Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 289 The Big Little Things

Day 289

The Big Little Things

I notice the small things a bunch these days. Like the bones in my hands. I can see them! Even the tendons in my feet are starting to show. Well, I don't actually see them, I just see the outline of them. My biceps, as puny as they are right now, they show through. If I hold my leg just right, I can see the outline of my leg muscles. I'm easily entertained. The girls like to watch movies for entertainment, I just need a bathroom with a big mirror. That's entertainment enough for me right now. Don't get the wrong idea, I'm not full of myself or anything, I'm not...far from it, but I love marveling at the physical changes in me. I love my dimples that have been hidden since I was a kid. I love looking straight ahead at a mirror and actually seeing both of my ears. My eyes look bigger. Not freaky bigger, just bigger...more prominent a feature of my face. Less face, same eyes...makes sense. I like sitting on the couch and folding one of my legs up. I couldn't do that before. I'm still not at the point where I can cross my legs, but you just wait, I'll be a leg crosser someday. I'll sit there and rest my hand on my shoe, as a way to say, “check this out, I'm a leg crosser.” I'm still not a tucker. I've never been a shirt tucker. If a job required my shirt to be tucked, I would walk. Lucky for me I haven't ever worked somewhere like that. I know the owner of our radio stations reads this blog, I'm sure we'll get a memo tomorrow mandating that all shirts be tucked in at all times. He has a fun sense of humor. As much as I've developed and evolved along this journey, it's still hard to imagine a shirt tucking-leg crossing version of me. But that's where I'm headed. A leg crossing, shirt tucking, slim trim, neat, well groomed kind of a guy. I'm so impatient. I wanna see those “after” pictures! Those pictures are going to blow all the previous “in progress” pics out of the water!

After talking so extensively about my experiences in stand-up in last night's blog, I decided to wonder over to www.seanboy.net and see if it still existed. My cousin Kristen has maintained it all these years, even put the copyright 2009 at the bottom. I sincerely appreciate her help and belief in me. I invite you to check it out. You'll see my old big fat head shot. Click on “bio,” and instead of a bio, you'll see a picture of me and my little brother Shane. Shane loved it when I'd take him to the comedy clubs. Hanging out at “the comics table” in the back made him feel so wonderful. He had a chance to meet so many of his favorite comics, and everyone was so kind. They loved Shane. Everyone loved Shane, he was such a pure spirit. I miss him horribly. If he were alive today, I know that he'd be headed in the same direction as me on this journey. He looked up to me so much, I never felt worthy of his unconditional love and admiration of his big brother. He was so special. I don't know if I ever really dealt properly with my grief in losing Shane, because these past few sentences have ripped my heart. I miss him so much.

On that site, you can also listen to audio clips from a performance at Laffs Comedy Club in Albuquerque, New Mexico from January 2003. I just finished listening to them. The audio quality isn't the best, my voice was hoarse, and I cringe at some of the material. But it's there if you're curious.

Courtney insisted on treating us to dinner tonight at one of our favorite restaurants. I've written about JW Cobbs before, it's a down home country cookin' kind of place. Their specialty is chicken fried steak smothered in cream gravy. We didn't order that. We all ordered the “senior” portions. I had the chopped beef steak with a half baked potato and a serving of corn. I know, two starches, pardon me...I'm just not that advanced yet. You know me, calories in---calories out. I count the calories in and I don't count the calories out. I keep it way simple. Anyway, it was a nice dinner out. We enjoyed it, and giving the waitress our weigh in update was fun. Even if it did annoy the people at the next table. I don't think they cared to hear about our weight loss success as they dined on the house specialty. That waitress has watched us shrink from the beginning. She remembers the old Sean and the old ordering habits. She could tell you my style...Extra rolls, extra gravy, chicken fried steak, fries, fried okra, and maybe even desert. And I wouldn't leave a bit of it on the platter. She can't help but notice the differences not only in our appearances but our choices. It's dramatic.

Our workout was wonderful last night, a little too late at night, but it was good. Except for the stranger that struck up a conversation with me about an exercise infomercial out of the clear blue. He was running, and right as he was about to pass me, he slowed down to my power walking pace and started talking. I did participate in the conversation, but I wasn't completely willing. I don't want to be rude, but when I'm out there, I'm working out! I'm usually lost in my music and pushing myself hard to get the best workout I can. I'm certainly not there to talk to anyone but myself. Had it been someone I knew, maybe I wouldn't have been so annoyed. Of course someone that knows me already understands my philosophy out there. I'm not there to visit. We can visit later when we're finished! I'm heading out now (a little earlier than last night—thank goodness) to get one in! Thank you for reading, goodnight and...

Good Choices,

Day 288 Breaking Free and Dreaming Without The Influences of Obesity

Day 288

Breaking Free and Dreaming Without The Influence of Obesity

It feels so wonderful to start the day like I started this morning. I received an e-mail from a reader that is experiencing some breakthrough success. In her words, I noticed the same amazing feeling that has engulfed me throughout this journey. It's a feeling of freedom. It's a feeling of clarity. It's a feeling of hope. It's a feeling that comes from every obstacle we imagined was in our way...being completely gone. All of a sudden what once seemed impossible, is unfolding before us. Like all the pieces to the puzzle are magically fitting into place. The hopeless feelings are gone. The dreams are back. And there's such a dramatic difference between dreaming something that seems impossible and dreaming something that all of a sudden is completely possible. That reader who sent the e-mail this morning, she's on her way to realizing dreams she once thought impossible. She's going to make it. She knows too much to ever be able to deny her success. And her story and success will inspire and enlighten many more.

When I think about how my dreams have evolved over the years, I think about how I use to make my dreams revolve around me being morbidly obese. I couldn't really imagine losing the weight, so if I was still going to dream, it had to be as a morbidly obese person. I pursued my comedy dreams as a morbidly obese funny guy, and surprisingly found a certain level of professional acceptance. But I wasn't comfortable being that guy. I didn't want to be the funny fat guy. Most of my material was self-deprecating. I remember several shows where an overweight person would come up to me and ask me to stop being so mean to myself. But I was hooked by the laughter of 399 others in the room that night. It was acceptance. It was a feeling of being loved despite my appearance, and actually loved because of it! I was addicted. It was a powerful thing. When I started, I would drive four and a half hours to Dallas for five minutes of unpaid stage time. I drove to Tulsa and Oklahoma City twice a week for unpaid stage time. I wanted the rush of making those people laugh. I didn't care if I wasn't getting paid...I was paying my dues, even if it was at the expense of my family. If we could barely afford groceries that week, I would still take the money to get me to that next comedy show. I craved that love from audiences while ignoring the love from my family. When I started getting paid to perform, it was never enough to justify the extreme cost. But I was always dreaming of that big break on the horizon. That's what would save everything. When I “made it” to Hollywood and was asked to be a host comic at the Hollywood Improv, you would think that would have been the big time. It wasn't. I was sharing the stage with big name comics, I felt real important, but you see, The Hollywood Improv is a showcase club. When you're on that stage, anything can happen. It's like you owe them for allowing you to perform there. As a host comic I was paid $35.00 per show. It was a showcase club, I was lucky to get that. It does pay off for some. But usually for the ones who are truly comfortable with who they are as a person and a comic. BJ Novak was a relatively unknown comic at the Improv around the same time as me, eventually the executive producer of a new NBC show caught his act there and offered him a part on a show. That show was “The Office.” BJ was very comfortable, very natural, and himself on stage. I was forcing myself to be something I really didn't want to be. I was addicted to being mean to myself, being a bully to myself, for the sake of laughs and acceptance. The breakthrough for me in realizing this unhealthy addiction came while filming a segment for Jimmy Kimmel Live. The following is an excerpt from Day 18 of this blog: The bit was produced about an hour before the “live” broadcast, and it wasn't long into the shoot when the director told me that Jimmy wanted me to really put on some womens undergarments so they could photograph it and then make it look like an x-ray image during the bit. This was never mentioned beforehand, and despite the fact that I was so excited to get to hang out and be a part of this show, I told them flat out NO! I said “If that's what I have to do here than I'll just leave now”. The director and segment producer left to consult with Jimmy somewhere backstage, and after what seemed like 10 minutes, they came back and told me that they would use one of their overweight production assistants as a stand-in. I would still be in the bit, but this poor guy would have to be the one they take the fake x-ray picture of in panties and a bra. He was happy to do it, and I was happy to still be in the bit. But I certainly realized that I wasn't one bit comfortable as the “big fat guy”. I didn't want to be that guy. I never have wanted to be that guy. After that initial appearance they called me several times to do other “let's laugh at the fat guy” type bits. One was a take off of the TV show “The Bachelor” called “The Fatchelor”...and I wasn't in town to do it. I'm glad I wasn't. They ended up using that same overweight production assistant...and I bet he was thrilled! I want to be that slim, neat looking, in shape, well dressed guy. That's what I dream of being, even if Jimmy Kimmel doesn't think it's as funny! I wasn't in town to do anything else for the Kimmel show, because I packed up and headed back home just a few days after that appearance. I was done trying to make myself feel accepted and loved as the fat guy. My addiction to that rush was over. I had my family's love waiting back in Oklahoma. It was there the entire time. My days of making my obesity a part of my dreams ended on that hot June day in 2003. When the clarity of this journey started coming about, all of a sudden I started dreaming as a thin and healthy individual. It's so much better. I don't have to be anything I don't want to be ever again. I can be my true self once and for all.

I grilled some wonderful pork chops tonight. The dinner was exceptional and for desert? A 60 calorie Popsicle brand fudge bar. It was very nice. We're heading out to complete another 5K tonight. I hope to increase the distance I actually jog out there. I really think I can take it further. I know I can. Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day 287 Is Something Burning? and Turf N Surf Workout

Day 287

Is Something Burning? and Turf N Surf Workout

If you read Day 286, then you know how my day started. Good news: The stations are back on the air. Everything isn't 100% just yet, but we have a really good engineer, he'll get us there in a very short amount of time! Lightning is incredibly destructive and very strange. It can totally destroy one thing and leave something next to it untouched. It goes with the territory I guess. Anytime you have a 300 foot tower pointing straight up into the Oklahoma sky, you're bound to get some lightning damage sometime. I think the last time we were hit this bad was in April 2004, so really we've been very fortunate.

I marinated some chicken all night long and was so excited about getting the chance to throw it on the grill. We were going to have it for lunch and then head to Stillwater to celebrate my Aunt Kelli's birthday, but with the circumstances surrounding the station, we decided to cancel our little trip and stay close to home. So we decided to grill the chicken for dinner. I fired up the grill and put the sweetest smelling chicken ever on the racks, it was going to be perfect! Then I went inside and did some other things. Too many other things. When I returned, the grill thermometer was reading over 700 degrees and the neighborhood was filling with smoke. I opened the grill and discovered the chicken ablaze and burnt badly. I was a little worried that maybe it didn't get done all the way, you know, burnt on the outside...raw in the middle. A quick check confirmed my suspicions. So I grabbed the pieces and placed them on the higher rack away from the direct heat. They finally were done after a little bit, but still black and crispy. And not the good kind of crispy, this was the bitter, burnt, nasty aftertaste in your mouth kind of ruined. I peeled off the black and then removed the salvageable meat from the bone of every piece. It wasn't how I planned on serving the chicken, but it worked, I guess. I wasn't just going to throw it away!

After dinner we contemplated our workout plans. There wasn't a threat of storms, so we were good. I thought we might complete our weekend 10K and then swim, but we decided on a more time friendly 5K and swimming. At the trail we really pushed it. I even jogged a record distance. I just kept going. I found a pace, concentrated on breathing properly, and did it, maybe a couple hundred yards or more. I can see that eventually I'll be able to run, like really run, without stopping. Just like the people I see out there occasionally. We did lap races at the pool. It was a major workout. Then I concentrated on my swimming technique, adjusting my stroke for maximum efficiency. Irene is off tonight, it was wonderful to have her join us in the water. And she's a real fish! She easily beat me every time, not even close. But I'll get her, maybe. Just maybe someday! It was a wonderful workout and some fun times together.

I have to say, this losing weight thing is incredible. If you're having trouble getting started, I hope you'll go back and read my early days. It certainly wasn't always this easy out there at the trail and I wouldn't even get in a pool at 505 lbs, I mean really. Getting started in a rock solid way can be the biggest hump to overcome. But once you start getting some results for your consistent efforts, it will propel you to such a wonderful place. I can say without a doubt, I haven't felt this good physically since I was 15 years old. My whole world is changing for the better! It is absolutely amazing.

I've put a goatee picture taken tonight below and also a “before” picture just for the sake of comparison. I sincerely appreciate you reading my blog everyday. It's been a wonderful journey so far and it's only the beginning really. Oh yeah, it gets much better from here! Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

Just finished swimming, pardon the swim hair!

Just for the sake of "Before" and "In-Progress" comparison

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day 286 Pardon The Interruption and Maneuvering Mexican Dining

Day 286

Pardon The Interruption and Maneuvering Mexican Dining

I know the date says Saturday the 27th. But it’s Sunday morning, I promise you! Last night’s severe weather broadcast coverage put me out extremely late. By the time I got home and in front of the computer it was almost two am. And then the power started doing strange things. It must have “flashed” five or six times, like it was trying to recover from a lightning hit, it wasn’t good. I decided the best course of action was to turn the computer and monitor completely off and go to sleep, then get up early and write the Saturday edition of this blog. So that’s what I did. Well, that’s what I planned to do. I set the alarm early, because I had things to do, but those things will have to wait. You see, I woke up on my own because when the alarm went off there was nothing. I set my alarm to the radio station where I work. Nothing. So I grabbed my phone and called the transmitter remote control from the comfort of my bed. With a few code numbers I could make the station come back on the air, but after over 30 failed attempts, I decided that I needed to investigate further at the studios. I think we may have taken a direct lightning strike. The phone lines will not work, both stations are silent, and we’ve sent up the Bat Signal for our engineer to head this way asap for a OAS (Off-Air Situation)—I just made that OAS thing up, but it sounds pretty technical and cool. With another station employee headed to the transmitter sight to check on damage there, and the engineer en-route, all I can do at this point is sit here and wait…and finally write this Saturday edition of my blog. We must have internet service made of titanium alloy out here, because with everything else fried, the internet still works. Our service provider should use that last line as an advertising testimonial. After nearly 21 years in broadcasting (since age 16), the one sound that I’ll never get use to is the sound of silence. Dead air drives me nuts. But here I sit, completely powerless over the situation. Maybe I should have studied electrical engineering instead of on-air programming, nah…not as fun. Well, since this first paragraph was all about my Sunday so far, let’s back up a little and talk about Saturday.

Saturday was a good day calorie wise, even though it had the potential to be a disaster. Let me explain: We decided to go out and celebrate Irene’s big promotion with a nice dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants. There are so many calorie pitfalls at this place, you really have to be on your game going in. My plan was simple. I would limit the number of chips to 10 and order something chicken based without it being drenched in queso or sour cream. I ordered two chicken burritos from the ala carte menu with an extra plate. That would be dinner for Courtney and me. They were loaded with chicken and wrapped in a very large flour tortilla. I had to guesstimate very carefully. I decided on 450 for each. I arrived at that number considering that the tortilla was easily a 200 calorie item alone. Since the only other ingredients were veggies and chicken and it was topped with garden fresh salsa instead of queso, 450 made sense. Still, I knew that with my small serving of chips and salsa (200), I was headed over my personal guideline of keeping the calories at any one meal at or below 500. In this situation, I allowed for it, as long as I didn’t go over my daily limit of 1,500 calories. My drink was lemonade…zero calorie free lemonade! I always order water with extra lemon, typically free in most US restaurants, then I squeeze the lemon juice into the water and add a packet of Splenda sweetener. Wonderful taste and zero added calories, I like it! Amber and Irene split an order of two burritos as well, and we were on our way to successfully enjoying a wonderful celebratory dinner without anyone breaking their calorie budget. Another bonus is how we felt when we left…satisfied and proud, not stuffed and miserable. Had we approached this restaurant with our old habits and without a care, we would have each consumed an estimated 2,000 extra calories in: beans, rice, sour cream, queso, and some fried sopapias with honey for desert. Nobody felt deprived, we all enjoyed each other’s company, we enjoyed our meal, we celebrated and we conquered a Mexican restaurant. This is what I mean when I talk about personal responsibility and good choices. The restaurants are not the bad guys. It’s always up to us to make good choices anywhere we dine. It can be done.

What suffered horribly Saturday was our workout plans. The plan was simple. Dinner first, Irene off to work, the girls and I walk a 10K and then swim at Dylan’s pool. Then the storms started to roll and the weather warnings started shouting for me to head south to the studios to anchor weather coverage. I love thunderstorms, I do. But sometimes I like to enjoy them from the perspective of my front porch, instead of in a studio on the air. Luckily we have a roster of anchors and occasionally I get to stay home and do whatever I was planning. Last night was not one of those nights! And it’s not like we could have walked through the tree lined park or swam in the middle of an Oklahoma electrical light show anyway. Situations like these are not excuses, they’re circumstances. How do we overcome them? We make alternative indoor workout plans. Jump roping in the garage, Sweatin’ To The Oldies, jumping jacks…anything to get that workout done. The girls did, I sadly did not. At after 2am, I decided I would drop in bed instead. Choices. Could I have worked out for even twenty minutes inside the safety and comfort of our home? Of course, I probably spent that much time lying in bed trying to go to sleep. But I chose not to workout, leaning heavily on the circumstances surrounding the evening to excuse myself from feeling bad. But you know me. I’m a no excuses kind of guy. My conscience wasn’t getting off that easily. We’ve walked in the freezing November rain before, the sleet, the snow…We’ve completed a 10 K walk at 2am more than once. So I know that I let the frustrations of the evening complicate and interrupt my resolve just enough to send me to bed instead of to the garage for some cardio. It’s behind me now.

Today (Sunday) the forecast is clear and so is the slate. I bet we do some massive working out today! Thank you for reading, and for those that have told me that this blog is a part of their morning routine, my apologies that it wasn’t available for you this morning!! Good day and…

Good Choices,

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Day 285 I Like The Hair and A Confident Irene Lands a Wonderful Promotion

Day 285

I Like The Hair and A Confident Irene Lands a Wonderful Promotion

Now that I'm giving this goatee thingy a try, I'm noticing goatees everywhere. I must have noticed thirty different guys today all sporting goatees. Some were neat and trim, others messy, and some rather creative. I feel like I'm in the goatee club. I made eye contact a couple of times, as if to say, “hey...nice goatee, ya know I have one too!” It's funny, I never really noticed the goatee abundance before now. I'm not guaranteeing I'll keep this one on my face, but I will give it a chance to develop a little more. And I promise to post a better-brighter picture by Sunday evening. We'll call it “Goatee Watch 2009.” It's kind of fun to mess around with my appearance now that I sort of like what I see in the mirror, ya know? The people that cut my hair...OK, that sounds like I have a team of hair people. Only one person at a time cuts my hair, but depending on who's available, it might be someone else. I have my favorite and I'm pretty sure she knows who she is! She just knows how I like it cut. I don't have to say a word. I just sit down and snippity snip snip...she's done. Anyway...She suggested that once I get below 300, I should allow her to just do whatever she thinks will look good. I don't know about that! That might be scary. I don't know if I can trust her that much! My hair has always been something I like about myself. My hair and my eyes. That's it. So I'm pretty much over protective of my hair. But I'm also hooked on a certain style that has been with me for years. Maybe I should throw caution to the wind and see what happens. I don't want a buzz cut, I know that for sure! I like my thick hair. I'll see what happens. I'll tell you one thing, the only way I'm even able to contemplate changing my hair is because of this new kind of confidence I'm carrying these days. I also need a brow wax again. Yep, the “brow bird” grew a new head! I can make him fly!

Irene called earlier with amazing news! She was just given a huge promotion at her job! She interviewed for the open position the other day, in what she described as the most intense thorough interview she's ever experienced. She really stressed over who she knew was also applying and interviewing. And today, out of all the candidates, she was the one chosen! My baby rocks! She works really hard and deserves this promotion. The weight she's lost has really given her an awesome confidence that surely showed in front of the big wigs where she works. Now she gets the responsibility and benefits reserved for “upper management!” I like the way that sounds! She'll do an amazing job, she's a real no nonsense kind of person. She doesn't subscribe to drama in the workplace, nor does she tolerate it. She's there to do a great job, get it done right, take pride in it, and feel good about it. Certainly qualities that her superiors have noticed. I'm so proud of her, it's hard to put into words. I've always believed in her like she believes in me, I feel like she really needed this to give her that extra boost to really believe in herself. I'm a very lucky man.

Food and calorie budgeting were really good today. I found some all beef fat free hot dogs that check in at only 40 calories each! Now just to be clear, my philosophy has been clearly explained before in these writings, about how I feel when it comes to fat free products: I'd rather have a little of the full fat version than a bunch of the fat free version. Let's be honest, fat taste great! But when it comes to grilling dogs and burgers, the less fat the lower the calories, and that works better for our calorie budgets. The leanest hamburger still taste great off the grill, but hot dogs---well, I just didn't know. But I was willing to give them a fair shake. A regular hot dog with bun, depending on brands, can have anywhere from 230 to a whopping 320 calories! But a fat free dog on a bun with mustard checks in at a very nice 150. Big difference. I had a lean burger with onions and mustard and a hot dog with mustard and stayed within my calorie budget easily. It was a whole lot more bread than I normally eat, but hey, we were cooking out dogs and burgers, there's going to be buns! We have cut down tremendously on bread. Of course, with our philosophy, nothing is off limits...however, we decide on our choices based on calorie values, if it's not a good value, we choose something else, or a lighter version, or a considerably smaller portion. With this way of thinking and deciding, we've naturally cut out most breads, sweets, and a variety of empty calories that we always consumed before without a care. We also consume much less cheese. I've split one cheese slice four ways before...yep, 15 calorie squares of American, and nobody complained. I even had enough calories remaining to enjoy a junior frozen yogurt soft serve from Braums Ice Cream and Dairy Store. It was a wonderful day!

It has been a busy day and that's why we've pushed our workout back until now. We also had a forecast high of 104 today, and we're not working out in the heat. We allowed scheduling circumstances to keep us from the YMCA this evening, so the trail, a Sweatin' DVD, and jump rope are the options we have tonight. I think Courtney is insisting we hit the trail. I'll go see. Good thing she's insistent, because on nights like these---I think I would decide to sleep instead, if not for her constant “let's go!” You talk about a teenage girl that is taking charge! Thanks for reading, goodnight and...

Good Choices,

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 284 The Line Of Least Resistance and The Excuses That Keep Us There

Day 284

The Line Of Least Resistance and The Excuses That Keep Us There

I can't tell you how many times I've heard: “I don't know how you do it,” or “I wish I had will power like that,” and several variations of the same. When somebody says something like that, I completely understand where they are mentally. I lived in that place. I also think to myself oh my, if they could only have seen me at my absolute most out of control state, perhaps they would understand that this isn't a club where they can't join. I can't go back, so I have to rely on telling stories about how bad it became. I knew that I had some seriously bad food behaviors, but the scary thing wasn't necessarily those things, it was the feeling of I may never be able to control this and survive, I just can't do it. Or so I thought. I not only thought it, I convinced myself that my inability to “get with it” was incurable. I was so lost my friend. I didn't want to hear “it's a lifestyle change.” Because the word “change” meant I might actually have to put forth some effort. I was right at home at the line of least resistance. I lived there. Oh it was fabulous! The line of least resistance was so easy. You get to eat as much as your body can physically hold and if you have to move, you're either on your way to bed, on the way to the fridge, on the way to a fast food drive thru, or somebody is chasing you. The fear of letting that indulgent lifestyle go was often too much to handle. So I would make excuses, rationalizations to make myself feel better. “Well, I'm addicted, what can I do?” I just wrote a long comment on another blog about the topic of “food addiction.” It is real. But it is beatable. How? I had to let go of the idea that I was a “victim.” I had to get super honest about my excuses and rationalizations that kept me fat. Have you ever known someone who's been on a plan for years or a member of a support group for years, but still they're significantly overweight? Why? Why isn't it working? Based on my own experience, I would say it's because they haven't completely let go of their addiction to making themselves feel better about their addiction. Make sense? I was always way too easy on myself. “I'm too stressed,” “I'm too busy,” “I've worked hard, I deserve to cut loose,” “I actually like being fat,” (I recently heard that last one from a friend and co-worker of my wife) “I'll eat all this tonight, but tomorrow I'm right back on track,”---all of these are invalid excuses and rationalizations. Saying things like that will keep us firmly at the line of least resistance. The 100% honesty within me had to identify anything and everything that threatened my success. If it's a thought or action that is counterproductive or potentially damaging to my weight loss goals, I have to stop for a second and evaluate it, then kick it to the curb as I call it what it is...nonsense! I'm completely finished with excuses and rationalizations that kept me at over 500 pounds for so long. Those days are over. I no longer drink a soda pop because “I haven't had one in so long,” and I no longer eat my weight in fried mushrooms and pizza because “I've done so well, I deserve a reward.” I no longer lie to myself about my motives with food, “I can't start in doing good until after the birthday party next week, you know they'll have cake and ice cream.” What that really means is “I just found another reason to allow myself to continue eating whatever and how-much-ever I want for another week!” The frustration and the years of tears and struggles are over, all because I decided to empower myself to change, and I did it with a radar continually watching for excuses that make me feel better about making bad choices. Do I still have stress? Yes! Do I still have an extremely busy schedule? Yes! Once these two big excuses were rendered unacceptable, I started moving toward these dramatic changes. You can't say, “Oh Sean—you make it sound so easy---you're just a different breed.” (that's a quote that somebody said to me the other day) NO I'M NOT! I'm just a guy that had to break this down into a very simple approach. I had to get very real and very honest with myself. I had to stop feeling sorry for myself. I had to stop being the victim. It's not an impossible thing for anyone. You have to believe me, I'm proof.

My calorie budgeting skills were slightly off today. By 7pm, I had exactly 40 calories left for the evening. Very unusual, but it was fine. I still haven't used those 40, which really goes against my “every three hours” approach to metabolism control. I will budget better! How can I ever feel hungry or deprived when I normally eat something every three hours? I'm eating all the time! This isn't deprivation, it's moderation.

I'm really looking forward to a nice weekend. Next weekend is going to be crazy busy in my line of work. I'll tell you more about that later! I better hit the hay. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 283 "Who Are You?" and Weigh Day Numbers That Rock!

Day 283

“Who Are You?” and Weigh Day Numbers That Rock!

Today has been a much better day. I felt completely on, I was back, and I still had the goatee. I've decided to give it a chance. And no, that wasn't a one day growth, more like three or four days. I didn't have any personal appearances (remote broadcast) over the weekend, plus we were out of shaving cream and razors, so I just didn't shave. I'm kind of curious what this will look like in a week or two. Interesting, very interesting!

Grilling chicken is one of my favorite things to do these days. It seems we have grilled chicken breast at least three times a week. We love it! And the calories and protein are just fantastic! It's good food and when I found some chicken breast on sale today, I couldn't resist, that's what we were having for dinner. The butcher commented on my weight loss too. He told me that he's noticed before now, but just couldn't resist mentioning it to me today. That felt good!

After dinner, we decided to get moving to the YMCA for a great workout. I moved like a maniac in the racquetball court and then took my body to the basketball gym. I walked into the gym and found a young man shooting around by himself. I motioned for a little one on one, and he immediately accepted. I knew that he would beat me horribly, but I was going to get an amazing workout trying to keep up with this high school ball player. Turns out the kid is a college prospect. He beat me horribly with his ferocious three point shot. I did score one three pointer and one basket fairly close. That's a victory enough for me. And I was beat physically. A couple of times I wanted to say “timeout” because I was spent, but I didn't. I just took some deep breaths, gathered my composure, and went back after him. Then he would easily score again. It was still fun. Amber and Courtney were in the fitness center giving it everything on the ellipticals. By the time they made into the gym, it was closing time at the Y. Courtney and I did a quick passing drill to work the arms and we were out the door. Our workout plan tonight was a two tiered plan. We left the YMCA completely drenched in sweat, totally beat...then went home to change for a good swim. Dylan, Courtney's best friend, has a swimming pool in his backyard...and his grandparents have said we can swim anytime we want. Swimming is such a fantastic workout, and we're very grateful for their generosity. I received one of the best compliments so far on this journey tonight. You see, the last time Dylan's grandmother laid eyes on me, I was over 500 pounds. Tonight we made our way into the back yard and before we could get in, she came out to greet us. She was on the phone, so I stood there and waited for her to finish her conversation. She kept looking at me strangely, like something was wrong. It was dusk, maybe she didn't get a good look at me, even though I was right before her eyes. She asked me “who are you?” and I replied “I'm Courtney's Dad, Sean” She just couldn't believe it! She thought I was some stray friend that Courtney and Amber brought over I guess. “Who are you?” I love it! She was expecting that 500 pound guy, not this. That made my day and night!

Today was weigh day! And everybody here lost weight again! It was a wonderful weigh day indeed! Amber lost 4 pounds, Courtney 6 pounds, Irene lost 3 more pounds, and I lost 7 pounds! I weighed in at 322! 322!!! We're just 17 pounds from the 200 pounds lost mark. I've officially lost a total of 183 pounds so far. 183 pounds gone! No wonder Dylan's grandmother asked me “who are you?” I know who I am...I'm that guy I always knew I could be!

I talked to motivational/inspirational speaker Scott Q. Marcus today. We had a wonderful phone conversation about motivational speaking and developing a program. He has some wonderful advice and he's so kind and generous to give me so much of his time today. I'm going to learn a lot from him. It was a wonderful conversation.

What a difference a day makes, huh? Yesterday I felt “off,” and today we had wonderful food choices, super exercise choices, incredible weigh day numbers, a wonderful talk with someone I would consider a mentor, plus the whole “Who are you?” question. Wow. I'm headed to bed now. It just doesn't get any better than this! Thanks for reading, goodnight and...

Good Choices,

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 282 Feeling Off-Staying On and Dreams Should Shine

Day 282

Feeling Off-Staying On and Dreams Should Shine

Most days are incredible; some days not so much. It's the normal ups and downs of life that test the strength of my steel-curtain zone. Today was a strange day, it's really hard to explain. It just didn't feel right, like something in the peaceful, forward progressing environment we've created, was off a little. The calorie budget is intact, but we haven't worked out yet, and lately that's unusual. Maybe I've watched and listened to too much news today. But I know one thing, I can't let myself get down over an unexplained emptiness, perhaps I need to go walk and then come back. Exercise always lifts my spirits, and that's saying something considering where I've been.

No, everyone is waiting on me to finish here before we hit the trail, so I'll write.

Before I shaved this morning, Irene suggested I try leaving a goatee on my face. I've never liked the way facial hair looks on me. But apparently she thinks it'll be handsome. So I gave it a try. Maybe that explains why I feel off! I'm not use to facial hair. You know there's a facial hair double standard, right? Seriously...when I weighed over 500 pounds and I would allow a little growth, it simply made me look like a kook. I looked like a dirty drunk fat hobo. But if Brad Pitt wears a little stubble, it's considered irresistible! Now, you can be overweight and still have good looking facial hair, but it must be neat and trimmed at all times, unless you're Tom Cruise, then it can be as messy as you like and still look fashionable. So I'm sporting a neatly trimmed goatee. Just for the moment. I'm shaving it soon. Irene will just have to do with the clean shaved look on me, like I've had forever. Maybe that was it! I think it was! Wow. I should go shave this thing right now. I look different enough these days without adding some uncharacteristic facial hair. The facial hair seems to grow faster now. Seriously, why is that? Is it because it has less distance to travel to the outside of my face? That just sounded incredibly crazy. I kid you not, my facial hair grows quicker now after losing 176 pounds. Strange stuff indeed. And as crazy as this sounds, I really think it's the facial hair that has me feeling all “off” today. Well, I'm glad we got to the bottom of that!

No...wait, no...still off a little. You know, at this point, even the “off” days aren't that bad. Maybe a little lost feeling or empty, but it's never something that last more than a day. I can chase away any downers by simply closing my eyes and imagining our future. I know that God willing, we'll have wonderful days and wonderful accomplishments ahead. We will. You know me, I dream big, really big! Always been a dreamer, yep that's me. But now it's different. Now it all seems possible. The dreams, they change, they evolve. I've changed, I've evolved just like my dreams. “Off” days are a great time to inventory all of the wonderful things we're thankful for. I believe I'll have that quiet moment before I go to sleep tonight. A moment to give thanks for all of the wonderful blessings in my life. It might take a while and that makes me smile. Do you dream? It makes perfect sense that those dreams can darken or become illuminated based entirely on how we feel about ourselves. How many dreams have been totally darkened by the constant shadow of obesity? Not anymore. Not ever again. I'm putting a spotlight on my dreams. What about you? Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

Too dark of a pic---But anyway...The facial hair will be gone the next time you see me!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 281 A Fantastic Honor and We Inspire By Sharing

Day 281

A Fantastic Honor and We Inspire By Sharing

I was featured on www.getfitby40.blogspot.com as the “Blogger of The Week.” Ang has a wonderful blog going where she not only shares her success, but she shines a complimentary light on others frequently and even organizes wonderful challenges for all to have fun while losing weight. It was a fantastic honor to be chosen for this wonderful designation. Ang, you're a weight loss star! Thank you very much! I read the article and I clicked on the “girdle burning” hyperlink to read that day again. It was a link to Day 215 titled “She Set It On Fire Tonight.” In reading that day over, I couldn't help it, I cried. Courtney has made such amazing breakthroughs on this journey. Ang, thank you for including that link in the story, it was a very emotional situation.

While paying for gasoline at the local Stop N Go today, the cashier behind the counter was taken aback by my dramatic weight loss. I remember this happening at this convenience store once before with a different clerk. Me: “Uh, fifteen on pump six.” Her: “You look amazing! You've lost a bunch of weight! That's amazing! How did you do it?” Me: “Hunger strike, yeah...until McDonald's agrees to put calorie counts on the menu.” (Thanks for the idea Jack!) No really, I didn't say that, but one of these days I will! I actually said: “Oh, thank you very much, I feel like a different person... Her: (cutting me off) “You look like a different person...” Me: “I just eat less and exercise more.” Now you and I know that there's more to it than that, but I was in a hurry, the short answer was all I could do in that situation. Besides, she was busy working and certainly didn't have time for me to discuss the mental changes that have transformed my mind. After that wonderful run in, I ran into another person at Wal-Mart that stopped me to see what exactly was in my cart. At that point: shaving cream and razors. I think this was the same person who was right behind me in the Taco Bueno drive through one time and later told me that she was tempted to order “whatever he ordered.” I wonder if she rushed over and grabbed some razors and shaving cream. She too was very complimentary, just a wonderful lady! I asked how she was doing and she quickly reassured me that the stuff in her cart wasn't all for her, but she was actually staying the same lately, no loss-no gain. For one, I would never judge someone based on what they have in their shopping cart! I'm certainly not perfect so I really can't judge anyone's eating or shopping habits. I use to have the worst! I couldn't get through a shopping trip without opening and eating something while I shopped. It wasn't that I was hungry, it just looked soooo gooood and tasted so yummy---I couldn't resist. Being in control for the first time in my life feels fantastic. And to have run ins like these all the time, wow...I'm really lucky.

I received a spam e-mail today touting a miracle weight loss “cure.” Just out of curiosity I clicked on the link to the web page. Their big thing was “it curbs your hunger—so you don't eat.” I don't know about you, but I rarely would gorge because I was hungry. In fact I was never hungry. I wouldn't go long enough without food to ever become hungry. At my heaviest, I didn't need to be hungry to eat, I just needed the food to look good and be tasty. The bogus pitches spread by these ridiculous product manufacturers really make me upset. They prey on the people that are desperate and hopeless, the ones that are still looking for an easy way out. They do it with grandiose promises that can be all yours for only $49.95US! It's sickening really.

I'm blogging earlier in the evening to better manage my time. I prefer blogging later, because, well---there's still a bunch of day/evening left to talk about. But it does work better for my schedule. We're getting set to lace up and head off to the YMCA for a wonderful workout. Our bi-weekly weigh day is only two days away! Let's get in there and sweat!

One of the great things about our journeys, and I'm talking about you too here, is that we have the power to share our story with others and perhaps inspire them. When Ponca City Medical Center asked me to be a part of and speak at the “Lose To Win” seminars, it was nothing less than an epiphany for me. On the night of February 19th, 2009 I realized what I must do for the rest of my life. I spoke that night to a standing room only crowd of 417 people, all eager to lose weight. By the time the two month program concluded I had spoken three or four times and enjoyed every single opportunity to share. It was an honor to be a part of such a wonderful program. After the kick-off event, more than 300 more signed up within three days. And when the final totals came in, 74% stuck with their efforts and lost a combined total of 4,653.6 pounds! When I originally posted the videos below on Day 165, this blog didn't have very many readers. Since more people are reading these days, I thought I would post them again. To watch all four parts of this speaking engagement, it'll take you 36 minutes. If you have the time, I hope you enjoy. It was taped four months and 57 pounds ago. I was so proud to be wearing size 54 jeans at that time. Now I'm sporting size 46! I love this losing weight stuff!

Thank you for taking the time to read and in tonight's case, watch and listen. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 280 Fathers Day Reflection and A Nice Evening Planned

Day 280

Fathers Day Reflection and A Nice Evening Planned

One of the important things I knew I had to accomplish along this journey was reconnecting with my father. I did late last year and it was a wonderful thing. I completely let go of the past resentments and along the way discovered the meaning of real forgiveness . The following is an excerpt from Day 106 titled “Physical and Emotional Health-Both Important”: Today I did something that's very important to my emotional growth. And although it may not seem like it would make a difference on this journey, it does. This journey is about getting a complete understanding of everything that has made me who I am. To be the best person I can be inside and out, I need to fill some voids that have been with me way too long. It's a very long story, and extremely personal, but I'll try to give a quick abbreviated version. The relationship between my Mom and Dad never survived long enough to see my birth on October 23rd 1971. My father was not a part of my life ever. As a kid, my mom would show me a picture of a man in uniform that “looked like” my dad. So at 19 I decided to find him. Armed with a couple of clues and a telephone, I found him within 45 minutes alive and well in Arab, Alabama. Any resentment and hard feelings over his absence in my life completely disappeared the moment he spoke. It was the most awkward moment of my life. What do you say to your father for the first time in your life at 19? I said “Whatever you do, don't hang up!” “I'm your son.” Well, he didn't hang up and we talked for a really long time that night. We exchanged pictures and phone calls several times over the course of a few months, then we planned a meeting. My first trip to Alabama was too much to handle. We turned around after coming within 150 miles of his house. It wasn't until a couple of years or more later that we made the trip. We spent two weeks in Alabama and met almost the entire family. It turned out I had an aunt living in Midwest City, so we also visited her family down there. It was a wonderful experience, but still I just wasn't emotionally ready to handle it in a positive way. After that trip, I completely fell out of touch, and haven't really pursued contact since. I've never met my two half brothers, and that's something that I really want and need to do. As for a relationship with my father? I'd really like to at least talk occasionally. I don't want to someday find his obituary on the internet, and realize I don't have another chance to know him in some way. Over the last several months my father and I have exchanged e-mails, phone calls, and he even occasionally reads this blog. I just had a wonderful thirty minute conversation with him this afternoon. His message to me was simple. He doesn't want me to live a life of regrets, he wants me to excel, and leave no stone unturned on my journey to a wonderful life. It's amazing how wonderful our very simple relationship is now, after letting go of the past. I'm learning that my dad is a very real, very good person, and like all of us, he's struggled with good and bad choices. He understands that choosing to not be a part of my life was a mistake. It's one that he regrets deeply, but we're past that now, and with the slate wiped clean with complete and total forgiveness, we can move forward to a mutually wonderful relationship. I never got a chance to meet Danny, my older half brother. Before we could reconnect, he died from aortic dissection, a condition caused by years of uncontrolled high blood pressure, he was 42. I've haven't met, but I've connected via telephone with my younger half brother Silas. We hope to get a chance soon to meet face to face for the first time.

Some more jump roping and a very adventurous 10K walk is in our near future, like in the next couple of hours! We're also going to try to squeeze in a family movie and I'm getting ready to fire up the grill for a fantastic little cookout. We're going to have a nice fathers day evening.

I'm cutting tonight's blog a little short. One of the biggest criticisms I receive from my loving family is that I spend way too much time on this blog. I do spend a lot of time, but what it has given me in terms of learning about myself and my behaviors through writing, is invaluable. I just can't put a price on the value of my blog. It's precious to me. It is my story. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

Day 279 Calorie Budget Integrity and Jumping Rope

Day 279

Calorie Budget Integrity and Jumping Rope

We've had company for the past couple of days. Amber's boyfriend KL, and KL's parents came up for Friday and Saturday. It was a wonderful visit, but too short! They're good people. It gave me an opportunity to cook for them, and I love cooking for people! I just really enjoy cooking and experimenting in the kitchen and on the grill. This morning I made most everyone breakfast and this afternoon I loaded up the grill with chicken. The chicken dinner was fantastic! I grill it slow and juicy, then I made a glaze out of steak sauce, mustard, and sweet and sour sauce, a teaspoon of each total, to brush a thin glaze on every piece. It was very tasty and low cal! When I first met KL's parents last year I weighed over 500 pounds, so they are completely blown away by my weight loss. I love getting reactions of “wow.” It feels so good to blow peoples minds with this dramatic transformation. I really love it when the person blown away is someone struggling with obesity. As I explain what I've experienced and learned along the way, it's cool to see their eyes light up with, wow, I could do this too. I always start by explaining where I was. I don't just say, “uh yeah, I was 505 pounds.” I explain where I was for so long emotionally and physically. How I always struggled and why I was never able to really do it before. In hearing my story, they end up seeing themselves, then to see me now, it just really makes it all seem possible. My hope is that it gives them inspiration. However, I've learned that no amount of inspiration can do it for someone. It really must come from within each individual. You can break it down in the simplest of terms, plus lead with the absolute best example, and if they're not able or willing to get in, get honest, get moving and stay in the right mindset, then they'll struggle like I did for so long. It is a rock solid commitment to change, but it's so worth every bit of effort.

The honesty part of this journey is so crucial. Without being completely honest with ourselves and others, we're simply wasting our time. I can remember past weight loss attempts where I would lie about how many calories I had remaining for the day, just so I could eat more later in front of everyone without them thinking I was going over. I knew I was going over, but I didn't want them to know. The problem is simple: It shows up on weigh day. And it gradually gets worse. I would continue doing it so regularly that eventually I stopped weighing in all together, refusing to see the damage I'd done. The gradual breakdown of so many of my past weight loss attempts always started with “fudging” on my calories. Being completely honest about my caloric intake everyday has been a crucial part of my success thus far. I noticed a loved one doing this very thing recently. I knew they had consumed more than what they were saying, but I didn't call them on it, I'll wait until weigh day. When the results are not what they wanted and not even close, we'll sit down and have a very serious and private conversation about the importance of calorie budget integrity. It's vital, because often times that kind of behavior is the beginning of the end of a weight loss attempt, OK, not “often times,” every time. And I care way to much about this person to allow it to go completely unchecked and ignored.

We purchased a new workout tool that I believe will make a significant difference in our daily workouts. It only cost seven bucks too. It's a Gold's Gym jump rope. I haven't jumped rope since I was in grade school, but I did tonight. I only completed five sets of ten jumps, but like anything else, that will increase rapidly with consistent effort. It's an amazing cardio exercise. Some experts I've found online compare the calories burned jumping rope to that of running. I do recommend making sure your pants are securely fastened before you start jumping. I almost completely lost mine twice tonight...and once while the camera was rolling for another “On The Go” Video posted below. I need to do more of those, they're fun! I'm wearing a shirt tonight that I wore at my top weight, it's always been one of my favorites, so it's hard to let it go. You don't see the full impact of my transformation when I wear big and baggy clothes. I'm still working on getting more and I've been lucky enough to have friends give me some of their old clothes that are too big now that they too have been losing. It's been a real blessing!

We hit the trail tonight in this extreme humidity, it makes it so hard to breathe! Our plan was a power walking 5K, but we shortened it to a “Hard Two,” when I started developing sore spots on my heels. I failed to put on socks before leaving, my fault. I need new socks (that's not a fathers day gift hint or anything—family---Uh, big and tall socks) I thought I could just tie the shoes real tight and I wouldn't have a problem, but at a mile and three quarters it started rubbing real good. Jump rope and a hard two, not the best workout performance so far, but it was a workout.

Thank you so much for reading and following my progress. Day 280, fathers day, is only hours away! Actually it's already officially fathers day, but I don't count it until I wake up for the day, then...Let the pampering begin! There will be pampering, right? Have a fantastic Sunday! Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

Courtney is shooting for 350 jumps per day. I did 50 tonight and will gradually increase everyday.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day 278 Tragedy Plus Time Equals Comedy Gold

Day 278

Tragedy Plus Time Equals Comedy Gold

As I look back on this journey so far and comb the archives, I realize that some of my favorite days involved recalling situations and circumstances that at the time might have been painful or embarrassing. They say tragedy plus time equals comedy, and it's so true. I'm at a point where I can look back and laugh, or at least smile. I may not have been at that point on the night I originally wrote about it, but now after dropping the first 176 pounds, I have a liberated feeling and the confidence that I'll never go back. I'll briefly recap this successful Friday after we travel back into the archives for some memorable stories from a morbidly obese past: From Day 25 “The McSeatbelt”---A few months ago I was getting ready to head home one evening when I decided that instead of cooking, we would have McDonalds. I drove to the drive through and loaded up with nearly twenty bucks and 4500 calories worth of double cheeseburgers, Quarter Pounders with Cheese, a Filet-O-Fish with extra tarter sauce, and another bag dedicated to the fries. We were going large that night. I was nearly three blocks away from home when a motorcycle police officer pulled me over. He walked up to the passenger side window and stuck his head in right above all that food. I can't believe he didn't sneak a fry or two, they were right there in his face and the hypnotizing aroma filled the van. He told me that he was pulling me over because I wasn't wearing a seatbelt. I want to wear it, and I've tried to wear it, I've even given myself a charley horse in my side trying to buckle that thing, it just will not click. So I told him that I couldn't wear the seatbelt because it didn't fit...I went on to tell him that I was working on losing the weight (a lie at the time) and soon I would be able to click the seatbelt without giving myself a hernia in the attempt. He told me to wait right there, and he went back to his motorbike. I don't know what he was saying on his radio, but I can only imagine the story he told to his fellow officers about the guy who couldn't fit in the seatbelt... “then he said he was working on losing weight...the guy had 23 McDonalds bags in the front seat!”. It was real hard to keep a straight face when I told him that I was trying to lose weight while all the hot food right beside me was wafting in his face. He came back and told me that after considering the circumstances he would give me a warning this time, and that I needed to look into getting some seatbelt extenders. I guarantee he re-told that story when he got home... “you wouldn't believe the guy I pulled over today”. Before he walked away I really wanted to tell him that the food wasn't all for me. I didn't, I was too embarrassed to say anything but thank you. When I got home I told my family about the traffic stop, and despite the seriousness of not being able to fit in a seat belt, we couldn't help but laugh at that slice of comedy gold, then we ate everything in those 23 bags...actually it was only two bags. There isn't a seat belt I can't click easily now.

I've probably destroyed nearly a dozen or more chairs over the last twenty years. I'm lucky I never seriously hurt myself through all of the destruction! Out of all the chairs I've busted, this memory stands out as the worst chair breaking story I've ever experienced: From Day 8--- My worst chair story happened in the spring of 2003. I was living in Los Angeles at the time doing stand-up 100%. One day I ran across a part time on-air opening at Westwood One Radio Networks. A part-time job there would pay about or a little more than full time salaries anywhere else I had ever worked. So needless to say I was excited about winning over this network program director! I sent in my material and what do you know, he called me! He was seriously considering hiring me! Or he wouldn't have called right? I was thrilled. I would be on the air all over the nation! “This could be big”, I thought. The PD called me in for an interview the very next day. I drove to Valencia early to beat whatever traffic might get in the way, then after arriving an hour and a half early I took a long lunch at the Burger King down the road from Magic Mountain. When I finally arrived at Westwood One I was immediately given the grand tour of the facilities. Very nice. I mean, extremely nice studios. I was so impressed. The PD seemed very cool and I felt very comfortable, that is until I walked into his office for the interview. I noticed right away his guest chairs were not “fat friendly”. Extremely narrow arms and that wood and hot glued look. The PD took his chair behind his desk and told me to have a seat. I was afraid he was going to expect me to sit down! So I did...as lightly as I could on the very edge of the chair...and about point 2 seconds later the chair crumbled under my weight. I quickly caught myself from falling by grabbing his desk, but the chair wasn't so lucky. And neither were my chances of getting that job. After I broke one of his chairs, he invited me to sit in the other chair that WAS IDENTICAL to the one I just broke!!! I did, the same way as before, but this time with as much weight on my feet against the floor. Lucky for me the second chair somehow survived. My interview didn't. He never called me back. And I bet he tells that story to this day around the halls and studios of Westwood One Radio. Glad I could add some humor to their work place. There isn't a chair I can't sit in now, even the plastic patio white chairs are fine, I tried one not that long ago and it was a wonderful experience!

Have you ever felt like you were being targeted by food advertising? A Day when every time you turn around, you notice a sign promoting something yummy? Day 36 “Marquee Conspiracy” was it for me: Some days it seems like there's an elaborate conspiracy to get me to come down off the wagon. It's like all of the restaurants and convenience store delis got together and decided to tempt me all at the same time. Like my abstinence from high calorie foods is driving their business into the ground. I can just imagine all of them getting together for an emergency meeting: (insert dream sequence harp music here) The meeting is just getting started when the leader of the conspiracy—The Blue Bell Delivery guy says “All right people, let's keep it together, he's on day 36 now, and we all know that if he gets to Day 100, some of us are going to start going under”... “But what do we do?” Screams a nervous restaurant manager “He seems so determined! Just the other day he was offered a toasted 800 calorie sub for free and he turned it down!!” (Crowd Gasp)... The King from BK then chimes in with “We've got to work together, we need to know his exact driving route, then we'll put all of the high calorie foods he loves on our marquees.” Then Bill Braum stands up and ask “Do you think it will work?” Ronald McDonald tries to make a serious face to say “It may be the only chance we have to break him, now get out there kids and start putting up those signs, and if you can show him pictures, that's even better.” Hey, it's a dream sequence, and dreams get crazy! They were really giving it their best shot today. In just a few mile stretch, I drove past several different signs all just begging me to come in and forget about this little journey. The first sign read “half price ice cream and drinks 2-4pm”...No Sean, keep it together...Then-- “two corn dogs 4 a dollar” ...nice try!---then “Try a Banana Pudding Shake” Stop it!...the next sign was “Try our new oven baked sandwiches” It didn't work last Thursday, and it's not working today! ...then it was “Large Frozen Yogurt Waffle Cone $1.79”...Then a big banner with the most delicious picture of a big, gigantic, king sized Mushroom and Swiss burger, with the invite-- “Try a Mushroom and Swiss Steakhouse Burger.” No King! Leave me be! Before I could get to the safety of my garage I drove by a banner picture of a foot-long chili cheese coney...It was the size of my van! Have mercy! I can't help it, I'm a sign reader! I've always been a sign reader... I wonder what their strategy will be tomorrow? Whatever it is I know I'll survive, cause I'm determined my friend. They would have to come out into traffic and stuff the food in my mouth by force at the stoplight, and if that happens, well...we'd have to reach some kind of low calorie peace accord with these nuts. I'm done now. That was fun. I'm no longer tempted by outdoor food advertising.

These are just a few Days that made me smile. There have been many more! We'll have to do this again sometime!

I'll be honest, I'm so sleepy right now, I can barely keep my eyes open. I can't think straight, hence the “Best of Humorous Stories” format of tonight's post. I hope you laughed or at least smiled. I had less than three hours sleep last night, no nap today because we have company, and we completed an exhausting swimming workout tonight. We took turns racing each other the length of the pool. That was a killer workout! Then I did pull ups on the slide! Today was fantastic food and exercise wise. We even went out and bought a jump rope tonight. I haven't jumped rope since I was in 4th grade. I will tomorrow! Thank you kindly for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 277 A Weighs To Go and Overcoming Struggles

Day 277

A Weighs To Go and Overcoming Struggles

The “wow” reactions to the grilling “before” and “in progress” pics were wonderfully overwhelming today. Numerous calls, e-mails, comments; and I cherish every single one. Thank you sincerely, really, your support and kindness strengthens my resolve. I think they could build a space shuttle out of my resolve and it would be stronger than whatever they're using now, what is it, titanium alloy? Whatever! Out of all my “Before” and “In Progress” pics posted throughout this journey, last night's had the biggest impact on me. I look at it and I wonder, is that really me? I can't believe it's me in either picture. I never realized I looked that big and it's hard to see myself as that small. I'm adjusting to the idea, the realization that I'm no longer that grotesquely obese “could drop dead” any minute because of it guy. (You'll have to forgive me, I'm addicted to quotation marks and exclamation points, it goes with the territory.) I've always carried my weight well. That's why it shocked so many of my friends and co-workers when they realized I weighed over 500 pounds when I started. It reminds me of the blog I wrote on Day 33 titled “Go Ahead Make Your Best Guess,” the following is an excerpt from that mid October day: I'm very fortunate in that I've never looked my weight. My entire life I've heard “you carry it well”. I guess I have, and I've never had someone correctly guess my weight. You know those people that work at the fair guessing peoples weight and age? They never guess right. And you would think they would get close, but I remember one time one of these “professionals” guessing my weight 100 pounds off. Too bad you can't make money on that, because I could just travel the country having people guess my weight and they would lose every time. I know, I could travel around to all the state fairs challenging the guessers and winning in every state, but it only pays in stuffed animals, and cute and cuddly doesn't fill the tank. I think I'll stick with losing weight. This “carry it well” thing has really sparked a debate between my wife and me. She thinks that I may have set my goal too low, that maybe 275, at the very least 250 should be the goal. But I'm head strong, 230 is what I said in the beginning and 230 is what it will be. Here's the thing, I still have a bunch of fat to lose. Sure, I can look fine in clothes for the first time ever, but clothes are kind. I know what I see in the mirror, I know what Irene sees, and I know what I want. I'm not just wanting to lose the weight, I'm wanting to build a body so extremely opposite of my former 500 pound self, that it will absolutely astonish anyone and everyone to the point of disbelief. I'm gonna lose the next 99 pounds and see where it puts me physically. I plan on gaining a good amount of poundage worth of muscle too, so maybe it goes like this: I lose down to 230, I get excess skin removed bringing my weight down to say, 210, (I'm guessing here...I really haven't a clue how much my excess skin will weigh), then I add a bunch of lean muscle from now through whenever. At 6' 3” I could be one lean--completely fit 260 pound man. The reality is simple, if I start looking “skinny” then I've probably lost all I need to lose. If that happens at 250, then we'll certainly evaluate the situation. My wife may be right. She's reading this thinking maybe? She has a habit of being right most of the time! I'm just going to keep on doing what I do. I refuse to stress over hypothetical situations. It's all good!

I talked to a couple of friends today that are struggling horribly. I made a point to visit with them both and I hope our talks helped. I understand the look in their eyes, the feelings of failure, the hopelessness that engulfs what we perceive as another failed attempt. Often times, OK, all the time, those feelings do nothing but compound the problem. Never give up, never accept defeat. This is too important my friend. For both of these individuals, the weight is potentially life threatening, but how do we regain control? I strongly advise writing out what we want out of life. I've mentioned “motivating thoughts” many times before. Write them down and keep them on you or at least somewhere close. Find a big before picture and put it where you see it all the time, or keep it in your pocket or purse. I have two giant three foot by four foot poster size before pictures that stare me down every time I pull into our garage. I wish I could find a magic word that would make it perfectly clear how to shake a slump and turn it around. I certainly don't mean to make it sound easy, we all know it's not, but I hope you'll remember this: I spent the better part of twenty years at or above 500 pounds. My attempts and failures were numerous and painful. I've been there where you are right now. If it's stressful triggers that are trying to steal this from you, I give you this from Day 155: I've learned to identify them and defend against them. “Stressful Triggers” meet “Motivating Thoughts,” now “Motivating Thoughts,” kick “Stressful Triggers” rear end. These mental exercises may sound crazy sometimes, but believe me, they do wonders for my success. Stressful Triggers do not roam alone either, oh no, they have a best friends named “Emotional Blahs.” You know what I'm talking about. Those days when, for whatever reason, we just feel “not with it.” I don't have time to feel “not with it.” Do I still have emotional days where I feel vulnerable? Of course! Don't we all? I just handle them very differently now. I can remember saying “I don't feel like working out,” but I've found if you just go do it, you'll feel incredible in a very short time. By the time you start “feeling like” working out, you're done. When I think back on all the emotional ups and downs along the way so far, from losing loved ones, to re-connecting with my father, to losing a brother I never knew, to speaking for the very first time with another brother I've never known, to the holidays, and right through disappointing weigh day totals where I thought I deserved better results...I have to say, I'm doing this. I'm doing this right here and right now. And there's no settling for anything less than total health and fitness. There isn't a stressful trigger or emotional blah that can break my stride now my friend. Defend against them. You can do it. Don't give up you're dream, don't do it! You know the motions, now get the emotions, and don't let them take this away from you.

I've got a workout to do yet tonight! I'm lacing up and headed for the trail for a power walking 5K in the humid Oklahoma night. And if you think I write things like the previous paragraph exclusively to benefit struggling friends, you would be half right. I write them to remind myself, to strengthen me mentally, and to evaluate my inner workings. You probably already know that the mental part of losing weight successfully is the biggest, and that's an understatement!

Thanks for reading and following along. Irene has agreed that we'll take some “In progress” pics of her this weekend for the blog. Thank you for the wonderful support and words of encouragement! Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 276 Wonderful Support, New Jeans, and Before Vs. In Progress Pics

Day 276

Wonderful Support, New Jeans, and Before Vs. In Progress Pics

I sincerely appreciate the wonderful comments and e-mails concerning last night's blog posting. After marinating on it for well over 24 hours, I've decided to leave the comments open for anyone to say whatever they feel like saying. As long as I don't start receiving advertising spam, I'll leave it that way. I've also decided to have a sense of humor about it, besides, why should I protect someone from their own ignorance? If they want to post something rude, crude, and unattractive—they're the ones looking like a complete idiot, not me. Joe simply misunderstood my motivation. Richard Simmons doesn't need my praise, and he certainly doesn't have to pay for it. As Ang said “Puleaze.” Further, I never write those words of praise with the expectation of anything. Richard has already given me more than my share of support and inspiration from him. Had he never done that, my words about him would still be the same, he doesn't owe anyone anything! He's just a kind, caring, and extremely generous person. I'm a lucky fellow. By the way...fellow weight loss blogger Ang was featured on Richard Simmons's QVC appearance last night! What a fantastic honor Ang! I was smiling from ear to ear, so happy to see you in those pics! You looked amazing! Ang, your commitment to your journey is awesome and the energy you put into helping us fellow weight loss bloggers is commendable! I better stop there before I upset Joe again! Helen, a new reader, made a good point—if that was the first comment like that I've received, then I'm lucky. So true. Today someone called me a funny fat man, I guess that's number two. I'm smiling by the way. I'm confident enough now to handle it. Just look at the before and in progress side by side shot below!

The other day Irene came home from shopping having spent more than we could afford. I was upset a little, until she pulled out a brand new pair of size 46 Levis 550's from the bag! It was an early Fathers Day gift from her and the girls. I'm not saying it's cool to go over budget as long as the gift is for me, I'm just saying, how could I be upset? They looked awesomely little to me. I needed them horribly and when I tried them on, I fell in love! They fit wonderfully and will for probably another month or so...then we'll be needing 44's! You see, I'm use to buying jeans at the Big and Tall store...Those exact jeans---I mean size wise and everything, cost over sixty bucks at Casual Male XL Big And Tall. Irene paid thirty-five for them at a store not even a mile from our home. How wonderfully delightful! Now I understand charging more for the bigger sizes, hey---more material equals higher cost, but this size is still over sixty at CM XL! I'm thinking seriously about sending an e-mail requesting Casual Male to take me off their mailing list. My days of spending astronomical amounts of money on clothes is over! I can shop where the “normal” people shop! Man, that feels so good to say.

I still wear some things that are way too big for me now. Wearing the bigger stuff doesn't do the dramatic changes in my appearance justice. The “In progress” grilling picture below is me wearing clothes that are actually my current size, and the difference is mind blowing to me. I hardly recognize myself. I have to hand it to Courtney and my Aunt Kelli. Courtney combed through Kelli's family picture archives today and found some absolutely shocking before pictures. You'll find them below. I still can't believe how big I really became. Isn't it amazing how we can convince ourselves that we aren't as big as we really are? I honestly had no clue I looked like that. I knew I was big, but wow...that's really big. I've also posted before and in progress shots of my two daughters, Amber and Courtney. I'll have Irene select some and she'll give me permission to post them soon. Yes, we found some really good ones of Irene too! I always hated pictures, but not anymore. Kudos to my aunt Kelli. She's the family shutterbug. She takes hundreds of pictures a month and has for years. Sometimes it would get tiring, “Kelli, come on, I'm trying to eat here!” But oh how thankful I am to her now for archiving some wonderful memories that also serve as giant reminders of where we were not that long ago.

I grilled lean burgers, only 200 calories each! Plus baked some crinkle cut fries. I learned what is a real serving of fries this evening. The bag says “15 two inch pieces” is 120 calories. So we would count them out. Only one problem, some are a little longer, some shorter. Anyway, I noticed that the 15 fry serving was based on 3 ounces. So I grabbed our trusty little food scale. We were probably consuming closer to 200 calories in our previous portions of baked fries. Tonight we each enjoyed a real serving and it was completely satisfying! You just have to be careful, I highly recommend a good food scale, it really helps for accuracy in calorie counting! I used only one piece of lite sourdough for my burger, only 40 calories worth of bread instead of 110 for a small bun. I just cut it in half for a smaller top and bottom, added some onion and mustard, plus a very thin layer of Miracle Whip, and I was good! Another wonderful dinner under 500 calories.

I look forward to this nightly writing session. I credit this blog with a large portion of my success so far, it means a lot to me. Your thoughts and blogs mean a lot to me too. I feel like I'm in a wonderful club of successful losers, it's a wonderful thing to be a part of. If you still read the identical myspace version of this blog, that's fine, but I would love to have you check out www.losingweighteveryday.blogspot.com Along the left hand side of the screen you'll see what blogs I follow, and all of them are wonderfully inspiring. I hope you check them out! It's just something you don't get with the Myspace version. I'll still post it there because it's no problem really, but come on over to the “global” version. There are some amazing people and some wonderful things going on around here!

Irene and I beam with pride over our daughters and their wonderful dedication and consistency. They're really turning it up this summer! The joy in their eyes over the amazing success they've enjoyed so far is enough to bring me to happy tears. We couldn't be happier. They're really special kids! Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

If these show up in some ridiculous spam "miracle pill" advertising, I'm going to be upset! Pictures Copyright 2009 Sean Anderson--There, that should protect me, right?

Was I really that big? I knew I was big, but this pic really shocked me good today.

Same photo session I think. I don't know, I really liked that shirt! Very revealing before shot! Gigantic and out of control.

Courtney in the middle at her biggest 275 pounds

Courtney In Progress---Over 60 pounds smaller!

Amber at her heaviest 320 pounds

Amber In Progress---Over 50 pounds smaller!

Irene's Before and In Progress shots coming soon!

Day 275 The Man Behind The Curtain

Day 275

The Man Behind The Curtain

I often mention this blog address on my morning radio show. In the beginning I was so reluctant to share because I knew it would mean my listeners who didn't know would “discover” that I was huge! I would feel exposed, revealed, and completely vulnerable. I've always been very “real” on my show, but not about my weight or appearance. Of course some listeners, many in fact, have attended remote broadcast over the years, so they knew exactly what I looked like. But for some reason it was hard for me to say “I started at five hundred and five pounds” live, on the air, in a serious tone. I didn't want to reveal the man behind the curtain. I've always been able to hide behind the microphone, allowing a personality free of insecurities about my appearance to flourish. Over the years listeners have told me that I seem different in person, well, that's why! You can't see me when I'm on the air. But at 505 pounds, you were actually getting the real Sean on the radio. That was and still is the real me. If we've never met and you haven't found any pictures, then I look like whatever your imagination wants my voice to look like. And I've discovered that our imaginations are always very kind too. I can't tell you how many people I've met in my twenty year broadcasting career that, upon meeting me face to face, uncontrollably release a look that says wow, you look nothing like I imagined. And I've had some that have just said it out loud, “you look nothing like I pictured!” I understand they were never trying to be hurtful, they were just surprised. I knew that this journey would mean being completely open and honest with not only you, the blog reader, but with the radio listener. After I first revealed my starting weight, I had several listeners call and tell me that they would have never guessed in a million years that I weighed that much. They were very supportive and always kind. As my journey has progressed and the weight has dropped, my on-air personality and my public personality have come together in harmony. What you hear on the air is pretty much what you get in person these days. I now walk with my head held high, sporting a confidence usually reserved only for that studio microphone. It's indisputable evidence that my much slimmer appearance is just one of the changes, I've actually changed in so many more wonderful ways.

Now, I said the listeners of my show were always kind and supportive, however, one of them decided to call me a name while commenting last night's blog. I was a “kiss *ss” according to Joe. Here's the copy and paste version of what Joe had to say: “Your such a kiss *ss to richard simmons. Doas he pay you or somthing! good stuf-what u write-i just dont get the constent mention of how great richard simmons is. are you gonna start weering shorts and tank tops too! i listen to you every morning on klor, joe." Wow, my spell checker is throwing a fit! Sorry for the jab Joe, I couldn't resist, much like you couldn't when you left this comment! Before I respond to this, I already know that my comedy buddy Cruz in LA will be upset with me for even giving this comment the time of day. Cruz was upset with me for devoting almost an entire blog to my imprisoned childhood bullies back on Day 53's “Childhood Bullies and Me.” (That posting comes complete with their actual prison mugshots! I don't know how to do a hyperlink, but you can find it in the November 2008 archive) I understand why Cruz feels that way, I do, but really...I don't mind explaining my admiration and respect for Richard Simmons, so Cruz buddy, relax, I got this...

I first remember watching Richard Simmons with my mother when I was a young child. My mom lost 100 pounds back then and part of her exercise routine involved watching and working out to “The Richard Simmons Show.” That show was unlike any workout show I'd ever watched before or since. Richard was very real, very compassionate, he would talk directly to the camera and let you know that you wasn't alone in your struggles. He sent hope and inspiration through the TV screen with every episode. I may have only been eight or nine, but his sincerity and never ending love for helping people wasn't lost on a little boy named Sean. I got it. Over the years I watched as Richard's career and popularity exploded. And through it all, he's remained the same caring, compassionate, and real person I remember as a child. His success couldn't be helped. You see, I can't imagine that he ever created a weight loss system or series of workout videos for the sole purpose of making money. He developed these products because he knew they would help people with their struggle to be free from obesity. That genuine caring and compassion is exactly why he is where he is today. Can the number of people he's inspired over the last 30 some years even be calculated? I'm positive that it's a tremendous number. So when I say things like “The weight loss industry is a waste of money,” I want to make it very clear that there are some fantastic exceptions to that statement, Richard Simmons is at the top of that list. I know that my attitude and extreme criticism of the weight loss industry will never win me even the smallest of endorsement deals, and that's completely cool, I wouldn't want them anyway, because I've discovered that losing weight isn't about the products you'll find in the “weight loss” section of the store. Losing weight is about honesty, compassion, understanding, and really digging deep to change our life long bad behaviors with food and exercise, and you can't get a price-check on that at your local discount super store.

So there you have it Joe. Another big slobbery wet one for Richard Simmons. But now maybe you'll understand me a little better. Joe, I sincerely appreciate you listening to my show and the kind words you said about my writing. I don't know you personally, but if you're struggling with obesity issues I sincerely hope you'll continue reading my blog. I promise to always give it to you straight with honesty, compassion, hope, and inspiration.

OK, let's move on! Courtney, Amber, and I had a wonderful YMCA workout tonight. I hit the weight room first for a complete upper body training session, then I jumped on a treadmill for a brisk mile before finishing up with a basketball workout. It was very nice.

Dinner tonight was a classic favorite. I made meatloaf, mashed potatoes, salad, and corn on the cob. I made the meatloaf with lean ground beef, finely diced onions, one egg, spices, eight saltines, and instead of drowning it in ketchup, I used a can of diced tomatoes. After calculating everything, it still came out a little higher than I wanted at 300 calories per serving, but with a small portion of potatoes at 80, and the mini ear of corn for 90, my plate still came in at under 500 calories.

Thank you so much for reading along on my journey. I better sign off and drop in bed. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 274 The Password Is: Consistency!

Day 274

The Password Is: Consistency!

If I had to pick one word to explain my success so far it would be: Consistency. I was always inconsistent before with every other attempt at weight loss. I would do great two days, then bad for one. Then good for three days and bad for four. Then I would wonder why I wasn't getting results. There was no way I would be honest enough to just admit my inconsistencies. I might even pretend to be dumbfounded to a friend “I have no idea what's happening, I'm doing everything I'm suppose to be doing.” Then I would come up with a few possible reasons “You know I must be retaining fluid,” or “I've been really constipated, I probably just need to go to the bathroom,” or “I'm just cursed with a horrible metabolism.” When I would lie to myself, lying to others was real easy. What made me so inconsistent in the past? Everything. It didn't take much for me to designate something to be a wonderful excuse. I would even postpone starting because if I looked at the calendar long enough, I could find reasons to wait. “Oh, look at that, Kelli's birthday is coming up, then the Fourth of July, then mom's birthday right after that, there's no way I can start trying to lose weight now.” And I wouldn't dare start a weight loss journey anywhere near Thanksgiving or Christmas. “I don't want to ruin the holidays.” I still don't understand how I would convince myself that me eating responsibly could possibly “ruin” the holidays. “Oh, wow...There he goes again. Every holiday it's the same thing...Do you have to ruin every holiday with your responsible eating habits? You're making the rest of us feel gluttonous!” “Somebody hold him down while I pour gravy down his pie hole, we'll teach him to ruin the holidays with his highfalutin eating habits.” How silly I was to come up with so many reasons to NOT do this. I never spent too much time thinking about reasons TO do this. In fact, if I scoured every month of the year, I would find the optimal time for me to lose weight would actually be between February 2nd and February 8th. Not really enough time to get it done. Being consistent on this journey means making this attempt different than any other I've ever tried. Consistency means steamrolling every excuse or rationalization that comes along. When you really decide that nothing will stop you, then nothing can. It sounds simple and it can be if you make it that way. It can also be very difficult if you make it that way. So basically, it will be what you decide it will be. I decided it would be simple. It's as simple as answering this question: Is this thought, emotion, circumstance, holiday, birthday, day off from work, or anything else, is it threatening the structural integrity of my journey? If it's a thought, emotion, or circumstance I just have to remind myself that over eating when I'm dealing with these triggers only compounds my sorrows. And staying on track and focused on doing the right things exercise and food wise will only contribute in a positive way. Actually helping me get to a better place mentally. If it's a holiday, birthday, day off, or any other type of celebration...I enjoy it responsibly. I'll eat cake, I have several times along this journey, I just don't devour four or five pieces like I might have before. I can't count the number of cookouts and family get togethers we've had over the last 274 days, again, a responsible approach---focusing on the people around me and enjoying the atmosphere and not focusing, or in my case obsessing over the food, has worked every time. I still eat, I still enjoy, I'm still happy...even more so because I know I'm being consistent. “But Sean, things happen, we can't expect to be strong all the time.” Really? I've endured deaths in the family, financial woes, the holidays, birthdays, my 20th wedding anniversary, Halloween, Valentines Day, reconnecting with a father and brother I've never known, and many other things that life can throw my way. None of it stopped me for even a day. Why? How? I'm not special, I don't have super human weight loss powers, but I made a decision to stay on track regardless of the circumstances. I knew that was the only way I would ever get this done for real. I voided all excuses or reasons to not do it this time. Have I deprived myself along the way? No, not in the least. I eat three meals and at least three snacks a day. If it's a special occasion, I plan my calorie budget around the events, and eat what everyone else is eating...maybe not as much as some, but I'll enjoy whatever we're having in a responsible way. Consistency is the key. Consistent effort equals consistent results. When somebody tells me that I've lost the weight too fast so far, I wonder if they think I'm starving myself? I'm certainly not! I eat, I exercise, I steamroll excuses and rationalizations to be inconsistent, and I lose weight. Wow, I've really gotten off on a tangent here!

I do need to figure out how to add certain things to my page. I need to add a FAQ to the sidebar. A couple of readers lately have asked what “plan” I'm on. This is normal...we all do it. When we notice someone has lost a considerable amount of weight, the first question is always...How did you do it? If you've read the archives of this journey, you know how I feel and what I've done. I take pride in proving everyday that the weight loss industry is a giant waste of money...most of it is completely useless. (Anything Richard Simmons is a part of is something good and Weight Watchers is good, oh and so is TOPS---Every thing else in my opinion---Rubbish!) I haven't spent a dime to lose this weight. I've actually saved money. It's like getting paid to lose weight! So what plan am I on? I'm on the no nonsense, no excuses, eat less, exercise more, consistent effort equals consistent results, responsible portions, No plan—Plan. My only plan has been to change the way I think and feel about food and exercise while understanding and examining my past eating behaviors and food addictions.

We had a wonderful 5K tonight. All four of us were out there truckin'! What made this one special? It was soooo humid! I mean horribly humid. It made it much more challenging. We were dripping wet by the time we finished. Irene prepared a wonderful meal of lean sirloin, baked potato, and okra. It was so good! My plate registered at 480 calories tonight. And that includes Heinz 57 sauce and sour cream for the potato!

I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read what I've written. This blog has given me a real education about myself along the way. I don't think I would realize even half of what I do now, if not for these nightly writing sessions. It's also been a big part of my success. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

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