The Importance of Journaling and An Annual Event From A Smaller Perspective
The Optimal Health Challenge kick-off last night was a wonderful event. I shared the story of September 13th, 2008 when I realized that I had to finally do something about my weight. I was out of time completely. I was on the brink of totally destroying my family that I hold so dear. I touched briefly on some of the mental adjustments I had to make to get started and stay focused. I brought along a giant three foot by four foot before picture and my largest pair of jeans. I showed Dr. Amy the jeans prior to the start and she commented that it was much more dramatic seeing me hold them up in person versus the picture I posted a while back. The audience was fantastic, very nice, and I quickly turned it over to Dr. Amy for the main portion of the presentation. There were many different reasons why people were there. Some want to lower their cholesterol, others want to quit smoking, some want to lose weight, and their were many more reasons from different people in attendance. The most important step that Dr. Amy suggest is probably the one many people don't do. And that's journaling. I can tell you from my experience with this blog, when you write out how you feel and what you do, and you're completely honest with yourself in your writings, then you can learn amazing things about yourself. By writing along the way, I've discovered things I would have never understood or even realized if I hadn't started this blog. Journaling is paramount to success. And if you're not comfortable with sharing those writings, keep them private. I recommend at least sharing it with the ones you love, it's an accountability thing. You understand, right? Of course if you're signed up for the Optimal Health Challenge you'll at least be sharing your journal with Dr. Amy.
This morning I had a couple of members from the local Classic Cars Club in studio to talk about the big show tonight on Grand Avenue and the car show at the lake tomorrow. They brought me an event t-shirt like they do every year. The difference? I can actually wear it this time. They've given me a t-shirt every year and I've always given it to my wife and daughters, they just didn't have my size back then. It felt wonderful to talk on the air about the shirt and honestly say, “I'm wearing one right now!” The event tonight was “Draggin' Grand.” Think of it as a rolling car show. There was well over 100 classic cars cruising up and down Grand Avenue all evening and I was there broadcasting as I've done every year but two in the last ten. It was very different to be there 173 pounds lighter. I ran into a bunch of people that I only see once a year and the “wow” reactions were numerous and every single one was a blast to experience. One person told me that they honestly didn't recognize me tonight. They were looking for that 505 pound guy they remembered and it took a few takes to figure out that I was who I was, just much smaller and happier looking. I did a much better job broadcasting because I wasn't staying put in one place anymore. I walked around, even took a ride along the strip, did my breaks with many different guest, including Car Club members, the mayor, tourism director, and even the editor in chief of Grit Magazine, a national publication. I even interviewed the members of Hotel California, the Eagles tribute band performing tonight at the Poncan Theatre and the director of the theatre, Dave May. This was a very different approach from years past when I would “hide out” in the air conditioned remote broadcast vehicle, doing my on air breaks in private. At over 500 pounds, I didn't want to move any more than absolutely necessary. Now, I have that lightness in my step that makes me want to get out and see people. It was wonderful!
In years past, The Poncan Theatre has hired me to do stand-up before the headlining act at this annual event. We decided a while back that I would not perform this year. I bet I will next year! They did ask me to take the stage tonight and make a few announcements before introducing the band. I wasn't worried about the structural integrity of the stage this time. At my heaviest, I remember finding some “soft spots” on that stage. “Soft spots” didn't even cross my mind tonight. The biggest difference tonight was the fact that I could breathe easy up there. My last performance on that stage was a struggle and I believe my comedy suffered because of my winded delivery. I certainly couldn't move like I can now. I remember making the decision last year that I would do all of my material with the mic left in the stand. Even during some of my more animated bits, I still left it in the stand, because I wanted to avoid becoming out of breath. When Dave May introduced me, he made sure to mention the 173 pounds I've lost so far and when he did, the entire theatre erupted in thunderous applause. OK, maybe not thunderous, but pretty loud and proud, it was a very cool thing.
I took some apple slices and a banana with me to the event and enjoyed them a few hours apart. I knew it was going to be a late dinner and it was. We pulled up to the dining room table at 11:30pm! It's basically the middle of the night now, but we're still heading out to the trail to walk as soon as I finish writing. After eating that late, I just have to get a good walk in. We're not going to do a 10K like the girls wanted tonight, but we'll probably do at least a hard two miles, maybe a 5K. The good news is, I can sleep as late as my body wants on Saturday! Wait a second, it is Saturday technically, but you know what I mean. I prepared some beef ravioli with a mushroom and olive marinara plus salad, garlic toast, and some niblits corn. My plate consisted of nine raviolis for 300 calories, a ¼ cup of sauce for 80, 50 calories worth of corn, and a little less than half a slice of garlic toast for 60. The entire plate was 490. I still have 110 calories remaining for the day so I might have a 70 calorie Dream Bar after our walk.
What a fantastic day. It was the most enjoyable time I've ever had at this annual event, no doubt because of the dramatic weight loss. I love it! Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...