Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 415 Manipulating The SCZ and Accountability Is Easily Deleted

Day 415

Manipulating The SCZ and Accountability Is Easily Deleted

I decided that Day 415 was going to be a good day and you know what? It was a good day. It might sound silly or dramatic, but we honestly have the power to decide what kind of day we have. Early on this journey I wrote about how no matter the circumstances, I was determined to stay the course. I put up that “steel curtain zone,” and I still have to activate it from time to time. In the beginning I had to have it up constantly. I found an entry in these writing about the SCZ that focused on excuses and rationalizations getting in the way of working out. I also put up the SCZ to protect me from emotions and tough times and circumstances that try to influence and trigger my old emotional and stressful eating habits.

After reading it again, I realize that I’ve changed how I use the steel curtain zone as I needed it over the last 415 days. My workout performance has been less than stellar the last 100 days, where was the SCZ? Well, I guess I smooth talked myself into believing that it wasn’t needed to defend myself against excuses and rationalizations as they apply to my exercise habits. I manipulated the SCZ to full strength against emotional and stressful trigger eating, but relaxed the SCZ against my workouts. Hmm… I wish I had read this again about 100 days ago. From Day 164, The Steel Curtain Zone: I feel like I'm in another level of zone. There's the zone and then there's the steel curtain zone. I've been in both zones, and I have to say, the steel curtain zone is amazing. In the regular zone, you workout and make good food choices, but you still are sometimes vulnerable to random cravings and excuses as to why tonight's just not a good night to workout. In the “steel curtain” zone, excuses bounce off, your resolve is impenetrable. If you're tired of excuses and rationalizing bad choices, then get in this zone! How do you jump in the steel curtain zone? You decide to do it. Sounds simple, and it can be, if you let it be. But if you can't commit to an excuse and rationalization free performance, then it's nearly impossible. First of all, I had to be honest enough with myself to even recognize excuses . Excuses and rationalizations pretend to be our friends, because they get us “off the hook” for a little bit. I ran with those crazy cats for so long, and there's a bunch of 'em, I just got use to them. I put excuses to work and they made me feel all right about the poor decisions I was making for years. When the frustration and feelings of hopelessness are at their worst, and the decision is made to do it no matter what, that's when the “steel curtain zone” guards take their post. All of a sudden excuses and rationalizations are left at the gate wondering why you don't call anymore. You don't call on them anymore because you know that they're bad news. You have to place a negative value on excuses and rationalizations far greater than you ever did before. It feels over-dramatic to say that excuses and rationalizations are sneaky little cold blooded killers, but they are! You've got to assign any excuse that tries to get in your way the title of cold blooded killer. Because if your health ever becomes critical, and you realize your time is really up, you know what excuses and rationalizations will say? “Oops, too bad, I guess you shouldn't have given in over and over.” And then they'll go off to find some other victim to bring down.

Setting that importance level to extremely high is a must. It’s something that can only be set with actions. I’ve set my importance level for this mission so high, that some even give me a hard time about how serious I can become about it all. It’s that importance level that has kept me going the past 415 days. I’m 223 pounds lighter because I made this journey a super important thing in my life. Gone are the phrases that kill this importance level. Things like “I guess I could go over just a little,” or “I’ve done so good lately, I deserve a little reward,” and one of my old standbys, “a little wont hurt me,” oh---and don’t forget, “Just this one time, then we’re right back on in the morning, or Monday, or after the birthday, or after the holiday.” If your importance level is set super high, then these little phrases no longer exist for you.

A business associate suggested today that the public accountability along this journey must be what keeps me going. “You don’t have a choice, you have to do this, because too many people are rooting for you.” I understood the accountability part of the equation from day 1, but it isn’t what has kept me going at all. The desire to finally break free from obesity is what has driven me. It’s the desire to finally figure out the reasons why I could never get it right before, that’s what keeps me going. Finally feeling so alive, like I’ve never experienced as an adult, that keeps me going. Blogs are started and abandoned everyday. A few clicks and this blog could disappear forever. I would never do that, but people do. The accountability factor is only as strong as our commitment to succeed. If that commitment and desire isn’t supported by a super high importance level, then we can just simply delete the accountability portion of the program. This is life and death. And it doesn’t matter if you have 10 pounds to lose or 300, if you give it that kind of serious importance level, then you’ll easily reach your goal.

I got together with a friend tonight for a 5K power walk/run. Chris Williams directed me in “Call Me Henry,” and here we were tonight on the trail working it out together. We talked as I tried to keep up with him and when I felt like backing down, he pushed me to keep going. I have a feeling we’re going to have many more wonderful workouts in the future. Chris is losing weight too and feeling great! It was mostly brisk walking with intermittent spurts of jogging and flat out sprinting tonight. I love turning on the speed when it starts to hurt. OK, listen, it feels like speed to me. I’m sure it’s slow, but it doesn’t feel like it to me. When I throw it into high gear, I’m flying my friend. It’s a very cool feeling to break into an all out sprint. Feeling your body accelerate like that is a rush. It would have flat out killed me dead at 505 pounds, well actually…it wouldn’t have been possible. I love feeling so light and free. Foot race anyone? Thanks Chris, very nice!

I’ll be updating pictures soon. Someone mentioned today that the 304 pound picture along the side bar is getting old! Yes it is, thanks for the reminder! Time to put on the new jeans and start clicking away at 282! I’ll also be taking pictures this week in my friends Corvette. I can’t wait to drive that thing! Me in a little two seat sports car? Me? Unreal, I’m telling you, absolutely unreal.

I actually have 80 calories remaining as I write tonight’s post. I think I’ll have an orange sherbet push-up, and wouldn’t you know it, its exactly 80 calories, just perfect. It’s late, so I better drop in bed! Thank you for reading. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,


  1. I just explored the Zen of vollyball in a workout today. Diet is critical, but working out is important too.

    I don't have an Steel or iron curtian. Can I use some purple victorian drapes?

    At Foolsfitness we are having a special on excuses... It's a blow out sale, because they must go!!! -Alan

  2. Glad to read that your SCZ is back in place - I know exactly what you mean about using one and also the motivation behind the weight loss being about more than accountability (although it is now getting fairly important to me too). That inner drive has just GOT to be there.

    Looking forward to seeing the Corvette shots, am green with envy, lol!

  3. Yep, procrastination has always been my problem with losing weight in the past. Not this time, though!

  4. It's because of reading about your SCZ earlier that I've lost 44 lbs in 5 continue to be an inspiration to so many of us Sean!! Thank you again and again for sharing with the rest of the world. :)

  5. I never thought I would have been jogging with Sean Anderson....Let alone have him sat to me " You ready? FOOT RACE!" Very Cool!

  6. That is what I have done with exercise...I have a range with 1400 to 1600 or 1500 to 1700. I stay within that range for however many pounds. My latitude whatsoever. I spent years telling myself I didn't have the time. I made this as serious as 'I don't do heroin" or "I don't cheat on my husband" or "No, I don't sacrifice babies to egyptian demi gods". It is six days a week or die. My only exception is if I have made an oath to someone and fate intervenes, and it's either I break my word or break my date with the gym...this has happened once. Once in almost six months. I had to buy a vacuum. and that was it for the workout. Guess I did have the time lol.
    Great post sean.


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