Friday, January 4, 2013

Each Choice Affects The Next or The Pizza Rules

Each Choice Affects The Next or The Pizza Rules

I've shared about my struggles with sleep apnea and most recently with what seems to be central apnea.  I'm learning through trial and error, ways that I can improve my quality of sleep despite the condition.  Cutting out caffeine several hours before bed and simple breathing exercises before closing my eyes have helped considerably.  Still, occasionally I have a night where I feel little rest.  Thursday night was one of those nights.  It made for a very challenging Friday.  Feeling rested is a critical element to being my best.  When I'm exhausted, all I can think about is wanting and needing sleep.  In order to maintain the integrity of my calorie budget, I have to give extra special effort on a day like this.

I was a big mess after my radio show Friday morning.  I sat in the production studio and stared blankly at my list of things I needed to accomplish, then I laid my head down and drifted off for a quick 10 minute nap.  If I was to be productive in the least, the nap was necessary. I entertained the idea of going home and sleeping longer; better, then coming back to finish my workday.  It was about this time I discovered I had a remote broadcast appearance scheduled from noon to two pm.  I needed to make it several more hours before sleep was possible.  I hurried home and somehow made myself presentable.

This broadcast came complete with free pizza to anyone and everyone.  It was TOUGH.  Had I felt better rested I would have had a much easier time resisting the free pizza.  Had I planned better by bringing my own lunch, I would have had an easier time.  The choices I made in my personal care were now affecting the food choices directly in front of me.  I have certain rules about pizza: I don't eat it alone. I only eat thin crust veggie pizza.  I don't seek out pizza.  I only occasionally eat it as part of a social gathering of some kind.  In other words: Devouring a pan pizza while alone in my apartment is NEVER acceptable.  However, a piece or two of thin crust veggie among family, friends and/or colleagues, for me, is usually safe.  Although I must admit, it's not very satisfying in the "calorie value" department.  My best pizza experience is when I make my own low calorie pita pizzas at home.  You probably know where I'm going with this...

I grabbed a piece of thin crust pepperoni and picked off the pepperonis.  There was nothing even remotely satisfying about this choice.  It didn't taste good because instead of fresh veggies it was topped with grease.  But the worst part about this choice didn't have anything to do with the taste or calories spent.  It was the psychological element of feeling defeated by the attraction, even when it honestly wasn't good.

I walked away from the broadcast analyzing my state of mind and the elements contributing to the choice.  I wasn't being hard on myself at all.  (I counted the small slice as 250 calories) I was simply acknowledging the influence of my choices going into the broadcast and how it affected my choice during.  A few minor changes in preparation and I would have made the kind of choices empowering and propelling me toward success.  Had I took the time to at least prepare a baggie of apple slices and baby carrots, enough to hold me over until later, I would have been better equipped to handle the temptation.  Had I completely resisted the pizza table, the triumphant feeling of victory would have felt better than any pizza has ever tasted in my life.

It's okay.  I'm okay.

I slept beautifully later in the afternoon before jumping up and joining Amber for her 23rd birthday party at her mom's house.  I can't believe she's 23. Time passes so quickly. 

The party presented more challenges as I relied more on portion control than careful selection.  I'm still very much learning how to handle myself at gatherings where I'm not the one preparing the food. 

By the time I made it back home I was once again exhausted.  It was a very tough day.  And the joy I wrote about in the January 3rd post was sacrificed a little bit tonight, as I opted for bed instead of writing and getting a workout complete.

I'm happy with myself though.  I'm feeling a peace I haven't felt for some time.  I'm confident in my abilities and the road ahead.

I'm okay.  And I'm starting to better understand exactly what it means to be "okay."

Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,


  1. I'm ready to say you need to ditch pizza for the foreseeable future, just to make things easier on yourself. If you don't currently feel up to making the judgment calls necessary to handle it wisely, then go easy on yourself and step away for a bit.

    And don't rationalize it with "but I need to prove to myself that I'm in control" or any of that b*llsh*t, either. That's not you, that's the monkey on your back trying to talk you into a game of chicken that you'll lose. Coping with pizza in moderation worked for you for a while, but it's not working now so I'd recommend you just say "no" and put in on the shelf. Maybe after you get a handle on the sleep sitch you can, but clearly now is not that time.

  2. great blog Sean! I have set myself a (albeit lofty) goal of losing 100 lbs by the end of September in time for a destination wedding for our nephew in Mexico in early October. I have mapped it out and will be happy with ANY result but am still shooting for the 100. I have been lax in reading your blogs lately but now that you've started posting the link to it on Facebook, that makes it easier! Thanks! Peace out!

  3. I'm not sure if you use a cpap , but I really hope if the doc ordered one for you that you'll use it. Or maybe you need a sleep study? Sorry, I remember you going through this before but don't remember how it ended. I also remember hearing Jillian Michaels of Biggest Loser fame say that the most important thing for weight loss is getting plenty of good sleep.

    ..After losing over 100 lbs and keeping it off I still have sleep apnea and I still have to use a cpap. It's a bummer some of the time but it's saving my life. glad you are posting again.

  4. So, you live and learn. No failures today, Sean. Just finding out what does and doesn't work.

    Good rule of thumb? Fail to plan and plan to fail. Bet you pack up them baby carrots and apple wedges the next time, eh? You can even get them ready the night before so you aren't too tired in the morning.

  5. That pizza thing is rough. I know the feeling. Good planning and self-care is essential, but also difficult sometimes. Well, the mistake was made, the best thing to do is learn from it and move on. Keep at it!

  6. Temptations are not fair. Free pizza has got to be one of the worst. Maybe next time free pizza is presented remember this affair and how you felt about it. Keep learning and improving. I read your book and was very inspired by your calorie bank method. I tried it last year and made it 40 days without going over my 1600 limit. My nephew's birthday party caused me to derail and I wasn't able to right myself. This year, I need to find a better balance, but I still like your idea. I know it can work for me, if I can learn to get the most food (healthy/fresh) for my calories. Starting at 384 lbs on my 5'3" frame with decades of fast food fried habits, changing my ways is not easy. Well, that is an understatement. I have wasted too much time doing nothing and getting nowhere. This year I have to change. This year I will lose weight.

    Best wishes for a great year!

  7. Glad to see you working on the "planning for next time" scenario. Because there will be a next time. I had a major weight loss break through durning my most current loss. I was eating a modified pizza ( with cauliflower as the crust) and realized that for 40 years wheat in the pizza crust was triggering my over eating.

    Once I removed pizza , even modified pizza - I don't do gluten free or any sort of pizza these days. Removing pizza from my diet-it was a piece of the the puzzle that was solved for maintnence. I built on that one revelation and made my whole maintce strategy .

    Contrary to popular belief I am not over eating due to not eating pizza or wheat because I am "deprived". I don't over eat because I am not triggered. And I keep a good set of rules around my food template.

    Good luck on your plans for dealing with this in the future. So worth it to have a template that works.

  8. Love how you are able to really walk us through how this day went for you. It is so hard in the moment to acknowledge how we set ourselves up for failure and seeing an 'autopsy' like this really helps to make things clear.
    One choice at a time, one moment at a time we will succeed. When we make ourselves a priority it will happen. It's just that for those of us who have never really done that it is so foreign and we have to come at it almost as if we are learning a whole new language- and some things get lost in translation! That's the difference between naturally thin people and us, isn't it?


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