Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 516 The Race For My Life and An E-Mail That Deeply Moved Me

Day 516

The Race For My Life and An E-mail That Deeply Moved Me

Hmmm. If there was any question about whether or not I’m addicted to coffee, it was answered this morning. I jumped up (and seriously, I jump up ;), made my way into the kitchen and discovered that we were out of coffee. What? The other evening at the store, you know, when I forgot the fresh fruit? ---Yeah, forgot coffee too. I was slightly panicked. OK—Not crazy panicked, more like bummed out a little. And then I noticed the leftover coffee still in the pot from yesterday morning. I didn’t empty and wash the pot. Cold and old coffee, Hmmm….I poured a cup and checked it for foreign particles, then popped it in the microwave for a minute. I added the creamer and yeah, it was acceptable---and I sat there waking up and trying to not to think about the age of the coffee. Yep, I’m addicted to coffee. I’d really love to shake that addiction and really enjoy a good green tea instead. I have a whole box of green tea bags, I just choose not to brew the stuff. Choices, huh?

I usually do my warm-up exercises before anything else of a morning. Today I had coffee first and then fell to the floor. As I did, I twisted my knee in a strange way. I didn’t hurt it, but it just felt weird. Like it wasn’t suppose to go that way, it kind of popped---and alarmed me for a second, and then I straightened it out and was perfectly fine to continue. Very strange indeed. I have zero pain from that…maybe it just needed to pop, I don’t know how that works.

I felt my rock hard abs as I did my sit-ups…oh, yeah---ripped baby! Uh…well, at least under my fat and skin I’m ripped. I can feel them so well. Go ahead, poke me in the abdomen….wait, let me flex first. See! Rock hard just below the surface and covered with fat, but mostly excess skin. So perfectly imperfect. This is the closest they’ve been to daylight ever…and if I have my way, they will realize their dream of being front and center someday. OK---I think that old coffee might have made me a little loopy today. Abs can’t dream, but I can.

I had a tight schedule this afternoon. I needed a workout and a nap before my evening plans. I did one of those. Can you guess which one? I’m such a slacker, I swear. Yeah, you’re right, I napped. Listen, if you read this blog in hopes of gaining inspiration to push you in the fitness center, you’ve found the wrong blog. I constantly need my rear kicked. But if you come to gain inspiration on controlling and understanding calorie management, overcoming food addiction, and breaking through the mental aspects of losing weight---you’re on the right blog. I strive to improve my workout performances. I want to run and lift, and someday realize the body of my dreams, and I fully understand the commitment and consistency that will require. I really do.

Admitting to myself and to you that I’m not perfect---and that I struggle is something that's not always easy. But honesty has always been paramount to my success here. Early on this journey, I really prided myself on the simple perfection of my routine. 1500 calories, some kind of exercise, write about it every night….those three things everyday, without fail. If it was midnight and raining, I was on the trail walking. If I had to get up at 5am, but it was 12:30am and I hadn’t posted that days blog yet---I was writing. It was that important to me. It’s still important, those three things, but I’ve relaxed my obsession a little. That’s a good and bad thing. Make no mistake, I’m still driven---just cruising the speed limit instead of racing. In the beginning I felt I was in a race with the grim reaper. I won that race a while back. I need to create a new race in my mind, something that makes me race to the workout room without fail, everyday.

A friend of mine insisted on McDonald’s late tonight. I didn’t want any of that stuff, but I did decide on a 150-calorie soft serve low fat ice cream cone. I’ve enjoyed those things from Day 1. I’ve defeated my raging cravings for ice cream with those things. As we pulled into the drive thru, my friend turned to me and told me that they didn’t want to hear anything about “calorie values” or “good choices.” Not tonight. I just smiled and agreed. My choices are my choices, yours are yours. We all make our own choices and each of us deal with the consequences of those choices. I’m not the calorie police. But I’ve noticed when I’m around friends and family, they automatically start explaining their choices. Not necessary!!!! I’m certainly not perfect! Who am I to judge? Can’t do that. But I’m always ready with my best, should they ask.

I’m feeling really good and I know how this contributes to my lax effort in the exercise room. It must read like the same old thing all the time. Bare with me. Believe in me. Believe in you. Because I believe in me 100%. As wonderful as my transformation has been thus far, the best is truly yet to come. The best is not some unattainable fantasy, the best is a choice, and I’ve decided.

I received an e-mail today that deeply moved me. I cried as I read his words. Eric, at first declined permission for me to publish his words here, and then sent me an e-mail late that said to include whatever I wanted from his writing. Brace yourself:

I just wanted to tell you that I just finished reading every single entry in your archives. It’s changed me. I weigh 480 pounds and can’t walk very well. I don’t go out much. I don’t work, I’m on disability because of my weight. I’m tired Sean. I’m tired of this life. As bad as I want to give up, I just can’t. I started reading on Tuesday and I couldn’t stop. Thank you so very much. Thank you. I don’t blog but I do write and someday I might share what I feel. Right now I’m putting together my motivating thoughts and constructing my steel curtain zone. I’m with you man. I want what you are living. I just want to live. I don’t want to bother you, but I had to write you and say thank you.

Just read that and try to fail. You can’t. Read that and try to binge. You can’t. Read that and not feel his emotions? You wouldn’t be human. I cried so hard when I read this today. This is the greatest time of my life. So rewarding, yet stinging on many levels, but mostly rewarding. Eric, listen my friend. You're not a bother at all. Don’t you ever give up. I’m right here to cheer you on! And Eric…I thank you for taking the time to read all of this---and I thank you for reminding me what matters most. I told you this in my reply…but I’ll say it again here: Your transformation of mind, body, and spirit will inspire countless others with or without you writing a blog. Keep writing for you and only you. And get ready for freedom. Because it’s coming my friend, you can feel it can’t you?

I have two girls I’m seeing this Valentines weekend. I can’t wait to spend time with both of them. They are my sweethearts. They are my daughters. Amber came home tonight by herself. We’re going to make this the best Valentines weekend ever. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,


  1. Hi Sean,

    Firstly thank you for commenting on my blog the other day I appreciated it, I have not let it get to me in anyway at all, just keep going as it works no matter how hard your body fights it has to give up the weight at some point.

    I cried when I read Eric's words, I know this feeling I know how trapped he must be. No matter how much weight someone has to lose they can feel just as trapped and "unliving" as Eric does. Eric I wish you well one your journey!! One day, one choice at a time and you will get there.

    Sean you are addicted to coffee, so am I.. But it is the one thing I love and I will not give it up, green tea.. OHH have I tried... just doesn't do it for me, like the smell and taste and instant, mmmmm of a god coffee!!!

    Have a fabulous time with your girls!!


  2. My heart goes out to Eric and if he reads this I want him to know we are all here for him. He CAN change his life and we are living proof. Have a wonderful Valentine's Day with your girls.

  3. How great that you reached back to Eric that way, Sean. I am inspired by what you've done, but have not really tackled my food choices (just working on exercise). I need to get more serious and your blog inspires me. Keep it up.

  4. I want Eric to know that as a girl, I started at 394 pounds, and I'm well on my way to my goal. It's not easy, but you start feeling better almost immediately. I hope he begins taking it one day at a time because if he does he can be this happy too.

    And all the best to you Sean...seriously. This is just fantastic and inspiring.

  5. Can I say 'good luck Eric' here? I hope you read it Eric.

    Sean, you are truly an inspiration. It is your honesty and not always 100% perfect approach that makes your success feel achievable to others. Thank you!

  6. Eric, we all know the pain of being there. You have taken the first step by admitting you need some help. You've got an incredible man to look up to in Sean! Yep, I'm crying. I can never go back to the lady who binged!

  7. Sean, I appreciate you sharing Eric's words. I cried, too. May I say a word to Eric?

    I started at 460 lbs, and am on my way at 351 now. I can't tell you how many times, when my spirits needed a boost, that I read Sean's blog and was strengthened and encouraged.

    If I read not one other thing online in a day, I read Sean. He is not just a bunch of "talk"... he is the "walk", too.

    I know you must be learning a lot from him, just like I did. I am happy for you, that you discovered that you CAN take your life back. Honestly, I am. I know how that feels.

    Thanks Sean, for letting me letting me send a "verbal hug" of encouragement out to Eric thru you. You're the bestest. :-)


  8. Glad your knee is Ok. So sweet that you are spending Valentine's with Amber.

    Just keep moving through the gym, one day at a time. . . it'll get to be a habit just like all your other good choices.

    Hubby and I have been getting up to go to he gym most days since the first of the year. . . it is really lifting my spirits and thinning my waist. Who is this amazing woman?

  9. Hi Sean. Hope you have a really wonderful Valentine's Day!

    Bearfriend xx

  10. Thanks Sean!

    There is so much out there for you to discover so keep on sir. Sean would make a great mentor, example, inspiration.

    I started as a 5ft3 women at 380 pounds and had a very hard time walking also. I have bad knees and ankles so I have found my great equalizer in the swimming pool. Even just going and walking in a pool (if you do not swim) takes the weight off your joints and allows a fairly injury free workout environment.

  11. Eric's email brought me to tears, too. How can it not...especially if you've been in a similar place. Tell Eric my highest weight was 340 I'm at 231 and moving downward. Tell him there's hope....there's always hope. He's welcome to email me anytime. It's listed on my blog. I'm willing to help anyone who's ready to help themselves.

    I hope you have a very special weekend with your youngin's...I'll call you soon babe. :)

  12. Happy Valentine's Day Sean hope you and your girls have a great time.
    Eric's email brought me to tears also....

    Eric, if you are reading this, following this man is one of the best things you can do for yourself. You know from reading from the beginning of Sean's blog, it is not easy this weight loss journey,but it is so doable. Get yourself a blog, it is one of the best tools for your journey. The best slimming class aver, costs nothing, tons and tons of non judgemental support and you make some FABULOUS frinds.

    Look where Sean is right now, then visualise yourself in a similar place in 12 months time.

    Valentine's Day is about love, there is an amazing amount out there in blog land:o)

  13. Wow, I hope your new friend is reading these comments tonight. While at over 275lbs I never had severe mobility issues like some of you did, I did know the pain of being a shut-in and feeling completely hopeless. Know there is a whole new world waiting for you. Believe you are worth it. And there ARE people out there that care about you. I will give anyone who asks
    my phone number. Call me anytime. I will feel everything you say to me and I will understand.

    Cant wait to meet you next week Sean. :)

  14. HI sean,
    I loved your post today...
    I too want to say Hi to Eric.
    I didn't start that big, I was 262 lbs and 5'3.
    I have lost 87 lbs so far.
    I know what it feels like to feel like you are a bother, but you aren't.
    I hope you know that you are worthwhile.
    I would love to cheer for you. To root you on.
    I know blogging isn't for everyone. Heck, I used to think it wasn't for me.
    But I found the kindest and most supportive people in the world here in blog world.
    I know you can do this. It's just one pound, one day at a time.
    Hugs to you and sean.

  15. You can do it, Eric! I swear to you that it is possible!!! I just passed the 100 pound mark today myself - think about how you will feel after that because I promise you that if I can do this, ANYONE can!!! Just start! You can do this!!!

  16. This must feel like the pinnacle of blogging for you Sean. I know you started to help yourself but ultimately you really wanted to help others too, right?

    Eric, you can do it! Some days, it will be literally one minute to the next but you can do it. Baby steps, one foot in front of the other.

  17. I think this may be the first time I've commented on your blog Sean. Not to say that I don't read it because I do...almost daily. I haven't read the entire thing like Eric, but even so I've been encouraged by your success and your thought provoking posts.

    I had to laugh a little when I read the bit about your McDonald's drive through visit. Previous to my weight loss journey I detested people that would "kindly" point out my eating "mistakes" or worse yet when they "thoughtfully shared" the number of calories or fat content to me as I shoveled something "bad" into my mouth.

    Now I find I often do the same thing. I'm far from my goal, but I'd like to think already I'm just a little wiser. You're dead on in saying that the choices they make are theirs alone and that they too, like ourselves, must deal with the consequences. Something I'm learning everyday is that this is really all about me and that I need to do this for myself.

    Enjoy your Valentine's Day!!...and thanks!


  18. Oh gosh, thank you for sharing that email. It made me tear up, too. And it made my want to keep trying, harder. It is such a battle some days but I can tell by the way you write how worth it it is.

  19. Sean, it's amazing to see the impact you have on your readers. You can start to put names and faces to the people who are inspired by your blog to change their lives. It's incredible.

  20. Sean, as for so many others, your words today and reading Eric's words brought tears to my eyes. I, too, remember feeling helpless. I also remember the first good decision...and the next...and the next. Like building a brick wall. I've made lots of good choices, and plenty of bad ones. The building process is slow, but I'm getting there. I hope Eric knows he can, too.


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