Thursday, May 5, 2016

May 5th, 2016 Last Night

May 5th, 2016 Last Night

It was a rough night. I'm pretty sure the combination of perhaps too much coffee, the Mexican restaurant, the pineapple last food of day and general stress, combined to create a painful stomach issue that woke me before 1am. It wasn't pleasant. I finally made it back to sleep around 3am or so--but by work time, I wasn't anywhere near ready to go. I called a colleague to cover my radio show and took a 1/2 sick day. I felt much better by mid-morning.
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A while back, someone mentioned how I only allow the most flattering current pictures to make it on this blog or my facebook page. Never mind that I once published an entire post all about loose skin--complete with my personal loose skin pictures. I'm not confirming or denying, but let's say I'm particular--how does that make me different than anyone else who takes an average of thirteen selfies before finding the one? I'm almost 85% past the point of caring about pictures and whether or not they're flattering. To counter this pointless suggestion--every day, my first tweet of the day is my #morningdeal tweet, a selfie--fresh out of bed, drinking the two cups of water right before a light body weight strength training routine--it's a self-imposed required routine before I allow myself a cup of coffee. The craziness level of my hair is a fairly accurate indicator of that night's quality of sleep. Last night wasn't good.
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#TBT Today's Throwback Thursday photo is one that's likely at my all-time heaviest. I really believe this was closer to 510-515, than 505.

I had a little twitter fun tonight and apparently it alarmed at least one person. "Sean, are you feeling okay?" was a message I received in the middle of my dinner play. You can read the series of dinner Tweets below starting with the premise tweet of how I like to pretend my kitchen is a restaurant, just for me. 

The point of it was a few laughs. The bigger point was having fun while honoring the integrity of my plan. When we take exceptional care and we do these things for ourselves--and our plan--we're practicing a different perspective. I spent many years not giving myself this level of care--and now, when I invest time in the weighing and measuring--the preparing and cooking--the planning and eating, I'm giving me what I need and what I deserve. And really--it's a way to take myself seriously--and not take myself too seriously, all at the same time. It's healthy, in my opinion, to be able to laugh at ourselves, occasionally. It's a balance. Am I feeling okay? Except for the middle of last night, never better!

Today was another day of maintaining the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, remaining abstinent from refined sugar, drinking a minimum 64oz water (exceeded by 16oz) and I got in a nice workout, too! I'll aim for the same tomorrow!

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

Today's Live-Tweet Stream:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May 4th, 2016 Flipping The Ratio

May 4th, 2016 Flipping The Ratio

I sincerely appreciate each and every email, comment and Facebook message received in support of last night's blog post. I haven't had a chance to reply to every single one, but I will over the next couple of days. After staying up too late last night, I set myself up for a rough day. Tonight, I'm taking better care and getting some extra rest.

The effect of the NYT article on Dr. Hill's study was just as I and many others predicted. Judging from the tone of several messages today and even within my tight support circle, many people read it and was horribly discouraged. I read everything from "I got a sick feeling in my gut" to "I was so depressed about it, I had a binge."

My experience in not being able to go past 515 pounds, despite my best efforts for nearly two decades, certainly supports the set point theory. Why it was between 505 and 515 for me, 700 for another and 325 for someone else, is simply because we're all different. But still, my experience also supports a much more positive side of things. I'm convinced that a damaged metabolism can be revived and healed back to an optimal level. My belief is supported by maintenance weigh-ins like today's.  
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After March 30th's 206.8 all-time low weigh-in, I decided to go to a monthly schedule. Today's visit to the doctor's office found a tiny .2 gain. Two tenths of a pound! I'll take it!
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This nice five pound range since early December on 2300 calories per day is still somewhat unbelievable to me. I would have never guessed it possible for me to maintain at this calorie budget level. I guarantee, there was a time--this level would have meant a small steady weight gain.

Again--this whole thing isn't hopeless. It isn't doom and gloom. There's plenty of hope and promise for transformation that goes far beyond the physical. The physical is truly the least of this experience.

One of the things that has helped me is what I call "flipping the ratio of focus." Instead of starting out focusing 80% on the food and exercise and maybe 20% on the mental/emotional aspects, I've flipped it around. I've focused 80% on the mental/emotional aspects and 20% on the food and exercise. The mental/emotional aspects covers a wide range of things from accountability and support measures to digging deep in order to uncover the underlying issues behind the emotional dependency and connections with food.

And as our mental/emotional transformation develops, incredible epiphanies come--and then, we're able to devote more time and focus on the important elements of food and exercise, because now we've developed a stronger, more stable foundation for everything else.

The non-physical mental/emotional transformation, in my opinion, is the biggest of all. This is why my first and best advice is always keep it simple. Simple is sustainable. Set a limit, make a doable schedule and honor the integrity of your plan--make it something that fits your likes...something that allows you the mental space to work through the deeper, critically important issues. Because let's be honest, it's our behaviors, encouraged by the experiences shaping our emotional/mental development, that brought us here in the first place.

In my experience working with others coming from all methods of weight loss, the biggest conclusion I've made is this: No matter what method of weight loss you choose, there's no substitute for the mental/emotional work required along the way. This is why we can relate to one another on a deep level--because many of the most important things involved are universal.

Today was a tired day, yet surprisingly productive in several ways. I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained abstinent from refined sugar and I exceeded my water goal. I'll do my best to do the same, tomorrow.

Today's Live-Tweet Stream:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May 3rd, 2016 A Hopeful Response To The New York Times Article On Dr. Hall's Biggest Loser Season 8 Study

May 3rd, 2016 A Hopeful Response To The New York Times Article On Dr. Hall's Biggest Loser Season 8 Study

I sat in the waiting room of the surgery center with mom yesterday morning as we waited for her name to be called. The Today Show was on the television and mom was asking questions about that amazing day I'll never forget. "Did you meet Al?" Unfortunately, no. "Did you meet that other guy?" No, Matt was taking a day off. Our mother-son Today Show Q&A was cut short by, "Beverly, come this way..." I once again reassured mom she was in good hands and this procedure was going to be okay, "I hope so," --It will mom, I love you. "I love you, too, son." And off she went into a patient only area.

And then it was just me, sitting there, watching Today on NBC--and making my way around my phone. I checked email, connected with my private support group via Facebook and thought about lunch plans. It wasn't very long in the waiting before I noticed a news headline for an article in The New York Times by Gina Kolata, picked "especially for me," all about Kevin Hall PhD's study on Season 8 Biggest Loser contestants. The study was over a period of the last six years. And since I've experienced my personal study over the last seven years, I was immediately drawn in to every single word Dr. Hall and this article presented.

The study, monitoring the season 8 contestants, documented the regain most experienced post-show. It concluded the same as similar studies: The body can and does develop a weight "set-point," and for those of us who lose weight, it means our bodies are constantly pushing back to this set point.

While the experiences of my exploration, or "research," if you will, agreed with much of this scientific study, specifically about the body having a set-point weight, I was extremely disappointed in the overall hopeless tone of the article's conclusion. The truth isn't hopeless. I've lived it. I'm living it every day. Trust me, there's plenty of hope. 

Instead of hope, I immediately recognized the fuel for self-defeating rationalizations of which I'm very familiar. I talked myself into staying near, at or above 500 pounds for almost two decades, I know all about self-defeating rationalizations. These self-defeating thoughts, especially when supported by scientific research and presented in a publication respected the world over, become even more powerful. I wonder how many people read this same article and then released their embrace of taking extraordinary care?

To conclude our body will find a way to return to this set-point, as if it's a given, without exploring the role of personal responsibility/behaviors/and habits, not to mention the monumental effects of our necessary mental/emotional transformation, or lack of, was, in my opinion, potentially damaging to the millions of people embracing their plans and holding on to hope for a life at a healthy body weight.

Because, if we're biologically programmed to regain back to this set point, then why bother?

A friend of mine who struggles with weight issues, sent me a text about the study first thing this morning, "'s a little bit frightening."  Her message wasn't the only one. By days end, I had received several messages and engaged in a couple of conversations about the study. Several things came up, words like depressing and frightening, and the common question: Is what I'm doing pointless?  No, it isn't pointless.

The following is an excerpt from the archives of this blog. In it, I describe my own discovery of this "body weight set-point" and I offer my answer to the question: Are we destined to return to a life of morbid obesity?

From The DDWL Archives-April 17th, 2015:

I don't know when it happened. At some point, I believe, I fried the circuits responsible for regulating my body weight. I hit 500 pounds before age 20 and although it took a lot of over-eating, late night fourth (and fifth) meal eating, an occasional binge and zero intentional exercise to accomplish this, I didn't consider the quantity of food at any one setting should have warranted such a morbidly obese body weight.

I remember reading an article when I was twelve years old about the worlds heaviest man. Reading about his typical day of food just wasn't ever me, at twelve--at twenty, or thirty-five. A dozen eggs, a pound of bacon and a loaf of bread for breakfast? In my late teen years, as the scale crept above 500, I'm sure some might have imagined I had similar eating habits, but no, never did. Perhaps I just spread mine out a little more. But here's the kicker:

At a certain point, I stopped gaining. My body settled between 500 and 515 for years on end while I did absolutely nothing to lose weight or maintain the weight. It was as if I found my body's "set point." And it seems this is where my fried body-weight regulating circuits want me to be, naturally.

I have zero doubt, if it wasn't for this turnaround period from relapse/regain over the last year, I would be back between 500 and 515 by now. Not a shred of doubt. I was headed that way in a hurry.

Recently, a medical paper was published in the Journal Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. And it was written about in a CBS News Interactive piece by Jessica Firger. Below is an excerpt from the article:

"Although lifestyle modifications may result in lasting weight loss in individuals who are overweight, in those with chronic obesity, body weight seems to become biologically 'stamped in' and defended," Dr. Christopher Ochner, lead author and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, said in a press statement.

The authors of the paper say we need to change the way we think and talk about obesity, and use language reflective of the fact that being morbidly obese is a chronic disease. Like addictions to drugs and alcohol, patients can overcome it but shouldn't expect to be "cured."

"Few individuals ever truly recover from obesity; rather they suffer from 'obesity in remission,'" Ochner says. "They are biologically very different from individuals of the same age, sex, and body weight who never had obesity."

Those of us with chronic obesity have a body weight that is "stamped in and defended." Sounds very familiar to me. I wasn't surprised when I read the article. Not one bit. I knew about this from living it.

It's incredibly easy for me to regain weight. If I suddenly stopped intentionally exercising and tracking my consumption, even without binge episodes, I truly believe my weight would consistently creep upward. Maybe not as fast as it did in the middle of binge city-relapse/regain, but with the same ultimate destination between 500 and 515 pounds.

So now what?

Are we doomed to gain it all back because that's the curse of chronic obesity?

Is there any hope at all?

First of all, there is hope for long term recovery. I know people who have done it (maintained their weight loss) for ten, twenty and nearly thirty years. It does take work. And no, it's not fair. And that's precisely where our success starts.

Acceptance. If I'm constantly resistant of the elements I must practice each day because it's not fair that so and so can eat a truck full of food and never gain an ounce, then I'm in big trouble.

It is what it is. I've discovered the quicker this acceptance is fully embraced the quicker I can continue enjoying life at a healthy body weight. Something so effortless to some requires daily attention and diligence for someone like me.

They key, I believe, is finding a way--a plan you can truly enjoy. If you read this blog regularly, you see everything I eat. I do not feel deprived in the least. I love what I'm eating. And it's plenty.

I've set the boundaries of my plan and I hold them sacred. I must always hold them sacred. No sugar, daily food tracking and calorie budget management, regular exercise and most importantly, support. Exchanging support with people like me who are in this deal right alongside, is critically important. Writing this daily blog is also a strong source of support and accountability.

Acceptance to me, means these elements of my recovery become more than habit, they become woven into the fabric of my life, for the rest of my life. There isn't a finish line. There isn't a declaration of some big final victory.

I must never try to live someone else's normal. I must live my normal. This is my normal. And you know what? It's all good, even with the set point weight my body tries to gravitate toward if I don't stay on top of it.

What would happen if we gave our individual plans the same level of reverence as someone in successful recovery from drugs and alcohol gives their sobriety? 

I've been getting the answer to that question for the last two years. When I started applying this importance level was when I consistently starting shedding my one hundred sixty-four pound regain/relapse weight, plus lost an additional twenty-three pounds and today, I continue to maintain a very nice weight range--and I've maintained this healthy weight range for over eight months. It's all documented--every single day, right here in this blog.

And I always keep in mind--I'm not cured and I don't "got this." My continued success isn't guaranteed. If I continue making what I do each day, important, then I have a really good chance at continued weight maintenance.

Another excerpt from very early in the archives is a message of hope to anyone getting started:

I've been doing a bunch of tough thinking lately about why some struggle so hard while others seem to be so solidly on their way. Why some say they “get it,” but continuously give in to the temptation that's trying to take this away.

I think it's actually harder for people who are exceptionally smart.

Let me explain: It's nearly impossible for someone to really learn something if they already believe they know. Especially when the solution has been broken down into very simple terms and easy to understand mental exercises. It can't be that easy, they might think.

And so their search continues---looking for books and articles to break it down into slices that challenge their intelligence. Some people insist on complicating things. It doesn't have to be complicated. It can be easy if you accept that it can.

Once you turn off the excuses. Once you accept 100% responsibility for your behaviors with food. Once you become completely self-honest about your consumption. Once you realize the importance of consistency. Once you stick to a lower level of calories. Once you commit to a real exercise schedule, once you do these things—it's almost impossible not to succeed. And yes, you have to fight. You have to bring out the fight inside and often times battle that little devil on your shoulder. If any of these vital components are not in place, it can seem very difficult.

You must not forget that I'm a food addict. You must realize and remember that I too spent my entire adult life until now, struggling the same way. I was out of control.

So if you read my words these days and think, Oh Sean, you make it sound so easy don't you? Never forget from where I've come. And realize that if I can get to this place, then it's not impossible for you to get here too.

And you don't have to understand everything to get started. I didn't. (I still don't!)

I didn't know or practice anything but the very basics on day one. You might even say I was going through the motions at first. Along the way these simple truths came out about my past failures and all of a sudden things started making sense. I started to have a better understanding of why I always struggled before and why I was struggling less now. Epiphanies started happening, they're all documented...go back and read them.

So if you're trying to get everything in order in a way that makes complete sense before you start succeeding, you're complicating the process. The things that must be rock solid from day one are your commitment to fight. Your resolve must be “iron-clad.” Your desire to succeed must exceed your desire to binge. It's that importance level thing again. Set it dramatically high. And fight for your life. Defend this journey from those evil thoughts within that threaten your success along this road. And find comfort in the fact that you will learn things and have epiphanies along the way that will catapult you onto different levels of understanding. But in the beginning you must fight. It's a fight worth fighting, it really is.
Okay--back to Dr. Halls study and the article from The New York Times. His study's conclusion, compared to my experience, was spot on. Yes, spot on. I believe 100% the body weight set point is scientific fact for many of us.

I also believe, with nothing more than my own experience to back it up, that our metabolisms can actually improve dramatically depending on what we're putting in our body.

My maintenance calorie budget is 2300 per day. This level, at one time, would have resulted in weight gain for me--but instead, it's now keeping me in a very nice range. How is that possible?

Is it the abstinence from refined sugar? Is it the food selection? Is it the water consumption goal each day? Or is it all of the above? I don't know. I've never claimed to have all the answers. But what I do know for sure is, there's hope. There's plenty of reasons to keep taking extraordinary care.

What I didn't like was the hopeless tone of the overall piece.

I was also appalled by the nine hour workout days on The Biggest Loser. My heart broke for fellow Oklahoman Danny Cahill while reading about the workout schedule he so desperately tried to maintain post-show. It was TV, I get it--there was a schedule--a time frame for hitting these milestones--but my question is this:

How did this approach affect each contestant's metabolism and biological makeup? The weight set point is real, sure--but is what we're doing--the method we choose, making dramatic contributions to the complications explored in the study?  

I've always been big on "consistency beats intensity" and "simple is sustainable." I've rarely worked out for longer than an hour in one day. And still, dramatic results happened. The lessons embedded in all of this reminds me of the age old tortoise and hare story.

I'm passionate about sharing my experiences, perspectives and philosophies along this road. First and foremost, it helps me stay accountable and grounded in support. When someone let's me know how it's helped them, too--that's simply one of the most beautiful bonuses.

The sad thing is this: Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, will read the New York Times article about this study, and likely, less than a thousand will read this blog post. Countless people will feel discouraged by the findings and the idea that regain is a biological certainty. By comparison, few will read this blog's real life study of the last seven years. And you know what?

That's okay. 

Because again, my number one concern is my continued recovery and successful maintenance of a healthy body weight. I'll continue doing what I do, regardless. And as time passes, and I maintain the fundamental elements that keep me well each day, it will strengthen my philosophies and understanding of this entire experience.

I'm simply passionate about effectively communicating a message of hope. I hope that comes through loud and clear.

I make my way to the doctor's office in the morning for my maintenance weigh-in. I'll have the complete weigh-in update in tomorrow night's edition.

Today's Live-Tweet Stream:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,

Monday, May 2, 2016

May 2nd, 2016 At Ease

May 2nd, 2016 At Ease

I took a personal day away from the studio in order to accompany mom to her medical procedure today. She was very nervous, tired and hungry. Still, we found ways to laugh and I think she started to calm down some with a different perspective. The doctor came back with fantastic news--everything was fine! She was so relieved--still tired and hungry, but completely at ease.

Instead of dining out per our original plan, mom allowed me the pleasure of preparing lunch for her while she rested in the easy chair. Mom was excited about the flatbread pizza, saying, "I've seen these on your blog tweets and always wanted to try one." She loved it! And I loved her loving it!

I made my way over to my daughter and son-in-law's new place after my Monday night support group conference call. Everyone was getting together for dinner. It was an opportunity to visit with both of my daughters at the same time (rare) and my little grandson Noah, again!! This is two days in row for visiting with Noah!

My monthly maintenance weigh-in day is coming up on Wednesday morning at the doctor's office. This will be the first monthly weigh-in. I really kind of missed not weighing two weeks ago. But, I think a monthly weigh-in will work better for me. We'll see!

I'm letting the Tweets tell the rest of today's story--

Today's Live-Tweet Stream:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May 1st, 2016 Again and Again

May 1st, 2016 Again and Again

What an amazing weekend! It started with stand-up and ended with my grandson Noah. It was busy, but fun. Except for some photos, I'm allowing this to be a Tweets Only post. I'm off work tomorrow in order to accompany mom to a medical procedure she's having in the morning. I'm picking her up very early for the short drive to the hospital. We're planning on lunch out somewhere tomorrow midday.

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Friday Night's opening stand-up set at the Big 80's Rock & Roll show with Dead Metal Society. Photo Credits: Richard Gorremans
If it hadn't been for the epiphanies of May 15th and 19th, 2014--I would've never started doing stand-up again after such a long absence. It's one of my core elements and I enjoy nurturing that part of me as often as my schedule allows.

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This guy, oh my...He brings joy to any room, any time. We had a little family get together at my daughter and son-in-law's new house. I made my guacamole for everyone! Noah did the cutest thing. He tried some guac, made a disgusted face, then tried it again--then made another disgusted face--then he tried it again and again until, I don't know--I suppose he decided it wasn't bad. He had Amber and me laughing out loud.

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Saturday, April 30, 2016

April 30th, 2016 A Bomb In Need Of Defusing

April 30th, 2016 A Bomb In Need Of Defusing

I really enjoyed my day off today. I slept in, I spent some time helping my oldest daughter finish up her and her husband's move, I prepared some great food and enjoyed a fabulous date night dinner with Kristin for her birthday.

Navigating the menu choices at the restaurant this evening was fairly simple. I did ask a couple of questions and made one special request in order to ensure I got what I needed instead of something I didn't. Neither one of us touched the basket of cheddar biscuits on the table. I remember times, years ago, when a second and third request for more was made.

The accountability and support system coupled with the non-negotiable elements of my personal plan supports this different perspective. It's a perspective that doesn't require the food to shoulder the responsibility for whether or not an event is considered a good experience. I certainly enjoyed the food I ordered, but the experience, the conversation and the laughs is what made it great. A basket (or two) of biscuits wouldn't have enhanced the evening in the slightest. For me, it would have had an opposite effect had I sacrificed the integrity of my maintenance plan.

We visited a traveling carnival after dinner and arrived just as they were closing everything down. We asked the Ferris wheel operator if he could accommodate one last ride tonight, adding that it was Kristin's birthday. He referred us to one of the co-owners, who turned out to be the sister of the other owner, whom I had as a guest on my radio show a couple of weeks ago. I don't think that connection made a difference as much as Kristin's birthday request. The answer was, "sure, why not?"

Then, when the ride ended, one of the carnival workers honored Kristin's birthday by presenting her with the last funnel cake of the evening, compliments of Ottaway Amusements. We graciously accepted the gift, both of us knowing full well that it didn't fit in either of our food plans--and I carried it to the car for her. Kristin said I was handling it as if it were a bomb. I wasn't tempted in the slightest, seriously, but I totally get it--I probably was carrying it as if it were a bomb in need of defusing. Defusing it meant throwing it away, but we couldn't just throw it away right in front of the people who generously and thoughtfully presented the gift!

First, we tried to give it away to some people in the parking lot, but they declined our offer. Without a trash can close by and also out of sight of the carnival vendors, we hadn't a choice--we had to give this sweet thing a ride. The car quickly became thick with the aroma of funnel cake, so down went the windows.

We ended up transporting this powdered sugar topped creation less than a mile away before we found a place to get rid of it. But instead of simply throwing it away, we set it in plain sight just outside of a big Saturday night college crowd hangout and then, we waited for someone--anyone to notice this perfectly untouched, still warm funnel cake--just sitting there, unattended. Not one person noticed the funnel cake. After several minutes and a few laughs from the close calls, we left--knowing full well it would eventually make it into the trash can just a few feet away.

We stopped by mom's place to say hi and get a quick hug before heading out of town for the forty-two mile trip back. But before we hit the highway, we checked on the funnel cake--and still, there it sat in the company of literally a hundred or two late night partying college kids who were completely oblivious to it or the slightly humorous circumstance that rendered it unwanted and abandoned.

Today's Tweet Stream:

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Friday, April 29, 2016

April 29th, 2016 An Equal and Opposite Reaction

April 29th, 2016 An Equal and Opposite Reaction

Whenever I allow my schedule to get loaded and crazy, it requires me to get extra aware of how I'm feeling and what I'm doing. I've shared many times about my parallel streams philosophy and how I mustn't allow the life stream and the fundamental elements stream to cross. It's a seemingly complex, yet simple philosophy drawn from my experiences over years and years of weight loss attempts, many of which served as a source of education, rather than a source of consistent and sustainable results. 

Maintaining the integrity of my fundamental elements stream (calorie budget-abstinence from refined sugar-the accountability and support connections, etc.) while the life stream is a little (or a bunch) bigger than usual, means adjusting the embrace of both, in equal measure. For every action there's an equal and opposite reaction. Making sure those reactions are in harmony with my personal plan, is key.

If I didn't hold on to the fundamental elements stream a little tighter during a bigger life stream schedule, then I'd quickly fall into chaos. I've been there many times. I'd prefer to not go there again, if I can help it.

For me, it starts with setting some non-negotiable elements. Even at extreme life-stream levels--we're talking super long days, heavily involved projects and all that might include--I have my minimum non-negotiable elements of the fundamental elements stream. I will maintain the integrity of my maintenance plan calorie budget. I will remain abstinent from refined sugar. And I will consume a minimum 64oz water. I will log everything in MyFitnessPal and I will compose and send the accountability Tweets. That's the bare minimum, for me, come what may.

And once I've accepted and embraced those non-negotiable elements--then it changes my perspective completely. Instead of finding reasons why it can't work under extreme schedules and circumstances, I'm exploring solutions for how it can work, and work well.

It's rarely perfect and it doesn't need to be perfect. This has never been about perfection, clearly. It's about remaining consistent in my continued recovery. In my experience, striving for perfection is the quickest detour to self-loathing based disappointment. Accepting a certain amount of imperfection doesn't mean I sacrifice the integrity of my non-negotiable elements. It means I might go a little longer between meals than is optimal. It means my choices, although still "on-plan," may not be the best or what I would have preferred. It means I might spend way too many calories on half & half in my coffee. Examples of these imperfections have littered the last few days.

A perfect example happened tonight, when the plan called for me to prepare a late meal at home. I picked up some fresh salmon earlier today for tonight's meal--the plan was baked salmon, oven baked sour cream topped red potato slices and asparagus. Instead, I called an audible when the show went long and the time became a little too late. I relented on the original plan and called ahead for a special order from Ground Round Grill and Bar. Baked cod prepared without the drenching of butter or bread crumbs--seasoned simply with salt & pepper, asparagus grilled well with a minimal amount of extra-virgin olive oil and 1/2 an order of fried sweet potato fries (which I still count as 1.5 servings as a way to compensate for the frying).

Maintaining these non-negotiable elements coupled with staying connected with one on one and group accountability and support contacts makes for another successful day. And today, despite a schedule rivaling yesterday's extremes, was definitely another successful day.

My original plan for today included working harder to leave the studio a little earlier. When severe weather fired up early afternoon, it immediately extended my broadcast day. Suddenly, the adjustments to the schedule became imperative. I made the adjustments and it turned out just fine.

I've had three stand-up performances in the last two days. One was disguised as a speaking engagement--but make no mistake, it was stand-up comedy. Tonight's show was a big one. I opened for one of the best cover bands in the United States. Dead Metal Society plays 80's rock and roll--and they do it with the most authentic everything--the clothes, the hair, the lights, the fog--the experience, with spot on musicianship and vocal impersonations--it's simply unbelievable.

I had a great set despite a couple of hecklers I was told about afterward. I was focused on my set and landing my punchlines well. I accomplished just that without really noticing the two idiots in the crowd of approximately five hundred. Could I have acknowledged and handled the hecklers? Absolutely. But not in a twelve minute opening set. It wasn't my show. It was DMS's show, and their audience. My mission was to provide a little warm up entertainment, get some laughs--set a tone for a good time and introduce the band. Mission accomplished!

I'm hitting the pillow late--with a wonderful plan of sleeping in, without an alarm. That will be an awesome thing!

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