Sunday, March 29, 2015

March 29th, 2015 Time Moves Quickly

March 29th, 2015 Time Moves Quickly

I promised myself I would workout each day Friday through Sunday and I accomplished this goal. It took some crunching of the schedule on Friday, barely making it to the Y on time Saturday and going early afternoon today before my trip South to see mom, but I did it. I'm proud!

In all honesty, I'm in somewhat of a rut with exercise. I don't mean rut in a bad way, really. I am having fun doing what I'm doing--and I'm making sure it's working me. I know there are so many more things I could do to add variety. Will I ever get back into spinning, swimming and yoga class? I thoroughly enjoy each of these, yet--for a variety of reasons, have fallen away from them. My schedule has wreaked havoc on my yoga class plans of late, but spinning and swimming? No reason I couldn't find a class or two and a swim or two each week. I will need to challenge myself to expand and add variety. It's all good.

I enjoyed some quality time with mom this afternoon/early evening. We dined out on Mexican (big surprise, right?) and it was fantastic! I was kind of thrown a little when my usual crispy corn taco shells came out as flour based shells. Oh well, it bumped up the calories some, but since I had plenty coming, it didn't bother me. I passed on the cheese, beans and rice--opting for the shells, sour cream, chicken and lettuce. Two was the perfect amount after a good serving of chips and salsa.

When I arrived back home, I talked to mom to let her know I made it safe and sound. I was delighted to hear she got her workout in with a nice walk around her neighborhood while I drove home. I'm incredibly proud of her.

The weekend went by way too fast! Okay--well, let's get into another work week and make it a great one! I'm excited to be closing in on a year of this turnaround from relapse/regain. Wednesday's upcoming weigh-in will be week 49 and the next will be the one year weigh in! I can't believe it's been a year already. Time moves quickly.

My Tweets Today:




















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

Saturday, March 28, 2015

March 28th, 2015 Scale Perspective

March 28th, 2015 Scale Perspective

It was an excellent Saturday all the way around. I ate well, had a great workout this afternoon and enjoyed a daddy/daughter date night with my oldest. We enjoyed a play at the Ponca Playhouse--and it was fantastic!

I have some friends along this road with whom I occasionally exchange support emails. Sometimes, like today, I'll reply and think, this might be good to share on the blog. This was one of those.

I was asked to share my thoughts after one of my support buddies took a peek at the scale and didn't see any movement. This person is rocking and rolling--doing very well, but is still discouraged because of the number. They acknowledged hitting the marks well, clothes are fitting better, calories in check, exercise levels up, but as they approach their weigh day on Monday, they're concerned it's not going to be what they wanted to see.

My reply:

I certainly don't have all the answers--but I do have plenty of thoughts...

The scale is influenced by many different factors--fluid retention and fluctuation is a big one. The spikes in fluid retention can happen especially after a restaurant meal, or any meal for that matter, that is high in sodium. Salt=water retention.

Also--when we workout hard, working our muscles--the muscles actually increase fluid retention as part of their process of healing and growing.

Now--here's the thing to consider: Why would we allow something influenced by so many different factors, to influence our mood, perception & emotions, so profoundly?

We give the scale too much power over one of the key elements we need to remain consistent. When we're working hard and hitting our points--and the scale doesn't reflect in a way we feel is justified, we take it as a knock against what we're doing... Then the thoughts come: What am I doing wrong? Why isn't what I'm doing good enough? --Then, we can go extreme--working even harder (or giving up)--and driving ourselves crazy as we ride the scale of emotions...

And the truth is, it's not necessary.

The scale doesn't know what you're doing. The scale doesn't realize the commitment you've made in taking extraordinary care. The scale isn't always a good representation of what we're doing... Like you stated, your clothes are fitting better. That's the real deal. That's something to go by...not the number on a scale.

I weigh every three weeks. I don't peek--because I know if I do, and it doesn't give me what I feel I deserve, it will only act as a discouragement. I don't need discouragements. I need positive energy. When these type of discouragements come--I think it's important for us to realize: We're the ones allowing them to happen. We make the rules for our journey. Then, when we feel we're not within those parameters we've set, we get discouraged...and it's common to be within the parameters we've set--and still not get the results we wanted from the scale. To allow this to be the indicator of how well we're doing, is dangerous and threatening to our trek along this road.

I've had some weigh days where I've received less of a "reward" for my efforts--like the time not too long ago, when it was 2 pounds...for three weeks... Uhg!! Two pounds is great. But I expected at least twice as much.

Remember, expectations are premeditated disappointments. (Actually, the saying Life Coach Gerri shared with me is "Expectations are premeditated resentments," but disappointments work, too.)
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It's those moments I must remember what I described above and also something critically important:

I'm not doing this as a temporary means to an end. Time has no effect on what I'm doing. My goal is to exercise and hold sacred the elements of my recovery for the rest of my life--so as long as it takes...so be it. 

It's easy to get impatient because we want results now. Refocusing our perspective and realizing that time doesn't matter is key.

The truest indicator of our positive direction isn't in the scale--It's in the things we're making important on a daily basis--and we know what those are. When we're applying the utmost in self-honesty, we know exactly how well we're doing or how poorly we're doing at any given moment...

So, for me, as long as I remain abstinent from sugar--and as long as I'm taking extraordinary care with my calorie budget---and as long as I'm making a point to get regular exercise--and as long as I'm making support interactions important...

The scale can do whatever the heck it wants to do--because I have peace of mind in knowing that I'm hitting the marks I need to hit for my continued positive progress.

You're doing so well. Keep on keeping on!

My best to you, sir.
Take extraordinary care!

Sean

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I'm hitting the pillow tonight in a great mood and looking forward to a nice Sunday. I hope you're having an excellent weekend!

My Tweets Today:




























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

Friday, March 27, 2015

March 27th, 2015 Maybe That Helped

March 27th, 2015 Maybe That Helped

Whatever mood was infecting me early yesterday was long gone today. I felt sharp and focused, positive and on point, throughout. Maybe my short midday nap helped. My radio show was firing on all cylinders this morning and I was very productive in the production department.

Not long after signing off the air, I was scheduled to pick up my youngest daughter and my grandson Noah. Maybe seeing them helped, too. Courtney had an appointment and Noah was headed to daycare. When that little guy smiles, my whole world brightens. I can't put it into words how incredibly special he is to me. I'm so proud of Courtney, she's an amazing mom to Noah. He's a lucky kid! I'm an incredibly lucky and blessed father and grandpa.

It's so weird to refer to myself as a grandpa. I don't feel old enough to be a grandpa. I'm 43! Perhaps another term needs to be created for young grandparents. Something cool and young sounding.

I just spent 10 minutes with my cursor flashing waiting for me to come up with something brilliant. I got nothing.

Grandpa it is. Oh wait--- Coolpa or Hippaw--no, that's too close to hippo. Actually, Hippaw might work. Hmmm... sounds like the name of a Native American tribe. I'm over-thinking this, I think...hold on, let me think about it.

I had things to get done this afternoon upon leaving the studio and I knew, if I didn't get to the Y early for my workout, it might not get done.

Here's a timeline from today's crunch-time:

4:40 pm--Departed studio
4:50 pm--Picked up jacket for tonight's concert emcee duty
5:00 pm--Stopped by grocery store for a few things I needed for dinner
5:20 pm--Home to put away items and change for YMCA
5:30 pm--Cut sweet potato into fries, weighed 'em and had them ready for oven
5:40 pm--Leave for Y
5:50 pm--Arrive at Y
5:54 pm--Climbed aboard elliptical for a good N sweaty 30 minute ride
6:24 pm--Elliptical workout complete
6:32 pm--Leave Y Parking lot
6:42 pm--Arrive home for dinner
7:15 pm--Shower and change for Jazz concert
7:35 pm--Leave for theatre
7:45 pm--Arrive at theatre, enter through backstage door--meet band
7:50 pm--Handed suggested script points for emcee duties
8:00 pm--Take stage to make announcements and introduce band
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A little blurry, The stage lights make it difficult to get a good shot. I never shied away from taking the stage at over 500 pounds, but I must say, doing it now is so much better because I have increased energy, more confidence and the ability to speak while moving around a stage without constantly being out of breath.

I exchanged several support buddy text messages today. Support texting is one of the benefits of being in the weekly conference call support group I co-facilitate with Life Coach Gerri Helms. Another brand new ten week session starts April 7th. The cost is $100 for the entire ten weeks. This time, for an additional fee, we're offering one-on-one coaching with Gerri and one-on-one mentoring with me.

If you're interested in joining us for this dynamic support experience, express your interest in an email to: transformation.road@gmail.com

We keep the Tuesday night group small on purpose (limited to 10 participants plus Gerri and me)--but if there's enough interest, we've talked about adding another group--perhaps on a Monday afternoon or evening. As it stands right now, this premium support group is only available if you live in the United States or Canada.

About the support text messages: When the two people exchanging messages share this road in common, with all the challenges, ups and downs--what happens is magical. The recipient benefits just as much as the sender. It's truly a win-win deal. This was also a big contributor to my mood shifting 180 today. When we help others it helps us too, every time.

I burned more calories today than I normally do. I actually had to bump up my calories in order to get above the 1,200 net calories after exercise calories burned. I intentionally exceeded my normal 1,700 calorie budget by 174 calories in order to hit 1,205 net. Feels interesting to intentionally exceed my budget. Having a minimal understanding of the internal science behind consumption and metabolism, I know it's actually encouraging weight loss, not discouraging.

I'm looking forward to a productive, yet restful weekend. In other words, no broadcast work duties scheduled and I get to sleep late!  

My Tweets Today:
























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

Thursday, March 26, 2015

March 26th, 2015 Feeling Better Is The Next Thing Coming

March 26th, 2015 Feeling Better Is The Next Thing Coming

This was one of those days. You know, when you just can't escape a less than desirable mood. It was interesting to me--because I had a little more sleep last night, and still--I was a grumpy guy. Maybe it was work stress...likely. 

I hadn't touched that sugar free chocolate bar again until this afternoon. I can't honestly say that snack wasn't a reaction to stress. It clearly was. It was good and I did eat a relatively light lunch, but still--I must be real: Had it not been for the extra stress today, that sugar free chocolate bar would still be in the studio's employee kitchen. 

Anytime I'm reaching for a snack less than two hours after a meal, you can bet the farm, it isn't because I'm genuinely hungry. I was trying to fix my mood with food. I know better--food isn't a therapist--food doesn't fix my emotions or alleviate my stress. It certainly can create the illusion that it does, when in reality, it's simply a temporary pleasurable distraction. I was still in a horrible mood afterward. But boy howdy, I experienced a short reprieve while that sugar free chocolate was melting in my mouth, mixing with that sweet delicious apple.

The good thing is being able to acknowledge what was really happening and choosing a snack within the boundaries of my non-negotiable plan. The elements of my recovery were not sacrificed. That's a big positive.  

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#tbt This week's throwback Thursday image was a "lost before picture" for a long time. I'm pretty sure I wanted to keep it lost. We were dining at KFC. This seated profile pic found its way out of the 'pictures that should have never been snapped' file during my initial weight loss. This was above 500 pounds. Pictured in the background is my ex-wife Irene. Irene and I have an amazingly wonderful post-divorce relationship. We're both very caring and supportive of one another, always.

I allowed my mood to talk me out of cooking at home tonight. I wasn't in the cooking mood. And I almost allowed my bad mood to talk me into not working out. I'm totally serious. I was leaning hard on kicking off my shoes, putting on the sweats and lounging around the apartment all evening. But I didn't. I probably would have taken the night off if I hadn't missed yesterday. I couldn't accept another two days in a row, unless I'm sick or some other valid reason. Just because I was in a funky mood? No, NOT a good enough reason.

And wouldn't you know it, the very thing that pulled me out of my bad mood, was tonight's workout. It's awesome how exercise affects our body and mind. Once those endorphins start flowing, I pick up the pace--really getting into it, and by the time I finish, I'm feeling fine. The hardest part is making the decision to start the workout in the first place. Once it starts, feeling better is the next thing coming.

My Tweets Today:


























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

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March 25th, 2015 Inner Dialogue Demands Rest

March 25th, 2015 Inner Dialogue Demands Rest

It's been a long day. I anticipated storm coverage at the studio this evening, but it didn't develop for our listening area. The main thrust of the storms was well to our South and East.

I hurried home a little after six, stopping first for my to-go dinner order from the Mexican restaurant closest to my apartment. My order isn't on their menu but they're always happy to accommodate, regardless. I order fajita grilled chicken with grilled zucchini squash, a side of lettuce, sometimes a side of sour cream and even cheese if I request it be added and two or three (depending on my calorie budget) crunchy taco shells. They charge me six dollars and fifty-two cents every time. That's it. It's a bargain. I'm not sure I could cook this at home for much less.

I'm so proud of my mom. I do my best to not share too personal details of people close to me. After all, they didn't sign up for the kind of transparency that makes this blog work wonders for me. I haven't always done well in this department, but I'm better these days. I do feel comfortable sharing this: My mom is walking, eating well and losing weight. She's feeling great, too! We had a wonderful conversation about the incredibly positive effects of her continued care. I see and hear an excitement in her--and that thrills me. I love my mom so much.
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After dinner, I watched some of the live stream news coverage of the storms that hit other areas of our state. It didn't take long before I was out, fast asleep, for a short unplanned nap. My regular plan was to get into the Y this evening. Nope, not happening.

I'm doing myself a big favor and dropping in bed two hours earlier than normal. I'm not doing myself any favors by allowing so little sleep--so often. Note: I'm not complaining about my sleep habits, they obviously work for me most of the time. But occasionally, my body says--hey, no--you listen to me, we're going to bed now--this isn't working well for us, Mister blog boy. Eat your #lastfoodofday and let's drop! #exhausted #burningthecandleatbothends #enoughalready

Yes, my inner dialogue occasionally speaks with hashtags. Goodnight, my friends. I hope you rest well, too.
 
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Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March 24th, 2015 Or Else What?

March 24th, 2015 Or Else What?

I've officially decided to take the advice from Janis and not give skin removal surgery another thought or mention until I've achieved a minimum five years of recovery and maintenance. After reading a few descriptions of skin removal followed by regain, I'd rather be safe. Just horrifically painful sounding when the skin needed to expand isn't available in a relapse/regain situation.

One of the things I've learned along this road is to never declare total victory. Never. I can have victories along the way, I can celebrate these victories and feel great. But I know from experience, if ever I declare "I win!" That's when I run the greatest risk of letting go of my grip on the elements of my continued recovery. These are Non-Negotiable and Sacred elements of my recovery, and I must always give them the utmost consideration and respect--or else. Or else what? I don't want to find out, again.

Cocky attracts karma in this game.

I'm grateful, I'm humble, I don't know everything and I'm always learning. I pray I'll keep those strong throughout the rest of my life.

Today was a solid day. It didn't start out too well. I woke with a horrible headache. It kept me home a little longer than normal this morning. I had a colleague cover my show for the first forty-five minutes until I could arrive feeling better.

I tried a different kind of dinner tonight. I grilled catfish and made catfish asiago tacos. Okay--me turning something into a taco isn't really something different. The grilled catfish was different. I prefer different fish for this. I'll likely not use catfish again--unless I'm frying it like I did over the weekend.

My workout tonight was encouraging. I'm getting stronger, pure and simple. I raised the weights and handled it exceptionally well. The elliptical is obviously one of my favorite workouts. The ride tonight was on high--music thumping--lip syncing happening--it was pure fun...I must always decide to make it fun or I won't remain consistent.

A Life Coach Gerri perspective shifting thought: I have years of experience in the do-nothing for exercise department--and little experience, comparatively, in the make it happen department. Which one am I better at doing?

Yep. Make it fun.

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

Monday, March 23, 2015

March 23rd, 2015 Night Air

March 23rd, 2015 Night Air

Today was solidly busy from morning until night. I made the most of the time today and made time to get home, cook a great meal and work on some projects of my own. I worked to the point of needing an alternative plan for a workout. I waited too long for the Y.

The night air felt wonderful, just perfect really, for a good walk. Had it been earlier, I would have completed a 5K, but there wasn't time tonight. I still did slightly over two miles.

I feel good about today. I even found time for a short 45 minute nap. That's short for me! I usually take naps that are way too long. This one was perfect. It helped that I had somewhere to be for a work related thing.

Headed to bed. Looking forward to writing more later this week. I received some wonderful advice and counsel about the skin removal surgery topic. The suggestion from Janis to maintain at least 5 years before getting surgery was absolutely right. Thank you, Janis!

My Tweets Today:






















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

Sunday, March 22, 2015

March 22nd, 2015 About The Loose Skin Reveal

March 22nd, 2015 About The Loose Skin Reveal

A young man by the name of Matt Diaz recently posted a video of his post-270 pound weight loss body with the loose skin many of us are familiar with on a very personal level. His video has circulated on a viral scale and a GoFundMe account set up for Matt's skin removal surgery exceeded its $20,000 goal in less than 24 hours.

I'm overjoyed for Matt. A friend of mine sent me his story and as I read, I was nodding in agreement, totally relating to the thoughts and feelings he described so well.

When I first started losing weight successfully, I had grand ideas of how my body would look when I hit goal. After losing 275 pounds, the realities of extreme weight loss didn't give me the idealized version I had in my brain at the offset. Loose skin has always been a part of this deal. The stretch marks and extra skin are battle scars from a lifetime of morbid obesity.

I admire Matt's courage and I understand his reason for revealing his body for all the world to see.

When the compliments come fast and furious, if we feel like we're hiding something--like we're hiding the horrible truth of our weight loss ravaged body, then we can feel undeserving of the compliment.

We might say, "Thank you!" But inside we're thinking--yeah, but you haven't seen me with my clothes off.  The feelings of fraudulence come from our disappointment in how we look underneath our clothing.

Matt wasn't a fraud before he revealed his semi-naked body. And I'm not a fraud either. Some of the postings on facebook included things like, "Kudos...for not hiding his true self and showing integrity." 

Matt didn't owe anyone apologies for not revealing his loose skin before. I mean really, should people like Matt and me carry around trading cards of our loose skin pictures and hand them to anyone who compliments our weight loss and how we look? Could you imagine?

"Hey, thank you very much for the compliment. You know, I'm really not as good looking as you think. Hold on, let me explain: In the spirit of full disclosure--or exposure, and to not hide my true self--and show integrity...here's some trading cards of my loose skin. Just so we're clear, I'm hideous--you might want to look away. At least I'm honest."

Do we question someone's integrity who chooses not to reveal the loose skin video or pictures? I promise you, Matt and I can both rock a tuxedo like nobody's business. And we have every right to enjoy it without feeling less than because underneath we're cosmetically flawed. Who cares? 

My point is, the most important acceptance and love is our own. And our level of personal self-love and acceptance can't and shouldn't be determined by our willingness or lack of willingness to share those intimate photos and/or videos. Modesty doesn't equate to hiding and lack of integrity.

The closest I've come to revealing my loose skin publicly was while swimming. I don't believe it's necessary to do an all out reveal in the name of embracing our body. I believe it's important to embrace our body and be okay with it--but I also believe it's okay to choose not to disrobe if you don't want to.

The only opinion and feelings about our loose skin that matters is our own. And if we choose to have surgery to get it removed and tightened up, great! If not, that's great too! It's a very personal decision.

I've been back and forth on this topic for some time. I've finally decided I will get the surgery at some point in the future. Getting the skin removal surgery doesn't mean we're not loving and accepting of our body the way it is, it's something we've worked hard for--and if we choose to do it, awesome. I know--even after getting it someday, the scars will remain to some degree. And that's cool with me.

I'm proud of my scars and the hard work they represent. I would like for my clothes to fit better, though. And surgery, someday, will certainly help in that direction!
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I enjoyed a great day today. I prepared some wonderful meals, including my second attempt at faux mashed potatoes using cauliflower! It turned out better than the first time, although still not the consistency I wanted. The taste was great! I'll get it exactly how I want it next time!

I even prepared fried catfish! I love fried catfish. I typically don't eat too many fried things for obvious reasons. It's hard to calculate the calories accurately. I used gluten free flour mixed with corn meal and an unsweetened cashew milk dip for each piece. I measured the oil and then measured again after cooking. It didn't use that much oil. I believe heating the oil to the proper temperature is key in keeping the food from absorbing too much oil. I also patted with paper towels after cooking.

I tend to over-estimate the calories just to be safe. The amounts and counts I entered into MFP for this catfish preparation seemed reasonable--and perhaps slightly too much. But again, I'd rather be on the side of over-estimating than under.

My workout late this afternoon was fantastic. I can truly feel my strength increasing and that's exciting. I can also see it in the mirror. It makes me want to do more. I increased the amount of weight on two different machines, too!

I hope your weekend was wonderful!

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

Saturday, March 21, 2015

March 21st, 2015 Restful Day

March 21st, 2015 Restful Day

I've had a restful day. I'm pretty sure I needed it. Getting even more tonight.
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My location broadcast included historic figures, Joe and Molly Miller, the first couple of the 101 Ranch. These actors portray Joe and Molly throughout the region at various events.

I'm looking to catch up on several things tomorrow. I overslept my nap today and missed my YMCA workout. It's a big challenge to not kick myself for this, especially since I chose to not correct the circumstance with something else--instead, I opted to take it easy. I did make some headway on something I've been working on for awhile, so it wasn't a total loss!

 My Tweets Today:


















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

Friday, March 20, 2015

March 20th, 2015 Failure Can't Be Declared

March 20th, 2015 Failure Can't Be Declared

It's certainly been a busy week around here. I've had too many late nights followed by early mornings. I plan on catching up on sleep this weekend.

I was visiting with my friend, Life Coach Gerri Helms, last night when she reminded me of the important difference between making time and finding time.

After we hung up from our conversation, I thought about it more. The focus of our conversation was on my personal and professional goals. The one thought I kept coming back to was how we make time for things we passionately desire and are not afraid of pursuing. We try to find the time to do things we're passionate about, yet for whatever reason, we're holding back. And that's the point where not being able to find the time becomes a fantastic out. Fear of success? Perhaps. Fear of failure? Could be the case.

If I apply the lessons I've learned throughout this relapse-regain & recovery experience, I realize--there's no such thing as failure as long as we're evolving. Even if the evolution is in a negative direction, there's positive if we're aware and we care to keep an open mind enough to extract lessons from the experience. If we can get past the self-loathing; the constantly brutal assault on ourselves for what we've done, then we're able to clear the path of clutter and very likely, turn it completely around. Failure can't be declared unless we've completely given up. 

I'm grateful for my relapse/regain period. If you haven't followed along over the last eleven months, this statement likely seems ridiculous. If you have followed along, then you know exactly what I'm writing about here. I needed the experience. I needed to take it to the brink of failure, as in giving up, in order to learn the things I needed to learn and fully appreciate. I was right there on the edge of fully committing either way: Giving up or choosing change. 

I made the best decision to choose change instead of allowing change to choose me. I didn't try to find the time to center my focus on recovery. I made time for it because it was and will always be critically important, truly sacred, and passionately non-negotiable.

And if I never write another book, or stand in front of an audience to deliver a talk, or develop new and exciting ways to share my message--If I never make this passion of mine my full-time livelihood--I'm still a success. 

Embracing this truth is helpful to me.

God willing, I will write another book. I will speak about this entire experience on numerous occasions in the future. I will develop new and exciting ways to share my message. I am doing it. I'm making time, not trying to find time. 
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Today was a long broadcast day. I did a location broadcast this afternoon/evening from three to seven at a farm/vineyard/winery. They were offering samples of wine, lamb and cheese. You know how I love my cheese! I made a calorie budget decision when I declined the samples. I decided on a good dinner to be not long after the conclusion of the broadcast--and the anticipation of that meal kept me perfectly fine and patient.

I made today a rest day in the exercise department. I hadn't planned on doing this. It was a decision made late in the afternoon when I realized how incredibly tired I felt. It was the correct decision for me, today.
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This is likely one of my heaviest 'before' pictures.

I'm sleeping in some tomorrow and a little more on Sunday. I have another location broadcast tomorrow from ten a.m. to two p.m. I plan on making it into the YMCA for a good workout both Saturday and Sunday. I plan to do some outdoor grilling and I plan on giving faux mashed potatoes made with cauliflower another try this weekend. I think the second time will be the time it turns out right. The first attempt turned out to be an opportunity to learn. If you were one that shared your experience, thank you for the assist!

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





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