Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 488 Not Everything---But Too Much To Go Back and Simple Getting Started Advice

Day 488

Not Everything—But Too Much To Go Back and Simple Getting Started Advice

Compared to yesterday morning, this mornings rise at 4:10am would be considered sleeping late. I jumped up with plenty to accomplish before I found the seat behind the microphone at 6am. I wanted a workout enjoyed and a blog page written, oh---and a shower, breakfast, and getting dressed. Oh my...maybe I should have jumped up earlier! I was able to get it done with about five minutes to spare. I cut it a little too close today. But I really like working out before work. It energizes me like crazy! It sets the tone for a wonderful day. It wasn't the longest workout but it was concentrated and good. I'm really digging the sit ups. I never thought I'd say that, but really...those things kill my abs---I love it! I just love that I can actually feel abs under there!! That's really thrilling for me.

A friend asked a question that I've been asked many times by many people, usually by someone who has also lost a considerable amount of weight. The question? Do you ever fear going back? Gaining it all back? My simple answer is: NO. Melissa Walden told me a long time ago, after a “Lose To Win” seminar, “you know too much to ever go back!” And it really made sense to me. I've made peace with food. I've accepted that food is my friend—not my enemy. Food is a friend that I don't want to abuse any longer. Because when you start abusing a friend, eventually they're not a friend anymore. I'm not perfect, I don't “eat clean” by any stretch of the imagination. My issues with overeating have been resolved and right now that's more important to me than anything. Could my choices improve? Of course! Are you kidding? But from where I came, everything has improved, and now that I have a taste of this freedom---I'm never going back. I don't know everything, but I do know enough to know that I can confidently move forward without fear of losing this freedom. I'll make my life all about sharing this journey to freedom---and that positive message will constantly remind me of where I've been and where I'm headed. No, I'm never going back.

Every now and then someone ask me to give them advice on how to get started. My advice reflects my philosophy that change must be natural and gradual to take a firm hold in our brains. The phrase "nothing is off limits," completely gets under some people's skin---and I understand why, but realize that this approach is exactly what has transformed me from a 505 pound food addict mess of a man to where I am today. The positive from this change is far greater than the negative of some of my food choices. You have to start somewhere and for me it had to be a natural progression of good choices, or better choices--focusing on amounts-portion control--rather than prohibiting "bad" foods. My advice is always heavy on the mental aspects, after all, they are the most important elements of success along this road. Instead of re-writing what I tell them—I'll just share this excerpt from Day 232 titled “Required Mental Exercises:”

Forget every rule you thought was iron clad about losing weight.

Admit to yourself that you don't know it all, because someone who knows it all can't learn effectively. Have you ever heard someone say “you can't change him, he's set in his ways.” Be open to a “new,” simple approach to weight loss that really isn't new at all.

Wipe from your mind the idea that some foods are forbidden.

Do some really deep internal self-counseling to discover your “motivating thoughts.” Why do you want to lose weight and feel great? Develop that list and defend it from your old habits at all cost.

Realize that food is not the enemy, you have been your own worst enemy.

Let go of any blame for your obesity that you have ever placed on someone or something.
Admit that you are the one in charge of you. And since that is true, you're completely responsible for your habits, good and bad.

Stop being the victim. Empower yourself to rise above your circumstances instead of allowing yourself to stay chained to them in a depressing existence.

Here's a BIG one: Be 100% completely HONEST with yourself. Stop telling yourself lies. Lies come in the form of excuses and rationalizations. Be honest about them and you'll start to recognize them every time they pop out of your mouth or brain. Stop rationalizing bad choices.

Defeat excuses at every turn. Stop thinking of all the reasons why you'll never be able to do this, instead think of all the wonderful reasons to do this and never give up.

Don't “let yourself off the hook.” Don't say “I have time to do this later, I'll start next week, or next month, or after the holidays, or after we get past all of the birthdays coming up...right now, let's eat!” Maybe you don't have time. I let myself off the hook for over twenty years. If your transformation is important to you, don't let yourself off the hook.

Understand that every action has a consequence, good or bad. Shoot for the good ones.
When you're alone, that's when you have to police yourself extra. Almost every weight loss attempt in my past has ended with me binging alone. Don't let yourself down like that. Take pride in your resolve.

Make sure to remind yourself that there isn't a food you can't enjoy at one time or another. You may not have the calories for that cheesecake today, but find a way to work it in sometime soon.

Understand that it will get easier. But only if you put forth a consistent positive effort.

I'm sure there are plenty more spread throughout this journey. Go back and read from Day 1.

Remember, I'm not an expert. I'm just a guy who's been through this stuff my entire life. I was over 500 pounds for the majority of my adult life, until 232 days ago. These things I share are simply breakthrough thoughts and principles I've discovered along the way. If you're skeptical, then hide and watch what I do. Trust me, this is only the beginning of this journey for me. If you stopped reading this blog today and then come back in a few months, you will find me below 300 for the first time since age 16. The most important advice I can give anyone is: Don't make it complicated. Keep it simple! Calories in vs. Calories out. Later you can get more advanced if you want. And eat for goodness sakes. You have to provide your metabolism with fuel my friend. You have to eat and exercise.

After a really busy day at work---I was ready for a quick nap before heading out with friends for a night on the town. I'm the designated driver in these situations---a role I feel really good about. I don't drink, except rarely in social situations, but even then---I'm very conscious of the calories in my drinks. We didn't get back until really late and then I visited with Amber into the morning.

Before I went to sleep, I laid there and enjoyed my thoughts about many wonderful things. There's so much to be excited about in the coming weeks and months. Opportunities not even remotely possible had this journey never started. I'm ready to fly my friend--and so are many of my friends. Seriously, I can't help but be optimistic about what the future holds---and it's really fun to dream about. It'll be even better doing it.

Thank you for reading. Amber has spent some time with friends, but tomorrow we're working out together...and Sunday I think we may be planning a trip to Stillwater to celebrate Amber's birthday with the family. Today was Irene's 38th birthday. Happy birthday Irene! I've never missed one of her birthdays since she turned sweet 16. I didn't see her at all today, kind of strange---but OK. She had to work tonight anyway. Some changes are easier than others—that's for sure. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,


  1. Enjoyed reading your post again, Sean. I'm heading out for a long cycling workout and will be thinking through your line "Understand that it will get easier. But only if you put forth a consistent positive effort."

    Big Clyde

  2. This was a wonderful post, Sean. I agree with it all, with the exception that I would have added a footnote, that some people will need to modify the "no food is off limits" idea if they have problems with eating sugar due to blood sugar issues. Some of us NEED to not eat stuff that causes our blood sugar to soar into the stratosphere. Other than that, I totally agree with the concept.

    And yeah, I know I need to gradually make better nutritional choices, too. But I totally get what you say about it being a natural, gradual change in order to be permanent.

    Believe me, the newer version of me, even with not making perfect choices but eating responsible portions now, is GREATLY HEALTHIER than the old 460 pound me, who ate huge portions of everything not nailed down, LOL!

    My favorite line from your post today: "I've accepted that food is my friend—not my enemy."

  3. You know it just struck me as odd that you describe food as your friend and not your enemy. I totally agree that It should not be a foe... but I guess I've gone about developing the idea that food just is a thing. Neither enemy or friend. Once I can grasp the concept fully that food is fuel, to be enjoyed but not just for enjoyment... I think it will all fall in line.

    It just really struck me odd, I agree that many people (I think mistakenly) call it the enemy. However I wouldn't call it a "friend" either. Somehow that gives it too much importance. I think it would be like air or water. It is neither my friend or enemy but something I need. Or clothes wouldn't be my enemy or my friend. (Of course I say that at over 300 pounds... maybe clothes will be my friend later on?)

    At Foolsfitness Chinese Food is our friend!- Alan

  4. Sean, it's amazing how much of your advice lines up with the cognitive behavioral information/techniques that I've been reading about lately. It just goes to show you don't have to make it complicated, you don't have to have a degree in nutrition - just small, everyday, common sense steps. Thanks for sharing!

  5. "Stop being the victim. Empower yourself to rise above your circumstances instead of allowing yourself to stay chained to them in a depressing existence."

    Good words for me to hear especially today, Thank You! I was doing this whole thing all by myself last time. Coming back to it physically was a choice, but finding people online with similar thought patterns and challenges is now a gift. You have no idea how isolated I felt chugging away not knowing or meeting anyone else who had ever attempted this, only occasionally being home from swimming to catch a glimpse of the biggest loser. I get a sense now that there are a lot of folks on this path and it makes me wanna cheer for them and work on me.

  6. I love this sean..because it isn't rocket science and you let people know that.
    I like that whole eat what you want within reason philosophy.
    YOu know why.
    It's reasonable. IT works.
    And for it to work, you have to have dealt with your issues before it will work.
    You have to give up the excuse of binging to cover emotion...know why you are eating way to make it work.
    You have to do the head work first.
    love it.

  7. Great site you have here. I came across your site from another site. I have a blog myself which I hope will be a top resource for those looking to find the motivation to lose weight.

    I'd like to exchange links with you to help spread some traffic around between each other. Please let me know if this is possible under our "Best Weight Loss Websites" page. Until then, keep up the good work!



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