I'm NOT Amazing, The Nightmare, and A Facebook Hijacking
Thank you to everyone who offered words of encouragement about my two-year anniversary of Day 1. It has been an absolutely life changing two years on many different levels. Someone near and dear to me recently referred to me as "amazing." And as much as I appreciate the compliment, I must disagree. When you look at my transformation--the pictures, the writing, etc., and you think I'm amazing, my hope is you'll see that you too have the ability to do amazing things. I've said it many times and it's so true, I'm no different than you or anyone else.
What has allowed me to break away from a lifetime of morbid obesity? A change in perspective. A different focus. A decision to stop believing the excuses and rationalizations that always made me feel better about myself and my bad choices. I decided to get real with me. 100% self-honesty about my choices and behaviors---calling an excuse an excuse and a rationalization exactly what it is, nonsense, these make the foundation for the success I've enjoyed. The food and exercise part is naturally the least of my focus, because when the real focus is on the mental aspects--the food and exercise part naturally and beautifully fall into place. That's exactly why I say and have said over and over---keep it simple in the food and exercise department. I think about how many times I allowed the food and exercise part to overwhelm me---I was complicating the process---I was fighting the wrong battle.
I found a couple of excerpts in the archives from September 2009 that nicely struck me. It's time to share them again. The first is a paragraph inspired by a nightmare:
"This time it's for real. Nothing can convince me otherwise. Not even a nightmare. I had a dream last night that I had gained back over a hundred pounds. It was a vivid dream, but I wasn't buying it. Have you ever done this? Where right in the middle of your dream you remind yourself that it's just a meaningless dream? Just a collection of your subconscious thoughts, fears, hopes, dreams, and experiences---all blended into one crazy late night movie playing inside your brain. It didn't startle me at all, not even a little. In my dream I had a third person thought of yeah right. I guess even my dreams don't quite realize just how different this time is from all the others. Dreaming about gaining a large amount of weight back and binging on ice cream and pizza didn't scare me, but it does make me wonder if deep down---like seriously deep down, do I really worry about that stuff? The mental changes I've made make it nearly impossible to go crazy on anything. I feel too good these days. I love the way I'm starting to look. More than all that, I love the way I have a clear perception of my success that includes a profound understanding of why I never had it before and why I'm having it now. This time it's for real. That crazy dream did nothing to shake my confidence, it simply gave me something to think about, and a paragraph for this blog. Because when it's for real, it's just too solid to ever believe we could go back. There is no gear for reverse on this happy train. So there! Take that crazy dream weaver!"
It's funny that this excerpt from September last year, included a reference to "pizza and ice cream," because well, uh...more on that in a few minutes...
This next excerpt is also from September of last year, as I tried to give a little better insight into what I mean by "good choices," even if it includes an occasional deep fried cookie:
"I received an e-mail from a reader who acted shocked that I ate a deep fried Oreo the other night. They were very nice about it and concluded the e-mail with “as one of your other readers said, I guess you've earned that break.” First of all, thank you for reading, secondly---it wasn't a “break,” or a “treat,” or a “celebratory” deep fried Oreo. It was simply a deep fried Oreo. I made room for it in the calorie budget and enjoyed it immensely, perhaps you watched the video I posted, that was a genuine reaction! I wasn't “off-plan,” there is no “plan” here, you know that, right? The only thing that might resemble a plan is making good choices in terms of portion size and overall consumption.
“Good choices” certainly doesn't mean never eating something we feel is forbidden. These are real life eating situations, and if a deep fried Oreo or something else equally as sinful shows up at the “party,” then it's great to know that I can handle it in a perfectly responsible way. Adherence to a strict 1500 calorie budget has taught me to make wise “investment” choices regarding portions, and sometimes that means having a deep fried Oreo, or splitting a piece of cheesecake with Courtney, or enjoying an ice cream cone. You really must throw away your list of “forbidden” foods. The “forbidden” part shouldn't exist. It only serves to discourage us if we choose to enjoy even a small portion. The thought of, oh my, I just blew it is a powerful thought that can lead to complete destruction of the changes you're aiming to make. Nothing is off limits. If you think I'm nuts, I've got the track record to prove I'm not."
Friday morning, my facebook status update read: "Hungry! Going to eat a whole pizza for lunch and wash it down with a half gallon of ice cream. Does anyone care?"
I was impressed with how many people absolutely knew without a doubt that it wasn't me. It wasn't me. It was a friend and co-worker giving me a little pay-back by hijacking my open and unattended facebook page. I did the same to him a long time ago, so I had it coming. Although I don't remember it being contrary to any sort of personal change, but maybe I'm just being overly sensitive. Anyhow, the response was fast and furious, just a sampling here...
Amy wrote: "You wouldn't! And yes. You have been a hero, and I would feel hurt if you let your success go away."
Stacy typed: "I don't think you will feel very good after all that! Your choice though... right? :)"
Jan responded: "Are you planning on eating anything else today? Please think of your goals and how far you have come."
Gerri writes: "Yes, I do care. People are counting on you. For me, if I'm face first in a pizza, the rest of my life is going down the tubes. Once I make excess food a priority in my life, everything else becomes unimportant. So, I hope you really aren't going to do that, Sean."
My response to it all: "I was slightly annoyed by the prank, sure, just because of the time I chose to invest on clarifying everything and responding to messages of "don't do it Sean!!" But I'll tell you this, I would never ask "Do you care?" in a post--Not my style, I don't need to be constantly reassured---BUT, it was very heartwarming to read and accept the amazing outpouring of support and genuine caring. A couple of lessons learned: Always sign out of FB, and always be flexible enough to have a good sense of humor about yourself...although this transformation business is of a very serious nature, occasionally it's good to laugh--even if it's at your own expense...I'm confident enough now to fully understand and appreciate most of the mental dynamics in play. I'm not an expert, and I don't know everything---But I've learned some valuable things about myself along this road."
This response wasn't the end. I was inspired to enjoy pizza and ice cream for lunch Friday, and I did---both of my favorites, and all for only 265 calories. I did it because I love pizza and ice cream, but i also wanted to prove a point. You don't have to give up the foods you love in order to lose weight. So, the question...How did I enjoy pizza and ice cream and only invest 265 calories? I used a Joseph's Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat Flour 60 calorie pita, a tablespoon of pizza sauce for 15 calories, a 50 calorie pre-portioned slice of real mozzarella, and 10 calories worth of fresh mushrooms. Baked it at 400 for about ten minutes, took it out and sliced it into two big pieces--and enjoyed! The 130 calorie ice cream bar from Blue Bunny was a fantastic portioned controlled serving for dessert. Total: 265 calories for a pizza and ice cream lunch. I should have had double cheese for a 315 total, Hmmm, maybe next time.
In conclusion to the facebook hijack of Friday: It was a positive experience on many different levels. I have to smile from the wonderful support and caring expressed, and from the wonderfully delicious lunch inspired by the entire saga. ;)
Saturday was free of radio related responsibilities, so I happily accepted an invitation to the OSU-Tulsa football game. I was the DD for some friends to the game and home. In between, I enjoyed the tailgate celebration, and found some time to get away from the stadium for a visit with Kelli while she worked and with mom and grandma. I went very easy on the tailgate food offered, opting instead to enjoy a couple of 163 calorie beef tacos from Taco Mayo. I picked up the tacos on the way to visit everyone, and grabbed some for them too. Those things are incredibly delicious--well worth my 326 calorie "investment!"
While enjoying the game, I couldn't help but think about how different things are for me now. I took the stairs, with ease. I'm sitting in a limited space, but not at all concerned with crowding the people around me. I'm living and breathing a beautiful existence that I once dreamed about...here I am...changed, transformed--living life free from the traps of obesity. My leg doesn't hurt because there are no sores to pain me. My chest doesn't hurt when I exert myself up the stairs, I'm not even the slightest bit winded. This is what freedom feels like...wow, it's just beyond words.
At the tailgate, a couple of conversations came up about my writing--and the future book. I'm quick to point out, it's not a book yet. I'm writing the manuscript--and it's far from finished. I have confidence that it will be everything I know it will--but I sincerely try my best not to talk too much about it all. I'm a realist. And as romantic as it sounds to be penning my memoir, it's just a growing file on my computer at this point. Once it's officially a book and officially released and people actually buy it...well, you might not be able to shut me up. ;)
Thank you for your support and kindness. Goodnight and...
Little Sean, with my little foam ball...
A grumpy little boy---graduating from the Head Start program. I don't remember what I was so upset about...maybe I should ask mom, she took the picture.
Big Before picture--With officials from Special Olympics Oklahoma--at the state Summer Games
Before--with the media/pr director of Special Olympics Oklahoma
My pizza and ice cream lunch. 265 total calories! Only half the pizza in this photo.
My dear Aunt Kelli on Saturday at her job...
With mom Saturday
Relaxing at the tailgate!
Visiting with Jack from Team Radio
Visiting with Pat O. He's lost over 140 pounds!!
Still just relaxing...