Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 677 Not Exactly "Never" and Food Worries Behind--Free To Dream

Day 677

Not Exactly "Never" and Food Worries Behind--Free To Dream

Yesterday's blog was very special to me. I often times read what I've written, just to make sure I've written it in the best way possible. Effective communication is very important to me, and sorting out these thoughts, this philosophy, in a way that I can understand--has been crucial for my development along this road. I found an e-mail from Julie this morning, that made me wonder if I should have clarified a little better. Julie writes:

"...in today’s post you said you never went over the 1500 – I’m trying to read one day at a time to use your journey as my stepping stones along the way (I already have 8 pages of “Resolves” from your blog! – those mind blowing comments that hit me with YEA – THAT’S EXACTLY RIGHT!) – but can’t resist to read some of the current stuff too!"

Not exactly "never" Julie! The question from the gentleman was "Have you ever exceeded your calorie bank for days or weeks on end..." that may not be an accurate quote...but that was the question....

For days or weeks?...Never. For a day? Yes. I've written about it! ;)

I decided that Thanksgiving and Christmas were holidays where food seemed to be such a big part---that, yes---I would go over by 1000 on those days only. It had to be a planned thing for me. Had I just woke up and said---"everything out the window today," It would have had devastating psychological effects on me---and I probably wouldn't be where I am today. I decided to stick with my 1500 on my birthday and any other special day---because really, the food is awesome, but it should never be the number 1 focus---the family and friends around us, the experiences, the sites, the smells---the fellowship---that should be the focus. It was ALWAYS the food with me. I still love food, and food is still a part of celebrations, of course...But I don't make it my main focus. I gave food wayyyyy too much attention before this road.

I'm so happy for you my friend. You're the one changing your life, and that's a beautiful thing.

There have been other days when I exceeded the 1500. The Cracker Barrel meltdown from February 2010 comes to mind. The deliberate excess of cheese and crackers on a very early day along this journey also comes to mind. And I'm sure there have been days where I guesstimated something at a restaurant totally wrong. I hope you understand, we don't have to be perfect. But we do need to be careful not to let the "we don't have to be perfect" thinking become an excuse or rationalization for going off the wagon completely.

Catherine had nothing less than an epiphany. She writes:

I see it now; you surrendered to food, Sean. I don't mean that you gave up and relinquished your power to it, in the conventional definition of "surrender".....no, you took a big sigh and made the decision to stop fighting against it. To accept that food was there to stay, and like any other reality, it had to be accepted and dealt with, collaboratively. If you couldn't beat it (and yourself) into submission, conquer it, then you had to find a way to co-exist with it, in a way that allowed you both to flourish. That way, you're still you, in charge of you, enjoying and living with food which is free to be whatever it is.

Absolutely Catherine!!! "That way, you're still you, in charge of you, enjoying and living with food which is free to be whatever it is." Yes, yes, YES! We've been conditioned by a million different magazine articles and books over the years to believe that there's a proper way to eat to lose weight. These are the foods you need to eat, and here's how much...And it separates our food into categories---there's the "good list" and the "bad list." Can you lose weight by eating from only the good list? Yes. But by excluding some foods, or making some forbidden, especially the ones that played a major role in the lifestyle that promoted your obesity, you're setting yourself up for a needless struggle between right and wrong, where a "slip" leaves us feeling defeated and a retreat to those "bad" foods often means the end of another weight loss attempt---because "we messed up." When I fully embraced that food was just food, and my choices where dictated by calorie values and calorie management only, that's exactly when I was really set free along this road.

Once you've let go of your preconceived notions about food and weight loss, and this new positive attitude, friendship, and peace with food is firmly in place--then you start dreaming again, envisioning a future free of obesity. And that my friend can be a very fun-positive place! I found myself in that place exactly one year ago today as I sailed across the water on a jet-ski for the very first time in my life. Here's an excerpt from Day 313--July 24th, 2009:

Doing things like this that were once nearly impossible is one of the quickest ways for me to get really emotional about how far I've come in the last 313 days. This is what it's all about. It's living my friend. Really living. You know what I mean? Feeling that jet ski lift up and skimming across the water as the wind hurried through my hair was simply amazing. I felt like I could fly. As I rode atop the surface I thought about how things have changed for me and continue to change.

It would have been so easy to never have started on September 15th of last year. I did that my entire life. You know, think about starting, even plan starting, get excited about starting and then, when the day would come (always a Monday for me), nothing but fear and giant overwhelming feelings of I can't, it's going to take too long, how am I going to do this under so much daily stress?

It certainly wasn't that I didn't want it---Oh I did...but I was so busy trying to complicate the process, I couldn't get a handle on figuring out how to really do it. I always claimed “Oh, I know how to lose weight---just eat less and exercise more.” But there's more to it than that. Until I really analyzed the psychological part of the equation, I couldn't solve the problem no matter how bad I wanted. This time is certainly like no other for me. It's the real deal my friend. The way out was found because I completely surrendered the dishonesty within, the excuses, and the rationalizations that always gave me reasons to fail. I decided to give this mission the importance level it deserves, so it wouldn't be easy to rationalize bad choices---because it's just too important. And here I am 313 days later, flying across the top of a lake, viewing a perspective reserved only for those who choose to live.


I told myself that I would sleep-in this morning. Oh yeah, I was going to sleep until I couldn't sleep anymore. 8:15am...yep...not exactly my best effort in that direction. I needed more rest, so after a couple of hours, I returned for a little more. It felt good, except I turned my neck--or slept on it weird, something. I hurt myself! My neck has been bothering me all day and night. I called a chiropractor, a good friend of mine actually, and she directed me to ice it for twenty minutes at a time--and try to sleep without a pillow, or with the thinnest pillow possible.

Stormy weather settled in tonight and that meant work at the studio. I'm on call this weekend for anchoring weather coverage, so as soon as the storms started brewing--I was out the door and on the air--hurt neck and all. I filled my water bottle twice during the coverage, and still only made it slightly past the required 64 ounces of the PEWC.

The positive effects of this water challenge have been phenomenal to me. I'm more regular than ever, I feel less "puffy," and I just carry an over-all better feeling about me. I'm finally properly hydrating my body, and I'm confident that the benefits go far beyond what I've noticed. If you're participating in the challenge, I hope you're also feeling the positive effects!

I spent some time watching a movie with Amber tonight. It was so late, and she was so understanding when I gently fell asleep in my Lazy-Boy. I couldn't help it really. When the movie finished, she encouraged me to retreat to the bedroom--and I did, after going another round with an ice pack on this blasted neck. But really---considering the physical condition of my former 505 pound self---this neck thing is nothing. It will pass quickly. It's all good...ouch! seriously...everything is wonderful! ;)

Don't forget! If you're anywhere close to Ponca City, Oklahoma on Monday evening the 26th, you're invited for a free evening of live theater at The Poncan Theatre. Doors open at 7pm, with "Wanda's Visit" starting at 7:30pm, followed by the Pulitzer Prize winning "Proof." These are both festival pieces we're taking to the state competition next weekend. I play the male lead in "Wanda's Visit." It would be very cool to see you there!

Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,
Sean

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One of my biggest before shots...probably in excess of 505, who knows?

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Another recent tuxedo picture.


The most recent jet-ski video! I'm feeling all of those same emotions from a year ago. No words needed, just flight.

8 comments:

  1. Every word is brilliantly designed for me - whether that was your intention or not. Thank you. My mind is still processing yesterday's post and this has certainly helped.

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  2. Sean,

    I will be there(Wanda's Visit). And yes, the holidays are all about family, but those smells can sure tempt you:) We have so much fun playing games over the holidays, and singing of course. I did an awesome "Blondie" impersonation to "Heart of Glass" last Christmas during one of our games. One none of us will ever forget! I had the body language and flared nostrils going, the whole nine yards! Oh and I can sing, lol.

    Sean said, "this philosophy, in a way that I can understand--has been crucial for my development along this road."

    Lisa says, "Life's for living yea that's our philosophy.":)

    Take Care and God Bless!

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  3. Sean,

    I'm posting this quote from today's post on my pc at work tomorrow:

    "Once you've let go of your preconceived notions about food and weight loss, and this new positive attitude, friendship, and peace with food is firmly in place--then you start dreaming again, envisioning a future free of obesity."

    The first part IS happening for me now, and I'm dreaming... oh I'm dreaming! :) Sailing, golfing, hiking, living. Thank you ....

    elizabeth.

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  4. "I hope you understand, we don't have to be perfect. But we do need to be careful not to let the "we don't have to be perfect" thinking become an excuse or rationalization for going off the wagon completely."

    I've had to remind myself that perfection isn't required many times on my journey...but I also know that when I'm doing my best I feel my best...

    I hope your neck is feeling better today..and I'm proud of you for continually drinking water like a champ!

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  5. Okay, this is going to sound nuts...maybe. I'm a nurse, though, so try to consider this comment in the loving way it is offered. Neck problems can worsen when you tip your head back, as when you tip your head back and chug water from a bottle. Seriously. People with neck problems don't need to cut back on the water guzzling, LOL, but please try to keep from tipping your head back when you drink. You can use a straw or simply modify your neck position.

    Love,
    Jill

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  6. Haven't been following you long Sean, but you can hit a nail on the head every time it seems. Makes the journey nicer to have another persons point of view and no you are not alone.
    B

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  7. Wow.

    These have been an amazing couple of blogs.

    They capture and define the way I have started thinking about food.

    I don't have a calorie 'bank' but I try to eat when I am hungry. If I am hungry I eat what my body desires. My body makes healthy choices quite often, but when it doesn't that is fine too. The important thing for me is to satisfy my hunger with delicious food so I do not feel the need to keep eating afterwards. I have found that my attitude has totally changed and I rarely consider food unless I am hungry. Years of defining food as 'good' or 'bad' made me crave the 'bad' and then feel guilty and eat more to make myself feel better!
    Thanks Sean (and Catherine)!

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  8. I've fell victim to Cracker Barrel too. What I've learned to do there is "treat myself" to *one* biscuit with sugar free jelly. You have to ask for it. I will have either the grilled catfish or rainbow trout with carrots & string beans. Yum. Not bad calorie wise.

    BTW, love the sunglass shot at the end of your video. You go Sean!

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