Thursday, January 29, 2015

January 29th, 2015 The Banquet Experience

January 29th, 2015 The Banquet Experience

I knew today would be tricky. My time management skills would be tested with little room for error. My dining out skills would be tested, too--and this time without a menu to select from--everyone at the banquet tonight was served the same thing. But more on the banquet in a moment.

I had two appointments in the middle of my workday, one for a haircut at 1pm and an updated fitting for a formal jacket at 2pm. Both of these things were good experiences. The haircut, simply because I really needed a trim...and the fitting, because, well-- I needed a new fitting because of the weight loss.

At my lowest previous weight, I wore a 46 long jacket. When I arrived at the formal wear place, I predicted a 48 long was needed. And I was spot on. I predicted it, they grabbed it-- I tried it on and it needed absolutely zero adjustments. I had many events to attend during the relapse and regain period of my journey and many trips to the outfitter. Going in to get another bigger size was always an opportunity for me to be so incredibly and unnecessarily cruel to myself. Those bigger sizes became proof positive that I was slipping in a most dramatic way. Putting on that 48 long today was almost an emotional moment because it was a reminder of how incredibly blessed I've been during this turnaround period.

I feel like I've been given a second chance; a "do-over" along this road. I thank God for the opportunity. I know some don't get this chance. I'm grateful, immensely grateful. And I'm paying close attention to and studying the lessons learned--the ones I pray I never forget as long as I live.

I was the designated driver for some friends and colleagues this evening. It started early, at 4pm for the pre-banquet reception. While they attended the reception, I made it to the YMCA for my workout. This is where the time management came into play. It was the only time I had to get the workout in today.

I finished the workout and raced home with about 25 minutes to shower and change for the evening's chamber of commerce banquet.

Earlier in the day, I asked two different people about the dinner. These were people I thought would surely know, and they didn't. I knew one thing for sure: Everyone would be served the same thing, so there wouldn't be the flexibility of navigating a menu. I shared the challenge with my fellow weight loss support group members and a couple of text support buddies. Sharing the challenge made me even more determined to take control and make it a success. I'm telling you--the power of support, it works!

I made my way into the banquet without knowing the menu. Before I took my seat, I set out on a mission to find the chef responsible for cooking everything. I found chef Danny Perkins in the back of the venue. I introduced myself and started asking questions. The most important question: Aside from the obvious desserts, do any of the entree items contain refined white sugar? The answer was "No, absolutely not." Perfect! I asked about the menu and he proudly showed me the food to be served. Beef (a cube style steak-meant to be covered in a sauce or gravy) and a small chicken breast, sauteed veggies and baby size potatoes. I noticed a large pan of what appeared to be the gravy. I asked if that's what it was. Danny called it a sauce. He had a real fancy name for it, adding "It's really, really bad for you, but it's sooooo good." I asked if my plate could skip the sauce--and of course, that was totally doable. Then I asked about portion sizes. He gave me all the information I needed for each item.

I sent a text to two different support buddies describing this interaction with the chef. The replies: "Excellent- now you can focus on enjoying the event." And "Good deal. You matter."

This kind of effort might seem over-the-top to some, but for me, it's a very small effort to exert in exchange for my peace of mind. After the experiences of relapse and regain, not to mention all of the years I spent near, at or above 500 pounds, I now take my recovery too serious to simply leave it all to chance. Had I not taken this approach and just said, hey--it's one meal, one night--don't sweat it...the psychological damage could have rippled far beyond tonight. I know me. I know how my brain works. I needed to take control of my choices tonight and that's exactly what I did. Believe me, the positive effects of this personal empowerment was well worth the minimal effort to make it happen.

A couple of current photos were snapped at the event, too! One sitting and one standing, full body-profile.
 photo photo2058_zpsumrvvi8p.jpg

 photo photo2060_zpsgt5jlewr.jpg
Two different people suggested I didn't need to lose anymore weight. It reminded me of my late grandmother, who, during the last fifty pounds or so of my initial weight loss, would tell me: "Don't you lose another pound!" It's intended as a compliment and I take it as such and say thank you. But I assure you, my 6'3" frame has a way of "hiding the fat" when dressed well. I'm 35 pounds away from my previous goal of 230--and I'm not necessarily aiming for a number this time, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to once again seeing 230 on the scale someday in the near future. Trust me--I have 35 more pounds of fat to lose. Excess skin? I don't even know what that adds and I'm not even concerned with the loose skin issue right now, especially not from a cosmetic sense.

It's ridiculously late. I must be on the air at 6am. Hopefully I can finish up early tomorrow and get home for a much needed nap. I'm pretty sure a good nap will be 100% necessary.



























Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

23 comments:

  1. I'm so glad to see you succeeding! I am having a tough time, but I'm trying my darndest to work through it, and in the times where I don't see how it can be possible, I come here and read archived entries. So helpful!

    On another note, I wonder what the brown sauce was. Meat slurry probably; chalk full of meaty goodness. Mmmmm, brown slurry and beef cubes...hahaha!

    Also, you look wonderful! The suit looks like it was made for you!

    Thanks for posting! I really do look forward to them :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SB, hang tough, my friend. This time will pass. I'm truly honored and I appreciate you coming here to read and find inspiration and hope. It's incredibly fulfilling to me to know that something that has helped me in incredible ways, can and does help others, too. It's a blessing I cherish.
      That "sauce" looked like a light brown gravy of sorts. Mmmmm...brown slurry and beef cubes...Yum. LOL
      Thank you--The jacket felt nice to wear, for sure!
      I'll keep posting--thank you for reading--and just know--these tough times you're experiencing along this road can and will pass. Strength be with you--and keep shining brightly! :)

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was so surprised and jealous that you sussed stuff out with the chef. That is something that my brain would want to do and my body would be saying, "No. They'll be thinking that you are going to all that effort and you are still big. Don't do it!" Quite an inspiration to know that you can go out and get what you need to succeed without judgement! Love your support text "you matter".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Out of nearly 500 people, I don't believe I was the only one with special dietary needs/boundaries--and I know, some will simply not eat, at least at the function, in situations like this. I was prepared to wait for a late dinner had it been outrageous and unreasonable--And I get what you're talking about, I did feel a tiny touch of hesitance, but I really needed to know and I didn't want to take the word of the server--I wanted to talk to the person who planned it and was in charge of preparing the food. It was important for my peace of mind. Colleagues and friends next to me, instead of judging, actually thanked me for the information.
      I didn't come back from the chef and offer the info...One of them asked me, "So, what are you going to eat here..." and it was the perfect opening for me to say--"just spoke with the chef...it's good--here's the deal!"
      Certainty is important to me.
      I loved the support text, too. It's true! And you matter, too!

      Delete
  4. Food looked amazing! You did such a good job navigating that dinner. I would be to shy to seek out the chef. I wish I could mustard myself the confidence to do something like that . Maybe one day! Maybe we get stronger as we go along this life, I can only hope!
    You look amazing in your new jacket!
    Glad you had such an nice time.
    Happy weekend ahead!
    Rosie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rosie! The food was delicious! It takes a little something extra to overcome the natural hesitance to be different. In a case like this, my need to know over-rode my natural tendency to go with the flow and not be different. You can do it, Rosie!! Only the first time is hard.
      Thank you! The jacket felt good!

      Delete
  5. Be proud, very proud! We are of you!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Marilyn from twitterJanuary 30, 2015 at 11:25 AM

    I'm so glad you were able to speak with the chef and get all the information you needed! Knowledge is power. And I got a good laugh at your pictures of food you weren't eating. Go, you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marilyn--thank you! Yeah--I wasn't doing the salad and desserts...nope! I'm weird about salad--I'll eat what basically is a salad--like I did for lunch today--but if it's presented like the picture above--it's not happening. Maybe a texture/flavor thing. Or maybe it's a "I'm uniquely picky" thing. Glad that one gave you a laugh!

      Delete
  7. Such a great de-stressor to get the real scoop on the food being served directly from the chef. Questions like that are always worth asking and most chefs worth their salt don't mind providing the answers :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nikki--exactly. I was immediately at ease after the conversation. And you're right--Chef Perkins was absolutely happy to talk all about what went into it--what it was and how it was made. He was proud, clearly!

      Delete
  8. Awesome! Glad you maintained control of schedule and you food choices! It really is a hour by hour effort to live that healthy mindset and lifestyle....I am far far from there myself but am so glad you share your inspiring journey with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donna, oh yes--one day at a time and sometimes, one hour at a time, for sure.
      You can get there, Donna. Never give up. Thank you very much!

      Delete
  9. You look great, Sean, and congrats to you for being so proactive about the banquet food. :)

    I know what you mean about 'I know myself.' I am getting a lot of input to track, journal, worry about macros, etc. I am a Virgo with OCD. The LAST thing I personally need to do is do that. It would lead to orthorexia, for sure, for me. So no. I am happy for anyone for whom that works, but again, we all are special snowflakes, and need to accept and work within the boundaries of our own individual needs, physical or psychological. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the compliment, Gwen!
      I'm in 100% agreement with you. We know ourselves better than anyone--and finding what's right for us, as unique individuals isn't something that should be considered a right or wrong thing. It's a right thing, period.
      From one special snowflake to another, thank you!

      Delete
  10. Congratulations! I am proud of your victory, and inspired to be more proactive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Amy! It was certainly a victory! You can do it! It feels very VERY good to be this proactive because we're honoring ourselves when we do this--we're taking extraordinary care. Our actions and how we make things along this road important, show self-love--and it's critically important!

      Delete
  11. Great job Sean! So happy for you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Would it be inaproppiate to 'say' Hubba Hubba!? lol You look great and happy! I so admire you going the extra mile in order to have certainty, it is something I need to work on. I'm so happy for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alati, I will take "hubba hubba" as a sincere compliment! Thank you! :) The search for certainty is important! It takes some effort but it's completely worth every ounce! You can do the same, I assure you! Thank you again!

      Delete

I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. Thank you for your support!






Copyright © 2008-2017 Sean A. Anderson

The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser. All rights reserved.