Saturday, April 24, 2010

Day 586 Stormy Start and My Answer to "How Can I Do This Too?"

Day 586

Stormy Start and My Answer to “How Can I Do This Too?”

My Friday really started at 11:30pm last night. I made myself go to sleep early in anticipation of severe weather. When the weather turns severe, part of my job is to anchor weather coverage on KLOR and KPNC. It's an important part of our radio station's commitment to this area, and it sometimes---maybe eight or ten times a year, wreaks havoc on my schedule. The alarm sounded after less than three hours sleep. It was time to check the radar images for possible activation. It was still Thursday! And when the storms were nowhere close to our area yet---I had to go back to bed and wait. Only one problem...I was awake, and after what was effectively a 2.5 hour nap, it was going to be really hard to go back to sleep. I somehow managed to drift off about 1:15am, only to be jolted out of bed by a storm warning at 3:30am. The storms were ready for me to talk about them on air, pardon the interruption of sleepy time! This was going to be a long Friday.

When the warnings are issued, there's no time to make coffee, do my morning non-weighted strength training, and cook breakfast. Nope---it's a mad rush to get to the studio as quickly as possible. Ideally, we're on the air prior to the warning being issued. I threw on whatever clothes were in front of me (workout pants, t-shirt, and a sport coat---crazy, I know!), grabbed a pear and a banana—and I was gone. I was on the air as the storm started to rage---and people started being jolted awake. My job was simple: Let them know what to expect and when to expect it. It wasn't really that bad of a storm, nothing tornadic, and no hail---just 70 mph winds and torrential rain, and it was moving fast to the Northeast at 55 mph.

I enjoyed my fruit, spent some after storm time writing, and preparing for my morning show at 6am---and by the time my show ended, I needed two things. Something to eat and a nap. I rushed home, cooked a proper breakfast in a veggie and cheese omelet, answered a couple of e-mails---then hit the pillow hard. I had to be back at the studio by 1pm for a production session. A start like this can mess up a schedule and plan real quick. But instead of allowing it to be a convenient excuse for bad choices, I just rode it out and did the best I could do. I grilled a chicken breast, sliced a tomato, and grabbed another banana---putting it all on a platter and transporting it back to the studio for lunch. I could have just made my way into a fast food place for something fast and convenient---but honestly, this chicken was fast and convenient---and it was a lunch I could feel good about.

People ask “How can I do this too?” It's happened a bunch, especially after the first 100 pounds were down, and it really happens a bunch these days, having lost nearly 250. I'm not a doctor or dietitian---not a nutritionist---I'm just a person who's battled morbid obesity my entire life and I've finally found a way to break free. So what do I tell them? I found the answer in my post from exactly a year ago. Here's an excerpt from April 23rd, 2009:

First of all you should realize that there isn't a food that is completely off limits. Let go of the misconceptions you might have about what foods are suitable for weight loss. All foods are suitable for weight loss. Once you fully grasp the concept of “nothing is off limits,” then you completely eliminate the deprivation factor that derails people from weight loss attempts everyday. Then you should familiarize yourself with nutrition labels. There's only a couple of things to really focus on: Serving size and calories. Buy a calorie book or look up calories online. In a very short time you'll get really good at this part. Set your calorie budget. I allow 1500 a day. Then use your calories like cash. Make sure you budget them and spread them out over the course of the day. I try to keep meals under 500 and snacks under 150. Make sure you're eating something at least every three hours. Drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water a day, a little more if you can, and exercise! Do whatever you can. If you can't get out of the house, any exercise that gets your heart rate up will do just fine. Just move any old way you can. It'll get much easier along the way if you stay consistent. Once your calories are under control and you're exercising everyday, then it's time to realize that the food and exercise part is only about 25% of successful weight loss. The other 75% of losing weight is all in your head. The mental exercises are the most important things to do along this journey. Realize that food is your friend, not the enemy. Fully accept 100% personal responsibility for your actions or lack of action. Don't blame anyone or anything for your excess weight. Complete honesty within yourself is paramount to your success.

Decide that you'll make this a very important thing in your life and be dramatic about it. Protect it from your own excuses and rationalizations that tend to creep in after the initial starting excitement starts to wear off. Don't allow yourself to be your worst enemy. I did for years, it's not good. Like yesterday's blog said: Keep it simple! And remember it's all about making more good choices than bad choices. Understand that changing the way you look at food and exercise is the key to long term weight loss and good health. Learning to eat a portion instead of a “Sean” portion has been a big breakthrough for me. Sticking with an exercise plan despite how physically difficult it was in the beginning was a giant breakthrough too. You'll be shocked at how quickly you can progress along the way if you just put out a consistent positive effort. Writing about how you feel along the way can be a real education for you about you. You don't have to share it with the world wide web, keep it just between you and your family if you prefer, but whatever you decide...Just write, it's been one of the biggest contributors to my success so far.

If you think I'm speaking to soon. Just wait five years, then google me. This is for real.

Funny...I don't know when I bumped up the mental aspects to 80%, 75/25? OK---that's close enough. I still like 80/20. It really is all about coming to honest terms inside our head about our food issues and the importance of our journey. The food and exercise habits are crucial, but the mental aspects---those are what keep us consistent and hopefully educate us on the behaviors that brought us here in the first place. If we're not learning and just losing—it might be like so many times before, just temporary. But when you really dig in and start enjoying the mental changes---greeting them with open arms—instead of resisting them, and you really learn about yourself---that's when you know that this time is different from all the rest. This time is for real, for life.

I jumped on the bike this afternoon and rode until I was satisfied with my effort. I know I said “a six mile ride,” but I don't know for sure if that's what I did. I just needed to move---and I needed to be happy about it---before a busy evening claimed the rest of my Friday. I probably didn't reach six miles, but it was a good workout regardless---and getting back to the apartment in time to grab a little snooze was imperative to my evening plans.

I had a show to attend tonight at the theatre. It was the 18th annual Taste and Tasteless. The show is full of local talent, lampooning national and local events of the past year in a tasteless---and still funny way. I skipped the “taste” portion of the event on purpose. The “taste” is separate from the “tasteless,” and is almost every restaurant in town setting up buffet tables with their best items---available for grazing. I could have navigated it for sure, but honestly---it sounded like a calorie counters nightmare. Imagine a bunch of restaurants set up in one space---all with tables full of food---just begging you to try everything. I opted for a little more control over my calorie budget tonight. The show was incredibly funny---and is always a wonderful fund raiser for the historic Poncan Theatre.

It was a very busy day—a confident day. I did spend 200 calories on cheese and crackers after the show. The crackers were those little “chicken in a biscuit” flavored crackers. Just three of these tasty little things are 45 calories---wow. What a horrible calorie value!!! I have a history with these crackers, I do---I can remember sitting with a big box and eating them all---many times. Oh yes, these little chicken flavored crackers and me, we go way back.

Thank you for reading! Tomorrow's post will include some surprise photos of me wearing four inch leather high heels. Get ready to be stunned! Actually---it's something a bunch of men are doing around here to support the local domestic violence program. Everyone from the mayor, to police and firefighters, and of course radio personalities---will be putting on the high heels and walking “a mile in her shoes.” It's a wonderful campaign to raise awareness and money for this program that does so much for people in our area. Can't wait to post the pics! And---I get to keep the shoes!!! Nice! Goodnight and...

Good Choices,


  1. omg I COULD NEVER walk a mile in high heels good luck dude! I hope yours are red patten leather.

  2. yeah sean!
    Yeah, If I had been surrounded by all that food I think I would have had to 'exercise a little more control over the calorie budget'.
    And those chicken in a biscuit crackers...we eat those with my world famous cheese ball every year at thanksgiving.
    talk about your horrible calorie values.

  3. The only thing I disagree with is the idea that every person's body reacts the same. I used to have metabolic syndrome (very similar to diabetes) and even though I've lost a huge amount of weight, I must forever be very careful to limit my intake of sugars (and carbohydrates in general). I'm happy for people who can eat anything in moderation. I'm just not one of them. I don't feel deprived. I'm glad you don't feel deprived either.

  4. Hey babe!! Hope you're having a great weekend! One week left in the challenge, so really push yourself on the exericse!! Can't wait to see the pics of you in heels, lol, and it does sound like a great cause! :)

  5. Ooooo I love your 'how do I get started' guide! So very detailed and to the point. You have a way with words that hits to the heart. And how easy it is to forget the mental part of the weight loss journey. Yet it is the most important! After two huge days for me, I found myself at 10 PM in the kitchen rooting through the cabinets and fridge for something to eat. Nothing sounded good. So I went to bed. The biggest thing I have learned is it's perfectly okay to say no to food. Nothing bad is going to happen when I do!
    Discovering portion sizes cinched the deal for me. And discovering I could eat half a portion? BRING ON THE MOON PIES!
    Much love to you my friend. Meeting you and becoming friends has been the most unexpected pleasure in my journey.
    Last night my daughter Mary said this to me:
    'You know what you did Mom? You made your dream come true.' I did. And so did you. Hugs!
    And I love the pics of you in the high heels!!! (Those pics are on Facebook. Friend Sean through his link on the sidebar!) You would never in a million years have been able to walk in them before.

  6. I love that you wrote that no foods are off limits. That's so true. As I've lost 75 pounds, I've discovered the same thing. While I do my best to eat healthfully 80-90% of the time, I do eat some crap foods from time to time. The difference is that I don't go overboard on them. If I feel like chocolate, I eat chocolate. I just eat one halloween-sized candy bar and I call it quits. Thank you for reminding everyone that you can eat whatever you want if do so in moderation.


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