Driving A Smaller Car and My Losing Philosophies That Win
Today started horribly. I was sick really bad. Food poisoning I'm sure. I had to have Gayle Williams do my morning show. I hated to miss a show, but really, I don't think anyone would have wanted me there in that condition. I was not presentable in any way, and I had so many guest scheduled for in studio interviews---including the cast of Grease! As the day progressed I started feeling much better and eventually I made my way to the studio to produce some commercials. I ended up working a few hours. I feel nearly 100% now, I think I've cleared my system of what ever it was that was wreaking the havoc.
We had good news and bad news today. The good news? The van just had a bad battery and that bad battery was still under a free replacement warranty. The van is fine now! Bad news? Our fridge needs a new compressor, it's on order, but still the fridge is out of commission until Friday. It's expensive enough of a repair that the repair people said “most people just buy another fridge.” We love our fridge, we've got to fix it!
With the van out of commission until this evening, I've been using Irene's old car, the little Pontiac Grand Am GT. It's been so sad and lonely in the back yard drive, never getting to go anywhere, so it was good that I gave it a workout. The best thing about it was I fit so wonderfully inside. I mean, I fit perfectly! I can click the seatbelt easily, there's plenty of room between me and the steering wheel, and I look normal behind that wheel, not crammed in and stuck like I did before. I hated trying to drive that thing at 505 pounds. It was so uncomfortable back then. I would only drive it if I had to because it was such a chore to even get in. And forget about the seatbelt. It was actually hazardous for me to drive it back then with my belly pressing hard against the steering wheel. It's actually fun to drive now. I like the sporty get up and go and being lower to the ground and feeling like I have so much room...it's so roomy now, it's like a whole new car...but I know it's the same car, I'm just a whole new person! I wanted a van to accommodate my 500 pound plus size. Well, now that those days are behind me forever, I'm seriously wanting to sell the van and Irene's old Pontiac and get me into something small and fuel efficient. Maybe a little Honda or something, I don't know. Something I noticed today was how I get in the vehicle has changed. At 500 plus pounds, I would have to sit down on the edge of the seat with both legs out of the vehicle and then turn to get one leg at a time in and straightened out while trying to adjust and squeeze myself inside. Today I can put one leg in, sit down, and bring the other leg in...Just like normal people do! I'm becoming normal!
After blogging about eating the Hershey Bar last night, several e-mails and comments came in mentioning how it would be tough for them to eat just one. How it would be a trigger for some. And I just wanted to say I completely understand that! I've been the guy who buys and consumes a six pack of chocolate bars in one sitting. I know what you mean. So what keeps me from doing that now? What's different? Well, I've decided that nothing---no emotion, no circumstance, no favorite food, no celebration, not anything will make me overeat again. Do I crave things? Of course. But I allow myself to enjoy some things occasionally, so it's not like I'm telling myself “you can never have that.” I can have anything I want...but---it must fit into my calorie budget that day. If it does, then I have to decide whether or not to “invest” the calories. If it doesn't, then maybe tomorrow it will. But what really keeps me from going nuts and eating a half gallon of ice cream like the old Sean is this: I know that straying from this road means certain death at a young age. If I throw it all away and get back up to 500 pounds, I'll be dead for sure before I'm 45. But in order to control my love of ice cream, I allow it, in a sensible-responsible portion. Usually in the form of a low fat vanilla soft serve cone. I know that might sound over the top dramatic, but that's exactly what it takes for me to transform. I have to take it that seriously. Not taking it so seriously in my past attempts is why I always failed. It was too easy to just say “oh well...just this one time.” And then the next thing you know, it's over...another failed attempt. The great thing about changing the way I think about eating and exercising is, I no longer crave or look forward to some kind of future binge. I couldn't imagine doing that now. Every other time I tried to lose weight, I always looked forward to having a good reason to cut loose and eat whatever and how much ever. I don't have those fantasies anymore. That's a real good sign. That's the sign of real mental change. Because let me tell you something, I was bad...I was real bad. These mental changes are bigger and more dramatic than any physical change you can see, believe me. I understand that we're all at different stages of our developing transformations. Maybe you're already at this point too, but if not...just hang in there...you're going to get here, and when you do you'll now what I mean. Counting calories isn't something I'll do forever. But I needed it to show me what a portion was. I needed it as a way to see exactly what 1,500 calories a day looked like. That's why I count calories. Someday, when I'm completely at goal, when I spend time everyday sculpting my new body with weight training...I will not need calorie counting. I'll be able to enjoy a responsible meal, healthy snacks, normal portions. The mental changes made will insure that.
I've read about a few people doing the Atkins approach lately. Then I read someone comment to them “whatever works for you.” Does Atkins or low carb work? Yes! It works. It's science. You'll lose weight. It “works” for everybody. I tried it before, lost weight...gained it all back. Why? Because I wasn't learning how to handle my cravings for carbs---I simply ignored it, while consuming large quantities of meat and cheese. I wasn't teaching myself to eat like a normal person at all. I wasn't addressing my food addiction. I was practicing my addiction while manipulating the weight loss through science. Then, when that approach got old, I went back to eating carbs, and then since I never worked on my behaviors---I gained everything back and then some. My best advice to someone just starting as far as food goes is to eat whatever you want, just limit yourself to 1500 calories a day. The lower calorie intake will force you to make better choices throughout the day to fit your calorie budget. Anything goes. And after a while---you start realizing what a portion really is...you start noticing that you can eat a 500 calorie meal and be completely satisfied. As you progress, your choices improve naturally. You'll start eating foods that are considerably better for you. But just starting out?---Eat anything and everything---just know the calories---keep them under 1500 a day---and you will lose weight, even eating carbs. If you say “well Sean, that might work for you, but that's you,” Let me tell you this: It works for anybody and everybody. It's simply living and eating like a normal person for a change. But if you're trying to lose weight and you set rules that “I can't have this and I can never eat that,” you're setting yourself up to feel deprived...you're making it harder than it has to be. Just eat regular food and get ready to do it in a completely normal, responsible way—with a budget of 1500 calories, you'll be forced to eat responsibly in terms of portion control. As the weight falls off and you become mentally adjusted, then bring on the better choices! Just my opinion, I think it has some serious validity. This isn't a “plan.” This isn't a “system.” This is real life, real food, and real exercise---I believe I need all three for this to be a long term permanent weight loss attempt.
We got into the YMCA this evening for a wonderful workout. I did a treadmill 5K alternating between 4 mph and 5.7 mph. It was nice. I remember when 2.9mph was a super big challenge to me. Progress comes with consistent effort...boy does it ever! 5.7mph for extended periods is a major step up for me. I feel so good.
Thank you so much for reading and offering your thoughts. Goodnight and...