Saturday, August 19, 2017

August 19th, 2017 My Best Teacher

August 19th, 2017 My Best Teacher

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 great support.

I made the decision to reintroduce natural peanut butter back into my food plan. I feel like I might have over-reacted when I made the initial decision. I shared my intent with a couple of good support contacts. It's a good source of calories for my plan and I'm confident it's a good thing to put it back into the "my food" category.

Being up so incredibly late last night tilted my day today. I'll be doing my best to correct with tonight's rest and an earlier start tomorrow.

I enjoyed a late (or 2nd meal-since it was really beyond any definition of "lunch time" for me!) lunch with my oldest daughter. We stopped and visited with mom afterward. It was a good evening!

Carrie posted a question on Facebook:
"Hi Sean, sometimes I have questions for you and I'm never really sure where to ask so I'm going to ask you here. Last night I was flipping through your book and got to wondering, you wrote your book some years ago and if you were to do it again, how much of your food/diet advice would you change or would you keep it the same as what you originally wrote? It seems like the way and what you eat now is different than when you first wrote your book. Thanks"

Carrie, my food plan has certainly evolved. Even still, I stand behind the approach I took because it was the path I needed to get started- getting honest, setting boundaries, embracing accountability, and allowing a natural evolution of my personal food plan, were all solid elements of my initial weight loss chronicled in that book.

The mental/emotional dynamics- embracing the truths of my behaviors with food, all of these things and how they were described in the book, are still valid. The thing is, for some, the "all things in moderation" approach works. For me, as I learned, it wasn't going to work long-term.

It did work for me during my initial weight loss because I propped it up with an incredibly high accountability/support plan- and the daily writing- and when I started letting go of those "pillars" holding up my daily plan, that's when the truth and depth of my food addiction were revealed.

Suddenly, (well, not exactly "suddenly,") after a 164 pound regain, it was clear that "all things in moderation" wasn't a long term sustainable plan for me.

I wanted it to be. 

It took that relapse/regain period to convince me to let go of the stubbornness and embrace my personal truth. I wouldn't be here today without that relapse/regain experience. It was my best teacher. And I wouldn't have reached that point in the first place without the foundation of the initial approach- it just took me awhile to accept and embrace the fact that the "foundation" of the initial approach, for me, was extremely vulnerable in key areas.

There's a 2nd book in me and it's waiting patiently for me to write.

But one thing is certain, I've learned that this deal is a daily practice- it's a constantly evolving practice, too. It's an approach that isn't about dieting, it's about living in harmony and working a personal style of eating that better fits my personal truths with food.

It just takes awhile to learn and most importantly, embrace, certain truths.

Once surrendered, accepted, and embraced- it's a whole new world.

And the learning- never stops. I don't know it all. I'm a student of the process.

In conclusion- the initial approach as described in my book- yes, I stand behind the fundamentals of it and what it allowed me and others to do- because it simplified the approach and made it possible for consistency to develop, and that consistency allowed for progress, and most importantly, growth. 

Thank you for your question!

Today's Accountability Tweets:


























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

Friday, August 18, 2017

August 18th, 2017 Tweets Tell The Tale

August 18th, 2017 Tweets Tell The Tale

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 good support.

It was an exceptionally long day. I had a regular workday, managed that critically important nap this afternoon, and emceed a big community event tonight--then, drove a colleague to Wichita after the event. It's 4am!

I'll let the tweets tell the tale tonight. Thank goodness I don't have any location broadcasts scheduled for Saturday! I'll be sleeping in as late as my body desires!

Today's Accountability Tweets:


































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

Thursday, August 17, 2017

August 17th, 2017 A Relative Term

August 17th, 2017 A Relative Term

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 excellent support contacts.

Solid. Long day, too. Spent a little time visiting with mom tonight before heading to the studio for some voice-over work. I ended up taking much longer than I projected to complete the project. A midday nap will be required tomorrow, pure and simple--must happen. I'm scheduled to emcee a big event at the Marland Mansion tomorrow evening--without a nap, I'll be toast. I'll make sure it happens.

DDWL Rerun:
From October 21st, 2014 Finding Our Normal

One of the things I've given a lot of thought to lately is, what does it mean to be "normal?" I've concluded "normal" is a relative term. Your normal isn't my normal. We're all different.



















This guy wanted to be normal. He wanted to have a normal relationship with food. He had fixed in his mind a vision of what it meant for him to be normal, you know, like people who are of normal weight with normal eating behaviors who wear normal clothing. To him, in order to be normal, he had to simply eat less and exercise more, yeah--that would be some kind of normal. 

What this guy failed to recognize is, he was already normal. He was his normal.

In order to achieve weight loss success, the perspective on "normal" had to change. It couldn't be someone else's normal, it had to be his own kind of normal.

He could mimic someone else's normal for a while, but eventually his normal would override the abnormal impersonation of normal--and everything would go back to being his normal.

Okay--enough of the third person--it's annoying. What I had to embrace was my normal.

I had to let go of the idea that I wasn't normal because, in that, I was constantly suggesting I wasn't good enough or something was wrong with me. I am good enough and there's nothing wrong with me--as long as I'm not trying to be someone else's normal.

My normal is: I'm addicted to sugar and if consumed, it triggers biochemical reactions that send me searching for more and more--and not just sugary items--I'm talking loads of carbs and high fat-- it's on!! Nothing trips my trigger like sugar--it is my normal. So I abstain, one day at a time--and it's my normal and I'm okay. 

I enjoy a drink of alcohol on rare occasion, perhaps once or twice, maybe three times a year. It doesn't negatively affect me beyond a slight feeling of intoxication. It doesn't trip anything for me. That's my normal. I have close friends with decades of sobriety, who--if they tried to mimic my normal, it would ruin their lives for who knows how long, maybe even kill them before they found recovery again. That's their normal. So they abstain, one day at a time, it's their normal and they're okay.

Embracing my normal is imperative to my success. My normal means that I take extraordinary care with food. My normal means no sugar. My normal means I remain active in seeking and offering support. My normal requires my attention and a rock solid commitment to doing what I do for my recovery. I fiercely protect it and never apologize for it.

I know many people who will enjoy their share of Halloween candy in a couple of weeks and it'll not be a big deal at all. That's their normal. If I tried to mimic their normal, you would witness a much different turnaround on these pages.

The biggest key for me to be my best requires me to embrace and accept my normal, not someone else's. I hope and pray I spend the rest of my life celebrating my normal. Because if I do, I can't lose. 

This is what "finding what works for you" is all about. Sometimes that statement is misunderstood to mean "Find the plan or procedure" that works for you. I'm suggesting that "finding what works" for you and me, starts with honestly defining our personal normal, then fashioning a plan that gives us what we need.

I no longer want to be some idealized version of "normal," I just want to be mine.















Today's Accountability Tweets:




























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

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

August 16th, 2017 Super Short

August 16th, 2017 Super Short

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 solid support.

This was an unexpectedly long Wednesday with weather coverage tonight and a late dinner.

Keeping tonight's edition super-short! Dropping in bed.

Today's Accountability Tweets:
























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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

August 15th, 2017 Flashback

August 15th, 2017 Flashback

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, I met an accountability pledge by doing a fast 15-minute stair climbing workout tonight, and I stayed well connected with good support.

DDWL Flashback from two years ago today-August 15th, 2015:

The social differences that come with weight loss can be interpreted in different ways, good or bad. I've noticed how I'm treated differently at a healthy body weight. I attract more smiles and attention than I did at 500 pounds. And on the surface, it's easy to fault the other person. But since allowing myself to dissect it a little further, I've drawn some alternative conclusions.

I believe it starts with me and what I'm projecting in any given situation. Let's be real, at 505 pounds I was fairly miserable most of the time. I didn't like getting out too much and if I could help it, I didn't. I was super self-conscious and my confidence level was extremely low. Doing what I've done and what I do for a living, I could put on a smile and show, as if it were a uniform--and get the job done, all the while projecting how I felt about me onto everyone else.

If I didn't like me, they didn't either. If I was judging me, they were judging me. If I considered myself grotesque, so did those horrible people! Perhaps a few might have been doing these things--I mean, some people just suck, sure--but I would safely bet 90% were never really treating me the way my self-loathing brain perceived.

I was giving some fairly negative energy a lot of the time. It's no surprise I received the same. And not necessarily bad things--just fewer smiles and much less attention.

I now walk with more confidence. The physical changes have made an impact of course. The mental/emotional changes--the strength of perception and source of my self-worth and identity, have changed too, and it's really created a different, more positive energy around me and emanating from me. It's no surprise I receive the same.

I'm a firm believer in we get what we give. It isn't a flawless law, of course, some get way more than they give and others still get short changed, receiving much less than they give. But on average and most of the time, we get what we give. If I'm now projecting something completely different from once upon a time, I shouldn't be puzzled by the different returns.

Keeping tonight's edition super-short. Letting the tweets take it the rest of the way!

Today's Accountability Tweets:






























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

Monday, August 14, 2017

August 14th, 2017 Offense-Defense

August 14th, 2017 Offense-Defense

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 good support.

I like analogies. I use 'em a lot.

I look at my daily plan like it's a fortress. The boundaries of my plan are the walls. My job each day is to defend the fort. I have help--I'll call them allies, whose support helps keep my defense strong.

A football team can have the best offense in the history of the game, but if the defense isn't strong, stress is created on offense and games are lost. The fundamental elements of my plan--the food, the physical activity, the logging, tracking--all of these are part of the offense. The defense is where I find my personal accountability and support measures, my daily positive visualizations, spiritual time, and making myself available in support of others. I've put together powerful offenses in the past that were completely void of a good defense. And those times didn't work well.

But life happens, right? And I'm historically an emotional/stress eater. One thing I had to accept: Life wasn't going to stop long enough for me to "get it together."  I had to find a way to maintain consistency come what may. Because life keeps coming. And my time keeps going. So the time is now, regardless of circumstance. 

For me, it takes compartmentalizing.

The Streams Must Not Cross!

The "Life Stream" is everything happening in our day to day lives. The Life Stream includes the ups and downs, the challenges, the victories, the disappointments, The hectic schedules, the family dynamics, the workplace dynamics, the bills, the stress, the joys, the blessings, the expected and the unexpected, the good, the bad...It's life.

The "Fundamental Elements Stream" contain the daily actions of my personal plan. I say "my" because our plans might be very different. Mine is customized to fit my personality, likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, and sensitivities.

The fundamental elements stream runs parallel, just below the life stream. The life stream is running in the foreground and the fundamental elements stream is running in the background--like a computer's anti-virus program. 

If we allow life and all of the energy it takes to maneuver, to negatively affect our ability to maintain consistency in the daily elements of our extraordinary care, then it always will. The frustration of inconsistency will be a common theme if the life stream is allowed to dip down into the fundamental elements stream on a regular basis.

And if we get too carried away, making the fundamental elements all consuming, then we run the risk of it crossing up into our life stream. And that's when it isn't any fun and we dread what we're doing every day.

I do what I do because I know I'm never immune from relapse/regain. It's a daily practice that keeps me well. And taking care of this practice while living and enjoying life, is the goal.

This isn't DIEting. It's LIVing.

Today's Accountability Tweets:


































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

Sunday, August 13, 2017

August 13th, 2017 Nice Day

August 13th, 2017 Nice Day

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded today's water goal, I had a good workout at the Y, and I stayed connected with great support. Nice day!

I picked up mom and my grandson Noah for dinner out this evening followed by a quick shopping trip to Walmart. Mom was in good spirits and so was Noah-oh my, he's a busy young man! He talked Po-Po (that's what he calls me) into buying him a toy. He's a hard one to resist.

I was able to get a little bit of work done this afternoon at the studio before breaking for the evening. The workout at the Y felt great!

The alarm sounds too early for me to be up this late! I better drop.

Today's Accountability Tweets:




























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

Saturday, August 12, 2017

August 12th, 2017 I Don't Play

August 12th, 2017 I Don't Play

Not my food. Those three words have helped me tremendously over the years. Not my food. I rarely write about temptations--and if/when I do, you know, I must have been in a compromised circumstance--likely hungry, angry, lonely, or tired--or, just plain unprepared, that can happen too.

Temptation and the will power to overcome are two things dependent on a desire to exist. In other words, we don't need will power to overcome the temptation of something for which we have zero desire. But how do we get to "zero" desire for foods that fall into the "not my food" category?

I can only write and share from my experience, of course--can't speak for anyone but me. But the "not my food" approach starts with what is my food. I love the on-plan food I eat. It's a food plan containing only foods I enjoy, enjoy preparing--and it's a food plan with just enough balance between variety and repetition.

I fully appreciate the significance of my food plan in terms of what it brings. Peace, calm, and stability with food means, I'm well. I know what is my food and what isn't my food. The consequences of my food and not my food are very clear to me because of experience.

The "Not my food" approach is the only thing that works for me.

"Just a little" or "just this time" or "one isn't going to hurt me," are phrases found in perspectives that'll ultimately kill someone like me. Sounds dramatic, I know. But it's straight up my truth. Nearly twenty years near, at, or above 500 pounds as an out of control food addict, I don't take it lightly. But at the same time, I don't stress. With clear and honest vision, I know what fits in my food plan and what doesn't. On days when the lines get blurred and my choices are clearly affected or potentially affected by whatever circumstance in play, I must reach for support. Because I don't play.

At yesterday's Tulsa event, my favorite donuts of all time were available in the morning and the best pizza (IMO) in our entire state was available for lunch. Free food. And not just free--these selections were favorites of mine for years and years...but, now, not my food. The owners of the company mentioned that they assumed the food wasn't going to work for me--and being so awesome, they generously offered to order whatever I wanted for lunch.

I make sure to never put the responsibility of my food plan on anyone else--I don't depend on anyone or elements of chance to protect the integrity of my food plan. I must be prepared. I must be responsible for my food plan. And I was. It was a very generous offer to buy something special for me, but I was fine. As I wrote last night, I wasn't focused on food, I was focused on the broadcast in front of me.

An eight and under softball team was holding a bake sale at my broadcast today. Again, not my food. These adorable little kids enthusiastically and generously handed me several baked items as they wrapped up their time in front of the store. I graciously accepted and after they left, I regifted to the employees of the store by leaving the baked sweets in the break room. Again- not my food.

The big focus of the broadcast today was Hatch Chili Peppers. I grabbed a bag of 'em and quickly made them fit into my food plan at lunch and dinner (see tweets below). They're the best chilis! I really enjoy preparing food in the kitchen. I don't fancy myself a cook. I simply prepare most things.

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 good support.

I had a good visit with mom this evening. I'm picking up mom and my grandson Noah for dinner out tomorrow evening. I'm looking forward to the time we'll share.

I plan on sleeping in tomorrow as long as I want--no alarm--until I wake!

We still have some spaces available in the support group I co-facilitate with Life Coach Kathleen and Jordan Burgess. If you have questions, contact me right away! We're two days away from the start!


If you're ready to sign-up for this next session, let me know and I'll email you the registration link!

Today's Accountability Tweets:




























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

Friday, August 11, 2017

August 11th, 2017 Real Feel Good Type Things

August 11th, 2017 Real Feel Good Type Things

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed connected with good support.

Today was a special day. It was a working vacation day for me in Tulsa. I spent the afternoon broadcasting with Natalie Cash from K95.5 in Tulsa at the grand opening of the latest IQ Car Wash location. We worked very well together. It was an absolute blast. Hard to call it "work." It was fun. And Natalie was amazing. She's very good at what she does!















I used my backup food plan for lunch. I did have an offer for whatever I wanted from wherever I wanted--but my focus was on the job at hand, so the stuff I had packed and ready, worked fine and really, was preferred.

I'll be back up early tomorrow for another broadcast--and then, sometime tomorrow afternoon, I'm dropping for some more rest--I guarantee it!

I'm very grateful. I had some wonderful moments of gratitude today--some real feel good type things.

Today's Accountability Tweets:
































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

Thursday, August 10, 2017

August 10th, 2017 Reasonably Navigate

August 10th, 2017 Reasonably Navigate

The next session of A Better Weigh Weight Loss Accountability & Support Groups starts Monday!
We have one space remaining for Monday night's group call. One space remains for the premium one-on-one session. Two spaces remain for Tuesday late group and five spaces remain for Tuesday early evening group. Tuesday midday group with Coach Kathleen also has spaces available!


I enjoyed a scheduled day off today. It was fantastic! I slept-in well, I was able to get some things done, and I prepared all three meals in my own kitchen. I had a good visit with mom this evening. She's doing remarkably well and that is a beautiful thing!

I'm in Tulsa all day tomorrow. I have a special event grand opening with a voice-over client of mine. This includes a ribbon cutting at 9am and a broadcast with a Tulsa radio station from 1-4pm. It will be a full day. I will be prepared with a backup food plan in my man-bag (please don't call it a Murse) and I'm confident if the day ends up at a restaurant, I'll be able to reasonably navigate the menu. I'm ready for a great day in T-Town!

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's Accountability Tweets:




























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





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