A Wonderful Birthday and Fitting In--A Wonderful Gift
My Friday really started with Thursday night at 9pm. That’s when I entered the Poncan Theatre for a night I wouldn’t soon forget. The first five hours I wasn’t alone. I had the director of the theatre with me. He spent the time giving me the “complete” tour and sharing stories about the theatre, some I really wish I hadn’t heard. And then, shortly after 2am, he left me alone with the lights out, a flashlight, and a cell phone to use for my broadcast. I just received a call from Dave asking me to NOT share any more details about what I experienced inside the theatre until after I meet with TAPS affiliated investigators Saturday afternoon at 4pm. I have no idea what the meeting is all about. So I guess we’ll talk about weight loss blog related stuff.
I went into the theatre ill-prepared food wise. I had 650 calories to use, and by 1:30am I still had 650 calories remaining. The popcorn machines were really clean and I didn’t want Dave to dirty them up just for me, and the only other options were candy and pickles. I could’ve had every pickle in the theatre and still had plenty of calories remaining, so I did something I rarely do, I “invested” some calories in a Mr. Goodbar! It was the king size 380 calorie version. I broke off 40 calories worth and gave it to Dave, then I nervously enjoyed the remaining 340 calories worth of peanuts and chocolate. I really should have prepared better than this. I could’ve sliced up some apples, maybe grilled some chicken breast, really had some good food for the night. But honestly, I didn’t feel like eating in that theatre. I was a little pre-occupied. Coffee, chocolate, and peanuts at 1:30 in the morning certainly doesn’t sound like someone “on plan,” but I was still leaving calories on the table for Thursday---and before long, it would be Friday and the Calorie Bank and Trust would be issuing me another 1500 to consume however I wish.
I was very happy to see the morning come. It was a wonderful experience. While I was on the air later in the morning, the director of the theatre was kind enough to go buy breakfast for the two of us. I was busy with the broadcast, so he didn’t have a chance to ask me what I wanted. Even though I would have selected a 160 calorie fruit, yogurt, and granola parfait (I love those things!), I graciously accepted the 720 calorie breakfast he so kindly bought me. I picked at the breakfast in between on-air breaks and ended up throwing half of it away. You know I talk about eating whatever you like and still losing weight, and that’s a key element in my success, but still---I don’t eat 720 calorie breakfast anymore, I just don’t. I don’t like the way it makes me feel. Too heavy, you know what I mean? I can do a 400 calorie breakfast occasionally, but usually I keep breakfast between 200 and 300 calories. I take pride in finding ways to get the most calorie value out of each meal, so when I make a 200 calorie omelet, believe me---it’s filling and cheesy, and mushroomy, and completely delicious and filling. Dave, if you’re reading this, and I’m pretty sure you do…I sincerely appreciate the breakfast…but you understand, I can’t be handed a sausage, egg, and cheese buttermilk biscuit with a side of hashbrowns without writing about it on this blog! Love ya man! Thank you again for the breakfast and this paragraph!
After the broadcast and zero sleep all night long, I still had production to complete at the studio before the weekend. I was so exhausted, but I got my work done and headed home shortly afternoon. I really didn’t feel like cooking, so I picked up some Kentucky Grilled Chicken for Irene and me. I’ve written about this stuff before. It’s so good and so low in calorie, you’ll feel naughty, but it’s nothing but good, wholesome food. My entire lunch was just under 450 calories---and that included a grilled breast, wing, kernel corn and mashed potatoes with gravy! I requested they leave off the biscuit on these two grilled meals and the person taking my order didn’t really understand why I wouldn’t want them. One of them is either 170 or 180, I can’t remember…and although it’s tasty, I can do without those added calories and still be completely satisfied with my meal. I asked them to “hold” the biscuits because if they put them in there, I’ll end up eating half of it at least, ya know? I’ve done that before many times. If it’s there and it’s a flaky, warm, fresh from the oven buttermilk biscuit---oh my, I just can’t help having a little. That’s not completely bad, and yes---I’ve completely resisted them before, but my calorie budget is always grounded in getting the best bang for my calorie budget (unless it’s a candy bar at 1:30am inside a haunted theatre).
After lunch, I worked out hard---yeah right! No, actually---after lunch I collapsed and slept until after 6pm. I had to sleep. My body was real close to sleeping with or without my cooperation. Instead of collapsing somewhere uncomfortable, I made my way into the bedroom for a Friday afternoon nap.
We had to be back at the theatre for a big event tonight. The event started at 7:30, we arrived at 7:15pm. Amber and KL weren’t really planning on being here, but Amber just couldn’t resist seeing her dear old dad on my birthday. They joined us at the theatre for a wonderful event while Courtney was busy producing and engineering a high school football broadcast at the studio.
The Poncan Theatre was packed with people tonight. I would guess 600 to 700 people packed into the theatre for the show tonight. Insight Paranormal Investigations gave a brief report on their findings, not revealing too much, because their official event is set for Saturday night. It was during this part of the program that I was called on stage to share some of my experiences from the night before. Dave May can’t seem to have me on stage without talking about my dramatic weight loss, so before I left the stage---He recognized my accomplishments thus far---and once again, just like a couple of times before---the applause for my weight loss were thunderous. It never fails, after being publicly recognized like that, someone always approaches me and ask “the question.” “How have you done it?” And when I tell them that I eat less and exercise more they’re always a little disappointed at the simplicity of my explanation. Of course---there’s more to it than that---the mental part of this process is easily 80% of the game. But when you're approached at an event, there isn’t time to really get into detail. They get the short and sweet answer that always leaves them wanting more. Always. And if they want more, I give them this blog address. Because if you really are interested in the mental gymnastics of it all and the epiphanies and philosophies that have made me such a successful loser over the last 404 days---then you must read the blog from Day 1. The archives are all listed on the left hand side.
Then the audience witnessed nationally known escape artist and former Ponca City resident Steve Crawford escape from the Chinese Water Torture Cell. It was a tribute to Houdini. The escape wasn’t without a hitch. After he was hoisted above the two ton tank of water, the chain snapped---quickly plunging him into the tank and starting the escape much sooner than he had planned. He was very lucky he didn’t kill himself, because he wasn’t ready. It was tense, but after two minutes upside down in that tank of death, he somehow escaped with his life. After that scary start, I doubt Steve will be attempting that one again anytime soon.
The night wrapped with a silent film. The original Lon Chaney classic, The Phantom of The Opera. But this was no ordinary showing of this silent film classic. “Phantom” was presented with world-renowned theatre organist Dennis James providing the score from start to finish, just as it was presented in theatres across the country in 1925. It was amazing to see. Dennis pounded the keys of emotion throughout that story for the full 79 minutes of the film. It was an amazing experience that left all in attendance in awe of his talent. What a night it was. A wonderful birthday evening inside the very theatre that made the first six hours of my birthday the most tense and nerve wracking it’s ever been.
Amber presented me with the most wonderful gift when we arrived back at the house. Let me give you a little back story on this one: When we visited the campus of Southwestern Oklahoma State University at the start of her freshman year, we found the university selling t-shirts that had a variety of things printed on them. Irene bought a “SWOSU MOM” t-shirt, and I really wanted a “SWOSU Dad” shirt. At 505 pounds, there was no way in the world they had one that would even come close to fitting. We looked, nope---no “SWOSU Dad” shirt for me. That experience was from September 2008, two days later I started this life-changing journey. Well, after losing nearly 225 pounds so far, I have one now! Amber presented me with one last night for my birthday. A 2x, and it fit so perfectly---and it’s not even the biggest size they offer!!! Can you believe that? I almost cried with joy. I have so much pride and joy for my daughters, I’ll wear this shirt with a sense of pride and an incredible sense of accomplishment. I’ll never forget how I felt the day I couldn’t fit in one---It’s a beautiful day today. And I fit beautifully.
Thank you for reading and following along this most wonderful transformation. If you’re just starting your own journey, please understand that there’s nothing special about me. Really. Honestly---I don’t know everything, I’m not an “expert,” and I certainly don’t pretend or claim to be. I’m just a man that was tired of being morbidly obese my entire life. I was tired of being scared that I would die too young because of my size. I was tired of not fitting---in clothes, in society, and in good health. I wanted to change for so long. I wanted to, but I never was able to really get it right until now. I invite you to go back and read what has brought me to Day 404, and realize---I’m not done yet. I still have work to do. But I hope you fully understand along the way---that you can do this too. You can experience the beautiful freedom that I embrace. As simple as it sounds, if I can do this---you can too. I’ve been where you are. I know what it’s like to be in excess of 500 pounds for nearly two decades. I wish you well my friend. It’s very hard to visit all of the wonderful weight loss blogs out there---and I do read some that I’ve followed for a while now, but I simply cannot keep up with leaving comments. I just don’t have time. And if I leave one—without leaving one on all---I feel bad. I don’t want to leave anyone out. I will promise you this. If you e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org I will reply. If you have a question or concern, I will reply. Please understand that I’m not qualified to counsel on anything other than weight loss. My comments to my blog have gone way down since I had to adopt this approach, and that’s OK. I love hearing from you, but I also understand that sometimes it’s just impossible to take the time to leave something. If you can, great…if not---thank you for reading and I completely understand. This blog isn’t about that anyway. It’s serving it’s intended purpose everyday---and that’s keeping me on track and in tune with everything that has brought me to this day.
Thank you again. Goodnight and as always…