After Thanksgiving Post, Day 78 Revisited, and A New Jacket
Preparing Thanksgiving dinner and enjoying the family and friends of the holiday was so special to me, especially since hitting goal. It's a nice feeling to be in control, to enjoy food instead of abuse food, to be normal and healthy...to be happy and content. To be me.
There wasn't any desire to stuff myself sick, in fact, my plan of allowing 2500 calories turned out to be a good one, but kind of a challenge. I know that must sound crazy, especially on Thanksgiving, but I'm so prolific at getting the most bang for my calorie buck--sometimes, I should relax a little and eat a little more maybe, but why? If I'm eating decent amounts and I'm satisfied, then I see little reason to push it to 2500, just because it's Thanksgiving. I wasn't deprived in the least! Having this kind of relationship with food is nothing short of a dream come true for me. I owe it all to my "nothing is off limits" philosophy and my "Calorie Bank and Trust." Had I restricted certain foods or only consumed certain foods in my efforts--then I wouldn't have recovered from my food addict ways, because I would have been avoiding the issue--focusing on a means to lose weight, and not the behaviors with all food that always kept me morbidly obese. I will always consider myself a food addict, but I'm aware and mindful of from where I came--and now, food and me...well, we're friends. Life and food, is good...absolutely!
I haven't really touched my calorie budget just yet. I'll get there. I'll cruise under 230 a little and really start to decide where I want to take this body of mine. The new YMCA facility opens Monday and I'm thrilled about getting in there and using everything! Oh my---it's beautiful! I received a nice tour from the senior program director, and I must say, I'm impressed beyond description. The "cycling studio" has an amazing sound system and stadium style levels for optimal viewing. The pools are incredible too---and the fitness area with treadmills and everything else you could ever want---it's unbelievable! I'll be broadcasting from the new facility Saturday morning from 8 to 10am--can't wait!!
I never get tired of getting wonderful messages from people who are having incredible success of their own. Jamie Fisher gives me regular updates on my facebook wall--and I look forward to each one. Here's the latest:
"Sean, was reading a couple of your blogs from the beginning. Its funny, It hit home with me in so many ways. I eat at least 1 meal a week from Wendy's, Grilled chicken sand(no honey mustard) and large chili, very satisfying for 610 calories. I don't want to jinx it, but I am pretty confident when I weigh in on Friday(e...nd of week 19 133 days) that I will eclipse the -100 lb mark, wow what a mile stone in sight. PS wearing even smaller chefs coats yet again, and i officially don't own any clothes that fit me."
I LOVE that! Jamie--can you believe it??? I'm so happy for you!!!
"Well Sean....today I finally caught up to the present of your blog. I've been reading it since July after reading your story on AOL about losing weight without eating one salad. As I mentioned recently I've lost 31 lbs while getting my daily inspiration from you. Now that I've finished your blog and understand your not writing daily I will go back to the beginning and read one a day as well as your new posts as you post them as I want to continue to be inspired by you daily. I know you get told this often by probably thousands of people now but I just have to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the life change you have helped me through. I only wish I had come to this understanding 25 years ago! I'll definitely be looking for your book. Thank you again!"
"Hi Sean, have a great day. I have to brag a little. My husband and I went to Missouri for the Thanksgiving holidays for five days and he lost 2 pounds and I lost 1. We ate what we wanted but kept our calorie count in check. You have helped us so much with your attitude of this is not a diet, we can eat anything we want, we have to stay in our calorie range. You do not feel like you are missing out on anything. My husband has lost 15 pounds and I have lost 20 so far."
Jamie, Leah, Pat--I can't thank you enough. When I receive messages like these, it just fills me up with joy, it's a constant blessing everyday. It truly makes me overwhelmed with happiness!!
Today, I traveled back in time to December 1st, 2008--Exactly two years ago, and found a very tough installment of this blog:
From Day 78 December 1st, 2008--
Not Perfect and That's OK
This has been a crazy day. Some days are so easy and then for no apparent reason I have a day like today. I've battled my will all day long. Then we took a nap at 3:30 with plans to get into the YMCA by 4:30 so I could get assistance with the machines and we ended up over-sleeping. After dinner I started getting sick to my stomach and a headache. So there ya go, a really challenging day, out of the blue without any obvious reason. I've had every last single calorie I can have today already and it's been a real struggle to not go over. I'm really going to have a long talk with myself before I go to sleep tonight. This is day 78, we've come too far to start having self-destructive urges. I wish I understood why? Usually there's some kind of stress trigger or emotion that I can pinpoint, but not today. I've been through these trying days before (see Day 60) and I've survived by focusing on getting to the next day intact. I just need to survive a couple more hours and I'll be in bed ready to put this day behind me. I am pretty upset about not working out, and now that I'm feeling sick and Courtney's not feeling well, we'll probably miss our workout tonight. That's not the worst thing in the world. We've missed some in the past, but it's certainly not an everyday thing. Considering the circumstances, I'm not going to feel too bad about not getting out there tonight. As long as I can get to bed without going over my calories, I'll count this day as a victory. I've learned that no matter how determined and strong willed I am on this mission, I mustn't try to be so darn perfect all the time. I'm way far from being perfect. I'm doing the best I can do and on 97% of the days that means I stay within my 1500 calories and I exercise. It's days like these, the days that test me, these are the days I'll remember most when I reach my goal. The near misses, near breakdowns, the unexplained absence of will power in critical situations, and overcoming them all, these are the victories that mean the most. I can and will do this all the way.
Sometimes the person that needs to read my past blog post the most is me. Before I ever experienced a tough day I wrote about how easy this was. In the right mindset it can really be a breeze, but like I've said before, this is a learning process. I've never claimed to know everything, all I have is my vast experience in being severely overweight my entire adult life and trying many times to lose weight. This is like weight loss school and every now and then there's a pop quiz that totally boggles me. I've studied my past behavior patterns, I've re-played failed attempts in my head, I've studied every label and calorie count I come across, and I'm still learning something new all the time. All I have to do is keep doing what I've been doing, stay strong and focused, and every thing will be alright, alright!
I'll tell you one thing, it's days like today when this blog really keeps me from a self-destructive binge. The accountability that this blog demands is very important to my mission. I've said it before, it's like therapy for me. I can't imagine not writing every night. A lot of times these blogs flow easy, some times it's harder, as I search for words to describe what I'm feeling and experiencing. The support that I receive everyday from my wife and kids, readers like you, and people that I run into that notice the difference in my appearance is incredible. That support is the most important resource I have along the way. The blog is like a back up re-enforcement. I sincerely appreciate you reading everyday. Thank you very much. Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow I will learn how to do the machines properly at the Y, tomorrow I will erase any doubts that this day presented, tomorrow is day 79, and I'm ready.
Friday morning found me and my friend Karen at JC Penney for their big doorbuster sale. I needed a coat, a jacket--a leather jacket was the plan. And I found a great jacket at a wonderful price. To just stroll into a store and grab a jacket off the rack and have it fit---and to realize it wasn't the biggest they had in stock---in fact, it wasn't even in the "big and tall" section---that is a wonderful NSV. These are incredible days!
I just received word that I'll be featured again, real soon--on AOL's thatsfit.com, as a "best of" success story of 2010. I'm thrilled! The doors that have opened because of that initial AOL feature, has been amazing. I swear--someday, I need to give a special gift back to Martha Edwards, the writer, and AOL. I sincerely appreciate their incredible support!
My focus for December must be squarely on finishing the manuscript for my first book. By Christmas, without fail. It's my Christmas gift to me!
Thank you for reading. I feel like there's so much more to talk about--but not enough time right now. This weekly posting is very tough for me to accept, but right now, it's necessary. Goodnight and...
My Thanksgiving plate. It was simple, plenty, delicious, filling, and wonderful!
I was so excited to try the dessert Karen made--I had consumed a few bites before I remembered to snap a picture!! That small slice of pumpkin pie there, that was all the pie I consumed on Thanksgiving...Very nice!
Courtney and me--Thanksgiving 2010
My daughters--I love them sooooo much!
With grandma on Thanksgiving--She's the sweetest, most precious grandmother in the world!
Mom and me--Enjoying Thanksgiving in her kitchen!
With my Aunt Kelli on Thanksgiving
Eating the turkey...I mean, uh---carving the turkey--yeah, that's what I was doing!!
My daughters, Karen, and me. Karen's help on Thanksgiving was wonderful!! She made the most amazing dessert--a chocolate truffle type dish that totally rocked--and several other dishes. If you've read every single day of my blog, you know that I've learned tough lessons along the way about keeping my personal life private. Karen and I are certainly dating, but that's all I'll say about that! She's been an amazing friend! ;)
The new Jacket
The serious jacket pose---ha! ;)
Big before picture--Over 500 pounds...and looking miserable, oh my...