Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day 722-726 Joseph Emailed Me--Yes, THAT Joseph, Reader Response, and All I Need To Feel Good

Day 722-726

Joseph Emailed Me--Yes, THAT Joseph, Reader Response, and All I Need To Feel Good

I was checking my email the other day when I was completely taken by surprise, it was an email--the kind that gave me the same excitement I felt when I opened one from Richard Simmons over a year ago. This wasn't Richard, but judging from my excitement, you would have thought as much. It was Joseph Boghos. Joseph who, you ask? Joseph---THE Joseph, from Joseph's Bakery, makers of those incredible 60 calorie flax seed, oat bran, and whole wheat flour pitas!! If you've read my blog at all, you know of my love for these fantastic calorie value pitas. And here was Joseph himself, personally writing to me, of all!!??!! He mentioned that he had read this blog and his words in review were over the top wonderful. Wow, I'm still on a natural high, really...I swear...I replied to him as a pita pizza baked in my oven, how cool is that? Very. I'm so blessed and immensely grateful.

Taking the conversation I had with mom about "The Wrong Battle," and putting it into words for this blog was a good idea. It has further helped me understand the mental dynamics involved---it was very clear to me, and of course it is now...But when you're deep into food addiction and feel like you're held captive by your obesity, it's sometimes hard to open up your mind to look at things from a different perspective. I'm proud of those paragraphs in my last post. I know how that "battle" analogy has helped me, and it's so cool to get emails and comments from people that absolutely "got it" too. This blog is first and foremost for me and my development, but there's no doubt---It is a true blessing to me to be able to open up and share my experiences along this road in hopes of helping others understand what I've so joyfully discovered. Here's a sampling of comments and emails that just absolutely make me beam with pride---I'm so happy for these individuals!!

Desperate Diva writes...

"I absolutely love your before shots when compared to your now shots, my housemate tends to hover around me when I update my blog as she likes seeing how I'm doing and she just came in and saw me looking at this post - she was in absolute shock that the person in those two pictures is the same person, and from the way you speak in your posts they may as well not be! I think the battle you speak about is an excellent point and in spite of the sites I read about weight loss, the diet attempts I've made in the past and the uncountable conversations I've had with people about losing weight, I've never ever heard that idea - as I was reading it alarm bells were going off in my head "THIS is the answer. He's cracked it" - Thanks so much for sharing, I hope I always remember that food is trying to be my friend!" You can read Desperate Diva's blog at

Chris writes...

"Hey Sean! Just want to say thanks for the inspiration and openness of your blog! We are at similar stages of loss (although you have accomplished WAY more than me and I APPLAUD your stamina!) with current weights and clothes sizes etc. I really enjoy reading how you navigate through meals and make choices! Its what I have been trying to keep in mind as well! I also appreciate your focus on the long term knowing the "numbers" will get there eventually! :-) Its hard to do, but we have to look at it that way to be successful! I recently put a link to your blog on my blog in regards to Joseph's pitas . I do not have much a readership yet, but I am working through the prepared foods that I have been eating to help me lose weight. ( I am dozen or so pounds shy of 100 pounds lost since January. ) I am certainly not the healthiest eater, but I try to make smart choices and am getting better at it all the time! I love finding tips on new things to try that are low cal and taste good. God bless!"

Sarah Writes...

"Hi Sean -- I never, never write to strangers online. I love to read about other people's weight loss journeys, but I'm not one to blog or comment. Anyway, I had to send you a note to thank you so much for sharing your story. A huge congratulations on your incredible success! The reason I am writing is because I am one of what I assume to be many people that you have motivated and inspired by sharing your journey these last two years. You break things down in such a way that it clicks. No one has given me that type of advice before. Your message is so simple but you convey it in such a way that it resonates in a very inspirational way. I love the bank analogy, I used it today and you're right, it works. I'm only on Day 11 but I feel really confident this time out and your blog is and will continue to be a motivator, so I wanted to send you a heartfelt thank you! Take care -- Sara"

Cathy writes...

"Hi Sean! My 15 yr. old son Chris has been using the Calorie Bank and Trust concept for the last week, and he's finding success with it. Tonight he had a real test. We decided to go out to dinner at the Olive Garden. He suggested that we check out the website first to figure out calories for our meals (already a great move!) When we did, he found that his absolute favorite Fettucine Alfredo was more calories than he had left for the day. Rather than say "it's just this once - I'll eat less tomorrow", he opted for linguine with marinara sauce, which allowed him to add a meatball AND have soup and a breadstick! He still came in under his daily allotment. I was so proud of him! Thanks for listening to a proud mom! Cathy"

Faye writes...

"Hi! How are you? My name is Faye, My husband and I live near Philadelphia Pennsylvania! I am 58 and have over 100 pounds to lose! I came across your web site a few weeks ago and I've been telling EVERYONE about you and your AMAZING weight loss!...Anyhow, I HAVE decided to start to use THE SAME "BANK" as YOU use! The reason for this letter? OTHER than saying THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart, I have a question! How would I figure out WHAT calorie "BANK" I SHOULD have??? Got any ideas or suggestions for me???? I CAN'T get over some of the calories of things I pick up to look at, at the store! Take care and THANKS AGAIN"

Kim writes...

"Sean, Thank you so much for sharing your journey. You've inspired me to follow in your footsteps, in weight loss, but also in blogging. I just posted my first blog! Scary, and exciting at the same time. You're awesome, keep up the great work! ~Kim" You can read Kim's brand new blog at

Anonymous writes:

"Don't you ever get tired of looking at yourself? I guess all the compliments on your appearance are pretty addicting."

When you spend your entire life morbidly obese, and the better part of the last two decades---near, at, or above 500 pounds---and then you make some personal breakthroughs that free you from nearly 275 pounds of extra weight...and then you share that information, those experiences, those epiphanies that have helped along the way---and people see the pictures, and the compliments do come isn't an "addiction." I sincerely appreciate the compliments, sure, but all I have to do to feel good about myself is breathe. Look in the mirror, pinch myself, put on my size 36 jeans, sprint as fast as I can---these are the things I do to feel good about myself. I've paid the dues, I've fought the battle, I'm here...and it feels amazing---and I would still feel amazing if I never received another compliment as long as I live. Trust me, the brain can be cruel...I still look at pictures of me now and the first thing I do is get critical. I'm the furthest thing from self-absorbed, but I'm thrilled, I'm happy, and I've earned every single bit of my success. I'll never get tired of looking at those pictures--because I'll keep posting them, simply to say---This is possible for you too. Look where I was and where I am now. Need some history? It's all in the blog... Here's an excerpt from Day 365:

I arrived at this place as a 505 pound man with raging high blood pressure, deadly sleep apnea, and swelling so bad in my right leg that painful open sores would develop when the skin refused to stretch any further. I arrived at this place with a wife and two daughters that would often sit and cry together because they were scared to death that I would leave them too soon. I arrived at this place with a mother that would stay up all night worrying about me, sometimes calling just to ask through the tears, “When are you really going to get busy?” I arrived at this place scared to death of myself, my habits, my behaviors that had me cornered, beating me into submission with zero hope for survival. The more my family cried for me, the more scared I became. I can't do this, I thought. But I must---But I don't really know how---on and on the mental battle within me raged. Was this it? Did I reach a point of wanting to give up the fight? Yes I did. However, a couple of problems, let's call them character traits, stood in the way of me giving up: I'm a survivor and I'm a dreamer. A dream can't survive forever without positive action, so action had to start, even if I hadn't a clue where to begin. After 443 months, 12 months has changed it all, turned it completely around. But how? What has made the last 12 months different from any other 12 month period in my life?

I found self-honesty. I found personal responsibility. I let go of the blame and I stopped feeling sorry for the victim I played so well. I became the one in charge of my choices with a completely honest understanding of the consequences, good or bad. Was I going to die a miserable fat man? Or would I completely change my family's life for the better? The choice was mine to make. I made the good choice. It wasn't easy fighting a lifetime of addiction, but it was a fight that I was determined to win because my family was worth the fight. I was worth the fight.

This week has been good, but very busy. I've missed a few workouts, but maintained my good choices in the food department. I've had some really good workouts too, don't get me wrong---My new bike is incredible!! I took a nice long bike ride the other night that took me over to the main drag in this town and all the way back around, taking a detour into a nice neighborhood I didn't even realize existed. The workout was amazing and fun. I've had a couple of really good 5k's too.

I'm just days away from my two year anniversary of Day 1, and will I hit 230 by then? Maybe. But seriously, it simply doesn't matter. I'm there. I'm changed forever. I feel great, and true to the attitude and philosophy of this blog...time doesn't matter, because my good choices in food and exercise will always get me the positive consequences I desire. 230? Yeah, it's coming, no doubt about that. Am I going to kill myself "boot camp" style to get there? No. My life is too busy for that, and besides---it's not necessary. Time will keep on going regardless of what I do--and where I'm headed, it's all good in time.

Thank you sincerely for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

Another "lost" before picture. Me, Irene, and my grandmother and Uncle Keith in the background. Nine years, we looked so young. I zeroed in on my grandma here...look at her, so beautiful. Thank you to my dear Aunt Kelli for finding this in her photo archives. You can read my Aunt's weight loss blog too, at

Dinner Thursday night...I've always been a meat and potatoes kind of guy and I always will be---this is classic goodness to me. Smoked chicken, real red peel mashed potatoes, and whole kernel sweet corn!! Incredible--and in case you're wondering---I weighed exactly 60 calories worth of corn...the potatoes checked in at 150, and the chicken, a low 240. Total: 450 calories of awesomeness.

My beautiful pita pizza--one of a few I've enjoyed this week. I had one the other day with only 50 calories of mozzarella and mushrooms as a topping---for a low 130 count...this one pictured is double cheese, mushrooms, and chicken breast---but still only 200 total calories. Sign me up all day long!!!

Profile shot--Hosting the Poncan Opry Saturday night. Photo Credit: Darryl Cox

As MC of the Opry. Photo Credit: Darryl Cox

This is me looking at Dave with a look that says "Really now..." It was a funny bit. Photo credit: Darryl Cox

With co-host Dave May. Dave is wearing a bathrobe for a comedy bit. Dave is amazing. Seriously, he's known all around as The Amazing Dave May. In fact--check out his website at


  1. In a blog world that is filled with hate, you transmit a message of support, hope and understanding. As always, many thanks.

  2. Great "new" before pics to compare with the current. I was telling my personal trainer about you the other day at the gym. How weird is that...talking about someone you've never met. Anyhow...your transformation never ceases to amaze and inspire. Plus...that you eat pizza and mashed potatoes. That is my kind of "plan".

  3. Sean,

    I noticed your grandma first thing in the pic of you and Irene. She always has the sweetest expression on her face, and she is beautiful.
    I loved the second Opry pic of you! Such a beautiful smile:)

    Congratulations on the email from Joseph! How cool! And as always, when I see the pics of food, I get hungry. I want some mashed potatoes and corn now...mixed together:) Yum!

    Take Care and God Bless!

  4. Hey continue to inspire me, and I'm so happy for you! And congrats on hearing from Joseph...'bout time, huh? ;-)

    I for one love seeing the pictures, so keep them coming! They're an amazing motivator for so many, and you deserve to be proud of yourself.

    Thanks again for starting me on this road...58 days and 28 lbs. that will never be seen again! I can't thank you enough!

  5. You are such an inspiration! I need to do some research on these pita's you are raving about...they sound like what I've been looking for!

  6. lololol...
    don't you get tired of looking at yourself...
    that is quite the comment and it requires a simple answer...
    Just say "you know, if you were this good looking you wouldn't get tired either!" (at least that is how my husband would handle it)
    Some people are just bitter and jealous.
    Keep posting the pics. People are visual. When they SEE the difference, it helps them feel able to make it too. Doing good bud.

  7. Sean, you really are pretty damn good looking :)

  8. Hey Gorgeous, we never get tired of looking at a walking miracle. Keep posting those pictures, they are an inspiration;)



  9. I agree totally with Chris... people are very influenced by the visuals, and those before and after pics are gold! I never tire of seeing them.


  10. Sean! I am so excited that Joseph emailed you. I posted to you on FB that he should make you a spokesperson. I was so happy to kind them today!

    Your lost was excellent as always. You are such an inspiration whether you hit 230 this week or later on, you are going to do it. Time is on your side now. As both of us know our transformation gave us MORE time. Thank you God!!

    You look amazing. Keep that goatee! Keep taking the compliments. You deserve everyone of them my friend!!!
    Good choices!!

  11. Sean, like a bunch of others, I started reading your blog when it was featured on aol. I found your message so simple, so easy, and began immediately. Then the dreaded V word you experienced before, vacation. For some reason, I haven't started again. The only analogy that comes to mind is when I think of how much I need to lose I get the same feeling of anxiety as when I try to do algebra. I feel completely overwhelmed. I'm ashamed to admit that because you've come so far. Any suggestions?

  12. Sean, I never get tired at looking at that handsome face. ;) Those pizzas look pretty damn good too!

  13. Having Joseph email you is awesome....I bet when you saw that email you couldn't contain your excitement. Wouldn't it be cool if there was an advertisement campaign in the works. I have to agree with Lisa your grandma does look really sweet. Today was grandparents day. I really miss my grandma but was thankful for the time I did get to spend with her.

  14. PS...To the email you recieved from Anonymous, "Pfffffttttthhhhh!":)

  15. You look like Tom Cruise in some of those pics.

    I am doing a mini-blog for the next 8 weeks, hope you can show me some support.

  16. So glad that Joseph got in touch with you! I sent them your blog address several weeks ago and suggested that they might like to see how much business you're bringing to them! Thanks for posting my story about Chris and his good choices. He's still going strong!

  17. "Time will keep on going regardless of what I do--and where I'm headed, it's all good in time".

    That's the bottom line,for good or for bad, it's how we deal with every day, month, and the years go by regardless. I'm so proud of you, you are such an inspiration! Back on track today. Thank you Sean!

  18. Sean, I bought these the other day and you might like them. They are easy to add to an omelet or pizza.

  19. It is absolutely inspiring to see someone do this day in and day out! I have lost 25lbs and have about 10lbs more to go now....I have kinda fallen off the "band wagon" lately and gained a few pounds back....but I am ready to hit it hard and heavy again and get to the place I want to be! Thanks for all your encouraging, up lifting posts!

  20. Your grandmother has such a lovely face, and a kindly expression. So does your mother...they probably have wonderful hearts too. I think disposition show in the face. They remind me of my dear old Mum, who has now departed. Your handsome face also shows kindness.

    Oh - and if my 'after' photographs look even half as good as yours do Sean, I'll be showing them here, there and everywhere! :)

    You ought to be very proud of your achievements. Seeing your recent pictures - you look just wonderful..and happy and confident too - is such an encouragement to me to work my way back to a healthy weight. On days when I think I'll struggle forever, you are living proof that we can succeed.

  21. Congratulations on two fantastic years. Happy two year fattiversary, my friend.

  22. Two years? That's a testament to some damned thing or another....

    You look like a new man, Sean. Congrats and best wishes.


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