Friday, October 31, 2014

October 31st, 2014 A Sugar Free Halloween

October 31st, 2014 A Sugar Free Halloween

A colleague of mine brought me a slice of pumpkin bread from Starbucks as a "Happy Halloween" gesture. This particular colleague is in a different department than me and we rarely converse about anything other than work related things--in fact, we only talk about work related things. It wasn't a surprise to me and I know that it was a sincere gesture.

Rachel Vinson, via Twitter, let me know the slice checks in at 600 calories!! Of course, the sugar content immediately disqualified it for me.

I decided my "Happy Halloween" would be my first ever sugar-free Halloween. I'm happy to report I made it through just fine. It is Halloween and I'm a very happy person, so I did have a happy Halloween--sugar free!! I'm super proud, can you tell?

Today was a good food day. Yesterday I didn't eat any corn tortilla type products--today, I was back at it in full force! :) I love 'em! I enjoy what I eat--it's a pleasure. And really, it's one of the "secrets" to my success. It's important!

I'm a judge at a big Halloween Party tomorrow night where I'll be made up for the first time in 30 years. I haven't dressed for Halloween since 1984. I will be a zombie. That's right, an un-dead Sean tomorrow night! Oh, there will be pictures.

Oh--by the way, that pumpkin bread? I never looked in the package. I offered it to an in-studio guest this morning, who enthusiastically accepted!

My Tweets Today:














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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October 30th, 2014 Trying Different

October 30th, 2014 Trying Different

I do get into routines and habits. I like certain things and I seem to be able to enjoy them again and again without tiring too much. In the spirit of variety, I made a conscious effort to try something different. I ended up having a day where I didn't consume tortillas in any form--no chips, no tostada or taco shells and only one serving of cheese. I didn't eat any avocado today, either. I'm not saying my usual "go-to" menu items are bad--and believe me, I'm sure I'll have some tomorrow, I just decided to try some different things today. It was a great food day. I was very satisfied.

Remember those sugar free cupcakes? Eight of them remain in my fridge, untouched. I enjoyed my one cupcake and I haven't felt compelled to have another. I could, easily--I mean really, it's 155 calories and sugar free, I just haven't. It's interesting to me because if these were regular sugar laden cupcakes, and I wasn't sugar free--I would have devoured more, likely the rest of them. It's as if my "inner brain" knows there isn't sugar to be found in them, so they're not an attractive option. These cupcakes are really good, don't get me wrong--they just don't contain the drug my brain sniffs out like a police dog.

I enjoyed a fantastic workout tonight on the elliptical at the YMCA (speaking of routines). It's really past time for me to expand my workouts to include weights. I've said I would--almost did--said I was ready, then backed off so many times--and it's getting ridiculous! It's too easy to just do what I've been doing. I enjoy what I do. But just like changing up my food today, I must be willing to try different in the exercise department.

My Tweets Today:












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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 29th, 2014 In Case It Suddenly Gets Rough

October 29th, 2014 In Case It Suddenly Gets Rough

Getting through yesterday was a powerful thing. I felt fragile again. In hindsight, this has always been a fragile, delicate thing. Instead of saying, "I felt fragile again," it would be correct to say, "I came face to face with and acknowledged the ongoing fragility of this journey." It was kind of a disappointing experience, in that this hadn't happened in a while, and suddenly it became tough again, when perhaps I was in a "smooth sailing" type mentality. Maybe it was a needed reminder. "Smooth Sailing" is often followed by rough waters and if we're too comfy in our smooth sailing mindset, then it's easy to forget how to handle the storms. Preparing ourselves to navigate the stormy waters before the wind starts blowing is imperative to our success. I'm never beyond getting lost at sea or capsized. But like a really seasoned captain, I can have a good survival plan in place, just in case it suddenly gets rough.

Today was much better. It was incredibly busy with a full on-air/production day, followed by a private recording session for a voice-over project I've accepted, then it was straight to the YMCA, dinner out at the little Mexican place down the street from the YMCA, then home for forty-five minutes before driving to Wichita in order to pick up friends from the airport. I knew a few days ago, this was going to be a really late night.

The greatest thing about making it through yesterday? It actually strengthens the days following. Had I given in yesterday, it would have been ten times harder to get back to where I was, mentally. Recovery would have been possible, yes--but very, VERY difficult.

I'm keeping my survival plan in place and close at all times. I proved to myself I can make it through rough days with a little help from my friends.  

My Tweets today:
















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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October 28th, 2014 Like Our Life Depends On It

October 28th, 2014 Like Our Life Depends On It

I was in bed by 8pm last night. My eyes opened at 3:30am, ready to hop up and even though I could have easily done just that, I stayed in bed until 4:15am. The eight hours sleep made a positive difference. I woke up feeling much better, physically. Later in the day, for some reason, I wasn't feeling too good emotionally.

An important part of this journey is self-awareness. It didn't take me long to recognize how I was feeling this afternoon. I wish I could identify it a little better, but I can't. I just felt off. It could be because I haven't felt 100% lately and as a result, my exercise has taken a backseat. And perhaps it was getting to me, finally. Maybe it was a general unsettling we can feel when things don't go how we think they should or how we wanted or had hoped they would go. 

I started feeling compelled to eat this afternoon, not long after my lunch--and at first, I analyzed my food--nope, nothing there should be a trigger. Then, as I was white knuckling it throughout the last part of my workday, it dawned on me--this wasn't a physical thing, it was emotional.

I didn't handle it correctly. I should have reached out to a support buddy immediately--and I didn't until much later in the afternoon. I'm not sure why I didn't at the first notion. I recommend it to others all the time and then, when I need to do it, I don't? What's up with that? I'm no different than anyone else. I get emotional, I get discouraged, I get frustrated, I get sad, I can have temporary bouts of circumstantial depression--heck, I've experienced full blown depression in my past--more than once.

Today, even though I wasn't tired, even though I had the opportunity to get to the YMCA early and get my workout on--I chose to go home and crawl under the covers. My escape from this temporary emotional downturn was to get unconscious as quickly as possible. This was my alternative to giving in to the natural tendency to reach for food, as if food is some kind of magical corrective device. It isn't--and I know that for certain. Had I reached for food instead of my unnecessary nap--I would have felt five times worse. I woke feeling a little better about things. And that's when I called a support buddy to talk out what was left of this funk infecting my afternoon.

The talk did wonders for me. After the talk, I started preparing a good dinner and getting ready for the Tuesday night support group conference call. Our overall focus tonight was "What do we do and NOT do in order to help us maintain consistency?" It was a good group discussion!

I felt absolutely empowered after the call tonight. One member, who is on Day 7 of her abstinence from sugar, stated "last week I didn't believe I could do it, now I know I can." <<<That right there...Oh my...The greatest feeling, my friend. It was one of many highlights from the group this evening.

I enjoyed a great dinner and then laced up my shoes for a good, albeit late, workout at the YMCA. I needed this workout more for the mental/emotional benefits than the physical. It did for me exactly what I needed it to do. I felt incredible afterward.

I'm hitting the pillow late tonight--but really, as much sleep as I've had in the past 28 hours--I likely would have laid awake if I had dropped any earlier. I feel like I had to fight today. I did fight. I don't like fighting. I wish it were easy-peasy every single day, but it's not. And that's okay. The important thing to be is self-aware. When it starts feeling like a struggle is coming on, it's imperative to acknowledge it and try to identify the source and if that takes too long to do, or isn't clear--then go straight to your defense mechanisms--call somebody for support--text someone, get out a pen and paper and write it out--anything...even hiding under the covers works, but honestly--dealing with it straight ahead is always best. I'm glad I did make the call for support after my midday slumber. It made a huge difference for me and the rest of my day/evening.

We must protect our journey with everything we can. It's too important. We're important and we're worth the effort. The easy days are awesome--they're the best, of course! But if this time is to be like no other--then on days when it isn't easy, we must be willing to fight for it like our life depends on it...because it truly does.
  
My Tweets today:














Thank you for reading and your amazing support,
I'm incredibly lucky and blessed,
Strength,
Sean

Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27th, 2014 Super Short Post

October 27th, 2014 Super Short Post

I woke this morning, still sick, still feeling horrible and generally like crud. I took a sick day, except I absolutely had things that needed to be produced today, so I made it in for a little while today. If I do not feel 100% tomorrow, I'm making a doctors appointment.

I did eat more today and this general nausea isn't as bad as yesterday, so I suppose I'm getting better. I've decided to help this along with some more rest. I'll be in bed before 8pm tonight.

Instead of writing more tonight, or doing anything else--I'm going to bed.

My Tweets today:














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

Sunday, October 26, 2014

October 26th, 2014 My Brain Didn't Light Up Like A Pinball Machine

October 26th, 2014 My Brain Didn't Light Up Like A Pinball Machine

I was up early this morning in order to drive a couple of friends to the airport in Wichita. I enjoy driving--especially when I'm alone, on the way back. I take that time to listen to things I enjoy, like NPR's TED Radio Hour Podcast. I highly recommend! I've learned some incredible things from some amazing people through TED.

As I made my way home, heading South on I-35, I started feeling a little more nauseous. I felt it slightly before I left my place--but suddenly, it was enough for me to notice and alter plans accordingly.

I needed to rest today. I hadn't planned on it. My plan was a trip to Stillwater to celebrate my birthday with family at one of my favorite little restaurants. I called mom and canceled, then let everyone else know too. After a quick stop at the store, I arrived home and dropped back in bed. But I couldn't sleep for whatever reason. I was hungry, but didn't necessarily feel like eating. I didn't want eggs.

I decided to prepare some rice chips, guacamole and some fat free-sugar free bean dip. Chips and dip, why not? Bad choices. Not calorie or nutrition wise--not at all, these were fabulous choices--just not on an unsettled stomach. I knew it probably wasn't the best plan as I tweeted "this could be a bad idea." I'll spare you the descriptive consequences of my bad idea. 

I was finally able to go back to sleep and I slept and slept, and then slept some more. I needed the rest. It seemed to help me feel better. I woke feeling much better, still not 100%, but much better.

I enjoyed a sugar free cupcake with Amber this evening. These were the cupcakes made with unsweetened apple sauce and Pyure Brand Organic Stevia. They did contain flour and real butter, but no sugar. My criteria was pretty simple: Absolutely no sugar and I need a calorie count. The professional bakery handled it perfectly. 155 calories of cupcake was worth it, every bite.

The best thing about the cupcake? My brain didn't light up like a pinball machine during or after eating. I wasn't compelled to eat another and another, and then another. I had one. And one was enough. It was enjoyable.

I wasn't going to eat anything else today--but then I started feeling much better, so I decided on a nice omelet for dinner. A pear was my #lastfoodofday. My calories checked in at 1,313. That's going to be good enough for me today.

My plans to workout today were also nixed. This has been one of my least active weekends in recent memory. Instead of beating myself up over lack of exercise the last four days, I'm choosing to extend a nice measure of self-compassion and understanding. It's a tricky balance, really. It's a fine line that separates self-compassion and understanding from excuses and laziness. I believe it all comes down to self-honesty. If the decision is tempered with some extreme self-honesty concerning the circumstances and those circumstances are evaluated for what's truly best for us in the moment, then good.

The melatonin is starting to kick in... I better hit the pillow.

My Tweets today:












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

Saturday, October 25, 2014

October 25th, 2014 Busy Saturday

October 25th, 2014 Busy Saturday

Today started early for me. I was up right before 6am, making coffee, preparing breakfast and departing Heather's place for home. My schedule was packed tight today. I was hired as the DJ for the 8th and 9th grade Pepperette dance this evening, so the first thing I did this morning was buy several songs on iTunes from a list provided by one of the students.

I must be old because I didn't recognize any of the artists or songs. I wonder, when I was glued to MTV during my teen years, was my mom as oblivious to Huey Lewis and The News as I am to Nicki Manaj?

I made my way to the gym to set up the equipment  and then it was off to pick up some friends for the OSU Homecoming football game 42 miles South of where I live. I didn't attend the tailgate party or game, I visited with mom and enjoyed a lunch with her at Applebee's. The under 550 calories menu is really nice!

I was back in town with enough time to meet Amber for a quick dinner before heading off to the gymnasium location of the dance.

The load in and load out of the equipment was my exercise today. Fitbit recognized it and so will I.

We're having a big birthday celebration with family tomorrow in Stillwater. I hope to get into the YMCA before departing for my hometown.

I need to be up early again in the morning because I'm driving some friends to the airport in Wichita. I may come back and sleep a little more before my workout and trip South.

Very tired tonight. There's was so much more I wanted to write about-but I will need to save it for another night. I must turn in!

 My Tweets today:
















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

Friday, October 24, 2014

October 24th, 2014 Their Turn Is Coming Once Again

October 24th, 2014 Their Turn Is Coming Once Again

I enjoyed sleeping in today. I woke up and immediately needed to get ready to join Heather and her daughter in Tulsa for the day. Breaking my normal routine is sometimes tough. I normally relax with coffee, prepare breakfast--pack it, transport it and eat it about two hours after I initially wake.  I also cook eggs 98% of the time. It's become the breakfast I enjoy the most, it seems. I do change it up with different styles and preparations, but still, eggs--most everyday.

This morning I enjoyed a serving of Vanilla Shakeology with a banana and cashew milk. Oh, by the way--that's not a typo, Cashew Milk! The unsweetened cashew milk is a low 25 calories per cup. That's a lot of non-dairy milk for not a lot of calories! And the taste was wonderful in my Shakeology! I handled the change in routine in stride. It just wasn't a big deal to me. I commented on this dynamic as it applies to other things, today during our drive: I don't get worked up in a hot and negative way about much. I just don't care to, most of the time.  

We had several stops, including a stop at a clothing store where I purchased myself a new long sleeve black pullover as a birthday present. It's the perfect size for me now--it won't be in the next 20 pounds or so, and that's okay! I'm going to enjoy wearing it while I can. One of the nice things about where this positive momentum is leading? I have a closet full of clothing I wore between the weights of 230 and 250, just hanging there, waiting for me to pick them once again. And I will, soon. Their turn is coming once again! I don't really know when it will come (I don't do long range calendar speculations) but it will come!

Heather prepared an incredible birthday meal for me tonight. I offered help and she declined, saying she wanted to do it for my birthday. And well, okay! I gladly let her!

Tomorrow morning kicks off what is poised to be a very active Saturday and Sunday. I'm about ready to drop in bed for a decent night's sleep!  



















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

Thursday, October 23, 2014

October 23rd, 2014 A Wonderful 43rd Birthday

October 23rd, 2014 A Wonderful 43rd Birthday

I woke up today feeling good about it being my 43rd birthday. I tried to go back into the archives to read how I was doing on my 42nd birthday, but I didn't blog a single page the last half of 2013. Honestly, I didn't need to read about it, I remember it well. I woke feeling depressed a year ago. I had gained back a big amount of weight and I was in the middle of the 'I've got to get a handle on this, now' cycle. That cycle was two or three days of doing well followed by two weeks of doing bad--and repeat. 

Waking up today and feeling alive again felt incredible. A year ago, it felt improbable to ever feel like this again. When I looked in the mirror last year, all I could see was someone getting older and looking older--and worst of all, a man who was quickly losing hope for anything better. Honestly, it was mild to moderate depression.

I looked in the mirror this morning and staring back at me was a man who has a renewed spirit, new hope, dreams and most of all, a new attitude and perspective. My state of mind is one hundred eighty degrees what it was on this day a year ago. My whole world has opened.

Only I know how truly bad it became--because it hit levels I haven't shared with anyone. Suffice to say, this turnaround, in my opinion, is nothing short of a miracle. I am truly blessed.

I don't know what you see when you look at me--or what you think, and seriously--that isn't any of my business anyway, but I assure you--I am living, walking, breathing proof that a turnaround--even coming from the perspective of doom and gloom, is real, possible and within reach. 

It's been six months since I gave up sugar and committed to a return to daily updates on this blog. It wasn't long after this decision when I decided to tweet a picture and calorie count of every calorie, every day. I'm so proud of the last six months for so many reasons. This six month period is by far, the most critically important of my entire journey. May 15th, 2014 alone--to me, is the single most important day of my entire journey. I call it "epiphany day." 

"Epiphany Day" was the day I discovered the secret to my personal happiness and in that discovery, I learned that I had always been a good and worthy person regardless of my weight. On that day, I realized that my weight or any other variable would never again define my self worth and level of happiness. If you haven't gone back to May 15th to read the entry, I recommend it--and also May 19th when we explored it further.

I've received many gifts over the last six months and I'm very grateful. I'm blessed and absolutely lucky beyond my share.

It was a very busy day at work--several things needing my attention since I've made Friday another vacation day. I didn't mind the busy day because I had something wonderful to look forward to later! I enjoyed this evening with Heather and I'll spend tomorrow with her too, before returning home for a busy weekend, capped by a birthday celebration with family in Stillwater on Sunday.

We talked about my birthday on my radio show this morning. Being sugar free presents an obvious situation if you're accustomed to the traditional birthday cake type thing. Honestly, I couldn't care less about a cake. And I certainly wouldn't trade my life and freedom for a piece. I was okay with skipping the cake until a local bakery stepped in and offered sugar free chocolate muffins. I picked up a bag of these muffins sweetened with unsweetened applesauce and stevia. The bakery doesn't normally bake and sell sugar free items--but now, they're considering adding some things like this! I picked up the muffins and was asked for my honest feedback so they could tweak the recipe if needed. I ordered a dozen sugar free cupcakes for the Sunday get together in Stillwater and even offered the stevia from my supply of Pyure Brands Organic Stevia. It'll be experimental, for sure--and if the chocolate muffins are any indication, the cupcakes will be fantastic!

It's been a really good birthday! Thank you to each and every one of my facebook friends who took the time to leave a happy birthday wish on my Facebook wall. If we're not friends on Facebook--friend request me!! You'll find me here: www.facebook.com/seananderson505  

My Tweets today:
















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

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October 22nd, 2014 It Must Be Exercised

October 22nd, 2014 It Must Be Exercised

I hit the pillow last night after a long, thought provoking post, and I felt incredible about where I am as opposed to where I was not too long ago. I must give thanks for these kind of epiphanies and at the same time, I must always exercise this part of my brain. One of the many things I've learned the hard way along this road: The occurrence of an epiphany can be mind blowing in the clarification it brings, but it is merely a thought process, a perspective--the untangling of truth, finally understood. It isn't guaranteed to stick around simply because it was experienced. It must be applied and worked, it must be exercised regularly in order for us to experience its full effect in our lives.

I had my annual review today at the studio. Overall, it was a great review, except for a few minor adjustments needed in the time management department and with following through on plans, projects and intentions. I could have given myself the same exact review on everything else in my life. I do believe I'm making great strides and I'm excited about the road ahead, personally and professionally.

By the way--if you remember, this was to be the night of my return to stand-up comedy in front of a live audience. This comedy night has been postponed until next month. I'll update here as soon as that new date is firm and it's being promoted.

I enjoyed an "early-birthday" dinner out this evening. I called ahead and made sure the restaurant still had my gluten free pasta available from the last time. It was the same place that went out and purchased some especially for Heather's and my visit not too long ago. I'm not 100% gluten free, but I prefer to go that way as much as possible. I think my occasional Joseph's Pitas are the only thing separating me from being gluten free at this point. The restaurant still had some on hand, perfect!

They brought us a big bunch of bread, first thing--maybe a dozen rolls in all, all dripping with real butter and sprinkled with a generous amount of parmesan cheese. I'm very thankful to report that I don't seem to have too much trouble resisting bread. Does it look good? Yes. Does it smell amazing? Of course! But for whatever reason, I can easily resist the bread. I know exactly what it tastes like--I've had these very rolls on a few occasions--and yes, they're amazing, but still--they don't fit into my plan, I don't need them, I wouldn't like how I felt if I indulged--and I already know how they taste...I have great taste recall, if you will. I'm very thankful for this ability to pass on the bread. Now, tortilla chips? Well--that's an entirely different animal. I love my tortillas!
 photo photo35_zps88c8ea4d.jpg
Amber and Me after dinner this evening.

I enjoyed a fabulous workout on the elliptical tonight and I'm headed to bed a touch earlier than last night, so that's good!

My Tweets today:




















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





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