Sunday, March 8, 2009

Day 174 Burnin' Fat and Bustin' Caps with Amber

Day 174

Burnin’ Fat and Bustin’ Caps with Amber

What a fantastic Saturday. I traveled to Weatherford/Thomas alone today to spend some quality time with my oldest daughter Amber. We never do that! We didn’t know exactly what we were going to do, but we wanted to do something we’ve never done before, we wanted to have plenty of time to talk, and we wanted to enjoy a nice dinner together. We did all three and then some! One of the important reasons I started this daily blog, was to connect with Amber during her freshman year at SWOSU. I wanted to motivate and inspire her. I wanted to take her under my wing, hold her hand, and walk her out of the dark forest of obesity that I so carelessly led her into as a child. Is it guilt? In its purest form. Her entire life I taught her and showed her examples of how to become fat. A child only knows what they’re taught. And we’re responsible for making sure the influence and instruction, our example, is positive. The eating habits and complete lack of activity has taken it’s toll on all of us. So I feel a tremendous responsibilty to show my family that there is a way to get down to our ideal weight, stay there, and become healthier and happier than we’ve ever been. If you’re reading this blog, and you’re not related to me, consider yourself an honorary family member. Courtney has become my little workout partner and a fine student to everything I’m doing. Not being able to have that day to day contact and influence on Amber can’t be replaced with a few paragraphs on a computer screen. So I really needed this trip today, as much or more than Amber. Amber’s lost over 50 pounds since the beginning of the fall semester and now all of her clothes are loose. She’s doing fantastic, and I couldn’t be more proud. She fully understands that a life of obesity is a short road full of heartache, leading straight to an abrupt dead end, and that’s not what Irene and I, or any parent, would want for their kid. We want her to break free and realize all the positive effects of losing weight, getting in shape, and feeling better than ever. It’s much more than just fitting into a pair of jeans we’ve always wanted to wear. The positive effects of a journey like this touches everything we do. It changes our outlook, it makes possible things we were convinced impossible. And that positive energy spreads like wildfire through that “forest of obesity.” Amber is getting out of there and burnin’ it down my friend.

In our excellent adventure, we wanted to do something we had never done together, or otherwise. We decided that we should realease some aggression and fire a real handgun. First of all, I don’t like guns. Never have, probably never will. I don’t own one, I’ve never wanted one, and I don’t plan on owning one ever. I doubt that will change. And it’s not the guns that make me nervous, it’s the people holding them. Ok, it’s the guns too. My extreme caution tonight at the gun range might have been comical to some, but I wasn’t trying to be. We handled that gun like the entire world depended on it’s safety and containment. Like it was some kind of global threat that we were responsible for keeping in check. After careful instruction on how to load the ten round clip, and some basic safety precautions, we made our way onto the range with the biggest, well, the only gun we’ve ever handled, a powerful and rugged looking .22 pistol with a clip, just like in the movies! As soon as we walked in the range area we were startled by what must have been a cannon firing in bay number 7. That gun had a blast that you felt vibrate in your bones. We jumped like scared little rabbits, then gave each other a look of “should we really be here?” But we had come this far, so we made our way into bay number 12 and loaded up, still jumping everytime Dirty Harry in bay 7 jerked his iron. We must have provided some comic relief to every gun enthusiast on the range. Because they weren’t jumping at all. After fumbling with the bullets, and treating each one like it could “go off” any second like a short-fast fuse on a firecracker, we were fully loaded and ready. Then, we busted some caps! It was amazing! After squeezing off the first clip full, our nerves were gone, and we settled in and enjoyed the experience. After 100 rounds, I’m still not convinced I’ll ever own one, but it was certainly an experience Amber and I will never forget as long as we live. Look for a special “On The Go” bonus video blog on Day 175. It’ll feature videos of our experience tonight.

Before we ever made it to the gun range in Oklahoma City, we worked out on campus in the newly constructed, state of the art wellness center. What an amazing facility. It was a great time, and the perfect start to a fantastic evening.

We decided on dining at The Olive Garden. Amber has watched the commercials her entire life, but had never made a trip. How do we go to that place and still stay within range of our calorie budget? It’s simple really. First of all, the food was secondary to our conversation and overall enjoyment of being together. Before September 15th it would have been a completely different approach. Had we made the trip back then, it would have been all about the unlimited breadsticks and eating the biggest and most incredible amount of pasta ever. We would have talked about how we were going to “destroy” that place with a ferocious appetite all the way to the front doors. But it was different tonight. We decided it was our dining destination, and we could handle it responsibly. The first thing we did was ask for water and a nutrition guide. I wanted to know exactly what we were dealing with here. Turns out, they only have calorie counts for a select few dishes, because the numbers on some of the others would probably be embarrassing to print. My strategy for this place was pretty simple: Very little bread, plenty of water, a pasta dish with a tomato based sauce in a lunch size portion, instead of the grand dinner version, a sauce flavored with spices, not sugars, and some soup. I discovered the Minestrone had only 100 calories for a serving, and the Linguine alla Marinara only contained 310. The stuffed mushrooms were a mystery really, so I only had two of them, and over estimated the calories at 60 each, they were pretty small, 60 sounds right. When I don’t know for sure, I’m really careful. I felt 60 calories was an over estimate, but just in case I was completely off on this one, I only had two very small. Amber even convinced me to try a bite of salad. I’ve never been a salad person. You know me, I’m a meat and potato kind of guy all the way. Someone asked me once… “Sean, how do you ever expect to lose weight if you don’t eat salads?” Uh, well, I think I’ve done a pretty good job at disproving the “must eat salads to lose weight” theory. I’m just a real nutcase when it comes to salad, ask Irene, she’ll tell you all about it. I like tomatoes, I love them individually or on a burger or taco or in a wrap with grilled chicken. I like lettuce, in tacos, on burgers, in wraps, and a variety of other ways. I love onions, I love black olives, and a number of other ingredients you can put in a salad. But for some reason, when you put them all together in a salad, it changes something for me. All of a sudden I don’t like it. Isn’t that strange? I did take a bite, for Amber, but I didn’t want to…and it was good! I’m not doing it all the time, but it was completely doable every once in a while, I think.

After dinner we visited a place I haven’t taken Amber since she was five years old. Celebration Station. We were planning on riding go-carts. But decided against it when we discovered the cost for us would be 13.00 dollars every three minutes. What? People pay this??? Do they use actual racing fuel and have full time pit crews or something? Geminee! We wanted to see if I could fit in one, and someday when we’re feeling like getting totally swindled, we’ll head back with a sack full of cash and ride like children! We did notice something really disturbing. They had “slot” machines that dispensed tickets instead of money. But the concept was the same as real slot machines. They certainly looked real. I was shocked that they would include something like this in an enviroment for children. Maybe the company that owns Celebration Station also owns casinos, and they just want to start the conditioning early. Crazy, if you ask me.

By the time the night was over, we had accomplished all we had set out to do, and we were completely spent. Although the date and time on this entry reflects Saturday, you know that it’s Sunday already and the sun is shining. Only once before in all 174 days have I had to wait until the next day to post my blog. Last night was the second. I couldn’t function properly, I was that tired. No way could I have conveyed anything in the proper way in that condition. I needed rest to write. And I got it, a little more than I wanted, but maybe it was needed. Thank you for reading everyday. If you missed having it available this morning, my apologies, I’m sure you understand. Have a fantastic Sunday, good day and…

Good Choices,
Sean

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