Thursday, October 23, 2014

October 23rd, 2014 A Wonderful 43rd Birthday

October 23rd, 2014 A Wonderful 43rd Birthday

I woke up today feeling good about it being my 43rd birthday. I tried to go back into the archives to read how I was doing on my 42nd birthday, but I didn't blog a single page the last half of 2013. Honestly, I didn't need to read about it, I remember it well. I woke feeling depressed a year ago. I had gained back a big amount of weight and I was in the middle of the 'I've got to get a handle on this, now' cycle. That cycle was two or three days of doing well followed by two weeks of doing bad--and repeat. 

Waking up today and feeling alive again felt incredible. A year ago, it felt improbable to ever feel like this again. When I looked in the mirror last year, all I could see was someone getting older and looking older--and worst of all, a man who was quickly losing hope for anything better. Honestly, it was mild to moderate depression.

I looked in the mirror this morning and staring back at me was a man who has a renewed spirit, new hope, dreams and most of all, a new attitude and perspective. My state of mind is one hundred eighty degrees what it was on this day a year ago. My whole world has opened.

Only I know how truly bad it became--because it hit levels I haven't shared with anyone. Suffice to say, this turnaround, in my opinion, is nothing short of a miracle. I am truly blessed.

I don't know what you see when you look at me--or what you think, and seriously--that isn't any of my business anyway, but I assure you--I am living, walking, breathing proof that a turnaround--even coming from the perspective of doom and gloom, is real, possible and within reach. 

It's been six months since I gave up sugar and committed to a return to daily updates on this blog. It wasn't long after this decision when I decided to tweet a picture and calorie count of every calorie, every day. I'm so proud of the last six months for so many reasons. This six month period is by far, the most critically important of my entire journey. May 15th, 2014 alone--to me, is the single most important day of my entire journey. I call it "epiphany day." 

"Epiphany Day" was the day I discovered the secret to my personal happiness and in that discovery, I learned that I had always been a good and worthy person regardless of my weight. On that day, I realized that my weight or any other variable would never again define my self worth and level of happiness. If you haven't gone back to May 15th to read the entry, I recommend it--and also May 19th when we explored it further.

I've received many gifts over the last six months and I'm very grateful. I'm blessed and absolutely lucky beyond my share.

It was a very busy day at work--several things needing my attention since I've made Friday another vacation day. I didn't mind the busy day because I had something wonderful to look forward to later! I enjoyed this evening with Heather and I'll spend tomorrow with her too, before returning home for a busy weekend, capped by a birthday celebration with family in Stillwater on Sunday.

We talked about my birthday on my radio show this morning. Being sugar free presents an obvious situation if you're accustomed to the traditional birthday cake type thing. Honestly, I couldn't care less about a cake. And I certainly wouldn't trade my life and freedom for a piece. I was okay with skipping the cake until a local bakery stepped in and offered sugar free chocolate muffins. I picked up a bag of these muffins sweetened with unsweetened applesauce and stevia. The bakery doesn't normally bake and sell sugar free items--but now, they're considering adding some things like this! I picked up the muffins and was asked for my honest feedback so they could tweak the recipe if needed. I ordered a dozen sugar free cupcakes for the Sunday get together in Stillwater and even offered the stevia from my supply of Pyure Brands Organic Stevia. It'll be experimental, for sure--and if the chocolate muffins are any indication, the cupcakes will be fantastic!

It's been a really good birthday! Thank you to each and every one of my facebook friends who took the time to leave a happy birthday wish on my Facebook wall. If we're not friends on Facebook--friend request me!! You'll find me here: www.facebook.com/seananderson505  

My Tweets today:
















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

33 comments:

  1. On this day of your birth, Sean, I want to not only extend my best wishes for the coming year, but also to thank you for the gift of yourself that you give daily to all of us.

    This was another wonderful post. That first paragraph, that cycle you describe... yeah. I know that cycle well. I'm so proud of you.

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  2. I'm still in that cycle. But you give me hope. Happy birthday!

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  3. Happy birthday, Sean! I was a total Facebook slacker with birthdays yesterday, so this will have to do :)

    Isn't it amazing the difference a year can make? For good or ill... but I freely admit I love those years where it's for the good :D

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    1. Huge difference a year can make, indeed! Awe, it's okay on the facebook thing! This is more exclusive, anyway! Thank you so much.

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  4. A big happy day after birthday wish to you Sean !!! So glad you're feeling wonderful you SOOO deserve it :)

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    1. Dawn, Thank you! I sincerely appreciate this! Great to hear from you!!

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  5. Just think about it... only some month separated you from depression and not celebrating to a wonderful day celebrating life! Isn't it amazing how things can change just like that. That's a thought to hold on to when things get tough.

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    1. It's so hard to remember this during the bad times--but it's so true. It really can change--and relatively quickly, for the better. Thank you, Helen!

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  6. I'm working on breaking that cycle, this was a great post Sean. Hope your weekend is extra special!

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    1. Alati, I'm cheering you on, my friend. You are breaking this cycle!! Thank you Alati, it's going very well!

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  7. Happy Birthday, Sean! Enjoy your Friday off.

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    1. Thank you, Connie--it's been a good day off, for sure!

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  8. Well first and formost, a Happy Birthday to you! I'm so glad it was good for you and you get a weekend celebration, too! Second, that sugar free muffin looks delish! I think I will try to bake one. I love to bake with unsweetened apple sauce and stevia! I've done banana bread and well, NOTSOMUCH! but maybe these! And third. I have to say I enjoy your blog so much. I read others but yours is so honest and real. You write things that I can relate to and for me that is key, so thanks! Enjoy your day!
    Rosie

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    1. Those chocolate muffins were excellent! I hope they work out well for you! I love banana bread. I might need to give it a sugar free whirl and see what happens!
      Thank you for the birthday wish!
      I sincerely appreciate your readership, Rosie. I'm absolutely thrilled for you and where you're heading along this road. You can do incredible things, Rosie!

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  9. Happy birthday again, my friend! YOU ROCK!

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    1. Awe, Gwen--thank you--I think you're the rockstar!! You're so awesome.

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  10. Happy Birthday again from me too Sean. It sure looks like you knew how to make it that way - (happy) and I like your taking the weekend as a BIRTHDAY WEEK END! So good!
    Nancy

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    1. Nancy--thank you!! Yes--I'm very happy!! Yeah-- the birthday weekend makes sense! I don't want the happy celebration ending after one day!!! :)

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  11. You Use guacamole a lot Sean - do you buy it pre-made or do you make it yourself individually or in quantity and store it somehow? Where are the sugar free creamers available? Full of questions today. :)
    Nancy

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    1. Nancy-- I make my own about 90% of the time. I prefer my own even over restaurants (except Chipotle--they win Vs. mine)
      I keep it simple--sometimes, most of the time really--it's mashed avocados and light sour cream--when I'm feeling fancy, I'll add tomatoes and onion. It's so easy! Often times the biggest challenge is finding ripe enough avocados!!
      The sugar free coffee creamers can be found in the non-dairy creamer section. This is likely the most un-clean thing I consume--but I'm very protective of my coffee. I tried using unsweetened almond milk and stevia and it wasn't the same enjoyable experience. I get mine at my local walmart store. I've found sugar free hazelnut, vanilla-caramel and chocolate flavor--all sugar free. It's the Coffee-Mate brand.
      Sometimes half and half and stevia is good for me, especially if I'm doing iced coffee. Depending on my calorie budget, I'll use 2% milk instead or even skim in my iced coffee. Thank you for the questions, Nancy!

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  12. You are a true inspiration to all who follow your story! Happy birthday my friend.

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  13. Happy Birthday Sean! Our Birthdays are only 48 hours less than a decade apart. I was actually food sober this time last year and then crashed in the new year. I have 8 solid sugar free food sober months now and more than anything I want to remember that I did not do this myself. I cannot control my food then, now or ever. I have to rely on that power that is greater than me - the God of my understanding. I am so glad you found your way back. We get better together.

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    1. Jane--that's pretty cool! 8 months is so nice--makes a world of difference, doesn't it?
      So true, Jane--very true. I'm so glad we both found our way back! Following your lead, Jane!

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  14. Happy Birthday Sean, you've come a long way in six months and are a great inspiration to many (including me). I'm thinking of following your example with the food tweets, if I can gain some courage. I think it would motivate me to eat better. Back to you...have a great birthday weekend with Heather and your family. Be happy.

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    1. Oh LTR, thank you!!! The food tweets was something I was resistant to committing to at first--but I promise you, it's been one of the best decisions I've made along this road. Snapping the pick gets some looks every now and then, depending on the place and time--but I do not care. It's a fantastic accountability tool for me. I'm loving it. If you do it, I hope you love it too!!
      I'm happy--you too, my friend!!

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  15. Happy Birthday Sean and thank you for sharing your daily successes and struggles with us. You are truly an inspiration to me and others as well as being funny and articulate to boot! Hope you have great celebrations with all your loved ones this weekend. From a loyal, but quiet, reader... Sara

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    1. Sara, thank you for this wonderful comment. I sincerely appreciate your words.

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  16. Your desert looks wonderful but I would urge you to proceed with caution. Being sugar free, I'm sure you noticed how many foods taste too sweet. Introducing sugar free sweets, even stevia may alter your taste buds enough to like sweetness more even though that type of sweetness does not affect your cravings. It's my strong opinion the more stevia you use on a daily basis causes you to dislike the taste of water accordingly. I challenge you when your ready, to go no extra sweeteners in your coffee for one week, drinking just water. Dare I say it, but I believe if you experiment this for two full weeks, you will be hooked on nothing but water and avoid the sweeteners moving forward. If not, prove me wrong!

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