Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day 544 I Never Bothered To Ask and Becoming "Normal" In The Eyes of Strangers

Day 544

I Never Bothered To Ask and Becoming “Normal” In The Eyes of Strangers

I jumped out of bed right at the first alarm this morning! I was determined not to have a repeat of yesterday. It was 3:50am, and I could have grabbed another fifteen minutes—but really, the risk of over sleeping again was far greater a concern than the benefit of grabbing an extra quarter-hour. I made my way into the kitchen and started the coffee before getting some blood moving with my morning warm-up routine. It's not the most vigorous workout, but it's just a little something to make me feel good first thing. I read about some getting up and running several miles before their first cup of coffee, and wow—maybe that will be me someday, but right now...right now, today...I'm doing good!

I loved the feedback on the asparagus experience yesterday. The overwhelming consensus?: It's all in how you prepare the stuff! So true! I plan on giving asparagus another shot real soon. I'll be grilling. I want the kind of asparagus that Dawne described “like candy.” I like candy. I want some candy asparagus. I wonder if anyone has ever dipped it in chocolate and rolled it in nuts? OK—maybe I'm getting carried away, I don't think that's what Dawne meant...pardon me!

I enjoyed my coffee this morning and started writing yesterday's blog posting while I contemplated breakfast. I decided on a couple of scrambled whole eggs with mushrooms and salsa, wrapped in a flat-out flat bread. It was a big and hearty breakfast burrito for 230 calories. I grabbed some fruit and hit the road, ready for a busy Friday in radio land. And it was fairly busy. I had to leave early too, so that made me extra hurried to get things done. I had a friend to take to the airport in Wichita.

We stopped at a convenience store for a snack and something to drink on the way to the airport. I needed something, but this convenience store didn't have fresh fruit. They did have plenty of junk! But I don't want junk. I wanted something I could feel good about. I ended up grabbing a 140 calorie bowl of dry Cheerios and an 80 calorie white string cheese. I'm always asking myself is this choice going to make me feel good or bad? How does it fit in my calorie budget today? Do I need it or do I just want it? Simple questions that take just a second to answer, but are so vitally important to me now and so drastically different from “old” Sean.

I was the king of mindless eating. The “old” Sean would have grabbed a large bag of chips, some beef jerky, and a candy bar...along with a 32 ounce fountain drink of straight Coke. Yep---over 1000 calories on a one hour road trip snack—oh yeah, that was normal around here. The only questions I would ask myself back then were: Does it sound good and taste even better? Give it to me! Can I eat cheese nachos while driving? I swear---the day the convenience store down the road installed a hot cheese and chili dispenser---that day was beautiful man, beautiful! When I explore my old habits and behaviors, I quickly realize why it was so easy to become a 500 pound man---and how I was able to maintain that level of morbid obesity for so many years.

I overheard two people talking about me today. I perked up and listened closely. I couldn't hear everything, but what I did hear made me feel on top of the world. “He looks like a normal person.” Thank you kind stranger! That made my day. It's the pursuit of “normal” isn't it? I want to look normal, not fat. I want to eat normal, not with out of control gluttony. I want to be a normal guy. And here's a stranger, perhaps a listener---someone that remembers seeing me at my heaviest, making an honest observation and calling me normal. That's more beautiful to me than a hot cheese and chili machine any day of the week!

Everyday I read a post from exactly a year prior. Today I found this from Day 179, March 12th, 2009:

I feel like nothing is impossible. This over-joyed feeling is such a far cry from the desperate hopeless emotions of 505 pounds. I hope that you can see my sincerity in these words. After being overweight my entire life and never losing the weight permanently, I felt like I was destined to be fat forever, however short that forever may have been. I can see the possibilities now, I can feel the hope for the first time in a long time. I always was good at putting on a happy face no matter my weight. Someone said to me tonight that they'll miss that 505 pound guy they first met a year or so ago. But understand, that 505 pound guy was hurting very badly inside. That 505 pound guy was all smiles on the outside and all tears inside. While my values will always remain the same, and I'll always be me, a part of Sean that has never surfaced before is making it's way out. It's the Sean I always kept under wraps, opting instead for a much more insecure version, less confident, and full of self doubt. This new Sean is still the old Sean, just way more outgoing and confident. A much more fun Sean is emerging like a butterfly, But this really isn't anything new...It's me! It's the me I've always been inside, but was too insecure to let out. Finally my personality on the radio will more closely match up with my personality off the air. I've always said that I reveal way more of “the real me” on the radio. I do because you can't see me. The only thing I have to be confident about on the radio is my voice and ability to communicate, and that's never been a problem.

While I was driving home from Wichita, Amber was driving home from college for Spring break. I beat her to town just in time to do some grocery shopping and clean house a little. I put the last dish in the washer shortly before she arrived. I know I see her my kid way more often than some parents do with kids in college, but still---every reunion is met with tight hugs. I'm so proud of my girls. We visited a little bit, catching up on the last few weeks , then I started cooking dinner for the two of us.

I grilled a couple of chicken breast and prepared some whole wheat spaghetti and marinara. I topped the marinara laden pasta with the chicken, mushrooms, and some mozzarella---then baked it for twenty minutes. It was good and tasty, and fairly heavy at 530 calories a plate...but we both had the room in our calorie budget, it was all good. We had an ice cream bar for desert too! That's right, a Blue Bunny Star Bar is only 110 calories...and it's the perfect portion controlled ice cream indulgence. We were half way through dinner when I realized I didn't take a picture of the finished dish!! Oh time.

After dinner and more visiting, Amber decided to make her way over to her mom's house and I decided to go to bed early. I was exhausted really. Three days in a row without a mid to late afternoon nap...Yeah, so---I was ready to crash! I did and it was so good. I plan on taking Amber with me to the YMCA this weekend, and if it warms up enough, I plan on hitting the trail for a 10K. It's been a while since we've done one of those! I'll be sure to let you know how that goes.

Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,


  1. Yes, grilled asparagus is awesome...kind of a nutty flavor. Try it again.

  2. Do you remember that song "I Want Candy" by Bow Wow Wow in the 80's? That's my favorite version. I was singing that recently and had to stop myself. You know that subliminal thing. I said to myself, one day when I was tired, I want a soda pop. Caught myself then too. "No I don't want a soda pop. I want my clothes to fit lose, I want to feel good", etc. Talked myself out of it. I attribute part of that to you my friend. You've got me thinking of making good choices.

    Thank you!

  3. Sean,

    Great story about over-hearing the women talk about you. NORMAL. YES YES YES! That was my goal too. I just wanted to be normal. Shop at normal size stores, etc. I didn't ever need to be "hot" again! I just wanted to be normal... but ok NOW I want more!!!! haha


    Diet Buddy Girl

  4. It struck me, those 3 questions you ask yourself before eating something. I ask the last two, but didn't think of asking the first one:
    "I'm always asking myself is this choice going to make me feel good or bad? "

    I don't know if you meant feel good or bad physically, or, emotionally. But maybe it could mean both! Either way, as I am trying to improve my nutritional choices, this is a great question. Thanks for the idea!

  5. The only way I have really found that I like grilled with balsamic vinegar. Mmmm!

  6. Oh yes, grilled asparagus is absolutely fantastic....and if you've got the calories to spare and want a different twist, try wrapping a piece of bacon around each one before you throw it on the grill...heaven. :)

    I hope you have a GREAT weekend with Amber! :)

  7. I said something the other day about the joys of being average.
    It feels great to go from feeling like a circus freak show to feeling like a human being.
    I love asparagus broiled in the oven with a little olive oil and onion and garlic powder.

  8. "Is this choice going to make me feel good or bad?"... I need to tape this everywhere there is food. You said it perfectly.


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