Thursday, April 24, 2014

April 24th, 2014 The Puzzle

April 24th, 2014 The Puzzle

The visit with the sleep specialist was powerful to me, like a wake up call of sorts. "How fit were you at 230?" Wow, great question Doc! Not too much, really. Sure, it was all cardio that got me there, never really kick starting the weight training I often fantasized about accomplishing.  I was satisfied with being much smaller and discovering the body underneath the thickness that was me for so long.  It wasn't the fittest body for sure, but miles from the five hundred pound body I maintained for so long. The fact that body composition plays a role in getting good sleep makes perfect sense.  Time for a new goal?  Time to strive for not just weight loss, but overall fitness? Time to hit the weights? Sure! But I shouldn't get ahead of myself.

First thing is getting regulated on a consistent schedule of maintaining the calorie budget, exercising and writing in this blog.  Those are the elements that worked before. Now here's the deal: For various reasons, namely the automatic compulsion to compare my performance today to what I did back then, I've found it isn't as simple as doing what I did from the beginning. There's a whole new awakening, volumes of study about myself that I was blissfully unaware of in the Fall of 2008. I may have referred to myself as a food addict back then, but I wasn't educated to know what all that meant and how it played a significant role in my life. So now, maintaining a calorie budget, exercising and writing consistently, requires an additional commitment to fundamentals all recovering addicts must embrace. Getting to a healthy weight and being more physically fit and living a life of good practice conducive to proper maintenance, is the goal.  It's about so much more than simply losing the weight.

A big part of this journey is being okay with me. Before I go into a thousand word explanation, I'll just leave it at that.  You know what I mean--self compassion, turning off (or at the least-turning down) the critical voice inside that keeps insisting I'm not good enough or not deserving enough or whatever. I'm not a therapist, but I talk with one regularly. What I've learned has been invaluable to my understanding of the human science, the petri dish of experience that has grown into me today.  The common misconception is that knowing and possessing a better understanding of these connections automatically makes breaking away from their hold easier. It does not. I've gained significant weight throughout my therapy process but I've also gained an invaluable education about me.  So what good is it?  The important thing, in my opinion, is to realize it's only a piece of our puzzle. And putting our puzzle together requires more than just having the knowledge of what we do and why we do it, it requires deliberate actions. Simply having a good idea of where the pieces fit doesn't solve the puzzle, you gotta get hands on those pieces--you gotta be willing to physically work the puzzle.  Is it always easy? NO.  Will we get stuck occasionally? YES.  Do we give up and wipe the puzzle into the floor? NEVER.

And from this day forward, this blog will be about deliberate actions. If you've read from the beginning of this blog or at least part of the first couple of years, you'll recognize exactly what it is.  A daily diary.  Now...I can't guarantee I won't go off on a philosophical tangent every now and again, because it comes very easy for me to do---and I'll occasionally get creative--but for the most part, it could get a little boring along the least until you see what's happening and how it's unfolding.


I hit the snooze bar twice this morning for an additional 18 minutes of sleep.  By the time I hit the floor there wasn't much time for anything but the routine of getting out the door on time. Abbreviating my time for prayer and meditation isn't the best thing to do, but it's often what happens after a night of restlessness.

I make coffee and start breakfast (three whole eggs wrapped in a 60 calorie Joseph's Pita) cooking on low while I get showered and dressed. Multitasking all the way to the door with exactly enough time to drive to the studio, sit down, key the mic and sound as if I'm the most refreshed person in the world.  "Good morning, it's 68 degrees--warm start for us as we go to New York for the latest from ABC..."  I made it.  And I'll be okay until the 10am split.

My employer has allowed me to adopt a split shift schedule throughout this sleep crisis and it's worked relatively well.  I'm toast without the midday nap, so for the most productive version of me in the afternoon, it's become fairly important.  This split schedule isn't ideal really and I look forward to getting my sleep puzzle sorted out and put together so I can function in a more normal way.

I cooked a large and lean sirloin steak during my midday split and it served me for lunch and dinner.  I prepared steak and cheese crunchy tacos for lunch with mozzarella and salsa and for dinner I made a big steak and cheese omelet. I also snacked on apple slices today. I brought a bag of apples to work this afternoon to keep in the studio kitchen.

I arrived home shortly after 5pm and although I didn't plan on taking another nap, I quickly realized my body was insisting, so I complied to a regulated hour (alarm set) nap.  Prepared dinner, listened to a small portion of one of my favorite podcasts (Marc Maron's WTF), made a trip to the store and then to the trail for some exercise. I had a good walk.

My right leg seems to be improving and that's good. Because when it's swollen, it's very hard to justify any kind of exercise that might stress the leg and cause painful sores.  It's a catch 22--because the exercise helps me lose weight and the weight loss dramatically improves the leg swelling.  In order to continue exercising consistently, I'll likely need to start wrapping with compression bandages designed specifically for lymphatic issues. And that's okay.  Whatever it takes.

As I write this, I'm under my calorie budget for the day, I've exercised and I've written a blog post.  I'll be hitting the pillow shortly with the confidence in knowing that I did well today.  And this feeling, when duplicated consistently, has the power to create some seriously positive momentum!

Goodnight, thank you for reading,
Good choices,


  1. I call it getting back to the basics and sounds like you're doing great Sean. Sorting it all out is so tough. If you haven't read chapter 6 in the book I set give it a look. I think the mental aspect of all this is the most important part.

  2. I'm glad you are back to writing more frequently. Much of your 'philosophy' around the mentality behind weight loss and regain is dead on for me. You said it better, so maybe I should just blog.."See Sean's post xxxx" because that's what I feel today. I had a 130 lb weight loss and have gained back about a little less than half. I am fighting to start the losing again, but in a way where it sticks for good. I did do weight training throughout my weight loss and still ever since though I tend to get in a rut and not challenge myself. Having a trainer at times or doing weight training classes or videos helps to keep things fresh and smart and productive. Have a great weekend.

  3. Great blog today, Sean. Your writing is wonderful and it is helping me sharpen my own focus. Thanks.

  4. Awesome share thank you

  5. So happy you are back to your Daily Diary, Sean. It was always an inspiration for me to read about your journey. I'm looking forward to following along again :) Welcome back !

  6. Glad to hear you're thinking about using your blog again to keep accountable. Take it one step at a time :)

  7. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." :) Sean, you sound SO solid!

  8. I know what you mean. A couple of years ago, when I reached 280ish and had lost 50 pounds, I proudly took my pic and posted it on facebook and felt super great about my appearance (too much so, probably). I got up to 310 during pregnancy and now that I'm seeing 280ish again, I don't have the confidence or self-image I had the first go around. Our minds are so powerful.

    I'm glad you are blogging again. I believe you will succeed day by day!


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