Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day 475 Trying To Avoid A Tragic Irony

Day 475

Trying To Avoid A Tragic Irony

Today reminded me of the first couple of weekends of my weight loss journey. I woke up and realized that I didn't have the routine of a workday to keep me busy. I didn't have a set schedule to offer some structure to my day. I was so worried about weekends when I started. Too much time on my hands, too much time to think about my choices, good and bad. Day 6 was my first Saturday and Day 475 felt like my first Saturday all over again. I have two cigarettes left. I've slowed way down because I know that when they're gone, they're gone, that's it. I'm saving that last one for a picture that I really don't want to see, but it will not disgust me as bad knowing that it was the last. I can't let myself down this time, I can't let my family and friends down this time, I must do this now. That's the same thing I kept repeating to myself when I started down this weight loss road.

When I started on September 15th, 2008---I honestly felt like tragedy was right around the corner, following me, just waiting to kill me. I was really scared and I knew that if it did claim me, not one family or friend would have been the least bit shocked. I was a mess at 505 pounds. I was taunting and tempting fate with every pound I gained and carried. Everyday that I kept eating whatever and how much ever I wanted, was just another day closer to a very sad conclusion of a short life. I feel the same way about these blasted cigarettes. Every one I smoke, I can't help but think is this the one? Is this the cigarette that pushes me past the point of no return? And then I think about the tragic irony that would surround my story. Do you ever do that? Think about your story, your life? What will people say about you when you're gone? I think too much sometimes, perhaps. But---really, I've mentioned this before. How tragically ironic would it be for me to lose all of my weight in a pursuit to be healthy and live like never before, and then be killed from a smoking related disease.

What thought drives me right now, this second---as I sit here writing? I pray that it's not too late. It's the same prayer I held tight out on that walking trail in September of 2008. Just walking or waddling really made me hurt and at 505, any little twinge of chest pain scared me, is this it, am I about to drop dead? Please don't kill me, please give me time to get this weight off, I beg of you---don't let me be too late to change. Same prayer, different addiction. I'm quitting now in hopes that I'm getting out before it ruins my happy ending. I've often said that we are the author of our story. We decide what kind of story, life it will be. We decide. Of course I believe that we have a great publisher and editor that can change or end that story, reminding us that we're not completely in control. But we have to live our best in hopes that the life we choose, the story we've written, will be accepted as it unfolds, with very few edits. I don't like tragic endings, and I refuse to have one. Please don't let me have one.

As I got around today, I discovered that the OSU game against Ole Miss in the Cotton Bowl was a day game. For some reason I thought it was a night game. If I hadn't turned on the TV when I did, I would have missed the game. I wish I would have never turned on the TV. That was tough to watch. Talk about unhappy endings. But they started with so much promise, had a great season despite their flaws and unfortunate circumstances, but it wasn't the ending any Cowboy fan wanted. It'll be interesting to see how positive changes affect the 2010 season. One of these seasons they're going to get it right and win it all. I just know it! It all sounds familiar to me.

After lounging in the recliner and enjoying the game, it was time to get something done. I needed a workout. I needed to take my frustrations from the game out on that elliptical downstairs. I only did 15 minutes this time, but my performance on the treadmill was something special. I pushed myself hard. I didn't do a 5K---only two miles. But I jogged at least ¾ of that two miles. It was a better workout than any 5K I've completed recently. I'm thinking of doing a treadmill 10K tomorrow. I'll be completely free of cigarettes and dealing with the nicotine withdrawals---just might be a good time to push myself even further. I'll release so many endorphins, I'll have no choice but to feel great!

I was invited out to karaoke by my friends Skyler and Lauren tonight. Honestly, I didn't feel like going, but I did anyway. It was a last minute decision and it was all right. I never had the confidence to do karaoke when I weighed over 500 pounds---I could do stand-up comedy all night long, but for some reason, singing in front of people---I just couldn't do it before. I'm not the greatest singer, but the point isn't to be great, it's to have fun. I performed Joe Jackson's “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” When I was a kid I would blare that song to my neighborhood from my bedroom window. I loved it then, never dreaming that twenty-eight years later I'd be doing what I did tonight. Fun? Yes it was!

Thank you for reading. I'm going to prepare myself a low calorie omelet now with egg whites, low fat-part skim mozzarella, mushrooms, and tomato sauce. I call it a pizza omelet! It comes in at 170 calories, that's it! And it's so good! Have a great Sunday. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,


  1. Too much Dexter for OSU yesterday. That guy's been terrorizing teams all year.

    Go on and smoke them last cigs and let's get this "no smoking" policy in place and enforced.

  2. There was a point for me when those little chest pains scared me, but provide some relief...Is this the big one? It'll all be over soon...I'll be at peace.

    Of course, what I started to resent is that I'd just become another obesity statistic...I'd live up to the expectation of those that knew me.

    Now...that isn't what motivated me to lose weight...getting healthy for a big I-told-you-so. But I knew I had to both have better reasons to live versus die, better things to do with my life than watch TV, and the strength to get it done and reach a new kind of peace.

    I also quit smoking in my life (early twenties)...cold turkey.

    You may not see this now, but you are such a strong individual based on your accomplishments and you'll make quitting smoking look easy and be yet another inspiration...I am totally confident in you.


  3. It's never too late! I agree with Jack - smoke 'em up and let's get a move on!

  4. Hi Sean. It has been awhile since I've visited! I have had "stuff" keeping me away from blogger land to include a move into a new home and also major surgery.

    I am on the mend, but probably have about 2-4 weeks before I am back to standard. Tonight, I had a fuss with the husband and caved to emotional eating. So, I came back to your blog because it always gives me a kick start in a good direction. I actually lost 5lbs the Month of Dec and am very happy, and have made the same mini-goal for myself for the Month of Jan.

    I can empathize with your fearful moment(s). I had something similarly same happen, when I went in for surgery. With surgery, comes risks. Knowing I am overweight, places more risk and I was fearful I will admit it. I just did not want to go out this way because of something I did to myself. So, trust you me - I did a whole lot of praying and then some, and even afterwards. The fear hung onto me like a bad coat. Well I finally thought about it from the perspective of parking spaces.

    Parking spaces, you say? Yes, parking spaces. I work in at a places where parking is very congested and you practically have to arrive the night before in order to get one. It is getting that bad, lol. Anyway, everyone always asks how I luck out because I always seem to land one even though I come in a bit later than them. I tell them I pray about it, and I do believe God blesses me in this way. So, if God will take care of my small nonsense needs - why would I ever doubt that he won't look out for the bigguns too??

    I am going to get healthier and beat this weight challenge, just as you are going to beat the smoking addiction. It is time to stop allowing stuff to rob us of our joy and peace. Hang in there Sean, you're going to be just fine!

  5. You are working the gym at the moment! I think getting those endorphins going by focussing on exercise is a great idea while you quit cigarettes.

  6. You can do this. You've already tackled/continue to tackle the bigger addiction (I bet). Kari is right--more exercise will help. Think of how much easier it will be when you can really breathe!

  7. I am attending a funeral for my 41 year old friend, who was diagnosed with lung cancer 2 weeks ago, on Tuesday. I spent her last night on earth with her, holding her hand in the hospital. I thought of you and prayed that you would make this decision. No one should have to die the way my friend did. Congrats on your decision and I know you will find the strength to kick that habit for good!

  8. This post got me so excited! Because I can totally tell how devoted you are to your new goal of quiting smoking! I know it is hard, and I think the exercising extra is a great idea.

    Keep up the good work!

  9. You can do this Sean...nobody doubts it. Very proud of you for making the decision. In a couple of weeks it'll be no big deal. :)

  10. Any of your readers knows what a strong man you are!!! I am rooting for you and I know you can succeed at this!!! Good luck :)

  11. Quitting smoking is just like that first day on the trail. Just walk around the builing. It will get easier. You'll be just as healthy on the inside and you are on the outside.


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