Surrounded By Success Stories and On The Giving End of “Wow” Reactions
I jumped up this morning in a mad rush. This is unusual for a Saturday, but I had to work today. The warmer temperatures means more Saturday broadcast appearances, so I'd better get my Friday night schedule in order! I wasn't late this morning, but even getting up an hour and a half before an event can make it feel that way. I have my non-weighted strength exercises, cooking breakfast, shower, dress, and writing to finish, and an hour and a half just isn't enough time most days. I made it enough time today. I somehow did everything I needed to do. Well, almost. I didn't cook breakfast, instead I inhaled a banana on my way out the door. I knew the client would have food at this big broadcast today---I wasn't sure what, but I was confident that I could navigate the choices wisely.
I pulled up to the broadcast and met with the station rep for a briefing on exactly what the client wanted me to talk about today, then I was free to roam around. I know I've mentioned this before, but I can't tell you the number of broadcast I've done in the past, at over 500 pounds, where I would try to stay hidden as much as possible. I don't do that anymore and it feels amazing. They had a big smoker/grill in front of the store, a good sign that the choices wouldn't be too bad today. I was going to eat something from that grill, I knew that, and I was OK with the idea.
They were grilling hot dogs and hamburgers...hmmm, OK...I was hungry, so I made my way over and requested a hot dog without a bun. I was handed a big juicy dog, and I knew---this wasn't a 120 or 160 calorie dog, this was somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 or even 300, for just the hot dog. Good thing I had it without the bread, oh my. It wasn't the best calorie value, but it was very good. This was a premium hot dog, top of the line in the hot dog world, it was very tasty...but not necessarily worth the calories to me. It wasn't long before I was feeling hungry again. I was at 400 calories already when I decided on a hamburger. The bun was 120, I used mustard for the dressing...and the patty, well---I know these, I've used similar on my grill before. 250 for the patty was a good estimate, considering it was grilled and a lot of the fat calories had dripped away. Still, 370 for a burger is quiet a bit for me. I enjoyed it slowly, oh my---it was a very well seasoned hamburger, and before noon I was sitting at 770 calories for the day. My broadcast wasn't over until 2pm, so I decided 770 by mid-day wasn't really that bad. Then I had a few, just a few, potato chips---and was comfortable calling the total an even 800.
These choices may have not been the best, but it was part of the moment, it was my life today. And learning how to navigate food choices in everyday life without losing control is a very big deal to me. Old Sean would have had a couple of burgers and a couple of dogs before that broadcast was over, accompanied by a big plate of potato chips and a tall glass of regular Coke-a-Cola, all consumed in the privacy of the remote vehicle, away from people--if at all possible. So it may not have been the best choices today, but those choices were made and consumed responsibly. I wasn't out of control Sean, hiding from the crowds and gorging. It feels good to be in control, it really does.
Another radio station showed up a little before noon. A competing station from up the highway into Kansas. The on-air personality and station rep walked in and asked where I was. I was standing right there, so I introduced myself to them. It turns out, Nici, the sales rep for that station, is someone that I've worked in cooperation with on scripts for a particular client. We had never officially met, but she remembers me at my heaviest. She told me that she was in the audience when I did stand-up, opening for the Beatles Tribute band “1964.” I was over 500 pounds and struggled horribly that night on stage. It was hard to move, breathe, and really do a good performance. The weight had seriously started effecting my performance skills---and that's the Sean she remembered! Well, to say she was surprised to see me today would be a big understatement. She was very complimentary, and told me that she knew I was losing weight because, although she hadn't read my blog---she regularly would hear of my weight loss success from a client of hers that reads everyday. She knew that I wouldn't look the same today, but I don't think she realized just how dramatic the change would be. It was a fun experience indeed.
As I talked with Nici, I discovered that she was very familiar with the struggles of losing weight. She had been very overweight for a while, before losing a bunch of weight herself. We talked about weight loss and the process---psychological aspects, and simply making better choices. And Nici wouldn't be the only person I would meet today with a weight loss success story...
Remember April 25th, 2009? It's in the archives. Yes, nearly a year ago I did a remote broadcast at a wireless phone store---it was that remote with an endless supply of food---the food just kept coming that day. I wrote about it that night:
I had 200 calories worth of breakfast by the time I reached my remote broadcast this morning at 11am. I knew that we would have pizza at the event and I was prepared to allow for a piece, maybe two if it were thin crust. It wasn't. That's OK, I'll just have a small piece for 250. Had I been the one responsible for ordering I would have made sure to order a thin crust veggie, but anyway. I guess I should have put my order in with the station sales rep prior to the broadcast. I wish I would have been a little more patient. Instead I grabbed a slice shortly after it arrived and I enjoyed it slowly. Then two crock pots full of Wendy's Chili showed up complete with small Wendy's Chili containers. I know exactly how many calories are in a small Wendy's Chili, 190! I added a half a serving of chili to my lunch and I counted it as 100 calories. Everything was fine right? Wrong.
Then a giant cookie platter showed up from Quiznos. These cookies were some of the best looking, big, loaded cookies I've ever laid eyes on. You know I've never been that weak when it comes to cookies. Oh sure, I like a good cookie, but really they're not my weakness. I faced my favorite store bought cookie the other night at grandmas house without any trouble at all. She had a brand new package of fudge striped shortbread cookies. I love those things. I knew what I had left calorie wise and at 170 for three cookies, I just didn't want to do it that bad. The cookie calorie value just wasn't working for me. But today, oh my. I was truly tested. I tried to find the calorie value on the Quiznos mobile web site, but I guess when they're loaded, you're less likely to find the calories conveniently listed. I was guesstimating about 300 for one, I was wrong. Just one snickerdoodle cookie has 400 according to the Calorie King website. 400 calories for one cookie! No way! YES! I don't know how I did it, but somehow I managed to keep my cool and resist those things. I even asked the station sales rep if he wanted to split one, figuring it would be a 150 calorie indulgence. He said no, thank goodness! It just goes to show you that no matter what level of rock solid zone you're in, you're never above temptation. I resisted those amazing cookies today, but it wasn't easy. Technically I could have had one, but there's no way in the world I would ever spend 400 calories on a cookie, that's craziness. My calorie budget would have been severely lopsided had I given in to those dreamy looking things.
OK...here's the rest of the story from that day---and how it tied into today was certainly remarkable. The manager I met at that broadcast was a young overweight man named Josh, who told me his top weight was 320. Of course we talked about weight loss that day, I gave him this blog address, and we had a very nice discussion about choices and weight loss philosophy. He had already started being aware of his choices and how they affected his weight, and honestly---I think he may have been a little embarrassed about all the free food made available. It was him that ordered the giant cookie platter that day! Well, what a difference a year makes!
I hadn't laid eyes on him since that broadcast last year, so imagine my surprise when he showed up at my remote broadcast today---completely transformed! He looked amazing! It really was a jaw dropping “wow” reaction I gave him. It's so cool to return one of these after receiving so many. He showed up today at 204, a whopping 116 pounds lighter than his heaviest weight! Josh told me how he counted his calories—and eventually got so good at it, that he actually stopped counting---opting for more of a common sense-portion control strategy. We discussed the mental aspects of it all...and he agreed with me about it being 80% mental and 20% food and exercise. He also shared something interesting, one of his mental gymnastics if you will. He said that one thing he always had a problem with was going back for second helpings. And he still does. But let me explain... He starts with about ¼ of what he would eat before. His second helping is another ¼, making it about half the food he was accustomed to consuming at his heaviest. He's still enjoying second helpings, but in a very responsible and normal way. And he has a 116 pound loss to show for it! That was just thrilling. I could have talked to him all afternoon, really, but then I had to get back into my broadcast---and before I knew it, he was gone. I'll have to stop by his wireless store and talk him up again soon. This kid has got it down and I'm so happy for him! Josh, you're an inspiration my friend!
The plan this evening was dinner and a movie at my apartment with my daughters. Those plans changed when their mothers plans changed, and that was OK. I had Amber with me all night last night, so it was only fair that tonight she and Courtney enjoy their mom's company. I had planned to get Amber to the trail with me today, but this change of plans left me flying solo for a 5K tonight.
I decided to send up a facebook invitation to anyone, just to see if I could find a last minute workout partner tonight. At first I decided a 10K would be good, but then I backed it down a notch to a 5K...but still, it was too late of notice for my local friends. I did have some friends from around the world—that probably would have joined me if they could, but after waiting for 40 minutes...I was out the door and on my way to the trail.
It was a nice evening for a walk/jog. I forgot my iPod, so it was just me, my thoughts, and the sound of my heels hitting the pavement for 3.1 miles. It was a wonderful 5K and it met my stated goals for the week of at least three. I really should have completed some weight training today. More on that tomorrow!
I talked with Mom tonight too. She told me that she did 3 miles today. Isn't that amazing? This is a lady that not too long ago, couldn't walk to her mailbox without feeling completely spent---now, she's being consistent with her daily calorie bank and walking schedule---the weight is dropping and her endurance is getting to be incredible! She divides her walking into two sessions, an early session and an evening session. I absolutely love hearing the confidence in her voice, that excited feeling that she has---because she knows, this is it...this is the time it really happens. We're putting the past behind us and making a better tomorrow one good choice at a time...and when you start seeing progress like my mom has...it propels you. I'm so happy for her and my Aunt Kelli. They're both doing just wonderful along this road.
Thank you for reading! Goodnight and...