If This Is All We Have To Worry About and Flying By The Seat of My Pants
Yesterday, while washing my hands in the mens room, I took a long gaze at myself. I was focusing on the differences in my face. It is strange, if you allow it to be, this looking into the mirror at an image completely different than you've come to know over the years. It's the same guy behind those eyes, the same heart in that chest, the same feelings and understanding of all I've been through. But who is this guy? Does he have facial hair? He does now, but he never allowed it before, why? Maybe it takes a certain confidence to sport a goatee, I don't know. I just never thought it looked good on the 500 pound version of me. But I do like it now. And I don't. It was just a test. I just grew it out last year to see what it would look like on a thinner version of myself, and my wife just loved it! And the compliments came from others too. But the most important ones from Irene and my girls, and me...said to keep it. So I did. But I'm still not completely convinced it's me. And well, to put it mildly, things change.
I feel so wonderfully blessed to have nothing more important to stress about. After years of raging high blood pressure, leg swelling with skin breakage, horrible sleep apnea, and all of the limitations of morbid obesity...it's come down to something this insignificant. To shave or not to shave this facial hair. I decided to put it up for a vote among my facebook friends---and so far, the numbers are overwhelmingly in favor of shaving it away! Even people that I just knew would say keep it, didn't. So maybe I need to return to the clean shaved Sean. Ultimately, it doesn't matter one bit. These are officially the least important paragraphs in blogland today, and that's OK. It's ok to have fun every now and then, and thank you for putting up with this self-indulgent query...So what do you think? Shave or not?
This morning was so much better than yesterday! I was up in plenty of time to do my morning non-weighted strength training exercises, write, shower, and have breakfast. I chose to only have a banana early---and the scrambled eggs and some yogurt at work. I grabbed a big apple and another banana for mid-morning and afternoon snacks, and I was set. A solid foundation was built for another successful day. As much as I seem to fly by the seat of my pants along this road, if you really look close...you'll see patterns and habits that have become fundamentals of my success.
When I say “fly by the seat of my pants,” I mean---I've kept this approach as simple as possible. I haven't over-analyzed the basics. I just hold tight to my “Calorie Bank and Trust” account and do what I do in the exercise department. I don't worry about all the numbers and the breakdowns and deficits and what I need to do to lose this much, or weighing all the time---I just don't stress about that stuff. Why? Because with consistent positive effort, we're going to get to where we're headed without creating things to worry about. We're going to continue the effort and consistency that brought us this far with minimal self-sabotaging thoughts or obsessions. That's just me and my opinion about what works for me. Everyone has different needs and desires. For me, a less is more approach has worked wonderfully.
I do stress about and over-analyze the mental aspects of this journey, and that's a part of the above approach. I do this, because I long for a better understanding of where I've been and why I was there so long, and most importantly---How I can escape and never return. I feel like I've escaped at this point, I do. But I'm far from done. Oh no...physically and mentally, I still have growing and understanding, there are still epiphanies waiting to happen. And they will.
A year ago today, I was writing about the first month results of the “Lose To Win 2009” program. The participants had lost, collectively---over three thousand pounds! Still, with all that success, some struggled horribly. I found this from April 7th, 2009:
I do want to say something to someone, anyone who might be struggling. Perhaps when you stepped on the scale it showed a weight gain. But you were there, and that shows you haven't given up. Don't ever give up. If you're eating smaller portions and working out, staying away from empty calories, and drinking plenty of water, and you still gained weight, I would consult with your doctor. I'm not qualified in any way to offer advice or consultation on the topic of unexplained weight gain. From experience I do know that we can retain a bunch of water weight at times. I know that thyroid conditions can hamper weight loss, as can certain medications. All I can say is, hang in there, don't give up, and consult your doctor. If on the other hand, you know you haven't done everything you could have so far, then whatever you do from this point forward, don't beat yourself up! Put it behind you and move forward. Have a long talk with yourself, re-evaluate your motivating thoughts, assess your self-honesty, and most importantly---Do not make things difficult. Don't allow this task to intimidate you. Break it down in simple terms. Eat less, exercise, and be completely honest with yourself about everything you put in your body. Feed your mind with positive things, not negative, and never lose sight of why you want and need to lose the weight. Always remind yourself of your reasons for staying committed. I've failed so many times at losing weight, I feel like I'm an expert on the topic, I've been there many times. A couple of things I've learned to remember: You couldn't possibly eat so much in one day that you've “ruined everything.” So if you have a bad day, write down how you felt and what you feel triggered the binge, read it and try to understand it as you take full responsibility for your actions, then put it behind you immediately and erase it from your memory. And remember, if you give a consistent positive effort, then you'll more than likely get the results you're after. Consistency, either positive or negative, will generate positive or negative consequences. Stay positive!
This afternoon I napped for a little while, before jumping up and putting on the wind pants. What happened to the sunny warm weather? It was cloudy, cool, and windy this afternoon. When I arrived at the trail I just sat in my vehicle for a few minutes, maybe I was waiting for inspiration to strike, I don't know. I just didn't feel like doing it. And then it started. The thoughts of “Oh sure Sean...You don't have to do it today, really...you have the rest of the week to finish your stated workout goals.” Hmmm. I wasn't day specific, maybe for a reason...psychologically, I was giving myself outs. Oh, I'm good...yeah, good and sneaky.
I'm still working on turning workout time into play time. I think I may have found a tennis partner in Whit. I've played racquetball with her before and she's willing to bust a move or two on the tennis court, so that's very cool. And swimming? You know, the YMCA in Stillwater has a wonderful pool---and it's only 40 minutes away. So why not drive down once a week for a swim and then visit with the family afterward? Why didn't I think of that sooner? And the bike search continues...So, really---I'm going to be OK. All that stuff is fine and dandy, but what about this 5K right now. It's four laps Sean, get out of the vehicle and get it done! But it's cold and windy out there! Stop wining and move! I cut short this internal dialog, opened the door, felt the wind in my face and started moving. Before long, it was in the books. 5K number two of the week! It wasn't the best performance, wasn't the fastest time---but it was done.
I prepared steak and eggs for dinner this evening. For less than 400 calories, I enjoyed six ounces of sirloin and five scrambled egg whites with mushrooms, green pepper, and onion. It was a good meal, very hearty. I used too much pepper on the eggs though, giving me a slight feeling of heartburn later---which is something I rarely have felt over the last 570 days.
Thank you for reading! Goodnight and...