Monday, August 10, 2009

Day 329 Amber's Going To Make It and A Real Voyage of Discovery

Day 329

Amber's Going To Make It and A Real Voyage of Discovery

The end of summer as we've known it for the past two and half months was today. Amber left us to return to college. She leaves over twenty pounds thinner than when she arrived. It wasn't the total she wanted, but I told her it was great. And it was. Over-all she's lost nearly 70 pounds. When she started last year, she was in size 26's. Today she went back to school in 18's. She's going to make it just fine. She has all of the tools she needs to continue her weight loss success away from home, right there at school. I'm going to miss our workouts together and our family dinner time when I measure out proper portions and calculate everyone's calories. I'm going to miss her beautiful face and her fiery attitude that she sometimes musters. She's not far away, only three hours, but still, she's away. I want to hold her hand and help her through the struggles I know she faces. Out of the four of us, this journey has been the hardest on her, I know that. We started a month after she moved away last year. And although she was right there with us most of the time via phone, it still wasn't the personal touch I wish we could have shared early on this road. She knows we love her, she knows that she can do this, and she always has our personal parental guidance along her way. Amber Ellen, you're a special young lady, you know that?

For a while now Amber has been wanting a particular desert. A strawberry shortcake type desert. So we had one today before her departure. Instead of short cake, we used angel food cake. With a half cup of strawberries (23 calories), two tablespoons of non-dairy whipped topping (25 calories), and a half serving of the cake (85 calories)---it came in at a very low 133 calories per desert. Not bad at all. The angel food cake had 170 in a fifth of the cake, no problem, we just cut it into tenths for 85 calorie slices. Amber was surprised and thrilled! A picture of this fabulous desert is below.

If you haven't read Day 327 of this blog, I urge you to scroll down and give it a good read. It leveled me. After I finished writing the post, I asked Irene and Courtney to let me read it to them. First of all, I have only done that with one other day—and that was Day 135 “A Thank You Letter To Morbid Obesity.” I normally just write and then post. But like Day 135, Day 327 stirred me completely. It really got to the heart of the matter. I tried to read it to them, but like my attempt on Day 135, I completely broke down before I could make it three sentences into the second paragraph. I hope I'm not sounding like I'm tooting my own horn, there's none of that around here. I was just shocked at how I completely hit myself between the eyes with that post. It was mind clearing for me to get that out and on virtual paper. A great philosopher once said: The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. I have new eyes. This blog has really opened my eyes to the mental aspects of losing weight. Getting this deep and thinking about the roots of our obesity can be very painful, but also very necessary in my opinion. I will never see 400 again, or 500...ever. Soon I'll be saying goodbye to 300, never to return. How am I so sure this time? Because I've dug deep into places I always feared, I've turned over rocks that kept the answers hidden from me. I've rendered powerless all of the mental hangups that have made every other weight loss attempt of mine fail or be temporary.

I've found that some of my blogging friends are really relating and understanding Day 327 on the same profound level. Don't allow it to scare you my friend. Understanding the mental dynamics gives you the advantage here. And it applies to many things, not just weight loss. Confronting our negative thoughts and doubts about ourselves is like standing up to a bully. Once you do, they're suddenly not a bully anymore. I honestly believe that if I would have stood up to my real childhood bullies (read all about them on Day 53 in the archives) I would have completely rendered them powerless over me. I never stood up to them and they tormented me all through my school years until my freshman year. And until now, I've never stood up to the bully inside my brain that insisted on telling me horrible untruths about myself. I just believed them and so they continued. But then I did make a stand. And three quarters of the way down this road and 201 pounds later, I'm here to tell you: Those negative thoughts are completely powerless. Be strong. Know that what you're doing is good and true. And start believing in yourself. Leave that fear behind, because this time is different. This time is completely different from any other weight loss attempt you've ever had. This time is the last time you will ever struggle with obesity. Believe it.

Tomorrow I will face some stressful situations. I already know what I'm up against. But it will not break me, it will not win. We will be victorious. It's amazing how much I allowed stress to derail me before. When things would get tough, I always ran to food and lots of it. But that way of dealing with stress only compounds my problems. It never really helped me, it just made a bad situation worse. Stress is something that will always exist in some form or another. I knew that going in, and I knew that I had to get a grip on how I let it effect me or else I would die young and obese. The stress I face now can not steal this away from me, it can try, but it's powerless to my “Iron-Clad Decision.” Nothing will take this journey and success away from me.

It's time for rest and relaxation. Day 329 was a good one. Below you'll find some pictures we snapped today along with a few “before” shots for comparison. Thank you for reading. I sincerely wish you the best along your journey. And your support of mine has been nothing short of an amazing blessing.

Oh---I almost forgot!! I fit into Amber's car today!!! Her seat lever that adjust the seat forward and backward broke a few years ago. When it did, I just knew that I would never get behind that wheel again. It busted while the seat was fairly close to the steering wheel. Amber could fit just fine, but daddy couldn't even think of fitting behind that wheel. Until today! She asked me to help her put on a new steering wheel cover and when I did, I sat right there behind the wheel. Just wonderful, completely wonderful. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

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Before---The two of us together weighed 845 pounds!

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“In-Progress”---The two of us together now weigh 510. (and it's going down from there!)

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We both really like this picture.

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Previously posted---but worth posting again for comparison. All of us at our heaviest! Irene at 345.

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Irene “in-progress” at 210 Look at those eyes--just amazing.

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At Amber's high school graduation—May of 2008

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All four of us today “in progress.”

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Amber and Irene today

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Our fantastic low-cal strawberry angel cake desert—133 calories on that saucer!

22 comments:

  1. Such a beautiful family Sean. Thank you for sharing your pics with us. They are just lovely.

    Yeah, that post you wrote last night was a real eye-opener for me. Would have never thought to destroy the old mix tape. I've been listening to it over and over for 30 years. Time for a new one. :)

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  2. Irene is gorgeous, she looks just like an older sister the the girls - amazing!

    Love this post as well as the one you refer to - it seems we all have these mental gymnastics to cope with as well.

    Still working on it!

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  3. Completely gorgeous family! I know you are so proud! Hope that all is going well. You are all in our prayers! That dessert looks absolutely scrumptious too! Now i want some! Blessings--Bonnie

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  4. i have to agree- irene really looks like an older sister! i truly hope amber continues this journey to success. i know you guys talk on the phone and on the internet, im sure- have you guys done video chat? if shes in college, i know that it counts against her upload/download time, but if she monitors it, you guys can do it at least once a week. if youre already doing it, keep it up!

    i dont know how i missed commenting on the mix tape post. i really thought i did. i will have to repost what i was thinking. either way, you still brought tears to my eyes, as per usual. keep it up!!! (well, maybe not the tears part, but the living healthy part, lol).

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  5. Good luck for tomorrow Sean

    Can you pls tell Irene that honestly in the recent family photo of the four of you ... I can't tell which one she is ...she looks so young and gorgeous

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  6. If I hadn't of been reading your blog, I would have thought that it was about you and your 3 daughters. The women in your life are amazing beauties (oh lord why didn't I hit the genetic jackpot? :D)

    The mix-tape post was dead on. Though I never experienced too much of that for myself, I know many people who do, and it is a big part of changing any part of our life. Fortunately, I have always had a decent self esteem at any size. Like I told an ex-bf who wanted me to lose weight "If you don't like me fat, you sure the hell won't like me skinny!" :D

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  7. I can never get enough of the pictures! All of you have done something truly amazing!

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  8. I think your family is combatting this as a life style change and its proven in the numbers as they slip away. Each one of you should be proud! I truly admire you and your family for the courage and triumphs! You and yours are amazing!

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  9. What a beautiful family Sean! You've all done such an amazing job working together on your journey to a better and healthier you!
    Oh yes, the mix tape post has also been stuck in my head and I have been putting those thoughts to good use as well. You have a way with the words, and it's almost creepy how you can take the battles raging inside my brain and then put them into words right here. I start my morning with you because it's my daily pep talk!
    Thanks as always for the inspiration and support!

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  10. What beauties! I know you are proud. As they are of you! I've switched over to the sugar-free Cool Whip, and honestly can no longer tell the difference. And I've even had sugar-free angel food cake. They are amazing with fresh strawberries!
    Blessings,
    Sara

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  11. Oh My god - yes.... the words are totally inspirational, but nothing really does it like those pictures! That is AMAZING. You don't even look like the same people. Congratulations to all of you. If anyone falls off track - all they need to do is look at those pictures!
    Thank you !

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  12. love the pics! I just had one come back from being gone all summer and it was hard letting her go. You guys all look great. I'm sure Irene is just counting her blessings every time she looks at you. What a hunk you are! Lovely family, you guys are great.

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  13. Great pics Sean. The whole family looks very good. You are one good looker too! The weight loss looks really good on you.

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  14. Great photos..it is true. Irene does look like a sister to the girls.

    You and your family are a shining example of what can be done when a family works together as a team. You must be bursting with pride.

    Three hot ladies and one handsome hunk, BRILLIANT.

    Hugs

    Sheilagh

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  15. Beautiful Sean. (The family, not the dessert - lol!).

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  16. The love you have for your family shines through so bright. I love reading about how you feel about each of them. Your words about Amber made me cry. I went back and read day 135 and I totally agree that if we didn't go through what we did in our past we wouldn't be the people we are today.

    I had that same dessert for my Birthday this year. My nephew baked the cake and sprinkled a little coconut on it and then we had blackberries and blueberries in addition to the strawberries on top, it was definitely yummy.

    I loved the pictures, the whole family has amazing eyes. I agree with the others Irene could be the girl's sister.

    Hope today went ok with your stressful situation, hope all turned out ok.

    Way to go on fitting into Amber's car.

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  17. "Tomorrow I will face some stressful situations. I already know what I'm up against. But it will not break me, it will not win. We will be victorious."

    Something about this hit me just right, and I started crying. You can't know how much I needed to hear this today. I'm gonna write this down and post it at my office tomorrow to remember, every day, that I shall be victorious.

    Thank you for your amazing and inspiring blog.

    quest4amile.blogspot.com

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  18. Every time I turn around, you're eating something that looks like it's got 1,000 calories. Doesn't seem quite fair....

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  19. hi there,

    I just found about about you from reading chubby chick's blog. Congratulation on all your success. It's not easy, but you make it look that way. It's so great to see your family making such great choices!

    Congrats to you all.
    Sonya

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  20. These are great inspiration to me. I've just begun a weight loss blog and will add yours to my "Respected" weight loss blogs...Some out there are pretty scary! Thanks for sharing!
    Andrea

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  21. As always, enjoyed the blog, loved the pics and smiled immensely at the proudness you felt as the father to such beautiful women (and much healthier ones at that). I know that feeling, my oldest is built like mom and has been battling the bulge. She's finally begun some changes, it will take time and to that I say "who cares".. as long as she does it.

    BTW... what? 25 calories for Whipped Topping? Honey chil' don't u know about Fat Free Whipped Topping in a can (aka redi-whip but i buy my store brand) at 5 calories per 2 Tbls?! That stuff rocks and is REAL dairy! Come one... it's worth the 20 calories less, I swear! LOL

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  22. Amber your wonderful daughterAugust 13, 2009 at 1:42 AM

    Daddy,
    I love you! And I miss you guys like crazy! This journey is hard, and even though I can't be there with you guys...I know I have your support. I will do this. I promise you dad, I will continue this journey and succeed. All my success I owe to you, mom, and courtney. I am so proud of all of you. You all keep me going, and keep me strong.

    The stawberry angel food cake was good! And you didn't want to have it at first!!!!! See it wasn't so bad in calorie! I love you.

    Your proud daughter, Amber

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