But people don't say “Hey that town has some of the most amazing restaurants, you've got to try their Pizza Hut!” Pizza Hut/Wing Street Wings was the most convenient, right off I-35. And as far as I'm concerned, any choice of restaurants can be a good one or a bad one, it's all in the approach. It's not up to the restaurant what I choose to enjoy, that's up to me! Pizza can be a very healthy thing. The difference between good or bad always starts with the crust. The least calorie pizza is thin crust and Pizza Hut has really good thin crust. Depending on the toppings, I can have a slice of thin crust from a large pizza for anywhere from 180 to 230 calories. I stay away from the high fat meats like sausage and pepperoni, but that's just my personal decision. I stick with veggies on my pizza, always have, even when I would choke down a large oil soaked pan pizza. The veggies made me feel better about it! Tonight I had a couple of small slices and get this: Tomato soup! It was no ordinary tomato soup...it was simply the best tasting tomato soup of all time...That creamy tomato basil soup tasted every bit of the 360 calories (two cups-bowl) Pizza Hut Bistro nutrition facts said it contained. I had the calories to use, and I believe I used them well. I never thought I would ever enjoy tomato soup at Pizza Hut.

My enthusiasm level for the coming months is really a nice place to be. Not too many months ago, I thought I'd never feel this way. Day 163 is history and Day 164 is only hours away. I need to rest! I can't describe how wonderful it is to be able to communicate with you everyday in this blog. I sincerely appreciate your readership. I'm doing it! From 505 to 230 or less...or better...from a certain early death to a healthy new life...I'm getting there one day at a time, one step at a time, one bite at a time. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Monday, February 23, 2009

Day 162 Another Round of Endorphins Please and Powering Past Milestones

Day 162

Another Round of Endorphins Please and Powering Past Milestones

The “Lose To Win” Challenge is blowing up big time! That's a good thing! Today I was informed that all future seminars would be held at The Hutchins Memorial Auditorium. How fitting for me since The Hutchins is where I started walking on Day 1. Before the official weigh-in day next Monday, they could have over 500 people, maybe more, signed up and slimming down! It's such a wonderful feeling to be a part of something so grand. This means I'll have two weigh days next week. On Monday I'll weigh in officially at Ponca City Medical Center for the program, then on Wednesday I'll have my regular official weigh day at the Payne County Health Department in Stillwater. I remember how much I always dreaded weighing. But when you're putting in the effort necessary everyday, you completely look forward to it, because weigh day is the day we reap the rewards of our consistent efforts.

This evening at the YMCA, we noticed a couple of people from the “Lose To Win” kick-off event. We arrived earlier than normal because Courtney had to be at work by 7:15pm. When we go at different times we always notice a completely different set of people working out. Everyone in that building is working hard to get healthier and improve their quality of life. They're also releasing a bunch of endorphins along the way, and endorphins make you feel good. And that got me thinking...with a possible 500 plus people losing weight and feeling great, in some cases better than they ever felt before, this is going to be one really happy town in not too long! Endorphins are groovy baby! I climbed aboard that treadmill this evening and I decided to push myself a little harder. I started at 3.4 mph, then after about three minutes, I kicked it up one notch to 3.5, then at around seven minutes I kicked it into 3.6 mph. The last treadmill 5K I completed was at 3.4, the majority of the treadmill 5K this evening was at 3.6 mph. The extra effort was apparent in my perspiration and my finish time was shaved by two minutes! It was a real workout by golly! I'm feeling it now and it feels good! I'll sleep really nice tonight. Courtney does the elliptical machine, sometimes as much as four miles at a stretch, just incredible. I'm really pumped up about how far we've come in the last 162 Days. I'm also unbelievably excited about where we're headed.

Before our workout we enjoyed the most amazing meal. We had rotisserie chicken with sour cream and chive mashed potatoes and green beans with melted American cheese. The entire plate was just under 400 calories and it was real good food and very satisfying! Oh, and did I mention cheap? About eight bucks all together for three of us. If we had one of those rotisserie ovens, it could have been even cheaper, but I bought the chicken roasted and ready. I prepared the potatoes and green beans. It took all of about 5 minutes to put on the table. And the plate looked so elegant! I could get use to this. Oh wait, I already have. After my workout and dropping Courtney off at the station I picked up an ice cream cone. You read that right! A soft serve ice cream cone. I had quite a few calories remaining, but I only needed 150 for this little taste treat. It's a fabulous way to enjoy one of my favorite things without one ounce of guilt. I've probably consumed at least forty of these low-fat soft serve cones in the last 162 days. So if you see me around with an ice cream cone in hand, relax, it's all good! One of my regular readers still buys half gallons of regular ice cream for her husband, who doesn't have a weight problem, and she still enjoys some occasionally in a very responsible way. She buys cake cones. I know the word “cake” makes them sound horrible, but cake cones are the lightest and least calorie cones of all. If I remember right, one cake cone (minus the ice cream of course) comes in at about 15 to 20 calories. Check the box, it's real low. She then scoops a small serving of the regular stuff into the cone and enjoys! She's saving hundreds of calories over a traditional bowl of ice cream. Very smart move, good choices indeed. I could probably be this in control now, but I still don't think I'm putting a half gallon in the freezer anytime soon. If you've read some of the early days of this blog, then you know why...I'm an ice cream addict! But my occasional soft serve treat totally satisfies this craving every time, as does a 110 calorie Blue Bunny Star Bar or even a Blue Bell Dream Bar for 70 calories. Losing weight doesn't have to leave you feeling deprived! It's about those choices my friend! And these are choices I can enjoy making forever. I've posted the ice cream video from earlier this evening below. It's poor quality from my phone. I adjusted the setting to high, but that only gives me 20 seconds, so I switched back to “economy” mode, giving me up to a minute.

My goal of breaking my all time personal weight loss record was a sweet one to hit. Now I'm focused on powering right past it and never looking back. I broke it by four pounds last weigh day. Why is it so important for me to power past this mark? Because 115 lbs lost is where I tripped up in 2004, and then gained it all back plus five pounds. Of course this journey is nothing like that time. It really isn't. I wasn't learning anything along the way back then. I wasn't writing and discovering, I was simply going through the motions needed. I mentioned this not too many days ago. It just goes to show how important it is to really learn along the way. Really open up to a whole new outlook on food and exercise. The writing is so very important. You don't have to share your most personal thoughts and feelings with the world, but still write everyday about how you're feeling and what you're experiencing, even if you're the only one to read it. If you do, I promise it will not only give you daily strength to succeed, it'll make a profound effect on your long term success. If you're completely honest with yourself in your daily journal, then you'll learn all kinds of things along the way. It's knowledge that can help you keep the weight off forever! Thanks for reading my daily weight loss blog. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean


You don't have to give up ice cream to lose weight. Here's proof my friend!

Day 161 New "Little" Jeans and Getting Out Of A Bad Relationship

Day 161

New “Little” Jeans and Getting Out Of A Bad Relationship

In yesterdays blog I forgot to mention that I bought a new pair of jeans yesterday. On the way back from OU I had a chance to stop by the Big and Tall store. They send me catalogs and special coupons all the time, I can't wait until the day I can call them and say, “I no longer have a need for your store—Please stop filling my mailbox!” I seem to have a really good sense about exactly what size I need, it's really strange. Last time I purchased jeans, I fit into the first pair I grabbed, a size 54. That may sound big, but I was wearing 60 and 62's at 505 lbs. Yesterday I felt like 50 was the size I needed right now. But I also know that I'm losing weight everyday, so I said a dramatic goodbye to the 50's and bigger and went straight for the 48's. Remember, I haven't been in any thing less than a 50 waist since I was a teenager. So this is a big milestone, or uh, it will be here in a couple to three weeks. I didn't try these on because I was in a hurry to get back, and when I got home and took them out of the bag my first thought out loud was “these are really little.” They look so little in comparison with my “fattest jeans.” I decided to try them on anyway to see how far I needed to go. They are just a tiny bit from fitting. A touch, or a tad. Size 50's would have fit perfect and these will too in a few weeks, maybe less. I already gave my over-dramatic-triumphant farewell speech to the size 50's and bigger, I can't go back now!

I spent some time this morning putting more songs on my iPod. I can't believe I worked out in silence for the first three and a half months of this journey! The music has made a significant difference in the mood of my workout. I look forward to working out now, where before I just knew it was absolutely necessary, so I got in there and got it done. Even in my no-music workout days, after you get into the workout, it feels great, but with your favorite music playing in your head it's so much better! I use two different kinds of music. Music that has a beat and a rhythm that compliments my physical movement, and music that I select based on lyrical content that fits my emotional movement. You see, it's all about movement. My latest kick is listening to empowering songs of love gone bad and moving on from it...I direct that lyrical energy to my excess weight. It sounds crazy but really, it pumps me up! Did I ever “love” morbid obesity? No, it's been an unhealthy-unloving abusive relationship the entire time. But I was too scared of the changes and bravery leaving would require and I just couldn't find the strength to leave for good until now. I guess the turning point was when I realized that morbid obesity not only didn't love me, it was doing it's best to slowly kill me! That revelation was and always should be a relationship deal breaker.

My workout tonight was a tough one. I pushed myself out there. I wanted to feel the burn hard and see how long and how far I could push. I didn't start jogging, but that was not far off the pace I was maintaining. It was a pace that had me completely exhausted after two miles. Even though it was 1.1 miles short of a 5K, it was better than any 5K walk I've completed to date. One of the things I'm really careful about is not getting hurt. If you've read from the beginning of this blog, you know I've gradually increased my workouts. I started out doing as much as I could without hurting myself. I just listen to my body, I know my limits. If I feel I'm pushing too hard, I let up a little.

I fell asleep today without my CPAP mask and ended up napping great. Of course I'll continue using the machine until a doctor tells me I no longer need the assistance. Being able to breathe enough to sleep comfortably without snoring one little bit is an amazing progression on this journey. The health benefits are just amazing. My right leg that has always had trouble draining lymphatic fluid is so dramatically improved. Unwrapped, the swelling never gets out of control like before. And with the proper low-stretch wraps in place, you can't even see a difference in size from the right to the left. It's such a blessing and relief to me. And what's even better? I'm not even half way done! Everyday is like Christmas. What other wonderful health benefits will I discover next? We'll find out together! Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Day 160 One Hundred Days After The Toughest

Day 160

One Hundred Days After The Toughest

Tonight I went back and read Day 60. What a difference another 100 days makes. I remember that night vividly. I was ready to completely dive off the wagon that night. I was dealing with personal family issues that night, and the mood it put me in was one of complete carelessness. I was out of calories that day and I was fighting the urge to drown my frustrations over personal issues with food. I just knew that a half gallon of ice cream would make it all better. This blog saved me that night. I knew that I had to face this computer screen no matter what I did that night. And after writing that first paragraph, the crazy urges subsided a little, and I decided to go straight to bed instead. I remember waking the next morning feeling like I dodged a bullet. Day 60 was not a fun day. I haven't had a day that bad since, and if I do have a day that bad, I'm confident I can handle it responsibly without abusing myself with over-eating. It's a learning and growing process every step of the way.

This morning I traveled to The Gaylord School of Journalism at The University of Oklahoma. I had the pleasure of judging some entries for the state wide college broadcast journalism awards. It was a wonderful experience! They had some coffee and pastries ready for breakfast, and although I never have a bagel for breakfast, it seemed like the only good choice among those dominated by cinnamon rolls. I had a half bagel with a little cream cheese for 175. I enjoyed a couple of eggs with salsa three hours earlier, so I was doing just fine until lunch. Lunch was from Jason's Deli. I chose the turkey sandwich with mustard, no mayo, no cheese for 300 and a bag of potato chips that came in at 150. Yes, I had potato chips! Something else I very rarely consume, not because I can't, I just don't like the calorie value. My calories are precious! I'm issued 1,500 a day, and when they're gone, they're gone. So I always try to get the most bang for my calorie. By making good calorie value choices, I'm almost never hungry. Oh yeah, there was a cookie in my lunch. Did I have the calories to eat a cookie? Sure. Did I want to spend a couple of hundred calories for it? No way. Calorie counting is teaching me about portion size and control while allowing me to adapt to any situation. I didn't have to sit there and go without, or eat a meal replacement bar or shake while everyone else had a real normal persons lunch. I was able to enjoy the same lunch as everyone else, even potato chips, and still feel confident and secure that the integrity of my plan hadn't been breached. There's just no substitute for regular food. I've always felt it pointless to go on a weight loss plan that requires you to eat anything other than normal food. Why? Simple: Because I want life long results. In order for me to have that, I have to learn how to handle, understand, and learn how to responsibly enjoy regular foods. I'm not going to drink meal replacement shakes or bars, or have all my food delivered to me for the rest of my life, or eat only cabbage soup forever, or take diet pills for eternity. For me, it's all about learning to make good choices from what is available around me in everyday life situations. If we're having a cookout, I'm eating what everyone else does. If we're invited out to dinner with friends, I'm eating right along with them. If we're having a watch party, I'll snack with the rest of 'em. But I'll do it with a new way of thinking. If you go back and read some of the things I've consumed in the last 160 days, perhaps you would be perplexed how I could possibly be nearly 120 pounds lighter. And I don't pretend to know everything. I still have plenty to learn about food and nutrition and how it can help or hurt me. I'm an eager student, willing to learn from people like Dr. Amy, “that guy” with the perfect physique, and the many health professionals and experts assembled by Ponca City Medical Center for the “Lose To Win” program. This isn't a temporary weight loss, I refuse to allow that, I'm doing it right this time, and I'll never again feel 500 pounds dragging me down, as a matter of fact, I'll never again feel 400 pounds dragging me down.

While at the judging event today I ran into a fellow judge that helped me develop tremendously in my broadcasting career. Jeff Couch, who is now at Bob FM in Oklahoma City, was my PD at Star 103 in Tulsa. That was fourteen years ago! I've only ran into him once in the last five years before today, and he noticed the weight loss immediately! We caught up on old times and spoke at length about a former boss we had in common in the legendary late Jerry Vaughn. We both have tremendous respect for Jerry and it was a fun conversation. We also talked at length about this blog and my journey. Sometimes I feel like I'm talking too much, but I can't help it really. When you're feeling better than you have your entire adult life, the passion just flows out about it. I wish every person that is trapped by obesity could learn that they have the key to unlock the weight loss mystery, they just have to use it. But Jeff was very nice, he listened, asked questions, and promised he would read the blog and we agreed to try to stay in touch. Great guy.

Courtney and I put on our walking shoes and hit the trail tonight despite the cold and wind chill breeze. We bundled up real good, turned on our i-pod's and started truckin' around that trail. Consistency equals results. The results are determined, good or bad, by the consistency of my actions. If I consistently make good choices, I'll have good results. We have to get that workout no matter what. And if we miss, it must be a real honest good reason. Not many of those exist. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Day 159 The Great Escape

Day 159

The Great Escape

I've heard from so many people today that were at the event last night. The compliments and appreciation is a real blessing. Thank you very much. Seeing the incredible turnout was fantastic. The positive energy and enthusiasm was at a fever pitch, and I know that many of the 400 plus in attendance will find success in this well put together program.

I decided to hit the trail tonight for an outdoor 5K walk. Doing what would have put me on the pavement at over 500 pounds is an amazing feeling of freedom. For too many years I felt imprisoned by my obesity. I guess I always realized that there was a way to escape, but the escape plan seemed too unlikely. Maybe impossible is the word. Maybe not impossible, I mean, really I knew it was possible, but escaping was just something I dreamed about and talked about when no one was looking or listening. Like a prisoner behind bars, I just accepted that there were things I couldn't do as a 500 pound man, things I probably never would do, or so I thought. I tried to escape several times, but I allowed my emotions, my fears, and my habits to drag me back like guard dogs at the gate. And just as an escapee gets extra time, I'd get extra pounds after every unsuccessful attempt. Escaping from the prison of obesity forever isn't something that can be done without careful planning, understanding, and opening your mind to learn. Writing about my feelings and experiences everyday and trying to grasp a thorough understanding of what hasn't worked and why, and what can work and why, is like studying the blue prints and guard assignments of the prison. As I go from 505 pounds to a normal healthy weight I'm breaking down every obstacle that stands in the way. What's amazing is, some of those obstacles, the psychological hang-ups, have lost their power over me like a guard giving a prisoner a wink and looking the other way. And when I tell people “you can do this too,” it's like we're a group of prisoners planning our great escape. The team work and accountability to each other is a key element in seeing daylight here. Unfortunately, not everyone will make it out this time. Some will get caught by emotions, stress, and a deep seeded belief that escaping is nearly impossible. But for those of us who do, our letters and stories of hope from the outside can serve to inspire the imprisoned and help them understand the blueprints and guard assignments a little better for future attempts. I've been the one caught by the guards so many times. And when I would settle back in my cell, I'd just accept it for a little while, forgetting about the freedom others speak of, not wanting to hear about what was possible...just focusing on what I perceived as nearly impossible. I was waiting for the right time to make my run. Then one day I realized that I had to escape now or else die too young within those stone walls. I didn't have time to wait for “the right time” to magically happen. My time had to be now regardless of the emotional and psychological hurdles that stood in the way. I'm navigating this escape plan with guidance from those that have gone before me. I'm always studying past escape attempts and analyzing where and why they failed. I can see daylight from here my friend, and it looks so good it makes me want to cry tears of joy. Let's go for it!

I just received a message from a friend who said “I didn't know you got up to 500 pounds.” Well, not only did I get there, I stayed there for years. I've been very lucky to always carry my weight well enough to function. Being tall has been a blessing for me. My weight has always been evenly distributed too. I've often said “I'm fat all over,” and it's true. Some people have it all in one or two spots, not me! Being fat “all over” has helped me carry so much weight. And it has allowed me to always appear lighter. I guess that's why some people can't believe it when they find out how heavy I was. I wrote about the fact that nobody has ever correctly guessed my weight on Day 33 titled “Go Ahead Make Your Best Guess.” You can find that one in the archives at www.losingweighteveryday.blogspot.com

Tomorrow I'll have an abnormal Saturday schedule. I'm headed to the OU School of Broadcast Journalism to judge a broadcasting competition. It's my first time to be asked, so I'm thrilled! I've heard they lay out a nice spread for the judges, so I'm sure to have some good choices to make. Sometimes changes to our daily routines can pose a threat to our ability to remain focused. But after 159 days, I can honestly say, it becomes natural to make good choices regardless of the schedule or circumstance. Today was a fantastic success with a great workout, great food, and wonderful feedback from so many fantastic people. Have a wonderful Saturday! Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Friday, February 20, 2009

Day 158 Sharing With Passion and I'm A Mommas Boy

Day 158

Sharing With Passion and I'm A Mommas Boy

After the kind of amazing day yesterday was, I really didn't think that I could feel any better than that anytime soon. But tonight was an experience I hold very dear. The “Lose To Win” kick off was a success. It's almost an understatement to use the word “success.” I don't know what the final count turned out to be, but the number of RSVP's were 350 by early afternoon, and by the time the event started, I would say close to 400 packed in for a standing room only kick-off event. To see so many people ready to make positive changes in their lifestyle and health was amazing. I originally thought I would do five, maybe ten minutes of speaking tonight. Then when I arrived they asked me to do upwards of twenty. I ended up speaking for almost forty-five minutes. I couldn't help it! When you're extremely passionate about something, people can spot your sincerity, when they do that, they listen, and when they listen I can't help but tell them about my journey. My speaking engagement tonight was a roller coaster ride of emotions for me. I made them laugh and I made some cry, I just hope I was effectively communicating my message. And I really think I did. It was by far the best experience I've ever had speaking to a group, ever. Of course my experience in speaking has been strictly stand-up. This is the first time in my life that I've spoken to a group in a motivational/inspirational way. I hope I have many more opportunities to speak to people in the future. Setting a new personal weight loss record yesterday? Awesome. Sharing my story with a room full of people wanting to improve their lives? Priceless. Hats off to Ponca City Medical Center. They handled the event like the pros they are! It's amazing to see such a large hospital group really care about giving back to their communities. Ponca City Medical Center is one of 80 hospitals within their group, and one of many around the country doing the “Lose To Win” Challenge. So if you read this blog from outside of the area, check with your local hospitals to see if they're doing the same.

My mom called me before I could call her tonight. She's struggled with her weight her entire life. She's one of my biggest cheerleaders, and I'm so happy to relieve her stress, because she's worried about me for so long. When I was over 500 pounds, she use to call me, sometimes in the middle of the night, just to tell me how much she worried about my weight. She would stay up crying, worrying, and praying that my “someday” would come around in time. She's told me several times over the last 158 days that my performance has been an answer to her prayers. I don't know if I can find the words to describe the love I have for my mom. She's a very special lady. And I've hoped that my success would encourage her and inspire her to lose the weight and dramatically improve her health. She reads every single day of this blog, and still she's struggled to find that place where “can't” doesn't exist. Now the tables have turned. I'm the one that worries about her. I call her every single night and I try to encourage her. And tonight she surprised me. She told me that she got up, put the shoes on, and went outside to walk!! She made that all important first step. She's walked before, but recently without consistency, so imagine my delight when I heard her say “and I'm going to do it again tomorrow!” Mom, just like I've told you time and time again, you've got to believe you can do it. Because you can. One step at a time, one day at a time, you will be amazed at the results you'll see and feel. And then my prayers will be answered. Love you mom...;)

I still had to get my workout in after the event tonight, since the Y closes at 9pm, I had no choice but to lace up the shoes and hit that old familiar trail. Tonight it was just me out there. With Christopher Cross, REO Speedwagon, and Green Day providing the sound track, I pounded out a very nice two mile workout. I probably could have walked all night, I felt that good! Instead I just amped up my pace to increase my intensity and felt good about it! I'm thrilled at the wonderful things the future holds. I have to close my eyes and give thanks everyday for this opportunity I've been given. Thank you for reading and sharing my blog with others. What started out as a way to keep myself on track and motivate my little family has really blossomed. I couldn't be more proud. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Day 157 A Record Setting Weigh Day

Day 157

A Record Setting Weigh Day

I enjoyed today's weigh day tremendously. Almost as much as my first two week weigh-in in the beginning. Two weeks ago I knew that if I lost 9 pounds this time, I would tie my all time personal weight loss record. I was going for 10, because I wanted to break it. And break it is exactly what I did! I was rewarded for my efforts today with a 13 pound two week loss, bringing my total lost to 119. My previous weight loss record was 115 lbs. The scale stopped and froze on 386 today. I love it! I weigh 386! Can you believe it? 119 pounds in 157 days, I couldn't be happier! Even though today was very busy and ran at a hectic pace, I was on top of the world from the moment I stepped on those scales! There's no time for celebrating. We're still not quite half way there, but we're fast approaching! And now, every pound I lose will be a new personal weight loss record. I really need to invest in some new clothes! Everything I wear now is too big, even those 54/30 Levis jeans---without a belt, I couldn't wear them at all! I hope to purchase some new clothes soon. I don't need to buy much because I'm not sticking around this size for very long!

After a long and tiring day, rest seemed like a really good alternative to working out. I mean after all, I just set a new record! I deserve a break right? NO! We hit the YMCA and pounded out a nice cardio workout. After 1.5 tough miles at 3.6 mph on the treadmill I jumped into a racquetball court and moved like an athlete to keep the ball in play. I was completely drained afterwards and really hungry! For dinner tonight we just grabbed some Taco Bell. I'm too tired to cook anything, and Courtney and I both had enough calories remaining to easily handle a taco and a bean burrito, even with sour cream! After what I had for dinner last night, and now Taco Bell, you might be wondering “what kind of food plan is this?” It's the counting calories food plan. And I've lost 119 pounds doing it! But, I'm the first to admit that I could learn some things about nutrition and how certain carbs, protiens, sugars, and fats effect my body and performance. That's where the “learning along the way” part comes in. I do like the freedom that calorie counting allows me, however, I find myself strategically eating more protein before workout time. And Mark, you know, “that guy” I kept looking at the other night, he mentioned having some kind of carbohydrate within 30 minutes of a workout. I look forward to better understanding the science behind nutrition as I progress down this road. I have a strong feeling that weight training will demand it.

Tomorrow morning Cathy Cole from Ponca City Medical Center will be a guest on my radio show. We'll be talking about the “Lose To Win” Challenge and the big kick-off tomorrow night. I really think the number of entrants has surprised people. I can't wait to get a number to report in tomorrow nights blog. How many pounds can Ponca City lose? We're going to find out! I wish everyone who read this blog was close enough to participate if they wanted. I know that's impossible, but I'll share all the details during the two month competition right here. I'm also looking forward to speaking for a few minutes about my journey. It's sure to be a great evening! I'll tell you all about it in tomorrow nights edition.

Another milestone weigh day is in the books. What's next? 150! Then eventually 200 pounds lost! I can't imagine feeling too much better than I do right now, and that excites me to no end. Because it's getting better, it's getting better every single day. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Day 156 Getting To That Place Where "Can't" Doesn't Exist

Day 156

Getting To That Place Where “Can't” Doesn't Exist

This morning I took a call from a listener off the air. She sounded upset and sad. She had read my blog and told me that she didn't think she could do it. I wish I would have had more time to talk with her, but I was in the middle of my show. I hope it's from the same person that left an anonymous comment at losingweighteveryday.blogspot.com, that simply said...”I don't know if I can Sean.” I have no way to reply to an anonymous comment, and I'd love to talk with her personally about finding strength, and I'm sure I'll have the chance, as she did say that she's signed up for the “Lose To Win” Challenge, I told her that was a wonderful start. What can I say about finding strength from within? It's something that you have to find inside the deepest parts of your soul. It doesn't come from a product, infomercial, a pep talk, a prescription, doctors orders, or reading this blog. The power to change is inside everyone of us. Getting to that place inside isn't something that came easy for me. I can remember many nights when I would literally cry myself to sleep because I felt so out of control with my weight. At over 500 pounds, I knew that I was slowly and surely killing myself everyday, but I felt completely powerless. On June 10th, 2008, at over 500 pounds and with my blood pressure raging at 220/118, the doctor looked at me and very bluntly told me that if I collapsed in the parking lot on the way to my vehicle, it wouldn't surprise anyone in that office. She explained what my weight and blood pressure were doing to my internal organs in graphic detail. She wasn't speaking long before I was sobbing. That day I really felt my time was up. I really thought that I had waited too long. I knew that all I could do was start and start right now. Not tomorrow, or next Monday. Really, when you call for an ambulance, they don't set an appointment, they start coming immediately. This was an emergency in every sense of the word. When I arrived home that day, Irene and Courtney could see that I was shaken, and they knew it wasn't good. I told them about the blood pressure, and I couldn't speak without breaking down. We all hugged and cried right there in the driveway. To hear those words from the doctor and then to come home to my family's desperate tear filled pleas for me to save myself, how could I not be able to do it? I know I've written about this experience before, but tonight I felt it worth repeating. That day was June 10th, 2008...I didn't start until September 15th, 2008. Why? Because I didn't think I could do it. I was too addicted to food, I was too dependent on the way it made me feel when I was scared, stressed, sad, and even happy. So when I hear someone say, “I don't think I can,” I know exactly where you are. I understand your pain. I couldn't start until I became completely honest with myself. Oh, I could've forced myself to go through the motions again, like in 2004, and I would have lost weight for a little while, but I knew that it was going to take something deeper for me to break free and do it right. I decided that I had to make this a physical and mental battle. I had to confront myself head on. I had to stop rationalizing bad choices. I had to demand self-respect and that meant 100% honesty to that fat guy in the mirror. I concluded that food wasn't the enemy I always thought it was, I admitted that I was in fact the enemy. I was sleeping and living with the enemy everyday. Food was always my friend, a friend that I took advantage of and used in the worst ways. I decided that I would question every emotion before I turned to food for comfort. I decided that I was the gatekeeper to my mouth, I make the choices on what gets in. I decided that if I was being completely honest with myself, then excuses of why I couldn't do it had to go. The years of excuses why I couldn't do it were over for good on September 15th, 2008 simply because I decided they were no longer valid. I had to think long and hard about all of the positive consequences of losing the weight, from that I formed my “motivating thoughts,” From there I had to hold on tight to those motivating thoughts to help pull me through, I still do. I had to admit that I don't know everything. I had to be open to learn new things. I had to break down the facade of confidence and control that kept me in constant denial. Don't you ever give up. Because you can do this, you really honestly can do this too. The most important exercises I've accomplished thus far have been mental. Isn't it amazing that after years of searching for the right plan, the right pill, the right book, the right miracle cure, the right system...it was with me the whole time? I just had to open my eyes and mind long enough to see and embrace it. Listen, I'm always the first to say that I'm not a doctor, or a dietitian, a nutritionist, or a psychiatrist. And everything I've done and am doing along the way may not be 100% right, but I'm learning more and more about this journey and myself everyday. I'm just a really big guy that has nearly three decades of obesity experience and a longing for a longer healthier life. You can do this.

Tonight we were invited out to dinner by our friends Gayle and Anne. They treated Irene and me to Zino's Italian Restaurant. We'd never enjoyed Zino's before, I mean really, where's the drive through? Gayle knows that there isn't a restaurant that I haven't been able to navigate so far, so why would Zino's be any different? The endless bread and heavy sauces over loads of perfect pasta can sound pretty overwhelming, and downright defeating, but it's all in the strategy. For starters, I always focus on the people around me, not the food. I want to enjoy the company first, the food second. At an Italian restaurant I know that the bread is probably going to be really tempting. I decided that if I had the room in my calorie budget I'd enjoy some, and I did break off a piece, and yes it was amazing. I also wanted to try the calamari. I hadn't enjoyed fried calamari since my Los Angeles days. I know that anything battered and deep fried runs the risk of being off the chart loaded, so I did my research. Earlier today I compared calamari calorie counts from several different sources online. The average was 300 a cup, or 6 ounce portion. And since I didn't have to eat it all, I could share and did, I knew that I could safely enjoy the stuff. I also planned to avoid any sauces based in cream or cheese. I was sticking to a tomato based sauce. I still enjoyed a few spoons of the best cream of mushroom soup ever, but I just knew it was way more calories than any nutrition label I'd ever laid eyes on. It was that good. For the main course I chose the meat ravioli with a chunky tomato sauce. Just a small taste of bread, a normal serving of calamari, no cream or cheese based pasta sauce, no melted cheese on the main course, and ice water with lemon...That's how I navigated this place. And I'll do it again by golly. It was fantastic and a wonderful meal with friends.

Tomorrow is weigh day and I couldn't be more excited. The bar has been raised, the resolve has been tightened, the effort has been consistent. I'm looking forward to an all time personal weight loss record! It's late, I must rest...Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Monday, February 16, 2009

Day 155 Stressful Triggers VS Motivating Thoughts and The Perfect Physique Guy

Day 155

Stressful Triggers VS Motivating Thoughts and The Perfect Physique Guy

It feels so good to be so far along on this journey. Day 155 has been a really good day food and exercise wise. As far as personal stress, it's been a little trying today, but these “stressful triggers” may have to lose the word “triggers,” because they never shake me anymore. If anything they make me stronger. If you've read some of the early days of this blog you've read exactly how stressful triggers have played a key role in my inability to stay on track in the past. I would always do fine until a bunch of stress came along, and then I'd run to the nearest store for ice cream and anything else I could get my hands on. I'm very proud that I've reached a point where stressful triggers no longer have an effect on my performance. I've learned to identify them and defend against them. “Stressful Triggers” meet “Motivating Thoughts,” now “Motivating Thoughts,” kick “Stressful Triggers” rear end. These mental exercises may sound crazy sometimes, but believe me, they do wonders for my success. Stressful Triggers do not roam alone either, oh no, they have a best friends named “Emotional Blahs.” You know what I'm talking about. Those days when, for whatever reason, we just feel “not with it.” I don't have time to feel “not with it.” Do I still have emotional days where I feel vulnerable? Of course! Don't we all? I just handle them very differently now. I can remember saying “I don't feel like working out,” but I've found if you just go do it, you'll feel incredible in a very short time. By the time you start “feeling like” working out, you're done. When I think back on all the emotional ups and downs along the way so far, from losing loved ones, to re-connecting with my father, to losing a brother I never knew, to speaking for the very first time with another brother I've never known, to the holidays, and right through disappointing weigh day totals where I thought I deserved better results...I have to say, I'm doing this. I'm doing this right here and right now. And there's no settling for anything less than total health and fitness. There isn't a stressful trigger or emotional blah that can break my stride now my friend. If you are embarking on this journey now, and you're just now reading this blog, you might be thinking “Sean makes it sound so easy!” Trust me, it's been a struggle many times...just go back in the archives and read from Day 1. If you read the Myspace version you'll have to subscribe to have access to everyday, but if you're reading the “global” version (www.losingweighteveryday.blogspot.com), then everyday is archived on the left hand side of your screen.

A very interesting thing happened tonight. Let me start by saying that when I'm on that treadmill, I usually am completely oblivious to people around me. I'm off in my own little world. I'm feeling the burn in my muscles, the sweat on my body, and the increased heart rate of a good cardiovascular workout. I've talked about closing my eyes and getting lost in music so deep, I almost no longer notice that I'm exerting a bunch of energy, let alone anyone around me. But tonight I couldn't help but notice a guy in the fitness center. He had the kind of physique I've always dreamed of. When I imagine what I'll look like someday, it's this kind of physique I'm imagining. I tried not to gawk, because that's something you just don't do at the fitness center, it's impolite, and can be interpreted as creepy. I certainly wasn't trying to be creepy, I was just in awe of his physical perfection. Don't get the wrong idea, I'm completely confident 100% in my heterosexuality, I'm just secure enough to admit and recognize when someone has put the time and effort into sculpting such a physique. At one point I think he noticed me looking a little too long at him, so I quit admiring, closed my eyes and listened to my music. Then when I opened them again, he was on the treadmill right beside me. I wanted to stop my workout and ask him if he was a personal trainer, and if so, where do I sign? But I decided against it, after all, I didn't want to interrupt his workout too! When I finished and made my way to the paper towels and disinfectant spray I noticed he was on one of the sit down cycles. I thought “should I ask him?” But i just couldn't. He had his headphones on, he was working, I wasn't going to bother him. I cleaned my machine and headed to the fountain for water. Courtney was ready by this time and before we left I pointed him out to her. I told her “look at that guy Court, that's what I want to look like someday, that's the body I dream about having!” I told Courtney what I wanted to ask him, and she encouraged me to do it. “Go do it daddy!” But still I couldn't. We stood there while I contemplated for a couple of minutes, before ultimately deciding to leave without introducing myself. As we walked away I said “ya know, maybe he'll be here again someday, since he obviously has a membership, and I'll get a chance to speak to him another time about weight training.” Courtney said “what if he isn't?” And I almost walked over then, but still felt it might be a little too awkward. So we hit the parking lot feeling great about our workouts and we were still talking about that guy all the way to the convenience store for gas and a Powerade Zero calorie drink. The clerk asked about the Powerade Zero, and I told her that we just finshed a workout at the YMCA, and just as the words left my mouth, I noticed a person at the opposite counter. It was the guy! He too was getting gas and a similar drink! We made eye contact and I awkwardly blurted out, “hey, you were there too!” I couldn't pass up the opportunity to introduce myself this time, this was an unexpected second chance! I told him a brief history of this journey so far and I asked him about his. He said he'd been working out since he was 13, and I think he said he even was into competitive bodybuilding at one time. We spoke outside by the gas pumps for maybe three or four minutes. I asked if he was a trainer, and he said he's always happy to help someone who's really committed. We exchanged information, including this blog address, and he was so nice. I think he could sense how committed I am to this journey, because when you get me talking about it, the passion flows like a river! Isn't that cool?

I'm really excited for the start of the “Lose To Win” community wide weight loss challenge here in Ponca City. I really believe it's going to help many people get on track. Today we had to re-produce all of the promos and commercials because the response has been big enough already, they're changing to a larger venue for the kick off meeting! That's exciting. I'm going to assist Courtney with some homework, then it's off to bed for a nice rest! Thank you for reading, good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Day 154 Loss, Joy, and Alternate Plans

Day 154

Loss, Joy, and Alternate Plans

Today I felt loss and joy all at the same time. While my oldest brother was dying in Alabama, my youngest living brother called me and we spoke for the first time in our lives. I say youngest “living” brother, because my younger brother Shane, the brother I was raised with, passed away nearly eight years ago. Yesterday would have been Shane's 32nd birthday. Every Valentines Day I remember Shane and recognize how old he would have been, because Shane would have been so proud and happy to be 32. Age was very important to him. My brother Shane had developmental disabilities, some call it mentally challenged, but Shane let little stand in his way of enjoying life. Shane and I had some great times together before he passed. He was always very proud of being a man! And he'd let you know! You didn't ever call him a kid past the age of 18. When he turned 21 I took him to a few establishments where only adults where allowed. We sit at a bar one night and sipped our Coke while we listened to music. Shane couldn't drink alcohol because of his medication, and I very rarely drink anything with alcohol, so sitting at a bar and sipping a Coke suit us just fine. I tried to be a bad influence that night by offering him a cigarette, he accepted, and after a few awkward puffs, he never touched them again. The way he handled that situation and the look on his face, and how he wasn't sure if we should tell mom, are moments I'll cherish forever. I wanted Shane to experience all of the things he dreamed about, even if for only a night. I'll never forget how important he felt when I took him with me to the comedy clubs. He gave me so much love, in his eyes I was perfect, even though I was far from it, and he wanted to be just like me. I miss him dearly. If he were here today, he'd be slimming down right along with me I guarantee. As for my brother Daniel, I never knew him at all, but being my brother, I still feel a loss and an emptiness that I really wanted to fill. When Chris called this afternoon I was on the treadmill at the YMCA. I didn't recognize the number, but as soon as I finished my workout I called the number back. I had no idea who it was from, and when he answered I still didn't. It was a real joy to speak with him. Turns out he lives in Southern Oklahoma! Small world right? So maybe we can get to know each other and have some kind of relationship. What does any of this personal stuff have to do with losing weight? It's emotional health. I'm addressing my physical health issues head on by losing the weight, and getting my emotional health in good shape is really important too. When I feel good inside it's so much easier to do good on the outside. I hope I'm making sense here.

Tonight Irene and I planned our Valentine excursion. Well, it didn't go as planned. We had some unexpected company. My sister and brother in law popped in to visit and stayed quite a little while, then they invited us out tonight with them, and since Amber and KL were here they went along too. It was a very nice evening, but not “just the two of us,” so I'm insisting on a “do over.” Tuesday night will probably work out nicely. After nearly twenty years of marriage we've learned a thing or two about changing plans at the last minute and being extremely patient when things don't go exactly the way we wanted. But I will have my Valentine dance, I promise!

Weigh day is just three days away and I couldn't be happier about that. I've worked really hard this two week period. I've put in the extra effort and I'm ready to reap the rewards on the scale. What will it say? I want it to say I've lost at least 10 pounds, that'll make a total of 116. And 116 will be a personal weight loss record. It's onward and downward from here! I'm also excited about the first public gathering for the Lose To Win community weight loss challenge. I can't wait to see how many show up. They've asked me to speak briefly about my success so far, and about my simple healthy no-nonsense approach to weight loss. No comedy set list will be needed for this crowd, all I have to do is speak from the heart about this wonderful journey. I can't wait to share with you how that turns out.

Part of Irene's gift to me was a new belt. I immediately wondered if she drove all the way to Wichita or Oklahoma City to buy it, and no she didn't. She bought it less than a mile from our house! This is a breakthrough! Finally I'm starting to be a size that can be fit locally. I needed it too...None of my previous belts work anymore. I've lost enough weight to see drastic changes in my clothing, in fact I don't own a pair of pants that wouldn't fall down without a belt. That's cool. I better get some rest. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Day 153 Limited Indulgence and My Fallen Brother

Day 153

Limited Indulgence and My Fallen Brother

I decided to start my Saturday with a homemade breakfast sandwich. I had a broadcast to do at Wal-Mart from 9am to 1pm, and I didn't want to deal with grabbing something there like many times before. Remember the inappropriate talker guy? The stranger who showed his complete absence of social skills and human decency when he spotted a very large man (me) sitting in the middle of the store eating a Rice Krispy treat for breakfast and said “You gonna sit there all day and eat those?” That guy would have to think of something else to say today, because I set the alarm a little earlier to enjoy breakfast before the broadcast. I had two large eggs (70 calories each; 140), prepared on non-stick without any added calories, fried hard with a half slice of American cheese (30 calories), and mushrooms (30 calories) folded over like an omelet on toasted lite sourdough (-2slices-Wonder Lite-40 calories a slice; 80). I used a very thin spread of Miracle Whip (a fraction of the calories of real Mayo—15 calories) and this very filling and scrumptious start weighed in at 295 calories. Considering that I'm normally somewhere between six and eight hundred calories by 1pm, this was good, because it allowed me a little room for some candy!

I may have survived Halloween without a mini-snicker meltdown, but hey, I'm only human! It's Valentines Day, so instead of opting for 75 to 100 calorie pieces of chocolate, I decided on a serving of Peanut M&M's for 220. It was enough to satisfy the chocolate requirement of the day, without wasting too many calories on actual chocolates. I can remember consuming an entire box of chocolate covered cherries many times, and if it's Turtles? Look out! I've had those until I was ashamed to admit how many. I'm very careful how much I use the excuse “It's (insert special occasion here) Day!” I can't recall all of the “special days” I've allowed to completely derail me before. I always have a plan for days like today. Valentines Day, in relation to my calorie limit, isn't that big of a deal. I planned to have some sort of candy today, I made room for it, enjoyed it, and I'm happy!

As I near an all-time personal weight loss record, I've found that it's impossible to run into people that know me without them mentioning the big difference in my appearance. It happened no less than five times today during my broadcast, and these interactions with people that have known me at my largest, is a super motivator for continued resolve and complete success. If you're starting on your journey now, just maintain an honest and consistent effort long enough to start having these experiences, because they can really catapult you into a zone where nothing can shake you, they certainly have for me.

On Day 106, I wrote about doing things to improve my emotional health. More specifically, I talked about re-connecting with my father and someday meeting my older and younger half brothers. The line of communication established between my dad and me has been a real blessing. Reaching and connecting with my half-brothers has proven to be a challenge. And yesterday my dad gave me some grim news about Daniel, the oldest. He has been stricken with aortic dissection. This is the same tragedy that happened to John Ritter. According to my research, aortic dissection is a break in the main artery that carries blood from the heart. The lining of the aorta tears, separating, or dissecting the middle layer of the vessel wall from the still intact outer layer. A few things can lead to this fatal condition, including a connective tissue disorder caused by a birth defect, but the leading cause of this tragedy is prolonged untreated high blood pressure. I don't know if high blood pressure contributed to my brother Daniel's condition. My cousin Lisa just called and told me that the doctors have confirmed that Daniel couldn't survive at this point without the machines in the intensive care unit. She told me the family has requested the machines be turned off at 10am tomorrow morning. My prayers are for Daniel, his fiancĂ©e, my Dad, and all of the family members who loved him everywhere and for those that have been gathered by his side in that Huntsville hospital. I really wish I could be there for them. Again, I can't say that high blood pressure contributed to this horrible situation, I don't know. But since high blood pressure is the leading cause of the condition, it would be well advised to get your blood pressure checked, if it's high, get it treated and under control now. If you already take medication for high blood pressure, like me, then never miss a day. If you'll remember from the first days of this blog, high blood pressure and it's long term effects was the main focus of my doctors wake up call to me. They call it the “silent killer.” Get yours checked and treated if needed. Rest in peace brother.

We're getting ready for a photo shoot around the house. Last weekend my goal was to post some pictures and the racquetball video on the web, well I ended up accomplishing one of those things. I'm still trying to figure out the best place to put the “before” and “in progress” pictures and I'll figure that out tomorrow.

I allowed the afternoon to slip by without getting into the YMCA. Courtney had her sister drop her off for a solo effort where she logged four miles. Then she joined me for my really cold walk tonight at the Hutchins Trail. I intended on a 5K minimum, but we both agreed a brisk two miles out there with the temperature in the 20's F was still a good effort. Maybe not our best, but we were numb from the cold! Courtney logged six miles today! I couldn't be more proud of her commitment. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Day 152 A Donut Showdown and The Un-Romantic

Day 152

A Donut Showdown and The Un-Romantic

While I talk about eating whatever I want on this journey, and I do within reason and within my calorie budget, there are still some foods that I just naturally avoid. I've listed them before—you may remember—I avoid real mayo, real butter, I drastically limit sugar calories like candy or chocolate, and I've just naturally cut way down on bread. The list is a little longer than that and somewhere on that list is donuts. I can't remember, I don't think I have, no—I'm pretty sure I haven't had a donut in 152 days. I use to gobble down donuts all the time. I'm a morning radio personality, donuts are practically required on a regular basis. It doesn't help that a Daylight Donuts location is a mere three blocks from my house. I drive by it every morning. If you ever see me pull in there, then you can safely assume one of two things. I'm either buying them for other people or something has gone terribly wrong. And more than likely the latter. My family and friends would be really concerned if they spotted me buying donuts. I would expect the same reaction if they saw me in an alley behind the grocery store with a half gallon of Blue Bell Moolenium Crunch and a plastic spoon. One time, several years ago, we had a dozen Daylight Donuts and a dozen Krispy Kreme Donuts in the studio on the same day. I ate at least two in front of everybody, and at least four more when no one was looking. The calories are not as bad as you might think, a regular Daylight raised/glazed checks in at 140. Krispy Kreme list their original glazed at 200. Still, I want better value for my calories. Hold the donuts. My list of avoidable foods are based on poor calorie values. I'm allowed 1,500 calories per day and I have to budget those calories like cash. I can't spend that kind of dough (calories) on few donuts. This morning I came face to face with a dozen Daylight Donuts. We were interviewing a newly elected official on the show, and sure enough, as many guest do, they brought donuts for everyone! I didn't even open the box to take a look. After all, I've laid eyes on these things many times before, I'm sure they look just as tasty as they always have. I did have a good excuse to eat one... “I wouldn't want to turn down his offer, that might be rude.” He was kind enough to bring them, I could at least eat one. But I already had breakfast and honestly, I wasn't tempted by them in the least. Apparently I wasn't the only one making good choices today, because that box was still untouched by this afternoon. Maybe everyone was waiting on somebody to be the first to grab one, that use to be my job, not anymore, and I think it kind of threw everyone off a little.

Tomorrow is Valentines Day and candy is everywhere. A co-worker left me a box of candy today. I was already gone, but I'll pick it up tomorrow. If I have a piece, you can bet that I will count every last calorie it holds. It was a very nice gift. You see, I like it that the gift giver gave me the candy, instead of say, uh...a bag of heart shaped carrot slices. If I went nuts and ate the whole candy gift in one setting, it might be said... “Well, she should have never given him those things.” It's Valentines Day, people give chocolate! It's up to me to be responsible for what and how much I put in my mouth. So thank you anonymous co-worker, I'm sure it is a very nice gift! I've learned that accepting personal responsibility is a big part of this process. It naturally makes us feel better to be able to blame someone else if we stumble, but after years of doing just that, I've learned I only have me to blame or credit with my failure or success in controlling my actions. So bring on the chocolate covered-nutty-chewy caramel-filled center goodness! I can handle it. I may take a bite and give the rest away, but I'll always be gracious in the acceptance of a gift! Unless it's donuts....get that stuff out of here! I'm kidding, kinda.

Irene is working tonight and tomorrow night, so our romantic St. Valentine plans are set for Sunday evening. I want to take her to a place we've never gone and do some things we've never done! Irene has never considered me to be romantic at all. Just ask her and she'll tell you how I proposed. But remember, I was 17! I had no business proposing anything at 17, except maybe pizza and a movie, or maybe some Putt-Putt Golf. Through the years my reputation as an unromantic has bugged me horribly. It was my extreme obesity I tell ya! I was always too focused on trying to move and breathe, and too convinced my beastly appearance was repulsive, so how could I expect romantic notions by me to be taken seriously? I didn't have the time or the mind to be romantic. Every time I would use my weight as an excuse that precluded us from something romantic, Irene would say “then do something about it!” And I always said “someday” I will. Now that “someday” came 152 days ago, I've noticed a change in the way she looks at me. I've noticed she's looking a little longer, she's smiling a little bigger, she's hugging a little tighter, and she's kissing a little longer, and she's chewing a lot of Big Red gum for some reason. OK, the gum part was a joke, but seriously, the differences my weight loss has made in my marriage of nearly two decades is undeniable. The spark in her eye is reminiscent to our carefree youth, and that's something I thought was gone forever. What a gift I've been given. A second chance at life and all the wonderful things it can be. After twenty years of “somedays,” my buddy's patience is finally being given the respect and consideration it deserved. And I'm giving that same respect and consideration to me everyday of this journey. It's so late, and I know you're reading this tomorrow, so Happy Valentines Day my dear buddy! I love you.

I arrived at the YMCA a little behind schedule tonight and was only able to get in 2.3 miles, instead of another 5K. But, I knew I didn't have 53 minutes to complete the 5K, so I bumped up the speed to 3.6 mph from the start. Trust me, it was a real workout! I'm about 150 calories under my 1,500, but it's too late to grab anything in the fridge, except maybe a bite or two of turkey breast, I may do that. Thank you for reading and all of the wonderful support it provides. Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Friday, February 13, 2009

Day 151 Good Conversation and Another 5K Day

Day 151

Good Conversation and Another 5K Day

I had lunch today with Dr. Amy Cox. Her and her husband, Dr. Jeremy, have the Ranch Wellness Center in Ponca City. We decided Wendy's was a great place to meet, and it's real close to their practice. We made our “good choices” at the counter and proceeded to have a fantastic conversation about weight loss, personal struggles, popular misconceptions about food and nutrition, and reaching people with structured information, motivation, and inspiration. For over a year and a half she's hosted free weekly health talks at The Ranch, she's really sincere and committed to helping people help themselves. During the lunch meeting a nice young woman stopped by our table and asked what we were up to. I quickly replied, “talking about losing weight and stuff like that.” To which she replied “at Wendy's?” As if to say 'how could you be concerned about losing weight? You're in a fast food restaurant!' I completely understand this way of thinking. Sometimes it's hard to believe that good choices can get you through just about any restaurant situation and circumstance. There was certainly nothing bad about the grilled chicken wrap (without the 60 calories worth of honey mustard) and small chili in front of me. It was a healthy little lunch. But I understand it's hard sometimes to get past the posters featuring a double meat, double cheese, with six strips of bacon burger, and the devilish little marketing slogan at the top encouraging you to “Challenge Yourself Today!” In response to that poster, Dr. Amy quietly said “Challenge yourself to what? A heart attack?” What a fantastic job on the part of the advertising agency that came up with that one. They found a way to make people feel good about eating a nearly 1,000 calorie burger, because it's always good to “challenge” ourselves right? I imagine there are plenty of marketing majors with minors in psychology! It all comes back to something I've talked about before. Sometimes if you make what you're doing sound too simple, people will refuse to believe it. I've got to be on some kind of expensive plan or pill, and there's no way I could enjoy fast food, and what about those ice cream bars in my freezer? Well, some “diet” that must be! Good choices, portion control, water, and exercise. Everyone has this plan already. You don't have to buy it, or sign up for it, it wont fill your e-mail with junk, and it works like a charm if you really commit.

Our schedules prevented a visit to the YMCA today, but it rarely keeps us from working out someway, somehow---so instead we hit the trail for another 5K late tonight. We have really stepped up the exercise performance around here! If you remember, a 5K use to be such a monumental undertaking for me that we made it an exclusive holiday thing to do. Well, now it's like we've had five, almost six holidays this week! I'm confident our efforts will show amazing results come next Wednesday.

I remember so many times using the excuse, “I just don't have time.” No time to do anything but what my habits, behaviors, and demanding schedule requires. But the “have no time” excuse is one of the most beatable excuses I know of. I've recently shared this with someone close to me: If a doctor told you that you potentially had very little time left to live because of something other than obesity, but if you did exactly what was prescribed and needed to survive, you would, most people would make time to survive. This journey is no different, it really is that important, and it's worth every minute.

I wish everyone that read this blog could participate in the “Lose To Win” Challenge with Ponca City Medical Center. It's a great program that encourages people to form four person weight loss teams. The hospital provides tons of information, seminars, confidential and official weigh-ins and much more. The fact that it's a team event suggest a strong “accountability” factor. Nobody wants to let their team down! I'm excited to be a part of this community wide weight loss challenge. If you read this blog and live anywhere close to Ponca City, I highly recommend participating. The kick off meeting is next Thursday the 19th on the campus of Ponca City Medical Center. After reading all of the materials the hospital provided for me, I'm feeling really great about what I'm doing, because the “Lose To Win” approach and simple “eat less-exercise more” strategy is remarkably similar, almost identical to what I've been doing for the last 151 days. Have a wonderful Friday! Good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Day 150 A Treadmill 5K and Closing My Eyes To See The Road Ahead

Day 150

A Treadmill 5K and Closing My Eyes To See The Road Ahead

Tonight's workout was a milestone workout. You might remember twenty-some days ago I attempted a treadmill 5K, but had to stop at 2.3 miles with a strange pain in my right leg. In that blog I said “I'll get it!” Well, tonight was the night, I got it! A treadmill 5K is a little more strenuous than a walking trail 5K because the treadmill is a constant speed and at the trail it's only natural to adjust our speed up and down without even realizing it. What normally would take me almost an hour to do outside, took me just over 53 minutes tonight. 3.1 miles at 3.4 miles per hour. I could have put it on 3.6, but since I planned on a 5K, I wanted to pace myself. By the time I was finished I had sweat dripping off me. I never sit down and compose myself after a two mile treadmill walk, I just grab the disinfectant spray, clean the machine, and go to the vehicle. But tonight I had to take a seat. It was a celebration sit-down. I was so proud of myself for doing it! I filmed the final minute on my cell phone and I've posted it below. I've since changed the quality setting on my phone camera to “high,” so this video is a little pixilated, but future “On the go” videos should be much better quality. During the 5K I did something I haven't been comfortable doing, I let go. I wasn't holding on at all for a little bit. I didn't do the whole thing like that, but I can totally see myself jogging on that thing someday with my arms pumping at my side, not clutching the rails or heart monitor. I also closed my eyes and totally got lost in my music. I was lip syncing to Christopher Cross's “Sailing,” Green Day's “Good Riddance(Time of Your Life),” and REO's “Time For Me To Fly.” Like I mentioned the other day, these are not your typical workout type songs, but they are extremely special and inspirational to me. I played them over and over, day dreaming all the way. I must have looked crazy with my eyes closed, my lips moving, and my legs truckin', but I didn't care. I was in my own little world. As far as I knew, it was just me, the treadmill, three of my favorite songs, and my dreams. What did I dream about? I was dreaming about the future. I was visualizing really positive things. The twenty minutes or so I spent with my eyes closed tight were truly magical. The ability to dream about the future is so important. At over 500 pounds, it was all about dreading the future, and not being completely confident that my weight would allow me to even go very far into it. Someone once said, “if you can visualize it, you can achieve it.” I'm going to need sunglasses. I made a breakthrough on that treadmill tonight. I taught myself to take the focus off the sweat and energy it was taking and focus completely on my positive visualizations. I almost didn't notice the whole walking part, I was that deep my friend. I snapped out of it long enough to capture the last minute as I 'crossed the finish line' and hit the stop button. I told my mom about this triumph and she told me how great it was and that she didn't think she could ever do something like this. I told her she was wrong! I told her she could do this eventually. Think about it, it's taken me nearly five months to get in the condition needed to accomplish this goal. Don't forget this: It's one day at a time...putting one successful day after the other...staying consistent...never giving up...focusing on your motivating thoughts...making good food choices...and quickly, without fail, the endurance grows...and soon you're doing things that could have killed you 150 days ago.

Irene prepared an amazing meal tonight. It was my kind of dinner! Lean steak, mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, and corn on the cob...Oh wow. I've always been a meat and potatoes kind of guy. The potatoes and gravy were 160, the corn cobbette with a touch of Blue Bonnet was 120, and the steak was a small lean portion for 250, oh and I used a tad of A-1 for 15. Broccoli was also on the table, Irene and Courtney love that stuff, but broccoli and I have never liked each other, we don't look at each other, we don't smell each other...we just pretend the other doesn't exist, and when it comes to those little trees, I like it that way. My plate came in at 545 calories...perfect!

After reading the blog yesterday, Whit made a great suggestion, why wait to learn how to dance? She suggested learning real soon, and use it as exercise! You are so right Whit! I'll have to look into that right away. Both of my daughters commented the Myspace version of this blog yesterday, and it really made me feel great. The bottom line is being here for my family for as long as I possibly can and living it to the fullest. Setting an example for those two beautiful girls is the most important thing to me. Until next time, sweet daydreams, good night and...

Good Choices,
Sean


One last minute...The finish line was in plain sight and I'm all smiles!





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