Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 671 Friendship With Food, My Friend Tony, and Your Message To Me

Day 671

Friendship With Food, My Friend Tony, and Your Message To Me

These pillows are the best pillows in the entire world. They should sell these in the lobby, I guarantee they would make another fortune. They should have a sign posted in every bathroom, "If you enjoyed your magic wonder pillow, they're available for sale in the lobby, just ask your friendly Hampton Inn guest relations specialist for assistance." That's golden my friend. You're welcome Hilton family. That was my first thought when I opened my eyes at 6:45am. Then my mind quickly focused on my morning schedule. I was determined to utilize the workout room treadmill, grab breakfast, and write yesterday's post. I had a 10am at the Miami Country Club to load out the sound equipment from last night's incredibly successful wedding reception. I'm so relieved it's behind me and everyone was happy.

I put on my workout clothes and headed down to the workout room. I was all alone, and perhaps that wasn't a good thing. Any workout was better than none at all, but I think we naturally push a little harder if we perceive someone else is judging our performance. They're not, usually not anyway--everyone is focused on their workout, they're not concerned about you or me. I was solo this morning, I owned the place----all to myself and feeling a strong two miles coming on. I originally thought about doing a treadmill 5K, but decided on a good two miles instead--I had a schedule to keep. They had the same Precor treadmills as my local YMCA, so I felt right at home. I pushed my pace well enough to achieve a sweaty body in under 25 minutes, so I was happy with the effort.

Breakfast was slightly different than yesterday. I enjoyed some old fashioned Kellog's Corn Flakes, fruit, and a banana. I never eat cold cereal for breakfast, but today--the little 90 calorie single serving sized box looked appealing. I used about a quarter cup of 2% milk, and breakfast was served. I took the breakfast to the room and made myself comfortable in front of the computer for a short writing session. The cereal was very good. I haven't allowed cold breakfast cereal along this road, because well, I'm not sure I trust myself. At this point, I would most likely be fine, but it's just one of those trigger foods I've written about before. Cereal and I have a history. You understand, right? In this controlled portion setting, we were fine with each other, but still---The memories remain of the two or three large bowls after dinner or right before bed...yeah, a history sure enough. But I know, I'm not that guy anymore. I guess those memories are just close enough to make me feel uncomfortable.

Tony Posnanski wrote about me today. Thank you sir! You know him better as "The Anti-Jared," and after interviewing him last year via telephone and reading his blog for sometime, I feel like I know him as a friend. We're very different on many levels, yet very much the same. We're both among the 200 pounds-plus-lost list of weight loss bloggers...and that's a real short list. Small company for sure, and I'm honored to be along this road with Tony. If you think Tony is a little hardcore, I encourage you to read his archives, especially when he became a father for the first time. In a post titled "It Is Ok To Cry," I discovered a side of Tony I didn't know existed. That post from Tony wiped away his tough guy image in my mind forever, he was like me---He was very real, with very real emotions, and very real dreams...and his weight loss was helping make those dreams come true. If you're not familiar with the man known as "The Anti-Jared," then please---give him a look. His "gun show" is impressive (my words, not his--at least I've never noticed him using the term). I gotta get me some like that! But again, there's a bunch of things impressive about his transformation. And like me, the least of it is the physical transformation. Thank you for the inspiration Tony. You my friend, are incredible, and I'm honored to be in your company.

I traveled back in time to exactly one year ago today, I do it everyday. I found this excerpt from Day 307:

I know of a few friends, some that blog, some that don't, that are experiencing some really tough times with their weight loss efforts. Two of them have already lost nearly 100 pounds, but still are experiencing horrible relapses in their behaviors with food. For them I offer this: It's not too late to get back in that groove that has given you so much success so far. But as you return to that groove, consider a couple of things. Have you been focusing on the things that you know will drop the pounds, and ignoring the necessary mental changes that will keep you consistent? Just eating less and exercising more doesn't do it for the long term. Like any weight loss plan, it will work, but you know that true change only sticks around when we change our minds about food.

Are we trudging through, struggling every step of the way? Or are we rejoicing in a new found way of thinking, where the weight loss becomes a side effect of our transforming brain? This new way of thinking means no longer using food irresponsibly. No longer using it like a weapon against our emotions, it's so easy to write and read on the screen, but seriously...think about this:

A huge part of this transformation for any of us, is realizing that food is our friend. And treating food right, instead of abusing that friend. It's a relationship that we must recognize. In the past, I used and abused food. Food was treated horribly, I used it as a weapon against my emotions, I used it when I was stressed, when I wasn't having a good day, when the world seemed completely stacked against was my way out. A way to find something that was good in what seemed like a horrible existence. This way of using and abusing food is so widely accepted, we refer to certain foods as “comfort” foods. And that makes it OK, because everybody knows that mashed potatoes and gravy or ice cream---well those are “comfort” foods...we're supposed to drown our sorrows in them. Baloney! It doesn't have to be that way! This isn't something I realized from Day 1, I had to develop along the way. I had to understand my relationship with food, and once I did, once it was clear...I've been rejoicing in a new found way of thinking every since.

And when you truly decide that food is no longer to be used to combat emotions or comfort your feelings, it forces you to deal with your issues in other positive ways, leaving your journey unscathed through it all. At first, you may feel like a gunfighter without a gun, but after a while it gets easier. You become aware of how you're treating food, and you end up changing the pattern. We've all heard the phrase “Eat to live, don't live to eat,” but have you ever really thought deeply about that phrase? Or when someone says “it's got to be a lifestyle change,” sure, absolutely! But are we really understanding what that truly means?

It means becoming a responsible friend of food. You don't have to be afraid of it anymore. You can make a new friendship with food that will benefit you the rest of your life---and the side effect? Losing weight and feeling great! Put up your steel curtain zone and defend your journey from the desires and abusive ways you've used food in the past! Make that decision that nothing, and I mean nothing is going to keep you from reaching your goal. A goal that isn't just about a certain weight, it's a goal that means complete control for the rest of your life. This journey is too important. You deserve this success! You deserve to feel what I'm feeling after the first 189 pounds have come off me. It's like a whole new world opens up to greet you.

Drop the excuses, and the rationalizations that have made you feel justified in your past behaviors, stop blaming everything for your struggles, and get super honest with the most important person...YOU. Get honest with yourself, brutally honest about those behaviors...and embrace 100% accountability and responsibility for your own behaviors and choices with food. It'll change your life my friend. It really will.

We headed back to Ponca City shortly after noon, stopping for a quick lunch in Bartlesville. Arby's was the winning choice, and I was comfortable with that choice. I know the calorie counts pretty well here, I was going to navigate this place in an effortless way. I ordered a Jr. Roast Beef Deluxe and a single potato cake. This sandwich has fresh veggies and lean roast beef, but beware---it also has real mayo. I love mayo, don't get me wrong, but in the world of calorie values I'd rather spend that 50 calories elsewhere. With mayo it's 260, without: 210. And that may be the best fast food sandwich calorie value I've ever enjoyed. 210 calories for the sandwich and 130 for the single potato cake...add 25 calories for ketchup--and my lunch checked in at 365 calories. I'm thinking cool!

My water today has been enough, but not as good as my last two. Friday's 104 ounce performance was over the top. I hit my 64 today with the last 20 ounces coming about an hour before bedtime. As I visited the bathroom at 3am, I thought, I should really hit my water goal a little earlier in the day.

I napped good and hard upon my return to the apartment. The entire weekend was fantastic but tiring, mentally and physically. No complaints here...Just happy this weekend is in the books!

By the way, something has been heavy on my mind lately. And when I say "lately," I mean--since the AOL exposure. I'm usually very responsive to e-mails and messages, I always have been. But with so many, it's really hard to respond quickly. Your message to me is very important. I think I'll make my way through and try to read and respond to even just a few a day, and eventually I'll get to all of them. I'm so very blessed to have such incredible support. Thank you deeply, I'm so grateful. And I'm a very compassionate person, and super passionate about weight loss---so when I receive an email or facebook message that shares someones emotional place along this road---it's almost impossible to not just drop everything and write a detailed response. I do care, and always will, because I've been right where you are. I sincerely appreciate your support. And remember, if you've recently sent me a message of some kind and I haven't responded, please be extremely patient with me. I'm getting there my friend.

Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

Saturday morning hotel breakfast

Sunday morning hotel breakfast

My plate during the reception. I did go back for another mini-egg roll, more fruit, and roast beef slices. Oh---and that bite of cake I wrote about yesterday!

I love this PEWC member with all my heart! My mom with her water bottle. Great job mom!!

PEWC member Lisa Love drinking from a really big jug! Way to rock this challenge Lisa!! Your daughter in the back seat has that look of--mom, seriously? I love that! Lisa shared this about her PEWC experience: I did NOT know Shannon was in the pic until after the fact, and I was heaving my buns off when I saw it! She was napping in the back seat(weekend vacation) and sat up just as I was taking it, and after I snapped the pic, she said "mom, what are you doing?" LOL! I was going to crop her out, but didn't have the heart, if you want to that is fine:) Yes, it's a 3 liter bottle, I drank all of it in a 2 day period, and then some. Hope you are coming down from your AOL high, you deserve the best life has to offer! Love you Sean! ---Lisa Love

Anyone up for a low-fat vanilla soft-serve cone challenge? These little 150 calorie cones have absolutely helped me feel incredibly indulgent while staying perfectly on track. Kenz had just sent me a picture of her enjoying one of these---so even though I was really crunched for time Friday afternoon, I just had to get one too and return the picture!


  1. wow!! that is really awesome that you have lost weight and shared your struggle along the way. this has inspired me to do the 31yrs old and have three boys. i recently had my gallbladder removed and i had to start eating better and for about a month i was doing it but then those familiar demons came calling and i answered. i didnt think weight loss was possible for me without use of a lap band or a gastric bypass, although i never wanted to go that route without trying something else first. i am 5'6 and weigh 282lbs. i am really inspired by your story and i think im going to give water another try..trying to kick the soda habit. Good luck to you and God bless you and your family and i hope that one day i'll have a success story to share with the world. i also agreed with what you said about getting over your psychological/emotional barriers. i didnt think about the mental aspects of losing weight just the physical. you have definitly made my mind up. thank you for sharing your story and this long journey. i know for sure you are going to continually help alot more people with your amazing success.

  2. I am so happy I found your blog!!! Congrats on the amazing job you have done!!

  3. I don't think I've ever read about your history with cereal. I may have issues there too. It is so good, but I can't trust myself to control the portions. Good tip to just avoid them altogether.

  4. Sean im up for the low-fat vanilla soft-serve cone challenge, how many can we eat a week? LOL

  5. Sean, I am writing to say thank you so much! I am you with the food demons and having to change what goes into my mind as well as my mouth. So I am copycatting you and I have started a blog about my weight loss journey. If you ever get interested here is the link:

    I have gathered a few friends and they are already being very supportive and also making me feel accountable for doing this if I am dragging them in. I am so glad to have read your story and found a way I believe may help not just get the weight off but keep it off this time by reprogramming my brain and emotions.


  6. Wow, I'm so moved by Shane's post..I'm going to check it out after I write this comment! :) Good for you Shane..Day 1 will be great!

    Sean, I'd be up for an ice cream cone challenge, but you know I'd have trouble since they're out of ice cream so often. ;) Maybe when I'm in Oklahoma? We don't have a lot of drive-thru places here. hehe I guess we'll have to stick to water for now, hm? :)

    Your momma looks so cute with her water bottle. It makes me smile big. :)

    I was writing tomorrow's blog post when I realized I had yet to comment on yours, and I'm glad I read it first because it has changed my perspective..actually, it just gave me some perspective.

    "Are we trudging through, struggling every step of the way? Or are we rejoicing in a new found way of thinking, where the weight loss becomes a side effect of our transforming brain? This new way of thinking means no longer using food irresponsibly. "

    Losing over 100 pounds has bee incredible, but it's tough some days (rarely, but some days) to know that I still have such a long road ahead. I mean, there's no question about where I'm going..I'm on a journey to great health, and quitting isn't even an option. I just need to feel good about my progress before and stop looking for reasons to justify the slowed pace I was on until last week.

    It's the best thing I've ever done even if it feels like a struggle once in a while. And I definitely wouldn't give this feeling back for any piece of cake or fried chicken. ha

    I feel good because I'm in control. Thanks for reminding me of that through this post..

  7. Hey Sean, Good choices all the way around.

  8. I didn't get a chance to respond to yesterday's post regarding the hotel breakfast, but I had to thank you. Hubby and I are going on vacation in a couple of weeks and our hotel will be offering a delicious (and calorie/fat-laden) breakfast. I have already been catching myself thinking about the waffles and bacon and bagels with cream cheese... mmmm.

    Your post yesterday (and again today) helped me to remember where my focus needs to be (on making good choices) and that free doesn't mean free of calories, free of fat, free of responsibility. I still need to be aware of what goes in my body as well as getting in some activity. My body doesn't take a vacation from gaining weight, so I can't take a vacation from this journey.

    I want to come back home and be proud of the choices I made. I'm feeling confident that this will happen. :) ~H.

  9. Sean,

    The day I saw your story featured on AOL is the day that my life changed. I'm 25 years old and I've been overweight for at least 15 of those years. I've struggled so hard with so many of the same things I've read about in your blog so far, and I can't begin to describe how much of a difference in makes to really SEE that I'm not alone, and not just hear someone tell me I'm not.

    I was on the bandwagon for about two an a half inconsistant weeks, counting my calories and exercising--when I could convince myself too--when I saw your story before work on the 14th. I wrote a journal entry that day, and officially started my own blog the very next. I'm on day 5 of my own journey. Every night I've posted my own blog to my facebook before reading more of yours.

    I can honestly say that these five days have been some of the most amazing ones of my life, and I've cried almost every one of them! They have been some of the happiest, most relieved tears I've ever shed. In fact, I had to pause writing this response because I teared up when I KNEW my life had changed.

    Thank you so much.

    And I'm proud to report that since the 28th of June, I've lost about nine pounds, even with the struggles of the first few weeks.

    Melissa S.
    Anchorage, Alaska

  10. "You can make a new friendship with food that will benefit you the rest of your life"- WOW... breakthrough time! What a great perspective, when for years I've viewed food as more the enemy, than a friend. AND its so true. OMG..I am adding this as a Sean Quote to my 'My Motivational' list!!! Thanyou... you're such a legend Sean!!! Mwah

  11. I just found your blog and am wondering if you have a listing anywhere of what you do and have done to have such success?

  12. What an inspiring blog, Sean! I just started blogging my own journey and was sent your link as inspiration from a friend. Well done on the work you've done so far. I can't wait to read more of your entries and learn from you! You're a rockstar. :)

  13. Sean,

    I am catching up on your blogs after 2 longs weeks of being I started with most recent and am working my way down, and just saw my water challenge pic! I smiled all over again. I miss my sweet girl! She was only here for 10 days and had a tight schedule. She is in graduate school, vocal performance major in Bloomington Indiana, and flying out tomorrow:( I did get to share the PEWC water challenge with her after the pic was taken:) She thought my 3 liter water jug was a bit much...what can I say?:)

    Thanks for the post.

    Take Care and God Bless!


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