Sunday, June 7, 2015

June 7th, 2015 The Beautiful Truth

June 7th, 2015 The Beautiful Truth

It's a very natural thing to want to post the most flattering pictures possible. It's not just me. A recent survey found for every selfie posted to social media, thirteen pictures were snapped to get just the right one.

I've shared many flattering photos throughout my weight loss journey. In fact, I've gone out of my way to make sure only flattering current photos are shared. The only exception to this indulgence has been "before" photos--those can be unflattering all day long. In fact, the more unflattering the better.

During my relapse/regain period, especially when the regain crossed the 100lb mark, I would take photo happy family members aside and seriously request they not post my pictures and if they did, "please don't tag me." I was ashamed. The flattering pictures were no longer coming easy and I wasn't sure they ever would again.

It's easy to post the most favorable photos...
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After posting this picture yesterday, the compliments came a plenty. I sincerely appreciate it very much! I've worked very hard for the results I've experienced. I look at this picture and I'm proud about how far I've come physically. I'm even more proud of how far I've come mentally and emotionally.

You see, this "flattering pictures only" thing hasn't been exclusive to this blog or facebook. It's been a lifelong thing that goes far beyond pictures.

My wonderful ex-wife of 21 years didn't see me without a shirt on until a year into our relationship. I've had a few girlfriends since my divorce who never once saw me without a shirt on, ever. It was off limits. No amount of "I love you and it doesn't matter to me" worked against my defenses.

I lost weight. A lot of weight. In the beginning, I was just hoping for the best. It didn't take long for me to figure out that after more than two decades as a five hundred pound man, the damage done to my skin couldn't be lost like fat. 

I proudly referred to the stretch marks and loose skin as my "battle scars." But still--I wasn't going to show you, ever. Apparently, I wasn't that proud. 

The most convenient thing about not revealing is the declaration of boundaries and appropriateness. By golly, I don't need to show anyone my stretch marks and loose skin for as long as I live. That's private!  Perfect!! There isn't a person I've come across who would argue to the contrary. And seriously, there's nothing wrong with that stance.

I requested a good friend take some pictures of me tonight, battle scars and all. Her question: "So, why are you doing this?"

Because it's important to show all sides of this road. Because this is reality. Because we can lose enormous amounts of weight and we can share some incredibly flattering pictures and still, no matter how much weight we lose, we can still not like the body underneath our clothes. We can still feel like we're somehow being dishonest with everyone because we hide what's underneath. 

And here we are at a juncture. A turning point where we decide to continue hating our bodies forever, regardless of weight--at our heaviest or at our lowest weight, or we decide to lovingly embrace ourselves and be free.  

I gotta go with love on this one. The personal growth I've experienced in the last year has liberated me in monumental ways, far beyond the physical. 

I love me, stretch marks, loose skin and all. I'm truly blessed and grateful for this entire experience.

If you've ever looked at one of my 'before & now' side by side photos and thought, wow--what an amazing transformation, thank you. Now you know, the biggest transformation isn't the physical.

The biggest transformation is the mental and emotional shifts in perspective, dissolving self-hatred and nurturing self-love. 

The Beautiful Truth:
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Batwings, stretch marks galore, an abdomen apron of loose skin, a damaged lower extremity lymphatic system that will always mean swelling and discoloration in my lower right leg and less issues with the left, but still some swelling.

It's me! And I love me. I'm happy and I'm free.

Will I get skin removal surgery someday? I might. If I do, it'll only happen after four or five years of solid maintenance. And it'll be for practical reasons, not an attempt to somehow love and accept my body.

I'm already there.

Wow. That felt damn good.
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Seems appropriate to let the Tweets handle telling the story of Sunday. It was a very good day!

My Tweets Today:




















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

22 comments:

  1. Awesome buddy!!!

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  2. You will never know how proud I am of you

    Just wonderful

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  3. I love your honesty. You look great..shirt on or off, it's all good :o)

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  4. B.R.A.V.E! You could have told that story with just the picture you posted. Brings tears to my eyes because its so real and raw. If no one has said it before I will, thank you for just being you and showing the world who you really are. Even through struggles some days *I'm sure* you manage to help others around you. And I thank you for that.

    Rosie

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  5. Doesn't look bad at all. I can see ribs, you look really slim and the rest is just decoration that doesn't matter one bit. It is truly amazing to compare these with your before shots, and without surgery or any gimmicks!
    Your blog has also given us a blueprint on how to do it. Just follow the blog and you can see the results from no nonsense, consistent dietary control and exercise. Your blogging is also honest enough to let anyone see that although your method might be simple, it is definitely not easy. Truly inspirational. Right now I'm where you were about a year ago, and I hope to follow your path to success.
    Thanks for everything you do.

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  6. Thank you for posting this. Of all your post you shared this ranks near the very top in appreciation and understanding. It takes great courage posting your loose skin photos and honestly they look great, all things considered, considering what your body had to endure all those years.

    The more I think about it, such a smart decision delaying skin removal surgery. Have you noticed any differences in loose skin the 2cnd time loosing after regain with weight training? It's very possibly you will have noticeably less loose skin a few years from now with continued weight training which would be a huge plus leading to much less invasive and successful skin removal surgery at that time.

    Lastly I have to comment no taco's? IMO this is the best your food has ever looked. Maybe it's me not appreciating corn tortillas enough, but it looks like your getting all your needed nutrition through food on days you replace tacos with vegetables. It's all good though when you enter maintenance and bump up your calorie intake a little to include both it should be smooth sailing.

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  7. I cried when I read this because it made me realize how long I've hated my own body. Thank you, thank you, thank you for helpint me to feel I'm okay as I am.

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  8. Sean .... so moving. Powerful. Freedom must feel so goooood !!!
    Your transparency is a beautiful thing. What a
    strong man you are! More than I can express in a comment, I am moved.
    Know this..... the way you look now, the way you looked before, who you are, the way you " walk -what- you- talk", your compassion, your resolve and stick to it-ness, your professional persona and skill, your devotion to family , the way you've chosen peace and healing regarding your previous marriage...relationships, your quest for honesty with this blog and to us.... you are a brave and handsome man.

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    1. Well said Nicole, I agree with this sentiment.

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  9. Sean, I am overjoyed for you and the mental/emotional changes that you have made (and shared) this year. I have over 250 pounds yet to lose and I will confess I am worried about the loose skin and "battle scars" that I will have. I feel vain when I worry about this and whether I will be able to accept and love my body anyway. I know that I should concentrate on the weight loss right now, but these fears pop up regularly. Your journey reminds me that I have much emotional/mental work to do in addition to the physical. Thank you. You are both amazing and inspiring!!

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  10. That must have been a tough thing to do. And it must have been just as necessary for you as it was tough. A courageous act.

    the rest of my comment is in email.

    Deb

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  11. What an amazing and self-affirming post, Sean. Congrats on getting to the place where you can freely and lovingly share those photos. Bravo to your strong and resilient body for being able to do all that it does for you, and bravo to you for treating it so well!

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  12. I hope posting these pictures is as liberating as taking your shirt off and going to the pool was for you. Both of these posts have touched me because I understand and relate so well. Sean, I am so proud of you and thankful you do such and honest, transparent blog. It continue to speak into all our lives. God bless, friend. Shirley from TN

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  13. Yup, you're a beautiful man.

    -Chris

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  14. I've never been able to bare myself that much Sean so my hat goes off to you my friend. Amazing transformation! I waited just one year before getting my skin removed and I don't regret that decision but nothing is perfect. but I have definitely come a long way with my self love :) loving ourselves fully definitely is key to last maintenance and that definitely includes our battle scars :) wonderful post Sean :)

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  15. Sean - you are just simply amazing. I will be thankful forever that I found you and your blog.

    The bare, nitty-gritty, REAL you is even more wonderful than any flattering photo could possibly portray.

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  16. We love you just the way you are! Awesome!!!
    <3 Megan in Texas

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  17. You are such an inspiration!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and the comment about waiting 4.-5 years, dang! I wish I had my head so correctly screwed on, but this is why you are so successful! and this is why I love reading your blog! hoping some of this will rub off

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  18. Your honesty with yourself speaks volumes to those of us who follow your blog. Thank you.
    I read this today, and found it timely...
    http://my.happify.com/hd/how-to-become-alive-in-your-own-body/

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  19. Awesome! It must feel great to let it all out!

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