Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 521 Weigh-In Rocked and You Believe You Can't, But You're Wrong

Day 521

Weigh-In Rocked and You Believe You Can't, But You're Wrong

I started this Wednesday off by finishing up Tuesday's business. I'm off work today, but I was still up before 6am, grabbed breakfast and was at the studio not long after. I needed a nice break, I did. I just wasn't ready yet! After a few hours at the studio, I was ready to start my time off.

I was so busy getting ready for company, I almost forgot to weigh-in! And by the time I did it was so late in the day, I didn't have time to send out my mass text-email weigh day update! It was a very nice weigh day! I'm breaking through this slow patch and eliminating some major “problem” areas. I put the word problem in quotes, because really---after all of the weight I've lost, I don't have a problem to complain about really. But still, we all get an idea of what we want, what we're after. The scale was very kind to me today. 265! 2 6 5! 2 6 5 !!!! I've lost exactly 240 pounds. Another four pounds gone forever and we're getting magically close to that still unnamed “crossing point,” where I will have lost more than I weigh!! Another 13 pounds to go before we're at that magical place where I'll weigh 252 after losing 253. I'm completely thrilled about today's four pounds, can you tell? Completely proud and happy.

I picked up a blogging friend from the airport today. We've communicated back and forth pretty heavy over the last month. She's heavy into clean eating and running, and I'm hoping to learn a thing or two from her about both topics. I've always said that I must keep learning, always open to this constantly evolving journey, so picking up some wonderful advice from this very successful person can't hurt. We're becoming good friends along the way. And although I'm not even close to being ready for exploring the future beyond my pending divorce, it certainly is nice to have a like minded person to keep me company, even for only a few days. I have a feeling we're going to be friends for a very long time.

We plan on watching “Food Inc.” tomorrow night. Along with “Super Size Me,” and “Fast Food Nation” before the weekend is finished. It's important for me to point out something again. If you're reading this blog for the first time and you're at your heaviest and wondering how to start, I would strongly recommend doing what I've done. Eat anything and everything you like, just portion controlled. Let your good choices evolve naturally. Don't rush out and rent these titles I speak of, or swear off fast food if you're a fast food addict like I was. Let yourself develop and progress naturally with the fewest rules possible. This “fewest rules possible” philosophy was something I discovered after analyzing all of my past failed attempts. It seems that this conclusion was also found by some university studies. A reader named Ashley shared this in her comment yesterday:

Your comment about keeping things simple reminded me.... I was catching up on some journal papers I've had piling up on my desk since before Christmas, and there was one that I think you'll appreciate. There was a paper that appeared at the end of the 2009 in the journal Appetite in which a team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute in Germany and Indiana University studied people's ability to follow different diet plans. Anyway, the study and the finding are more complex than what I can describe here, but one of the major conclusions was that the more complicated people perceived their diet plan to be, the more quickly they lost motivation to follow it. The most effective diets (in terms of compliance, at least) are the ones that have the fewest rules to follow that people think are the simplest.

You know that everyday I read the post from exactly one year prior. 365 days has passed and I still run into people that tell me “I can't.” I completely understand where they're coming from. I was at the “I can't” place for a very, very long time. But seriously, you can do it. When you cut away the clutter and complications, the boundaries and limitations that your brain has created--- When you decide to seriously get real with yourself...well, it's funny how it all falls into place. The post from February 17th, 2009 found me communicating with an anonymous listener and reader:

This morning I took a call from a listener off the air. She sounded upset and sad. She had read my blog and told me that she didn't think she could do it. I wish I would have had more time to talk with her, but I was in the middle of my show. I hope it's from the same person that left an anonymous comment at, that simply said...”I don't know if I can Sean.” I have no way to reply to an anonymous comment, and I'd love to talk with her personally about finding strength, and I'm sure I'll have the chance, as she did say that she's signed up for the “Lose To Win” Challenge, I told her that was a wonderful start. What can I say about finding strength from within?

It's something that you have to find inside the deepest parts of your soul. It doesn't come from a product, infomercial, a pep talk, a prescription, doctors orders, or reading this blog. The power to change is inside everyone of us. Getting to that place inside isn't something that came easy for me. I can remember many nights when I would literally cry myself to sleep because I felt so out of control with my weight. At over 500 pounds, I knew that I was slowly and surely killing myself everyday, but I felt completely powerless. On June 10th, 2008, at over 500 pounds and with my blood pressure raging at 220/118, the doctor looked at me and very bluntly told me that if I collapsed in the parking lot on the way to my vehicle, it wouldn't surprise anyone in that office. She explained what my weight and blood pressure were doing to my internal organs in graphic detail. She wasn't speaking long before I was sobbing. That day I really felt my time was up. I really thought that I had waited too long. I knew that all I could do was start and start right now. Not tomorrow, or next Monday. Really, when you call for an ambulance, they don't set an appointment, they start coming immediately. This was an emergency in every sense of the word.

When I arrived home that day, Irene and Courtney could see that I was shaken, and they knew it wasn't good. I told them about the blood pressure, and I couldn't speak without breaking down. We all hugged and cried right there in the driveway. To hear those words from the doctor and then to come home to my family's desperate tear filled pleas for me to save myself, how could I not be able to do it? I know I've written about this experience before, but tonight I felt it worth repeating. That day was June 10th, 2008...I didn't start until September 15th, 2008. Why? Because I didn't think I could do it. I was too addicted to food, I was too dependent on the way it made me feel when I was scared, stressed, sad, and even happy. So when I hear someone say, “I don't think I can,” I know exactly where you are. I understand your pain. I couldn't start until I became completely honest with myself. Oh, I could've forced myself to go through the motions again, like in 2004, and I would have lost weight for a little while, but I knew that it was going to take something deeper for me to break free and do it right. I decided that I had to make this a physical and mental battle. I had to confront myself head on. I had to stop rationalizing bad choices. I had to demand self-respect and that meant 100% honesty to that fat guy in the mirror. I concluded that food wasn't the enemy I always thought it was, I admitted that I was in fact the enemy. I was sleeping and living with the enemy everyday. Food was always my friend, a friend that I took advantage of and used in the worst ways.

I decided that I would question every emotion before I turned to food for comfort. I decided that I was the gatekeeper to my mouth, I make the choices on what gets in. I decided that if I was being completely honest with myself, then excuses of why I couldn't do it had to go. The years of excuses why I couldn't do it were over for good on September 15th, 2008 simply because I decided they were no longer valid. I had to think long and hard about all of the positive consequences of losing the weight, from that I formed my “motivating thoughts,” From there I had to hold on tight to those motivating thoughts to help pull me through, I still do. I had to admit that I don't know everything. I had to be open to learn new things. I had to break down the facade of confidence and control that kept me in constant denial. Don't you ever give up. Because you can do this, you really honestly can do this too. The most important exercises I've accomplished thus far have been mental. Isn't it amazing that after years of searching for the right plan, the right pill, the right book, the right miracle cure, the right was with me the whole time? I just had to open my eyes and mind long enough to see and embrace it.

Listen, I'm always the first to say that I'm not a doctor, or a dietitian, a nutritionist, or a psychiatrist. And everything I've done and am doing along the way may not be 100% right, but I'm learning more and more about this journey and myself everyday. I'm just a really big guy that has nearly three decades of obesity experience and a longing for a longer healthier life. You can do this.

Get ready to hear incredible workout accounts over the next few days. My blogging friend doesn't mess around. Her strong point is exercise and fitness, my strong point is calorie management and mental gymnastics. Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,



  1. Thanks, as always, Sean. Looking forward to hearing how the weekend went.

    Big Clyde

  2. great post.
    I wrote something similar...I started on May 4th, 2009 and lay in bed that night in tears cause I didn't think I could do it.
    I decided not to think about whether or not I could do it.
    I just started.
    I think I said the other day, don't ask yourself that question until you are strong enough to answer yes.
    Just do what you you pay bills. you exercise. like you budget money, budget calories.
    great post.

  3. Sean, what a great post. My inner voice was just starting with the "I can't"s. I needed to read this. Thanks for being willing to share your journey. You are very brave.

  4. Great job on the 4 pound loss!

    Have a great weekend and enjoy your company!

  5. Great job on your loss!

    Looking forward to reading about your kick-ass workouts!!!

  6. Well, now you've gone and done it again... I've been thinking of putting a list in my sidebar of "must reads", from some of my favorite bloggers. But just when I pick out one of yours, you go and write another fantastic one that I can identify with so much, and that I think would really help a lot of people.

    Well, I'll just keep telling them to come here and read it all!!

  7. Well done on the loss! And have a great weekend!

  8. Great job on four more pounds down!!!

  9. Congrats on another fantastic loss, Sean.

  10. I know who it is! I know who it is! Your guest that is. I stumbled across her blog. I hate being this nosey but I've been married forever and I need a life. Have a great weekend you two and congrats on that 4 lb loss!

  11. Weighing less than you've lost. .. now that's an interesting concept to get your mind around. . . you're amazing! I'm excited and nervous for you about your new friend.

  12. LOL,

    I see you've deleted her comment.....

  13. Congrats on reaching that even numbered milestone: 240 pounds - amazing! Have fun with your friend, although I'm thinking that it sounds like she's going to open up a can of Whoop-A** on you. It will be a good exercise for you (pun intended). Ha!

  14. First congrats on your loss!

    second, I gotta write ya an email for second, so look for it ;)

    enjoy your weekend my man.

    As Ever

  15. You are definitely one of my heroes! Loved the sentence in your readers comment: The most effective diets (in terms of compliance, at least) are the ones that have the fewest rules to follow that people think are the simplest. HOW TRUE! Keep It Simple Sweetheart! GREAT post.

  16. What a wonderful post. Days when I feel no need to work out I read your post. It is something that gets me going!

    Congrats on the weight loss!!!

  17. Hello Cuz...I finally got settled in an apartment, so now hopefully I can start reading regularly again. Congrats on the 240 lb mark! I'm anxious for the next 13 too, your half size....I still think you could call it 'half assed'! LOL Just kidding! Keep up the good work...I'm so incredibly proud of you. Love ya!


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