Monday, August 31, 2015

August 31st, 2015 Give It A Rest

August 31st, 2015 Give It A Rest

I've written extensively about my food philosophy and how, after we find and define the boundaries that are unique to us, then the mission is to find the groove that works well. It's the "eat what I like and nothing I don't," philosophy. Of course--the boundaries and rules of that philosophy unique to me, includes no binge eating and no refined sugar. I'm all about finding our personal groove with food, so that each day's food is something we enjoy, not something we dread and choke down.

As much as I apply this philosophy to my food each day, I completely ignore its application in other areas of my life. What about rest? What about finding a groove in the schedule where rest is made important? Finding and defining our boundaries that are unique to us--in this case, our hard schedule--the work hours and things that are fixed...then making the most of the time around it, while making proper rest important IS CRITICAL. I'm finding out the hard way because I'm stubborn.

There's so many things I want to do and accomplish and none of them gets done when I'm in a constant state of exhaustion.

I woke up sick today. I felt horrible. Stomach issues, headache, body aches--you name it. I was still extremely tired, too. I felt like if ever there was a day where I needed a sick day, this was it. So I made the call. It was the last day of the month--and production deadlines loomed--so I knew it would only be a half day off, but that's all I needed.

I had to cancel my planned trip to spend more time with Gerri in Oklahoma City today. It was an unfortunate but necessary decision. We will see one another again, soon!

After making the necessary arrangements for my job, I proceeded to keep my sickly self in bed for an extra four and a half hours. I got up--I had coffee--I still wasn't feeling 100%, but I was better--and mostly, I was awake.

I had one of the most focused and productive production afternoons in recent memory. I was firing on all cylinders--getting things done, tackling them head on--and all because I felt properly rested.

Maybe it's time to stop being stubborn. Maybe it's time to find my scheduling and sleep groove that works for me and will, no doubt, be extremely benefiting to my job and my personal projects.

Because the alternative is continuing to run on empty--and eventually I would run out--disconnect and relapse/regain. I pray that doesn't happen, ever again. But in order for it to NOT--or in order for it to have a much better chance of NOT happening, I must take better care starting immediately.

Finding my groove right here, right now. And in bed by 9:30pm. About three hours earlier than the average.

Goodnight, friends.

My Tweets Today:
























Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Sunday, August 30, 2015

August 30th, 2015 In Time

August 30th, 2015 In Time

I've really been in a funk today. It was a reluctant rest day. Does that make sense? In other words, I wasn't planning a rest day--but it's as if my body and mind said, "oh no, you're resting today. Sitting this one out, dude." Pretty cool that my inner voice uses the word, "dude."

I just kind of disconnected in a way. Not completely. I still interacted and exchanged support, I still maintained the integrity of my food plan, staying within my calorie budget and abstaining from sugar--but not much else. No workout today and I failed to hit my water goal. My water goal! I rarely do that. Part of me says, get over there to the kitchen and get it down---and the other part of me says, #@^&***#@!@$#!! You ever feel like that, too?

I did some deep introspective studies today on the dynamics of me before relapse/regain vs. the dynamics of me, today. It's not a match, 100%, but there are enough similarities that I feel it's important to get a handle on a few things before they become issues, again. I'd rather not elaborate on these right now--simply because I don't have time tonight.

I do know that this is normal. There's nothing wrong with me. Mom--if you're reading this, your son is fine! It's just today. And it happens occasionally--especially when I start opening up and examining certain areas of my life, areas I would really like to improve. In time, I suppose, in time.

My Tweets Today:


















Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Saturday, August 29, 2015

August 29th, 2015 Until Today

August 29th, 2015 Until Today

Life Coach Gerri Helms has been a positive influence on me for five years. Her weekly coaching sessions took me through the process of writing Transformation Road-My Trip To Over 500 Pounds and Back. I remember her asking, how long do you think you need to write this book? My answer was 90 days. It took a year. And she held on. Without her encouragement, I can't say for certain if I would have ever finished that project.

After the book, we continued a mutual support relationship. And when I stopped writing, stopped doing everything that worked well for me--and started slipping fast, I didn't want to hear from her.

She was a voice of truth. And in the middle of relapse/regain, I didn't want to hear the truth. She wouldn't give up on me, ever. She knew, instinctively and by experience, the struggle I was experiencing and still, despite my resistance to all things good during that time, she wouldn't let go.

I owe her persistence and genuine caring a large debt of gratitude because without her influence and teachings, I'm not so sure I'd be where I am today.

Thanks to modern technology, we've developed our relationship quite well over the last five years and work together co-facilitating our two teleconference support groups--but still, we had never met face to face. Until today.
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Gerri and her husband Dave made the trip to my hometown today. They're in the Oklahoma City area for a few days, so being an hour away--there was no way we were missing this opportunity. We embraced in a great big hug outside the restaurant where we agreed to meet for lunch and then proceeded to visit all afternoon. I even had the chance to show them around my hometown--taking them to where I grew up, showing them the places that mean so much to me. It was all capped with coffee and more conversation at Starbucks. It was a fantastic afternoon.

After we parted, I hit the trail at Boomer Lake for a good 5K walk/jog--and mostly brisk walk. It was 95% brisk walk because I forgot to bring my change of clothes--and these jeans are loose on me--even just walking, I had to pull them up regularly. I almost let this keep me from the exercise. I'm glad I didn't. I needed a good one today. 

I spent the evening with Mom. I planned to cook for her, but we ended up opting for dinner out. I normally don't dine out two meals in the same day, but I made a good exception tonight.
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Mom is doing so well. She's walking at least five days a week and maintaining a good calorie budget--and she's losing weight. I'm excited for her and very proud of her! You can see her progress in the mother/son selfie.

I'll be seeing Gerri and Dave again tomorrow as they travel to my neck of the woods. I plan on giving them a tour of the studios where I work. We're catching up!

My Tweets Today:


























 













Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Friday, August 28, 2015

August 28th, 2015 Peaceful And Cool

August 28th, 2015 Peaceful And Cool

I enjoyed a brief but fun visit this evening with Noah!
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This little guy brings so much joy.

I stayed busy today. I made it home around 8:15pm and started working on a late dinner. I went back and forth in my mind about possibly dining out tonight. It was getting late and instead of cooking, why not whip in somewhere and get something? I had choices. I really wanted to get home and cook the dinner I planned to cook tonight. Especially since I'm eating out tomorrow for lunch. Knowing I would likely be up late, a 9:30pm dinner wasn't such a bad thing. It's like eating dinner at 5:30pm and going to bed at 9:30pm.

I consumed myself with a similar tug of war over my exercise. Part of me was pulling out every fantastic reason to not--and the other side of me kept insisting a good walk/jog was needed. "My goodness, have some compassionate understanding, will ya?" A compromise was reached: An agreed upon 30 minute walk/jog in the cool night air. It was very nice, actually. Peaceful and cool. I enjoyed it very much.

I rarely make the time to simply enjoy watching something. I cut the cable TV nearly three years ago. I have NetFlix but barely use it. So tonight, late--after my walk, I enjoyed a couple of short episodes of Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee. I love these. It was a good thing. Thank goodness I'm off tomorrow. I'll be sleeping in fairly well.

I'm meeting up with Gerri Helms and her husband David in my hometown tomorrow. After working together for almost five years, we're finally meeting in person! I couldn't be more excited! Pictures and more details in tomorrow night's post!

My Tweets Today:






































Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Thursday, August 27, 2015

August 27th, 2015 What I Love

August 27th, 2015 What I Love

Every now and then I'll receive a specific request. I was slightly amused by the message awaiting me this morning from a long time loyal reader:

Janie writes: "I've read your blog for years and noticed you rarely post bathroom selfies. Most of your selfies are close up. In a bathroom mirror it's better because it shows more. Anyway. Could you post one? Hope my request isn't taken in a bad way. All of my selfies are in my bathroom mirror. Alot of people do that. Thank you for writing what you do every day. It helps me."

Okay, Janie. First of all, thank you for reading my blog and secondly, is bathroom selfies a thing? I mean, yeah--I know people post a bunch of them, I just didn't know it was such a popular thing or its own style/category of selfie. I snapped a couple after washing my hands thoroughly this afternoon. Here you go--and thank you for the smile this morning!
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I feel silly, really. I imagine my daughters thinking-- oh boy, there's dad doing his best to look cool, again! I am so NOT cool most of the time. This is me acting cool.

I had a really good day. It was long, but productive. And productive feels good even when productive translates to super busy. I took the time to prepare some good food today. I'm especially proud of the beef alfredo pizza for lunch. That was a delicious bunch of pizza for 550 calories!

We had a great discussion today in the exclusive private support group I co-facilitate with Life Coach Gerri Helms, about eating what we enjoy along the way and how that helps. I didn't get permission to share anyone else's responses, but I'll share mine:

I've always maintained the mantra "I eat what I love and nothing I don't," through my initial weight loss and now. Of course now, for me, there's an asterisk to that-- *as long as "what I love" doesn't contain refined sugar.

I've discovered how much I love all kinds of foods-- all without the added ingredient that triggers the addictive side of my brain. I enjoy my food immensely. The time I take in preparation is honoring my commitment in taking extraordinary care. This was one of the strong points in my book-- If we force ourselves to eat things we wouldn't normally, or just plain can't stand, as a means to lose weight, then we're not happy. It is a chore at that point. And further, it creates a temporary diversion from who we are--until whatever goal we set is achieved-- then we relent and return in full force to what we love to eat.

I could have lost weight eating salads and hated every bite along the way. Or, I can make sure what I'm eating is something I love anyway-- and make sure it fits the boundaries of my food plan-- and have an enjoyable/pleasurable experience as I redefine my relationship with food into something grounded in recovery principles-- something I can enjoy and practice for the rest of my life-- not just until I hit a certain weight or a certain jeans size.

Of course, the other side of this food relationship equation is the emotional/stress eating dynamic.

This side isn't necessarily triggered by "the drug." And it is entirely possible to eat excessively into a food coma without violating my "no refined sugar" personal rule.

So then what?

If I'm loving what I'm eating and it isn't a chore or something I dread each day--- What stops me from piling it on in times of extreme stress and emotions-- or when I'm simply tired and grumpy or having a bad day in general? 

Answer: Good support. I think we can all agree that food isn't a fixer of the stressful and emotional situations we encounter. It's merely a distraction-- taking us away from something unpleasant and replacing it for a little while with something pleasurable... It's an escape.

This escape always worked best in isolation, far away from others... Because I didn't want them to witness my gorging for comfort and often for sport, simply because it tastes so good...

Good support makes a tremendous difference. Good accountability measures can motivate us to make it through in order to maintain the integrity of our stated goals. Good support is invited into our heads where the thoughts and feelings live, where we can get another opinion--another's perspective, in an effort to really identify what's going on and figure out better, more productive alternatives.
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I had a really good body weight strength training workout tonight. I'm calling it a good Thursday.
I hope you had a wonderful Thursday, too!

My Tweets Today:
































Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

August 26th, 2015 For Me To Thrive

August 26th, 2015 For Me To Thrive

It's the strangest feeling to approach a scale without the desire for a loss. I find myself in this situation for the first time in my life. It's taking some intentional thought and meditation to really embrace this perspective. I've said it before--written it within these pages several times: It's not about the scale. Especially now.

It will always be about my recovery, overall food sobriety and abstinence from refined sugar. Those must be handled with loving care each and every day in order for me to thrive. It takes practicing proven recovery techniques and daily intentional actions for the maintenance of these critically important elements. Unlike my initial loss and first time at a healthy weight, I take these things very seriously. 

I helped a friend move some things this evening in preparation for their out of state move in the morning. We traveled to Stillwater in two separate vehicles, loading one and leaving enough room to pick up my mom for a quick dinner out.

We decided on McAlisters Deli. When approaching a restaurant menu, I'm very confident in my ability to zero in on the items in harmony with my food plan. This place was a challenge. I asked for a nutrition guide and was referred to their website. My fault for not doing the research earlier--but standing in line with people behind us wasn't the time to google this on my phone. So I opted for water only until I could sit down and look at the website.

I was fully prepared to eat later. I simply will not sacrifice the integrity of my food plan and abstinence from refined sugar. Everything was a sandwich or a salad at this place. I don't do salads. Never have and not starting now.

I looked long enough to find the whole wheat wrap. I checked the nutrition and it showed zero sugar. I approached the manager and asked her to confirm this and she did. I kind of knew my next questions would be easy--this place is a chain and efficient. They weigh and measure everything. I asked how much turkey on a wrap--4oz--okay, how much cheese? 1oz--okay...good deal... I opted for the wrap, turkey, cheese, lettuce and tomato, with plain yellow mustard. It wasn't bad at all. I was surprised the calorie count exceeded 500. (Nearly 300 of that from the 12 inch wrap).  It wasn't the most satisfying and it certainly wasn't the best calorie value--but it was more than enough to hold me over until I could eat something more, later.

Weigh day this morning brought another one pound loss.
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My immediate adjustment is 100 calories extra per day. Now I'm at 2,300. Jonathon, a Facebook friend of mine, had some really good advice in light of today's weight:

"Now is a good time to replace your old weight goals with other worthy goals...like strength goals, endurance goals, nutrition goals, etc. I'm partial to strength goals because I believe strong is healthy, but find some that work for you.

Oh, and given the many variables of scale weight, one pound is likely completely meaningless. My 24 hour morning weight fluctuates as much as 6 pounds and is frequently 2-3 pounds which obviously isn't "real" weight loss/gain."

I agree with everything he offered in this comment. The perspective shifting must continue, That's my challenge these days.

My Tweets Today:


































Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

August 25th, 2015 Days Like Today

August 25th, 2015 Days Like Today

Days like today are the ones where I must pause often and give thanks, expressing gratitude for so many wonderful things in my life. Daily expressions and meditations centered in gratitude are important, but I'll be straight with you--I don't do it every day like I should. It was nice to receive so many reminders today of how I'm blessed beyond measure. How?

It was simply sharing some laughs with friends, writing a new stand-up bit in the process, feeling productive at work, engaging in one on one and group weight loss support interactions, preparing good food, having access to one of the best YMCA's in our region of the country--and that workout today--oh my, it was good---and my grandson Noah dropping by the studio for a short visit mid-afternoon, the absolute best. 

Being out of the fog of food addiction and firmly embracing the elements of my recovery allows me to fully experience life from a different perspective.

The grass is greener, the sky is bluer, the relationships are stronger, the food is better, my mind is clearer and my heart is full of peace. Is it perfect?

It's never perfect. Believe me, there are things I wish I could somehow change, but can't. And there are things I can and will change.

I'll report to the doctor's office scales tomorrow morning for my weekly weigh-in. MyFitnessPal is still projecting a losing trend, even at 2200 calories per day. It's such a foreign feeling to be in this position of not wanting to lose weight. If I register a loss in the morning, I'll adjust the calories up.

It already looks and feels like I'm eating plenty of food. I'm certainly not wanting for anything. I keep reminding myself, beyond my daily elements of recovery, it's about nutrition and fitness. And as that evolves, slowly but surely, it will require me to pay attention to what my body needs--even if it's more than I'm accustomed to consuming. 

The trick for me is training my brain to recognize the difference between eating well for the right reasons and over-eating for all the wrong reasons.  

I recently jogged my way into dual blisters. One on each heel. A pair. How cute. I've gone back to the elliptical temporarily while the heels heal. 

My Fitbit stopped working a couple of weeks ago. I guess a year was all it could take. It simply wouldn't stay charged for even a day. If you've had this same problem and there's some kind of fix, please tell me! I'd rather not buy a new device if it's not needed.

My Tweets Today:




































Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Monday, August 24, 2015

August 24th, 2015 Tweets Only

August 24th, 2015 Tweets Only

Doing a true Tweets only edition tonight. Must drop in bed!

My Tweets Today:






























Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Sunday, August 23, 2015

August 23rd, 2015 Well Rounded

August 23rd, 2015 Well Rounded

I enjoyed today, from start to finish. I prepared some good food, had a great workout, participated in some awesome exchanges of support and I spent some time visiting with my grandson Noah. That's a well rounded day!

I'm cutting tonight's edition short in order to focus on comment replies and answering a few questions. Oh--and getting to bed, of course!

I hope your weekend was fabulous!

One thing-- you'll see in the last tweet. MFP is convinced that 2200 a day with a good exercise burn, still isn't enough calories to maintain my current weight. I've received several suggestion about raising my calorie level to 2500, 2600 and even higher depending on what I do in the exercise department on any given day. I'm not opposed or closed minded to these suggestions. I'm just taking it nice and slow. I weigh at the doctor's office on Wednesday. If there's another loss, I'll once again make adjustments. I'll find the groove that fits. I will! And if you're one who has suggested more calories--you're certainly not wrong! Slow and easy--a gradual transition is best for me. I really feel like it's going well. I'm certainly learning a lot, lately. Thank you!

Letting the Tweets take it the rest of the way tonight. :)

My Tweets Today:






























Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Saturday, August 22, 2015

August 22nd, 2015 Confident Patience Revisited

August 22nd, 2015 Confident Patience Revisited

I'm proud of my day. My location broadcast from a local car dealership went well. I prepared a wonderful breakfast before the broadcast and it easily carried me through to a late afternoon lunch.

The free hamburgers and hot dogs at the broadcast wasn't an issue for me in the slightest. This is a change from the beginnings of this turnaround from relapse/regain, when I didn't feel as confident and strong. I can remember, very easily, times when a table full of burgers, dogs, chips and whatever else would require me to reach out for support in an attempt to strengthen my resolve in maintaining the integrity of my food plan. I still have numerous moments where support is critical, they're just not created from a table of free food.

I enjoyed a good lunch and a good 2.7 mile walk/jog tonight. I spoke with an experienced marathon runner last night. It was a table of a few who regularly train together in preparation for the NYC Marathon in November. I explained about my endurance on the inside track and outside trail. She suggested doing intervals instead, exactly like the C25K app would coach-- a few minutes of walking, a few minutes of jogging--start low and slow and gradually work it up. Smart.

What isn't smart is trying to do it my own improvised way! There's a reason why so many regular runners have one big thing in common: They started with a C25K or C210K program. It works. I must trust the process.

I occasionally go back a year into the archives and revisit where I was and what I was doing. I found a nice piece I'm proud of, and I think it's worth re-publishing. Let's go back in time to August 22nd, 2014--

DDWL Excerpt from one year ago, today:

Do you proceed along this road with a “confident patience?” Our physical transformation doesn't happen overnight. It takes weeks, months and for many of us, years. Finding confidence happens easier when the main focus is taken away from wanting immediate results and placed on the daily fundamentals of our extraordinary care.

If we center our focus on what we can do today, we can find confidence. And this confidence gives birth to patience.

When you proceed with a confident patience, you'll experience a peace and calm over the process. Results may come euphorically fast or frustratingly slow, either way, adjustments can be made. Releasing ourselves from the frustration and often times derailing “fast and furious” results based focus and focusing instead on the smaller goals of today, gives us the best chance at waking up someday to incredible results.

I've lived this "confident patience" and I'm telling you, it all comes down to the age old philosophy of one day at a time.

I can remember weight loss attempts where I mapped out my weigh days for an entire year, complete with a goal weight for each and a place to write my actual weight. On the surface it seemed like a great idea for me. I'd proudly gaze at the calendar and say things like, "See that date? I'll weigh 100 pounds less by then. Isn't that amazing?" It was such a matter of fact tone--not at all considering the different variables I would encounter along the way.

How could I have known? I'd never experienced long range success. And keep in mind this "projection calendar" would typically be created in advance of actually starting anything. I had to wait until a predetermined start day and that meant I was free to gorge as much as I wanted in the meantime. In fact, I'm pretty sure I made several of these projection calendars while eating a giant bowl of ice cream at midnight.

The problem with this was, as soon as I didn't meet or best the written goal on the calendar, I'd become severely discouraged because now I was behind!! And after a couple of less than expected weigh-ins, another marked up calendar would find its way into the junk drawer only to be found months or years later, prompting a wave of "calendar regret," as I realized aloud to anyone within earshot "Wow, you know that failed weight loss attempt? Yeah--had I stuck with it I'd weigh 250 by now." 

Sticking with it was almost impossible because of my enormous impatience and high expectations. I was setting myself up to be disappointed. And personal disappointment breeds all kinds of negative self-talk. Learning to relax into a day by day approach and allowing a natural evolution of good choices has been a very difficult perspective to adopt--and critical to my success. Not once have I recently sat down to "map out" where I'll be by a particular date in the near future.

I'll be wherever I am and it will be okay. If this was a race or a competition, perhaps a results now focus would be useful, but it's not a race--it's life. And I'm confident in my day to day practices and the results they'll bring.

This isn't what I'm doing for the duration of a calendar--taking extraordinary care is what I'm making important for the rest of my life. Losing my previously narrow focus has made a monumental difference for me in successfully losing weight.
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I'm really excited about several things on the horizon. The next 10 week session in the weight loss teleconference coaching/support groups I co-facilitate with Life Coach Gerri Helms start Monday and Tuesday. If you're interested in joining one of the groups, email me at transformation.road@gmail.com for details.

My Tweets Today:




























Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean





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