Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 867-874 A Slight Gain and The Video: Ten Minutes To Transformation Road

Day 867-874

A Slight Gain and The Video: Ten Minutes To Transformation Road

Weigh day was always an event. It was a special day designated to collect the positive proof of a strong and consistent effort. The excitement leading up to weigh day was at times, overwhelming in a giddy-positive way, because I knew what was coming. I could feel it in my clothes and all over my body. The scale would give me what I came for and I wouldn't make it out of the parking lot before sending out a mass text of the latest number, complete with a day count and total that was consistently impressive. The contacts in my cell phone remember these updates very well.

The sting of a weigh day that didn't give me what I felt I rightly deserved, would make me slightly depressed for a few minutes, or--OK, let's be honest, several hours. But at a certain point I realized that time didn't matter. I'm in this for the long haul, for the rest of my life, forever. So why did I choose to discourage myself when the results were less than desirable? Because it's normal to get impatient when we're doing everything we know we must to achieve what we desire. I don't get that way anymore. Time doesn't matter. What does matter, is my changed relationship with food. What does matter is that I realized I wasn't in a race with anyone. I realized that I wasn't competing with anyone or comparing my weight loss with anyone's track record.

I recently walked into the urgent care clinic and asked if I could use the scale. I hadn't weighed in over six weeks and it was time. I stepped on and found 233 staring back at me. I didn't send out an update, I didn't cry foul, I didn't blame the scale. I didn't worry about it at all. Why? Because I'm in control of my behaviors with food. I've experimented with my calorie budget, I've slightly increased my consumption, and my workouts haven't been as consistent as they should. My size 36 jeans still fit, but still--I could feel this four pound gain. It is a slight gain, compared to what I've lost. And it's temporary. A few more workouts, and just like that--I'm back under 230. And honestly, I may dip even lower. It's a healthy-normal to fluctuate slightly. As long as my relationship with food is solid, I have nothing to worry over. And solid is a wonderful word to describe it, because these changes in perspective are not of the temporary kind. My immediate plan includes adjusting my calorie bank to 1,700 per day and increasing my workout schedule.

I tried out a new machine at the YMCA and I absolutely fell in love! It's like an elliptical, OK--It is an elliptical--just slightly different than the others. I'll find out what it's called and get back with you. Oh my, it was killer. After twenty minutes, my muscles were sent twitching all the way home!

I finally have a new CPAP machine! Yay!!! I can finally rest again. I must say--constantly feeling like a wreck has wreaked havoc on my schedule and my productivity, as anyone might expect. The good news: After the first night on my new machine with the proper setting, I can tell--this is going to be very good. This machine is going to be life changing!

The Girls Scouts dropped off a bunch of cookies at our studios the other day. They leave a sampling every year and every year, we talk about the cookies on the air. I immediately compared all of the calorie counts and determined that the shortbread Trefoils were the best, at 34 calories each. I enjoyed two right then and there. Lucky for me, shortbread cookies have always been my favorite, followed by Thinmints--(40 calories each) If my co-workers only knew how many of these boxes were hidden away in years past, saved for my own private analysis and review. I had to talk about them on the air, so it was justified, right? Isn't it amazing, the stories we tell ourselves!

I recently received an email from a gentleman asking me about possibly advertising something on my blog. When I declined without asking for further details, he told me that I was "missing the boat." I referred him to day 165. We've covered this before! Here's an excerpt:

"My Integrity Isn't For Sale" I originally accepted these advertisers as a way to earn extra income from my blog. But I've learned a lesson in the process. You see, Google would automatically scan my blog and then place ads that somewhat related to my topic. Since my topic is always losing weight and getting healthy, of course they placed ads about a variety of products. The revenue generated was based on per click and per order numbers. It never really added up to too much, but tonight I proudly tell you that I recently told Google to keep that money and go away!

My reputation and integrity is worth more than random checks in the mail from Google, no matter the amount. If you ever noticed these, most of them were advertising crazy products with claims like “Lose 18 Pounds in 4 Days!” or “How I Lost 45 Pounds In Three Weeks-order Now,” or “Oprah Approved Product Will Melt Your Fat Away.” For one thing, Oprah doesn't endorse, let alone approve the Acai Berry product---it says that on her website. And neither do I. Nor do I endorse losing 18 pounds in 4 days, or 45 pounds in 3 weeks...or any product that makes such claims.

I sincerely hope that none of my readers bought this junk. It feels so good to be free from the spying eyes of Google Ads. I couldn't say what I just typed, had I still been using Google Ads. They would have been upset! It says so in the contract. Any derogatory comments about the products or services advertised is grounds for immediate termination of my Google Ads account. Now that I think about it, I should have tested how closely they monitored my blog by exposing the outright scandalous rip-offs as they popped up. Might have been fun to see how long it would take them to dump me. They're gone, and I no longer have to cringe every time I open the page and see “I Lost 9 pounds in 5 minutes...” OK, I made that one up. I think the claim was in 1 day actually.

The people that buy this kind of advertising do it for one reason, to take advantage of people with desperate emotions, who are looking for anything that works and are willing to spend whatever it takes to get it done. I'm ashamed they ever appeared on this blog in the first place. Lesson learned: You can't put a price on your integrity, never, ever, ever!

On that same day--I found an excerpt all about how the exercise becomes easier. I know this is a long blog post already, but:

Tonight at the YMCA I was feeling adventurous! My plan was to do a “hard” two miles. For me, a hard two consist of simply setting the speed at 3.6 mph. I immediately get my heart rate amped up at 3.6, but tonight I wanted to see what I could handle, because soon 3.6 mph will no longer qualify as a “hard” anything. So I tried 3.8 mph. Ok, I can do this...a little different, but doable. Then at about seven minutes in I decided to get crazy. Why not? What's the worst that could happen? Maybe I have to pull the emergency stop plug? I reached down and pressed the button twice taking me to an impressive 4.0 mph! I not only handled it, I stayed there for the rest of the two miles! I've posted an “On The Go” video straight from the treadmill below! What an amazing workout! When I first climbed on that thing months ago, I couldn't even think about getting past 2.9 fact many times I did 2.7 mph! I know I've said it often, but I'm showing you proof of this everyday: It gets easier and easier! Just keep that in mind if you too are doing this, and perhaps just getting started. When you feel like it's “impossible,” it's not. When you can't imagine ever doing more, you can, and when you're “just not feeling it” Do It ANYWAY! Remember...consistent, positive effort gets results every time. You just have to be patient and trust that the results will come, because believe me, they do!

Let's visit the mailbag, shall we? I opened up my inbox this morning and found the most wonderful message:

I've been reading your blog from start to finish and am in AWE of your writing ability... and I'm a tough critic. Your words have cut through 26 years of my "analysis paralysis". I was constantly revising my approach to weight loss (do mental gymnastics burn calories? I wish!) Needless to say, I just kept getting fatter. Simple is BEST. This time I am making sure I have nothing to rebel against, or as you said, "What if you couldn't cheat?" I could not do it any other way. I'm down 50 pounds, 120-130 more to go, and for the first time, I'm totally confident that I'll get there, and that is due in large part to you being down the road, holding a lantern, yelling, "This way! Just keep walking!" You are just the best, and I'm so very impressed with your devotion, conviction, humility, sense of humor, and graciousness. Tired of people putting you on a pedestal yet? : ) Get used to it, my friend, there are great things in your future, and the world needs your insights as never before. Just wanted to add one more thing... of all the qualities that you possess as a leader, the one that stands out most of all is that you genuinely seem to care about people, and not just people in general, but people as individuals. You remind me very much of Richard Simmons in this way. Also, you have the kind of warmth that makes people really care about YOU. It is something more than charisma... it is WARMTH (and that will make you always more handsome than Tom Cruise). HUGS- Becky

I absolutely love the phrase "analysis paralysis!" It is such an on-target phrase. When you read message like this, you can feel the excitement, the joy, the absolute life changing attitude. It's a wonderful thing in so many ways. I share it, in the hopes that their words might help someone else find that spark within--that epiphany that brings it all together, for the first time in years. We all have the power to inspire.

Shane had this to say about the last post:

Sean, I love the beginning story! That is too cool dude! I got a little reminiscent reading the e mail from that lady. I too remember getting started reading your blog from beginning and gaining inspiration that this way of losing weight, really does work! I have to tell you, my changes have been many over the past 6 plus months have been amazing. My body, my attitude, my perception of portions of food, and my fitness level.... and I know you will try to deflect this, but I do owe it in large part to you being brave enough to take your journey, and to put your story out there for all to see and be inspired by. Thank you my friend, from the bottom of my heart. --Shane in Arkansas

And this comes from April in Alabama:

Sean I began reading your blog mid July 2010, I read one(and of course all the new ones)a day, I think about each day and really try to recall your advice! I love your message I began my weight lost journey with a whole new approach when I started to read this blog!! I am down 45 pounds and have 55 more to go!!:) You are such an inspiration!! I wish you all the best on maintaining and spreading your enthusiasm for Healthy Lives to all!!! --April in Alabama

Isn't that exciting! But as wonderful as it is--something still bugs me horribly.

I have close friends and loved ones that struggle so very hard along this road, and I wish I could take their hand and do it for them. I can't, only they can. But what's so hard to understand is--how two people can read the same blog, word for word, and one person is completely ready to "see" it and the other isn't. And when the other is someone very close to me, it makes it especially hard. I've thought about this a bunch lately and here's what I've concluded:

We're all at different points along our road. Just as it took me nearly twenty years to finally "see," it takes some longer than others. Some never get there. And it makes me sad. I wonder if my close personal loved ones have a harder time because it's me writing this blog. They've known the "Old" Sean much longer than this new version and maybe that somehow discounts my message. All I can do is hope and pray that like so many others, they too will arrive at that point within themselves someday soon. I know that it can't be hurried along unnaturally. And it can't be done for them. I so wish it could, because I a heartbeat.

Thank you for reading. The following video is a ten minute presentation edited from my Lose To Win Seminar on January 13th at the Poncan Theatre. Deke Media, handled the footage and post production. They did a wonderful job! Thank you Deke Media!

I hope you'll friend me on facebook! Just search for me using my email:

Goodnight and...

Good Choices,


  1. love this post...and it's what I am approaching..the point when it's no longer a bout time constraints but about consistent living.

  2. That extra 4lbs will be gone in no time. Like you said, it is normal to gain and lose a few pounds when you are trying to find the right calorie balance etc.

  3. Sean,

    I almost made it through the video without crying, teared up a couple of times. But the last 25 seconds did me in:( You are Some Kind of Wonderful! And this time I wanted to reach in and hug the "transformed" Sean:)And I loved what Ralph Marston had to!

    I am so happy you finally got your cpap. Sleep well friend, and I could not agree with Becky more..."you have the kind of warmth that makes people really care about YOU. It is something more than is WARMTH (and that will make you always more handsome than Tom Cruise)." Amen.

    God Bless, Sleep Well, Happy Trails...


  4. Isn't it AMAZING how keenly you feel those 4 pounds now. I can imagine that at heavier weight-- they did not weigh in on you quite the same way. 4 pounds at 233 is 1.7 % at 500 it's .8% of your total body weight. I like to toy with number sometimes, especially since I am taking Assessment this semester.

    The scale is never a surprise for me. And clearly not for you. Good feeling eh?

  5. Becky in southern CaliforniaFebruary 10, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    It's interesting to read a post in real time-- so far I've only read old ones (currently up to March 2010). It's thrilling to see that you DID get down to 230! Now I guess you're in the "tweaking" stage of figuring out how to gradually add more calories. Don't worry about the temporary gain, I'm sure it's your body trying to find its equilibrium.

    You are very ethical to sacrifice advertisting income on a blog that you put so much time into-- but thanks for staying true to your message.

    Glad you will be able to sleep better now! I have heard that sleep apnea and sleep deprivation can both add weight. Less oxygen=less calories being burned.

    Your video... HOW EXCITING!! Very well done. I hope it brings you (and all who see it) further success!

  6. Becky in southern CaliforniaFebruary 10, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    Hope that last comment didn't get cut off, it was pretty long, but one more thought/question... where do you think the element of "fight" comes into the weight loss process? I know at one point you said that this time was different because now you are a fighter... but i guess that means fighting for life, right? Not fighting with food or ourselves, since we are DONE with that...

  7. Awesome Sean. BRAVO!!!! WAY TO GO!!! I have to start being completely honest around the food because otherwise there is no way out of this hellish nightmare I get to live at my weight. But how lucky I am to have a way out. I am the only person who can free me.

  8. Wow, Sean, that video is fantastic! Inspired me all over again. :-D

  9. Great video!!! Thanks for posting it!

  10. Long time reader, new commenter.

    I like the visual image of a road when talking about weight loss. I sometimes think about the pounds I need to lose like the miles of a journey. If I do get off track sometimes, I try to think of it like just a temporary stop along the road.

    The music on the video is very dramatic! It's kind of cool but it would be also neat with a quieter more personal approach, like friend to friend.

  11. Just joined your blog on the advice from Loretta! I write a devotional blog, but I am struggling with 25 pounds I have put on over the past ten years. The video was very inspiring and made me take the "rose colored" glasses off in terms of what I eat. Looking forward to upcoming posts!

  12. WOW!!!
    I have been putting off watching this video, I wasn't sure I could handle it where I am at the moment.

    Sean you made me cry, you made me proud, you made me sit up and say..Give up giving up, this is simple, just look what this wonderful guy has done.

    you have in 10 minutes given me my motivation back and I am going to go staight to "the Calorie Bank" and set up a new account.

    You are AMAZING.
    Has OPRAH seen this video?:)

    Love and hugs and many many thanks



  13. First, let me congratulate your for creating a new life for yourself! You sound so happy. That's wonderful.

    I'm writing mostly to say that I empathize with your sorrow over loved ones and friends who can't "see" what you "see" now. I'm hoping I can reframe that for you a bit, a just maybe help some of them too.

    My own family suffered for years as they watched me struggle with my various illnesses and dreadful aches and pains, and as my weight climbed higher and higher. They were afraid for my life. And with good cause. My blood pressure was high, even with BP meds, my lipid panel numbers were ominous, I suffered from chronic back pain and pain in my feet, and far too often I ached from head to toe.

    Several times I managed to lose over a hundred pounds, but I didn't *feel* any healthier and my body was still aching far too often. Plus, I needed to exercise one to two hours a day. Maybe that doesn't sound extreme, but for someone who had chronic fatigue (even after losing weight), and back aches, it was just not sustainable.

    I am an RN. I have several other degrees, too, but I always listened to professionals when they told me how to lose weight. (Lower calories and cut the fat.) I managed to lose, but I was hungry much of the time, so hungry in fact that I could barely focus on anything but staying on my diet.

    This last time I researched my fanny off (literally, it turns out). I have metabolic syndrome, a very specific cluster of health problems that worsened as I got older and really hit me hard at mid life. A low calorie, low fat diet is like a death sentence for me. It is simply not possible to maintain.

    And yet I have lost over 120 lbs. You know what's coming. Yep. I cut out almost all sugar and starches (call it Atkins, Paleo, whatever), and my chronic hunger disappeared, chronic pain slowly disappeared, energy returned and vitality was restored. My blood pressure is normal without medication and my lipid panel is excellent.

    I do not struggle, and can eat intuitively as long as I my portions of carbohydrates remain very very small. I don't eat grains, because they caused inflammation and pain.

    Sean, I see what a good heart you have. I am so happy that you are well and living the good life. But our health care professionals need to learn that there are more than one type of obesity, with different physiological causes.

    My BMI is still a bit high, 27, but it had reached 49 for awhile, and was over 45 for several years. I don't struggle with life anymore. Maybe I'll lose a bit more weight or maybe I won't but the important point is that I'm healthy now.

    Maybe some of your loved ones have the kind of obesity that I had. If so, I hope you will keep an open mind and support them if they decide to try a this "radically" different way of eating.

    Best wishes for continued good health!


  14. February 21st... just when I get hooked on your blog, you stop writing! :( I know you're a busy guy, and I hope life is treating you well! Reading years' worth of posts in the last month got me all involved in your daily life, so going cold turkey is hard!

  15. Hi Sean! I've missed you in blog-land. I hope this silence only means you're busy, not that you've been overeating. If you HAVE been overeating, I hope you trust the online community enough to know that we're still behind you!

  16. the monthly diary of a winning loser

  17. Wow, this is the first time I have visited your blog and I am amazed by your weight loss! Your before and after pictures are amazing! I only hope to see such a difference in myself. Makes me wonder if I am doing enough. I eat well now, no more sugar in my diet, drink lotsa water, rebound every day, do some weight training here and there - but maybe I need to kick it up a notch - I'm going to have to peruse your blog and take some tips!


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