Size 54 Jeans Seemed So Small, A New Relationship With Food, and "Wow" Reactions!
A friend of mine sent me a big box of jeans recently. Really nice jeans too! Even a pair of size 32 Lucky Jeans. I'm wondering if he meant to send those. It might take some time, workouts, and maybe excess skin removal surgery to wear them--but I think they just became my "one of these days" jeans. It was a generous gift, indeed. And perhaps I can pass along the favor to someone else someday. I will, absolutely!
Speaking of new jeans. In the archives on Day 85, December 8th, 2008---I found this excerpt, all about getting into smaller jeans. "Smaller," being size 54's:
"Today has been a really long day. It started at 5am and it's not over yet! Kelli and I went to Oklahoma City, Kelli for a birth certificate, I was driving Kelli, and since I was down that way picked up a pair of Levis at the Big and Tall store. The other day I predicted that I would fit into a mens 54. After picking out a few 54's and a couple 56's, I went in to the dressing room to get some proof positive results! I tried on the Levis 560 54 inch waist first. And from the moment they buttoned and zipped without trouble, I knew they were the ones. Eighty-Five days ago I was a size 60 or 62, then I nailed the guess the other day! And these will only cover my hide for a very short time, I know, but it felt so good to get into them comfortably. I immediately ripped off all the tags, put on my shoes, and made my way to the checkout with the jeans I wore in the store bundled in my hand. I was buying these jeans. And I wasn't even going to take them off for the ride home. They were mine. They felt good, they were Levis! It's been a while since I could fit into Levis comfortably. On the way out of the store I gave a little wink to the 36's on the top shelf, as if to say... “I'll be back for you someday soon!” And I will! I wonder what that will feel like? I can't wait to find out! Before that triumphant jean buying trip, I'll buy bigger sizes along the way, sure. Size 42 will be a milestone size. That's the size I was wearing in 9th grade. I'm really not that far away!! It felt so good to wear those jeans out of the store, I didn't even notice how tired I was."
Now, after losing 275 pounds, and having a pair of size 36 Levis that fit nicely--It's very cool to read that excerpt and realize: I buy jeans from the top shelf now, you know...where they keep the smaller sizes! I love it!
I've had several emails asking me about my plan for maintenance. Like everything else along this road, I'm gradually getting there. I'm not quite ready for maintenance just yet. BUT---I am slowly increasing my calories. My budget is flexible now, anywhere between 1500 and 1800 is fine with me. I must say though, there are days when I still have trouble hitting 1500. Let me explain, because for some, that must sound really annoying to read. I have become very practiced at getting the most bang for my calorie "buck," and that natural tendency to trim calories where I can is kind of hard to shake. Instead of an egg white omelet, it's OK to throw in a whole egg, maybe two sometimes. I can add a little cheese to that baked potato. I can "afford" to spend a little more occasionally, on things I would normally trim or delete. The bottom line is this: I'm just eating like a normal person, not like a food addict. I no longer depend on food to make me happy. I make me happy, not ice cream or gravy. Food is good. I love food, always will. But food and I have a new and wonderful relationship that isn't dysfunctional. And it's something I never really thought possible, but now I know it is, because I'm living it everyday.
An example of this new understanding between food and me was very clear just last weekend at a wonderful place called: (Cue scary music) The Cheesecake Factory!!! I did my research going in, and really--I didn't like what I discovered. Their menu is loaded at almost every turn. Even things that look and sound innocent enough, must be prepared with butter, grease, and heavy cream, because the calorie counts are anything but innocent. I was really shocked. I was surprised too, about the cheesecake. A big regular slice was just over 700 calories, slightly under 360 for half--and that's what I did, half. It was a bit more calories than I normally "invest" in dessert, but that's just something that happens sometimes. I need to make that a t-shirt: Cheesecake--It happens, sometimes...was it good?
Yes --It was by far the best cheesecake I've ever consumed!! Before the cheesecake, we enjoyed a meal. The strategy was simple: Karen and I would share a meal. We picked something good, that didn't seem too loaded. We would be guesstimating at best, because the pecan crusted catfish was a "special of the day," and not a part of the calorie counts I found online. And oh, by the way--the calorie counts I found online were from a person in the Northwestern United States, a place where calorie counts are required by law, who took digital pictures of the entire menu--with calorie counts. The eleven ounce catfish fillet was "crusted," but seared, then baked. I had half--along with half a serving of the potatoes (which qualified as a regular serving) and half the corn succotash. I'm confident my plate was under 600 calories...add the calories of the cheesecake, and this was easily a thousand calorie expenditure. But it wasn't three or four thousand calories--and I think Old Sean could have made it that way. I had managed my calories a little short earlier in the day, just for this trip. That's not always the best thing to do metabolism wise, but it's something normal people do. "I knew we were going out later, so I had a light lunch." See--completely normal rationale.
I experienced a couple of "wow" reactions recently, that really left me feeling wonderful. I just love running into people I haven't been around in over two years. The only thing recognizable about me, is my voice. That's it! And often times, that's what is said: "If I hadn't heard you speak, I wouldn't have known it was you!" I really enjoyed this one: "Sean, is that you??? How much weight have you lost, dear Lord---look at you!" Yeah--that was very cool. I NEVER, never, never get tired of those...ever.
I'm continuing to work on the manuscript for my first book, "Finding Transformation Road," a weight loss memoir that chronicles the road to and from over five hundred pounds. I sometimes wish I could share some of it with you here, but I can't. I'm so excited, because it's really been a positive experience. I can't wait for you to read this---If you have enjoyed reading this blog from Day 1, then you'll appreciate this upcoming book.
I've allowed my work schedule combined with my sometimes poor sleeping schedule, to effect my writing schedule this week, but I'm always mindful of what pays the bills at this point in my life, and that's my broadcasting career. I still struggle with getting enough quality sleep, and that's not good at all. I must also remember--sleep deprivation can have horrible effects on ones health and well being---including metabolism!!
I try to post regularly on my facebook page. I enjoy the dialogue that sometimes develops along a comment thread. You can learn some very good information! And often times--people who have opened their own "Calorie Bank and Trust," post updates on my wall---and it just absolutely thrills me!!! If we're not facebook friends--then please, by all means---search for me on facebook and friend me!!! I'm listed under my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To the kind and caring friend that reminded me that "there's no room for vanity in heaven." I say this: I've spent my entire life hating the way I looked, feeling like the ugliest person in every room, feeling like a freak because of my morbid obesity. Even now, I'm still highly insecure about how I look in so many ways. So, I appreciate the loving guidance and intent--but I will not apologize for kind of liking the new me. Call it vanity if you wish, whatever. I've been very blessed along this road, and I give thanks everyday---in between taking new pictures, of course. I'm kidding. Seriously---I never forget from where I've come. That's exactly why I have my "505" tattoo. It reminds me everyday...and that's good.
Thank you for reading, my friend...seriously, thank you! Goodnight and...
I love my tattoo!
At over 500 pounds!
Photo courtesy of Cathy Cole!
My "Speedracer" jacket...
I found these amazing ice cream bars from Breyers--for only 130 calories each!!! Love 'em!!!
The pecan crusted catfish dinner from The Cheesecake Factory--as served.
My half was plenty of food--very nice!
Homemade beef tacos and homemade guacamole---almost qualifies as a salad...almost.