Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 697, 698. and 699 Fatherly Pride and Size 36 Jeans

Day 697, 698, and 699

Fatherly Pride and Size 36 Jeans

Courtney's first day of her senior year in high school was Thursday. She's maintained the weight she's lost—and this first day of school proved that she is still feeling the benefits of being 80 pounds lighter. We had lunch together today and we talked about working out together later in the coming week. Courtney has her sights set on losing another 50 or 60. And it's cool to hear her talk about her journey, because it might as well be me--she really understands what it's all about. I beam with pride when I talk about my daughters, I love them so much...and I love it that they understand the concept behind “good choices.” They both have a keen understanding of choices and consequences, they understand what I mean when I talk about personal responsibility, and it gives me confidence in them---but even better, it gives them confidence in themselves.

I've always felt horrible about my influence on them growing up---the horrible example I set that indeed led them straight to obesity. But now I see...and they understand, and we're at a place where we can look back and appreciate all we've learned along the way---and we can take pride in what's ahead. And I realize—My influence on them now is right and good...and it's beautiful.

Courtney and I went shopping for her some school clothes today. She was absolutely thrilled to find some jeans she liked, and in a size she loved. The smile on her face when she opened the dressing room door said it all---she's a confident young woman...and that confidence and enthusiasm has incredible power at any age---especially 17. Last year I had Courtney write a paragraph about her first day back after a successful summer of weight loss. I re-read it today, and just had to share:

Today was the first day of school, the first day of my Junior year! It was unlike any other first days of school, my confidence was the difference. Everyone today DID notice my weight loss over the summer and over the past year, and DID feel the need to say something. I got probably 10+ compliments today. The feeling I had is something I've never felt on a first day of school, it was totally not like me. I felt like a whole new person. Being self-conscious at school is one of the most uncomfortable feelings, I'm just glad I never have to go through that again. Some of the differences were simple and some were drastic. For example, usually when I walk up to the 3rd floor for one of my classes I feel sweaty! And out of breath! Today after walking up to the 3rd floor with ease, I wasn't sweaty or the slightest bit out of breath. Then the next thing I noticed was fitting into the desk a lot better than I did freshman and sophomore year! The desk at the high school can really make someone feel uncomfortable if you're overweight, cause the sizes of some of them can be a really tight squeeze. Not today! I fit in every single desk as if it were the easiest thing in the world. I had plenty of room between the desk and myself. It felt amazing. Last but seriously not least was the way my social skills improved 100%. I don't feel awkward and ugly when I talk to people. I feel confident and pretty. So just overall, losing weight has really made a difference in my high school experience so far! There's no way I'm going back to my old habits. I could get use to this amazing feeling, and it just makes me so excited for these next two years of my high school career. Can't wait!

Wow---I get emotional reading that again. She has that same wonderful confidence this year, and her plans for higher education, I believe, are directly related to that confidence and unstoppable positive attitude. Courtney has told me that she really wants to be a pediatrician someday. Isn't that awesome? She dreams of helping kids---and her own experiences in childhood obesity and the emotions involved will undoubtedly benefit her and countless kids someday. I just want to say---I'm so proud that both of my daughters dream of professions that deal with helping children. I don't know how we did it, and I'm not sure how much credit we can take---but we did something right in raising them the way we did.

Friday night found Kenz and me out on a date at The Rusty Barrell. And yes, they spell the word barrel with two L's. It was such a wonderful visit and dinner. We both enjoyed the small sized ribeye. I would have much preferred a leaner cut, like a sirloin—but it wasn't on the menu. I could have ordered the chicken breast, but really, this place is known for their steaks...I was having a steak. We both enjoyed the dinner and each others company. It was a fantastic evening indeed!

Oh by the way, I must clear something up! Ang--that picture of Kenz and me after doing the 30 day shred--She rocked that thing...while I just kind of barely made it through. She was giving it her all--and I wasn't, honestly. I was trying to keep up--but not very well. Kenz absolutely knows how to get her workout on---I'm absolutely needing to learn by her example! But anyway--that's why I may have looked "less shredded." ;)

Saturday was busy, very busy---but very enjoyable. I enjoyed lunch with Kenz and her dad Wayne, before rushing off to a hair appointment. There's actually video of my brow wax that I've yet to upload from Kenz's iPhone, but will soon. I needed a haircut really bad! After the hair cut and wax, we made our way to the theatre for “Hankerin' For Hank,” a tribute to Hank Williams. I took the stage at the start to welcome the audience of well over 500 on behalf of KPNC. The confidence I feel in front of an audience now is twenty times better than it ever was at over 500 pounds. I can move, I can breathe, I'm not worried about what I look much. Hey, some things take a while to fully realize. But honestly, I do realize better now than ever before.

Courtney and I enjoyed lunch at KFC Sunday afternoon while we waited on the clothing store to open at 1pm. This KFC has a buffet—and when you reach the counter, they just assume you're going to order the buffet. We did not. Courtney had me order first. I asked for a grilled breast dinner with mashed potatoes (gravy on the side), and green beans---hold the biscuit. Courtney, followed my lead, saying “I'll have the same thing.” We were told that they would deliver our meal to the table, so we found a place to sit down and we waited. Our food arrived complete with a 180 calorie buttermilk biscuit on top. I could have allowed it, but I just didn't want to “invest” the calories---and I didn't want it around me either, so I handed the gentleman the biscuit, reminding him that my order was without biscuit. He probably thought, why don't you just not eat it and throw it away? He didn't understand—their biscuits and I, well—we have a history that goes back longer than he's been alive. Some things are easier to resist than others, and I decided going in---I wanted less than 350 calories with this meal...and 180, or even 90 for half a biscuit, wasn't a part of this plan. Our meal checked in at 330 calories each. And we both agreed, we were very satisfied—and it was delicious!!! We were fed and off to shop!!

We were both shopping today. Courtney for school clothes and me for a new pair of jeans and a plain black shirt. Courtney found what she wanted and so did I! I tried on and fit comfortably into a pair of 36 Levis! Size 36 waist---really??? Me??? Yes---it was beautiful. Now I must say—it's all in the cut and style. I also tried on a 38 in a style that felt very tight---But still, the tab in my new jeans says 36---and that absolutely rocks!!! I'm loving this transformation stuff!

Courtney had to work this afternoon, Kenz was away with her dad and a family friend, and I was alone at the apartment, working on my presentation for Tuesday's speaking event in Tulsa. Once again—if you would like to be there, visit and click on the “next meeting” tab at the top. You'll see the write up on me and also find instructions to RSVP. They really need the RSVP's as soon as possible. Monday by noon at the latest. The cost is $15 at the door. Oh—and this is handy---they have a 24 hour reservation hotline---(918) 624-9333. I've had a few readers in the Tulsa area tell me they would love to be there, but since it's in the middle of the day—they can't get away from work. I completely understand!

Before I wrap this edition, I wanted to share an email reply I sent to a reader today. Sharon in South Carolina is having tremendous success. She's lost nearly twenty pounds in a month and is absolutely sailing along beautifully. She wrote about her past struggles and those of her loved ones—and how things are going now. I'm so happy for her!

The difference between this being a struggle and being an enjoyable road all the way---is completely between our ears. It is a friendship with food, an understanding---it's just living---simplifying the process...and realizing that we can do this in a most enjoyable way that will leave us wondering what the trouble was all of those years. The trouble is always what WE make it. The limitations, the rules, the frustrations---we choose it's perspective. It's letting go of every excuse or rationalization that have always held us back. It's no longer being the "victim." It's choosing change before change chooses us. It's a very powerful idea. Empowering. It's deciding that this is too important to allow any emotion, circumstance, person, place, or thing steal it away from us. We deserve this freedom---it's ours if we choose to make it one of the most important things we've ever done. The importance level MUST be set that high, because if it isn't---it becomes too easy to just say..."oh well, we'll try again some other time." Make this the LAST TIME. Because if we don't---"someday" will come anyway---and changes will choose us---and if it's not on our terms, we're probably not going to like those changes. Choose the change you've always dreamed about. You're completely free to fly my friend!!!!!!!

Thank you for reading! Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

330 calorie KFC visit (or is it “KGC?”) No problem! We loved it!

The tab in my new jeans. When I hold them up—my brain doesn't register that they'll fit. They look so small—but then, feeling like some kind of magician---I magically fit into them. It's certainly no magic trick—this is real stuff my friend!

Recent picture—Courtney and Me


  1. LOL..Sean..I get that Kenz worked out hard..It's all over that picture..I was giving you a bad time dude..You looked like it was barely a sprinkle. I've been following along as of lately..Believe it or not..I jump now everytime there is a post to read. Looking for that bit of umph of inspiration when I'm running low. I'm so happy for your girls. Hard to believe she's a senior now. Where has the time gone?

    Hope you have a great week. Hi to Kenz and Courtney :)

  2. The jeans thing made me smile! I hold up jeans and even though my brain KNOWS I am that size, they just look impossibly small. I expect the sales assistant to laugh as I take them into the fitting room, and then I can magic myself into them too! Then I check and double check the size tag just to make sure I'm not fooling myself. Brilliant post.

  3. wow Courtney is a very inspirational young lady, she looks so happy, it's wonderful to see..

    Congrats on the jeans LOL :)

  4. Sean, I love reading that you are out there living dude. I mean I am not to the point that I would go into a KFC with a buffet and just trust myself, not yet. I have a history with KFC too that needs distance before I try that.

    I love Courtney's letter! I am finishing up my Bachelors Degree this year and the desk, thing she mentions, I get that! It is my hope that in my last semester, I fit the desks too. Tell Court I know she don't know me, but I am very proud of her. Most kid her age would just deal with the overweight facet and move on, she has the courage and determination to take it on, and that makes her very special. And never underestimate your influence in that process. Lauren is starting to see what I am doing and is really taking notice. She is only slightly overweight but has watched me struggle and so now when she is eating, she asks me how many calories in this? Since she is only 8, I hope to get to her early on and make a difference in her adolescence, make her road smoother than mine and Kathy's.

  5. Congratulations on the jeans!!! Isn't it the best feeling in the world??

    Good luck with your talk on Tuesday!! You are so going to rock it.

  6. Wow ! What a remarkable young lady. You two did good, Sean....seriously. Mine leaves to go back to college in two weeks - I blinked, and he is a grown man. I know that the vast majority of his talents came from his Maker, his ancestors and his own development too. But please, yes take some credit - for that little person has spent their whole time here in your care. Blessings to Courtney as she takes on the AWESOMENESS of her senior year!



  7. Congrats on the Jeans and Congrats to Courtney for all of her accomplishments. She's beautiful! What an inspiring family you guys are!

  8. I love Courtney's healthy attitude toward her weight loss. At that age, any weight I lost was an act of self-loathing not a healthy choice. It led to problems in my adult life, but Courtney seems to be on a much better path with a much healthier mindset. She's inspiring!

  9. Love the jeans label picture. I still remember the day I could fit into a single digit size. What an awesome accomplishment for you. Both your girls have bright, bright futures.

  10. The influence we are as parents... so very powerful!

  11. 2 realizations:

    I always buy clothes TOO big, size 10 or a large for pants... while on vacation in CA my daughter kept telling me I was doing this, "mom, just TRY on a smaller size"... no, I need the room, just in case! Fine, I'll do it. Size 8 jeans, medium yoga pants. The b/f said, you should go smaller on the yoga pants - uhh REALLY?! crazy.

    b/f and I had subway yesterday while up in Estes Park, CO - we split a footlong, and decided to make it ONE combo - one drink and one bag of chips - only ONE bag?! for BOTH of us to share?! I can't do this! well we rationed out the chips - it was perfect.

    I always THINK I need more food than I really do, and I always THINK I need BIGGER clothes than I do.

    p.s. how come men lose weight faster than women? I don't remember the reason, whatever it is, it's a pisser!

    Cindy in CO

  12. It feels like I was just a senior in high school...yet my oldest kiddo is already halfway there. *yikes* time flies! What an exiciting year it will be for Courtney.

    And Congrats on the new jeans!

  13. Another great post, Sean. I love Courtney's letter. The world needs teens like her to help kids understand this stuff. Congrats also on the size 36 jeans. AWESOME!!

  14. Congratulations Sean!

    Courtney is precious and you are a wonderful father...Amber, Courtney and you have all been blessed:)

    Take Care and God Bless!

  15. Sean, I have been reading your blog for over a year, I rarely post a comment,(sorry) but today the end of your post really kicked me in the gut. I want that, I do, I just allow myself to struggle. I quoted you in my post today I hope you don't mind. Thank you for being an inspiration to me. I love your honesty, and that steel wall, you amaze me.
    I am not sure how this is done, as I rarely quote anyone, but this is my blog, if it is not alright just let me know.

  16. Every time I read your blog I can't help but wonder how you ever hooked up with that piece of work out east. You really are lucky you moved on . . .

  17. It's so wonderful to think of Courtney walking into school again this year as a confident girl who feels pretty. She is beautiful inside and out, and it's going to be a wonderful year for her.

    Thanks for the note about shredding. I schooled you though you schooled me tonight in our foot race. Ha...

    And the jeans...we'll talk about those more later, but wow...just

  18. Why did you have to post about KFC biscuits today?!?! Last night Skyler went to the Taco Bell/KFC and I have him order me TWO biscuits on the side because I love them but I had no idea they were 180 calories EACH! I suppose this means I should start using that free wellness center membership I have!

  19. Congratulations on the smaller jeans! It is so unfair how men see their jeans sizes in inches. Women's clothing is so random. We celebrate with you. You rock!

  20. Love the pic of you and Courtney!

  21. I know you are living your life and I am so completely happy for you, but I seriously miss finding you here everyday.

    I hope it's okay to tell you that. I don't want you to feel bad but just know that you are missed.


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