Friday, December 19, 2014

December 19th, 2014 Free Food

December 19th, 2014 Free Food

My location broadcast today included a table full of free food. Hot dogs topped with homemade beef chili and cheese, chips, cookies, soft drinks and hot cocoa. It took saying, "No, thank you" three times before people stopped suggesting I eat something. I was under the impression it was only a two hour broadcast, so I was perfectly content waiting for my return to the studio for lunch. Then I discovered it was a three hour broadcast. Hmmm...suddenly the chili started looking really good! I reached out for support from friends and soon, I was right back in the proper mindset.

In hindsight, I should have packed some fruit or something to hold me over. My lunch back at the studio was good--and I successfully continued a very busy day without giving in to the free food.

We've been short staffed this week due to illness among our ranks. This has created more work and longer days for me. Of course, they have and would do the same for me again--so no complaints. It's been a tiring week, though. I'm looking forward to a little relaxation over the weekend. Perhaps some sleeping in is in order.

My water consumption is up since I started including it in my accountability tweets. I know this can only be a good thing. I hit 12 cups today. Maybe not a personal record, but close.

I've worked out really well this week, so after an exceptionally long day, I decided to allow myself a rest day.

I haven't had a chance to reply to the comments from yesterday's post. I plan on doing that in the morning. If one of those comments was from you, thank you for sharing. And if you find yourself relating to the struggle described in yesterday's post and you prefer a more private way of communicating, send me an email: transformation.road@gmail.com If I can offer something that helps, I certainly will.

It's late and I'm really tired. Hitting the pillow shortly.

My Tweets Today:




























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

Thursday, December 18, 2014

December 18th, 2014 Don't Give Up

December 18th, 2014 Don't Give Up

Don't give up. If everything in your mind is saying it's hopeless, it isn't. Don't give up. The time will come again. The "click" will happen. The plan will be made with parameters customized to you, based on what you've learned along the way. Don't give up. If you feel a million miles away from getting into the groove toward weight loss and better health, be patient and don't give up.

As I look back on the time before this ongoing turnaround from relapse and regain, it's hard to believe how far down I felt at the worst points along the way. A good friend who has been there, wouldn't let me go; wouldn't let me release what little hope I had left. I was giving up everyday. I felt stuck. I felt trapped. I felt like my choices were not my own, as if possessed. I was scared. I isolated. I felt alone, like nobody could possibly understand the struggle. I was wrong. Plenty of people understand the struggle. Maybe you understand exactly what I'm writing about. Don't give up.

At this point, a food and exercise plan isn't the most immediate thing needed. The most immediate thing needed is someone to tell you, you're not alone--and this isn't the end. There's hope. And a better day may not be today, tomorrow or next week. But a better day is coming for you if, you don't give up. Let me be that someone. You're not alone. This isn't the end.

I don't remember the moment of truth. I don't remember the exact words spoken to me. I do remember being filled with hope once again and realizing it was a turning point. I could have easily turned the other way. If I had made that choice, to ignore and isolate further, by now I would have once again exceeded 500 pounds--there's not a shred of doubt about it.

I spent plenty of time exploring thoughts of thanks and gratitude today for the incredible blessing this turnaround has become. I've often wondered why my friend, Gerri Helms, didn't get exhausted and give up on me back there, not too long ago. Now I know why. She's been there, too. And she knows the truth. It isn't hopeless. She believed in me when I no longer believed in myself and she convinced me to give it another look, or several.

I may not know you personally. We've likely never met or spoken to one another. But based on what I know about this journey, I can tell you with 100% confidence, I believe in you. 

I'm not special. What I've done and what I'm doing isn't unique. It's been done by countless people before me. I believe we each have it inside us. It's there, just waiting until you're ready to tap its blessings. It's in you, too. Don't give up.

Instead of describing my day, I'll let the Tweets tell the story. It was a good day.

My Tweets Today:
























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

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December 17th, 2014 Weigh Day Edition

December 17th, 2014 Weigh Day Edition

I honestly didn't know what I would see from this three week period. I fully expect a dramatic slowdown to hit anytime. The previous 31 week weigh-in was a 5 pound loss. I wasn't expecting this number on the scale today:
 photo photo44_zpscfebbfc1.jpg
This represents 13 more pounds down in the last three weeks. My 34 week total: 123 pounds.

Naturally, I'm trying to figure out how I lost 5 the previous three week period and 13 this time. My theory: Perhaps I was retaining water at the 31 week weigh-in. It doesn't matter, really. I did increase my water consumption over the last week since adding it to my accountability program.

The natural fluctuations of our body weight is why I don't own a scale and I only weigh once every three weeks at my doctors office. The long three weeks in-between weigh-ins gives my body time to level out. I don't think I could handle the day to day ups and downs if I weighed more often. It would be a distraction to me, and everyday would be like spinning the wheel of emotion...Do I get to feel great, or will I be discouraged? Because let's be honest, no matter how many times and different ways we try to convince ourselves it will not affect us either way, it still can, and does. Weighing once every three weeks prevents that roller coaster ride.

Some people thrive on weighing more regularly. I applaud them! They're stronger than me! 

My friend Jon in Wisconsin, after reading on facebook about today's 13 pound loss, left a comment on yesterday's blog post that really made sense. He wrote:

"Take this as a complement in a good way Sean when I I have to smile & LOL out loud when you mention your concern about how exercise activity might effect weigh in day. IMO your current food intake levels in the absence of sugar is over 95% responsible for your 123 pounds in 34 weeks. Weight lifting and exercise if anything will slow down weight loss in a good way. Getting the weight off through good nutrition is still more important but now would be a great time to get that weight training going as my only concern is loosing too much muscle mass your next 50 pounds if you wait until you lost all the weight. IMO, It will be much easier in the long run to start weight training now, slow down the weight loss a bit, rather than continue the rapid weight loss, making weight training that much more difficult later."

Great advice, Jon. Thank you! That's the plan.

I enjoyed nachos for lunch today. I carefully measured everything and it was wonderful. But here's a little fact: I no longer keep chips at home. Only at work. When I kept a bag in my apartment, I found myself craving them, exerting energy to resist them. I'm typically busy at work, so it doesn't bother me to have a bag in the employee kitchen. Isn't that interesting? Oh, the curious things we learn about ourselves along this road, it's often times fascinating.

By the way, I somehow missed the first water tweet today. I took the pic and forgot to Tweet.

My Tweets Today:






















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

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December 16th, 2014 Best Of All

December 16th, 2014 Best Of All

I sincerely appreciate the outpouring of thoughts and prayers after my expressed concern and worry in yesterday's post. I was on top of things immediately after my show this morning, getting counsel from professionals on how I could help and then making a doctors appointment on my loved one's behalf. I also communicated with them frequently today--and discovered other family members were doing the same. There was a lot of love and prayers surrounding them and it's made a wonderful difference.

When stress and emotions are heightened, that's when the fundamentals of my plan must be tightened. The biggest difference is letting it be known. One of the first things I did this morning was express my need for additional support today in the secret Facebook group set up for members of the weekly conference call support group I co-facilitate with Life Coach Gerri. This, combined with sharing what I did in last night's post, followed by numerous supportive text messages from group members, gave me an incredible amount of strength.

I had a great workout at the YMCA and completed another wonderful water day. My goal is a minimum of 8 cups per day. I hit 10 cups a couple of times in the last week.

I worked late this evening, resulting in a super late dinner time--and as long as I don't make it a habit, I'm okay with it occasionally. Sometimes my schedule demands flexibility--sometimes, my lack of good planning demands it, too. If I combine a long day with poor planning, that's when it gets really creative, quickly. Despite the long day and not the best planning, today was a success. It had all the earmarks of a potentially bad day...stress, emotions, food planning on the fly--busy schedule...but I refuse to give up. If the day is tough, how can I make it better? 

Sacrificing the integrity of my plan isn't the answer, although that's the lie the brain tries to tell in the middle of it all. Getting through rough patches with the integrity of the plan solidly in place, makes it better and best of all. I'll be smiling tonight as I drift off to sleep.

Tomorrow is weigh day! I'll make my way to the doctors office for the tri-weekly event shortly before 10am. I stopped trying to guess the results. It will be whatever it is--but naturally I have questions. The biggest being: Did I get enough exercise this three week period? And although I feel I'm ready for whatever the scale says in the morning, I'll be reaching out to a support buddy on the way in and out, as I do every weigh day.

My Tweets Today:
























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

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15th, 2014 Challenging Day

December 15th, 2014 Challenging Day

I just wanted to open this blog post with this: What I'm doing is working very well and I do not plan to stop what I'm doing anytime soon. I plan on enhancing what I'm doing in the exercise department, but the accountability and support elements are strong and working wonders for me. It's different and that's the thing. Different naturally strikes some as crazy. It isn't for me.

I've described the daily tweets as an "extreme accountability measure," and to some, it probably seems like it, but for me it doesn't feel extreme anymore. This element of my recovery has had a huge impact on my relationship with food in an inspiring way. It's inspired me to slow down, take better care in my choices, get more creative in the kitchen, read labels and more.

Today has been a very challenging day. Not with me or about me, but about someone very close to me whom I love very much. They're struggling horribly and it breaks my heart. It wouldn't be appropriate for me to name them or describe their struggle. I'll just say, it's consumed me today, in worry.

I had planned to take my orientation on the weight training machines at the Y today. But decided to postpone it until tomorrow or even Wednesday. I came straight home from work and worried some more about what I can do to help my loved one. Then I did what I do when faced with something overwhelming, I laid down and slept for an hour and a half.

I woke up, felt better, had a good phone conversation with a family member--and proceeded to throw a dinner together. I put on my shoes after dinner and was out the door to the YMCA for an elliptical workout when I discovered my car has a flat tire. I arranged for a ride to the studio in the morning and decided to deal with the tire situation tomorrow mid-morning.

I grabbed the rest of my homemade fruit sorbet from the freezer for my #lastfoodofday. I'm seriously making more of this stuff soon! It's a wonderful treat! Next time I'm making it with cashew milk.

I could easily do some body-weight strength training exercises before bed. I think I would feel good about that. Yeah. I'll do that now.  

My Tweets Today:
















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

Sunday, December 14, 2014

December 14th, 2014 I Don't Know

December 14th, 2014 I Don't Know

Sometimes I wonder if I'm leaning too much on my accountability measures. I had this thought today. If I took away the daily blog and the tweets, would I soon be off the rails? It's a great question. What prompted this thought process was someone recently asking me if I planned to live-tweet my food for the rest of my life. I don't know.

What I do know is, I've found what is working well for me. And I haven't any plans to stop anytime soon. When we look at it in terms of the rest of our life, this is a very small part, at least, God willing, it is. 

I don't see ever eating another gram of sugar for as long as I live. The effects of sugar on me are too clear to ever deny it again.  I suppose I'm very content with taking my progress one day at a time. Someday I'll reach maintenance mode again and I look forward to doing things differently than my previous experience. But for now, I'll keep embracing what works for me.

My workout at the YMCA was cut short, when I was activated for weather coverage after the first five minutes. I thought I could beat Mother Nature, but she was moving too fast! I handled the coverage, then decided to get dinner and grab a few things at the store before figuring out an alternative workout.

I ended up at the trail for a nice brisk 5K walk. I had the entire trail to myself tonight. The ground was wet from the storms and after rain freshness was in the air. It was a very pleasant experience!  

My Tweets Today:




























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

Saturday, December 13, 2014

December 13th, 2014 New Pair of Jeans Day

December 13th, 2014 New Pair of Jeans Day

I was getting ready for a Saturday morning location broadcast from a grocery store when I noticed how I was constantly pulling up my pants. I looked in the big mirror and realized I was long overdue for a smaller size. This revelation was a nice way to start a Saturday.

I don't typically buy things for myself, easily. I don't know why, but I just don't. As I studied my saggy britches in the mirror, I decided--today would be a new pair of jeans day.

I prepared a good breakfast before departing for the massive meat sale at the grocer twenty minutes from where I live. I no longer dread being out in public. At my heaviest regain point, I was incredibly mean to myself and totally ashamed to have let things go so horribly. The worst was running into people who had read my book and blog, then brutalizing myself with assumptions on what they must have thought upon seeing me. 

One of the very important shifts in perspective I had to make before my recovery could start, was forgiveness and self-compassion. I truly had to stop terrorizing myself with self-hatred over the weight gain and what amounted to an insane back and forth of control, followed by chaos. I had to recognize, if I kept beating myself up, then I would keep holding myself down. I didn't deserve that kind of treatment. It had to stop. I had to forgive myself. Doing this enabled me to get to the point where the epiphany of May 15th occurred. Finally, I could accept myself at whatever weight and truly believe--authentically realize, no matter my size, I'm an awesome person. Losing weight doesn't make me a better person. Gaining weight doesn't make me a bad person. 

Stepping out in public for a broadcast or for whatever reason, is much easier without all of the self-imposed negative energy. The weight loss can't exclusively take credit for this shift. The self-worth/identity epiphany has changed the way I see myself--and the way I treat myself.

I didn't have time to shop for jeans prior to my broadcast, so I patiently waited and headed straight to the department store as soon as I finished. Naturally, I started looking in the big and tall section.

I looked and looked--and then stopped. I had this thought recently while out with mom, but I wasn't ready to buy anything. And it was an afterthought then, like--you know what? I bet I couldn't find my size because it's not considered big and tall anymore!! Today, it hit me fairly quickly--the thought, I don't need to be in this section anymore. All of these jeans are too big!! I quickly made my way over to the 'healthy size' section and found a good pair. This was a big deal to me. I've worked very hard to fight back, turning the direction of my life and health around. The smaller number on the scale is nice. But shopping for jeans in the regular sizes section is better. It was a sweet reward for the effort and importance level I've given this journey.

I took it easy today. I enjoyed a nice nap, prepared a unique dinner and spent time visiting with my soon to be 25 year old daughter. What??? Is that even possible? She turns 25 on January 4th. She gets married soon, too. I swear, I'm only 43! I really treasure the relationship I have with both my daughters. It's special.

My Tweets Today:




















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

Friday, December 12, 2014

December 12th, 2014 Quick Friday Night Post

December 12th, 2014 Quick Friday Night Post

The week caught up with me this afternoon and I was out for a good nap. It's been a long night. I've worked on writing my Weight Loss Meditations audio project, tonight.

I broke away for a good 5K in the park. It was very quiet out there. I prefer it that way!

I've had three good water days in a row since including my water consumption in my tweets.

I had some things I wanted to write about, but I'm opting instead to get some rest. I'll write more over the weekend.  I hope you have a great weekend!

My Tweets Today:
























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

Thursday, December 11, 2014

December 11th, 2014 The Stand-Up Show Day

December 11th, 2014 The Stand-Up Show Day

It didn't seem to matter; my past experience and the reassurance from friends about how I would be fine at the comedy show, didn't stop me from nearly making myself physically ill today. It was absolutely crazy how much I was stressing over it all. And this is supposed to be one of the pathways toward personal happiness? Really? 

It was a horrible day to have a 2015 planning meeting for our radio station. But we did, and there I was, trying my best to pay attention, but completely preoccupied with the idea of standing in front of an audience delivering stand-up material, tonight. A colleague requested I open the meeting with a little "preview performance" of tonight's set. I declined in a firm way. "It's not the same. I don't do that. It's not joke-jokes. I tell stories, I develop a connection with the audience--it's not a style suitable for a few one liners before a meeting." My response wasn't what was expected--and that's okay. I was on edge.

By late afternoon, I started feeling sick. I knew it was nerves. I didn't feel like eating, either. I sent a text to Life Coach Gerri, explaining, basically, how I was void of a food plan this evening and although I was hungry, I didn't think I could eat. She encouraged me to get a snack somewhere, so I immediately turned into a convenience store for some raw almonds, cheese and water. It worked perfectly. I didn't think about food the rest of the evening.

I slacked on my accountability water pics for twitter before, during and after the show tonight, but rest assured, I was constantly drinking water from a tall glass full of ice. I estimated between 3 and 4 additional cups of water, easy. 

Once I arrived at the venue, I took some deep breaths and started to relax a little. I felt my natural instincts trying to take over--so I did my best to allow that. Gerri suggested I find some time for some quick meditations to calm down and center--and it was spot on advice. I did just that--and it helped. By the time the show started, I was still nervous--but in a much better place, mentally.

My performance had three stages, really--as described to me by one of the audience members afterward, "It was cool watching you go from obviously nervous, to okay, to totally in your groove." Yeah, it worked. I wasn't sure if it would. But it did. I still had it. The feeling of confidence and reassurance was indescribable. Even though the material was nearly all brand new and never before tested in front of an audience, it worked. I had some big bits, some killer tags--and an audience that was extremely attentive, allowing a wonderful relationship to develop in the 35 minutes of my set.

I had second thoughts going in. I told a friend, "I did this all wrong. If I wanted to do this again, I should have found an open mic at a club somewhere, where I could do a five minute set. Not schedule an entire show where I'm the headliner, basically." My friend said--"Look, you're not a dipping the toe in the water kind of guy. You're a jump in, kind of guy. It's okay and you'll be great."

The night turned out fabulous. It didn't go as planned as far as food and exercise was concerned. The after show mingling and driving a couple of friends home afterward put the clock super late on me. My plan of doing a celebratory 5K after didn't happen. My dinner didn't happen until almost midnight--which was really too late to eat, but I managed to have something light as you'll see in the Tweets. But in all, I can't complain. As far as the exercise goes, Fitbit gave me a calorie burn of nearly 400 calories for my "measured activity" for the day. I guess all that nervous pacing really added up.

My Tweets Today:
















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

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December 10th, 2014 A One Track Mind

December 10th, 2014 A One Track Mind

The last time I was this nervous going into a stand-up gig was opening for Sinbad in front of 26,000 people in an open air stadium. I was only eight months into my comedy career when I landed that job. I wasn't ready. I stressed over it relentlessly. Tomorrow night will be fine. It's actually a good sign to be this aware and on edge. I didn't stress this much over big auditions! I must remember, some of my best performances came after feeling this way.

What I'm doing tomorrow night is very different. Nearly all new material--not one shred of weight related self-deprecating stuff, so it's very experimental for me. It's a really good thing I have another experienced comic in the show. What's the worst that could happen? I mean, really? I'm not doing this for a living. I have nothing to lose. I'm simply working out material in front of an audience. If it goes well, bonus. If not, no loss--I'll write some more, edit and do it again next time.

This stand-up thing is a direct result of the epiphany I had May 15th. Finding our individual 'Happiness Code' has everything to do with exploring the things that make us uniquely us and bring us joy--then nourishing those things. It's truly one of the secrets of happiness. Although my brain is screaming "what have you gotten us into?"

The new water accountability element has worked very well today. I've consumed 10 cups of water. That's a rarity! The bottle of water this morning filled me up, so much so, I didn't take a second cup of coffee. So there's something, perhaps it'll cut down my coffee consumption. As a coffee lover, I'm not sure this is a positive!

I voiced a radio commercial for Domino's Pizza today. Then I started craving pizza. It wasn't a serious, I need to reach out for support type craving, just a simple, that sounded delicious, type thing. I decided to make a nice low cal version as a small afternoon meal using a plain gluten free wrap, sugar free marinara, fresh mushrooms and two slices of mozzarella. These super thin gluten free wraps bake up really nice! It was all the flavor I wanted and well within my calorie budget. It was perfect!

I'm so obsessed with my set list and material for tomorrow night, I've made this an off day for exercise. I have a one track mind at the moment. I'm constantly thinking about my set, fleshing out ideas and rearranging things. I'm likely over-thinking it just a touch. It'll be fun, I'm sure of it! I plan on celebrating the conclusion of tomorrow night's show with a good workout, likely a 5K in the park. The exercise, combined with the relief of the show being behind me, will feel incredible, I'm sure.

Okay--time to rehearse some more.

My Tweets Today:


























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





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