Sunday, October 3, 2010

Day 741-747 Finally--Another Giant Post, Stop Fighting Food, and My New Life--Plus Pictures

Day 741-747

Finally--Another Giant Post, Stop Fighting Food, and My New Life--Plus Pictures

I haven't gone this long without posting in the history of this blog. It certainly wasn't intentional, rather--a perfect storm of "busy" has kept me from posting. I sincerely appreciate the words of encouragement, compliments, and the "where are you?" messages. Your support means the world to me, just a real blessing. Thank you!

Anonymous writes:
Sean, please consider going back to posting daily because it means so much to those of us that are not as far along on our journey as you are. So many times in the past I would think that if Sean can make this day so can I. From the first time you did not post daily it seemed different because you were speaking of it as in the past instead of living it with us daily. If you would post till you reach your goal it would mean so much to me and I am sure many others as well. I would like to be able to check each day and see that Sean made it one more day and so can I.

Lisa writes:
I loved looking forward to your daily posts, but I completely understand why you are at a point in your journey where you need to set boundaries. You are still posting, and you are not leaving anything out. What a compliment from anonymous! I miss your daily posts as well, like so many of us do. But patience is a virtue. So do what you gotta do, post when you are able to, and when you reach your goal, we will all be celebrating with you!:) Take Care and God Bless friend!

And "N" added:
Sean where are you???? I miss you!!!! I can see letting a few days go by, but this is too many. I realize you are busy writing your book and living life, but we out here NEED you to blog! Please~ Thanks.

Once again, thank you for the support and understanding. For twenty-two months straight, I spent anywhere from one to three hours a day on this blog. It was 7 days a week and it didn't matter the occasion. Every single day. The effort is right there in the archives along the left-hand side for anyone to read, from Day 1. Another blogger once asked me, "Why does it take you so long to write a post? It only takes me about twenty minutes." To each his own, but for me---it had to be more than just a "here's what I did, what I ate, hey these pants fit!" type of blog. There's nothing wrong with a blog like that, but I needed a deeper understanding of why I became and maintained a body weight over 500 pounds for so long, and more importantly---I needed to understand the way out, from every angle--and I wanted to really understand me and my behaviors with food---deeply.

It's taken some emotionally draining at times, but extremely rewarding introspective writing to get to the bottom of everything...and that kind of exploration, for me---just can't be put on a page in twenty minutes. Am I done? Not by a long shot. I never stop learning, and I look forward to many more wonderful days, months, and years ahead. But daily posting just isn't something I can do anymore. I'm writing the manuscript for a future book. Trying to find time in an already busy schedule to clear my head and dig deep enough to write the kind of book I know I'm capable of writing, is a challenge that I take very seriously. It's all about focusing energy. I'm simply focusing my energy into my manuscript instead of this blog...and please, trust me...it will be worth it, I guarantee.

Call me confident, call me proud, call me whatever you want--but make sure you include the word "successful." It's a prayer-answered blessing everyday that I have the opportunity to share my story and the epiphanies of my weight loss philosophy that have set me free.

I traveled back into the archives for an excerpt from Day 15---I was still a long ways away from several wonderful epiphanies along this road, but the clarity and self-honesty factor was solidly in place, making those future epiphanies shine so bright. From September 29th, 2008:

What I like most about this way of losing weight? It's completely natural. I'm not taking any “magic” pills or taking any kind of drugs to help me fend off the cravings. It's just me and my decisions. That's it. Everyday I decide to enjoy 1500 calories. Everyday I decide to exercise. Everyday I decide to drink enough water. Everyday I decide to write about my daily progress and this helps me get up the next day and make the right decisions all over again.

You see, I've always known how to lose weight, but I kept letting my head get in the way. I kept making excuses. I kept gravitating to the line of least resistance. And at that line anything goes. It's real easy to make bad decisions. How many times have I been told by a doctor that I was flirting with death at this weight? Many. But it didn't make me cry until a doctors visit on June 10th of this year.

And still, after my flood of emotions that day, after a family group hug where all of us were crying our eyes out...still I made bad decisions. What clicked three months later? What made September 15th the day? Let's just say that there comes a time when enough is enough. The family is tired of hearing “someday” and enough is enough. There comes a time when you realize that you might have waited too long to save yourself, but never go there, don't believe it. That road is a dead end my friend. Because if you get started right now, this minute, maybe you still have a chance to make the right decisions. The decisions that can save your life, your family, and everything that's important to you. That's what I decided on September 15th.


It's not too late...unless they're putting the blanket over your head, to grab yourself and make the choices that will lead to your freedom from obesity. Fear of death isn't enough, but the fear of losing everything else that makes your life good, that's what can do it, at least it did for me. It's something I've written about and spoke about many times---choosing change before change chooses you. Because change is a comin' my friend. Nothing ever stays the same, and how wonderful is it to realize that some of your changes will be on your own terms? You can make it life-changing good, my friend. You deserve it.

Stop fighting the wrong battle. It's not the food that's the enemy. It's you. When you realize that food isn't the enemy and is actually your friend. And at the same time, you battle the self-destructive part of you that tries to destroy your success and progress...and at some point, you start becoming a friend to yourself with your self-honesty in good choices--then...well, then there isn't a battle left to fight. You will win, because you can't lose a fight that doesn't exist. People sometimes ask me, how is it so easy for you? I wish they could have been around my entire life to watch me hopelessly struggle as I spiraled to a certain early death in excess of 500 pounds...It was hard...but it was hard because I made it that way. Stop fighting the wrong battle and your clarity will come too.

OK---Let's get to some daily re-cap stuff and photos...

I spent the entire day Sunday inside my apartment. I was focused on a project that is proving to be, at times, emotionally exhausting. And then I realize, what a dream come true---all of it, this entire journey from 505 and everything that it involves, good and bad. I've been catching glimpses of my reflection in window fronts lately and it's still hard to believe it's me, that tall and thin profiled man in the window...Yep, dream come true, no doubt...and the best part, I don't have to wake up from this dream. I just have to live.

After a long day at work on Monday, a friend of mine offered to buy me dinner in Stillwater. I had planned to once again stay home, but decided it might be fun to surprise mom. I accepted the invitation with the understanding that I would want to find a place to "work" after dinner, I would enjoy a surprise drop-in visit with mom and then a 5K around Boomer Lake. It was all good, and the evening was set.

Eating out doesn't bother me at all, it never really has along this road. I'm confident in my choices, and despite how loaded the menu might be---I will consume what I choose to consume. My strategy is simple--either I order from the senior or kids menu, for the smaller portions---or I share a meal with someone and ask for an extra plate. I love fried catfish, and at the Amarillo Road House, they do catfish really well. Oh my...the portion they give is easily divided among two people...and that's exactly what we did. We split the baked potato too, cutting it in half--and I ordered the potato "stuff" on the side. I enjoyed one roll, something this place is known for by the way...and I really enjoyed that one roll, but no more. The calorie pitfalls are all over the place here, but holding tight to my Calorie Bank and Trust and armed with pretty good calorie value choices, I made it out feeling completely satisfied.

After dinner, I found myself at a little coffee shop in this college town, surrounded by college age kids and their laptops. I thought about how they were experiencing the dawn of their future...everything and anything is within their reach. And if I felt out of place a little, I quickly realized that I'm now in the same position. This new freedom from morbid obesity is giving me a new chapter--wait, uh---forget chapter, it's giving me a new book, a new life. This is also my dawn of a new time, where anything is possible. So in a way, I felt right at home in that little coffee shop, just doing what I do...and asking myself, did I really just pay that much for a cup of coffee?

The surprise visit with mom was very fun. I just walked in and she looked at me, then a second later she realized it was me. It was like she looked at me twice, a true double take...the second time was the best. She was so happy and I was so happy to see her. We visited for a while before I changed and headed to the lake for a nice 5K power walk.

I can't remember Tuesday...Hmmm, maybe I should take notes along the way. A Tuesday Facebook post could probably clue me in, but maybe not. This is one of the hazards of not blogging daily!! Oh well, it was good...I'm sure.

Wednesday was setting up to be a crazy-busy day. With my morning show from six to nine am, production after the show until nearly noon, a dentist appointment at noon, spinning class at five thirty, and an evening writing session---it was going to be a full day. Oh, and let's not forget--I needed a nap at some point. I took the nap at almost 4pm, with the plan being that I would be back up an hour later, get laced up and head to an incredible spinning class at the YMCA. I overslept my nap. Yep...I knew better. I wish I could blame it on the nitrous oxide from the dentist visit, but I can't...it had worn off long before. No, I was just tired...tired enough to sleep through my alarm and miss spinning class all together.

I immediately started thinking about my evening and what I wanted to do. I knew that I wanted a workout, dinner, and some quality writing time. So a plan was thrown together. I decided to ride my bicycle to the YMCA, get in a great treadmill workout, and then ride back home---enjoy a nice dinner and cozy up to the computer screen. The ride to the YMCA is wonderful. But after that 2.5 mile ride, then a hard 2 miles on the treadmill, and a few weight machines...the ride back can be rather challenging. But in a good way. I may have missed spinning class, but I made up for it real good, believe me!

Thursday was game day. OSU and Texas A&M on ESPN Thursday Night Football...and I had plans to attend with friends. I was the designated driver to the stadium tailgate, but chose to forfeit my ticket, and visit with family instead. The plan was to spend time at mom's house writing, but I didn't get any of that done at all. I stopped by my cousin Candi's place and visited with her and her sister, my cousin Bo, and their kids. I don't see them much, so it was a great visit--complete with pictures! After the visit there, I headed over to mom's place and had a wonderful time visiting with mom and reading to her from my work in progress. She enjoyed that immensely, as did I.

Oh--almost forgot---before the visiting, I stopped by Ci-Ci's pizza...because that's where everyone was congregating--and I did eat some thin crust pizza, special order with mushrooms and green pepper. I can't stand that place really, but if that's where we're visiting for dinner, OK---I'll be fine. I'm not scared of the pizza buffet at all, my choices prevail every time in a place like this...it's a confidence I carry wherever. I just can't stand the horrible calorie values. I could have so much more for much less calories, at a variety of other places, and of course at home. But sometimes, life pulls us--we go, and we make the best of what's available.

Friday started early and didn't stop until after midnight. I had work at the studio from six am to nearly noon, then a remote broadcast from the big new liquor store in town from noon to three, and a big concert Friday evening at a casino up by the Kansas border. I took classic country artist Bill White and Miss Julie with me to see Montgomery Gentry. Bill White was the special guest star of the Saturday night Poncan Opry. He was a guest on my show Friday morning, and it was an honor to spend the evening with him and Miss Julie at the concert. I really didn't manage my calories too well going into the concert...I hadn't had enough and was hungry, something I rarely feel. So I "invested" 350 calories on a hotdog at the concert. Oh well, as much as I hated spending that many calories on this...I was kind of stuck, and hungry...and well, sometimes, hotdogs happen. But not very often.

Saturday was loaded too...Oh my, it must be fall, we're getting busy! I had an Oktoberfest remote broadcast, an evening 5K with the YMCA, and I was scheduled to host the second half of the Poncan Opry--directly following the 5K.

Amber surprised me with an unexpected trip home late Friday night, so she and her boyfriend KL joined me at OktoberFest. We even tried fried peaches! Uh, no offense to the wonderful people making the fried peaches, but really...I'll never put the words fried and peaches together again. It wasn't good to me, at all. Maybe others loved it...it certainly was a novelty item that I can now say I tried...kind of like that deep fried Oreo last year. But I'll never do it again...I prefer my peaches fresh, without the crispy fried batter coating. It was awesome to spend time with Amber again, I'm so very proud of her in so many ways!!

The YMCA Moonlight 5K Run was just that, a run. The officials at the YMCA were nice enough to give me number "270," representing the 270 pounds I've lost to date. Oh, and notice---The word "walk" wasn't anywhere in the title and maybe that should have been a clue for me to train a little bit before attempting this one. I haven't done the C25K program, I've just walked and walked, with occasional spurts of jogging and sprinting...but always, always---mostly power walking. My endurance with "running" is horrible...I know it would get better if I actually made an effort to improve. Make no mistake, I still get a great workout, but keeping up with a pack like this in an organized run...oh my, it's a little different.

I jogged for nearly the first three blocks, before slowing to a fast paced walk. The run had just started--complete with timing chips on our shoes, this was the real deal. When I slowed to a fast walk, I looked behind me and realized...I was it. I was the last one. Wow...OK--I'm alright, it's cool. I made my way up to my friend Marlys, she's Issac's mom (see picture below), and we walked/jogged together nearly the whole time. When one of us would gather the strength to start jogging again, the other would follow. We were proudly bringing up the tail of this thing and loving every minute. Because really--there's two big dramatic finishes in a run like this---the winner and the last person to cross, with the police escort behind. We were the latter. Not to make an excuse here, but I started to cramp with about 3/4 of a mile to go, but it wasn't that big of a deal...I "ran it out" and finished with a good strong sprint the last 1/2 block to the finish.

When the run was complete, I had to rush off to the theatre to host the second half of The Poncan Opry. I didn't have time to shower and change, I was going on stage in my workout attire. It worked well, as we just kind of made it part of the comedy of the night. And get this, my outfit on stage wasn't the most unusual of the night. Dave May was wearing a camouflage tuxedo. Can you believe that? A camo tux...very nice.

I'm doing very well...I'm living good, feeling good, and being good. I'm getting better acquainted with the new smaller me--and I'm finding a very nice peace with everything in my world. This blog continues, my trek along Transformation Road continues, and life as a normal sized person keeps getting better and better. I'm blessed, absolutely.

Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

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With Mom after surprising her with a visit Monday evening.

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With my cousins Candi and Bo, Thursday night in Stillwater

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In studio jam session with Bill White, Ken Wilson, and Dale Eisenhauer

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Montgomery Gentry puts on a high energy show--just incredible!!!

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With Amber at my Oktoberfest broadcast

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Deep Fried Peaches.

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Yes, I had one---a few actually, OK--Like five or six...But never again...I wasn't impressed at all. And I didn't like adding a couple of hundred calories to a standard peach...Peaches are perfect just the way they come...

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With Stephanie and Kara Williams before the run. Stephanie is the senior program director with the YMCA. Kara is her daughter. They're both good friends!

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This is two Saturdays in a row that I've had the pleasure of taking a picture with Issac Cervantes. Issac is a very athletic young man!! That kid can run!

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Picture with the Fabulous Fowler Sisters, backstage immediately after arriving for second half Poncan Opry hosting duties. This trio can sing like no other I've ever heard...just beautifully.

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Hosting the Opry in my Moonlight Run apparel---I should have changed! Photo Credit: Rick Logan

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Outside the theatre in front of the new studio windows.

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Kathy Brown and me, after the show. Kathy has an amazing voice--absolutely rocks every time!

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Pictured with country artist Bill White, after the show. Bill is an amazing talent--and we're looking forward to seeing much more of him soon!

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Big Before picture with my late grandpa. In excess of 500 pounds here, easy.

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Huge Full body before shot, with broadcasting colleague Ryan Diamond

13 comments:

  1. Sean.....you are just waaaay too cool!!! Love your blog.

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  2. Sean, You have come a long way. You look great!!!

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  3. Oh wow! What a week. You do pack a lot in.

    Note to folk who miss your dailies. Why not go back to the beginning and read a day or 2 each morning. Very inspiring and good if you've not been doing this weight loss/fitness/healthy thing for long.

    I understand the time you put into your Blog, Sean. For many of us writing is not a 5 minute flash and dash job.

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  4. Glad to see you back, Sean! You're one of the best voices out in the blogosphere. When you're away for too long, I really miss you.

    Peaches...try them on the BBQ. Just brush a whisper of olive oil on them so they don't stick to the grill and let them cook. They are divine!

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  5. Sean said, "I'm simply focusing my energy into my manuscript instead of this blog...and please, trust me...it will be worth it, I guarantee."

    Oh yea! It will be!

    And Sean, I just love you to pieces!:) You are the best friend anyone could ever have!

    Lisa

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  6. I am always amazed at your before pictures. How quickly we forget. And how amazing is it that we can change our lives like that?

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  7. I loved what MargieAnne said... your archives are loaded with treasure. All people need to do is read it.

    This may not be a popular sentiment, but as much as we enjoyed reading, following and experiencing things along with you on a daily basis... people need to NOT think they "need" you.

    You teach us, you inspire us, and you show us it can be done. You give hope that way.

    But we need to not become "dependent" upon you. You are not a daily soap opera... and you are not responsible for our success of failure... WE are.

    You are a living, changing and vibrant man carving out his healthy new life.

    Don't let anyone guilt you into feeling like you are doing anything wrong by choosing your own priorities about posting.
    You have earned your great new life! Go for it!

    Loretta
    =^..^=

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  8. "Fear of death isn't enough, but the fear of losing everything else that makes your life good, that's what can do it, at least it did for me. It's something I've written about and spoke about many times---choosing change before change chooses you. Because change is a comin' my friend. Nothing ever stays the same, and how wonderful is it to realize that some of your changes will be on your own terms? You can make it life-changing good, my friend. You deserve it."

    That is spot on! Apologies for copying out a chunk of your blog Sean, but you speak to me and set me up for the day!

    I love it that you are so confident around food. None of the drooling that I still do. You make a choice and go for it, weighing up the calories as you do, and then you move on...knowing some choices are better than others, but when a choice isn't so wonderful, it's an experience and it's calories still count. No bemoaning fried peaches...just a note to yourself that you prefer them fresh and natural. No long drawn-out angst. That's how it should be. It's just wonderful :)

    Good luck with the book! :)

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  9. I admit, I am annoyed with the first anonymous comment that you posted about how this person is reliant on your success to breed his/her success.

    This is your blog and while you were losing and needing to stay completely focussed on your journey, it was a tool. Stay with anything too long and it becomes less helpful; a crutch.

    You've done it, you lost the weight and you taught yourself how to live a normal life. That was the goal. You cannot seriously expect to think about it in the same way and with the same intensity forever. Were you to do that, you would miss the life you're getting to live and that would defeat the whole purpose.

    You'll always have to make a reasoned choice, you will never get to be one of those people who eats whatever, exercises when they feel like it and still looks great. Me either. But I don't have to focus every scintilla of energy at it like I did to lose the 100 pounds.

    You're good, you've set groundwork and now you get to go live it.

    It is vitally important that, while people might take inspiration or challenge or hope from your blog, that they create their own foundation and their own story.

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  10. Please don't be critical of anonymous 1, that post came from a honest open place and no one needs to be judged for being open and honest. It is true that the blog has changed and that may be harder for some than others. Just be kind to those who may continue to struggle and reach out as they find their own strengths. Good for you Sean drawing your boundaries in your own kind way. Two years of entries is a lasting gift to all on this path.

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  11. I agree with Margieann as well, going back to your archives and reading a few days at a time is a huge motivator. As I'm still trying to get it going, I especially love your first months; you had such a positive outlook and it is so contagous and so encouraging at a time when weight loss feels like such a daunting task!! You show that it can be done and to never give up. I hope that you get to keep your archives up even when your book publishes because they are such a priceless gift.

    Thanks Sean for letting us follow you from day one!!

    j

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  12. Deep Fried Peaches aren't necessarily unhealthy... unless you eat them.

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