Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 577 Weigh Down in The 250's and She Set It On Fire, Again

Day 577

Weigh Down in The 250's and She Set It On Fire, Again

It's hard to sometimes describe the elation I feel. The changes in me are so much more than physical, but the physical changes get all the glory. The elation, that overwhelming happiness that boils over every once in a while, it doesn't come exclusively as a result of what I see in the mirror. It comes mostly from what I feel on the inside and that is a feeling so hard to describe---it's a confidence I've never known. And I get treated differently by people, and this isn't speaking ill of those who treat me different---they can't help it, because the Sean they see and interact with has changed in a very profound way. I'm different in so many wonderful ways, so why wouldn't I expect to be treated differently in so many wonderful ways. People react to what we give them, and if what they see and experience is dramatically different than our previous image---then of course their reaction to us is different. It's human nature, a very real study in our basic behaviors in change. It's not bad, just interesting. You see, although the physical changes get all the glory, so to speak, all of the other changes come out and create what people see and feel from us. I've always treated butterflies different than caterpillars.

Today was weigh day number, uh...who knows? I would have to go back and count---and that might take a little while. I guess I could do some simple math. But I don't like math. Unless it involves subtracting three more pounds from my weight!!! Oh yeah...I walked into the doctors office, jumped on the scale, and a weight popped up that I haven't laid eyes on since I was a kid, seriously---since I was twelve or thirteen---258! Are you serious? Me? I'm in the 250's. I don't even care that I somehow felt that I deserved a four or five pound loss---that's nonsense, but I really expected more than three. But---no complaints here! I just stood there on the scale, feeling incredible, and the nurse gave me that look of “wow,” and then I showed off my “505” tattoo---as she explained to a new nurse what it meant. Yes, yes, yes! I cannot wait to see 252.5---it's coming very soon---Oh, that Crossing Point---magical to me. It's all magical to me.

I arrived at spinning class, or cycling---as us big tough guys like to call it, with this excited happy feeling. I wasn't nervous anymore about the class. That nervousness has been replaced with confidence. And I don't know what kind of demented trainer came up with this routine today—maybe it was Maribeth, the instructor, but oh my. She had us going from high gears to low gears, back to high and sprint! Then we would drop down...hover! I really like hovering, standing and leaning all the way over on the handle bars---all the while, you're pedaling your heart out. What an amazing 45 minute burn! The wonderful feeling of now that was a workout, is undeniable after this class. It is a tremendous workout...”Gear 16, sprint!” Seriously? Wow.

After class, I spent several minutes regaining my composure before hitting the weight machines. These machines are really doing me right by helping me balance the weight between right and left. My right arm needs to catch up with my left, and it will. The machines are making sure my right arm works too. With the free weights, it's too easy to under-work my lesser arm.

Tonight I enjoyed some smoked chicken I picked up from a local barbecue restaurant. Every Tuesday they have a smoked chicken special, but I don't usually go on that day. I wait until Wednesday and then buy three or four of them for cheap---half price or better! These are half-chickens---and then I separate the breast and wing from the rest. I baked it up, completely reviving it's original juiciness, had some green beans ready to go---and a half a baked potato. It was an amazing meal and less than 400 calories!

I travel back in time 365 days everyday. It's sometimes a reminder of what it's taken to get this far and sometimes it's just entertaining to me...and sometimes it moves me. Today, while going back---I noticed the title “She Set It On Fire Tonight,” and even though I'm not scheduled to read it for another few days---I couldn't help myself. The night of Day 215 is one of my favorite memories along this road. It was a very powerful night, as you'll read in this excerpt. Courtney had reached a wonderful point in her weight loss journey, and witnessing my daughter regain confidence in herself---it makes me cry every time I think about it:

Once there was a little girl of eleven years old who was searching for something to make her feel better about her appearance. Her extra weight was wreaking havoc on her self-image and her confidence was at horribly low levels. She started looking for outfits that would “slim,” and became very particular about what she would and wouldn't wear. Then one day she discovered something that promised to tighten, slenderize, and magically improve her appearance. All she had to do was wear it everyday underneath her clothes. She started wearing this magical garment without telling her parents. In her mind it made all the difference in the world. It wasn't long before she became addicted. It was her secret garment. Not even her friends knew what she was wearing underneath. Wearing this undergarment required some extreme discipline and abuse to her body, for when she had it on, she couldn't easily go to the bathroom. So all through the sixth grade she held in any urge she had to use the restroom. Not once did she ever go to the bathroom, unless it was to check her appearance in the mirror. When her parents finally discovered this undergarment and realized how restrictive and possibly damaging it could be, they ordered it off and discarded. This did not go over well with this beautiful little girl. Her reaction was one of tears and screams, like they had just ripped her whole world out from under her. She convinced her parents that if she really had to use the restroom, she wouldn't let this undergarment get in the way, and they allowed the undergarment to stay in her possession, protecting her self-image like a bullet proof vest. Her obsession continued through the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and even 10th grades. Not one bathroom break in over four and a half years of school days. That is until a month ago. That's when this beautiful little girl, now 15 years old, took it off for good. Her weight loss success has made the undergarment completely useless. Her smaller size has rendered that “magical” garment powerless. She no longer needs that girdle to give her a boost of confidence about her appearance. Exercise and good calorie management has swooped in and really made some serious changes in her body and most importantly, in her mind. But she couldn't throw it away, what if she needed it again? So she hid it away. That little girl is my youngest daughter Courtney. Tonight Courtney finally convinced herself she would never need it again, so she pulled out that old girdle and started ripping it apart. We then took it one step further, walked out on our patio and lit it on fire. Tonight that girdle burned. It burned almost as bright as Courtney's new-found confidence and self-image.

Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

Courtney, my youngest daughter. She did it---the very thing she clung to for so long to give her that extra boost of self-confidence---it was burning and she was smiling. It's one of my greatest memories along this road.


  1. Way to go Sean! "25" is well deserved!

  2. I had tears in my eyes reading about Courtney. What a winner she is. I love your spirit and the dedication you have towards healthy living. Got a lot to learn from you. :-)

  3. Good job on the 3 lbs down....I'll use that as this Friday's weigh-in for the challenge. And I love that story about Courtney! :)

  4. i had tears in my eyes when i read about Courtney. i remembered the time when the thing which i was most scared of was a
    Levi's outlet where i couldn't even fit into the largest they had. hats up to you girl!! keep up the good work!!

  5. Thank you for this post. I have a son with some similar feelings that keep him from feeling good about his body and the fear of anyone seeing him without his shirt. He has lost 20 lbs in the past few months while I have lost nearly 60. It's been a joint effort. We are getting there. Blogs like yours help to encourage!

  6. This brought tears to my eyes. You have done great and your blog was wonderful. I will be glad when I can step on the scales and see 250. You are inspiring..

  7. 252.5 will be here in no time.

    To bad we can't pay taxes with extra fat, just my thought for the day.

  8. Sean,

    I am a certified spin instructor and your description of hovering raises some red flags for me. In a spin class, (at least one that follows the Mad Dog/Spinner philosophy), you should never have your weight all on the handlebars.

    The way I would describe hovering is that you raise your butt out of the seat, push your hips further back and stick your tailbone into the back wall so you are working gluts and quads.

    You will probably learn the nuances of spinning as you continue. However,try not to put any weight on the handlebars during any moves as they are just there for balance. This is how most newbies hurt themselves spinning.

    Congrats on the 250's! I once lost 30lbs and now I've reached my weight goals and teach spinning! (a personal goal) I love reading your blog as it reminds me every day to stay focused on the fundamentals of my fitness success.

  9. Sean...I think the most exciting thing is that after 577 days, you are still going like the energizer bunny...another 3 pound loss! Certainly progress like that keeps the motivation going, but I also think it is great evidence of your habituated lifestyle. Losing weight is relatively simple (not easy), but solidifying a new lifestyle is both complex and hard. Congrats!

  10. I loved this post about Courtney. That was definitely the day she turned into a butterfly. You're doing great! I am so proud of you. I have to go wipe my eyes now...

  11. I love that you celebrate the victories of your family members, mom & daughters, too! What a cool family! Congrats on the spinning and weight are one of my heroes!

  12. The effect that your success has had on your kids may be the crowning achievement, my friend. Kudos!

  13. I'll be so glad when I can burn my fat clothes. We could have a bonfire :)

  14. Love that about Courtney, so glad she has you as and example so early in her life. She knows that pain and heartache you suffered with your weight, she has seen you beat it and she will know how never to go down that road.

    So proud of you Sean, you really are such ans inspiration.



  15. What a great post!!! Thank you for sharing the story about poweful!!!!

  16. Great idea burning feels very burning a bridge...I burned all my fat clothes. Great job on the workout and feeling 100 percent better and your 3 lb loss.

  17. Great job Sean on the 3 pounds. Going down, down down. Soon to be 252.5. Yeah! Won't that day be a celebration!

    Love Courtney's story! She must be proud of herself!

  18. hey brother..great job losing the 3 pounds..and you will have to show me what spinning is..loveyou

  19. The strength program sounds strong! Building muscle is the way to get the body to burn your calories without you having to do anything. Cardio is great, but it is the hard way to drop calories. But it does work also.


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