Rough Start, Anniversary, and Driver License Photo Fun
I slept hard last night. After one of the busiest days I've had in a very long time, I finally hit the pillow at almost midnight. The alarm was set for 4am, but it didn't have a chance. I slept hard and fast right through two alarms and the 5am train that barrels through less than a hundred yards from my bedroom balcony. I finally woke up in a panic at 5:35, realizing that my morning routine was completely shot. I immediately starting thinking about how I should best approach the situation. I decided the morning non-weighted strength training would have to wait until later in the day, along with my shower, writing, and almost everything else...except breakfast. Breakfast is a can't miss. I didn't have time to cook breakfast, I had to be on the air at 6am, so I did a drive-thru. Had to do it. Scrambled eggs for 170 and a small fruit and yogurt minus the granola for 130. I had some fresh fruit at the studio for later, so I was going to make it. I settled into what became a really good show. It's strange really, some of my best radio performances come on a morning like this---when I'm hurried and beside myself. I don't understand that.
Today is our 21st wedding anniversary. For once, I didn't mention the anniversary on my radio show, too awkward given the circumstances. We were just kids, 17 years old all those years ago, completely ill prepared for marriage and children—but we did it anyway, becoming best friends and pretty good parents along the way. We laughed, loved, dreamed, cried, triumphed together, fell hard occasionally---yep, we did it all---living and learning the hard way, because the hard way was what we always made it, and I'm not sure I would change it if I could. It's made us who we are today. We're going to both come out of this divorce better people, more seasoned adults, and you know what? Despite anything and everything, we're always going to care deeply for one another. That doesn't change.
I made a trip to the tag office today. It was time to renew my driver license. The people that work there remember me well at over 500 pounds. It's always fun to see their smiles and answer their questions, “So, are you still losing?” “How are you feeling?” Yes and great---the answers to those two questions. I see these folks a few times a year when it comes time to renew a tag on one of our vehicles. They've witnessed my transformation in different and dramatic chunks. The picture today was smaller than the one from October, and both are much smaller than the one from 2006. My weight on the old one isn't accurate—I was headed back to over 500 pounds after losing 115 pounds in 2004. If I had to guess, I was pretty close to gaining it all back by 2006. Today, I handed my old license over and they immediately recognized the incorrect information. The weight was wrong---the height is still wrong, I'm 6' 3”, not 6' 2”, but oh well---the cool thing is my weight---258. That looks really good on my license. It looks normal, and that's awesome.
My time travels today on this weight loss road took me back to April 16th, 2009:
What a gift it is to be able to totally transform my appearance. It's almost magical. Think about that for a minute. Only people with a bunch of weight to lose have the power and ability to transform their appearance completely. There isn't a plastic surgery in the world that could even come close to the transformation destination I'm headed. That's exciting, real exciting. Still, like many overweight people, especially morbidly obese people who lose weight, the brain is always the last to fully accept and acknowledge the change. I can't count how many times I've said my weight recently as four something instead of three something, then I correct myself, or Irene corrects me. “You mean three fifty-nine, right?” “Oh, yeah, of course!” It's very interesting how the brain works. I was over 500 pounds so long that my brain is just really accustomed to all of the limitations and extreme restrictions I had to work around. When I look at these size 48's I'm wearing, they look way too little for me, or so my brain thinks, until I put them on and my brain says “Oh, my mistake.” After losing 146 pounds, my appearance has changed dramatically, but this is only the beginning. I just crossed the half-way mark. That's really amazing to me. I'm thrilled at what the future holds. I'm loving the new appearance as it slowly emerges.
A while back someone said that they “would miss the old Sean.” That statement really made me think about this journey on a deeper level. After some internal debate on the subject, I've concluded the following: The only thing that could be missed is my 505 pound appearance. That 505 pound guy is gone forever. But I'm still here. My existence at that weight was suffocating the real me inside. Whatever wonderful changes in my personality that come forward from this transformation were always there to begin with, just held back, oppressed, never allowed to see the light of day. The me that's emerging is an enhanced version. A version that has no limits, a version that believes anything is possible, a version with a renewed spirit and ability to dream dreams that were long since forgotten inside the old me. I've always been told that I was “likable.” I guess that's what the friend was referring when he said he'd miss that 505 pound Sean. That big jolly, smiling, always ready to laugh, always wanting to please, always wanting to be liked, the big guy that would go to great lengths for a laugh because it made him feel good for a minute, that guy was miserable inside. You rarely see the tears of a clown my friend. But Irene has. My mom has. My daughters have. There have been many that even they've never witnessed. In every way, the emerging me is much more genuine and real than the old Sean ever thought about being. Gone is the smiling mask I once wore to hide the real me, it's replaced with a genuine smile and brand new attitude. I don't have to pretend to be happy anymore. Everybody has a different idea of happiness. I use to think happiness would be winning the lottery, but this journey has given me a clearer understanding of real, true happiness. Now I understand when wealthy people say they're unhappy. I never could understand how someone could have everything and anything money could buy, but still feel unhappy. Now I understand the reason why happiness can't be bought for any price.
To me, true happiness is being able to be the real me. True happiness is found in the honest purity of our true selves. Oh my, am I rambling here? Let me wrap this up by saying that I will never miss that 505 pound guy I once appeared to be, because that wasn't the real me. Like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, I'm finally emerging from years of hiding inside that guy, becoming what I was always meant to be. Happiness is knowing that the positive personality I project mirrors how I really feel inside.
I was able to come home this afternoon and complete my non-weighted strength training exercises. I grabbed a quick little nap and headed out for my evening plans. I had a couple of stops before hitting the weight machines at the YMCA---and then traveling to Stillwater to pick up mom for a weekend in Ponca City. The weight training tonight was good. I'm not sure if I'm getting stronger just yet, but maybe. I feel a difference that's hard to explain. We'll keep on doing it and see where it takes me! That's exciting. I finished with the weights at almost 7:45—then traveled South to Stillwater for mom.
My intentions were to do the 5K I missed yesterday, today---in the cool rain if needed. I allowed that to become tonight, after getting mom. Mom and I went grocery shopping for the weekend, then we were invited over to Irene's place for a late night coffee and visit with her and Courtney. It was just after midnight when we left---and I looked at mom and said, “You know I didn't get my 5K in tonight, and I told myself that I would be making that up today.” Mom replied, “But it's late and raining!” That never stopped me before...late and raining can make for a fun 5K. I made the choice to just get us home tonight. We talked about accountability too---and mom gave me some wonderful rationalizations to use, if I needed to feel better about missing this 5K---thank you momma. Nope---I'll just admit it and move forward. I'll have work to do tomorrow!
Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...
Special thanks to Gayle Williams for putting this image together for me! The weight on the first two is completely wrong. The first picture, oh my---I was somewhere nearing 500 again. The second was last October...maybe thirty-five pounds or so ago---they just didn't change the weight. And the height is incorrect too. But the cool thing? The weight on the last picture is accurate: 258!