Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August 5th, 2014 That Amazing Happenstance

August 5th, 2014 That Amazing Happenstance

I sacrificed some sleep last night to finish what I consider to be one of the top two blog posts I've ever composed as far as impact level on my life. It was worth it to me to get that out on the screen while the experience was still fresh. What I experienced last night at the pool will undoubtedly ripple through the rest of my life. I'm already making plans for swimming to be a regular part of my exercise plan. The next trip and all others after will not include pictures or videos, it'll just be me walking through the locker room door as confident as the big mystery man did last night, right in front of me. I'm still reeling from that amazing happenstance.

It could not have been planned any more precisely. It was exactly what I needed in the very second I needed it. Right when I stopped the video recording--my finger still touching the red button, he walks right in front of me, through the door and toward the hot tub. He instantly, in a micro-second, had my attention , respect and admiration, and I wanted to be like him. So I was.

He hasn't a clue any of this happened. We didn't speak, we didn't look one another in the eye, it was just him leading by example and me gaining strength from his confident stride. It was as if he was divinely and quite literally placed in my path in the most perfect of moments. It was a universal harmony.

I've had a lot of time to process the experience of last night. And I must say, it was a crash course in perception Vs. reality. The perceived reality requires an extremely narrow focus, because if we broadened the mind with any extra details containing even a shred of truth, our focus couldn't contain itself. I did my best not to to be self-critical for having such a narrow self-centered focus in this regard, although I couldn't help but wonder how a critically injured or badly burned person would have received the writings. Can you imagine? Try to expand and imagine if you will, someone living after a horribly tragic occurrence and how their reality was instantly and forever changed in the moment of their happening. Then, after overcoming and accepting where they're found, they read about this guy who looks fine and still is mentally and emotionally paralyzed over stretch marks, a scared right leg, excess fat and man boobs. That's perspective.

I'm not minimizing my experience or my past hangups at all. They were very real, I made them critically important and they were truly powerful to me. I'm simply saying, through this experience my mind has been broadened outside of myself and what I've found is a treasure chest of gratitude for the incredible blessings in my life.

If I had to pick one word to describe the entire experience: Transformative. 

I made getting a nap this afternoon imperative. I took a good hour and forty-five before getting up for a snack and preparations for my Tuesday night support group conference call with Life Coach Gerri and four other amazing people. My entire swimming challenge was inspired by this small, yet powerful group last Tuesday. Our call tonight recapped the challenges and experiences of others in the group, each slightly different in circumstance, yet remarkably similar in dynamic. At the risk of sounding like a sales pitch, Gerri and I will kick off another 6 week group in three short weeks. We are even considering adding an additional daytime group on a different day of the week. More details coming soon!

I had a wonderful workout at the YMCA tonight. The pool was already closed but I gazed down from up above in the cardio studio, fondly remembering the events of last night as I did a sweat dance with the elliptical.

My food was excellent today. In fact, I took some advice and added some all-natural peanut butter to my list of calorie dense-incredibly nutritious foods I can turn to when I need to bump up the calories. This is a big leap for me because jars of peanut butter are on my personal list of banned things. My track record with peanut butter isn't a good one. I've eaten almost an entire jar with a sleeve of saltines--on more than one occasion. Or, I would get a jar, telling myself I would be responsible and then repeatedly go back for one "responsible" serving after another.  But here's the deal--the only peanut butter I've ever purchased before last night was the kind filled with additional sugar. I'm addicted to sugar. I now abstain from sugar. The all-natural peanut butter I purchased has two ingredients: Peanuts and salt. That's it. Believe me, I'll be paying close attention to how I handle having the jar around. So far I've enjoyed a half serving last night and a 3/4 serving tonight. I'm hoping without the added scoops of sugar, I'll not feel compelled to binge like before.

Food Tweets today:










I closed the Calorie Bank and Trust at 1,921 calories with a Net Calories after exercise of 1,236. Yay me! I did it--I managed to hit my Net calorie goal of at least 1200! Talk about dense calories--the natural peanut butter you see in the above tweet is 24g, or 3/4 of a serving--and 158 calories!! Good calories, though--very good.

Thank you for reading and your exceptional support,
Strength,
Sean

19 comments:

  1. Amazing Sean! I can so relate to the"hey you need a bra" being teased in school. Something I have had very hurtful emotions many years during school & thankfully was able to overcome some of my fears by 9th grade by participating in sports. Still with wrestling, I had to always wear a shirt under my wrestling uniform & was always very awkward for me in the locker room. I can imagine how difficult it has been all these years and so proud of you. It seems like the older we get gives us the time to heal and suddenly comes a moment we realize it's going to be all right. We are who we are, everybody is his or her own person and our self image of ourselves is not as important as it once used to be.

    This is a great confidence builder, something you will continue to build on so congratulations for this change and reap the rewards that follow.

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    1. Jon, Thank you, my friend!! I often wonder if sports would have been the best turn for me back then, in doing what it did for you. I'm sure it wouldn't have completely taken it away--as you discovered--but may have been a vast improvement. It was amazing--and you're so right, I'll continue to face down these type of things. Because that's the biggest lesson for me--is to get outside of that very narrow focus and realize a better reality is in place--if I can be brave enough to peek into it, and see--It's not like my brain would have me believe.

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  2. All I can think to say Sean is you are doing it man! I am enjoying the recounting of this journey more than I loved the last!

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    1. Awe, Shane--thank you. I'm with you! I'm enjoying the experience of this journey, perhaps not necessarily better than the last, because I didn't know any better before, I was fairly euphoric during that time...But I certainly feel like this time, having experienced the weight gain and quick spiral of it all, is a much deeper--more meaningful experience. Out of everything I've written, yesterday and May 15th have had the biggest impact, hands down. Shane--I sincerely appreciate your support!

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    2. I should say, "out of everything I've experienced," not "out of everything I've written," because it's the experiences and epiphanies that count. The writing for my personal development--chronicling each day, are simply attempts to transform those experiences into words.

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  3. Powerful!!! Trancending!!! It's a life-changing moment when we grasp that WE have the power...the key to our prison was in our hand all along. Thank you, Sean, from the bottom of my heart for your willingness to write about your journey, your healing, your courage. Love you, friend!!

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    1. You're so very welcome! Awe, thank you Jae!! The openness of this writing, sometimes vulnerable and scary, has given me far more than what it takes. I've always written it for me, first...and if it helps or inspires someone else too, that's a wonderful bonus. It's very fulfilling to me--warms me. Transcending--absolutely!!!

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  4. I wish I could swim. I just can't. I can doggy paddle and float and sort of breast stroke around, but real swimming I can't do. Maybe for that reason, I always wonder why people who know how don't make that part of their regular exercise routine. I think it's good that you are!

    So here's a funny true fact about me. I've never really like peanut butter until I discovered one that siimply had peanuts and salt. Since I don't LOVE sugary things I've wondered if it was because the PB I had all my life had sugar in it. I actually used to beg my mom not to make me eat PB&J! Even now, it's not a huge temptation for me, but I go through spurts where I just want a little PB on an English muffin or banana or whatever.

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    1. Helen,
      I know how to swim--but for the most part I did and will continue doing basically what you described--doggy paddle, breast stroke--back stroke...I'm getting a paddle board for upper resistance and more focused leg exercises... I was thoroughly tired from the activity--even though I didn't do a "straight" swim.
      Interesting about the peanut butter. I too wonder if my issue with it came from my compulsion to get to the sugar! And without the sugar, will I be completely fins with it in my apartment. So far so good-- but I'm monitoring my behavior very closely. It was so incredibly delicious on my apple last night. Incredibly calorie dense too! 158 in that little bit!!!

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    2. I noticed a big change with peanut butter from what I remember with the added sugar one I use to eat while addicted to sugar. I find natural peanut butter like Smuckers natural which has just is a little bit of salt and all peanuts taste much better and very satisfying. The amount of sugar added in most traditional peanut butter is quite low and as much as you always believed it was necessary to stay away from. It was the added sugar from other foods combined with the little sugar from the peanut butter you used to eat that caused all the problems. Increasing the fat content with no added sugar is a good thing and I think you will be pleasantly surprised how well you manage natural peanut butter, curbs your appetite. Eggs, full fat cheese and peanut butter, I can not do with out. I would not leave on a road-trip travel without a jar of peanut butter some cheese along with vegetables and fruit.

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    3. Absolutely, Jon. Thank you! It is rather remarkable to not feel possessed in the direction of the jar. It's so nice to feel peace and calm. You always have wonderful insights, Jon. I appreciate your support!!

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  5. Now here's a new word for your big swim, Sean - transformACTIONal! New actions are what transform us, no longer buying into the lies that people are judging us. Hey ,maybe they are but who cares? If someone judges me and misses an opportunity to befriend me from that judgement, huge loss on their part.

    So in my humble opinion, Transformation comes from ACTION! When we take new steps that perhaps we don't even have the hope they'll work, life can change dramatically.

    So, thanks for taking that transformACTIONal step for all of us,Sean.

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    1. Transformactional--nice, Gerri! Thank you!

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  6. " It was a universal harmony."

    The whole time I was reading that account of perfect timing, I kept thinking, "Isn't God good!" The universe? meh.

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    1. The previous sentence:
      "It was as if he was divinely and quite literally placed in my path in the most perfect of moments." Yes, indeed. Thank you

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  7. These kind of experiences that open our wrong thinking and increase our living fully are wonderful. You are just getting one after another Sean! Woo Hoo

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    1. Nancy, it's amazing and I'm so grateful. Thank you so much for your kind support.

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  8. I'll up you one Sean: try no sugar no salt peanut butter. That's the only kind we buy. Once you've tasted that, you'll never go back.

    As usual, you rock!

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    1. MMmmmm... I will find it and try it!! I'm really pleased with my behavior around this jar...so far.

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