Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day 472 On Second Thought, It Is The Same

Day 472

On Second Thought, It Is The Same

Thank you to everyone who shared concerned and support over yesterday’s post. The heartbreaking stories of the loved ones lost too soon because of smoking really made an impact on me. I know for some of my friends, sharing the stories brought back powerful emotions. I sincerely appreciate the sharing and the understanding you’ve gifted me. The title of yesterday’s post wasn’t necessarily correct. “Often Times Avoided…” Should have been “Avoided At All Cost…” Because other than a few post from Day 96 to a few days, maybe a week later, I haven’t mentioned it until yesterday.

That anonymous comment came out of nowhere on Day 470. I don’t moderate my comments and I never will. If something is obscene or if it is clearly advertising spam, I do have the power to delete it, and I would. I’ll admit that my first instinct told me that it was a backhanded comment, perhaps someone that knows me, trying to knock me down a notch or two. Like they had secret information about this “good choices” guy---and just wait until his readers see this! But that’s the completely wrong attitude from me. The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced it was someone experiencing the same struggle and contradiction in lifestyle, and having read about my smoking habit, they were sincerely asking a legitimate question. They were looking for an honest opinion; an assessment and maybe some hope that it does get easier to lay the smokes down as we near our weight loss goals.

Regardless of their motive, which I now honestly believe was pure in spirit; I must thank them for forcing me to confront the issue. Thank you anonymous commenter. This is a subject I’ve been ignoring too long. It is a contradiction in lifestyle and let’s face it---it’s deadly. I’ve spent the last 472 days completely changing my life by losing and continuing to lose a massive amount of weight---with the overall goal of better health and a longer life, all the while smoking? That’s absolutely ridiculous. BUT---That nicotine is so addictive, it’s so hard to quit, I feel hopeless and stuck. And then it hit me.

I’ve spent so much time defending my habit by saying “Oh, its two different, completely different addictions!” If so, then why do I feel exactly like I did when I was hopelessly out of control with my eating habits and weight? I wasn’t hopeless in regard to weight loss, obviously, and I’m not hopeless when it comes to quitting the cigarettes. It might be two different addictions, but the same mental gymnastics and philosophies that I’ve used to lose so much weight---they can and will apply to me quitting. The only reason I’ve said they don’t apply is because I didn’t want them to apply.

You see, it’s real easy to start believing our own stories about anything. We can convince ourselves that we’re powerless to something. We’re not. But it feels like it if we believe we are. I convinced myself that I would never be able to lose weight. I convinced myself that I would die young, a morbidly obese young man---buried in a specially built coffin that cost way more than my grieving loved ones could have imagined. I was scared and hopeless over my obesity.

It was too hard---I wanted to lose weight, I did. I dreamed of losing weight! And oh how it was such a pleasant dream. Being healthy, fitting into places, things, and situations I always felt restricted from. That dream felt sadly out of reach my entire life until now. Why can’t I be normal? Why can’t I be one of the lucky ones? Why do I have to be a 500 pound man? Why??? I use to drive myself crazy with these internal questions. When I realized that I had to set my importance level to do or die---and I had to really believe my demise, not to mention the complete destruction of my family unit was imminent—It dawned on me: Am I my own worst enemy? Is what I want being kept from me by none other than ME? It was a revelation in personal responsibility, accountability. I decided that I had the power to do this losing weight thing the right way. I had the power to change. I wasn’t being held back by anyone. I wasn’t a victim of society and a fat gene! I was a willing acceptor of my bad choices and me, only me. I did have the power to change, I did have the power to grab control.

I had to fight my food addict thoughts from derailing me---I had to set up that steel curtain zone and power forward—making the best choices I could despite any emotion, circumstance, person, place, or thing. This was a mission of utmost importance. Life or death. I didn’t want to die, I still don’t. I have too much to live for! I had to take baby steps in the exercise department, because I feared any bigger steps might kill me from the strain. I’m still too easy on myself to this day because of that irrational fear. But---I’ve proved that I’m not hopeless. I refused to accept it another day past September 14th of 2008. And there is no reason, not one good reason for me to think I can’t do the exact same thing with cigarettes. I have the power. I can do anything in which I assign this kind of importance level.

Do you understand now why I’m so attached to Ralph Marston’s “Set Yourself Free” and how it was like reading my thoughts exactly? I’ve reprinted it several times in these writings---being sure to give Ralph Marston and his www.greatday.com website credit, and Here it is again:

“Set Yourself Free” by Ralph Marston---"There is no outside force holding you back. You are holding you back and you are blaming it on someone or something else. The way you are able to continue holding yourself back is by maintaining the illusion that you're a victim. Once you realize that illusion, you will naturally and easily move forward. In fact, it is easier to fulfill your best possibilities than it is to avoid them. So let go of the blame and watch the limitations drop away. Certainly there will always be challenges that hold you back. For each challenge provides you with a pathway through which you can move toward fulfillment. It is your very nature to accomplish. Lovingly accept your destiny, and allow that accomplishment to be manifest through you. Set yourself free to follow your purpose. Set yourself free to truly live."

That is so powerful and so true---it gives me chills. Had I not experienced the revelation I had, it probably wouldn’t have struck me the same. I would have just had an attitude--yeah, yeah, yeah---whatever---positive speaking mumbo jumbo. But no---that’s real stuff. I’ve experienced it first hand. It’s so wonderfully true.

And so quitting smoking is now a priority for me. The time is now, not someday soon, but now. I will not buy another pack. I refuse. I still have three packs remaining. I’d be lying if I said I was throwing them away. I’m sure I’ll smoke ‘em gone. But I can tell---as I smoke each one my disgust will grow stronger. This nasty habit will no longer control me. I will control it- I will kill it before it kills me. I’ve always said I’m a survivor. I will survive. This sounds exactly like my attitude going into Day 1 of this weight loss journey.

This post was supposed to be about Wednesday. We’re nearly two pages in and I haven’t even talked about Wednesday in relation to weight loss. I’ll give you the scoped version and we’ll wrap this edition up.

I started the day realizing that we were out of breakfast items, except steel cut oats, and I didn’t think I had the time to prepare the oats. I ended up eating two whole-wheat toasts with homemade strawberry preserves. A little sweet for my taste in the mornings, but it was 250 calories of something. I wasn’t happy about it, but I failed to plan ahead. I grabbed a grilled chicken wrap for lunch, ordered without the loaded dressing---yellow mustard instead. It was good, low calorie, and as soon as the last bite of chicken was gone, I threw the rest of the tortilla away. I enjoyed a couple of hamburger patties for dinner and even allowed for a serving of french fries. It was a good food day. I snacked on a banana, some cheese, and some sliced turkey breast.

I had originally planned to meet a friend for racquetball today, but when work went way long and personal business after work took too much time, we had to cancel. I was beat. I went home and napped for a little while before jumping up and hitting the fitness room. But wait---I still needed to go to the store! I did that first, visited with a friend on the phone, talked with my mom---and before you knew it---I was deciding to workout at 4am when my alarm clock blares. I dropped in bed and realized that my nap was making it seriously tough to go to sleep. So I pulled myself up and quietly made my way into the fitness room for a workout. I didn’t do 30 minutes on the elliptical like a friend of mine challenged me to do---nice, but I’ll get there, I will. I did do 15 minutes and then two miles on the treadmill. I returned to bed at almost 1am and quickly fell asleep. I didn’t get up until 5:10am, not enough sleep for the night---but I did have a nap, so anyway. I’ll tell you---I really messed up my sleeping schedule on those vacation days! I’ll get it back, no problem.

So here we are. Day 472. We’ve come such a long way in a very short time. It’s truly amazing what we can do when we finally decide we can. It will shock you, the power we have to change when we choose change before change chooses us. 2010 is going to be an amazing year, I’m thrilled at the possibilities!

Look for Day 473---New Years Eve Year In Review coming soon right here. Thank you for reading. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,
Sean

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day 471 Another Dreaded, Often Times Avoided Subject

Day 471

Another Dreaded, Often Times Avoided Subject

I’m preparing for a big year in review post for Thursday’s edition of this blog. I’ll have pictures, videos, and more! It’ll be fun putting it all together. I’m really looking forward to that post. 2009 will go down as the biggest turning point of my life. It’s been a breakthrough year to say the least. The thought of 2010 being even better is really exciting.

I promised to cook omelets for the girls this morning and I did. It was a nice breakfast with the two most important people in my life. In yesterday’s post I talked about setting a good example for my daughters and always being ready with good advice. But you must know, I’m not perfect. I’ve never claimed to be. My daughters know I'm not perfect. I was reminded of this after receiving an anonymous comment on yesterday’s blog asking me about smoking.

OK---Well, we talked about loose skin recently, now let’s chat about another avoided subject. Let me start by saying this: I will not run, hide, avoid, or pretend this addiction doesn’t exist in my life, it does. I’m not proud of it and I rarely mention it at all. But I have written about it in these writings.

Here’s an excerpt from Day 96 titled “My Dirty Little Not So Secret”

This blog has always been about losing weight while counting calories and exercising and all of the mental aspects that go along the way. It's been about humorous experiences and serious decisions too. When I say “good choices” I'm talking about food and exercise choices. With that said, there's one thing I've never talked about in the previous 95 days worth of blogs. I make nearly forty, sometimes more bad choices every day. I sometimes make the bad choice without even thinking, I just do it. I smoke cigarettes. I have since I was 17 years old. How am I not dead yet? A twenty year smoker with a top weight of over 500 pounds? That's committing slow suicide my friend. And yet, as I've grabbed control over my weight loss world, I've allowed the smoking to continue without regard to the possible consequences. How is it that I can completely get in the zone and re-teach myself how to eat and exercise to lose weight, but I can't seem to go too long without lighting a nasty cigarette? I'm completely addicted to nicotine, but that's not a valid excuse...I've been completely addicted to over-eating too. I have to say that losing weight is much easier than giving up the smokes. A doctor once told me to quit smoking first, then worry about the weight. The exact opposite of what I've been doing. It was the exact opposite of what I thought he'd say. I was sure he would say lose the weight now, quit smoking as soon as you can. That's pretty scary when a doctor feels it's safer to be nearly 300 pounds overweight than to smoke. I haven't addressed this topic out of shame. Although many people who read this and know me already know I smoke. And even though losing weight and quitting smoking are two different things, I still have felt like a hypocrite.

I still feel that way. It’s been nearly a year since I’ve even mentioned my nasty habit. It’s embarrassing really. If you’ve read every single day, then you already knew. And you might remember what the doctor told me. He said to keep losing weight and let the wanting and need for smokes gradually and naturally decline as I become smaller and smaller. He feared that if I tried quitting at that time maybe I would’ve completely wrecked my weight loss success. He wanted to see me succeed at losing this weight and I have and continue to lose---so maybe now’s the time to address the issue of smoking. I’ll allow nothing to stop my weight loss efforts. That’s not a concern of mine. Hasn't been for a while. So why haven’t I done it before now?

It’s a horrible example I’ve set for my kids, this smoking. The minute I read that comment I knew that it was time to bring up this subject again. My first instinct was to pretend the comment didn’t exist. It must have come from someone that knows me personally, a longtime reader, or someone who has read through the archives like a book. I quickly decided to face the subject again without fear and with 100% honesty. That’s what this blog is all about. Honesty, self-honesty---being real. This blog is a weight loss blog, and I take great pride in what we’ve done here. But if I’m ever to realize my dreams of making weight loss motivational speaking and writing a career---I seriously need to give up the smokes too. How can I talk and write about losing weight and getting healthy if I’m still a smoker? It is two different things, but still---it all falls under the overall topic of good versus bad health.

Again, it is two different animals. I don’t know what kind of fallout if any I’ll have over this subject, but come what may---the fundamental truths of this blog remain. If you want a successful weight loss blog, you’ve found it. Look around, there are many more just like me. I’ve cut through all of the crud that kept me over 500 pounds for nearly two decades. I’ve discovered my past weight loss flaws and corrected a lifetime of horrible food addiction along the way. It’s not perfect---and I’ve never claimed it was.

Oh how badly I wish I could have simply replied, “Yes, I quit a long while back!” But I didn’t. Have I cut down? Yes, actually I have, but that’s not good. The only good thing would be to stop completely. Maybe I should seek out a good stop smoking blog. I feel a responsibilty to set a better example for my daughters, first and foremost, and also those that follow and support my weight loss efforts. I will make this something of a priority in my life.

I spent nearly an hour in the fitness room tonight. I did the elliptical for 15 minutes and then did 2.5 miles on the treadmill. I should have pushed the walk/jog to 3.1 for the 5K, but decided an hour was good work. I returned home and waited on Courtney to get home. I normally don’t worry too much, but she’s a new driver and it was snowing. When she called and said she was staying at her mom’s place…I dropped in bed. It took me a while to go to sleep. I’ve allowed my schedule to get a little messed up with the time off. Plus, I lay there letting this smoking topic drive me nuts.

We watched a home video from last January right before Amber left today. I couldn’t believe my eyes at the difference. I had lost just over 90 pounds at that point. To me, I still looked like 505, but anyway. It’ll be interesting to post the year in review on Thursday night. I’ll have pictures from throughout this journey from the start to the present.

Thank you for reading. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,
Sean

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day 470 Hiding The Weight?

Day 470

Hiding The Weight?

The outpouring of support and compliments from yesterday's pictures was nice. More than one reader friend asked “Where are you hiding the weight?” Well, trust me, it's there. My height has always allowed me to carry more weight. That's why some friends and family are shocked when they find out how much I weighed when I started. 420? Sure, they can see that...but 505? No way! Yes. It's like that now at 272. You don't look 272. Well thank you, you're kind my friend. I'm very lucky in that regard. Oh but I could and maybe I should take some not so flattering pictures. It would take some serious guts to post them, but perhaps I should. After all, my before pictures make me cringe sometimes, but it's OK, because that's not me anymore. The question I would have to ask myself is: What would be the real value in posting my worst current pics? Nobody wants or needs to see those pictures. Suffice to say, we still have work to do! And we're doing it and getting there one day at a time.

One reader, after looking at the Christmas day photos, asked about the progress of Irene and my daughters. They noted how I haven't given an update on them in some time in regard to weight loss. This is indeed a touchy subject. But, given the past openness of these writings—I should address that question. I can't speak for Irene. I know she has had tremendous success (over 140 lost) and is looking and feeling better than ever. But we don't talk about weight loss when we're together. I know she's learned some irrevocable lessons about weight loss, just as I have. We learned them together along this journey. So if she's struggling, and I'm not saying she is, but if she is---she'll be OK. She's going to be just fine.

The girls? Yes, they have struggled through this transition in our family. But they too are going to be just fine. It's been an unspoken struggle for the most part, but the signs are all around. Daddy knows. And I care, I do, and they know I do. But I'm not the calorie police for anyone, including my daughters. They're nearly 20 and 16. They're both honor students. They know where they stand along this road. They know how important they are to me. They know what they want and that they have the power to get there too. When the time is right we'll have a private father-daughter conversation concerning weight loss and health. In the meantime, I can only offer my fatherly support and love, and do my best to set a positive example in this pursuit. I love those girls so much, I can't describe how much, they're everything to me. We're so lucky to have such smart, beautiful, well balanced kids. They're each a true blessing.

It was wonderful to sleep in today. I'm taking vacation days before the end of the year. Just a couple, today and tomorrow. I'm really kind of looking forward to getting back to work. Is that crazy or what? I've had way too much time on my hands lately. It's routine that makes it a little easier for me. I'm a routine kind of person. And at this point I'm strong enough to navigate changes in that routine, but it's still easier when the routine is in place.

I got a call for a racquetball match today. I didn't reserve a court in time and we had to scrap that plan until Wednesday. Whitney is a fierce competitor in the court. But Wednesday just might be the day she loses. Whitney has followed this journey from Day 1, and I mean Day 1---September 15th, 2008---she read that post on that day. She's offered non-stop encouragement and has traveled her own weight loss road from right at about 200 pounds. I think she's at goal now. You're at goal, right Whit? Her and her husband Jim are friends and good people. Thanks Whit. Get ready to lose one Wednesday!

So no racquetball today, instead I visited the fitness center downstairs. Twenty minutes on the elliptical is all I can stand and all I did before doing 1.5 miles on the treadmill. It was a short workout really. No good excuse why. Just short and sweet. My level of workout depends on how much I jog. It doesn't take long at all for me to get an amazing workout when I'm jogging. So it may have been short, but productive with serious heart-rate and serious sweat indeed.

The plan was to cook at home tonight. Amber is leaving tomorrow ahead of our next possible snow event, so we all got together for dinner. But instead of me cooking, it was suggested that we all go to one of our favorite restaurants. JW Cobbs is not the kind of place you would think would be good for losing weight. But if I've said it once, I've said it a million times: It's not the restaurant, it's our choices. I've lost 233 pounds so far and that's included enjoying this place at least a dozen times or more in the last 470 days. I've written about how the staff, most of whom remember me at my heaviest, are always shocked at the progress. Of course they notice the differences in our ordering habits. Irene met us at the restaurant and we dined nicely.

The girls and I retreated to the apartment for a good movie and more visiting before we called it a night. It was good, so wonderful---a very enjoyable day for sure. I've promised the girls omelets in the morning. Egg white omelets! Low calorie and taste great? You bet! Load 'em up! Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Monday, December 28, 2009

Day 469 Perhaps I Should Save This For The Therapist and The New Shirt Picture!

Day 469

Perhaps I Should Save This For The Therapist and The New Shirt Picture!

I spent most of the day alone with my thoughts. I'm not complaining, sometimes it's nice to just think and think some more without any interaction. As I try to find the positive in this, because really---I can't stand being alone, I try to focus on the positive choices and plans that will take me where I want to go. The possibilities for me at this point have never been better or more exciting. 2010 is going to be a really good year, I mean incredible.

As positive as I try to be, it's easy to allow negative or depressing thoughts to filter into my little happy thoughts party. Being alone for me is like walking a tight rope of thoughts, attitudes, and emotions. I have to be real careful not to focus on the negative changes or I'll fall. A friend recently said “Sean, you have to look at these “negatives” as positives!” That's so true, but sometimes easier said than done. The crazy irony for me is this: The biggest motivator for me to get started on this road was to save my marriage and family. I'll never forget the night of September 13th, 2008. I could clearly see how my dangerous weight was scaring my wife and family and threatening our existence as one family unit. And now---even though I've been wildly successful at losing weight by getting to the roots of it all and digging my way out, our existence as a family is forever altered anyway.

Perhaps I should save this for the therapist. But this blog has been an amazing therapy for me. I've worked through some lifelong issues with food and obesity one day at a time. I've broken it down into very simple terms while weaving my way through extremely complex psychological exercises. Has it all been correct? Who knows, I'm not a medical doctor, or a psychiatrist—I'm just a professional announcer, morning personality, a radio commercial copy writer, a communicator. In my search to find the right words to convey the emotion and mental process of losing a lifetime of morbid obesity, maybe I've stumbled upon some universal keys to success. But still, some things are harder to figure out. I've always been so focused on the positive aspects of losing the weight, I didn't pay much attention to the possible negative affects of such a drastic, dramatic transformation. The problem is, I can only cut through, or attempt to cut through my own issues. I can't completely understand or cut through issues others might have or had through it all. And that is exactly where most of my frustrated thoughts live. But you know something? If this is the price of being free of morbid obesity, free of the psychological, emotional, and physical limitations of weighing over 500 pounds---then OK. I didn't realize the price could be so high, but I'm pot committed win or lose, there's no turning back. The turn was tough, but the river holds promise. We're going to be just fine.

I found it very tough to pull myself out of the recliner today to walk the twenty steps to the fitness room. I just didn't want to do anything. Some days are like that. But I couldn't allow myself to wallow in that place---I had to move. I walked into the fitness room with the intentions of doing a 5K---but I just wasn't in the mood. I hit the two mile mark and hit the stop button. I need to take a workout partner with me every time, I swear. Because sometimes, especially when you're alone, it's too easy to be lax. I quickly returned to the apartment and felt the renewal of a refreshing shower. I really felt better after that shower. I felt invigorated. I almost felt like going back to the fitness room, but I didn't.

Courtney called from her mom's house and invited me shopping. The Christmas Eve blizzard kept her from shopping for me prior to Christmas, so she wanted to buy me something nice. She knows that clothes are something I always need. She decided to buy me a shirt! I told her to save her money, but she wouldn't hear of it! She's so generous. It was fun shopping, it really was. I tried on several shirts. One style in 2X was too big! Can you believe that? The regular X-Large was perfect. Very strange feeling indeed. It felt amazing. It's moments like this when I'm completely convinced I'm doing this, I'm really doing this! We found an amazing sale on a Polo pullover. Half price, and then when you buy one—you get the next item of equal or lessor value for a dollar! I had never stepped foot in this clothing store before today, I never belonged here---but I do now. They had stuff that was too big for me!! I still can't get over that. Very cool. Pictures of this wonderful gift below!

I enjoyed a wonderful movie with my daughters tonight. We watched Wall-E. Amber loves this film, especially the unspoken social commentary that is constantly running throughout the story. It was a really good film indeed. I thought it was interesting how everyone is morbidly obese in the future because everything is done for them, all they have to do is ride around in their reclining seats. Hmmm.

Thank you for reading. Amber is staying until Tuesday, and I'm off work until Wednesday, perfect. I plan on hitting the YMCA on Monday for some racquetball and weights. I'll let you know how that goes, I'm sure it will rock! Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

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The side view in the new shirt. Once dreaded, not so much anymore. I'm cool with the side view these days. Thank you for the shirt Courtney!

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Horrible side view. Oh my...did not like this one one tiny bit. None of us did. But---it certainly serves as a wonderful reminder of how far we've come.

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From Thanksgiving 2009.

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Amber and me tonight.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 468 No Egg Nog---Shhh! and Jogging Into The Store

Day 468

No Egg Nog---Shhh! and Jogging Into The Store

Today has been a very lazy day after Christmas around here. We didn't accept any of the leftovers from yesterdays dinner, notably the pie, but I should have grabbed some turkey. Turkey omelets were so wonderful after Thanksgiving, what was I thinking? I really need to cook a turkey every now and then. I cook one twice a year, that's it. I have no idea why I wouldn't do it any other time, it just doesn't seem natural for some reason. It's so good and such a wonderful calorie value—I think I'll go get one right away!

We skipped the egg nog on Thanksgiving and decided to enjoy some at Christmas. You know what? We completely forgot to have the egg nog. Didn't even buy any egg nog. And, shhhh! Nobody has mentioned it yet. I can totally do without that horrific calorie value. It's good, but not that good!

I jumped up this morning ready to hit the treadmill for a 5K. OK, I wasn't really ready, but I needed to get it done. I decided to write my Christmas Day post first. After posting yesterday morning, I decided to lounge around a little first (big mistake) and I ended up going to sleep. This wasn't what I needed to be doing! I did make it to the fitness room for 3.1 miles and it did feel good, real good. I completely ignored the elliptical...pretended it didn't even exist. I was there for a 5K---not a quad burn. The elliptical and I still do not care for each other, even though we know we're good for one another. It's a love/hate relationship at best.

I made it to Wal-Mart today for some grocery shopping and wow---that place was crazy busy! I didn't have anything to return, good thing, I was just there to grab a few items. It was cold and slushy in the parking lot---so I navigated around the puddles of slush and lightly jogged into the store. That's right, lightly jogged into the store! Imagine that. Me, lightly jogging into the store after parking really far away. It wasn't always this easy. Remember Day 7? Here's an excerpt:

I made a trip to Wal-Mart this evening. Normally I drive around the parking lot until a space opens up as close as possible to the front doors. I've driven around that lot for ten minutes or more before, just to save a few extra steps. That's crazy! Today I found myself doing that exact same thing again! Old habits die hard huh? When I realized what I was doing, I immediately drove out to almost the Murphy Oil station and easily found a space. It was a nice little hike to the store, but really it wasn't that bad. We all have those moments when we know that it's time to really do something about losing weight and getting in shape. It's funny because one of mine happened just a couple of months ago in the Wal-Mart parking lot. I found a space not too far from the front doors that day, I got out at the same time a nice, little old lady was getting out of her vehicle. We were almost side by side. As we walked I noticed she was starting to get ahead of me! I was walking as fast as I could, and she was beating me!!! She was at least 80 years old and she had more spring in her step than me, a 36 year old man. I tried to catch her, and almost did, but as if she knew of the race I had created in my head, she accelerated as she approached the door, leaving me in her dust. “Wow”, I thought...”Did I just get beat by her?” Yes, yes I did. I don't remember what I was going to Wal-Mart for that day, but I'll never forget the realization that I really needed to do something soon. Oh, yeah, I remember...Ice cream and Coke-A-Cola. That's what I was after, and yes, even after getting beat by the nice older women, I still bought what I was after. Well, I did say “do something soon”. I've used the word soon way too much in my life. “I'm going to do that soon”...What is “soon”...How much time is “soon”. When does “soon” end? Not soon enough, I know that! My “soon” ended a week ago. Soon is here and NOW my friend.

I think of that little old lady every time I go to Wal-Mart these days. Every time I jog into the store. Every time I reach the front door without the slightest feeling of being winded. I think about her and how she beat me that day. She probably has no idea that I even exist, not to mention what kind of wonderful motivation she sparked in me that day.

Tonight was Team Radio night at the Festival of Angels. Several station employees volunteered to greet the cars and accept the donations at this most wonderful holiday tradition. It was good and cold. With the snow on the ground and the roads still pretty bad, the turnout wasn't great---but expected. I was so cold, and honestly I didn't dress warm enough at all---my fault, so no wonder I gave in and enjoyed some high calorie cider.

You know me---I do not like spending calories on drinks. Yeah, yeah, yeah---the coffee creamer issue...whatever! Let me re-phrase: I don't like spending calories on drinks unless it's a vital part of my morning routine. There. But it was so cold out there! And the apple cider packets were looking real nice. I picked one up and turned it over to the nutrition label. 80 calories! Ouch. For a small cup of cider? A hot steamy cup of cider that would warm me from the inside out? OK, I'm in---let's do it! Before my two hour shift ended, I spent 160 calories on hot apple cider. Hmmm. That's fine really---It's not like I do that all the time. ---OK---enough with the coffee creamer issue! Yes, if you're just now tuning in---I'm arguing with my conscious over my coffee creamer consumption issue. I spend entirely too many calories on that stuff, I do.

Courtney is taking me to the store tomorrow to buy me a couple of shirts for Christmas! She didn't get a chance before the blizzard struck, so we're doing that on Sunday! Have a great rest of your weekend. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Day 467 Christmas Day 2009

Day 467

Christmas Day 2009

I jumped up this morning and finished writing yesterday's post. It wasn't long before everyone started getting up one by one. I promised everyone I would prepare breakfast, a grand feast indeed, and I did. I scrambled eggs, made breakfast sausage, and even put some pre-cooked bacon slices in the microwave. By the way, if you love bacon---the pre-cooked slices are the best calorie value. You can have four slices for 90 calories. That's a value compared to the kind you have to cook from raw, much less grease of course. It was a calorie laden breakfast—but only if the portion sizes were bad. I had a small serving of the eggs, a small sausage patty, and a couple of bacon strips. It still came in at 400 calories, and since I allow 2500 calories on Christmas, I didn't mind. I do think I would have felt better with lighter fair, but anyway.

We were headed to Stillwater today for Christmas with the grandmas and family. Last night's blizzard gave way to sunshine today, still freezing, but sunny. We'll take it! The roads were not too bad, although we did see some six to eight foot snow drifts along the highway. Some of these drifts turned the highway into a 1.5 lane, but we managed. Well, we managed until we arrived at our destination and got stuck in the driveway. Uncle Keith noticed our dilemma and rushed out with a snow shovel. After the digging and the rocking—we pushed the vehicle out—and finally made it up to the parking space.

The plan would be different today. We cooked everything at mom's house and then carried it all across the street to grandmas house. None of us wanted grandma to attempt the ice and snow covered trek across to mom's—it was best this way. We napped while the turkey cooked. Hmmm, isn't it suppose to be the other way around, with sleeping after the dinner?
My dear grandma is convinced that I do not need to lose one more pound. She told me repeatedly “Sean, don't you lose anymore weight!” I've been hearing this from grandma for the last couple of months at least. Every time I see her! I thanked her for the compliment and assured her that I still had a ways to go, but she wasn't buying it---she's so wonderful, I love her. Compared to where I was for so many years, this is a nice weight for me, but it isn't what I want.

I was very content with my food selections today. I had some turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green beans with cheese, and a couple of rolls. Then I went back and grabbed another roll. I'm not big on bread, but these rolls were those Kings Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, and they're so wonderful, oh my...they're good. I enjoyed one small slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream and one of Amber's chocolate chip cookies from the night before. By the time the feast was finished, I was almost finished with my calorie budget! I was satisfied completely, not stuffed, not miserable---just satisfied. And I still had 250 calories remaining. Notice I turned down pecan pie again. I just can't spend nearly 500 calories for one piece of pie, not even a half a piece---forget it. I'm so negatively impressed by the calorie content of that stuff---it's totally turned off my love for pecan pie. And I don't miss it!

The visit was short, as we needed to get back sometime around 9pm. But it was a wonderful visit—it was a good Christmas gathering. We departed with one thing in mind---avoid the drifts and get home! We rolled back into Ponca City around 9:30pm and delivered Irene to her house, then made it back to the apartment all safe and sound. I enjoyed some cheese and crackers and a little more visiting with Amber and KL. Courtney decided to stay with her mom tonight. The two of them plan on doing some shopping in the morning.

One thing that's missing from this Christmas is our annual Christmas Day 5K! Since none of us own snow boots, we decided to not even try hitting the lake today. I told myself that I would do a treadmill 5K in the fitness room upon our return home, but I must tell you---I didn't. I planned on it, then I got to visiting and my cousin Steve from Minnesota called and we talked for awhile. I decided to hit the fitness room in the morning instead. I must tell you, I really wish I would have hit the fitness room last night---I feel horrible for not. But that's the plan right now. (It's actually the next morning as I write this post)

Thank you for reading. I leave you with some pictures from Christmas Day. I hope you had a good Christmas too. My best to you my friend. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

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A good amount of food. No seconds—well, OK---except for another roll...

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Courtney, Mom, Me, Irene, Amber, and KL

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Amber and Courtney

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Aunt Kelli and me

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Grandma telling me not to lose another pound!

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Mom and me

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I think we may have a new profile picture. I like this one. I don't look tired, no bags under the eyes. Maybe the lighting was just dim enough...whatever, I like it. Should have smiled, oh well...I like the smoothness and the facial definition. Yes, I'm ultra critical! I shouldn't be huh? I've come a really long way...

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...from this. Oh my word. I love this transformation stuff!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Day 466 Mother Nature Had Other Plans and Warm Togetherness

Day 466

Mother Nature Had Other Plans and Warm Togetherness

The first thing I did this morning was wake up and look out the window. Nothing. Good! It was just cold! No snow overnight---it looked like we were going to be all clear for our Christmas Eve trip to Stillwater and Grandma's house. Not so fast. Looming to the West was a record snow storm moving closer by the minute. Maybe it'll be OK, I can drive on a little snow. Uh, no...did I mention record snow storm for Oklahoma? The plans were simple. Amber, KL, Courtney, and I would head down late afternoon and Irene would follow a few hours later when she finished work. That plan quickly changed as soon as the storm started. We decided the best move would be to wait until Irene was off work, then all of us go in one vehicle. Better one vehicle out in this than two, right? As the winds blew and the snow drifted horribly---we started to wonder if we could make it at all. My mom kept calling with mixed emotions. She wanted us there, but she wanted us safe. If we had to postpone Christmas we would. But I was still confident. I can drive on anything, I thought.

I had to make a run to Wal-Mart mid-afternoon for some last minute Christmas dinner items. It was bad, but not bad enough at 3pm to keep us from going. Wal-Mart was a zoo by the way. And the blowing snow wasn't letting up. As soon as I walked back into the warm apartment, my phone rang. It was Irene. The next casino shift manager was having trouble getting to work and Irene would have to wait however long it took for them to arrive. Are people really gambling in a blizzard? Wow. So now, instead of leaving for Stillwater at 7pm, we were looking at 8:30, maybe 9pm. I decided that if it was going to be a long night and I had a white-knuckled 45 mile drive ahead of me, I needed a nap. Irene called to wake me up at 7pm. She didn't have to work as late as she feared---but now she was stuck in a snow drift less than a mile from her house. I left the girls at the apartment and headed out to help Irene. As I got dressed for the winter blast outside, I was still confident this trip was happening. I would get Irene un-stuck, we would deliver her vehicle to her house, then head over to the apartment, get the girls and KL—and head South for grandma's house.

Reality stung my face immediately as I walked outside into a near white-out. The drifts were high and the wind was relentless, blowing snow at 30 to 50 mph. It wasn't this bad just a few hours ago! Mother nature had been changing our plans as I napped. I somehow made it to Irene, being careful not to get stuck myself. There was no getting Irene out of this one. Her car was quickly swallowed by the drifting snow. We decided to abandon her vehicle right where it sit. Our change of plans was obvious at this point. There was no way to make it to Stillwater.

Irene contemplated staying at her place tonight and then joining us for the trip on Christmas when the roads would hopefully be improved. I wouldn't hear of it! If we're going to be snowed in, we're going to do it together! I insisted on bringing her back to the apartment to spend Christmas Eve with the girls and me. We barely made it back, almost getting stuck several times, but we made it safely to the apartment. Amber was so incredibly disappointed that our plans had changed, she was so looking forward to the short trip. I assured her that if we tried, we would be sleeping on the side of the road all night long. There was no way. We were warm and safe right here. I hated to miss Christmas Eve with mom---I've never done that, ever! Thirty-seven Christmas Eve nights in a row...but not tonight. We were lucky though. How many soldiers are away from home again this year? How many people were out there stranded in their vehicles? How many are stuck inside closed airports? Yes, we're some of the lucky ones. Sure, it was going to be a different Christmas Eve, but we would make the best of it, and really---it was going to be OK. We had heat and each other. We called Stillwater and found everyone at grandmas house equally disappointed, but thankful we were OK and together and not out on the road.

We decided to go ahead and do our gift exchange tonight. We watched a Christmas Story and It's A Wonderful Life, and Amber baked brownies and chocolate chip cookies. We were going to be just fine. My food today was good. I started with an egg white omelet, had a banana snack---some baked chicken too—a lean hamburger and even a little mac and cheese---and by the time the cookies and brownies were ready---I still had 400 calories remaining for the day. I honestly wanted some kind of dinner type thing...but how could I not enjoy my daughters baking? I decided on one cookie and a small brownie with a half a cup of 2% milk. It was good, real good.

Our trip to Stillwater is planned for Christmas, late morning. We're hoping that the roads are improved for travel by then. We'll get to Stillwater and prepare a wonderful Christmas dinner and exchange gifts with everyone at grandma's house---it'll be wonderful I'm sure. And we'll take plenty of pictures that I'll be sure to post right here. I have 2500 calories to use tomorrow.

Remember, I allow 1,000 extra two days a year. Thanksgiving and Christmas. I don't do it for birthdays or any other special occasion, but these two holidays are so centered around food and “goodies,” it just seems like the responsible thing to do. Trying to set a one day calorie record is no longer of interest to me. That was always the plan in the past. It didn't matter how well I was doing at losing weight. Christmas and Thanksgiving was always a free pass to eat as much as I could hold without getting physically ill. Not anymore, I have no desire. 2500 is plenty of calories to throw around all day long. I will have more than enough, be satisfied, and feel great about the triumph!

Amber gave me the most wonderful gift! When we divided into two separate households, Irene got the Foreman Grill. I needed another, and Amber knew it! She's so wonderfully thoughtful! Check out the pictures below---That's genuine excitement my friend! The Lean Mean Knockin' Out Fat Grilling Machine will be prominently displayed on our apartment counter from here on out! Oh the chicken I will grill! And the lean burgers, and the 140 calorie grilled cheese sandwiches---we'll have to have some more “On The Go Videos!”

Thank you for reading. The Christmas Day 2009 post will be coming Saturday morning with more pictures and a recounting of another wonderful day along this journey. It's actually Christmas morning as I post this edition. Everyone is still sleeping. I'm going to the fitness room now for a good sweat! Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

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What is it??? I'm so excited!

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Such a wonderful gift! Thank you Amber!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Day 465 Special Message To A New Reader and Weigh Day Is Good

Day 465

Special Message To A New Reader and Weigh Day Is Good

Getting up at 3:30am seems so unnatural. I did it again this morning. By 3:45am I was on the elliptical in the fitness room. I hopped off and onto the treadmill after a short warm-up, I was off to the races. I finally took a nice jog on the treadmill. I have to jog to feel like I'm raising my heart rate these days. A simple power walk takes too long to get me there. I can power walk a mile and not even break a sweat at this point, but when I bump it up to a light jog---OK, that's when the heart and sweat glands take notice. I'm here to workout. At 3:45am? Have I gone mad? As much as you might expect me to say that I'm making this a part of my morning routine, I'm not. No way, no how. There's no excuse for not getting the workout worked before bed, in the afternoon, or early evening. No excuse at all! Same with writing this blog. My mornings must be strictly about breakfast/showering/and morning show prep! I'm getting there!

The day before a holiday break is always busy. You may relate. Everything must get done before our absence to ensure things go smoothly while we're away. That was the case today. I had also planned to watch The Godfather this afternoon with some friends. Why The Godfather? Because I've never watched it before---and that is downright unacceptable at Team Radio! I had to cancel. I needed a serious nap this afternoon, nothing major---an hour at least. Then I would hit the scale for another wonderful weigh day!

Well...Uh, yeah. My hour nap turned into two with zero effort on my part to stop it. I knew the doctors office/clinic would be open late---so I wasn't worried about that. I needed the sleep. I arrived at the clinic shortly after 7pm, ready to face the scale! I love these bi-weekly trips into that office, I do. I've written many times before about how this office staff remembers me as a patient in my worst condition and highest weight. I can't stop them from smiling from ear to ear when they see me now. The nurse on duty told me about her father and his serious weight related conditions, including sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and unfortunately diabetes. She knows that if he were to lose weight it could dramatically improve his health. She expressed real worry, overwhelming concern and love for him, and it reminded me of the worry I created for so many years for my family. She said she was going to point her dad to this blog.

And just in case she did, ---this is for him specifically or anyone else just starting their journey: I'm not some super human weight loss machine, I'm not a weight loss guru, I'm not an expert or doctor. I'm just a man who spent his entire life morbidly obese and finally cut through the self-imposed complications/barriers, and did something to change my life. I was over 500 pounds for years...and now, through a very simple common sense approach I've lost over 230 pounds. I no longer take any kind of medication, nor do I have sleep apnea. I'm completely free to live and breathe like a normal person for the first time in my life. My family doesn't worry anymore about my weight killing me. You can have this freedom too. You can choose change before change chooses you. You can do this no matter what you think otherwise. Please go back in my archives and read from Day 1. I'm far from perfect, but perfection isn't the goal. Living is! Along the way you'll notice that the simple approach and the mental exercises are both paramount to success. You ready to live? You ready to feel better than you have in years or ever? Let's do this. Ask your daughter how bad of shape I was in prior to this transformation---She has my permission to share the ugly details! You can do this. And your daughter can ease her worry about you. Bless you sir. I wish you the best.

Where were we? Oh yeah...weigh day! Or in this case, weigh night! I stepped on the scale and found another 3 pound loss waiting! That's two in a row! I'm thrilled. The next weigh day should put us into the 260's---and that's just awesome! I weighed 272 tonight, down from 275. That brings the official total to 233 pounds lost in 465 days. You know how hard it was to not use an exclamation mark after that? I'm trying to cut down. ;)

I sincerely appreciate your support and readership along this road. We'll be traveling in a blizzard tomorrow to get to grandmas house for Christmas. We'll take plenty of pictures I'm sure---I can't wait to share them with you in these pages. I plan on using one of these pictures to update the sidebar photo of this blog! That picture is now officially 32 pounds old! Yeah---272 feels pretty good. I hope you have a safe, warm, and wonderful Christmas with family and friends. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day 464 Slow Down: Natural? And Is Psychology Partially To Blame?

Day 464

Slow Down: Natural? And Is Psychology Partially To Blame?

My feet hit the floor at 3:30am, now I know what I said. I said I didn't want to ever get up earlier than 4am, but I still managed to get five hours of sleep. I hit the fitness center first thing and then after a great warm-up, retreated to the apartment to write yesterday's post. The entire topic of loose skin was one of those blogs that was going to take a little longer to write, so I finished half and headed for the showers and the studio. My Tuesday morning breakfast consisted of an egg white omelet—no cheese, just mushrooms and pepper, and a banana. It was awesome really. I'm trying to not be so predictable. Not to you, but to me. Maybe one of these mornings I'll combine an egg white omelet and some oatmeal---ewww---no, not together, but as two breakfast selections. I could do this and still have a breakfast count of around 250 calories.

I started getting down on myself today and I immediately squashed it like a bug. I've written before about how after a bunch of success it's easy to become lax in our efforts. If we're not careful, what was considered unacceptable early on this journey becomes...Oh, that's fine---look at how far I've come! But that's a dangerous place! I've been at that place where it's real easy to find an excuse to not workout, and that's completely contrary to what this journey and blog is all about. If you've read the early days of this blog and compare it to the last 200 days---you'll see the difference. I'm not disputing the fact that as we progress our weight loss naturally slows, I'm just wondering how much of that slow down is because of this psychological dynamic.

It's not as urgent as it once was. I don't worry about dropping dead everyday like I did at over 500 pounds. I look in the mirror and for the first time in my life I'm actually liking what I see. Success, happiness, healthy feelings...it's all enough to make me take it easy a little. And this was the source of my self-centered contempt today. And then all of a sudden I stopped and started counting my blessings and accomplishments along this road. I reminded myself that I've never become lax in the calorie department, and that made me feel much better. My main problem all of these years was an out of control addiction to food. I'm conquering that without any decline in enthusiasm or drive. So there, self! Where I'm headed physically is certain. How quickly I get there will be determined by my commitment level in the fitness room, on the racquetball court, and most importantly---in the weight room. Oh I just had to mention the weight room. Isn't that the biggest glaring flaw of this entire journey of mine? Lack of commitment in the weight room?

But the great thing is this: I can correct the course. I can commit. I can do anything I decide I can. If I want to develop these “guns” and this behind of mine---I can, and will---It's a choice.
I could go into a long drawn out study of why I've been so lacking in the weight room, covering everything from simple intimidation to my birth defected right arm, but it all amounts to excuses. Anything...that's what I can do. Did you see the Iron Man Triathlete without any legs? The guy competes in triathlons with two artificial legs all the way to his hips. You talk about an inspiration. This guy understands all about choices huh? He knows that the only thing that can and does stop us is us.

I left the studio today shortly after 4pm and headed for a round of errands before arriving at the apartment close to 5pm. I was tired and needed a nap. I took an hour nap and got up just in time to head back to the studio for a special holiday broadcast from 6:30 to 8:30pm. I arrived at the studio and realized that I was really hungry. What about dinner? My broadcast partner for this broadcast, Gayle Williams, had some kind of incredible gourmet shrimp casserole thingy and boy did it smell good! She let me try it and wow, it was amazing! I then dug around and found a Marie Calenders beef and noodles type dinner. I popped that 320 calorie meal in the microwave and prepped for the broadcast. It wasn't bad at all really. Maybe a little high in sodium, but honestly---I didn't check. I just knew I needed some calories and I didn't really care how I had them at this point. I also enjoyed about a half an ounce of cheese with my beef noodle dish.

I made sure to drop in bed by 10:15, but I wasn't asleep until after 11pm. Tomorrow (Wednesday) is weigh day again! Yes, we're ready! Come on scale, show me something good! I'll let you know how that goes. Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day 463 A Seriously Dreaded and Often Avoided Topic

Day 463

A Seriously Dreaded and Often Avoided Topic

Every now and then it happens. I try to avoid it, I try to pretend it doesn't exist. If I ignore it maybe it will go away. But then somebody ask the question: So how's your skin holding up? Should I pretend that I didn't get this e-mail? Maybe it went straight to my junk filter! Yeah, yeah...for some reason all e-mails that contain the words “loose skin” are automatically filtered to junk! I'm kidding. Really, it depends on who's asking. If it's somebody who's never been morbidly obese, then it's just their curiosity running wild, and I have no responsibility to satisfy their curiosity. But when it's someone who is or was morbidly obese, and it's a completely sincere concern that they're dealing with, then I give a completely sincere answer. So...how's the skin holding up?

My “problem” areas after losing the first 230 pounds are all over. Stomach, of course! Inner thighs, you betcha! My rear? Yeah, a little. My arms, some. I'm really not worried about the arms or rear end---it's nothing weight training can't fix, but the stomach and inner thighs, well---let's call them “battle scars.” We could call them “signs of abuse,” because that's exactly what I did to my body my entire life. I abused myself to over 500 pounds, challenging my body to produce as much skin as I needed and then stretching that skin thin as I grew. Now that I'm taking away the stuffing that filled my shell, well---this skin situation is to be expected. But it's OK. You know why?

Because I'm healthier now than I've ever been. I'm free to live again, I've survived somehow and I have the battle scars to prove my ordeal with morbid obesity. It might seem unfair really. I wouldn't dare take my shirt off at 505 for fear of embarrassment because of all my fat and now I wouldn't dare take it off for fear of embarrassment over my loose skin. Will I ever be happy with me? Yes. Because the trade off is worth the loose skin “problem.” Notice I put the word problem in quotations. I did because it's not really a problem. If someone came to me when I weighed 505 and said they could instantly and magically make me 230 pounds---but I would have to have loose skin as a trade-off...I would've jumped at the chance. Well, someone did make me that offer, it was me. And here we are dealing with loose skin. I've talked before how I plan on getting surgery to remove the skin, that's what I hope to do, but that stuff is extremely expensive---we'll just see how that works out. I haven't made any progress finding out about donating the skin to a burn center in exchange for the surgery, but I will very soon!

Besides, I can look decent in clothes now and in the future. It's not like a bunch of people are going to see me without clothes anyway. I've joked about wanting an “underwear model” body, but seriously---I'm just happy being healthy and not 505 pounds. Loose skin is a small price to pay for the way I feel now. One reader e-mailed: it's just that - well, you know...we worked so hard and this is it. It doesn't seem fair. If I had never been fat I would have an awesome, rock solid body. That reader has lost well over 100 pounds and is now a size 2 to 4. She also runs, like seriously runs fast, yeah! She agreed that dealing with the skin issues in exchange for being that small and so healthy, well---it's all worth the trade.

Today was a good Monday. Calorie budget was good, rock solid really. I did enjoy a half a cookie today. It was 80 calories I could have lived without, but that's alright. A co-worker brought a couple dozen cookies and a big brownie as a way to express her holiday cheer. She then apologized to me saying “I'm not trying to ruin your diet.” First of all---no apologies are necessary, and secondly---nobody but me and my choices can “ruin” anything! So we're good! I assured her that I was fine and that I may have one or not, regardless---I appreciated her Christmas cheer. And it wasn't long before I took a half a cookie and indulged a little. I guarantee that “old Sean” would have polished off 1,000 calories in cookies in about fifteen minutes---and still said aloud “what are we having for lunch?” I'm a very different person now. It's a wonderful thing indeed.

Amber and KL are planning to workout with me in the fitness center during their holiday break stay. We planned on doing it together tonight, but we all got tired really fast. I opted to hit the pillow early and get up way early for a workout and blog writing. I got up at 3:30am after going to bed shortly after 10pm. Still not enough sleep, but not too bad given my history. I worked out long enough to feel the burn and sweat, then I rushed up stairs and started writing. This topic of loose skin was just too complicated to express and I couldn't get it done before the thrust of my pre-show activities (shower-dress-drive), so once again I'm posting the day before---the next day. I hope you don't mind.

Thanks for reading. I leave you with pictures from my friends New Orleans weekend of indulgence. He just texted me that his pants are actually feeling tighter today. Yep...he knew that would happen! He's going to be so ready to workout when he gets back tonight. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

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Strawberries with double cream and a glass of Sazerac---just part of breakfast

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Eggs Husarde

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Bananas Foster more breakfast fare

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Chocolate Pecan Pie with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream ---desert after breakfast. Wait a second...desert at breakfast?? Must be a New Orleans thing!

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Classic Po Boy

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Roast Beef Po Boy

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Now that's a bowl of Red Beans and Rice!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 462 Where Thirty Pounds Makes A Big Difference and It Doesn't Have To Be A Struggle

Day 462

Where Thirty Pounds Makes A Big Difference and It Doesn't Have To Be A Struggle

A friend of mine is in New Orleans on vacation. He's indulging in all sorts of things, like chocolate pecan pie with vanilla bean ice cream, tequila for breakfast, bananas foster, giant poor boy sandwiches---and that's all just for starters. I guess New Orleans is famous for this over-indulgent atmosphere. Wow, I'm in awe of the pics he's sending me. I'm not sure if I could ever again allow myself to go crazy like that, even for an extended weekend. My friend and his wife are strong, they'll recover...but they're not me. I would be too afraid that the over-indulgence would send some serious mixed signals to my brain. I just want to eat responsibly for the rest of my life. But---I suppose there's a time and a place for indulgence like this, especially on a vacation in a city famous for many things---including food. I'm having some technical problems right now uploading pictures, or I'd share them with you. We'll get it figured out.

Speaking of pictures, I really must update the picture along the sidebar here. That was nearly 30 pounds ago! It's cool to be at a place where 30 pounds really makes a difference, and it really does now. Not at 505, but here---oh yeah---30 pounds is a big deal. As soon as I get this picture thing figured out, we'll get it updated! I need more pictures!

I'm really enjoying the switch to the steel cut oats. I say “switch,” but I've had them many times before---and I'll have my egg whites again too. I just get in a habit, a groove, a routine---and sometimes it's hard to break that pattern. Wow---doesn't that sum up just about everything right and wrong about a journey like this! Breaking our old horrible patterns is what this is all about. Breaking free!

I received an e-mail from a reader asking me when it gets easier. The reader writes: Sean, I enjoy your blog everyday and it's helped me stay on track for the last three months and twenty-eight pounds. It's still hard and a struggle everyday. When does this get easier?

This journey can be hard or easy. It's really up to you. I know that sounds too easy, but hear me out here... If this road seems like a constant struggle then maybe you're trying to force certain changes that you might perceive as imperative to weight loss success. We are conditioned from an early age to be completely misguided when it comes to our perceptions of how to lose weight. Just reading my blog or any other like it doesn't automatically shake these misconceptions. You have to trust me when I tell you that the very simple approach of eating 1500 calories and moving with some form of exercise works. It does for me, for you, for most everybody! Don't over-complicate this journey or else you will get frustrated and feel like it's a struggle every single day. And whatever you do---you mustn't ever discount the mental process. The mental part is 80%. If this road always seems hard, then maybe it's time to re-evaluate your motivating thoughts, your “iron-clad” decision, and the importance level you've assigned to this mission. How high is that importance level? Are you depriving yourself? Do you really believe that “nothing is off limits?” I've said it many times and I'll say it again: To me, there are no bad foods---only bad portions.

This reminds me of 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.

Well, wow...that was 74 pounds ago...and we're only 45 from goal. I guess what I'm trying to say is---if you're keeping it very simple and focusing on the mental aspects that I've talked about all throughout this blog, then it will become easy and natural. It doesn't have to be a struggle—you don't want it to be a struggle. I look at this as a wonderful transformation of mind and body. It's a beautiful thing, this breaking free from morbid obesity---I always dreamed of doing it, but never before now did I realize that I held the key to my cell door. I was the poor victim imprisoned for life. My crime? Food addict. Is that a crime? I mean really. Why must I feel trapped under hundreds of pounds of excess fat?? Punishment for my crime? Must be, but then I realized that I was the one responsible for my horrible choices---thereby making me the punisher and the punished. OK---I might be rambling at this point. Did you get that? Thanks for staying with me! ;)

I haven't talked much about Sunday and this is Sunday's post. It was a nice day. I took Amber and KL on a tour of Christmas lights tonight with a nice little intermission of low calorie frozen yogurt. Amber picked the equally good calorie value in the orange sherbet. It was a nice little Christmas excursion!

After our tour of lights we settled in for a good movie at the apartment. I didn't realize that the movie would be so long, so I decided to hit the fitness room first thing Monday morning. I did, immediately after getting up. Not sure if I like that approach. It took me a little bit to get going, but less than an hour later I had completed 20 minutes on the elliptical and two miles on the treadmill. It was a wonderful feeling to do it early and really get my blood to pumping, but it really put me in a rush afterward. I guess figuring out time management has been one of my biggest challenges throughout this journey. I still haven't figured that out!

Thanks for reading. I look forward to posting some updated pictures soon! To my friend in New Orleans—Thank you for the photos—I bet you're having a blast. When you get back we must hit the racquetball court together! Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day 461 So This Is How It Feels To Really Move and A Cool Change

Day 461

So This Is How It Feels To Really Move and A Cool Change

Saturday morning came a little too quickly for me. I normally enjoy sleeping in on Saturday, but occasionally duty calls for an early rising on a Saturday---and today was one of those days. Still, at just after 8am, in comparison to when I get up during the week---I guess I did sleep in, but you know what I mean. I started the coffee and decided on steel cut oats for breakfast. It was a warm and wonderful way to start the morning!

I had a broadcast scheduled on location at a big shoe store in town at 11am, and I needed to travel to the studio to produce a couple of things and grab my broadcast information sheet. Even though I jumped out of bed at 8am, I was still rushed. I could never be this rushed before, at my heaviest. I didn't move like this back then. I couldn't. It's so hard to believe how horrible it had become and how it's taken this weight loss so far to really show me how bad it was. I guess when something is all you've ever known, it's hard to truly realize how bad it is until you have something to compare. I have that something now, and trust me, in comparison, it was really bad at 505.

The “wow” reactions happen so frequently these days that I hesitate to write about them all. I really enjoy them and I'll never get tired of that look from people, but seriously---I could almost have one to write about everyday. This morning it was the shoe store owner and his employees. I've bought shoes from this place for years---they all knew me at my heaviest, but I hadn't been in there for over a year---and the reaction was one of complete disbelief followed by sincerely happy congratulations and excitement. Then of course the questions “How have you done it? Slim-Fast?” I didn't go into my weight loss philosophy and why products like Slim-Fast are temporary weight loss tools at best. I've written pages about that stuff and all of the different ways people lose weight by doing the opposite of what they should for long term life changing results---but this wasn't the time to explain all of that stuff. I'm always tempted, but I didn't. I just replied, “No---just portion control, counting those calories, and exercise---and a bunch of mental exercises. It's 80% in our heads and 20% food and exercise.” That answer found agreement among the staff and the conversation was closed. We had shoes to sell! It was a nice broadcast indeed. And promptly at high noon---several pizzas were delivered for the shoppers to enjoy courtesy of Team Radio and Domino's Pizza.

Domino's has completely changed their original hand tossed pizza recipe, so I had to try a piece. In fact, I have a commercial for this change to produce this weekend---So I needed to try it, right? It's good, really good—-but for an old calorie counter like me, I'm not sure I'll be investing too many calories in this new style. I'll stick with the calorie friendly thin crust.

I base my food decisions on “calorie value.” I want the most bang for my calorie “buck,” and that pursuit has helped me many times make the better choice. It's simple really. Mustard instead of mayo, red sauce over alfredo, thin crust instead of thick...little tweaks can make a huge difference. I still eat what I like and occasionally that means Miracle Whip (better than mayo calorie wise—and taste wise in my opinion), or alfredo sauce, or in todays situation---a non-thin crust piece of pizza, but I'm always looking for ways to cut calories. Like that 395 Kentucky Grilled promotion. I explained how you can make it a 315 calorie meal instead with a couple of easy adjustments. A tweak here and a tweak there, and pretty soon you'll feel like you've consumed plenty but still have calories remaining for the day. It comes with experience, I will say that. I don't recommend someone just starting out to worry about all of these calorie cutting maneuvers. It must develop gradually and naturally. That's why I have always said “nothing is off limits.” The road to better choices must evolve from what we like. If it's unnatural and forced---then any results we get will become temporary. Just be calorie aware and count 'em up. When you only have 1500 to use daily, you 'll naturally figure out ways to get the most out of them! And the things you learn along the way about normal portions, wow---it's been a real education for me.

Some friends invited me out tonight for Karaoke. I got in a quick workout in the fitness room before getting ready and heading out. It wasn't the best workout—ten minutes on the elliptical and 1.5 miles on the treadmill, but it was a workout. Amber and Courtney had plans with their friends, so I accepted the invitation from my friends. Karaoke was a blast. I performed “Cool Change” from the Little River Band. It's one of my favorite songs from LRB and is so fitting for me these days. And it's within my vocal range, so it's easy for me to sing. I put some real emotion into that one, it was fun! I didn't drink at all. I did however allow myself a few diet Cokes adorned with maraschino cherries. I spent almost a hundred calories on those cherries---but they were worth it!

Thank you for reading and I look forward to the wonderful milestones ahead. The weight loss/current weight crossing point is coming soon. That'll be big! After many fantastic suggestions from readers, I still haven't decided what to call that rare weight loss feat. Maybe you too have an idea. It's the point where you've lost more weight than you currently weigh. What should we call that crossing point? Without calling it the “crossing point.” I think I wanted something that sounded a little more scientific. Like when Doc Brown spoke of breaking the “Space Time Continuum” in Back To The Future. Any ideas you have would be greatly appreciated! And if you've already given me some, thank you, and keep 'em coming! Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 460 Even If I'm The Only Reader and Just Enjoying The Season Responsibly

Day 460

Even If I'm The Only Reader and Just Enjoying The Season Responsibly

It was good for me to write yesterday's post. I can't describe how this blog has guided me through this journey. It's had a profound effect on me. Sitting down everyday and writing it out, getting it out on the screen. This has been a phenomenally therapeutic experience. And it continues to help me step by step---all the way to my goal and beyond. Every blog posting I say "Thank you for reading," and I do thank you and sincerely appreciate your support. But the truth is, I'd still be writing this very same blog even if it were only me reading. It's extremely important, very dear to my heart.

I've been handling the goodies at work really well. I allowed for 200 calories worth of cheese today, but I refrained from having even a handful of the Poppy Cock. The boss called from the home office and suggested someone come and pick up the big container of homemade Chex Mix that was gifted Team Radio. He wanted it gone from his sight for the same reason I would rather it not be here at the studio. That stuff is addictive! I'm confident I could and would handle myself responsibly, but really---I don't want it around if I have a choice. I don't keep a half gallon of ice cream in the freezer anymore either, I just don't. I could and would probably be OK---No, I would be OK, but some things represent more to me than just overeating or being one of my "favorite foods." Some foods for me have symbolism. Buying a half gallon of ice cream was always a dead giveaway that I had given up in the past. Every bite would make me feel like a complete failure, but still I would eat and eat some more. It was so sick, it really was.

I've been asked several times recently "How have you handled/are handling the holidays?" And I tell them "I'm just eating responsibly and exercising---I'm still enjoying the treats of the season and the wonderful foods, I'm just not pigging out on anything." Too many times in the past I just accepted that it was too hard to do this during the holidays, but I was missing a very valid point. Our goal here isn't to temporarily proclaim everything bad and off limits, it's to learn how to handle food in a responsible way in real life everyday situations. I know what normal portions look like now, I obviously didn't before.

The girls had a night at Mom's planned and I had a Christmas party to attend tonight. They had dinner over there and I cooked a lean hamburger patty with mustard and some scrambled egg whites with mushrooms---I love it! It might not sound like anything you might like, or maybe it does, but I'm telling you---it's very filling and my entire plate came in 340 calories! And I even put some ketchup on the eggs! Call me weird, but I like it!

I arrived to the party late and found about a dozen revelers enjoying the festivities. They had some party snacks---including cookies and chex mix. I had both. I had a few small handfuls of the chex mix and over the course of the party, I consumed a cookie. I ate that cookie one bite at a time, every bite about thirty minutes or more apart. I just left it on the platter too...Nobody was going to touch a partly consumed cookie! It was a very tame party---and that works for me, I'm typically not the "party" type, but I had fun, and it was good to get out and see friends.

Today was a good day. Day 460, wow...we're really rocking at this point huh? 230 pounds lost and counting, and everything is changing. I'm riding the waves of change like a pro surfer---Keeping my thoughts in line and staying focused on the important things, and staying up!
Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 459 I Want It So Bad For Them and Choosing Change Before Change Chooses You

Day 459

I Want It So Bad For Them and Choosing Change Before Change Chooses You

I’ve been thinking a bunch lately about friends and family that I dearly care about who are struggling with this battle. I often wish there was a way to transfer what it feels like to be free, to be so close to goal that the major effects of obesity no longer control your life. It’s a beautiful experience. And I remember how hopeless I once was. I remember feeling like the only way out was a tragic end that I honestly didn’t want, but felt powerless to steer clear from that horrible end. I can remember eating in bed and literally bursting into tears because the thought of what I thought it would take to really do this was just too overwhelming for me. Every now and then I randomly select a day from the archives to read. It serves as a reminder of where I’ve been and gives me determination and strength to continue along this wonderful road. Today I read Day 25 and it fit my thoughts so precisely. Here’s an excerpt:

I've learned that not everyone has arrived at the proper place mentally to take on this challenge. They know that they need to, they understand the deadly effects of not doing it, they understand the wonderful benefits of doing it. But like me in that doctors office back on June 10th, they're just not ready. I know I've talked about how easy this is, and in the proper mindset it does get real easy, but I also understand that if a person isn't ready to accept and adapt to a major lifestyle change, then it's nearly impossible. I once thought that the only way I would ever do this would be to go into a hospital like setting, where everything is done for you. A place where they control everything...what you eat, drink, sleep, exercise...The schedule and food is all handled by someone else. I really didn't know if such a place existed until just recently. I was watching Discovery Health or some channel like that. The program featured people that were much bigger than me. People that had to be rescued and put into a hospital under strict supervision. It was their only way out of certain and very soon death. It was very sad to watch and know that for some, the right mindset never happens. I have to thank God everyday that I have been given the strength to get into the right mindset and stay true to this mission to the very end goal. I'm one of the lucky ones. It's amazing how when you think you're the only one, when you feel like you have it the worst, and you feel completely hopeless to change, you're shown somebody who can only dream of being in your present condition. I'm very blessed and I can't forget that. I had an opportunity to choose change before the changes chose me. I'm forever grateful for that strength. I pray that others will also find that strength. And it certainly doesn't come from reading this blog, it comes from a very deep and personal place within each of us. And once the decision is made to change, then perhaps this blog can be a daily booster. It's certainly helping me.

“Choose change before the changes chose me,” hit me particularly hard in regard to my desires for my morbidly obese friends and family. I so desperately want it to happen for so many others. I want them to choose change before change chooses them. No matter how difficult change can be to accept, I think we would all agree that it’s much easier on our own terms, right?

I put the steel cut oats in the crock-pot on low last night. The plan was to shut them off around 2:30am when I typically wake for a run to the restroom. I didn’t wake until 4am and by that time the steel cut oats were in really bad shape. Five hours is way too long, even on low! Oh well, I made some egg whites and mushroom---then grabbed a yogurt on my way to the studio. I was also content that I had fresh fruit waiting at the studio courtesy of a nice gift earlier in the week. I love fresh pears! Oh my! The best 120 calories I’ve had in a long time, I must buy some of these soon! Oh so good.

Amber and her boyfriend KL arrived this afternoon for the Christmas break. They’re both so relieved that the semester is over! Amber made all A’s and one B---and an amazing A on an in-depth ten page essay on the Beatles. She’s rocking her grades! I’m so proud. Courtney absolutely aced three of her five finals so far; she’s wrapping up finals today. Courtney is on track to continue her nearly 4.0 gpa with all A's except one B too!! I have to give thanks for being blessed with two beautiful and smart daughters. They’re so well balanced!

Amber wanted to rent a movie tonight and have us all watch it together. She picked up the Disney/Pixar release “Up.” Is was wonderful! I decided to wait to workout tonight and write this edition until in the morning---the time spent with my girls was well worth it!

It was a good plan and then I overslept horribly! 5:10am left no time for working out or writing the Friday morning!! That’s the risk of waiting until the next morning. I’m OK with it all. I’ll be getting in a great workout Friday with Amber, KL, and Courtney! We’ve all decided to hit the fitness room together before they spend the night with their mom Friday night.

Thank you for reading. If you’ve just discovered this blog I want you to understand that all of this is very new to me. And there is nothing that I’m doing or have done that isn’t within your reach. You can do this. I was so hopeless for so long, I really was…or at least I thought I was. You’re not hopeless either. I recommend you go back into the archives and read from Day 1. That’ll give you the best perspective of this most wonderful journey that makes me beam with pride. Can you tell how proud? Goodnight and…

Good Choices,
Sean

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 458 A Friend Hits Goal and I Never Really Cared About My Hair Until Now

Day 458

A Friend Hits Goal and I Never Really Cared About My Hair Until Now

A big Daily Diary of A Winning Loser congrats go out to a fellow weight loss blogger friend who had a fantastic day today. Fat[free]Me stepped on the scale and made her goal! She's spent the last nine months setting a wonderful example and spreading fantastic inspiration throughout the weight loss blogging world. Hats off to you my friend. I'm so happy for you, couldn't be any more proud! Check out her blog if you haven't already, dig into her archives, and see for yourself the wonderful journey she's chronicled at www.fat-free-me.blogspot.com What a wonderful success story. She really inspires me and her support of my journey has really lifted me on many occasions. Thank you again my friend!

This morning was wonderful. I jumped up in plenty of time to cook a nice breakfast and I even thought about working out before work, but I didn't. I did think about it though, yes I did! That's a big improvement really. I think I'll try to make that a part of my morning routine. Not a big full fledged workout, just something to start me moving and burning early. I'll still workout later in the day, but a quick one or two miles on the treadmill or a twenty minute elliptical burn might be a nice pre-shower ritual. As long as I can still get up at 4am, I'll be cool with that plan. I don't want to get up even a minute before 4am. If I start getting up any earlier I'll have to start going to bed by 8pm, and you know I've never been that guy.

I arrived at the studio with my apple and banana mid-morning snack in hand and then I discovered a wonderful gift waiting. Dr. Amy had sent some apples, pears, mixed nuts, and cheese. Thank you Dr. Amy! I'm looking forward to having Dr. Amy on my show with a “health minute” feature in the new year. I had her on my old show and now she'll make the move with me. It's always a pleasure to have her wisdom on the air! She'll actually be on both KLOR and with me on KPNC, we're excited! Her and her husband Jeremy have really built something special with The Ranch Wellness Center. They're good people!

I double checked the Poppy Cock canister today and discovered the horrible truth. In last night's blog I mentioned the calorie count as 160 for a cup of that stuff. No, no that was wrong. It's 160 for a ½ cup! Oh my goodness. I have no idea how they pack that many calories in such a small amount of snack, but they do. It's just horrifyingly bad!

I checked with a local barbecue place today, asking if they had any leftover smoked chicken from the day before. When they do, they sell it cheap. I bought three smoked half chickens for less money than I could have bought them at the store. I immediately made smoked chicken breast and a banana my lunch. It was so good!

I left the studio this afternoon and went straight to the hair stylist for a good haircut and goatee trim. I was overdue! I like my hair more now than before. It fits my head so much better. Does that sound weird? My head and face is so much smaller now and it really makes a difference in how my hair sits atop my head. I never bothered with haircuts before until I absolutely couldn't wait another day to get one. I never maintained a style because I just didn't care I guess. Ask anyone that knows me personally. I would get a haircut and it would look great for a couple of weeks, then I'd let it grow out until I looked absolutely shabby. Taking better care of myself and really liking me is a major part of this journey, obviously.

I had a 4pm meeting today and of course my weight loss came up the minute I walked in the door. Someone suggested that I'm probably tired of talking about it---Uh, no way, are you kidding? Never. I plan on spreading the word about natural weight loss the rest of my life, there's no time to tire of the subject. Besides, it's just too exciting to grow tired!

Had a “small world” moment today. Remember my “I told you that was him” encounter at Wal-Mart the other day? It turns out that one of those nice young ladies works for the Salvation Army and is booked as an in studio guest on my show in the morning. The Salvation Army still has over 300 kids on their Angel Tree, many of them will not receive anything for Christmas unless a bunch of people step up and make some wonderful donations. That will be our focus with this interview. If you're a local reader of this blog, tune in for all the details of the need and a very special broadcast we'll be doing Monday with Four States Exteriors to further help the wonderful efforts of the Salvation Army. It's a small world indeed!

I was flying solo for dinner tonight. I prepared an egg white, mushroom, and smoked chicken breast omelet. It was amazing and wonderfully low in calories at 210. Too low really, considering I still have 325 calories remaining tonight as of this writing. I may have some soup or maybe a frozen real fruit pop or both! I'll still end up leaving some calories on the table. In the morning I will not have another omelet. No, tomorrow morning I'm having steel cut oats sweetened with Splenda and topped with diced apple. I have the oatmeal in the crock pot on the low setting right now! I wonder if I should throw the apples in now? I think I will!

I hit the fitness room again tonight for a nice workout. Once again I burned for twenty minutes on that blasted elliptical. Actually it was probably a little less because I stopped every now and then to ease the burn. I know, I know...the burn is good, but it hurts! I'm such a baby, for goodness sakes. The treadmill is all mine. I own that thing. I can treadmill for a while before I even start feeling like I'm having a workout. I did jog some tonight, but mostly just a brisk power walk. After the elliptical, I was really feeling like I had a serious workout. I can still feel it, oh my.

This journey has been such a wonderful blessing to me. Thank you so much for reading and giving me your support. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Day 457 A Really Bad Breakfast and A Great Tuesday

Day 457

A Really Bad Breakfast and A Great Tuesday

Yesterday left me tired and feeling a little down. I even overslept a little this morning. Of course oversleeping for me these days is 5am. But despite my rushed starting routine, I had already decided that today would be a better day. That's it. I decided. And it really was a better day. Thank you for all of the wonderful e-mails and comments I received after posting Day 456. I know I have many friends near and far ready to offer positive encouragement anytime I need a pick-me-up.

I was in such a rush this morning that I didn't have time to prepare my normal breakfast. I quickly grabbed a couple of apples and a banana and hit the door. I stopped for a second to look for my keys and that was when I put down my fruit bag for just a few seconds. I forgot to pick it back up. I was nearly to the studio when I realized I was without anything for breakfast. Now what? Well, I started searching for food at the studio. I was going to find something and I didn't really care what. The company received a Hillshire Farms sausage and cheese gift pack recently---cheese! I love cheese! I tore into that thing and then put on the brakes right before cutting a slice. I decided that an ounce was all I would eat. I didn't have a food scale, but I did have a cheese cutting board and slicer. I cut what I guesstimated to be an ounce, or 100 calories of sharp cheddar cheese. I didn't open the sausage. But I did open something I wish I wouldn't have. I opened a canister of Poppy Cock. I had never tried Poppy Cock. And I only allowed myself a handful this morning. One look and I knew it was something I needed to put the lid on and walk away from. It's candy coated popcorn with pecans and almonds. Oh my, it was amazing. Has this stuff always existed? I'd never tried it before and I doubt I'll sample too much more at 160 calories per one cup serving. 160 calories for a cup? Wow, I told you it was good! This is very likely the worst breakfast I've had since that time I enjoyed a king size Rice Krispy treat at a Wal-Mart broadcast. At least that was made of cereal. This was cheese and Poppy Cock. Not exactly the breakfast of champions, but what was I to do? I didn't want to miss breakfast and I didn't want to wait until after my show. I probably should have waited. My metabolism might have forgiven me later, I'm sure!

An ounce of cheese and a hand full of what amounted to candy just didn't do much for me. I was not satisfied in the least. I knew I didn't want anymore cheese or Poppy Cock, So I drank coffee and water and waited until lunch to eat again.

I had a dentist visit today. Nancy Tyndall reminded me that this was my 15 month anniversary of starting this journey. So cool! I use to dread the dentist, but not anymore. Tyndall Family Dentistry has been so good to me. Today was a cleaning and a very positive conversation about the future plans and goals I have. It really lifted me up and reminded me just how wonderfully fortunate I am to be where we are. I left the dentist office feeling energized and on top of the world.

I was short on time for the rest of lunch, I seriously needed to get back quickly, so I headed for the drive through at Wendy's. I ordered a plain baked potato and a grilled chicken wrap without the sauce. I enjoyed half the small potato for what was easily 100 calories and the 210 calorie grilled wrap was perfect. It was just what I needed after a horrible breakfast!

Courtney had to work tonight and Irene came over to help organize the apartment. I picked up a Subway sandwich for us to share before our apartment work. It was a good start to a very productive night. This apartment actually looks like what it should look like now. Courtney and I have decided to decorate with framed motivational posters. I think it's a fabulous idea. Right now the walls are bare, but we'll be adding those soon!

Irene and I finished up about 10pm. She headed to her house and I changed into my workout clothes for a trip downstairs. I did twenty minutes on the elliptical last night and I did it again tonight. The last seven minutes or so is just murder on the muscles that front my upper legs. Quads? Is that what they're called? I should know this huh? Anyway, I don't need to know their name to know they were burning with workout glory tonight! The treadmill is so easy compared to the elliptical, at least for me. I'm just not accustomed to the elliptical yet. I'll get there, I will!

It's been a decent Tuesday, it really has been good. We're getting there, wherever “there” is...it'll be just fine. 275 is feeling great by the way. I love weighing 275. It's like I'm a kid again! I'll love weighing less even more! Downward we go! Thanks for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean





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