Friday, November 17, 2017

November 17th, 2017 Things That Keep Things

November 17th, 2017 Things That Keep Things

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed connected with good support.

When I get tired, frustrated, and stressed out, I'm putting myself in a vulnerable position. The things that keep things steady are gratitude, helping someone else in need of support, and making sure I have the basics of my plan available when they're needed.

I have much to be grateful for and it's so easy to get super self-centered in the middle of an exceptionally long day where I'm blinded from my gratitude list. Reaching out in support of someone else immediately shifts the perspective. I paused a few times during the day to make that action important. It's an intentional action during high-stress times, and it's not always easy-- but it works. Good support flows positive energy both ways. This is something I've learned from watching and listening to others.

Today's schedule was challenging. I arrived in the dark and left in the dark after twelve hours. I made it home just in time for a couple of back to back one on one mentoring sessions--and then I headed to the Mojo Men concert. I made the opening announcements and introduced the band--stayed for just minutes before hurrying to the grocery store for a few things I needed for dinner. I made it home, prepared and cooked dinner--and finally started eating dinner at 9:33pm. But really--I'm smiling, because I paused long enough to count blessings. If I hadn't, I'd still be super stressed and upset over a variety of things.

Today's Accountability Tweets:


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

Thursday, November 16, 2017

November 16th, 2017 It Worked

November 16th, 2017 It Worked

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed connected with good support.

The nursing center where mom lives hosted a Thanksgiving meal late this afternoon. Mom had her hair done and she was festive and happy today. The meal was really small--and only needed a few modifications in order to fit within the boundaries of my food plan. It worked out. When my plate checked in at 259 calories, I decided it was fine. I could prepare something later this evening, and that's what I did.




















I really like this picture of mom. The nursing center really did an amazing job of getting that place ready to host this event. It was a great visit!

I'll let the Tweets take it the rest of the way tonight...

Today's Accountability Tweets:


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

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

November 15th, 2017 Change The Pattern

November 15th, 2017 Change The Pattern

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed connected with good support.

I made a very fast trip to my hometown tonight in order to grab some super produce deals at Sprouts. Eighty-eight cent per pound apples, eighty-eight cent avocados, thirty-nine cent per pound sweet potatoes, and a few other deals were set to end tonight. I did the math and realized it did pay to make the drive. Of course, it involved a fast dinner out, so maybe that made up for the savings--but hey, I'm stocked on several staples of my food plan and I had a chance to enjoy Chipotle--and I really love Chipotle! 

It's important for me to have what I need, where I need it, when I need it--I call it the Three W's--and that's related to the Three P's: Planning, preparing, and packing. I can't do the P's without the W's! These things help me honor my maintenance plan each day.

I RSVP'd for a special dinner tomorrow late-afternoon at mom's place. The nursing center is preparing a traditional Thanksgiving-style meal for family and friends of residents. Mom is really looking forward to this event. She reminded me twice today to RSVP. I'm fairly confident I can navigate the food well. I know the boundaries of my plan, and with the exception of no refined sugar (a non-negotiable), I'm flexible.

The daily practice continues. And it certainly is a practice. I feel like I'm coasting of late. There are things; challenges I'm in need of embracing--and I know from experience, if it is to happen, I must be willing to change the pattern. And isn't that a big part of what we're doing? We're changing the patterns of the past.

Today's Accountability Tweets:


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

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

November 14th, 2017 Reasonable Expectations

November 14th, 2017 Reasonable Expectations

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with good support.

Yesterday I wrote about transformation perspective. Part of that recalled how I once placed expectations of happiness on my weight loss efforts. I've discovered happiness doesn't come from losing and maintaining, the same as money doesn't buy happiness. The idea that happiness was reserved for the magic moment the scale hit a certain number was an absurd one. That thinking I held for many years suggested that I wasn't capable or deserving of happiness as a 500-pound man--and that wasn't true. Happiness is deserved and created from within at any weight--and yesterday's post detailed strategy to help uncover the ability to recognize it, nurture it, and live it. It's an ability I firmly believe we all possess.

So what has weight loss and maintaining a healthy body-weight given me?

Better health.

I no longer have high blood pressure. I no longer show signs of sleep apnea. The lymphatic system in my legs still swells some, especially after a long day, but is very manageable and never gets to the horrific points it did years ago. My blood work in every category is in the optimal range. I seem to have better relationships. I recognize things and enjoy experiences in a better, deeper way. I notice the people around me more--and I'm able to be more present for those I care about. And there's certainly more. If I give it more thought, the list would likely be much bigger.

And these things are normal and reasonable expectations of weight loss and living a plan each day that keeps me well in maintenance.

Today's Accountability Tweets:


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

Monday, November 13, 2017

November 13th, 2017 Finding The Core

November 13th, 2017 Finding The Core

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed connected with good support.

Losing weight didn't make me a better person. Maintaining weight doesn't make me a better person. Gaining weight didn't make me a worse person. Maintaining 500 pounds plus for nearly 20 years didn't make me a worse person. Struggling for so long didn't make me a failure.

For the longest time, years actually, I did attach my self-worth and identity to my size and weight. Disconnecting the power cord between self-worth/identity and weight/size was an important step in helping me see things from a different perspective.

Finding the core of who I am and have always been required a simple question:

What are the qualities in me that do not change?  If I'm 500 pounds or 230 pounds, what positive attributes do I possess at both of those weights? 

The same question can be applied to other things, example: If I won the lottery tomorrow, what positive qualities about me would remain from my previous financial existence?

These core qualities are the ones with us through it all--the stability and certainty, instability and uncertainty.  The list includes not only the way our brain works through compassion, empathy, sense of humor, intelligence, etc., it also includes our likes and dislikes, our roles as parents and grandparents--the things that bring us joy and peace, love and laughter. These things are often overlooked because identity and self-worth have been attached to something that fluctuates.

My identity and self-worth were always hooked onto my weight. Someone else's identity and self-worth might be tied to their bank account.  And another's might be tied to whether or not they perceive their current station in life as stable or unstable. Still, another's might rely on the progression of their career. All of these things fluctuate. And through it all, we're still who we are within our core qualities. 

In order for these core qualities to flourish and enrich our lives to the fullest, they must be loved and nurtured like watering a plant. If they're neglected, they wilt and wither. I believe this is where the expression "I feel dead inside" comes. 

And when identity and self-worth are attached to anything else, these positive attributes get neglected on both sides of whatever is fluctuating.

When the changing source of identity and self-worth is moving in a positive direction, we feel great about ourselves. And when the source is moving in a negative direction we feel worse about ourselves. Then we get into a tug of war, constantly battling to feel good.

We've all heard, "Happiness must come from within."  Now I understand how that can happen and I understand how it doesn't happen when we rely on external things that change. 

Money doesn't buy happiness. Losing weight doesn't magically fix us. Getting the big promotion or settling down into a relationship doesn't do it either. We're truly free when our identity and self-worth is authentically attached to the core qualities of who we are. 

And the best thing??

It can NEVER be taken away from us, no matter what.

Today's Accountability Tweets:


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

Sunday, November 12, 2017

November 12th, 2017 Back To Work

November 12th, 2017 Back To Work

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I remained connected to support.




















After a very nice several days off, it's back to work tomorrow morning. I guess I'll need to shave and wash my hair.

Had dinner out and a store trip with mom this evening. We added another mother/son photo to our collection!

I needed the time. Taking it easy tonight and about to go to bed early (for me it's early!). I'm letting the Tweets take it the rest of the way tonight...

Today's Accountability Tweets:


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

Saturday, November 11, 2017

November 11th, 2017 Rhythm

November 11th, 2017 Rhythm

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded today's water goal, and I stayed connected with good support.

My grandpa Anderson, grandpa Haynes, and my dad-featured here



















In honor of Veteran's Day, I wanted to share some pictures of my grandfathers and dad. Their incredible bravery and service to our country will never be forgotten. And to any veteran who might stumble upon this blog, Thank you for your service.

My grandpa Anderson and grandpa Haynes both served in World War Two. My dad served two tours in Vietnam. My grandfathers are both gone now, but I did communicate with dad today, just to tell him thanks for his service and that I loved him.

I took a relaxing day off today. I slept late and enjoyed a rather tilted food schedule. It was fine because even when it's tilted it seems to have a rhythm. I'm thankful for that rhythm!

I got out tonight and performed a short stand-up set at an open mic. It was fun! Amber came too! It's been a really good Saturday off.

I'm headed to bed super-late. I stayed up watching shows on Hulu. I never do that! Tonight was a tv indulgence, I suppose.

I'll let the Tweets take me the rest of the way... 

Today's Accountability Tweets:


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

Friday, November 10, 2017

November 10th, 2017 Bigger Points

November 10th, 2017 Bigger Points

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed connected with good support.

Those words mean a lot to me. They may not look that way--because they're almost identical every night--but I assure you, these things keep me well. And that's super-important to me.

My company left this evening. We all got together for lunch out with mom before they hit the road. It was a great week of visiting, catching up, and enjoying the time together. I know mom enjoyed all of the activities!

I've had a couple days off in a row and I'll take a couple more this weekend.

This blog means so much to me and I'm so grateful for what it's brought me over the years. I guess I'm feeling a little nostalgic tonight. It's been an amazing 9 years. It's become a big part of my daily "rails of support" even on days when I don't have much to say--no weight loss philosophy or personal epiphanies to share--there's plenty of that stuff in the archives, and I'm certainly not done sharing in these pages--but, even on a day like today, to simply give thanks for this day--and for all I've been given--and just be-- just be okay--is a blessing to me.

I could write details about the maneuvering I've done and the choices made to keep the plan intact--but those things aren't the biggest points. I could share about the obstacles and challenges--and that old pull to dive into the food in pursuit of something it doesn't contain...oh yes--I could write 50,000 words on that topic... but not tonight--because it isn't the point.

Acceptance, embrace, peace, and calm. Those are the bigger points.

I wish those things for anyone and everyone as they work toward finding their own unique "You Plan." It's a fragile thing, those things, because they require daily practice--and they do because they're not an automatic-guaranteed type deal. Anyway-- I said no philosophy or epiphanies tonight, so I'll stop now.

This is a diary--and I can share whatever I desire--whatever I need to share. I don't know. 

Maybe I'm missing my little brother tonight. Perhaps I'm thinking about my dad, whom I haven't spoken to in some time-- or maybe the sadness on mom's face as she kissed her sister goodbye-- a sadness she carried back to her room when I took her back tonight-- I don't know. 

Maybe nostalgic wasn't the right word. I don't know. For whatever reason, just feeling emotional tonight. I'm feeling it. I'm not eating it. And considering my years of experience with the fruitless pursuit of emotional eating, that's one thing I'll consider a miracle.

I hope you have a restful night and a great Saturday.
 
Today's Accountability Tweets:


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

Thursday, November 9, 2017

November 9th, 2017 The Basics

November 9th, 2017 The Basics

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with good support.

I enjoyed a fabulous day off today. Posting the basics tonight and letting the tweets take me the rest of the way. I'll look forward to writing more in this diary tomorrow.

Today's Accountability Tweets:


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

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

November 8th, 2017 Much For Gratitude

November 8th, 2017 Much For Gratitude

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded today's water goal, and I stayed well connected with good support.

Amber, Uncle Sig, Me, and Aunt Jean















Today was the last day of work for me this week. I'm off tomorrow and Friday--and through the weekend too! Uncle Sig and Aunt Jean (mom's sister) is in town and staying at my place. Mom is absolutely loving this time with her sister. Mom has been out and about three different times in the past 24 hours, so believe me, she's thrilled. And mom is doing well, too, from a health perspective. Things have really improved for her; truly a blessing. There's much for gratitude around here!

We gathered at the Mexican restaurant around the corner from my apartment this evening. My daughter Amber and her husband KL joined all of us for the family visit. We're planning some sightseeing and more visiting with family tomorrow!

I've been doing fairly well of late. I'm looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow and Friday!

My maintenance food plan is going very well. It works well for me. No complaints here!

Today's Accountability Tweets:


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





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