Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day 349 Seeing My Old Self In The Eyes of Others and A Fight Worth Fighting

Day 349

Seeing My Old Self In The Eyes of Others and A Fight Worth Fighting

I had a remote broadcast from a large nightclub again, I've written about this place before. Tonight I had to once again pick up a 10 pizza order from Dominos. I usually spend a couple of hundred calories or so on a piece, but not tonight. After discovering how low cal I can make these personal pizzas at home, I'll probably never spend another calorie on a 200+ calorie single piece of pizza, seriously.

I people watch at these events. I can spot the insecure ones and the confident ones. I noticed a lady that was doing something that reminded me of the old Sean. She was constantly tugging at her shirt. She was overweight like me and very aware of how her shirt was clinging to her. I used to get made fun of for doing this very thing. I really felt for her. I could tell she was struggling with the whole scene in that place. But mainly struggling with herself. I so badly want to talk to people like this, but there's a time and place---and this wasn't one of them.

I experienced the same thing at Wal-Mart today. I noticed a man who had to be well over 500, if not 600 pounds. You really can't tell too much by what someone is putting into their shopping cart, but he seemed to be making some really good choices. I wanted to share with him my story, I so did, but I just can't. I've talked about this before. It's a horrible feeling to just walk on by, I feel like I'm leaving him behind, keeping the “secret” to myself. Whispering “good luck” and hoping he comes around if he hasn't already. I know Richard Simmons's policy about not approaching people unless they reach out for him first...and I understand that. But people know Richard. People don't know me. I'd never laid eyes on this man in my life. He has zero knowledge of my transformation---so how bad would it be to hand him a card with my blog address? How bad would that be? Some might get offended, sure. And some will toss it in the trash. But at least I can feel like I tried something. And maybe every now and then it works, it inspires, it starts something again that may have died a long time ago in someone. That ability to dream of a better life free of obesity is an awesome ability. When you're completely lost, it's a hard dream to imagine. But when you see a way out, when you see that ray of light shining through—It's just amazing what can happen. I just can't help seeing my old self in the eyes of so many others.

I've been doing a bunch of tough thinking lately about why some struggle so hard while others seem to be so solidly on their way. Why some say they “get it,” but continuously give in to the temptation that's trying to take this away. I think it's actually harder for people who are exceptionally smart. Let me explain: It's nearly impossible for someone to really learn something if they already believe they know. Especially when the solution has been broken down into very simple terms and easy to understand mental exercises. It can't be that easy, they might think. And so their search continues---looking for books and articles to break it down into slices that challenge their intelligence. Some people insist on complicating things. It doesn't have to be complicated. It can be easy if you accept that it can. Once you turn off the excuses. Once you accept 100% responsibility for your behaviors with food. Once you become completely self-honest about your consumption. Once you realize the importance of consistency. Once you stick to a lower level of calories. Once you commit to a real exercise schedule, once you do these things—it's almost impossible not to succeed. And yes, you have to fight. You have to bring out the fight inside and often times battle that little devil on your shoulder. If any of these vital components are not in place, it can seem very difficult.

You must not forget that I too am a food addict. You must realize and remember that I too spent my entire adult life until now, struggling the same way. I was out of control. So if you read my words these days and think Oh Sean, you make it sound so easy don't you? Never forget from where I've come. And realize that if I can get to this place, then it's not impossible for you to get here too. And you don't have to understand everything to get started. I didn't. I didn't know or practice anything but the very basics on day one. You might even say I was going through the motions at first. Along the way these simple truths came out about my past failures and all of a sudden things started making sense. I started to have a better understanding of why I always struggled before and why I was struggling less now. Epiphanies started happening, they're all documented...go back and read them. So if you're trying to get everything in order in a way that makes complete sense before you start succeeding, you're complicating the process. The things that must be rock solid from day one are your commitment to fight. Your resolve must be “iron-clad.” Your desire to succeed must exceed your desire to binge. It's that importance level thing again. Set it dramatically high. And fight for your life. Defend this journey from those evil thoughts within that threaten your success along this road. And find comfort in the fact that you will learn things and have epiphanies along the way that will catapult you onto different levels of understanding. But in the beginning you must fight. It's a fight worth fighting, it really is.

I was pulled over by the police tonight. I immediately tried to figure out what I did wrong and nothing was coming to me. Turns out my tag light was out. The officer gave me a warning. It was a fun experience because this same officer pulled me over four years ago for a seatbelt violation. I couldn't fit in the seatbelt back then. This wasn't the motorcycle officer from the early days of this journey, this was another that knew me and pulled me over a long time ago. He told me that he didn't recognize me at all. That felt good. And he pointed out how my license really needed updated, the picture is so not me anymore. When I get pulled over, that license picture always causes the officer to do a double take. It's not like I get pulled over all the time, but the couple of times it's happened recently---the reaction has been the same. It's a cool thing.

After that “wow” reaction, Irene sent me a text needing me to bring her something she had forgotten on her way to work. So I made my way up north to her job, walked in, checked in at the security desk where I was greeted by Margie. Margie knew me well at over 500 pounds. She didn't know me at all tonight. She started talking to me like I was a complete stranger “Can I help you sir?” and I replied “I'm here to see my wife.” And that's when she just about hit the floor. “Sean, is that you? Oh my---you look amazing.” The “is that you?” question felt kind of weird. Like she was talking to the old me trapped inside this smaller body. She just kept going on and on, she was shocked. And I was thrilled by her reaction. In the early days of this blog I remember dreaming about these future situations. It's so nice that those dreams have become reality.

I'm headed to bed and I plan on resting really well. It's like I'm playing catch-up every weekend when it comes to sleep. I didn't even mention my workout on the patio with the jump rope and the neighbor lady peeking at me through her bedroom window. I must have been too loud. She stopped looking once I noticed her. I wonder if she realized what I was doing? It was kind of dark and the rope is black. No telling what kind of crazy she imagined of me. I can only imagine her telling others, “and then I looked out to see what the commotion was all about and that guy was jumping up and down and grunting and moaning. Something isn't right about him.” Once again, thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,


  1. Buddy,

    A lot of people commented on you after you left and margie wasnt the only one, Betty Tammy and Catherine all said you were hot and Larry the gaurd had to do a double take, and asked me what you were doing, it has been 6 months since he saw you and didnt know it was you at all until he saw you hug

    So your WOW factor is on fire....Hate to hear about your day on here...LOL these 12's are almost over well almost half way...cannot wait until they are...well tonight was slow and Im soooo sick took my shower and some medicine and now I am going to lay down beside you...Love you baby and believe me Ive heard all night how good you look and how hot my man is....and it has felt soooo great because they are all so right...You are AMAZING!!!
    Love you buddy always

  2. Funny ending. . . maybe your neighbor will send the police out. Seriously, you have to find a new way to get positive attention than doing things to get pulled over!

    I wish I could take you like a pill and get your beliefs and words inside me. Clearly, I am just too dang smart to get this. . . ;)

    I am thinking about whether I would respond positively if someone spoke to me or handed me a card. I guess it would depend on the situation.

    Maybe if it was clear that what you were offering was just inspiration, nothing being sold.

    I might think mean thoughts. . . like, "Yeah, I've lost weight before too buddy, just wait. . ." so if the card said something that didn't sound "know it all" (not that I'm saying you do on your posts. . . just that I might interpret a card that way) but made it clear that you also needed ongoing inspiration or that helping others helped you stay motivated. . .or something.

    Clearly you will need to think about your card, and perhaps need an editor! :)

    Or. . .you could just get some T-shirts made or a pin that shows your before picture--"This was me. Ask me about my blog--I'm not selling anything." I might ask you about that. (or it could say "Honk if you want my card." or "Put back the Oreos, I'll take it as a sign to give you my card. . ."

    Well, I've just gone on and on. . . I must think you're sitting here with me sharing coffee. . . but oh yeah, you gave that up.

    I feel so warmly toward you and your family, Sean. Thank you.

  3. This is a great post. I love the part of about I am 100% responsible. I'm always looking for a reason why I do what I do instead of just accepting that it is all me and if I want to stop then it is up to me as well.

  4. You are fabulous! I have a weight loss blog (amount other things) too! good luck with your journey!

  5. Sean, every one of your posts is so inspiring. It has to be such a rush when people don't recognize you! Great work.

    And just remember, if the neighbors aren't wondering what you're up to you're not trying hard enough!

  6. Yes, Sean, it is incredibly simple to lose weight. And it works for everyone. It's weird when people say 'I'm glad you found something that works for YOU' as if there's a different way for them. No matter what anyone says, eat less and exercise more is the key! But it all has to start with that 'click', that decision that you are going to lose weight and nothing will stand in your way. My mother (miss you Mom) always said that if you want something badly enough you'll find a way to get it. She was right. Love your blog Sean!

  7. I love that you let everyone know that it is possible and it can be a learning experience and that you have been there :)

  8. I have heard something similar to what you were saying about being smart makes it harder to be convinced of something, be that losing weight, or other health issues. I am still working on my weight loss, (much more recent decision than you, obviously...), and I know that I shouldn't have X in the house, but I sometimes get it anyway, and can rationalize, well, Husband will eat it. (But I share. A lot.) Or that if the bag isn't open, it won't bother me. (But when the bag's open, watch out!) So, as I am coming to terms with what I know is good for me, and what isn't, I just have to deal with the fact that YOU CAN'T RATIONALIZE THIN. Just don't work.

    Thank you for your blog thoughts. Gives me things to ponder.

    Have a great one,

  9. There's simply nothing you can say in those situations. I was at a Starbucks in a bookstore yesterday, and the young woman in front of me ordered a chocolate chip frappacino and a cookie. I don't know if it was her lunch or snack (it was 3 p.m. or so) and I drank my bottled water and calculated the calories in my head. Over 1,000. She wasn't exactly fat, but she was well on her way.

    There's nothing you can say, but man... wouldn't you just love to? Not to scold them or get on their case, but to tell them there's a better way. That those empty calories just aren't worth it.

  10. I wish there was a way to gently encourage people to find a way to better eating/health. About 20 yrs. ago I was a 200+ mom at a "mom and tot" swim class with my then tot. When I got out of the pool with him I was approached by a woman who said she noticed me in the pool. I thought she wanted to comment on my cutest tot in the world but instead she handed me a card about some weight loss stuff. I put my tot on the back of my bike and rode home crying all the way. I knew I was overweight and wished I could change but it was not yet my time. My time just occured 2 yrs ago.
    I just wish there was a way to speed up their "ah-ha" moment.

  11. I know the feeling of being sorry for fat people (although I am far from skinny myself) - especially if I see how uncomfortable and insecure they are. Makes me wanna help. But a very smart person once told me that i cannot 'safe the world' - so I believe Mr. Simmons is right...
    Also I really found myself in what you wrote on complicating things. I have been reading, studying, watching, listening (...) about weightloss for years and years. But I couldn't actually do it. I KNEW everything, I just couldn't do it because it was this GIGANTIC task with so many things to do and think about, remember and to consider in my head. Things always only happened in my head, and because the task was far to big I never got aroung actually doing something.
    (The only solace I take from that is that I must be 'exceptionally smart' according to your words...hehe)
    So recently I just did it. No thinking, analyzing, just doing it. It works! So when it comes to weightloss (and only for that matter): think less - do more!
    Love your blog!!

  12. You should get a t-shirt made that reads "Ask me how I've lost over 200 pounds" on the front and "And I'm still losing" on the back. People will approach you, I promise.

    LOL at Margie asking "Is that you?" That was too funny. I have a great picture in my mind's eye of what the scene must have looked like.

    I think sometimes it's not necessarily just the food addiction that is hard to overcome, it's the feeling of hopelessness and dispair that can come with life itself. Being depressed and feeling overwhelmed can be some of the hardest feelings to deal with. Until you can find some way to overcome the feelings inside, then it can be almost impossible to do anything to make your life better. Keeping a positive attitude is key in this journey. I know when my surroundings get the best of me, then I go downhill quick. I have to keep my head up and ignore most everything around me to be able to stay on track. So I believe the "iron clad" decision needs to accompany the need to ignore all the negatives in life and keep your head up.

  13. Oh Sean, this was so wonderful, so rich. I too have had strangers come up to me offering "help" with weightloss. I knew they meant well, but it still hurt...not because of them, but because of how I felt about myself at that time. The only suggestion I can add,if you decide to offer a card, is to put on it: Please read Day 349 first...and what others have said about "I am not selling anything!"

    This post is definitely going into my mini-book of notes from your blog! It is full of hard-earned wisdom.

    Thank you sharing from your heart,

  14. We have a guest who had gastric bypass, and lost a tremendous amount of weight. He talks to everyone about it...great, until he starts handing you his surgeon's card. It was a wake up call for me! But even though he means well, it is a bit pushy...

    Next time wave at your neighbor and smile :D It will make her wonder what you are really up to!

  15. I love this post. I feel like you worte it just for me yet I know that there are so many others that need to read this and hear this. Where is the bottom? Where is that place where you find the strenth to take control? I hope it's not death.

  16. I got a little "wow" reaction from mentioning that I'd walk home from church today (it's about 6 miles) Someone said" Are you crazy?" I got offered a ride from another on the walk home. Even the girl I went to church with came a third the way back on an errand and tried to get me a ride the rest of the way.

    But I held my own and said I'm walking home if it takes me all day. This is "iron clad" as you say.

    Someone at church actually said to me how different I was. Not that you see a huge weight loss yet, but there is a major attitude shift going on.

    After all walking miles I'm sore and tired... It ain't easy, but its important... MAJOR LIFE ALTERING important. I tell myself... GET A LIFE!

    And remember it's all about getting a life at Foolsfitness!

    If I do get a life, I'm going to try real hard to not misplace it too. -Alan

  17. Amazing post again...

    I can't get the picture of the neighbor lady gossiping out of my mind. That actually made me laugh out loud.

  18. Nice post. I liked your interview with Jack. I'm much weight you have lost so far. It looks like you have met your goals.

  19. I actually laughed out loud about the neighbor woman looking at you and you thinking she was probably wondering what you were doing lol.

    I might have to look that flat bread up online with all the talk about it.

    Oh the other day you talked about the creamer stuff in your coffee, I don't know if anyone suggested already but have you thought about trying vanilla protein powder instead, 1/2 a scoop is 50-60 calories but then you'd also be getting 12 grams of protein for the bang. I find that putting it in my morning hot tea makes me stay feeling fuller longer too.

    I know what you mean about wanting to talk to people. I never do it either though. It's funny how you talked about the shirt thing, I still find myself doing that a lot.

    It really is about having hard, tough, stick to it rules for yourself that will get you through this journey. I guess for me it's that I'm pretty comfortable where I am now. But I still want to reach my goal so I can say I did. It's just about how long I want it to take. I know I want that crown so I better get those rules set in concrete. Thanks for reminding me what I want.

    That's cool people didn't recognize you and you got some hottie comments lol.


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