Busy Days, Different Focus, and Living In This New "Normal"
Life seems to be busier than I'd like it to be right now. My focus needs to be on writing, but it seems that I'm allowing myself to get consumed with a busy schedule. When I do find time to write, it's usually without much time to disconnect and wind down, leaving my mind on things that need to be shoved aside for reflection and clarity. With that said, I'm not complaining, I'm loving life completely, and when I do have a productive writing session, it feels amazing. I've had to do something lately that I've never been good at doing, and that's saying "no."
I've said "no" at least four times in the last week. And it's especially tough when the "no" is given to a really worthwhile cause or function. But right now, I must focus and keep a tight schedule. In a perfect world, I'd disappear for several weeks, then emerge with a manuscript complete...turn off everything, and just write about this journey. As wonderfully fluffy and romantic as it would be, life and responsibilities don't yield for my writing schedule. But really, when I think about it, that's the only way it should be--just as I've lost this weight in the middle of a regular life, full of stress and ups and downs, and work schedules, and sadness, and craziness, and every emotion--good and bad.
This has never been a retreat to a ranch somewhere with specialist and trainers, this is real life. And I take pride in that fact. So I guess I should naturally embrace the evolution of my wonderful new existence and projects, while navigating everything that life as I know it, requires of me. It's all wonderful, really. I never forget how blessed I am, to be where I am...this is incredible. It's a dream come true, this new man staring back at me in the mirror...so wonderfully different in so many ways, yet still the same in many others. I'm navigating this transformation the best way I know how---trying hard to understand that I can do it all, just not all at once.
I had to say no to an opportunity to repel off the side of a skyscraper in downtown Oklahoma City with Special Olympics. That would have made for an incredible experience, but the event was a two day commitment. I'm so deathly afraid of heights, I'm not sure I could have handled it really, without getting sick and panic stricken, but either way--it was a wonderful cause for Special Olympics Oklahoma and it would have been an amazing photo opportunity for me. My word, I must overcome my fear and do that sometime...or go hot air ballooning or skydiving, two things on my "when I lose this weight" list of things I want to do. Well, here we are, at a size without restrictions--but, oh yeah---I'm busy...but not busy forever. The day will come. All in good time, right?
I'm never done learning, I have much to learn, but my journey is very different now. Eating like a normal person and being a normal size, is becoming me--naturally. In other words, a bunch of the things I've written about, just come automatic to me now. So this blog is increasingly difficult to write...because I'm not constantly trying to right the ship anymore. That's the main reason I always suggest to people new to this blog, to go back and read from day 1. I get a bunch of feedback concerning the sporadic posting schedule of late, but you must understand--I posted everyday for twenty-two months straight---and it's all there, when and if you're ready to read. You don't get the full story or get to share in the life changing epiphanies I've experienced, unless you do.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not quitting this blog at all...couldn't, wouldn't...but, I guess...I'm struggling with the changing schedule--and these sporadic post, well--honestly, I hate it. I'd rather write every single night, just like in the beginning. Everything from THAT DAY is so fresh and easy to write about, but there's no time for that kind of commitment anymore. That schedule has served its purpose very well, I'm a transformed person as a result of this blog and all of the choices that have brought me here. Just bare with me, please.
I go back into the archives everyday, now two years back...and I find some really fun stuff sometimes, like today's excerpt. I say "fun," but it's also very revealing of an out of control food addict, while showing how it can be overcome. Irene, my ex-wife (and just so you know, we get along wonderfully now, we're at peace with one another--it's a good place), remembers the following very well. From the middle of October 2008:
I've written in these blogs how I've never been a stereotypical 500 pound eater. I've never consumed unimaginable amounts of food in one sitting. But I have been an “impulse” eater. I was reminded of that today when paying for gas at a convenience store with a deli case full of fried everything. I'm immediately drawn to that deli case like a bee to a picnic area trash can. The egg rolls are better than any I've ever tasted at an actual Chinese restaurant. The burritos are crispy on the outside and deliciously soft on the inside, and the corn dogs were on sale two for a dollar! There is absolutely no way the old Sean could have gone in there without at least buying two corndogs for a dollar! That's just being a smart shopper...and an impulse eater.
Because it wouldn't have mattered that I just had dinner or was about to have dinner. If I wanted that taste, I was going to have it. It got so bad at one point that I would “sneak” eat. For example, I'd be leaving work, I'd call Irene and she would describe a wonderful meal that was almost ready. My plate would be waiting as soon as I arrived, and still on the way home I would “sneak” eat a bean burrito...or a bag of chips...or a couple of egg rolls. Irene would ask me questions like, “so, what have you had to eat today?” And I would do my best to lie to her, but after you've been together nearly two decades, it gets really hard to get away with a lie. She knows all my tells. She's also a great detective.
An example of her expert work---Irene: “So, what have you had to eat today?” Me: “Uh, nothing I'm starving.” Irene: “Really, are you sure about that?” Me: “Of course I'm sure, don't you think I would remember what I put in my own mouth?” Irene: “I see the crumbs on your shirt Sean.” Me: “What crumbs?” Irene: “The convenience store deli burrito crumbs, come over here and kiss me.” Me: “But, why are you...” (we kiss) Irene: “So, you had an eggroll too?” Me: “What are you...” Irene: “I can smell it on your breath.” Me: “You got me, I give up, you figured me out.”
Or, she would find the bag in the car and within seconds of inspection, she could tell me how old it was. Irene: “So, when did you have Braums?” Me: “uh, like, I don't know, maybe a week or two ago.” Irene: “that's the story you wanna go with?” Me: “It's been a while, OK, just drop it!” Irene: “If it's been a while, why are the crumbs still soft and the tomato is still moist?” Me: “OK, OK, OK...I had that this afternoon.” Irene: “After we had lunch together?” Me: “yes.”
So as you can see, it's not necessarily gigantic portions in one sitting that has made me this big, it's impulse eating throughout the day and into the night. Let's call it “over nibbling”, Ok---Let's call it what it is: Food addiction. There, I admitted it! They always say that admitting the problem is the first step to recovery right? I'm a food addict pure and simple. I very rarely eat because I'm hungry, I eat because I want it! You can tell that over the years I've become well acquainted with me and my dysfunctional eating habits. I've dug deep to understand my bad habits, but even armed with this information, knowing how I am, and the negative effects of my behavior, I'd still do it. I'd probably have to undergo professional psychiatry to go deeper into understanding why I developed these eating patterns, but I've gone deep enough on my own to identify them, and I think getting any deeper would just reveal “excuses”.
I'm finished with excuses. I'm changing my deadly habits now. And it feels good! Every time I easily click that seatbelt, I'm reminded of my success so far. Remember me talking about the “results snowball effect”. It's very true. Positive results are a powerful motivator to continue doing the right things. And the more right things I do, the more results I get, the more motivated I get.
I spent the majority of my writing time over the weekend, staring blankly at the computer screen, at a loss for words. And that's too bad, because starting with Sunday evening--my schedule was mapped out for the next several days. I had a very nice dinner out with Courtney, my youngest, and her boyfriend Brad on Sunday, before heading to the campus of NOC for rehearsal of an event that was scheduled for Monday night.
The event was something I agreed to do a while back and I must say, I'm glad I did. It was an evening of Broadway with ReAct, Regional Actors Community Theater. The entire event served as a fundraiser for the music theater scholarship fund at NOC. I'm so impressed with the amazing talent we have around here...wow, it's really incredible. The event was an opportunity to work with Eddie Dixon, a music professor, and fellow weight loss champion. Eddie has lost 165 pounds and kept it off for several years now. In talking with Eddie, we share many of the same weight loss philosophies. We've both lost the weight naturally and he really understands my excitement over being a normal size. He's been there too, he knows.
Tuesday was a full day at the studio and a full night at the Marland Mansion for an annual event hosted by Team Radio. As the KPNC morning personality, I was at this event called "Ladies Night Out," greeting the ladies as they made their way into the mansion for a night of free wine, food, shopping, and registering for thousands of dollars in prizes. I've been required to attend this event every year for the last five years. I was over 500 pounds at the first two, and over the course of the last three events, dropped the weight. The "wow" reactions were numerous last year at this event, but this year---oh my, it was over the top. The compliments came fast and often all night long, everywhere I was, here came another...and it was so much fun!!! Listen, after being as big as I was for as long as I was...it feels amazing to no longer feel like I'm the least attractive person at an event like this...I'll stay perfectly grounded, but wow--my self-esteem and confidence was boosted all night. Thank you to everyone that contributed to this indulgence. I enjoyed the tuxedo and the attention, who wouldn't?--and coming from where I do, I refuse to feel bad about that enjoyment.
Wednesday was another full workday followed by a four hour broadcast from a casino. My day started before 4:30am and ended around 7:30, with a wonderful baked cod dinner. The cod is new to my lineup of choices...Talapia isn't...I believe I have a picture of a recent talapia dinner I prepared. I was so tired and hungry Wednesday night, I was half-way finished with my baked cod meal before I realized tat I hadn't snapped a picture. Oh well...that's cool. Normal people don't take a picture of everything, right? Trust me, it was an amazing dinner.
Thursday morning started with 1/2 a Joseph's Lavash bread wrapped around three egg-whites, fresh mushrooms, mozzarella, and a small talapia filet. I know!! Fish for breakfast??? Yes, yes, YES!! It was amazing, and only 210 calories for the entire thing! I loved it--and along with my lemon marinated apple slices and a banana, plus coffee--I was set for a good day. I left the studio early today, headed for Stillwater--to weigh-in and write this blog post, and...shhhh...Uh, surprise mom with a visit!!! She doesn't know I'm coming!! I'm not sure what to expect at weigh-in. Given my weight loss in the last few months, I seriously doubt I've dropped five pounds, hitting 230 today. But one thing is for sure...it will happen, if not today...next time. And I'd really love to have Irene and my daughters there for that one...and I don't even mind if they all bring their boyfriends...I just want them there. If it happens today, and I guess it could---I may have to rally the staff at the health department. They should at least be warned about the potential craziness that would come directly from the scale, should I see 230 today.
OK--I must wrap--Thank you so much for reading and following my progress and life. There are wonderful things on the horizon...not sure it's even imaginable at this point---but it will be, incredible. I hope you'll facebook friend request me and also, I'm trying to get back in the Tweeting habit. You can find me on facebook by searching it using my email firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter, I'm @SeanAAnderson --The middle "A" stands for Allen, my middle name.
Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...
A recent breakfast---a nice big low cal veggie omelet, this one with chicken--if I remember right.
A recent dinner...I love my meat and potatoes!! And tomatoes, love them too!
With Eddie Dixon...He's lost 165 pounds! And even better, he's kept it off for five years!
Talapia, baked crinkle cut fries, and French cut green beans...Oh my, delicious---all of it!!!
Big "before" picture...With Irene and Amber
Professional picture--courtesy of Cope Photography...at Ladies Night. The pink tie was in honor of breast cancer awareness month...Dave May from KLOR, and I both proudly put on the pink!