Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 1st, 2014 I'm a Former Skeptic

July 1st, 2014 I'm a Former Skeptic

The weather coverage kept me at work until after 2am this morning. By the time I hit the pillow it was after 2:30 and when the alarm started sounding at 5am, I slept right through. Sorry, neighbors! I finally pulled myself out of bed 8 minutes before 6am, eight minutes before I'm supposed to be one of the most wide awake, friendly voices you'll hear on morning radio. Wasn't happening this morning. I called the studio and arranged for a colleague to cover until I arrived. I did arrive a few minutes before 7am.  I do not sacrifice my food plan, even in a rush. I took the time to prepare breakfast and pack what I needed for lunch. This practice is too important. I'm important. More so, considering I would possibly be tired and slightly irritable with plenty of mid-morning production and no time for a post-show nap. I'm pretty sure I owe a couple of sales staffers an apology for being uncharacteristically irritable to their needs today.

When the schedule renders me too tired and cranky for my own good, that's when I must be very careful and very deliberate in my plan. If I'm too tired and I haven't planned well, I'm at risk for a perfect storm of not caring mixed with convenience.

I had an offer for free lunch today. A colleague was headed to a local family owned and operated fast food Mexican restaurant and on the way out, he asked if I wanted lunch. Before you think Taco Bell, let me explain: This place is much better. It's been a staple of this town since the 1970's and they're constantly busy. I can't count the number of lunches I've enjoyed from this place, especially since they're located a few blocks from our studios. Everything there is big and heavy--delicious. When you get shredded cheese on something, they don't skimp--ever. I've had a bean burrito from there before that must have had 250 calories worth of cheese and 400 calories worth of beans stuffed inside a large flour tortilla. It's premium stuff as fast food Mexican goes. I would have likely accepted the lunch offer had I not been prepared today. I could have navigated a few different choices and been okay--perhaps a taco salad without the edible bowl, but it would have required an ample amount of guesstimating and I try to keep the guesstimating to a minimum.

I was ready for a small snack and a much deserved nap by the time I arrived home after 2:30pm. It was a solid nap. It was the kind of nap that makes this previously untreated sleep apnea sufferer wake up and immediately express gratitude for the blessing of good sleep. I'll never again take restful sleep for granted as long as I live. I was up in plenty of time to start preparing a fabulous dinner and prepare for my weekly support group conference call I co-facilitate with Life Coach Gerri Helms. (By the way--a new 6 week session starts soon if you're interested in joining us--I'll share registration details soon.)

The only problem with a really good hour and forty-five minute nap--and this is in no way a complaint--, is, it's hard to be tired enough for a proper bedtime. Fortunately, tomorrow is a short day for me and followed by a four day weekend. I will once again host our annual 4th of July broadcast from the lake, but it's in the evening of course, not requiring me to be up super early like normal work days.

A friend of mine, after reading last night's blog post, asked me if I'm at all sad about all of the sweet foods I'll miss in my continued abstinence from sugar. Honestly, no, I'm not! Trust me, I've eaten more Snickers Bars and mint chocolate chip ice cream shakes to last me a lifetime--and if I never have another, I would still have eaten more than the average person.  It's a trade. I trade the temporary indulgence of those items and others for a lifetime free of the effects sugar undoubtedly has on me. I'm getting the good end of the deal here.

By the way, I'm very aware of the skepticism food addiction and more specifically, sugar addiction sometimes receives. I was once one of the biggest skeptics. What you need to know about me is, I'm a big believer in the power we have to convince ourselves we're something we may not be--applying a label and allowing it to become part of our identity in some form of obsessive-compulsive belief started with a big self-diagnosis. What I hope you recognize is, through my trials and real life personal experimentation and study, I'm now, without a doubt, one thousand percent convinced that food/sugar addiction is as real and powerful as any other addiction and resulting behavior. I suppose you could say I had to find out the hard way.

I've referred many times to food addiction in my previous writings, even in my book. The patterns of behavior I've described throughout my history is a brutal combination of emotional/stress eating and addictive reaction behaviors. What kept me skeptical for so long--was the theory that my behaviors could be regulated in a way, allowing me to have a somewhat normal relationship with all foods. Seriously, I lost 275 pounds "regulating" all the way! As soon as I loosened the regulations, struggle returned and so did excessive amounts of weight. I'd rather "regulate" within a few specific boundaries and have it be something I can live with forever, rather than walk a tight rope the rest of my life.

If you're normal and you can achieve a relatively healthy relationship with all foods, then you're blessed and I'm very happy for you. I can't. I'm not normal. And saying "I'm not normal" isn't something of a bad thing, not at all. It means I have special needs worthy of my extra attention. And I'm worth the effort.      

Once upon a time, my resistance of acceptance would build immediately in the presence of someone touting the practices and benefits of food addiction recovery in the traditional sense. My previous skepticism was grounded in my desperate attempt to hold onto something I felt I needed to keep in order to survive. It's interesting to me that the reality of my personal situation is quite contrary: My survival actually depends on my ability, willingness and acceptance of letting go.

Workout and dinner tonight were both fantastic. If you're interested, I post a picture and calorie counts of everything I eat to my Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/seanaanderson (You do NOT need a Twitter account to view the page and tweets--only to interact) It's not meant to be an example, a standard, a suggestion or anything like that. We're all different. I eat what I like and nothing I don't. And you may or may not like what I enjoy. I refuse to eat something I can't stand as a means to an end along this road. Because, my friend, this road doesn't end until the day we die. It's not my point to endure something until a set goal is reached--it's my point to craft a journey I can enjoy the rest of my God given time on earth.

Tomorrow is my 10 week weigh-in day. I'm incredibly excited to walk into the doctors office and step on the scale. I'll save the guesses and I'll be prepared for whatever the scale shows.

Thank you for reading,


  1. You are worth the effort!

  2. Oo, weigh in days are so exciting!

    I read today in "New Scientist" magazine that they think humans can get addicted to sun bathing. Mice certainly seem to in their studies, after getting regular doses of UV rays for a while they produce happy hormones when they get it and show signs of actual withdrawal when they don't. If this is true, it just shows that people (and animals) can get addicted to a great many things, not just "drugs". Some things are obviously more addictive than others, but our bodies can get used to and crave all sorts of things that aren't necessarily in our best interests. I guess that is how we are wired. So if you believe, from your knowledge of yourself, that you are addicted to sugar then keep yourself away from it and don't listen to sceptics!

  3. Like you Sean, sometimes I pass the bags of Snicker, etc. bars at the grocery store and think to myself, "No Pam...you've had more than your share of those....and those days are over forever." I am NOT normal, and food will always be an obsession for me. I just need to control my portion size, and NOT eat that stuff that starts a binge. Self control is vital, and so very tough. You did great yesterday. I stopped and got fast food Mexican on my way home from running errands last night. I ate too much salt, I'm sure, because my trips to the bathroom during the night were much fewer than normal. I'd been doing so well. Back at it today. Every day is a chance to start over, and I don't feel terrible about yesterday, just a little disappointed in myself. I try to avoid fast food, but in our preparation for our annual Fourth of July party, we are both working super hard and there's no time to cook a decent meal. If I go to a sit-down restaurant, I can almost always find a healthy entree, and it is usually pretty tasty. But tacos (even just the one I ate), fried tater tots, and boneless FRIED chicken wings are not healthy and I am well aware of that. I will do better today, gotta get those pounds back off, right? RIGHT!

  4. Good luck with weigh day, I'm sure you will show another impressive drop in weight.

    I have come to the same ideology regarding sugar and how it had effected me all my life & seems our views on sugar are identical. There is a lot to be said about how sugar effects each of us, how some people can include desert in moderation and not be effected by hunger issues. As you mentioned skepticism is very much the truth, but once individuals like us choose to avoid the sugar the differences are remarkable, as you mentioned numerous times, I noticed all the same benefits. Friends and family ask me what it's like, its hard for them to understand how it can made that great of impact. That impact once removing from artificial sweeteners then the sugar is the difference between 550 and 250 pounds for me. Sugar addiction may be similar to alcohol addition. While neither provides nutrition, both add added calories and pleasure, some of us can handle one or both, while others can handle one or neither.

    To continued success my friend, look forward to this continued journey. I posted my official weight on my spark page, which is perfectly fine all things considered. Slept very good last night. Jon

  5. "A friend of mine, after reading last night's blog post, asked me if I'm at all sad about all of the sweet foods I'll miss in my continued abstinence from sugar. Honestly, no, I'm not! Trust me, I've eaten more Snickers Bars and mint chocolate chip ice cream shakes to last me a lifetime--and if I never have another, I would still have eaten more than the average person. It's a trade. I trade the temporary indulgence of those items and others for a lifetime free of the effects sugar undoubtedly has on me. I'm getting the good end of the deal here."

    I am seriously NOT there...yet. I'm still sad at the thought that I won't be able to have ice cream or macaroni salad on July 4 ..let alone ever. :{

    The old Sean would tell me that I could have it in moderation. I used to come to your blog when I wanted support in eating whatever gluten/sugar thing I wanted. I came here so you'd convince me that moderation WAS the sensible way to eat.

    It wasn't a hard sell, of course, because viable moderation was not only what I wanted to believe, but it was what made sense.

    I have to tell you, Sean, I greet this new position of yours with almost equal parts of joy and sorrow. Sigh.

    The addict is grieved; the freedom seeker feels a hope-filled joy.

    Let's go with the joy. :D

    Deb, both gluten and sugar free...today

  6. I think sugar addiction is real; it makes sense to me. I always say that coca leaves aren't addictive, either -- not as they are found in nature. People who live where the trees grow used to just pull off a leaf or two, chew on them, and it was like having a cup of coffee. It clears your head a titch, and you get on with your day.

    But you focus the power of modern industrial technology on it, to the point where you can fit 17 million cups of coffee worth of buzz onto the end of a tiny spoon, and people will flush their lives down the toilet to get it.

    We've done the same thing with salt, fat, and sugar. We've taken what is harmless and enjoyable in natural quantities and turned it into the equivalent of food cocaine. Nowhere in nature, nowhere on Earth, does there exist anything like a Dorito. Nothing on the planet produces that much salt, starch, and fat in one object. That crap is to natural food what cocaine is to coca leaves. If you have a particular susceptibility, you must not touch it.


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