Friday, May 9, 2014

May 9th, 2014 Understanding What Works For Me

May 9th, 2014 Understanding What Works For Me

I was up way too late last night. My schedule has a few "subject to change without much notice" type things built in, so it happens. Last night was weather coverage of some non-severe storms that moved through and gave our area some much needed rain.  When storms like that move through, it's important for us to clarify the intensity on air in a nice calm fashion. If it isn't severe, we say it, because sometimes the least threatening storms can look and sound very threatening. Although last night's storms weren't classified as severe, we had reports of lightening triggered fires. One strike destroyed a tractor-trailer rig and two or three other adjacent vehicles. So much for "non-threatening" storms.

I must react and adjust on the fly sometimes when the schedule abruptly switches direction.  I hadn't planned on having a restaurant meal Thursday evening, but the alternative would have been a midnight dinner and that wasn't going to work for me. I almost didn't write last night's blog edition because it was so late, but I'm glad I did.  I must be willing to be extremely brief in those type of situations and that's very tough for me. Brevity has never been a strong point.  When I'm recalling situations and the accompanying emotions, I'm compelled to go deeper than a few bullet points. John Motta shared a quote from Flannery O'Connor on my facebook page a little while back and it fits: "I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say."

My day started out in a rush. I woke up late and scrambled to pull myself together. Good thing I'm sleeping much better these days, otherwise I don't know if I could have done it today. One thing I mustn't ever sacrifice is breakfast.  Whoever first said it's the most important meal of the day was right.  It sets the tone for me.  I do my best to start each day with a meal I feel good about.  It's often the same thing or a slight variation of the same ingredients and that's okay.

Last Tuesday we had special guest Phil Werdell M.A., director of the Acorn Food Addiction Institute and one of the founders of on our weekly conference call support group.  He shared many things I needed to hear.  One of them was how he still measures and weighs his food the same as he's done for the last 27 years of maintenance.  It drove home the point that this isn't ever going to be something that is over and any resistance to this fact doesn't end well for someone like me.

The attitude adjustment needed for acceptance of this heightened awareness and critical self care is paramount to my recovery and successful maintenance down the road. It does take more time, it is an investment in me that must be made because I'm worth the effort.  It's a shift in perspective.  When I think about the commitment I've made, I realize the extra effort is a small price to pay in exchange for living the best life possible. I don't want to ever go back to my 500 pound existence and without the effort, that's exactly where my body will go. Is it fair???  You know what I mean? Some people never need to worry about this stuff.  Their natural genetics affords them the ability to maintain their optimal body weight or somewhere close to it without too much trying.  But it goes further than genetics. A lot of people are not food addicts either and perhaps they have a natural inclination to exercise regularly. And that's a wonderful thing for them. If it's fair or not isn't even something to waste time considering because it is what it is. The fact of the matter remains: If I choose to not make this part of my life a top priority, it will eventually kill me. End of story. And when you think of it in those terms, you quickly realize all energy wasted entertaining jealousy and envy of those not affected is energy better spent on taking better care in recovery.

The dynamics are different for me now. I lost 275 pounds without ever logging my food, let alone documenting every meal and snack with a picture and a tweet. Things change, we change and the more we experience and process, the more we're affected by it all. In other words, what worked for me then worked because it was new to me, it was all brand new. In my experience I've grown and I've learned so much about me along the way. This blog has been like a Phd for me about me. And if I had to explain where or how the train left the tracks, I would say: I mistakenly took the freedom weight loss provided as a license to be less aware and less diligent. Hey, I'll eat when I'm hungry, I'll exercise regularly and this maintenance thing will be a breeze!  My new found freedom and relatively "normal" physicality fooled me into believing that suddenly I might be able to be "normal" in all the other non-physical ways. But it doesn't work that way.  And the quicker I came to terms and peace about it all, the quicker I could be where I am now--headed in the right direction with plenty of good ahead of me, God willing. And this direction and understanding of what's required doesn't mean it will always or ever be easy. It will be largely what I make it and that depends on the attitude and perspective I choose. 

I did another 30 minutes on the elliptical this afternoon at the YMCA.  I'm so glad I was able to get past myself and get in there the other day. It feels so good to be back in that building.

I stopped by the store this afternoon and picked up some chicken for a fabulous dinner. Earlier in the week I made steak fajita tostadas and I was very pleased with the results of my cooking experiment.  Tonight I made them again with chicken. Oh my...incredible.

The Calorie Bank and Trust was solid today.  If you're interested, my food diary is public on MyFitnessPal--simply search me by username: SeanAAnderson.  Food pics with calorie counts are constantly tweeted throughout each day at These two elements are accountabilitcy tools for me and they're working beautifully.  And join me on facebook if you haven't already,

Thank you for reading,


  1. normal, I'll never be normal....I could have written this's very weird to 'hear' words coming out of the screen from someone and they are your words too..I love that quote...because I write to know what I think too. It just pops out. I don't think about anything, and then I go back and read and am surprised....and when I go back and read some of my old the very beginning...the subject of fear popped up early on...but at that stage, I wasn't interested in re reading anything. This is why writing is so important...I bet if you go back and read from the beginning...your achilles heel is already there for you to see in the words. Good post.

  2. Sean, thank you so much for sharing your most deepest thoughts. You have tremendous insight to the reasons "why" we struggle with extra weight. When I look around I see so many overweight people and I don't want to go there so I too choose to change and walk this journey to health. My top weight wasn't 500 pounds but it was enough to hold me as a prisoner and I want to be free of it; so I continue to walk on this journey even though it isn't perfect and I am thankful that you are a friend who shares because your writings always encourage me. I keep thinking I will get there, I will get there to that magic number where there is no more struggle. That is a lie and I too have to accept that whether it is fair or not in this life. It is who I am also so each day I consciously strive to make healthy choices, some days I do great, other days I fall short but all in all it has kept me from climbing way back up there to the mark that drills into my being that I am a failure in life; I know I am not but so much of who I am seems to be related to my physical stature. Anyway, thanks so much for sharing and encouraging me too...You are so worth the extra effort it takes to get back to your goal...You can do it. Thanks for sharing your heart once again. You probably have no idea how many are in your "audience" listening to you, gleaning bits of wisdom from your writings as well. May the Lord bless you in a big way today!!!

  3. I keep reading because you keep saying what I know to be real for me too.

  4. " If I choose to not make this part of my life a top priority, it will eventually kill me. End of story. "

    What a deep and thought-provoking post, Sean. I think I AM struggling with finding that balance where I can accept that the state of heightened awareness is necessary - FOR LIFE - yet be able to be at PEACE about it at the same time. Haven't figured it out yet, but feel like it's right around the corner.

    So glad to see such great progress you are making. Wonderful insights; thank you for sharing them with us.


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