Friday, April 30, 2010

Day 592 Little To Complain About and Video Time: The Lose To Win Kick-Off Presentation

Day 592

Little To Complain About and Video Time: The Lose To Win Kick-Off Presentation

The feedback from yesterday's post was phenominal. You helped me understand better where exactly I am, and it's a pretty good place. Thank you! When I start feeling the emotions that produced yesterday's post, perhaps I should step back, reach out to friends privately, and fully evaluate the situation. Because really, if you widen the scope---I have very little to complain about. I'm blessed and luckier than most. I should count my blessings more often.

Today was a good Thursday in the food and exercise department. It's a positive thing to correct quickly in the midst of what I was feeling. The "old Sean" would have continued spiraling out of control in not only the exercise department, but the food as well. "Old Sean" would have been on his way back to the prison that is morbid obesity, actually, it would have happened some time ago. We've had several days and moments like that, it's a part of life, right? Being able to recognize an elevated threat level and throwing up the "Steel Curtain Zone" in time to beat it, is a fantastic sign of real and lasting change. Basically, I'm learning to accept that it isn't always going to be a bed of roses. And when things are less than perfect, I must remember that the issues will pass and I will recover. I've said it from the very beginning: Nothing, no person, place, thing, circumstance or emotion will steal this away from me. This is my time. I'm alive and well, and living better and healthier than I have since childhood. It's comforting to feel this way. It's a reassuring confidence that doesn't have to try very hard to make me smile. I'm smiling much more than I ever did at 505.

I stayed off the bike tonight because of the 40 mph plus winds. I made my way to the trail and put in a very nice 5K. Jogging with a 40 mph wind at your back is very cool, thanks Mother Nature for the push! I walked into the wind and jogged with, a nice outing indeed. I met a nice older man on the trail tonight. He told me he was 81 years old, and there he was---walking for his health, and doing wonderfully. I want to be like that someday, don't we all!

The "Lose To Win" kick-off videos are posted below. After watching these---I cringed at all of the things I didn't cover. So much left unsaid, but it's alright. Maybe someday, when this is all I do---we'll make sure to cross every T and dot every I. I'm my toughest critic. I give it a B-. It was cool to see me looking like a normal sized guy on that stage. I've ran into a few people who were there and they all were very complimentary on the presentation. Tonight, while grocery shopping, I ran into one of the attendees. She told me that my theme of "Choose Change before Change Chooses You" served as a topic for discussion at her Weight Watchers meeting in Pawnee Oklahoma tonight. She said they even wrote it on the board in big letters. That's very cool. I hope you enjoy the 3 part presentation below. Special thanks to Gayle Williams of Womyn Aloud Productions for processing the DVD and preparing the files for You Tube uploading. I'm so glad I have good friends that know how to do stuff like this! I'm clueless!!!

I'll be in the mid-day spinning class at the YMCA tomorrow at 11:15am. I'm taking a long lunch to accomodate. I certainly can't do that every week, although I'd like to...(hint hint--Mr. Blue Blazes). We're going to make it around here! Thanks for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean





Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day 591 Strengths, Weaknesses and Weigh Day A Day Late

Day 591

Strengths, Weaknesses and Weigh Day A Day Late

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…” This opening from the Charles Dickens classic “A Tale of Two Cities,” best describes how I’ve felt this week. Sound familiar? I’ve quoted this before. The incredible high from delivering the kick-off speech at “Lose To Win 2010” and the incredible low of completely wrecking my workout schedule this week has me in a spiral. Is it correctable? Of course it is, but still, I feel like I’ve let Shannon, Tammy, Big Clyde, you, and myself down. I’m supposed to set a better example!

My strength along this road is battling and controlling food addiction. I know my strengths well, and I know my weaknesses very well. When it comes to understanding the psychological dynamic of why I always stuffed my emotions with food, I’m educated, thanks to this 591-day experience. Understanding what makes me put in less than 100% effort working out? Still working on that one. Do I not realize how lucky I am? There are people reading this right now, perhaps it’s you, who are physically unable to fully workout their body in a conventional manner. Perhaps it’s a birth defect or serious injury that challenges them. They would love to move like this, and yet---I squander my blessings and ability, and then have the audacity to complain when I don’t get the results? Ridiculous.

I’ve allowed my super-busy schedule to rule me, instead of me properly managing the schedule. I’ve used my busy schedule as an excuse so many times, and people buy it—they do, they tell me “Oh Sean, don’t be so hard on yourself, you’re busy!” You know what? I was just as busy on Day 1 through Day 365, and I rarely missed workouts---especially early on this road. I made time---it held an unbendable importance level. Hey---there’s that phrase!! “Importance level,” yeah---maybe I need to re-evaluate mine.

Today was stressful and I let that stress get to me a little too much. I had personal issues. Welcome to the club, right? Throw in a pending divorce---and the available excuses and triggers are ripe for the picking. I can separate my food behavior from these stressful and emotional factors, but the first chance I get---the workout goes. I allowed myself to once again miss spinning class. I must do the Friday mid-day class, but still---that’s it. There’s no making up that second missed class. “But Sean, working out releases endorphins and it makes you feel better naturally!” Uhhhg…perky endorphin cheerleaders, Seanboy isn’t in the mood today, but thank you! “That’s because you need to release some endorphins!!!! Set them free---floating through your body, lifting you up!!! Let’s go!” Uh---please, stop…go away…there we go, thank you.

I felt so bad about my choices today, I actually made the decision to postpone weigh day until Thursday. I just wasn’t in the mood to step on a scale. And although this post is officially Wednesday---it’s actually Thursday, and I just weighed. I’m good. It’s OK. There are a variety of valid reasons why I would only show a 1-pound loss. I’m cool. Really. Maybe it’s the positive effects of weight training? Maybe I’m retaining fluid? Maybe my body is just being a stubborn gus, wrestling around in some kind of self-preservation mode, whatever. I know I haven’t been drinking enough water lately---my bad choice. You know what? It’s cool. I now weigh 257, and that’s a very nice thing!!! Moving on!

I signed on for and failed two challenges this month. With Tammy’s challenge and Big Clyde’s challenge, I had a goal of 10 pounds in April. I’m at 4 pounds. But I'm still a winner.

I’m human, I’m flawed, I don’t know everything, I’m perfectly imperfect, this isn’t always as easy as I might make it look---but you knew that already, right? Maybe I’m miscalculating my coffee creamer calories? Nah…that really wouldn’t make THAT big of a difference. I’m just going to keep doing what I do and I’ll get to where I’m headed. Haven’t I written about that before? I believe so…How, how---you know, how “time doesn’t matter” along this road. I must remember. I’ve changed habits that were developed and honed for 36 years---I’ve completely changed my life. And no matter how slow the development continues….it CONTINUES. And we’re not going backwards---so what do I have to complain about? Nothing.

Excuse me while I go take a long look in the mirror. No---not at my cheekbones that I never realized I had---or that dimple that was hidden for years…NO, I’m looking at Sean---deep, beyond the eyes---and into my soul. Call me crazy---but I occasionally give myself good self-talk sessions. And I mean out loud, by myself---right at my bedroom side lavatory. What do I say? It varies really---but a good example: “Sean buddy, get it together my friend. Look at how far you’ve come. What do you want? Where are you headed? What are you going to do to get it? Look at you man, seriously---do you even realize how far you’ve come along this road? Do you even appreciate the incredible power of the road you’ve been on? Cut out the whiney baby crap---get over it---and let’s move! Smile dog gone it! Right now! (big smile) There you go---look at you, you’re gonna make it my friend. I’m proud of you…and maybe I don’t say this enough, but…uh, you know…I love you.”

I do love myself more than I ever have. And that’s so very important.

I was reading this date from exactly a year ago, Day 226, and found this:

Today I was thinking about all of the times I attempted to lose weight, and back then, almost from the very beginning, I just knew that I would fail every time. I convinced myself that failure was a part of the process. I had also convinced myself that there was no way to maintain focus amid extreme stress. Back then I really wasn't wanting to change my attitudes and approach to food. I just wanted to lose weight. Forget the mumbo jumbo psychological talk. I was forcing myself to eat less and exercise more and it would work until I'd had enough and that's when I'd snap right back into my old habits. I was way more than in love with food back then, I was completely obsessed. My day revolved around eating, thinking about eating, and making plans to eat. Any weight loss attempt back then was a serious downer to this constant obsession. It wasn't until I fully admitted to myself that I had a real addiction to food, that I was able to step back, make an honest assessment of my habits and really explore a different approach. It's so true when they say that the first step to overcoming an addiction is to admit there's a problem in the first place. I had a serious problem with food. I remember staying up real late one Saturday night about fifteen years ago eating a giant bowl of mashed potatoes and homemade white gravy made with sausage grease. It was about two am, the little ones were in bed and Irene was working an overnight shift. I remember a Richard Simmons infomercial catching my attention as I sat there stuffing my face. The testimonials were so wonderful and inspiring, they made me cry. They didn't make me put down the potatoes and gravy, but they made me cry a couple of kinds of tears. I cried tears of happiness for the people being featured on the infomercial and I cried tears of hopelessness for my own struggle. I was feeling really sorry for myself that night. Instead of allowing myself to feel inspired to change, I thought it was just too difficult and overwhelming to even try. I completely understand what it's like to see and hear about someone else's weight loss success while feeling a million miles away from ever being in that position mentally and physically. On Day 1 of this journey I really didn't know how I was going to pull this off. All I knew was that I had to do it. I had to make my way through and learn along the way. I was out of time. I was scared, really scared. This frightened state did something to me that hadn't been done before. It made me let go of my defenses, my old habits that kept me content. I was completely open and vulnerable to change. I let go of the excuses and blame game because I knew they had no place on this road. I let go of my pre-conceived notions of failure, deciding this time, failure wasn't an option. I decided that no amount of stress would rock me to the point of failure, no matter what happened along the way, I decided I would stay on course.

On Day 1 I didn't have a clue about what I would discover along the way. My mind wasn't changed about food and exercise on day 1, not at all. I was walking on faith my friend. I was feeling my way through each day. I really don't know what day it started to really click. But somewhere along this journey I learned a different way of treating food and exercise. All of a sudden I had a revelation I'd never experienced. I could still enjoy potatoes and gravy while losing weight. I could still eat ice cream and lose weight. I could still love and enjoy food without being obsessed. I could slow down long enough to recognize and enjoy a regular portion. When I realized this, that's when I completely let go of the desire to devour giant portions of potatoes and gravy at 2am. I no longer felt deprived in any way. The exercise I always dreaded and feared became easier with every workout and the results started to happen quickly. I was no longer hopeless, I was empowered. Now on Day 226, I feel even more in control with a much better understanding of what I'm doing and how I'm doing it. But I started without any of that knowledge. I just decided and then started. I kept it really simple: calories in-calories out, period. It was an iron clad promise to me from me. I decided.

Thank you for reading. I’m tempted to post a current “in-progress” picture, just to play along with Cilley Girl, but I’ll refrain. OK, I can’t resist…here we go, yeah…this one will work!!! Oh---and how about a big before for contrast! ;) Goodnight and…

Good Choices,
Sean

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Before and “In-Progress”

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day 590 No Ordinary Tuesday and Interrupting My Own Funeral

Day 590

No Ordinary Tuesday and Interrupting My Own Funeral

Today refused to be an ordinary Tuesday. This day required special attention. Starting at 4am, it promised non-stop action until after 9pm. With my show scheduled from 6 to 9am, followed by production time until 1pm, then a 2 to 6pm broadcast from the Hutchins Auditorium…Well---There wasn’t much time for anything but broadcasting and anticipation of a good evening. My thoughts today were clearly centered on the “Lose To Win” seminar I was presenting this evening.

The evening was amazing. I ran into so many “wow” reactions and a couple of “I didn’t recognize you at first” reactions. Those are always very nice to experience. Nelda Skinner was there too. Nelda always measured my weight loss by giving me a hug. Last year, Nelda couldn't touch her hands around me, but tonight she did....twice. The second time we danced. It was fun! 338 people made their way into the seminar and the challenge this evening. Considering another event across town gathered some 500 plus, 338 was really good. And the registration period continues through Monday the 3rd, so many more are expected to sign up!

Amber made a last minute decision to come home from school just to see the presentation. It was so wonderful to see her and her boyfriend KL tonight. The two of them thoroughly enjoyed the program, although Amber said the opening segment of my presentation made her very sad. I was watching from just outside the auditorium and I became emotional too. Something about the combination of bag pipes and someone delivering your eulogy---yeah, it really made my lips quiver and my eyes water. And the before pictures—I look at some of those and I honestly can’t believe I ever let myself get to and stay that big for so long.

When the music changed and the “in-progress” shots started flowing, I knew it was about time to enter. I had planned to enter wearing my size 64 jeans, held up by suspenders, but that idea was scrapped last minute because we were afraid it might hamper my ability to ride the bike into the auditorium. My biggest worry about that grand entrance? Riding through the doorframe into the auditorium. It wasn’t that wide of a doorframe. My biggest fear was my handle bar catching the frame and sending me tumbling to the auditorium floor in front of everyone. Chris told me to focus beyond the doorframe and I would be fine, and he was exactly right. I came riding into the auditorium to a wonderful ovation---rode around the floor, then made my way to the stage. It wasn’t an ordinary opening segment and anything but ordinary entrance. It was an attention getter---and the funeral theme, although dark and dramatic, worked perfectly with the theme of my presentation titled, “Choosing Change Before Change Chooses You.” It was a wonderful experience for me.

I talked with my buddy Brandon before the seminar. He commented on my over-shirt and my clothing insecurities in general. Brandon suggested keeping the overshirt, just buttoning and tucking the thing. Oh Brandon---we are so much alike, yet so different!!! You see, Brandon is a big guy who has always tucked. In fact, Brandon feels that he looks bigger if he doesn’t tuck. We’re polar opposites with our clothing hang-ups. Isn’t that an interesting behavioral study? We’re so much alike, yet when it comes to clothing---our brains are wired opposite of each other. It's all in what we choose to believe about ourselves. Again---what we choose.

I did put on the “skinny jeans” tonight. These Levis Button Fly 501’s say 38 on the back tab, but I swear they’re smaller. Must be the cut or shrinkage. I don’t like them because they cling---I mean, no sagging whatsoever. None! I felt like Dwight Yoakum in this pair of jeans. I kept checking my reflection, making sure they looked OK---and at one point pondered taking them off. Did I really need to battle clothing insecurities right before a big speaking event? Even in the bigger clothes, my transformation is undeniably dramatic, so why make myself feel less than comfortable? I realized that I picked out the same shirt combination as I had on Saturday. Oh well---I guess it’s my current favorite.

My presentation went very well I thought. I was serious enough to drive home my message, but relaxed and comfortable enough to grab a few laughs from the audience. I’m so self-critical---I spent some time afterward thinking of all of the things I wish I had said. Oh well, another time! I have to remember that right now, this isn’t what I do full time. Someday when it is, then I’ll have the time to make sure I never have to second-guess the structure and content of my speaking. I’ll be prepared properly every time.

After the seminar, I played around on the bike in the parking lot and made late dinner plans with Amber and KL. I didn’t get back to the apartment until almost 10pm. Wow, another day where I didn’t live up to my stated workout goals. BUT---I did do another set of non-weighted strength training exercises before bed. That’s two in one day, and on a day like today---that’s not bad. But boy…I do have some serious making up to do later in the week. It’ll be interesting to say the least.

Tomorrow is weigh day and it would thrill me to make it past the “crossing point.” But in order to cross that magical 252.5, I’d have to post a 6 pound loss. I haven’t had one of those since I don’t know when---so I’m not really expecting that. Give me something, anything---and I’ll be happy. Shoot, I’ll be happy no matter what. I feel incredible these days. I feel physically and emotionally incredible because things are looking pretty good.

Thank you for reading. The video from this seminar should be ready soon. As soon as I get it, Gayle Williams from Womyn Aloud productions will edit and convert it for uploading---and it will be featured here. Thank you Gayle!! I’ve included some pictures from tonight below. Again, thank you for your support my friends. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,
Sean

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Here’s Linda Senseman! She and her husband Lindell have become good friends of mine. I have them to thank for the wonderful bike I’m riding these days!

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Chris delivering my eulogy.

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Like a scene out of “Back To The Future,” I come riding into my own funeral---having made the changes before they chose me! I was moving!! Two sides to that auditorium---doesn't look like 338 people from this shot---but a bunch were on the other side.

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With Chris on stage---interrupting his beautiful service!

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On stage during the presentation. More pictures will be coming soon. Thanks to Suzanne Zanardi for these shots. Cathy Cole, the “Lose To Win” director will be sending me some more soon!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 589 Not So Perfect Monday and Sneak Preview of Seminar Opening Segment

Day 589

Not So Perfect Monday and Sneak Preview of Seminar Opening Segment

Today started like any other Monday. I hit the floor at 4am, started the coffee, did my non-weighted strength training exercises, cooked breakfast, and enjoyed the food in front of the computer before showering, dressing and heading to the studio. I must have a solid start like this---it sets the tone for the day, moves me in the right direction, and all is well. But it doesn't guarantee a perfect day. I have to make the right choices later. Here we go...

The workday turned a little longer than I anticipated and that meant not getting home until just before 4pm. This is where my day turned South. I made the mistake of sitting down in my recliner. What was I thinking? I knew better! I woke up two hours later and realized that my workout plans were shattered. I overslept my spinning and weight training!! There was no making up for it now---my evening was packed preparing for the “Lose To Win” Seminar. I decided to not even start beating myself up over this situation, instead---I confidently decided that I would find a way to get in a second spinning class later this week and I would resume my normal weight training schedule on Wednesday.

I’m excited about this speaking opportunity, can you tell? Gayle Williams has been putting together a piece for my opening segment---and it will be a very powerful opening. I’ve included a YouTube video below. All you get is the audio and slide show…what you can’t get from this piece is the live actor (Chris Williams—no relation to Gayle) portraying a person giving my eulogy:

We are gathered here today to remember the life of Sean Allen Anderson. He was born to Beverly Anderson October 23rd, 1971 in Stillwater Oklahoma. He was a big baby, weighing in at nearly 10 pounds. Perhaps a person’s birth weight isn't something you would normally include in their eulogy---but unfortunately, Sean's weight was an issue that plagued him his entire life---right up until the time of his death. Sean always told me that someday he would lose the weight---someday he would some how get it together---and really do it. He would get healthy and...well, (beat) I could go on and on about how he would talk about it, getting thin...Oh yeah---he really wanted it bad---but his actions proved otherwise....I guess Sean was a dreamer. And a dream without action is forever a dream...Sean knew that someday his dream could become a nightmare---if he failed to change his ways. I guess this was Sean's ultimate nightmare. And here we are...If only Sean could've grabbed control---and really made the good choices in time---maybe we wouldn't be here today...If only Sean would have had one more chance...To make the changes...

The actor will then be cut off by the second half of the slide show, featuring upbeat music and a progression of “in-progress” pictures, followed by me bursting into the auditorium on my bicycle and riding to the stage. I’ll be wearing my size 64 pants—held up by suspenders, and on my arrival on stage, I’ll take ‘em off revealing my “skinny jeans” underneath. Chris will break character and introduce me as I approach the podium. The theme of my talk is “Choose Change Before Change Chooses You,” and this dramatic opening certainly drives that point home.

Too much? Maybe, we’ll see! I swear, I’m not usually an over-dramatic person---but I get super passionate when the topic is weight loss! There will be hundreds of people in that place---all of them wanting to lose weight. My goal is to share with them my story, the basic fundamentals of my success, the all-important mental aspects, and how they can apply it to their own journey---and do it all in about 30 minutes. If it inspires only one person to change, it'll be worth the effort.

I prepared a nice mushroom chicken breast with green beans and an orange for dinner. It was fabulous, a real ‘feel good’ dinner. Thank you for reading. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,
Sean


This slide show includes a bunch of before and “in-progress” shots. Just part of the intro to my speaking engagement tomorrow night.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Day 588 Preparing To Speak and Same Dinner 365 Days Later

Day 588

Preparing To Speak and Same Dinner 365 Days Later

The red high heels from yesterday’s post were size 14. I wear a 12, but when I showed up for the event, all they had left were 11’s and 14’s. It was a great event and I got to keep the shoes. I’ll put them up for next year!

I spent the majority of the day thinking about the “Lose To Win” kick off event for Tuesday. I’m scheduled to speak to an auditorium full of people wanting to lose weight. I’m excited that the hospital has asked me to once again be a part of this program, and I really want to make sure I give them a powerful kick-off presentation. So far—it’s coming together nicely. My goal is to take each and every person in attendance through an entire range of emotions in 30 minutes, leaving them inspired and pumped to give the high importance level commitment this journey requires.

I’ve concentrated so much on this today I haven’t done much else. By the time 4pm rolled around, I had consumed a low 350 calories for the day. That’s not good for my metabolism. I grabbed a banana and an orange, enjoyed them---and headed for the trail for a 5K walk/jog. I didn’t jog one bit today. Nope, not even the slightest trot. It was simply a brisk walk. I figured out something---when I’m consumed in thought, it’s harder to jog. I can’t jog and think about anything other than jogging. But a brisk walk is easy, too easy for me really. But, it was a nice walk…nothing wrong with that. I hesitate to call it an official workout since I hardly broke a sweat.

My workout goals for this week are similar to last with a little tweaking here and there:

Sunday: Off day
Monday: Non-weighted strength training---spinning class---weight training at YMCA
Tuesday: Non-weighted strength training---seminar day---3 mile bike ride
Wednesday: Non-weighted strength training---spinning class----weight training at YMCA
Thursday: Non-weighted strength training--- 5.5 mile Bike ride (to downtown and back)
Friday: Non-weighted strength training---weight training at YMCA
Saturday: Non-weighted strength training---mixed 10K--5k walk/jog---5K bike ride

I decided to enjoy a burger and fries for dinner tonight. I bought the 96% lean hamburger with only 140 calories per 4-ounce portion. I used a half a slice of white American cheese for 30, mustard, onions, and tomatoes on a whole-wheat sandwich thin (100). I later realized that the sandwich thin bun was ok---but only saved me 10 calories from the regular bun I would normally use. I used the Foreman grill for the burger and the oven to bake a serving of steak fries for 130. I also used a tablespoon and a half of ketchup for 25 calories. The entire plate was comfortably under 500 calories. I didn’t read the April 25th edition from a year ago until after my burger and fries---It was strange. Exactly a year ago today, I prepared the very same meal:

Dinner tonight was homemade cheeseburgers and fries. Now before you start thinking that we’ve flipped out or something, let me explain. I made the burgers much smaller than I ever have before. These aren’t giant 500 calorie burgers. These burgers each weighed in at around 200 each for the patty, 110 for the bun, and less than 15 calories for the cheese. I made one slice of white American cheese go on all four burgers. I just ripped it in fourths! With Mustard and onions, we’re talking a real American homemade cheeseburger for 335 calories! And the fries? We bake them always. I had a hundred calories worth and a few bites of a leftover pasta dish we had on the table. My entire meal was just under 500 calories and I’m very cool with that number. Yes you can lose weight while still enjoying the all-American cheeseburger and fries every now and then! We sure do save money when we’re eating way less than before. The savings at the grocery store are fantastic. Tonight would have been much more expensive had we consumed what we were accustomed to before this journey. Oh, and nobody made fry sauce!

This weekend was not bad at all. It was a busy weekend, especially yesterday, but a fun experience. I’m excited about the upcoming week! Thank you for reading. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,
Sean

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burger and fries meal tonight

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day 587 Clothing Hang-Ups: The Battle Between The Ears and Sportin' The Heels For A Good Cause

Day 587

Clothing Hang-Ups: The Battle Between The Ears and Sportin' The Heels For A Good Cause

I knew this was going to be an active Saturday, so by 8am---it was feet on the floor, coffee in my cup, and breakfast cooking. I had a broadcast at 10:45am for a big car and bike show, then it would be off to downtown for the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event, then back to the lake for the car show broadcast until 3pm. Being able to greet a day like today with a big smile on my face is an amazing contrast from my 500 pound days. I was confident it would be good.

At 505, I wouldn't be this active. I wouldn't be attempting the walk in heels, no way...I would still be doing the broadcast of course, but instead of roaming around, smiling and being an active part of the atmosphere---I would have spent as much time as possible hiding in the remote vehicle---doing my live on-air breaks to satisfy the contractual obligation—but avoiding any unnecessary contact with people. I was always better in studio at my heaviest---away from people, hiding behind a microphone---where I looked like whatever the listeners imagination thought I sounded like...which is always better than reality. And that dynamic was always something I thought about at public appearances, this is when they see the real me---their illusion will be blown to bits! It's horrible to live with this kind of self-image shame, and I know that some morbidly obese people project an attitude of self-acceptance and they don't hide---even at their heaviest, they would put themselves out there---and if you didn't like it—forget you, don't care. But I was never that way---I wish I would have been, it would have saved me a lot of mental anguish over the years. So after losing 247 pounds so far---the self image hang-ups are gone, right? No, they're just different.

Now, I struggle with clothing selection. At 505, I always dressed to satisfy my self-image hang-ups, and now at 258, I still do the very same thing. Do I look better than I ever have? Yes. Do I still dress in over-sized clothing in the name of comfort? Yes. It's not physical comfort, it's emotional comfort. Let me make something very clear: The most important accomplishments to me along this road are the dramatic improvements to my health. That's what really matters. And in that regard—I'm absolutely blessed and couldn't be happier. But I'm still not fully accepting of my thinner physical image. It's crazy, these hang-ups—and I know that it's all in my head, and the rational side of me says---you look great---and that side is right, compared to what I was...but the battle rages on between my ears. And so I dress to cover up what my irrational side perceives as imperfections—I feel better that way---even though my transformation would appear even more dramatic in smaller jeans and no over-shirt, it still wouldn't be what I want. Will I ever be satisfied? Yes, I will. But it's going to take some work. And I'm not just talking about exercise and lifting weights---it's going to take some psychological work.

With all of that said, make no mistake---I'm very happy these days. I feel amazing. I really do, and I'm so grateful for the wonderful blessings my transformation has given me. My clothing issues are such a small side note in the big scope of things. The most important things are absolutely the best. I can breathe again---sleep without a machine. I don't take any medication—because I no longer have blood pressure issues. I can move again---ride a bike, jog---really be active. I can run up stairs, and often do—just because I can. These are beautiful things my friend.

The “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event was a fantastic thing today. It was a fun way to raise awareness and money for the Domestic Violence Program of Northern Central Oklahoma. It was very cool to see all of the fire and police personnel in high heels. These guys are the ones that respond to heartbreaking domestic violence and sexual assault cases---they deal with the very serious situations up close and personal. And it was refreshing to see them out there, having a great time---and supporting such an important cause. Everyone from politicians, community leaders, and even radio personalities “suited up” in the heels and made a statement of support. Irene and I once drove to Oklahoma City—picked up a loved one out of an abusive situation, and delivered them to this very program in Ponca City. That was long before I ever worked or lived here. I was so impressed with the program back then, and I'm still impressed. They do so much for so many people---and they do it quietly and effectively. They're a real asset to this area, no doubt---very deserving of all the support we can offer. You can visit their website at www.dvpnco.org

After posting the high heel pics on facebook yesterday, it didn't take long for me to hear from friends who said---You need smaller clothes! I know, I hear that every time a full body picture is out there. And I appreciate that, it's a compliment---thank you! Last night I pulled out a pair of Levi's shrink to fit button fly 501's. The tab says they're 38's, but I know they shrink some---They seem considerably smaller than my comfy-loose 40's. I put them on and to my surprise, they fit. They were tight, but they buttoned. No bagginess---not loose at all. I looked in the mirror and really liked the way they showcased my slimmer legs and much smaller behind...but I hated the way it mushroomed my loose mid-section skin and remaining fat. But still, I kept them on. I could wear these, I think I could...in public. I needed to do some light grocery shopping---and instead of changing, I just put on my shoes and hit the road. I was in my “skinny jeans,” you might say. And it felt good really. I'll probably wear these at the “Lose To Win” kick-off speaking engagement. That will be a breakthrough for me. I'll probably still have an over-shirt---but hey, baby-steps, right?

I contemplated a late night bike ride tonight, but instead---I drove to the trail and enjoyed a nice walk/jog. I really re-connected with some songs out there, songs that I haven't listened to in a while. REO Speedwagon's “Time For Me To Fly” isn't a song about the end of a relationship between two people---Oh, it is---but to me it's about my break-up with obesity. I must have listened to that song five times tonight. It empowers me around that trail. It was actually kind of chilly tonight---breezy and very cool. It didn't take much jogging to generate a warmth that got me through. Actually, I fell a little short of a 5K, but it was still a good workout.

I prepared a very nice dinner tonight. I don't know what I'll call it---but here's what it was: A grilled chicken breast topped with tomato sauce, cheese, and grilled veggies---then baked to a melty perfection. I used a four ounce breast for 140, 120 calories worth of cheese, 15 calories worth of sauce, and maybe, what...10 calories for veggies? 285 calories of absolute awesomeness on a plate. It was so good! I enjoyed an orange for desert. I skipped the side items. No potato, no bread...and it was great. After this dish and the orange, I was full---and satisfied. The orange satisfies that need for something sweet after a meal and is way better than what I did at 505. Oh my---a big bowl of ice cream or two, or maybe a couple bowls of sugary cereal was a normal after-meal routine back then. New habits, new routines, new life.

Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

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This is an experimental chicken dish that absolutely rocks! Great dinner tonight!

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Sportin' The Heels

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Was told to lift the leg a little---oh yeah baby!

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Wonderful program!

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I made it! BTW---It wasn't really a mile, only 5 blocks. Thank goodness!

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Time to kick off these torture devices! Wow—how do people do this? Can't be good for the feet!!

Special thanks to my friends Anne Crail and Cathy Cole for the "heel" shots!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Day 586 Stormy Start and My Answer to "How Can I Do This Too?"

Day 586

Stormy Start and My Answer to “How Can I Do This Too?”

My Friday really started at 11:30pm last night. I made myself go to sleep early in anticipation of severe weather. When the weather turns severe, part of my job is to anchor weather coverage on KLOR and KPNC. It's an important part of our radio station's commitment to this area, and it sometimes---maybe eight or ten times a year, wreaks havoc on my schedule. The alarm sounded after less than three hours sleep. It was time to check the radar images for possible activation. It was still Thursday! And when the storms were nowhere close to our area yet---I had to go back to bed and wait. Only one problem...I was awake, and after what was effectively a 2.5 hour nap, it was going to be really hard to go back to sleep. I somehow managed to drift off about 1:15am, only to be jolted out of bed by a storm warning at 3:30am. The storms were ready for me to talk about them on air, pardon the interruption of sleepy time! This was going to be a long Friday.

When the warnings are issued, there's no time to make coffee, do my morning non-weighted strength training, and cook breakfast. Nope---it's a mad rush to get to the studio as quickly as possible. Ideally, we're on the air prior to the warning being issued. I threw on whatever clothes were in front of me (workout pants, t-shirt, and a sport coat---crazy, I know!), grabbed a pear and a banana—and I was gone. I was on the air as the storm started to rage---and people started being jolted awake. My job was simple: Let them know what to expect and when to expect it. It wasn't really that bad of a storm, nothing tornadic, and no hail---just 70 mph winds and torrential rain, and it was moving fast to the Northeast at 55 mph.

I enjoyed my fruit, spent some after storm time writing, and preparing for my morning show at 6am---and by the time my show ended, I needed two things. Something to eat and a nap. I rushed home, cooked a proper breakfast in a veggie and cheese omelet, answered a couple of e-mails---then hit the pillow hard. I had to be back at the studio by 1pm for a production session. A start like this can mess up a schedule and plan real quick. But instead of allowing it to be a convenient excuse for bad choices, I just rode it out and did the best I could do. I grilled a chicken breast, sliced a tomato, and grabbed another banana---putting it all on a platter and transporting it back to the studio for lunch. I could have just made my way into a fast food place for something fast and convenient---but honestly, this chicken was fast and convenient---and it was a lunch I could feel good about.

People ask “How can I do this too?” It's happened a bunch, especially after the first 100 pounds were down, and it really happens a bunch these days, having lost nearly 250. I'm not a doctor or dietitian---not a nutritionist---I'm just a person who's battled morbid obesity my entire life and I've finally found a way to break free. So what do I tell them? I found the answer in my post from exactly a year ago. Here's an excerpt from April 23rd, 2009:

First of all you should realize that there isn't a food that is completely off limits. Let go of the misconceptions you might have about what foods are suitable for weight loss. All foods are suitable for weight loss. Once you fully grasp the concept of “nothing is off limits,” then you completely eliminate the deprivation factor that derails people from weight loss attempts everyday. Then you should familiarize yourself with nutrition labels. There's only a couple of things to really focus on: Serving size and calories. Buy a calorie book or look up calories online. In a very short time you'll get really good at this part. Set your calorie budget. I allow 1500 a day. Then use your calories like cash. Make sure you budget them and spread them out over the course of the day. I try to keep meals under 500 and snacks under 150. Make sure you're eating something at least every three hours. Drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water a day, a little more if you can, and exercise! Do whatever you can. If you can't get out of the house, any exercise that gets your heart rate up will do just fine. Just move any old way you can. It'll get much easier along the way if you stay consistent. Once your calories are under control and you're exercising everyday, then it's time to realize that the food and exercise part is only about 25% of successful weight loss. The other 75% of losing weight is all in your head. The mental exercises are the most important things to do along this journey. Realize that food is your friend, not the enemy. Fully accept 100% personal responsibility for your actions or lack of action. Don't blame anyone or anything for your excess weight. Complete honesty within yourself is paramount to your success.

Decide that you'll make this a very important thing in your life and be dramatic about it. Protect it from your own excuses and rationalizations that tend to creep in after the initial starting excitement starts to wear off. Don't allow yourself to be your worst enemy. I did for years, it's not good. Like yesterday's blog said: Keep it simple! And remember it's all about making more good choices than bad choices. Understand that changing the way you look at food and exercise is the key to long term weight loss and good health. Learning to eat a portion instead of a “Sean” portion has been a big breakthrough for me. Sticking with an exercise plan despite how physically difficult it was in the beginning was a giant breakthrough too. You'll be shocked at how quickly you can progress along the way if you just put out a consistent positive effort. Writing about how you feel along the way can be a real education for you about you. You don't have to share it with the world wide web, keep it just between you and your family if you prefer, but whatever you decide...Just write, it's been one of the biggest contributors to my success so far.

If you think I'm speaking to soon. Just wait five years, then google me. This is for real.

Funny...I don't know when I bumped up the mental aspects to 80%, 75/25? OK---that's close enough. I still like 80/20. It really is all about coming to honest terms inside our head about our food issues and the importance of our journey. The food and exercise habits are crucial, but the mental aspects---those are what keep us consistent and hopefully educate us on the behaviors that brought us here in the first place. If we're not learning and just losing—it might be like so many times before, just temporary. But when you really dig in and start enjoying the mental changes---greeting them with open arms—instead of resisting them, and you really learn about yourself---that's when you know that this time is different from all the rest. This time is for real, for life.

I jumped on the bike this afternoon and rode until I was satisfied with my effort. I know I said “a six mile ride,” but I don't know for sure if that's what I did. I just needed to move---and I needed to be happy about it---before a busy evening claimed the rest of my Friday. I probably didn't reach six miles, but it was a good workout regardless---and getting back to the apartment in time to grab a little snooze was imperative to my evening plans.

I had a show to attend tonight at the theatre. It was the 18th annual Taste and Tasteless. The show is full of local talent, lampooning national and local events of the past year in a tasteless---and still funny way. I skipped the “taste” portion of the event on purpose. The “taste” is separate from the “tasteless,” and is almost every restaurant in town setting up buffet tables with their best items---available for grazing. I could have navigated it for sure, but honestly---it sounded like a calorie counters nightmare. Imagine a bunch of restaurants set up in one space---all with tables full of food---just begging you to try everything. I opted for a little more control over my calorie budget tonight. The show was incredibly funny---and is always a wonderful fund raiser for the historic Poncan Theatre.

It was a very busy day—a confident day. I did spend 200 calories on cheese and crackers after the show. The crackers were those little “chicken in a biscuit” flavored crackers. Just three of these tasty little things are 45 calories---wow. What a horrible calorie value!!! I have a history with these crackers, I do---I can remember sitting with a big box and eating them all---many times. Oh yes, these little chicken flavored crackers and me, we go way back.

Thank you for reading! Tomorrow's post will include some surprise photos of me wearing four inch leather high heels. Get ready to be stunned! Actually---it's something a bunch of men are doing around here to support the local domestic violence program. Everyone from the mayor, to police and firefighters, and of course radio personalities---will be putting on the high heels and walking “a mile in her shoes.” It's a wonderful campaign to raise awareness and money for this program that does so much for people in our area. Can't wait to post the pics! And---I get to keep the shoes!!! Nice! Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 585 Reader Comments, Nice Weight Training, and Giant Fat Man No More

Day 585

Reader Comments, Nice Weight Training, and Giant Fat Man No More

Yesterday’s bike ride and spinning class really did a number on me. Oh, it’s all-good, and it felt good, but wow—now that was a workout! It was enough of a workout that I re-arranged my workout schedule for today. This morning while enjoying my breakfast, I glanced at my workout plan for the day and noticed: 6-mile bike ride. Uh, no. Not today, maybe tomorrow, not today. I had already decided to move the weight training from yesterday to today and now I’ve moved the bike ride to tomorrow. I can do that.

Blue commented on yesterday’s post:

Errrr - can't help wondering what happened to the 'shave the beard off' thing....not that I was one who advocated it in the first place - but do I detect a change of heart *cough! Blue~

That’s one of the things I failed to talk about yesterday. It’s the very insignificant topic of my facial hair. I was right there in the stylist chair---getting the uni-brow waxed and a haircut, when the question came. “So, we doing it?” Doing what? “I thought you agreed to shave this thing off.” And I said, “sure, let’s do it.” I had a plan---we would shave it off in phases and take pictures along the way. It would be comical, a real blast. But as soon as the razor was in position, I panicked and said “wait!” Maybe I like it after all. I must, I mean---it’s going to grow back if I shave it---what’s the big deal? And that’s when I realized something: This silly goatee gives me an added push of confidence. And I have a speaking engagement on Tuesday---and I don’t need to cut off any confidence boosters before that. I do want to do it---just to see what my slimmer face looks like now without, because all of my clean-shaven pics are from last year---and the last 30 or so pounds have made a difference. Blue---didn’t mean to make you “errr” my friend! ;)

My friend, successful weight loss superhero, and regular reader from India---Pratik, also commented about a trend he’s noticed around here:

Hey fantastic work with the spinning classes and the bike. I got excited(still am) after buying a bike and still ride it to everywhere i go!! its fun and convenient at the same time... but on a more serious note i think you are consuming very few carbs a day ,because i know how u love eggs n chicken and avoid bread. its just that we need at least 40% carbs in our daily diet to get the energy to do the workouts and all...pls do check with your fitness trainer abt this...

Thank you Pratik! I do eat a bunch of fruit everyday, but you’re certainly right, sometimes I do get protein heavy. It might serve me well to start tracking again---just for the analysis it provides. Of course, I always keep a running total of calories in my head throughout the day---but as we’re into the final stretch to goal, it’s a little more challenging---so tracking again might provide some helpful statistics. I just don’t like taking the time to log in and input everything into Fitday like I once did for the dietitian. But I just might need to again at this point. Thank you again for the observation!

My workout at the YMCA was short and effective. I was there tonight for weight training---and it was very nice. I pushed the limits, really finding out what I could do for eight to ten reps max per set. The weights really surprised me. I’m a little stronger than I once thought. The machine that works my abs---I almost use the entire rack of weights. My hidden six-pack and side muscles (whatever they’re called), use 150 pounds of resistance for a good workout. I knew they were under there! It gives me hope! A good weight training session to me means that my heart rate increases dramatically and I get hot…my blood is pumping and it feels good. I was extremely satisfied with this 35-minute session. Yep, that’s all it takes.

I prepared an amazing chicken dish for dinner. I know!!!! I need a little more variety, huh? Anyway---I grilled and then baked the chicken—topped with tomato sauce, cheese, mushrooms, green bell peppers, and two big tomato slices. It may have been chicken again---but prepared like this, it was different from anything I’ve had recently. It was like a pizza, with the chicken substituting for the crust. I really should have taken a moment for a picture. I will fix it again soon and do that!

In the archives from exactly a year ago---I found this story about how others see us---and the self-image we see and feel. From April 22nd 2009:

One of the most wonderful realizations recently was something that my daughter Courtney pointed out. Remember me sharing that after observing me walk in and out of a store, Courtney concluded that I was no longer a morbidly obese man, I was simply an overweight guy. Oh sure, technically I'm still a morbidly obese man, but it was a very accurate observation. It was a wonderful compliment and a fantastic thing to hear. I know exactly what she meant. I'm no longer the sideshow walking 500-pound freak of a fat guy. I no longer feel embarrassed to be seen out in public. If my shoe is untied, I tie it. If I'm in a hurry, I just might pick up my step to a light jog, I can now, you know? The days of waddling around like a stuffed penguin are over forever. The confidence that I carry now is solid. It's real confidence, not a facade covering an embarrassed, heavy breathing, exhausted obese man.

Little kids don't stare at me as much as I think they did before. I'll never forget the day several years ago when a little three or four year old called me a “giant fat man.” He was just being a kid and honestly observing the people around him, out loud. His dad was apologetic and told him that what he said wasn't nice and that he should apologize to me. I didn't think the kid owed me any apology, after all, he was just being a kid and being completely honest and really vocal. I stood there for a good thirty seconds as the dad tried to convince his little man to apologize. It was really uncomfortable. I'm all about teaching kids manners, but come on, he's three! Three year olds say some really honest stuff. That kid wasn't saying it to hurt my feelings, he didn't yet have the capacity to think that way. He was just innocently observing the people around him. Finally I smiled and said, “he's very cute, it's OK, really.” And I waddled away. I honestly wanted to cry right there in the snack isle. All I kept thinking about the rest of my shopping trip was, if this three year old sees me as a “giant fat man,” then everyone else does too, they just don't say it. I've never been comfortable with playing the role of the “giant fat man.” I've never pretended to like it either.

I know that some people project a sense of pride about their obesity, I don't understand that at all. Is being fat and proud or big and beautiful real? Or just a cover up to keep from crying in front of others? I've never been proud of my size, the only reason I've ever worn Big Daddy brand clothing is because it was given to me. I've never actually purchased a Big Daddy product. I'm not, nor have I ever been proud to be the “Giant Fat Man.” I am proud that Courtney's observation opened up my mind long enough to realize that I've lost enough weight to never be considered the “Giant Fat Man” ever again. The three year old reminded me how big I was at over 500 pounds, and now Courtney has reminded me how far I've come at 359 pounds, and that's very, very cool.

And the progress continues now at 258! Thank you for reading my friend. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,
Sean

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 584 Riding A Bike To A Spinning Class and It's OK To Love Food, Really!

Day 584

Riding A Bike To A Spinning Class and It’s OK To Love Food, Really!

I don’t know what possessed me in choosing to ride my bike to the stylist and then onto the YMCA for spinning class today. It was an amazing workout for sure, but I think on spinning class days, I’ll drive. I let loose a little more today than yesterday, because when sidewalk construction forced me to use the southbound lane through a very busy intersection---I just stood and peddled frantically---like a pro. I didn’t have time to worry about who was seeing me---and even if they did see me, I was in complete control of that bike—I had to have looked like I belonged right there in the middle of 5th and Hartford.

I can’t thank Linda and Lindell Senseman enough---what a fantastic gift! Thank you two again. I’m really enjoying it immensely. I’ll be looking for another seat---a bigger, more cushiony seat. My rear isn’t as padded as it once was---and my behind was a little sore from the travels. It’s about 2.5 miles to the YMCA---so 5 miles riding---and then a 45 minute spin class with Maribeth instructing…oh my---I was done! I moved my weight training from today until tomorrow---I was just too consumed with the riding today. It felt just incredible though---it really did.

When I arrived at the Y, I had the front desk crew draw me a number. They don’t look…they just reach in and pick a number. Whatever number they draw---that’s your bike for the class. No cherry picking here. Somehow, I’ve lucked out the last four times. Bikes 12 through 15 are on the back row, where I like to be---and 12 is my favorite, in the back corner. Today I drew 13. That works! Eventually my luck will run out and I’ll have to convince myself that the person behind me doesn’t care whether or not my shirt rides up in the back while we’re hovering. I made my way into the Program Director, Stephanie Williams office and told her of my crazy bike ride to spinning class. She told me that they had a truck and after class---she could arrange someone to give me and the bike a ride home. I thanked her, but declined. I would have been very disappointed in myself had I done that. And once I said that, Stephanie withdrew the offer. But wait!! “No---no deal…good luck---and it’s mostly up hill on your way back.” I should have thought this through better.

I did make it home---and I wouldn’t trade that feeling of accomplishment for anything. I did it---I was sweating, my heart rate was up, my legs were all noodelly---I was beat, and my rear end felt like I still had a bike seat there---But it was OK---and that shower afterward was one of the longest and most enjoyable I’ve had in some time.

Earlier in the day---I prepared a strange little lunch. I had chicken and eggs. It just doesn’t seem right does it? I grilled a breast and cooked two whole eggs, over medium. I put the eggs in the middle of the plate surrounded by the sliced chicken breast chunks. It was delicious, very different indeed.

Yesterday, I meant to share what I found from 04/20 2009, but I forgot. I enjoyed finding this excerpt from one year ago, yesterday…

This journey has been such a mission of self-discovery. I really thought I knew myself before, but I didn't know myself at all. Well, maybe deep down I did, but I was so busy rationalizing bad behaviors and making excuses, that I didn't have time to think about the truth. The truth was very plain: I'm was an out of control food addict and extremely lazy. It's not the best combination for optimal health. And it was something that I wouldn't ever admit back then. If someone asked me to describe myself before this journey, I would have never said “I have a good sense of humor, I'm a proud husband and father, and oh yeah, I'm a food addict and avoid exercise every chance I get.” That kind of honesty is extremely rare. I believed every load of lies I told myself. I think I even talked my brain into believing that I was somehow blessed with such healthy genetics that my body could comfortably handle 500 pounds without too many complications. My healthy sugar levels and great cholesterol levels were all the proof I needed to believe that whopper for a really long time. If I would have allowed myself to continue believing that I had all the time in the world to correct my behaviors and lifestyle, it eventually would have caught up with me, and it would have been a tragic lesson for anyone paying attention. Making an unbreakable promise to myself to do this and break through any and all of my old excuses has been more than a blessing. You know how people say “everything happens for a reason” and “it's all a part of his master plan,” It's thoughts like that which make me believe I was over 500 pounds and struggled with my weight for a reason. Perhaps so I could overcome it now and then share the story of the journey out of the prison of obesity with people who are facing the same confinement.

Today I went back in time to the next day. It was April 21st, 2009:

The number one advice I can give someone is: Keep it simple. If you read everything that comes your way about how to lose weight and which way works best, you're going to read some things that conflict. Keep it simple. Count your calories and get your exercise. Keep a food log if you want, I don't anymore, but you can. Keep it simple. Don't try to make it difficult by worrying about every single bite you put in your mouth. How many carbs did it have? How many fat grams? Who cares. How many calories? That's the question I ask. Simple. Never deprive yourself of your favorite foods. Make them work in regular portions. If you like chocolate, by golly eat chocolate! I do! Not all the time mind you, and when I do it's in controlled portions, but I do! You can make losing weight extremely difficult and confusing. You can make it completely restrictive and absolutely zero fun, and if you do, I'll bet you will not reach your goal. Ultimately the goal is to be able to exist in everyday life and handle food in a responsible way. To learn how, we have to practice on real food in everyday life situations. It's OK to love food. That's right, it's OK to love food. My favorite channel is the Food Network. I love food. But I'm in control now. Food doesn't control me anymore. I'm the one who makes the good choices, I'm the one that treats food responsibly, I'm the one. But I still love food. Remember what I've said many times: Food is not the enemy here. We're our own worst enemy. Food is our friend. When we make a relationship with food a better one, a responsible one, a sensible one, and by sensible I mean a couple of cookies, not the whole bag, I mean a couple of slices of that pizza, not the whole thing, I mean a real honest serving of ice cream, not a whole half gallon, when we do this and realize that all of the foods we obsessed over in the past can still be a part of our thinner lives, then we've made a breakthrough. Our health will be better or worse because of the decisions we make with food and exercise. Make those decisions simple ones and save yourself a lot of confusion and trouble.

I enjoy my trips back in time everyday. It's always wonderful to have a gentle reminder of what has brought me this far. And sometimes, it provides a revealing look into my strengths and weaknesses, and sometimes it just entertains me. I never know what I'll find back in those archives. It's a surprise everyday. Of course it all floods back the second I lay eyes on the page.

I’m going to adjust my workout plans a little. I’m moving today’s weight training to tomorrow and tomorrow’s 6-mile bike ride to Friday. I think that’s a smart schedule change.

I made a grocery trip tonight. Mushrooms, bananas, oranges, pears, tomatoes, light bulbs and trash bags. I almost bought some 96/4 premium ground beef with only 140 calories in a 4 ounce serving. 96% lean would probably need some olive oil spray on the grill to prevent sticking—I think I’ll get some soon. I tend to eat a lot of chicken, eggs, and fruit. You know what I could do? I think I will---make a low calorie meatloaf with that 96/4 ground beef. I thought 93/7 was the leanest cut---I have to try this stuff. I knew I would, I should have just bought it last night!!

I asked my spin instructor to snap some pictures of me on the spin bike after class. She did, and I explained the pictures were for this blog. When I told her what the 505 tattoo stood for, she was amazed. That simple number has been a conversation starter a couple of times now. If I’d put it on my chest, nobody but me would ever see it. The arm was a good choice.

Thank you for reading! Goodnight and…

Good Choices,
Sean

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Which came first? Something wrong about this lunch…

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Spinning Bike, or cycle—if you prefer.

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Standing atop the pedals. I didn’t find anyone to take pics of me riding my bike—Courtney was working tonight---but we’ll get them soon.

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Eye Of The Tiger Baby! Why so serious? That’s not really a serious look, it’s me thinking…oh man---I’m tired, and now I have to ride my bike all the way back across town to get home.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day 583 Exceeding Goals and Trying To Out-Peddle Insecurities

Day 583

Exceeding Goals and Trying To Out-Peddle Insecurities

I started this morning slightly before 4am by making the coffee and cooking some steel cut oats. I like the steel cut oats and I believe in the power of this wonderful food, but as you can tell around here, I prefer omelets loaded with mushrooms and cheese. The steel cut oats are clearly the better choice from a health standpoint, and I do feel great when I choose the oats over the eggs, but I don’t eat them everyday. I could however eat a veggie omelet everyday, no problem. I mixed a teaspoon of brown sugar and cinnamon into the oatmeal and topped it with a sliced banana. It was filling, was great with my coffee, and gave me a confident boost in my morning.

In the floor this morning, doing my non-weighted strength training---and attempting sit-ups, I had to stop when I pulled something in my side. It wasn’t anything major—nothing permanently disabling---just a cramp. I recognized it very well. It’s the same cramp I remember getting when I would attempt to fasten my seatbelt at over 500 pounds. I wasn’t able to fasten my seatbelt back then, but I can not only do it now—and I do every time I’m behind the wheel, I can do sit-ups too! I thought my six or seven bananas a week would keep me from getting a cramp…hmmmm.

I hardly ever get sick, but my sinus and chest congestion has reached the point of being infected, I’m pretty sure. I finished my morning show with a sinus headache and quickly decided that I needed a long lunch to recover. I’m such a wimp. After a couple of hours, I decided that I better make an urgent request for a sick day pass, take some more ibuprofen, and lay back down. I really should have made the trip to the doctor’s office. I didn’t---and I actually started to feel better later in the afternoon, and that was good. I had a fun workout planned---and at the risk of hearing about this from my employer, I decided to workout despite my less than healthy feeling. OK—Maybe that sick day turns into a half a vacation day.

My stated workout goals for today were pretty simple---Non-weighted strength training and a 5K walk/jog. I decided to take it a step further by riding my bike to the trail, doing the 5K, and riding back. It’s about a mile and a half to the trail from my apartment, so this plan added a 3-mile bike ride to the list.

I didn’t realize how self-conscious I would be on the bike. I climbed on and immediately started looking around for people that might be gawking at the fat guy on a bike. But---I no longer look like a morbidly obese person…I’m still a big guy, no doubt, but I shouldn’t look that out of place on the bike. At least not anywhere close to what my brain was telling me. And it wasn’t just that hang-up. Since I haven’t been on a bike ride since I was a pre-teen---I somehow felt like a little kid again. I know that’s crazy, adults ride all the time---my brain---geez, it’s a complicated mess sometimes.

I ignored my craziness and relaxed enough to enjoy the ride. It was an amazing feeling that I once thought would forever be a thing of the past. But there I was---peddling, even standing up to peddle a hill---that was me! I was lost in my enjoyment of riding a bike, when I was jolted back into my routine insecurities by a passing horn. Was it someone that knows me? Are they laughing? Pointing? I caught a glimpse of the horn honker long enough to determine that I wasn’t the target of their honking, no---I was just a normal active guy, riding a bike to the park. Nothing strange happening here, nothing to see! Move along now! I swear, I’m nuts sometimes. It would do me so much good to drop these stupid insecurities and just not care what people think of me. Oh, how that’s easier said than done. Just look at the mental abuse I’ve done to myself by being over 500 pounds for so long. I was physically and mentally abusing myself all those years. I’m betting that time and better fitness will heal my psychological wounds, if not---professional therapy could be in order.

I arrived at the trail, parked my bike---without locking it up---reminder to self: Buy a lock! I hit the trail for a 5K walk/jog, and really---It was mostly a brisk walk. I spent the entire time thinking about my bike ride and occasionally catching a glimpse of my waiting bicycle. I kept thinking about what I would do if someone hopped on it and started riding off. What could I do? I’d feel so bad. OK—I’ll be getting a lock. I usually try to jog a little more. Maybe I was afraid to over do it---knowing that I had no choice but to peddle back to the apartment. Considering that I was battling this horrible congestion and really didn’t feel like doing anything---I was proud of myself. My bicycle memories might be nearly 30 years old, but it all came back to me tonight. That freedom, the movement, the feel---it was like I had just peddled down to the Humpty Dumpty Grocery store in Stillwater with a single quarter in my pocket, ready to play that new video game sensation, Space Invaders!

I never have too much trouble making decent food choices, but when I have a good exercise day like today---I always do better. I came home and grilled up a chicken breast---grabbed some green beans---and later, when I realized I was 450 calories shy of my daily allotment, I stepped out for a six inch black forest ham from Subway. I just ordered the six-inch, even though for a dollar-fifty more, I could have had the whole thing---but my calorie budget couldn’t handle the whole thing. And a sandwich loaded with veggies---just loses something in the fridge overnight---oh yeah---it loses freshness---the crunch of the veggies---I gotta have that fresh crunch to really enjoy the veggies.

I think I’ll ride my bike to the hair stylist tomorrow and then to the YMCA for spinning class…we’ll see how the schedule goes. Thank you for reading! Goodnight and…

Good Choices,
Sean

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A good breakfast: Steel cut oats with brown sugar and cinnamon, topped with banana.

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My bike! No pictures riding just yet. I’ll find someone to snap some tomorrow. It’ll be good; I hope…yeah---yeah---It’ll be fine!

Oh--by the way---this is my 600th post to this blog! That's wild!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day 582 Challenging A Lifetime of Weight Loss Study and A Little Test Ride

Day 582

Challenging A Lifetime of Weight Loss Study and A Little Test Ride

Mom decided against being a guest on my show this morning. She sounds so good on the air, but really---she's very shy, and I understand. I'll have her on another time, you know Mothers Day is coming up soon---hint-hint...mom, you reading? It was probably best this morning, I had a very busy Monday and mom needed to rest.

Mom really enjoys dining out, and we have---but today for lunch, I planned on cooking at home. I had a little extra time for lunch, so I hurried home and prepared a wonderful whole wheat spaghetti marinara with mushrooms and ripe olives and I topped it with slices of grilled chicken breast. I threw some 150 calorie slices of garlic toast in the oven to compliment our dish---and lunch was served. With the bread and everything, it was a 500 calorie lunch. A little heavier lunch than I usually enjoy, but this was a special mom and me lunch.

Mom decided to accompany me back to the studio for my afternoon production work. She sat in the conference room and read her magazine and my “Food Rules” book while I worked late.
Every now and then, mom seems so unsure about what she's doing and how she's doing it. It's like she has a hard time believing it can be so simple. But it can be. It doesn't have to be complicated. You see, mom has read many books on the subject of weight loss---filling her brain with different plans, philosophies, and science. Her son coming along and saying---”Mom---let's simplify this---just stick to that calorie budget, eat what you like, and exercise. Your choices will naturally improve, your endurance will steadily increase, and the weight will drop. Focus more on the mental gymnastics that'll keep you consistent---and learn about yourself along the way.” I was challenging a lifetime of weight loss study. The difference? I have tremendous success on my side. It's a nice visual aid to accompany my philosophy. She's making tremendous strides along this road. She's embracing this and the weight is dropping. She's down sixty pounds from her heaviest, and I'm so proud of her. It just gets better mom---keep up the amazing progress! I love you!

While I visited the YMCA this afternoon for spinning and weight training, mom decided on walking Wal-Mart. Our Wal-Mart is a big Super Center—and mom was there for a couple of hours while I worked out...she was getting her workout too.

The 5:30 spinning class was directed by a different instructor this time. I've experienced Frank and MariBeth---but today it was Mary Beth, the other Mary Beth...anyway. This change kind of made me nervous. I know the class can be more or less challenging depending on the instructor---and I didn't know what to expect here. But I was fine---and Mary Beth was good. I pushed harder today than I have in the previous three spinning classes. It wasn't that the routine was harder---I just pushed harder—getting my rpm's up to 130 on the sprints and trying to stay at or at least near 100 rpm's most of the time. When the gears get higher, it's very tough---and when we stand or when we hover, my rpm's drop dramatically. Mary Beth made it very clear---the very thing that a regular reader and spinning instructor was saying the other day in a comment---I'm only to use my arms for balance, not leaning. It was an amazing 45 minute workout.

I rested for a few minutes and then hit the weight machines for a nice upper body workout. I'm really starting to enjoy the consistency in my weight training. And it may be pre-mature, but I think I can actually see and feel a difference physically, or maybe it's my imagination...but there's no mistaking the difference mentally. I'm pumped.

I picked mom up from Wal-Mart and she had bought me a wall clock. I have several clocks throughout the apartment...on the microwave, coffee maker, computer, my phone, alarm clock---but no wall clock. And mom was tired of asking me what time it was! Very nice momma! Thank you. We hurried back to the apartment, my bike was being delivered by Lindel---and I didn't want to miss him.

I hopped on the bike this evening and rode around the parking lot just a little. This wouldn't be the big bike ride that's coming this week---the one I'm looking forward to doing---but it was a little test ride. Yes, I remembered how to do it! I didn't crash, yay! I just rode around the parking lot for a few minutes, but I could seriously tell---this bike riding stuff is going to become very important to me. How exciting is that? Me? On a bike? For real? Yes, for real. Let the fun begin!

Before I took mom back home to Stillwater this evening, we stopped at a local nursing home and visited our Aunt Maxine. I need to visit her more often. She's so sweet---and our visit put a big smile on her face. She told me that if I hadn't been with mom, she wouldn't have known it was me. It's been a while. We visited for a good half-hour before hitting the road South.

In my daily travels to the year prior, I found this from April 19th, 2009:

Our food selection and food priorities were very different. First of all, before any hotel stay in the past, we always had to go to a store to stock up on “goodies” for the room. It was a completely normal thing to spend twenty bucks on junk to keep in the room. Our selections always included chips, dip, Nutty Bars, bagels, cream cheese, and of course plenty of sugary soft drinks. We didn't do that at all, didn't even desire to do that. We had bottled water, some flavoring packets, sugar free gum, and the complimentary coffee. There wasn't a need for a “fourth meal” at 1am like so many hotel stays before. We didn't order pizza to the room either, or run to a fast food place late. At dinner last night, we both watched our portions and left the restaurant feeling satisfied instead of stuffed. Out of habit we actually packed some Zantac antacid pills, but neither one of us needed them and they remained unopened. It's amazing how we always viewed our old habits and behaviors as normal, when they were anything but normal. The trade off of a much healthier existence and transformed body feels much better than any in room snack buffet. We took advantage of the complimentary breakfast this morning and again our selections were vastly different. We enjoyed fresh fruit, some cereal, and a cup of coffee. I grabbed an apple to have later and we were good to go!

Fitting in a booth that at 505 pounds would have been impossible was a tremendous feeling. I never thought I would say this, but I love booths! We always had to select restaurants based on seating arrangement, but not anymore, not at all. I don't think there's a booth out there that I couldn't fit in now. Not having that often times embarrassing problem is an amazing freedom.

I'm looking forward to getting below 350 and in not long breaking into the 200's. That will be very strange and wonderful! My mom recently recalled the day she realized that I was 300 pounds. I was just 16 years old and my weight was scaring her to death. She told me that day that I just couldn't get any bigger. I did get much bigger. But the gain was slow and steady, the kind that sneaks up on you and then slaps you in the face with a shocking number when you finally check. I'll never forget the first time I weighed in at over 500 pounds, it sent me into panic mode. Not enough to focus on any real changes, just enough to stress me out, and of course that always would lead straight to more food. It was certainly a vicious cycle all those years.

OK, back to present day:

No nap today---and I survived...hmmm, what does this tell me? I do like my naps, I don't think a well planned nap is a bad thing, I just have to get better at limiting my naps in length. Too much nap can completely throw off the schedule---but just a little nap, can energize for a good evening. Without my usual nap, I was toast when I pulled back into Ponca City after 10pm. I was up a little while before crashing hard with the alarm set for 4am. Tuesday is waiting, I better run!

Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 581 Nice Weekend and Big Things Straight Ahead!

Day 581

Nice Weekend and Big Things Straight Ahead!

Mom and I had a great Saturday night. It was so enjoyable being on stage and seeing her right there in the second row with a big smile on her face. She was seriously enjoying herself, and she needed that.

While we were grocery shopping the other night, mom asked if we could get some "bars." I said "You mean meal replacement bars?" and she smiled, "well, they're convenient." "I'll cook for you mom, we don't need bars." I understand the convenience of these bars, but I can whip up a low calorie omelet with veggies and cheese in less than seven minutes, and that's pretty convenient for me. This morning I prepared mom a wonderful omelet with grilled green pepper, mushrooms, onions, a slice of American cheese, and topped with salsa. The entire omelet checked in at 200 calories. I used one whole egg and three egg whites---and mom loved it! It's a much more satisfying breakfast--and less calories than a meal replacement bar!

Mom and I have spent a bunch of time enjoying each others company and not enough time exercising. That's not necessarily bad, but seriously--we flat out took the day off today. No excuses here. With that said, here's the workout plan for this week:

Monday: Non-weighted strength training---spinning class---weight training at YMCA
Tuesday: Non-weighted strength training---5K walk/jog
Wednesday: Non-weighted strength training---spinning class----weight training at YMCA
Thursday: Non-weighted strength training--- 6 mile Bike ride
Friday: Non-weighted strength training---weight training at YMCA
Saturday: Non-weighted strength training---mixed 10K--5k walk/jog---5K bike ride

Notice the bike riding on there? Yes---Some good friends of mine found and restored a bike for me. What a wonderful gift, thank you again Linda and Lindel! I made my way over to their place today and checked it out. I'll be taking it home tomorrow afternoon, and I'm super excited to be on two wheels for the first time since my pre-teen years. It's going to be an amazing feeling to ride a bike outside. It's just something that's been out of the question for so long, it's very cool to be able once again.

It rained all weekend here, so no tennis, but I'm hoping to play some this week. I have a tennis partner lined up and ready to go in my friend Whit. And I really want to get down to Stillwater for some swimming. I'll get it done, no problem.

In the archives from exactly a year ago, I found this:

Had to make a trip to the store this morning to grab a few things for Amber and Courtney while we're gone. I wasn't in the store very long when one of the associates asked how much weight I'd lost. I told the nice lady 146 pounds and just then two people let out loud gasp and even louder “wow,” it was a little scene for sure. The first lady then asked and answered her own question. “So how are you doing it?” “Not eating I'm sure.” I quickly corrected her and listed every kind of food I could think of off the top of my head that I've enjoyed along this journey. Sometimes that confuses people even more. I've noticed a puzzled look on people's faces many times after I explain to them my “eat whatever I want” approach. I simply told her that I eat normal food and normal portions. I limit my daily calorie intake to 1,500, drink plenty of water and water based drinks, and I exercise regularly. I don't do pills, or special plans, or anything that cost money whatsoever. I was really proud of myself for the way I handled the situation. Sometimes when somebody is amazed at my progress but confused on how in the world I'm doing it, I will talk for a good five minutes trying to make them understand the simplicity of it all. But not today, I told her what I was doing, how I was doing it, and touched briefly on the mental aspects, all in under two minutes. I think it might have been a record. I can't help it sometimes. When you're as passionate about something as I am about this journey, you just can't help but tell anyone who'll listen.

This hasn't been one of the best weekends for exercise, but it has been a great weekend. We planned a meal over at Irene's place tonight, but Irene had to cancel--she was busy taking care of her sister and didn't get done until real late, and we completely understood. We'll do it some other time!

Thank you for reading. Some big things are on the horizon...a milestone weigh day isn't far away---the crossing point is within reach--the point where I'll have lost more weight than I currently weigh--I'll be half the size I once was. Also, the kick-off for the "Lose To Win -2010" program with Ponca City Medical Center is the 27th. They've asked me to once again speak at the kick-off and I'm honored and excited about the program. The title of my talk will be "Choosing Change Before Change Chooses You." Can't wait! Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

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Mom's omelet this morning. 200 calories of good food!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day 580 Mommas Worries Are Different and Hosting The Opry

Day 580

Mommas Worries Are Different and Hosting The Opry

Mom and I started our Saturday with some fruit and coffee. Just enough to hold us over until we met with Courtney for lunch at a nearby restaurant. It's been very nice having mom around, and we thoroughly enjoy each others company. She was so worried about my weight for so many years---it literally kept her up at night. I can remember numerous times of answering the phone at 2am and finding a very emotional mom on the other end asking when I would do something about my weight, pleading with me really, to get serious. Momma knew I couldn't live very long at over 500 pounds, and after losing my younger brother Shane at the age of 24 back in 2001, the thought of losing me too was too much to ever allow her a restful nights sleep. Mom sleeps much better these days. She still worries about me, that will never end, but it's about my emotional well being and not my morbid obesity. At some point along this road, the tables of worry shifted. She stopped worrying about my weight and all of a sudden, I was the one worried about her weight, and to see her finally breaking through with a solid understanding of what it takes to really lose it, well...it's total joy.

We enjoyed lunch with Courtney at JW Cobb's. I've written about this place many times, it's easily our favorite restaurant in town. It's a local country cooking kind of place, where it would be real easy to make horrible choices, but it's also easy to make good choices here. We've enjoyed this place for years, and the entire staff remembers 505 pound Sean very well. They remember all of the rolls and butter I would eat, and the extra cream gravy I would request atop that giant chicken fried steak, and the giant helping of potatoes and gravy---all washed down with large glass of Pepsi. Yep, they remember it well. I guess that's why I love going here so much, because it really proves my point about choices and self-responsibility. We didn't stop enjoying this place just because our choices were changing. And as time progressed and the weight came off, their “wow” reactions became better and better. It took them awhile to adjust to the differences in my choices. I always order water with extra lemons, I always request the gravy on the side, I always order from the Senior menu (yes—they allow it for non-seniors who want smaller portions---I think they should change the name from “Senior” to “portion control choices.”) and it's most usually a balanced meal. When they bring out those fresh made rolls, I sometimes completely leave them untouched and sometimes I might enjoy a half, but then again---bread has never been my big weakness. It's choices. And I navigate those choices well---and I love showing my family and friends how to do it too.

After lunch---we had to get to the Poncan theatre for rehearsals of the Poncan Opry. I was set to be the host MC tonight---and we were expecting a big audience. There isn't much I can do here, but simply pick up the set list and bios of the guest stars---I did, and we headed back home for study. I don't know why, but I always get a case of nerves before a big show. Maybe it was because Mom was going to be in the audience tonight or maybe it's just normal. Or maybe---it's because I'm not the same guy that performed a couple of hundred times a year at over 500 pounds. I only take the stage, maybe ten times a year now...and I'm no longer 500 pounds---so the biggest source for my material is gone. I have other material and thoughts that can easily be turned into “fat-free” material, but it's not as easy as it once was. And when you're sometimes introduced as a “former regular at The Hollywood Improv,” well---the expectations from the audience becomes high---and I don't have my familiar crutch anymore. Make sense? I can still hold my own on stage---but as my confidence in my appearance grew, it started lagging in the performing department. It's strange psychological stuff, huh?

Speaking of strange psychological stuff...I found this comment from anonymous on yesterday's post:

Whoa. That is soooo trippy. Damn you are one handsome guy. I know you maintain very healthy boundaries (vis a vis private & puplic life), but it would be great sometime if you wrote about the changes in your encounters with women. No, I'm really not asking about deeply personal or sexual stuff! But I do think you are a great role model for many men and it might be helpful to launch a bit of a dialog about what it is like to be treated as a sex object. I'm guessing that didn't happen very much when you were heavier (not that you weren't handsome then, too). Women discuss this particular angle in their blogs sometimes. Haven't seen men talk about it as much. It must be kind of unsettling (albeit nice) to have women coming on to you nowadays. Thanks for anything you feel like sharing. Will understand if you just *don't want to go there*. Take care!

Ok—Uh---seriously? I about spit my water when I read this comment. I certainly don't see myself as anything close to being a “sex object,” wow. But seriously---you're right, it never happened---the added attention, the extra smiles, the flirtations---never ever happened before now---and they didn't need to happen for me back then. Irene always found me attractive at every weight along the way---and that's all that mattered. I didn't necessarily believe her when she would say it, but I believe it to be true---that's love my friend. It never mattered what I looked like to Irene. She came along when I was 15 and already morbidly obese. I felt like the fattest, ugliest, most unattractive boy in school---and she looked past that and into my teenage heart. The weight didn't matter to her, until it started to worry her for my health. But it was never an appearance issue with her. And that's very special.

Things are drastically different now. A pending divorce coupled with this added attention that occasionally comes my way---it can be too much, especially when my brain hasn't fully accepted my appearance. It's definitely a topic for future discussion, that many men who lose a dramatic amount of weight could relate to, and when that time comes, I'll do it in a very tasteful and appropriate way---but I believe it to be way too soon to discuss, considering the current circumstances. Oh, and thank you for the compliment Miss Anonymous!

The show tonight was fun and well attended---the theatre was packed and the audience was lively. I had a chance to introduce mom to the crowd midway through the second half---and I think she was a little uncomfortable by that---and I understand, but everyone loves momma! It's all good!

I can't get through an event like this without someone coming up before or after the show and treating me to the coolest “wow” reaction. It happened again tonight. I was approached by a lady who told me that she hardly recognized me. She didn't really at all. She kept watching, trying to convince herself it was me on that stage---she just couldn't believe it at all. And then she asked, “you don't remember me do you?” And no, I honestly didn't. “I'm Tawnda, from Perry, I cut your hair all the time---I was your barber!” TAWNDA!! Yes---oh my, forgive me! Tawnda took care of my hair some fifteen years ago---and she was so good to me. It's been more than a decade since we've seen each other---and to say she was shocked at my changes is an understatement! It was complete disbelief---and it felt so wonderful to experience. Thank you Tawnda!

Mom and I didn't necessarily manage our time effectively today. After the show we headed home for a quick bite to eat---then we headed to the trail for my 5K. It was cool and rainy, so mom decided to stay in the vehicle and hit the trail with me tomorrow. I made my way out onto the trail and gave it a good jog, then slowed to a brisk walk, then jogged some more---and I don't know what it was that made me decide to cut my 5K short—but I did. I knew I'd have to report it here, but I did it anyway. Let's see what we have in our bag of excuses tonight: It was late, cold, rainy, and mom was waiting in the vehicle. Who's fault is it? Mine. This late night exercise session should have happened at 4pm, before the show. It might have been wet---but I guarantee it would have been complete. Not happy about that performance.

Linda and Lindel contacted me today to tell me that they had a bike and it was all mine. Lindel fixed it up and they wanted to give it to me. What a generous gift! Thank you! I'll be picking it up tomorrow. Linda warned me that it may or may not be what I was looking for, but hey---it's a bike---and a wonderful gift from friends, and I will peddle that thing with pure enthusiasm! And if I get another style bike someday, then I'll pay it forward by finding someone in need---and re-gifting it to them. I'll be picking it up tomorrow! I already said that didn't I? I'm just thrilled, very thrilled! Thank you Linda and Lindel!

Thank you for reading. Below you'll find pictures from tonight's Poncan Opry. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

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Photo Credit: Darryl Cox

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Photo Credit: Rick Logan This was a comedy bit with “Erleene Jo,” aka—Kelcy Fowler-Moore

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Photo Credit: Rick Logan With Dale Eisenhauer of the Poncan Opry All-Star Band

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Photo Credit: Darryl Cox After show with Lions Club members, the Fowler Women, and Dave May the director of the theatre and the guy who took over my KLOR show when I left for KPNC last year.

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Mom and me on stage after show. I really need to wear smaller clothes. This jacket and even my jeans are bigger than they need to be now. But tackling deep seeded appearance hang-ups isn't something I want to do in front of a packed theatre. Maybe I should do it that way...but anyway, I was comfortable tonight.





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