Tuesday, October 16, 2018

October 16th, 2018 Much Easier

October 16th, 2018 Much Easier

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

Sometimes, just getting something done that's been on your list awhile, creates a wonderful feeling of accomplishment! My mom has been through multiple cell phone issues over the last couple of years. Every time, we've said--you just need a landline--a simple phone, well, now she's got one. No more chargers, burned up batteries from over-charging, tiny buttons, and confusing options--just a phone. It's a big relief for both of us.

Things have been going well lately. The elements of my daily practice are better and I'm feeling confident about moving in a positive direction. What's interesting to me is how this tightening of sorts has cleared enough mental space for me to make measurable progress on my other goals.

The recent goals workshop with Gerri Helms really helped me solidify some goals, visions, and the action plans needed for these things. Now, with a more confident, certain, and positive stride, giving those things the attention they need is coming much easier.

My food is planned for today, I've accomplished my morning routine, and I'm ready for a productive Tuesday. The daily practice continues!

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

Monday, October 15, 2018

October 15th, 2018 Rest Day

October 15th, 2018 Rest Day

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

Sunday was a rest day in many ways. I slept-in very well! This has turned out to be a very busy season so far. It was good to have a slower pace yesterday. I did conduct a training session yesterday afternoon for a couple hours, but that wasn't too bad at all.

Mom and I made a trip yesterday evening to visit Courtney and the little ones. They're only twenty-five minutes away and still, it seems, we don't see them enough. Noah, Oliver, and Phoebe are doing great! Noah was super excited about the visit, too-- he was in fine form, putting on his T-Rex costume and scaring us all! Oh my goodness, we needed that visit.

We dined at our tried and true Mexican place after the visit. As far as my food plan is concerned, I always bring a plan into that place.  Without a plan, that place could be super dangerous for me. I honored the boundaries of my plan and it was a good meal and visit. We skipped the shopping portion of our weekly outing because it was getting too late.

I'm feeling very good about the actions I'm doing each day in taking exceptional care of my overall plan. Everything about it is tightened just a little more. It's basically the same plan, just making sure I pause long enough to give each element the care and attention it deserves, and of course--the slightly smaller calorie budget (2,000 or less). Staying connected with exceptional support has been key.














I love apples and pears! Last food of the day was enjoyed!

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

Sunday, October 14, 2018

October 14th, 2018 Prepared

October 14th, 2018 Prepared

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, I ended up with significant natural exercise, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

As far as my food plan was concerned, yesterday's challenges were identical to Friday's challenges. Friday it was plenty of off-plan food offered at my location broadcast and later that evening with the pressbox catering. Yesterday was the same location broadcast and instead of pressbox catering, it was the food table at the wedding I was djing/emceeing. I had plenty of access to off-plan choices. I showed up prepared. And for me, "prepared" isn't exclusively about the food. It's about staying connected with accountability measures and support contacts.

When I choose to stay connected with accountability and support, suddenly I'm not trying to "go it alone." Going it alone doesn't work for me. I've tried that route and it doesn't lead to good places.

The refinements I've applied to my plan are going very well. Fortunately, these changes aren't giant changes, they're small adjustments and tweaks-but I know from experience, given the time and commitment, the consequences will be favorable.

One of the challenges of late is saying no. I have a hard time saying no to special projects or extra jobs even when I seriously don't have the time or energy to say yes-- but I end up saying yes and somehow making it through whatever is required. The problem in that is, it usually turns out okay, but often at an expense that takes from other areas of my life. Case in point-- The other night, on the spot--I was offered an extra job that came with the phrase, "...and I pay very well." I appreciate the opportunity and Lord knows I have bills that could use that money--and it is certainly a nice validation that what I do, I do well, but I'll likely say no to that opportunity because the time and commitment required is too high an investment on my part. Saying "no" is difficult for me--and the reason why I believe--is directly tied to my past. Let me explain...

Saying no goes against my desire to be accommodating and agreeable in order to maintain likability. The flaw in that pursuit is how constantly saying yes when the best answer is sometimes no, gives the illusion of likability while tearing down respect and consideration...but it's a pattern for me that developed in the mind of my 500-pound body over the years because in my brain, I thought my appearance was enough of a barrier to being likable--so in that flawed perspective, I couldn't risk doing or saying anything that might diminish opportunities to be liked or favored. Make sense? Yeah, it's deep stuff.

Finding the balance between what I can and cannot do--and between what I shouldn't and should do, is an ongoing challenge. Basing those decisions on the above-mentioned dynamic isn't healthy for me and only leads to resentment and exhaustion. When I speak of this "daily practice," it covers so much more than my food and exercise plan.


















Last night's wedding was a wonderful experience. The whole thing went very well and even ended a little earlier than expected. I was planning on stopping at IHOP on the way home for coffee and a low-cal omelet, instead, I opted to wait and prepare my own at home. The 1.5-hour drive went well and waiting turned out to be the best decision for me.



















Stadium announcing at Friday's football game was certainly out of my comfort zone but it really was an honor to be asked and it worked out really well. I had a lot of fun with it--especially my personal spin on "...and that's good for another Ponca City Wildcat Firrrrrsssst Down and Tennnnnnnnnnnyyyyyyyuuugh."  The "yuh" at the end was my little unique signature. I wasn't the most knowledgeable booth announcer or the most qualified by any stretch, but thanks to the spotter and assistant in the booth, I was able to pull it off.

My two extra events this weekend were things I'm really glad I said yes to doing. It was a really good experience all the way around.

I slept in today-- wonderfully. I feel rested and ready for my Sunday. I'm about to prepare a meal before going to the studio for a training session I'm conducting for new on-air talent.

I plan on picking up mom later for her weekly dinner out and shopping trip. She looks forward to getting out and about. Mom is doing well in several ways. She's starting to make the most of her time day to day, too--exploring ways to enjoy her days, instead of just focusing on when she can get out and go. And that's a very good thing.

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

Saturday, October 13, 2018

October 13th, 2018 Teaching Me

October 13th, 2018 Teaching Me

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my slightly reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

I've noticed a big difference in my stride the last couple days. It's not just feeling good about the changes in my daily practice, it's proceeding with a certain measure of certainty I was missing.

Uncertainty, to me, is a like an infection. It grows. Suddenly, where we are isn't certain and how we must proceed isn't either. Laying everything out on the table this week has helped me restore a measure of certainty by showing me where I am, where I want to be, and it's helped clearly define the action steps needed to shut down the uncertainty. This experience is helping me with my daily practice, of course, but it's also teaching me about how this dynamic affects my other goals. My goodness--I could write 20,000 words on this at the moment--but I'll save it for now.

Yesterday included a lot of free food offered to me throughout the course of the day. It was at my broadcast earlier in the day and it was in the press box at the stadium last night for a game where I was the fill-in public address announcer. I committed my plan to a support friend and a kept it in every way. These type of situations sometimes include on-plan foods and in those situations, I can make adjustments and put together a meal. The events yesterday didn't include food on my plan. It was a lot of trigger foods for me, so it was a no-can-do. I made sure to navigate with what I needed when I needed it, and it worked out well.

The food-plan dynamics of today are almost identical to yesterday. I have a location broadcast this morning and tonight I'm booked to play music and emcee a wedding ceremony/reception in Oklahoma City. More free food, everywhere!! My goodness! I'll do the same as yesterday--I'll commit a plan with the right to call an audible and then, I'll make sure I have what I need in case the choices just don't work for me.

If you're on MyFitnessPal, I invite you to friend me! My username is SeanAAnderson. You can join me on Twitter too, @SeanAAnderson

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

Friday, October 12, 2018

October 12th, 2018 Humble and Grateful

October 12th, 2018 Humble and Grateful

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my slightly reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, I had a good exercise session at the YMCA, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

Those points above-- yes, yes, yes--highlights of an exceptional day. The best part wasn't any specific action, though. The best part was the mental and emotional freedom experienced after yesterday's post.

Recognizing the trend, being alarmed about the trend, keeping the effects of the trend largely to myself--constantly being reminded of the trend with tighter clothes and pictures that look just a tad bit "fuller," is exhausting. Standing up, facing forward, laying the facts out on the table for all to see, and most importantly, creating an action plan, was super-empowering and very much like releasing a pressure valve.

The love and support received on this blog, in email, messenger, and on Facebook, was absolutely beautiful, too. Thank you, sincerely. I'm humble and grateful.

One email from a longtime reader (thank you, Becky!), very gently and kindly, asked if my food plan had been as tight as it needed to be or if it became loose, especially after stopping the extreme accountability of the tweet stream of everything. Very good question!

Yes, in certain ways it did get a little loose. At the same time, logging everything in MFP remained and will remain a daily part of the practice, indefinitely. Still, more meals out--less care and attention to preparing my own meals, small differences that weren't as precise as before, certainly could have contributed to a certain extent.

I do believe I created the perfect storm-- maintaining 2300 calories per day, not weighing myself, lack of activity, lack of proper rest, getting older (as a few suggested--uhg!!)--I think it all contributed in different ways.

I've learned enough to realize the exercise is important but it isn't a big factor for the bottom line unless we're talking about hard-core Olympic-style training--and that's never been me. Let's be real. It always comes back to the food plan. Refining my food with this new action plan will be good for me. Slightly lowering the budget by a few hundred calories, getting enough exercise, and getting better and more rest, will all contribute in positive ways. I'm not bringing back the tweets just yet, but I'm not completely opposed to it either.

As for the gain-- eighteen pounds in a year is a creep. A consistent creep, but a creep. For someone like me, with my past behaviors, I'm capable of gaining eighteen pounds in a couple weeks. Heck fire, if I really "tried," I can pack on a hundred or more in a years time--I've done it, remember?

I'm grateful and humble to be right where I am. Surrounded with good support and moving forward in a very positive way.

I have a location broadcast midday and I'm the stadium announcer tonight for the big football game (never done that before--wish me luck--and say a little prayer for it to go well, please!) My food is planned and my day is set. I'm ready for another good one.

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

Thursday, October 11, 2018

October 11th, 2018 The Creep

October 11th, 2018 The Creep

Yesterday: 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.

The learning never stops along this road unless we close our minds and turn off the sources of learning.

My trek back into maintenance mode over three years ago looked almost identical to what I was doing during the process of getting back to my healthiest body-weight. I was still making all the elements of my daily practice important: I was still maintaining a consistent and intentional exercise schedule, I was still weighing my body on a regular schedule (every two weeks, then every three weeks, eventually monthly, and then even fewer), and the only changes to my food plan was an increased calorie budget that, with trial and error, slowly made its way to where it felt right, 2,300 calories per day.

To me, the idea was to fashion a daily practice sustainable for long-term maintenance of a healthy body-weight. It worked very well. In the first year of maintenance, I enjoyed a tight fluctuation of fewer than five pounds. It was working! In fact, maintenance found me at my healthiest body weight of 203.4 on July 14th, 2016.

By that time, I'd already relaxed my weigh-ins to a month apart, sometimes a little more, actually--as I look back at the record in MyFitnessPal... But my commitment to every other area remained strong and important. By February 9th, 2017, my weight had crept up to 207.2 and feeling confident, I decided that regular weigh-ins weren't as important. By May 18th, 2017 I checked in at 209.4 and by Friday, September 8th, 2017, I weighed in at 211.

I remember being frustrated by this uptick from the previous low from almost a year and a half prior, but quietly and calmly, I checked myself--made sure my food plan was tight and my exercise schedule, that had absolutely declined a measure, was back in a good, consistent place. A month and a half later on October 20th of last year, I was 210.5. Okay--there, I thought.

In the year since that October 20th, 2017 weigh-in, I did two things: I stopped working out consistently in the name of a busy schedule and I decided to try living free from the scale. Why?? Let's get into that...

As a life-long compulsive overeater/food addict, my most important focus was and still is: Not compulsively overeating and maintaining my abstinence from refined sugar. In an effort to refine my relationship with my daily food plan, after nearly four years straight, I even stopped tweeting every single thing back in April.

The most important work wasn't the photos and tweeting (although I still take pictures of my meals), no. The most important work was not compulsively overeating and remaining abstinent from refined sugar while putting the food in its proper place. I've done that by staying connected with exceptional support and maintaining a daily practice with my well-defined food plan.

However, this daily practice must be more than just a food plan. Without a consistent workout schedule, while still maintaining a 2,300 calorie per day budget, my weight has slowly crept up the scale. Since I've been living scale-free for the last year, I was largely oblivious to the creep until the last few months. That's when I really started noticing my clothes becoming a little tighter. I also started noticing subtle differences in my face and body.

These things alarmed me but rather than stepping on the scale to check in with my body, I decided to simply recommit to a consistent exercise schedule. The thing is, doing that takes a plan of action--just saying it doesn't make it happen. Buying a Fitbit doesn't make it happen. What encourages changes more than anything: Getting face to face with the truth, facing reality, and refining the approach based on the information. What doesn't encourage changes is ignoring the truth and beating myself up. Creating and entertaining incredible amounts of negative head chatter only serves to hold me down and back from moving forward in positive ways.

Yesterday's trip to the doctor was necessary and very important to me and my continued recovery. I didn't like what I saw staring back at me, but I'm glad to be here, in the mindset and perspective needed for positive action.














This weigh-in represents an eighteen pound gain over the last year. A slow creep of 1.5 pounds per month adds up. Again, I've noticed it over the last few months. Eighteen pounds makes a big difference when you're at a relatively healthy body weight.

So, now what?

After consulting with support contacts, I'm not getting crazy. I will continue my food plan with a lower budget window between 1,800 and 2000 calories per day and now, with a greater importance level, I'll proceed in getting back into a consistent and intentional exercise routine. I do not need to chase the scale. Tightening up the approach covers all areas--food, exercise, spiritual time, and doing better at getting enough rest. Taking this approach will, very much as a side-effect, return me to what I consider to be my healthiest weight.

Following the direction of those with experience well beyond mine, I'm simply refining my approach, staying a little more connected with support, enjoying my food plan with a slightly smaller budget, and of course, I'm immediately reinstating bi-weekly weigh-ins at the doctor's office.

Okay-- this will be fun! Stay tuned, my friend.

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

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

October 10th, 2018 Careful

October 10th, 2018 Careful

Yesterday: 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.

Yesterday was a good day. The healing continues after Monday's dental surgery. I'm doing well with the soft foods directive from my dentist, although I stretched a little with my dinner--but was careful with each bite. It turned out okay.

The modified food plan is working out well. I miss my apple slices, but they'll be waiting for me in a week or so.
Breakfast
















Breakfast in MFP




















Lunch
















Dinner












I no longer do too many food pics on this blog, but I'm making an exception today considering how the soft approach has slightly changed my choices. I do not plan on making it a regular feature on this blog. Dinner was a little more adventurous with a 7oz 96% Joseph's flax-oat bran-whole wheat pita burger. I invite anyone to friend me on MyFitnessPal, where I log everything, every day. My MFP username is SeanAAnderson. My diary is set to public and goes back daily for almost five years.

One change I've made for days without an intentional workout is a lower calorie budget. I finished the day yesterday just under 2,000 calories. I don't believe it's necessary to push myself to 2,300 calories per day, 7 days a week, regardless of exercise, anymore. 1,700-2000 on low activity days seems reasonable to me.

Okay-- I just received word that we're short-handed at the studio today, so I better get out of here.

Today will be a good day. I'm visiting my doctor's office later today, too, for a long overdue weigh-in! It'll be just fine.

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

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

October 9th, 2018 Soft

October 9th, 2018 Soft

Yesterday: 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 left my morning show early yesterday in order to make a 9am dentist appointment. The dental surgery went well. I left with four prescriptions and a directive: Only soft foods for a while and specifically, no apples! I wasn't thinking the night before when I loaded up with eight pounds of Gala apples. I was simply excited about a deal-- 99cents a pound is a steal! I'm sure they'll still be good in a week or so. Or, as many of my friends have suggested, I could make applesauce.

I'm still sore this morning but at least the feeling in my face has returned. I've read horror stories about the numbness never going away for some people--thank you internet--so that's always a point of anxiety for me, "what if my face feels like this forever?" I'm so glad it isn't like that this time. I'm being a very good patient, following directions and taking the meds as prescribed. The "soft foods" thing, well--that presents some challenges!

It's interesting... as soon as the dentist mentioned soft foods (and I knew it was coming--obvious, right?) my brain immediately assembled a list, mostly things nowhere near my food plan.

A support friend reminded me of how this temporary change requires some planning in order to work for someone like me. And he's so right. The challenge at the moment: From the choices within the boundaries of my food plan, what can I choose or create to make sure things stay soft while I heal?

Ezekiel toast is out. Tostada shells are out. Chicken tacos are out. Apples are out!! But really, it's okay--my late lunch yesterday (after trying to sleep off the effects of the local) was an example of how I can modify my meals and stay on plan.



















I made a baked "tostada bowl" without the tostada shell and a side of unsweetened applesauce. It worked very well.

I'll continue getting creative with my "soft approach" food plan the next several days.

Bedtime came early last night even though I had a hard time falling asleep. The steroids (to limit swelling) have a tendency to make sleep difficult, or so I understand--but I was able to go to sleep and sleep relatively well. I was up very early.

I'm ready for a good day.

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

Monday, October 8, 2018

October 8th, 2018 Just In Case

October 8th, 2018 Just In Case

Yesterday: 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.

What a weekend! I'm glad it's over. Yesterday was a good day. I was able to sleep in well, I accomplished quite a bit of what I wanted to accomplish and even made time to not miss mom's Sunday evening dinner and shopping trip.

Mom and I visited the Mexican restaurant we frequent, ordered our food, and as the meal was being delivered to the table, I was activated for weather coverage. We immediately asked for to-go boxes and rushed to the downtown studio. Coverage continued until a short break and then resumed a little after 10pm. I was able to get mom back to her place between storms. It was a strange night of severe weather. Tornadoes weren't really expected from this stuff, but there were a couple, including a tornado that did considerable damage not far from here, one that developed so quickly, it came without any kind of official warning from the National Weather Service.

I found some good Gala apples for 99 cents a pound last night--score!! Pears were 99 cents a pound, too! I do love my apples. How's that for bargain shopping!



















I'm taking some time off this morning after my morning show to go to the dentist. I generally don't like going to the dentist for various reasons (like most!), but I like the dentist and it's necessary, so I'll go. I'm hoping to be able to go back to work after the appointment, but we'll see. I'll be working ahead this morning just in case I can't.

My food is packed, my plan for the day is set, and I'm ready for today (kind of--except for the dentist part), so off I go!

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

Sunday, October 7, 2018

October 7th, 2018 In It

October 7th, 2018 In It

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, I had plenty of natural exercises, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

The text came on Friday, "We've canceled the bands this weekend at Octoberfest, so your emcee services will not be needed. Sorry." The forecast was for a washout. I quickly renegotiated a lesser role as an emcee for other things. Mother Nature cooperated enough to have a decent day--and for the role I played, it worked well.

I got creative for my food plan yesterday. The festival food was everywhere and most wasn't anywhere near the boundaries of my daily food plan. I packed my own Joseph's Flax-Oat Bran-Whole Wheat pita, a big apple, and a fresh peach. My plan for lunch was to buy a gyro without the sauce (simply because I don't like cucumber anything), with grilled onions--then ditch their pita bread and place the lamb and onions in mine. It worked perfectly--and was really good. I must tell you, the food thoughts were swirling though--oh my, my brain was in overdrive trying to rationalize an order of this or that. I'll spare you the food-porn style descriptions. Let's just say, there were some refined sugar-free selections, that, although meeting that part of my needs--certainly, still, have zero business on my food plan.
Lunch















I've been a part of this annual event for many years in a row--honestly, I can't remember how many--I'd need to go back into the archives of this blog to confirm--not important, my point is, I always run into people, some whom I haven't seen since last year. When you were once 500 pounds and you're no longer 500 pounds, there's a pretty good chance it will come up again and again. I heard a variety of things yesterday, from "You're still looking good" to "Are you still dieting" to "How do you diet at a thing like this?"  I accept the compliments and avoid long explanations of what I do. I certainly don't look at my daily practice as a "diet," but that's a common perception--and that's okay. There's a time and a place for a deeper explanation of what I do if someone really cares to know. Most of the time it isn't.

It was a good experience yesterday. Between Friday and yesterday, my natural exercise was off the chart--and I'm literally sore from the activity. But it's a good sore. And because I have a tendency to beat myself up over anything and everything (of course I do--I'm human), I remind myself that the soreness is likely worse because of my lack of a consistent workout schedule.

I actually had a wonderful conversation with a gym owner at yesterday's event--a gym that I have a membership to--and he thanked me for helping them keep the lights on. I explained to him my struggles with workout consistency over the last year and a half or more and he proceeded to inspire me with his encouragement and words. I'm glad I had that conversation. I also learned the gym is moving to a brand new location very soon. That's exciting. Between that, my YMCA membership, and the fact that there's so much I can do without a membership to anything, I literally only need to check my willingness and re-establish a measure of importance. It's going to be about finding the same kind of importance level that inspires me to pack a pita and fruit before a big festival event.

I've put so much energy and importance on my food plan while other critical elements of the overall plan have suffered greatly. My struggles have been around this imbalance and honestly, my overall wellness is not sustainable without elevating these critical elements. When one area of the plan is lacking it can quickly pull down other areas. I typically don't get enough rest and I don't get enough exercise. Those are two major points of this daily practice that I've conveniently ignored or at least, they're points that I've mentally downgraded.

The consequences? Over the last year and a half or so, my weight has crept up about fifteen pounds. I don't know exactly how much because I haven't weighed in a long time. I still wear the same clothing but I see it in my face and I certainly feel it, for sure. I stopped my regular weigh-ins for a very good reason-- I wanted to simply do my daily practice and lose the obsession with the scale, but now, what I'm realizing is, no--I need that occasional check-in as a reminder of how important it is to embrace a more balanced approach to my daily practice. I'll be visiting my doctor's office scale on Wednesday morning.

What's my measuring stick? The most important things for me is no binge eating and remaining abstinent from refined sugar. What I'm discovering is, even with the recovery perspective and practice needed to keep these two things in place, it still doesn't guarantee that my plan doesn't get sloppy and out of sorts.

So, that's where I am.

I've long written about how this isn't a pursuit of perfection and it isn't. But it is a pursuit of a daily practice designed to keep me well. A big part of that for me is accountability and support. Remaining connected with good support daily, reading about others along this road, offering support to others, listening to the stories of other people--these are all daily things that help keep me "in it" and not "out of it."

You can bet your bottom dollar, I'm in it.

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





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