Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day 226 Tears In My Potatoes and From Hopeless To Empowered

Day 226

Tears In My Potatoes and From Hopeless To Empowered

Today I was thinking about all of the times I attempted to lose weight, and back then, almost from the very beginning, I just knew that I would fail every time. I convinced myself that failure was a part of the process. I had also convinced myself that there was no way to maintain focus amid extreme stress. Back then I really wasn't wanting to change my attitudes and approach to food. I just wanted to lose weight. Forget the mumbo jumbo psychological talk. I was forcing myself to eat less and exercise more and it would work until I'd had enough and that's when I'd snap right back into my old habits. I was way more than in love with food back then, I was completely obsessed. My day revolved around eating, thinking about eating, and making plans to eat. Any weight loss attempt back then was a serious downer to this constant obsession. It wasn't until I fully admitted to myself that I had a real addiction to food, that I was able to step back, make an honest assessment of my habits and really explore a different approach. It's so true when they say that the first step to overcoming an addiction is to admit there's a problem in the first place. I had a serious problem with food. I remember staying up real late one Saturday night about fifteen years ago eating a giant bowl of mashed potatoes and homemade white gravy made with sausage grease. It was about two am, the little ones were in bed and Irene was working an overnight shift. I remember a Richard Simmons infomercial catching my attention as I sat there stuffing my face. The testimonials were so wonderful and inspiring, they made me cry. They didn't make me put down the potatoes and gravy, but they made me cry a couple of kinds of tears. I cried tears of happiness for the people being featured on the infomercial and I cried tears of hopelessness for my own struggle. I was feeling really sorry for myself that night. Instead of allowing myself to feel inspired to change, I thought it was just too difficult and overwhelming to even try. I completely understand what it's like to see and hear about someone else's weight loss success while feeling a million miles away from ever being in that position mentally and physically. On Day 1 of this journey I really didn't know how I was going to pull this off. All I knew was that I had to do it. I had to make my way through and learn along the way. I was out of time. I was scared, really scared. This frightened state did something to me that hadn't been done before. It made me let go of my defenses, my old habits that kept me content. I was completely open and vulnerable to change. I let go of the excuses and blame game because I knew they had no place on this road. I let go of my pre-conceived notions of failure, deciding this time, failure wasn't an option. I decided that no amount of stress would rock me to the point of failure, no matter what happened along the way, I decided I would stay on course. On Day 1 I didn't have a clue about what I would discover along the way. My mind wasn't changed about food and exercise on day 1, not at all. I was walking on faith my friend. I was feeling my way through each day. I really don't know what day it started to really click. But somewhere along this journey I learned a different way of treating food and exercise. All of a sudden I had a revelation I'd never experienced. I could still enjoy potatoes and gravy while losing weight. I could still eat ice cream and lose weight. I could still love and enjoy food without being obsessed. I could slow down long enough to recognize and enjoy a regular portion. When I realized this, that's when I completely let go of the desire to devour giant portions of potatoes and gravy at 2am. I no longer felt deprived in any way. The exercise I always dreaded and feared became easier with every workout and the results started to happen quickly. I was no longer hopeless, I was empowered. Now on Day 226, I feel even more in control with a much better understanding of what I'm doing and how I'm doing it. But I started without any of that knowledge. I just decided and then started. I kept it really simple: calories in-calories out, period. It was an iron clad promise to me from me. I decided.

The “Lose To Win” seminar tonight was fantastic. Melissa Walden's presentation was titled “knowledge is power.” It was spot on stuff. Very real and very simple to understand. My portion of the program was just a quick five minute chat about this being the last week before the final weigh in and sprinting to the finish like a champion. I also talked about this not really being the end, this is just the beginning of this journey. The things we've learned along the way will stay with us forever.

After the seminar I hurried home to a very busy Courtney doing homework and Irene getting supper started. I fired up the big grill and threw on three 4 ounce portions of lean sirloin. After dinner we decided that instead of the YMCA trip we had planned, we would get our workout tonight on the walking trail. It was a little chilly walking out there tonight, but it was so nice to escape a busy day with the music in my ears and a purpose in my step.

Tomorrow is another weigh day. What will the scale show me? I guarantee I'm past the 150 pounds lost mark. The question is by how much? Can't wait to find out! Thank you for reading. Good night and...

Good Choices,


  1. God your posts inspire me, Sean. My mission might be on a smaller scale than yours (I've got 16kg to go, but needed to lose at least 31kg at my highest ever weight), but EVERYTHING you described here is something I've felt. I've felt the overwhelming burden of believing I would fail. I've sat there binging away whilst I read weightloss blogs and forums and make plans to lose weight (plans that never stuck). I've really had to work to overcome the 'all or nothing' lifestyle that I previously subscribed to. I'm not there yet; I still battle every day with feelings of "Well, I had this piece of chocolate, I may as well get McDonalds!"... but less often does that voice win.

  2. This was is so inspiring! I'm only on day 4, but I just love your blog. I've started going back and reading the archives, and it really speaks to me. My mind is made up that this is a lifestyle change; I just need all the help I can get :D
    Anyways, I just wanted to say thanks!!!


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