Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 647 Weigh Day Gain and Sleep Apnea, Really?

Day 647

Weigh Day Gain and Sleep Apnea, Really?

I often give encouraging words to people who just experienced a weigh-in they didn't like. I tell them about the scale and how our bodies can fluctuate with fluid, “there's no way you gained three pounds of fat overnight!” I've written numerous paragraphs about the mental dynamics of the scale and how it can needlessly frustrate if used too much, how weighing should be an event every two weeks or even less often perhaps, not something that we do obsessively, allowing to frustrate, making this journey harder than it needs to be. I write about it, I speak about it to groups, I offer encouraging words one on one to struggling friends and loved ones, but then...I step on the scale for my bi-monthly weigh-in and find: A one pound gain.

Really? But, uh...really? Yeah but---seriously, let me try again, this time with my socks off. I asked the nurse if it would be OK to strip down right there in the middle of the doctors office, and uh---no, apparently it wasn't. People dis-robe at the doctors all the time, this isn't inappropriate, it's medical science. I would gladly swallow my insecurities, weighing naked, if the scale would show me a loss of some kind. But really, that wouldn't be fair—I always weigh with my clothes on. And just so you know that I'm slightly crazy on weigh day, just like 90% of every other person on this road---I always wear the lightest outfit I can find.

Somehow, my advice about weigh day—and all of that stuff, is much easier to understand when I'm offering it to someone else. When I'm the one needing it, oh well---I feel all of the same negative emotions and really feel like telling myself to stick a sock in it. The truth is simple: For whatever reason, it happens. The list of available excuses is long and valid. Too much sodium, missed too many workouts, not enough sleep, blah, blah, blah...Instead of diving into a discussion of why the scale showed 248 today---I'll simply move forward, doing what I know is right and good. I'll re-focus my workout schedule, because really---wow, I've REALLY let it suffer lately.

I'll continue doing well in the food department—perhaps tweaking my approach a little, maybe adding some calories---buying a digital food scale in the name of accuracy, and simply tightening up my approach. I'll increase my water consumption. Wow—How many times have I said that? What is it with me and water? Water is clearly one of the most important elements in a sound weight loss approach and yet, it's been one of my weak spots. Sure, I've lost nearly 260 pounds anyway—but I know my body would seriously appreciate a little more hydration. Anyway, I'm rambling now...

Bottom line: It's all good. Really, you'll find zero complaints here. I'm so dog-gone fortunate that complaining would be sickening to hear or read. But you must allow me to vent every once in a while, after all, I'm only human---and we do that from time to time. It's healthy, right? I mean, as long as we keep a gentle understanding of where we stand in the big picture, and always appreciate and give thanks for the blessings we enjoy...then, yeah...Hey---a year ago today we had a great weigh day, here's an excerpt from June 23rd, 2009:

Today was weigh day! And everybody here lost weight again! It was a wonderful weigh day indeed! Amber lost 4 pounds, Courtney 6 pounds, Irene lost 3 more pounds, and I lost 7 pounds! I weighed in at 322! 322!!! We're just 17 pounds from the 200 pounds lost mark. I've officially lost a total of 183 pounds so far. 183 pounds gone! No wonder Dylan's grandmother asked me “who are you?” I know who I am...I'm that guy I always knew I could be!

We totally rocked the scales that day. That was fun to remember! OK—moving on...

Oh, and about the reference to Dylan's grandmother not recognizing me---It was the most genuine case of an unrecognizable "wow" reaction. Here's an excerpt about that reaction:

I received one of the best compliments so far on this journey tonight. You see, the last time Dylan's grandmother laid eyes on me, I was over 500 pounds. Tonight we made our way into the back yard and before we could get in, she came out to greet us. She was on the phone, so I stood there and waited for her to finish her conversation. She kept looking at me strangely, like something was wrong. It was dusk, maybe she didn't get a good look at me, even though I was right before her eyes. She asked me “who are you?” and I replied “I'm Courtney's Dad, Sean” She just couldn't believe it! She thought I was some stray friend that Courtney and Amber brought over I guess. “Who are you?” I love it! She was expecting that 500 pound guy, not this. That made my day and night!

Another year has passed since then, perhaps I should visit for another swim sometime soon!

Debbie recently asked about what George Foreman grill she should buy. Debbie--You can't go wrong with the big grill. Any size is good, but if you have the bigger version, (and the prices are so low, why not?) then even if you're not cooking for a bunch of people, you can cook extra--and keep the cooked chicken, beef, or whatever, in your fridge. I love mine---and it's the big one, maybe not the biggest actually, but big enough to cook four chicken breast at a time.

I'm starting to come to terms with the idea that my dramatic weight loss may not have been the sleep apnea cure that I thought it was. I've received several e-mails and a comment or two on this topic---and it's really bothering me.

I will sleep a full night without a machine tonight and tomorrow night I'll do the same with an old CPAP machine of mine. If there is a difference, I'll be making a doctors appointment and scheduling a new sleep study. Sleep Apnea isn't something to mess with---it's a killer, and it effects more than just morbidly obese people. I've personally known people who have never been morbidly obese who must use a CPAP every night.

I just really thought I was free of that nightly tether. And maybe I am---but judging from the way I feel lately, I fear I may not be. This is tough to accept. But we'll's OK, if I need it, fine---no big deal. I'd rather feel rested everyday and NOT die young from the potential damage of oxygen depriving sleep apnea. Being tied to a machine every night for the rest of my life doesn't sound too bad when you consider the benefits.

It just felt so good to sleep all night without it---and it was such a major difference from my heaviest, I honestly thought my sleep apnea was 100% weight, I'm not so sure. Hmmm...

Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

From my recent trip--Me holding a real live alligator!

Cooking Kenz an omelet!

Perfectly beautiful, and the omelet isn't too bad either.... ;)


  1. I'm tied to the cpap tether too and thought when I lost 100 lbs that I would finally get rid of it. Then to find out, no not the case. Lots of skinny folk use cpaps too. My sleep doc says they don't have to do a whole other sleep study to evaluate if you can go with out it. They have some type of take home monitor. I'm not sure 2 nights is going to be enough for you to test individually either. I recently had bronchitis and couldn't use my cpap for a week and it wasn't till the end of that week that I experienced any of my old sleep apnea symptoms..good luck . drink up on the hydration front.

  2. You're exhausted hunny...period. And while I'm not a doctor, you know I have opinions on everything. ;) And it seems like the sleep problems might improve as you become more rested over all. Hey..what do I know? It's just an idea.

    And water is so good for you..drink it. I mean, drink more of it. I think I feel a challenge brewing in my mind. Just saying.

    Thank you for the sweet words about my omelet caricature photo. I'm looking forward to another omelet a la Sean soon...

  3.'s so important babe. Just do it. :)

  4. Maybe Sean, just maybe, you do too much! I'm hoping you don't need that CPAP forever. What a pain in the &## that can be. I hope you re-evaluate your long list of things to do. Bottom line is you need to get to bed earlier every day. Good luck in finding a way to get it done. You're doing great. What's a pound anyway?

  5. i feel your pain, after gettting fitter its hard to accept things still may mess up with our health,

  6. Ohhh that baby alligator is so cute! :D Hehe and you don't look too bad yourself mr ;)

  7. I dunno, Sean. Perhaps it's not eh sleep apnea--although it is an excellent idea to do the experiment you mentioned. The thing is, have you been tired ever since you quit using the CPAP? If not, could the sleep apnea have taken a hiatus and then returned? really?

    In addition to doing your experiment, I'm going to suggest that you do what I assume you are already doing, but I need to say it so that we're on the same page with this comment.

    Try to remember when you noticed that you felt that pervasive sense of tiredness--unless you always have. It that is the case, it might just be the apnea.

    And look at your schedule. It seems to me that you have regularly said, that you'd been busy and didn't get bo bed on time. Getting up before 5a.m. is tough. Anyone would need a nap!

    Even young bodies require a certain amount of unintrupted sleep. Sleep is one of those things that actually records a deficit in your body that must be made up--and you will feel tired until you pack in some good zzzzs.

    Sorry this is a long way of saying that it may be a faulty routine and not apnea. :) I'll be looking forward to your "findings"!


  8. Hmmm. Sorry about the typos. Just assume I can spell. I type a little slower than I think sometimes. sigh. Deb.

  9. I hope you get the sleep apnea checked out with your doc. They have the proper equipment and if you do still have it then you can get back to using the CPAP and feeling rested again.

    I had it for years without knowing and had heart problems and other health related issues that were only from having sleep apnea. I went to specialist after specialist who couldn't figure out what was wrong and was prescribed this pill and sent for that test...

    I went to a new dentist and he called it right away from my throat and my teeth. I had a sleep study done and BINGO! Severe sleep apnea.

    I have had my machine for over a year now and my life has changed. I could barely make it through the day at work, I was too tired to cook when I got home, I had no energy for exercising. This has all changed for the better and I am no longer on beta blockers for my heart.

    Longest comment EVER, but I feel very strongly about this. Being overweight can be part of sleep apnea, but it is not the only reason. I know slim, fit people that have it.

    I sincerely hope you don't experiment with your health and that you go to see a professional.

    Stepping down from soapbox now.

  10. Sean,

    wanting to strip down in the Dr.s office to lose that extra pound...I love it!:) Been there done that, well, didn't but wanted to. Too modest to do anything like that, so I'll take the extra pound.

    Keep your chin up and know that you have soooo many wonderful friends and family that love you. Nothing more important than that, other than making time for those people in your life, and you do that for sure. You are a wonderful son, father and friend. Your family is so blessed!:)

    Take Care, God Bless and get plenty of Rest:)

  11. Sean, where to begin! lol its been a while but I am back (a while is only a couple of weeks but it feels like I abandoned my blog!) I have a lot of catching up to do on yours (and everyone elses blog that I read regularly) but in regards to this post, and you already know this, a pound up is nothing in the grand scheme especially when you are at what looks like a good solid level off weight like where you are right now, you have changed your life and that was the point so keep on keepin on and all that because you are obviously doin it right.

    As ever

  12. I just wanted to say today that I appreciate you.
    Just sayin'.

  13. I know that I've already commented on this subject, but I want you to go back and read what you wrote to me today (on my blog.) Every word applies to you too...just saying. <3

  14. I haven't been reading all the comments on your posts, so someone else may have already asked this. Have you ever estimated the weight of your excess skin? I mean, suppose you get to your goal weight, then have surgery, and suddenly weigh 15 lbs less? I think you look pretty good at your current weight!

  15. love the pictures...maybe I missed it...who is kenzzzz???? ;o)
    (now you can feel sorry for my poor little brother. I am constantly harrassing him. lol)
    so anywhoozle.
    oh well.
    I have decided to do what I know is right and put the scale up for about 30 days.
    I am losing at a glacial pace and the scale is a frustration at this point.
    Same work load...far far fewer results.
    that's life though aint it.
    glad we have both come so far that there isn't much there left to lose.
    Hang in buddy.

  16. Carol,

    So glad you asked Sean that. I wanted to, but wasn't sure how. I agree, he looks GREAT at his current weight! I almost congratulated him on his one pound gain:)


    I wonder if you feel the same kind of pressure a celebrity feels at times. With your life being an open book? The pressure not to fail with all eyes on you. I certainly hope not, because I will tell you with 100% certainty, this is the best book I have ever read...and it just gets better:)

    God Bless

  17. Don't you guys read this blog?

  18. Hey Sean, got an unexpected surprise today on AOL. Saw your friend Jack Sh*t profiled! Thought you might like to take a look,|htmlws-main-n|dl5|link4|

  19. Zoe, I'm a newbie:)

  20. Sean,

    Keep it up! You're doing great and don't let the sleep apnea thing stop you from focusing on the amazing health improvements you have made. Don't let perfection be the enemy of good!

    -Texan Girl

  21. Hey Sean! I have not been on your blog for a really, really long time... but I jumped on after you commented the other day- in response to the June 24th post on sleep apnea...

    Unfortunately society/media has made it out to be a fat disease, but just as many cases of the disease are because of anatomical issues that cannot be fixed by weight loss. I don't know if you remember that I have narcolepsy, but I am pretty close with the sleep doc's here in Spokane... I was told that only about 1/3 of obese patients that lose weight lose their sleep apnea in the process. I have heard many a story about obese patients losing weight, and being extremely disappointed because they still have to deal with it. The challenge of reframing thoughts on the disease is an obstacle because there has been so much publicity about sleep apnea being only an obesity issue...


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