A Good Early Start, Dead In His Dream, and A Wonderful Question
This morning was a little more routine. I woke up at 4:45 and felt the base of my sternum. I love feeling that. I never knew it existed before I lost the first 100 pounds! I mean I knew it was down there somewhere, but to see it stick out of my chest and feel the bump, that's really cool. It's amazing how many wonderful things like this I'm experiencing. When I look down I can actually see my feet! It's the most wonderful thing! After a few minutes marveling at my smaller body, I jumped up to greet the day. I know I only did it once, yesterday, but I kind of missed not walking this morning. I may try to do that at least a couple of times a week. I think I'll skip the iPod too for these early pre-dawn walks. I'll just soak up the sounds of the early morning scene. It'll give me time to think about where I've been and where I'm headed. I love working out to music, you may have read what I've written about that, but there's room for calm reflection and future gazing without the tunes every once in a while. Spending alone time with your thoughts can be very therapeutic.
Irene prepared a fantastic breakfast. I had a high fiber tortilla with a scrambled egg and salsa. Not bad for 150. I also had a serving of Cheerios with a quarter cup of 2% milk for 130. We're out of our steel cut oats, and I miss them horribly! I must buy some more tomorrow! If you're wondering what's so special about steel cut oats, Google it, and you'll see! Courtney calls them “Horse Oats,” because I told her it's what they feed race horses, and you've never seen a fat race horse, right? Horse oats are definitely on the shopping list tomorrow!
When I arrived at the studio, I was greeted by the morning personality at the country station down the hall. Him: “Hey, I had a horrible dream about you last night.” Me: “Really?” Him: “We were doing a broadcast from an elementary school and you died on the sidewalk.” Me: “Thanks for that.” Him: “You were all stiff and everything.” Me: “How long was I out there?” Him: “I don't know, I woke up.” Me: “Did somebody kill me?” Him: “Uh, I don't know how it happened, you were just dead.” Me: “I need a cup of coffee.” What a wonderful greeting to my workday. I haven't worried about dying in a very long time. I use to worry about it daily at over 500 pounds, but now I'm too focused on living and doing the things that will keep me living as long as I'm allowed. So all day long I had that lingering thought in my head. I tried to laugh it off, but it still bothered me a little. He didn't mean any harm by telling me about the dream, he was probably just happy to see me standing up, and not stiff on a sidewalk in front of a bunch of elementary school kids. I'm over it now. But really, it bothered me all day. On the way to the YMCA for my workout I thought about it again. Of course it didn't help that I had a voice mail from the friend meeting me for a heated racquetball match that said “I got a new racket, new balls, and you're gonna die in there.” Maybe that isn't an exact quote, but it was something to that effect. It was hardcore trash talking indeed. Now I was really worried. What if I exert myself a little too hard and collapse? OK enough! I had to wipe it from my mind. I did a little bit.
This afternoon I met the above mentioned friend at the YMCA for what may just be the best 45 minute workout I've ever had. I played hard, I hustled, if it's my time to go, I was helping by giving it everything I had! It wasn't my time to go, and it wasn't my time to win either. My racquetball partner beat me three games in a row. I don't mean to sound like I'm making excuses here, but I think he's like 100 pounds smaller than me, or at least 70 pounds smaller! I'm trying to remember his weight but I can't, oh well. He beat me real good. But I think he'll tell you, I did put in an amazing effort and hustle. Go ahead racquetball pro, leave a comment! Make it anonymous, I know you're reading this just to make sure I tell it like it was. Come on, tell how I gave it a good fight, tell 'em how my speed and agility is mind blowing, especially after seeing me at over 500 pounds, go ahead Mr. Blue Blazes, click the comments link at the bottom! Oh, and don't forget about the 11 points I scored on you. It will not be long before I beat you real good. Your defeat at the hands of a former 505 pound man is coming and you know that news will be triumphantly broadcast all over the world!
For snacks today I had lemon marinated apple slices and a banana, and more recently a Dream Bar before my workout and a banana a little while after. Dinner tonight was grilled top sirloin, Irene found an amazing deal, and hey...it's not everyday you can feed an entire family top sirloin steak for a little over five bucks. The grill is something we use at least three or four times a week. We even used it frequently in the winter! I love cooking out on that thing. The food taste great and since it's grilled, it's better in the calorie department. We added a baked potato and a small ear of corn and salad to round out the meal. My 4 ounce portion of steak with a couple of teaspoons steak sauce, small baked potato with sour cream and corn checked in at only 410 calories. I was very satisfied and I still have a couple hundred calories remaining. I washed it down with my homemade zero calorie lemonade! I love that stuff! Ice, Water, 100% Real lemon juice, and a little Splenda, and walla! Lemonade! It's really good, so please don't tell me that Splenda is bad for me too! It's derived from sugar isn't it? Anyway, it was a good day calorie and exercise wise.
Irene, Courtney, and Amber all weighed today with wonderful results! Amber lost two pounds, Courtney lost five pounds, and Irene lost five pounds! Amber wasn't happy with her results and feels that she may be underestimating calorie values of some things. The girls have decided to log their food from here on out this summer and allow me to review it for them everyday. The important thing is to not have to guess very often. Study the label and if it doesn't have the calories marked clearly on the package, then go to the Internet for calorieking.com or any number of other calorie counting websites. The information is out there. Find it before you eat it. I hardly ever put myself in the position of guesstimating early on, I didn't start doing too much of that until I was really familiar with foods and calories enough to make accurate guesses. I once had a fellow employee describe her dinner on the air and I guessed the calorie content within 20 calories. It takes time and practice.
A question from a daily reader: Hey Sean--great loss! Funny you should mention plateau. I was just thinking about that. You started at 1500 calories, well below what you could have eaten and still lost weight. Will you adjust your calories? Is that the minimum. I mean that is even low for a skinny man, much less one as tall as you. If a plateau hits or when you are in the 200's can you see yourself eating less? Also--have you thought about how many calories you will eat to maintain your weight when you reach your goal? Just curious... Good question Bonnie! You're right, I could have started with a little higher calorie limit and still lost weight. I will need to adjust my calories a little higher for more intense workouts in my very near future, especially weight training, but for now 1,500 seems to be doing me well. I've had several fitness and dietary professionals tell me that it's OK for now. Yes it is the minimum. I'm not eating less than 1,500 a day ever. Oh, I might occasionally leave a hundred calories on the table, but rarely. If a plateau hits I'll eat more and I'll exercise more. That's the plateau buster recipe they use on the “Biggest Loser.” And I've heard it from many others, including my cousin Dana who spent a while counseling people as they lost weight on a popular weight loss plan. I've said many times that I don't plan on counting calories forever. What I've learned along this journey will keep me within reasonable boundaries without doing the math. I've learned what a portion is. I've learned to overcome my stressful triggers. I've learned to be honest with myself when it comes to consumption. I've given myself a very nice education on calorie values. I know what's good and bad, and I know what appears to be good, but is bad, and vice versa. After I reach my goal, I see myself eating pretty much like I do now, perhaps a little more to maintain the new weight. I know that I'll always eat breakfast. I'll always make sure to have some good snacks ready to go. I'll always make better choices at restaurants. I'll always be more active and make physical fitness a part of my life. I'll always enjoy the foods I love. You see my friend, the mental breakthroughs I've accomplished along the way have been unique to this attempt. I don't want to cut loose and eat giant portions of anything anymore! I've tried to lose the weight many times and failed. I've never made these mental changes before, not even a little. And these mental changes I've written about along the way will be what keeps the weight off the rest of my life! The changes in me are so much greater than just appearances, that's for sure! For once in my life I have a healthy understanding and relationship with food.
Irene is off to work all night and the girls just got back from their workout. I'm headed to bed really early tonight, before 9:15pm! Maybe in the morning I'll walk with the tweeting birds at the trail. Goodnight and...