Monday, August 20, 2018

August 20th, 2018 Once Again

August 20th, 2018 Once Again

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 exceptional support.




















I'm teaming up once again with my good friend and mentor, Life Coach Gerri Helms, for a very special four-day intensive workshop starting September 10th! All the information is in the above image. This four-day event isn't just about weight loss--it's about getting the most out of where you are right now! Now what?? Let's find out together September 10th, 11th, 13th, and 14th at 7pm central/8pm eastern via group conference call line! I'm super excited about this special workshop! If you have any questions, call or text 580-491-2228, or email me right away! transformation.road@gmail.com

I picked up mom for a dinner and store outing this evening. It was a good visit. We discussed some good things.

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

Sunday, August 19, 2018

August 19th, 2018 You Be You

August 19th, 2018 You Be You

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.

DDWL Q & A!

Rebecca writes: "I'm just starting. What should I eat? How did you develop your food plan?"

I can't tell you what to eat. I believe we must create that list based on our own list of personal trigger foods, food substances that bring about a "must have more" reaction and I believe it must be based on our individual preferences.

I have a very long list of trigger foods. I don't eat refined sugar because when I do, the addictive part of my brain lights up like a pinball machine. Still, I eat what I like as long as it isn't on my trigger list and doesn't contain refined sugar, and nothing I don't. And the choices I'm making are made because it's where I am, now. 

Key, in my opinion--is finding what works for you. Discovering what you can do, what you like and how you like it, is imperative. Finding complete self-honesty about trigger foods is most important.

But to start...

I don't like labeling anything "right or wrong/good or bad." Food is food. Eat what you like, just set a budget and consistently stay within the budget. If you're having difficulty maintaining the integrity of your budget, don't kick yourself--instead, look at the foods. Maybe there's something in there that needs to be on your personal trigger list. Also, trust that your choices will evolve over time.

If you've ever been handed a pre-set food plan and told to follow it to the letter--and you didn't like everything on the list, but you choked it down anyway--that's a means to an end. 

The experts creating the perfect food plans are not wrong, necessarily, they're just not taking into account the human element.

If whatever we're doing isn't something we can do forever--if it isn't sustainable, then it's temporary. We can white knuckle it and adhere to a food plan in the name of "I can do anything for a short time," and we'll see those results, but as soon as it's over--it's back to what we prefer, and that's why, in my opinion--we should just start with what we prefer in the first place, allowing our plan to evolve as we maneuver our budget and boundaries.

If you've been a regular reader of this blog for the last nearly ten years, you might remember days where a Snickers Bar, Ice cream, cake, fast food cheeseburgers and Taco Bell all made their way into my budget. I don't look back on that time and think, wow--I didn't eat very well. I look back and think, that's where I was and needed to be at that time. I'm not saying it's a good idea to rush out and stock up on these things. I'm just saying...

Having been 500 pounds for so long, I instinctively knew that I wasn't going to change a lifetime of habits overnight. And I felt like if I tried, it would end up another failed attempt. In my opinion, the "nothing is off limits" philosophy is still valid and important, because it allows us to be where we are, be ourselves--growing and developing in a natural, organic way.

We learn about ourselves along the way. I've learned that I can't do refined sugar. My over four years of abstinence so far has made a profound difference in many different areas of my life. It's by far the single most important recovery decision I've made along the way. It took a 164-pound relapse/regain to arrive at that conclusion and finally releasing my denial. Some things, for me, are harder to learn. And that's ok.

Had I not crashed and burned over and over, maybe I wouldn't have found a place of acceptance for my condition.

But not everybody is a food addict and compulsive overeater like me; addicted to refined sugar with four decades of experience in stuffing emotions and stress with food. Abstaining from certain food substances may not be what's right for you.

The main reason why I've always been a proponent of simplicity when it comes to food is because along this road it's about so much more than food and exercise. The mental/emotional/psychological elements in play are all bigger and more challenging than "what should I eat?"

In my opinion, if the greater focus is placed on the food and exercise instead of the mental/emotional/psychological dynamics--then we end up facing the biggest elements unprepared. It becomes "diet mentality." A focus on a simplistic food plan backed up with solid accountability and support has a really good chance of working well for the long haul. Recovery programs and support groups are great ideas. We don't do this alone.

There are no right or wrong foods. Eat what you like and allow yourself a natural evolution of good choices along the way. The practice of maintaining the integrity of a calorie budget can have a powerful impact on this evolution because we're trying to get the most value for our calories. The evolution only occurs with a sacred level of self-honesty and a willingness to reach out for support when we recognize a breach coming on, otherwise, there isn't a reason to navigate the calorie budget for the best calorie values if we're constantly violating the budget.

And please, never compare what you're eating to someone else's food. Remember, we're all different. I'm in maintenance mode with a generous calorie budget and a food plan evolved over the last ten years. 

Comparing ourselves to others is common, right? But...

Sometimes, the biggest mental hurdles come when we compare what we're eating to our own expectations or what we perceive to be what we should be eating or what we've heard is best or the healthier choice. Take what fits you and leave the rest. Don't harshly judge your well-fitting food plan.  

My best advice is to let it go. Just be you and give yourself room to grow and develop. You be you. Ultimately, we're wanting a measure of peace and stability and as a "side effect," to arrive at our healthiest weight--and if we arrive at a healthy weight range for our body--and along the way our health improves dramatically--and we do it in a way that fits us, individually--then we've successfully shifted the focus away from the old diet mentality--we've accepted and embraced the plan we've created specifically for us--and now, how does it all compare to the pre-planned diets of old?? The ones that were nutritionally sound but lacked a human consideration--the ones difficult to sustain--the ones challenging our addictions, compulsive food behaviors, and ultimately, our ability to remain consistent??

Simple is sustainable, sustainable encourages consistency and consistency beats intensity, every single time.

I'm not a nutritionist or a dietician. I'm not an expert. I just have my experience. 

I will say this-- our food plans don't mean a thing if we're not willing to do the deeper work. It doesn't matter how many years I've been at this, I humbly admit-- I don't "got it." It takes a daily practice and a willingness to be open to recovery based perspectives in order to break the diet mentality. 

I've got a long way to go with my recovery. But I'm going. I assure you, I'm going one day at a time.

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

Saturday, August 18, 2018

August 18th, 2018 Evening Off

August 18th, 2018 Evening Off

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 slept in exceptionally well today. It was absolutely fantastic and needed after yesterday's schedule.

One of the big perks of working in radio is getting free tickets to concerts. I don't always take advantage of it, but I did tonight for Sugarland in Wichita! It was an amazing concert!! It was good to have an evening off!

My sleep stats on this Fitbit are revealing. I have no idea how it works but it seems to work pretty accurately as far as I can tell.  These stats have inspired getting an overnight oxygen saturation test very soon. The information will help make the decision whether or not to get another sleep lab--just to make sure I'm doing okay when I sleep.

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

Friday, August 17, 2018

August 17th, 2018 Uncommon

August 17th, 2018 Uncommon

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.

Today was one of those rare days where the schedule turns out to be a little much. I started the day with my morning show at 6am, worked until 4pm with a five-hour location broadcast, grabbed a 45-minute nap, then worked an emcee/dj gig for the chamber of commerce Party At The Palace, an annual fundraiser event at the historic Marland Mansion from 5:30 until after 11pm. I finally made it home not too long before midnight. My body aches!! I'm going to sleep very very well tonight--and I'm sleeping in, for sure!

I took care of my food plan today--making sure I had a plan in place. I ended up not needing my backup plan at the event tonight because the food was workable within my plan boundaries.

I've emceed/dj'd this event for a few years, maybe four in a row--I can't remember, maybe only three--but again, it's one of those events where my continued stability in maintenance is noticed by people. One person came up to me tonight and said, "you're still maintaining your weight loss!" It was a compliment, certainly. But it also reminded me of how it isn't a common thing. It seems almost expected for people to regain and when they don't, it's a surprise.

I think, for those of us who must approach this from a perspective of a daily practice in recovery instead of a diet mentality means to an end, we have the best chance at becoming uncommon. Not because we're special or different, but because our perspective is special and different.

I have a deep respect for the fragility of it all. I know how easily it can all go the other way. I'm not immune to going back. I must continue to be diligent in this daily practice. In fact, I'm currently actively and willingly exploring ways to strengthen my daily practice--Because I don't want to lose the freedom I've gained--and I want to expand into freedoms I haven't fully explored.

I ran into an old friend tonight. This guy has known me since the very beginning--before I started, actually-- He's known me for fifteen years. He showed up at tonight's event 170 pounds lighter since last time we were in each other's company. It was the greatest thing. We had a brief conversation about this whole transformation stuff-- about the daily practice perspective for long-term sustainability...and then he paused for a second...and said, "what you just said-- that's it, part of me wants to hit you and the other part wants to hug you." Truth is hard to hear sometimes. It can also provide a measure of emotional freedom--the kind that feels cleansing and makes you want to hug people tightly. We hugged. It was good. 

Some pics from tonight's event:



































































































Today's Featured Tweet:


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

Thursday, August 16, 2018

August 16th, 2018 Just Like That

August 16th, 2018 Just Like That

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, I enjoyed a great elliptical workout at the Y tonight, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

Almost eight years ago on August 28th, 2010, I found myself struggling a little bit with the dramatic physical transformation. The following is an excerpt. And it comes with its own excerpt... It's an excerpt within an excerpt:

I've looked at the pictures over and over, and it's strange, but I really do kind of miss that guy. I "get it." That guy was affected in so many different ways. Ok, I need to stop talking about my previous physical appearance like it was someone who passed away. But, in many ways, it is just like that.
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I was that big for so long and my personal appearance, the morbid obesity, helped shape my personality and social behaviors. What has remained the same are my thoughts, beliefs, fears, and personal values--the stuff I know inside when I'm all alone---just me. That guy is exactly the same. I love that guy too. It all reminds me of the reaction of my now ex-sister in law when she laid eyes on me for the first time in a long time.

Wait-- I need to interrupt this excerpt--because I noticed something noteworthy. That was written over five years ago. I listed the things remaining after dramatic weight loss--- Important things, for sure--thoughts, beliefs, fears and personal values. Knowing what I know now--some critical things were missing from the list. The core elements of me go far deeper. I didn't mention my likes, dislikes, passions, talents and core qualities--all of the things that contribute to personal happiness. No wonder I hit goal a few months after that was written--and still wasn't truly happy. I couldn't even acknowledge them--forget about nurturing these core elements. Okay--now, let's go to the excerpt within the excerpt---this goes back to 2009:

My sister-in-law is staying the night with us. Irene has several sisters, and this one hasn't seen me in a really long time. I really don't know how to take her reaction to the much smaller me. She was shocked, I mean in total disbelief. She told me I looked great and that she was happy that I was healthier for the effort and then she did something unexpected. 

She started crying. It wasn't tears of happiness, these were grieving tears. 

She was grieving the loss of the old me. She said “My entire life you've looked the same and now that person is gone.” 

I assured her that I was still me inside. I still have all of the memories, all of the feelings, all of the humor, I'm Sean Anderson, that will never change! She kept wiping away her tears and we hugged, to which she replied: “you don't even hug the same.” 

I guess I didn't realize how much she loved me. It really touched me deeply. I love her too. Judging from her reaction, you would have thought I had died. And I explained to her that I would have died in the next five or ten years more than likely, had I stayed at over 500 pounds. 

She just kept going on about it. She'll never see the old Sean again, and that just devastated her completely. It wasn't the reaction I expected at all.
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It's really a swim through a giant pool of emotions when I look at my before pictures. I can absolutely relate to the feelings my sister-in-law expressed. I look at those old pictures and I feel sorry for that guy. He's gone. He'll never be back. He'll never walk into the room. He'll never walk onto that stage. That guy died a long time ago. 

I must correct my 2010 self. I didn't die.

That guy is me. That guy didn't die, he came alive. 

I love that guy. 

He's alive and living. Not dead and gone. The opposite of dead!
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My perspective has been transformed. I don't look at before pictures the same as I once did. I also don't look at "now" pictures the same.
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I look at "Before" and "Now" pictures with a perspective focused on the innate, common qualities of the individual. I see one person. Not two.

It feels great to be transformed and live life at a healthier weight, for sure. And I hold my recovery tight because I value the benefits of the healthier weight. But...

My happiness is no longer found in external sources. My happiness is found and was always available for discovery, in the core elements of me. 505 pound me, then and 214 pound me, today--same person, same core elements and the same opportunity for happiness.

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

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

August 15th, 2018 Better Options

August 15th, 2018 Better Options

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, I did a 20-minute stair climbing workout tonight, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

I had a rare midweek/midday location broadcast today from a fast food restaurant's customer appreciation day. My plan was to stick with water and enjoy a late lunch when I got home. I declared the plan to a couple of people--and I stuck to the plan. I was offered complimentary food. I politely declined. My food plan is too important for my continued wellness. Now, with that said--I could have, in a big pinch, ordered a burger without the bun--wrapped in a lettuce leaf with mustard, certainly...but I didn't want that--and my breakfast held me very well until I could get home for some better options.

Wednesday is my busy day where I try to keep this post short. I promised myself a good workout tonight. "Good" is a relative term--to me, a twenty-minute stair climbing routine just outside my front door was perfect; better than good.

Today's Featured Tweet:


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

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

August 14th, 2018 In A More Present Way

August 14th, 2018 In A More Present Way

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 accomplished a lot at work today. That always feels good-- productive days, in general, feel better than unproductive days! I also did some much-needed cleaning in my apartment!

Mom and I enjoyed dinner out this evening. She's been showing off the Health Monitor Magazine story to every person where she lives. She's a proud momma, for sure!

My oldest grandson, Noah starts kindergarten Thursday. I can't believe he's five years old! Time moves quickly, doesn't it? I love him so much! I'm looking forward to hanging out with him again someday very soon!



















When I look at him and my other three precious grandkids, I'm reminded of why I do what I do each day. This daily practice is about much more than maintaining a relatively healthy body weight. It's about having the best chance, God willing, to be there for them-- to experience life in ways I didn't back in the days when I was constantly "in the food."

Honoring the boundaries of my daily food plan helps keep me well. It's not everything. But it's a big important part. When I'm maintaining the integrity of my daily food plan, it allows a freedom for me to live and experience life in a more present way.

Today's Featured Tweet:


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

Monday, August 13, 2018

August 13th, 2018 Form or Fashion

August 13th, 2018 Form or Fashion

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 exceptional support.

Busy night! Keeping this edition short.

My mom has a long history of buying magazines with weight loss stories and various weight loss related articles. We had piles of 'em around the house when I was a kid. I've read hundreds of personal stories over the years. She occasionally asks me to bring her the latest Women's World or, if we're at the store together, she'll gravitate over to the magazine racks and pick one out. One thing is certain--if mom buys a magazine--the headline is about weight loss in some form or fashion.

It was very cool to take mom a magazine featuring me and my story. The Health Monitor Magazine Guide to Weight Management issue includes various articles and several stories. I was honored to be featured alongside David Garcia, better known as "Keep It Up, David!" Health Monitor sent a few complimentary copies my way. Mom enjoyed that. I'm glad. You can find the magazine in the waiting room of doctor's offices and hospitals across North America.

I'm full of gratitude. Goodnight!

Today's Featured Tweets:


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

Sunday, August 12, 2018

August 12th, 2018 The Work

August 12th, 2018 The Work

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 exceptional support.
















Today was a wonderful day! I had the opportunity to meet up with my longtime friend and mentor, Gerri Helms! If it wasn't for Gerri, there's a really good chance I wouldn't be here to write this blog or do what I do each day. She would be the first to say, "you're doing the work," but seriously, even in my darkest periods along the way, she never gave up on me! Much love and gratitude, Gerri!

We dined at a Mexican restaurant this afternoon. It worked perfectly for my food plan--the old standby, fajita crispy tacos, works for me!

It's been a really long day. I'm hitting the pillow!

Today's Featured Tweet:
Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Saturday, August 11, 2018

August 11th, 2018 A Great Thing

August 11th, 2018 A Great Thing

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.

Today was a fairly involved workday. I started with a broadcast from a big event at a grocery store. It was the Massive Meat Sale and Hatch Chili Roasting event. I've mentioned this several times--it's always a great thing to combine working with bargain shopping! My favorite petite sirloins were on sale--so of course, I grabbed some!! The store set records today--so it was a successful event!

As a board member of our local arts and humanities council and in consideration of what I do for a living, I regularly make the opening announcements for special concerts we bring to town. Today was two performances with Emmy Award-winning television personality Lucas Ross, at 2 and 7:30, I made the announcements and introduction for each show--and then, since our studios are conveniently located in the front of the theatre, I proceeded to get a bunch of work completed.

I prepared some great food today. I stayed connected with support friends and feel pretty well. I'll be traveling tomorrow to visit my longtime friend and mentor, Gerri Helms and her husband David as they travel through our state. It's a rare opportunity and I'm not missing it! Plus--just a teaser-- but were planning to do a project together in the near future. I'm excited about that! More information on that, soon, I'm sure!

Today's Featured Tweets:


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





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