Thursday, November 15, 2012

I Needed This

I Needed This

The past two days have been extremely good.  I've stayed within my calorie budget and exercised both days.  I've started each morning with spiritual prayer and meditation.  I've taken time and care in planning my food strategy too.  I once again feel strong and confident.  I feel driven in a positive direction.

I've been inspired, motivated, moved to tears and absolutely energized by the outpouring of support.  I actually planned on returning to regular blogging sooner--in fact, shortly before my 41st birthday October 23rd I proudly proclaimed on facebook my return to regular blogging as a "birthday gift to myself."  My birthday came and went and still I avoided this blog page.

I was truly scared of what I might find.  Fear of rejection.  Fear of being called a fraud.  Fear of being reminded of some of my very own words, like "knowing too much to ever go back" and "nothing is off limits," among other writings and beliefs in the archives of this blog. It's important to remember something else I've said from the very beginning: I'm not an expert and I don't know everything.  All I've learned along this road continues to evolve and with experience and more learning, becomes subject to modification.  It's like transformation experimentation.

These irrational fears couldn't have been further from the truth.  In fact, the opposite is the true reality.  And this is where I realize something critical.

I needed this relapse.  I needed this challenge.  I truly needed to be humbled and shown the truth of my addiction once again.  I needed to learn more.  And I'll remain open minded and learn still more as we go.  Where I found myself and where I find myself today was and is imperative to my growth toward my ultimate goals and dreams. 

Words cannot express how grateful I am for your understanding.

In the middle of the last six months, I started to worry about the very real possibility of returning to 300, 400 or even 500 pounds. When you're feeling so lost and hopeless, it seems like the only possible outcome.

In the depths of a spiral, it's like we're divided into two opposite personalities. It's a classic good vs. evil struggle. If we're discouraged, depressed and failing to plan, this weakened state makes standing up against inexplicable compulsions almost impossible. Giving in weakens us even more until we're totally dominated. At this point, the hopeless feelings; the idea of never finding a way to once again grab control becomes oppressive, all consuming, desperate, suffocating and lonely. 

If this is where you find yourself, you're not alone and it isn't hopeless, I promise.  Reach out, first spiritually--in whatever way that means to you, ask for help.  Then, reach out to anyone around you, far and near by giving your struggle a voice.  It's incredible how quickly this can snap you back into the mindset needed to break free again.

Over the next however long it takes, I'll return to a healthier body weight and I'll do it with a greater appreciation and respect for the dynamics of food addiction and emotional compulsive eating.

I'll also work on being a little more compassionate toward me.  Several have noticed how harsh I can be on myself.  As one put it, "You treat others with so much compassion, yet you have little for yourself."  Wow... They're right. This will be another well learned lesson along the way. 

In the tradition of this blog, I look forward to once again sharing many pictures, videos and various other elements along the way.

Tonight, before I wrap this up--I wanted to share a couple of photos of me with very special people.  My maternal grandmother (Edith Irene Anderson) passed away in May.  I've written about her and posted pictures of her throughout the journey, so I wanted you to know.

My big brother Clarke Hodson also passed away in early September.  Clarke was my big brother in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.  If you've read my book, then you might remember the six or seven paragraphs where I described my relationship with him.

As I approached goal, grandma would advise "don't you lose another pound!"  It was her loving way of saying she loved me unconditionally.  And she did, at 505 or 230--no matter, I always had her love and could feel how incredibly proud she was of me.  She would often talk about the time she enjoyed watching me sing on stage with the Poncan Opry Band.  Even though Alzheimer's disease was robbing her memories, it was one of the few that remained.

I was incredibly honored when the family insisted I be with them during Clarke's funeral.  I was such a lucky kid... The program could have paired me with anyone and I was fortunate enough to get to know Clarke.

Thank you for reading, goodnight and...

Good Choices,


  1. I found your blog when Jack Sh*t mentioned your book a couple of months ago, and I just finished reading it from the beginning. I'm sorry to hear you've been struggling since you stopped writing in this space. It sounds like you have your feet pointed back in the right direction now, you have the best wishes of a lot of people.

  2. Glad to see you are back on track Sean. In my own selfish way, I read this post this morning and realized that you are human, just like every other overweight person who is struggling to lose weight or struggling to maintain. So if you don't have some magic secret and are able to struggle, then well maybe I am really able to do it too. I have made excuses for so long "ah well he is just that one in a million person who's body easily lets go of weight" (no offence, I know how hard you work, it was just a cop out for me).

    Thank you for being so open with your journey Sean. I learn so much from reading about your sucess as well as your struggles. You Rock!

  3. Hi Sean, I've been following you for the past two years and I'm sorry that you've been struggling and finding things tough. I've found that your posts this week have been refreshingly honest... I loved reading your daily diary and relating to the challenges that you faced but if I'm honest, recently I haven't felt the same connection with you through your facebook posts. I always got the impression that once you reached your goal that you found things easy, your motivational comments and your perfect smile always sort of made me feel a bit, well... inferior as I struggled to not slip back into my own bad habits. It was only when you posted on here earlier this week that I realised that in actual fact that many of your motivational posts were as much directed at yourself as at your followers. I misjudged you and I'm sorry for that but I'm so glad that you have decided to come back to the blog. I wish you all the best as you turn things around Sean, please don't forget that you don't need to be perfect in order to gather respect - being human and the challenges that occur as we travel through life are things we can all relate to and one of the biggest draws to your story has been the fact that so many people can relate to it. :)

  4. Sean, I'm so sorry you suffered and struggled, but thankful you had the love, support and understanding from those you needed while feeling hopeless and lonely. My heart sank a little at the photo of you and your grandma. What a precious woman she was. I'm so sorry for your losses but thankful that you're back. A bittersweet blog this was. I wish you the very best. Love and prayers always....

  5. I, too am a relapse survivor. Relapses aren't required in recovery, but those who have experienced them can learn from them if we are willing. Thank you for sharing your experience. You will give hope to many.

  6. I'm so sorry to hear about your Grandmother. What a lovely and kind person she was. Losing your big brother shortly after must have been so very hard. So much to handle.
    I'm glad to see you have your calorie budget and exercise mojo back. You have always inspired me and continue to do so.

  7. Sean, thanks so much for the brutal honesty. as i said before, this is the bravest thing I have ever seen.

    I never really verbalized or acknowledged it till you said something, but I was also living in fear of returning to 300+ pounds. It really did seem like a spiral I could not pull out of. I still feel bad for the circumstances, but I am so glad you are back on the blog man!!!

  8. God bless you bud, us old hats have to realize it is never over....I have been struggling much of me wants to it to all be natural. I am not sure it will ever be natural. But it is doable and possible. Luckily we both know it. We will do it. Glad beyond belief that you are honest. So many aren't.

  9. Why is it that we can forget the strong things we have accomplished and at these times the negative thoughts are given so much more power. You have already climbed the mountain. That little voices are wanting to coax down off the summit is something you will be able to overcome. You may listen to them for a bit, but then you will realize that they are not offering you the freedom and the sights that can only be seen from the top of accomplishment and discipline. We are all human and want so much to go back and believe in fairy tales at times. Keep up your good work. You earned it, and will keep doing so.

  10. I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your Grandmother, and of your big brother. ((hugs)) So good to see you back though Sean, and on it. You inspire me even more than you did before. ^_^

  11. Oh, Sean, I'm so very sorry about the loss of your precious grandmother. From reading here for years, I know how much you adored her.

    On a selfish note, I'm glad you're back. I've really missed reading your daily posts.


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