Friday, March 5, 2010

Day 536 My Experiences, Epiphanies, and Clarity

Day 536

My Experiences, Epiphanies, and Clarity

Every now and then I write something about this journey of discovery that doesn't sit well with a reader. I've received e-mails that, although always friendly, expressed concern and worry because I hit a nerve concerning their method of weight loss. I've been called “self-righteous” and a couple of times I've read “what works for you may not be what works for me, it doesn't mean I'm doing it wrong.” This type of feedback is extremely rare, in fact---I can count on one hand how many of these messages I've received in the last 536 days.

First of all...I write this blog from my perspective. These are my experiences, my epiphanies, my clarity and understanding. If you find that these epiphanies, clarity, and understandings ring true for you---and you relate to my experiences, then cool! Very cool. If not, that's fine too. I understand that we're all at our own individual place on this road. I have nothing but respect and consideration for you!

My personality has developed from my existence as a morbidly obese child and adult. I have a very needy desire to be liked. Don't we all? It's nice to be loved, right? I want everyone to be happy---so naturally, when someone expresses the slightest bit of concern or offense to something I've written about---I immediately feel the need to explain my position even further. Let's call it a desperate attempt to “win them over,” fueled by not only my inner need to be in good favor, but mainly to be perfectly understood.

In my blog yesterday I flashed back to day 170---this was a small excerpt of that: (please pardon the 'excerpt of an excerpt!')

Whenever I hear the words “meal replacement,” as in bars or shakes, I just have to “shake” my head and “pound” the bar. It's amazing to me that billion dollar companies have been built on plans that include “meal replacement” products. I don't know about you, but I like real food. I wouldn't want to eat a bar for breakfast and a shake for lunch everyday for the rest of my life. But I do plan on eating real food for the rest of my life. When the goal is met, and a person becomes another “meal replacement success,” Their success inspires others to try it, and the cycle and money machine continues to roll along. In the meantime, the first person who met their goal weight is facing real food again, and since they didn't address their old habits, they just replaced them, they go back to the same old behaviors and gain back the weight and often times more. Some might say “Sean, are you being a weight loss snob?” No way! What's right is right. And when a person stops searching for a quick fix or magic solution, or something to do it for them, and they start doing the mental exercises, confronting their habits and emotions, they start eating better and smaller portions, and they start moving again, they end up discovering that they can have success without spending a fortune on special plans or products.

“Littleredhairedgirl” left some wonderful words, thank you! She also expressed some concern over the above paragraph:

I've been lurking around your blog for a while now... and finally decided to comment today. First of all, congrats on your choice to have a different lifestyle. I'm in awe of your success. It's awesome! Secondly, I wanted to comment on the part from the old blog you shared about “meal replacement" items. I have recently started using them in addition to making small changes in my diet. (I'm just starting my journey.) I've found that these items are helping me... to curb hunger. I work a management job that keeps me from taking regular lunch breaks/getting out of the office to eat dinner at home. Before I started using these items to keep me on track during the day - I wouldn't eat all day.. then go home and binge at night. Of course, snacking on fruits and veggies would be better... but these bars are easier FOR ME. Just wanted to offer another perspective. Hope it's still a great day! :)

Thank you my friend! In your situation, I can see how you're using these products to your advantage, and that's a good thing. It's a preventative measure for you. For me---I used them in the past as an exclusive means to lose weight. And in that, discovered that I was simply avoiding my real issues with food. I was focused solely on the results, not the learning and self-discovery along the way. I couldn't care less about that mumbo jumbo back then...I just wanted the weight gone. And do these products work? Yes---of course they do...if dropping the weight was my only concern, but the aftermath always included me returning to my old behaviors with food that I refused to confront in the first place. You my friend are using these in a different way---and I applaud that, I do! It sounds like you know yourself well and have prepared a defense that allows you to succeed while understanding the mental dynamics in play. Thank you for giving me a little different perspective! And you know me, it's always a great day around here---even if I'm down a bit, I always stop and give thanks for how far I've come.

My weight training today at the YMCA was good, although I prefer upper body. I'm confident about the upper body machines. The lower body machines, some of them at least, require you to lay down or get into a position that's less than flattering. I wish I could totally get over my self-image issues. brain tries to convince me that people are staring at me negatively, and that's just not true. Other people are there trying to accomplish the same things as me. They really couldn't care less that my shirt is riding up on the leg press exposing some stretch marks and loose skin. If they're thinking anything about me, it's positive I'm sure! And if they're anything like me, they're worried that I'm noticing how much they're sweating. I don''re suppose to sweat, it's ok.

I attended the Poncan Theatre tonight for Romeo and Juliet with the full South Kansas Symphony. It was really something special! And it never fails...I always take a moment to notice how perfectly I fit into any seat I choose. These theatre seats are incredibly comfortable when you're a somewhat normal size. It's such a free feeling to never have to call in advance again to request an armless chair in the wheelchair section. I don't miss that one bit. At 505, I flat out couldn't fit in the seats, forget it. I know I've talked about this fitting into seats thing many times, but seriously...I never get tired of this. I love being this small!

The warmer weather is begging me to move the workouts outdoors, and I plan on doing just that this weekend. I'll do my weight training on the machines at the YMCA---but the cardio will be the trail and me getting reacquainted with each other in the sunshine. I've been out there recently, but it's been late at night.

I prepared a mixed dinner tonight. I enjoyed a couple of baked egg rolls, a small chicken breast, and a mushroom and mozzarella pita pizza. The entire meal was still only 490 calories. It was a bunch of food too! I was completely full and totally satisfied.

I was happy to get into bed before 11pm tonight. My sleeping patterns still need improvement, but I'm slowly making adjustments.

Oh--I almost forgot---I spent nearly an hour and a half with a divorce lawyer today. The friendliness between Irene and Me is going to save us a bunch of money. It should be relatively smooth and fairly easy. That's a relief!

Thank you for reading! Goodnight and...

Good Choices,


  1. most people think there is a miracle diet which would make them skinny and after realizing their goals they can get off the diet . but in reality weight loss and fitness is a lifestyle change without any "miracles" . and YOU , my friend are a living proof of this concept .
    meal replacement food should be used only in case of emergency and should not become a routine as such . "being prepared in advance" is the key for any effective diet regime.

    you continue to inspire me every single moment of my life .

    cheers !!

  2. I liked that you covered this because I have run into the same issues. Every one is quick to give advice but slow to take it. I was going on advice of others and it landed me at a 3 week stall. Then I got help and fixed the issues tailored to me. Its amazing how many people go and base their caloric intake of the RMR/BMR calculators off the Internet to figure out their calories burned or what they should intake. I did hte same thing. I went to a nutritionist who tested my RMR. It was 2117. I wasn't eating enough calories per day so my body went into starvation mode. Since starting to eat 2200 calories minimum now my first week since my three week stall I lost 3.6 lbs! Then I posted on my blog how I went to 8 different websites and put in the same stats to get my RMR.BMR numbers and EVERY site spit something out different. Plus everyone is different. My RMR will not be your RMR. So when dieting or doing things I think we need some sort of help in the direction, but in every situation our bodies are so unique and each plan needs to be unique. Again just my opinion.

    Tom Brokaw

  3. hey brother everyone likes are loved by many..i am glad everything is going to go well for you two..loveyou your big sis

  4. Awww Sean...get over it. You look totally fine. I know you dont see it, but I do, and so does everyone else. :-)

  5. I'm following your example, Sean. I will let you know how my first week of reduced calories worked for me.

  6. Isn't it funny, that urge to be loved by all even when we know it is irrational!

  7. Only the most observant people notice you in the the gym especially, all they want to do is get their excercise done and get out our ego's would like to think they notice us but I am sure nobody does. I attend a very small gym and still people don't notice I am there and what I look like and believe me I stand out. Think of the extra skin and other issues as an injury or a battle scar of your previous life. Don't sweat the small stuff. Have a great day.

  8. I am doing a different weight loss plan than you, but it is essentially the same sort of thing. I am aware of my calories in and my calories out. I track everything daily. I write it down before I eat it or drink it. This week I am concentrating on having a minimum of 80oz of water every day which is more than my daily minimum per my program.

    I digress. What I am trying to say is that while we are doing things differently it's the same basic plan. People have talked to me about how strong I am since being on this weight loss plan - I have changed my eating habits and some people tell me how they cannot possibly do what I am doing. To me that just says that they are not ready to face themselves in the mirror and have that internal dialogue where they confront themselves with what they are doing. I know you know about that moment - all of us that are on this journey to being fit not fat have had that internal dialogue before we get started with the rest of out lives.

    I read your posts every day and I wanted to say that I think what you are doing for yourself is commendable. Keep on your journey to fitness and do what works *for you*. Have a great weekend!
    Be well,

  9. Awww....I keep hoping for the post which says, "Irene and I are back together". What can I say? I love a happy ending.

  10. Sean,

    Fitting in the seat.. isn' that AWESOME! I fly back home to America once a year (in coach) and now it is sooooo much more comfy sitting in that very small plane seat. I have room to move! I love those moments of small victories!

    It only gets better :)

    Diet Buddy Girl

  11. You're doing great takes some work, but try not to be self-conscious with your workouts. I was exactly the same way when I first started, but it was holding me back and I knew it. I finally said to hell with it and let the fat fly baby!! :)

  12. Sean, I love that you take the time to address the comments/concerns folks address to your blog. I think you set a wonderful example, not necessarily of EXACTLY how you do what you do (though I also think that's pretty amazing and respect your approach!), but in the fact that you are tackling the MENTAL/EMOTIONAL stuff as equal priority to losing the weight. That's the only way to keep it off for good. Keep up the amazing work and, as always, thanks for sharing your story.


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