Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June 4th, 2014 My Perfection Is Imperfection

June 4th, 2014 My Perfection Is Imperfection

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and beliefs, their passions; convictions. I'm very respectful of all people and I do my best to be gracious. When someone has something helpful for me in the way of advice or concern, I immediately recognize it as a positive. Last night's post was a perfect example. I couldn't be more grateful for the wonderful perspective Janis gifted me. And it was spot on.

This morning I received a direct Twitter message from someone in the UK who has read this blog often over the years. She wrote, "Hi Sean, I checked out your MyFitnessPal diary for a few days. You are vastly undereating. That can't last. You MUST nourish your body. That you are restricting shows you have an eating disorder or more properly, Eating Distress. Restricting your food intake so low won't help. I wish you all the best in your recovery. Please consider my words. God Bless."

I explained that I was aware that I had an eating disorder called food addiction. She went on to say that she doesn't believe in food addiction, only in food behavior addiction. She wasn't mean at all, in fact--she said "Sean, I wish you every good thing and deep flourishing! Take care of your precious self." She later added, "You're inspiring. Be nice to yourself. :)"

I'm sharing this, not in an effort to attack her, not at all. I believe she's 100% sincere and well intentioned. I'm sharing it because it had such a negative effect on me all day long. Why did I let this well intentioned advice get under my skin? I don't know.  What I do know is....

I'm at peace, more now than I've ever been in my entire 42 years. I feel a quiet and calm with food that I honestly thought was impossible for me to experience. I certainly don't feel like I'm under-eating at all. The only time I ever feel the slightest twinge of hunger is first thing in the morning, otherwise I'm perfectly comfortable. I eat three meals a day and anywhere from one to three snacks a day. When I workout I feel plenty of energy, like I feel my body getting stronger. The 1700 calorie budget seems to be serving me well. I had lost 25 pounds at my last weigh in (approximately 4 1/2 weeks worth-if my calculations are correct) and I understand that may seem like too much-too fast, but for someone with so much to lose I also know it's not uncommon for larger numbers up front. I feel exceptionally healthy. My sleep has also improved.

I'm the first to admit when I'm wrong, but everything about what I've been doing for almost two months feels so right for me.  Lord knows I'm not a dietitian, nutritionist, doctor or anyone else who knows better. I haven't studied the theories and nutrition books and websites or any of that stuff. I'm simply eating well. I'm eating better than I ever have in my entire life. I'm not binging and I'm 100% convinced that the nearly 100% abstinence from sugar has completely taken away the compulsions to binge. I'm not saying I'll never have them again, but for now, they're virtually non-existent. It's a beautiful peace, my friends.

I was stressing all day long, second guessing, frustrated--in a foul mood...and it didn't help that it was a long day at work. When I feel so right and good, I can't accept that what I'm doing is all wrong and bad. I called a support friend and professional late tonight for an impromptu session and she asked, "Why would you allow anyone to steal your serenity?" Good question.

I don't proclaim to have all the answers. I do not proclaim to be an expert. I'm just a guy who is doing the best I can. I'm taking good care of myself for a change. I want to live and experience life at a healthy weight. I'm tired of obesity. And for me, it seems my body naturally gravitates toward higher weights, especially if I do nothing. I'm very aware that for me, maintaining a healthy weight will require a diligent practice the rest of my life. And I'm finally at peace with that truth.

If this days worth of food doesn't look sufficient, it certainly feels so.

Breakfast



Snack



Lunch



Snack #2



Dinner



Snack #3



Perhaps my perspective will change someday, I'll get into lifting weights and I'll consume twice as many calories per day while training. But for now, this seems to be working well considering my level of activity.

It's interesting and somewhat of a coincidence that I actually went over my 1700 calorie budget today for the first time in nearly 50 days. I was adding my dinner into MyFitnessPal when I discovered a 50 calorie overage. Instead of immediately being consumed with panic and negative emotions, I calmly declared that it would likely end up about 150 over because I planned on some fruit while writing. I ended the day at 1,854.

I still felt a little tiny, itty bitty twinge of guilt for "breaking the bank," so to speak, but I didn't react irrationally, going off the deep end. It is what it is. I'm not perfect. I don't have to be. And that's all I have to say about that. Breaking the bank was actually good for my psyche. I did it and I handled it with love and compassion for myself. It's not a big deal and it doesn't mean I failed today. I did not fail today. Not at all.

Oh yeah--I didn't exercise today either. I gave myself permission to take a day off. My resolve is strong. My head is on straight. And I will proceed beautifully...Wonderfully right or pleasantly wrong.  My "perfection" is imperfection.

There were so many insightful and golden comments on yesterday's post. Thank you to everyone who added their thoughts and shared their experiences. I didn't have time to reply to each today, but I plan on going back tomorrow sometime and catching up.

My food diary is public on MyFitnessPal--username SeanAAnderson. My Twitter feed features pictures of everything I eat with calorie counts. These are tools of accountability for me.  A friend asked me if I was okay this evening and if I was feeling like a binge, and I replied--"If I do, you'll see it on my Twitter."

I feel fine.

Thank you for reading and your support. I likely have one less friend in the UK after this post, I hope not--I mean, she meant well--she just didn't know how her words would effect me. BUT I seriously need to get over the idea that I can somehow be pleasing to everybody. That's a lifelong thing for me--always wanting to be liked and loved...and sacrificing whatever to get it... even when it meant sacrificing what I believed in or what was best for me. NO MORE.  There are people who don't like me and that's okay!! In fact, you may be reading this now thinking-- man, I can't stand this guy... Good for you!! Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.

As far as my tendency to be a people pleaser, I know what my straight talking fellow blogging friend Christine at "A Deliberate Life" would say, "CUT THAT SH*T OUT!" Except she wouldn't use an asterisk.

Goodnight,
Strength,
Sean

22 comments:

  1. Sorry you let the comments affect you so strongly, but I probably would've reacted much the same. I'm glad you bounced back rather quickly though. Kudos to you for that!

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    1. Not easy to do sometimes! Thank you!

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  2. I think 1700 calories is fine if you feel good on it. I would have expected you to need more, I'm much smaller (5' female) and I have around 1400, but do what works for you! I'm in a good place at the moment and not craving and finding some days are only 1000-1200 and why eat when you're not hungry? The only thing I would suggest to address is maybe salt. When I went to a dietician and she saw I had cheese every day she talked about how salty it is. And you seem to have had cheese 5 times out of 6 today. You could easily work out how much protein, salt, veges etc you are having compared to the official guidelines. On the other hand, I have never seen any two experts who agree on how much of anything we should be having (need more protein. No, avoid meat! Lots of wholegrains. No, avoid carbs/gluten/wheat! Healthy fruit. No, too sugary! Go low fat. No, go high-fat Paleo! Arg!).

    It's great you are doing so well and don't let negative comments take up valuable real estate in your head. Even if they are from someone who cares and is only trying to help.

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    1. A previous doctor of mine warned me of the sodium in cheese. He was big on cottage cheese at lunch--until one day he flipped the carton around and looked at the nutrition label. He said he was shocked at the sodium content. Isn't it amazing how many different "perfect" plans there are? And experts touting each one? I can't keep up--Like you, I gotta do my own thing and be okay...If I start subscribing to anything that doesn't come naturally to me, I'll quickly start getting confused. The hope and promise is, what comes naturally grows and evolves over time as we give ourselves the love and attention we deserve.

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  3. Sean, my brother, who is just about your size and weight currently, just joined a medical program to do Optifast (a liquid diet). Daily calories are less than 800, which is less than half of what you're eating, and the plan is endorsed by physicians who believe that as long as a person has abundant body fat and is getting adequate NUTRIENTS, malnutrition or "starvation response" is not a concern. The greater concern, according to the physician he spoke to, is remaining overweight. As I look at what you're eating every day, I'm impressed by the amount of nutritionally dense food that you pack into your daily calories. You don't eat empty calories that don't nourish your body. As long as you're feeling good, keep on keepin' on! If you start feeling a bit weak or get more hungry as exercise increases, you can always make adjustments, but it seems to me like you're doing just great!

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    1. Becky, thank you! I've really made a commitment to myself to take the best care. I appreciate the compliment on my food. Interestingly--It's all stuff I love. I wouldn't ever force myself to eat something I don't like in the name of losing weight. Forget that! I've got to enjoy what I eat! Give you brother my best, please. I agree-- whatever it takes, getting the weight off is critical. And then, with a focus on "what can I do differently, what can I learn to help me maintain and take better care forever?" We can do it...we can Becky!

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  4. PS-- Perhaps you let it get under your skin because the idea of someone claiming to know what's best for you, claiming that they know what you need and what's in your psyche better than you do, is highly presumptive and (to be honest) very rude, no matter how well intentioned. No one knows you better than you know yourself.

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  5. Sean, it's your life, your body and your plan. You do what works for YOU! I read so much of myself in your post tonight. You made me smile quoting Christine :) I love ya Sean, keep on keeping on just as you want. Like my boss often says to the women in the office "you're not the boss of me" lol. *hugs*

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    1. Christine is amazing, isn't she? LOVE her straight forward-no nonsense posts. She kicks it in the tail every time-- and with spot on insights and a nice dose of humor along the way. You're incredible, Dawn. Thank you.

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  6. Ha ha, Chris's post sure was a thought-provoker, wasn't it?!
    I'm sorry you had a day of struggle, but I totally get your conclusion: that you need to do what you believe is right for YOU.

    It's interesting about "food addiction". I would wrassle anyone to the ground who tried to tell ME --a former 460 lb woman who fought this battle all her life-- that there was no such thing as food addiction. It is addiction, period. Call it what you will. To a substance of some kind. To what said substance seems to give in return for ingesting it. But here's the funny thing: I rarely called it that, in my blog or in my head. Why?? Because I used to use that as a cop out, a victim attitude, a way to have an excuse, etc etc etc. So it was empowering for ME not to name it that, or to label myself as a "food addict". Was I one? AM I still one? Absolutely, without a doubt. No question. Not up for debate. Anyone who doesn't believe it never experienced it. Period.

    All that to say: call it as you see it, Sean. Because in the end, yours is the only opinion that matters. I mean, even if you change your mind later, it's still what is in YOUR heart and mind that will carry you on to make those healthy choices. I don't mind much if others see it differently than I do, as long as they don't insist their way is THE way for everyone.

    I loved reading about your "beautiful peace".




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    1. Yeah, I take offense when anyone tries to tell me food addiction isn't real. Like you, I've lived it. When someone suggests it doesn't exist, it's like they're telling me water isn't wet. I'm with you though--- "I don't mind much if others see it differently than I do, as long as they don't insist their way is THE way for everyone." Amen, sister. :)

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  7. I can totally understand why the comment stayed in your head, I've been known to do the same thing.
    I'm a firm believer that different things work for different people. I truly believe we know what is best for us. Even if it takes a while to figure that out :) I also am a big believer that if you're hungry eat but if your not hungry don't. I'm just learning to listen to my body. Better late than never!

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    1. Learning to listen to our bodies-- so good. So true. Thank you Suzi!

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  8. Well, I never went to look at your food diary because the more I go along in this journey of life, the more I think what people eat is their own business. But if you open the diary to the public, you're going to get opinions, that's for sure. Living with a "normal" eater who is well within a normal weight, I can promise you he doesn't eat the same amount of calories every single day. Some days he might eat 3000 and then other days 1800. Of course exercising (or not) plays into that but the main thing is to listen to your body's cues. It's one of the things I'm trying very hard to do.

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    1. The food diary being public is asking for occasional criticism, for sure. Wasn't/isn't my intention, to invite opinions--but I need to accept that I'll get some occasionally and be okay with it... The main purpose of making it so public is the accountability factor it creates. Even if not a single person goes there-- just posting it gives me the desired effect. And I'm with you, our individual eating plans are our business--it's very personal and "perfect" for us and no one else. We all must find what works for us--and we do, if we listen to our bodies and consider our own likes and dislikes--instead of considering the likes and dislikes and convictions of others, on the topic.

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  9. One of the only things I dislike about blogging is facing all the varying opinions and experts. Someone's opinion is what got me eating carbs again, after losing 92 pounds. Eating carbs triggered cravings which led to bingeing. It was my fault for falling back into the trap, but I am determined to have the strength to follow the program I know can work for me!

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    1. And that's it, Divad-- "I am determined to have the strength to follow the program I know can work for me!" Don't let anyone steal your confidence in what you're doing. It's sometimes a tricky dynamic, because I want to be open to learning along the way--but I've found, with some things, it's important for me to learn them organically, from within and through trial and error--as it applies to my journey... instead of immediately applying drastic changes suggested by anyone else... Some tips and tricks along the way are certainly appreciated--but if someone gives me advice that is a 180 from what I'm doing and feeling is right for me, I must be gracious and thank them for sharing---and carry on along my own path. I'm enjoying your blog, Divad! Thank you for what you do, i appreciate it.

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  10. You've been down this road before and have lost the weight. You know yourself best. Your food plan might not be this particular lady's cup of tea, but everyone is different. If you're feeling good with your calories and have energy through the day, then it's working for you. If a little bit of cheese with your meals promotes satiety for you, then that what works. Please don't let well intentioned comments throw you off track. Keep on truckin'.

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    1. Nikki, thank you for this. I honestly and sincerely appreciate comments and even suggestions... it's all in the approach of the giver...If it's a "here's what's worked for me, perhaps it might work for you" type thing--awesome. If it's a "OMG, what you're doing is not good. You should immediately do X, Y and Z..." type deal, then I'm out. It's all in the approach. ;)

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  11. Since we have similar body types I am quite envious you can go on 1700 per day. Or perhaps your envious of me loosing over 16 pounds per month these past 5 months consuming 2800 per day. LOL, I started over 100 pounds heavier and already moved to 2500. It does not matter what your calorie intake is. Everyone is different, its oblivious working for you, your not having hunger issues. I would not change a thing.

    Your comment ("I'm not binging and I'm 100% convinced that the nearly 100% abstinence from sugar has completely taken away the compulsions to binge") is absolutely true and the reason this daily commitment for life will make everything else easy. I am at peace, quite and calm with food comments tells me we are affected by sugar similar, the longer you experience this feeling the better and easier it gets. At least this has been my experience as you know these past five plus months of my 85 pound weight loss. Keep pushing! Your doing great! Check out my latest blog. Look forward to your next post.

    Jon

    WEWRTFO over on Sparkpeople.

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    1. It really seems to be enough for me, for whatever reason. I think body composition might play a role. You're much stronger than me (proof is what you do for a living and how wonderfully you do it), In order for me to build strength and conditioning, I will need to commit to a weight training program. I couldn't agree with you more about the sugar issue. If I had any doubts before--they're all erased and replaced with 100% confidence. The proof is in how I feel and this peace is clearly a result of its (sugar) absence in my system. Thank you Jon for the wonderful encouragement and support!!

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    2. LOL! as I told my boss...I seem psychologically incapable of not saying exactly what is in my brain these days. If it helps...go for it...The biggest thing in the world is knowing ourselves well enough to know when what we are hearing is our truth or not. YOu know your truth.

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