Sunday, September 6, 2009

Day 356 The Cowboys and Me: Victorious Again--336 Days Later

Day 356

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...

Good Choices,
Sean

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Inside Boone Pickens Stadium

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Part of the complimentary buffet line on the club level

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No standing in line for a hotdog here. How many do you want? The choices are yours!

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My wonderful lunch from the hot complimentary buffet

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I look really confident. I mean, uh...I am confident.

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A Georgia fan with a shirt that suggest he knows me. Apparently not, I spell my name Sean.

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Cookies anyone? They constantly replenish the cookie choices throughout the game.

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Oh--Did someone scream for ice cream? Relax---as much as you desire is waiting inside this freezer!

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Chips and candy bars your choice? How many you want? Just ask.

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My after game snack. An apple and a flavored water!

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My amazing mom. I love her so much!

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Mom and Me before.

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Mom and Me tonight.

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We're much happier people these days.

19 comments:

  1. It WAS a great game. As an SEC-hater, I'm happy your squad pulled it out.

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  2. you're right it is all about choices.. making the right ones and sticking to them.. nothing is "bad" food as such, just "bad" choices.. click!!!! :)

    You and your mum look so happy :) Thank you for sharing :)

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  3. You mom is looking great - has she had a facelift or something?? She looks years younger! I want to know her secret, lol!

    It is certainly a big difference since last time, what a massive change you have made in your life.

    Thanks for showing us the tem-, er I mean choices (you did good, of course)!

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  4. Your mom is beautiful!

    I am so glad you had a great day and got to experience the "club" seating. I got to do that at a Raiders game once, and even though I am not a huge football fan, it was a blast! Something everyone should do once, if they have the opportunity.

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  5. Love the pics of you and your Mom. And I am so glad that she is making good choices these days! You should be so proud that you have made such an impact on so many lives, but mostly that of your Mom. I know you love her so much and just want the best for her. Now maybe she can have that happiness that she has always looked for in every fad diet, diet pill and weight loss book. Kudos to you my friend!

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  6. Hi Sean. So glad you had such a great time at the game. I've never seen so many sausages in one place in my life!

    Many people would have been totally flumuxed by all that free food, so to keep sane and make good choices was a real achievement. But this now seems to have become second nature to you. It gives hope to other people that if they work at it hard enough and long enough they too might get to that stage in their relationship with food.

    Lovely pictures of you and your mum. It may just be the pictures, but she really reminds me of Irene! Both are beautiful girls.

    Best wishes to you all,
    Bearfriend xx

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  7. Loved your discussion on calling temptations choices to take away the power and to be honest with oneself. Very true and accurate reasoning. I need to apply that thinking in my life.

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  8. Does Barry Sanders still play for OSU?

    Glad you had a great time.

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  9. Very true about choices. I usually pick pretty healthy but i think i'd have a hard time when everything is free.
    Way to go on your wise choices!
    And yep, your mom looks awesome :)

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  10. I again with 2Bmeagain - Great comments on making choices not giving into temptations.

    Congrats on good choices - especially with massive amts of "free" food. Course we know that food isn't really "free"

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  11. Hi Sean, I hadn't intended to comment...I know how busy you are. But I just had to thank you for writing a "then and now" of how it was to go to the game. It was exciting to see it played out in a real life situation. And even with your Mom...it was so touching. I wish my Mom could have been here still to see me finally make it...

    You have inspired me to make some kind of "now" record, so that later I can compare how much things have changed, improved. And I agree with the others...that's a GREAT way of reframing it: choices, not temptations; we have the power to choose. Great stuff!
    Loretta

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  12. Wow Sean...you just gave me a "wow" moment..again. You're so good at that..."calling it a temptation gives it power". Why haven't I ever thought of that??? I'm ripping the power away!! Everything is now called a choice!! I have all the power...what an awesome feeling! I'm glad you had a great time with your buddies at the game...I can't say I'm pleased that your team beat mine, but hey...it's all good. I especially loved the excerpt from the previous time you were at the stadium, compared to now. That was awesome...and the pics with your mom are just lovely....what beautiful smiles!! The happiness that both of you are feeling is shining through! :)

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  13. What a wonderful post. Before I started on my journey, I would have gone nuts on all that food. I would have spent all my time wandering back to those tables over and over. I'm glad I've had my 'click' too. Because looking at that stuff did not fill me with a drooling urge. And yay for changing temptation into choice because that is exactly what it is. Last night we were out and refreshments were laid on a huge table: cookies, brownies, puppy chow galore. I had 700 calories left in the bank. And I had nothing and didn't want anything at all. And it wasn't this huge struggle with my inner self. I really didn't want it. But when I got home I made bacon and eggs with juice and even endulged in a piece of toast. I ate every single bite. And it was gooooooooood. Loved the pics. You two do look very happy. Hugs to you both!

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  14. Very cute pictures of your mom!! I have recently started following your blog and I am enjoying it. Congrats on losing so much weight!! Your an inspiration!

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  15. Anson Williams??? Potsie??? Where did I miss that at? How did I miss reading about that? I remember him in the Happy Days days!!! And you got to watch the game with him and then be his designated driver???? How did that come about? Why didn't you take a picture with him? WOW!!! Your mom is doing really good. I couldnt believe how good she looked the last time I was back home a few weeks ago! I'm really proud of her...all of you! POTSIE WEBBER??? How cool!!!

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  16. Those are great pictures of you and your mom.

    Well done to both of you for your good choices!

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  17. Buddy,
    Such a so true saying about choices and not temptations because the choice is yours to make and a temptation gives it power and makes it sound like you couldnt help it when in fact it is a choice for you to choose and you have the complete power over it, which so fits with what you have said all along...good choices ....loved it!!
    Mom looks great, so happy you got to spend some time...she misses you (us) so much and so looks foward to getting to see you (us)!!
    Terrific post and wow how far you have come!! The difference between then and now are so Incredible I am just so very proud of you!! When I think about where you are and where you were, it just brings tears to my eyes buddy, how unhappy you were and how happy you are today!! How you are below 300 and how that must feel to you to finally be there so wonderful buddy I am such a lucky girl to have you in my life, your such a wonderful man and I love you so very much!! you are very hansome, sexy and cute, but you are honest, pure and true, a wonderful soul and just so happy I get to spend the rest of my days with you...better than ever!!
    Love you always and forever buddy!
    your buddy,
    Irene

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  18. Great post about choices and temptation. I had a lot of choices this weekend as well, and I'm happy to say I made all good ones!!

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