Thursday, January 12, 2012
Please, Let's Go Behind The Curtain: The SCZ Examined
I have spoken and written about the “Steel Curtain Zone” many times. The SCZ is simply a barrier I have erected between me and my old behaviors where food is concerned.
It was born from necessity when I made my ICD, or “Iron-Clad Decision” to choose change.
This ICD meant I wasn't going to allow any person, place, thing, emotion, circumstance, celebration, misfortune, stress, or whatever else, be used as an excuse for failure. This time, I wasn't letting myself off the hook easily, or ever again.
I have a calorie limit daily and although I choose to eat any type of food I want I cannot violate the Calorie Bank and Trust©. That is an unbreakable SCZ rule and it requires a level of self-honesty in my choices and portions I never knew before this incredible blessing started.
It also forces me to naturally make better nutritional choices, because it's my intent to get the most value from my calorie “dollar.”
I started thinking about how many times I have used the term “Steel Curtain Zone” and how you might get the wrong impression. The term “steel curtain” brings to mind something unmovable, as it should.
However, it was never my intention to lead you or anyone to believe that behind the steel curtain stands a man of steel. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It dawned on me that out there somewhere, reading my words, might be someone else who sees the term steel curtain zone and feels "I could never do that. I don't have the willpower. I'm not made of steel"
If that's you, then you really need to know this right now: I'm not made of steel either.
The curtain is steel, but I'm not.
Maybe you think I'm just playing verbal gymnastics with you, but no, honestly, I'm not.
There is a world of difference between me being a man of steel and me being behind a steel curtain. You see, it is precisely because I am NOT made of steel that I need the steel curtain.
The SCZ protects me.
I am weak. It is recognizing my weakness that has brought me victory. There has been a lot of struggle behind the steel curtain. Inner changes that had to take place in my mind to allow me to change physically. The steel curtain didn't just keep food out, it kept me in.
While food was out there on the other side of the steel curtain, I was left on this side doing whatever I had to do to not violate the steel curtain.
In the end, I discovered this was the REAL battle. Me learning to allow myself to win. The SCZ coupled with the CB&T© made it possible for me to focus on the real inner battle for the first time in my life.
I was no longer battling food. I was no longer fighting the wrong battle, and I didn't have to, because I was safe behind the steel curtain.
I had to watch myself and learn all the different ways my inner self would try to rip away the safety of the steel curtain.
There, safe behind the curtain, I was finally free to learn about myself. Learn my weaknesses AND my strengths. I don't know if this helps you, but I know it helps me to look at this. Mainly I just wanted to let you know and remind me, that I am not a man of steel.
If I ever actually believe I'm a man of steel, I would quickly become lost again.
Before this transformation I saw myself as helpless, hopeless, and a lost cause. I believe one can be just as lost on the other side of the road if they start thinking of themselves as invincible.
I know that I am not and that is why I, Sean A. Anderson, a mere mortal, still need the “Steel Curtain Zone.”
Thank you for reading, goodnight and...
It would be an honor to personally ship you a signed copy of my book "Transformation Road-My Trip To Over 500 Pounds and Back," available for purchase directly from my website www.transformationroad.com
Also--I would be thrilled for you to join me on Facebook. My personal page is www.facebook.com/seananderson505 and I hope you'll also "like" the book page: www.facebook.com/transformationroad
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Back To Basics
I've written a bunch of blog posts over the last few years. Some were short (Seriously, there was a time...Okay, come on---stop laughing!!!), Some were epic, some were so full of different thoughts and ideas, it was probably hard to maintain focus on any one subject (I know it was often that way for me). And some are my very favorite posts, because they were paramount in my understanding of me. Day 327, Day 135, Day 60...all important marks along this road. The night Courtney burned her girdle, the "Wrong Battle" analogy...and the pictures, oh my---at some point, and I'm not sure when it started, I felt the need to post 137 pictures at the end of every blog post. And if I could also add a video in there or an audio clip of something, I'd do that too.
Well, tonight, I'm not doing what I've done lately. I'm not talking about the book (okay, maybe a little at the end of this post--I mean, I am promoting a book these days!), and I'm not posting a single picture with this entry.
I'm not railing against the "industry" or making comments about the content of mainstream shows and magazines. Nope, not at all. Tonight is a back to basics approach, where we just talk. Uh---Okay, I guess we're not talking really...but I'm just writing and you can comment later, if you so desire.
From the very beginning of this trek, I've tried to keep the fundamentals very simple. The food and exercise, from my experiences--could be made to be so crazy complicated, it would frustrate and risk me wanting to give up. So I kept it simple. I never wrote down my daily food, because I didn't want to mess with the paper work. This is an individual preference, because I have friends who MUST write everything down. My attitude was simple: Compared to the amount of food I was eating to maintain at over 500 pounds for so long, eating only 1500 calories should be easy to keep track in my head. And for me, it was. I had a running total every day and I always knew where I stood.
Exercise was kept as simple as possible. Too simple, you might say. I've never been a P90X'er kind of guy. I'm more a "walk in the park" and "Okay, I guess I'll try to jog a little" kind of guy. And that was okay, right, and perfect for me.
Could I be some massive muscle bound guy by now? Sure, if that's what I would have chosen. But it wasn't. I know, I know...If you've read every day of this blog, then you remember my often times exhausting tone of disappointment over my lack of discipline in the weight room. The truth is, I'm not, nor will I ever be the perfect beach body looking guy with abs of steel. I'm just me. And that's all I want to be.
Will I ever have skin removal surgery? Probably not. I once talked all about how I would and how I deserved it, and perhaps I do. But I really don't care if I ever have the procedure.
For the first time in my entire life, I'm finding a beautiful self-acceptance and peace about who I am, what I'm about, and where I'm headed. I'm loved by the close friends and family around me and by wonderful people all over the world---and it's truly a blessing. Most importantly, this journey has brought me to a place where I love myself more and more everyday. Is it a full embrace? No. It's kind of a warm embrace with an awkward ending--Because I'm still growing and learning, about me, and about these changes making my life what it is today.
How do I maintain? The question has come up often since hitting goal in November 2010. The answer is: I eat normal portions of what I love and I exercise occasionally (and always striving to change the word occasionally to regularly to "loving running" or something like that...).
There's of course, much more to it, and I'll get into it on my next blog post.
Thank you for reading, goodnight and...
P.S.--You can pre-order your personally signed and shipped copy of "Transformation Road--My Trip To Over 500 Pounds and Back," on my website. My personal inventory is currently sold out, but I'm receiving a refill before the end of the week. At that time, another shipment will be mailed--including the five wonderful people who's pre-orders are waiting and of course, your copy. Coming soon: ereader versions and an audio version! I just voiced Chapter 505 and Chapter 1 tonight! Very excited about the release of these options!
Saturday, January 7, 2012
It Can't Be Installed Like A Computer Program, Reviews, and More!
A long time reader writes:
"No worries Sean, there will be shows and magazines for you someday."
Before moving further into this blog post, let me clarify something. My last blog post wasn't me whining and complaining or throwing a jealous fit about not making the cut for a major television show or magazine issue.
It wasn't about me. It was my experience/perception of how the weight loss industry seemingly controls mainstream media with its magic wand of cash. Now, with that said--do I love the show mentioned? Yes. Would I jump at the chance to share my story with their viewers? Of course! Would I absolutely faint into my morning egg white omelet if the magazine mentioned ever decided to feature me? Yes, naturally.
But not in a "fame seeking" kind of way. Simply in a "how many more people can I reach with what I've learned along the way?" kind of way.
You see--My goal, my mission, my passion in life is pure and simple. And it's all about sharing my experiences and philosophies. It just so happens, these messages are not yet attached to a billion dollar company capable of writing huge advertising checks to mainstream media outlets. And my simplistic yet deeper understanding of the dynamics involved in my liberation do not require special products, plans, or anything in which you can affix a price tag. Featuring what I have to say, might very well offend one of these giant check writers, and people's livelihoods are at stake at that point.
The wonderful thing is, I understand! I've been a member of the broadcasting media for nearly a quarter of a century (oh my, that makes me feel really old). When a listener hears me voicing a commercial detailing the amazing flavor and awesomeness of various restaurant menu items, it might sometimes sound very strange and contrary. But it's my day job. It's part of what I do. And to me, I know from experience--it all comes down to our personal choices. It's not the restaurant industry at fault for the obesity epidemic--it's always, every time...our individual choices. Very few menu items exist that can't be enjoyed in a reasonable portion size--in a normal way. It was always my internal influence that turned what could have been reasonable and manageable, into crazy-unmanageable--and over-board excess. My choices...every time.
I'll keep on doing what I do---writing what I write, saying what I say, delivering my message the way I do...and the only thing that will ever change it, is my ability to grow and learn along the way. Because I'm always learning, that never stops. I'm not an expert on anything or anyone but me. I'm not a weight loss guru. I'm a weight loss "you-ru," because these changes I write and speak about must come from within each of us---it's not about me, it's about you. You and your amazing power to choose change. And when you do choose change...try to put a price check on it. It's very hard...because it's priceless and relatively unique for each and every one of us.
I owe a big thank you to the many family and friends who often show up in these blog posts and of course in my book. I have many loved ones and I'm eternally grateful for their love and support. It's no secret, many of my friends and loved ones struggle just like me, with obesity and all of the dynamics involved. A few wonderful people have lately expressed a puzzled perception of how I can be so close to my family and friends, and while I have seemingly overcome, many of them still struggle. As if my family and friends individual success is somehow guaranteed by virtue of our close relationship. Let me explain a thing or two, please...
We're all at different points along this road. And we all have different experiences, emotions, behaviors, likes, dislikes, and the list can go on and on. We're each a snowflake, different and beautiful in our own wonderful way. There's only one person in the world who can do it for anyone. It's not Chris Powell, or Jillian, or Bob, or Richard Simmons, or me, or my book, or any product or service glaring from the billboards along this road. This one person is very easy to find but often difficult to connect with deeply, because of the conditioning developed over our individual lifetime experiences. Easy to find, by simply looking into any mirror, harder to understand without a concentrated effort of self-discovery.
So why do I do and share what I do? Because I have hope. I hope and pray that my experience and example can shift the perspective of someone just enough--that they might find their own "click" within themselves. Because it must come from within. No person or product can do it for anyone, ever. And if they do, it's most always, without fail--temporary.
When someone, like me, discovers the answers do not exist outside of themselves, that's when amazing transformations take place. And once this epiphany happens for someone--look out, because their transformation is as sure as night turns to day. It's empowering in the most fantastic way possible.
The internal changes for each of us, can't be installed like a computer program. If that were the case, I'd have IT specialist all over it, designing the perfect program available for instant download---and I'd become a multi-gazillionare overnight and the World's obesity epidemic would fade away into a distant era in history. Wow, wouldn't that be amazing? It can't be done.
And it can't be done, for anyone, by anyone else other than themselves.
What we can do is this: We can focus on ourselves and our individual transformations. We can write and speak about what we're learning along the way and how it applies to our situation. We simply do what we do---and as we do, people close to us or in tune with our message---may or may not pick up and relate in their own way, and being "tuned in" just might shift something---and then, their personal "click" might happen. Or not.
And it doesn't matter one way or another, because we love them regardless of size or scale or someone's ability to "get it." And since it can't be installed like the latest version of Windows, it gives us peace. Because the only person we're ultimately responsible for and able to help, is staring back at us in the mirror.
Thank you for reading, goodnight and...
Reviews have been pouring in for my first book "Transformation Road-My Trip To Over 500 Pounds and Back," and I'm beyond grateful for the incredible words from these amazing people. You've given me a tremendous gift, thank you! Here are some:
"Sean, just finished your book last night... read it in a day, I just couldn't put it down. I could hear your voice while reading it, so it was like you were talking to ME. I cried within the first 10 pages. There are so many things I could connect with. I was a 'husky' child. And I was also a single mom, and I have a mama's boy who is 26 years old now. Oh gosh, I could go on and on and on about how much I love your book, your story. (and I might lol) Thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this, for sharing this. There are so many people I wish would read your book now, Sean. They may not feel the hopelessness of never losing weight when they read your words. The words 'thank you' just don't do it.:)"
"rec'd my book in the mail today! so exciting! read the first 148 pages, taking only a break for dinner, and putting the kiddo's to bed. really enjoying it!"
"Hi Sean, I just had to write you a quick note. I just opened up my package that contained your book. I am so excited. I almost want to go home sick just to start reading it, but I won't. I have been following you since AOL did a pop up story of you a few years ago. You are amazing. What you have done with your life, and you have helped so many of us struggling with the weight problem you have given us hope. Keep up the much success. Thanks for everything."
Michelle R.D.--"Sean, I finished reading your book this morning. It was awesome!! Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. I would highly recommend this book to anyone with any kind of addiction. As I read, even though our lives were different, I could start to see the excuses in my life that have stopped me from losing weight. It had to be so hard for you to reveal such intimate details of your life. But that's where the honesty part comes in and total accountability. You are such an inspiration!! I believe this book will be a #1 best seller!! I wish you the best of luck! I look forward to reading your blog. I plan on starting with Day One tonight."
Wendy Landes--Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
"I just finished ur book in a car ride to northeast Oklahoma! It is absolutely amazing! So moving, engaging and right on point! I am ecstatic about ur accomplishments and even prouder to have u as a friend! Congrats…"
Gloria J.—(after watching the quirky little video found below and reading the book)
"Good morning to you; I just cut up two apples, squeezed lemon juice all over them and sprinkled cinnamon and Splenda over them...got my "apple pie" ready for my lunch. Getting ready for work. Thank you so much for this idea. It is scrumptious!!!! Yum!! Have a great day. I finished your book last night. Awesome, awesome!!!! Thank you..for sharing your story and reaching out to others and allowing us to keep in touch with you. I have lived in Ponca for 7 years but never heard about you until I saw the ad in the Ponca City News. Thank you Ponca City News!!!!"
The book is available by order from any bookstore, amazon.com, amazon in Europe and other countries, Flipkart.com in India, and various other outlets. You can order personalized signed copies directly from me--shipped to you by me, from my website www.transformationroad.com
Coming soon: Kindle, Nook, and three other ereader formats. Plus, an audio version I get to voice!!
Combining my broadcasting career with my new career as a writer was destined to create this: "Sean In The Morning" interviewing Author Sean A. Anderson (Note: A delicate balance of humor and truth can be heard in the below audio clip):
More photos from my recent book signing at Brace Books and More! Photo credits: Cathy Cole
Some more photos from my personal collection:
Triumphant stance in front of marquee!
Finally holding it my hands!
At my dining room table signing pre-orders. Kelly snapped this shot when I wasn't looking...genuine happiness on that face there, my friend!
Amber is a pro at organizing the packing and sealing of the shipments. She supervised Courtney, Bradley, and Dylan too---and they all did an amazing job! Thank you!
Ready for the post office!
On the back dock waiting for post pick-up. The initial shipping of pre-orders took an hour and a half inside, in front of a waiting mid-day crowd who now, thanks to me and your orders, only had one postal employee to handle the rush. My apologies!! Really wasn't a good time to take up a counter position! Great thing is this: No reason for a future back-log again. I'll be able to ship as I receive new orders.
A recent dinner I prepared for Kelly and me. It was incredible, if I do say so myself!! And the calorie value was awesome! Just under 350 calories on this plate!
Always keeping a supply of snacks I love ready in my man-purse---I mean, European Shoulder Bag--enables me to navigate my day without feeling famished at the end of the afternoon!
To watch the "What's In The Bag?" You Tube Video, just click the link below:
The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser. All rights reserved.