Saturday, July 22, 2017

July 22nd, 2017 Not A Bad Place

July 22nd, 2017 Not A Bad Place

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal by 7.5 cups, I stayed well connected with solid support, and I worked out at the YMCA.

I had some breakthrough thoughts today when it comes to goal setting. I keep making elements of my plan--the ones I consider non-negotiable elements, part of my daily goals list. My goals must stretch a little further, otherwise, I'm staying in one place. It's not a bad place. But I want to do more. I'm giving this some focused attention!

I picked up my oldest daughter, Amber, this evening for a play and dinner. We enjoyed the production, the dinner, and we always enjoy the conversation--and the laughs. It was a good time!

Today's Accountability Tweets:






























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

Friday, July 21, 2017

July 21st, 2017 Friday

July 21st, 2017 Friday





















We just finished a family birthday celebration dinner for my youngest daughter. I picked up mom this evening for the special occasion at the Mexican restaurant a few blocks from my apartment. Scott and his daughters joined us, too. It's so heartbreaking to hear how his daughters are adjusting-or trying to process and adjust to the passing of their mom. We'll all meet up again on Monday for a family meal prior to the funeral services. My heart really goes out to them. It's a very sad deal. It was good to see them out and about.

I'm looking forward to accomplishing a couple of things this weekend. I'm off from extra radio station duties--and with this oppressive heat dome in place, the likelihood of weather coverage is slim to none. I plan on using the time to rest, workout, and get some work done on a couple of my personal projects.

It's been a super-long Friday. I'm excited about sleeping in tomorrow morning! I'm hoping my body and brain cooperate. Ever had that happen, too? You can sleep in--but then, you wake up too early and can't go back to sleep? That happens to me quite often.

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.

Today's Accountability Tweets:




























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

Thursday, July 20, 2017

July 20th, 2017 She Wasn't Waiting

July 20th, 2017 She Wasn't Waiting

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 exceptional support.

I'll never forget the chaos and fear I felt in the middle of that night in the hospital, twenty-four years ago. Courtney was a breech baby. And she wasn't waiting. The doctor on duty called for an emergency C-section, but the anesthesiologist wasn't answering his pager at 4am, and again, Courtney wasn't waiting. They ordered me out of the delivery room and prepared for a very risky delivery. I didn't know how serious it was until that moment. It was chaos--the doctor barking orders, everyone basically freaking out-- and I was pacing in a waiting room all alone praying--or more honestly, begging and pleading, making deals, negotiating with my soul--whatever I needed to do for God to make Irene and Courtney okay. It was the fastest answer to a prayer in my entire life. I looked up and across the way to the nursery, as a nurse motioned me over to see my baby girl for the very first time. That moment was the epitome of "love at first sight."  That first look combined with the realization that Irene and our daughter were both perfectly fine, was one of the biggest moments of relief and gratitude I've ever experienced.

My youngest daughter, Courtney, turned 24 today! As Noah would say, "Whaaaaattt?" I know! It doesn't seem possible. She's the mother of Noah and Oliver and she'll always be my baby girl.

We're planning a special family dinner out tomorrow night in celebration of this special occasion.

Happy Birthday, sweetie! I love you!!

Okay--I officially feel super-old now--mentally, but physically, I feel wonderful, and so it evens out, I think. Yeah, it evens out. 

Hitting the pillow, but before I do--some special Courtney pictures from the archives...


Courtney and Me at a family restaurant gathering




















Years ago-Courtney and Me after a workout
















My sweethearts. Courtney & Amber.





















Today's Accountability Tweets:




























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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

July 19th, 2017 Truly Dangerous

July 19th, 2017 Truly Dangerous

Good evening! I'm determined to get to bed earlier than the last few nights. The last report I received on my grandson was a good one. He's doing well, or at least better, tonight. I'm doing better, too.

Today was rough. Not getting enough sleep is a tough thing. And for someone like me, it's truly dangerous. I'm not immune to the "I'm too tired to care about my plan," thoughts--and for me, that means the more exhausted I am, the more I must pause, the harder it is to act instead of react, and I must stay better connected with support. And I must get more rest. I'm at my best with proper rest. I made it home this afternoon, prepared an on-plan lunch--stayed up a little while, then napped for a bit. Not enough to negatively affect me too much tonight--just enough to get a clearer head for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

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've received several messages and emails asking about episode 16 of Transformation Planet. Rest assured, it's coming. I simply have had one thing after another keeping me from finishing the episode production. My guest for episode 16, processed food addiction expert, Dr. Joan Ifland, is worth the wait, I promise!

I've also received a few messages from folks working their way through the first 15 episodes. Thank you for listening! Part of my challenge is making time and space to focus on the podcast and other exciting projects I want to do. But clearly, I must take actions to support a more consistent stream of content. This blog, specifically the last three plus years, is the only content where I've remained 100% consistent. I'm not beating myself up. Just recognizing, acknowledging the truth--and exploring steps to help align actions with intent.

A wise person once said, "Your actions are speaking so loudly, I can't hear what you're saying." I feel that in a very pointed way most days.

Anyhow-- I better drop in bed. I enjoyed my dinner tonight at mom's place. We watched some TV and visited while I enjoyed my dinner. It was nice.

-------------------

If you've read the last several editions of this blog, you know about Billie, my ex-wife's little sister who passed away Saturday morning the 15th. She was in her late 30's with two little girls and a husband. Pre-planning for things like that is rarely something thought about in our 30's. I know Scott, and he's one of the hardest working people I know--and he's doing everything he can, depleting his available resources. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help close the final expenses gap for this tragic and unexpected loss. No gift is too small. If you can, I know it would be appreciated. The funeral is set for 2:15pm Monday.

It might seem strange to ask you to click the link and help this man and his daughters considering they're very likely strangers to you. You're just here to read this blog--and I appreciate that very much!! You'd be doing me a favor, too. If you don't, not a worry at all! I appreciate your loyal readership, always!

I'll make you a deal: If you'll click the link and make a donation of any amount--then send me your shipping address via email to transformation.road@gmail.com,  I'll send you a free paperback copy of Transformation Road-My Trip To Over 500 Pounds and Back.  If you already own a copy, you might give it as a gift! Simply mention "donated via blog link" in the body or subject line of your email. Thank you! Here's the link:

https://www.gofundme.com/zq2cb-help-for-funeral-expenses

A big thank you to everyone who's donated and sent a shipping address to me, so far. I plan on shipping books Friday-and you should have your paperback copy in hand by Monday or Tuesday.

Today's Accountability Tweets:
























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

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

July 18th, 2017 A Master of Self-Sabotage

July 18th, 2017 A Master of Self-Sabotage

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 great support.

A lot has been going on. My oldest grandson hasn't felt well the last few days. He started getting sick while he was with me on Sunday. He's been to the doctor twice in the last 48 hours, complaining of severe pain in his left side, running a fever, and naturally, with all this going on, he's not his regular happy self. And that boy is almost always happy!

Noah's received good care and has medicine- he's feeling better tonight.

When life fills with circumstances beyond our control, we lose a sense of certainty. If you add normal job stress, everyday responsibilities, and a few random uncertainties--it's a recipe for instability. The goal each day: Maintain the integrity of the plan that keeps me well come what may. Come what may means exactly that. I spent nearly 20 years using every single circumstance I could possibly use in order to justify my dependency on excess food. I was a master of self-sabotage. It was a pursuit of comfort; certainty in an uncertain world, guided by the illusion that a temporary dive into the food might somehow make it all better. It never did. Life was waiting around the corner from the drive through, every time. 

I've studied my experience closely over the last eight-plus years and although I haven't nor will I ever perfect anything, I do believe I'm somehow able (by the grace of God) to compartmentalize in a way that supports my consistent stability. I call it The Parallel Streams.

The "Life Stream" is everything happening in our day to day lives. The Life Stream includes the ups and downs, the challenges, the victories, the disappointments, The hectic schedules, the family dynamics, the workplace dynamics, the bills, the stress, the joys, the blessings, the expected and the unexpected, the good, the bad...It's life.

The "Fundamental Elements Stream" contain the daily actions of my personal plan. I say "my" because our plans might be very different. Mine is customized to fit my personality, likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, and sensitivities.

My fundamental elements stream includes my personal/spiritual morning "me time," the most peaceful five minutes of my entire day. My fundamental elements stream also includes maintaining the integrity of my calorie budget, remaining abstinent from refined sugar, logging everything in MyFitnessPal, photographing and tweeting, with description and calorie counts of everything I consume, every day, getting regular workouts and staying connected with one on one and group support interactions and of course, writing and publishing this blog, nightly--right before bed.

I've also referred to my fundamental elements as my "rails of support." I've set my accountability and support measures on high. When someone makes a comment in the direction of, "you're so strong" or "you must have amazing will power," I typically thank them and smile, but I know, truly, I'm not that strong and I don't have giant amounts of will power. What I have are solid rails of accountability and support--and I'm holding onto those rails, each day. They guide me, step by step.

The fundamental elements stream runs parallel, just below the life stream. The life stream is running in the foreground and the fundamental elements stream is running in the background--like a computer's anti-virus program.

I've written countless paragraphs within the archives of this blog all about the "life stream" and the "fundamental elements stream" and how they must run parallel to one another without crossing.

If we allow life and all of the energy it takes to maneuver, to negatively affect our ability to maintain consistency in the daily elements of our extraordinary care, then it always will. The frustration of inconsistency will be a common theme if the life stream is allowed to dip down into the fundamental elements stream on a regular basis.

And if we get too carried away, making the fundamental elements all consuming, then we run the risk of it crossing up into our life stream. And that's when it isn't any fun and we dread what we're doing every day.

I've had several challenges of late where I really had to remember the power of this "parallel streams" philosophy. I've discovered, when life demands more attention, we don't have to let go of the elements giving us our success, but we can scale back the amount of energy it uses to operate.

We don't sacrifice the integrity of the elements, we just do what we can do. For me--on super busy days, I have three non-negotiable requirements: 1. Stay within my calorie budget  2. Hold my abstinence from sugar sacred 3. Send the accountability tweets and write this blog--even if it's just the tweets of the day.

-----------------------------------------------------

If you've read the last few daily editions of this blog, you know about Billie, my ex-wife's little sister who passed away Saturday morning. She was in her late 30's with two little girls and a husband. Pre-planning for things like that is rarely something thought about in our 30's. I know Scott, and he's one of the hardest working people I know--and he's doing everything he can. The funeral is set for 2:15pm Monday.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help close the final expenses gap for this tragic and unexpected loss. No gift is too small. If you can, I know it would be appreciated.

It might seem strange to ask you to click the link and help this man and his daughters considering they're very likely strangers to you. You're just here to read this blog--and I appreciate that very much!!

I'll make you a deal: If you'll click the link and make a donation of any amount--then send me your shipping address via email to transformation.road@gmail.com,  I'll send you a free paperback copy of Transformation Road-My Trip To Over 500 Pounds and Back.  If you already own a copy, you might give it as a gift! Simply mention "donated via blog link" in the body or subject line of your email. Thank you! Here's the link:

https://www.gofundme.com/zq2cb-help-for-funeral-expenses

Today's Accountability Tweets:
























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

Monday, July 17, 2017

July 17th, 2017 Short One

July 17th, 2017 Short One

I'll make tonight's a short one.

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 exceptional support.

I spent some quality time with my youngest this evening. We both needed a good visit.

I stopped by the store on the way home and found:
49cent Avocados!! As my grandson would say,
"Oh My Gosh, what?"













If you've read the last few daily editions of this blog, you know about Billie, my ex-wife's little sister who passed away Saturday morning. She was in her late 30's with two little girls and a husband. I spoke with Scott, her husband, today and was pleased to know his sister was setting up a GoFundMe to help pay for Billie's final expenses. Pre-planning for things like that is rarely something thought about in our 30's. I know Scott, and he's one of the hardest working people I know--and he's doing everything he can. This GoFundMe account will help close the final expenses gap for this tragic and unexpected loss. No gift is too small. If you can, I know it would be appreciated.

It might seem strange to ask you to click the link and help this man and his daughters considering they're very likely strangers to you. You're just here to read this blog--and I appreciate that very much!!

I'll make you a deal: If you'll click the link and make a donation of any amount--then send me your shipping address via email to transformation.road@gmail.com,  I'll send you a free paperback copy of Transformation Road-My Trip To Over 500 Pounds and Back.  If you already own a copy, you might give it as a gift! Simply mention "donated via blog link" in the body or subject line of your email. Thank you! Here's the link:

https://www.gofundme.com/zq2cb-help-for-funeral-expenses

Today's Accountability Tweets:


























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

Sunday, July 16, 2017

July 16th, 2017 He Was Mesmerized

July 16th, 2017 He Was Mesmerized

He didn't know what to expect. The curtain opened on the historic Poncan Theatre stage and the Lion King production came to life before his big wide blue eyes. "What? Oh my gosh, wow!," he exclaimed as he climbed onto my lap for a better view. He was mesmerized--fully engaged. When Mufasa was killed by the stampeding wildebeests, he was sad, when it was hakuna matata time, he was happy and excited. Noah loved Lion King Jr. and it was an absolute pleasure to witness him enjoy it as much as he did.

I picked him up this afternoon for a Noah day. His mom (my youngest) is grieving the loss of Billie pretty hard, so it was good to get him and give Courtney some time and space. Noah, while trying to comfort his momma, was reminding her of everyone who loves her...so cute... "Po Po (that's me) loves you, Nana loves you, Da da loves you, Auntie loves you..."  and on and on. He doesn't understand what's happened, all he knows is his mom is very sad right now.

We dined at Po Po's favorite Mexican restaurant after the play. It was a good meal and a good time with the little guy.

These are the moments, so important--the time with mom the other day, today with Noah--these experiences may not have ever happened without my weight loss. And if I were still a 500-pound man, I couldn't physically do it like I did it this weekend. I'm so grateful for a plan that keeps me well. It's a recovery plan I hold tightly with the highest reverence. It's never perfect, believe me, but it, by the grace of God, works for me right now, today.

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 great support.

Noah's in bed--hopefully going to sleep. I have a really good friend here helping me with him. Believe me--I don't do it alone, for sure!

Noah let me wear his lion ears. He's the best.












If you read last night's edition, you know about Billie, my ex-wife's little sister who passed away Saturday morning. She was in her late 30's with two little girls and a husband. I spoke with Scott, her husband, today and was pleased to know his sister was setting up a GoFundMe to help pay for Billie's final expenses. Pre-planning for things like that is rarely something thought about in our 30's. I know Scott, and he's one of the hardest working people I know--and he's doing everything he can. This GoFundMe account will help close the final expenses gap for this tragic and unexpected loss. No gift is too small. If you can, I know it would be appreciated.

It might seem strange to ask you to click the link and help this man and his daughters considering they're very likely strangers to you. You're just here to read this blog--and I appreciate that very much!!

I'll make you a deal: If you'll click the link and make a donation of any amount--then send me your shipping address via email to transformation.road@gmail.com,  I'll send you a free paperback copy of Transformation Road-My Trip To Over 500 Pounds and Back.  If you already own a copy, you might give it as a gift! Simply mention "donated via blog link" in the body or subject line of your email. Thank you! Here's the link:

https://www.gofundme.com/zq2cb-help-for-funeral-expenses

Today's Accountability Tweets:
































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

Saturday, July 15, 2017

July 15th, 2017 In Honor of Billie

July 15th, 2017 In Honor of Billie

This isn't the post I planned for tonight. I planned an elaborate recount of Friday, a day and night mom and I will not soon forget. I'm going to let that one go. It was over-the-top. Mom loved every second. I loved seeing her love every second.

Tonight's edition is for a family member we lost this morning.

Billie Sue was Irene's (my ex-wife) little sister. She wasn't even forty years old. She passed away this morning. Numerous health issues, certainly, but I do not know the specifics. Billie Sue leaves behind two young daughters and a husband. Rest in peace, Billie, you're loved.

I just ran into her at the grocery store a few weeks ago. It doesn't seem possible for her to be gone. She was way too young. My youngest daughter and other family members are inconsolable right now.

Billie Sue was always kind, loving, always ready to laugh, always willing to help people--and despite challenges, she always seemed to have a measure of happiness, especially in the last few years.

Billie often read this blog. She called me after I posted the February 26th, 2015 edition--just to say she loved me then and she loved me now. It was Billie who, upon seeing my dramatic transformation for the first time, broke down in tears for the loss of the Sean she remembered. She really touched me then, and it touched me that she'd call to clarify her love for both physical versions of me.

If you're a prayerful soul, please include Billie Sue's two little girls and their daddy, if you can. I know they're likely strangers to you--but please, if you could. It's just heartbreaking to think of these two little girls trying to process the loss of their mom. Her husband has a good family and I'm certain they're all being cared for very well.

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 support.

In honor of Billie Sue, I'm republishing the following post. Billie told me it was one of her favorites. She, of course, is the family member referenced.

From the archives- February 26th, 2015:

"Your Superpower Comes With Awesome Responsibility"

It's as if we possess a very real superpower. We have the ability to completely transform our appearance without cosmetic surgery and without a Hollywood makeup/special effects artist. This is real. The transformation can be so dramatic, people who have known us our entire lives walk right past, not knowing who we are, only the image of who we were.

Until we speak. 

Then, the mind-blowing, jaw on the floor reaction erupts and it feels good. It's a novelty; a trick few possess, a guaranteed show stopper--the "final reveal," so to speak. If your life was a reality tv show, you would cut to commercial right before this encounter.

For any of us who have chosen or choose to use this superpower, it's important to consider and pursue a deeper understanding of the effect and how it can affect us in profound ways. Yes, it's the big "Remember, your superpower comes with an awesome responsibility" type thing.

It's important, because who we were and who we are; the core elements of our being, remain the same. 

My favorite color is blue. It has been my entire life. At 505 pounds and at 230 pounds, didn't matter, it's my favorite color. Blue, all shades. My deep seeded likes and dislikes, the things that bring me the most joy, my special talents, my heart, my compassion and empathy for others, my intelligence, my sense of humor; I possessed all of it at 505 pounds and at 230 pounds.

The superficial changes are dramatic and it's very tempting to believe we are, indeed, a completely different person. If we attach our identity too much to this notion, we quickly lose ourselves along the way.

I remember the unusual reaction of a family member I hadn't seen in a very long time, upon seeing me for the first time at 230 pounds. She cried. And it wasn't tears of joy and celebration. I quickly identified how she was seriously having a moment. I asked her, "what's wrong?" Her reply affected me deeply, changing my perspective and nudging me in a self-exploratory direction
I wasn't necessarily prepared to go.

"It's like the Sean I knew and loved, died."

Suddenly, I couldn't look at before pictures without feeling a separation of identity. I felt sorry for that guy. I missed him. I was grieving his loss.

It's interesting how on Day 1 of this blog I wrote about the scary vision of my own funeral. It was one of the thoughts compelling me toward my iron-clad/non-negotiable decision to choose change before change chose me. My goal was to avoid this dark scenario. And yet, upon reaching a drastically different body weight, it's as if I still held a funeral in my mind.

The more I accepted my new superficial reality and the more I separated from my old existence, the further away I drifted from the core of my being.

The trouble is, the brain doesn't really forget. My reflection in the mirror had changed. Photographs were no longer avoided, they were embraced. But still, my brain kept a big file of everything that made me who I am. This file contained the deep stuff; the experiences and feelings of my past and the behavioral reactions to these things, too. I couldn't escape myself.

Accessing this deeply embedded file within my brain helped me regain 164 pounds of my initial 275-pound weight loss. It makes sense. My natural, deep seeded behaviors and physical appearance were merely harmonizing with my brain's original image and experience of me.

Now, having lost 136 pounds of the 164 pound regain, what's different?

I no longer identify as "old Sean" and/or "new Sean" I'm just, Sean. 

My self-worth and identity don't change with the number on the scale or the reflection in the mirror. Losing weight helps me become healthier but it doesn't make me a better person. Gaining weight has negative effects on my health, but it doesn't make me any less of a person.

The core qualities of who I am, who I've always been, will be celebrated and nurtured--allowing them to grow, to blossom in their intended and natural path. The affected levels of my life and the resulting behaviors will be closely monitored, better understood and helped with intentional support and positive actions. They will not be ignored as if they no longer exist.

As Ralph Marston so eloquently expressed in the foreword of my book: "Truth is powerful. The more you seek to hide from it, the more forcefully it asserts itself, until you eventually cannot deny it."

So, go ahead, use your incredible superpower to transform. Just, please--be true to yourself along the way. Don't forget who you are. Don't ignore the qualities that make you incredibly special. Enjoy your transformation and believe me when I say, the most powerful transformation, the one giving you gifts to last a lifetime, isn't the physical, it's the mental/emotional transformation.

The physical freedom is great. The emotional/mental freedom can become something beyond your wildest imagination, far exceeding whatever expectation you brought into this experience.
----------

We love you, Billie Sue. You will be missed.

Today's Accountability Tweets:




















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

Friday, July 14, 2017

July 14th, 2017 Adventure

July 14th, 2017 Adventure

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my water goal, I remained connected with fantastic support, and I had plenty of natural exercise--for sure!

Plenty to write about tonight's adventure--but I must do it Saturday night. It's almost 5am! It was an absolutely incredible experience. Thank you, Pearl Records!


Garth and Trisha were incredibly nice




















Before the show





















Amazing show.









Today's Accountability Tweets:


































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

Thursday, July 13, 2017

July 13th, 2017 Simply Something

July 13th, 2017 Simply Something

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, I stayed connected with support, and I did a short stair climbing/body-weight strength workout at home. It was short and sweet, but it was something. And some days, simply something is the thing to do.

I visited with mom this evening. We dressed up her room with a valance over the window. Decor is important in transforming her room into her own personal space--something that feels special and unique. It's getting there quickly. Mom loves it.

We're excited about tomorrow night. Garth Brooks's record company is treating some of our radio station staff with tickets to his Oklahoma City shows this weekend. I'm taking mom early for dinner in OKC, followed by a meet and greet with Garth and his 10:30pm concert. It will be an epic evening! I'll make sure we get some pics!

Dinner plans tomorrow night will be Cracker Barrel. Talk about having a history with a restaurant brand. Oh my-- I do have a history of eating myself sick at that place. I'll NOT be doing that tomorrow night. I'll navigate the menu within the boundaries of the food plan that keeps me well. And it'll be great. And if the offerings start triggering wacky food thoughts, I'll pick up the phone instead of the fork and reach for support. I'll engage mom in conversation. The key for me is NOT making food the star of the show. I'll make the star mom and our special time together. That'll keep my head on straight!

Today's Accountability Tweets:


































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





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