Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day 365 The Most Important Year of Our Life

Day 365

The Most Important Year of Our Life

Where do I begin? I started this journey on September 15th, 2008, and although tomorrow is officially my one year anniversary—today was Day 365: The last day of the most important year of my life. My firm answer to the question, “is it ever going to change?” “Will I ever get a handle on this weight that's killing me?” Yes!, YES!, YESSSS! I was really scared when I started on Day 1. I honestly believed my time was running out and it was. Either an early death or the complete collapse of my family, one or the other, or both was inevitable without serious change. It took me 443 months of life to arrive at this desperate crossroads.

I arrived at this place as a 505 pound man with raging high blood pressure, deadly sleep apnea, and swelling so bad in my right leg that painful open sores would develop when the skin refused to stretch any further. I arrived at this place with a wife and two daughters that would often sit and cry together because they were scared to death that I would leave them too soon. I arrived at this place with a mother that would stay up all night worrying about me, sometimes calling just to ask through the tears, “When are you really going to get busy?” I arrived at this place scared to death of myself, my habits, my behaviors that had me cornered, beating me into submission with zero hope for survival. The more my family cried for me, the more scared I became. I can't do this, I thought. But I must---But I don't really know how---on and on the mental battle within me raged. Was this it? Did I reach a point of wanting to give up the fight? Yes I did. However, a couple of problems, let's call them character traits, stood in the way of me giving up: I'm a survivor and I'm a dreamer. A dream can't survive forever without positive action, so action had to start, even if I hadn't a clue where to begin. After 443 months, 12 months has changed it all, turned it completely around. But how? What has made the last 12 months different from any other 12 month period in my life?

I found self-honesty. I found personal responsibility. I let go of the blame and I stopped feeling sorry for the victim I played so well. I became the one in charge of my choices with a completely honest understanding of the consequences, good or bad. Was I going to die a miserable fat man? Or would I completely change my family's life for the better? The choice was mine to make. I made the good choice. It wasn't easy fighting a lifetime of addiction, but it was a fight that I was determined to win because my family was worth the fight. I was worth the fight.

An excerpt from Day 1 titled “Calorie Wars:” “I've allowed my weight to hold me back in my career, and more importantly: It's held my family back from fully enjoying life. That's pretty big stuff. I'm writing this blog as a self-motivation tool. I need to write, I need to express my feelings and experiences, I need to continually remind myself of what I need to do and keep doing. That's what this blog is all about. If you read this blog and have a laugh or feel inspired to lose weight too, then it's all the better! But I'm doing it for me. And by doing it for me, I'm also doing it for my beautiful wife and two daughters. How important is it that I lose the weight now? Well...every now and then I day dream a nightmare where I envision my family at my funeral. I know...it's dark! And very scary. But every time I have a little pain I wonder, is this it? Am I about to collapse? Will my funeral be Thursday?? That's very depressing and scary stuff. But when you're as big as I am, it's something that you have to think about all the time.” ...This is all about making choices. Every choice we make has a consequence...some good, some bad...Some real good, Some very, very bad. Choices and consequences, that's what it's all about." I honestly had no idea what this blog would become to me. It has become my therapist. It has taught me so much about myself, good and bad. It has become a window where I can look at the real me, without excuses, without rationalizations that try to justify bad choices, and with 100% self honesty and personal responsibility. It's not a war now. Morbid obesity continues it's retreat everyday. And I'm standing tall surrounded by those who love and support me every step of the way. I'm winning. I'm changing a pattern of defeat into a pattern of triumph.

This simplistic approach flies in the face of complications. It can be easy, if you decide it can. Mental gymnastics aside, it's super simple: Eat 1500 calories a day, doesn't matter what, anything you like. And move. Have some form of physical movement---doesn't matter what, anything you like, just move. Your choices with food and exercise will improve with time. Don't worry about getting fancy at first.

The mental part? Well, it is the most important. Make this one of the most important things you've ever done. Be over-dramatic about this, make it a life or death decision. Commit to a consistent effort and discover what 365 days can do for you. It'll change your life my friend.

Irene had work tonight, Courtney had math tutoring, and I had play rehearsal. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

At this point I woke up and realized that I had slept sitting up at the computer for nearly two hours. It was almost 2am. I decided I better go to bed. I just deleted nine pages of 8's. It's a little after 5am Tuesday and I'm getting ready for work.

I'm also getting ready to use a wonderful gift given to me by a regular reader of this blog. I received a call earlier in the day telling me that someone had dropped off something for me at the Team Radio offices, a blog reader, and it was a gift. I was so excited! Whoever, whatever...they didn't have to do that! But I sure was excited still to find out what waited inside the bag. I picked it up and found a hand written letter inside. It read in part: Sean, I'm a daily reader of your blog. I so admire what you and your family are doing. You have helped me put my own food addiction to rest. I have, in the past years, lost to 108 pounds twice, but would resume my old eating habits within months, only to gain it all back and more. You have given me strength to do what is right for myself. Thank you, and your family for that. A while back, you made comment that there had to be an easier way to separate an egg---well, here are 2 of them---egg separators. Thank you my friend! Thank you! You see, this is the unexpected gift of this entire journey. I share this letter because, wow...It's letters like this that make it all a little more sweet. The thought of me or my family inspiring anybody to do anything productive this time last year would have been absurd. What a wonderful feeling. This is why I will spend the rest of my life writing and speaking about weight loss. Isn't it funny really...the one thing that held me back and nearly killed me all of those years, it's actually making it possible for me to realize my dreams now. It's a complete turnaround, a 180 degree turn. And it's all happened in a short 365 days.

I'm going to use one of my new egg separators and prepare breakfast now. Look for the pictures on Tuesday night's edition, I've run out of time. Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

32 comments:

  1. You found yourself. That's what I read in this post, and I am so impressed by all you have accomplished. Congratulations!

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  2. Happy anniversary, my friend! You are truly amazing!

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  3. Congratulations on everything you have accomplished over the past 365 days. It is a joy to read how much your life and the life of your family has changed over the past year. I hope the next 365 days are even better.

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  4. This post makes me so happy and hopeful. Through your day-in, day-out consistency you have obviously earned the kudos and congrats you are hearing all around you! Not to mention the awesome benefits you are experiencing in your health and your family's life.

    I've never used an egg separator... I keep trying to picture what that looks like---time to hit up Google! It sounds incredibly convenient.

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  5. This is a big milestone for you my friend. One whole year can make a huge difference in a life. And now I can say 'Where will I be in a year?' I am filled with such joy. Hugs to you Sean. I'll be first in line to buy your book.

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  6. Buddy cakers.......
    WOW where do I start? I have so much love for you and our beautiful family in my heart, I have cried all the way through this like a small child....I am just so happy that you have done this, that you have found yourself and so proud of you for this whole year...I cannot tell you what my heart feels for you, for us, I cannot put into words how I feel at this moment.. but I will try...
    I remember all of your pain, I remember all of mine and I remember your moms and our girls pain as well...There was not a day that went by that we werent concerned...The pain you hadd with your legs, having to sleep with a machine and your overall just terrible out look on life, and it has always saddened me to see you not do anything about it...Now here you are, look at what you have accomplished and look how far you have come and look at all the people who are inspired by you and who love you...there are so many, baby and there will be so many more, look at what you are doing and what you are able to do, you have a gift buddy one that has always been theere just hidden with doubt and now that is all gone, you can do anything and be anything you want to be and I am just so overwhelmed with joy that you know that!! My heart overflows with so much for you buddy I am happy for you, me and the girls we will never worry about your health the way that we have in the past and to turn it all around in 365 days is truly remarkable!! You are so special to me buddy and I just want you to know how proud I am of you and what a wonderful truly amazing awesome person you are inside and out...this does not even come close to what I am feeling in my heart, but it is the closest I can get on paper...I just love you soooo much!!
    always and forever
    Irene
    xoxoxo

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  7. It is truly amazing what you have accomplished in just 1 year! I am so happy for your success...you and your family inspire so many people. Thanks for blogging your journey and caring so much about other people's journey as well.

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  8. happy anniversary man! kinda like earning your 1yr chip in AA...your are such a role model, thansk for sharing all you do!

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  9. Congrats Sean! If your weight loss motivational speaking tour ever comes to the UK I'll be right there!

    And be sure to take plenty of photos - you'll need them for the book(s)!

    Best wishes,
    Bearfriend xx

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  10. I agree with "Friend" - if you ever do a tour and come to Connecticut, count me in. Congrats Sean!

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  11. Happy Anniversary, you sure have alot ot celebrate! Congats on your successes, you are a true inspiration!

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  12. Wow. This just makes me want to cry. Not just cry, but weep. From happiness for you and the clarity and strength you've found over the last year. Truly amazing.

    I have those daymares too. All the time. Now I just need to find in my what you have found in you. I have friend in real life that has lost over seventy pounds this year and she told me the same thing last night that you said yourself, "this was about me. I had to do this more me." And she went on to say, "you need to do this for YOU. Not for David or your kids or your mom or whatever. You need to do this for you." It is so hard for me to do something that feels so selfish even though logically I know that it is the most unselfish thing I could ever do.

    I'm so glad you are going to keep on writing. You are very inspirational.

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  13. Congratulations on the past wonderful year!!
    And have fun with the egg separator:) But please get some much needed rest.

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  14. I am so happy for you. Though my life has been out of control for several days, well okay, for several months, I come and read here to realize that I must get back to consistency.

    Happy Anniversary! You are inspiring.

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  15. Congrats on an amazing year. You are an inspiration man.

    Alllllllllllllllllll my best!

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  16. Congratulations, Sean!
    Not just on the amazing weight loss but on the self-growth as well.
    Here's to an amazing Next Year!

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  17. Sean, you are and will continue to be an inspiration. Just think how many people you have reached out to in your blog. You have the "it factor" my friend. I'm glad that you were able to share your journey. Here's to another great year!

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  18. Sean, I am so proud of you. I put a link to your blog on my facebook yesterday, celebrating your "re-birth" day today! Already had lots of comments thanking ME for sharing your blog! You need to be discovered by the big-wigs in broadcasting soon! Your story should be shared to the world! You're are an amazing writer, inspirational speaker, and all round great guy! I'm lucky to have met you! Hope you and your whole family get to have a wonderful celebration this weekend. Blessings, Sara

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  19. I must be psycho. I thought I was a follower on your blog and I'm not! (This has been corrected.) I saw your wife's post today and came over and was amazed! You've lost an overweight person! Without tricks and trades and plastic surgery! May God be with your on your next 365 days...and may we all learn a few things from your book.

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  20. Congratulations Sean on a Fabulous Weight Loss.

    Congratulations on an Amazing Year.

    Congratulations on being a Wonderful Writer.

    You are such an inspiration and I am so happy to have "met you".

    Hope to meet you in person sometime, maybe on that motivation speaking tour mentioned above:)

    Enjoy your celebration.

    Love and hugs

    Sheilagh

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  21. Congratulations Sean - I've totally enjoyed and am inspired by all of your posts. Keep up the excellent work!

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  22. Happy Anniversary! You are SUCH an inspiration... and I am SO happy that you decided to change your life one year ago today! Look at all you have accomplished in this past year! You simply amaze me! :)

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  23. I became weepy reading this post and can't wait for your post tonight. Great job on one year in and for changing your life and everyone else's around you (including mine). I have been having terrible struggles lately and I open up your blog and seem to become inspired by reading what you have to say. You are very open and honest and I feel like I know you by just reading about you. Sending much adoration and success.
    Rachel

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  24. You spent one year and gained many more - well done and congratulations!

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  25. Congrats on the first year of the rest of your life.

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  26. Isn't it an amazing feeling to know you will never go back? I know that I have only been able to lose and keep off 60 lbs in 22 mos, but I do know that I will never go back to where I was before. Never. Even when I have a day where I eat too much--it is nothing like it was and it will never be that way again. You are the new and improved Sean and the old Sean is no more. Now--where are my promotional materials? If we want to get you over here to speak, we need to find some supporters! Love to you and the girls.

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  27. Congratulations Sean and happy first birthday!!!

    You continue to be an awe-inspiring inspiration every day! I look forward the next phase of your journey as you become comfortable with your new self.

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  28. iam so proud of you son for losing your weight this past year! you have done amazing!and you have helped me so much! love you,your mom,

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  29. Sean,
    I thank the Lord I found you. I had visited blogs during the summer and I found many blogs from people who were really struggling. Your blog and Tyler's www.344pounds.com site were the first blogs that actually showed significant success. I have found that blogging is that self-motivating medium that I needed. To share with people who have similar stories is invaluable. So I am excited to see what a year will bring. It’s going to go by anyway. I’ll keep it simple. :-)
    Congrats
    Shelli
    www.shellibelly.com

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  30. Hooray for Skinny Sean!! When Fat Tammy finally dies, I'm writing a eulogy for her as on one of my posts.

    So, so proud of you for saving your life...for saving your family. So glad I'm getting to know you, Irene and Amber....still waiting on Courtney to start blogging! You guys are amazing...just amazing. What a fantastic family of winners! :)

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  31. Happy Anniversary Sean. I am making it a point to start reading your amazing journey from day 1. I keep asking myself, what must is be like to lose the weight that I want to lose. In reading your blog, I get to live it. The joy and emotion that I read get me very excited. Now I can say "this is what is feels like and I can do it". I thank my mom for turning me on to your blog, and I that you for being my silent hero.

    Congrats!!!!
    Scott

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  32. Man oh Man!! That is a lot of man gone off your body...do you ever sit back in awe or do you always think of what is left to go?

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