Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 519 Emotional Cleansing and A Letter Worth Re-Reading

Day 519

Emotional Cleansing and A Letter Worth Re-Reading

Writing yesterday’s post was good for me. I needed to write that one. I’ve felt that way about many post I’ve written. I never think about what I’m going to write. I just sit down with a blank page and start recounting the days happenings. If I get sidetracked or think of something that’s been on my mind, I’ll write about that too. I guess yesterday, being Valentines Day, I was ripe for one of those post that really hit me hard. I have so many emotions tied into that post, some of it was hard to read, it really was. But it was good to write it, and thank you for all of the wonderful support from my friends and family.

Day 135 is a day that hit me hard too. I re-read it recently and it just leveled me again. I wouldn’t be the same person today, had I never been overweight. If you haven’t read it, allow me to share it here from January 27th, 2009:

Every now and then I challenge myself to really think on a deep level. I strive for a better understanding of behavior. I try to dissect things on a psychological level, and since I have no formal education in psychology, I can come to some pretty far out reasoning. It doesn't really matter if I'm right or wrong because these are studies within myself. Today I started thinking about how it's good to find the positive side of all things. Even things that can't possibly have a good side, if you look hard enough, maybe it does. I hit a wall when I thought about applying this positive philosophy to being morbidly obese. By the way, I use the term “morbidly obese” because I hate that term. I don't like the way it sounds at all, and the first time a doctor used that term I thought he was making fun of me! To me, it was the same as him saying I was “disgustingly obese,” and when the term used is “grotesquely obese,” well that's even worse. If the doctor would have said “Sean, you are “making me want to throw up obese” it would have felt the same. Isn't “gross” short for grotesque? I've had both terms used on me by medical professionals and they were perfectly in line with medical terms. How could I find the good in my life long career of being “morbidly grotesque?” Ooh, combining the two is even worse. Anyway, I thought long and hard and finally came up with this: My “thank you” letter to “morbid obesity.”

Dear Morbid Obesity,

You suck. Sorry about that, it just popped out. Let me start again.

Dear Morbid Obesity,

Thank you for teaching me how to be compassionate toward others. By making me different and the subject of so much weight related bullying as a kid, you taught me to always care about other peoples feelings. Thank you for making me unique in an age when I was often the only fat kid in class, because it gave me added attention that I may have felt was lacking in other parts of my life. Thank you for giving me a very strong opinion against discrimination in all it's forms. By showing me the pain of being discriminated against based solely on my looks, you taught me to never judge a person based on appearance. Thank you for giving me the defense mechanism of a good sense of humor. Although it was sometimes masking emotional pain, laughter and making others laugh has always carried me through. Thank you for protecting me from every dangerous thing I would have tried had I been able to fit on that ride, or into that harness, or on that horse, or in that sports car, or whatever the dangerous situation could have been, you were there keeping me safe inside your embrace. Thank you for giving me a fashion sense born from complete insecurity. I know you don't give this fashion sense to every morbidly obese person, but it kept me from further ridicule because I never wore things too small, ever. You saved me from the spandex revolution, how can I properly thank you for that? To make me want to wear a big jacket when it was ninety degrees outside just to cover my boy boobs, well I have no choice but to conclude that you must love me more than other fat people, because if I had a dollar for every morbidly obese person I've witnessed in spandex and a shirt three sizes too small, I'd be wealthy. Thank you for giving me the ability to spot shallowness in others. I'll never forget the first time I was completely rejected by a girl who said out loud, in class “eeewwww, I would never go out with you.” She didn't take the time to see the good guy I was inside, to look into my heart and see the eighth grader that would have cherished her and respected her in a most grateful 8th grader way. She was shallow and without you I may not of recognized that side of humanity for many years. Without this “shallowness radar,” I may never have recognized the pure spirit in the eyes and heart of Irene Brake, my high school sweetheart and wife of nearly twenty years. Most of all, thank you for my life. Without you I don't know if my path would have been the same. Would I have my family that I hold so dear? Would I have found a career that felt so perfect for me, a career that allowed me to hide behind a microphone and communicate with people without them being able to see me? Without you, maybe, just maybe I would have become a complete jerk. Thank you for bringing me to this point in my life and keeping me in one piece along the way. But despite the flood of gratitude in this letter, you know your days are numbered here. We can't continue our relationship. Morbid obesity, I'm slowly shrinking out of you. I'm moving on to a life free of all the dangerous effects of our relationship. But I'll never forget all of the wonderful things you taught me, and for that I thank you from the bottom of my overworked heart.


I remember trying to read that to Irene and Courtney right after I finished writing---and I just couldn’t read the words out loud. My emotions wouldn't let me; it was so deeply true. It hurt so good to read. I think that was the night I truly started loving myself more. I carried so much regret for my morbidly obese life---to finally let go of that self-hatred and embrace myself and my path completely---it was simply emotional cleansing. That’s why I’m at peace with 505 pound Sean. I’ll never go back and I’ll never forget that where I am today is all because of where I’ve been. And I love where I am today. I really do.

After a long day I took a long nap. I didn’t plan on taking such a long nap, I just did. I jumped up at what could be considered a good bedtime for someone with my schedule, and immediately hit the fitness center. I wasn’t weight training tonight except for my non-weighted strength training movements. I was after a good cardio workout. I climbed on that treadmill and started jogging slowly. It was only 5.3mph, and I know that’s not fast, but I was able to do it for over a mile without stopping. That’s huge stuff for me! And it made me sweat really good. I knew I had a workout tonight, and that’s all that mattered to me….getting it done, and making it good.

I fixed a late dinner that was just incredible. Pita pizza is just amazing! The only problem? I’m eating them way too fast. I’ll be out by tomorrow at this rate and I have yet to find them in a grocery store around here. I talked to a Wal-Mart manager and they said they would see what they could do. I am such a creature of habit, I swear! But I guess it’s ok as long as they’re good habits!

I’m taking some needed time off later this week. I’ll be doing some “light” traveling, meeting friends, working out, and resting up. I also plan on learning a few things about exercise, weight training, and good foods from a fellow blogging friend that’s coming into town Wednesday evening!

Thank you for reading. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,


  1. Wow, Sean. That's an interesting relationship you have with MO. I've got more of a "FU very much" attitude with it myself. To each his own...

  2. Well I was all choked up again reading this post til I got here and saw what Jack wrote, lol...that Jack, I swear. :)

    I still remember I was skipping along through your blog archives and stumbled across this post that referred to tonight. I fell apart. Bawled like a baby Sean. It still brings me to tears because I know and feel every word. I hurt for me and I hurt for you and I hurt for every one of us that's ever been there, or is maybe still there, trying to get out and set themselves free. It prompted me to write the post I entitled "Sean's Letter" on my blog that night. What an emotional night that was. I'll never forget it. I totally get it Sean. I get it, friend.

  3. Fabulous letter! I try to always find the silver lining but you get the crown for that letter :)

  4. I get you and so can relate. Thank you for your brutal honesty. Your blog has become an inspiration to me

  5. Very moving. Thank you for being you.

  6. Sean, that letter is amazing. So much truth and emotions. You are an inspiration for all you have accomplished!

  7. I can relate to much of your letter to obesity and was doing some reflecting myself the past couple days.

    Good read man.

    As Ever

  8. Today is the first day since the end of November that I actually can feel my body getting smaller. Outside of all the craziness, that made it the best day that I've had in a long time. What a day to read this letter. I felt every word. You are incredible. Once again, thank you.

  9. Hi sean,
    I just read your yesterday post.
    I was walking through walmart and thinking how hard it must be to be 'single' at this time of year...not to mention just the sheer amount of time you two spent together...the years.
    I think sometimes it is harder for men because hey don't open up to people as much.
    You should be able to open up and share.
    I know it isn't something you are thinking about now, but someday you will find someone to love.
    You have a lot to give.

  10. Oh Boy, you have come such a long long way Sean, I have tears falling after reading tht latter again. You are amazing and I am so glad to have been introduced to you.



  11. Thank you for sharing your private thoughts with us. You are an amazing guy and have learned so much about yourself and other people. I admire your strength.

  12. Sean.. all I can say is WOW! I can identify with so many things in your letter.


  13. What a letter. I think there was a tear or tow shed from reading that. I love your blog. It is so personal,uplifting and makes one think.


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