Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 547 Let Me Enjoy This One and Negative Encouragement Revisited

Day 547

Let Me Enjoy This One and Negative Encouragement Revisited

Beware of the Ides of March! Whatever. It was fine. Today was great. I started my day early like so many before---with some non-weighted strength exercises, breakfast, and reading…and sometimes writing. It’s a nice start, a good foundation to what could be and should be a good day. I’m doing everything I can to make it that way.

Thank you to everyone for the kind comments about yesterday’s post. A few were wayyyy tooo kind. Really, Tom Cruise, OK---whatever! It’s funny you mention that, because Irene was the first to say that years ago, even at my heaviest, she could see some resemblance. It’s happened over and over again throughout the years. I once had a comedy club patron at Laffs in Tucson, Arizona, stop me after a show just to tell me that I looked like a “fat Tom Cruise.” I guess that was a compliment, kinda.

I remember rushing back to the room that night to tell Irene and the girls all about this strangers observation. I was giddy: “She said I looked like a fat Tom Cruise, can you believe that? You really think so? If only I could lose this weight---I wonder what I would look like in the face?” It was hope for my fat head and me. That’s how I looked at that, it was hope. After feeling like the fattest, ugliest person in every room or group I was in---I felt hope. Maybe if I lost this weight, I could be considered cute. I would dream about that…crazy huh? Or maybe it’s not crazy, it's just a normal fat guy dream. Tom and I do have the same style of connecting ears and maybe the same eye and nose shape---maybe. Our facial structure must be similar. Whatever. Irene read the blog posting and the Tom Cruise comment and then sent me a text that said “See, I always told you that you looked like Tom Cruise, I was the first.” Yes you were my buddy. Honestly, I don’t see it. I appreciate it. And mom, my dear momma---don’t worry---it’s far, far away from going to my head. That’s what mom said tonight…“don’t let that go to your head son.” Isn’t she amazing? I love my momma!

And I love my dear cousin Troy. I haven’t heard from him concerning the post…I hope once he reads the paragraph about our childhood, that he’s still gracious in his understanding. It’s cool to not be the heaviest person anymore. That’s all. I can’t help but smile over that fact.

I can remember thinking to myself: I’m the fattest person in this school. Or: I’m the fattest person in this store right now. Or at a big sporting event: I may be the fattest person in this entire stadium. I know, I know…horrible. And I started doing that to myself in grade school! It didn’t take much to figure out that I was the fattest kid in the school…then I would sit there and obsess over the thought.

So you know what? I’m enjoying not being that guy anymore. I don’t feel “gross” like that girl said to me in eighth grade when I expressed interest in her. I don’t feel like a freak anymore. I felt like one for too long. It messes with your head badly. So good for me that after a lifetime of feeling that way---I can feel good about how I look, confident in my appearance---maybe not total body confidence just yet---but we’re getting there, but seriously…I sometimes tear up when I’m all alone and I’m washing my hands---and I look up at myself in the mirror…and I like what I see for the first time in my life. I’ve never had that before.

I spent the evening with Amber tonight. We arrived home from dinner out at JW Cobbs with just enough calories left for a 110 calorie Blue Bunny Star Bar….or a banana or apple. I chose the Star Bar. It was a treat. It’s important to have occasional treats, and for 110 calories, I love the ice cream bar! We watched Couples Retreat with Vince Vaughn. We laughed a bunch. And caught some of the love lessons in the end too. It was a good movie and a nice time together.

I read the post from March 15th, 2009 and found a portion about “negative encouragement.” If you’ve been overweight for a long time, then surely you’ve been a victim of the sharp edged, well meaning barbs, and sometimes not so well meaning jabs from people around us:

One thing that doesn't motivate anyone is “negative encouragement.” Sounds like an oxymoron doesn't it? Negative encouragement is when a person uses negatives in hopes that they'll sting enough to make that person do something about their weight problem. “You're lazy,” “You'll never lose your weight,” “You're a slob,” these negatives do nothing to motivate, they just hurt peoples feelings and reinforce negative perceptions they may already have about themselves. These kind of negative comments can come from great people that really love the target of their remarks. They really do, they would love to see positive changes in the person they're firing these hurtful words toward, and if confronted about the negative comments and relentless negative out loud observations, they would no doubt be hurt themselves, because “hey, I love them, I just want them to do something about their obesity.” I've personally witnessed this kind of “encouragement” and since I have a tremendous amount of experience being morbidly obese, I can ensure you that it has absolutely zero positive value. It just doesn't serve a purpose, at all, not even a little bit. And again, the person dealing the remarks can be a very caring, smart, and loving individual, with nothing but positive hopes and dreams for the subject of their ridicule. Perhaps they've never been morbidly obese, they've never had a serious weight problem, so they don't fully understand the mental perplexities of obesity. If you're the one dealing the remarks, stop it! If you're the one receiving the remarks, don't believe them for one second! You can do this, you have the power within to dramatically change your life forever. Once you truly decide to make the changes, and you make it the most important thing you do, and you work on changing your mind about food, eating, and exercise habits, and you do it everyday with 100% consistency, then nothing can stop you from reaching your goal. Not stress, not emotions, not a single thing can get in your way. How do I know? Because I spent my entire life stuck in the prison of morbid obesity. After countless attempts to break free, I'm just now doing it everyday.

Thanks for reading. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,


  1. I dunno... I think you look more like Brad Pittiful.

  2. That negative commenting is very similar to the idiotic commercials about how smoking hurts you and then they show you the graphic pictures of your organs in order to dissuade you. I always felt so bad about myself after seeing them that I went and comforted myself....WITH CIGARETTES! So ultimately, they just succeeded in making me smoke more!

    Same with the obesity, it just makes the person comfort themselves the only way they know how...which perpetuates the problem!

    Good post.

  3. Ugh - I am so with you with the negative encouragement! It truly is only a detriment, not an encouragement at all. Too bad more people couldn't understand this!

    You should be enjoying the improved you...you have definitely earned it!! : ))

  4. Here's a challenge for your imagination: visualize yourself in an exam gown, nekkid underneath... laid out on flat on your back, on the table in the dr's office with your feet up in the stirrups...

    Your are getting the one exam all women HATE. Yep, that one. By a male doctor. And during the exam, with your derriere hanging out in the breeze, the doctor decides to "motivate" you to lose weight, by saying with disgust: "You are just too damn fat!"

    Yep, I totally get the stupidity of thinking that "negative encouragement" is going to somehow motivate anyone.

    I cried all the way home. That was over 30 years ago, and it's burned into my memory like it was yesterday!!


    PS: sorry if that was too graphic a visual!! Don't have nightmares now. LOL!

  5. You're looking great Superman ;)

  6. omg at loretta. I think one of my legs would have left the stirrup and kicked him in his fat mouth.
    so anywhoozle, onto sean's or your post.
    Tom cruise. He's a little crazy eyed to me.
    yOu look like something better.
    sean who's healthy.
    keep up the great work.

  7. I think you have total right to be happy that you aren't the biggest person anymore as you so put it. You have come so far!!! I totally see Tom Cruise

  8. that Tom Cruise thing is true ... i used to think that u resemble someone but never could make out who ... now i know ! lol! and you know what , the mirror thing is so awesome!!! today i was washing my hands and i saw my face and i started to smile ...why ? because i looked too damn good :D one of my friends saw me smiling and he asked me the reason... i was like " not much , just fell in love with myself " lol
    cheers !!

  9. i think you look better than tom or brad..you look like you and a healthy you..i always thought you were a good looking man but of course i am partial to ya..hehe loveyou..kelli

  10. Sean,

    Glad to hear that you are in love! In love with yourself, that is. How wonderful!!! It's so important to love yourself and it seems you finally have a achieved that love. And it's not just because you are now "thin". It's because you are doing all you can to take care of yourself and that feels soooo great! You keep on treating yourself like the special man that you are!

    Diet Buddy Girl

  11. I get "You look like Linda Evangelista with more weight on her" all this time. I'll take it! (Cause she's too darn thin anyway!)

    As long as you don't start jumping all over Oprah's sofa, you can look like whoever you want.

  12. Thank you for this blog. It has been a real help. I appreciate your honesty and the support your "team" gives you in the comments.

    I learned that a former friend commonly referred to me (not in my presence) as "Pretty Face," from the old "She has such a pretty face, too bad she's so fat." Ouch. I'll never understand how people think that is a compliment. I also relate to your thoughts, because every time I see a photo, the first thing I do is try to see if I am still the fattest one in the group. That's not very kind to the other folks pictured, though.

  13. Your remark about seeing your face in the mirror and liking what you see...well I got a little misty over that one because I've been working at this fitness gig for several months now and have lost only 10 lbs (with at least 110 to go), but I can already see an improvement in my face. Probably it's more my change in attitude than anything else. And I've learned from you: mental change is just as good as weight loss.

    Some of us do the diet and exercise stuff very faithfully, but lose extremely slowly through no fault of our own. That would be discouraging without the improvement in mental attitude. It takes me a couple weeks to lose a lb. but when it's gone, it stays gone. That's the other important part.

    Thanks for another thought-provoking and helpful post!!!


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