Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 518 Valentines Running, 266's Milestone, and Remembering Shane

Day 518

Valentines Running, 266’s Milestone, and Remembering Shane

I let Amber sleep in this morning while I greeted the day with a nice little workout. I was feeling super-guilty about not getting a good workout yesterday, so I laced up the shoes and put in the effort and it felt good. If it feels so good, then why do I struggle with my workout consistency? I let my schedule rule me instead of me ruling my schedule, that’s the real problem. Problem identified, now a solution---uh, OK, hmmm…well, maybe I just need to stop using my busy schedule as a convenient “poor me” excuse. I have the power to take this transformation to a whole new level, and by golly---that’s where I’m taking this train, so there.

I made a point to run today. Not like run-run, just jog whenever the need was present. When Amber forgot her car keys upstairs in the apartment, I offered to run and get them. I ran from the parking lot to the stairs, ran up the stairs, grabbed the keys, and ran back down to the car---and the most amazing part? I wasn’t even the slightest out of breath. Not even the slightest! Later when Applebees was packed and we had to park a ways away, I ran from the restaurant to the car as fast as I could. Amber went out ahead of me because I needed to use the restroom. When I made it back to the vehicle, she said “wow, that was fast.” And I said, “I ran.” I’m really loving being able to do that when needed. If it’s cold and windy like today, if it’s raining, or someone is chasing me…I can run if needed! And I still can’t believe that these short runs didn’t wind me at all. I mean I was perfectly composed, as if I’d been slowly waddling like at 505. I feel like Forrest Gump. “From that moment on, if I was going somewhere, I was runnnnninnnnnggg!”

I wanted to congratulate a fellow blogger who recently crossed the 100 pounds lost milestone. Her blog is simply titled “266,” her heaviest weight. She is incredibly inspiring, a wonderful writer, and her enthusiasm for this milestone made me smile from ear to ear. I felt such joy for her while reading the milestone post. If you haven’t already, click this link and check out her recent weigh-in post: I’m so very happy for her success. Her most recent post is really good too. It talks about a party she attended exactly a year ago at her heaviest and the differences in this time, over 100 pounds lighter. 266 my friend, you are incredible. Thank you for the inspiration you provide for so many! Thank you for your story.

I made a Wal-Mart trip to buy Valentines for my daughters and mom. It sure is different, this day, considering the circumstances. I haven’t written much about the pending divorce lately, because it just isn’t appropriate. But it’s hard not to mention it on a Valentines Day post. Today was my first Valentines Day since 16 that I didn’t have a card for Irene. As much as she’s moved on, and I have too---I still found it hard not to get her something. I picked up some roses for Amber, Courtney, and mom. And I grabbed Irene a dark orange flavored chocolate. It wasn’t a card or a rose, but it was something. I still love her and she still loves me---we always will on some level despite everything else because we share our children. I delivered the gifts to Irene’s place, where the girls were visiting with their mom. Irene’s boyfriend disappeared as soon as I walked inside, it was uncomfortable really…and maybe I’m saying too much. It was just something that hit me hard today. And I can’t help but talk about it here. Every now and then Irene and I will look at each other as if we’re both thinking the same thing, where did it go wrong? Why? At least that’s what I’m thinking, I guess I better not speak for her. She’s such an awesome person, very talented, smart, beautiful, inspiring, and a great mother. She’s always been an amazing mom. I just wanted to say that on this Valentines post, because I wish her nothing but happiness. And deep down, and not that deep really---I wish the four of us were still one. But I know we’re way beyond that now. I need to start a new subject.

Courtney had a dinner and movie date, so it was Amber and I headed to Stillwater for a Valentines visit with mom and grandma. Amber and I also planned to go out for a special daddy/daughter Valentines dinner. We visited for a little while before deciding on Applebees.
We wanted to try Applebees under 550 calorie menu. I ordered the Asiago Sirloin Steak meal and I hate to give a bad review, but I will: The dinner wasn’t the best. It wasn’t even close. I’ve posted the picture below. The meal came with a 7 ounce sirloin. I never thought I’d ever complain about a 7 ounce steak being too big, but seriously---it could have been a little smaller, with more of those potatoes and way more fruit. The potatoes were flavorless. The steak was horrible and the fruit I ordered instead of the broccoli was absolutely hideous. I’m sure this isn’t the standard that Applebees has set nationwide. This must be a Stillwater location thing, a local problem. It just wasn’t very balanced---and the plate looked dirty. And I love cheese, but please---not on my steak. I knew it came like that, my fault for not opting out of the cheese. The picture below was taken immediately after the server put it on the table. Sorry Applebees, I really wanted to report wonderful things and excellent calorie values, but I’m not going to be dishonest. It was bad. I’m sure this was an isolated problem on a local level, not indicative of the kind of product you normally would find at your friendly Neighborhood Applebees.

I ran to the vehicle afterward…oh wait, I already talked about that. Yeah, I did….can you believe that?

After dinner I took Amber to her car, pumped some gas for her, and sent her back to school. It’s so tough to watch her go. We had the best, deepest conversation we’ve ever had this weekend. She understood, she really did. And I understood her. It was so very wonderful. I still can’t believe she’s twenty. Where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday she was a Barney addicted three year old. Not anymore, not anymore.

Today would have been my little brother Shane’s 33rd birthday. I thought about him a bunch today too---

From Day 154: Every Valentines Day I remember Shane and recognize how old he would have been, because Shane would have been so proud and happy to be 32. Age was very important to him. My brother Shane had developmental disabilities, some call it mentally challenged, but Shane let little stand in his way of enjoying life. Shane and I had some great times together before he passed. He was always very proud of being a man! And he'd let you know! You didn't ever call him a kid past the age of 18. When he turned 21 I took him to a few establishments where only adults where allowed. We sit at a bar one night and sipped our Coke while we listened to music. Shane couldn't drink alcohol because of his medication, and I very rarely drink anything with alcohol, so sitting at a bar and sipping a Coke suit us just fine. I tried to be a bad influence that night by offering him a cigarette, he accepted, and after a few awkward puffs, he never touched them again. The way he handled that situation and the look on his face, and how he wasn't sure if we should tell mom, are moments I'll cherish forever. I wanted Shane to experience all of the things he dreamed about, even if for only a night. I'll never forget how important he felt when I took him with me to the comedy clubs. He gave me so much love, in his eyes I was perfect, even though I was far from it, and he wanted to be just like me. I miss him dearly. If he were here today, he'd be slimming down right along with me I guarantee.

What a day, what a weekend. Wow. Thank you for reading. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,

Amber and Me tonight!

My dear momma.

Amber and Me being silly.

This doesn’t look like the picture on the menu or in the TV commercial. But this is a 550 calorie or less meal from Applebees. Picture snapped seconds after the server set it down.

My mom and little brother Shane on one of his many prom nights!


  1. Sean I totally understand what you mean when you talk poorly of the Stillwater Applebee's. Last time we ate there it was horrible, the resturant looked dirty and the food was not good at all.

    I can only imagine how Valentines was difficult for you this year and having to deal with all the changes in your personal life and with it being your late brothers birhtday. Remember "what dosen't kill you only makes you stronger."

    Sean you have a very bright and successful future a head of you and I can't wait until I see you on TV and at book signings. Man, you know its going to happen and you will be having the time of your life!

  2. When there is a break up there are always "first's" that play with the emotions. First Valentines, first Christmas, First birthday, it's painful,it's sad, but it is all part of the process and you will come out of it stronger, wiser and happier. As Toby said "What doesn't kill you does make you stronger!"

    You my darling Boy are going to be all of that and more. Moving On and Moving Up!!

  3. ewwwwww that food looks gross!

    Seems like a loaded holiday for you for sure, but you made a good day of it... isn't that what it's all about? Choosing to have good healthy days, right?

    and lastly... "RUN SEAN RUN!!!!!!!" LOL

  4. First off that food looks nasty. I understand what you mean about it. Reading about your brother brought tears to my eyes. I could read the love you had for him in you words. I am glad that you got to spend such a wonderful weekend with your daughter. I could never imagine being married to someone that long and not still think of them on the holidays. I think you are a very strong man.

    Keep on running!!! It all adds up

  5. Seriously, I would have sent that food right back to the the kitchen! And, I'm a Canadian - we are too polite to do those kind of things! I used to love the cross the border to enjoy Applebees, but have noticed it going down hill on our last few visits. It's not on our places to go in the good ol' US of A anymore.

    Sorry to heart to hear about your hurting heart on Valentines. You two had a lot of years is not fair sometimes. I know only better things await you Sean.

  6. Sean, I love your forest gump reference and I feel the same way...I ain't even at my goal yet! still a ways to go ;)

    wow at that applebees steak! I had the same exact dish a couple weeks ago and I have to say that my plate looked NOTHING like that! I would have sent that back. The plate that I got was awesome and all fresh, they sent out a mixed veggies with the potatoes on mine and I had WAY less cheese than that, You are probably right with the local to that restaurant problem.

    As Ever

  7. I'm surprised you didn't just immediately send that plate back - next time you should! Glad you got to spend some time with your lovely ladies.

  8. Can I be your Jenny?

    RUN, FOREST, RUNNNNN!!!!!! :)

  9. wow that plate of food looks pretty rough! These days it's hard to eat stuff that's not up to par...I'm always thinking if it's worth the calories..LOL. Hope you had an okay Valentines, I've been where you are before. It gets easier in time. Change is very hard sometimes and it tends to hit ya out of the blue once in awhile

  10. Wow, that does look awful. I wouldn't have wanted to eat it. I am sure that's a local thing because the Applebee's around here would never allow that kind of quality.

    Running is fun, isn't it? I like to run, too, if only because it was always something that was very challenging for me. It's not so difficult now and I can go quite a ways without feeling out of breath.

    Sean, you are doing amazing, my friend. If you need to talk to anyone, send me an email. Sometimes it's nice to talk to someone who isn't connected on a personal level with you or your family.

  11. That food looks craptastic. Blargh! I made steaks last night and I should have taken a picture as they were beautiful!

    Love the pics as always. So sorry about your brother, but I am so happy you were able to have fun times together.

    I really love reading your posts. Always so real!

  12. Sounds like you had a mixed bag kind of day. . . keep running toward that bright future ahead of you! You deserve only the best, don't accept less for yourself.

  13. Awww Sean...dont be sad :) As all of these folks have already said, better things await you.

    That plate you pictured is the one of the reasons I DO NOT eat in chain restaurants. Yuck. Blech. Ewww. Ummm ... no. You should have sent that right back.

  14. Great pics by the way. Pretty daughter. Sweet mom. And you're hot! ;)

  15. I've been reading you for a few weeks and you are truly awe inspring. You are so real. Your words often bring tears to my eyes as I try each day to make good choices. Today wasn't one of the good days, but you know what? Tomorrow is a new day.

    And yes, that food should have been sent back! It looked awful!

    And btw - you're hot! ;)

  16. I love what Tony said today, "Everyone deserves a success story". You're already feeling it and I hope one day soon your daughters feel that success too.

    You're looking very handsome these days and as a longtime reader, I'm hoping to hear (read) you say you're escorting some new beautiful woman around town (and it's not one of your daughters).... when you're ready of course.

    Our Applebees is still very good here in Vermont, that plate did look dirty... yuk!

  17. Sean, I don't know what else to say except I'm sending positive vibes your way.

    Oh, and yeah - you're hot!

  18. Just wanted to tell you Happy Valentines from Seoul, South Korea! I know you like to hear from your overseas readers. I try to read everyday, and I find your journey inspirational. I've only lost about 13 pounds so far, but I feel like I'm part of a greater weight loss community when I read your blog. Take care! Kristin

  19. Sean, i just came to know about your situation about you and Irene separating ,i feel sad. but the way you said that you still love her and she still loves you , speaks great volumes about you .

    You're the man!


  20. What you wrote about Irene is deeply touching and admirable. That fact you feel this way--still-- validates your relationship and yourself. Your choosing each other way back when was right and good and that is what makes this present situation so full of emotion. I'm so pleased to see a man write what you many men, recently separated or divorced, will spin the story and fill it with bitterness and blame. You don't. That shows us what a real, loving gentleman you are.

    That union, despite its dissolution, led you to today. I can sense you realize that, and give gratitude towards its memory. That, Sean, is wonderful.

    Your Paris reader

  21. What a lovely tribute to your brother; you must miss him terribly.

    Thank you for continuing to be the raw writer that you are, Sean. It's wonderful to come to this blog and know that the honesty and genuinity will always be present.

    Thank you, too, for the kind words about my own journey. I sincerely appreciate them!

  22. Thank you for sharing, Sean. It was a real mix of emotion day. I laughed and teared up, as well. I know it must be a difficult situation and I just wanted to send hugs your way. (((Sean)))

  23. Hello again. As I mentioned before, I am reading your blog from the beginning. I just read day 290 and thought of a song you might like. I love working out to "The Big O (I Can) by Johanna Stahley. The lyrics are incredible, they fit all of our journeys.

  24. Sean, it's not just Stillwater. I've never had a good meal at Applebees. Save your money and find a little local Mom and Pop place to enjoy next time.


  25. Oh, Sean, I didn't realize Irene has really moved on, as in, has a boyfriend now. That must be so rough for you. I'm sending you hugs! You are so sweet and sincere when you write about her, I hope you find the happiness you deserve.

  26. I was thinking of trying out Applebees 550 calorie menu but I think I'll pass after seeing what your plate looked like. Ewwww ... I guess their way of keeping calories down is by making the food look so unappetizing you don't want to eat it.


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