Saturday, July 4, 2015

July 4th, 2015 Just, Fantastic

July 4th, 2015 Just, Fantastic

My Independence Day included making a trip to my hometown and picking up mom for lunch and the trip back to my place. The two of us always have a fantastic time together. Mom joined me at the lake for my annual 4th of July broadcast. We took some good food to the lake, enjoyed the event, laughed a bunch and watched the big fireworks display together.

I really wanted to grill some chicken with sugar free BBQ sauce but I ran out of time. Our alternate food plan included meats, cheeses and fruit. It was perfect.

I'd like to introduce you to Shirley from Tennessee. Her success is incredibly inspiring. 61 years old, MS, recovering from a stroke, being a caregiver to her 95 year old dad...AND still, during the most challenging and stressful times of her life: Choosing change to the tune of 200 pounds down!

Shirley's transformation is truly multi-faceted, mentally-emotionally-spiritually-physically. You're amazing, Shirley! Shirley expressed that she was really apprehensive about sharing so much on her personal facebook page and it took some bravery for her to share this incredible before/now side by side photo. I applaud your bravery, Shirley! And thank you for letting me share it here on my blog!
Your story is powerful!

 photo A20Shirley_zpsgpp5yakg.jpg
"I am not at a healthy weight yet, but hit a 200-pounds lost milestone today, so I thought I would share this to encourage you that God can do anything. May He alone be glorified."

"From the age of 8, I have struggled with my weight and been on diets, only to regain the weight as soon as the diet was over. A few years ago I lost from 380 down quite a bit and then gained back to the 260s and stayed there. God changed a lot in me back then, but last year on my 60th birthday in July, I got a huge wake up call when I had a major MS relapse and was later diagnosed with MS and also had had a stroke. The words a friend had shared with me became my reality "Choose change before change chooses you." I did not need a new diet at that point, but a way to live my life that was healthy…for the duration. After a lot of prayer, I began a way of eating that both helped me to lose but also was something I was willing and able to do long term. During the most stress-filled year of my life, with declining health and while being the care-giver for my 95-year old precious dad, God’s grace has sustained and carried me. In the past, stress was my invitation to overeat, but God had other plans."

If you have a question or comment for Shirley, feel free to use the comments section below!

Mom is staying a few days with me and will be here for Noah's 2nd birthday party! We're looking forward to it! Mom is planning to join me at the YMCA tomorrow. She'll get her walk in on the indoor track and I'll get my workout!

I'm looking forward to cooking for mom, too!

As far as maintenance mode goes, I have a feeling I'm losing weight. I suppose if I gotta have trouble with this part of the process, I'd rather it be a losing "problem" and not a gaining one. I write about this losing suspicion because I'm really in tune with my body and I can tell my metabolism is burning hot. The light breakfast from this morning--two eggs, over-easy and fruit, my metabolism scorched that quickly and I was clearly hungry within two hours.

I'm patient. And I will continue doing what I'm doing and we'll see what the scale shows in a week and a half. If there's a loss, I'll make some adjustments.

No complaints here. I'm blessed and immensely grateful in so many incredible ways for so many fantastic things.

What a fantastic day. Just, fantastic.

My Tweets Today:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,


  1. Thank you so much, Shirley for sharing your story. You have no idea how encouraging it is to me. And I'm sure others will be blessed also!

  2. Kudos, Shirley!
    Very proud of your progressed - challenged!

    Keep up the hard work, both of you!!

  3. I love you Shirley and I'm so proud of you. I love that Sean has featured you in his blog! Your life is going to touch so many... all for the better! Peggy (NY)

  4. For me, there was so much shame attached to posting my story on FB, because even though my friends and family watched my life and struggles at almost 400, it was something I did not talk about a lot with others. Instead, I just developed this fake happy exterior and always had a painted on smile and acted like everything was okay. I was the always first to make fun of myself and developed a self-deprecating sense of humor to survive. So posting this was terrifying for me but the result was so healing. Someone told me a long time ago that "we are only as sick as the secrets we keep" and that is true. Sean, your transparency and willingness to be uncompromisingly honest on here has taught me so much through the last few years. Thank you for your example daily to me, and everyone who reads your blog. I had to smile when I read that your concern now is trying not to keep losing. :) You have come so far!! Shirley from TN

  5. Shirley, your story amazes and inspires me. 13 years ago I lost 100 lbs. Then life happened and I went through tough (sickeness and death of both parents, three grandparents, and a few aunts and uncles) and joyous (marriage and two kids). Being a wife, mom and working full time plus, I struggle finding time to cook and eat healthy. Yet God willing, I'll figure it out.

    1. One thing that I did this last year that I have not done before, was to stop when I was stressed and wanted to binge, and considered the consequences of taking that first compulsive bite, and reminded myself that when I chose to eat, I also accepted the consequences of that choice. Somehow that kept me from staying in the same self-destructive eating pattern I have been in for most of my life. I also had an accountability partner and committed to call her BEFORE I overate and talk about it. It always helped. You can do this Ange. Shirley from TN

  6. Shirley, you are beautiful inside and out :) thank you for blessing us with your faith and story, God bless you!! Cafe Sean, please pour me a venti sugar free salted caramel syrup house blend. Thank you. :) (p.s. love hazelnut too, torani sugarfree syrup is good...have you tried it? )

  7. What an amazing and inspiring story, Shirley, so glad you agreed to let Sean share it. What I find especially encouraging is that you did this in your late 50s/early 60s. I'm 52 and really struggle with age/menopause related roadblocks. I would love to hear more about how you turned things around with regards to what you eat, how you control your portions and how you incorporate exercise. I am not very religious but I know that the spiritual aspect is also very important. Thank you!

    1. Kerstin, I gave up most processed foods and sugar and stuck to lean proteins, fresh veggies and fruits...similar to how Sean eats but I watch my carbs because I am type II diabetic, or at least I was when I started. My numbers are normal now after years of being off the charts. Giving up the sugar was hard but the payoff has been great. I don't have the food cravings now that I did before, and I wouldn't trade the "food sanity" for a piece of cake for anything. I don't consider this a diet but just get up each day and recommit to be kind to the body God has given me and try to put things in it that would give life, rather than how I used to eat. Hope this helps. You can do this! Shirley from TN

  8. Shirley, I applaud you for getting to a better place. I've had several family members battling MS and it and stroke recovery are both tough roads to walk. Kudos for doing the hard work.

    Just curious- have you read any of Dr. Terry Whal's work- the Whal's Protocol? My Dad died of MS related causes 2 years ago- I knew it was too late for him, but I hope others can find things that puts the disease into remission. Is there a link to your FB page?

    Sean, you may be headed to the weight plateau that is right for you. Good luck and once you settle into maintenance, plateau's will be your friend. Thank you for sharing Shirley's story. Great stuff!!

    1. I have read some things by Terri and would be interested in hearing more about your family's MS journey. I am friends with Sean on FB, so click on my name and message me. I'd love to talk with you. Shirley from TN

  9. Very inspiring life story you shared, Sean! I love reading what people can accomplish. It gives me so much hope and strength. So thank you!
    Shirley~ you look wonderful! I hope you have found happiness along your new life ventures! :)

  10. Congratulations! Your story is one that needs to be shared so thank you!


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