Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 491 Grab Ahold--A Message For Struggling Friends and The Broken Cycle of Obesity

Day 491

Grab Ahold—A Message For Struggling Friends and The Broken Cycle of Obesity

Mondays are either really slow or really busy, there's usually no in between around here. Today was busy. I started the day with squats, push ups, and sit ups---enjoyed breakfast, a couple of whole eggs and a banana...and started drinking coffee. I was ready to roll! I can handle this pre-work exercise. It's not the only workout of the day, just a warm-up to my day. And seriously, it's only about twenty minutes, not a big deal. I should have started doing this a while back! I guess I've always had to “go” workout...to the trail, or the YMCA, and now the fitness room downstairs. Rarely would I stay in the house to workout, except for Sweatin' To The Oldies, but Melissa has shown me brutal exercises---and by “brutal,” I mean good—that do not even require me to put on shoes.

Where was I? Oh yeah...Busy Monday. I powered through and did some good work. I was proud of our team today. We made some good radio indeed. I honestly didn't feel like it, but we rose to the occasion anyway. It's the same when we struggle to get that exercise done. I can't tell you how many times I just haven't been in the mood to workout, but did anyway—and felt great because of the effort. I haven't been perfect, many times I've postponed or just flat out skipped working out, but there's never really a good reason. Working out in some form or fashion can only be a positive thing. It's a mood changer, lifter...those endorphins are powerful little things!

I've been thinking today about those friends that I know are struggling these days. They're struggling with their journey, and some are slowly losing their grip—others have completely lost their grip. And I really want to reach out to each one and explain to them that I understand. The struggle of being over 500 pounds for so long, with all of the ill effects of such enormous weight, wasn't enough to motivate me to change for nearly two decades. And just when I thought I was really changing, I'd slowly let it slip away---back into my 500 pound existence. I did that over and over until 491 days ago. So what changed?

I knew that this pattern would eventually leave me without any options, only an early death. After analyzing my self-destructive weight loss patterns, I realized that I never made it important enough. I never gave it the importance level it deserved. It was way too easy to rationalize bad choices with a really low importance level. Oh, it was life or death, but I never treated it that way until this time. Why didn't I? Because I don't like dramatics. I'm easy...hey, it's no big deal, right? YES, it is a very big deal. I've been called fanatical and obsessive about my calorie budget many times, but you know what else they can call me? Successful. If looking at my calorie budget like a life or death limit is considered fanatical and obsessive, then fine by me. I failed every other time because I wasn't. I was easy---I was full of excuses and rationalizations for why I couldn't or shouldn't stick to my plan. If you want success, you really have to be willing to get seriously dramatic with yourself and even a little fanatical and obsessive. This is too important. And guys, come on---this is no time to have a macho attitude. Let's get real and make this happen. It'll set you free.

I've written better blogs about this topic before. If you're struggling or not, I invite you to read the archives. It's by no means perfect---but I promise you this...the “iron clad decision” and “steel curtain zone” is a constant theme. Make that iron clad decision to lose the weight once and for all---and then defend that decision with a steel curtain zone against any emotion, circumstance, person, place, or thing that you feel is threatening. Your biggest threat is you. That's right, you're sleeping with the enemy. But when you become committed to this journey in every way, and that steel curtain zone is activated, you become a wonderful ally to yourself. Success along the way motivates for even greater results—and soon, you're on day 491.

Amber travels back to school in the morning and I know that she's going back with a renewed resolve about her. It doesn't take long in talking to her about her weight for her emotions to show in a raw fashion. Look what I've helped create. Through my horrible example all of these years, I've created another me. She has many identical experiences that I endured as a fat child, the painful ones—and she's stopping it right now. This is it. She's going to break free at 20 years old, not 37 and 38 like her dad is doing. Twenty years old. Her future kids will never know her as a morbidly obese person. This is the only thought that makes me feel better. This cycle of obesity ends right here and right now.

Thank you for reading. Your support is sincerely appreciated. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,


  1. Excellent post Sean....especially about Amber. Breaking the cycle is so important. You might have guilt over setting the bad example, but you can also have pride for showing her the way out. :)

  2. I almost cried when I read about Amber breaking the cycle. That is powerful. I am so happy for her.

    I hope that those that are struggling will take your words today LITERALLY when you say to make it of the highest importance level.

    There are days my dishes don't get washed... but I get my exercise done.
    There are days my bathroom doesn't get cleaned... but I count my calories.
    There are days I just don't answer the phone... I am busy with my journey.
    There are days other chores get delayed... but I make myself focus and do my blog.

    It's not to flaunt myself, to blow my own horn, to promote "my" blog. It is SURVIVAL. It is finally realizing if I don't get "fanatical" that there wouldn't be a me alive real soon!
    So I will say it bluntly: life can't go on "as usual". Cuz it was "as usual" that got me to 460 pounds!!
    Thank you for reaching out to others behind you on this road. I know some will grab ahold, and it will make a life-changing difference. You have made a huge difference in MY life.

  3. I like hearing about your influence on Amber. Often I think of the example I am for my kids now as girl teens. They are not obese, but not fit either. Each time I see them grab a fruit or veggie to graze on before dinner or choose to come walking or swimming with me, I secretly cheer to myself that their habits are starting to change because they have been interested in my change and ARE listening and learning tools for when they are ready and or need them.

  4. Part of what powers my drive is wanting to set a good example for my daughter.

  5. Sean, thanks for your words about working out today. I really needed to hear them! I don't FEEL like going to work out, but I will go anyways, because you're right - I'm always glad I did!

  6. The way you set an example for Amber is awesome! That is what made me say enough is enough. I tell my daughter that she can do anything she wants if she sets her mind to it, but I wasn't setting the example for her by meeting my own goals. Thinking about that has kept me going even when I don't feel like it.

  7. Amen.
    I think I am going to implement my steel curtain zone. I have been very steel curtainy about exercise but a little loose about the calorie cap...it has been more of a calorie range.
    I am ending that as of now.
    Thanks for the post.

  8. Great post Sean! It hit home you talking about Amber and that her children will never know their mom as obese. I wish that had been me but I'm hoping I'm an example now especially to my 8 yr old daughter.

  9. Awesome post, Sean! You're absolutely right. I need to start getting fanatical myself as I "re-lose" pounds I've already lost.

    I don't have any kids, but I think I can understand what a parent goes through. You want them to pick up all of your good habits and none of your bad. Now, you're leading by example, and I'm sure Amber will follow.

  10. Hey, yet again another great post!

    I've awarded you a happy award as a blogger who brightens my day!

    it's on my blog Cornwallfitgirl


  11. I have also left an award for you over on my post!

  12. You are absolutely right you need to be fanatical it is what I do now you have definitely motivated me to get more fanatical I have started at the Gym and I am tired and sore but I need to just suck it up and make it happen Thanks Ann

  13. I think you're a great dad Sean.

    Bearfriend xx


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