Friday, November 27, 2009

Day 438 Thanksgiving Day My Way Part Deux

Day 438

Thanksgiving Day My Way Part Deux

I’m officially over my silly little tantrum about yesterday’s weigh-in. It happens to everyone eventually, and there are many possible reasons why it happened. The advice and support from everyone has just been incredible. I thought about my feelings over this and I concluded that I needed to be a little more thankful for my blessings. I have good blogger friends that read this blog---good friends who have faced gains at weigh-in, and they usually handle it with grace and an honest common sense approach to the question why and what they plan to do about it. I deserve zero sympathy! How dare I complain about anything along this road so far---It’s been nothing but a blessing. I’m a very fortunate individual. I don’t think my reaction was too bad really---maybe only a few people wanted to slap me, but like I’ve said---My success along this road has spoiled me rotten. I walk into that doctors office every two weeks with a confident swagger, just knowing-expecting and collecting my rewards on the scale. “I’m just here to add a little more to my loss total.” Good for my body and the scale for setting me straight! Now I realize that the game must be on. What does that mean? It means for me to stop casually cruising along and make some deliberate changes to what I’ve been doing. Nothing crazy…just making sure I’m drinking enough water, making sure I’m eating at home more often than out, maybe increase my calories for a couple of weeks, and hit the workouts with the same crazy beautiful consistency that started this whole journey---but maybe try a few different routines. Plateau—shmateau---I got this…keep reading everyday, you’ll see.

Today---Thanksgiving Day, the day of the feast! Not long after Courtney and I hit Stillwater, we were at Wal-Mart stocking up for the dinner. Shopping is different now. Our selection process is drastically improved. We don’t overbuy, we read labels, we make educated decisions in the aisles of the store. This is a big change from when we couldn’t care less. It was a free-for-all back then. If it looked good and loaded---oh yeah, it was going in the basket. Some items wouldn’t even make it out of the parking lot unopened. Some, not even out of the store.

We started the day with breakfast. I shared a two whole egg sausage and cheese omelet with mom, well worth the 200 calories it cost me. The idea of a good breakfast was to make sure I didn’t “pick” as we cooked. Irene was up early with me and we started working together to get the meal on the table by 11:30am. Irene had to be on the road back by 12:40pm, she had some casino managing to do today at 2pm. We work well together in the kitchen, always have. We know each other well enough to read each other’s mind.

I added 1,000 calories to the budget today, just like last year. 2,500 calories is more than enough to enjoy whatever taste of the holiday I wanted. I do love pecan pie, but the calorie value is so repulsive to me, I just refused to enjoy even a sliver. It’s not deprivation if you honestly don’t want it, you know? An eighth-slice piece for 470 calories? Uh, no thank you. I prefer my pie to fall in the 200-250 calorie range. OK, I could have had a 1/16 piece like last year, but again---completely turned off by one of the worst calorie values I’ve encountered---topped only by eggnog. An 8-ounce cup of non-alcoholic eggnog—360 calories…Uh---forget that! Well, at least for today---I wouldn’t buy it last night, sorry fam! We will have a sip or two come Christmas, but seriously I didn’t miss it one bit today---same with the pecan pie. I couldn’t care less.

After dinner, we traveled the four blocks over to Aunt Connie’s holiday feast. We were invited for dinner and desert, or just desert. We decided to go over and enjoy desert. Surely I’ve written about Aunt Connie’s reputation as the baker in the family. She’s incredible in the kitchen---and so are her kids, my cousins. Aunt Connie actually went to school for baking and cake decorating---she knows her stuff. Oh boy, does she ever. I was really looking forward to the visit. I haven’t laid eyes on many of these family members since I started losing weight…so I was ready for the onslaught of “wow” reactions. And yes, they came fast and furious. Aunt Connie told me that she hardly recognized me when I walked in---that was cool. Everybody had a shocked look and a compliment ready to go. Isn’t this fun? I thought. They always hoped I would do this once and for all, but like so many of my loved ones, I imagine they weren’t holding their breath---I was so lost for so long, can’t really blame them. I had planned on simply having desert, maybe my second piece of pie for the day…But then I noticed what appeared to be Aunt Connie’s homemade rolls---I’ve got to have one of these, oh my—one taste and I was immediately transported back to my childhood and the monthly family get-togethers. We didn’t need an organized family reunion back then---we just naturally gathered every month. I miss those days, I do.

As soon as the roll hit my lips, Dale---Aunt Connie’s oldest, started telling about his smoked ham---and well, it’s ham---and after hearing Dale lovingly describe its preparation, I was committed to trying a bite or two at least. While I was grabbing a bite of the best smoked ham in the world I also noticed stuffed mushrooms. I love mushrooms, and if they’re stuffed with a cream cheese mixture, then---let’s do it! I had two of those little things. April, Aunt Connie’s daughter prepared them, along with an amazing homemade apple pie. I had found my second piece of pie, oh my…the crust---so flakey, so perfect…The apples and cinnamon, the sugar---Oh it was fabulous. I made it a small piece, probably less than the 250 calories I guesstimated, but that’s all right, I had calories to throw around---and I did, and it was good.

I discovered something interesting at the store last night. Cool Whip, a holiday desert staple in the Anderson family, has 25 calories for two tablespoons…I knew that already, but what I didn’t know was this: Redi-Whip---you know, the REAL whipped cream in the can---it’s only 15 calories for two tablespoons. We bought the Redi-Whip instead. It was so good. I’m not sure that I saved calories by choosing the Redi-Whip. You see, with Cool Whip---you can’t spray it directly into your mouth like Redi-Whip. Yes---should have made a video of this: Courtney and I took turns doing Redi-Whip shots. But they were quick shots---a couple of tablespoons each---not bad really. I’m such a fun dad.

We seriously missed Amber today. She spent Thanksgiving with KL and his family. She called last night to tell me about all the homemade items they were preparing, including an absolutely incredible sounding-homemade German chocolate cake. It was the first Thanksgiving we’ve experienced without her. Did not like that at all. But, we’ll have them for Christmas! Good. Amber will have to prepare that cake all over again!

After all of the visiting---we did what most people do. Watch football? No. Do dishes? No. Sleep? Yes! I crawled into my mom’s giant recliner and it didn’t take long to drift away for an hour or so…wait, maybe longer.

All I know is---we let the sun and warm temperatures leave us before heading out to the lake for the 2nd Annual Anderson Family Thanksgiving Day 5K---in the dark of the early evening. It was just three of us participating this year--Courtney, me, and Uncle Keith. Keith had said he only wanted to walk the 5K, so we had him go ahead of us in a separate vehicle. Our plan was simple; we would arrive and then jog to catch up with Keith. We ran, then walked…ran some more, and then walked…kept running---and finally I called Keith. “Where are you?” He was on the bridge about 300 yards ahead of us. He kept walking while we ran toward him, finally---after completing nearly a third of the 5K, we caught him. I finished out the rest of the 5K walking briskly and visiting alongside Keith. You know me---I prefer getting lost in my music while working out, but I looked forward to the visit with Keith, so I left the iPod in the vehicle. We couldn’t help but notice how alone we were out there. Boomer Lake is always buzzing with runners, bicyclist, walkers---it sure was busy last year, but we didn’t wait until the cold dark evening last year. We owned the entire lake tonight---having completed over half of the 5K before we crossed another person. We only encountered two other people out there tonight. It was incredible. The air was crisp, the lake was calm, the stars and moon so bright---It was chilly, but I enjoyed it. Afterward, the three of us reminisced about last years Thanksgiving Day 5k---and how beat we felt then, but tonight was different of course. I could have done another 5K right then and there, I’m serious. I didn’t go back in the archives to check---But I’m pretty sure I’ve lost about 170 pounds since last years trek. That’ll make all the difference in the world my friend. It felt so good, so very nice to be able to move so easily. Oh what freedom, it’s freedom pure and simple.

Oh…before I forget to mention it…I took a seat on my mom’s porch patio today. Why is that so amazing? Because it was one of those folding lawn chairs with the nylon straps and narrow arms! I’ve avoided these my entire life. These type of chairs were reserved for people of normal weight and width, not me…until now. It was comfortable and---here’s the bonus: I had room to spare on both sides! I sat out there and enjoyed a wonderful conversation with Irene before she left. We both were excited about me fitting so wonderfully in that chair. I fit! So cool, I love it!

Courtney and I headed back home with calories to spare. I still had over 600 remaining at that point and really wasn’t too concerned about using them. I decided that a junior size frozen yogurt cone was in order. I had to count it as 200, they made it a little big, even though it’s suppose to be only 2 ounces. They get really confused if you complain about a “too big” cone. In their mind, they’re being generous---just being nice, giving us a little more bang for the buck. I never say anything, OK, I did once…and then realized that they were just being nice---So now, if they make it bigger than it should be…I just count it. And if it’s too big, I’m not opposed to sharing, or simply throwing it away.

On the ride back we listened to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” I love that song and so does Courtney. I have such a diverse taste in music. Listening to that song sparked a wonderful conversation about Kurt Cobain and his choices---and how incredibly important those choices become in determining our future. Of all the wonderful things we have to be thankful for---and we did give thanks today for many things---I have to say that having two incredibly mature and wonderfully intelligent daughters is at the top of the list.

OK, wow---this is an epic post. And I’m not done. Below you’ll find some pics from today, and some “Lost” Before pictures. Thank you to Aunt Kelli for finding them! I can’t believe how huge I was back then. The birthday money face picture is officially one of my favorite before shots…check out that gigantic face. It’s like all my chins merged into one giant super-chin. Wow. Anyway, I’m also including a re-typed food log from today. And you’ll notice I left some (120) on the table. Eating more just to hit the special 2500-calorie limit seemed silly. Oh, I could have done it easily…just didn’t want to.

Thank you for reading and offering your support. It’s been a simply amazing journey so far, truly one of the highlights of my life. And the road ahead will be very interesting. It’s time to get into a brand new groove. We’re getting real close to goal! Goodnight and…

Good Choices,

Thanksgiving Food Log

½ Sausage link and cheese two whole egg omelet--------------200
Coffee creamer (3 cups with 3 teaspoons each)------------------90
½ slice ham (nibbling!)-----------------------------------------40
1 miniature Cookies and Cream candy bar----------------------40

Turkey Breast------------------------------------------------- 170
Serving of stuffing----------------------------------------------150
Serving of mashed potatoes and gravy--------------------------150
1.5 rolls--------------------------------------------------------105
Green beans with cheese----------------------------------------70
Small Piece pumpkin pie with Redi-Whip-----------------------240

At Aunt Connie’s Dinner:
1 roll (turns out it wasn’t homemade—tasted like it!)-------------70
Bite of Dale’s Smoked Ham---------------------------------------25
2 small stuffed mushrooms---------------------------------------50
Small Slice of April’s Apple Pie-----------------------------------250

1 miniature chocolate bar----------------------------------------40
2 Redi-Whip Shots-----------------------------------------------30
5 crackers with thin spread port wine cheese---------------------150
1 Junior frozen yogurt cone (larger than normal)-----------------200

5 more crackers with this spread port wine cheese---------------150
Coffee with creamer (two cups—6 teaspoons creamer)------------60
Bold Chex Party Mix--------------------------------------------100
Total: 2,380

My yummy plate of traditional Thanksgiving fare 645 calories pictured minus the pie—885 calories with pumpkin pie

Irene and me at dinner

Courtney, me, Irene---around the table

Mom and me

Mom and me---Before! Way before. Oh my goodness, big…

Another giant before shot with mom

It’s like all of my chins merged into one big Super-Chin. Love this “Lost” before picture. Me acting completely goofy.

I know I had mentioned posting videos too---but the only one we made was at the lake, in the dark prior to the 5K, I posted that one to facebook—We’ll have plenty more videos soon, trust me!


  1. So glad you had such a wonderful Thanksgiving. Sorry to hear about the "p"--it was probably a fluke. Just keep trucking and next weigh day will be awesome! Remember stress packs on the pounds, remember to relax and think happy thoughts.

  2. I'm with you on the pecan pie being a calorie-death sentence in a pie dish! Can we throw in cheesecake? At the feast I attended yesterday, one slice (if you could even call it a slice!) came in at 390 calories. That was for 1/12th of the entire thing. I literally could not comprehend spending 400 calories on that joke of a serving. It was borderline offensive.

    Sounds like you had a really great time and continue to have so much to be thankful for. :) And hey, it's fine to be a little WTF when you walk out of a weigh-in with 'nothing to show' for it. It happens to the best of us. You probably didn't catch it, but NBC ran a 'Where Are They Now' Biggest Loser special on Wednesday. It was actually pretty boring, but there was one take-away I got from watching. One of the former contestants said that in order to keep the weight off, she needs to workout for 60-90 minutes, six days a week. This was reccomended to her by the Biggest Loser doctor and is reccomended for anyone who was 'formerly obese'. I'm normally skeptical when I hear things like this (everyone has an antidote, right?!), but I couldn't help but take notice. I've had plenty of weeks where my eating was spot on, but they scale showed no mercy. The problem? I didn't put in very much sweat time. Coincidence?

  3. Hi Sean. Glad you had such a lovely family day together. Wonderful that you're able to continue all those family traditions. And to add new ones like running!

    Bearfriend xx

  4. Just stopping by to say,"Good Job"...your story is tremendous and I loved hearing about your 2nd annual 5K run. Way to go!

  5. P.S. I do the same thing for holidays...what are they? 3 days a year? Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I just don't want to make myself crazy over them.

  6. I ate like you wouldn't believe yesterday. It was great, today..back otk. I did go to the gym yesterday. And today. I am probably calorie neutral today as of right now. I like being back on track, I enjoyed yesterday...but I realized today that before, or last year...I would have just kept going today. I posted some truly heinous before pictures a few days ago. One of the day my whole life changed, which is truly amazing to have. Great job sean, good to see you and your family hanging out and really enjoying the holiday together. BTW, your mom looks better this year too..great eyeliner!

  7. I have something for you on my blog!!!


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