Monday, August 31, 2009

Day 350 Taking To The Stage and Individual Mental Puzzles

Day 350

Taking To The Stage and Individual Mental Puzzles

When I was a kid... oh no, here we go again! When I was a kid in school, up until my freshman year in high school, my weight seemed to have very little positive value. It was a constant magnet for ridicule, bullying, and all of the negative things that go along with being a morbidly obese child. Then I discovered something that would change me in a very profound way. I found humor. I discovered the art of making people laugh. Never mind that it usually was at my expense, it didn't matter to me. If they were laughing, that meant they loved me, and everyone wants to be loved, right?

I discovered this ability while performing in a school play my freshman year. I was cast in a bit part as a reporter for “Sewing Made Easy” Magazine. The play was about a department store that had installed a “Happiness Machine” for their customers. The happiness machine was a match maker. Stand two people in front of it and it automatically would tell you if they were compatible. When the two leads in the play were matched together by this machine, the reporters rushed in to get the scoop! I had two lines in the whole thing. “What are you going to wear? (for the wedding) The readers of Sewing Made Easy would really like to know.” The second line was delivered after the male lead rejected the female lead in front of everyone in the store, including the reporters. The second line? “I'll marry her!” and blammo--The thunderous laughter from the audience after delivering that line was something I'll never forget. It truly changed me. Every performance it was the same thing, thunderous laughter every single time. I went from being the fat kid who got picked on to being on the “cool kid” list. People that would never give the time of day before all of a sudden wanted to talk to me. It changed how people treated me. I was addicted. I can't honestly say that this is what made me want to be a stand-up comedian, because watching Louie Anderson's debut on the Tonight Show years earlier did that for me. But it was profound in it's affect. I knew that the line was only funny because I was fat. I knew that, but I didn't care. I had just found a way to make people love me despite my weight, heck because of my weight! Louie's set on Carson was full of fat jokes too, this was OK I felt.

As my weight became much more of an issue it kept me from auditioning for roles in school productions. But I've always had that desire to act again. And not necessarily in a comedic role.
At over 500 pounds, the parts available were slim to none. But where I am now and where I'm headed, oh boy...the possibilities are endless. Now I don't know if my schedule or future plans can really accommodate me “catching the bug” of theater. But I thought I'd give it a try. So tonight I made my way over to the Wilken Theater on the campus of Northern Oklahoma College and I auditioned for one of the lead roles in the play “Call Me Henry.” Could you imagine? Me? In a lead role? This is something that I could never really do at over 500 pounds, wouldn't have had the confidence to even audition really. But tonight was different. I was confident and did very well I thought. The director seemed pleased and I received compliments from a couple of people afterwards. Will I get the part? Who knows. If not, it was a wonderful experience! I'll tell you this, if I'm cast in this production, I'm really going to be on an extremely tight schedule for a solid month with little room for error. Maybe that discipline is what I need to whip my schedule and time management skills into shape. If I don't get the part, it might be a blessing in disguise. I'm good either way. I'll let you know how this turns out, you can count on that!

A good friend of mine pointed out something very true after they read last night's post. And by the way, thank you for the wonderful comments and supportive e-mails concerning the blog. She understands my sincerity in wanting this so badly for every single morbidly obese person I see. And especially for wanting it passionately for my friends and family. But she pointed out something very true: While the physical actions required along this road are very similar for all of us. The mental part, the most important, is different and specific to each individual. Basically, we all have our own baggage to deal with, and that effects how we get our mind in the proper place for success with weight loss or anything else for that matter.

In thinking about this today I realized that for some this mental change is much harder. It took me nearly twenty years to really get my mind to a place where success could happen. I was quickly running out of time. And for many of us, we don't have that long to figure this stuff out. I realize that all I can do is share some of the mental gymnastics and exercises that have helped me, and that's certainly what you find in these writings. You might immediately apply these techniques and find success, or you might still seriously struggle---because the pieces of your mental puzzle are not the same as mine.

One thing that came along four or five months ago was a very special paragraph from motivational writer and philosopher Ralph Marston. I've struggled so much less after reading these words. It truly set me free. I received permission from Mr. Marston to publish this a long time ago as long as I include his website address afterward. Read the following and let it really sink in, read it over and over if you have to: “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." That is the third time I've included this in my blog. I fully embrace it and I completely understand it. I hope you do as well. Ralph Marston is an amazing writer and philosopher, you can subscribe to his “Daily Motivator” at www.greatday.com

We enjoyed chicken egg rolls with sweet and sour sauce and baked french fries tonight. Sounds yummy huh? Oh it was! We baked the egg rolls too. Each one is fairly good size and only 120 calories. The fries we used weighed in at 150 calories a serving. Two egg rolls and a serving of fries equaled 390, add two tablespoons of sauce for 60 and you have a very filling (and incredibly naughty feeling) dinner for 450 calories. I tried to eat three of these egg rolls recently for 360 calories, and I just couldn't do it---way too filling. I was stuffed after two. Oh, ketchup---that's right, OK—add another 30 calories. So 480 for the entire meal. I can live with those numbers.

Diana Lynn is someone that recently found my blog and she asked a question in a comment on Day 348 about my food plan. The comment didn't have an e-mail reply option, so I'll answer here. I try to eat something at least every three hours. I didn't always do this. Until about four months ago, I didn't care how I arrived at 1,500 calories...as long as I left enough for a good dinner and a late night snack I was happy. With that attitude, I would often go six or seven hours without eating. Then I was told the “Wood Burning Stove” metabolism analogy by Fitness and Life Coach Melissa Walden and it just made perfect sense. Here's an excerpt from Day 197: I've really been concentrating on spreading out my calories more evenly throughout the day, you know, to keep the fire in my “wood burning stove” burning hot. The metabolism is a tricky thing. I use to think that the metabolism was something you were just born with and completely unable to change. I thought that some of us were blessed with a really fast metabolism and some were unfortunately “blessed” with a slow metabolism. While you'll find some truth in that, a slow metabolism doesn't have to remain slow. I've learned that exercise, water consumption, and eating frequently all have the power to act like a “metabolism dial” that you can adjust up several notches. It just so happens that all of my former bad behaviors with food and lack of movement was a perfect recipe for a sluggish metabolism. Oh how much time I wasted being depressed and negative about losing weight because I had a naturally slow metabolism, and all the while my metabolism was yelling “Hey, help me help you!” and “It's called H2O, look it up.” and “If you would eat smaller portions maybe I wouldn't feel so smothered down here.” and “How long has it been since you really exercised...well that's too long.” That's right, my metabolism was a heckler that I refused to acknowledge for many years. Instead I would sit and be jealous of the naturally thin people with super-human metabolisms, looking out the window as they would run by with their workout pants and water bottle. “Crazy over-achievers,” I thought. I now pride myself on slowly becoming one of them. I don't even necessarily have to be an over-achiever, just an achiever, that'd be just fine with me. I'm fitting the description of an “achiever” everyday, one day at a time right? Diana, I eat every three hours and I'm never hungry unless it's first thing when I wake up. It forces me to make good choices throughout the day. And yes, nothing is off limits in responsible portions!

I'm headed to bed tonight without a workout to report. What? Mr. Good Choices didn't workout today? No I didn't. I could get my behind on the patio for some more jump rope action, I could even travel to the trail for a quick 5K, or pop in the Richard Simmons DVD. But I've decided to get to bed instead. I should have managed my time better earlier today. That's my fault. But I've never claimed to be perfect. I'm so not perfect. And I don't have to be. And neither do you. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

19 comments:

  1. Oh wow--I am so proud of you for auditioning. How fun would that be? If you get you have to promise to post a video of the play. Thank you for sharing that paragraph from Ralph Marston--it seems to mean more or something different every time I read it!

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  2. OHHHH I sooooo hope you get that part Daddy! I'm so proud of you. It defiantly takes some confidence to audition for a play! I'm glad you went and did that for yourself. I know you have always wanted to do some acting! I am so excited for you! I hope you get the part!! ahhh!! :)


    Ralph Marston. All I have to say is WOW. That is very powerful. I read it 6 times. The end is what really gets me. "Set yourself free to truly live." Ralph is so right. The choice is ours...everyday.


    I love you daddy!
    And I MISS YOU!
    I will see you Friday! I can't wait!
    You gotta make that pizza for me!
    xoxoxox
    -Ambeeeee

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  3. Hi there, I've only just discovered your blog and I'm loving it! You are an inspiration. Hope you get the part...what fun xx

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  4. GO YOU on the audition.

    it's hard to put yourself (ok myself :)) out there like that sometimes.

    Have a great week, Oh Inspiring One.

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  5. Good luck on getting the part. How exciting! I'm glad that you love humour. I do as well. I always say that you can find humour in most things. Humour is a very important part of everyone's life. We all need it.

    Thanks for saying you're not perfect and that we don't need to be either.

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  6. Well Done You..mmm those film star looks might come to something yet;0)

    Sean Anderson Actor of Stage and Screen..
    My dream might come true..

    Thank you for the Ralph Marston quote, it got up and hit me where it hurts..and there isn't so much padding there now!!

    Hugs

    Sheilagh

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  7. Good luck on the audition. You so have the "leading man" look now.

    And thank you for answering a question I had but never asked you regarding hunger. Eating every three hours? Excellent!

    Have a great day!

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  8. Hope you get the part! I think it would be a great thing for you to do :)
    Perfection isn't all it's made up to be, i'm just now realizing that!

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  9. Break a leg on that play thing. Well, don't take that literally. Well, you know what I mean...

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  10. Good for you! It is great to see you going for your dreams. I really hope you get the part but if you don't it will be ok. You see, the important thing here isn't whether or not you get the part, it is the fact that you stepped out of your comfort zone and auditioned for it. The fact that you went for it is proof that you are not only changing physically but you are changing mentally as well. That my friend is a truly remarkable transformation. Kudos to you!

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  11. As you are getting smaller, your world is getting bigger! How wonderful that you auditioned for that play. The quote from Ralph Marston is so true, and you are an example of how we can set ourselves free to pursue our dreams. I am happy for you!!
    Loretta

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  12. It's fun seeing you interact with your daughter. I have a feeling I'll be doing the same thing in a few years with mine.
    I can see you are excited about your possibilities. Good luck on your audition.

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  13. Awesome on the audition! I was very involved in "community theater" when we lived in Texas.Even got to play the Sally Fields character in Steel Magnolia! It was a blast! But VERY time consuming! It will definitely require that you get your time prioritized! If you don't get it, don't give up! Keep trying out. Maybe there's a good play coming up with the local group. "Break a leg!"

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  14. I think that's fabulous that you auditioned. Good luck with the casting process!

    While I think the metabolism stuff probably helps, my guess is that your firm 1500 Calorie Bank & Trust rule is probably the most important. On the margins, does doing the metabolism stuff help? Probably. But I'd bet the basics of "not too much food, moving around more" is over 90% of the battle.

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  15. I have listened to your stuff on your other web site. Funny? Yes. But I can hear the pain behind the jokes, just as I can with other overweight comics.

    I hope that this audition leads you down a road that isn't so painful, but yet still just as much fun!

    The metabolism thing works. Reminds me I need to get back to that instead of having one large meal a day...I get too busy :D

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  16. So happy you went to the audition! I'm lucky I'm surrounded by actors (my husband and my neighbors) so I'm constantly entertained! It's a real talent and you are lucky to have it!

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  17. Thanks Sean for answering my questions. I assumed ( obviously wrongly ) that somehow my email was tied to my comment. Sorry. Appreciate your response. The nutritionist who's helping me get off to a good start is really insistent that I eat every 2&1/2 -3 hours and I'm amazed at the difference it's making in how I feel. Like you, too many years of bad habits made me think I couldn't lose weight because "I have a slow metabolism." or "I'm too old." or I have one ear bigger than the other." Whatever excuse worked that week.
    No more. One decision. Made ONCE.
    http://thisweightotheexit.com

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  18. You are going to give up working out to get some sleep?!? WOW! There is hope for you yet!
    ;-)
    Just kidding... I hate to hear that you didn't get to workout though. I know how you feel about that. But I am proud of you for trying to make rest a priority. I am sure that was a tough decision for you to make.

    I LOVE that paragraph by Ralph. Thank you for posting it again. I think this time I may copy it down and read it atleast once every day.

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  19. Great quote. Haven't been following you blog for very long so gald you posted it again.

    Great info in the metabolism section too.

    Getting enough sleep is important too.

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