Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day 227 Nice Weigh Day Results and My Mathematical Defense

Day 227

Nice Weigh Day Results and My Mathematical Defense

I never know exactly what to expect on weigh day. I've had two week periods where I really busted out the extra miles every single day, we're talking almost a 5K a day for two weeks and ended up losing less than I thought I would. Then there are wonderful weigh days like today. First of all let me tell you, with the medical issue I've experienced in the last couple of weeks, I've actually had several days of little or no workout. I've accepted the fact that slowing down because of a painful condition isn't an excuse, it's a legitimate circumstance. So I will not beat myself up. I was prepared for whatever that scale showed me today. I talked myself into graciously accepting whatever number it would be. Four pounds? Fine, five or six? Splendid. A couple of things I've been doing lately is drinking lemon juice and 100% natural pressed cranberry juice in my water. Remember me talking about the detox drink from The Biggest Loser's Jillian? Dr. Amy Cox at The Ranch Wellness Center gave me the recipe. You can find it easily on-line. I've also switched up my calorie budgeting technique. I'm still doing 1500 calories a day, I'm just making sure to eat something at least every three hours. I'm also trying my best to keep meals under 500 calories and snacks at 150 or less. These simple little changes have been wildly successful. Last weigh day I had dropped 9 pounds, bringing my total lost to 146 and my weight to 359. Today's weigh-in showed another 10 pound loss, bringing my total to 156 and a current weight of 349! I'm in the 340's! I can't believe it! There are not enough exclamation points to describe my elation!!! I'm closer to 300 than 400. That's sweet my friend, real sweet.

I've already heard from one person that told me “you shouldn't lose more than 2 pounds a week.” Listen, I understand that opinion completely. But that opinion doesn't accurately blanket every person at every weight. You have to remember the amount of fat that I had in the beginning. Super obese people lose dramatically faster when they make dramatic changes to their lifestyle. I know that my weight loss will slow down considerably someday soon. I know that I'll have weigh days where 3 or 4 pounds will be cause for celebration, I know that's coming. But right now I have so much more to lose. I wonder if The Biggest Loser TV program gets criticized when a contestant loses 23 pounds at a weigh-in. I bet they do! Do you think the doctors and fitness experts that oversee each contestant during that show would allow that to happen if it were a really bad thing? The bottom line is this: I eat plenty everyday and I exercise. I had a four ounce chopped beef steak with Heinz 57 Sauce, a serving of mashed potatoes with a couple of teaspoons of brown gravy, a small serving of whole kernel sweet corn, and a half a dinner roll tonight for dinner. Does that sound like I'm starving myself? No way! I just grabbed a Dream Bar from the freezer! How's that? I'm eating an orange popsicle filled with vanilla ice cream as I type this blog, it's only 70 calories, and it's name fits the taste, it's dreamy alright. And exercise? I'm about to embark on a 5K with Courtney at the trail tonight. That's only about 50 minutes worth of walking. It sounds like so much more. So I could actually and often times I feel like I should really be working out much harder and faster. Let's do some math: If a person weighs 200 pounds and they lose 10 pounds, that's 5% of their body weight. When I lose 10 pounds at 359, I've lost 2.78% of my body weight. If that same 200 pound person lost 2.78% of their body weight in two weeks, they would have averaged a tiny bit more than 2.5 pounds a week. See what I mean? The warning “you shouldn't lose more than 2 pounds a week” can not be applied to every person equally. We're all different, and that's good! OK, enough with the numbers! I already bottom lined this, why am I still typing on this topic? And why do I let a random comment from a complete stranger irritate me? I know that what I'm doing is good and where I'm headed is amazing. I eat responsibly, I exercise, and I'm living, and that's losing weight in a healthy way.

I put on a really big shirt today. One that I use to wear at 505 and that thing swallows me! I really need to buy some new clothing. I never imagined what it might be like when everything in the closet is too big! I use to have a closet filled with clothes, 80% of which I couldn't even think about wearing. Now about 97% of the clothing I own is way too big. That's cool, very cool. A friend of mine urged me to take off my “outer shirt” today and just wear the t-shirt underneath. I refused on the grounds of fashion. The t-shirt underneath a button down---left unbuttoned, is a look that I've been sporting since junior high. Yes it is a popular combination among many people. And honestly, I've done it out of insecurity, not fashion sense. The “outer shirt” has been like a security blanket for me. Just like when I use to wear a coat to school when it was 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside, it's from pure and simple insecurity. The extra shirt makes me feel “covered up.” Do I need it? No. Will it take me a little while to let go of feeling like I need it? Yes. The mind is a complicated thing. Besides, it's kind of fun to wrap the shirt around me to dramatically illustrate how much I've lost!

It's time to lace up the shoes and head out to the trail. A 5K awaits our arrival. Then we're headed to bed! If there's one thing I'm not doing right, it's not getting enough sleep during the week. I really need to seriously improve in that department. Thank you kindly for writing. Oh, and Erin, in Australia right? Listen, your comment to day 226 made my morning! It's an honor and privilege for me to write this blog and know that you're “down under” reading and feeling inspired by my journey. Thank you kindly for reading and thank you for your inspiring words. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Day 226 Tears In My Potatoes and From Hopeless To Empowered

Day 226

Tears In My Potatoes and From Hopeless To Empowered

Today I was thinking about all of the times I attempted to lose weight, and back then, almost from the very beginning, I just knew that I would fail every time. I convinced myself that failure was a part of the process. I had also convinced myself that there was no way to maintain focus amid extreme stress. Back then I really wasn't wanting to change my attitudes and approach to food. I just wanted to lose weight. Forget the mumbo jumbo psychological talk. I was forcing myself to eat less and exercise more and it would work until I'd had enough and that's when I'd snap right back into my old habits. I was way more than in love with food back then, I was completely obsessed. My day revolved around eating, thinking about eating, and making plans to eat. Any weight loss attempt back then was a serious downer to this constant obsession. It wasn't until I fully admitted to myself that I had a real addiction to food, that I was able to step back, make an honest assessment of my habits and really explore a different approach. It's so true when they say that the first step to overcoming an addiction is to admit there's a problem in the first place. I had a serious problem with food. I remember staying up real late one Saturday night about fifteen years ago eating a giant bowl of mashed potatoes and homemade white gravy made with sausage grease. It was about two am, the little ones were in bed and Irene was working an overnight shift. I remember a Richard Simmons infomercial catching my attention as I sat there stuffing my face. The testimonials were so wonderful and inspiring, they made me cry. They didn't make me put down the potatoes and gravy, but they made me cry a couple of kinds of tears. I cried tears of happiness for the people being featured on the infomercial and I cried tears of hopelessness for my own struggle. I was feeling really sorry for myself that night. Instead of allowing myself to feel inspired to change, I thought it was just too difficult and overwhelming to even try. I completely understand what it's like to see and hear about someone else's weight loss success while feeling a million miles away from ever being in that position mentally and physically. On Day 1 of this journey I really didn't know how I was going to pull this off. All I knew was that I had to do it. I had to make my way through and learn along the way. I was out of time. I was scared, really scared. This frightened state did something to me that hadn't been done before. It made me let go of my defenses, my old habits that kept me content. I was completely open and vulnerable to change. I let go of the excuses and blame game because I knew they had no place on this road. I let go of my pre-conceived notions of failure, deciding this time, failure wasn't an option. I decided that no amount of stress would rock me to the point of failure, no matter what happened along the way, I decided I would stay on course. On Day 1 I didn't have a clue about what I would discover along the way. My mind wasn't changed about food and exercise on day 1, not at all. I was walking on faith my friend. I was feeling my way through each day. I really don't know what day it started to really click. But somewhere along this journey I learned a different way of treating food and exercise. All of a sudden I had a revelation I'd never experienced. I could still enjoy potatoes and gravy while losing weight. I could still eat ice cream and lose weight. I could still love and enjoy food without being obsessed. I could slow down long enough to recognize and enjoy a regular portion. When I realized this, that's when I completely let go of the desire to devour giant portions of potatoes and gravy at 2am. I no longer felt deprived in any way. The exercise I always dreaded and feared became easier with every workout and the results started to happen quickly. I was no longer hopeless, I was empowered. Now on Day 226, I feel even more in control with a much better understanding of what I'm doing and how I'm doing it. But I started without any of that knowledge. I just decided and then started. I kept it really simple: calories in-calories out, period. It was an iron clad promise to me from me. I decided.

The “Lose To Win” seminar tonight was fantastic. Melissa Walden's presentation was titled “knowledge is power.” It was spot on stuff. Very real and very simple to understand. My portion of the program was just a quick five minute chat about this being the last week before the final weigh in and sprinting to the finish like a champion. I also talked about this not really being the end, this is just the beginning of this journey. The things we've learned along the way will stay with us forever.

After the seminar I hurried home to a very busy Courtney doing homework and Irene getting supper started. I fired up the big grill and threw on three 4 ounce portions of lean sirloin. After dinner we decided that instead of the YMCA trip we had planned, we would get our workout tonight on the walking trail. It was a little chilly walking out there tonight, but it was so nice to escape a busy day with the music in my ears and a purpose in my step.

Tomorrow is another weigh day. What will the scale show me? I guarantee I'm past the 150 pounds lost mark. The question is by how much? Can't wait to find out! Thank you for reading. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Day 225 Remember Me? and The Motivating Thoughts

Day 225

Remember Me? and The Motivating Thoughts

I never get tired of surprised reactions to my smaller size. It happened again this morning during my radio show. I had some local community leaders in studio and one of them hadn't laid eyes on me in several months. There's not enough exclamation points to fairly illustrate his reaction, but take my word for it, he was blown away by the difference. That kind of reaction is going to happen a bunch in the future and I'm ready for that wonderful feeling anytime! In fact, I may go out of my way to run into old acquaintances and associates just to see the look of disbelief. Actually, this could become an addiction! A fun little game I could play where I try to interact with people that know me from the past without them recognizing me, until BOOM, the big reveal! “It's me, Sean!” I'd shout. “Sean who?” they might reply. “Sean Anderson, you know, the really big guy from Mr. Wade's freshman algebra class!” Or even better, I'll make a point to track down some folks I worked with at various radio stations and comedy clubs. Those reactions would be much better. I might even get all “cowboy'd up” and track down the program director that rejected me in Fort Smith back in 1995, remember that story from Day 13? (If you haven't read Day 13, go back in the archives for that painful story of weight discrimination.) His jaw would drop as I boot scooted right in front of him in my Wranglers and cowboy hat. Maybe he would offer me a job so I could laugh in his bewildered face! Then he might call security and I'd have to jump on my horse for a fast getaway. As I rode away I could yell “Is this country enough for ya? Yeee Hawww, giddy up!” OK, maybe I'm getting a little carried away here. This “will they recognize me” game might be a little hard to play now, but within the next several months, maybe not! Who knows what image this magical transformation will show at 300, then 270, and 230. It'll be awesome to find out! I met a guy the other day that told me he weighed 330 before he dropped 30 pounds recently. I have to tell you, he didn't look like he weighed 300. He looked good, much smaller than 300. And all I kept thinking was, I'm only 50 some odd pounds away from that weight! And he wasn't as tall as me, so what will the next 50 pounds reveal? That's exciting and one of the “motivating thoughts” that fire me up everyday.

Motivating thoughts are extremely important to any journey. I have an entire library of them in my head. I have the big serious ones, like not dying young, and living to see my grandchildren grow up someday. Another one: Achieving everything Irene and I ever dreamed of in our wildest teenage bride and groom minds. Then I have the not so serious ones, but still important to me, like going to an amusement park with my family and fitting on every single ride, even though I have a weak stomach and it'll probably be a horribly nauseating and possibly messy experience, I'm just going along on the ride to hear the “click,” you know what I mean? The laughter and joy we'll share will be well worth it indeed! I may even book a flight for no other reason than to fit comfortably in the seat on the plane. We'll land, have lunch in the DFW terminal, then fly back in total comfort without a seatbelt extender or crowding the person next to me. I'll never forget the horrified reaction I had one time when I was told the flight I was about to board was completely full. I was really counting on a few empty seats so I could have an extra seat for the other half of my butt. It was a really uncomfortable flight and I totally feel horrible for the poor little old lady that was stuck next to me...seriously, she was literally stuck next to me. I'm not sure what she was trying to write down that entire flight, but it may have been her last will and testament. It really wasn't fair to her at all and that's exactly why I'm not opposed to morbidly obese people having to buy an extra seat on flights. I totally understand that policy. Oh sure, I wish the seats were a little bigger, but they're not, and if someone is going to take up space on a seat that someone else paid for, well that isn't fair. If you're an obese person like me and you're offended that I would defend the “morbidly obese must buy an extra seat” policy, then you're obviously not finished playing the role of the victim in your obesity story. Remember Ralph Marston's words from Day 193: “...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.” You can read more from Mr. Marston at his website Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, motivating thoughts. Develop them, keep them, don't ever let go of them, live to really live them!

I'm less than 48 hours from my official bi-weekly weigh in and less than a week from the final weigh-in of the “Lose To Win” Challenge. I can't wait to step foot on the scale, I know it will be good! I'm most excited about finding out how much weight combined has been lost by all participants. That will be a fantastic number, I guarantee! Thank you for reading. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Day 224 The Summer Slim Down and Losing Weight Eating Cheeseburgers and Fries

Day 224

The Summer Slim Down and Losing Weight Eating Cheeseburgers and Fries

We’ve had the pleasure of having our oldest daughter home this weekend. She surprised us with her appearance and we couldn’t be happier! In a short two weeks she’ll be home for the summer and we’re going to make the summer count! Amber is looking forward to working out with us and losing weight right along by our sides. I can’t change the fact that I finally started for real a month into her freshman year away from home. I wish I would have started this journey much sooner while she lived at home, but I can’t fire up the DeLorean and go back to change anything. What I can do is continue what I’ve been doing the past 224 days. And this summer we’re going to set some nice goals and we’re going to demonstrate to each other exactly how to reach them. I can’t believe she’s out in only a couple of weeks! She’s been studying for finals all weekend. I have to give thanks everyday for the two wonderful, smart, talented, and beautiful girls we’ve been blessed to raise.

Dinner tonight was homemade cheeseburgers and fries. Now before you start thinking that we’ve flipped out or something, let me explain. I made the burgers much smaller than I ever have before. These aren’t giant 500 calorie burgers. These burgers each weighed in at around 200 each for the patty, 110 for the bun, and less than 15 calories for the cheese. I made one slice of white American cheese go on all four burgers. I just ripped it in fourths! With Mustard and onions, we’re talking a real American homemade cheeseburger for 335 calories! And the fries? We bake them always. I had a hundred calories worth and a few bites of a leftover pasta dish we had on the table. My entire meal was just under 500 calories and I’m very cool with that number. Yes you can lose weight while still enjoying the all-American cheeseburger and fries every now and then! We sure do save money when we’re eating way less than before. The savings at the grocery store are fantastic. Tonight would have been much more expensive had we consumed what we were accustomed to before this journey. Oh, and nobody made fry sauce!

I’m hoping the weather doesn’t dampen my plans to hit the trail tonight for at least a 5K. Listen to me, “at least” a 5K, geez, how our progress really expands what we determine an acceptable workout. I’ll get my workout in one way or another tonight. I will sweat and my heart rate will increase, I just haven’t figured out how yet if I’m stormed out of the trail. I have some options you know, like Sweatin’ To The Oldies, or some other home grown house aerobics. Sometimes we have to get creative!

I’m looking forward to Wednesday. Weigh day should no doubt put me over the 150 pounds lost marker and that’s a real awesome thing. I read some of my old blog postings today and I have to say, early on, I don’t think I fully realized how wonderful I would feel 150 pounds along on this journey. And now I really don’t think I have any idea how wonderful I’ll feel 125 pounds from now. I guess it can and will get better, but I feel pretty good right now. My body was so use to carrying around over a quarter ton of weight, of course it feels free as a bird in the 350’s.

I remember how tight these 48’s were when I first brought them home. They were definitely not wearable back then, but now they’re considered my “comfy” jeans. I’m actually starting to have to pull them up every now and then. The next step will be adding a belt to them, and the next step after that will be settling into 46’s and saying goodbye to these 48’s. It’s so fun to be shrinking!

I’m telling you, if you’re struggling with a similar journey, hang in there! The rewards are amazing along the way. I look forward to really living my life without the discomfort and constant struggle and uneasiness about being morbidly obese. I’m headed there everyday and if you’re also headed there, nice to have you along! We can do this! We can do anything if we decide we can. Thank you for reading. Good night and…

Good Choices,

Day 223 Giant Cookie Temptation Resisted...Barely

Day 223

Giant Cookie Temptation Resisted...Barely

I had 200 calories worth of breakfast by the time I reached my remote broadcast this morning at 11am. I knew that we would have pizza at the event and I was prepared to allow for a piece, maybe two if it were thin crust. It wasn't. That's OK, I'll just have a small piece for 250. Had I been the one responsible for ordering I would have made sure to order a thin crust veggie, but anyway. I guess I should have put my order in with the station sales rep prior to the broadcast. I wish I would have been a little more patient. Instead I grabbed a slice shortly after it arrived and I enjoyed it slowly. Then two crock pots full of Wendy's Chili showed up complete with small Wendy's Chili containers. I know exactly how many calories are in a small Wendy's Chili, 190! I added a half a serving of chili to my lunch and I counted it as 100 calories. Everything was fine right? Wrong. Then a giant cookie platter showed up from Quiznos. These cookies were some of the best looking, big, loaded cookies I've ever laid eyes on. You know I've never been that weak when it comes to cookies. Oh sure, I like a good cookie, but really they're not my weakness. I faced my favorite store bought cookie the other night at grandmas house without any trouble at all. She had a brand new package of fudge striped shortbread cookies. I love those things. I knew what I had left calorie wise and at 170 for three cookies, I just didn't want to do it that bad. The cookie calorie value just wasn't working for me. But today, oh my. I was truly tested. I tried to find the calorie value on the Quiznos mobile web site, but I guess when they're loaded, you're less likely to find the calories conveniently listed. I was guestimating about 300 for one, I was wrong. Just one snickerdoodle cookie has 400 according to the Calorie King website. 400 calories for one cookie! No way! YES! I don't know how I did it, but somehow I managed to keep my cool and resist those things. I even asked the station sales rep if he wanted to split one, figuring it would be a 150 calorie indulgence. He said no, thank goodness! It just goes to show you that no matter what level of rock solid zone you're in, you're never above temptation. I resisted those amazing cookies today, but it wasn't easy. Technically I could have had one, but there's no way in the world I would ever spend 400 calories on a cookie, that's craziness. My calorie budget would have been severely lopsided had I given in to those dreamy looking things.

It wasn't long after the broadcast ended at 3pm, that I was headed to the station to anchor severe weather coverage. Severe thunderstorms, some spawning tornadoes, have been rolling for the last eight hours around here. It's been really crazy and nighttime storms are always the worst. After being relieved of anchor duties by shortly after 9pm, I headed home to workout and write tonight's blog. An inside the house workout was in order, it just wasn't safe to walk in the middle of severe storms. I'm adventurous, but not crazy, there's a difference. Thank goodness for Richard Simmons! Sweatin' To The Oldies is a great workout!

The difference in my appearance between 505 and where I am now is so dramatic, I just can't imagine what I'll look like after the next 125 pounds goes away. It's fun to think about.

I'm anticipating more weather coverage tomorrow. So I'm headed to bed. Hopefully the Sunday storms will hold off until I get a good night's sleep! Got that Mother Nature? No more severe weather until mid afternoon Sunday! Thank you for reading. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Day 222 Fifteen Hundred Calories For Now and A 10K Cut Short

Day 222

Fifteen Hundred Calories For Now and A 10K Cut Short

Just the other day a new reader asked why I chose 1,500 calories a day. The reader wasn't saying if they thought that number was too low or too high, but if I had to guess, they probably thought it was too low. Over the years I've been given weight loss plans by doctors that were actually less. I can remember a 1000 calorie plan and a 1200 calorie plan. 1,500 calories is only 500 less than the recommended daily allowance of 2,000, so really it isn't that low. Of course it's extremely low compared to what I was consuming before this journey. I wish I would have kept track back then so I could see a typical day worth of calories at over 500 pounds and nowhere near starting this journey. It was pretty much anything goes for so long, let me think, maybe I can remember a typical day: Breakfast was always feast or famine. If I had time, I'd grab some biscuits and sausage gravy through the drive thru at McDonald's. I might even grab an extra biscuit and strawberry preserves. If donuts were made available at the station I would have a few as a snack mid morning. Lunch might be a giant double cheeseburger and large fry with a real Coke or if I was eating lunch at home, maybe a big giant heaping portion of leftover spaghetti with a couple slices of white bread to “clean” the plate. Afternoon snack might have been a leftover donut or two at the studio or I might even sneak through a drive thru for a filet-o-fish or a bean burrito with sour cream. If we were eating at home, a typical meal would be three homemade burgers, two with buns and one just to dip and a whole mess of french fries with a bowl of fry sauce, a loaded mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise. Before bed I might have two or three bowls of cereal or a couple of big bowls of ice cream. Of course not everyday was four to five thousand calories, but many were like what I just described. I was never hungry, never had time to be hungry. What's funny, now that I'm consuming 1,500 calories a day and spreading it out with calories every three hours or so, I'm still never hungry! I was in big time denial too! I can remember on several occasions saying “I don't understand why I'm so big, because I really don't eat that much.” Really? And I was serious! Oh the lies we convince ourselves to believe, amazing. Every now and then someone will hear me say that I'm doing 1500 a day and they'll let me know that they think that's way too low. My answer to that is really simple. I logged every bite for over a month recently and had a professional, a registered dietitian evaluate my daily foods, and she never said “you're not eating enough.” She even complimented my lack of “empty calories.” She did say that I wasn't getting enough fiber, but we don't want me to get started on that topic again. I've had several doctors visits where I talked about what exactly I'm doing with food and exercise and not once has a doctor stopped me and said... “Whoa, did you say you're only eating 1,500 calories a day? That's not near enough!” The only expert that has ever expressed concern about my calorie intake being low, did so in regards to weight training. And when I get really heavy into weight training I may need to bump up the calories to give my body more fuel for the muscles. Right now we're in losing fat mode. Yes, I'm doing some weight training, but right now it's mainly just waking up those muscles and letting them know what's up. There will be some massive changes in my body over the next year or so and weight training will be a big part of that. So the calorie limit may be increased later, but right now 1,500 is just fine for this stretch of my journey.

I decided tonight that Courtney and I would do a 10K at the trail. I actually decided this morning. Last night's 5K was good, real good, but I wanted to push a little further and a 10K works well. Courtney didn't even blink when I sprung the 10K idea on her. She's completely game for whatever I decide. We grabbed our iPod's, she helped me wrap my legs for support and I wrapped her left foot and ankle, and we were off to the trail. The temperature was still in the low 80's when we started and it made for a little more sweat than usual. Sweat is good right? Oh yeah it is! However, it wasn't long before I started having my doubts as to whether or not I could finish the full 10K. Lately I've noticed my shoes not being as supportive as they should be. They've been in service since day 49, so now they've “turned” and the support isn't what it was before. I noticed a little discomfort in my right foot last night because of this shoe problem and tonight I noticed it even more. The top side of my right foot was really straining to keep up with the declined support of these tired shoes. So rather than risking a foot injury, we called it good after doing a 5K. Now I need to do some shoe shopping. Seriously, it's time to replace this worn out pair. After 173 days of continuous service and surviving the last 100 plus pounds of weight loss, they're ready to retire. I've included a picture of these shoes in tonight's bonus picture blog. Be sure to scroll down and take a look at how badly “turned” they've become. They have been great shoes, no complaints here! If you're getting out there and working yourself, I hope you have a good pair of supportive shoes, it's very important!

Tomorrow morning I'm doing a special remote broadcast at US Cellular from 11am to 3pm. Remote broadcast use to be such a hassle when I was so large. I never enjoyed meeting listeners for the first time at events like this because then they would know the truth about me! How could I hide behind a microphone on their radio, creating an illusion of perfection if they actually get to see an imperfect 505 pound me? I may never be perfect, but I'll tell you 350 something I don't mind meeting every last listener I have on KLOR. My confidence level has dramatically increased and it shows in everything I do. If you're in the area, stop by, I'll truly be happy to meet you! Thanks for reading, and don't forget to scroll down and take a look at the Day 222 Bonus Picture Blog. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Day 222 Another Bonus Picture Blog

Day 222

Another Bonus Picture Blog

These shoes were purchased on Day 49. 173 Days and hundreds of miles later, they're ready to retire!

Before at over 500 lbs---Really big face.

In Progress—somewhere in the 350's—Much smaller face

Amber is so wonderfully creative! I love this “photostrip” effect and these shots.

I love this photo of Amber!

Before Picture---Over 500 Pounds

Before-at over 500 pounds

Before-Over 500 and looking miserable!

Before-Over 500 Pounds with my lovely wife Irene

In-Progress with my beautiful wife!

I can't believe the difference in some of these photos. Isn't losing weight awesome? I need to take more pics more often, and I need to shoot some more “On The Go” Videos! We'll work on that!

Thank you for viewing! Good night and...

Good Choices,

Friday, April 24, 2009

Day 221 Nothing Is Off Limits and A Thursday 5K

Day 221

Nothing Is Off Limits and A Thursday 5K

I received a message today from a young woman asking how exactly I'm losing weight so successfully. She spent her entire youth thin, but after two kids she finds herself about 60 pounds overweight. She told me that she thought about buying some diet pills but decided against doing that because of the expense. I'm very proud of her for not buying the diet pills. The expense is really the least of the reasons not to. First of all let me say that I'm not a doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist. You should always consult a doctor before starting your journey. I'm just a guy that's been morbidly obese 90% of my life who's finally finding his way out and learning all along the way. I'm very happy to share what I've learned about losing weight, in fact that's all I want to do the rest of my life, share my story and how I'm doing it. So what would I say to someone just starting on their journey of weight loss? Well, here we go...

First of all you should realize that there isn't a food that is completely off limits. Let go of the misconceptions you might have about what foods are suitable for weight loss. All foods are suitable for weight loss. Once you fully grasp the concept of “nothing is off limits,” then you completely eliminate the deprivation factor that derails people from weight loss attempts everyday. Then you should familiarize yourself with nutrition labels. There's only a couple of things to really focus on: Serving size and calories. Buy a calorie book or look up calories online. In a very short time you'll get really good at this part. Set your calorie budget. I allow 1500 a day. Then use your calories like cash. Make sure you budget them and spread them out over the course of the day. I try to keep meals under 500 and snacks under 150. Make sure you're eating something at least every three hours. Drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water a day, a little more if you can, and exercise! Do whatever you can. If you can't get out of the house, any exercise that gets your heart rate up will do just fine. Just move any old way you can. It'll get much easier along the way if you stay consistent. Once your calories are under control and you're exercising everyday, then it's time to realize that the food and exercise part is only about 25% of successful weight loss. The other 75% of losing weight is all in your head. The mental exercises are the most important things to do along this journey. Realize that food is your friend, not the enemy. Fully accept 100% personal responsibility for your actions or lack of action. Don't blame anyone or anything for your excess weight. Complete honesty within yourself is paramount to your success. Decide that you'll make this a very important thing in your life and be dramatic about it. Protect it from your own excuses and rationalizations that tend to creep in after the initial starting excitement starts to wear off. Don't allow yourself to be your worst enemy. I did for years, it's not good. Like yesterday's blog said: Keep it simple! And remember it's all about making more good choices than bad choices. Understand that changing the way you look at food and exercise is the key to long term weight loss and good health. Learning to eat a portion instead of a “Sean” portion has been a big breakthrough for me. Sticking with an exercise plan despite how physically difficult it was in the beginning was a giant breakthrough too. You'll be shocked at how quickly you can progress along the way if you just put out a consistent positive effort. Writing about how you feel along the way can be a real education for you about you. You don't have to share it with the world wide web, keep it just between you and your family if you prefer, but whatever you decide...Just write, it's been one of the biggest contributors to my success so far.

I made a trip to Stillwater tonight to visit with family. I recruited my Aunt Jean and Uncle Keith to do a 5K with me at Boomer Lake. When I first started, a 5K was something we would do on special occasions, like holidays. But now a 5K is a regular part of our routine. The lake 5K tonight was wonderful. The breeze off the water and the ducks added a wonderful feel as we trucked along. My pace closely matched up with Keith, so instead of listening to music we talked the entire 5K. I had the iPod ready and in my ear in case our individual pace started to drift from one another. I love listening to music while I exercise. I also enjoyed my conversation tonight with Keith.

Every now and then I get a message in my inbox that doesn't have a return e-mail address. If you ask a question in an e-mail without an e-mail return address then I can't respond unless I do it inside this blog.

Thank you for reading! Good night and...

Good Choices,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day 220 "Giant Fat Man" Go Bye-Bye

Day 220

“Giant Fat Man” Go Bye-Bye

One of the most wonderful realizations recently was something that my daughter Courtney pointed out. Remember me sharing that after observing me walk in and out of a store, Courtney concluded that I was no longer a morbidly obese man, I was simply an overweight guy. Oh sure, technically I'm still a morbidly obese man, but it was a very accurate observation. It was a wonderful compliment and a fantastic thing to hear. I know exactly what she meant. I'm no longer the side show walking 500 pound freak of a fat guy. I no longer feel embarrassed to be seen out in public. If my shoe is untied, I tie it. If I'm in a hurry, I just might pick up my step to a light jog, I can now, you know? The days of waddling around like a stuffed penguin are over forever. The confidence that I carry now is solid. It's real confidence, not a facade covering an embarrassed, heavy breathing, exhausted obese man. Little kids don't stare at me as much as I think they did before. I'll never forget the day several years ago when a little three or four year old called me a “giant fat man.” He was just being a kid and honestly observing the people around him, out loud. His dad was apologetic and told him that what he said wasn't nice and that he should apologize to me. I didn't think the kid owed me any apology, after all, he was just being a kid and being completely honest and really vocal. I stood there for a good thirty seconds as the dad tried to convince his little man to apologize. It was really uncomfortable. I'm all about teaching kids manners, but come on, he's three! Three year olds say some really honest stuff. That kid wasn't saying it to hurt my feelings, he didn't yet have the capacity to think that way. He was just innocently observing the people around him. Finally I smiled and said, “he's very cute, it's OK, really.” And I waddled away. I honestly wanted to cry right there in the snack isle. All I kept thinking about the rest of my shopping trip was, if this three year old sees me as a “giant fat man,” then everyone else does too, they just don't say it. I've never been comfortable with playing the role of the “giant fat man.” I've never pretended to like it either. I know that some people project a sense of pride about their obesity, I don't understand that at all. Is being fat and proud or big and beautiful real? Or just a cover up to keep from crying in front of others? I've never been proud of my size, the only reason I've ever worn Big Daddy brand clothing is because it was given to me. I've never actually purchased a Big Daddy product. I'm not, nor have I ever been proud to be the “Giant Fat Man.” I am proud that Courtney's observation opened up my mind long enough to realize that I've lost enough weight to never be considered the “Giant Fat Man” ever again. The three year old reminded me how big I was at over 500 pounds, and now Courtney has reminded me how far I've come at 359 pounds, and that's very, very cool.

Much earlier on this journey, a relative pointed out “losing 30 pounds has made you look older.” I remember stressing out about that. I don't want to look older! I want to hold on to my 30's as long as I can! I had a decision to make: Young and fat Vs. Older looking and trim. Irene made me feel better by telling me it wasn't true, then she plucked a few gray hairs off my head because it's fun to watch me freak out. The good news is this: After the progress I've logged so far, the general consensus is that I look younger! So there Billie Sue! Take that sister in-law! Love ya, mean it. ;)

Someone would have to get down right cutting to bring me down now. I'm walking tall for once in my life and it's a great thing. I'm slowly transforming into the body I've always wanted. I've got a long way to go, and that's good. Because if it happened overnight, who could handle that kind of change? I'm enjoying the rewards all along the way. I'm running down a dream that never would come to me, working on a mystery, going wherever it leads, and in the words of that famous Tom Petty song, “I'm pickin' up whatever is mine.” If you're on a journey like mine, pick up your rewards along the way! And if you don't see them, I hope you have many loved ones around you that will point them out. Grab 'em, you've earned it!

Can you tell that Tom Petty was on my play list tonight as I walked? I only did a quick two miles, but I did it with a spring in my step, making for a little better workout. I still struggle with time management. I have to start getting better at that, because what ends up suffering is my sleep schedule. And we all know how unhealthy it can be when we're not getting enough rest. It's critical for the body to fully rest, and even more so on a journey like this.

Is it too early to talk about next week's weigh day? Maybe, but I'm so excited about officially crossing the 150 pounds lost mark. It's coming! Thank you for reading. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day 219 The Amazing Cheese Diet and Keep It Simple, Simple, Simple

Day 219

The Amazing Cheese Diet and Keep It Simple, Simple, Simple

My portion of the program tonight at the “Lose To Win” Seminar was all about staying on track. I talked about motivating thoughts, keeping your goals in sight, not letting excuses or rationalizations creep back in, and much more. One of the big ideas that I've really grasped during the last 219 days is the whole good choices vs. bad choices and the resulting consequences of each. Fully understanding the rewards of consistency is also a major part of my success. I encouraged the audience to day dream about their future, visualize where you want to be, and make the good choices with consistency and honest responsibility, and you will arrive.

Our daily lives are not always perfect. Sometimes we have happenings that upset our “harmony.” These things that insist on rocking our boat can easily send us over board if we're not careful. I still occasionally react in a negative way under stress. I don't ever do it to the degree I once did, but I still have grabbed something and stuffed it in my mouth, not because I was hungry, but because I was stressed. The consequence of such an action is having less calories for dinner later or zero calories for a late snack. I don't allow rumblings in my harmony to throw me completely off course anymore because I immediately identify what I'm doing while I'm doing it. Deciding if we're eating for the right or wrong reasons is really pretty simple if you're completely honest with yourself. Emotional eating can still be a very tough cookie to crack, but the key is this: Go ahead and eat something, just make sure it's within your calorie budget for the day. And if you go over, realize it's not the end of the world. One bad day doesn't negate your entire progress, but believing it does will. That was always my problem in the past. I'd have a meltdown and eat a pint of ice cream in one sitting, then I would beat myself up over it to the point of giving up. That was it, done. Maybe next time I'll be able to do it. You can't give up that easy, this is too important!

Before I spoke tonight, Fitness and Life Coach Melissa Walden was taking questions from the audience. One nice lady asked a question about cheese and mentioned that she misses cheese. Misses cheese? I thought, wait a second, did I miss the memo? Can you not lose weight and still enjoy cheese? I addressed her directly during my speaking time. I told her to eat cheese! I had a grilled cheese and soup for lunch today. I eat cheese all the time. I've had cheese omelets, cheese on pizza, block cheddar on crackers, cheese on my green beans, I've had some port wine cheese ball, I've even had cheese dip and tortilla chips! It's all about portion control. I don't cut a half pound of sharp cheddar and grab a sleeve of crackers and go to town like I use to, but I do and will continue to make cheese a regular part of my foods. I've lost 146 pounds so far with the attitude that hardly anything is off limits. I do avoid a few things, just because I see them as a really bad calorie value, like real butter and real mayonnaise, but for the most part I really do eat anything I want. Cheese is a wonderful thing! Eat cheese and lose weight! Yes you can!!

The number one advice I can give someone is: Keep it simple. If you read everything that comes your way about how to lose weight and which way works best, you're going to read some things that conflict. Keep it simple. Count your calories and get your exercise. Keep a food log if you want, I don't anymore, but you can. Keep it simple. Don't try to make it difficult by worrying about every single bite you put in your mouth. How many carbs did it have? How many fat grams? Who cares. How many calories? That's the question I ask. Simple. Never deprive yourself of your favorite foods. Make them work in regular portions. If you like chocolate, by golly eat chocolate! I do! Not all the time mind you, and when I do it's in controlled portions, but I do! You can make losing weight extremely difficult and confusing. You can make it completely restrictive and absolutely zero fun, and if you do, I'll bet you will not reach your goal. Ultimately the goal is to be able to exist in everyday life and handle food in a responsible way. To learn how, we have to practice on real food in everyday life situations. It's OK to love food. That's right, it's OK to love food. My favorite channel is the Food Network. I love food. But I'm in control now. Food doesn't control me anymore. I'm the one who makes the good choices, I'm the one that treats food responsibly, I'm the one. But I still love food. Remember what I've said many times: Food is not the enemy here. We're our own worst enemy. Food is our friend. When we make a relationship with food a better one, a responsible one, a sensible one, and by sensible I mean a couple of cookies, not the whole bag, I mean a couple of slices of that pizza, not the whole thing, I mean a real honest serving of ice cream, not a whole half gallon, when we do this and realize that all of the foods we obsessed over in the past can still be a part of our thinner lives, then we've made a breakthrough. Our health will be better or worse because of the decisions we make with food and exercise. Make those decisions simple ones and save yourself a lot of confusion and trouble.

Courtney and I are heading out to the trail for a fast late night 5K. That's right, 3.2 miles! I feel like I could do a 10K tonight, but for the sake of time management, we'll stick with a 5K. It's so good to see so many out walking the trail these days. The increased numbers are really amazing. Feels good doesn't it? Thank you for reading. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Day 218 A Lazy Food Addict and Fried Okra Minus The Breading and Frying

Day 218

A Lazy Food Addict and Fried Okra Minus The Breading and Frying

Some people think that since I have to be up so early for my radio show, and I'm feeling better than ever before, that I must just jump out of bed and greet the day with a big smile and complete optimism. While that's true more often these days than 218 days ago, every now and then I have a morning like this morning. For whatever reason, I just wasn't ready for the alarm to sound. I wanted more sleep time, so I hit the snooze bar, then nine minutes later I hit it again, then nine minutes later I repeated the same thing. When I finally realized that the morning wasn't going to stop bugging me, I put two feet on the floor and hurried through my routine. Unfortunately, when I'm rushed, the first thing to get cut is the sit down breakfast. I grabbed some fresh fruit on the way out to eat during my show, and I was off and running. Every now and then when I least expect it, I get a little boost from out of the blue. I had a call this morning from a listener who told me she reads this blog everyday and it's really helped her “get with it.” That made me feel great and it was exactly what I needed to push me into a much better frame of mind for a Monday.

This journey has been such a mission of self-discovery. I really thought I knew myself before, but I didn't know myself at all. Well, maybe deep down I did, but I was so busy rationalizing bad behaviors and making excuses, that I didn't have time to think about the truth. The truth was very plain: I'm was an out of control food addict and extremely lazy. It's not the best combination for optimal health. And it was something that I wouldn't ever admit back then. If someone asked me to describe myself before this journey, I would have never said “I have a good sense of humor, I'm a proud husband and father, and oh yeah, I'm a food addict and avoid exercise every chance I get.” That kind of honesty is extremely rare. I believed every load of lies I told myself. I think I even talked my brain into believing that I was somehow blessed with such healthy genetics that my body could comfortably handle 500 pounds without too many complications. My healthy sugar levels and great cholesterol levels were all the proof I needed to believe that whopper for a really long time. If I would have allowed myself to continue believing that I had all the time in the world to correct my behaviors and lifestyle, it eventually would have caught up with me, and it would have been a tragic lesson for anyone paying attention. Making an unbreakable promise to myself to do this and break through any and all of my old excuses has been more than a blessing. You know how people say “everything happens for a reason” and “it's all a part of his master plan,” It's thoughts like that which make me believe I was over 500 pounds and struggled with my weight for a reason. Perhaps so I could overcome it now and then share the story of the journey out of the prison of obesity with people who are facing the same confinement.

We enjoyed a vegetable tonight with our grilled pork chops that we've never had before. OK, correction, we've had it before, but only the breaded and deep fried version. Tonight we enjoyed some boiled okra. No breading, no deep frying in lard, just oowee gooweee oh so yummy boiled okra. Next time we'll fix it with some stewed tomatoes. It was awesome and only 30 calories for ¾ of a cup. That's a bunch of okra on a plate for a little bitty calorie total. And it's green and that makes Irene happy! She loves lots of color on a plate. The pork chops were 160 calories per 4 ounces, so I weighed each one and came up with three different totals. One was 200, another 280, and the biggest one came in at 300 calories. The food scale has been a really big help in the accuracy of counting calories in meat. Without the scale we would have probably been close with an educated guess, but not this close. We also enjoyed some mashed potatoes with the meal. I'm a meat and potatoes kind of guy, always have been, and I'll always be I'm sure...and with a plate like this coming in at under 450 calories, why not? My old habits would have made it a 2,000 calorie or more meal easily. For one, I would have had at least two chops, maybe three, Ok three, I would have had probably three to four times the normal portion of potatoes, and I probably would have prepared some kind of gravy too. The okra would have definitely been breaded and fried, and then I probably would have had a bowl or two of cereal or a big bowl of ice cream for desert. Sounds crazy I know, but that's the way it use to be. And then I would proclaim “I really don't understand how I've gained so much weight, I really don't eat that much.” It wasn't really lying to me, because I really believed it, I really thought my eating habits were somewhat normal back then, and that I was just cursed with a really slow metabolism. When actually I was suffocating my metabolism, keeping it over stuffed and lethargic. The thought of eating any other way use to depress me, now the thought of how it was disgust me. When the excuses, rationalizations, and flat out lies we tell ourselves stop completely, that's when we can clearly define our real challenges. Being able to honestly identify the real challenges enable us to “get it together” once and for all. The meal this evening was awesome, we were all very satisfied, and we all stayed well within our calorie budget.

Tuesday evening is another “Lose To Win” seminar. I hope to be able to post the video of it soon. I wasn't ever able to post my last presentation because of technical difficulties with the videographer's equipment. I hope I'll be able to this time. My plan is to offer a very simple approach and several helpful tips that have helped me stay in the zone despite whatever goes on around me. I honestly thought that I would never be able to lose weight successfully because I was an “emotional eater” and “stressful trigger” eater and so on. I use to just accept it, thinking how horribly tragic it was, but “oh well, what are you gonna do?” Well, I have plenty of answers to that tired old surrendering question. Thank you for reading. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Monday, April 20, 2009

Day 217 Time To Talk and The End of The Hotel Room Snack Buffet

Day 217

Time To Talk and The End of The Hotel Room Snack Buffet

Irene and I had a wonderful time in Oklahoma City this weekend. We proved that you don't have to spend a fortune to have a great time! Saturday night we decided to get our workout in at the pool. It really wasn't a pool designed for exercise. The deepest part was four foot, and they had large water toys built in to the pool. So it was kind of hard to do laps, but we managed to somehow exercise amid the crowd of kids playing water basketball. We also spent some time in the hot tub. That thing was probably the biggest hot tub I've ever seen, seating maybe a dozen or more. It was very relaxing, and had it not started foaming like someone had dropped shampoo, we probably would have stayed down there longer. The best thing we did was talk. We talked about the many changes we've experienced over the last seven months, we talked about what we expect over the next seven months and several years, and of course we reminisced about our early years and all we've been through. It was a wonderful time to communicate and relax, and that's mostly what we did.

Our food selection and food priorities were very different. First of all, before any hotel stay in the past, we always had to go to a store to stock up on “goodies” for the room. It was a completely normal thing to spend twenty bucks on junk to keep in the room. Our selections always included chips, dip, Nutty Bars, bagels, cream cheese, and of course plenty of sugary soft drinks. We didn't do that at all, didn't even desire to do that. We had bottled water, some flavoring packets, sugar free gum, and the complimentary coffee. There wasn't a need for a “fourth meal” at 1am like so many hotel stays before. We didn't order pizza to the room either, or run to a fast food place late. At dinner last night, we both watched our portions and left the restaurant feeling satisfied instead of stuffed. Out of habit we actually packed some Zantac antacid pills, but neither one of us needed them and they remained unopened. It's amazing how we always viewed our old habits and behaviors as normal, when they were anything but normal. The trade off of a much healthier existence and transformed body feels much better than any in room snack buffet. We took advantage of the complimentary breakfast this morning and again our selections were vastly different. We enjoyed fresh fruit, some cereal, and a cup of coffee. I grabbed an apple to have later and we were good to go!

Fitting in a booth that at 505 pounds would have been impossible was a tremendous feeling. I never thought I would say this, but I love booths! We always had to select restaurants based on seating arrangement, but not anymore, not at all. I don't think there's a booth out there that I couldn't fit in now. Not having that often times embarrassing problem is an amazing freedom.

I'm looking forward to getting below 350 and in not long breaking into the 200's. That will be very strange and wonderful! My mom recently recalled the day she realized that I was 300 pounds. I was just 16 years old and my weight was scaring her to death. She told me that day that I just couldn't get any bigger. I did get much bigger. But the gain was slow and steady, the kind that sneaks up on you and then slaps you in the face with a shocking number when you finally check. I'll never forget the first time I weighed in at over 500 pounds, it sent me into panic mode. Not enough to focus on any real changes, just enough to stress me out, and of course that always would lead straight to more food. It was certainly a vicious cycle all those years.

Tomorrow we'll be back into our regular routine and that will be good. I can't wait to get back into the YMCA tomorrow. Tuesday evening is another “Lose To Win” Seminar, and I'm presenting a little longer presentation. Tomorrow evening I'll be preparing the structure of what exactly I want to communicate at that seminar. I need to have structure in what I'm presenting, or else I'll just end up saying the same things over and over, just in a different way. I hope you had a good weekend, and I sincerely hope you have a fantastic Monday. Thanks for reading, good night and...

Good Choices,

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Day 216 Celebrating Twenty Years and Explaining The Simplicity

Day 216

Celebrating Twenty Years and Explaining The Simplicity

Last night's blog was a really good thing. Courtney's progress mentally and physically is a wonderful transformation to witness. She went out this morning and retrieved the burnt girdle from the patio and laughed at how strange it looked. This journey for Courtney, me, Irene, Amber, perhaps you, this is a journey to where we were meant to be. It's grabbing the reins of our life and putting our health and happiness first.

Irene and I are headed to Oklahoma City to celebrate our 20th Anniversary. We have a complimentary room waiting in the heart of Bricktown. Tonight we'll exercise in the pool. I love swimming! What a fantastic workout that will be. I'm looking forward to the swimming and the late night cruise down the canal! I'll be sure to tell you as much as Irene will allow me to tomorrow night about our little mini-getaway to OKC. She's so beautiful! And I'm so incredibly lucky!!

Had to make a trip to the store this morning to grab a few things for Amber and Courtney while we're gone. I wasn't in the store very long when one of the associates asked how much weight I'd lost. I told the nice lady 146 pounds and just then two people let out loud gasp and even louder “wow,” it was a little scene for sure. The first lady then asked and answered her own question. “So how are you doing it?” “Not eating I'm sure.” I quickly corrected her and listed every kind of food I could think of off the top of my head that I've enjoyed along this journey. Sometimes that confuses people even more. I've noticed a puzzled look on people's faces many times after I explain to them my “eat whatever I want” approach. I simply told her that I eat normal food and normal portions. I limit my daily calorie intake to 1,500, drink plenty of water and water based drinks, and I exercise regularly. I don't do pills, or special plans, or anything that cost money whatsoever. I was really proud of myself for the way I handled the situation. Sometimes when somebody is amazed at my progress but confused on how in the world I'm doing it, I will talk for a good five minutes trying to make them understand the simplicity of it all. But not today, I told her what I was doing, how I was doing it, and touched briefly on the mental aspects, all in under two minutes. I think it might have been a record. I can't help it sometimes. When you're as passionate about something as I am about this journey, you just can't help but tell anyone who'll listen.

I'm posting Saturday night's blog way early because I don't want to interrupt our festivities tonight. I look forward to all of the wonderful things that are ahead in this journey. I was thinking about some of the wonderful possibilities this morning and it gives me chills to come so far so fast. I have to bring myself back down to earth occasionally. I prefer not to, but real life is happening down here and I don't want to miss anything. Thanks for reading, Good day and...

Good Choices,

Friday, April 17, 2009

Day 215 She Set It On Fire Tonight

Day 215

She Set It On Fire Tonight

Once there was a little girl of eleven years old who was searching for something to make her feel better about her appearance. Her extra weight was wreaking havoc on her self-image and her confidence was at horribly low levels. She started looking for outfits that would “slim,” and became very particular about what she would and wouldn't wear. Then one day she discovered something that promised to tighten, slenderize, and magically improve her appearance. All she had to do was wear it everyday underneath her clothes. She started wearing this magical garment without telling her parents. In her mind it made all the difference in the world. It wasn't long before she became addicted. It was her secret garment. Not even her friends knew what she was wearing underneath. Wearing this undergarment required some extreme discipline and abuse to her body, for when she had it on, she couldn't easily go to the bathroom. So all through the sixth grade she held in any urge she had to use the restroom. Not once did she ever go to the bathroom, unless it was to check her appearance in the mirror. When her parents finally discovered this undergarment and realized how restrictive and possibly damaging it could be, they ordered it off and discarded. This did not go over well with this beautiful little girl. Her reaction was one of tears and screams, like they had just ripped her whole world out from under her. She convinced her parents that if she really had to use the restroom, she wouldn't let this undergarment get in the way, and they allowed the undergarment to stay in her possession, protecting her self-image like a bullet proof vest. Her obsession continued through the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and even 10th grades. Not one bathroom break in over four and a half years of school days. That is until a month ago. That's when this beautiful little girl, now 15 years old, took it off for good. Her weight loss success has made the undergarment completely useless. Her smaller size has rendered that “magical” garment powerless. She no longer needs that girdle to give her a boost of confidence about her appearance. Exercise and good calorie management has swooped in and really made some serious changes in her body and most importantly, in her mind. But she couldn't throw it away, what if she needed it again? So she hid it away. That little girl is my youngest daughter Courtney. Tonight Courtney finally convinced herself she would never need it again, so she pulled out that old girdle and started ripping it apart. We then took it one step further, walked out on our patio and lit it on fire. Tonight that girdle burned. It burned almost as bright as Courtney's newfound confidence and self-image.

To me, the above conclusion to that story is the most important accomplishment of all during the last 215 days. We didn't realize how much her weight destroyed her self confidence and image until we tried to take it away a few years ago. You would have thought that it was a life or death situation judging from her reaction. We knew then how serious the problem had become. We allowed her to use the girdle as long as she promised to use the bathroom as needed, she told us she would, but she didn't at school, ever. And we just let it go, forgetting about it and just accepting it as part of her daily wardrobe. I couldn't be happier that Courtney is finally free of that horribly restrictive garment. Look at that smile in the picture below. That girdle is burning and she is smiling. I still can't believe the miraculous change. Her permission for me to reveal her longtime secret tonight in these writings is a testament to her incredible positive mental development over the last 215 days. If you're compelled to leave a comment below, please address your words to her, not me. And thank you for taking the time and thank you for reading. Good night and...

Good Choices,


Day 214 The Power To Transform and The Understanding of Happiness

Day 214

The Power To Transform and The Understanding of Happiness

What a gift it is to be able to totally transform my appearance. It's almost magical. Think about that for a minute. Only people with a bunch of weight to lose have the power and ability to transform their appearance completely. There isn't a plastic surgery in the world that could even come close to the transformation destination I'm headed. That's exciting, real exciting. Still, like many overweight people, especially morbidly obese people who lose weight, the brain is always the last to fully accept and acknowledge the change. I can't count how many times I've said my weight recently as four something instead of three something, then I correct myself, or Irene corrects me. “You mean three fifty-nine, right?” “Oh, yeah, of course!” It's very interesting how the brain works. I was over 500 pounds so long that my brain is just really accustomed to all of the limitations and extreme restrictions I had to work around. When I look at these size 48's I'm wearing, they look way too little for me, or so my brain thinks, until I put them on and my brain says “Oh, my mistake.” After losing 146 pounds, my appearance has changed dramatically, but this is only the beginning. I just crossed the half-way mark. That's really amazing to me. I'm thrilled at what the future holds. I'm loving the new appearance as it slowly emerges.

A while back someone said that they “would miss the old Sean.” That statement really made me think about this journey on a deeper level. After some internal debate on the subject, I've concluded the following: The only thing that could be missed is my 505 pound appearance. That 505 pound guy is gone forever. But I'm still here. My existence at that weight was suffocating the real me inside. Whatever wonderful changes in my personality that come forward from this transformation were always there to begin with, just held back, oppressed, never allowed to see the light of day. The me that's emerging is an enhanced version. A version that has no limits, a version that believes anything is possible, a version with a renewed spirit and ability to dream dreams that were long since forgotten inside the old me. I've always been told that I was “likable.” I guess that's what the friend was referring when he said he'd miss that 505 pound Sean. That big jolly, smiling, always ready to laugh, always wanting to please, always wanting to be liked, the big guy that would go to great lengths for a laugh because it made him feel good for a minute, that guy was miserable inside. You rarely see the tears of a clown my friend. But Irene has. My mom has. My daughters have. There have been many that even they've never witnessed. In every way, the emerging me is much more genuine and real than the old Sean ever thought about being. Gone is the smiling mask I once wore to hide the real me, it's replaced with a genuine smile and brand new attitude. I don't have to pretend to be happy anymore. Everybody has a different idea of happiness. I use to think happiness would be winning the lottery, but this journey has given me a clearer understanding of real, true happiness. Now I understand when wealthy people say they're unhappy. I never could understand how someone could have everything and anything money could buy, but still feel unhappy. Now I understand the reason why happiness can't be bought for any price. To me, true happiness is being able to be the real me. True happiness is found in the honest purity of our true selves. Oh my, am I rambling here? Let me wrap this up by saying that I will never miss that 505 pound guy I once appeared to be, because that wasn't the real me. Like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, I'm finally emerging from years of hiding inside that guy, becoming what I was always meant to be. Happiness is knowing that the positive personality I project mirrors how I really feel inside. I think I just said that a few sentences ago. Time for a new subject!

Irene and I celebrated twenty years of marriage today. Our official 'time off' to celebrate comes this weekend, but today was the official day. We've done most everything the hard way. When we made the very adult decision to get married at seventeen, we were clueless to the struggles we were sentencing ourselves. We entered our marriage with blinders tightly fastened in place, refusing to see or hear any voice of reason along the way trying to tell us how two kids didn't have any business getting married. We did it anyway, and although it hasn't been easy over the years, we've survived the stormy waters. We would never in a million years recommend getting married so young, but for us it's somehow worked out nicely, despite the fact that we've done everything backwards and uphill. We're successful parents and couldn't be more proud of our two daughters, and really that's the most important thing. As the waters become calm and the breeze of our journey sends us to new exciting destinations we've only dreamed about, I couldn't think of anyone I'd rather experience it with. I love you Buddy!

Tonight I traveled to Arkansas City, Kansas and the campus of Cowley College to judge the comedy night competition and as requested, perform stand-up. I was really impressed with the facilities, and even more impressed with the talented personalities in the competition. It was a fantastic evening. The students in that room were a fantastic audience too! It was really fun doing stand-up 146 pounds thinner. It was a tremendous difference indeed. Before the show I kept glancing over at my reflection on the mirrored wall. I realized that Courtney was exactly right, I really don't look like a grotesquely obese person anymore, I just look like a big guy who could stand to lose some weight. That's cool, real cool.

Day 214 has been a wonderful day. I'll hit the pillow tonight feeling good about the progress I've made. If you're just now discovering this weight loss blog, it certainly isn't what you might expect. This isn't just about the food I've consumed and the exercises I've completed. It's way more than that. I do eat 1,500 calories a day and exercise regularly, but that's the small stuff on this journey and I don't sweat it anymore. The big stuff is all about the mental changes along the way. If you've ever heard someone say “it's all up here,” while pointing to their head, they were right. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Day 213 More Italian, Weigh Day, and Plenty of Ice Cream Along The Way

Day 213

More Italian, Weigh Day, and Plenty of Ice Cream Along The Way

I always start my day with breakfast. I really have to make myself get up in plenty of time to have it, because the natural me would rather sleep as long as possible. Well, the natural me wouldn't be doing morning radio. I'm the kid that spent many a summers sleeping until noon or later. I guess I've trained myself well over the years working mornings. I actually like the morning air, the crisp new day, it's always just perfect right before the sun rises. This morning I almost didn't have time for breakfast, then I had to hurry through it, and I was in such a hurry I ended up walking out the door without my mid-morning snack in hand. Today was the first day in two weeks that I haven't had a mid-morning snack. I missed it horribly! My metabolism wasn't real happy.

After yesterday's Italian lunch, guess what was on the menu today? Italian again! In the next couple of days I have to write a radio commercial for Dominos Pizza's new Pasta products. So today, our local Dominos treated each staff member with a Pasta Bread Bowl of our choice. We needed to try it before we create a new radio commercial right? I ordered a grilled chicken pasta dish with marinara, mushrooms, and onions. It was really good. I only had half of the pasta and only a bite or two of the garlic bread bowl. Yes, you read that right, they put the pasta in a garlic butter bread bowl. Can you say loaded? Yes, yes they are incredible. Very good indeed, and I'll guarantee Dominos will sell these like crazy. I excused myself from the conference table just as soon as I finished what I deemed “enough.” I threw away my leftovers and was out of there. It must be confusing sometimes for listeners to hear me talking about this journey and then minutes later I'm promoting a product like this, or even a buffet somewhere. But hey, it's my job! And trust me, I do the job, and I stay on track and focused the entire time. Once I really accepted personal responsibility for my actions along this journey, the restaurants were off the hook completely. I can't blame any other person or any restaurant or food product for my obesity. I've done it to myself all of these years and I'm the one reversing that trend everyday.

Today was weigh day. After lunch I ran home for a few minutes, then it was off to the scales at Ponca City Medical Center. I had a feeling that it would be good based on a few factors. For one, I've completed a couple of 10K's in the last two weeks and several 5K's. I've also noticed my 48's fitting a little more loose. And the biggest difference is something I should have been doing from Day 1, but haven't: I'm making sure I eat something every 2.5 to 3 hours (except this morning of course). It feels like I'm constantly eating something, I'm never hungry, and my metabolism is constantly processing something. Last weigh day I'd lost 6 pounds, the weigh day before that-5 pounds, and today I stepped on the scale and had lost another 9 pounds! I'm thrilled with this result! Nine pounds! On this day, the seven month anniversary of this journey, I weighed in at 359!! I'm in the 350's!! That's so amazing to me. It's hard to believe that 213 days ago I weighed 505 pounds. What a dramatic change! Today's results bring the overall total to 146 pounds lost in 213 days. That's workin' it my friend! And you read what I eat! Those around me eat with me! This is the furthest thing from deprivation. I'm eating the way I'm suppose to and the weight is falling off. I'm very excited, can you tell?

I've allowed for a little ice cream today. All within' my calorie limits of course. I enjoy ice cream products on a regular basis, but usually not as many as I've had today. I had a Fudgsicle dark chocolate bar for 60 calories, a Blue Bunny Dream Bar for 70, and a low fat vanilla soft serve tonight for 150. I usually don't spend 280 calories on ice cream products in a typical day, but oh well, I did today and without one ounce of guilt. I didn't have them all at once, I spread them out, but it still looks excessive when you type it up. It wasn't anything like the old Sean would have done. The old Sean wouldn't be writing this blog right now, he'd be in there in front of the TV with a half gallon of Blue Bell Moolenium Crunch and a spoon watching American Idol. I haven't caught one episode of that show this season. I'm way too busy with working out and writing. And I don't really miss it. I did watch the video clip today of the amazing singer on “Britain's Got Talent,” and I'll admit, when I see someone achieving their dreams like that it makes me tear up, and if I'm alone, I'll sit there and cry my eyes out in their joyous triumph. I love to watch people chase down and capture their dreams, but I'm too busy chasing down my own at the moment.

Tomorrow evening I've been asked to judge a comedy competition at Cowley College in Kansas. They've even requested I do some stand-up afterward. I can't believe I agreed to do the stand-up, but I will and it will be fine. I'm just so out of practice! I use to perform upwards of ten times a week, now I perform about two or three times a year. See what I mean? And the “Lose To Win” kickoff? That wasn't stand-up, that was straight from the heart, completely natural stuff, and of course the best kind. I'll do it for the students, no problem. I may even try some of my old weight related material just to see how ineffective the punch lines will be 146 pounds lighter. Irene will be working Thursday evening while I'm in Kansas, but the weekend is ours to celebrate our marriage. You see, Thursday the Sixteenth is our twentieth wedding anniversary! We do plan on having a very nice twentieth anniversary lunch together tomorrow, maybe we'll have Italian! Thank you for reading, good night and...

Good Choices,

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day 212 Totally Semi-Automatic and Adventures In Italian Cuisine

Day 212

Totally Semi-Automatic and Adventures In Italian Cuisine

Somebody asked me today when it became “automatic” for me. I know exactly what they're meaning. When do the urges to cheat, the urges to turn to a mountain of food in times of stress, when do these go away? Well, I think it would be different for each individual, but for, honestly? I still occasionally get a wild urge to purposely over-eat. I'm also at the point where I can easily identify the reason why I'm having the urge, then I can talk myself down. I certainly wasn't as strong in the early days, remember Day 60? And Day 80 something? Yeah, they were almost deal breakers. Somewhere around Day 130 or so, I started getting into a groove where I totally knew there was no turning back. I'd said “there's no turning back,” before that, but there's a difference between saying it and feeling it deep inside. In the beginning it was kind of like walking a tight rope. I was just trying to keep my balance and stay upright. As the days have come and gone, that rope is getting wider and wider and much easier to balance. It's more than just forcing myself to make good choices, I've honestly changed the way I think about food and exercise. That breakthrough is the vital component I never had before. I'm keenly aware of any hints of old habits and behaviors. It's an ability I never had before on any other weight loss attempt. Is it automatic? Not completely, but it's close, perhaps semi-automatic.

Today I had lunch plans with a member of the Team Radio sales staff and a friend and client. We were scheduled to meet Dr. Amy at Zino's Italian Restaurant at 11am. We talked about a wonderful new feature that will eventually make Dr. Amy a regular part of my morning show. It was very exciting! The food is really good at Zino's. It's definitely a place where I have a strategy going in and I have to stick with that strategy, or else run the risk of using way too many calories for lunch. We all shared the fried calamari with marinara appetizer. I just had a few of these. I skipped the bread entirely, which wasn't an easy thing to do since it smelled so incredible! But I did, and I ordered water with extra lemons. The main course I selected was a cheese ravioli with marinara. I decided I would only eat half of the dish, and I did that. I also enjoyed a small cup of cheese tortellini soup with big chunks of cooked carrots in a semi clear broth. The soup wasn't near as bad calorie wise as it sounds. To be honest, this is really one place where I have to let my calorie counting experience take over and make some good educated guesses. I wanted to keep the lunch under 500 calories, to do it I had to follow my rules. My rules for Italian are really simple: avoid the bread, order a pasta with a tomato based sauce, and watch the portion size, stay away from cream based soups, only have a bite or two (or three) of that favorite appetizer, and drink water. To get a better handle on the calories of a place like this, I often times look up calories for similar dishes at like restaurants. It was a very satisfying lunch and we had a great visit! Lunch at an Italian restaurant, no problem!

I'm very excited for weigh day tomorrow. I have a feeling it's going to be a good one! My jeans are fitting real loose and I just feel noticeably smaller. The idea that as I get smaller, smaller amounts of weight loss will equal greater results in the way I feel and look, I hadn't really figured that out before. Losing 10 pounds at 500 isn't near as noticeable as losing 10 pounds at 368. I have a friend that's lost almost twenty pounds so far and he's dramatically different. His clothes are smaller, his face looks thinner, he's feeling it all over! But he has much less to lose, so naturally it makes a more dramatic difference. So it can slow down, that's cool, because if losing 5 or 6 pounds is like losing 20 at over 500 pounds, then I'm totally fine. Looking at it like this is a real revelation for me. After fully understanding this dynamic, you will not find me acting like a spoiled baby when I weigh and only lose 5 pounds. Whatever tomorrow's weigh-in shows me, I'll be totally fine. I know where I'm headed and I'm very comfortable with the ride.

My apologies to anyone that felt the last two days were a little too much information. Perhaps I could have been a little more vague about the condition. I chose to write about it because right now it's a very painful part of my every waking moment. It's hard not to write about something so consuming, when this is a blog about my daily journey from 505 to 230. What I wrote about was and is a part of this journey. And it could have been avoided completely with a regular serving of steel cut oats and maybe a fiber supplement or two. Thank you to all who sent me messages of laughter today about last night's blog. My intention was to make it as humorous as possible, and some of my readers enjoyed the laughter. Others couldn't get past the topic and graphic details. I understand that completely. It was an honest account of a horribly painful situation with an overall message, let's call it an “advisory,” to eat more fiber. Because this is what happens my friend, yeah, this is what happens.

Thanks for reading and wish me a good weigh day tomorrow! I'll be sending out a mass text message of weigh day results to cell phones on the list shortly after I step on the scale. If you'd like to be included in the mass text, just send me a private message with your phone number and the request. If you're reading the blogspot version, you can send me an e-mail to Good night and...

Good Choices,

Monday, April 13, 2009

Day 211 Behind The Scenes and Changing Everything For The Better

Day 211

Behind The Scenes and Changing Everything For The Better

I met with a surgeon today and of course that meant allowing myself to be “violated” once more. The surgeon quickly stopped as he discovered the problem. It wasn't hemorrhoids after all, well, not completely at least. It was shards of glass in my behind. Oh wait, that's what it feels like. No, it was a fissure, or fisher, or heck, I don't know how to spell it. Simply put: A tear down there. Ouch is right! The cause: Not enough fiber lead to “hard times,” and that coupled with my super human strength sphincter muscle led to rip city. I basically ripped myself a new one. Way to go Sean! The surgeon thinks we might be able to avoid the operating table, and since an operation would probably center around my behind perched up on a table with spotlights on it, in the middle of a crowded operating room, and my luck it would be medical school student field trip day, I think he's right. I actually survived the pains of a fissure once before. I healed it without any prescriptions of any kind. I simply went on a liquid fast for a week, and with no activity down south, it was able to heal naturally. The normal activity down there is what usually keeps a fissure from healing, and that's why surgery is normally the option selected. But if you can “stay smooth” and be cool, it's entirely possible to heal without surgery. He prescribed me a specially compounded ointment made with blood pressure medicine. This stuff must be good because it wasn't covered by insurance and was thirty-five dollars for a tiny bottle. Just for fun I thought about asking the prim and proper pharmacy tech to describe how I'm suppose to use the ointment, but thought nah, I've had enough fun for one day. I'm very thankful to find a surgeon that really doesn't want to operate if it isn't absolutely necessary. I'm going to follow his advice to the letter and avoid another fast. My metabolism would hate me if I did that. Don't worry Pokey, Seanboy isn't going to starve you! Uh, that was me talking to my metabolism, I call it Pokey. It's a name I came up with after a recent doctors visit.

My medical condition is perfect for friends who like to drop puns like hot potatoes. Very funny, I've heard 'em all. Did I mention laughing makes it hurt worse? I decided to allow myself an off night as far as a workout goes. I'm cool with that because this is really painful and I'm doing just fine staying in one decently comfortable position. I'll be back at 100% in no time. Until then I'll decide from day to day what I'll do based on my pain level. One thing I will definitely do from now on: Get more fiber! Even if it means drinking that gritty orange stuff we have in the cabinet. I wonder how many calories are in that orange gravel shake? I'll have to look.

Weigh day is fast approaching and I can't help but get excited. Will I be down into the 350's? It's entirely possible my friend! I've been revving up my metabolism every two to three hours, plus my workouts have rocked, so uh...yeah, I'm looking for a nice weigh-in on Wednesday. I'll tell you this, the 48's are fitting much more loose. It will not be long before a belt is called in for assistance in holding these jeans up. Maybe then I'll go buy a size 46. It's so fun to be on my way!

Every now and then I catch a glimpse of my face in the mirror, then I try to flashback to what my old face looked like. I mean, it's still my old face, just smaller. You know what I mean. The difference is so wonderfully dramatic. I sometimes can't believe how wonderful it feels to really do this, to really be committed to such a positive thing. My hopes and dreams have changed right along with my appearance, and my attitude and daily mood is most always upbeat. I look in the mirror and see a completely different human standing there. People say “well, it doesn't change who you are on the inside.” Yes it does! It makes it better! I'm a much better, more caring, more tolerant, more loving, more driven, more excited, happier person on the inside than I ever was at over five hundred pounds. The exciting thing about this journey is, it keeps getting better. I keep losing weight and my appearance transforms, my health improves, my attitude changes, I mean, really, what kept me fat for so long if this is what I had to look forward to? My brain, that's what. The mind is an amazingly complex thing, isn't it?

I'm going to go take some medicine and climb into bed early tonight. Thank you for reading. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Day 210 A Pain In My Behind and My First Bath In Twenty-Seven Years

Day 210

A Pain In My Behind and My First Bath In Twenty-Seven Years

As open and sharing as I've been in this blog, occasionally I'll leave out little details, especially if it's something that could be considered “too much information” or if it's completely irrelevant to the overall movement of this journey. Something I've been dealing with the last week or so has me “burning” to share. I have to write about it now, because it's such a major part of the last 24 hours of my life. Let me start by telling you that registered dietitian Sandy Gifford analyzed my daily food intake, and last Tuesday at the “Lose To Win” seminar she gave me some suggestions to improve. The big thing in her report? Fiber, and the fact that I don't get enough. She had many positive comments about my food habits, overall it was a good report card. We all know that increasing the fiber helps keep us regular in the bowel department. The same day she told me that I wasn't getting enough fiber, I was seriously constipated, horribly. So her findings made perfect sense. TMI yet? Hold on, it gets worse. If you're constipated and you “force the issue” so to speak, it puts pressure on the veins in your rear end, and that can lead to a very painful condition. This condition is what sidelined baseball Hall of Famer George Brett in the 1980 World Series. This condition often effects obese people, and is common among pregnant women, and apparently guys like me who don't get enough fiber. Hemorrhoids, there I said it. Last night my hemorrhoidal issues reached a painful peak. I've never had it as bad as I did last night. I honestly didn't know how I would get through writing last night's blog. I couldn't sit, I couldn't lay down, it hurt no matter what I did. Stinging and burning and driving me completely insane all night long. Over the counter ointment wasn't any match for these nasty things, and ibuprofen wasn't making a dent. This was crazy painful stuff. I didn't sleep at all last night and finally was able to sleep about an hour total. This afternoon I decided to head over to the urgent care clinic and seek some relief of some kind. They were closed. Easter Sunday is not a good day to look for a doctors office, so I had no choice, I had to visit the E.R. I told the receptionist that I was a little embarrassed to say why I needed to see a doctor, and she assured me she's heard it all. I paused about 10 seconds before telling her, just to make her really curious. She was relieved and not one bit surprised when I told her my situation. The triage nurse asked me how much I weighed, and when I said “probably about 360 or so,” she replied that I didn't look that big. That was a very cool compliment. She then told me she would try to find a doctor with really small hands for the exam we both knew was coming. I was hurting so bad, I didn't really care, as long as they made the pain go away. When the doctor walked in the room, he had a large plastic bag over his hand. I laughed out loud despite the pain, this guy had a sense of humor, my kind of doctor! Turns out, he too experienced this very condition a month ago, he had surgery to correct the problem. The exam wasn't pleasant, but it was over fairly quick. He prescribed a narcotic pain pill, a prescription strength cream, and recommended a hot bath.

I haven't taken a bath since I was ten years old or maybe younger. At a certain point I was just too big to take a bath, so it's been exclusively showers for me the last twenty-seven years. But I was determined to take one today. I picked up my medicine and drove straight home to draw a hot bath. I really worried that I wouldn't fit in the tub, but I did, easily too! It was very nice to take a bath again and the doctor was so right, it made me feel a whole lot better.

I was beginning to wonder if I would really feel like working out today, but after a nice little nap I decided that I was feeling good enough to hit the trail for a quick 5K. There was a heavy mist falling as I walked, but it felt really good.

I'm so tired at this point. I can't write anymore. The message of this blog tonight: Eat more fiber! Good night and...

Good Choices,

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Day 209 Slow And Steady Wins and Wish I Would Have Said Something

Day 209

Slow and Steady Wins and Wish I Would Have Said Something

The 10K last night really worked me good. I still felt it this morning, not in a bad way, in a “wow, that was a good workout” way. It isn't the most intense workout, it's just a steady, constant workout that goes on and on for 6.2 miles. This kind of progress is really an amazing thing for me. I remember how beat I was after my first 5K, now I can do a 10K. Maybe I could do a marathon some day like Todd Starnes. But I guarantee, that's way down the road. Like, uh, way far down the road. Today I made it to the YMCA for some weight training. The more I go, the better I feel. I don't mean I'm feeling stronger, I'm just feeling more comfortable with the weights. We'll hit the weight room again on Monday evening.

I made a trip into Wal-Mart today for a few items. Throughout the visit, I noticed several morbidly obese people. Some looked even more miserable than I did at 505. My heart goes out to them, I know what they're going through. Some may have it even tougher than I did, and I just wish I could show them the way out. My cousin Debbie shared a story with me today about an experience she had yesterday. She was leaving a rest stop/bathroom break along I-44 that just happens to be the worlds largest McDonald's. It's actually built over the highway, yes I've been there a few times. Anyway, she noticed a man she estimated to be bigger than me when I first started. His legs were extremely swollen to the point of open sores. He was carrying a bag of food back to his tractor trailer, but had to stop and rest before he could go any further. Debbie almost approached the man, she wanted to tell him about this blog, but by the time she could get the address written down, he was in his truck and on the way out. I completely understand how Debbie felt. That's how I felt today at Wal-Mart. That's how I felt the day I did approach a man a month or two ago. Maybe I'll get some cards printed with this blog address, and just hand them to people with whom I'd like to share my journey. It's kind of risky, I know. But it could be a wonderful thing too. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think this blog is the answer to morbid obesity, and just by reading a person automatically starts making good choices. I know that really doing this requires something deep within each individual. But I can't help wanting to share what I've learned along the way. I kind of feel bad that I didn't approach anyone today, I just didn't. I feel bad because I feel like I've found the secret passage way out of the prison where morbidly obese hostages are kept. I know how to get out of there, how to escape to freedom, but I walked right by the “prisoners” today and didn't say a word. I feel like I let them down and they don't even realize. But I do. I've never claimed that this blog is some kind of magical weight loss miracle, but I feel like I've broken down so many of the weight loss myths and beliefs that I held onto, and so many still hold them true everyday. Do they know that they don't have to buy expensive weight loss products? Do they know why “meal replacement” diets are bad? Do they understand the role their brain plays in conquering obesity? Do they understand what I mean when I talk about personal honesty and responsibility? Do they realize that a 33 billion dollar a year industry has convinced them that the “secret” is just a “latest and greatest” diet product or plan away? Unless it addresses our mental issues with food, it's all garbage. The tools we need to lose weight are within us. It's not for sale, it doesn't cost a penny, it actually saves us money. It took me years to get to where I am today, to understand what I now understand about losing weight. I'll tell you this, the weight loss product industry isn't going to like me very much someday, because I plan on spreading the word about losing weight naturally for the rest of my life, and I will reach those people that are where I was for so long. Miserable, desperate, and hopelessly obese, deadly obese, thinking that the solution to their obesity hasn't been invented yet. If you're new to this blog, I encourage you to go back in the archives and read from Day 1. I didn't start out this confident or knowledgeable. But I've learned a great deal over the last 209 days and I've written about it all along the way.

Have a safe and wonderful Easter. Thanks for reading, good night and...

Good Choices,

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