Saturday, February 21, 2009

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

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,

1 comment:

  1. Sean, I have been reading your blog and like I told you before, you are a true inspiration to so many. I am so thankful that you have agreed to take part in our "Lose to Win Challenge". I have had nothing but positive comments from everyone either by phone, e-mail and in person. I have had people stop me at restaurants here in Ponca and at Wal-Mart and even at the bank. They all have been so inspired by you and your journey. Thank you again for helping us to make our community more healthy in such a positive and safe manner. You rock! Cathy Cole


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