201 Pounds Gone Forever and The Long Answer To: How?
I was filled with anxiety this morning. What if I weigh-in one pound short of the 200 pounds lost milestone? I was mentally preparing myself for a five pound loss. Hey, I'm in no hurry, I told myself. Remember your own words Sean, time doesn't matter, maintaining a positive consistent effort does. I usually weigh-in around late afternoon. We've weighed-in as late as six pm back in the days when we would travel 45 minutes from home just to use a scale that would accurately weigh me. Well, those days are long gone, thank goodness! I usually step on the scales in the mid-afternoon on weigh day, but today I was too anxious, I was ready. Let's get this over with already! I decided that lunch time was a fine time. I made my way to the hospital only to find scales that had been ruined during a severe storm. When an Oklahoma storm peeled the roof of the building back, it flooded the entire specialty services building, ruining tons of really expensive equipment I'm sure, including the scales we normally use. I tried in vain to get the thing to work, it wasn't registering anything. So then I had a decision to make. Do we drive to Stillwater? No, not doing that. Instead it was across the street to the doctors office. They have a nice high dollar digital scale too, but it's not my scale! I decided right then and there that whatever these alternate scales registered, I would take it. I needed a six pound loss to reach the 200 pounds lost milestone. I nervously approached the scale and stepped on. It racked up to three hundred and quickly stopped right on 304. Good for a seven pound loss this two week period! Grand Total: 201 pounds lost. I stood there for a moment and let it sink in, I did it! I've now officially lost 201 pounds! It sounds so sweet, so incredibly sweet. Now I'm set up for another major milestone next weigh day: Dropping below 300 pounds. I'm glad I didn't cross both on the same day. Why only have one party, when you can have two, right?
Courtney dropped down too. She's now right on the edge of dropping into the 190's, and I'm right on the edge of dropping into the 290's. I bet we do it together next weigh day! I'm very excited. Irene and Amber will weigh-in tomorrow. Irene didn't have time before leaving for work and Amber spent all day at a wedding of her friend's sister.
When you lose a considerable amount of weight everyone wants to know how you're doing it. The following is the long version:
Readers of this blog know that I've struggled my entire life with obesity. So why am I having so much success now? Because I've decided. I've written before about making that “Iron-Clad Decision,” and it's that decision to succeed, that rock-solid commitment to consistency that has given me these incredible results. I found out that you have to give this journey an amazingly high priority. You have to make it one of the most important things you do. You have to defend your journey from anything and everything that might try to derail it. You have to protect it from yourself. I was always my own worst enemy, I understand that. When you make it this important, it really makes it hard to rationalize bad choices, you know what I mean? As dramatic as it might sound, this is life and death stuff my friend. And no matter if you have 30 pounds or 300 pounds to lose, if you give it that “do or die” level of importance in your life, you're less likely to fail.
But is it that easy? Just decide? Really?? Make it important? What?? No. Along with my “Iron-Clad” decision, I decided to throw away every single misconception I had about weight loss. I knew I wanted long term results, I really wanted to change. So I eliminated any plan that wasn't completely natural. I needed something I could do that would keep me thin the rest of my life. I needed to learn what a normal portion looked like. I didn't want a 'meal replacement” type plan, or a pre-packaged food “weight loss center” type of plan. I knew those type of plans were simply a means to lose weight temporarily. I needed to confront my behaviors with food in everyday situations, and it had to be head on with real food like everybody else eats. I then determined that nothing was off limits. I could eat anything I wanted, and I mean anything! That element of my journey has been one of the keys to success, because if nothing is off limits, then I'll never feel deprived...and I'll never feel defeated because I enjoyed something that conventional weight loss wisdom says you can't have if you want to lose weight.
It's not the food, it's the portions. Counting calories was a natural choice for me. It's taught me about proper portions and it's forced me to make better choices along the way. I opened the “Calorie Bank and Trust” in my mind, treating my calories like cash. Every morning I would be issued 1500 new calories that I could use however I wanted, but beware! I quickly learned that good choices meant making wise calorie “investment” decisions. I had to spread those calories out all day long, or run short as a consequence. The “Calorie Bank and Trust” doesn't have an ATM. When the calories are gone, they're gone until the bank “opens” the next morning. It might sound silly, it's not---look what it's done for me.
But those urges to binge, how do I control those nasty things? Those crazy thoughts that sometime come from out of nowhere, stealing away my resolve, making me fantasize about eating large quantities of anything that I love, yes they existed for me just like everyone else. How have I handled that? Motivating thoughts plus accountability plus writing out my thoughts every night in this daily blog. That's how I've handled those journey breaking meltdowns. I tell people: Cling tight to those motivating thoughts, defend your journey like your life depends on it, in most cases it does. Decide that nothing...no emotion, no circumstance, no person, place or thing is allowed to steal this away from you. I deserve this success. You deserve this success. It's too important my friend. One of the biggest elements is self honesty. This means calling yourself on all those excuses and rationalizations that we tell ourselves in order to feel better about bad choices. Honesty, 100%---at all times.
And exercise? Anything...just move. All I could do in the beginning was walk and I could barely do that for very long. But I was moving. And the more you move, the easier it gets. All of a sudden my 505 pound near deadly quarter mile walks became a mile...then two, then three, and so on. In the beginning it doesn't have to be anything special. There's no machine to buy or membership required. Just movement. After a while you can get fancy. But set a solid foundation of success first by mastering the basics.
I've discovered something that many have discovered before me, and that is this: It's really 20% about food and exercise and 80% about the mental aspects. Someone who has really helped my mental development is Ralph Marston. My cousin Debbie left this quote with a comment on the Myspace version of this blog on Day 193. I've read it dozens of times since: “Set Yourself Free” by Ralph Marston---"There is no outside force holding you back. You are holding you back and you are blaming it on someone or something else. The way you are able to continue holding yourself back is by maintaining the illusion that you're a victim. Once you realize that illusion, you will naturally and easily move forward. In fact, it is easier to fulfill your best possibilities than it is to avoid them. So let go of the blame and watch the limitations drop away. Certainly there will always be challenges that hold you back. For each challenge provides you with a pathway through which you can move toward fulfillment. It is your very nature to accomplish. Lovingly accept your destiny, and allow that accomplishment to be manifest through you. Set yourself free to follow your purpose. Set yourself free to truly live." Visit Mr. Marston at http://www.greatday.com/
Tonight I had a special event to attend. It was the 50th Anniversary Celebration for the 101 Wild West Rodeo. Downtown Ponca City was showing a spirit tonight that you could have found a hundred years ago. The town folk gathered in the center of town for a get together complete with a giant cookout, homemade ice cream, rodeo cowboys, clowns, a terrapin race, and “cow patty” bingo. The mayor was on hand, as was Rodeo Royalty, and even the Lieutenant Governor of our great state. I arrived to broadcast the festivities, sending out the invitation across the air for anyone to hear. It was a grand time. As soon as I walked up to the event I heard “I read your blog everyday!” It was Kat Long from the Ponca City Development Authority. She commented once a while back, but I was still pleasantly surprised to hear that it's a regular part of her day. It made me feel so wonderful. Thank you Kat!
Below you'll find a YouTube video from Amber's high school video production class. It features me at over 500 pounds and Courtney at very close to her highest weight, Irene is featured near her top at 340 pounds. It also features several other people from the community who gave permission for Amber to film them. It's suppose to have the C and C Music Factory song “Gonna Make You Sweat,” but because of copyright issues the audio has been muted. It still shows how big we once were. I've posted some “before” and “In-Progress” pics too, a bunch really. Including more “giant jeans” shots. Just scroll down for them!
Thank you for following my journey from 505 pounds. Thank you for following OUR journey. Your support has been a tremendous blessing in so many ways. We'll continue down this wonderful road together because the best is yet to come! Goodnight and...
Amber directed and produced this for a project in her high school video production class. C and C Music Factory's "Gonna Make You Sweat," provides the audio---except the audio is muted because of copyright issues. The "Before" effect is still there! We drove all over town asking people to dance for this video--all of these people gave permission for us to film them.
A Big Before-- Irene, Amber, Me---We've all come a long way!
I look like such a giant! Probably in excess of 505 here.
A Small Pic of A BIG before-- Mom and Me
Today--201 pounds lighter!
Nice, but I like the next one better.
One of these days we'll have to each get in a leg. Biggest jeans---size 62-64's
A little out of focus, but nice. Courtney and Me
Not very recent. We must take more very soon! But in contrast to the above video, you can see how a 130 pound loss has transformed Irene dramatically!
I love this girl! Her transformation has also been phenominal! And it just keeps getting better! Lookin' great baby!
Amber girl! She's lost nearly 70 pounds so far and is completely on her way!