Knowing Too Much, Struggling Family/Friends, and The SCZ
I woke up this morning feeling really good. Hmmm, could this water challenge have something to do with my overall vibrancy? Whatever it is, I like it. I hit the coffee pot and then the floor for my non-weighted strength training exercises. Things have changed so much. Getting out of bed or anything was always a chore, but now—I spring up and start exercising? Really, me? This transformation has changed so much in my life, from the sometimes complex mental battles—to the simplicity of my morning routine, everything is for the better.
I grabbed a Joseph's 60 calorie pita, scrambled three egg whites with mushrooms, added 70 calories worth of cheese, and my incredibly filling breakfast was served at a low 181 calories. I added a banana and more coffee and I was ready for whatever the day had in store.
My daily time travels into the archives took me to July 13th, 2009. Knowing too much to ever go back is a very real place. It doesn't mean you're perfect. I'm far from perfect. It simply means you've made the mental changes that this journey absolutely demands, when long term-consistent success is the goal. Come with me to exactly one year ago:
After re-reading my writing and the many comments and e-mails, I realized that I need to ease up a bit on myself. Not “take it easy” ease up, but I need to realize that there honestly is no turning back now. I need to get that fear out of my head. I couldn't change my brain back to the old eating habits if I tried. Seriously, fitness and life coach Melissa Walden put it best... “you know too much to ever go back.” And as far as the exercise is concerned, it's not the end of the world if I occasionally take a day of rest from working out. I guess when it's such a part of the daily routine, and then I miss, it reminds me of a time when I didn't concern myself with exercise. But those days are long gone. I need to get over myself, geez. The number one thing I tell people that ask for advice is “be consistent!” Consistency has played a major role in my success so far, so when I show any inconsistency, it drives me nuts. But we're human and it isn't going to be perfect. In contrast to some of the hard struggles some are experiencing, my post must have sounded like a little spoiled baby pouting. I'm over that. Onward and downward we go!
I know several people who are struggling really hard right now. Some are close loved ones, others are friends. They're people I care about deeply. I wish I could do it for them—just hold their hand and guide them every step, but I can't. It must come from within each of them. They know this already---and I know this, but it will never stop me from reaching out and trying to help. Here's an excerpt from that very same day. July 13th, 2009:
I stopped by to see a friend that I know is struggling today. I wasn't there to verbally attack him or offer a tough love speech about how important this is, I was simply there. He could see the difference in me even since the last time we were face to face. I honestly didn't have to say a word. I know where he's stuck. I've been stuck in that place many times. It's a place where we allow our world of stress and circumstance to pull us down into a dark place where nothing matters anymore. The fact that losing weight and getting healthy can only improve our overall outlook in these tough situations becomes completely lost. It's easy to give in to our emotions, to decide that “with everything going the way it's going, I just can't stay focused.” But don't let those circumstances steal away your life. Decide that no matter what comes along—nothing is going to take this away from you. It can try, it can take everything else, but not this. It's too important. We're talking life and death here.
The positive effects of losing weight are so numerous and powerful, it can make a bad situation seem a little better, and a desperate situation seem a little less hopeless. I've never shared personal financial circumstances or details of just how stressful my journey has been at times, and I'm not starting now—I never will, wouldn't be appropriate. But let me say this: If I allowed my stress and personal circumstances to rule my journey, it would have ended flat out on day 2. Only a handful of people know what struggles we've faced and continue to face along this ride, I say this because I don't want you to think 'easy for you to say Sean.' Everything I'm saying, I say from experience. If you're lost on your journey, I just want to hold up a light on the road so you can find your way back, because that detour you're taking is a dead end my friend.
I took a good nap this afternoon, really—I didn't have a choice. I was exhausted and play rehearsal was scheduled for 7pm. Getting dressed for this play shouldn't be so hard. But I struggle with body image issues. My brain is still trying to catch up with my new regular-sized body and my on-stage confidence is on the line. If I feel uncomfortable on stage, it will absolutely show in my performance. Having to get undressed for a bedroom scene in this production is really stretching my comfort zone. OK—It's completely busting it wide open, even though I'm completely covered in this particular scene. I will say this, Chris Williams has been the most understanding director. He's really making this easier for me to handle. If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know that acting was always a suppressed dream of 500 pound Sean...well, it's no longer suppressed. We're living it everyday. Dealing with these powerful self-image hang-ups head on is a very small price to pay for the realization of a dream. And in dealing with these issues, I'm coming out stronger for the effort. This transformation stuff is so much more than physical my friend.
I'm so happy that the Positive Effect Water Challenge is taking off so wonderfully! Many more have agreed to take the challenge and drink 64 ounces of pure unadulterated water a day! If you've recently joined, give Kenz and me a little time to update the list of participants. I hit 67 ounces today, with the last 20 coming right before bed. Honestly---It wasn't the best performance, I shouldn't be waiting until bedtime to guzzle enough to meet the challenge. My goal is to have the 64 ounces complete, everyday of this challenge by 6pm. That's a goal. Uh—yeah, wish me luck!
If you're in on the challenge---we want to know how you're doing! And—we would love to feature a picture of you drinking water! Just send a picture of you enjoying some of your 64 ounces to Kenz or me today, and we'll start featuring participants soon. Email the pictures to: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you get a chance to gain a full perspective of this journey by going back and reading from Day 1. Several emails today have requested more information on the SCZ—The Steel Curtain Zone, and I'll provide that in tomorrow's post. But you need not wait---Just type “steel curtain zone” into the search box at the top of this blog, and you're there.
When someone ask me about the mental aspects of losing weight, I always suggest they read Day 327. What we believe about ourselves can be extremely crippling or incredibly empowering along this transformation road.
Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...
I plan on sharing a water drinking photo everyday of this challenge. I hope to share one of you soon! I'll get more creative with these as we move further along.
This is an old before shot with an “in-progress” photo from 83 pounds ago. I weigh 246 today.
Can you tell I like this one? I do---I guess I need to take more pictures...
Kenz and I thank you for your participation!