Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 531 I Can't Erase It and No "Massive" Amounts of Food

Day 531

I Can't Erase It and No “Massive” Amounts of Food

My life has changed so much in the last 531 days, that I sometimes just have to turn off my mind, or else I end up sitting around and thinking too much. There's a fine line between constructive self-analysis and counterproductive self-abuse. But you know what I've decided? The positive far out-weighs the negative. Because without the positive, well, I don't know if I want to think about that. But I do anyway. What if I were still over 500 pounds? Would we still have the changes in our family unit? I don't know. I really don't. I am certain that I'd be miserable, probably unemployed, more than likely divorced, and a complete mess health wise. Might not even be alive at this point. At over 500 pounds, you just never know, you know?

What has caused me to open this Saturday edition with the above paragraph? I caught a paragraph from Day 32 titled “Understanding Me:”

I'm so very thankful to have Irene by my side. She has endured two decades of me saying...”someday”. She has always believed in me despite the many false starts and failed attempts. She has watched over the years how my weight has limited me in so many ways. She's so extremely patient and loving to still be by my side. A person can only take so many broken promises, and she's exceeded the maximum amount any spouse should be expected to endure. She's doctored me, nursed me, wrapped my bad right leg because I'm too big to do it myself, and she's done it so long because she loves me. But she knows that I have the power inside to change, she knows that I have the power to make the daily decisions that will eventually “free” her of these nursing duties. She knows that if I stay on track my health will improve to the point of being normal once and for all. Imagine how my past failed attempts have frustrated her. She knows that I know what I need to do, but for so many years I haven't done it. I've flat out taken advantage of her devotion, and that's shameful. It's an indescribable kind of love she has for me, she truly understands “for better or for worse”. She deserves to experience the “better”part ...and that's why I'm so dedicated to going all the way on this journey. So if I sometimes sound obsessive about calorie counts and exercise schedules, there's a reason. People say, “you've got to do it for you”, and that's true, and I am. But I'm also doing it for Irene and my daughters and my future grandkids and my mom. Thank you Irene for holding on and never letting go completely! I love you!

That kills me to read. Maybe I shouldn't be reading that stuff. Can we start this post over? I really want to erase it all and make this another extremely positive and uplifting post. Because that side of this journey is much more fun to write about. It is positive and uplifting. But as much as I want to erase what I've written, I can't. That's the deal. I have to be honest. I can't fake it. This is how I feel today and this is a daily diary---open to the world, and I can't be true to you if I'm not first true to myself and my emotions.

It's funny. I was on Day 32 because someone asked me at the store tonight if I'm saving money since I'm no longer eating “massive” amounts of food. Yes, they used the word massive, nice—thank you. But you see—I never really ate tons of food at one time. I just consumed food all the time. Saving money now? Of course. But it's not because I was eating ten thousand calorie meals back then. Before Day 32 took me into a deep retrospective place I try to avoid---it gave me this:

I've written in these blogs how I've never been a stereotypical 500 pound eater. I've never consumed unimaginable amounts of food in one sitting. But I have been an “impulse” eater. I was reminded of that today when paying for gas at a convenience store with a deli case full of fried everything. I'm immediately drawn to that deli case like a bee to a picnic area trash can. The egg rolls are better than any I've ever tasted at an actual Chinese restaurant. The burritos are crispy on the outside and deliciously soft on the inside, and the corn dogs were on sale two for a dollar! There is absolutely no way the old Sean could have gone in there without at least buying two corndogs for a dollar! That's just being a smart shopper...and an impulse eater. Because it wouldn't have mattered that I just had dinner or was about to have dinner. If I wanted that taste, I was going to have it.

It got so bad at one point that I would “sneak” eat. For example, I'd be leaving work, I'd call Irene and she would describe a wonderful meal that was almost ready. My plate would be waiting as soon as I arrived, and still on the way home I would “sneak” eat a bean burrito...or a bag of chips...or a couple of egg rolls. Irene would ask me questions like, “so, what have you had to eat today?” And I would do my best to lie to her, but after you've been together nearly two decades, it gets really hard to get away with a lie. She knows all my tells. She's also a great detective. An example of her expert work---Irene: “So, what have you had to eat today?” Me: “Uh, nothing I'm starving.” Irene: “Really, are you sure about that?” Me: “Of course I'm sure, don't you think I would remember what I put in my own mouth?” Irene: “I see the crumbs on your shirt Sean.” Me: “What crumbs?” Irene: “The convenience store deli burrito crumbs, come over here and kiss me.” Me: “But, why are you...” (we kiss) Irene: “So, you had an eggroll too?” Me: “What are you...” Irene: “I can smell it on your breath.” Me: “You got me, I give up, you figured me out.” Or, she would find the bag in the car and within seconds of inspection, she could tell me how old it was. Irene: “So, when did you have Braums?” Me: “uh, like, I don't know, maybe a week or two ago.” Irene: “that's the story you wanna go with?” Me: “It's been a while, OK, just drop it!” Irene: “If it's been a while, why are the crumbs still soft and the tomato is still moist?” Me: “OK, OK, OK...I had that this afternoon.” Irene: “After we had lunch together?” Me: “yes.” So as you can see, it's not necessarily gigantic portions in one sitting that has made me this big, it's impulse eating throughout the day and into the night. Let's call it “over nibbling.”

Ok---Let's call it what it is: Food addiction. There, I admitted it! They always say that admitting the problem is the first step to recovery right? I'm a food addict pure and simple. I very rarely eat because I'm hungry, I eat because I want it! You can tell that over the years I've become well acquainted with me and my dysfunctional eating habits. I've dug deep to understand my bad habits, but even armed with this information, knowing how I am, and the negative effects of my behavior, I'd still do it. I'd probably have to undergo professional psychiatry to go deeper into understanding why I developed these eating patterns, but I've gone deep enough on my own to identify them, and I think getting any deeper would just reveal “excuses.” I'm finished with excuses. I'm changing my deadly habits now. And it feels good! Every time I easily click that seatbelt, I'm reminded of my success so far. Remember me talking about the “results snowball effect”. It's very true. Positive results are a powerful motivator to continue doing the right things. And the more right things I do, the more results I get, the more motivated I get.

My workout today was fast and furious. I slept way too much and before I knew it, it was time to get ready for my evening. I had planned to attend a stage production at NOC tonight, but my plans changed dramatically at the last minute. I was dressed and ready for the theatre. But something very important came up and I had to cancel. In preparation for my night out, I hurried through an upper body workout and a quick two miles on the treadmill. I say “quick,” but really---it was mostly power walking with occasional spurts of jogging. It was good, or at least it made me feel good.

I enjoyed some grilled chicken and some wild rice for dinner. I don't normally have rice, but it was good and well within my calorie budget. It was a normal portion. I later treated myself to a 150 calorie soft-serve low fat ice cream cone. Yes---I still turn to those when I need a treat. Yes I said “need.” Sometimes we need a treat. And when that treat doesn't wreak havoc on our calorie budget, it's a bonus!

Thank you for reading. The good, the bad, the positive, the TMI---all of it that makes up this road we're traveling. Thank you so much for your kind support. I posted a “friend me on facebook” thingy on the left hand side of this blog. The link doesn't 'light' up---and I'm not sure it works, but I know you can find me on facebook if you search using my e-mail address: I've received several friend request of late—and some people have e-mailed saying that they've had trouble finding me amid the Sean Andersons of the world. Laura has been reading everyday for over a year. She shared a message with her facebook friend request that made me smile:

I've been reading your blog for quite some time now (not since Day 1 but for well over a year at least) and I really enjoy reading your daily posts. I'm not a blogger myself but I went through my own weight loss transformation a couple of years ago after being obese for the majority of my formative years, from about age 10 until 22. I completely agree with your fundamental philosophies regarding consistency, honesty, and simply eating better and exercising (along with that pesky task of facing and tackling the addictive behaviors that fueled the weight problem in the first place)...who knew it was that simple?! ;) I just really wanted to say thank you for your blog, as reading your posts each day helps me to better maintain my own personal journey towards healthy living. Congratulations on all your well-earned successes!

Laura, thank you my friend. I thank you sincerely for your support and congratulate you on your tremendous success! Isn't it amazing what we can do? Goodnight and...

Good Choices,


  1. I'm sorry to hear Saturday was so emotionally trying for you....I really hope you have a happier Sunday. :)

  2. You sure are lucky to have someone like Irene. it makes all the difference in the world, doesn't it? She must be one special woman and I know, from reading your blog, that you are one special guy and I am sure she is lucky to have you!

  3. I'm so saddened by your pain regarding your marriage to Irene. I don't understand it all, it's not my place to understand it all, but I do believe that your TMI is exactly what keeps you accountable. Not too many men would bear their souls like you are doing post after post. That's what impresses me most about you. How's it going smoke free? I've seen anything about that lately...please tell me you are still smoke free!?!

  4. I will always love you bud!!


  5. I agree with Dawne in that what you call "TMI" is actually perfect. It is real and heartfelt and makes your blog the inspiration it is. Just reading how well you ate and exercised each day would just make me feel inadequate! Instead I feel like I am a part of your journey.
    Thanks Sean.

  6. eh, sean. Completely understandable.
    We can all go over and over what happened.
    But just know that there are going to be days like this...and that they will pass.
    Hugs to you,

  7. What an honest post. It is nice to read someone who isn't all about making this journey seem wonderful. You put it all out there. You remind us you are human and the fact that nothing bad eating wise came out of this gives me hope. We can and will do this. Thanks for being the "real deal."

  8. It sounds like it was an emotional day for you... hugs!

  9. I have had to admit to myself recently that I am a food addict I am a little bit different from you that I can eat a huge amount of food. I have spent most of my adult life going from starving to eating so much I was sick. I still have a big issue with sugar. I have recently had to put myself in what I call rehab this means I have to eat as clean as possible limit the type of food I eat no extra's, no carbs this way I can get back on track, after I have got myself back in control I can ease up. Usually I would have not got back on track as quickly as I have with such little damage, food addiction needs vigilance just as much as any other addiction. They say that this is an emotional journey and vigilance takes conviction and courage and you are a very courageous man.

  10. Oh. The sneak eating. I always have felt that is rooted in some sort of fear of being empty. Yet it is when we empty ourselves out that we find out who we truly are. I hope Sunday was a better day for you!

  11. Nice game by the Pokes on Saturday. I always love to see KU get beat.


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