Friday, February 12, 2016

February 12th, 2016 Hardly Recognizable

February 12th, 2016 Hardly Recognizable

Going to bed at 9:30pm last night played a major role in getting through today so well. I knew there wouldn't be time for a nap. I did lean on coffee, but that's not anything new.

I made it through my show then ran a few errands before heading to Stillwater where family was gathered for a dinner prior to my cousin April's funeral. I grabbed some cheese and almonds just in case the food selection wasn't within my plan. It worked well and held me over until a really good early dinner.

I enjoyed visiting with family I don't see very often. April was way too young at 46 years old. She was in a lot of pain. It's nice to know she's no longer enduring that constant pain.

I made it back home in time to prepare a good dinner and relax a little before heading to a big dueling pianos show. It was a presentation of the arts and humanities council. I'm a board member and designated emcee at the concerts we bring to town. I knew it would be a long night!

Right after I announced the performers, I walked to the back of the room and was approached by a guy who obviously knew me. I didn't recognize him at first. It took me a minute and then it hit me, Dennis!!!!!  
 photo With Dennis_zps8vwbqvie.jpg
Dennis once worked at a car dealership where our radio station would frequently do location broadcasts. I got to know him throughout the course of several broadcasts. Dennis weighed 501 pounds back then.

Not anymore. He's lost 300 pounds!! I'm so overjoyed for him! We had a great visit in the outside hallway of the venue. We could have talked for hours, I'm pretty sure. I remember him emailing me when he first started. I had tremendous hope that he would keep up his positive momentum, but you just never know. He did keep it up, consistently, and today he's hardly recognizable!!

Dennis even got a tattoo, like me. His says "501." Very VERY cool.

This unexpected meeting with Dennis was the highlight of my night!

My Tweets Today:






























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

Thursday, February 11, 2016

February 11th, 2016 A Corrector

February 11th, 2016 A Corrector

It was a very rough start this morning. Once I got going, I was okay. I didn't eat breakfast until much later than normal. I didn't have time to eat any earlier. The day was tilted some because my routine was off center. The good news is, I resisted taking a nap.

And for the first time in several weeks, I'll be in bed by 9:30pm. This is, I hope, a corrector--and tomorrow will be a better day.

I made a fast trip to Stillwater this evening. I visited the funeral home to see my cousin April for the last time. She passed away the other day at the age of forty-six after a three year battle with cancer. She was a fighter. I'm reminded of my dear cousin every time I look in the mirror and see the scar above my left eye. April hit me in the head with a golf club when I was very young. It wasn't her fault. I walked right in front of her powerful swing as we played in the front yard of my great grandfather's house. She and I never forgot that day and the bloody scene, and me screaming and running hysterically. We often brought it up to one another in conversation over the years and each time, we smiled and laughed. Not because of the injury--but mainly because of some of the crazy things I was screaming as I blindly ran around the yard. I wish I would have kept in touch with her a little more over the years.

April leaves behind a husband, grown children and several grandchildren, two brothers and her mom, my Aunt Connie. The entire family and extended family will gather tomorrow for a midday dinner followed by her service. I plan on making the trip, picking up mom and joining everyone.

I enjoyed a wonderful food day. I'm really happy about being turned onto sugar free/flour free sprouted grain Ezekiel bread. It might not sound tasty, but I assure you, it's awesome. I like it because it gives me another quick option when I'm short on time. Lunch today worked perfectly. I also have a loaf of the sesame seed Ezekiel bread. I keep both in the freezer and take out what I need, when I need. I hear it's important to do this to prevent mold, especially with this kind of bread.

I'm really excited about the rest I'm getting tonight! By 9:30pm... I'm headed there, now!!!

My Tweets Today:




























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

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

February 10th, 2016 Tweets Only

February 10th, 2016 Tweets Only

Taking a break tonight. Tweets only blog post.

My Tweets Today:






























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

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

February 9th, 2016 We Must Install Rails

February 9th, 2016 We Must Install Rails

I'm not the strongest person and I don't have amazing willpower. It's assumed that these things are necessities along this road. They're not.

When I end each blog post with the word, "strength," it's not necessarily strength to stick to your plan. It's about installing strength within your plan. It's about having the strength to open your mind to new perspectives and concepts. It's the strength to care enough to make what you're doing for you, important. But you don't have to be strong or have the best willpower. It's a common misconception.

If I relied on my own strength and willpower, I'd be over 500 pounds right now.
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I recently shared my 80/20 philosophy concerning a ratio of focus between food and exercise and the mental/emotional elements. Through my experiences, I contend the stronger focus remain squarely on the mental/emotional elements, allowing the food and exercise plenty of room to grow and develop naturally.

When I examine weight loss attempts in my past, I can clearly see how my focus was mainly on the food and exercise, accompanied by a constant reminding of how strong I needed to be and how much willpower I needed to exert in order for it to work.

Those attempts didn't work. Even though I had the good foods, I was walking a lot and I was doing my best to be strong and exhibit a super-human willpower...nothing stuck. I didn't maintain a shred of consistency during those times. And soon, like all the other attempts, my resolve would fade into the fog of food chaos and rapid weight gain. If you were to ask me what happened, I would have likely said something along the lines of-- "I guess I wasn't strong enough and just didn't have enough willpower." And most people would empathize with something like, "well, weight loss is really hard--hang in there, you can do it."  

If maintaining balance and control is hard, then doesn't it make sense to hold onto something for support? Like a rail of some sort? Or a series of rails, strategically placed along the way--providing balance and support? That's the key. It ISN'T building the perfect food and exercise plan from Day 1 and white knuckling it all the way while praying for strength and willpower. It's about developing rails of support.

Some people need fewer rails, some more. I say the more the merrier. I have installed quite a few "rails" to guide me along the way.

My rails include logging and tracking my food and exercise. My rails include my personal meditation/prayer time. My rails include staying connected in support daily. My rails include my accountability tweets. My rails include writing/reflection nightly. My rails include making sure I have what I need to succeed, food, exercise--groceries...I have what I need, at work and at home. My rails include planning ahead--some days require more thought and more detailed planning than other days. My rails encourage awareness and self-honesty as I navigate each day within the plan that has gradually become suited especially for me.

What do you think would happen if I suddenly eliminated some or all of these rails from my life, in other words, "went off the rails?"

I've lived that scenario. I'm lucky it didn't end tragically, that time. Or any of the other times.

This trek we're on together doesn't require us to be super human strong or have the most will power. It's truly not about that stuff. If we want more stability, balance and consistency, we must install rails.

I wrote the following a while back and it lives on the sidebar of this blog. If you read a mobile version of this blog, you might not see it over there. It's simply thoughts collected and confirmed, for me, over the last seven years:

What's this all about? It's about progress, not perfection. It's about how you feel, not a number. It's about you and for you, not about or for anyone else. It's about living, not dying. It's about dreaming, not dreading. It's about freedom, not imprisonment. It's about opening your mind to the possibilities, not closing it to the changes. It's about acceptance, not rejection. It's about nourishing, not depriving. It's about a broadly consistent importance level, not short bursts of narrow focus. It's about wanting, not forcing. It's about doing your best, not trying to do another's best. It's about today, not tomorrow, or next week or the first of the month or January 1st. It's about committing to consistency with all your heart and holding on tight, not a halfhearted commitment easily released with the slightest breeze. It's about you deserving better, because you do. It's about you being important, because you are important.

Hold on tight to your rails. Let them support and guide you.
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I have my sweet little grandson with me again tonight. He'll be leaving tomorrow afternoon. One of the best feelings I've had in the past few days with him was being able to easily keep up with him on the playground. To slide down the slide with him, to sit him on my lap and swing like a kid again, using one arm to balance and one to hold him close--these are the best times. They're the most amazing blessings along this road. I'm so very grateful.

I'm letting the Tweets take it the rest of the way...

My Tweets Today:




































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

Monday, February 8, 2016

February 8th, 2016 If Nothing Changes

February 8th, 2016 If Nothing Changes

My plans for lunch changed quickly when an old friend showed up at the studio right before lunch time. He was passing through the area, so we seized the opportunity to enjoy lunch out and catch up. It was a great visit.

I packed my workout clothes this morning. I normally don't do this, as simple as it seems, so working out requires a trip home first, to change, then to the gym. The trouble with that is real simple: Once I get home, I like to stay--maybe a snack, perhaps a nap... relax. I intended on accomplishing this goal today, so drawing on what I wrote about yesterday--I put it out there as an accountability declaration.

I was tired after work. But honestly, I wasn't so tired I couldn't work out. So I drove straight to the gym. I actually contemplated how I could justify a later workout, after announcing I would get it done early. It was an easy justification. Noah was waiting for me at my apartment. But honestly, he was being well cared for and he certainly wouldn't mind if grandpa got his workout finished before coming home. Honestly, I hadn't a choice. Dishonestly, I had a bunch of rationalizations ready to go. I chose to get honest with myself.

And this struggle isn't created because I don't like working out. I do like working out. I love how I feel right after a workout. For me, or anyone, I would guess, it all comes down to feeling rested. I'm much more likely to go when I feel fully rested. That's why I typically go late, after an afternoon nap. So yeah--it all goes back to sleep issues. As I modify my approach with all things considered, new patterns of behavior are critically important. Nothing changes if nothing changes.

I spent some quality time with Noah tonight. He's not feeling the best, poor little guy.

We had a good Monday night support group conference call. I made an exceptionally delicious dinner right after the call. And now, finally--Noah's in bed and I'm headed to mine.

My Tweets Today:
































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

Sunday, February 7, 2016

February 7th, 2016 Language of Accountability

February 7th, 2016 Language of Accountability

There were options today. I chose to pick up Noah and head to Stillwater to spend some time with mom. Mom made the trip to the park with us and we played for a little while before heading to the store to get food for the watch party.

We decided on hamburgers with tortilla chips and dips. I made sure to accurately measure my food and prepare my dinner plate with care and precision. I make it super important because with me, it must be that important, otherwise it's chaos. I prefer certainty and calm. It feels really good to honor my commitments in this way. And speaking of honoring commitments...

I made multiple accountability declarations today stating I would make time for a workout.

BUT, by the time we made it back home, I really didn't want to honor that commitment. What made it nearly impossible to NOT workout, was the language in my declaration: "I will make time to workout." Not, "I'll do my best to get a workout," or "I may even get a workout later this evening." Nope, it was: "I will."

Had to do it. And I'm glad I did.

If the integrity of a solid and direct accountability declaration is compromised, then it's completely pointless. It loses most of its power. It's a say what you'll do--do what you say kind of thing. The language used often reflects the level of commitment. The language of accountability, certain words and phrases, give us outs. My language in today's accountability declarations didn't contain outs.

I really needed the workout tonight and not so much for the physical effects. I needed it for the bio-chemical/mental effects. The endorphin release is the bio-chemical, the honoring my accountability declaration is the mental.

It's late. I'm dropping in bed. I'm also looking forward to a really good week. There are plenty of good things on the horizon!

My Tweets Today:




























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

Saturday, February 6, 2016

February 6th, 2016 Busy Saturday

February 6th, 2016 Busy Saturday

It was a busy Saturday. I was up earlier than I wanted to be, considering how late I went to bed-but I knew a nap would happen at some point this afternoon, so I jumped up and prepared for the day.

I had a location broadcast from  a grocery store's ten hour customer appreciation sale. I planned a snack in the middle of the broadcast, but I didn't pack one. Since it was a grocery store, I had options.

I finally made it home mid-afternoon in time to prepare a great lunch (grilled cheese on Ezekiel bread and homemade guacamole and chips), get a few things done--then hit that pillow for a much anticipated snooze.

My naps tend to go long. It did a little--so it really pushed my schedule a little closer together tonight. I had short time to workout, prepare dinner and get ready for my dj gig. I made it happen with a little multitasking. I was getting ready while dinner cooked.

"You should jump out there and line dance with them!" One of the casino reps was encouraging me. Uh, okay--but I don't know how!!

I quickly figured out to simply watch the others and do what they're doing. Sure, I was a couple beats behind--but who's counting, right? I don't remember ever line dancing in the history of me--so this was a first. It was exercise! 
 photo After Line Dancing_zpsk7vcfmy2.jpg
The gig went well. I'm glad it's done!

It was a busy Saturday. I'm proud to say, I'm about to lay my head on the pillow and feel that feeling that comes with knowing I did what I set out to do today. I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained abstinence from refined sugar for the 647th day in a row, I exceeded my water goal by four cups, I had a great workout and I remained in active/ongoing support with others.

I'll do my best to do it again tomorrow!

My Tweets Today:


































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

Friday, February 5, 2016

February 5th, 2016 Recovery Level

February 5th, 2016 Recovery Level

A day like today requires some forethought, a little planning, a little prepping, and I'm not much of a planner, in the traditional sense. For some, preparing meals far in advance--then grabbing them on the way out, works. For me, the extent of my planning simply requires I keep some options available, then, when it's time, I can decide what I want to prepare. I keep things in two kitchens, at the studio and home. This approach seems to work well for me.

I prepare two meals at work most weekdays. It's funny, a friend of mine recently commented "not everyone has a full kitchen at work." Neither do I! We have two toaster ovens, a microwave and a single burner hot plate thingy. It works well for me. If I didn't have this level of kitchen options at work, it would require me to plan, prepare everything at home and pack it up each day. I'm grateful that's not the case, because again, I'm not much of a planner. But if I had to, I'd do it--because whatever it takes, right? My continued physical freedom from morbid obesity and the mental/emotional freedom my recovery provides, are things very important to me.

I was thinking today about the differences between my initial weight loss and this turnaround from relapse/regain. And it's a big list of differences. The biggest difference for me is a much clearer understanding of food addiction in my life. Specifically what it is, the differences between it and emotional/stress eating and the most important thing for me: With this clarity comes a "recovery level" reverence.

For someone with my body chemistry, all it takes to shoot right back up the scale is a release of this importance level. My body has proven it can quickly return to four or five hundred pounds in short order. And I'm never immune to that fact. Sure, I've done things differently nutrition-wise that I truly believe has changed the way my body works, but it could quickly change back if I were to walk away from the fundamental elements of my recovery.

As I pondered these differences in approach, I kept going back to the question: Why was it so hard to accept and fully embrace a perspective grounded in recovery principles? 

Aside from the bio-chemical triggers keeping the addiction centers humming--and protecting itself with compulsions against any thought or action to the contrary, I think it's because we're talking about food. We're talking about weight loss, which is never short of fad offerings or the latest product, pill, surgery or special plan. I think it's because so much focus is centered on the specific plan or method with food/exercise instead of the heavily involved mental/emotional dynamics and possible (different for each of us) ruling properties of addiction in play (absolutely in my case). I've said from the very beginning: It's 20% food and exercise, 80% mental/emotional. And if that ratio is flipped, I believe it creates the yo-yo dynamics of which many of us are familiar.

Flipping that ratio and focusing super heavy on sweepingly dramatic changes in food and exercise without giving the mental/emotional side of things proper attention is like calling a plumbing crew to clean up the mess but not repair the pipe. In medical terms, it's treating/managing the side effects/symptoms, without directly treating the issues creating them in the first place.

But how do we identify the mental/emotional things in need of our focus? It takes time and energy in the direction of a super self-honest inward exploration. This is why a simplistic approach with food and exercise, in my opinion, works well--because it creates the head space needed to apply this greater focus. The more mental/emotional work is done, the more we're able to adjust/tweak our food and exercise along the way--and if we're fully accepting and embracing of our plan--and we've made sure it's one that fits who we are in all of our individuality, then by golly--some big changes are bound to happen in ways different from any other time.

No matter the ratio we choose, if we apply ourselves completely--we're likely getting results. The ratio used will determine if these results will be temporary or sustainable. 

And I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt--if ever I release my embrace of this recovery level reverence, I'll quickly become lost, again.

And I really enjoy being found.

Just a few thoughts on my mind tonight.
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I went out on a date tonight! It was awesome. It felt good to get out and laugh, enjoy the evening and just be okay with where I am.

This is a big and busy weekend. I have a location broadcast from a grocery store tomorrow midday, then I'm the guest DJ for a big casino promotion tomorrow night. And of course, Sunday is the big game! I've been invited to a party and I'm planning on accepting the late Sunday afternoon invite after a nice midday Sunday visit with mom.

My Tweets Today:






























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

Thursday, February 4, 2016

February 4th, 2016 A True Tweets Only

February 4th, 2016 A True Tweets Only

Getting some extra rest! A true Tweets Only, tonight. We'll catch up tomorrow night!

It was a fabulous day, by the way.

Are you on Twitter? Discover the Live-Tweet Feed in real time throughout each day by visiting @SeanAAnderson

If you're on MyFitnessPal, friend me! My MFP Username is the same: SeanAAnderson

My Tweets Today:
































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

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

February 3rd, 2016 That Hope Thing

February 3rd, 2016 That Hope Thing

Another good maintenance weigh-in today impresses upon me a reality I once believed impossible to reach. I have zero complaints. When I hashtag grateful and blessed, you can take it to the bank, I mean it in every sense of those words.

Reaching a point in maintenance where my body efficiently uses what I put in it, is just unreal. At 2300 calories per day, my brain says, you're eating too much, but obviously, my body disagrees.

Keeping my non-negotiable elements tight is always key for me, every. single. day. Maintaining the integrity of my calorie budget and abstaining from refined sugar are key elements, for sure. Aside from the maintenance of those important boundaries, I really believe where this natural evolution of choices has brought me, to a more whole foods, less processed foods (maybe an 80/20 split, some days 90/10), place, is largely responsible for this seemingly repaired metabolism. 

You know me, I recommend a gradual evolution of choices based on what foods you truly enjoy and starting from right where you are. So, please don't get me wrong--this isn't a eat what I eat thing and it's not even an eat better and repair your metabolism thing-- it's a hope thing. It's a patience thing. It's a trusting the process thing. It's a one day at a time thing. It's a being okay with where you are thing. It's a gradual evolution of choices thing.

And about that hope thing...please believe it exist. I believe you must believe in hope because hopelessness doesn't contribute to positive changes.

It's tough sometimes because embracing hope often demands blind faith.

When I started this blog I was low on hope with very little faith. Those two things have grown for me considerably since that day over seven years ago.

What I hope this blog does for you, is attach a vision of possibilities--strengthening your faith and giving your hope plenty of life.

Okay, enough of that... ;)

Today's bi-weekly weigh-in:
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This represents a .4 pound drop since January 20th and 209.0

This also continues a very slow downward trend since 212.0 on December 23rd, 211.4 January 6th, 209.0 on January 20th and then today's number. Some tweaks might be considered, soon. For now, I'm feeling fine.

I feel very blessed and immensely grateful. 

My Tweets Today:


































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





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