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. Seriously...my 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't...you'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...