Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 526 Understanding---I Want More and No More Hiding In Public

Day 526

Understanding—I Want More and No More Hiding In Public

Monday morning meant another meal in a restaurant before taking Ann to her plane bound for Boston. It was 3:30am when the alarm sounded and convenience was the deciding factor in our breakfast choice. You see, The International House of Pancakes, or IHOP, was right across the street from the hotel---it was easy. So was Cracker Barrel last night. That was way too easy and a little scary. More on our breakfast adventure in a moment, but first…

I have to talk about the Cracker Barrel situation from last night. I was completely shaken on the inside, horrified at my choices. Not because of what they were, but because of what they mean to me, and the possible effects they can manifest. It was so much bigger than a 270 calorie corn muffin, ½ a biscuit, and ½ an ice cream sundae. You see, I know too much to ever go back, I sincerely believe that. My brain will not allow me to accept the food behaviors that kept me close to and over 500 pounds for nearly two decades. But---what I did last night was loosen my grip on the fundamentals that have helped me shed 240 pounds in the last 526 days. I knew better and I did it anyway. You might say “Sean, seriously man---relax already…it’s ok, lesson learned…move on.” And I will, I am, but I must recognize and analyze what really happened in that Cracker Barrel---I must understand it to prevent it from becoming acceptable. Maybe I think too much, but maybe that’s exactly why I am where I am. I’m just a student really. I’m learning just like you. And I’m digging deep to learn the good stuff, the deep stuff that has puzzled so many for so long. I long for understanding. I’ve found a bunch of it, I want more. And I’ll get it.

Walking into that IHOP with complete confidence was very easy. There was no way I could or would allow a repeat of last night. I decided before we left the hotel: A couple of whole eggs and some toast, maybe some fruit. I was pleasantly surprised to find a wonderful new menu called IHOP for Me. It’s full of better choices and comes complete with entire meal calorie counts. It thrills me that many restaurants are moving in this direction. IHOP impressed me today, they did. I ordered a veggie omelet made with Egg Beaters and a side of fruit. I also enjoyed several bites of Ann’s harvest grain blueberry pancake. The meal was 360---and with coffee and the bites of the pancake, I was satisfied with a total breakfast count of 500 calories. That’s a little more than I usually have at breakfast, but it felt good and right. Bottom line? I was confident with my choices this morning.

I had a great time meeting and getting to know Ann over the last four days. I know that we’ll be friends for a good long time. The laughs we shared and the conversations we understood were worth it all. So many similarities and understanding are revealed when you share time and space with someone who has also experienced this kind of total transformation. The universal truths of food addiction, or addiction of any kind, and the personality traits that come from that addiction can be understood, untangled, and eventually liberating---or misunderstood, confusing, and forever imprisoning. I’m working toward the understanding and untangling part. Aren’t we all just trying to find freedom?

After taking Ann to the security checkpoint, it was time for me to head North for mom’s place. We planned on having coffee out and conversation before I headed home, and that’s exactly what we did. Mom is so wonderful. I’m truly blessed to have such a great mom. She’s always listening, always asking questions, but never judging and she's very trusting. I love her dearly. We couldn’t help but snap a picture this morning.

My afternoon wasn’t completely free of work. I had a broadcast to do from the new Verizon Store. The ribbon cutting ceremony was full of local dignitaries and it never fails…people come up to me in awe of my transformation. The manager of the store remembers me from a year ago---and she just couldn’t believe the difference. She just kept looking at me. Then, as we talked about the event, a customer popped in with “Sean, is that you?” It was a very nice lady that use to work at city hall, she remembers me at my heaviest---and in the very beginning of this journey. She was stunned by the difference to say the least. These type of “wow” reactions are incredibly intoxicating. And when I heard someone say that they couldn’t eat one of the mini-sandwiches available because “I’m on a diet,” I parlayed that into an opportunity to share this blog address. It was a good experience. It always is these days. I can remember years past when hiding in the remote vehicle, just hoping that I could do the entire broadcast without seeing too many people was the norm. Now I want to see people. I want to smile. I want to experience life again. It’s safe to say my work performance has improved because of the weight loss, absolutely.

I read a blog posting last evening by Zaa Baby. She wrote it a few days ago---and I’m telling you…I hope you read it too. She has a wonderful way of expressing the joy and wonderful emotions this road can deliver. I shed tears in reading her words---I felt every single one. I know you might experience the same thing. If you haven’t already---please, go there and read what she’s written. It’s beautiful. Just click this link: http://zaaisshrinking.blogspot.com/2010/02/day-289-nine-month-anniversary-and.html

I visited the studio tonight to talk with Courtney a little bit (she was working). She’s coming home to the apartment tomorrow night and staying a few days. That’s good, real good. I need some good quality time with Courtney like I had with Amber recently.

I drove back to the apartment and decided to do something in regards to a workout for today. I was extremely tired---but made sure I did some good strength training exercises before bed. I usually wait until I get up---but I needed it tonight, I did. I honestly needed a bigger and better workout---but that’s in the books for tomorrow. I was exhausted tonight. It was a very long day.

Thank you for reading. Pardon me for getting so serious and deep sometimes. I just can’t help it, I swear. Believe it or not---I really am smiling and laughing most of the time! Goodnight and…

Good Choices,

Good job IHOP! Great idea.

My breakfast plate. The omelet looked more like a scrambled egg type thing, but it didn’t matter---It was really good.

Mom is the best, pure and simple…the best in so many ways.


  1. I always love it when you post pics of you and your sweet momma. I know how bad the Cracker Barrel episode shook you up, especially after talking to you on the phone yesterday. It's one of the reasons you're my main weight loss mentor....you really care about what you're doing for your health, and you take the less than stellar decisions very seriously, so as to learn from them and not repeat them. I think that's great Sean. Writing about all of it is helping so many of us out here...I love that you write about the good AND the not-so-good...I love the humanity. And I'm sure shocking people with your jaw-dropping transformation never gets old! :)

  2. IHop,I remember it well but it's a distant memory and a current craving. And now there is an IHop For Me menu? Do I dare? With all those tasty pancakes dripping with butter and syrup? Sounds too good to be true. And today is National Pancake Day, I believe. Hmmm...

  3. It is nice to see restaurants that are stepping up to the plate when it comes to letting us know how may calories we are consuming. Great way to start the morning!

  4. I wish all the chain restaurants put nutrition info. on their menus. Where I live we have a world class spa and every single dish has nutrition information - even the dishes that are not so great. At least you know what you're getting!

  5. It is scary when you realize how easy it is to say yes instead of no.

    Love the pic of you and your mom!!!

  6. I learned a lot of lessons over the last week, too....

  7. I agree that all chain resturants should have nutrition information on the menu; it would be very helpful. I can tell you learned alot over the weekend and I must add the picture you posted of Ann and yourself on Friday was a great picture. You both are great looking people and look good sitting together. Hope you two had a great visit and from the sound of it you did and I hope the next visit it just as great!

  8. Hugs Sean. Thanks for the kind words of encouragement you left on my blog. One of the best things about this journey is the friends I have made. Life is good.

  9. woo hoo for you at Ihop. It was a good choice and a good thing to have happened after the CB. episode shook you so bad.

  10. Thanks for mentioning iHop. I'm heading down to Florida and just know that my husband will be wanting to stop there. I'm hoping that I can muster up enough strength to get something from that "iHop for Me" menu. I see a couple of things that I'd like.

    Keep up the good work.

  11. Great post... very interesting. Just visited IHOP.

    When you have a second, come over and let me know whatcha think of my latest post... I think it's right up your alley. As hard as you've obviously worked, I think you'd be interested in the topic:

    Creating New Habits vs Changing Bad Habits.


  12. great job sean.
    I have no problem with analyzing, tearin apart decisions and then putting them back together, or reconstructing them. It's how we see how we are making our decisions....
    Great job on breakfast.
    it's a new day.

  13. Absolutely those were good choices!!! Good job on the IHOP thing... and really good to know. I have a favorite breakfast place and I ALWAYS eat a veggie omelet.

    Really enjoy your posts.... even if they are serious and deep, that is just the way it is sometimes.




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