Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 338 Ditching The "Plan" and A Pre Weigh Day 10K

Day 338

Ditching The “Plan” and A Pre Weigh Day 10K

For some reason I've ran across several people doing several different “plans” today. I've written my opinions on this topic several times along the way. Without calling any of these “plans” out directly, which I certainly don't mind doing, but I'm trying to be efficient, here's the bottom line on “plans”:

They work. There, I said it. Now all you have to do is find one that works for you, right? Not so fast. They work temporarily. Oh I'm sure every single major “plan” has their long term success stories, but I would imagine it wasn't the plan that gave them the mental changes needed for those long term results. Of course the plan takes all the credit I'm sure. I'm specifically talking about the plans that sell you all the food too. I once read a blog where the author was seriously considering one of these plans because, in her words: “I don't want to have to deal with food issues, just show me exactly what to eat...” But there's the problem screaming out loud. That's why these plans don't work long term for a majority of the people paying large amounts of money. “Results not typical” are words often found at the bottom of the commercial in fine print for a reason. They know their plan isn't a long term solution. It's simply a means to drop weight now. And it works until you go back to reality, the pre-packaged “eat this” foods stop coming and you realize that you never dealt with those serious food addiction problems—and then the weight comes back naturally. Maybe next time they'll give you a discount.

When I hear the phrase “you've got to find what works for you,” I sometimes become irritated by what that means for some people. Just finding something that works isn't that hard, they all work to some degree. Why don't we say “you've got to learn to eat responsibly, exercise regularly, and work extra hard at changing the way your mind works.” Instead we just want to find “something that works for us.” Something that just works isn't good enough. I lost 115 pounds in 2004 doing something that I knew would work, and it did. I was eating 1,500 calories a day and exercising regularly. Sounds familiar huh? Nope. Completely different mindset involved. I was going through the motions needed to lose weight without changing my mind one tiny bit. I fantasized about cutting loose the entire time---I was dreading everyday, and looking so forward to hitting a milestone goal so I could reward myself with tons of calories. As soon as my “plan” entered a family vacation it was over, and I mean over real good. I wasn't prepared, nor did I want to be, to handle eating responsibly and exercising more. My plan in 2004 was simply a means to drop weight, nothing deeper. And I quickly gained every pound back plus five as soon as it was over.

Real change is so much more rewarding and well, uh, real. And it's not beyond anyone reading this, I guarantee it. But when you start talking about these things, some people get nervous. They get uncomfortable, they feel threatened, they get scared of the changes they know they must make if they're ever going to break free once and for all. How do I know? Because I was one of those people for many years. In my younger days all you had to do was say “lifestyle change” and I would immediately get upset. Don't give me that, I know exactly how to lose weight, I'll do it when I'm good and ready. Don't take away my sense of security in food. Don't take away my blanket. Don't tell me this is something I have to do forever, I need to continue my emotional dependency on food---and your “lifestyle change” talk is threatening that world. What I've found is amazing. My fears turned out to be completely blown out of proportion. When you work hard at the mental changes, all of a sudden---it's not a depressing thought anymore. In fact, I haven't dreaded a day along this road in more than a couple hundred days. I look forward to the many changes to come and all along the way I'm still enjoying food, I'm still living life, and I'm still feeling better than ever as an adult. This is what real change feels like.

Irene prepared a fantastic meal this evening. Pita Tacos. Yep, she found some whole wheat thin pitas that check in at only fifty calories each. We loaded them with some super lean ground beef, lettuce, onions, salsa, and a smear of guacamole. We discovered we didn't have any cheese and decided to just enjoy these cheese free. Guess what? We honestly didn't miss the cheese. Isn't that crazy coming from one of cheese's biggest fans? With only two ounces of super lean ground beef at eighty calories, the pita at fifty---then all the veggies---and even sour cream and guacamole---they still came in under 300 calories. It was filling, very satisfying, and super easy on the calorie budget.

Irene and I just returned from another 10K. What a fantastic walk in the cool night air. This 10K was a little easier than the one last week, maybe because it was a little cooler. We once again opted for great conversation instead of iPod tunes. You can talk about a ton of stuff while walking over six miles. It was a fabulous accomplishment.

Tomorrow is weigh day and will most likely be the day I drop below 300 for the first time since I was fifteen years old. It's a very special milestone indeed. I can't wait to say it, “I weigh two hundred and so and so pounds.” That's just plum crazy. I love it! It's so hard to believe that I'm doing it like this. It's such a wonderful freedom, a gift, a blessing. It's the greatest.

I'll be sending out a twitter tweet within minutes after the weigh-in. I'll also send out the mass text message and a mass e-mail. If you're interested in knowing the results before tomorrow night's blog...just let me know you would like to be added to the list. And just specify e-mail or text. Thanks for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,


  1. You have a blog award waiting at my site

    Oh good luck for tomorrow :-)

  2. You are so right, the head is what has the eating problem and that is what has to be dealt with.

    Good luck for your weigh-in (crossing my fingers for the 200s for you)!

  3. Hi Sean,

    I love your blog tonight. This is an issue close to my heart. I do a plan but I have also worked withing myself to look at why I over eat, and what triggers it. The reasons why I did not exercise and why I thought I couldn't.
    I beleive anything is achievable but 95% of it is to do with your mind and how is works and relates to the topic.
    I have degree in teaching when I was told at 17, you will never be anything.. I am a teacher who now inspires 7 year olds to reach and go for their dreams and set themselves goals and paths to get there.

    Thanks for thist post.. if anything is just sums up how I feel, yes I do a plan... but I have had to work very hard on my mind and my food "issues".

    Cant wait to rad tomorrows post I know exactly how you are feeling I have been over a 100 kilos since I was 15.


  4. back again.....add me to your email list pls...I can't wait to hear the good news

  5. Hi Sean Anderson. Greatly enjoyed your post and gave some real food for thought, ahem, lol. You're absolutely right on though, so can't condemn one word of it. I hope you get that below 300 # and look forward to reading your next post.

  6. I CANNOT wait to hear about your weigh in! I added you to my twitter so I don't have to wait as long : ).
    I totally agree with the plan theory - I have tried so many times and put it all back on with interest, like you, and the madness stops now! I am so proud of you and your whole family, just like me and my hubby : )

  7. I think you already know that you BETTER email me hottie! lol :)

  8. I would say best of luck for your weigh in but we know that luck has nothing to do with it. You have worked hard and have transformed your self from the inside out and I think you will be rewarded for your efforts tomorrow! Even if you do not hit that milestone tomorrow, you know that you will soon enough. This was an excellent post...good job!

  9. Great post and so very, very true! It's the mindset. And learning to deal with food in every type of every day type of situations. In previous attempts I too would reward pounds lost with my favorite high calorie foods. Looking at it now I realize that my thinking was perhaps a bit skewed. Though at the time I just remember feeling desperate.
    You have come such a very long way Sean, and I'm looking forward to hearing your weigh in results!!

  10. I can't wait to hear that you've passed that milestone!! And yep you can e-mail me please :)

  11. Sean,

    Your words are always inspiring. I'll wait to read your blog tomorrow. Everything in good time!

  12. You know, I do a plan: Weight Watchers. It does incorporate the "Tools for Living" when kinda/sorta teaches you how to deal with real-life issues. I do it because i like using the slide rule, I have points memorized in my brain, and it works. If I didn't do WW, I would count calories. It's actually very similar.

    I've done it before, lost 70 pounds only to gain it back plus some. This time I'm doing the mental work to go along with it. Before I was in the "diet" mindset. Now I just want to be healthy and have a better quality of life.

    I really like your style and agree with it--I want to eat foods I'm craving sometimes, and now I'm learning that I can, in proper portions. Before I had the "I only get" mentality.

    I have a friend who goes on and on about clean eating, eating only whole foods, whole fat milk, etc., and how healthy it is. (I disagree on the fat aspect, but not on the fruits and veggies.) Anyway, I've lost over 40 pounds in six months and she's gained. Go figure. Calories count, portions count.

  13. I gave you an award on my post this morning. I realize you've probably already received 100 of these from others...but you're one of my biggest mentors so I just HAD to spread the love your way! You deserve it Sean...enjoy! :)

  14. I would love to find out how you did today,

    Good post!

  15. AMEN!!! Can't wait to hear about your WI.. i'll see if i can find you on twitter.

    GREAT post Sean!

  16. As always Sean, GREAT post. GREAT!

  17. Under 300 will be double-extra awesome, Sean. I wish I could be there for the weigh-in. But you know me, I'd slip behind and put a toe on the scale and you'd be all "Boo hoo... I didn't make it!" and then I'd have to come clean about it, but I might forget and then we'd have a good laugh about it years later.

    Maybe it's best I just stay put...

  18. Sean, what kind of pitas are you using? I bought some pita pockets today that are 80 calories apiece. The flat ones were way too expensive.



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