Truly A Change? Or Just A Means To A Temporary End?
I thought I would start tonight's blog by clarifying a couple of things. I received an e-mail from a reader who acted shocked that I ate a deep fried Oreo the other night. They were very nice about it and concluded the e-mail with “as one of your other readers said, I guess you've earned that break.” First of all, thank you for reading, secondly---it wasn't a “break,” or a “treat,” or a “celebratory” deep fried Oreo. It was simply a deep fried Oreo. I made room for it in the calorie budget and enjoyed it immensely, perhaps you watched the video I posted, that was a genuine reaction! I wasn't “off-plan,” there is no “plan” here, you know that, right? The only thing that might resemble a plan is making good choices in terms of portion size and overall consumption.
“Good choices” certainly doesn't mean never eating something we feel is forbidden. These are real life eating situations, and if a deep fried Oreo or something else equally as sinful shows up at the “party,” then it's great to know that I can handle it in a perfectly responsible way. Adherence to a strict 1500 calorie budget has taught me to make wise “investment” choices regarding portions, and sometimes that means having a deep fried Oreo, or splitting a piece of cheesecake with Courtney, or enjoying an ice cream cone. You really must throw away your list of “forbidden” foods. The “forbidden” part shouldn't exist. It only serves to discourage us if we choose to enjoy even a small portion. The thought of, oh my, I just blew it is a powerful thought that can lead to complete destruction of the changes you're aiming to make. Nothing is off limits. If you think I'm nuts, I've got the track record to prove I'm not.
Here's an excerpt from Day 229 titled “What If It Was Impossible To Cheat:” My number one rule from the beginning has been to keep it simple. And I do, completely! It almost sounds too good to be true. I've lost 156 pounds so far because I've kept everything simple, there's absolutely zero deprivation, and I have the freedom to adapt to any food situation. Nothing is off limits. I've decided that there are no “right” or “wrong” foods, only good and bad calorie values. This makes a huge difference to me psychologically. In the past, one wrong food choice and I was done until next time. Next time might be a week or a month away, in some cases a year or two away. Why I ever allowed one meal or one food item to completely derail my efforts in the past, I have no idea. But I'm not the only one! I've talked with several people who have said the same thing. One double cheeseburger and, “Well, I failed again. Maybe next time I can keep it together, let's go get a banana split!” Not anymore, and that's a major difference in my approach this time. Could you lose weight if it was impossible to cheat? That's why it's so effective. Now of course you have to watch the serving size. You have to be honest about the portions and the calories, but for me there isn't a food that simply eating would be considered cheating. Really, it all comes down to being honest with yourself. Complete 100% honesty is paramount to my success. The rationalizations and excuses that made me feel better about overeating were completely eliminated as soon as I made myself get honest about my habits. Suddenly I was free to excel.
The other issue I felt compelled to address came from my mentioning of how the weight loss industry loves the fact that most people have decided that losing weight is extremely hard. I then mentioned weight loss pill commercials that also, in fine print or a hushed tone, recommend “regular diet and exercise.” A good blogging friend mentioned a friend of theirs that was taking some pills to aid in weight loss efforts, and without starting any kind of exercise program, she's still lost weight with the pills and eating twice a day. Let me say this: Anything works. Whatever works, BUT---You have to consider something vitally important. It's something I never considered until this current journey, and it's exactly why I never lost weight successfully before now. Is what we're doing or taking just a means to lose weight? Or is it truly a change in our deep seeded behaviors and addiction with food? Are we simply going through the motions needed to drop weight without really changing the way we think? Because anything will work. I could have had a shake for breakfast and lunch, followed by a balanced meal in the evenings---I could have done that religiously for that last 368 days, and I would have more than likely lost just as much weight. BUT---and here's the BIG BUT... Using the meal replacement method or taking special pills to help lose weight is avoiding the real issues that brought me to over 500 pounds in the first place. To better explain, here's an excerpt from Day 170: You can lose weight on just about every product and plan out there. But if it doesn't address and include real world everyday food choices, how to make better choices, and really teaches about portion control, then it's just a temporary thing. If it doesn't require a person to gain a deeper understanding of their habits and personal psychology that made them fat in the first place, then it's just a temporary thing. Whenever I hear the words “meal replacement,” as in bars or shakes, I just have to “shake” my head and “pound” the bar. It's amazing to me that billion dollar companies have been built on plans that include “meal replacement” products. I don't know about you, but I like real food. I wouldn't want to eat a bar for breakfast and a shake for lunch everyday for the rest of my life. But I do plan on eating real food for the rest of my life. When the goal is met, and a person becomes another “meal replacement success,” Their success inspires others to try it, and the cycle and money machine continues to roll along. In the meantime, the first person who met their goal weight is facing real food again, and since they didn't address their old habits, they just replaced them, they go back to the same old behaviors and gain back the weight and often times more. Some might say “Sean, are you being a weight loss snob?” No way! What's right is right. And when a person stops searching for a quick fix or magic solution, or something to do it for them, and they start doing the mental exercises, confronting their habits and emotions, they start eating better and smaller portions, and they start moving again, they end up discovering that they can have success without spending a fortune on special plans or products.
And when it comes to losing weight simply by eating less—without exercise, ZaaBaby said it best recently on her blog: www.zaaisshrinking.blogspot.com : “I told HER how much I lost and she said 'from the walking?' and I said no, from eating no more than 1500 calories a day. The walking is just icing on the cake, so to speak. I explained this incredibly complex deduction that I deduced ALL ON MY OWN:
You can lose weight by eating less
You can lose weight by eating less and exercising
You can NOT lose weight by exercising alone
See how complicated that is? I told her how my friend and I walked everyday together and I limited my food intake and she didn't change one thing and I've lost almost 50 pounds and my friend has lost NOTHING NADA NOT ONE TINY OUNCE.” Zaa, I certainly hope you don't mind me posting this excerpt! You can lose weight without exercise, but you can't lose weight without cutting down your consumption.
Today was a wonderful day. Busy, but wonderful. And wonderful doesn't mean perfect. I actually fell asleep for a short nap on my lunch break. I ended up sleeping an hour and a half instead of forty-five minutes and that put me horribly late on my return to the studio. Employers frown on this type of thing, and for good reason. I ended up staying till after 5pm trying to make up for it, actually I was just getting done what had to be done. Despite the crazy schedule, I still managed to get a workout in by walking a quick, or “hard” two miles and utilizing the jump rope.
Courtney and I shared a foot long ham sandwich from Subway for dinner. Irene was away on business tonight. With her twelve hour shift and the all day business trip to Oklahoma City with her colleagues---she just wrapped a twenty-seven hour shift. 27 hours straight. How is that even possible without collapsing? She did it alright. So if you ever wonder why she hasn't posted a new entry in the last day or two, now you know. The good news? Irene now has three full days off before she returns on Monday.
Play rehearsal was fantastic tonight. We completely ran through Act 1 of the production. It's going to be awesome! Last night at rehearsal, I brought a camera and had Producer Stephanie Williams take some rehearsal stills. I was going to post them last night, but I just couldn't. I wanted Irene to have a chance to see them first, but I also had another reason for not posting. It was too late and I was too tired. OK, there was still another reason, I'll get to the honest bare truth about the biggest reason why I didn't post them. It's true I much preferred sharing them with Irene before posting, it's true that it was late and I was tired, but I just didn't like the way I looked in them. I obviously have some serious self-image issues. I'm looking better than i ever have in my entire life, but I'm still able to look at a picture and find reasons to hate it. I tell myself, “Sean, just keep working out---get in there and get the weight training in and your body will transform to your liking, it's all good.” But even still---I look at these pictures and think, my head, shoulders, and upper body are much thinner than my lower body! And I thought I looked better than that! I have horrible muscle tone. Why do I insist being so critical of myself? After all my success, isn't that nuts? Completely nuts. I may need counseling, I'm being completely serious about that. I'm posting the pictures tonight anyway. I'm not “fishing” for compliments, so don't think that. I just thought it might be interesting to see some behind the scenes rehearsal pics, and I'm making a point to force myself to get over this ridiculous hang-up on my personal appearance—I must post them for that reason.
I better wrap this up and carry Irene to her bed. She's preciously sleeping in her recliner with the TV blasting. OK, I'm not really strong enough to even carry a small child, let alone Irene or any other adult---but I meant that figuratively, not literally. I will be strong enough some day, I really will! And then Irene is going to get sick of me picking her up! I can just imagine her saying... “Sean, seriously—put me down already! You Incredible Hulk of a man!” Shhh, I'm dreaming. Goodnight and...
Doris and Hank dreaming of their future. Lauren Donahue is Doris.
Henny and Hank. Isaac Cervantis is Henny.
Hank and Miss Logan. Carol Harris is Miss Logan.
Another Doris and Hank picture
“Call Me Henry” is a ReAct production and opens October 8th with additional performances the ninth, tenth, eleventh, sixteenth, and seventeenth in the beautiful Wilken Theatre on the campus of Northern Oklahoma College in historic Tonkawa, Oklahoma. For more information visit www.reactatnoc.com