The Cowboys and Me: Victorious Again—336 Days Later
Today was going to be fun. Very busy, but fun. Today was the OSU-Georgia Football game in Stillwater. I had planned on arriving early and taking my mom to lunch, but those plans were quickly scrapped when the time slipped away so quickly. Suddenly realizing I needed to arrive at the stadium shortly after cruising into my hometown, mom and I made alternate plans. We would go out for coffee and breakfast after all of the late night festivities and before my return trip to Ponca City. It was a little less than a year ago that I had the chance to enjoy a game at Boone Pickens Stadium. The differences between that early trip and today were monumental. Here's an excerpt from Day 20 titled “The Cowboys and Me Victorious: When we got in the stadium we had a choice. Stairs or escalator. Which one do you think I chose? No, actually I chose the escalator. But with good reason! I was anticipating a big climb up the stadium steps and I didn't want to be completely depleted by the time we got there. So we stepped onto the escalator and discovered that our seats were no more than, oh I'm guessing here, probably thirty yards from the top of the escalator. We showed the tickets to the usher and he pointed to a big tightly packed group of fans. Our seats were somewhere in the middle of those people. I wasn't looking forward to “excusing” myself through all of those people, then finding our official seats, and then spending the rest of the game crowding those around us. Because I'm telling you, the inches they give each seat number is ridiculous. If the stadium were full of kids it would be perfect, but it's full of adults...some big and some small. And the small ones are the people that end up sacrificing their space for us larger people. Well, I just happened to notice four seat numbers vacant right on the front isle of that section. I asked the usher if we could sit there just until someone came along to claim them. He was indicating the answer was no, then I told him that I could see it was really packed tight up around our official seat numbers and I really didn't want to crowd anyone. After I said that he was totally cool with the idea. He completely understood and so there we were, right at about the forty yard line half way up on the isle. This meant absolutely zero stadium step climbing. To tell you the truth, I was kind of looking forward to the challenge, but I knew I would be much more comfortable where we were—with plenty of room. It was perfect except for the loud guy behind us who insisted on yelling at the referee after what seemed like every play. I've never understood yelling at the referee. Could you imagine the ref getting on his microphone and saying... “after further review and advice from the guy in section 332 row 53 seat 5, the call is reversed, the touchdown stands and I'm getting Lasik eye surgery as soon as possible”. It became rather entertaining to listen too after a while. What's funny is I'm pretty sure this guy was stone cold sober because they don't sell alcohol at Boone Pickens Stadium. I can't imagine what he would have been like after three or seven beers. My Uncle Keith and I didn't get to the game in time to take advantage of the standing tailgate invitation we had, so we just grabbed a diet beverage at the concession stand. I didn't plan on buying anything to eat at the stadium and even if I did, I doubt I could stand paying the really high prices and calories. I paid $4.50 for a medium sized Diet Dr. Pepper, for that price it better taste more like regular Dr. Pepper! It really was a fun time and to make it even better, the Cowboys beat the Aggies 56 to 28! By the way, nobody ever showed for the isle seats we borrowed making it real comfortable the entire game. The great thing is by next year at this time I'll perfectly fit in the very small space each seat number provides. That'll be nice! What a difference another 336 days has made! I arrived at the stadium without a worry today. I wasn't worried about the walking, I wasn't worried about the seats, I wasn't worried about the “temptation,” I wasn't worried about anything but enjoying myself. I was free to relax and have a great time. I put the word temptation in quotation marks because somewhere along this journey I realized something very valuable. I realized instead of calling various foods “temptations,” I would call them “choices.” To label something a “temptation” is to give it power, suggesting an unstable resolve teetering on a possible breakdown of that resolve. But “choices” take away that power. Suddenly it isn't a temptation, it's a choice, my choices—my responsibility. A “choice” strengthens our self-honesty and resolve in personal responsibility. We're 100% responsible for our choices. “Temptation” offers an excuse and a way to rationalize bad choices because: “I was tempted!” “Those things are so tempting, what could I do?” “And then so and so brought those brownies, I just couldn't handle the temptation.”
I had plenty of choices today. I didn't realize just how many until I arrived at the stadium tailgate party hosted by Anson Williams. He had a spread ready to go, plenty of choices, “just help yourself!” I chose a hotdog on a bun with mustard and my flavored water. It was easy, and it can be easy, when you take the focus off the food and put it on your friends and the atmosphere of the moment. I enjoyed myself immensely at the tailgate, but oh boy...the choices had only begun. Anson had invited me to sit in the club level of the stadium. I've never enjoyed the “club” level. I didn't realize exactly what that meant until we arrived, although the $400.00 price on the ticket indicated that it was certainly something grand on that level. Good thing I was a guest of a friend, because I'm not sure if I could ever pay that kind of money for a seat at a game, regardless of my financial condition. Upon arriving on the club level, I discovered a completely different stadium atmosphere. Everything except the alcohol was complimentary. I mean everything. They had a hot food buffet, complimentary. They had typical stadium concession items, again...complimentary. Soft drinks? Of course, complimentary. I was in choices overload here. Check out the pictures below. No standing in lines for a hotdog and a drink up here, and don't even try to open a door for yourself or press an elevator button---people are there to do that for you. Wow, it was amazing. Everything was complimentary. You want a Snickers Bar? How many? Nachos? How big can you pile the plate? Bratwurst, hotdogs, chips, popcorn, cookies, gourmet brownies, and an ice cream freezer full of ice cream novelty items “free” for the taking. So what did I have?
I enjoyed roasted chicken, green beans, and roasted red potatoes. I had several diet soft drinks and a few water bottles throughout the game. I did not “invest” any calories in any of the other choices available. It was an exercise in “choices” with an emphasis on personal responsibility and putting the focus where it should be: Off the food and on a great game. The Cowboys beat Georgia 24-10. It was a great day.
I even skipped steps on the way back up to the club level doors. Instead of slowly climbing each step, I actually power climbed them, skipping a step all the way up. And at the top, I was completely fine. I didn't have to regain my composure because it was never lost. Very different from my 500 pound plus days. Completely different.
After the win there were plenty of festivities to enjoy. The after game tailgating was followed by me being the designated driver for Anson and his entourage. The evening turned into night and we celebrated the victory until just after 1am. I dropped the guys off along with Anson's vehicle at their hotel and called some good friends for a ride to my vehicle across town. Rachel and Neil picked me up and I immediately noticed the changes in Rachel. She's excited about the changes in the way she feels and looks! It's a wonderful thing really. You can follow her at http://www.creatingthemeinside.blogspot.com/
I made my way across town to pick up my mom and head for Shortcakes Diner. Shortcakes is a small little diner that's extremely popular with the college crowd in Stillwater. They're known for their chicken fried steak. We didn't order the chicken fry. We were mainly there to visit and marvel at how we both can now comfortably fit in their cheap orange formica lined row-a-booths. We visited for a while and enjoyed about 500 calories each in our choices. For me, a couple of eggs and hashbrowns and a few bites of a pancake we ordered to share. Mom also ordered a couple of eggs, no hashbrowns, but whole wheat toast, and she too enjoyed a few bites of the pancake (another Shortcakes specialty). We had a wonderful visit and even snapped a few pictures you'll find below! I'm so happy that mom has finally made the “click” on her weight loss road. She fully embraces this approach that has completely transformed her son. It was wonderful, just absolutely wonderful.
I hurried home and arrived around 4:30am. I was a zombie at this point. Completely spent, and there was absolutely no way to write this post. So I joined Irene in bed and we slept very nicely. It was so good to just relax and rest. I'm posting this Saturday edition after a good sleep! These changes I write about, these are not exclusive to me. You can have them too, you really can. It's truly your choice. Thanks for reading. Goodnight and...
Inside Boone Pickens Stadium
Part of the complimentary buffet line on the club level
No standing in line for a hotdog here. How many do you want? The choices are yours!
My wonderful lunch from the hot complimentary buffet
I look really confident. I mean, uh...I am confident.
A Georgia fan with a shirt that suggest he knows me. Apparently not, I spell my name Sean.
Cookies anyone? They constantly replenish the cookie choices throughout the game.
Oh--Did someone scream for ice cream? Relax---as much as you desire is waiting inside this freezer!
Chips and candy bars your choice? How many you want? Just ask.
My after game snack. An apple and a flavored water!
My amazing mom. I love her so much!
Mom and Me before.
Mom and Me tonight.
We're much happier people these days.