Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 715, 716, and 717 Will I Be Happy? and Remembering Stages of Change

Day 715, 716, and 717

Will I Be Happy? and Remembering Stages of Change

As I move and groove toward goal, I feel pretty good. No, great actually. I'm becoming more accepting of the imperfections, focusing on the positives, and steering clear of the negatives. I'm starting to realize more and more what I really meant when I wrote the words, "230 or whatever feels right." I really didn't know. I hadn't a point of reference. When you're shooting for a weight you haven't felt since you were eleven years old--it's hard to know if you're right, so there had to be an out..."whatever feels right." But I refuse to shake the 230 number in my mind. I feel great now and with surgery to remove excess skin someday (if I opt for that--still not completely sure), it'll be even better, and with continued fitness goals, even better. Why am I digging into this now? I'm getting close to that number, real close, and the question was recently asked by a friend and reader of this blog...Lisa Love asked:

"When you meet your goal, you will be happy right?"

The truth is, I'm happy right now. I occasionally catch my reflection in the window at the studio and I LOVE what I see. I often, even though I see the pictures, even though I look in the mirror more often than ever, I still...can't believe it's me in there. It's a dream come true. Forget every other wonderful thing in my life at this point, forget the future possibilities, forget it all---and still, this is a dream come true. If I never write another word, never speak at another event, never share my story with another soul...still, it has been a gift, a true blessing, a dream come true, and most importantly, an answer to a prayer. So, will I be happy? I have nothing to be unhappy about. It doesn't mean I'll hit 230 and just forget about my fitness goals. I really have no idea where I'll end up weight wise, it's a real wild card, but whatever it is--even if I end up above 230 (muscle gain), I'll be happy and eternally grateful, just as I am today. The number on the scale isn't really the measuring stick at that point, it's "whatever feels right," remember?

When my bike was stolen a while back, I didn't make it a big deal. I may have mentioned it, but really, I think I was a little embarrassed because I was so trusting, never putting a lock on the thing. And this apartment community is so nice and well kept, I just felt safe keeping it just down the stairs, literally 20 feet from my front door. Well, lesson learned. Lindel is a friend of mine that has found a wonderful hobby in buying and restoring old bikes. He also likes to put motors on them! Linda, his wife, emailed me the other day, telling me of a beach cruiser type bike that they had for me. It was completely restored and ready. They could have sold it for much more, but were too kind, offering it to me for forty dollars. I'm so excited about riding again. I've been out twice already this week. I've discovered the peacefulness of an early morning ride...just me and the birds, between 4 and 5 am...It's so quiet, you can hear everything you never notice in the middle of the day. I love it! Thank you Linda and Lindel, you two are the best! It was a great deal on a wonderful bike, and it came complete...with a combination lock.

In the archives, I found that it was a year ago that I crossed below 300 for the first time since childhood. I remember the emotion of that day so well. I felt it when I dropped below 500, again when I dropped below 400, and when I dropped below 300--it was wonderful. I wasn't really expecting it to be such an emotional thing, because I had recently experienced all of the wonderful emotions of crossing the 200 pounds lost marker. The following paragraph really didn't express just how special that weigh-in was to me, but here it is anyway:

I arrived at the doctors office ready to face the scale. The scale and I are friends really, have been from day one. It's a simple arrangement really. As long as I consistently do what I'm suppose to do, then the scale will hopefully continue a downward trend. Stepping on that scale today and seeing 296 was amazing. I didn't expect to become emotional, but I quickly teared up. I did again while sending out the e-mail, text, and twitter. I've officially lost 209 pounds in 353 days. I was so incredibly happy with a five pound loss, it was a wonderful thing. I weigh two hundred and ninety-six pounds! I just love that way that sounds, you know?

I've decided that once again, I'll have a four week weigh-in. My next weigh day will be September 15th. A monthly weigh-in is what I plan on doing in maintenance mode, and really--why not start now? Talk about big weigh-ins...the September 15th weigh-in could be the one...the one where 230 shines brightly from the digital display.

I can't wrap this edition without remembering somebody special. I really wish I would have known him better. We would read each others blogs and occasionally email each other, but I never even knew his real name, I just knew him as "Stages of Change," the name of his blog. It wasn't until just the other day, that another blogger who had the honor of knowing him personally, shared his name.

Garrett wasn't even 30 years old, his blog says 28, but whatever the age, he was way too young to die. I don't even know for certain what happened. It's easy to assume that obesity claimed his life, but I don't know that for certain. And really, it doesn't matter at this point. He's gone. And it's heartbreaking to read his last post and see the changes in the appearance of his blog. What was once dark, was full of light and hope, and his introspective writing--always stirring, revealed that he was always focused on understanding the mental dynamics of morbid obesity. He was achieving an understanding of what brought him there, and in that understanding, was certain he would find the way out. I wish he would have had more time, it's something I really don't understand. This kid deserved more time. Not even 30? It breaks my heart. In his last post, he writes:

" may notice I changed the look of my blog for the first time. I did that because I realized that though I originally really liked the look of it, it no longer reflected who I'm becoming. The original black scheme was about hiding and denial. I strive now to be about light and truth. I also replaced my black and white "head in my hands" picture of myself I had as my profile shot. I did that also because it's no longer who I am anymore. That was about being hopeless, and some "why me?" victimization, and immaturely romanticized drama. I strive now to be about success, self-accountability, and moderation."

In one of his incredibly insightful comments on my blog, he shared with us his deep understanding of forgiveness:

"Forgiveness is an incredibly powerful thing I've learned/am learning. For those we THOUGHT have harmed us, but haven't as much as we weren't willing to look at our role in the situation. For OURSELVES, for all our transgressions that we never let ourselves forget and always held over our heads. For those that DID truly hurt us. Forgiveness of all of those areas is something I've been working on over the last few months, and I'm nowhere near the end, but what I have done has been so helpful. Resentment is one of, if not the greatest, roadblock to happiness and health in life I believe, and forgiveness is the key to unlocking that burden from around our necks."

He was an incredibly gifted writer, a tender heart, and a wonderful human. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends that knew him and loved him. You can visit his blog at Rest in peace my friend.

Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

My bike!

My weakness. I don't avoid it, I control it in nice little portion sizes like this. Frozen yogurt from Braum's Ice Cream and Diary Stores--this is a 3.5 ounces, or 180 calories! So worth it!

Dinner! 90% lean hamburger steak, mashed potatoes, and cooked--fresh frozen green beans...The sodium listed: Zero. The canned? Out of control with sodium. These tasted kind of rubbery...I need to get a little creative in the preparation, that's all. Maybe some melted American cheese.


  1. Your new bike rocks! I have a beach cruiser styled mtn bike for most of my riding.

  2. Sean, How did you find out about him? I followed him for a long time. I was just wondering. This is too sad.
    You have to assume it was weight related. He wasn't that old.
    Unless he was hit by a car.
    This is serious business. It's too sad.

  3. I heard about Garrett's death and i'm deeply saddened by it! He was an incredibly caring human being.

  4. Love your new bike, and the lock! Glad to know what the frozen yogurt at Braum's comes in at. I e-mailed Braum's a couple years ago for nutrition info and they said they didn't offer nutrition info, lol. I guess an ice cream store wouldn't, lol. But their frozen yogurt rocks!

  5. Sean,

    So sorry about your friend. I am going to visit his blog as soon as I finish responding, and I can already feel the tears coming.

    I love your bike! The green is great. Everyone will know when you are coming or going:)

    Whatever your decision is regarding skin removal, please remember those who love you will love you no matter are and will always be the same sweet Sean, and that is truly all that matters when all is said and done.

    Take Care and God Bless friend!

  6. This story hits so close to home. When I started my weight loss journey I weighed 590lbs. I am so sorry to hear about a life lost to this battle. I think it is so great that you are sharing with people that it is possible to make changes and stick with them. My name is Charles, and I have been on weight watchers since March 29th, and I have lost 131.2 lbs. I don't even remember how I came across your blog, but I wanted to let you know that it is so inspiring to see how far you have come. I still have a long road ahead of me, and I am doing everything I can to get to my goal weight.

    Oh yea, nice bike. :)

  7. with the green beans try a little chopped yellow onion with mrs dash. it will give them a different flavor.

  8. Sorry you lost a friend.

    Love the new bike.

    And did you overcook the beans? I think that would make them rubbery.

  9. Sean! Great to see you buddy! Sorry about the loss of your friend. That does kinda illustrate the point that made me start this journey though. I honestly was scared to death that would happen to me.

    I love your bike dude! It is p i m p!

    I originally thought skin removal may be a moot point for me since I did not have a great deal when I lost weight in the early 2000's but I am barely started and my muffin top and man boobs are not looking too good. Let me know if you ever do check into the price, and I have heard there is a guy just north of me that is reasonable, so I will let you know too.

  10. I agree with Tom on the green beans. I spray mine with olive oil spray and put some onions in them. It makes them taste great. Oh yeah and the bike rocks. I am looking for a bike, but have not made up my mind what to get. Have a great holiday weekend..

  11. You probably undercooked the green beans. I have a perfect method for cooking frozen green beans. Put a whole bag into a skillet with 1 cup of water. Turn the burner on high and let it go. Stir it occasionally until all the water has evaporated. Make sure you don't walk away - they can burn quickly (don't ask how I know). They turn out perfectly every time.

    Sean, I found your blog about a month ago, and I'm still working my way through reading all the past posts. I am now on Day 346. I really can't articulate how much your writing has helped me in these few weeks. The point that has resonated with me the most is your thought about using food to "combat emotions". Bingo! I've always known I used food to comfort myself, but I had never thought about the "combating emotions". The other day I got really angry about something that happened at work, and the only thought that kept running through my head was, "Eat, eat!".

    Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for always being so open and honest.

  12. Oh my. I had no idea Stages of Change passed away. He was the most introspective blogger I've ever read. He went REALLY deep, and truly wanted to change many things/behaviors in his life. This is just too sad.

  13. It's so kind of you to reach out to a blog friend and remember him so sincerely. I think that's one of the things I responded to from the moment I began reading, your sincerity. It's what makes you so inspiring.

  14. I'm so sad to hear about Garrett. I had followed him, and then he disappeared. He could write in a way that reached right down into your heart and stirred things up.

    That is just so young to go... he was trying so hard to change his life. I read that only this last April he was baptized, and so was apparently truly reaching out to change at the deepest levels.

    This is a wake up call to all of us... you just never know.

  15. I had no idea what happened to Garrett. I loved reading his blog and got excited every time he earned another dollar back. It was a thrill when his posts chanced from despair to hope. He was such a gifted writer and I wish he had more time to figure out and fight his demons. So sad.

  16. So sorry to hear about Garrett. I recall reading his blog a few times.

    Green beans: Buy them fresh, cut off the stems, steam them...the best way to prepare them.

    No offence to Eileen, but boiling the beans will rob them of all their nutrients.

  17. Sorry to here of the loss of such a young man and one that was making so many changes for the better. I remember that during katrina I had a gentleman that had just started his journey and was working on his depression, lost his house and everything. the stress was so great his heart gave out on him and I remember how devistating that was to all of us on that site. We make connections here even if we do not ever meet in person. my prayers go out to his family and friends on this loss.

  18. Oh man, I am sorry to hear about Garrett/Stages of Change too. I just checked his blog today to see if he had updated it -- I had no idea. How terrible.

  19. Thank you for posting about Stages of Change...I'm really saddened by this news. I've been reading for awhile and wondering why he hadn't posted in a few months and hoping everything was ok with him. Such sad news.


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