Monday, March 30, 2009

Day 197 A Legit Excuse and Keeping The Wood Burning Stove Red Hot

Day 197

A Legit Excuse and Keeping The Wood Burning Stove Red Hot

I've really had to constantly remind myself that it's OK to be sick. I've been in such a “no excuses” mode for so long now, that even a legitimate excuse makes me doubt my commitment. Very rarely do I go two days in a row without working out, I think the last time may have been early on when I was off work for a week to heal my right leg. I guess it is possible to accept legitimate excuses, after all, with my sneezing, blowing, and dripping, I could get other people sick with the germs I'm spraying around. So, I guess I'm being considerate by staying inside away from the Y and away from the trail. I must awake in the morning feeling much better than today. I have way to much to do, and you can bet your bottom dollar I'll be working out tomorrow evening and attending the “Lose To Win” seminar. I don't have time for this being sick stuff. I'm looking forward to weigh day, I really feel that despite my down time of late, I'll have lost more than last weigh day. We'll see on Wednesday.

I've really been concentrating on spreading out my calories more evenly throughout the day, you know, to keep the fire in my “wood burning stove” burning hot. The metabolism is a tricky thing. I use to think that the metabolism was something you were just born with and completely unable to change. I thought that some of us were blessed with a really fast metabolism and some were unfortunately “blessed” with a slow metabolism. While you'll find some truth in that, a slow metabolism doesn't have to remain slow. I've learned that exercise, water consumption, and eating frequently all have the power to act like a “metabolism dial” that you can adjust up several notches. It just so happens that all of my former bad behaviors with food and lack of movement was a perfect recipe for a sluggish metabolism. Oh how much time I wasted being depressed and negative about losing weight because I had a naturally slow metabolism, and all the while my metabolism was yelling “Hey, help me help you!” and “It's called H2O, look it up.” and “If you would eat smaller portions maybe I wouldn't feel so smothered down here.” and “How long has it been since you really exercised...well that's too long.” That's right, my metabolism was a heckler that I refused to acknowledge for many years. Instead I would sit and be jealous of the naturally thin people with super-human metabolisms, looking out the window as they would run by with their workout pants and water bottle. “Crazy over-achievers,” I thought. I now pride myself on slowly becoming one of them. I don't even necessarily have to be an over-achiever, just an achiever, that'd be just fine with me. I'm fitting the description of an “achiever” everyday, one day at a time right?

There were some dramatic before pictures I left out of last night's bonus blog, we'll take some “in progress” pictures that half way resemble those “before” poses, and I'll get them posted at the bottom of a blog in the next few days. I'm headed back to bed now, must rest, must feel better tomorrow! Good night and...

Good Choices,

Day 196 Under The Weather and A Birthday Dinner

Day 196

Under The Weather and A Birthday Dinner

I was feeling great last night after the wedding, then I went to bed and oh my. I couldn't get warm, my sinuses wouldn't stop draining, oh the sneezing, stuffy head, I just couldn't rest. It just hit me out of the blue. I've always been very lucky when it comes to getting sick, I hardly ever do, but something zapped me real good. I didn't sleep right last night and it's made me tired all day. I've noticed something about my eating habits when I'm tired and not feeling well. I eat smaller amounts more often. I had a 600 calorie meal when we enjoyed dinner with my grandma, aunt, and mom, but other than that, I've had something small about seven different times today. Feed a cold right? I think I've tried that today without exceeding my calorie limit.

I did allow my sickliness to keep me from working out today. I told Irene that regardless of how I felt, I was still getting out there and doing it, but that was just macho man talk. I'm sick, and the last thing I need to do is get out in cold weather to walk. I can't stand missing a workout. It's become a part of my daily life and to not do it feels unnatural at this point. But I'm not going to beat myself up too bad for this one, I'm allowed to be “under the weather” I guess. I don't like it, but who does? As long as “I don't feel good” isn't just an excuse to be lazy like it's been in the past, I'm cool.

Our dinner tonight in Stillwater was in celebration of my grandmas 82nd birthday. Her birthday was Friday, but because of the weather our get together was scheduled for this evening. It was a great meal. I enjoyed some breast of chicken, chunked, and fried with a serving of mashed potatoes and green beans. I requested the gravy on the side and I passed on the roll. It was real easy to get by at 600 calories or less. By occasionally dabbing the potatoes in the gravy, I saved some serious calories. By the time I was finished the gravy almost looked untouched. Had they poured it over the potatoes, I would have consumed a much larger amount. The same strategy is effective when eating salad dressing. It's strange, but very satisfying to actually enjoy a normal portion of potatoes. Mashed potatoes isn't a food you think of in relation to losing weight, but a normal portion isn't bad. I've enjoyed a normal portion of mashed on many occasions throughout this journey. A double, triple, even quadruple portion use to be the norm for me, but now I can enjoy a regular portion without feeling like I'm getting cheated out of taters. Grandma is doing great and looking great! She couldn't be prouder of the progress we've made in losing weight, and she completely understands the struggle. I wasn't even ten years old when grandma had the stomach stapling procedure. I watched her struggle with the after effects of that surgery for years, always getting sick after just a hint of dairy and never being able to actually enjoy a meal without getting sick. Now the doctor wants grandma to gain weight, not lose it, and I think Uncle Keith, Aunt Kelli, and my mom would all agree it's just as tough to gain weight at her age, they're constantly trying to get her to eat.

I'm a big baby about feeling sick. Irene is a trooper, she can be sick for days before she even mentions feeling bad, not me. I better get some more rest. As much as I'd like to take a sick day in the morning, there's just too much to do! I at least need to get through my show. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Day 196 Bonus Picture Blog--Irene's "Before" and "In-Progress" Pictures

Day 196

Bonus Picture Blog—Irene's “Before” and “In-Progress” Pictures


In Progress

The two of us before

The two of us in progress


In progress


In Progress

Lookin' Awesome Buddy!

Love you!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day 195 Big Cheese Day and A Friends Success

Day 195

Big Cheese Day and A Friends Success

Tonight I DJ'd a wedding for the first time ever. I think I did OK, except when I was suppose to play the wedding march, I accidentally played “Baby Got Back.” I'm kidding. That didn't happen, would have been funny years from now, but certainly not tonight. No, despite my constant worry, everything went off without a hitch. Everyone was happy, I could tell because as soon as it was over they handed me a check. Cool, I'll take that as “job well done.” The food was really nice. Little BBQ sandwiches, at least I think that's what they were, plus plenty of cheese and crackers and meats, and some tortilla chips and cheese dip. I waited until it was almost over before grabbing a few chips with a little cheese dip and some cheese cuts and slices. I spent nearly 400 calories on cheese today. That's got to be a record one day total. Well, I started the day with some cheese and turkey, plus an apple. Then I snacked on cheese later in the afternoon, then at the wedding, more cheese! Hey, I'm not complaining really, but I normally don't invest that many calories in cheddar in a single day. I had a couple of ounces of “real” Coke tonight. I needed something to drink and they didn't have diet available, I really wanted bottled water. So with tap water as the only alternative, I decided to drink a few sips of syrup. I couldn't stand it! I use to be addicted to that stuff? Are you serious? I couldn't take another sip. I'm completely serious, it was that repulsive. Not another sip I say, even if tap water is the only alternative. I mean really, what kind of spoiled rotten guy am I, refusing to drink tap water? I really disappoint myself sometimes. To think there are people in certain parts of the world who walk for miles several times a day so they can capture drinking water from a river, and I refuse to drink it when it's so conveniently been tapped for me! We certainly are blessed to be so fortunate, huh?

After the wedding, the last thing I really wanted to do was go exercise. But I knew I would feel horrible if I didn't at least get in a couple of miles. So I quickly walked the “hard two” in right at 30 minutes. It was cold out there! I also did it without my music. I really don't like exercising without my music. I know I spent the first three months of this journey without music, but once I got a taste of working out with my favorite tunes, well, I'm spoiled now. After finishing the walk, it was time to locate a late dinner. I really didn't feel like cooking, and since I only wanted to spend about 400 calories, I decided to go for the grilled talapia at LJS. They were closed so I ended up at Taco Bell. I had a crunchy grilled chicken taco and a crunchy taco supreme. If you want to cut calories, go for the crunchy corn shell instead of the soft flour tortilla. I do that all the time, even if the item normally comes on soft, I ask them to switch mine to crunchy. It was incredible and cheap, coming in at just under 400 calories. Perfect indeed!

My day started with the realization I was late for work! I needed to be at the studio by 8:30am to take over “winter storm warning” duties. Gayle was very kind in staying an extra hour until I arrived. My phone started ringing right after I opened my eyes and discovered my tardiness. But it wasn't the station wondering where I was, it was my friend and fellow “Lose To Win” teammate Brandon. Brandon thought he woke me up, but he didn't! I'm sure it sounded like he did, because I had been awake maybe 30 seconds when he called. Brandon was excited. This call couldn't wait, and I understand why. Brandon was celebrating fitting back into size 48's! I know exactly what he's feeling. It's very nice to see and feel the results of our hard work. And Brandon always works the hardest, he deserves the best always! While we talked he told me that he really connected with the message from Day 192. I've heard directly from several people saying the same thing. I hope the initial target of that blog paragraph read it, I have no idea if he has or not, but it certainly has had a profound effect on others that I know have read it. And that is so fulfilling to me. I'm very happy to have Brandon on our team. Here's a guy that works at a car dealership, and in his position he can probably drive anything he wants, anytime. If he wants to drive the latest and the greatest new vehicle out there, all he has to do is grab the keys. I mention that because Brandon has been known to actually ride a bike to work! Just for the exercise benefits! That's commitment. Not me, if I had his position, I'd be driving that sweet little Chrysler Crossfire. OK, I'm not sure if I could fit in a Crossfire just yet, maybe a 2009 Dodge Charger! Yeah, there we go. But a bike? That's real commitment my friend. Way to go Brandon!

Irene has assembled a folder containing a bunch of “before” pictures. I asked her to do it so I could post a bonus blog of her “before” and “in progress” pictures. I tried to find some pics of her that were unflattering, but they all look perfect to me. (I'm so smooth sometimes) Seriously, she looks great! Anyway, she needed to be the one to pick 'em, not me. Tomorrow we'll take some new “in progress” pictures of her, then tomorrow night we'll post them! She's done incredibly well, shedding over 100 pounds over the last year and a half by being more active and cutting back. It's been a very steady and quite weight loss and now the results have added up and the differences are amazing! Her drivers license photo doesn't even resemble her in the least, neither does her security badges at her job. Congrats buddy! In case you haven't figured it out, “buddy” is our pet name for each other. We're buddies forever! We have received some strange looks before when I've called her “buddy” in public places. And when we sing our “My Buddy” theme song (from the mid to late eighties TV commercial), look out! Have a wonderful Sunday, thank you for reading! Good night and...

Good Choices,

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Day 194 A Good Friend and A Cheap But Elegant Dinner

Day 194

A Good Friend and A Cheap But Elegant Dinner

A big thanks goes out to my friend Cruz for posting on my behalf last night. Very rarely do computer problems hamper my schedule with this blog, but when it does, oh man, you talk about frustrating! After pulling my hair out for over two hours and deciding that driving to the studio to write and post in the middle of a sleet storm was a bad idea, I decided to call Cruz. I gave him my login information and what I wanted him to post and how to post and he took care of the update. Cruz is a wonderful friend of mine. We both started in stand-up together and he was the biggest believer in me. Cruz is a fantastic comedian who was with me at every crucial turning point of my stand-up career until I decided to head west. When I moved to Los Angeles, Cruz was back here in Oklahoma, but promised to join me within months. My job then was to get out there and lay a foundation for our future success. Our future hopes and dreams depended on it! I say “our,” like we were a comedy team of sorts, not at all. Our styles couldn’t have been more different. What we had was an understanding, whoever “made it” first, would open doors for the other. My rapid progress in L.A. gave Cruz big time hopes and dreams. All of a sudden what seemed so out of reach to a young Oklahoma comic from Peru was within sight. He listened close as I relayed stories of sharing the Hollywood Improv stage with the likes of Damon Wayons, George Wallace, Dave Chappelle, Harland Williams, and so many others. He knew our time was coming soon. Then his belief reached a peak as he watched me perform in a bit on Jimmy Kimmel Live. We were gonna make it! Cruz immediately packed his Honda for a trip west and the bright lights and big city. While Cruz was thrilled at the idea of being out there with me, I was discovering some important lessons on priorities. My family needed me back home and Cruz needed L.A. A few days after the Kimmel appearance I decided that L.A. could wait and my family couldn’t. When I called Cruz to give him the news he was already on I-40 headed west. The next day we met up at a truck stop in the middle of New Mexico. I was on the way home and Cruz was on his way to L.A. He couldn’t believe what was happening. He wasn’t turning back no matter what and he just knew I was missing opportunities of a lifetime by going home. I can’t type all of the heated expletives I heard that day while standing outside that truck stop on that warm July afternoon. I knew that the most important opportunities I was missing were back in Stillwater. The fear of ripping my family apart motivated me to make the right decision, much the same way I’ve been motivated in making the decision to lose weight and get healthy. Cruz and I rarely talked for the next couple of years. We finally re-connected upon hearing the news that fellow comic Mitch Hedburg had died of an overdose. These days, we rarely talk about comedy. Cruz is still in L.A. doing stand-up at night at some of the hottest clubs around and being a real life private investigator the rest of the time. I think Cruz now understands that my dreams didn’t die when I left L.A., my priorities changed, and with it changed my dreams. Being a successful father to my children and husband to my wife, and losing weight while sharing the experience with these writings, in hopes of inspiring others, those are my dreams now. That dream is coming true every day. I can’t wait for Cruz to read this post, I can hear it now “Wow, could you have been a little more dramatic? A simple thank you would have worked just fine.” I love that guy.

My Friday was a busy one that started with Dr. Amy as my guest host on the radio show. The show was fantastic! She’s an absolute natural on the air. The things I’m learning from her are things that can make a profound difference on this journey. The great thing about Dr. Amy is, she doesn’t do it for the money. In fact, she devotes a large amount of time and money in presenting health talks free every week at her practice. She gives away what so many others in her position would charge top dollar for. I asked her on the air why she didn’t charge for the health talks and she said, “It’s a way to give back something and because I didn’t want anyone to have an excuse not to come.” The excuse certainly wouldn’t be the cost, she’s made sure of that. It just shows the passionate pureness in her pursuits.

After a great morning show, I quickly settled into my day with a positive boost. Irene started my day a little after 5am with a fantastic breakfast, so I returned the favor by starting her “day” with an amazing dinner. I found some lean center cut pork chops in a convenient three pack for just over three bucks, can’t beat that! With 160 calories per four ounce serving, it was nice. I was a little creative in the preparation of the chops. I spiced them up and baked them in white wine. Then I took them out and pan seared them right before serving. I fixed Irene’s favorite vegetable, broccoli with cheese, it is my least favorite by the way. In fact, not even my least favorite, it doesn’t make the list at all. I don’t do broccoli, not even covered in a rich creamy cheese sauce. To me it’s just a way to ruin some perfectly good cheese. But to my beautiful wife, it’s a delight! I also boiled some half ears of corn and whipped up some instant “loaded” mashed potatoes, with a serving coming in at right around 100 calories. I nixed the plan for green beans, after all, we already had three veggies on the table (counting the potatoes ;) and of course Irene and Courtney enjoyed some salad too, so that’s four veggies. The entire meal was under 400 calories and very flavorful and satisfying with a nice presentation!

Saturday evening I’m handling the music for a wedding. I’m doing it as a favor for a friend, and I’m a little nervous about the responsibility. This is important stuff! It’s their wedding, and if I goof up the music they’ll never forget it! My friend has DJ’d many a weddings, I never have. So wish me luck. I’m sure it will be awesome. I wonder what wonderful foods I’ll be able to write about from the reception? We’ll find out with the next blog. Good day and…

Good Choices,

Friday, March 27, 2009

Day 193 Words I Embrace and Becoming Good Friends With A Former Enemy

Day 193

Words I Embrace and Becoming Good Friends With A Former Enemy

I enjoy reading all of the comments left on both versions of this blog. Today, my cousin Debbie left a comment and included the most wonderful motivational from Ralph Marston. I'm sure it's OK to post it here, I just have to, because if you read the blogspot version of this blog you didn't read it, and if you read the myspace version before Debbie's comment you didn't see it. I feel like I've touched on this very true philosophy before in these writings, surely a product of my continued education along this journey. But to see it put so eloquently by Ralph Marston gave me chills today. Here you go: SET YOURSELF FREE by Ralph Marston "There is no outside force holding you back. You are holding you back and you are blaming it on someone or something else. The way you are able to continue holding yourself back is by maintaining the illusion that you're a victim. Once you realize that illusion, you will naturally and easily move forward. In fact, it is easier to fulfill your best possibilities than it is to avoid them. So let go of the blame and watch the limitations drop away. Certainly there will always be challenges that hold you back. For each challenge provides you with a pathway through which you can move toward fulfillment. It is your very nature to accomplish. Lovingly accept your destiny, and allow that accomplishment to be manifest through you. Set yourself free to follow your purpose. Set yourself free to truly live." Wow, now that's real stuff my friend.

Have you ever really taken a long look in the mirror? Not to check your hair and makeup, or your body image, but simply to look yourself in the eyes. I do it often. It's not that I'm full of myself, I'm certainly not, I just want to get to know myself better. I know, it sounds strange, but really it helps me. You see, I avoided my reflection for so long because I was disgusted at what I saw. I'm not disgusted anymore. I've made a commitment to that guy in the mirror and I want to look into his soul every now and then. I was my own worst enemy for so long, sometimes it's hard to trust that guy staring back at me. I never really loved that guy in the mirror until now. And that's why I do it. It's like calling a truce and hugging your arch enemy. Did you ever have a bully that turned into a best friend? It's like that. Reminds me of a bully I had in kindergarten, it was the very first day at a new school for me, and I was scared to death. I didn't want my mom to leave, but she had to. As soon as she did and the teacher left the room, Mark Peterson walked over and kicked me hard in the shin for no apparent reason. For the next three weeks, every time the teacher would leave the room, I cried. Mark Peterson and I became good friends later on and our moms became friends too. As I got to know Mark, I realized that he was insecure about his small size. Since I was always the biggest kid in class, kicking me that first day of school was a way for Mark to say “I may be small, but I'm not afraid of anyone, even this giant of a kid.” I've stared myself down and broken down my enemy into easily readable and understandable behaviors. This understanding has given me a clear path to get to where I want to be, in a solid rewarding friendship with that guy in the mirror!

The wood burning stove/metabolism analogy from Melissa Walden at the “Lose To Win” seminar the other night has made a profound effect on my eating habits. I'm trying to eat something at least every three hours. I've tried to do that along the way, but occasionally I might go five or six hours without anything, not anymore! That's the wonderful thing about counting calories, I can spread those out however I want. I told Dr. Amy yesterday about the wood burning stove analogy, and she immediately recognized it, in fact she uses the same analogy often in her practice. She gave me a wonderful snack suggestion, referring to it as “The perfect snack.” Some turkey, some cheese, and a some apple wedges...Sounds yummy huh? A wonderful combination to poke that metabolism in the middle of the day! I haven't yet, but this weekend I plan on sitting down and assembling little turkey, cheese, and apple baggies. That'll make it easy to grab on the go! If I use a half an apple, a half ounce of cheese, and a slice of turkey, it's well under 150 calories. I'll report an accurate calorie count based on what I put in the baggies. Snacking is so fun! That reminds me, it's fudge bar time! Only 90 calories for one of those things and so creamy!

Courtney and I made our way into the YMCA tonight with a confident swagger. We've been at it for so long now that the intimidation factor is completely gone. I use to be so incredibly self-conscious in there, worried about what others thought of “the fat guy” in the gym. But then I realized they probably think “what a wonderful thing he's doing, he's taking charge of himself, way to go!” When we walk in now, we know why we're there, we know what we plan on accomplishing while there and we do it without any hangups!

I plan on having Irene help me locate a good “before” picture of her and we'll take a brand new “in progress” picture of her tomorrow or the next day. She's made a dramatic difference in herself, she's truly an inspiration to me! I'm a very lucky guy to have her by my side. As soon as I get my paws on the pics, I'll post them! I promise!

Dr. Amy from The Ranch Wellness Center is my co-host on the morning show tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to having an absolute blast from 7 to 9am. She has a very positive energy and has gone through both sides of everything she teaches and encourages. She's been there! It'll be a fantastic show I'm sure. If you're in the listening area, tune in! Unfortunately we don't webcast the show, I wish we did!

I better get some rest. It's been a fantastic day 193. Day 194 is only minutes away! Good night and...

Good Choices,

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Day 192 To The Guy Back There Where I Started

Day 192

To The Guy Back There Where I Started

Every now and then I write a blog, post it, then the next day I'll think of something I wanted to mention but didn't. Last night after the “Lose To Win” seminar, I was approached by a nice lady who expressed concern for a loved one. She told me that the loved one that had her concerned was where I was when I started. Just in case she convinced that loved one to read this blog, here's what I hope he reads: I don't know your name, what you look like, or anything about you other than a couple of clues I've been given. I know that you're right around 500 pounds and I know that you have loved ones that care deeply about you. That's all I know for certain about you. But I'll take it a little deeper. I was over 500 pounds for years, so I can safely assume that perhaps you're feeling some of the emotions that became a fixed part of my life for so long. You might feel completely hopeless, I did. You might feel like you're out of control, I did. You probably turn to food when you're stressed, scared, sad, happy, it doesn't matter the occasion or emotion huh? Yep, me too. It's hard to get around isn't it? A short walk can feel suffocating, I know. Maybe you feel like your weight has started chipping away at your personal relationships, I know I did. Are you scared of dying like I was every single day? Be honest, when a little twinge of pain crosses your chest do you start praying it's anything but what you fear the most? I sure did. Is your wardrobe severely limited because of your size? Mine was. I once wore the same pair of pants every day for six months straight, washing it every couple of days, just because it was the only pair that fit, and driving to OKC or Tulsa to buy more was too inconvenient. When you get scared for your life, do you feel like you're in a non-stop self-destructive cycle? Please say you haven't given up. I never did. Listen, I knew that if I kept going I would die very soon. Only God knows how soon, but soon for certain. I also knew that I had to be the one to stop the endless cycle. I had to get very honest and very serious with myself. You're not hopeless and you can do this. I'm not special, I don't have any kind of secret potion, I'm not perfect in any way. I'm just a guy who knew that if I really wanted to live, and I mean really live, I had to do something now. I'd argue that I'm no different than you my friend. 192 days ago I reached my limit. My world was becoming unraveled, my weight was doing it's best to crush me and any sliver of hope I may have had for the future. Can you relate? I bet you can. I'm here to tell you that you can reclaim your life. You have the power within you to do amazing things, and grabbing control of your weight is just the beginning. But how? I'm not going to say that my way is right or wrong, bad or good. It's what I did. I immediately started eating 1,500 calories a day and exercising however I could, and trust me, it wasn't much, but remember, anything is better than nothing. And you'll be amazed at how far you'll progress along the way if you stay consistent. Read the labels, buy a calorie book, look calories up on the internet. All the information you need is out there. Even before you do that, it's very important to sit down and have a long internal discussion with yourself. Write down what you want out of life. Dream a little! Get it on paper or on a computer screen, whatever, just write. Form your motivating thoughts and hold onto them tight, you're gonna need them to get through this. Make your motivating thoughts one of the most important things you think about daily. Then DECIDE that you will defend the pursuit of those desires every waking minute. DECIDE to live, DECIDE to change, DECIDE to once and for all take a stand for yourself. Stand up and demand respect from the one that has given you the least, and that's you. DECIDE that it isn't going to end this way, obesity is no longer in charge of your destiny, you are. BELIEVE you have the power to render powerless every hang up that stopped you before, because YOU DO. DECIDE that no matter the struggles in your day to day life, one thing will never be compromised, and that's your commitment to this journey. Don't do what I did for years, I don't know you , maybe you've done it for years too...Don't lie to yourself. Don't assume you have time to worry about it later. DECIDE to do it NOW and leave the worry behind. I'm right at about half way through my journey, and I've never been happier. That happiness I speak of comes from hope that I never had before. That happiness exist regardless of my current circumstances. Regardless of the stress level from whatever it is that's stressing us out, that happiness and hope remains and carries us through. DECIDE that you're worth it, because YOU ARE. DECIDE to LOVE YOURSELF enough to make the changes that will set you free. Listen, I've never been one for dramatics, and I know this page is full of dramatics, but please know that it comes from a very sincere place. I wish you could take my place and feel what I'm feeling. Please go back in the archives and read from day 1. Every day is indexed on the left hand side of the page. And if you want, send me an e-mail and we'll communicate directly. Whoever you are, best wishes.

One thing I've really had to change was how I use to think I knew it all. I don't know it all, that's why I pay close attention to people who have been educated and have an understanding of our bodies and internal mechanisms. I'm open to learning every way I can. Today I met with Dr. Amy for almost two hours and I walked away feeling enlightened about some amazing techniques and some very real facts about how our bodies respond to different foods and exercise routines, on a physical, mental, and emotional level. I don't know enough, nor have I practiced it enough to relay any of that information here, but I have to say I'm really excited to learn more. What I can learn from Dr. Amy, and my friend Mark, and Melissa Walden, and so many others is really exciting to me.

Courtney and I worked out at the YMCA tonight and Irene will go in the morning because she had to go to work this evening. I'm very careful how much information I reveal about what Courtney is experiencing, because I don't want to make her feel uncomfortable, but let me say this...She's making some amazing breakthroughs physically and mentally. Amber had a long talk with her mom last night, turns out we were all working out at the same time, Amber too is making strides and breakthroughs that will help carry her all the way. It's a dream come true to witness all the positive changes in my family and all the amazing changes in so many I've come to know better through this journey.

I feel like this blog posting is so heavy with a dramatic tone, the comedian in me wants to say something funny to lighten the tone. But if you've read this blog for awhile you know some days can be humorous and some can be very serious, and some can be a nice mixture of both. Regardless of what kind of post, you can always count on a sincere approach and honest delivery. Thanks for reading. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day 191 An Official New Waist Size and "Twittering" Along The Way

Day 191

An Official New Waist Size and “Twittering” Along The Way

What a fantastic day. Did it go exactly how I wanted? No, not at all. But it was good. I had two more “wow look at you, oh my, you've really lost the weight” kind of encounters today. I love those. They can just keep right on coming and coming. All they do is fire me up even more. One person commented, “you're gonna have to break down and buy some new clothes.” Very true. The jeans I was wearing at that moment were 54's, at least 5 sizes too big, and I'm counting each inch as a size. But with a maxed out belt on they stay up, at least for now. When I arrived home to get ready for the “Lose To Win” Seminar tonight I decided to try on the size 48's that I bought a month ago. Remember these? I knew they wouldn't fit when I bought them, but that didn't stop me from trying to squeeze into them that very first day I brought them home. I did get them buttoned that day, but the comical results and possible internal injuries told me that I'd better wait a little while longer. Well, I decided that today meant I've waited long enough. I pulled them down out of the closet and marveled at their tininess. Looking at them and holding them up causes a strange struggle inside my brain. Part of me still sees myself as that 505 pound guy wearing 62's, and sometimes 64's. I'm looking at these “tiny” 48's and my brain is saying “keep dreaming buddy, you couldn't get a leg into these jeans.” That's fine, because I've always been a dreamer, and if I've learned one thing in the last 191 days it's this: We all have the power to achieve our dreams if we truly decide to make it happen, then champion the cause and defend it with everything in our power. Anyway...back to the jeans. A month ago I had to lay down on the bed to button them. As I pulled them up over my rear I could tell that I wouldn't need to be horizontal to button these little things. No, not this time my friend. I pulled together the button and button hole like they were meant to be together. They hugged each other tight, but not too tight. It was a good kind of tight. They fit! Then confetti started falling from the ceiling and a marching band came right out of the closet playing “Eye Of The Tiger,” it was crazy. OK, maybe the confetti and band was all in my head, but that's how it felt. Like a celebration, a triumphant celebration. Now when someone ask “Sean, what size are you?” I can honestly say 48 waist. I'm not sure if anyone will, come to think of it, I can't remember anyone in the last 20 years asking me my size, but whatever! If it happens I'll be ready! But “size 48” will only be my answer for a limited time...We're on our way down to a previously unimaginable size.

Last night I missed my scheduled weight training because I had to be on the air for severe weather coverage. Like I said yesterday, my plan was to get it in sometime today. Well, that's the “didn't go as planned” part of today's schedule. I just had way to much to do and the weight room closes at 9pm. So, that's OK, I'm alright with this, I'll simply do the planned upper body routine tomorrow. Tomorrow will not be as packed as today. It frustrates me to miss it because I'm all about the “c” word. Consistency is the key to this deal. If you've read along the way, you know that already. Consistency, consistency, consistency! If you consistently make good choices, then you'll consistently have good rewards, it's a very simple arrangement. But I shake it off now...I can't go back and rearrange my day to make that weight training happen, so I move ahead with positive momentum. Courtney had a tremendous amount of studying to do tonight, so Irene and I headed to the trail after dinner and busted out a 5K. I did about five “burst” of jogging along the way, but settled into a power walk after my left shin started burning to beat the band. I'm sure it was a good burn, but what do I know? I've said it numerous times, I'm not an expert! And you know how cautious I can be, easy does it right? Anyway, the 5K tonight under the stars was an incredible workout. Every time Irene's pace would get a little too far ahead, I'd jog to catch up. By the time we finished she was still a good minute in front of me. Irene can flat out move! And when she walks, she not only power walks, she shadow boxes, and stretches, and lunges, and all kinds of things that make me wonder if she's alright up ahead there. Oh, she's alright, alright. She's doin' fine, real fine, and lookin' real fine too! After all, she's lost over 100 pounds too! I need to ask her if I can post some “way before” and “in progress” pictures of her fine self on this blog real soon!

I enjoyed the most flavorful breast of chicken in the world tonight, accompanied by a pile of tomato slices, probably too much salt, a half a baked potato, and a few individual pieces of deep fried okra. I would describe deep fried okra to my friends and readers in the great white north, but it wouldn't sound good. OK, I'll try...It's a green vegetable full of little sticky seeds that you can eat. It's sometimes boiled, or pan fried, but my favorite is coated, breaded, and deep fried to a golden brown. Not the best “calorie value” food in the world, but that's why I had only a few pieces, like exactly three. Just enough to say, yeah, that's good alright. It was a good meal and well below what I had left to spend on dinner. After our 5K, I enjoyed a 90 calorie Blue Bunny Fudge Bar, that's right, chocolate ice cream on a stick! Who says losing weight has to be boring and without yummy things?

As if this blog isn't enough of my daily dealings and experiences as I go from 505 pounds to 230 or whatever feels good and right, today a friend of mine and regular reader suggested I “Twitter.” What in the world? Twitter? Apparently it's a big craze sweeping the world, and I just happened to be completely oblivious to it's existence. I was given a quick tutorial and now I'm “twittering” regularly. If you're interested, and trust me, I completely understand if you're not, you can “follow” my “twittering” at any given time by going to The extra “A” in the middle stands for Allen, that's my middle name. Twitter, it seems, answers a very simple question: What are you doing right now? For me it might be what I'm eating right now, what I'm doing at the gym right now, or how I'm feeling right now or what I'm doing at work right now...or basically any number of things that could probably lead to “Sean Overload.” I may try it out and not like it, but I'll give it an honest try, if for no other reason than the fact that so many people are nuts about Twitter. Remember when we didn't have cell phones and e-mail, let alone Twitter and texting, or computers, and remember when the word “blog” didn't even exist? How did we ever survive? Oh yeah, we got along just fine, in fact we got along just great! I just received an IM on my PC and a millisecond later my camera/video camera/alarm clock/mp3 player/hand held internet/stopwatch/date book/phone device buzzed to notify me of it's arrival. I disgust myself sometimes! Communication has certainly been redefined in the new millennium.

I'm going to turn off all of these sometimes ridiculous devices and get some sleep now. Thank you for reading. If you attended the free Ponca City Medical Center “Lose To Win” seminar tonight, you caught a good one! I certainly enjoyed speaking briefly after Fitness and Life Coach Melissa Walden's awesome presentation. If you couldn't attend, ask someone who did to tell you about Melissa's wood burning stove/metabolism analogy. I was only scheduled for five to ten minutes, Irene told me it was still 15 minutes. I just can't help it sometimes. When you're as passionate about something like I am about this journey, you can't help but talk about it to whomever will listen. And an auditorium with people on the same kind of journey makes for some good listeners! Take care of you and I sincerely appreciate your support! Good night and...

Good Choices,

Monday, March 23, 2009

Day 190 Buffet Ignored and Much Bigger Mental Than Physical Differences

Day 190

Buffet Ignored and Much Bigger Mental Than Physical Differences

Part of my job as a radio announcer is occasionally covering severe weather. The weather tonight never became too bad where we are, but it was still threatening enough to be on the air and in the studio. I knew that spring time storms would eventually threaten my workout routine, and it certainly did tonight. But that's OK, it's my job! The plan tonight was arms and shoulders weight training followed by some cardio on the treadmill at the YMCA. Instead I'm going to settle for a brisk walk at the trail. I'll make sure to get that upper body weight training in sometime tomorrow.

Today a client asked me to lunch. The place? El Patio Mexican Restaurant. Guess who suggested it? I did, even though the place is known for their lunch buffet. I'm confident enough now to walk in, walk right past that buffet, sit down in a booth that I couldn't think about sitting in six months ago, and order ala carte. I had two crunchy chicken tacos and a few chips and salsa. Easy as anything, and I got out of there for under 450 calories. I originally estimated those tacos at 240 a piece, but after comparing the calories of the same thing at several large mexican restaurants around the country, I had to count them as 170. Had I left the mounds of cheese on them, both tacos total would have been 600 easily. But I just left enough cheese to taste, a wise calorie budgeting decision indeed. We had four of us at the table, and not one ordered the buffet. This losing weight and feeling great stuff is contagious! The biggest difference I noticed in my behavior was the fact that I didn't miss the buffet. I didn't sit there and salivate over the endless supply of enchiladas and cheese dip. It wasn't a big deal. I was there on business and the chicken tacos were very satisfying. That change in mindset is huge for me. I can honestly say I had zero desire for that buffet today. The coolest thing about the meeting today at the restaurant was the greeting I received. I've worked with this particular client a few times, but not at all in the last six months. I was met at the front doors of the place with a big “wow, what have you been doing? You've lost a bunch of weight!” And that reaction came from someone who's been around me maybe sixteen hours total over the last couple of years. When someone has that reaction it feels absolutely amazing! The difference physically is dramatic. The difference mentally is even greater.

I wish I could find the words to describe my mental state at 505 pounds. It was a constant obsession with food. Food was the answer to everything. It didn't matter how much was on my plate, in not long I'd be eating again. I would eat often enough that I felt I needed to hide some of the consumption. That's just disturbing really, but I did it all the time. A burrito on the way home or a couple of double cheeseburgers or maybe a filet of fish and a double cheeseburger. A large fry and a large shake from Braums, all without anyone knowing but me. I would secretly binge all the time and then pretend to be hungry once I arrived home. Irene use to occasionally discover the evidence in my vehicle, confirming what she already knew, I was deeply and hopelessly addicted to food. That's what I mean when I say the difference mentally is even greater than the physical difference. It's a phenomenal transformation.

Tomorrow evening is another “Lose To Win” Seminar. The program tomorrow night will feature fitness and life coach Melissa Walden. She'll be a guest on my radio show in the morning. She's an amazing teacher and coach. Her almost spooky insight into our thoughts and feelings about what we're experiencing is amazing. I'm looking forward to a wonderful program. I've been asked to speak for five to ten minutes after Melissa's presentation. I look forward to that too!

I better hit the trail before it gets too late. It's funny that my biggest challenge on this journey isn't the food and exercise. It isn't the mental gymnastics I've had to perform, not at all, my biggest challenge is time management. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Day 189 Time Marches On With or Without Us and The Magic Wand

Day 189

Time Marches On With or Without Us and The Magic Wand

I've always been rather impatient. I'm a “I want it now” kind of guy. This naturally impatient attitude has discouraged me during past weight loss attempts because the time that's required to get down to a normal weight seems so overwhelming. I guess until now I never really thought about the multitude of rewards and victories along the way. I always focused on the total amount I needed to lose, then I would look at the calendar and get discouraged. 'This is going to take forever,' I thought. Then someone would chime in with the popular “you didn't grow to over 500 pounds overnight, you can't lose it overnight either.” Of course then I would day dream for twenty minutes about how cool that would be, if we could actually lose it over night. On second thought that might be kind of scary. Too much too soon kind of thing. It's crazy that I let myself get discouraged over the time it takes to lose weight naturally. Because a year later I'd still be over 500 pounds. And that's exactly the point I had to convince myself. Time doesn't really care what we do. Time keeps moving right along like clockwork, uh, it is clockwork. No matter what we do in the next twelve months, good or bad, it's still going to be March 22, 2010 in one year. Time is a constant, that's a pretty simple statement. But it's one I really had to wrap myself around. I had to dig deep to battle my impatient personality. I finally realized that I really needed to forget about time. Time doesn't need me to worry about it, it'll keep moving right along without any help or hindrance. Instead of focusing on how much time it's going to take, I had to focus on what I needed to do each day to succeed. And then when I do take the time to notice the time, I'm happy with the progress I've made and continue to make. It's day 189 by golly, 189! I've lost over 131 pounds! That's almost three quarters of a pound a day! You can tell that I don't really pay much attention to time because on March 15th's blog I didn't mention the fact that it was exactly the sixth month mark of this journey. It totally escaped me. Will it take a year total to reach my goal? Maybe it takes another year from now? Who cares! I'll be there when I get there, then I'll look at the clock and marvel at how far I've come in such a relatively short time. I didn't grow to over 500 pounds in a year or a year and a half, but I can get to my ideal weight in that time? I guess time really is on my side huh? We've all been in a situation where we were watching the seconds tick by on a clock conveniently positioned near our face. Maybe you were in class, or in a doctors office, or at work. When you constantly focus on the clock it can feel like forever! That's why I don't. Time will do it's thing, and I'll do mine, we'll meet up later in a triumphant celebration of accomplishment.

I've noticed one thing about different readers of this blog. Those that can relate to the struggles of losing weight totally get it. Some that have never had a weight problem do get it, but still, I've ran into a couple of people recently that don't “get it.” Not even a little bit. And that's completely OK. Sometimes I wish I had a magic wand that would mysteriously make naturally thin people fully understand the mental, physical, and emotional struggle. What would be really cool, is if that same magic wand could make morbidly obese people feel what it feels like to lose a considerable amount of weight. Even if the feeling only lasted a minute or so, I guarantee it would have a dramatic impact for both obese and naturally thin alike. This magic wand would be in such demand that we'd have to have around the clock security and a strict policy against “wand abuse.” OK Sean, back to reality. Listen, I fully understand why some don't understand. When I hear about someone in the news doing something completely unthinkable, and then find out that person was on drugs or alcohol, I have a hard time understanding their addiction, because thank God I've never had an addiction like that. If you've never had a particular problem or been effected by the problem, then how can you know or understand the far reaching personal effects. You just can't. My addictions have always been food, laziness, and nicotine, so I understand what people feel when dealing with those things. I can't hold it against these naturally thin people, I'm not even jealous of them anymore. I can't tell you how many people I've “hated” in the past simply because they might say something like “I can eat whatever I want and I never gain an ounce.” That's awesome, good for you...I just gained a pound hearing you say that, thanks. I don't “hate” these people or anyone now. And the only time I have a problem with someone that is naturally thin is when they live with, or are close to someone who's on a journey like this, but they still provide zero support. I know someone that is making a dramatic change in their eating habits. They've started eating better and cooking better for their entire family. This person has made an effort to get out and exercise everyday. But this person is married to and loves someone who is naturally thin and not understanding at all. She's doing everything she can to make positive changes in her pursuit, but all she hears is how he's sick and tired of her being at the gym or fixing lighter portions. I can't imagine what it must be like to constantly have that negative energy, and constantly worry that these positive changes will enrage your significant other. Of course in the long run he'll see the amazing changes and results and he'll see her emerge from underneath a lifetime of obesity, and perhaps then he'll realize that the little sacrifices in time and bad habits were completely worth every single frustration he felt along the way. The good news is, the people that “get it” far outnumber the ones who don't. You get me?

Tonight we're headed to the trail for a nice workout. If you're in the area and you drive by and see me jogging for brief spurts, just know that I'm not being chased by anyone or anything. I'm doing it on purpose. I'm still mostly walking briskly, with occasional burst of “all I got.” I've learned that our bodies adjust pretty quickly to a routine and the only way to advance our workout is to recognize this and pump it up a little. I'm still extremely cautious while I'm out there. Believe me, I'm not doing anything I can't handle. Actually, I could probably handle more, but I'm too cautious! I was just jogging for burst of one minute at a time yesterday, and that's all I felt I could do at 5.8 mph. But did you see that episode of “The Biggest Loser” when the trainer made that 346 pound guy jog for five minutes? I think he was 346, something close if not, but did you see that? I was on the treadmill at the Y when I caught a few minutes of that episode, and I'll tell ya, I couldn't imagine jogging for five minutes at this time, at least not at 5.8 mph. It was all I could do to make it one minute yesterday. Of course that will change with time. I'm still around 370, so what will I be able to do at 270? I bet then I'll be able to jog for much longer than a minute! Before you head out and dive into pushing yourself to the limit, remember a few things...I never get to the limit, I just get close enough to see the limit, then I back down. I've also been through the EKG's and the doctors visits, my numbers are looking great across the board, and I know that I'm extremely lucky in that regard considering how long I was in excess of 500 pounds. I guess what I'm saying is, please check with your doctor before you get too hot and heavy with your workout. Make sure you're physically able. Chances are your doctor will tell you to go for it! But at least consult a doctor first. The dramatic health improvements exercise provides is amazing. I sometimes can't believe how far I've come from that first day. Slow and steady wins this race every time.

Thanks for reading my daily blog. Another successful day is in the books. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Day 188 Becoming Fast Friends With A Former Nuisance: Exercise

Day 188

Becoming Fast Friends With A Former Nuisance: Exercise

Exercise and I haven't been on speaking terms for many years. I can remember seeing people out running and biking on purpose and I just couldn't imagine what possessed them. Doesn't that hurt? Are they sweating and breathing hard? That's not comfortable is it? At over 500 pounds my exercise routine was just existing. Just getting up and walking to the bathroom or the fridge was a challenge. If I had to go to the store, oh my, that was sometimes a little more workout than I wanted. I have the perfect career for someone who doesn't like or associate with physical activity: Radio personality. Yep, sitting in the same comfy, heavy duty studio chair while pushing buttons, talking, and presenting a radio show never really gets tiring physically, mentally sometimes, but I've never broken a sweat except when the air conditioner was in need of repair. My career has catered to me on a psychological and physical level. First, it's a career that allows me to hide behind a microphone, interacting and communicating with people who have no idea what I look like. On the radio, I look like whatever your imagination decides my voice looks like. And I'd like to think I have a slim and trim sounding voice. I obviously sound like a John Stamos or Tom Cruise lookin' kinda guy judging by some of the surprised reactions from listeners when we meet face to face. Secondly, walking down the hall to the next studio chair is about as physical as it gets, and even that was becoming a burden at over 500 pounds. Changing my mind about exercise has been much easier than I expected. First of all, I can only do what I can do. My approach has been a very natural progression. Even though I've always heard exercise “fanatics” say how good it feels, I never believed them until now. How could exercise feel good? Give me a break and a couch. But it does feel good after a while. I say “after a while” because I can't honestly say it felt good the first 30 days or so. The first week it actually felt kind of dangerous. I knew that I had to exercise if I wanted big time results. Knowing that didn't keep me from trying to rationalize not exercising “until I lose the first 50 to 100 pounds.” I quickly dismissed that nonsense because it was coming from a mentality that had kept me fat my entire life. I was simply trying to find an excuse to make it easier on me. And I decided that I had to steamroll excuses from the very start. Some might say that not exercising at over 500 pounds was a smart idea based on safety concerns, and in an attempt to make myself feel better about not exercising, I would've agreed with them completely. I couldn't allow my sedentary lifestyle and overall laziness effect my exercise decisions. To protect me from dropping dead, I just did what I could do, never any more or less. In the beginning it wasn't much, but it was for my size, and anything was better than nothing. Then I discovered something. I discovered that no matter how small the start, if you do it everyday you can't help but to progress, building endurance and stamina. And I have to say that it does actually feel good after a while. At first I only recognized the good as a feeling of accomplishment, but now it's much more than that. I use to roll my eyes when people would talk about “endorphin rushes.” Whatever, I thought. Boy did I think wrong. There is definitely a feel good chemical reaction that comes from exercising. Isn't it funny that I've heard experts and physically fit people say that for years, but until now I really didn't get it or even believe it? A good workout creates a natural high that feels groovy man, trust me. I'm far from an expert, and I have tons to learn about exercise and fitness, but I'm learning and doing it everyday. Consistency equals success pure and simple. Consistency plus insight from experts along the way equals greater results a little quicker. So I'm open to learning from the experts. I have to say that Dr. Amy, Mark, and Dana have been of tremendous value in helping me better understand exercise.

My workout today at the YMCA was on a different level. It must seem that I say that all the time, but seriously, this interval training is just amazing. I usually just set a pace and walk the same exact pace the entire time. Lately I've tried “interval training.” Walking with short burst of everything I have. Last night that “short burst” was 5.8 mph for 30 seconds, before dropping back to 4.0 for three minutes. Today I planned on “bursting” for 45 seconds at 5.8 mph, instead I pushed it to a minute. Every time that minute was up, I quickly backed it down to 4.0 or below so I could regain my composure for a bit before bursting forward again. I completed about ten “burst” during my hard two on the treadmill, you can watch one of them below. By the way, yes those are jeans I'm wearing, here's the deal: My “workout” pants (I have two pair) are about 15 sizes too big. I have to wear a belt around the top of them to keep 'em up. Those jeans are actually about 5 sizes too big. I don't want to spend too much money on new clothes until I absolutely have no choice. And I really don't care what I wear to workout, as long as I'm covered and I get a workout.

I've also posted a picture of me with Debbdimples. Her name is Debbie and she's my cousin. She's read this blog from the very beginning and has been one of my biggest cheerleaders. Her comments on the myspace version have been fantastic. She's made me laugh, she's made me really think, and she's been extremely helpful with advice and wisdom along the way. She's experienced weight problems in the past, but has now successfully changed her life and health for the better by losing the weight. She looks fantastic! With people like Debbie in my corner, it's hard to go wrong. Thanks Deb!

We had a fantastic meal tonight at home. I cooked beef tacos and taco salad. And despite my usual weirdness when it comes to lettuce at home, I enjoyed lettuce on all three of my tacos! I loaded up on the salsa too! They were incredible and low in calories. Low calories (148 per taco) and high flavor and satisfaction, now that's what I call a good “calorie value” food! By the way, an story caught my attention tonight. The story was about changes you can make to your daily food intake that will save you 100 calories or more. The picture they used was a bowl of ice cream and the headline “drop the cone, eat the ice cream.” They really should have been more specific in the article. They were obviously talking about sugar and waffle cones, not cake cones. Sugar cones are typically about 110 or so calories, and waffle cones can be anywhere from 75 to nearly 200 calories depending on the size. But cake cones run anywhere from 15 to 25 calories depending on size. So go ahead and eat the cone too! I do all the time with my low-fat vanilla soft serve. I don't do the sugar and waffle cones because I don't want to invest the calories in them, but cake cones? Absolutely, every time! Have a wonderful Sunday. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Cousin Debbie and Me. Readers of the myspace version of this blog know her best as “Debbdimples.”

Movin' on up to 5.8 mph, for just a minute...several times throughout the walk/jog.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Day 187 The Difference Between Then And Now and The Power of Personal Responsibility

Day 187

The Difference Between Then And Now and The Power of Personal Responsibility

I've mentioned many times before about how my weight loss attempts in the past were simply “going through the motions.” What does that mean? It means that I had a solid understanding of the fundamentals of weight loss: Eat less and exercise more. If you do these things consistently, you lose weight. That's all I knew and all I did back then. I never really understood or wanted to understand what people meant when they said “you have to change your lifestyle.” All I needed to hear was the word “change,” and I didn't want to hear anymore. Change can be scary, uncertain, and completely outside of my little comfort zone. If someone was going to reach me, I needed them to be more specific. I understand now what they were trying to say. But I wouldn't say to someone, “you have to change your lifestyle.” I would say, “you have to change the way you look at food and exercise.” That sentence is the difference between past attempts and today. I lost weight back in 2004, 115 pounds worth, then quickly gained it all back plus five pounds. Why? Because the entire time I was losing weight, I was also looking forward to my next opportunity to cut loose and eat whatever and how much ever I wanted. I was going through the necessary motions to lose weight and completely ignoring the mental aspects needed for long term success. I was like a smoker in church anxiously awaiting the end of the sermon so he can get outside and light up. When I hit the 100 pounds lost mark in July 2004 we celebrated at our favorite restaurant with all the pizza and fried mushrooms I could possibly stuff down. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Hey, 100 pounds is a big deal! We were celebrating. I can't tell you the number of times I said “hey, when we all lose 50 pounds, we'll go to that big buffet place.” An alcoholic wouldn't celebrate a year of sobriety by getting plastered, that would be nuts, and so is the “reward feast.” Celebrating milestones is fine, but I do it now with clothes and anything else that isn't food. Oh sure, we might have a nice meal, but it's a normal meal in normal portion sizes and calories. The easiest way to tell if you're going through the motions is to honestly answer this question: Do I look forward to cutting loose and eating like a maniac once the weight is lost or a particular goal is met? If the answer is an honest “yes,” then you're just going through the motions needed for temporary results. So how do you cross over and really change the way you look at food and exercise? I can only speak of my personal experiences, so here's what I did:

First of all, I let go of the idea that there was a list of foods I could never eat again. If you tell me I have to forget about ice cream, pizza, and hamburgers for as long as I live, well, uh...I might cry, or at least be kind of depressed at the thought. Knowing that I could still eat anything I wanted immediately eliminated any feelings of deprivation. I knew that it wasn't the food, it was the portions that were hurting me. So I immediately stopped looking at food as the enemy. I quickly realized that I was indeed my own worst enemy. Food wasn't my enemy, food was a friend that I used and abused everyday. My choice of portion sizes, not my food selections were the problem. My choices. That's very important. I had to accept responsibility for my choices. I had to be honest enough to say “it wasn't my co-workers fault that I over did it when they brought donuts, it was my decision to eat five of them, my choice was the culprit, not the co-workers raised and glazed generosity.” The same idea can be applied to fast food restaurants. I eat fast food. No one can tell me that you can't lose weight eating fast food, because look at my results, I'm proof that it's not about the restaurants, it's about our own choices, and those decisions determine our results. There isn't a fast food place where I can't make good choices. There isn't a sit down restaurant where I can't make good choices. Remember that guy who tried to sue fast food restaurants for making him fat? I don't know what the judge said to him, but he's lucky I never became a judge, because he would have received a big lecture from me on personal responsibility. Understanding that my morbid obesity wasn't the fault of friends, or family, or that 99 cent chicken fried steak special at “Yer Mothers” on the strip in Stillwater circa 1985, or any other restaurant, was a major breakthrough. It put it squarely on me. But it's so easy to blame others! Excuses are better received if we're an innocent victim, right? Poor us! I had to get over that psychological non-sense of making myself feel better about bad choices by blaming everything and everyone but me. I set out on a journey 187 days ago where nothing was off limits. If I avoid certain things like real butter and real mayonnaise, it's because I find them to be horrible “calorie value” foods.

What about emotions and stressful triggers? I spent years convinced that the only way I would ever really lose weight successfully is if I won the lottery and all of a sudden I hadn't a care in the world. Then, and only then, free of stress in all it's forms, I could concentrate on doing the right things needed for weight loss. I finally realized that if I was waiting for a stress free life, then I would probably just need to accept dying young and obese. I learned that the most effective weapon against stress comes from within. It's my attitude. Attitude can change anything and everything, regardless of the stress level. I made a decision that no matter the circumstance, the stress, or the emotion, I wasn't going to let it effect my eating habits ever again. I made that decision, that choice. And it was an “iron clad” decision. I no longer allow my emotions to find comfort in counter-productive choices. Instead I take these emotions and stressful triggers and I throw them in a room filled with my motivating thoughts and positive attitudes. After a short while inside that room they come out tame and much easier to handle.

I haven't even touched on changing my mind about exercise. I'll get into that tomorrow night. Let's just put it this way: When I would see people bike riding down the highway or running “for fun” and not survival, I would immediately wonder “why are they putting themselves through that torture?” I've discovered exactly why they do it and how they feel incredible all the while. More on that tomorrow evening.

Speaking of exercise, I did lower body weight training followed by the most intense treadmill workout I've ever completed. Until tonight, my highest miles per hour was four. Tonight I had short burst of 5.8 mph! I made myself do it for as long as I could handle before dropping back down to 4 mph, about 30 seconds. I bet I go longer tomorrow. Maybe I'll make myself do 45 seconds at 5.8, and eventually even more. It felt fantastic! And I've certainly learned that significant progress comes easily when you are consistent in the effort. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Day 186 Unexpected Rewards and A Good Kind of Soreness

Day 186

Unexpected Rewards and A Good Kind of Soreness

I’ve heard from several people today that were happy to tell me of their incredible success. I’m so thrilled that I know so many like-minded people! You can do this and you’re proving it everyday. It’s amazing how powerful a decision can be. When I decided 186 days ago to make a commitment like no other I’d ever made, I had no idea how wonderful it could feel. I just wanted to be able to buy clothes at a regular store. I just wanted to breathe normally. I just wanted to be able to walk down the hall without having to stop and rest. I just wanted to inspire my family to follow my lead into changes that would drastically and positively change our lives forever. Well, after 131 pounds, all of those are happening and so much more! When I get e-mails from people I don’t even know telling me they read everyday and are inspired, I’m truly touched. I’m overwhelmed with emotion and I’m so grateful for the strength and guidance I’ve been given. Every now and then I go back and read some of the early days of this blog. I do it to remind myself of things I’ve learned along the way. Lord knows I’m far from perfect and occasionally I have to read my own writing to refresh my resolve. Many times it’s not my writing at all that I rely on; it’s your comments on the myspace and blogspot versions of this blog that inspire me. Your support has been an invaluable part of my success. Thank you my friend.

Tonight we enjoyed a cookout with Amber and KL. They’re going back to school this Saturday, so before they depart, they wanted to cook for everybody. They filled the grill with everything from bratwurst to chicken breast, all beef hotdogs to big angus burgers. Needless to say, most of that protein is now resting comfortably inside the fridge waiting for its moment to nourish. Tonight was very different than it used to be. A cookout use to mean we would all stuff ourselves full of meat and beans and potato salad, chips, dips, and high calorie sodas and for some, alcoholic beverages. Then we would all slowly look for a place to nap, but not before we passed around the prescription strength Zantac. Hey, heartburn and indigestion wasn’t going to spoil our gluttonous get-togethers! My strategy was very simple and I have to say, rather natural at this point. First of all, like one of the early days in this blog, I put the focus on the people around me. I enjoyed the company of my family first and foremost, and then I enjoyed a chicken breast, some beans, and an all beef hotdog on a bun with mustard and onions, and just a few chips. I enjoyed water flavored with Crystal Light. I also grabbed and cut off a third of a bratwurst. I didn’t want to spend the calories on a full brat, after all those things are loaded! I was completely satisfied and still made it out just under 700 calories. Perfect. This isn’t dieting. It’s eating responsibly, it’s putting to rest the obsession with food, and it’s changing the priorities of my life. Visiting with my family was the most important thing tonight, not the food. We were eating because it was time to eat, but what we were really doing was enjoying each other’s company. We were living beautifully.

The soreness in my muscles from the weight training this week feels so good! Soreness use to be the perfect excuse to stop doing whatever caused the violation in my comfort. I celebrate the soreness now. I feel great as a result. My muscles are waking up to a whole new way of thinking about physical fitness. They’re not waking up grumpy; they’re waking up energized and ready for the task at hand. The progress in the exercise department over the last six months is certainly thrilling. In the beginning, when I could barely walk a quarter mile without feeling like I was about to meet my maker, I never imagined that six short months later I’d be blessed to the point of weight training with the advice and guidance from a professional and walking 5k’s on a regular basis. Even flirting with brief spurts of jogging! If you’ve read this blog from the beginning, remember before Thanksgiving when I decided to start a holiday tradition with the Anderson Family Thanksgiving Day 5K? Then we did the Christmas Day 5K, back then I really thought that doing a 5K would be something we did only on special holidays and occasions. Now a 5K is just another workout. Maybe someday soon it will be the “Anderson Family Holiday Half-Marathon,” or at least a 10K, because like this journey, it must progress!

Courtney and I are headed out to the walking trail now. I do plan on continuing the short burst method I spoke of last evening. Now mom, don’t worry…I’m not going to do anything that will get me hurt. You know I’m way too cautious for that. That caution was born from the fear of instant death I carried to that trail at 505 pounds. I have a keen sense of what I can’t handle just yet out there. But I’m learning that I can do far more than I ever thought possible. That’s why my intensity must increase with my newfound abilities. I’m grabbing the iPod and lacing up my shoes for a date with some of my favorite tunes. Good night and…

Good Choices,

Day 185 The Completely Ridiculous Spoiled Child-Like Weigh Day Reaction

Day 185

The Completely Ridiculous Spoiled Child-Like Weigh Day Reaction

Weigh day can be fun. Like when I crossed under 400. If you had witnessed that moment you would have thought I just won the Super Bowl. A couple of weigh days ago when I pounded out 13 pounds, and in doing so set a new personal weight loss record of 119 pounds, that was a big celebratory weigh-in complete with whooping and hollering and generally acting a fool. Today wasn’t like that. First of all, I’ve finally convinced myself that I don’t necessarily have to weigh at The Payne County Health Department. I didn’t have a choice at 505 pounds, but now that I’m well under 400 I have scale choices for the first time in my adult life. Irene helped me decide to save the trip to Stillwater, since we were there Tuesday evening, and weigh here in Ponca City today. I started out by weighing at the doctors office, then I weighed on two different scales at the Ponca City Medical Center “Lose To Win” Headquarters. All three scales agreed that I weighed 374. I wanted more, I mean less, you know what I mean. I didn’t want to take 374 as an answer. 5 pounds? What?? Are you serious? I’m a stickler on my calorie allotment. When the daily calorie withdrawal is spent, it’s spent. I’m exercising everyday. I’m making all the right moves and this is how I’m rewarded? I acted fine in front of Cathy Cole, the director of the “Lose To Win” program. But I was throwing a big baby fit inside. The first thing I do after weighing is send out a mass weigh day text update. I didn’t do that today, and I apologize for the delay. I did send it out at around 5:30pm Central Daylight Savings Time, but that was about three hours after the weigh-in. I was acting like all was cool on the outside, but I was pouting like a spoiled little baby on the inside. I was very disappointed in the way I reacted. And that’s just plum crazy. 5 pounds is just fine!!! It’s great really!!!! I mean it!!!!! Would I use that many exclamation points if I didn’t mean it? I’m smart enough to know that a number of factors can go into our weight at any particular time. Added water weight and muscle are a couple of things that come to mind. I realize that our weight can fluctuate by three to four pounds based on a number of variables at any given time, so why did I react like a spoiled six year old? I was just use to losing more. Until now the lowest two week total had been 7 pounds. I also understand that as I lose more and more, it will come off slower. Tonight, Mark assured me that the hardest would be from about 245 to 230. The last 10 to 15 pounds could be a real challenge, but I will get there. So again, why did I only lose 5 pounds this two-week period? Who knows and who cares! It certainly doesn’t change my commitment or long-term desires. I didn’t react the way the “Old Sean” might have. I didn’t turn to food and say “the heck with it.” That really would have been stupid. I’m honestly ashamed of how I reacted today. I personally know of a couple people who are on a very frustrating plateau as I write this, and I had the audacity to act like this over a 5-pound LOSS? That’s completely unacceptable and I refuse this kind of behavior from me in the future. OK, I think I’m done scolding myself. I’m going to keep on keeping on!

I met Mark at the YMCA tonight for round two of my introduction to weight training. By the way, I do have triceps in my right arm after all. I’ve been feeling the soreness from our Monday arms/shoulders upper body session, all day long. Tonight was the back/chest portion of the program. I had a great time. I felt a burn tonight that made me say out-loud “Oh yeah, that’s nice.” It felt so good to wake up some of these muscles. I know that I’ll be sore for the next day or two, but it’ll be a good kind of sore! Friday night will be dedicated to lower body weight training. I’ve probably thanked Mark twenty-five times for taking the time to help me out with my routine. It’s just so very important to me to not just lose the weight. I don’t want to look like a guy that use to be fat. I want definition, I want shape, I want the kind of body I’ve always wanted, but thought was impossible. I want it, and I’m going to have it, because I’ve decided I will. Will it take hard work? Of course, will it be worth it? You know the answer to that silly question.

After weight training at the Y, I hit the trail for a “hard” two miles like no other. I fluctuated my walking intensity from normal, to speed walking, to flat out jogging. Yes, jogging! And yes, I could do it! Not for a very long stretch, maybe a tenth of a mile, but I was runnnnninnngggg! That’s progress my friend. It was very natural. At first I felt like I couldn’t remember how to jog. Then I made myself pick it up. It’s easy when you’re out there on the trail alone in the dark. I just imagined that a hungry pride of lions were hot on my trail, and that’s all I needed to start “jogging for my life.” If hungry lions were really pursuing me, they would have caught me pretty quick I’m sure, but for a second or two, I felt like I could outrun a cheetah. Oh the fun little mental games, they’re great.

I’ve lost another record setting 5 pounds and it’ll just keep getting better from here! Remember, every pound I lose is another personal weight loss record. 131 pounds lost in 185 Days, how could I ever complain about that? It’s awesome my friend. I feel like a brand new man. Thanks for reading, good night and…

Good Choices,

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Day 184 Weigh Day Eve and Proper Rest

Day 184

Weigh Day Eve and Proper Rest

Something unexpected happened today that was really cool. The broadcasting company I work for was contacted by ITV in the UK seeking permission to use audio of me doing weather coverage during a tornado outbreak in May of last year. Apparently a film crew was in the area shooting a documentary on tornadoes and they just happened to be listening to my reports on the radio while the cameras were rolling. It was a short clip with me reporting “spotters have confirmed a multiple vortex tornado on the ground.” Then I go on to say what you need to do if you're in the path of this killer storm. The permission was granted with a request for a DVD copy of the finished documentary, and they said they would try. Try? Really? Is a DVD copy too much to ask? I'm afraid had we asked for a small sum of cash, they would have simply put me on the editing room floor. I really don't care either way. But still, it's kind of cool. I wonder if the Brits will say “listen to that American radio presenters accent, I just love the way they sound.” Because that's what I'd say about them.

Tomorrow's weigh day for me. As usual I have the normal weigh day eve thoughts and concerns... “what if I've hit a plateau?” “Everyone says I'll hit one eventually, hasn't happened yet, but will tomorrow be the day?” I seriously doubt that I'll hit one tomorrow, or that I've hit one yet. Because the belt doesn't lie. I'm on the very last notch in this belt, and before long I'll be pulling up my britches with it “maxed out,” so I'm really not too concerned. I feel like I'm in a steady groove. That can be good and bad. I always want to challenge my limits without risking injury by going too far. That's the only way to measure progress. I definitely feel the need to step it up a level or two. In order to do that, I seriously must re-organize my schedule and budget my time in a strict fashion. I may start writing this blog at 3:30pm, instead of late at night. That way after a tough workout I can get home and drop in bed for a good nights rest. I credit this blog with bringing me to another level in weight loss. It's seriously the most important thing I do in these efforts. Without this daily written therapy, I doubt I would have willfully examined my actions and reactions over the last 184 days with such honesty. I would have simply gone through the motions like many times before: Eat less + Exercise=Lose weight. I've discovered the true secret to losing weight, and it's not just about food and exercise. It's all about the mental workouts. I've changed the way I think about food and exercise. It's a decision that once made, cannot be broken. So the time I spend writing this blog is extremely vital to my success. Good rest is also vital to my success. So I'm cutting tonight's blog a little short. I hope you don't mind. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day 183 Separating Emotions From Actions and Weight Training Class Is In Session!

Day 183

Separating Emotions From Actions and Weight Training Class Is In Session!

I'm feeling very upbeat these days. It seems no matter what is thrown my way, it doesn't shake my resolve to become what I desire and arrive exactly where I'm headed. That's a key difference between this journey and past attempts. In the past I would allow the slightest tilt of my “comfort zone” to throw me completely off track. It's a nice place to be. Basically, it's like I've finally figured out how to separate my emotions from my actions. I always permitted my emotions to completely control me. Turning to food for comfort was always the easiest thing. Often times, Ok, more like every time something didn't go like I wanted, or I had a bad day, or I was upset about anything at all...I'd use it as an excuse to cut loose and devour as much food as I could. And it wasn't exclusive to negative emotions. When I would experience positive emotions, I'd celebrate, or enhance my good mood with plenty of food and couch time. This pattern of excess no matter the emotions is what led to my weight soaring to over 500 pounds. Reversing this life long pattern and instinct has been a real-life exercise in better understanding of my personal psychology. I look at food very differently now. Where before I could quit and go back to my old eating habits at the drop of a hat, I honestly don't think I could now. If you told me I had to eat a quarter gallon of Blue Bell, as crazy as this might sound coming from me, I seriously don't think I could make myself. I haven't “stuffed” myself in 183 days and you know what? I don't miss it and I haven't the slightest desire for it. I'm rarely hungry, if at all it's first thing in the morning. One thing I've noticed, I haven't had an ulcer attack at all in the last six months. Before, when I'd get stressed, I'd eat of course, and not just a little, a bunch. The combination of stress and being stuffed would occasionally cause me to be up most of the night with my stomach burning like fire and me throwing up until my throat was raked with stomach acid and I could barely talk, not good for someone who talks for a living. Needless to say, I missed many a morning show because of my ulcer attacks. I think it's strange I haven't had one since I started this journey, because there's still stress in my life, I've just cut out the excessive eating and now I actually exercise on purpose. It's amazing what pain will make us promise ourselves. I can remember being in the middle of an attack with my mid section burning and my throat raw from throwing up, and my lips crusty from chugging Maalox, and saying out loud--- “this is it, I'm done, I'm losing this weight, I never want to feel this way again!” But then the pain would go away right along with my promise to change. The next day I'd act like it never happened. I'm sure my employer has noticed I haven't used as many sick days as I did before starting this journey.

My workout at the YMCA tonight was completely different. Mark, you know “that guy,” guided me through the first of three parts of a weight training program he's written for me. I'm so thrilled and extremely grateful that he's taking the time to show me the ropes and get me started. Mark knows what he's talking about. He's spent his entire life taking care of his body with nutrition, weight training, and exercise. When he speaks, I listen very closely. I will admit, I was really embarrassed at how weak my arms and shoulders were tonight. I mean to tell you, I'm weak! You could probably find a pre-teen girl that can lift more than me! But Mark was very encouraging. He told me that I will only gain strength with consistency, and basically to not worry about where I am right now. I have to start somewhere, right? And I've decided to do what I do and lift what I can safely lift, and do it with consistency, just like the consistency I've displayed the last 183 days. And you know what? Someday I'll be able to bench my weight and more! And oh what a wonderful story it will be to tell, about how on certain muscles, even a ten pound dumbbell was too heavy in the beginning. At one point I asked Mark, “do you think I even have triceps?” He just smiled and said “if you didn't you wouldn't be able to lift it at all.” Good point. It was really a fun thing, not intimidating really. I totally look forward to doing it three times a week. I'm completely pumped.

Courtney finished her workout upstairs in the fitness center while I was downstairs in the weight room. She weighed tonight and discovered another 6 pounds lost. She's discovering results all the time. It's wonderful to see her so excited about losing weight. When she told me about wearing those jeans she hadn't been able to wear since 7th grade, I could see the joy in her eyes, and it makes me so happy. Another successful day of losing weight and feeling great is in the books. Another weigh day is fast approaching, and it's time to rest. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Monday, March 16, 2009

Day 182 Soup and Ice Cream and Nothing Positive About "Negative Encouragement"

Day 182

Soup and Ice Cream and Nothing Positive About “Negative Encouragement”

Today turned out to be a soup and frozen treat day. I had soup for lunch and then when we visited my grandmas house, Aunt Jean and Uncle Sig had prepared homemade pea and ham and homemade vegetable beef soup. They are amazing cooks! Both were absolutely incredible indeed! Soup is most always a good choice. Now I've had soup before that was not a good choice, like the time long ago when I had that loaded baked potato soup at the steak house. That loaded soup had tons of bacon and cheese and cream and potatoes, but the soup today was all good, and I enjoyed a cup of each. Then we all went out for ice cream! See, I'm not the only one in my family that loves ice cream. Doesn't everybody? I mean come on, it's ice cream! I had a junior size frozen yogurt on a cake cone, completely comparable in calories to the low fat vanilla cones I enjoy on a regular basis. Then later, since I had an abundance of calories remaining, I enjoyed a low fat vanilla cone. I know, I know, sounds a little excessive, but hey, I had the calories coming, and that's how I decided to budget them! Soup and frozen treats, that pretty much sums up my day food wise.

As we approach another weigh day on Wednesday, I'm confident I'll have lost another 7 or 8 pounds. That'll put me over the 130 pounds lost mark, and that feels great. It will not be long before it's 150, then in not long we'll hit the 200 pounds lost mark. I'm excited, but I mustn't get too far ahead of myself. One day at a time Sean. I can't help but get excited because of how wonderful I feel now. I'm really curious how it will feel to get below 300. If I feel this good in the 370's, what will it feel like at 270? I think about this often, did you notice? I can't help it! Talk about a motivating thought, huh?

One thing that doesn't motivate anyone is “negative encouragement.” Sounds like an oxymoron doesn't it? Negative encouragement is when a person uses negatives in hopes that they'll sting enough to make that person do something about their weight problem. “You're lazy,” “You'll never lose your weight,” “You're a slob,” these negatives do nothing to motivate, they just hurt peoples feelings and reinforce negative perceptions they may already have about themselves. These kind of negative comments can come from great people that really love the target of their remarks. They really do, they would love to see positive changes in the person they're firing these hurtful words toward, and if confronted about the negative comments and relentless negative out loud observations, they would no doubt be hurt themselves, because “hey, I love them, I just want them to do something about their obesity.” I've personally witnessed this kind of “encouragement” and since I have a tremendous amount of experience being morbidly obese, I can ensure you that it has absolutely zero positive value. It just doesn't serve a purpose, at all, not even a little bit. And again, the person dealing the remarks can be a very caring, smart, and loving individual, with nothing but positive hopes and dreams for the subject of their ridicule. Perhaps they've never been morbidly obese, they've never had a serious weight problem, so they don't fully understand the mental perplexities of obesity. If you're the one dealing the remarks, stop it! If you're the one receiving the remarks, don't believe them for one second! You can do this, you have the power within to dramatically change your life forever. Once you truly decide to make the changes, and you make it the most important thing you do, and you work on changing your mind about food, eating, and exercise habits, and you do it everyday with 100% consistency, then nothing can stop you from reaching your goal. Not stress, not emotions, not a single thing can get in your way. How do I know? Because I spent my entire life stuck in the prison of morbid obesity. After countless attempts to break free, I'm just now doing it everyday.

I visited with Debbdimples today! If you're a regular reader of the Myspace version of this blog, then you know exactly who I'm talking about. Debbie is my cousin, and an avid reader of this blog. The myspace blog comments she provides on a regular basis are sincere, often times humorous, and more often than not, extremely informative. Debbie's battled her weight for years. I have to say, she's really grabbed control and now she's looking and feeling fantastic! She's lost the weight and has totally changed her lifestyle in the process. She's a shining example of what is possible. We took a picture together and I'll post it on the blog tomorrow evening.

Another weekend is behind us. I look forward to weigh day on Wednesday and all of the possibilities the new week presents. Let's make it a good one! Good night and...

Good Choices,

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Day 181 No More Weekend Worries and Everything Becomes Easier, Trust Me!

Day 181

No More Weekend Worries and Everything Becomes Easier, Trust Me!

I remember in the beginning of this journey how much I dreaded weekends. Weekends were a test because they changed the schedule, the routine, from the weekdays. During the week, I would eat breakfast either before or while I worked, then get busy, then have a light lunch, then get busy again, and before you know it, it's early evening and I'd be somewhere between 600 and 800 calories. I'd grab a snack to hold me until dinner, then use the remaining calories for dinner with the family, saving back just enough for a 150 calorie or less snack later before bedtime or while I write the blog. Very structured, very routine. But the weekends, oh the weekends are way different. So much time to manage, and so many different opportunities to eat, I was really intimidated at the thought of weekends. If you go back and read the blog from the first weekend or two, you'll see what I mean. Now that I've gone through six months worth of weekends, it's not so bad. Not at all really. That's the thing, everything gets easier along this journey. I understand now how emotional and stressful triggers set me off on many a binge in the past, so handling that psychological jungle gym is so much easier. I now fully understand how to measure a proper portion, so staying within my calorie allotment is easier. I understand the mental dynamics that made me always focus on the food, rather than my family and friends at events and get togethers, so those things are easier. The exercise starts getting easier from the very first day. I started out waddling less than a quarter mile, now I can power walk a 5K without feeling like I could die any moment. Everything gets easier. I realize the key to getting to those “points of interest” along the way comes down to one word: Consistency. Without day in and day out consistency, without taking just one day at a time, I'd never be as far along the road as I am today. How many times I would start, do great a few days, then bad a couple, then great a day or two, then bad four days in a row, then I would sit around and wonder why the weight wasn't coming off. I was always consistent at being inconsistent. Be consistent, and rewards and results will follow along, and your results and rewards are like springboards of positive energy.

I enjoyed a Mr. Goodbar miniature candy bar today. I invested the 42 calories in the taste that took me back to my childhood. Long before Snicker became my favorite, Mr. Goodbar ruled my candybar obsession as a kid. I always lagged behind the other kids while trick or treating, because I couldn't wait til later to eat 'em. I was back there walking and unwrapping those little things. I had no idea I was popping 42 calorie chocolate and peanut shots like they were handfuls of Cheerios. I must have consumed 2,000 calories worth of candy bars on a regular basis back then. Anyway, I enjoyed the Mr. Goodbar today in a much slower fashion, enjoying the unique peanut flavor only found with a Goodbar.

We have company today, my sister in law is in town and staying, plus of course Amber is home, and she brought her wonderful boyfriend KL (I totally mean that too), and Amber had her friend Alisha over. I decided to fix a meal that I always over did it on. Spaghetti and meatballs! What? You didn't know you could eat such a thing and still lose weight? Oh yes you can! I enjoyed a normal portion, even had a slice of garlic bread, and still got out under 600 calories. The portion the old Sean would have had probably would have checked in at about 1,000 calories, and that would be for the first plate, we're not even talking about seconds here. What's great is, I'm not one bit hungry, not even a little. I was completely satisfied with a normal portion. Choices, it's all about choices, and being completely honest about those choices. It was a wonderful meal with friends and family all gathered around the table.

My workout at the YMCA was very satisfying too. I hit a “hard two,” that's two miles at 4 mph. At that pace, I immediately start working from the very start. When I'm done, I know I've had a workout. My cardiovascular health has had no choice but to improve with my daily workouts. It's so nice to walk on those treadmills and actually be well under the weight limits posted on each.

I got a call from a friend today that is experiencing major success. He's doing this too now, and already he's dropped 20 pounds. He just called to tell me about his triumphant weigh-in. What a wonderful thing! This guy totally “gets it” too. He understands about the psychological hang ups that can make the most rigorous efforts temporary. He understands what it takes to go all the way and maintain. He knows all about what I speak of in this blog. He feels it, he understands it, and now he's doing it. Like me, he's on his way to a healthier life free from the prison like existence of morbid obesity. I'm so happy for him. When he called we both shared stories of how we handled what could have been a high calorie sandwich yesterday. We both did the same thing, without even knowing we were doing it. That's the rhythm of good choices my friend.

Tonight I'm headed out to enjoy a concert and a Saturday night of fun with friends. That's why this blog is posted so early. I'll let you know how I navigate any “party foods” tonight. I doubt I'll have any trouble. I'm in the “steel curtain” zone, you know what I'm talking about! Since it's still daylight, I guess I'll end tonights blog with...Good evening and...

Good Choices,

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