Wild Horses, Controlling Normal, and Peace With Pasta
I was up early this morning for a Saturday because I had plans to leave town at 11am. I needed to do my morning non-weighted strength training exercises, cook breakfast, drink coffee, eat, and write. After all of that, I hit the shower, got dressed and headed over to a friends house for the trip. I was really hoping to get up early enough to get everything done, then hit the 9:30am spinning class at the YMCA before heading out, but I quickly realized my schedule this morning wouldn't allow. I was up early, but I should have been up a little earlier and then I could have accomplished an amazing spinning workout. But it was all fine. My goal is at least two spinning classes a week and I accomplished that Monday and Friday.
I kept the breakfast light this morning. I enjoyed an egg white scramble without cheese for 85 calories---and seriously, with four egg whites, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, and salsa---It's the best calorie value I'll ever enjoy. 85 calories for a mess of deliciousness!! I added an orange for 70 more and 50 calories worth of coffee creamer---and I was set for a bigger lunch at the Ranch.
That's right, The Ranch---it's a huge private place out in Osage County, which by the way, is the largest county in the entire United States. We were headed to the 8th Annual Salt Creek Shoot Out. It's an event where some of the best shooters in the nation compete for shotguns and a very nice trophy. I'm not a gun enthusiast at all, I don't own a gun, but I was mesmerized by the incredible accuracy these shooters displayed. They would shout “Pull,” and the clay pigeons would fly---”kill, kill” was what they wanted the judge to say---and most of the time that's what they heard after obliterating the two clay pucks in flight.
The most fascinating thing to me wasn't the incredible display of marksmanship, it was what greeted us along the trail, a slow four mile drive from the county road to the camp lodge. Wild horses. Real, honest to goodness—wild horses! The kind written about in so many songs---here they are, roaming on this huge ranch---protected and placed here by the United States government. These horses have never felt a saddle or rider of any kind on their backs---they were born in the wild and remain as wild and unbroken as they can be—-within the protected confines of this giant preserve. It was so beautiful and fascinating---I had to take some pictures on the way out. Check them out below!
I enjoyed a big lunch. Seriously---I like to keep my calories at 500 or less for a meal, but didn't today. No I didn't. This was a special event. It didn't mean that I completely threw away the calorie budget, no—never do that. I was just very aware or what I was doing. With the big burger and 150 calories worth of chips—my lunch checked in at 800 calories. Wow...and it was so good. They had a major sponsor providing all of the food for the event---and they went all out, this was a premium burger. Good thing we didn't stick around for the giant fresh cut ribeye steak dinner tonight. I could have cut calorie corners easily. I chose to have the bun, I chose the chips...my choices completely. As long as I felt in control of those choices, and aware of what I was consuming---it was perfectly normal and acceptable behavior. Normal is good. Control is good. Being completely honest about and responsible for my choices...good. I can handle myself at events like this. I can walk confidently and know that I'm very different from the 500 pound man I once was.
Finding a happy place with food control issues is something that feels so wonderful. I'm certainly not perfect, never will be. In my daily time travels to the date a year prior, I found another example of being in control with pasta. Ooooh, Pasta---I was always so afraid!! Here's an excerpt from a year ago today:
Any Friday can be one of the longest days of the week for me. Today was a long day. It was good, but long. I started the day at 4:45am and didn't get home for the night until 11:30pm. I did come home for a couple of hours in the late afternoon/early evening, long enough to prepare a wonderful dinner of salad, spaghetti with a beef and mushroom marinara, and garlic toast. Wow that dinner sounds dangerous huh? It wasn't. It's funny, because if you've read some of the early post in this blog, you might remember me talking about how “I avoid pasta because it's too much of a wild card in the calorie department.” I was straight up scared of pasta. Because I love it and I have a history with it. A history of eating wayyyy too much, way too often. It's very different now. For one, I have a food scale, so when a package of pasta says so many calories for this many ounces, I can measure it and see the amount I'm consuming without guessing at the calories. But the biggest difference for me has nothing to do with accurate calorie counts and everything to do with complete portion control over my plate. Yes I avoided pasta dishes before because I was afraid of what the calorie count might be and unsure of an exact number, but mainly I was afraid of my portion control abilities. I use to completely fill a normal size plate at least a couple of times and you can bet I was going to have at least two slices of bread, maybe three. This evening I enjoyed a normal portion of spaghetti and one slice of bread, and I was very satisfied. I did not reach for more. My plate checked in at 450 calories, and I needed to keep it under 500, so I was done! This whole eating responsibly thing is becoming habit, it's like I'm a completely different person, it feels great!
From that same day:
Dr. Amy Cox of the Ranch Wellness Center was my co-host this morning on my radio show. It was a great show and a lot of fun. Dr. Amy has asked me to speak at her 2nd Annual Optimal Health Challenge seminars, especially the first one. The first meeting focuses on the mental aspects of making positive changes for your health. I'm thrilled and honored to be a part of this exciting program. It's so hard to believe that 250 days ago I was a 505 pound mess of a man, and now I'm being asked to speak at seminars focusing on Optimal Health. It's a testament to how far we can come in a relatively short time when we make an iron-clad decision to change and we pursue that change with passion and an honest, consistent effort.
“...we pursue that change with passion and an honest, consistent effort.” That's it right there. Amazing things can come when you mix passion and self-honesty with consistency. I've come so far since that day—it's a wonderful journey of self-discovery and triumph. Oh, I highly recommend it to everyone!
Nathaniel checked in on yesterday's blog with a wonderful update on his progress:
Well I Did It 2 nights in a row, I'm on a roll now. I haven't had anything since about 7:15 P.M., and I feel great. I decided to have a taco salad tonight for dinner, and boy did it hit the spot. Usually I don't eat until I get to work, but If I get up at a decent time I make sure to eat something. Today I fixed a couple eggs and bacon. It hit the spot, plus I didn't get hungry until dinner. They were selling meat pies tonight and I turned them down, and those rock. One thing for sure is that today was easier than yesterday. Every one keep up the good work, and before you know it, you'll be at the finish line, I'm rooting for all of ya. :)
I'm so happy for Nathaniel. To start in excess of 600 pounds---wow, I get excited thinking about the power of his transformation. And the power he's finding in his choices. “One thing for sure is that today was easier than yesterday.”---that's it my friend. It does get easier with a consistent effort and a passionate importance level. Make this one of the most important things you've ever done---and the incredible blessing of it all will rain down on you in ways you can't even imagine right now. Get ready to live Nathaniel. You may not fully understand the mental aspects of this entire journey, but you will pick up some major epiphanies along the way. You can read about mine all day long---and that's good, but when you truly experience them for yourself---that's when the wind fills your sails and there's no stopping you.
I spent the evening with Amber and KL. Courtney was working this evening, so no Court—but we talked on the phone, and she's excited for the summer and workout opportunities we'll have together. I'm really looking forward to that. Tomorrow is scheduled as a rest day on the workout schedule---so I flipped it, making today that day and tomorrow a regular workout day. Spending the evening with Amber was what I wanted to do tonight. It was wonderful.
Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...