Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 585 Reader Comments, Nice Weight Training, and Giant Fat Man No More

Day 585

Reader Comments, Nice Weight Training, and Giant Fat Man No More

Yesterday’s bike ride and spinning class really did a number on me. Oh, it’s all-good, and it felt good, but wow—now that was a workout! It was enough of a workout that I re-arranged my workout schedule for today. This morning while enjoying my breakfast, I glanced at my workout plan for the day and noticed: 6-mile bike ride. Uh, no. Not today, maybe tomorrow, not today. I had already decided to move the weight training from yesterday to today and now I’ve moved the bike ride to tomorrow. I can do that.

Blue commented on yesterday’s post:

Errrr - can't help wondering what happened to the 'shave the beard off' thing....not that I was one who advocated it in the first place - but do I detect a change of heart *cough! Blue~

That’s one of the things I failed to talk about yesterday. It’s the very insignificant topic of my facial hair. I was right there in the stylist chair---getting the uni-brow waxed and a haircut, when the question came. “So, we doing it?” Doing what? “I thought you agreed to shave this thing off.” And I said, “sure, let’s do it.” I had a plan---we would shave it off in phases and take pictures along the way. It would be comical, a real blast. But as soon as the razor was in position, I panicked and said “wait!” Maybe I like it after all. I must, I mean---it’s going to grow back if I shave it---what’s the big deal? And that’s when I realized something: This silly goatee gives me an added push of confidence. And I have a speaking engagement on Tuesday---and I don’t need to cut off any confidence boosters before that. I do want to do it---just to see what my slimmer face looks like now without, because all of my clean-shaven pics are from last year---and the last 30 or so pounds have made a difference. Blue---didn’t mean to make you “errr” my friend! ;)

My friend, successful weight loss superhero, and regular reader from India---Pratik, also commented about a trend he’s noticed around here:

Hey fantastic work with the spinning classes and the bike. I got excited(still am) after buying a bike and still ride it to everywhere i go!! its fun and convenient at the same time... but on a more serious note i think you are consuming very few carbs a day ,because i know how u love eggs n chicken and avoid bread. its just that we need at least 40% carbs in our daily diet to get the energy to do the workouts and all...pls do check with your fitness trainer abt this...

Thank you Pratik! I do eat a bunch of fruit everyday, but you’re certainly right, sometimes I do get protein heavy. It might serve me well to start tracking again---just for the analysis it provides. Of course, I always keep a running total of calories in my head throughout the day---but as we’re into the final stretch to goal, it’s a little more challenging---so tracking again might provide some helpful statistics. I just don’t like taking the time to log in and input everything into Fitday like I once did for the dietitian. But I just might need to again at this point. Thank you again for the observation!

My workout at the YMCA was short and effective. I was there tonight for weight training---and it was very nice. I pushed the limits, really finding out what I could do for eight to ten reps max per set. The weights really surprised me. I’m a little stronger than I once thought. The machine that works my abs---I almost use the entire rack of weights. My hidden six-pack and side muscles (whatever they’re called), use 150 pounds of resistance for a good workout. I knew they were under there! It gives me hope! A good weight training session to me means that my heart rate increases dramatically and I get hot…my blood is pumping and it feels good. I was extremely satisfied with this 35-minute session. Yep, that’s all it takes.

I prepared an amazing chicken dish for dinner. I know!!!! I need a little more variety, huh? Anyway---I grilled and then baked the chicken—topped with tomato sauce, cheese, mushrooms, green bell peppers, and two big tomato slices. It may have been chicken again---but prepared like this, it was different from anything I’ve had recently. It was like a pizza, with the chicken substituting for the crust. I really should have taken a moment for a picture. I will fix it again soon and do that!

In the archives from exactly a year ago---I found this story about how others see us---and the self-image we see and feel. From April 22nd 2009:

One of the most wonderful realizations recently was something that my daughter Courtney pointed out. Remember me sharing that after observing me walk in and out of a store, Courtney concluded that I was no longer a morbidly obese man, I was simply an overweight guy. Oh sure, technically I'm still a morbidly obese man, but it was a very accurate observation. It was a wonderful compliment and a fantastic thing to hear. I know exactly what she meant. I'm no longer the sideshow walking 500-pound freak of a fat guy. I no longer feel embarrassed to be seen out in public. If my shoe is untied, I tie it. If I'm in a hurry, I just might pick up my step to a light jog, I can now, you know? The days of waddling around like a stuffed penguin are over forever. The confidence that I carry now is solid. It's real confidence, not a facade covering an embarrassed, heavy breathing, exhausted obese man.

Little kids don't stare at me as much as I think they did before. I'll never forget the day several years ago when a little three or four year old called me a “giant fat man.” He was just being a kid and honestly observing the people around him, out loud. His dad was apologetic and told him that what he said wasn't nice and that he should apologize to me. I didn't think the kid owed me any apology, after all, he was just being a kid and being completely honest and really vocal. I stood there for a good thirty seconds as the dad tried to convince his little man to apologize. It was really uncomfortable. I'm all about teaching kids manners, but come on, he's three! Three year olds say some really honest stuff. That kid wasn't saying it to hurt my feelings, he didn't yet have the capacity to think that way. He was just innocently observing the people around him. Finally I smiled and said, “he's very cute, it's OK, really.” And I waddled away. I honestly wanted to cry right there in the snack isle. All I kept thinking about the rest of my shopping trip was, if this three year old sees me as a “giant fat man,” then everyone else does too, they just don't say it. I've never been comfortable with playing the role of the “giant fat man.” I've never pretended to like it either.

I know that some people project a sense of pride about their obesity, I don't understand that at all. Is being fat and proud or big and beautiful real? Or just a cover up to keep from crying in front of others? I've never been proud of my size, the only reason I've ever worn Big Daddy brand clothing is because it was given to me. I've never actually purchased a Big Daddy product. I'm not, nor have I ever been proud to be the “Giant Fat Man.” I am proud that Courtney's observation opened up my mind long enough to realize that I've lost enough weight to never be considered the “Giant Fat Man” ever again. The three year old reminded me how big I was at over 500 pounds, and now Courtney has reminded me how far I've come at 359 pounds, and that's very, very cool.

And the progress continues now at 258! Thank you for reading my friend. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,


  1. 258 wow that is great. I am not proud of my size at all and I hope with hard work to change it. I enjoy your blogs so much..

  2. I disagree with your other poster from yesterday Sean, I think the REASON you can easily manage your calories is because you stay off the carb rollercoaster for the most part......

    There is a whole science behind it and many, many researchers are finding that low carb is the way to go.

  3. Hello Giant man no longer from a giant gal no longer. :-) Love that part of your post. I guess because of late I've been thinking about the article that I read a few weeks (months?) ago about the lady who is aiming to be the worlds fattest woman. She's proud of the fact that she eats horribly and that she's huge! WHY????????? It greatly saddens me!

  4. Well, you asked. It takes an enormous amount of dignity and pride to be oneself, and to love oneself, especially if society decides you are one of the untouchables, whether one is fat, enormously fat, outwardly gay, transgendered, disabled, or whatever else society deems unworthy of respect. I doubt that social disapproval was the motivating factor in your transformation. I believe it is crucial to be PROUD of your body, no matter what your size or shape or abilities. Being ashamed of one's body means one supports our society's attitude of bullsh*t superiority of some folks over other folks, and thus one sells oneself like a slave to social opinion. One may also feel ashamed as a thin person with 25+ lbs of sagging skin, especially if you are one of the many unfortunate people who: cannot afford to pay for plastic surgery and is not gifted with amazing skin elasticity. Because, speaking from experience, all that extra skin can be a huge source of embarassment and shame to overcome.

    Also, many people are stunned to discover a ravenous appetite after losing all their excess fat. For instance, if you are losing 1-2 lbs. per week, that means you are still getting 500 to 1000 calories a day from saturated fat (from your body's fat stores), which helps to keep you satiated and comfortable. When that fat is completely gone, and the novelty of a thin body wears off, it often becomes a different *battle* altogether. Your body may begin to signal that you must be eating more, and the signal comes in the form of honest to god hunger.

    I'm not saying you won't succeed!!!

    I'm suggesting that you should not be unprepared to discover that this current weightloss phase has been the easy-cheesy part. Few people blog openly about this experience. I've seen a lot of folks go back up the scale when their hunger eventually returns with a vengence. And they blame themselves, feel ashamed, and beat themselves up for wanting to *overeat* when in fact there are simple biological regulators hard at work (hunger is just one of those regulators.)

    So, I guess I'm suggesting that people should cultivate pride in their body no matter its size or appearance. You can't know for sure how well you will do (weight-wise) over the loooong haul, until you have a few more years under your belt and the extra fat has been gone for awhile. I think you are keeping your humility close at hand but it is really easy to become smug. Again, I'm speaking from personal experience.

    You have a lot going for you. Support, a great mental attitude, resources, loving friends and family, and even your gender (which allows you to have a greater muscle mass).

    As always, I'm cheering for you.

  5. I think you should shave it off, Sean.

    As for the comment from Anonymous, I think they have a good point in that a healthy self-esteem is critical for all of us. That includes getting to a place where we can love ourselves, regardless of our size. Having said that, obesity is just not healthy. Heart disease is our biggest killer and it stems from obesity, an active lifestyle and poor nutrition. If those are remedied, then weight will move to a healthy level.

    Big Clyde

  6. Hi-

    Wow! You looked great exercising yesterday!

    I just wanted to add that I am in the last 10lbs of my weight loss journey. I have a BMI in the lower end of the healthy range, 24% body fat, 5"6" 145 lbs and I just can't lose those 10 lbs! I lost the first 30 so easily and I haven't lost a pound in the last 6 months.

    I am working with a personal trainer and they just put me on low-carb. I agree with the other poster that there is a lot of research that suggests low-carb is the best way to lose the weight once you are in the "normal" range.

    Keep it up and you'll be there soon!

  7. If i biked as much as you did yesterday i don't think i'd be able to move today :)

  8. thanks very much Sean but YOU are the real superhero, not me :) maybe we can start Justice League together someday lol!!
    @Laurie low carb is the way to go Laurie and i totally agree with you but do you know what's the ratio of a so called high protein-low carb diet? its 40%carb-40%protein-20%EFA(essential fatty acids)or fats. anything less than this and your body gets to make less energy making you feel lethargic during your workout because your glycogen stores are depleted after around 20-25 minutes of workout and the remaining time you use the energy released after conversion of muscle (losing muscle) . in order to avoid this we can use any simple carb containing food( fruits ...half a banana for instance) 30 min before workout which will help us to retain the energy levels during the later phase of the workout and reduce muscle loss too. i have tried and tested it and found out that i can run more than usual ( a difference of 1 or 1.5 miles) when i have loaded up the carbs 30 min before workout .

    PS : in layman's terms protein helps us build muscle and carbs help us get energy to do work. we have to strike a balance between them so that we can squeeze out the maximum from our workout.
    best wishes.

  9. Very glad you kept the goatee...Its sexy... :)

  10. lol, anonymous was on my blog the other day telling me my 'real hunger' would return once I hit thin.
    I have been thin.
    I got thin in the army.
    I was rarely if ever hungry thin.
    In fact...for one month I lived off of nothing but one packet of ramen and two oranges a day because the army forgot to pay me.
    I was not ravenous. When I was a kid, I would forget to eat.
    thin people are not ravenous all the time.
    The eat to satisfied.
    I think the people who get 'ravenous' are the people who are still eating thier issues.
    They are ravenous to fill up a big hole inside..
    because they never dealt with what was EATING THEM.
    you speak the truth, and that will anger some people...don't let it stop you from speaking it though.
    great post.

  11. i dont think "hunger" will ever return to Sean or in fact anyone who follows his philosophy of eating your favourite foods in a controlled portion . by the time he gets "ripped" he will find out that he cannot eat the same quantities of food that he was eating on a regular basis when he was morbidly obese or whatever. it takes time to make a habit but as you know Habits DIE HARD. it was true for fat Sean and it'll be true for SLIM Sean as well. he will have to make great efforts to condition himself so that he can eat almost 10000 calories a day. so MR anonymous stay anonymous and dont try to break someone's hard earned fat-free life because you just CANT!!! Sean is too strong to fall into the trap again!

  12. I hate nay-sayers -- when you get there Sean - I am sure you will tackle the hunger thing in the same way you have tackled the loosing thing - there are always going to be those that are positively negative. What point being negative before the event - ptoooey! is my answer to that sorta thinking.


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