Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10th, 2014 Mining Important Lessons

November 10th, 2014 Mining Important Lessons

One of the greatest benefits of losing weight then regaining, then losing again, is going back and mining all of the important lessons learned along the previous trip. Even if the insight wasn't fully appreciated or even applied back then, it can be picked up and made useful today.

Since crossing the 100 pound barrier on my last weigh-in, I know that this is the time when things can become routine and kind of boring. This is when it's important to mix it up, get creative and maintain momentum. Mixing it up can be tricky, because we don't want to mix it up too much, for fear of becoming unbalanced. Mixing it up, just enough for a little different feel and stride, can be all the spice it needs.

For me, mixing it up--or freshening up my approach, will mean a stronger focus on strength training. I'll not write too much more on that topic until I have some experience in doing, instead of talking. And it will mean trying new foods and different preparations, basically--stepping up the fun in the kitchen!

Making this journey enjoyable is a HUGE element for success. Believe me, if I didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't be doing it consistently. I remember times in my distant past when losing weight had to be something hard and not fun at all. I would choose methods and routines so far removed from any shred of joy, but I had convinced myself, if I wanted to lose weight, this is what I needed to do. I wasn't trying to develop things I could live with for life, I was doing dreadful things for short periods of time and hoping to have some success before returning to my natural habits and inclinations that put me over 500 pounds in the first place.

Making this journey something to get excited about, something of a joyful experience, has been a perspective and approach I've made important.  The toughest thing comes at first--when the idea of simply cutting down and moving more feels like a threat against nature and in no way sounds like it could be enjoyable in any way, shape or form. I get it. I've been there. I know what that feels like. For me, The reason it felt that way was because for so many years, I made food everything in my world. Feeling sad? Eat. Feeling anxious? Eat. Feeling angry? Eat. Stressed? Eat!! Feeling happy? Feast!!

I realized the fear wasn't about the food, necessarily--it was actually the fear of what breaking the emotional dependency on food would mean and the uncertainty of how I would handle life without using a fork like an emotional crutch.

Untangling the truth amid a cloud of dysfunctional behavior isn't an easy thing to do. But the truth is, abusing food never really helped me solve anything. It simply distracted me for a little while. I wasn't actually dealing with the issues driving me to eat--I was simply eating, instead of dealing--and the food was good; a delicious distraction from the realities of life.

It takes a huge amount of faith to have these issues and despite it all, do the things that in many ways feel counter-intuitive. But if the approach is something doable, something enjoyable--and relatively simple--and all within a one day at a time approach, it becomes clear quickly--this is possible and my world isn't coming to an end without all the excess. 

And things start to improve--not only because of the weight loss. Suddenly we're dealing with feelings and things we've avoided. We're allowing ourselves to feel again--and now the strength we need to face these things is drawn from how good we feel in our positive momentum. And it's then, in those moments--when we realize how it's coming together--that we're ripe for all kinds of epiphanies. 

We're stronger than we ever imagined. We're powerful. We're capable of amazing things. And one of the biggest realizations of all--and one of the hardest to believe: We're worthy and we deserve it. I deserve to feel good. You deserve to feel good. It's okay to be happy, it's okay to choose to be happy. It's inside us all along. It's okay to tap it and feel better. And then, at some point--I believe we conclude...

The physical part of this journey--the physical transformation, is fun and important for our health and well being, yes--but still, in my opinion, is the least dramatic of all. The mental and emotional transformation is by far the biggest and most powerful.
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I had a great day today, capped with a late visit and dinner with mom. Before dinner, mom and I made our way into a clothing store. I was searching for a coat. I really didn't want to spend the money on a coat that will be too big in the next few months--and it turns out I didn't need to. A colleague of mine has a nearly new coat they no longer need and they're gifting it to me tomorrow! I took the call right there in the coat section of the department store. So instead of a coat, I grabbed a few shirts that were drastically reduced and another warm pullover I found on sale.

I also looked for some jeans in a smaller size, but the big and tall section didn't have the size I needed--everything was too big!!! That was a nice realization. I was wondering why I couldn't find the size I needed--and suddenly it dawned--oh, because apparently I can find the size I need in the regular section. Well, if that don't beat all--as my grandpa once said.

Mom and I enjoyed a good dinner and conversation before I turned around, grabbed an iced coffee for the drive back, and headed home.

My Tweets Today:


















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

9 comments:

  1. For me, your "losing weight then regaining, then losing again, i... and mining all of the important lessons learned along the previous trip" has an extra benefit. The fact that you are sharing all that you have experienced and learned along the way serves as great inspiration, hope and guidance. Now, I just need to put it to work. You're doing so well Sean and glad you are enjoying it along the way.

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    1. You can do it, LTR!! Sincerely, you really can. Thank you so much, and I'm so happy my experience and sharing helps! I'm making sure to enjoy it, absolutely!

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  2. Sean what a great post. You can feel the excitement in your words and it's very inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Alati, I am excited, for sure! You're very welcome--and thank you for reading!

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  3. I've been struggling the last couple of days. I ended a Dietbet last Tuesday, and won, but now I feel entitled somehow. Like I no longer have to try to lose weight. My son and I have made our own bet to lose 3% by Dec. 1, but for some reason that's not as motivating as those online Dietbets. I am scheduled to join another Dietbet Thanksgiving Day. It ends Christmas Eve. I need something like this to keep me from going overboard like I did last year. Your posts help, thanks Sean!

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    1. I'm so sorry you're struggling. You and your son challenging one another, sounds fun! You've won every one of these dietbets you've entered, right? Perhaps there's something else out there a little more challenging?? You've found a way that keeps it enjoyable and fun for you, that's awesome! You'll get out of this funk, quickly, I'm sure. Stay positive, my friend!!

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  4. New revelation to me is "making the journey enjoyable" has to be the mantra in order for it to be lasting. I was putting the "enjoyment" part of it in what I considered "cheating" which has made the journey much slower. If I can work the enjoyment part into the good food choices and calorie count needed, that's the answer. Thank you Sean!!!!!
    N~

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    1. Excellent revelation, Nancy! Changing our definition of "enjoyable" is a matter of shifting our perspective. It's really challenging because for most of us, enjoyment has been synonymous with excess, or "cheating," our entire lives. Finding the joy and pleasure is keeping the integrity of your food plan in order--and "playing" within those boundaries, can be very enjoyable--if you're willing to shift the perspective. You're making huge breakthroughs, Nancy, and I'm so overjoyed for you!!!

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  5. I started this comment the other day but somehow it got lost & the moment for the sentiment was gone. But I've been thinking about it ever since and decided to try again. What I said was: Good for you, Sean, for spending so much time with your mom. You'll never know how much it means to her and you will treasure all of these memories. When my mom was alive I would call her in the mornings on my way to work and we would chat for 10 or 15 minutes. My nephew, who lived with her told me, "Grandma just sits with the phone in her lap every morning (I can picture her too-she had an easy chair with a foot rest) and if it doesn't ring she'll say,'Oh, I guess Mary isn't working today.'" I know it's a little thing but I truly do treasure those talks that we had and I know how much she enjoyed them too. You are a really good son & for that you will be blessed. And congrats on needing your jeans in a regular size! You rock!
    Mary

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