The Power of Music and Mirrors
Independence Day has always been something very special to me. What it meant to me as a kid, then as a young adult, and what it means to me now—are slightly different versions of the same feelings. The emotions I feel during the climactic finale of a choreographed fireworks display-over “God Bless America,” are very real and powerful. Music moves me like nothing else. I'll never forget the emotions stirred in me when I attended a funeral several years ago of a young son of a co-worker. The musicians marched slowly into the funeral service playing bagpipes. I really didn't know the young man as well as I should have, but it didn't matter---the sound of that music rendered my emotional surrender, I was crying in the deepest way—It was the first time I really understood and appreciated the power of music.
KPNC provided the music for the fireworks display tonight, completely synced to each cannon, it was a wonderful display. And I listened to the music intently---and I felt that power and pride. It was beautiful.
Minutes after waking, I was standing in front of my mirrored sink area—just quietly looking at and appreciating my transformation. I can see the glaring flaws that remain, and they just don't matter. I can't look at myself and what this journey has done for me and be anything but happy. I can remember doing this same morning routine at over 500 pounds---and it was very different. I was so scared, not only about the unknown medical complications that I knew could jump up and disturb (kill) me at anytime, but scared because I felt so hopeless for change. I was completely out of control. That's a scary place to be, especially when you haven't a clue how to stop the spiral.
The irony is, I spent so much time looking for the answers that would lead me free from obesity, when all along---it was right there inside of that 500 pound guy in the mirror. My choices, My self-honesty about consumption, My desire to break free...it was all there for the taking, but I was blinded and confused---insisting that it must be more complicated, and refusing to deal directly with the core issues of my food addiction...and then one day I realized, there was just no other way. Let's face it head on, let's go!
OK---uh, that just kind of came out...I mean really, I was looking in the mirror and also thinking: It's time for another brow wax, and is that a pimple? How old am I again? A pimple, seriously? Sometimes I just can't keep from becoming deeply introspective---and it's often triggered by the simplest of things, music or looking into a mirror. Just being the product of my transformation stirs me at the most unexpected times. You'll have to pardon me.
I came across this excerpt from exactly a year ago, and what do you know?---I had a mirror moment that day as well...
After hearing from many people concerning their dependence on over-shirts, I don't feel too strange in postponing my independence from them. Thank you for the support my friend! I felt very confident this morning getting dressed for the event, including a belt on these size 46 Levis! I'll never forget the horror of barely squeezing into size 64 on one shopping trip. There we were at the Big and Tall store, and those jeans were tight, real tight...in the largest size they carried! I remember thinking I'm just a few pounds from needing custom made clothing. It's so fun to realize that without a belt, I'd constantly be pulling up size 46 jeans! Could I wear a 44? Maybe, not sure, but I have some ready to go thanks to a friend of mine who no longer needed them because of his own weight loss success. I may try on the 44's tomorrow, no, I will try them on tomorrow! Before heading out, I checked myself in the mirror and was pleased with my appearance. Even more pleased when I put on a pair of sharp sunglasses given to me the day before.
Yesterday, the sunglasses vendor came up to me and told me that he'd won so many prizes on my radio show, that he wanted to give me something for a change. He told me to come over and pick out any pair I wanted free of charge! I've never been a sunglasses kind of guy and I'll tell you why. They always looked funny on my fat face. Too much face always made the glasses look too small, like they were being stretched to fit my head. And when the only feature I liked on my 505 pound body was my eyes, why would I want to cover them up? They're all I got! Anyway, those days are over. I immediately made my way to the sunglasses tent like an excited child on Christmas morning. He had some really nice sunglasses! The pair I picked felt good on my face, and when he held up the mirror it was like I was looking at a stranger. For the first time in my adult life, I think I looked good in a pair of sunglasses, forget thinking, at the risk of sounding full of myself (you know I'm not), they looked really good. They fit my face wonderfully. This confident stride I'm walking feels amazing, just don't take away my over-shirt, not yet anyway.
It's fun to read about how excited I was to be in 46's—with a belt no less! Today, when I put on 38's so effortlessly—and very soon, 36's...wow, I think of those days—especially at size 64—and it makes me smile so big inside.
OK—what about today? It was a big night, with me doing the broadcast from the fireworks display at the lake. Amber and Courtney joined me early and we all visited and enjoyed each others company as I worked and we waited for the fireworks to start. The city of Ponca City sponsors the display---and we have to coordinate with the pyrotechnic crew, making sure our music is in exact sync with the fireworks. No pressure, right? Just thousands of people with all eyes on the sky and ears to our radio station. With the studio on my phone and the pyro guy on a two-way radio, we kicked it off---beautifully in sync. I was so relieved. All that was left was to sit back and enjoy. And we did.
The mayor and his wife made their way over before the fireworks, and although I've been around the mayor a bunch lately, I haven't his wife in some time. She gave me a great big “wow” reaction and asked just how much more could I possibly want to lose? That was very cool. It felt wonderful.
When the night was coming to an end, I realized that I still held on to 530 calories...Courtney left the lake with her boyfriend. Amber stayed with me—and we were hungry. We finally made it out of the traffic leaving the lake and found ourselves in a drive-thru. So did the rest of Ponca City---every place was packed. It was Burger King for us. I really can't stand this place---but I know exactly what to order here if I must. A Whopper Jr. without ketchup or mayo---plus mustard: 290 calories. I can do that I guess. And I did. We enjoyed our little BK excursion in the vehicle before heading upstairs, talking about a few things...her car in need of repair, her missing KL after taking him home for the remainder of the summer yesterday, and Scooby---our family dog she brought back to mom's place. This is what it's all about...it's not about the food, it's about living and loving---and yeah, eating to live, not living to eat. It was a great day.
Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...
Hi! From the broadcast vehicle...
In the vehicle with Amber—waiting to leave the lake.
A year ago today. In the garage of our old house...looking “boss.” Oh yeah---I had just discovered the simple joy of sunglasses. Just call me Mr. Cool if you please.