Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 631 Her Words With Action Stirred Me and Insecurities Will Fall

Day 631

Her Words With Action Stirred Me and Insecurities Will Fall

Yesterday was rushed, today I was sick…hmmmm, this week isn’t starting out so well. I woke up this morning with stomach trouble. Could something I consumed have caused this? It’s so rare that I have any kind of stomach related discomfort these days. So I was a little taken aback. In my 505-pound days, stomach trouble was expected on a regular basis, and every now and then I’d have a severe stomach ulcer attack. I haven’t had one of those in over 631 days. Once again, I called for back-up---did what I needed to do to feel better, and made my way to the studio with some fruit and water. My omelet would have to wait until lunchtime.

I’m working on my body-image issues. Today, I put on jeans and a new band t-shirt given to me recently. No over-shirt. I will still occasionally wear an over-shirt, because I like the button down with collar---and like my blogging friend Fitcetera pointed out, after seeing my pics from Saturday---Kelly Johnson was wearing an over-shirt as I interviewed him, and I’m pretty sure he’s never had a weight issue in his life. It’s a fashion thing. But really---we all know it’s a very convenient way for me to hide, protecting some very real body-image issues.

I looked fine in just the t-shirt, that’s what I kept telling myself, and it was the truth…I did look fine. I can’t explain these issues, because they just don’t make sense---but they’re very real and sometimes crippling---forcing me to avoid dealing with them by just giving in and covering up. I know the only way to really nudge my brain along, is to face these issues head on. The over-shirt is just one facet. How about wearing jeans, shoes, and shirt on the jet-ski the other day? My surface excuse was simple and true: I don’t have any “lake clothes.” But really, you know how cheap bathing suits are at Wal-Mart? That’s really not a good excuse. The deeper truth is centered in my body-image hang-ups. I can count the days I’ve worn shorts in public, as an adult, on one hand.

I read a friends blog post that seriously helped me make a dent in this crazy mental game. Kenz at shared this in her latest post:

It isn't easy to walk around in my swimsuit all day even when I'm surrounded by people who like me. But I did it last summer, and I'm going to do it again this summer because life is not going to wait for me until I feel perfect or until I reach my goal weight.

We get one life - one opportunity to make it mean something. And I want mine to be full. I don't want to look back ten years from now only to realize that I should have enjoyed it sooner. Instead, I choose to enjoy it here and now. I'm ready to fly...

She was facing down her insecurities by wearing the bathing suit proudly and posting pictures. I replied to her post with the following:

First of all, you're beautiful. Second: A very real and nice contrast in the flip pictures. And third: You inspire me.

My body issues have plagued my brain with crippling insecurities from a very early age. Even now, after losing what I've lost--my brain still battles those same insecurities. Why else would I recently enjoy the freedom of a jet-ski skimming across the water, something I could never do at 505 pounds, while fully dressed in a shirt, jeans, shoes, and socks...Still imprisoned by those very powerful body images, obviously.

But I read your words, and they chip away at these rock solid insecurities---When you said "It isn't easy to walk around in my swimsuit all day even when I'm surrounded by people who like me." Something clicked in me. When I'm out there and feeling these irrational thoughts--I need to remind myself that I'm surrounded by friends who like me, no matter what. These are people who liked 505 pound Sean too, these are not the cold and careless, deliberately hurtful people from my past.

I'm not saying that I'm completely cured--but reading your words here---and fully appreciating your attitude, has created a sincere desire to start chipping away at this boulder of insecurity. You empower me. Thank you so very much---I can't even explain the depth of that thank you...

You never know what you’ll read and how it will dramatically influence you. I wasn’t expecting that when I started reading her post, it just struck me in a very profound way.

I absolutely love the weight loss blogging community!

Yesterday I included an excerpt talking about a young man who had been given some strict “eat this-not that” advice. In reading the post from a year ago today, I found a follow up excerpt:

Without spending too many more words on the subject, I wanted to clarify a couple of things from last night's blog. I didn't mean any disrespect to the people offering the young man food advice. In fact, their food recommendations were top notch stuff for anyone wanting to get into optimal shape. The two offering the advice certainly practice what they preach in their own lives. The compassion and sincerity in their offerings was obvious. They're good people, I'm sure. I just wanted to explain my concern from the lifelong morbidly obese perspective. I've made it a point to better understand the psychological side of losing weight, and although I don't know everything, I know enough to recognize the weak points in a plan right away, as it applies to someone like me. I smiled from ear to ear when the young man left a comment on last night's blog letting me know he did read the post and appreciated what I said. If you want to read his response, just scroll down and click on “comments” at the bottom of Day 266. He's got his head on straight, he's doing this, he's escaping just like me. I'm very happy for him and I look forward to witnessing his inspiring success!

That young man, about whom I spoke, at the time--was just starting out. He’s now lost 168 pounds. His name? Stephen Vinson in Birmingham, Alabama. You can find his blog at Congratulations Stephen! I’m so happy for you!

I rode my bike tonight over five miles. It was incredible! I absolutely love riding outside, the wind in my hair—the scenery, it all adds up to beautiful. It may not be as structured and consistent as other workouts in my arsenal, but it’s easily the most fun.

I enjoyed a mushroom and cheese omelet for lunch. Dinner was a crispy shell chicken taco and a crispy shell beef taco, with a serving of chips and salsa from El Patio, one of my favorite Mexican restaurants.

I’m feeling good, confident really—and I’m starting to realize the importance of just being me and letting go of these body image hang-ups. These insecurities will fall. I refuse to be imprisoned by false images and incorrect assumptions of what people will think of me. It’s completely nuts after all of this success.

Thank you for reading. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,


  1. Ohh Sean...your words and actions often stir me. You've come so far. I'm only starting to undertsand the challenges of trusting your body and learning to see yourself as you really are today. But you're doing it because that's exactly who you are.

    You inspire me...and while it's not always easy to make the choices that we make, we seem to find ourselves in a more content, happier place.

    It's time to leave all of the incorrect assumptions behind because that's all they are...

    Thank you for being exactly who you are.

  2. I wrote about how I felt getting into my swimsuit for the first time 3 years ago at 387 lbs here. The timing is uncanny!

  3. I'm with you on the body image issues brother. That's why my picture to the left is a before/after combo. When I look in the mirror I still see the guy from before I lost 60 pounds. I know that I have lost the weight but I need to see the proof because my brain still isn't convinced.

  4. Sean, you are inspiring so many of us every day. I just started following your journey a little over a week ago and it is no exaggeration that reading your day-to-day changes, choices, and enthusiasm has helped me more than anything I have ever encountered. I have been on Weight Watchers for a year and was at a critical point; do I quit and be done with the struggle or go on? As it turns out, in a fit of masochistic depression, I turned to the Internet to find a source of inspiration to help me -finally- make this work. I Googled "weight loss" and it led me to you. Yes, thanks to Google and you, I have finally found a new, positive "little voice" that lets me know every day I can win this struggle. I can make this happen! I've even started blogging myself and man, I can see why it helps. Only a week in and I've been more at peace with my weight loss journey than I ever have in the past. Thank you, Sean. Thank you for your bravery in putting yourself out there in cyberspace for all to see. Thank you for letting all of us know that anyone can face this situation and win. We just need to be honest and take it one step at a time. For me, each daily step ends with your words, then writing my own, knowing that 622 days from now (when I hit Day 631) I will be a success. Heck, I already am, but it'll be all the sweeter. Thank you and keep up the great work!

  5. Your friend from the casino that is trying to lose weight...did he ever set up a blog? I'd like to visit and offer some encouragement!

  6. Sean, I can relate to wearing clothes to hide insecurities before your weight loss, but can't relate to wanting to hide them now. You look so awesome! I am sure the battle remains due to the fact that you have never been at a point in your life until now, to be able to finally let those insecurities go, and all the clothes too:) I wish you well in this next phase of your weight ya lots,



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