Friday, October 30, 2009

Day 411 Today I Crossed and Stair Running Rocks

Day 411

Today I Crossed and Stair Running Rocks

Thank you for the many wonderful wishes and prayers for my dad as he faces colon cancer. I know that he’s going to beat this, he’s overcome many things in his life, this will be another challenge. I just know that he’ll make it through.

JoEllen is doing better. She’s starting treatments early next week, after being delayed because of the eye surgery and the shunt surgery. She says that she doesn’t “feel like a million bucks,” like the doctor said she might, but she does feel better. Her vision is still very bad, but it’s not completely gone, and that’s a good thing. Her ex-husband has been so helpful and kind throughout this entire process. I take back most of the ill things I thought of him in the past. I guess some people do mature into wonderfully caring adults. I know I’ve certainly matured into a man over the last ten years.

A long studio day was once again capped by a remote broadcast, this time at a couple of small loan companies. The remote was right next door to a place called Oklahoma Hard Tails, a custom chopper manufacturer. The founder of OHT, Cory, was my guest host this morning on my radio show. He asked me to stop by during my broadcast next door because he had something for me. He gave me the best pair of sunglasses I’ve ever owned! These Crown Sunglasses are amazing, thank you Cory! I’ll be sure to take some pics real soon for posting!

I was sitting in the lobby between breaks when I had a crazy idea. Could I possibly cross my legs? I’ve never been a crosser. I couldn’t, it was simply a physical impossibility. I haven’t even tried since losing all this weight. I tried and I did it! For the first time in my life, I sat comfortably with my left leg resting on my right knee. A picture is below. It wasn’t a full “leg draping over” crossing, but a very comfortable “leg on top of knee” crossing. I must sound crazy. But if you’ve been morbidly obese, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I had that casual comfortable confident look of someone crossing. I could touch my shoe with absolutely zero effort; I just reached out and touched it. This is major, considering that tying my own shoe use to leave me completely winded, to the point that I would “recruit” family members to do it for me. Now I’m casually crossing. It was indeed a very nice non-scale victory.

I’ve found a new workout that really rocks. Stair running. Yep, stair running. I found the stairs at the library downtown, pulled over, got out of the vehicle, and ran up them. Then I did it again and again. After ten times up and down, I was completely spent. I hope this isn’t considered trespassing, because they were closed. It is a public building and our tax dollars help fund it, right? I guess if I’m ever asked to leave then I’ll know! I ran the stairs at the YMCA the other night, and that was good, but these are better—longer, more of a challenge. I’ll be doing more stair climbing, uh, running…tomorrow at the OSU-Texas game. I’ll be there! More on that in a moment.

Tomorrow I have a remote broadcast at a car dealership before I head south for the game. Remember that friend of mine that won the “Lose To Win” Challenge? Yep, Brandon will be there for the broadcast, and I’m looking forward to spending the time with him. Of course our focus will be selling cars, not talking weight-loss and transformations, but you can’t get us together and not talk about weight loss a little.

After the broadcast I’ll be headed south for Stillwater and the big tailgate party outside of Boone Pickens Stadium. Come 7pm central, I’ll be in the stadium witnessing one of the biggest match-ups of the day. And running stairs. I’ll be sure to take a camera like before and I’ll try to share those with you soon. I can’t wait. A big thanks to Anson for the invite once again.

It’s been a decent Friday really. I enjoyed a banana, strawberries, blueberries, and yogurt for breakfast (yep---didn’t have time to cook this morning!!). A half a baked potato with salt, pepper, and 40 calories worth of sour cream, plus a grilled chicken wrap minus the honey mustard for lunch. I enjoyed a bowl of scrambled egg whites with mushrooms, green pepper, and mozzarella as a snack, and a couple of chicken tacos for dinner. I still have 340 calories remaining…hmmm, did someone say---low fat vanilla soft serve?? It’s time for a McDonald’s run!

Have a fantastic Saturday tomorrow. Saturday’s blog posting will probably not be finished and posted until mid-day Sunday. I’m expecting a real late night tomorrow! Thank you for reading. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,

Something as small as this---is such a big deal to me. I crossed! I probably could have done it much sooner, I just never thought to try. I wonder what else I can do that I didn’t realize? Hmm…I’ll have to think about that a while.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 410 No More Hiding and Dad's Call

Day 410

No More Hiding and Dad’s Call

I noticed something wonderful this morning. Getting out of bed is so easy. At my heaviest, I would always have to get myself upright on the edge of the bed, then sit there for a little while, then rise slowly to my feet. I don’t know why it just now occurred to me how easy getting up has become. My overall sleeping experience has changed so dramatically. I once had to use several pillows to prop me up, then strap on a C-PAP mask. Not anymore. Now remember, weight loss isn’t an absolute guaranteed cure for sleep apnea, but for many it is exactly that. It’s certainly been the case for me. If you use a C-PAP, please do not stop using the thing without a proper test to determine the need, if any. You don’t have to get another sleep lab, they actually have a much easier test that can tell if you need it or not. It was so obviously not needed with me after losing well over 100 pounds, that I didn’t get medical approval to stop using the machine. That really was wrong of me. I should have, if for no other reason than to set a good example. Today I use only one, sometimes two pillows. I prefer to lay flatter, not so propped up. My neck doesn’t hurt like it sometimes did---and when I sleep, I actually wake feeling rested. At 505 pounds, if I tried to sleep without the C-PAP (because of a power outage—or broken mask---or forgot the machine on a trip---or an unexpected layover), I would wake in the middle of the night with my heart pounding out of my chest and with a raging oxygen deprivation headache. Sleeping like a normal, healthy person has been one of the greatest blessings of this transformation. I can sleep anywhere at anytime without worry, and when I fly again someday---that’s one less carry-on!

I prepared veggie omelets for Courtney and Me this morning. She prefers the whole eggs, so she has two of them in hers, I always go with the egg whites---four of them usually, for a big fluffy—protein rich breakfast. I used fresh baby portabella mushrooms and green bell pepper in mine today, just fantastic! I bought some more whole grain Steel Cut Oats last night, the “Bob’s Red Mill” brand. I know they’re one of the absolute best things you can start the day eating, but still I have a hard time eating them everyday. As you can tell---I’m an egg white omelet and egg white burrito eater in the morning. I did eat fresh strawberries and blueberries with yogurt the other day. It was a nice change-up. Cooking for my kids is such a wonderful joy, and they’re always so complimentary, I love them so much!

It was a very busy studio day today, followed by a remote broadcast this evening from 4:30 to 6:30pm from the downtown Halloween carnival. I love these events now. I didn’t always. At my heaviest, I would try to hide in the remote vehicle as much as possible. The least people I had to see, the better. Besides, I was too easily winded to get out and roam around. Now, I immediately jump out and mingle. The first person I ran into tonight was the marketing director for Ponca City Medical Center. He acted amazed at my progress since he last saw me. But his reaction was nothing like the “wow” reaction from Cathy Cole’s daughter. She last saw me at the “Lose To Win” Awards Ceremony on May 19th, five long months ago. The difference between then and now is drastic. I walked up to the Ponca City Medical Center “Healthy Woman” display to say hi, and she just gave me the biggest look of amazement. It was so genuine, I love…I mean absolutely love these reactions. She was stunned at the difference. It took her five or ten seconds to realize it was me. If you’re on a similar weight loss journey, keep coming---get here, because it’s a real fun place to be. You’re going to love it too! I just know you will.

I had a call from my dad in Alabama before the broadcast was over, I couldn’t talk until after I finished. The tone he left on my voice mail gave me the feeling that something was wrong. I immediately assumed he was calling about my grandpa, his dad. When I called him back I learned that no, it wasn’t about his dad, it was about him. My dad was diagnosed with colon cancer today. They’re running more test to determine how early they caught it, I pray it was early and he can beat this. I have family and some good friends who have beat colon cancer and are living healthy cancer free lives right now, so it is completely possible. The significance of this situation didn’t really hit me until after we hung up with each other. I need those additional tests to be good, he needs them to be good. I pray that they show that they’ve caught it early---and he can live long and healthy. I really want to see him again now. I mean, I wanted to see him again anyway, but I didn’t really have a time frame for a visit. I hope to visit him someday real soon. I’ve only been around him for two weeks out of my entire life---that’s not enough! I want more. I know he reads this blog, so dad---let me say this directly to you: You’re going to beat this, we have some livin’ life to do together! Keep that positive attitude you spoke of tonight, don’t ever lose hope and faith. I love you dad. I know that we haven’t “known” each other very well or long, but oh---let me tell you, we’re connected and we know each other on a deep level, because we know ourselves.

I’m an emotional wreck now. It doesn’t seem right to go into a paragraph about my workout tonight, but I will briefly. Courtney had math tutoring tonight, so I was flying solo at the YMCA. I lifted weights and jumped on the treadmill for some nice cardio. I also climbed stairs, up and down several times. It was a good workout, very productive. I’m feeling it.

My cousin T is an attorney in California. I told him about the fake blogs by “Sean Anderson,” and he’s looking into it for me. Thank you T! I’m so proud of him. He’s worked long and hard getting his law degree and passing the California Bar Exam. If you haven’t read Day 409, scroll down and read about the fake blog pages. And if you’re a weight loss blogger---maybe you should see if your name is being used to add credibility to “quick fix” miracle plans or supplements. Just Google search your name plus the words weight loss. See what you find. You might be surprised and fairly upset!

Thank you for reading along this road. I never imagined I could navigate the ups and downs of life and still do well on a journey like this. But I’ve learned that allowing this transformation to evolve naturally, it’s become me. I’m no longer a person that turns to food every time I get upset or emotional. Food isn’t my blanket anymore. I control food--it no longer controls me. There’s wonderful comfort in realizing the power of that statement. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,

Day 409 Weigh Day Results and This Sean Anderson Didn't Write That!

Day 409

Weigh Day Results and This Sean Anderson Didn't Write That!

The trip to the doctors office today for my bi-weekly weigh-in involved me telling myself that no matter what the results, I was in control, if it wasn't what I wanted then I needed to realize the consequences of my lacking in the exercise department and continue doing something about it. I was hoping to continue my streak of consecutive weigh days with a loss, any loss, even a pound would make me feel better. I found myself two pounds smaller. Awesome! I weighed in at 282. OK, I dodged that one, now let's get to work and power down to our goal! The loss brought my total to 223 pounds, and I'm overjoyed by that number!! The two pound loss marks the lowest two week total (previously 3) so far along this transformation. As many said after getting my weigh day update, it's still a loss! Yes, yes it is, and I'll take it!

I send out weigh day updates within an hour after weigh-in every two weeks via twitter, facebook, e-mail, and text. If you're interested in getting those updates via e-mail, just drop me one at and I'll add you to the list!

I was alerted to something today that was frustrating, made me upset, and flattered me all at the same time. A friend of mine said they came across a blog page written all about the Acaie Berry---I'm misspelling that I'm pretty sure, but oh well. Anyway, at the end of the long advertising blog it said "by Sean Anderson." Really? Now I'm sure there are several thousand "Sean Andersons" in the world, but really, a fake weight loss blog written by Sean Anderson?? Come on. I found more than one too. If you're a successful weight loss blogger, you should search for these fraudulent advertising blogs and see if your name is being used. It was upsetting, yet flattering. Does that make sense? These scammers obviously think highly enough of this blog that they thought it beneficial to use my name for some kind of unauthorized endorsement. Absolutely incredible. Now if there is another weight loss blogger named Sean Anderson who only writes blogs that encourage people to order products they really don't need, then pardon me. I feel so full of myself. I certainly apologize if that's the case. But I'm not stupid. I don't really know how to stop these idiots from using my name on these fake blogs, I guess I can just relax knowing that you, as a regular reader, know the difference. I would never write an entire blog that ends with "send 39.95 to order now!" I think I made my position very clear about advertising "miracle" weight loss products in a blog on Day 165 titled "My Integrity Isn't For Sale and The End of The "Brow Bird"" Here's what I posted:

If you have read the “global” version (same content as the Myspace blog at of this blog in the past, then you might remember seeing Google Ads along the left-hand side of the screen. I originally accepted these advertisers as a way to earn extra income from my blog. But I've learned a lesson in the process. You see, Google would automatically scan my blog and then place ads that somewhat related to my topic. Since my topic is always losing weight and getting healthy, of course they placed ads about a variety of products. The revenue generated was based on per click and per order numbers. It never really added up to too much, but tonight I proudly tell you that I recently told Google to keep that money and go away! My reputation and integrity is worth more than random checks in the mail from Google, no matter the amount. If you ever noticed these, most of them were advertising crazy products with claims like “Lose 18 Pounds in 4 Days!” or “How I Lost 45 Pounds In Three Weeks-order Now,” or “Oprah Approved Product Will Melt Your Fat Away.” For one thing, Oprah doesn't endorse, let alone approve the Acai Berry product---it says that on her website. And neither do I. Nor do I endorse losing 18 pounds in 4 days, or 45 pounds in 3 weeks...or any product that makes such claims. I sincerely hope that none of my readers bought this junk. It feels so good to be free from the spying eyes of Google Ads. I couldn't say what I just typed, had I still been using Google Ads. They would have been upset! It says so in the contract. Any derogatory comments about the products or services advertised is grounds for immediate termination of my Google Ads account. Now that I think about it, I should have tested how closely they monitored my blog by exposing the outright scandalous rip-offs as they popped up. Might have been fun to see how long it would take them to dump me. They're gone, and I no longer have to cringe every time I open the page and see “I Lost 9 pounds in 5 minutes...” OK, I made that one up. I think the claim was in 1 day actually. The people that buy this kind of advertising do it for one reason, to take advantage of people with desperate emotions, who are looking for anything that works and are willing to spend whatever it takes to get it done. I'm ashamed they ever appeared on this blog in the first place. Lesson learned: You can't put a price on your integrity, never, ever, ever!

I'm very pleased with our re-commitment to exercise. It was a cold and cloudy walk at the trail, but it was done and it was so easy. I know that the real workouts will come from the YMCA, unless I can make myself run for longer than a hundred yards at a time. It feels so wonderful to be able to move so effortlessly these days. We're looking forward to a return trip to the YMCA Thursday night for more weight training and cardio. I'm also thinking about running some stairs. Next weigh day will be a big one, I'm making sure of it, because my results are always the consequences of my actions and choices. And my actions and choices are more often than not, good!

Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day 408 Good Health, Finally A Great Workout, and A Glowing Review

Day 408

Good Health, Finally A Great Workout, and A Glowing Review

Last night’s blog sparked several comments, e-mails, and even a phone call from a regular reader. All were positive, and I sincerely appreciate your support. Many friends expressed concern over my “eat whatever you want” approach, worried that it wasn’t the healthiest way to go. I understand these concerns, but let me explain this a little more in depth.

The health benefits of losing the weight far outnumber any concerns I have over my food selection. I’ve never felt better in my life. I no longer have high blood pressure, my cholesterol is fantastic, my blood sugar is exactly where it should be, my triglycerides, and all of those other numbers they checked my blood for are perfect, well…except I need to bring up my level of good cholesterol, you might remember. So wonderfully perfect, that the doctor himself called me personally to congratulate and to tell me that he was just amazed at how good the numbers were. Lucky perhaps? Absolutely. Except for the raging high blood pressure, I usually had great numbers even at 505. How in the world was that possible? I use to eat three to five thousand calories a day of grease, fat, sugar, whatever! (I’m guessing here---who counts when you’re seriously out of control?) Yes, I’ve been very blessed, and I give thanks for that everyday.

Remember when I tracked my food for 30 days? I kept a written record of every bite during that 30 days for one reason, so I could have a registered dietician evaluate my intake and offer suggestions for improvement. Her advice: I needed more fiber. That’s it? Fiber, really? Now remember, I always keep a running total of calories in my head, but writing it down isn’t necessary, except for the dietician. You know me...Simple! I was surprised that she didn’t hit me hard on several days, but she didn’t. I had a decent balance of fats, proteins, and carbs. I mention this because I think we have a tendency to be too hard on ourselves. What’s healthy and what isn’t has been drilled into our brains for so long, it’s hard to imagine eating completely “clean.” I would be miserable. Had I tried to eat completely healthy from day 1, I would have failed miserably and quickly. And that brings me back to this: Morbid obesity has more dangerous consequences than eating what you like ever thought about having. Again, the benefits of losing the weight far outnumber the concerns over diet.

I hate salads. I’ll never eat a salad, can’t stand them. But I’m a strange one. I’ll eat veggies individually or cooked into something, but put a bowl of freshly crisp veggies in front of me and I will not touch it. Ask Irene, she’ll tell ya, I’m weird when it comes to food. My choices have evolved naturally. I no longer eat whole eggs. I occasionally enjoy steel cut oats of a morning. I hardly ever have cheese unless it’s low-fat part-skim mozzarella. I love cheese, seriously, I’ve written entire blog pages about my love of cheese. But I love it too much, and I can’t spend the kind of calories I would like to spend on a block of extra sharp cheddar, so I don’t keep it around. I’ve had some in social settings, but it’s limited. Ice cream is like this for me too. I haven’t bought a half-gallon of ice cream in 408 days. If I want ice cream, I grab a low-fat vanilla soft serve from McDonald’s for 150 calories, or a similar treat of frozen yogurt from another place and I occasionally keep low calorie frozen novelties ready to go.

I don’t recommend eating 1500 calories worth of chocolate or lasagna, but nothing should ever be considered completely off limits, ever. It’s a mix, a balance that we shoot for, because shooting for perfection isn’t something that’s healthy for our brains.

It’s a very individual thing, ya know? We’re all different when it comes to what our body needs to be healthy. My opinion is very simple: Eating what you like in limited portions and allowing your eating habits to naturally evolve along your weight loss journey is the easiest way to ensure success. Nothing is bad unless you make it bad by eating an excessive amount. And the weight loss will so dramatically improve your health, you won’t have time to be concerned about the fine details of your consumption. Don’t get me wrong though…there are horrible ways people lose weight, and those methods are not healthy or good no matter how effective they might be in dropping the pounds. Some people starve themselves, not good at all. My philosophy is grounded in eating enough and exercising.

Speaking of exercise, Courtney and I hit the YMCA tonight for a nice workout. It was good to get back in there. She hit the elliptical, while I lifted weights and finished with cardio on the treadmill. I felt so good in there. And I love what I see in the mirrored walls. Oh how I hated the mirrored walls in the beginning. Are they really necessary? I mean seriously, mirrors? Everywhere? Why? But now I’m comfortable with my reflection. Too comfortable really---that’s why it’s been so hard to get back into a consistent workout schedule. It’s easy to settle because where I am now is so drastically different from where I started. You understand right? Compared to where I was, I’ve arrived---but I must remind myself everyday---we have work to do, this isn’t the time to be lax in our efforts. Let’s go for what we really want, we’ve come this far, why not go all the way? I’m going all the way.

A friend of mine told me today that they found a blogger that had some very kind words to say about my blog and journey. I’m always flattered and overjoyed when I read something like this. I never imagined what an impact sharing this journey could have on others. It makes me so proud when someone gives me this level of kindness. But I’ve always said, and I’ll say it again: Your success is all you! I can’t take any credit at all. But I still get a thrill out of reading about how someone has experienced the epiphany of simplicity. Hilary at made my day with what she’s written:

September, especially early September, tends to be a hard month for me because I have many painful memories of living and working in New York when the terrorists attacked in 2001. Many years, I stay home from work sobbing into a pillow on September 11. But this year, reading a weight-loss blog I had never stumbled across before gave me quiet strength.

It is strange how something so entirely unrelated to possible trauma and the events of eight years ago was just the thing to re-center me and get me through most of a difficult day. In the process, it reignited a small hope that maybe, just maybe, I can lose these 80 lbs.

This blog that got me moving was Sean Anderson’s Daily Diary of a Winning Loser. It’s a humble blog by a humble guy—one who has lost over 200 lbs to date—with an unassuming yet obviously successful strategy: he eats no more than 1500 calories per day, he blogs daily, and he exercises (either on the walking track or at the gym) regularly. I read every single daily entry, and I thought: What he’s doing, it sounds like something I maybe could do.

And here I am, with a few modifications, the main change being that my daily calorie limit is 1700 calories. One of my biggest (admittedly irrational) fears is hunger, so I upped the limit in part to help take the anxious edge off of the enterprise for me.

I even started blogging daily about the experience of being back on a wagon of some sort, but I didn’t do it on this site because I didn’t want you to have to read about something if I didn’t at least stick it out a week. But miracle of miracles, I did stick with it, so I am posting the first week’s worth of blogs below if you’re interested:

Day 1: A Simple Plan and My Starting Weight

Today was Day 1 of the journey I am taking to lose and keep off 80 lbs. All the forces aligned to make this Tuesday in September the first day of the rest of my life. Honestly, I had given up on losing the weight until something started to shift in my mind about a week and a half ago. I think that reading the blog of Sean Anderson was the tipping point; his daily diary of an amazing, life-saving weight-loss journey (now in its 365th day!) completely opened my eyes.

It was the simplicity and consistency of his “plan” that got to me: eat 1500 calories per day, and exercise. And that was it. It didn’t matter how he used the calories; just that he stayed within bounds. As I read his entries from Day 1, I wasn’t hearing any fussing about organic vs non-organic, or about eating only certain foods or avoiding any foods. I was reading about a guy trying to eat his favorite foods, but in moderation. It sounded challenging and yet refreshingly simple

It was the simplicity and consistency of his “plan” that got to me: eat 1500 calories per day, and exercise. And that was it. It didn’t matter how he used the calories; just that he stayed within bounds. As I read his entries from Day 1, I wasn’t hearing any fussing about organic vs non-organic, or about eating only certain foods or avoiding any foods. I was reading about a guy trying to eat his favorite foods, but in moderation. It sounded challenging and yet refreshingly simple.

As I kept reading, I saw how he slowly ramped up his exercise routine and strove for consistency in his habits above almost everything else. And how successful he was—and this is someone real and relatable, whose daily entries have that unmistakable heart of authenticity.

Hilary, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’m so happy about your success. Isn’t it incredible when you realize that this is really the time you actually do it? This is it…this is what it’s like to be successful at losing weight. This is living. You will lose this 80 pounds and you will feel absolutely amazing as a result! You’re awesome my friend, I’m so happy I found your blog! (Thanks Cruz for telling me!) Again, you can find Hilary at

It’s bedtime around here. What a wonderful day. We enjoyed a wonderful meal with Irene before she left for work this evening. I prepared spaghetti with meat sauce, salad (for them), and garlic toast. It’s a much lower calorie version than we use to fix all the time. We use super lean beef (93/7), and only a half a pound and we cut way down on the sauce. Instead of eating a thousand calories worth, each plate comes in at around 450---and that includes the bread! And what’s so wonderful about this is, we’re all still very satisfied with the meal. Little changes, naturally evolving, tweaking our habits to get the best calorie values, it all adds up to big time weight loss. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,

Monday, October 26, 2009

Day 407 Great Reader Question and Sean--Shut Up and Workout Already, Geez!

Day 407

Great Reader Question and Sean—Shut Up and Workout Already, Geez!

I was up at 4am, showered, dressed, drinking coffee, and cooking an amazing egg white/mushroom/mozzarella breakfast wrap for 230 calories. I love these things and the high fiber content of the whole-wheat flat bread wrap is a wonderful bonus. I grabbed a banana and an apple for later on the way out the door shortly after 4:30am. It was an early start with plenty to do today. It was easy really, because I’ve been getting to bed relatively early considering my history as a night owl. Getting more sleep has been a wonderful thing lately. I really am trying to get my sleep schedule in order because I realize how important it is for overall health and well-being.

Occasionally I like to share e-mails I receive from readers. Understand, I would never share anything too personal from an e-mail, but a topic like this is wonderful to write about---and sharing the e-mail exchange is convenient for me. I received a very nice e-mail from a new reader, Amy H from the weight loss blog “No To The Deuce.” She's doing fantastic, check her out!

Amy had a wonderful question: I'm a relatively new reader to your blog (only about 2 months or so). I understand you keep your calories within a certain limit, but I wonder if you worry about the content of your calories. I only ask because it is something that I struggle with. I, too, keep track of my calories (loosely) and have been having success on the weight loss front (my blog is No to the Deuce). I sometimes think I'm not getting enough fruits and veggies everyday and wonder if just keeping track of calories without paying attention to what's in those calories is wise. Do you try to get a certain amount of fruits and veggies in your diet, or do you only watch your total calorie intake? Just curious. Really enjoy your blog, Amy H.

My reply: Great question. One of the reasons my journey has been so successful is because I've kept it very simple. Especially in the beginning, anything went---it didn't matter---if I wanted to eat 1500 calories worth of lasagna, I would---and did one day! It didn't matter to me what I enjoyed, as long as I didn't exceed 1500.

What happens is this: We gradually evolve in our choices. It's a very natural way to change. In the beginning, I might eat a 110 calorie pack of Funyuns as a snack mid-morning. Now, 9 times out of 10, that snack is fresh fruit---either an apple or banana, sometimes both. But this was a very natural evolution of my habits---fueled by my desire to get the best "calorie value" for my calorie "buck."

Too many times in the past I would immediately try to implement these changes from Day 1---and it wasn't natural, so I failed horribly. This is why I believe eating "whatever you want" is imperative to success. It's too easy to get caught up in fat grams, fiber grams, how many ounces of water I should drink, the sodium, the cholesterol, anti-oxidants, good fat vs. bad fat, and a bunch of other variables along this road. People that make it complicated like this, usually fail. I speak from experience. If someone/anyone can let go and uncomplicate things...and just eat whatever in limited amounts (1500 calories a day)---and let their journey and growth happen naturally instead of forced---then success comes easily.
Already today I've had fresh mushrooms (in my amazing egg white breakfast burrito), a banana, and an apple.

It is important to eventually work more and more fruits and veggies into our day to day lives, but it's not imperative for consistent weight loss. I've certainly proven that. It is incredibly healthy to do it, yes, and my eating habits are slowly evolving into a much healthier pattern...but again, naturally and easily. I hope that answers your question,
My best always, Sean

Wednesday is weigh day and I’m really regretting not having a more disciplined workout plan in place. I’ve proven to myself that a limited number of calories alone can give me positive results on the scale, but I certainly understand the importance of consistent exercise. Consistent exercise is what has made me so successful so quickly. And I’m sure you must be tired of hearing me complain about my struggle to return into that workout groove, but I’m just being honest. I’m still struggling. It was worth it though, changing up my schedule, the late hours, it was all totally worth it. The schedule I’ve kept for the last couple of months has been absolutely nuts and the workout schedule has suffered greatly. My average weight loss per day has declined, but is still steady, which is surprising and kind of lucky I think. And that continued success has contributed to my lack of discipline in returning to a consistent workout schedule---because, hey---I’m still losing, I’ll get back in there, be cool. But it’s not cool at all. I’m actually very upset with myself for this discrepancy in my performance and consistency. I’ll get it back, I will…and we’ll get to where we’re headed in grand fashion as always.

I feel so wonderful these days. Despite the previous paragraph, I’m feeling on top of the world physically. This is what I’ve dreamed of, and it’s happening, it’s really me I see in the mirror. I sometimes can’t believe what I’ve done. And I’m most proud of how it’s affected the ones I love. After hating the way I looked and felt my entire life, I’m finally experiencing the magic of loving ones self. It’s a beautiful thing. Thank you for reading. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,

My grandpa is on the far right. This picture was taken during the end of World War 2. Perhaps celebrating victory? Who knows, whatever the's a treasured family picture recently discovered by my Aunt Jean at grandmas house. Today would have been my grandpas birthday. We all miss him dearly. I really wish he could have witnessed my transformation. It's a form of "calendar regret." Had I only done this sooner. You can't go back and change the past, but you can move forward changing the habits and behaviors of the past. My grandpa would be so proud. And really, I know he is proud of me. I loved that man so much. Happy Birthday Grandpa!

Day 406 Shouldn't This Birthday Stuff Be Over? and My Thinnest--It's All In The Fit

Day 406

Shouldn’t This Birthday Stuff Be Over? and My Thinnest—It’s All In The Fit

In the Anderson Family, we’re not happy with just one day of celebrating, no…a birthday is usually celebrated a couple, maybe three times before we move on. Day 3 of my 38th birthday celebration was today. Usually a birthday dinner in my hometown means a buffet restaurant of some kind. Last year we enjoyed that big Chinese buffet, remember? This year I decided that we could all do without the buffet. I know I could’ve navigated a buffet with common sense, limited portions, and good choices, but why bother? Since it was my birthday, I got to choose the place for our celebration. I chose a fast food Mexican place called Taco Mayo. The crispy beef tacos are stuffed at this place and they’re only 163 calories each. When you pile on the nearly “calorie-free” extras like salsa, peppers, and hot sauce, you’ve got a complete meal with a couple, and three of ‘em leaves you feeling nicely full and still under 500 calories. Easy choice, that place rocks every time.

My mom made sure we had a cake, nothing fancy, just my favorite! My favorite is the Pepperidge Farm white coconut cake. We cut the thing into nine small pieces, each coming in at 225 calories. Mom also brought a frosted brownie. Instead of four 390 calorie servings, we cut it into sixteen pieces---really small squares, for a whopping 97 calories each. Someone calculated 80 each, so we all thought it was 80, but no---it was 97 calories. It was a really dense, fairly rich brownie. I’m not sure enjoying both the brownie piece and the cake was the best move, especially after having 489 calories worth of tacos, but my calorie budget could handle it, barely---but it could handle it, so hey---I celebrated, enjoyed, and finished confident that my consumption was within reason and the calorie budget for today.

The best part of the visit was the wonderful pictures that Aunt Jean discovered inside an old storage closet at grandmas house. I’ve posted one below, it’s really small, but it shows me at what may well be the biggest I’ve ever been. It was captured in 1993 at a McDonald’s restaurant in Stillwater. Just by looking, I would estimate my weight at the time to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 525, maybe even 530. And I don’t know if you can tell, I’m not fitting into that booth. I’m actually sitting in between the tables. It wasn’t “fat friendly” seating.

Rachel stopped by our celebration with a wonderful gift. Rachel is a longtime friend, fellow blogger, and really---she’s like part of the family. She stopped by with a wonderful gift. Another egg separator! She bought this one from Pampered Chef. I’ve gone from zero separators to three in as many months thanks to Rachel and Linda! It’s awesome because I’ve always got one ready to go! Thank you Rachel!

I proudly wore my SWOSU Dad t-shirt that Amber gave me. I love it! I kept it clean and I’ll wear it once again tomorrow! I need to buy me a SWOSU dad sweatshirt and jacket too! The compliments and “wow” reactions to my transformation always go way up when I wear clothes that really fit, instead of stuff that’s too big. This 2x shirt really fits perfectly, and I actually put it on and left the house without an over-shirt. With the chilly temperatures, I could’ve put on an over-shirt and nobody would have questioned the move, but I decided to look my absolute thinnest today. It was incredible, just incredible.

Well, another wonderfully successful day is in the books! Weigh day is Wednesday. We’re at 221 pounds lost so far, can we break the 225 mark? We’ll see! Maybe, maybe not, but one thing is for sure…I will reach my goal. It doesn’t really matter how long it takes, I will get there because my new way of thinking will naturally transform me and keep me there forever. That’s exactly why the mental part is so vitally important along this journey. A weight loss approach that doesn’t address the mental aspects and only focuses on losing the weight is a flawed approach. I’ve had many of those in the past. Never again my friend, never again. Thank you for reading. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,

In 1993 at possibly my biggest ever. Who knows, because I didn’t give a care to what I weighed back then. In the picture: My mom, Irene (pregnant with Courtney), my little brother Shane, Me, Little blonde headed Amber, and my grandpa and grandma.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Day 405 Birthday Weekend Cookout and Not Being The Biggest

Day 405

Birthday Weekend Cookout and Not Being The Biggest

It’s always wonderful when Amber comes home for a weekend. She was here last weekend too, and when she left we really didn’t expect to see her again until the middle of December. She’s spending Thanksgiving at KL’s parents house. So it was a wonderful treat for her to come home for my birthday. I grilled out today. I threw some small, 4-6 ounce chicken breast on the grill (120-180 calories) and five 270 calorie Bratwurst, one for each of us. The best part of the cookout was hearing KL ask how many calories were on his plate. He has never cared about calories or losing weight. When my weight dropped below his, it really messed with his head. Hey, whatever works, right? Now he sees how wonderful the support can be, and Amber will benefit from his returned commitment and support. It’s a really good thing.

It really thrills me to be smaller than some people I’ve known for a long time, because I never really looked at them as “real big.” You know what I mean? They always looked slender standing next to me at 505 pounds. It might be a real downer for some of them, but I’m just loving it. And I know that they’re happy for me and proud, and maybe like KL, this will encourage others to change their habits and behaviors with food. I don’t rub it in or anything like that, I’m always a nice guy, that kind of behavior just isn’t me. But I don’t have to either; my appearance does it for me. Pardon me for sounding boastful here, but this is so new for me, give me a minute. It just feels so amazing to no longer be the biggest person in a room, or building, or store, or school, or…well, you understand right?

I was called to a special meeting at the Poncan this afternoon. The director of the theatre and the lead investigator for Insight Paranormal was concerned about the preparation that went into my night of broadcasting from inside the theatre alone. We didn’t have perimeter security. So it is theoretically possible that someone was messing with me from outside the theatre, or possibly inside the theatre. So to make sure and to do it right, I’m going back inside on November 14th. This time I’ll have a team of investigators with equipment, security cameras, and security all around the outside of the theatre, plus a command trailer outside connected via radio. It’ll be just like on “Ghost Hunters.” This way there will be no room for doubt about what I experienced inside that place. And yes, I’m sure we’ll do a broadcast during the event. Details coming soon! Good thing I’ve lost all this weight, because I could have never moved so quickly at my highest. And I had a few experiences inside the theatre that sent me running for the doors. My imagination? Somebody, a listener perhaps, or several pranking me? Or was it a genuine experience? Who knows, that’s why it must be done again, this time with all of the necessary precautions and preparation, oh…and a team of pros!

I had to do a remote broadcast from the big night club in town. The band was amazing, so I stayed after a while and enjoyed the music. Several people offered to buy me drinks, but I’m not a drinker. Unlike last time this happened, I actually declined by politely explaining that I couldn’t afford the calories tonight. I did accept one MGD 64. It’s a 64 calorie beer. I’m not a fan of beer at all, so I don’t know what’s good or bad really. I guess it tasted all right, and regardless, it was a very nice gesture and appreciated.

I didn’t go over my 1500-calorie budget yesterday. Just like last year, I just didn’t feel the need to indulge in the name of my birthday. Why would I? I had good food, I was satisfied, and there was no need for unnecessary indulgence. And no birthday cake, can you believe that? Didn’t miss it at all…My co-workers at Team Radio brought me a card and a fruit tray that we all shared. It was nice, very nice.

We’re headed to Stillwater tomorrow to celebrate my birthday with family. That’s when the cake will show up, you watch! I’ll enjoy it too, you watch! I’ve requested that we all go to Taco Mayo for my birthday. I know, I know---sounds crazy. But I love that place, and it’s my birthday party---I get to choose! We traditionally go to a nicer place for special occasions and holidays, but why? I don’t want a buffet anyway, just give me some of those 163 calorie beef tacos and I’m happy! I think I’ll have three of them today…oh boy---watch out! And some cake for sure. I’ve had cake on several occasions along this journey, and it’s always good.

I’m also looking forward to seeing some incredible pictures that Aunt Jean found while cleaning out a storage closet. Uncle Keith says that a couple of them show me at a much higher weight than even 505. He couldn’t believe what he saw in those pictures. I can’t wait to post the “Ultimate Before” picture. She found some of my mom when she was a new born, those will be cool to see too. She also found some old tapes. I’m hoping they are what I think they are. When I was a little boy, I recorded our New Years eve party several years in a row. I was pretending to be Dick Clark with a microphone. Nobody knew at the time how telling these recordings would become. I guess I was meant to use a microphone for a living. If these tapes are salvageable, then I will find a way to get the audio from them and post it here on this blog. I can’t wait to find out!

Tomorrow will be a wonderful Sunday. Thank you for reading. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Day 404 A Wonderful Birthday and Fitting In--A Wonderful Gift

Day 404

A Wonderful Birthday and Fitting In--A Wonderful Gift

My Friday really started with Thursday night at 9pm. That’s when I entered the Poncan Theatre for a night I wouldn’t soon forget. The first five hours I wasn’t alone. I had the director of the theatre with me. He spent the time giving me the “complete” tour and sharing stories about the theatre, some I really wish I hadn’t heard. And then, shortly after 2am, he left me alone with the lights out, a flashlight, and a cell phone to use for my broadcast. I just received a call from Dave asking me to NOT share any more details about what I experienced inside the theatre until after I meet with TAPS affiliated investigators Saturday afternoon at 4pm. I have no idea what the meeting is all about. So I guess we’ll talk about weight loss blog related stuff.

I went into the theatre ill-prepared food wise. I had 650 calories to use, and by 1:30am I still had 650 calories remaining. The popcorn machines were really clean and I didn’t want Dave to dirty them up just for me, and the only other options were candy and pickles. I could’ve had every pickle in the theatre and still had plenty of calories remaining, so I did something I rarely do, I “invested” some calories in a Mr. Goodbar! It was the king size 380 calorie version. I broke off 40 calories worth and gave it to Dave, then I nervously enjoyed the remaining 340 calories worth of peanuts and chocolate. I really should have prepared better than this. I could’ve sliced up some apples, maybe grilled some chicken breast, really had some good food for the night. But honestly, I didn’t feel like eating in that theatre. I was a little pre-occupied. Coffee, chocolate, and peanuts at 1:30 in the morning certainly doesn’t sound like someone “on plan,” but I was still leaving calories on the table for Thursday---and before long, it would be Friday and the Calorie Bank and Trust would be issuing me another 1500 to consume however I wish.

I was very happy to see the morning come. It was a wonderful experience. While I was on the air later in the morning, the director of the theatre was kind enough to go buy breakfast for the two of us. I was busy with the broadcast, so he didn’t have a chance to ask me what I wanted. Even though I would have selected a 160 calorie fruit, yogurt, and granola parfait (I love those things!), I graciously accepted the 720 calorie breakfast he so kindly bought me. I picked at the breakfast in between on-air breaks and ended up throwing half of it away. You know I talk about eating whatever you like and still losing weight, and that’s a key element in my success, but still---I don’t eat 720 calorie breakfast anymore, I just don’t. I don’t like the way it makes me feel. Too heavy, you know what I mean? I can do a 400 calorie breakfast occasionally, but usually I keep breakfast between 200 and 300 calories. I take pride in finding ways to get the most calorie value out of each meal, so when I make a 200 calorie omelet, believe me---it’s filling and cheesy, and mushroomy, and completely delicious and filling. Dave, if you’re reading this, and I’m pretty sure you do…I sincerely appreciate the breakfast…but you understand, I can’t be handed a sausage, egg, and cheese buttermilk biscuit with a side of hashbrowns without writing about it on this blog! Love ya man! Thank you again for the breakfast and this paragraph!

After the broadcast and zero sleep all night long, I still had production to complete at the studio before the weekend. I was so exhausted, but I got my work done and headed home shortly afternoon. I really didn’t feel like cooking, so I picked up some Kentucky Grilled Chicken for Irene and me. I’ve written about this stuff before. It’s so good and so low in calorie, you’ll feel naughty, but it’s nothing but good, wholesome food. My entire lunch was just under 450 calories---and that included a grilled breast, wing, kernel corn and mashed potatoes with gravy! I requested they leave off the biscuit on these two grilled meals and the person taking my order didn’t really understand why I wouldn’t want them. One of them is either 170 or 180, I can’t remember…and although it’s tasty, I can do without those added calories and still be completely satisfied with my meal. I asked them to “hold” the biscuits because if they put them in there, I’ll end up eating half of it at least, ya know? I’ve done that before many times. If it’s there and it’s a flaky, warm, fresh from the oven buttermilk biscuit---oh my, I just can’t help having a little. That’s not completely bad, and yes---I’ve completely resisted them before, but my calorie budget is always grounded in getting the best bang for my calorie budget (unless it’s a candy bar at 1:30am inside a haunted theatre).

After lunch, I worked out hard---yeah right! No, actually---after lunch I collapsed and slept until after 6pm. I had to sleep. My body was real close to sleeping with or without my cooperation. Instead of collapsing somewhere uncomfortable, I made my way into the bedroom for a Friday afternoon nap.

We had to be back at the theatre for a big event tonight. The event started at 7:30, we arrived at 7:15pm. Amber and KL weren’t really planning on being here, but Amber just couldn’t resist seeing her dear old dad on my birthday. They joined us at the theatre for a wonderful event while Courtney was busy producing and engineering a high school football broadcast at the studio.

The Poncan Theatre was packed with people tonight. I would guess 600 to 700 people packed into the theatre for the show tonight. Insight Paranormal Investigations gave a brief report on their findings, not revealing too much, because their official event is set for Saturday night. It was during this part of the program that I was called on stage to share some of my experiences from the night before. Dave May can’t seem to have me on stage without talking about my dramatic weight loss, so before I left the stage---He recognized my accomplishments thus far---and once again, just like a couple of times before---the applause for my weight loss were thunderous. It never fails, after being publicly recognized like that, someone always approaches me and ask “the question.” “How have you done it?” And when I tell them that I eat less and exercise more they’re always a little disappointed at the simplicity of my explanation. Of course---there’s more to it than that---the mental part of this process is easily 80% of the game. But when you're approached at an event, there isn’t time to really get into detail. They get the short and sweet answer that always leaves them wanting more. Always. And if they want more, I give them this blog address. Because if you really are interested in the mental gymnastics of it all and the epiphanies and philosophies that have made me such a successful loser over the last 404 days---then you must read the blog from Day 1. The archives are all listed on the left hand side.

Then the audience witnessed nationally known escape artist and former Ponca City resident Steve Crawford escape from the Chinese Water Torture Cell. It was a tribute to Houdini. The escape wasn’t without a hitch. After he was hoisted above the two ton tank of water, the chain snapped---quickly plunging him into the tank and starting the escape much sooner than he had planned. He was very lucky he didn’t kill himself, because he wasn’t ready. It was tense, but after two minutes upside down in that tank of death, he somehow escaped with his life. After that scary start, I doubt Steve will be attempting that one again anytime soon.

The night wrapped with a silent film. The original Lon Chaney classic, The Phantom of The Opera. But this was no ordinary showing of this silent film classic. “Phantom” was presented with world-renowned theatre organist Dennis James providing the score from start to finish, just as it was presented in theatres across the country in 1925. It was amazing to see. Dennis pounded the keys of emotion throughout that story for the full 79 minutes of the film. It was an amazing experience that left all in attendance in awe of his talent. What a night it was. A wonderful birthday evening inside the very theatre that made the first six hours of my birthday the most tense and nerve wracking it’s ever been.

Amber presented me with the most wonderful gift when we arrived back at the house. Let me give you a little back story on this one: When we visited the campus of Southwestern Oklahoma State University at the start of her freshman year, we found the university selling t-shirts that had a variety of things printed on them. Irene bought a “SWOSU MOM” t-shirt, and I really wanted a “SWOSU Dad” shirt. At 505 pounds, there was no way in the world they had one that would even come close to fitting. We looked, nope---no “SWOSU Dad” shirt for me. That experience was from September 2008, two days later I started this life-changing journey. Well, after losing nearly 225 pounds so far, I have one now! Amber presented me with one last night for my birthday. A 2x, and it fit so perfectly---and it’s not even the biggest size they offer!!! Can you believe that? I almost cried with joy. I have so much pride and joy for my daughters, I’ll wear this shirt with a sense of pride and an incredible sense of accomplishment. I’ll never forget how I felt the day I couldn’t fit in one---It’s a beautiful day today. And I fit beautifully.

Thank you for reading and following along this most wonderful transformation. If you’re just starting your own journey, please understand that there’s nothing special about me. Really. Honestly---I don’t know everything, I’m not an “expert,” and I certainly don’t pretend or claim to be. I’m just a man that was tired of being morbidly obese my entire life. I was tired of being scared that I would die too young because of my size. I was tired of not fitting---in clothes, in society, and in good health. I wanted to change for so long. I wanted to, but I never was able to really get it right until now. I invite you to go back and read what has brought me to Day 404, and realize---I’m not done yet. I still have work to do. But I hope you fully understand along the way---that you can do this too. You can experience the beautiful freedom that I embrace. As simple as it sounds, if I can do this---you can too. I’ve been where you are. I know what it’s like to be in excess of 500 pounds for nearly two decades. I wish you well my friend. It’s very hard to visit all of the wonderful weight loss blogs out there---and I do read some that I’ve followed for a while now, but I simply cannot keep up with leaving comments. I just don’t have time. And if I leave one—without leaving one on all---I feel bad. I don’t want to leave anyone out. I will promise you this. If you e-mail me at I will reply. If you have a question or concern, I will reply. Please understand that I’m not qualified to counsel on anything other than weight loss. My comments to my blog have gone way down since I had to adopt this approach, and that’s OK. I love hearing from you, but I also understand that sometimes it’s just impossible to take the time to leave something. If you can, great…if not---thank you for reading and I completely understand. This blog isn’t about that anyway. It’s serving it’s intended purpose everyday---and that’s keeping me on track and in tune with everything that has brought me to this day.

Thank you again. Goodnight and as always…

Good Choices,

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 403 The Best Year of My Life and A Haunted Night Ahead

Day 403

The Best Year of My Life and A Haunted Night Ahead

I always read what I’ve written the next day, and I have to say; I really wanted to delete most of last night’s post. Too late, it was done. I talk about not getting too personal and keeping certain things private, and the next thing you know I’m basically an open book. Even if I’m vague, it’s not too hard to read between the lines on certain issues. Sharing too much is a personality defect, it really is. In our family we call people who share too much—too soon, “inappropriate talkers.” An inappropriate talker is someone who, within ten minutes of meeting someone, shares extremely personal information. I honestly wouldn’t classify myself as one, after all, I helped coin the term. Reading last night’s post was a real wake up call for me.

I could argue that these personal experiences along the way are a part of dramatic weight loss. They really are. Sometimes, no matter how confident we are of the contrary, we just can’t handle such a dramatic change in such a short time. Oh, we’ll get through, but handling it in the best way can and does become a challenge. I’m a different person than the man who started this blog 403 days ago. I’d like to think that I’m a better version. No doubt a healthier, happier version, and when I talk about this transformation positively impacting everything we do, say, feel, think…I’m telling you the truth. I’ve said it many times, the physical transformation is a small part of the changes along this road. But you know what? It’s worth the effort. To no longer be an out of control, morbidly obese man, with a limited number of years to live---yes, it’s worth every adjustment and sacrifice we must endure.

Chris, Chris, Chris…Oh my friend, you didn’t make me “mad.” You were right! Your observations along this journey were spot on (except for the brownie—allowing myself occasional things like that has been a wonderful part of this experience ;). I know how I’ve changed my approach, and I’m aware of what it will take to get back into that solid groove. I am thrilled that my consumption hasn’t changed. If not for that, we’d be going backwards, and that would be one sad blog to read. Again, thank you for shooting straight with me, I really needed it.

This morning I overslept. I didn’t have time to cook breakfast, so here’s what I grabbed: A 60 calorie sugar free pudding, a 60 calorie cranberry apple sauce, and an 80 calorie fresh apple. I like a hot breakfast, but in a big hurry, this seemed to work for me. It was kind of cool eating pudding for breakfast. How crazy does that sound? I had chocolate pudding for breakfast! Take that weight loss industry!

The goatee is already coming back! I’m so happy for it’s return. Uh, I mean…whatever. I never like the thing. But it really grew on me (pun intended) and I kind of like it now…It’s very thin at this point, but it’s quickly taking shape! Yippee! The end of “Hank” is upon us!

Tomorrow will be my 38th birthday. As I reflect on what will forever be known as the age I finally got it together and lost the weight, I have to smile and give thanks. Thank you to my beautiful wife and daughters for being by my side. Thank you to Irene for never giving up on me. After twenty years of telling me how worried she was about my obesity, I finally listened. My 37th year has been monumental, easily the best year of my life. It’s really kind of ‘Dickens-esque’ “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” could accurately describe the last year. But you know what? It’s mostly been fabulous! Yes I said fabulous!! Turning 38 tomorrow doesn’t really bother me like it would if I still weighed over 500 pounds. I’m no longer one year closer to an early grave, I’m one year closer to being healthy and living my dreams. It’s going to be a great year ahead, it really will be.

Tonight, in just over an hour, I’ll enter the Poncan Theatre for an all night broadcast. I’ll be posting pictures and video to my facebook page via phone throughout the night. If you’re not a friend on facebook, friend request me and I’ll check it throughout the night and approve the request. They say the theatre is haunted. Several people, independent of each other, have reported the same happenings. Strange, unexplained happenings inside that theatre over the years have attracted national attention from Ghost Hunters, and TAPS affiliate Insight Paranormal Investigations. I’m completely spooked about this adventure tonight. We’ll see what happens. What a way to spend the first several hours of my birthday, huh? By the way, this whole thing wasn’t my idea, oh no…I’m not this adventurous. I’m doing it for my job tonight—wish me luck and peaceful prayers for a safe night. If I do encounter ghost or spirits, I’ll make friends with them, you watch, or uh, listen—or both on facebook.

I still have 650 calories remaining for the day. We enjoyed a classic hamburger and fries meal at home tonight before Irene departed for work. I don’t use mayo or cheese on my burgers anymore. Oh I could, but I’d rather save the calories. Mustard is great and hardly any calories at all. I intentionally left a bunch of calories on the table because I know the theatre has popcorn and since I’m going to be awake around the clock, I might eat something else before the night is over.

Oh, and yes I did sleep this afternoon. About three and a half hours, so I’m good I think. A local furniture store (Smith Home Furnishings) has provided a bed on the stage of the Poncan, I doubt I’ll be sleeping, but maybe I’ll cower under the covers. I must head to the theatre, stopping for flashlight batteries first, here we go! Goodnight and…

Good Choices,

Day 402 The Challenges of Change and Showboating Before The Endzone

Day 402

The Challenges of Change and Showboating Before The End-Zone

Today was much better than yesterday, like I said; I needed to go to bed. Sometimes a good rest is all that is needed to not only recharge the body, but also the mind. It doesn’t make our challenges go away, it simply makes us think clearer in dealing with them.

I survived my crazy urges to turn to food yesterday. That’s a pattern that is very hard to break. And even after 401 days, yesterday proved to me that occasionally these feelings can pop up and threaten our defenses. Trying to understand why we’re feeling the way we are feeling, rather than immediately bingeing is key. Simply stopping long enough to ask why and then think about the consequences of our decision. Taking the time to analyze the situation quickly disarms the threat. I’ve come too far to allow any backsliding.

Chris left a comment that got to me a little, OK, a lot. Chris commented: Well, you've been off stride and kind of 'off' plan for a while now. I have seen alot of posts with the words "It is just for today"...or "Today was unusual"...or "I didn't eat the best, but it was just one brownie'. Sometimes, if we go long enough we can start to believe that we can get by with some of the old habits without damaging our progress. maybe not upfront, but subconciously your mind could be rebelling against a return to a stricter mindset. Hope it gets better for you tomorrow.

Chris, thanks for the comment and observation, and thank you for reading! I have changed things up lately. In rearranging my schedule, I quickly became less strict about my workout routine. It suffered greatly because of the schedule I was keeping during the play. My food hasn’t suffered. That brownie was deliberate and accounted for. I can honestly say that I haven’t been “off plan” as far as my consumption habits in all of these 402 days. Certainly it’s been key in my dramatic weight loss, but you make a very valid point. The Sean writing this blog and living this transformation wouldn’t have accepted my lack of workouts anytime during the first 200 to 250 days. Seriously, if you read in the archives---no excuses. I would go out and walk in the pouring sleet and rain, nothing was stopping me from getting that workout complete. Even if it meant working out after midnight like a crazy man, it was just too important to miss, even one. This change in what is acceptable to me and what isn’t is the change you’ve noticed.

So why? At a certain point, when success is almost a certainty, it’s common to ease up---take it easy and cruise to victory. It’s not smart, but it is human nature. Like a football player strutting his stuff and showing off at the end of a long touchdown run before he ever reaches the endzone, it can and does backfire horribly. I think I’ve done some of that. I’ve been so excited about the way I feel and by what I see in the mirror, that I immediately went into celebration mode. I can tell myself all day long that “I still have work to do,” but my actions (missing workouts) are not in line with the work ethic that brought me here. It’s a dangerous place to be. I’ve been so focused on the experience of feeling and looking better than I ever have as an adult, and doing things I could only dream about before, that I’ve naturally lost focus on where it should be. Watch a world-class sprinter sometime. Even if they’re way ahead of the pack, they still push full speed for the finish line, never losing focus. If they do ease up, it cost them time, and they know it’s wrong and the commentators know it’s wrong. As a reader of this blog, you’re like that sports commentator that notices these things, and Chris, thank you for mentioning your observation. It’s so true, when you ease up and break your stride; you’re completely going against what got you this far in the first place. And that’s what I’ve done. I’ve managed to maintain a steady loss simply by maintaining my calorie budget, but my lacking in the workout department has seriously cost me.

I’m becoming what I didn’t want to become: A guy who looks like he’s lost a bunch of weight. You might not see it in the “in-progress” pictures, but I see it in the mirror when I’m alone. I know that the only way to overcome this is through committed and consistent workouts. I must build the body I want or settle for less. I’m not coming this far to settle for anything less than what I’ve envisioned and dreamed about. And Chris is so right about how the brain works. It is so hard to get back into that routine and commitment after easing up. I’ve celebrated before reaching the endzone, I’ve broken stride before the finish line, and correcting that is a tough thing, it really isn’t easy at all.

Jodikris asked a question too: You may have answered this question before but has your weight loss had any negative effects on your marriage? Thank you for the question Jodi, uh…here’s the deal: I’ve been so open and personal along this road, that sometimes it’s very difficult to pull back and not share certain things. Regular readers who have read every single day, people that have taken the time to go back and read this blog like a book, they know me and my family better than some relatives of mine. I have to be respectful and considerate to my family first and foremost, and then decide what is appropriate to share from this point forward.

My wife has written about the changes in me, one post referred to me as a “stranger.” It’s true, I’m a different person on the outside and in a lot of ways, and I’m also a different person on the inside. I don’t believe you can have such a dramatic transformation without changing a bunch or even a little of everything we are. Has it changed our marriage in a negative way? Yes and no.

I’ve written briefly and vaguely before about our “marital issues.” I can’t go any further than to say, we’re trying our best to work through some tough times. One thing is for certain: Good or bad, our future will not be the same as our past, meaning that we will not continue the patterns that have brought us here. And the drastic physical and emotional changes that we’ve both experienced (keep in mind, she’s lost over 140 pounds) may be responsible for some of these “issues,” but not all of them. I think the renewed confidence we both have has made us reluctant to accept past behaviors and patterns in each other. We do agree on one very important thing: We honestly love each other deeply, that will never change.

I’m over the little streak of envy I experienced yesterday. Jack helped with his comment: Just like with genes, some people get lucky breaks along the way. Look at Jennifer at Ex Hot Girl. Her blog got a mention in Google's Blogs of Note and she went from 80 followers to 1500 in a week! That's winning the lottery, my friend. Just lik the weight loss, you're building this thing the right way. When you do hit it big, you'll know it was because you earned it.

Jack always knows exactly what to say doesn’t he? What a wonderful supporter, he’s incredible really. It’s true, I never started this blog for any other reason than to help me stay on track and really succeed. I’ve been marvelously successful so far, and that’s what’s important. When my dreams of becoming a full-time weight loss motivational speaker and author are realized, no one can say that I didn’t earn it every step of the way.

I’ll be blogging early on Thursday because I have a special event that I’m doing all night Thursday into Friday morning. Wish me luck. I have to spend the night alone inside a haunted theatre, doing live on-air reports all night long of the happenings on the inside. This theatre was the recent subject of Insight Paranormal Investigations and has even garnered attention from the Sci-Fi Channel show “Ghost Hunters.” We’ll see how it goes. It could very well be very boring. At least I hope so.

Thank you for reading. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day 401 Struggling Here and The Imaginary Heist of "The Calorie Bank and Trust"

Day 401

Struggling Here and The Imaginary Heist of “The Calorie Bank And Trust”

For some strange reason, I’ve struggled today, and I don’t really understand why. There are many valid reasons why I could be feeling “off.” I’ve had to fight crazy urges all day---and I haven’t really had to do that in well over 100 days. I guess every now and then it just happens. Emotions and stress combine to create feelings that can, and I stress CAN make you want to throw it all away. Not care anymore, whatever. I’ve been here before, and when I say “before,” I’m talking about past attempts prior to and even during the last 401 days. These kinds of feelings have derailed me in the distant past. They will not get me now.

I understand my emotions better now than ever before. I’m in tune with my feelings, desires, goals, and dreams. But still, I struggle sometimes. This might surprise you, especially if you’ve just started reading this blog and haven’t read through the archives just yet. It’s a bunch to read, I understand. But I do struggle from time to time. Do not interpret this “struggling” tone as whining. I have absolutely nothing to whine about. I’ve lost nearly 225 pounds in 401 days, there’s nothing to be down about. My struggles are anchored in my dreams and desires for the future and how those choices will affect my family and life. We’re going through some very personal family issues right now, some you know about, and some you don’t. The potential changes directly ahead for us will dramatically change our daily lives. How we handle the changes will determine if they become positives or negatives. Every choice has a consequence good or bad, right? I’m being too vague, I apologize. Perhaps we should change the subject.

Did you see the blogspot weight loss blogger on Good Morning America today? A friend of mine e-mailed me the story. The blogger on the show started her blog in September and has already lost 17 pounds, with plans to lose 100 pounds in one year. It’s very cool she landed on GMA so early on her journey. She handled it very well. Tell me I'm normal to feel a tad bit of envy, considering the success I've enjoyed and my desire to make the rest of my life all about helping people break free of obesity. Maybe the green monster of envy is responsible for my slump today, you think? I need to grow up! She could read this---and how would that look? Uh, I mean, as I was saying...I wish her well and if she ever needs any advice or support, I'm ready to offer what I've discovered along this road.

My Corvette experience was postponed when I realized that I scheduled it at the same time as I had planned to take my daughter for her drivers license driving test. Janet was very cool about the change of plans, and extended the offer anytime in the near future. It will be soon, because in not long the top will go on for the winter. I’m sure driving a Vette is fun with a hard top, but I like the convertible option for my first time, coming soon! Fitting into a car like that will be so amazing for me. I also plan on climbing into a small Cessna aircraft soon! Another friend of mine has a plane and they’ve agreed to take me up someday soon. They recently told me that I could fit into that tiny cockpit now, but we’ll wait a little while for that one. I’m still scared of heights ya know!

Courtney passed her driving test with flying colors. The examiner told her “good driving girl” when they returned to the testing center, and I’m taking some credit to share with Amber and Irene. We’ve all taught her how to drive over the last year. Courtney has had the luxury of watching her sister before her and learning by observing. It helps that Courtney is an excellent listener and really understands even the most complex ideas and procedures. She once said that she wanted to be a surgeon someday, she certainly could be, or anything else she wants to be. We’re blessed that both of our daughters really understand the power to choose their own path. How have we been so lucky? So very blessed.

Once again, we didn’t get into the YMCA today. Getting back in that groove is proving to be a real challenge indeed. I’m not worried at all, but man---what in the world? I stopped at the trail tonight on my way to the studio to write this blog and I only walked one lap. Less than a mile, that’s right, I just wasn’t feeling emotionally open to the walk tonight. Very strange, very strange indeed. I told you, I’ve struggled today. Struggled hard. I’m just an emotional wreck tonight. I could have used the endorphins a brisk 5K would have provided; I should go back and do it.

But honestly, I’ll probably just go home and go to bed before I break down and rob my “Calorie Bank and Trust.” Could you imagine? “Give me the calories, NOW! I want ‘em all in the bag…Move! Make ‘em tasty too, don’t sneak any healthy junk in there, I’m watching you! Now, nobody moves a muscle---Hey, does anyone have a spoon? I mean, alright…I’m going to walk out that door and we’re going to pretend this didn’t happen just now, do we all understand? What is this? A Dye pack on top of the ice cream? **BLAMMO!**”

Not going to happen, the Calorie Bank and Trust security system is pretty elaborate and best of all, it’s hard wired directly through my conscious, emotions, and dreams of a future completely free of obesity. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,

Day 400 Busy Milestone Day and JoEllen's Perspective

Day 400

Busy Milestone Day and JoEllen’s Perspective

Wow. Here we are, Day 400. Can you believe it? I remember writing about how cool it was to be approaching Day 100, and what do you know? Day 400. It wasn’t a typical day at all.
It started off normal enough. Breakfast was another scrumptious egg white-mushroom-and mozzarella creation, this time wrapped inside a 90 calorie Flat-Out flat whole wheat flat bread. Sure, it adds 90 calories to the omelet version, but it becomes portable, and that’s worth the extra 90 calories to me! I arrived extra early at the studio in order to write Day 399 and prepare for the day. I knew it was going to be a busy production day in the studio, and I was right. I had a banana mid-morning, and then powered right past lunch, too caught up in the production of the day. Then the call came.

Irene and others had been trying to reach me on my cell, but it was silenced in production. Finally Irene called the studio line and gave me the news. JoEllen was now completely blind in her right eye and needed to be rushed to the Dean McGee Eye Institute immediately. Since my regular workday was coming to an end, I was the logical choice for the trip. JoEllen didn’t really want to go anywhere, but the doctor made it very clear: If you don’t, you’ll be permanently blind.

We rushed to Oklahoma City for the emergency appointment and the news that JoEllen feared. The pressure that was relieved with a previous surgery was back, and the only way to stop it is with a surgical procedure known as a “shunt.” It’s a shunt or total and permanent blindness. Easy choice right? No, no it wasn’t for JoEllen. She hated the idea of a shunt. She cried, she screamed, she was scared. I tried to reason with her “Jo, listen, with this procedure---you get to see, your vision will be saved, don’t you understand?” Still she was scared and very nervous about having a surgeon work on her head. The doctor became irritated at one point and then put it in very plain English: “We do this shunt, or you will be in complete darkness the rest of your life.”

I tried to bring a smile to JoEllen’s face by improvising a routine about the name of the procedure or device. A “shunt” sounds horrible. Perhaps the medical community could come up with a more pleasing name, like “Rudy.” “Rudy provides relief from the pressure that’s stealing your vision Jo, let’s allow Rudy to work, shall we?” I then told the doctor we would refer to it as a “Rudy.” And then it hit me, the name needed to be more personal for JoEllen. Jo loves to read and she loves seeing her children. So we decided to call it the “Children seeing and reading device.” OK, so it doesn’t flow well, doesn’t roll off the tongue like “Rudy,” but the whole conversation about changing the name made her laugh, then the final change made her smile and understand that she didn’t have a choice. They will put in the “Children seeing and reading device” on Thursday.

JoEllen’s situation really makes me realize how fortunate we all are and how it can change with very little notice. I must give thanks everyday for our blessings. It makes complaining about anything we might be going through seem so silly. Perspective, it’s all about perspective.

By the time we left the doctors office it was close to 5:30pm, we waited for the pharmacy to fill her prescription until 7:30pm, then I took her to her ex-husbands home for a stay. Ventura has been more than helpful during all of this. He offered to get her back to the surgeon on Wednesday and then to her surgery on Thursday. She’ll be released from the hospital on Friday. The doctor is confident that she’ll walk out of that hospital “feeling like a million bucks.” Can’t wait to see that. She needs something positive, she really does. Her emotional state is completely understandable, I seriously do not know how I could or would handle the same circumstances. She’s strong, she really is a strong woman.

I started to drive home and realized I was too tired. My eyes were trying to shut on their own, and that’s my cue to pull over and sleep. I don’t fight it, I don’t care what the schedule says I have to do, or where I must be. If my eyes are trying to shut, I must get off the road. I say this because I’ve fallen asleep and crashed a car before. I was 17 years old and extremely lucky, divinely blessed that I flew off the road where I did. Anywhere else along that highway where it happened, and you wouldn’t be reading this blog right now. So, I pulled over last night and slept for 45 minutes. I really only had about 25 minutes of solid sleep. It was enough to get me home by 11pm. I left a bunch of calories on the table, and I know my metabolism wasn’t happy, neither was I, but sometimes…special circumstances take over. This couldn’t be helped.

I think Tuesday is the day I drive the Corvette! I have to check with Janet and make sure her schedule allows for a joy-ride today. I can’t wait! Tuesday is also the day my youngest gets her official drivers license. You hear that? It’s the sound of our insurance premiums going up! Oh joy, oh joy.

Thank you for reading. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 399 A Cool Sunday and The Next Cool Dream To Conquer

Day 399

A Cool Sunday and The Next Cool Dream To Conquer

I started this morning (or in this case, afternoon) like I do most. Eating. Something tasty, something filling, a great calorie value is a bonus. I love fresh mushrooms. I sautéed some with zero calorie cooking spray and then added four, yes four egg whites. Four egg whites are 68 calories, four whole eggs are 280, so I’ll stick with the egg whites! I added an ounce of fresh mozzarella too, and at 170 calories total, I folded over a big, hearty, completely satisfying mushroom and mozzarella omelet. Nice start for my metabolism and me.

We didn’t get home from the cast party last night until super late, like nearly 3am. We talked until 4am about a variety of things and then slept until twelve-thirty in the afternoon. The girls were still in Tulsa and scheduled to be back for a family meal at 4:30pm. Irene had to go to work tonight by 5:30pm and Amber was leaving for the return trip to school shortly after. I spent a little while at the studio writing Saturday’s blog, then headed back home for homemade tacos with the family.

Our dinner together was wonderful, it always is. We cherish our time around the dinner table, perhaps more now than when we were eating much more. We spend more time talking and less time eating. The food is good and satisfying, but not nearly as satisfying as the closeness we all feel for each other. Understanding the importance of communication has really helped us through some troubling times, and it will help us as we embark on more of these changing times.

Irene left for work, Amber and KL loaded up Amber’s car for the trip back home, and then we all just sat and talked about the future. Amber has finally convinced KL to join her on the quest for weight loss and fitness. We talked about what it takes to be successful on this road and he is really getting it. I think it bothers him a great deal that his girlfriends dad weighs less than he does now. I’m certainly not that 505 pound dad he met nearly two years ago. They are planning to hit the university wellness center fitness complex on their campus everyday. Amber can and will tutor him on portion control, probably KL’s biggest challenge along this road. Before they departed, we took some pictures, including some less than flattering “belly” shots. Those two are fun!

I needed to run over to the theatre and pick up some clothing I left behind. When I arrived, I found Chris, Stephanie, Kara, and Colleen going through props and clothing from the play. The set looked out of order, ready for “striking.” It was kind of sad really. It’s over. When you put so much energy into something, it can be tough when you realize that it’s over, and it certainly has been for me. It means I can get back into a groove that brought me to this place, but it also has me thinking of my next “I could never do this before” type of accomplishment.

Remember me talking about wanting to fit in and drive a two-seat sports car? Well, here in the next few days I’ll be tooling around the area in a Corvette! I can’t wait. Good friends of mine, Gary and Janet Hughes, have a fairly new Corvette and they’ve offered to let me drive!! I can’t wait! Oh, you can bet I’ll have pics and probably an “on the go” video of this one! I can’t wait. Remember early on this journey, when I did a broadcast from a Corvette show? I talked about how I couldn’t fit in one, wouldn’t want to try for fear of breaking something, but I talked about “someday” fitting? Well, that “someday” is going to happen this week my friend, this week.

After grabbing my clothes from the theatre last night, I drove to the trail for a brisk walk. I meant to jog mostly, but didn’t. I just walked. Not a 5K, but close. I ended the walk after just over two miles. It felt good, real good. And easy, oh my, so very easy. Chris left a wall comment on my facebook asking when I wanted to meet at the YMCA. I may have found another workout partner. Cool, maybe Chris and I can lift weights, then Courtney and I can do cardio. It’ll be good!

Thanks for reading. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 398 No Rain On Our Parade--A Beautifully Lived Saturday

Day 398

No Rain On Our Parade--A Beautifully Lived Saturday

We jumped up mid-morning and realized that if we were going to do everything we needed to do today before the show tonight, then we had to hurry. With our computer still down, I had to head out to the studio to write Friday’s blog. For the first 300 days or so of this blog, I very rarely did that. I just wouldn’t. I would stay up no matter the hour and get the blog finished. I’ve relaxed a little since, and really just embraced common sense. It’s not that I’m slacking, are you kidding? Never, but sometimes doing what’s right means choosing sleep over writing or more importantly, spending time with family and friends trumps writing a blog post any night of the week. So it comes the next day, and it always comes. That will not change. The power of this blog for me has made a difference in my life. It’s given me a clarity and focus; it’s allowed me to write out my feelings and philosophies—giving me a better understanding of every facet of this journey.

I highly recommend writing daily to anyone undertaking a transformation like this. It’s therapeutic; it’s imperative to success. I’ve had many friends and even family start blogs as a result of my encouragement, and some have had wonderful success, and some…well, let’s just say that when the blogs stop coming, they start struggling. Nobody wants to write about how tough it can be at times, nobody wants to report a meltdown or near meltdown, but dog-gone-it, it’s all of the experiences that contribute to our very real understanding of this transformation process. How can we transform our mind and body without learning and understanding the patterns and habits that brought us here in the first place? And you don’t have to make it so public, you know? You don’t have to write a blog, just keep a private journal or diary of some kind. These writings are first and foremost for your own healing and transformation. If you want the added benefit of public accountability, go public! If you want the accountability from sharing with select family and friends, go for it, but whatever you do, don’t stop writing about how you feel and what you’re learning, trying to learn, and experiencing. It’s paramount to success.

If you think I’ve never struggled, then you haven’t read my archives. If you want the full perspective, you must read this blog from Day 1. I struggled my entire life, and the struggle continued on Day 1, but I’ve found a way to lessen the struggle. Within these writings you may discover those epiphanies that have made me successful thus far. But it’ll never be as clear and real as when you discover them as they apply to your journey and transformation.

Our busy afternoon included going to Stillwater for the Oklahoma State University football homecoming celebration. The homecoming parade is always something I enjoy, who doesn’t enjoy a good parade? I’ve missed less than five of these OSU homecoming parades in my entire life. Some of my fondest childhood memories involve homecoming festivities at OSU. We would get up early on homecoming day and head into town, always settling at the same little café on main street. That little place has changed hands many times in the last 37 years, and completely been renovated from the place I remember so fondly, but it’s always there in some form. Kind of like our lives, huh? OK, that’s deep. Anyway…We met up at what is now called Café Bella. I can’t stand paying two bucks for a plain cup of coffee, shoot, when I was a kid two bucks was all we needed for mom’s coffee, my hot chocolate, and a bag of nacho cheese Doritos while we waited on the sirens signifying the beginning of the celebration.

My grandmother was attending the parade today, her first ever by the way, along with my mom, mom’s sister Aunt Jean, and her other sister Aunt Kelli. We all gathered and waited for Garth Brooks, Barry Sanders, and Robin Ventura to come riding up the street kicking off this orange and black party. It was a wonderful parade. When we arrived we were running behind, so to keep from missing the start of the parade, Irene and I parked right at the stoplight in one of the busiest intersections in town. Parade spectators blocked it, so we just pulled up to the light, turned off the car, locked it up, and ran! Yes, we ran. Well, jogged really. It was cool. We had to jog again when the parade finished. I was running with a fresh cup of coffee in one hand. Have you ever jogged with hot coffee? Not easy, but it was fun to just be able to do it without the slightest ‘out of breath’ feeling. When we arrived back at the intersection, it was open and cars were zipping past all around us, but luckily no police. I’m pretty sure they would frown on parking at a stoplight in the middle of one of the busiest intersections in town.

After meeting up with family at Taco Mayo for a post-parade calorie friendly lunch, we headed out to Clarke and Debi’s house to drop off a wonderful newspaper article about my childhood relationship with Clarke. He was my Big Brother in the “Big Brothers-Big Sisters program. I’ve written in these pages about Clarke. He had a profoundly wonderful effect on me as a child, an effect that has carried over into my adult life. The story was published on Friday, so I wanted to make sure he had it quickly. We didn’t have much time to visit, but it was still wonderful to see the two of them. Our visiting was enjoyable, to the point of losing track of time. When I noticed it was 5:20pm, we had to fly North, back to Ponca City, I had to get home and shave before heading to the theatre for our final performance of “Call Me Henry.” We barely made it in time. I’ve never shaved so fast in all my life, and with only one minor nick!

The play tonight was just incredible to experience. It brought to a close the show, and for me, it wrapped a nice bow on a dream accomplished. After all the wonderful family and friends at Friday’s performance, including Gayle Williams, a longtime friend and co-worker of mine at the radio station, and Anne Crail, her partner, tonight brought out more friends and co-workers. Wendy and Kim, both friends and Team Radio co-workers, and Wendy’s adult daughters Whitney and Talyn all enjoyed the performance. You might remember Whitney, she’s a long time reader of this blog, from Day 1. Whitney was pictured on the blog posting when I rode the jet ski at the lake! They really enjoyed the performance, as did everyone in attendance. The audience once again honored us with a standing ovation. What a perfect way to wrap up such a wonderful dream.

Where were my daughters today? They traveled to Tulsa with friends for a big haunted house and a sleepover with T-town friends.

Irene, having watched four performances already, elected to stay home tonight. Irene was ready to enjoy the cast party afterward at the directors house. Chris and Stephanie Williams are wonderful host. We had plenty of good food and drink, and of course I kept within my calorie budget easily. I did have to pass on the chocolate cheesecake, I didn’t have enough calories remaining to enjoy it. I did enjoy a half a piece of a Turtle Sundae Pie for 160 calories. It took some math to figure the calories on that one, but it wasn’t too hard because we had the calorie count for a one eighth slice…these were 1/12th slices---and half of that was still 160!!! But oh my, it was good…simply amazing. We all laughed and joked until nearly 2:30am. It was a bittersweet feeling. I’m going to miss the play and the people involved, but I’m also looking forward to moving on. I’ll still stay in touch with everyone, it’s all good!

Thank you for reading and following my transformation. A couple of tidbits: The chairs outside at Café Bella were metal with arms, very nice wrought iron chairs, and I fit beautifully. Also, backstage tonight, a fellow cast member handed me a little baggy of miniature candy bars, and when she did she said “I know you’re losing weight, so maybe you can give these to a friend.” What? I can’t eat candy bars anymore? I smiled and immediately enjoyed a mini Heath Bar. In fact, I enjoyed two hundred calories worth of miniature candy bars before the night was over…all comfortably within my calorie budget.

I must wrap now, this is really long isn’t it? OK, below you’ll find some pictures from today. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,

Garth Brooks atop a Mercedes convertible as Grand Marshal. Barry Sanders and Robin Ventura were right behind him on separate cars.

Irene and Me at the parade today

Irene, Me, and Aunt Kelli. Kelli has actually lost 16 pounds in the last month and has gradually increased her walking endurance to two miles!! I’m so proud of her progress! You can do this Kelli!

Kelli, Me, and my beautiful wife Irene

PhotobucketMom and Me. Mom has made tremendous strides along her own weight loss journey. She’s finally subscribed to the methods we’ve embraced the last 397 Days, and it is serving her well. She’s walking all the time, counting her calories, and dropping weight. It’s an amazing feeling to witness and enjoy her success. I know she feels the same about me.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Day 397 Big Friday Night Show and No More "Calendar Regrets"

Day 397

Big Friday Night Show and No More “Calendar Regrets”

What a wonderfully stressful Friday. Friday’s have no in-between around here, it’s either really easy or really stressful. Put that Friday anywhere around the middle or end of the month and watch out, it might get crazy. But after getting done what had to be done, I settled down for a pre-show nap mid-afternoon. I set the phone to silent and drifted off with thoughts of the night ahead lingering. Tonight was going to be a big night. My mom, Aunt Jean from Michigan (my mom’s sister), Aunt Kelli (another of mom’s sisters), Uncle Keith (mom’s brother), my grandmother, Amber with her boyfriend KL, and Courtney would all be in attendance. Oh, and let’s not forget the boss, owners of Team Radio, Bill and his wife Helen, plus several other friends and acquaintances. I was ready for the night after a nice two-hour nap.

I was excited that these important people in my life were finally getting a chance to see what all of this was about. It they all have a deeper understanding of why this production is so important to me. Aside from the facts; it’s a great script with a beautiful message, wonderfully directed, and loaded with a talented cast, this play is a milestone along my journey. It might sound overly dramatic, but really, it has been a dream come true. When you reach a point along your weight loss road, where you’re able to do the things you’ve only dreamed of doing, that’s when it becomes magical. You would have never found 505 pound Sean on that stage. That guy would have never auditioned, and even if he had auditioned, let’s be honest---no way would he have been cast. But that 505 pound guy knew he had it in him. He knew that acting was something he had to do someday, someday when he could. This play is one of many things like this for me.

As I look at the photos below, I can’t help but see how far I have to go. Before you yell at the computer screen—YES, I really see and appreciate how far I’ve come, but let’s be honest, there’s clearly work to be done. It’s alright, I’m happy and confident about the road ahead. I understand my goals and I understand what it will take to reach them. My transformation, as dramatic as it’s been, is far from complete. I said this in the beginning: I don’t want to look like someone who’s lost a bunch of weight. If I’m going to lose all the weight, then I owe it to myself to build the type of body I’ve always dreamed of having. I’ve had my hang-ups about weight training and my severely weak upper body, but those hang-ups can’t stop me from realizing my ultimate goal. I will not allow them to stand in my way. It’s funny, during past failed weight loss attempts; I’d often look at the calendar with regret. I would always say, if only I had stuck with the plan, I’d be much smaller now. I don’t have calendar regret over weight loss anymore, but I do have some as far as weight training is concerned. Had I become a steady and consistent weight lifter back in February, when I first made my way into the weight room, I can’t imagine how different I would look today. Calendar regrets…its no way to live.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the way I look today. You understand don’t you? My aim is much loftier than just losing the fat. Get ready for a new commitment, or should I say, renewed commitment along this road. Get ready for the kind of change that is over-the-top jaw dropping impressive. Not that it hasn't been that already, but losing weight is one thing, building the body we really want is surely another.

Tomorrow I’m headed to the Oklahoma State homecoming parade in Stillwater. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of this parade, always held on a chilly fall Saturday morning.
Tomorrow’s parade is set for 2pm. It’s an unusual start time, but ESPN coverage of the actual game is pushing back kick-off until after 8pm. Tomorrow, I’ll write more about the parade and my experiences with it over the years. The grand marshals of the parade will be music superstar Garth Brooks, NFL Hall of Famer and former Cowboy Barry Sanders, and major league baseball great Robin Ventura. I had the pleasure to grow up watching these three people develop at Oklahoma State long before the world knew of their talents. Oh the stories I could share, another time, another time my friend.

After the play, we enjoyed having the family back at the house for food, coffee, and togetherness. It was very nice. Then I stayed up discussing the many facets of the play with Irene, Amber, and KL. We had a nearly two hour discussion about the many elements of the script that made the play what it was. We also discussed the fine touches that made the production sparkle. The sounds, the smells, the atmosphere was wonderfully perfect.

Thank you for reading. Until next time, enjoy the photos below…You’re not suppose to take pictures during a play, but my Aunt had permission I guess, as long as she didn't use flash and the camera was completely silent. The photos below were from the front row, taken "undercover" so to speak. Kelli!!! Even though it was a very taboo thing to do, let me thank you for the shots. It’s hard to stop Kelli and her camera! She’s responsible for many of the “before” shots you see on my blog. So again Kelli, thank you and I love you. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,










PhotobucketAfter the show at the house with my mom and her sister, my Aunt Jean from Michigan. She changed her travel schedule to be here for the play! I’m so happy that she had a chance to see this production.

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