The Monthly Diary--HUH? and A Letter To That Guy or You
I've received many emails, facebook messages, and a couple of blog comments--all expressing concern over my lack of blog posting. I sincerely appreciate the outpouring of support and understanding!
"Just when I get hooked on your blog, you stop writing! :( I know you're a busy guy, and I hope life is treating you well! Reading years' worth of posts in the last month got me all involved in your daily life, so going cold turkey is hard!"
"Are you really that busy, you couldn't post something, anything? It makes me think you might be struggling. If you are, you need to email me and let's chat. You're a wonderful example for so many, but never forget, you're also human."
"Hi Sean! I've missed you in blog-land. I hope this silence only means you're busy, not that you've been overeating. If you HAVE been overeating, I hope you trust the online community enough to know that we're still behind you!"
Anonymous chimes in with a little jab:
"The monthly diary of a winning loser."
I understand and sincerely appreciate the concern. My relationship with food does not change, regardless. I like the place I've found in that relationship. Is it perfect? NO. But again, perfection has never been a part of this journey. What I'm not doing is binging. I'm not curling up on the couch with a half-gallon of ice cream and a spoon or eating four bowls of cereal before bed. I'm not ordering and devouring a large pizza, just because. I did have pizza last night as a snack, but instead of a calorie laden pie from a restaurant---I made a 170 calorie mushroom and mozzarella pita pizza. It was delicious and satisfied me perfectly.
While dining out, I always share or I order exclusively from the child or senior menu. I always order water and I never leave feeling stuffed and miserable. A very telling fact is this: Since starting along this road in September 2008, I haven't once needed or sought the relief found in antacid products. If you've read through the archives, you know that "passing the Zantac" was a regular part of our after dinner routine. Not anymore. Not needed. And I feel great about that.
Where do I come up short? In the exercise department. I've used every excuse in the book to keep me from a regular and consistent workout routine. I'm beginning to realize that the changes I've made in my attitude and approach with food, are not the same changes I've made with my commitment to exercise. My success in losing nearly 280 pounds is a product of consistent effort. Yet, I've allowed myself to get "comfortable" with my success, and that has translated into a very inconsistent workout schedule.
This dynamic is at the top of my list of things I want to change immediately. I'm not done. Far from it in fact. Hitting 230 was a goal and I accomplished that. But it's not, nor should it ever be about a number on a scale. It's about how we feel, it's about how our clothes fit, it's about lovingly caring for ourselves---and that means getting that workout in, in some form or fashion, regardless of schedule.
When I started, I was a busy guy--But read the archives or ask my family members--My schedule didn't and couldn't stop me from being out there on the trail, walking off the pounds every night. It was non-negotiable. So--it's a very real and human thing, to reach a certain point where the life or death urgency isn't there...a point where I'm thrilled when I look in the mirror, because it's such a dramatic improvement from where I've come...a point where it's very easy to say: "Yeah, I have some major fitness goals, but I'm so busy and focused on these other projects---soon, I'll find time to get in there and get consistent again. I just have to get this project finished--or that changed"---or whatever it is that I can cling to, to make myself feel better about not working out.
The only area in my life that I accept zero excuses and rationalizations, is my behaviors with food. And that's good. But in order for me to be all I want to be--I must denounce---and pounce on every excuse and rationalization that threatens other areas of my well being. I've often stated that overcoming and managing compulsive eating and food addiction is my strong point, and it is, without a doubt. But still, it's like I use that occasionally as an excuse to pardon my lack of performance when it comes to working out.
Is this all I want? Where I am physically, right now? NO, it's not. I must choose the change I desire before changes come as a result of my lack of good choices in the workout arena. Because not choosing the change, is still making a choice.
I recently posted this on my facebook wall:
"We set an example with our powerful choices, we inspire with our amazing success, we understand because we've been there, and we never stop learning. We're all weight loss superheroes, capable of wonderful things--and as we succeed, our ranks grow exponentially. I have the power--You have the power. We all do. ;) Good Choices, my friend!"
I dove into the archives and found an excerpt that I wanted to share. It doesn't have to be to "a gentleman," it can be to you, if it fits.
From Day 192 --March 2009:
"To The Guy Back There Where I Started"
Every now and then I write a blog, post it, then the next day I'll think of something I wanted to mention but didn't. Last night after the “Lose To Win” seminar, I was approached by a nice lady who expressed concern for a loved one. She told me that the loved one that had her concerned was where I was when I started. Just in case she convinced that loved one to read this blog, here's what I hope he reads:
I don't know your name, what you look like, or anything about you other than a couple of clues I've been given. I know that you're right around 500 pounds and I know that you have loved ones that care deeply about you. That's all I know for certain about you. But I'll take it a little deeper. I was over 500 pounds for years, so I can safely assume that perhaps you're feeling some of the emotions that became a fixed part of my life for so long. You might feel completely hopeless, I did. You might feel like you're out of control, I did. You probably turn to food when you're stressed, scared, sad, happy, it doesn't matter the occasion or emotion huh?
Yep, me too. It's hard to get around isn't it? A short walk can feel suffocating, I know. Maybe you feel like your weight has started chipping away at your personal relationships, I know I did. Are you scared of dying like I was every single day? Be honest, when a little twinge of pain crosses your chest do you start praying it's anything but what you fear the most? I sure did. Is your wardrobe severely limited because of your size? Mine was. I once wore the same pair of pants every day for six months straight, washing it every couple of days, just because it was the only pair that fit, and driving to OKC or Tulsa to buy more was too inconvenient.
When you get scared for your life, do you feel like you're in a non-stop self-destructive cycle? Please say you haven't given up. I never did.
Listen, I knew that if I kept going I would die very soon. Only God knows how soon, but soon for certain. I also knew that I had to be the one to stop the endless cycle. I had to get very honest and very serious with myself. You're not hopeless and you can do this. I'm not special, I don't have any kind of secret potion, I'm not perfect in any way. I'm just a guy who knew that if I really wanted to live, and I mean really live, I had to do something now. I'd argue that I'm no different than you my friend. 192 days ago I reached my limit. My world was becoming unraveled, my weight was doing it's best to crush me and any sliver of hope I may have had for the future.
Can you relate? I bet you can. I'm here to tell you that you can reclaim your life. You have the power within you to do amazing things, and grabbing control of your weight is just the beginning. But how? I'm not going to say that my way is right or wrong, bad or good. It's what I did. I immediately started eating 1,500 calories a day and exercising however I could, and trust me, it wasn't much, but remember, anything is better than nothing. And you'll be amazed at how far you'll progress along the way if you stay consistent.
Read the labels, buy a calorie book, look calories up on the internet. All the information you need is out there. Even before you do that, it's very important to sit down and have a long internal discussion with yourself. Write down what you want out of life. Dream a little! Get it on paper or on a computer screen, whatever, just write. Form your motivating thoughts and hold onto them tight, you're gonna need them to get through this.
Make your motivating thoughts one of the most important things you think about daily. Then DECIDE that you will defend the pursuit of those desires every waking minute. DECIDE to live, DECIDE to change, DECIDE to once and for all take a stand for yourself. Stand up and demand respect from the one that has given you the least, and that's you. DECIDE that it isn't going to end this way, obesity is no longer in charge of your destiny, you are. BELIEVE you have the power to render powerless every hang up that stopped you before, because YOU DO. DECIDE that no matter the struggles in your day to day life, one thing will never be compromised, and that's your commitment to this journey.
Don't do what I did for years, I don't know you , maybe you've done it for years too...Don't lie to yourself. Don't assume you have time to worry about it later. DECIDE to do it NOW and leave the worry behind. I'm right at about half way through my journey, and I've never been happier. That happiness I speak of comes from hope that I never had before. That happiness exist regardless of my current circumstances. Regardless of the stress level from whatever it is that's stressing us out, that happiness and hope remains and carries us through. DECIDE that you're worth it, because YOU ARE. DECIDE to LOVE YOURSELF enough to make the changes that will set you free.
Listen, I've never been one for dramatics, and I know this page is full of dramatics, but please know that it comes from a very sincere place. I wish you could take my place and feel what I'm feeling. Please go back in the archives and read from day 1. Every day is indexed on the left hand side of the page. And if you want, send me an e-mail and we'll communicate directly. Whoever you are, best wishes.
In response to that---Sarah writes:
"Thanks again for sharing your heart. My prayers are with that person...in fact persons, who are struggling to begin the dream. I hope they will take time to read your blog from Day 1. It has been so inspiring to me."
You see...This blog, to me, isn't about the latest post. It's mainly about the twenty-two months of daily posts, seven days a week....everyday, every night...one to three hours of writing. The investment I made, continues to help me today. Because I wasn't just writing, I wasn't just trying to stay afloat or tread water. I was learning to swim. And the lessons I've learned along the way stay with me today. Albeit much stronger and focused in the food behavior department, rather than the gym, but we've discussed this already.
Now--do I think I need to write this blog more often to help me stay accountable in the workout department? YES. YES, YES!!!
Look for more post from me, more often, as I'm about to finish the manuscript for my book "Finding Transformation Road--Breaking The Rules Of Weight Loss To and From Over 500 Pounds." This book has been exhausting. It's an obesity memoir---from five years old to the present day. Wow--it's been an amazing ride. I've shared things in that manuscript that I never shared in the blog--wasn't brave enough to share them, but it will be out there...soon. I can't wait for that day. I promise--it'll be worth the time to read. More details as soon as I have them!!
Thank you for reading, thank you for your support, thank you for everything. You absolutely lift me up in so many ways. I hope that you'll friend me on facebook and follow me on twitter. On facebook, just search using my email address: email@example.com and on Twitter, you'll find me as @seanaanderson I'm horrible about updating my twitter feed--but I'm very consistent on facebook. Join me! Because I'm making weight loss motivation and inspiration--and sharing my experiences, what I do--for the rest of my life.
Now---I'm headed for the YMCA for a really good workout. Later, my friend...