Thursday, June 19, 2014

June 19th, 2014 A Day of Minor Struggles

June 19th, 2014 A Day of Minor Struggles

I was prepared today. Preparedness doesn't always prevent struggle. One of my interviews on the show this morning was Mark, an avid fisherman. He was coming in studio to promote the upcoming All-American Fish Fry Blood Drive with the Oklahoma Blood Institute. This will be the 8th year this man has caught, cleaned, prepared and cooked all of the fish for this big annual event. Every year, in advance of the date (usually the week before), he brings fresh fried catfish into the studio for everyone to enjoy. Today was the day.

I love fried fish. I love fish, period. Even though I was fully satisfied with my breakfast, I was having a very tough time resisting the aroma of the fish and chips in the studio lobby.  I tweeted about it, expressing "...I need to get out of here." In years past I've indulged on this day, but not this time. Sending the tweets about the fish gave me strength to walk away. Could I have eaten a piece and simply counted? Sure. But as solid and on plan as I've been lately--coupled with the fact that I had just finished breakfast and wasn't even remotely hungry, I made the right call.  I don't feel bad for Mark, the fisherman, because plenty of others enjoyed the free fish. And he knows how I feel about his fish, it's the best!

I left the studio not long after my show and when I returned after lunch, the crock pot of fish and fries still had several pieces. Yes, I checked. I had just finished a wonderful lunch of baked fish, sweet potatoes and pears. Again, I wasn't hungry, yet I was still compelled to check the crock pot. I didn't eat any. I quickly made my way to the upstairs production studio and dove into my work. After a couple of hours I enjoyed an orange before finishing the work day. I still needed to go downstairs and secure the on-air studios, which meant encountering the crock pot of what was now cold and old catfish and fries.

It still smelled good. I came within an inch of eating it. I went so far as to remove the lid and pick up a few pieces. For a moment I thought, I can just count it, tweet it and eat less for dinner. Oh, I was doing my best to make it okay.  At this point, considering the struggle, there was no way I was giving up. I put the cold fish back in the pot, returned the lid--acknowledged the glistening of oil on my fingers and the smell, then promptly went into the bathroom and washed it away. I walked from the studio feeling empowered.

It showed me that just because I'm 97% sugar free, it doesn't mean I'm completely free from errant thoughts and occasional struggle. This situation was a different kind of trigger. It was the sight and smell. Had the food been a large pizza from Hideaway Pizza in my hometown, I would have experienced the same struggle. Had it been a giant pot of sesame chicken from Chinese Express--same struggle. I haven't had many of these types of struggles in the last couple of months because I haven't been around some of these foods. It was a good thing to experience this today.

After deciding to grill something for dinner, I realized I forgot to take the meat from the freezer. No problem, I'll just go buy a small package at the store and grab a few other things while I'm in there. But when I pulled into the store parking lot I realized how tired I was. It had been a long day. Instead of shopping, then cooking--I decided to give myself a break from the kitchen and grab some Hawaiian Fajitas to go from my favorite little Mexican place. Out of the five or six times I've eaten out in the last few months, these Hawaiian Fajitas account for four times, including tonight. I implemented the same calorie saving strategy as I always do at a Mexican restaurant. Dinner checked in at 556 calories.

I planned to workout after dinner but suddenly I didn't feel like it. Was I just too tired today, physically and mentally? Perhaps. I really like to reserve my "off day" from the workout schedule for the weekends. So I decided to drag myself to the YMCA. I arrived and realized I had left my earbuds at home. I wasn't driving all the way back home and back to the Y again for the music. I decided to go ahead and workout without my music. I made it through the workout, but I'll tell you--listening to people grunt and breathe isn't as much fun as getting wrapped up into Billy Idol. It took some focus to see it through. I'm glad I did.

Today's theme has been struggle, in a few different ways. It may have started with the anonymous comment on yesterday's post that stated: "Your blog seems interesting but I cant get past the ugly layout." It was the epitome of superficial, this comment--and as much as it amused me, it must have bothered me a little too. My blog is as strong as the content and message, not to mention what it's done for me in so many ways and what others have told me it's done for them over the years. I take this blog seriously. I've never taken the time to "dress it up" or even consider a few changes to make it easier to read. Perhaps I do need to make a few changes to it, nothing major--maybe a bigger font or something, different color schemes...a prettier layout.

I'm hitting the pillow much earlier than usual and that's a good thing. And despite the various minor struggles today, I'll hit the pillow knowing that I'm in just under budget, I exercised and I took extraordinary care of me today.

Thank you for reading,
Strength,
Sean

10 comments:

  1. I do find your blog layout a bit annoying for various reasons so if you have the time to change it I encourage that, but your content is so interesting and empowering you have me as a reader regardless! It is not a matter of "ugly" for me, it is actually a bit hard to read. You obviously have a lot of readers, like me, who don't care enough to stop reading.

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  2. Sean, when I struggle through a tough time, it seems to tired me out physically and mentally too. Combating stress is real work!

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  3. This person in reference to "I cant get past the ugly layout" does not know what he/she is talking about. I find the layout to be perfectly fine, no changes needed.

    I am happy to here you overcome the minor struggles you experienced. IMO sometimes your too strict and hard on yourself. Take this all as as a complement. Which is not a bad strategy and works very well for you. It's about trusting your own eating habits and it's possibly you may be under estimating the power no sugar in your diet. I respect the amount of effort you put into your daily commitment but could not help thinking if this was me in your situation. Since the fish had no added sugar, I would have helped myself to some, just a little to snack on because I could and really wanted a taste. Knowing how much different I am without the AS and sugar I have complete confidence in my ability to adjust to something I want to eat now I had not planned on earlier in the day.

    As you describe your day, minor struggles, this very well could have proved disastrous with your former eating habits. However I have to get back to the idea that you may be underestimating your own ability and own control of food not being influenced by sugar and if you did cave into your temptation, most likely it would have been just a taste or snack. I am guessing you would have been fine either way, just food for thought.

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  4. Hooray for you Sean!! You conquered BIG ONES today!! I am happy for you.

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  5. Love your Blog!! Please keep it up!!

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  6. What a thought! Having complete control over what's in your kitchen to eat! No opening the cupboard to get out oatmeal and finding a bag of chips. No lifting the garbage can lid to deposit eggshells and seeing an empty pudding container lying on its side, displaying a picture of its contents (last night). Wow.

    I had a sudden vision of me racing thru the kitchen with a trash bag...cackling.

    But, after my little fantasy, it occurred to me that living alone poses it's own kind of struggle. Being the only one responsible for what's in your kitchen...means you are the only one responsible for what's in your kitchen. It's all on you. If the food you need isn't there, well no one's going to show up with a bag of it for you. And...no one would see if you slipped something in that's not on your food plan, either. A secret eater's nirvana...or not.

    If I lived alone without someone here that I had to provide decent meals for, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't bother to make the kind of healthy meals that you make for yourself. A freezer full of Lean Cuisines come to mind...and worse.

    Living alone has its benefits, but it also takes a special kind of discipline to do it well. I am impressed with what you're pulling off with both food and exercise. Really, Sean, well done.

    As far as the blog look goes. Shrug. It looks like a regular guy's blog. The actual layout (one sidebar filled with stuff and a clean space for narrative) is the same as mine. I removed the magnification software I use to get an idea of what the overall blog looked like, and shrug, it looked, as I said, like a guy's blog. I'm pretty sure that hearts and flowers wouldn't bee your style....

    That comment got me to thinking, tho. I wonder if my blog is hard to read. (Since I only see it thru magnification software, I have no idea.) Next time yo stop over, let me know if I need to fix something for the magnificationally deprived. :}

    Back to what counts. I want you to know--this post has turned on a light for me. I've seen the difference between a disciplined approach to weight loss as opposed to my own approach which bounces between haphazard and obsessed...sometimes I bounce back and forth several times a day. :} You've shown a light on what a straight path looks like and I am suddenly aware that I've been careening around.

    Ah, yeah, this is going to be a post.

    Deb

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  7. Great job in succeeding despite the struggle--- a life skill you will use time and again as you keep the weight off.

    And again, your blog ISN'T ugly. Don't give it another thought. I like it the way it is.

    I have a feeling that the commenter was just trying to be ugly and that he (she?) doesn't really think your blog is ugly but wants to be mean to you for some reason or another.

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  8. You to bed tired, but successful. Congrats. I can't tell you the number of times I've resisted something I was craving, only to blow it when I got home later. Another step in making this a life long change. The more successes under your belt like this, the more your change is a lifestyle.

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  9. As Anonymous #1 says, you *might* have been able to handle a small bite of the fish or worked it in to your budget. But the fact that you resisted it so well is quite amazing, & probably makes you feel able to do anything now. Declining fish is what was right for you at the time, & you were successful! AND you worked out! Wow.
    The blog layout comment could have been a real opinion, but I doubt it. It's just kind of a dumb comment."Seems interesting" makes me think they've never bothered to read. I never really thought about blog layout--I just read the content.

    While blog things are being mentioned though, & I know you didn't ask, but the gray background *is* hard on my eyes (instead of white) & I can't expand the screen/letters on my phone for some reason. (Haha it just seemed like an ok time to mention my difficulties.)
    In any case, I think refusing the fish was what you set out to do and you nailed it. Well done.
    C

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  10. It is in our struggles and subsequent victories that we relate to one another. WTG Sean!

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