Learning About Real Whole Food and The Great Escape
I thought I would be sleeping in during this time off. Nope, not happening! I've been up early each of the three days so far. I've really looked forward to working out more during this time off. I've also been really excited about food learning. I swear, having Ann around has given me a great idea for a reality tv show. Take a clean eater and drop them off in the middle of an “anything eater” house. Let the fun and learning begin! Call it “I Can't Believe You Eat This Crap!”
Actually, Ann has been very cool about my less than clean eating habits. And she's impressed with my calorie management skills. She's not a judgmental type of clean eater, thank goodness, I couldn't take that. Yes, I was disgusted by what I watched in the documentary “Food Inc.” last night, but I'm not a vegetarian yet, don't really plan on becoming one. I could see where it might have that effect on some. Becoming a vegetarian wasn't the goal last night. The goal was for me to become better educated about the food industry, and well, mission accomplished!
I've tried an Amazing Grass bar and drink, Pop Chips, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and several other organic---all natural items. It's good stuff, and make no mistake, you still have to limit your intake on this stuff. It would be real easy to be an overweight vegetarian.
We visited Health World today. I've driven by Health World a thousand times over the last decade without ever stopping to see what they had inside. I was shocked at some of the prices of the “good” stuff, and really attracted to some of the calorie values, some---not all, but some were just awesome. I found some fettuccine noodles that checked in at 40 calories a container. The noodles were made of tofu, but still, 40 calories? If I pour enough Alfredo sauce on them, I probably wouldn't even notice the tofu. I'll be completely honest---I'd rather have a small plate of real pasta, over a big plate of tofu pasta. But wow, those calorie values were impressive. Health World was very cool, but there was another place that Ann speaks of fondly---it's the most perfect place for clean eaters to shop and the only one in the entire state of Oklahoma is in Tulsa. “You wanna go?” she said, “Let's do it!” I replied. And just like a couple of carefree teenagers, we were headed to T-Town. Hey, I'm on vacation, this is what we do!
Whole Foods was very impressive, it really was amazing. Everything is good in there. And they have EVERYTHING. If it's food, they carry an all-natural whole version that'll rock your socks. And it's all real. The deserts in the deli area looked amazing. All made with real whole ingredients, we're talking good stuff---and loaded with calories. Shopping that store was a real education in really good choices and really good, but bad choices. Ann purchased a bunch of ingredients for a homemade Italian dinner she's preparing tomorrow night. It'll be just incredible. But do we really need this green leaf? Oh it's fresh basil! My bad...looks like a leaf. Here's a different leaf...fresh oregano, of course, oh this is gonna taste amazing tomorrow night!
By the time we arrived back in town, it was way late, and we were really hungry. Ann told me to pick a place. I narrowed it down to a few and picked Mi Pueblo Mexican Restaurant. Ann promised me it would be ok, but I suspected she wouldn't like this place. I ordered a beef soft taco, some guacamole, and a mushroom and cheese quesadilla. Ann tried the veggie fajitas. It all looked good at first. But it didn't settle well with Ann's stomach. She was being nice, allowing me to pick where ever I wanted, and she promised to play along (--no McDonald's--being the only disclaimer). I wish I had picked Subway. I would have much rather had a Subway sandwich.
With just enough calories remaining for the day, I introduced Ann to Braum's Frozen Yogurt via the Braum's drive-thru. Ann hasn't been in a drive-thru lane in over two years. She doesn't do drive-thrus, and that's good. I reminded her that she wasn't the one driving, so she can't count this against herself. She still hasn't driven into a drive-thru lane in over two years!
It was a great day, fun really, and tomorrow will be even better! Saturday morning will find us at the YMCA. Ann is preparing me a weight training routine that will help me become more comfortable in the weight room. I'm taking her to Brace Books and More this afternoon, then to the studios for a quick tour. She's already toured the Poncan Theatre (the future home of our studios), now she'll see where we do the radio currently. Then we're doing what I'm super excited about:
Tomorrow night, after Ann prepares an amazing all natural organic veggie whole wheat spaghetti dish with homemade sauce---we're going to Kansas to get a tattoo! I know---Crazy right! Mom, don't you try to talk me out of it!!! I'm getting a simple and small black ink 505 over my heart, and it will be backwards. I'll see it the right way when I look in the mirror. It'll be there forever as a reminder of where I've been and how wonderfully far I've come. Now, if I can just get over the idea of the tattoo gun stinging me like a swarm of killer bees, I'll be fine.
I read a post from a year ago just now...and I discovered “The Great Escape” post. Losing this weight is like escaping from a prison. From Day 159:
I decided to hit the trail tonight for an outdoor 5K walk. Doing what would have put me on the pavement at over 500 pounds is an amazing feeling of freedom. For too many years I felt imprisoned by my obesity. I guess I always realized that there was a way to escape, but the escape plan seemed too unlikely. Maybe impossible is the word. Maybe not impossible, I mean, really I knew it was possible, but escaping was just something I dreamed about and talked about when no one was looking or listening. Like a prisoner behind bars, I just accepted that there were things I couldn't do as a 500 pound man, things I probably never would do, or so I thought.
I tried to escape several times, but I allowed my emotions, my fears, and my habits to drag me back like guard dogs at the gate. And just as an escapee gets extra time, I'd get extra pounds after every unsuccessful attempt. Escaping from the prison of obesity forever isn't something that can be done without careful planning, understanding, and opening your mind to learn. Writing about my feelings and experiences everyday and trying to grasp a thorough understanding of what hasn't worked and why, and what can work and why, is like studying the blue prints and guard assignments of the prison. As I go from 505 pounds to a normal healthy weight I'm breaking down every obstacle that stands in the way. What's amazing is, some of those obstacles, the psychological hang-ups, have lost their power over me like a guard giving a prisoner a wink and looking the other way. And when I tell people “you can do this too,” it's like we're a group of prisoners planning our great escape.
The team work and accountability to each other is a key element in seeing daylight here. Unfortunately, not everyone will make it out this time. Some will get caught by emotions, stress, and a deep seeded belief that escaping is nearly impossible. But for those of us who do, our letters and stories of hope from the outside can serve to inspire the imprisoned and help them understand the blueprints and guard assignments a little better for future attempts. I've been the one caught by the guards so many times. And when I would settle back in my cell, I'd just accept it for a little while, forgetting about the freedom others speak of, not wanting to hear about what was possible...just focusing on what I perceived as nearly impossible. I was waiting for the right time to make my run. Then one day I realized that I had to escape now or else die too young within those stone walls. I didn't have time to wait for “the right time” to magically happen. My time had to be now regardless of the emotional and psychological hurdles that stood in the way. I'm navigating this escape plan with guidance from those that have gone before me. I'm always studying past escape attempts and analyzing where and why they failed. I can see daylight from here my friend, and it looks so good it makes me want to cry tears of joy. Let's go for it!
Feel good? It does, this freedom stuff feels real good my friend, grab a hold! Congratulations goes out to Anson Williams aka Bill, my boss, who has dropped enough weight to fit into 38's! Way to go Bill! If you read everyday, then you might remember the New Orleans food pictures I posted a while back. Yeah---Bill was the one in the Big Easy, taking those photos and eating that yummy stuff!
Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...
Whole Foods Market at 41st and Peoria in Tulsa. The weather was blurry.
Ann and Me---sitting at the Whole Foods Cafe