Sunday, December 4, 2016

December 4th, 2016 Large

December 4th, 2016 Large
















I spent some time today with mom at the hospital. Notice--she's off the oxygen except for when she sleeps. Her oxygen saturation has improved wonderfully. I was surprised to walk in her room and find her without the tubes. She's expected to be released tomorrow. She's re-hydrated, feeling much better and her blood work numbers have improved. All good things.

I tried something I rarely do, this morning. I got my workout in early. This is something I'm contemplating for early mornings a few times a week. It was midmorning today, because I slept in, so the challenge will be--can I, or will I do it at 4:30am? On those nights before, it will certainly depend on me making sure I drop in bed early enough to support that action.

My food was solid today. I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained abstinent from refined sugar, I exceeded my daily water goal, I stayed connected with great support, and I had a great workout this morning.

I bought a coat today. My brain immediately takes me to the XL size--automatically, and I'm not extra-large anymore. I corrected my perspective, tried some size large coats and found one that fit perfectly. With various discounts and coupons, it ended up being almost 75% off. Sold!

Living at a healthy weight--after living life as a 500-pound man--my goodness, I don't even know how to accurately express how this feels, physically--and mentally--emotionally...I mean, my coat is size large for goodness sakes!!! I can remember times going without a coat because I couldn't find one big enough without making the trip to Oklahoma City or Tulsa to the big and tall stores. Then, it was 5XL or 6XL--and super expensive of course. It was a wonderful NSV today--a very nice moment in the coat section of that store.

The Sean & Kathleen Support Group's December Speaker Series is fast approaching! It starts Wednesday! Have you signed up? Join us every Wednesday night in December for powerful perspectives!! (All calls are via teleconference line--and recorded for playback by members in case you miss it LIVE!)

If you're ready to choose change before change chooses you--this speaker series might just provide the spark you've been hoping to find.

December 7th- Dr. Marty Lerner Ph.D is a world-renowned clinical psychologist who specializes in eating disorders and recovery. Dr. Lerner is published in several professional publications. He's been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, on ABC's 20/20, NPR and many more media outlets.

December 14th- Winifred Morice is a nutritionist, writer, and actor. She spent many years working alongside Richard Simmons in the development of Deal-A-Meal. She's co-authored cookbooks with Richard and served as a food and nutrition consultant.

December 21st- Life Coach Gerri Helms is a Certified Master Spiritual Life Coach. She's the author of Trust God Buy Broccoli, is an accomplished international speaker and has lost over 100 pounds, maintaining her weight loss for twenty-three years.

December 28th- Cindyellen Robinson is a retired nutritional counselor. She has twenty years experience in treating eating disorders and addictions.

Fee- $60 Includes membership in the exclusive Speaker Series Private Facebook Group where members will have the opportunity to submit questions for our experts, interact with other members in special discussions, enjoy Facebook LIVE presentations with Sean and Kathleen and more!
Sign-Up Here: http://totalkathy.com/?event=why-weight
















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

Saturday, December 3, 2016

December 3rd, 2016 Day Off

December 3rd, 2016 Day Off

Keeping tonight's edition short. I'm aiming for more sleep. In a way, I took the day off. I enjoyed the OU-OSU game at a restaurant, relaxed, relaxed some more and caught up on a few things.

Mom was admitted to the hospital for observation this evening. She's fine--truly, I spoke to the nursing staff and they're getting her rehydrated--all tests came back fine. She's resting well and I'm planning to pick her up midday tomorrow when she's discharged.

I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained abstinent from refined sugar. I exceeded my daily water goal. And I stayed well connected with great support. It was solid.

Featured Tweets from today:
 




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

Friday, December 2, 2016

December 2nd, 2016 Blah, Blah, Blah

December 2nd, 2016 Blah, Blah, Blah

DDWL Time Travel:
Seven years ago, tonight, December 2nd, 2009-
"...But I’m winning. I’m winning this fight! Imagine that. After years of feeling like a giant loser, it turns out…I’m a WINNER, and a fighter, go figure…hmmm. Doesn’t sound like me really, but then again everything is different about me except my very core values and beliefs. My appearance, my attitude, my everything else has changed for the better. It's a new world, or perhaps the same world, just a different perspective."

It's Friday night! It probably reads like the same story every single night-- "another busy day...blah, blah, blah..." This is the busiest time of year for many of us, I know it is for broadcasting. For whatever reason, this year seems to be tops. It's a good thing, I mean--you know, in terms of job security.

I took extra-special care of my food today and extraordinary care of me. My workday included an afternoon location broadcast from another blood drive. This extra thing made the workday exceed twelve hours. I got home and immediately started preparing dinner. Baked salmon, stuffed mushrooms, fire-grilled peppers and onions and mixed vegetables--oh my goodness--it was amazing.

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained abstinent from refined sugar. I exceeded my daily water goal and I stayed well connected with great support.

Coach Kathleen and I would love for you to join us for the December Speaker Series via teleconference starting December 7th at 7pmCentral/8pmEastern. Here's a Facebook video describing what it's all about

The fee is $60. Registration is in progress. To sign-up-click here.

I'm looking forward to getting some extra rest this weekend. I'm also looking forward to catching up on a few things. It'll be great!

By the way--if you have any questions about the December Speaker Series or anything at all--email me directly: Transformation.road@gmail.com

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

Thursday, December 1, 2016

December 1st, 2016 Unbreakable Commitment

December 1st, 2016 Unbreakable Commitment

There's a lot to cover in tonight's edition of the DDWL!

The Sean & Kathleen Support Group's December Speaker Series is fast approaching! Have you signed up? Join us every Wednesday night in December for powerful perspectives!! (All calls are via teleconference line--and recorded for playback by members in case you miss it LIVE!)

If you're ready to choose change before change chooses you--this speaker series might just provide the spark you've been hoping to find.

December 7th- Dr. Marty Lerner Ph.D is a world-renowned clinical psychologist who specializes in eating disorders and recovery. Dr. Lerner is published in several professional publications. He's been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, on ABC's 20/20, NPR and many more media outlets.

December 14th- Winifred Morice is a nutritionist, writer, and actor. She spent many years working alongside Richard Simmons in the development of Deal-A-Meal. She's co-authored cookbooks with Richard and served as a food and nutrition consultant.

December 21st- Life Coach Gerri Helms is a Certified Master Spiritual Life Coach. She's the author of Trust God Buy Broccoli, is an accomplished international speaker and has lost over 100 pounds, maintaining her weight loss for twenty-three years.

December 28th- Cindyellen Robinson is a retired nutritional counselor. She has twenty years experience in treating eating disorders and addictions.

Fee- $60 Includes membership in the exclusive Speaker Series Private Facebook Group where members will have the opportunity to submit questions for our experts, interact with other members in special discussions, enjoy Facebook LIVE presentations with Sean and Kathleen and more!
Sign-Up Here: http://totalkathy.com/?event=why-weight

------------------------------
Facebook has this memory thing where it brings up--yeah yeah--you know what I'm talking about, right? I wake up today and found one that I really liked. Many of these memories--especially if it's something written in a way I'd likely modify in today's version, I just pass. But this one still applies.

Thanks for the memories, Facebook! Regardless of what I've experienced in the last five years, this "micro-blog" status update holds true. Choose Change before change chooses you, but remember, none of us do it alone! Don't forget to build your "rails" of support!

From five years ago:
"The greatest gift you can give yourself is an unbreakable commitment to positive change. This passionate pursuit of yours will attract plenty of positive support and some negative reactions. You know what's right and good, stay the course. You're setting your importance level to its highest setting. And come what may, this time, you're doing it, for real. Did you often believe you would never reach this point? Yeah, me too. Isn't it refreshing to discover the power you hold, the power to choose change before change chooses you?"
-----------------------------
Throwback Thursday Photo
 photo 20160416_192430_zpsac53nqk2.jpg
Blurry shot during a stand-up performance. This serves as a reminder to me: Book more stand-up dates!! Even one a month--one night a month!!! Okay-- I must do that. It brings me so much joy. I will make time for that important element of me!
-----------------------------
Today was a solid day in a lot of ways. My food was fantastic. Oh--and by the way, if you're missing the Tweets on this blog (and really, maybe you're glad they're gone!!), you can always see the Live-Tweet stream at Twitter.com/SeanAAnderson even if you don't have a Twitter account. The accountability Tweets continue like always--they're just not posted on each night's blog.

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained abstinent from refined sugar. I exceeded my daily water goal. I stayed very well connected with great support. And I had a wonderful workout this evening at the YMCA.

Oh--something I didn't mention in last night's edition-- I donated blood yesterday during my afternoon broadcast--from a blood drive. Aside from the wonderful reasons to donate--you also receive a mini-health screening. It was this health screening that repeatedly rejected me back in my 500 pound days. Now--I get it and I love the numbers I'm seeing. My blood pressure was fantastic (one twenty-something over seventy-two) and my pulse was 55.

Maybe a cardiologist could offer some insight here--but my theory is this: Now that my heart doesn't need to work so hard to pump blood through my body, it simply takes it easy. It's a muscle, right? It worked out for many many years. Today's 204 isn't a challenge like yesteryear's 505. My heart is like, "this all you got?- easy!"

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November 30th, 2016 All The Time

November 30th, 2016 All The Time

The last day of November, really?? I'm not going to argue the calendar with my internal seasons, but I must say, it doesn't feel like December should be tomorrow morning. Time moves quickly.

I've spent a lot of time writing about time--and how it passes and how it does what it does regardless of what we do. The passage of time can bring pleasant surprise or crippling regret. I've worked to maintain a perspective that doesn't worry too much about time. I'd rather not give time too much power over my emotions. There was a time I did--oh yeah, all the time--I was worried about time.

One of the first questions I obsessed over years and years ago, before finding this road, was, "How long is this going to take?" It was a loaded thought because maybe I was looking for reasons I couldn't do this--and some genuine frustration with an equal measure of discouragement was all I needed to jump into the "poor me-I've got it too hard--it's too overwhelming--look away, I'm hideous and hopeless" thought process.

The only way I was able to let go of this discouragement disguised as a motivator, was by bringing the focus back to the here and NOW. And in focusing on maintaining the integrity of my plan each day, I was able to find something I could immediately feel great about. If I maintain the integrity of my plan--and I hit the pillow knowing I nailed a great day-I feel calm and confident. When the challenge and reward share the same 24 hour period, I end up feeling great. Back when I would set the challenge and reward a year apart, I never made it too far. I need positive reinforcement. Like a dog in training, I need little "brain treats" daily.

This reminds me of a term I started writing about six years ago or more. I found the following excerpt from the archives:

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.

Today, I maintained the integrity of my maintenance-mode calorie budget. I remained abstinent from refined sugar. I exceeded my daily water goal. And I stayed well connected throughout a very long workday.

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

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November 29th, 2016 All Of Us

November 29th, 2016 All Of Us

I was trucking along just fine until sometime after 2pm and then, I was done. I just completely ran out of steam. I finished my production work--and before leaving the studio for a trip to Stillwater for mom's medical appointment, I took a 20-minute power nap. That helped. The coffee helped, too.

Mom is doing well. It's been a little while since updating on her in these writings. She's still on oxygen, and that may or may not be a long-term thing, but all things considered, she's doing well. And that's wonderful. After her short medical test, we made our way to The Garage just off the campus of Oklahoma State. We love this place. When I discovered their fresh cut sweet potato fries, I was sold. I enjoyed a lean bison burger without a bun and sweet potato fries.















I enjoyed a fantastic support call on the way to Stillwater. One of the most valuable things I've learned along this road is centered around the power of connection. Aside from the accountability and support good connections create, it's the "I'm not alone" dynamic that resonates in the most comforting way. And then it goes beyond the "I'm not alone" dynamic and expands to include the "I can do this, too" dynamic. I love the way Dr. Lerner expressed it on episode 7 of Transformation Planet when he spoke of connecting with people in "the same lifeboat."

If you're walking through a forest all alone--it's dark, you hear animals--it's scary out there, right? Or maybe you're alone--walking downtown in a big city, it's late and you feel slightly uneasy about your path. What happens when you insert someone else in those scenarios? I know for me, I'm not as afraid when I'm with someone else. In fact, I'm brave. Things aren't as scary when we're in it together.

When it comes to recovery from morbid obesity, I'm not alone and you're not alone. All of us are in it together.

Unless we choose to isolate. Ooh, I've been there a few times or ten. But that's another blog page for another night!

I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget today. I remained abstinent from refined sugar. I exceeded my daily water goal. And I stayed well connected with great support!

Pillow landing within minutes.

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

Monday, November 28, 2016

November 28th, 2016 Five Times Better

November 28th, 2016 Five Times Better

Tonight's blog page is brought to you by Sean & Kathleen's December Speaker Series.















Every Wednesday Night, Four weeks, one powerful speaker each week--with perspectives for life! It starts December 7th. The $60 fee includes membership in an exclusive Facebook support group for December Speaker Series members only--and all throughout the month of December, we'll interact on the group page in various ways-Plus you'll have an opportunity to submit questions for our guest experts! All speakers will be on a private teleconference line--so if you have a phone, you can listen LIVE. Each call will be presented as a recorded online clickable play-back link available exclusively to speaker series members within minutes after the presentation, just in case you miss this exclusive Wednesday night event. If you're looking for your "click," you might just experience it during this powerhouse lineup of speaking events!!
Sign-Up Here: http://totalkathy.com/?event=why-weight

Getting back to work today was rather challenging. It wasn't abnormal, I mean really, I think many people experience this same dynamic after holiday weekends, it was just challenging. I made sure I had what I needed, when I needed and where I needed it--and I was fine.

I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained abstinent from refined sugar. I exceeded today's water goal, I experienced a wonderful 30-minute elliptical ride at the gym and I stayed nicely connected with good support. It was a solid plan kind of day. I love days like today. Even if the rest of it was slightly challenging. Having a rough day and still hitting the marks of your personal plan, to me, feels five times better than hitting the marks on a fairly simple day. You dig?

I loved being a guest on Heather Robertson's Half-Size Me Podcast. The interview was released today! She's truly in a league all her own. If you haven't already, I highly recommend subscribing to her podcast wherever you find your podcasts. I've asked Heather to be a guest on an upcoming episode of Transformation Planet and she said yes-I'm very excited about that! Find out more about Half-Size Me at HalfSizeMe.com

One of the many things we discussed was the topic of self-worth/identity. I talked some about my epiphany day--so with that, I thought it would be a perfect time to revisit the archives. It's hard to believe it's been two and a half years since that experience.

Let's finish off tonight's post by revisiting "Epiphany Day" May 15th, 2014 and a follow-up post a few days later on May 19th, 2014:

What you're about to read has changed me in very meaningful ways. I hope you'll enjoy.

May 15th, 2014

Why in the world should I ever allow the shape of my face or the size of my pants determine my self-worth? This isn't how I treat others, so why would I treat me that way? 

And then I started thinking about the differences between how I felt about me at 505 and how I felt at 230 and that's when I experienced a breakthrough in my thinking. In that moment I imagined the scales of justice. On one side was my love for the non-physical parts (my mind, my sense of humor, my talents, my heart, my natural compassion for others, my ability to communicate, etc.) and the other side of the scale was my love for things physical about me. 

The personal injustice has been the obvious imbalance and distribution of my love for self.  

At my heaviest, I had nearly zero love for the physical and what little love I had for the non-physical was small, barely existent and unacknowledged because I was too busy hating the way I looked. 

At my healthiest weight, I still paid little attention to the non-physical attributes because I was too busy loving the way I looked.  

Throughout my entire life, I've largely ignored the important things that make me who I am. My most intense focus was either hating the way I looked or loving the way I looked. With this narrow-minded perspective, the only source of identity and self-worth remaining relied almost exclusively on my appearance. 

It isn't any wonder why I've limited myself over the years.  Even worse is the natural tendency to project this fluctuating self-perspective onto others, as in, if I feel this way about me, surely they do too. 

When I think about my closest loved ones, I realize their perspective of me is never conditional based on appearance. When I spend time with mom, she doesn't even notice the weight gain, she just sees her son. When I pick up my grandson and he looks at me and smiles, it's an innate understanding that I'm someone who loves him deeply and will protect and care for him no matter what. When I spend time with my daughters, it's clear their love for me isn't placed on a scale, ever.

And then I realized: This is what they mean when they say you must love yourself first before you can fully experience and appreciate the love and richness of life. Oh my goodness, I feel like shedding tears just writing these words. 

If I was confused before, it was very clear now. I'm a great person worthy of love regardless of my size and appearance. 

I have my mind, sense of humor, talents, a big heart, loads of compassion for others and so very much more. 

And none of it is diminished with weight gain or increased with weight loss. 

I am me, always.

And my journey will continue toward a healthier weight because I want to live, I want to move easier, I want to experience the freedom a healthy body weight provides. Regardless of how this journey goes, I believe I just discovered one of my greatest personal freedoms of all.

May 19th, 2014

The thing I've focused on the most the last several days has proven to be a wonderful exploration.  It is, in short, the secret to happiness. Millions have figured it out already and they live it every day. Millions struggle with understanding it and they spend years, sometimes a lifetime in pursuit of it. The thing about loving and caring for the constants within us, the things that can't ever be taken from us, the elements making us who we are deep down no matter what comes or goes in this life, is a key to emotional freedom.

I think about the documentary HAPPY and the man in India who lives with his wife and kids in what can best be described as a tent.  He gets up every day and walks for miles into the city where he pulls a rickshaw, transporting tourist and business people for 8-12 hours a day. Then he walks home and has dinner (usually white rice and anything else they can afford) with the family he loves. He's one of the happiest people you'll ever meet.

I think about the person who was able bodied their entire life before a drunk driver rendered them a quadriplegic. Yet, some of these people who have had so much taken away from them, are transformed into some of the most inspirational, positive and fascinatingly happy people in this world.

I believe that people who find and live their happiness are doing so because they're connected to the core qualities within them that can never be taken away. 

Whoever first said "happiness must come from within," this is what they meant. 

If we tether our identity, self-worth, definition of success and happiness to anything that naturally fluctuates or can change dramatically, then we're in for a roller coaster ride of emotional unrest.

I've always attached my self-worth to my weight. 

I've often talked about potential and not living up to potential. But here's the thing: Potential is tied directly to the constant qualities within us and if our focus is on the pursuit of happiness in every direction except within, then those qualities aren't allowed to flourish, to grow--to give life to the potential within us all.

This whole thing makes me want to take the best care I can. I've never felt more determined to return to a healthy weight. 

It's what I need physically. 

What I need emotionally isn't affected by weight loss. 

And making that distinction provides a nice inner calm, a peace.

The question to determine these inner qualities needing attention and love is: 

What are the qualities in me that remain regardless of my weight, regardless of my financial situation, regardless of my relationship status, regardless of my professional success--what are the things about me that stay the same when all of these other things can and do change?  

My heart, soul, sense of humor, natural compassion for others, likes and dislikes, pride in parenting, artistic talents, selflessness, humility, etc. Have you made your list?  

And when these constants are cared for and loved, watered, so to speak--they grow, they flourish--and they give us what we need to experience emotional freedom, the freedom, and ability to claim our happiness come what may.

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

Sunday, November 27, 2016

November 27th, 2016 Boulder In The Stream

November 27th, 2016 Boulder In The Stream

I love opening my messages and finding fantastic questions. If you have a question, please--don't hesitate: transformation.road@gmail.com

Caryl writes: Hi Sean. Need a bit of insight. How did you determine your non-negotiables and how did you stick to them when things got hard?

First of all, you determine what's reasonable. Once you define the most critical elements of your plan boundaries- and you've determined they're doable on a typical day- then you make what I call an iron-clad decision. It's a promise to you from you, to give this element a non-negotiable stance come what may. 

Think of it as a boulder in a stream. Life is the rushing water. No matter how fast that water rushes, the boulder isn't moving. The boulder isn't sacrificed or compromised. The water has no choice, but to make its way around it- and it does. And the boulder in the stream stands strong.

On a deeper level, this creates growth/development in other areas, like coping skills- it develops growth in learning what good accountability and support skills are about. The more consistency you gain, the more you'll prove to yourself that it is possible to maintain your plan in the toughest of times. 

And that's the idea, a plan, not a diet. 

You're developing a plan that takes care of what you need. In honoring your plan, you'll notice the side effect of consistent weight loss. This is what Dr. Lerner (Transformation Planet Podcast Episode 7) means when he speaks of the focus NOT being a diet, but rather, a food plan you can live with indefinitely. And it can still have the boundaries you need to feel satisfied. Especially when you reach maintenance mode and increase your calories. But again, it's all about the daily plan--and not all about the numbers on the scale. If you take care of your daily plan-the weight loss will come.

How important are your non-negotiable elements? 

It is the consistent maintenance of what you're willing to define as non-negotiable that creates growth, and in that--a natural evolution of you unfolds.

Think once more about the boulder in the stream. The boulder stands strong against the current and because it does, the stream evolves--changes course, grows and with the gift of time, develops different paths and canyons. If the boulder simply moved out of the way every time the water came rushing--the stream would have an easier path--one of least resistance. In the path of least resistance, nothing changes. No growth, no canyons.

I've often written about the effects of maintaining non-negotiables. The only way our food plan develops/evolves over time, is by maintaining the integrity of the plan. All growth, all of our positive progress--it all depends on our willingness to create, accept and embrace certain non-negotiable elements of our plan. Determining what's reasonable is VERY important. If your non-negotiable is extreme, doesn't fit what you naturally like--is overly restrictive and monumentally demanding, it'll be a horrible experience.
Make it doable for you.

If we sacrifice our plan for whatever reason, the boundaries are broken and growth is stunted. If we develop a habit of consistently sacrificing the integrity of the non-negotiable elements of our plan, we literally become stuck--and often this "stuck" place becomes the very definition of insanity.

Life keeps coming. And there's no such thing as a "perfect time." There's only here and now and with it, a forever fluctuating rhythm to life. Let life flow around the boulders of your non-negotiables... and with the passage of time, you'll experience growth--you'll see and feel the changes, mentally, spiritually, and physically.

Developing your plan for accountability and support is important. When we decide to create non-negotiable elements of our plan, we lose a coping option. Excess food was always my number one coping tool, albeit not a good one. It lied to me every time--because it never fixed anything. When I developed my non-negotiables, it strongly encouraged me to either seek positive ways to cope or find other destructive ways to do it. We gotta cope one way or another. My skills haven't been and still aren't perfect, but it's a practice each and every day. Staying connected with good support and seeking out those connections in whatever way you can is critically important. There are many options available!

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained abstinent from refined sugar. I exceeded my daily water goal. And I stayed well connected with fantastic support.

I'm super excited to announce: I'm the next guest on the Half-Size Me Podcast with Heather Robertson! It releases tomorrow (Monday)! It's available in iTunes, Google Play and wherever you find your favorite podcasts. You can also find out more at www.halfsizeme.com

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

Saturday, November 26, 2016

November 26th, 2016 Me Day

November 26th, 2016 Me Day
















Sign up here: http://totalkathy.com/?event=why-weight
The December Speaker Series is a weekly teleconference presentation of Sean & Coach Kathleen Support Groups! If you want perspectives for sustainable weight loss, this weekly speaker series might be just the thing for you! And just in time--right before 2017!

I've taken a day off today. It's a ME day. No work, no place to be--just enjoying my time. After some crazy schedules of late, I needed a day like today. I treated myself to a night out and a meal out this evening and I'm relaxing wonderfully. Disconnecting, not 100%, but enough to feel like I'm doing myself a huge favor. I've been way too busy--mentally, emotionally and physically.

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained abstinent from refined sugar. I exceeded my daily water goal. And I stayed nicely connected to great support. I enjoyed two fantastic conversations centered on the topic of maintaining a plan.

Tonight, I've decided to share a "rerun." The following excerpt is from July 25th, 2015. Well over a year later, it still applies.

Oh, and one thing-- as you know, this road isn't perfect. The recent banana-gate and cracker-controversy is certainly proof of that-- but it isn't about perfection, it's truly about positive, consistent progress. And that's what I've experienced. I'm blessed and I'm thoroughly grateful.

We were celebrating. Everyone was gathered at the restaurant in good spirits, drinks and food ordered, conversations circulating and plenty of laughter frequently breaking out. I was at the end of the table looking over the menu, checking my calorie budget and deciding on what would become my dinner. I already decided water-no ice, with lemon and lime, would be my drink choice. After I ordered the 7oz sirloin with double asparagus, the question came from a friend across the table.

"Do you ever cheat?"

"I haven't in almost sixteen months."

First of all, let me make it very clear--this isn't a boast. This is simply a fact. Further--let me stress how incredibly surprised I am that I can honestly say that.

How in the world could I do an about-face, a 180--a total turnaround from where I found myself sixteen months ago? The answer isn't a simple sentence or source. It's a bunch of things working together on several different levels. Spiritual, emotional and mental work, and different levels of support--from group support to one on one support, to the accountability measures put into place to help guide me along--keeping my awareness level high and my routine consistent.

This turnaround from relapse/regain wasn't a simple declaration of "starting tomorrow things will be different." I tried that approach several times without a shred of success. I wasn't creating an action plan and then, when things remained the same the next day, I'd sit around feeling hopeless and doomed. It was like throwing the same thing against a wall and hoping it would somehow stick this time. It didn't, several times.

I needed an action plan. Once an action plan was created, that's when things started changing dramatically.

The list was long: Return to writing this blog daily, as the name suggests. Weigh and measure my food as much and as often as possible. Log every single thing in MyFitnessPal. Tweet a picture, description and calorie count of every bite, every day. Make sure what I do eat, I enjoy, 100%. Commit to a regular exercise plan. Re-commit to giving and receiving more support via group and one on one interactions. Abstain from refined sugar. And treat all of these elements with an importance level in the highest, most non-negotiable way.

Honestly, the list felt a little over-whelming, at first. The very first thing I did was try to figure out reasons why it wasn't possible for me to do this thing. I remember one session with Life Coach Gerri, that mirrored almost word for word what was asked by my therapist at the time. I was talking about how I was way too busy to return to daily blog posts. Gerri immediately challenged me with some good questions: When you experienced so much success before--and you were blogging daily, were you not just as busy? Very true. Good point. I was just as busy. And she didn't stop at making a good point: So, what you were doing was working well until you stopped doing it, right? Well, when you put it that way, but...

I kept throwing out objections and Gerri kept persisting with questions designed to challenge me into changing my perspective. Suddenly I stopped coming up with reasons why I couldn't do it and I started coming up with ideas and solutions proving I could.

Besides, I thought you said that writing brings you immense joy. Why would you stop something that not only contributes in positive ways to your success--but does it at the same time it's bringing immense joy into your life? Damn it. She's good.

Okay, okay--from this moment forward, I'm blogging every day. That was over 450 days ago. I haven't missed one since. Sure, occasionally time constraints require a short one--and sometimes a "tweets only" one...but it's done, each and every night. And it's made a profound difference.

The MFP and Tweets really bothered me, mainly because I knew that if I committed 100%, the only way it would work is if I applied a very strict code of honesty. The first time I eat something without logging and tweeting it--it's all over. I knew that going in--and it seemed extreme and beyond necessary to tweet everything. Turns out, it's helped me in monumental ways. The Tweets inspire me to eat well. I eat much better now than I ever did before. The Tweets and MFP logging have encouraged me to slow down and enjoy the process of planning, preparing and enjoying my food. I make the time to take good care--and in this care, I'm honoring my commitments.

In my book, Transformation Road, I wrote about my philosophy on cheat days or cheat meals--or cheating, period. If what I'm doing is so restrictive and against the grain of what I can do for the rest of my life, then perhaps I need to change what I'm doing. For me to accept a "cheat day," suggests that what I'm doing the rest of the time is just a means to an end. If I'm constantly looking forward to the day when I can cut loose--then I might want to inspect the daily restraints. This isn't about defining restrictions, it's about refining solutions--making this something enjoyable, doable--workable, delicious--satisfying...and if we can make it all that, then why would we feel the need to deviate into old behaviors for a day or a meal? If what I'm doing is a temporary means to an end--and I'm forcing myself to do something unnatural to me and what I like--then I'm setting myself up for a monumental problem down the line.

The abstinence from refined sugar has made a profound impact bio-chemically--effectively turning off the "binge switch" and ushering in a peace and calm I never knew. But as I've discussed before--it doesn't stop the other side of things--the deeply ingrained pattern of seeking comfort with food in times of extreme emotion and high stress. I've had three very close calls in the last fifteen plus months--one of those three happened recently, on Wednesday July 15th. Each time, reaching out for support--texting it or talking it out, has made a HUGE difference. It's not as easy as simply agreeing that excess food doesn't fix anything--or that food isn't a therapist. It doesn't matter how long or how much success we're experiencing, I've learned that unless I reach out for support, I'm perfectly capable of talking myself into the comfort food dynamic.

Do I ever cheat?

Why would I want to cheat myself out of the tremendous blessings this road brings? I don't, so I won't.

My success isn't a guarantee. I'm not entitled. It's not automatic. If I stop doing the things I'm doing, I'll quickly fall hard.

This here thing, is a daily practice--a one day at a time practice of uniquely crafted fundamental elements. I just want one more day feeling as good as I feel when I'm honoring my commitment and maintaining the integrity of my plan. I'd like a whole bunch of one more days . 

If this were a blog about sobriety and abstinence from alcohol, would the "Do you ever cheat?" question even come up? Likely not. This is why it's crucial for me to treat my continued recovery from food addiction with the same reverence as someone in successful recovery from other things.

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Thank you for reading and your continued support,
And I hope you'll sign up for the December Speaker Series.
I think you'll be super-impressed!
Strength,
Sean

Friday, November 25, 2016

November 25th, 2016 Long Day

November 25th, 2016 Long Day

Today was loaded. We had a Black Friday location broadcast from 9 to 1--then another event this evening keeping me out until after 1am. The late event was a broadcast followed by a $15,000 karaoke contest I was asked to judge. 18 finalist, 3 rounds--All were exceptional singers

Long day. The good news: No work the rest of the weekend. I plan to catch up on some much-needed rest.

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained abstinent from refined sugar, I stayed connected with support. And I exceeded my daily water goal.

I'm thoroughly exhausted. More tomorrow night!

Transformation Planet Episode 7 features Dr. Marty Lerner!

Dr. Lerner's experience with eating disorders started long before he became known for his research and published articles. He shares his personal story with disordered eating behaviors in this episode. He also shares how a research project using ice cream forever changed the direction of his career. In the decades since, he's been featured on numerous national television and radio shows including The NPR Report, 20/20, ABC's Nightline and Discovery Health. Dr. Lerner's research has been published in many different professional publications and featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today and several newspapers and national magazines. He is the CEO of Milestones In Recovery Eating Disorder Treatment Center in Florida.

Dr. Lerner is also the first special guest speaker in the Sean and Coach Kathleen December Speaker Series via private teleconference. Members of the December Speaker Series receive entrance into the secret Facebook group for speaker series members. Being a part of this December group will give you several bonus benefits throughout the month!
Sign up here: http://totalkathy.com/?event=why-weight





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