Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 277 A Weighs To Go and Overcoming Struggles

Day 277

A Weighs To Go and Overcoming Struggles

The “wow” reactions to the grilling “before” and “in progress” pics were wonderfully overwhelming today. Numerous calls, e-mails, comments; and I cherish every single one. Thank you sincerely, really, your support and kindness strengthens my resolve. I think they could build a space shuttle out of my resolve and it would be stronger than whatever they're using now, what is it, titanium alloy? Whatever! Out of all my “Before” and “In Progress” pics posted throughout this journey, last night's had the biggest impact on me. I look at it and I wonder, is that really me? I can't believe it's me in either picture. I never realized I looked that big and it's hard to see myself as that small. I'm adjusting to the idea, the realization that I'm no longer that grotesquely obese “could drop dead” any minute because of it guy. (You'll have to forgive me, I'm addicted to quotation marks and exclamation points, it goes with the territory.) I've always carried my weight well. That's why it shocked so many of my friends and co-workers when they realized I weighed over 500 pounds when I started. It reminds me of the blog I wrote on Day 33 titled “Go Ahead Make Your Best Guess,” the following is an excerpt from that mid October day: I'm very fortunate in that I've never looked my weight. My entire life I've heard “you carry it well”. I guess I have, and I've never had someone correctly guess my weight. You know those people that work at the fair guessing peoples weight and age? They never guess right. And you would think they would get close, but I remember one time one of these “professionals” guessing my weight 100 pounds off. Too bad you can't make money on that, because I could just travel the country having people guess my weight and they would lose every time. I know, I could travel around to all the state fairs challenging the guessers and winning in every state, but it only pays in stuffed animals, and cute and cuddly doesn't fill the tank. I think I'll stick with losing weight. This “carry it well” thing has really sparked a debate between my wife and me. She thinks that I may have set my goal too low, that maybe 275, at the very least 250 should be the goal. But I'm head strong, 230 is what I said in the beginning and 230 is what it will be. Here's the thing, I still have a bunch of fat to lose. Sure, I can look fine in clothes for the first time ever, but clothes are kind. I know what I see in the mirror, I know what Irene sees, and I know what I want. I'm not just wanting to lose the weight, I'm wanting to build a body so extremely opposite of my former 500 pound self, that it will absolutely astonish anyone and everyone to the point of disbelief. I'm gonna lose the next 99 pounds and see where it puts me physically. I plan on gaining a good amount of poundage worth of muscle too, so maybe it goes like this: I lose down to 230, I get excess skin removed bringing my weight down to say, 210, (I'm guessing here...I really haven't a clue how much my excess skin will weigh), then I add a bunch of lean muscle from now through whenever. At 6' 3” I could be one lean--completely fit 260 pound man. The reality is simple, if I start looking “skinny” then I've probably lost all I need to lose. If that happens at 250, then we'll certainly evaluate the situation. My wife may be right. She's reading this thinking maybe? She has a habit of being right most of the time! I'm just going to keep on doing what I do. I refuse to stress over hypothetical situations. It's all good!

I talked to a couple of friends today that are struggling horribly. I made a point to visit with them both and I hope our talks helped. I understand the look in their eyes, the feelings of failure, the hopelessness that engulfs what we perceive as another failed attempt. Often times, OK, all the time, those feelings do nothing but compound the problem. Never give up, never accept defeat. This is too important my friend. For both of these individuals, the weight is potentially life threatening, but how do we regain control? I strongly advise writing out what we want out of life. I've mentioned “motivating thoughts” many times before. Write them down and keep them on you or at least somewhere close. Find a big before picture and put it where you see it all the time, or keep it in your pocket or purse. I have two giant three foot by four foot poster size before pictures that stare me down every time I pull into our garage. I wish I could find a magic word that would make it perfectly clear how to shake a slump and turn it around. I certainly don't mean to make it sound easy, we all know it's not, but I hope you'll remember this: I spent the better part of twenty years at or above 500 pounds. My attempts and failures were numerous and painful. I've been there where you are right now. If it's stressful triggers that are trying to steal this from you, I give you this from Day 155: 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. Defend against them. You can do it. Don't give up you're dream, don't do it! You know the motions, now get the emotions, and don't let them take this away from you.

I've got a workout to do yet tonight! I'm lacing up and headed for the trail for a power walking 5K in the humid Oklahoma night. And if you think I write things like the previous paragraph exclusively to benefit struggling friends, you would be half right. I write them to remind myself, to strengthen me mentally, and to evaluate my inner workings. You probably already know that the mental part of losing weight successfully is the biggest, and that's an understatement!

Thanks for reading and following along. Irene has agreed that we'll take some “In progress” pics of her this weekend for the blog. Thank you for the wonderful support and words of encouragement! Goodnight and...

Good Choices,


  1. Your blogs are a nightly "shot in the arm" that helps my journey stay healthy. Thanks!

  2. Tonight I have to make two casseroles and a mess of cupcakes--one set for a dear family who lost their grandpa (wife's dad)this week and one set for a church lunch on Sunday. I keep telling myself that when I feel tempted to eat a bowl of cake batter I will say "what would Sean do?" I have never, ever met anyone who has the resolve to do what you have are doing and have done. Your will seems to be a fortress. Its amazing.

  3. I read your blog in the morning and always enjoy the feeling of determination that comes from your words, they help my resolve to carry on to the bitter end!

    I think 230 is a good goal weight for your height - it isn't too low and your reasoning for that level is good.

    You can do it - I KNOW you can!

  4. It is hard to pick a goal weight when you have no idea what you will look/feel like when you get there. I am lucky to have lost all of my weight once before and know that at 160 I look good, but 140 would be better.

    I honestly believe that if we work on our mental images of ourselves and can see our bodies realistically, we will KNOW when we reach our "goal".

    Now if I just looked as healthy as I feel :D

  5. Don't get too hung up on a number. Last time I lost, I got down to 215 (on paper, I suppose I'm supposed to be 190 or so). At 215, I felt really weak and didn't really feel that great. At 225, I felt at my absolute peak.

    Wish I'd stayed there instead of yo-yo-ing back to 290. Grrrrrr...

    Keep on keeping on.

  6. I carry my weight well too. I've actually been described as "athletic" build even though I consider myself 30 lbs. overweight. Unfortunately that's not always a good thing as it can become an excuse and then the lbs. go higher. I agree with Jack - don't get hung up on a number on the scale. Work towards it and if it's meant to be, that number will be easy for you to maintain. One time I got down to what I felt was my ideal weight and then my husband, mother, and sister pointed out to me that it wasn't normal to only have steamed green beans with spray butter on them every day for lunch. I ended up trying to eat more "normally" and gained 10 lbs. yet found it easy to maintain (at least until my thyroid freaked out which is why I'm battling right now). The weight you can maintain and eat normally is your ideal number. You'll figure it out.

  7. As always, you are right on the money and in my head!!! How do you do that? How do you know just what I need to hear and when??? You know because YOU DA MAN!!! I'm on an emotional roller coaster right now. Since falling in love, I've had my head so far up in the clouds that it's given me a boost with my weight loss efforts and everything. I had a great day yesterday. I got up and took a beautiful 5k walk around this point in the was awesome! Then I came back and worked in the garden for an hour...great workout!!! I was waaaaay beyond cloud nine, then one little episode last night and it started to rain on my parade!! My emotions went down the toilet and I went for the chocolate cake! Mother Menopaus decided to appear at the precise time I was dealing with this little issue that I could have simply worked through had she not raised her hot flashing ugly head and took my emotions on a tailspin. The thing is...with every bite of that cake, I was thinking about what a bad choice it was...even though I had the calories in budget...but I didn't care, I kept on eating. I even thought what I needed to do was go to the computer and read your blogs...but I didn't feel like I kept on eating. Then, after about three hours, I resolved my 'issue', the menopausal maniac was gone, but I was then giving myself an emotional ass kicking over the cake! Today will be a better day! Thanks for always seeming to say the right things at the right time. Love ya cousin!

  8. Happened on your blog and wanted to leave you a comment. Congrats on coming this far and you look like you will make it all the way to your goal. My blog is not just about my losing weight . . . in fact it was created to show how a Canadian views Texas even after 12 years. I absolutely follow Richard Simmons and was interested to see the comment the person made. There are more people who are unhelpful to people trying to lose weight than those who are helpful. Richard Simmons has helped so many people, it is awesome. I wanted to give his FIT for kids a plug today, so I did. I will put your blog on my list. Good Luck on your weight loss and blessings to you!

  9. I did not get to those pictures in your last post until today, you have done amazing, here's to your continued success!

  10. I have not set a concrete goal for an end weight...That just seems so distant, but it seems to have motivated you, so I'll think on it a spell.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, as always!


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