Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day 374 A Day In The Life and The Letter

Day 374

A Day In The Life and The Letter

Wednesday was another crazy day in the life of the “new” Sean. Some days are busier than others at work, today was one of the busier ones. After running errands in the afternoon, I headed straight for the bed. It had been my goal all day long and nothing was going to keep me from a nice nap. Except my phone. It kept ringing and ringing. Finally, as much as I hated to do it, I switched it to 'silent' and fell asleep. Irene had to go to work early today. I started cooking dinner on my lunch hour, well, I wasn't really cooking, I just turned the oven on and put in a turkey roast. I was just planning ahead. Then Irene reminded me, “I'm leaving at 2:00pm!” And Courtney had after school plans into the evening. So much for dinner, right? That roast is sitting in the fridge, fully cooked.

I enjoyed a mushroom and pepper jack egg white omelet for my “dinner for one.” I can have the heartiest mushroom and melted cheese omelet for a measly 140 calories, it's so good and incredibly filling.

Today was so busy in fact, I couldn't get it all done in the course of a normal workday. I returned to the station after play rehearsal and produced a commercial that had to start just after midnight. I completed the task at 11:40pm.

I sincerely appreciate the concern many have expressed over the craziness of my schedule of late. Let me assure you, I know when enough is enough, I really do. I also know when a nap is critical. And after things slow down in mid-October, my schedule will all of a sudden become much easier to handle...and the theory is I'll be able to manage it so much easier than before. I'm learning something from all of this, I really am. I'm not enduring this extreme schedule without learning some valuable lessons along the way. So it's all good.

Since I'm critically crunched for time and sleep is far too important, allow me to re-post one of my favorite blogs from the past 374 days. The following excerpt was from Day 135 titled “ A Thank You Letter To Morbid Obesity.” It was an exercise in positive thinking and I didn't realize how powerful it was to me until I had posted the thing on that cold January night. I couldn't even read it without bursting into tears. This blog has been such wonderful therapy for me. Here we go:

Every now and then I challenge myself to really think on a deep level. I strive for a better understanding of behavior. I try to dissect things on a psychological level, and since I have no formal education in psychology, I can come to some pretty far out reasonings. It doesn't really matter if I'm right or wrong because these are studies within myself. Today I started thinking about how it's good to find the positive side of all things. Even things that can't possibly have a good side, if you look hard enough, maybe it does. I hit a wall when I thought about applying this positive philosophy to being morbidly obese. By the way, I use the term “morbidly obese” because I hate that term. I don't like the way it sounds at all, and the first time a doctor used that term I thought he was making fun of me! To me, it was the same as him saying I was “disgustingly obese,” and when the term used is “grotesquely obese,” well that's even worse. If the doctor would have said “Sean, you are “making me want to throw up obese” it would have felt the same. Isn't “gross” short for grotesque? I've had both terms used on me by medical professionals and they were perfectly in line with medical terms. How could I find the good in my life long career of being “morbidly grotesque?” Ooh, combining the two is even worse. Anyway, I thought long and hard and finally came up with this: My “thank you” letter to morbid obesity.

Dear Morbid Obesity,

You suck. Sorry about that, it just popped out. Let me start again.

Dear Morbid Obesity,

Thank you for teaching me how to be compassionate toward others. By making me different and the subject of so much weight related bullying as a kid, you taught me to always care about other peoples feelings. Thank you for making me unique in an age when I was often the only fat kid in class, because it gave me added attention that I may have felt was lacking in other parts of my life. Thank you for giving me a very strong opinion against discrimination in all it's forms. By showing me the pain of being discriminated against based solely on my looks, you taught me to never judge a person based on appearance. Thank you for giving me the defense mechanism of a good sense of humor. Although it was sometimes masking emotional pain, laughter and making others laugh has always carried me through. Thank you for protecting me from every dangerous thing I would have tried had I been able to fit on that ride, or into that harness, or on that horse, or in that sports car, or whatever the dangerous situation could have been, you were there keeping me safe inside your embrace. Thank you for giving me a fashion sense born from complete insecurity. I know you don't give this fashion sense to every morbidly obese person, but it kept me from further ridicule because I never wore things too small, ever. You saved me from the spandex revolution, how can I properly thank you for that? To make me want to wear a big jacket when it was ninety degrees outside just to cover my boy boobs, well I have no choice but to conclude that you must love me more than other fat people, because if I had a dollar for every morbidly obese person I've witnessed in spandex and a shirt three sizes too small, I'd be wealthy. Thank you for giving me the ability to spot shallowness in others. I'll never forget the first time I was completely rejected by a girl who said out loud, in class “eeewwww, I would never go out with you.” She didn't take the time to see the good guy I was inside, to look into my heart and see the eighth grader that would have cherished her and respected her in a most grateful 8th grader way. She was shallow and without you I may not of recognized that side of humanity for many years. Without this “shallowness radar,” I may never have recognized the pure spirit in the eyes and heart of Irene Brake, my high school sweetheart and wife of nearly twenty years. Most of all, thank you for my life. Without you I don't know if my path would have been the same. Would I have my family that I hold so dear? Would I have found a career that felt so perfect for me, a career that allowed me to hide behind a microphone and communicate with people without them being able to see me? Without you, maybe, just maybe I would have become a complete jerk. Thank you for bringing me to this point in my life and keeping me in one piece along the way. But despite the flood of gratitude in this letter, you know your days are numbered here. We can't continue our relationship. Morbid obesity, I'm slowly shrinking out of you. I'm moving on to a life free of all the dangerous effects of our relationship. But I'll never forget all of the wonderful things you taught me, and for that I thank you from the bottom of my overworked heart.


Nearly two hundred and forty days later, I still have a hard time reading that without getting seriously emotional. Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,


  1. Oh baby, me too, I tear up everytime i read your words...I feel what your feeling in every sentence and it is pure and true straight from your heart, Very well written baby...I love you so much, and what I hope you are learning from your crazy schedule is...Time management and how it is so important and that you can do anything you set your mind to, and you have to have some sleep to will be bored when your schedule frees up a
    I love you and miss you like you have no idea!!
    please let everyone know about my sissy, and I will post more on it over the weekend...Im not getting much sleep today you my sweet sexy guy
    Your buddy forever

  2. I love an omelet for a quick easy dinner. I add a lot of veggies (usually zucchini, tomato and mushrooms), a little cheese and a lot of herbs...healthy and satisfying!

    Glad that things are going well for you, even with your crazy schedule!

  3. Sean, I love reading your work. And can't wait to see you in the play! We got in some brochures here at the UC the other day from NOC promoting it, and I have been hearing the ad on the radio! Which reminds me, if you could just convince your boss to do the live streaming, you would have so many listeners from all over the world, plus all us "local-yocals" who would listen while at work. (I hate it when I have to park my car and get out at work before hearing the answer to your trivia game). Keep on keeping on!

  4. You're an eloquent cat as it turns out. You may want to consider getting into a communications medium for a career.

    But truly, that was a wonderful post. As soon as I started reading the re-post within I was practically coming up with things that morbid obesity taught me in real time as I read the same things from you.

    A very worthwhile exercise in positivity and in cartharsis and personal exploration.


    Be well man.

  5. The power of positive thinking is an awesome thing.

  6. Son I have mixed tears when I think of you. They are tears of sorrow for not being there when you were growing up. To give you a shoulder to lean on when you needed one. To be your sounding board when the teasing got to much. To go with you at your school functions, and doing so with my head held high, because I was with my son. I know you went through a lot, and I cry inside because I was not there to be your rock. Now I allso have tears of joy and pride for what you have done, how you have turned self hate to self love. Even more then the pride I have in you, my pride for your mother is so great for what she has done to make you the man you are today. My admiration for Irene goes beyond words, for standing by your side and with you through it all. There can never be words that can fully say what I want to say. So the words I LOVE YOU and I AM PROUD OF YOU, will have to do. Take good care of your famley, and allways tell them how much they mean to you, because they tell you every day by their support of you. your dad

  7. Hi Sean. Wow! I have just been blown away reading the comment left by "your Dad". How amazing. Can't imagine how much those words will affect you and mean to you.

    Yes my weight problems have taught me humility and compassion. To know that people are all the same inside whatever the outside looks like. And all deserving of my consideration and everyone else's as well.

    Wonderful idea to write that letter.

    Best wishes,
    Bearfriend xx

  8. Oh Sean, this reduced me to tears. And if that wasn't enough...when I read what "your Dad" wrote, I lost it. What I wouldn't give to receive a letter like that from my real Dad. It took courage, humility and a generous loving heart to write that publicly!

    I am SUCH a believer in a positive outlook, but I had never even thought of the BENEFITS I got out of being...that horrible phrase... Morbidly Obese. I never thought about how I was excellent at my job as an answering service operator (they could not see me and judge me).

    When I got too big to go out to work, I did my art at home and progressed at my techniques...and on the list must go. I will work on my own list, as therapy!

    Thank you so have no idea how many lives you are helping by your generosity at being so transparent.


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