Sunday, June 26, 2016

June 26th, 2016 No Exaggeration

June 26th, 2016 No Exaggeration

Today was my Aunt Kelli's birthday and her 4th wedding anniversary with Tim. We all gathered at a buffet style restaurant to celebrate the occasion.
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Pictures with Mom, Kelli, Tim and my uncle Keith.

I finished brunch less than two hours before this get-together. I opted to simply order a water and enjoy the visit. Everyone in the family knows what I do and how I do it-- and they know me well enough to know, if I choose to visit only, without eating--there's a reason and it isn't a big deal. It was a great visit--and that was the point of the trip in the first place. Had I not slept in so well, I would have eaten breakfast at an early enough time, allowing for a meal at the restaurant. But I didn't get up early enough--and I didn't want to wait too long before eating. I believe I handled the situation well.

I love it how my family doesn't take it personal when I decline food or have chosen something else for my food plan on a particular day. They automatically know it isn't personal and it doesn't take away from the most important elements of our time together.

No longer in the food fog, I'm able to truly enjoy moments with family at gatherings like this with a deeper appreciation for their time. During my 500 pound days, the food was the main focus--the main event--the reason we were going to whatever restaurant...oh yeah--bring it on... family and friends? Oh, sure--they'll be there, too---but did you see the hot rolls and cookies?? And I think they just put out some fresh fried chicken--watch out, do you want some? I wish that dramatization was an exaggeration. It really isn't. Oh hey--there's so and so--haven't seen them in ten years--wow... Hey, is that mac and cheese over there---jackpot!!! Seriously, no exaggeration.

I couldn't stay in Stillwater long. I drove through a big thunderstorm to get back in town and to the studio for on-air severe weather coverage. The threat passed and I was free to hit the gym for a good workout. I made a store run--then home to prepare dinner.

I sincerely appreciate all the positive feedback on yesterday's "The Click Is Created" post. Living "in our click" each day--one day at a time, nurturing it--protecting it, is what keeps it clicking. One thing I didn't mention in yesterday's post is how, just as we live "in the click" we create, we also have the ability to step out of the click if we choose. I stepped out of mine once and re-gained 164 pounds. This further supports the "click is created" philosophy--it can also be ignored, refused--denied. The click isn't a single happening where suddenly everything is crystal clear. The click is a product of the daily practices we make important.

Today: I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget. I remained abstinent from refined sugar. I exceeded my daily water goal. I participated in support communications. And I worked out at the gym with a solid level 20-30 min elliptical session.

I'm blessed. I'm grateful.  

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

Saturday, June 25, 2016

June 25th, 2016 The Click Is Created

June 25th, 2016 The Click Is Created

It's a question I get quite often: "What finally made it click for you?"

Awe yes, the magical "click," the imaginary boundary between chaos and order. I waited for the "click" to rescue me. I fully expected it to roll in like a tidal wave and completely carry me all the way through. But that didn't happen. The click--the magic moment of inspired action with monumentally positive consequences, where everything is seemingly figured out all at once as if every challenge and every mental hurdle simply melted away, along with the pounds...didn't really happen the way I imagined and dreamed it would.

I waited and waited for the click to save me. I almost waited too long. Throughout the nearly two decades I spent near, at or above 500 pounds, I used the expectation of this mythical click as an enabling thought. I was certain, someday "it would click" for me. Until then--I'd just continue to do whatever supported the behaviors keeping me a 500-pound man. This someday it'll click way of thinking was perfect because it released me from taking responsibility and action. 

In my experience, the click isn't something that magically sweeps in, whisking you off to weight loss glory and immediately changing everything in its path. Waiting for the click can be a fatal mistake.

Fear of death never really worked well for me. The only thing it ever did was scare me into pleading for the click to come quick. As if I was powerless in the process, I'd take the doctor's warnings and pray for something to click--something to save me, because that's how I thought it was supposed to happen.

The click is created. The click must be enabled, or activated. The click is a combination of ingredients, a recipe with the main ingredient being, self-honesty.

When I got real with myself, that was the beginning of the click.

And I thought the answer would be found in a package, procedure or plan of some sort. You know, something to do it for me--something that didn't require me to get honest about my behaviors with food.

Packages, procedures, and plans DO work. But if I still refuse to get honest about my stuff--and refuse to take responsibility for my self-destructive relationship with food, then the best-packaged products, medical procedures or weight loss plans will only be treating the side effects of my condition. Like calling a cleanup crew to a sewer line break, but not calling a plumber to fix the broken pipe. Yo-Yo dieting happens when we're constantly sending the cleanup crew instead of the plumber.

The thoughts that enabled the creation of the click inside me was: If I don't stop lying to myself about this, then I'm doomed. If I don't stop rationalizing my poor choices, it'll never happen. If I never take this seriously--and instead, treat it as a casual issue--it'll never be important to me. If I refuse to be accountable, then nobody will be the wiser if I fail--and honestly, if I reject accountability and support, then I'm, in effect, wanting to fail.

Once a generous amount of self-honesty was applied--then it was iron-clad decision time. I'm doing this!! That was it-- no more lying to myself. No more waiting for something to magically click and save me. No more waiting for the next big weight loss "thing." This time WAS MY TIME. 

There was only one problem.

I didn't know how. The solitary decision to get honest and make the iron-clad decision to choose change before change chose me wasn't the click.

The click is created. It's built--it develops.

I had to start as simple as humanly possible. I had to release my expectations of what weight loss required of me. I had to release my diet mentality. I wanted a sustainable plan, not another clean up job. I started small, slow and steady--and eventually built up to a point where I wasn't white-knuckling it anymore. Instead, I was in the click. I had finally found my groove. This click--this groove, was created because I kept it simple from Day 1.

Had I complicated the process, the click wouldn't have happened--or better, the consistent results associated with and recognized as "the click," wouldn't have developed.

Hoping, wishing, wanting and praying for the click wasn't the answer. Praying for the ability to get honest enough for the click to develop--was key. 
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Today was a wonderful Saturday. I slept in well. I spent some quality time with my grandson and I enjoyed a wonderful date night with Kristin.

I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained abstinent from refined sugar. I exceeded my daily water goal and I remained in active support communications.

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

Friday, June 24, 2016

June 24th, 2016 Today's Mission

June 24th, 2016 Today's Mission

It was after 2am when the storms started weakening and I was finally able to end live weather coverage, go home and drop in bed. Making my show's 6am start time was the plan, but my body insisted on more sleep. My alarm is super loud and it didn't phase me in the least. I was out. A colleague covered my show duties until I arrived a little later. In consideration of the exceptionally late weather coverage, this is acceptable and honestly, somewhat expected. It was still too little sleep going into an exceptionally busy Friday.

I couldn't just throw together an "I was up until the wee hours covering weather" look. I needed to gather myself and be presentable for a four-hour location broadcast. I took my time getting ready. I also honored my morning routine. My daily disciplines are very important to my continued stability in maintenance.

My radio show ended at 9:15am, giving me just enough time to race upstairs to the studio's employee kitchen, cook breakfast, prepare a lunch to-go, eat breakfast and be on my way to exchange my vehicle for the station's vehicle and arrive at the location broadcast, set up and be ready by straight up 10am. I was a man on a mission. Mission accomplished.

I had a good experience at the broadcast. The owner of this "backyard fun store," our client for this broadcast, was promoting a big sale on Holland Grills and the Big Green Egg cookers, complete with live cooking demonstrations and samples. The offers for free food were plentiful. Fortunately for me, this client is familiar with my story and what I do how important my continued recovery is to me and they didn't act the least bit surprised when I pulled out my pre-planned lunch.

I did try grilled watermelon. Not bad! Grilling the watermelon changes the flavor. Much like cooking anything, I suppose. I've tried grilled avocado and peaches before--and the same thing, the flavor changes. I don't have to eat something or try anything in order to "sell it" on the radio. You should hear some of the food commercials I've voiced lately. Oh my, yeah--good thing I'm not required to eat everything I advertise. It wouldn't work within my plan, that's for sure!

I finished the broadcast and hurried to switch vehicles, grab a coffee and make it to an important appointment I had with my youngest daughter. We spent some much-needed quality time together.

I made it to the store, picked up some fresh (and on sale) catfish fillets and made it home, completely spent. I wasn't ready for dinner. But I was slightly hungry. I was more tired than anything, so I opted for a holdover snack until a later dinner, then took a short nap.

I love to stay up late on Friday and work on personal projects. If I hadn't grabbed that nap, it wouldn't have been possible. This approach only works if I'm able to sleep in really well on Saturday morning--and fortunately, tomorrow--I can! No alarm!

This day was challenging. I met the challenges and through it all, I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained abstinent from refined sugar and I met my daily water goal.

The difference between my old patterns and what I do now comes down to asking the question: How can I make maintaining the integrity of my plan work well, today? Asking that question, instead of immediately creating, developing and embracing reasons why it can't work, is critically important perspective.

I'm stamping this day a success. 

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

Thursday, June 23, 2016

June 23rd, 2016 This Happens

June 23rd, 2016 This Happens

It's almost 1am. Another super late night. Tonight is weather coverage. Unfortunately, there's no taking a day off in the morning. This means I'll need to be very cautious and aware of what I need tomorrow.

It's been a great day, for sure. I took a personal day from work and I slept well and late!

This late night weather coverage was a little unexpected. I finished my workout, walked out--and immediately realized my night was just beginning, instead of winding down. This happens. I'll adjust and be okay.

I'm writing this between on-air weather breaks. I'll wrap it up and get back to work.

Today, I maintained the integrity of my 2300 calorie maintenance budget. I remained abstinent from refined sugar. I participated in support exchanges. I exceeded my daily water goal. And I logged a very nice full body elliptical workout.

I did well today. I'd like another day like this, tomorrow. Except--let's skip the late night storms.

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

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

June 22nd, 2016 One More Night

June 22nd, 2016 One More Night

One more night of nearly Tweets Only, here.

I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget. I remained abstinent from refined sugar. I met my water goal. And I was active in support of others.

I'm taking a personal day off from work on Thursday. I'll be sleeping well. I need it!

I'm looking forward to writing more later.

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

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

June 21st, 2016 Tweets Only

June 21st, 2016 Tweets Only

It's a "Tweets Only" tonight. Hitting the pillow!

I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained abstinent from refined sugar. I exceeded my daily water goal. And I actively participated in one on one and group support interactions. Good day! 

And good night!

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

Monday, June 20, 2016

June 20th, 2016 The First Twenty Minutes

June 20th, 2016 The First Twenty Minutes

I'm feeling a nice groove of late. I never realized just how much my daily activity falls into a routine, but it certainly does. In this groove, I typically reach 1,500 calories going into evening/dinner. But it goes beyond the calorie budget. The foundational support I need each day starts as soon as I open my eyes.

The alarm clock sounds at 4:30am on a workday. I practice some meditation and prayer, start the coffee, complete two sets of ten push-ups and two sets of ten squats, then it's down with the two cups of water before I allow the first cup of coffee. This all happens in the first twenty minutes of my day.

And that, to me, is the foundation for the rest of my day's groove. Taking better care of my schedule--managing my time better, getting more rest--these are things that will continue to support and protect that very important twenty-minute period.

I've had plenty of days when I didn't get enough sleep--and I wake up late--and everything gets rushed. On those days, I'll do the absolute minimum--and on those days, not surprisingly, I find the most challenges.

I'm connecting the dots. I'm investigating my routines on a deeper level and this study is giving me some incredibly positive vibes as I proceed in this thing called maintenance mode. And really, it's just, my life.

I've maintained the integrity of my calorie budget, I've remained abstinent from refined sugar, I will meet my water goal today and I've been active in one on one and group support interactions. Today's been a really good day.

I'm planning a great dinner and a fantastic bedtime.

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

Sunday, June 19, 2016

June 19th, 2016 Something We Practice

June 19th, 2016 Something We Practice

No alarm on my Father's Day morning was a perfect way to start a wonderful day.
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Amber treated me to a Father's Day lunch followed by a trip back to her house for gifts. We also watched a good documentary. My youngest daughter has been working so much lately, she wasn't able to make it over (she lives in another town), but she wished me a happy father's day, too. The love of my two daughters is the greatest. I'm blessed and immensely grateful.

I'm getting to bed a little later than I wanted. But much earlier than not too long ago. I'm truly improving!

I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained abstinent from refined sugar, I tried something new in the kitchen, I engaged in a few support exchanges, I exceeded my daily water goal and I worked out on the elliptical at the gym.

Today was great. When it's like this, everything is easier to navigate. Staying connected in support--even on great days, is critically important, because it makes it easier when things get tough. I found an excerpt from January 15th's blog post where it wasn't such a good day. I like some of the thoughts in this--so I decided to republish, in case you missed it the first time:

From January 15, 2016--

The Live-Tweet feed shows the food/water/exercise of my fundamental elements stream, but it doesn't show the most important parts of the fundamental elements. It doesn't show the short meditation or the prayer and it doesn't show the support call and support text messages that play an important role always, especially on a day like today.

My life stream was giving me its best today. And by best, I mean not so good sides. I was challenged with high stress in a few different areas. When the stress level goes up, I get emotional--add being tired to the mix, and it makes for a very unpleasant experience. Instability was at every turn today.

And I know food doesn't fix these things. It can't. That's not food's job. But those thoughts creep into my head just like always. I know it's critical when I start assessing the potential damage of an all out crash and burn. 

Isn't that interesting? Even though it's not a feeling, it's indeed a fact that crashing and burning, landing face first in a binge, wouldn't solve or make better one single thing...and further--even though I'm experienced enough along this road to know full well that not only is excess food incapable of helping me--only distracting me, it actually will do the opposite of help. And the depth of damage mentally and emotionally--not to mention bio-chemically, is potentially staggering. I still flirt with those thoughts. Maybe interesting isn't the word. More like scary or sobering. If you think this is a flare of over-dramatics, think about this...

My 164 pound regain started with a single binge. 

I've said it time and time again--and I will write it time and time again, none of us--not me, not you--not a single one of us is immune from relapse/regain. Not a single one of us ever has this "figured out." This isn't something "we got." 

It is only something we practice.

In this application, practice doesn't make perfect. I don't believe in perfect. I've often said, striving for perfection is the quickest detour to disappointment. It's a practice that elevates awareness each day. Our awareness can give us pause in critical situations. And in that pause we decide which way to turn.

I was looking the other way for a few. Yeah--I remember those streets of carelessness. And sometimes the most attractive thing isn't the food, it's the carelessness--it's the allure of "I don't care anymore." But I know I do care. And really, if you're caving to that allure, make darn sure you really don't care, or the mental and emotional consequences are super rough. I do care. A lot.

I turned in the right direction today. Thank God.

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

Saturday, June 18, 2016

June 18th, 2016 Long Day

June 18th, 2016 Long Day

It's been a long day. I traveled to Edmond on a business related trip then made it back into the area just in time to be the guest DJ for the wedding of a former colleague's daughter.

Good thing I rested well last night! I'm planning on a good long sleep tonight, too.

I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained abstinent from refined sugar and I exceeded my daily water goal.

Keeping tonight's edition short. I'm looking forward to a nice, relaxing and restful Father's Day.

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

Friday, June 17, 2016

June 17th, 2016 A Day, Better Rested

June 17th, 2016 A Day, Better Rested

Mom and I had a good visit last evening. I picked her up from her doctor's appointment and after a couple of stops, and deciding it was too early for dinner, we settled at a Starbucks. She had some reading material and I worked on this blog.

Dinner was great, the visiting is always good--and I was able to get home and go to bed at a relatively decent time. The extra sleep had a noticeable effect on my day today. It was an accomplished day. I made a list of things to get done and marched right through the list. It's funny because I act so surprised when I experience a day, better rested. I needed a better rested day because today was twelve hours.

I really enjoy my weekend nights when I know I can sleep in the next morning. I'm a night person by nature. This is my time. And I'll still get a full seven or eight hours sleep.

I enjoyed preparing an amazing dinner tonight. It was a challenge! I like occasional cooking challenges. My goal: Enjoy a fried catfish dinner with a confident/accurate as possible, calorie count. I accomplished the goal. The Live-Tweet Stream contains the process.

I completed a nice workout in my living room tonight. Body weight strength training exercises really work well for me. So well, I'm questioning why I don't do this longer version of the #morningdeal, more often. It feels great.  This is absolutely something for me to consider a little more.

I'm sleeping in on my Saturday morning. And I'm looking forward to it like you wouldn't believe.

The integrity of my daily maintenance calorie budget was maintained. My abstinence from refined sugar remains solid (779 days and counting). I participated in a few one on one support exchanges. I enjoyed some kitchen creativity. I exceeded my daily #watergoal and my home workout was fantastic.

It's really been a great day. I needed a good one.

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





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