Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day 396 More Massive "Before" Pictures Coming Soon and Answering Comment Questions

Day 396

More Massive “Before” Pictures Coming Soon and Answering Comment Questions

Last night after finishing Day 395 at the studio, I arrived home and found Amber, her boyfriend, and Irene all gathered around a computer monitor. They had hooked up an old computer in an attempt to re-connect at home. (our main computer is back in Gayle’s hands for repair—Thank you Gayle!!! What did I do to it this time??) They were excited to see me home, immediately summoning me over to the screen. They didn’t achieve Internet access, but they did find something very interesting. They found a goldmine of “before” pictures on that old computer. I mean, these are some of the biggest, most miserable looking “before” shots ever. Completely forgotten until now. We’ll be getting these off of that computer and I’ll get them posted soon. It might be a few days, but be looking for some more dramatic “Lost” before pictures real soon. I couldn’t believe some of them. Who was taking some of these shots? It’s as if they knew that someday I would grab control and lose the weight once and for all, and then I’d be grateful for the extremely unflattering shots. You’ll see what I mean.

Fire Marshal Anson asked a comical question in a comment on yesterday’s blog: “Did you torch Lucille's in anger?” I talked about Lucille’s in the caption of one of those big before shots. It turns out, the place actually burned down recently. Too bad, they had amazing food. A place like that must rebuild. They were just that good. I don’t blame them for my inability to control myself in November of 2007. I’m 100% responsible for my choices now and back then too. I just didn’t care back then, I was too busy lusting over food. Every now and then I hear someone blame the restaurant industry for the increase in morbidly obese people. That’s complete nonsense. I don’t play the blame game. A big part of weight loss success is becoming completely honest with yourself and accepting 100% responsibility for your choices. Even Lucille’s had “good choices” on the menu. I chose something else. And chicken fried steak isn’t completely off limits, depending on portion size and my consumption; it’s all up to me. If something becomes “bad,” it’s because I’ve made it that way.

Ginger asked: “Do you find that as time goes on you feel satisfied with less and less food? I'm thinking that a small bag of fries and a little parfait don't constitute much of a meal for a man of your height and build, yet you seem to have been satisfied with it. People speak of the stomach "shrinking" as it gets used to less food coming in, which makes it easier to live with consuming less per meal. Do you notice this happening to you?” In my opinion, the ability and practice of consuming less food than before has more to do with the mental aspects of this journey than a “shrunken” stomach. I’ve changed the way I approach food. Before, I always wanted as much as I could hold. If it tasted good, I wanted more! I never ate because I was actually hungry; I ate because I loved to taste the food. I love food! I lusted for food. I knew that I had to address this issue from the very beginning. That’s why I declared anything and everything OK to eat. If you’ve read my archives, then you’ve read, “nothing is off limits.” If nothing is off limits, then I never have to feel guilty for eating something that some might deem a “cheating” food. So the issue becomes the amount you eat, not what you eat. I then decided to slow down and adjust my approach at mealtime. I made myself slow down and enjoy a responsible/normal portion. Before, I would eat so fast and so much, that I wouldn’t realize my own satisfaction before I became miserably full. I evaluated my mindset in the past and came to the realization that my focus was always on the food. If we were having a family get-together, celebration, or reunion of some kind, I always cared way more about the food we were going to eat than the company we would enjoy. So I decided to re-focus my attention where it should be, on family and friends, not the food. You know what I discovered? I discovered that I became satisfied much earlier than I ever had. I set boundaries, hence the calorie budget, and I stuck to it no matter what. It didn’t mean I had to deprive myself, because remember---nothing is off limits. If I don’t have the calorie budget for something today, perhaps I’ll enjoy it tomorrow. Did you read the list of foods I’ve enjoyed along this road? It sounds crazy, I know, but sometimes “crazy” is actually genius in disguise. I’m not saying that I’m a genius, far from it; I’m just saying that my success has come from completely going against conventional weight loss wisdom in many instances. I don’t think everyone believes me when I say that I’m never hungry. I’m honestly never hungry, really.

That parfait and small fries yesterday held me over beautifully, and a few hours later I was eating something else. I don’t subscribe to the whole “you’re a big man, you need more” way of thinking. I used that wonderful excuse to overeat my entire life. “He’s a growing boy!” Whatever. I grew all right, completely out of control. “You’re a big man, so you get a double portion!” Of course, bring it on! A responsible portion is a responsible portion, it’s the same no matter who you are or your size. I was a pro at rationalizing big portions. I never missed an opportunity to explain why I really needed more food. It was all nonsense. Self-honesty, 100% responsibility, our choices determine our consequences---good or bad, it’s our choice. Now if you’re training for the Olympics or a body building competition, and you’re burning fifteen thousand calories a day with intense training, then sure---you better eat more, because you’re going to need the fuel. But if it’s just everyday life, then an everyday, normal portion is always right.

Patsy complimented that I looked more like 230 than 284 pounds. Kimberley agreed, saying that I must be 6’5”. Not quite, but close. I’m 6’ 3”. I’m very blessed with some height. I can’t imagine how bad my life could have and would have been if I weren’t tall. I carried over 500 pounds around for nearly two decades, always keeping a job and some sort of social interaction with family and friends. It’s something I don’t think I could’ve done at 5’ 7”. Again, I give thanks for many blessings in my life.

I enjoyed a very small piece of chocolate chip brownie tonight at play rehearsal. It was incredible. One of the best brownies I’ve ever sampled, it was absolutely delicious. No guilt, it was small, couldn’t have been more than 50 or 60 calories, just a bite or two really. Probably too many calories to invest in “a bite or two,” but sometimes brownies happen, you know?

I’m fighting off chest congestion and a runny and stuffy nose. I decided to stay away from the walking trail in this cool damp weather; I’ve got to get through the next few nights without becoming completely sick. I should have worked out at the YMCA today, but I took a nap instead, making sure I was ready for rehearsal tonight. Come Monday, I’ll have no excuse, or “legitimate circumstance,” as I like to call it, or should I say, “rationalization,” for missing a workout. Seriously, we know what must be done. I understand the consistency required for dramatic results, you do too. We’re going to do just fine. Absolutely.

I’m headed home from the studio here in a few minutes. I’m thinking of fixing myself a personal 200 calorie pizza on a flat-out 90 calorie flat bread. I may even allow some pepperoni! Watch out, I’m crazy! I love losing weight, wow, what a rewarding experience. Thank you for reading. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,


  1. good on you for stickin' with it. I hid so much from the camera that my husband once had to sneak up and take a picture....yep that bad. You do look smaller than 289. You seem to have the cravings under control. I enjoy your blog.

  2. Well, height does help! I'm 304 lbs right now and I'm a 6 foot tall, strongly-built woman. Even my doctor can't accurately guess how much I weigh... In fact, she's been trying to get me on scales that only weigh up to 266lbs since I started losing weight in the middle of July at 349lbs! I laugh each time she asks and tell her I'm still too heavy and she keeps asking if I'm sure!

  3. hey i have been listening to you interviews and really finding them motivational, thanks!

  4. Not surprisingly, I take different things away from different blogs. From yours, the very first thing I permanently took away was your steel curtain determination, which I am emulating.

    The next two things were techniques that I was sorely looking for in order to succeed long term:

    The first is the philosophy that nothing is off limits. Even though I am currently choosing not to have red vines licorice or potato chips, it is very comforting to know I can have them, and will have them sometime. I know for some people it works to totally give something up but I know that's not the answer for me.

    The second technique is how to eat at a restaurant. I can do great when the menu has a perfectly straightforward "light" choice. Where I run into trouble is when all the choices are the traditional "too much". I've always been troubled by the fact that I can't get an accurate calorie count on restaurant meals that aren't chains. But I've discovered that the technique of eating half really does work well. I'm still left with the nagging lack of a number to put on the meal but I am at least confident that it wasn't excessive. I don't eat out a lot, so I'm content with knowing it's the very best that I can do. I've eaten out about 5 times since July and not once has it thrown me off, this time around.

    Thanks, Sean!

  5. I have just started following ur blog & love it. I had fast food today which I normally only get 2 or 3 times a month now that I live in Germany.I thought about ur blog when I sat down to eat and gave my husband some of my food and said no to the ranch for dipping sauce. Slowly I will make changes!

  6. I was off by two inches but I feel famous now because my name is in your blog. I am so easily pleased. Thanks for the answer!


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