Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day 325 201 Pounds Gone Forever and The Long Answer To: How?

Day 325

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...

Good Choices,
Sean


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.

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A Big Before-- Irene, Amber, Me---We've all come a long way!

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I look like such a giant! Probably in excess of 505 here.

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A Small Pic of A BIG before-- Mom and Me

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Today--201 pounds lighter!

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Nice, but I like the next one better.

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One of these days we'll have to each get in a leg. Biggest jeans---size 62-64's

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Sideways.

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A little out of focus, but nice. Courtney and Me

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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!

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I love this girl! Her transformation has also been phenominal! And it just keeps getting better! Lookin' great baby!

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Amber girl! She's lost nearly 70 pounds so far and is completely on her way!

49 comments:

  1. Yay! Wonderful news - you did it! YOU DID IT!!

    201lbs - FANTASTIC - well done you. Well done Amber too - you are all doing so well.

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  2. WOW buddy...I AM SO VERY PROUD OF YOU!!!!!

    I love you so much!

    DOnt know how to put into words what I feel and how proud of you I am...dont know exactly where to start. I look back at these pictures and it is increiable how far you have come...I always knew you could do this...How miserable you were then, even though you always had a joke to tell and a smile on your face you were dying inside. I look at you now, full of life and confidence and your spirit is free, how this makes my heart feel and how so truely happy I am for you..For us for our faamily, How truly overjoyed I am that this is our life and we are going to make it better than ever!!!! I love you so much Bud...With my whole heart, I always have and I always will, So excited about our future about our goals and about our deep seeded love we have for each other...A love that has gotten us here and a love that will see us through until the end...I love you Baby!!!

    Wow again so proud of you baby!! 201 YOU ARE INCREDIABLE!!!!! YOU KNOW NOW YOUR A HOTTIE...BUT BABY I HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN...YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A HOTTIE TO ME!!!!


    LOVE YOU ALWAYS,
    Irene A.K.A your buddy

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  3. FABULOUSFABULOUSFABULOUS
    FABULOUSFABULOUSFABULOUS

    What more can I say!!!

    GreatPost
    Amazing Photos

    Superb commment from your lovely wife.

    I am so happy for you

    Hugs and more Hugs to you all.

    Sheilagh
    xxxx

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  4. Hi Sean and family.

    I am reading you all the way from NZ and you inspire me sooo much. Well done on your loss and the achievment no only you have made but your family as well, you must me excited about what your future holds.

    Congratulations.

    Vic Wilson
    Wellington
    NZ

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  5. YEAH...........YEAH..............YEAH........

    KEEP ON KEEPIN ON!!!!
    YOU ROCK BUDDY!!!!

    I LOVE YOU!!!!
    YOUR BUDDY

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  6. Too funny--you have gained another reader in NZ. I told you--we need you! The pictures are awesome! Your girls are beautiful! And you look like a totally normal guy--that may not sound like a compliment, but you know that IT IS! Did you get to the doctor today to check on your meds? So very proud of you and for you! Blessings--Bonnie

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  7. WoooHooo.... i knew you would do it
    How cool....
    I love your family photos
    And Irene... tell her I think she looks fab now

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  8. how i am supposed to put in words what im feeling i dont know. words cant do it justice. 201 lbs, you made it! and youre still going! but, seriously, the fact that you and your family are on board and all are doing the same, i can never get over it. learning a healthy way of life when youre a teenager is something i wish i knew, we knew, and many of then should know. that youre aiding them in this journey is so great. im sorry i cant articulate what i mean, but youre such an inspiration.

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  9. Wow....I have nothing but wow! I am so proud of you and all of the ladies - you all look fantastic! I have so many emotions right now for you - I am thrilled, and I'll even admit a little bit envious, but I am slowly getting there, too! You are such an inspiration, and I can't wait to see you celebrate your next 100 pounds!

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  10. I tried to stay up last night waiting for this post to come in but didn't make it.

    I am so happy for you--it's just beyond measure. I wish I had found your blog earlier, but I'm glad I found it when I did. Not only are you a weight-loss super hero, but you are such a wonderful man with excellent character.

    I'm lol because I say the journey is 90% mental and 10% food/exercise--but I suppose your percentages are more accurate.

    I am just so thrilled for you!

    Set yourself free--thanks for sharing that, so true.

    Congratulations!!!

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  11. Congrats! I am so proud of you! The video was hilarious...I had the song in my head even thought the sound was muted. Your wife is gorgeous & your family looks amazing. How proud you must be to be such a role model for them. You guys are truly blessed to have each other there for support. Thanks for another great post. Have a magnificent Thursday!

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  12. CONGRATS!!! 200 lbs lost is amazing! Keep up the good work....you are such a role model!

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  13. Prayers are being answered. So happy for ya'll!!!!
    Blessings,
    Sara

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  14. Way to go Sean! 201 pounds! That's amazing. You are certainly an inspiration.

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  15. AWESOME!!!!!!

    Congratulations sir! Over 200 pounds lost!!!!

    You are an inspiration!

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  16. I couldn't stay up any later last night waiting on you to post so I could do MY post all about YOU!!

    You have such a beautiful, beautiful wife and children. Irene's comments are awesome. It's so cool to see that kind of love between you two. It's what life is all about!

    I finally put up my post this morning celebrating your amazing self....you ARE a hottie! And so much more....an amazing person with an amazing story to share. Congrats to you Sean for all the hard work and for re-taking your life...I'm just so proud of you friend. I truly am. :)

    Now get over to my blog and read my post about your awesomeness!! :)

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  17. You are a beautiful family!! It is amazing to see how far you've all come!

    Congrats on the 201 pound weight loss, Sean! You've definitely earned it. :)

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  18. Woo-hoo! Way to go! I found your blog from Tammy's blog "From Fat to Fab," and I have to say that you are quite the inspiration! I am trying to lose weight by jogging myself, but I sure have a long way to go. It's nice to know that the idea of "slow and steady wins the race" actually is a pretty good motto to adopt.

    Keep up the good work! I look forward to following your blog!

    quest4amile.blogspot.com

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  19. Wow the whole family looks totally amazing!! And Irene's comments was so touching :)
    Honestly you have come so far and done such amazing things i just can't say enough!!

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  20. Damn, Sean. That makes me tear up and I'm not the cryin' sort. I know how hard you've worked and how much you've wanted this. And you're absolutely right... hitting both milestones in one weigh-in would have been too much. Better to savor the feeling of 200 lbs. gone forever, then cross into the 200's triumphantly next week.

    You are definitely the Man! Hell, your whole family's the MAN!

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  21. This is pretty amazing. I think you are UNSTOPABLE now!! Like I said before... it is not just about you, but the fact that your family is changing with you. That will be your biggest accomplishment!! Well besides losing hundreds of pounds! HOLY SHIT!

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  22. Congrats!!!!!! whoo hoo!!!!!!!!! You look like a totally different person. I'm so proud! yay!

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  23. Congratulations! You should be very proud of yourself.

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  24. Congratulations Sean and Family!

    You really are an inspiration to me!

    Thanks.

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  25. Judging from your Now shots, I'm having a hard time seeing where you're going to lose another 100 pounds from. Congratulations!

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  26. WOW!!! You are awesome and such an inspiration to me. I'm totally at that place that you talk about when you have to make and iron clad decision and what you said about honesty--get out of my head! I'm going to go back now and absorb your blog from the begining.:)

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  27. Congratulations, Sean! What a wonderful milestone. As always, your journey is inspiring and I can't wait to keep reading about your future success.

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  28. I'm on the verge of tears right now!! I'm so proud of you-and in awe!!! And your family looks amazing. I can only imagine how good you feel right now!!!

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  29. Congratulations Sean on your 201 pounds lost!
    It is simply amazing to see the before and after pictures. What a beautiful family-too cute for words! I am in awe of how you have all worked so hard together on this!
    You're an amazing inspiration to those whose lives you have touched, including mine. Thank you.

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  30. Many cograts! Just saw your comment on Diane's blog at Fit to the Finish and had to check it out. Your family all looks wonderful and you should all be proud.

    Have to say..my husband and I moved to Moore, OK two years ago and someone told me once that OK has the highest number of fat people in the U.S. Well, I'll just have to show them your blog and prove that Okies don't have to be overweight. We can be healthy too!

    Great job and very inspiring!

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  31. Congrats on the 201 lbs! Amazing photos! My inspiration cup overflows...and I needed that. Thank you for being you and sharing your journey.

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  32. WHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! YOU ARE JUST FANTASTIC!! I AM SO PROUD OF YOU AND HAPPY FOR YOU AND THIS ACCOMPLISHMENT!! SUCH A WONDERFUL INSPIRATION!!! YEAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

    201 BABY!!!!!!!! WHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    CAN YOU HEAR ME SCREAMING???? :) GREAT JOB!!

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  33. WHOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO TO THE GIRLS AS WELL!! YOU GUYS ROCK!!! STILL SCREAMING!! THIS IS AWESOME INSPIRATION!!

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  34. Sean,
    I see your comments around blogland but for some reason never actually followed you to your site.
    Your comments to people are always full of compassion, empathy and encouragement for their success. You really put yourself out there for others.
    I wish I had followed you sooner!
    There really aren't words big enough for this huge accomplishment.
    CONGRATULATIONS! on your 201 lb weight loss!
    Simply amazing to see how hard work, determination & a tenaciousness to never give up shows in your story.
    Irene and Amber ... to you as well ... to have made this a family journey shows how much you love & support each other!
    Congratulations on all of your weight loss success!
    Love the video even without the sound.
    It was fun to see everyone dance for the video.
    :D
    thanks to Tammy for pointing the way to your 201 lb loss & celebration. I would've missed it.

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  35. Congratulations Sean & family! I received your tweet yesterday!

    You inspire me! You are living proof that you can do whatever you set your mind to! With consistancy, hard work & determination you can do anything!

    You know, in the beginning I started this journey with a friend & actually had set a date to lose all this weight. It was actually a dare for her but I thought I would join & be her support. That didn't last long and before I knew it I felt like I was on my own.

    I realize that I'm not alone! I have my family & support from other bloggers who are also on a journey to losing weight.

    Thank you Sean for your kind words of encouragement!

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  36. C.O.N.G.R.A.T.U.L.A.T.I.O.N.S
    C is for consistancy.
    O is for OMG!
    N is for Never Give up
    G is for good work!
    R is for resisting temptation
    A is for Awesome job!
    T is for Terrific
    U is for Ultimate weight loss champion.
    L is for I'll finish this up later cause I can't think of anything else and I am not a word smith. Good job to both of you. Keep going.
    Chris

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  37. Wow, wow, wow!!! You did it!!! Congrats on your amazing loss! And congrats to your entire family for all of their awesome accomplishments, too! You guys totally rock... and I am SO happy for you! You all look fantastic! :)

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  38. Congratulations on your success! I have not stumbled across your blog before, which kind of surprizes me. I happened to catch a link to it tonight from Joania's Weight Loss Journey. You have really, really done well for yourself. It is pretty awesome to see that you didn't do it alone either. Congrats to all.

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  39. What an inspiration you all are.

    Thank you for sharing your journey with me. I have gone back to the start and having been reading something everyday.

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  40. I'm balling like a baby here. I am so happy for you, congrats!!! I was just tearing up a little till I read Irene's comment to you and that's when I lost it. I'm soooooo happy for you, Irene and the girls, you have all done amazing, such a beautiful family, you all have amazing eyes *smiles*. I can't wait to see what the next 325 days brings you.

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  41. Wow! Amazing accomplishment! Thanks for sharing it. Seeing success makes me want to try harder!

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  42. Well done! You really are inspiring. And you look great!

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  43. Congratulations!!

    I came here via Chubby Chick's blog...just to keep cheering you on! :)

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  44. Hi! First time here. Glad I stopped by for the celebration! Glad there are no cupcakes but something much better to celebrate....living life!!! (BTW...I think Chubby Chick sent me.)

    You, your whole family...AMAZING...INSPIRING...BLESSED!

    Congratulatons on your fantastic results...200+ pounds!!!!!!!

    Are you serious?...Are those pictures from your past? The few by yourself, sideview. There is no way you weigh 300 lbs. there! You look fab! ... Hot ....hope you wife takes no offense I am happily married too. ;o)

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  45. Wow, that's really really incredible! I came here because Tammy always raves so much about you and now I can see why. I've seriously never seen someone look so good at 300 pounds. Take that, Anti-Jared! ;-)

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  46. WOW you look amazing! Honestly looking at your current photos I would guess you weigh about 200 pounds not 300! WOW! Thank you Sean, Amber, Courtney and Irene for sharing your journey with the world and being such an inspiration.

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