Friday, August 7, 2009

Day 327 The Emotion Ocean and The Mix Tape of Our Mind

Day 327

The Emotion Ocean and The Mix Tape of Our Mind

Since crossing the 200 pounds lost milestone on Wednesday, I've talked about the major elements of my success. It's been an amazing journey so far. But in talking with a struggling friend today, I realized something. I realized that talking about the mental changes being 80% of this battle, and talking about all of the little and big psychological gymnastics I've done to stay consistent, well, it just doesn't go deep enough. So take a big breath and let's go diving into the deep waters of our emotion ocean.

Is your past in complete command of your future? Have you given it control of your life? What are you afraid of? What is your biggest fear? Whatever your answer to the last question is, that's what's holding you back. I've always had a fear of not living up to my potential. Never following through. Never becoming what my teachers, family, co-workers, coaches, and comedy colleagues just knew I could be. Potential. Do I fear my potential? Or do I fear not living up to that potential that everyone is so certain I hold within? I've never had a problem convincing people to believe in me, but I've had a devil of a time convincing me to believe in myself. It's like I've had a mix tape playing over and over in my head for so many years. That mix tape would say horrible things to me, and it made me believe them. You'll never live up to your potential. You'll always be fat and ugly. You'll never realize any professional success in broadcasting beyond a small market level. You'll pass your horrible behaviors with food onto your children. You're worthless and not worthy of success. Who do you really think you are? You're just a poor kid from the projects that will never amount to anything special. And you're stupid, an uneducated buffoon just faking his way through life, trying to convince everyone that you really have a clue. What does the mix tape in your brain say everyday to you? I guess what I've done is this: I've hit the eject button on that old mix tape. Then, I destroyed it. It will never play in my mind again. Never. I've made a new mix tape. What I hear in my head everyday now is this: You will exceed your potential in ways you can't even fathom at this point. You will be healthy, thin, and handsome. Your success in broadcasting, motivational/inspirational speaking, and anything you decide you want to do is only limited by your imagination. Your example and guidance for your family is exemplary. You're worth is immeasurable and success is yours for the taking, go ahead, you deserve it. You are a man of integrity with amazing abilities of communication. You're a kid that was raised through humble beginnings completely surrounded by love and acceptance. You're a self-educated intelligent human being who doesn't have to convince anyone of anything. Big difference huh? What we tell ourselves everyday is what we become. It's true my friend. So why after a lifetime of fighting obesity am I breaking free so wonderfully now? Because I destroyed that old tape and replaced it with something worth listening to. How do you make a new mix tape for your brain? Write it out, memorize it, burn it into your brain, and most importantly...Believe it. Maybe it's too much to replace everything all at once. Replace one at a time...transform how you think about yourself at whatever pace you're comfortable. This is what Mr. Ralph Marston is speaking of when he talks about no outside force holding you back. You're holding you back.

Your old mix tape was made over time. It is the product of your past. And if you continue allowing the past to determine your future, then you'll always get the same result. Don't allow your past to own you, OWN IT. Put it in it's place. Let the past know that it's effects on your future are over right now. Don't try to completely forget about the past. A good friend of mine told me, very recently in fact, that you can't amputate your past and walk freely into the future. Your past is your story. It's made you who you are today, good or bad. But you can immediately decide that it will no longer control your future. And someday, that complete story that is you can and will shine as a light of hope to others. Letting them know that anything is possible, anything at all.

I honestly didn't know what I was doing when I started. But I was doing these things, accidentally stumbling upon epiphanies that would prove to be life changing for me. It wasn't until recently that a couple of good friends clarified exactly what I've done by sharing “the mix tape” analogy. Something else that they shared was something I've done without realizing for the last 327 days: I've been “acting as if...”

I've acted as if I was a normal responsible eating individual. I've acted as if I was someone who cared about exercising. I've acted as if I was someone that could share my story and help others along the way. Three very powerful words: “Acting as if.” Why are they so powerful? Because you become whatever you put into your brain. When you're “acting as if,” you're training your brain to accept and transform to what you desire to become. And you will.

So now you know where my resolve comes from. Now you know why my consistency level is unwavering. Now you know why I'm so passionate about sharing my story, my triumphs, and my struggles. Is it perfect? No. I've said that many times along this road. It doesn't have to be perfect my friend. Striving for perfection is the quickest detour to disappointment. But if we continue with a positive consistent effort, and we change the way we think about ourselves...then our success is practically guaranteed my friend. You will not be able to stop it from happening. And don't be afraid of success. Go ahead, you deserve it. And the great thing about weight loss success? It happens slowly over time, allowing you to adjust and get use to the new you. You're going to absolutely love it.

Today was actually a busy day at work. It's been a crazy food day, starting with smoked chicken and a banana for breakfast. What? I know! Crazy huh? But I was in a hurry and I just grabbed things from the fridge. I enjoyed a 110 calorie ice cream bar this afternoon. It's a delightful way for me to enjoy my most powerful craving in a nice normal calorie friendly serving size. We're headed to the trail for a quick 5K power walk. I think I'll use the last of my calories for another ice cream bar right now. Why not? I have to fast after midnight so I can have my blood work evaluated tomorrow. I can't wait to see my numbers after losing 201 pounds. I'm excited! Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,


  1. I just put a link to your blog in a blog posting I just wrote. Man you are such an inspiration!

    Thank you for sharing your journey and cutting the path in the wilderness for others to try and follow.

    "foolsfitness" -Alan

  2. You are such an inspiration. Thank you for your help today and always! I am working on a new tape. It is hard. I can't do it without crying. Why is it so hard to learn to love ourselves? I will succeed. I will--I know it. I can't wait to Act as if I am healthy, normal eating person who cares about exercise. Thank you Sean! Looking forward to seeing your numbers too! Blessings--Bonnie

  3. I agree with everything you have written. Well said.

    "What we tell ourselves everyday is what we become." Yup. And it does take awhile to make our remix, but as you say, one at a time.

    The very way we think influences *everything*.

    Powerful stuff!

  4. Great point! I think I have been smothering my mix tape and not addressing it. Will have to look at that to avoid pitfalls.

    Just back from "acting as if" I were a runner, lol!

  5. Another blogger recommended I should look up your blog - so glad she did! I loved your post about changing the mix tape. Congratulations on all you've achieved so far.

  6. I've always believed that losing weight definitely has to happen in your mind first!
    Thanks for reminding me to make sure i have positive thoughts which can lead to great success!

  7. As someone who has recently been taking some serious steps to face up to her past, so as to leave it and then move on, this post was perfect timing! Beautifully written, thank you. I love the mix tape analogy. Yep, that's what I'm doing, working on my new mix tape.
    Strangely enough, I recently finished reading a book called "Love is a Mix Tape". Great book!

  8. Sean,

    There is truly something exceptional about you, something (pardon the no longer applicable pun) larger than life.

    You have certainly found the way to inspire yourself and others. For this, I thank you...every day!

  9. "To get what you've never had, you have to do what you've never done"....another great quote! I've had it memorized for years and don't recall whose quote it actually is...but it's so true. You brought me to tears reading about the mix tape. I've had many ugly conversations with the gal in the mirror who said very ugly things to me too, including telling me how worthless and what a loser I am. I'm happy to say I've got her pretty well under control.....I gave her a good ass whuppin to the tune of 42lbs. She raises her ugly head to me every once in a while when I'm having a weak spell, but for the most part, she stays out of my face!!! This blog is partially responsible for helps me not weaken to her totally. It helps me stay focused and see that I am not fighting this big ass (pun totally intended) battle alone....I've got family and friends right there beside me every step of the way on this journey. I threatened her with sicking DA MAN on her, so she's backed off a whole lot! LOL Thank you for being are DA MAN!!! Love ya, cuz!!! I'm proud of you. Keep up the good work!

  10. Thanks Sean, you've put me back into perspective....I've been loosing this battle for sometime now.
    The Act as If has been my statement for a long time, I need to start acting as if in a different direction.

  11. That was fantastic! Thanks so much for putting into words some of what I have been feeling. It gave me clarity and focus...

    You are awesome!

    (I think Neal may have even benefited from it too. For other reason's, of course. But this type of thinking can be applied to many obstacles in life)

    Once again, Thanks!

  12. True, true. If you act "as if" for long enough, you're not acting anymore. That's when this adventure gets a little bit easier and a whole lot more fun.

    Excellent post.

  13. Thoughtful post. I know that the tape in my head is slowly changing. It takes work and lots of paying attention to what your thinking. I can call myself a miserable piece of crap sometimes before I have even realized I've done it.

    Being aware is more then half the battle.

  14. Wow! This one hit a whole new level, Sean. Keep 'em coming, buddy. Your writing is amazing. But your message totally blows me away. As my hubby says, "That'll preach!"
    Blessings, Sara

  15. Very nice as usual Sean. I think that you have made the true change in your mind. Keep it up!!

  16. What a great post, I might look into the Ralph Marston's stuff it sounds very interesting. I love the "Act as if" it really makes anything possible. This journey is about self love and that really is the toughest part. You really show us how it's possible to turn around your thinking. Thanks for being here.

  17. Every time I think you couldn't be any more amazing, inspirational or write another post like this. You just keep topping them with better and better stuff.

    I might as well close up shop over at From Fat To Fab and leave a message that says "Go see Sean's blog" so I don't keep writing posts about you, LOL!!

    I can't say enough about this post Sean. My goodness. I'll be honest....I've been trying to ignore the Emotional side of this bullsh*t battle...thinking I could just keep my head down, my blinders on, keep shutting up Fat Tammy, and getting to my goal as quick as I can. But we can't really discard the emotions and the defeating mixed tapes, can we?

    The past DOES make us who we are today, good or bad...and if I hadn't read this post, I would have never had the idea of destroying the old tape and making a new one. So simple, but so brilliant, and obviously something I needed SOMEBODY to tell me to do. Thank you.

    And the "Acting as if...". Genius, Sean...genius. This is why I love you to pieces. :)

  18. Your comment "I've never had a problem convincing people to believe in me, but I've had a devil of a time convincing me to believe in myself." hit me right where it counts.

    Isn't it funny how the "fat people" (I don't care if I'm PC on this, fat is fat no matter what you call it) can put on this wonderful mask... we laugh, we smile, we're happy, hell we're the highlight of the party while there's something eating at us on the inside that says the exact things you said in your blog.... making us think we're not worth it.

    You are so right Sean, you have to take charge and OWN IT before you can move it. Once you know you're worth, your ability and your total LACK OF limitations... you can do anything.

    Look at you... did u EVER in your entire life think you would be in charge of your own body? Truly? Yet here you are. I'm glad you're sharing it with us here and with me in particular. I feel like you truly are one who inspires me fully.

    Luv ya "Right Sized" GUY... didn't wanna call ya "BIG" Guy anymore! LOL

  19. Whoa!!! I literally JUST got off the phone with a friend who read my blog and had to call me and ask me if Iam taking time to be proud of my accomplishments...then I came back to my email and found your comment on my blog...and then read this...I might be linking to this one in a blog post soon! Thanks for stopping by my place!

  20. WOW! As if ......AWESOME!


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