Thursday, January 10, 2013

That's The Cough Syrup Talking

That's The Cough Syrup Talking

Me: I haven't been sick like this in years.  I can't remember the last time.

Long time friend:  This is like "fat Sean sick."

Me: Yeah, it's been that long, sure has.

This conversation has been on my mind all day.  And it's not what I want on my mind.  And still, I've chosen to allow it to bother me.  Has gaining back nearly 60 pounds weakened my immune system?  Do you see what I do to myself?  I know it's raised my blood pressure.  At and around 230--for a year and a half--never sick.  Gain nearly 60, sick twice in the last couple months.  You know what?  This isn't productive, this train of thought.  There's silver linings and a wonderful future to think about.  Like "fat Sean sick," I keep thinking about it. He (my friend) didn't mean anything bad by it, it was simply an observation.  500 pound Sean was sick all the time.  500 pound Sean probably missed a month or more of work a year.  If not a month, pretty close I'm sure.  Anyway... What about those silver linings...

Enough of that garbage.

The good news is, I feel better.  The 2nd trip to the doctor was a great idea.  Oh--I didn't share that here did I?  Yes, Wednesday I made it to work--and made it home even worse than before.  I tried to nap Wednesday afternoon but the throat pain accompanied by headache and nausea wasn't letting me sleep.  My over the counter plan (suggested at my first doctors visit) wasn't working.  Late afternoon (Wednesday) I decided to return to the doctor.  This time it was a different doctor, a PA actually.  She was good--she immediately recognized a sinus infection and seemed to understand exactly what I needed. I needed my throat to stop hurting.  Hurting to swallow is expected with a sore throat, but hurting to breathe and laugh?  That's super sore.  She prescribed an antibiotic, a steroid and the best--worst tasting prescription strength cough syrup with narcotic pain killer in the mix.  Three prescriptions later and I'm doing much better.  My throat pain is gone.  And that's a big one for me.

It's a good thing I'm hardly ever sick, because I'll admit--I'm a BIG BABY. 

Let's discuss healthy stuff, like exercise...

The Sean that's super hard on himself: You realize you haven't had a good workout all week?

Me: I've been sick?

The Sean that's super hard on himself: Yeah yeah, whatever...And you wonder why you've only lost one pound in recent weeks.

Me: I hadn't mentioned that yet.

The Sean that's super hard on himself: Well, what are you waiting for?

Me: I was getting to it.  I thought I would talk about my walk tonight first.

The Sean that's super hard on himself: You mean that little two mile stroll in the park?

Me: You're not good for me.  It wasn't little.  I've been sick.  Two miles outside was enough tonight. It's cold and damp out there...honestly, I shouldn't have been out there to begin with...

Okay--enough of that nonsense.

It was a conversation like this that led me to the trail tonight in the first place.  I made it a couple miles and called it good.  It wasn't my best, but I'm not feeling my best.  It was good for me, right now.  Good for me tonight.

Yesterday at 5:40am I was standing on the scale inside the locker room at our local YMCA.  It's one of those balance scales. I know these are supposed to be the best, but I prefer a digital readout.  I'm seriously contemplating driving every two weeks to the health department in Stillwater just for the trusty digital scales I used during the first three quarters of my initial weight loss.  I'm not complaining because I lost 1 pound.  I'll take it.  I'm okay.  I was expecting a few more actually--and I'll get them, they're coming off.  No worries. For now, at this moment--I weigh 288.  I don't like that at all.

I stopped at the post office today to ship a few orders from my website and I ran into someone who's known me for some time.  She asked how I was doing--and of course I immediately thought she had recognized weight gain--and so naturally I start explaining---"well, yeah---I've gained some, 59 pounds and..." And she interrupted me and asked... "Really?  I hadn't noticed. You still look great."  Now--I'm not sure if she was being nice or if she just didn't pay close enough attention before...or maybe I feel and notice it more than anyone.  There's a noticeable difference.  I've had a couple people come right out and say it... So I know it's noticeable.  59 pounds--well, now 58...Is noticeable.  I'm lucky I'm 6'3 and carry my weight as well as I do.  By the way-- I did say thank you to the nice lady at the post office. (even if I didn't fully believe her)

Tomorrow I'll be doing what I love to do: Speaking to a group of people about weight loss and all of the dynamics I've discovered and continue to discover along the way.  I'll be speaking of success, struggle and the balance we find along the way.  I'll be speaking of this blog and my book too and how sharing my life so openly has helped me while at the same time, challenged me.

Next Saturday I'll be traveling to a speaking event at the Hard Rock Hotel in Tulsa where I'll be speaking to a conference of doctors.  I'll be giving them my experience, philosophies and insight on obesity and weight loss.  It'll be an interesting experience, I'm sure!  I'm truly honored to be invited to their big conference!

I haven't been doing my metabolism any favors the last several days.  I've come in under budget because I simply haven't felt like eating. Lots of eggs, soup and jello.  Easy stuff.  I'll be back to feeling like me again 100% in a day or two, maybe three tops as I continue to take this arsenal of medication. 

I better call it a night.  Thank you for reading...goodnight and,  (if you think this post is loopy--I blame the cough syrup)

Good Choices,


  1. Watch the steroids...they can make you ravenous. You are probably on a short-term dose, though. I am terribly overweight and very seldom get just happened to catch this nasty flu crap that is going around everywhere.

    Anyway, glad you feel better; pray it continues! Blessings! Sue

  2. Stinkin thinkin gets us absolutely nowhere but miserable fast.

    Be good to yourself, it's so much easier and much less time consuming than mentally beating yourself up. Feel better!

  3. Go easy on yourself. Once your antibiotics kick in, you'll feel better. Get well first, then loose weight.

    I know just the carbs in cough meds slowed down my weight loss. But getting well first took priority.

    Take care and heal up. This is the worst cold/flu season in over 6 years and is even becoming an emergency in some cities across the nation.

    Glad you went back to the doc. My blood pressure has gone down, mostly due to my low inflammatory weight maintenance diet (paleo/primal template most of the time). It has also lessened my days sick. Even with that, It's hard to escape infections when they are transmittable.

    Take care and enjoy your speaking gigs! Karen P

  4. Negative self talk is one of the hardest habits to break, but I think it's one of the most important to break also. How can you possibly hope to go forward when you have a voice in head telling you that you're a failure and you can't do it. Tell "The Sean That's Super Hard on himself" to take a hike.

  5. I worked out only 2 times this week because I have been sick as a dog..I probably infected everyone at the gym...hacked up two lungs and set my recovery back by a few days. count yourself intelligent. Feel better!

  6. Don't let this get you down; you are heading down with your weight. The steroids will mess you up for a bit; understand it and know that your true weight won't be showing until your body stops with the inflammation. Know you will be more hungry with the steroids and plan for it. Keep up the great work and please stop beating on yourself; we have enough of the outside world doing the number on us so you don't add to it.
    Get well.

  7. I am so glad to hear that you are still doing speaking engagements. I would love to come to one of your talks.

    Cough medicine is so bad for us but sometimes you need a break from the coughing. It makes your blood pressure soar and my daughter gets that flippity, floppity erratic heartbeat when she takes it. Hope you are much better very soon. :)

  8. Thanks for being so open and honest.

  9. "Get well first, then loose weight."

    Maintaining a healthy weight is PART of "getting well." There is no "get well, but keep doing some of the crap that works against your health for now."

    A healthful diet will only help you get over this bug you've caught, dude. Start now. :-)

  10. And be aware that if you are struggling a bit, well ... all sorts of "advice" is going to crawl out of the woodwork now and 95% of it will contradict itself.

    The best thing to do is to realize that there are people out there who are maintaining a significant weight loss of over 100lbs for many, many years. They do exist. You are not casting around in a fogbank here. These people exist. The single best thing you could do is to check them out and talk with them. The two most sensible, sober, and clear-eyed such blogs I've found are Jane Cartelli's and Diane Carbonell's. These are people who struggled for years and then did it and made it stick FOR YEARS. GO TALK TO THEM. Don't just feel like you're shooting around out of control.

    Also, and like I said I say this knowing that I've also just given you advice, be very skeptical of the inevitable pile-on of advice you are getting here. The majority of it is going to come from people who have not managed to maintain a healthy weight any any point in their lives for any real period of time.

    Go read Jane and Diane's blogs and contact them. They will give you the real shit. If you want to lose a scary amount of weight and make it stick, take your advice from others who have done it, not a bunch of spectators who haven't managed it. This may not be your most popular comment, but it's the truth. :-) You are in the trenches for real now. Talk to other people who are there, not people who are in the bleachers.

  11. I was glad to read you'll be speaking to a group of doctors! I hope they are open to your ideas. Sometimes (since they usually haven't actually experienced extreme obesity themselves) they just offer off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all pat advice (speaking from personal experience of being on the receiving end of said advice).

    I think you can offer a different perspective that could help their patients... those that don't respond to the approach of changing everything radically all at once. You did what worked for you, in the beginning, and allowed yourself to change at a pace that let it be natural improvement in choices, nutrition, exercise, etc. Most of all, I hope they really HEAR you when you tell them it's what's between the ears that will make or break this thing, long term.

    This is such a journey of learning, of growth and change. From the inside out. I'll admit, I don't have much patience left for people who bash others because they aren't doing things the way The Basher is doing it. This is SUCH an individual journey!! The similarities are, I think, in what you share about the mental stuff necessary. We ALL need that.

    You are doing a great job at learning the maintenance end of things, Sean. And don't get mad for me saying this but... in the end, I'll bet you are actually going to be glad you had a little bump in the Maintenance Road. Now you can relate to ALL aspects of this journey, and people will be even more open to what you have to say. It's not just theory: you've experienced it ALL. And you have credibility. And heart to share what you are learning.

    You have my respect, my friend.

  12. I am reading your book on my Kindle. I have been lurking here on your blog for about two years or so---I would like to thank you for bringing some hope and optimism to this journey. I am overweight too, and it seems to me that the medical profession holds out no real encouragement or help for us and the diet industry is more into selling their products and profitting from our misery. It's refreshing to hear someone who has struggled with this say that there is, indeed, a light at the end of the tunnel and we can all get there.


  13. Sorry to keep posting, but I want to address "get well, then lose weight" again -- and I really apologize if it seems like I'm picking on Karen. But to the monkey on your back, any hint of "do X first, then lose weight" is a heaven-sent excuse to put off what you should be doing without question, every single day of your life: eating sanely and well instead of weaponizing food and slowly killing yourself with it. That's the crack in the door for that monkey to start up with other b*llsh*t:

    "Pay the bills first, then get back to losing weight."

    "Patch that hole in the roof, then get back to losing weight."

    "Get new tires, then get back to losing weight."

    There will always be something you need to get done in life. That's the nature of life. Colds happen. Flu happens. If you let that nasty little monkey use ONE THING as an excuse to climb off that default position of eating sanely and well, it will fill in that X with anything and everything, and pretty soon you're saying, "I can't lose weight now, I stubbed my toe."

    There is absolutely NO TIME in your life at which you should not be eating sanely and well. Period. It will never be a reasonable thing to say, "I need to cope with X first, and until then I can resume murdering myself with food."

    You achieved something really spectacular, and it would aid my sense of universal poetic justice if it were to stick for you, even with bobbles and speedbumps along the way, so I'm pulling for you. :-) Seriously, hook up with maintainers, specifically big-loss maintainers. You need to talk to those people. They were in your shoes, and they know how it feels, and can give you REAL ADVICE.

    When you get your head on straight again, this will be the second book in the series -- how NOT to swerve off Transformation Road and end up in a ditch. :-)

  14. No offense taken Janis You make excellent points. My intention was not to suggest or imply off plan eating, or stop taking daily steps to abstinence or anything like that.

    I know that just having inflammation in your body is enough to have the scale stay still. In a few weeks , that will be gone.

    The steps taken after a major weight transformation will be with us day in and day out. It will not end. But we can all learn what it means to us. When we are sick and when we are well.

    I've got to say I've never been so well in my life before as I have been now , both emotionally and physically.

    Here's to Sean for the courage , strength , and wisdom to find the same on his road. It's part of weight maintenance and life. Safe travels and hope you feel better soon.

  15. I completely understand and appreciate the intent and perspectives offered from everyone! One of the things I came to grips with early on was the fact that this wasn't a temporary diversion. In other words, I wasn't changing things simply as a means to lose weight now--I was changing things in order to have a healthy happy life forever. That's why a "cheat day" or any variation of such a thought, isn't an option for me. Karen, Janis--You both make wonderfully valid points with great suggestions, thank you! Learning what it means to us, individually--so very important, so unique---and yet, the universal truths of it all are found in the foundations of the maintainers before us. I am absolutely checking out--reading and talking to people who have successfully maintained. And I see myself in their warnings and their successes... This entire journey is exciting to me on so many levels. Opening up and allowing myself to fully experience and learn, is just beautiful. I'll never stop learning! Thank you all, again.

  16. I think that, aside from an SCZ and an ICD, you now need a BFH -- a big f***ing hammer, so when that monkey pipes up and tries to say, "Ooh, this month has an R in it, that means we get to shove our heads in a half-gallon of ice cream!" you can turn around and bang it in the head to shut it up.

  17. I am reading your book on my Kindle. its very good


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