Thursday, November 27, 2014

November 27th, 2014 Thanksgiving Day Edition

November 27th, 2014 Thanksgiving Day Edition

My Thanksgiving started off horribly wrong and finished fantastic. It all started with me falling asleep while attempting to watch a Woody Allen film. It wasn't anything against Woody Allen--great film, I was just tired. (Woody, on the one in a billion chance you're reading this--please don't take it personal. I know you're a very neurotic person--and likely taking it that way. You probably want to know the name of the film and the scene in which I started to drift. How could this scene have kept my attention better? Stop. It wasn't your film. I was too tired to start any movie to begin with).

I woke up right after 2am, realized what I had done and immediately got to work on the blog, posted, then dropped in bed. I wasn't feeling well. Something about my late dinner at the Mexican restaurant didn't hit my stomach right, because I was sick enough to stay awake until after 5am, then was up right before 9am to get ready for Thanksgiving festivities. I seemed to recover quickly and by 11am I felt really well.

Thanksgiving was headquartered at Irene and Allen's house. Irene is my ex-wife and the mother of our daughters. If you think it's strange or awkward to spend Thanksgiving there, I assure you, it isn't. Irene and I have an amazing post-divorce relationship (it's been 4 1/2 years since our divorce). It's a relationship grounded in love and understanding, respect and consideration, it's just nice. Everyone made the trip to their small town about 20 miles away from where I live.

I tweeted an #offspringselfie of my daughters, grandson Noah and me (see below) and then I found this one. I like it even more because Noah's face is a glow from the phone in front of his face.
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I'm truly blessed in so many ways and absolutely had many things to be thankful for today!

I make killer mac and cheese, literally--it's so rich, if eaten regularly, I believe it could kill. I refuse to prepare it but once a year. Today was the day. I was fully prepared to enjoy a serving or two and that's exactly what I did.

One of the elements to my plan was to chew gum while cooking. I arrived and realized I forgot my gum. Amber saved the day with her Trident! I'll admit it, I'm a picker and a taster--so if I'm not chewing gum, I'm very likely tasting away--and the calories could add up quickly. Since I've committed to my accountability system, it would be very inconvenient to pick and taste, but first photograph--log the taste in MFP and tweet the picture and calorie count.

This extreme level of accountability might seem obsessive and over the top--but let me tell you, it's done wonders for me. It's dramatically improved my relationship with food and oh my--the consistency required for such a commitment has given me outstanding results. It isn't for everybody--and isn't necessary for everyone, at all.

The level of this accountability element is indicative of just how far out of control I had become in my relapse and regain. In order to recover, I had to get extreme. And it's the 2nd best decision I've made in the last 8 months. Number one being my abstinence from sugar. 

Aside from the heavy duty gluten free mac and cheese calorie bomb I dropped on everyone today, I also brought sugar free dinner rolls and a sugar free peach pie. Both sugar free items were prepared with stevia. Everyone was intrigued by the 27 calorie rolls. 27 calories!!! No kidding! And everyone agreed they were excellent. I was the only one to eat from the peach pie. I sent the rest of the rolls and peach pie home with mom and my uncle Keith. I was offered leftovers but quickly and firmly declined, especially concerning the mac and cheese. It was delicious and in all, I invested 569 calories in mac and cheese today. That's over 25% of what I consumed all day! Yeah--keep it, please!! It's not coming home with me!! I can wait another year to enjoy it again.

My plan included allowing an extra 1,000 calories if needed. I only used an extra 262 calories. I promised myself I wouldn't "stuff for sport" today. I would eat reasonably and be well, focusing my attention on the family and visiting instead of focusing on the eating and eating some more. My brain just couldn't accept a "free for all" day. It just wasn't happening. It wasn't necessary. I didn't feel one bit deprived today. I ate well and plenty. Tonight, I don't feel an uncomfortable fullness. I feel a reasonable one. 

I will say this--I consumed a lot of stuff my body isn't accustomed to me eating anymore and I could tell the difference in how I felt! It was clear that today wasn't my normal type and style of food and it was fascinating to me how my body reacted to the difference.

I enjoyed some nice text support correspondence with group members in the weight loss support group I co-facilitate with Life Coach Gerri Helms . The interesting thing is, helping others, HELPS ME. This was a big day and almost the entire group was active and supportive of one another. From my perspective, it was a smashing success! 

I had a very active day in the exercise department. Shortly before 5pm, I set out walking along the streets of Blackwell, Oklahoma. I wasn't on a trail, so it was a timed brisk walk. Normally I turn up my music and go, but Uncle Keith wanted to join me for a walk n visit as we've done on previous Thanksgivings since 2008. I still made sure to keep a brisk pace and we both agreed it was a very good burn. Fitbit gave me an additional 380 calorie burn on top of the 283 calorie burn from the walk, giving me a total calorie adjustment of 663 calories. With my 1,962 consumed, my net after exercise was 1,299. That's a great day for me.  

This was my first sugar free Thanksgiving. I'm convinced, the only reason I didn't take full advantage of the extra 1,000 calories today, was because my brain wasn't chasing the sugar high. I've been off the stuff long enough to clearly recognize the peace and calm my abstinence allows. It was peaceful, it was perfect, it was beautiful in so many ways.

Thanksgiving Live-Tweets:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,


  1. Congrats on a successful day, Sean. Important to share our tools. I like the gum chewing technique

    So glad you've gotten to the point where your brain and body feed back are aligned and the clarity to make those choices are fully available

    In years past, I would be so brain and body tied up into a binge, despartately wanting to stop, but being so sugar and carb loaded that I felt I could not.

    4th food sober Thanksgiving for me and very successful. Keep up the great work! Onward.

    1. Karen-- Thank you!! And BIG congrats on this being your 4th FoodSober Thanksgiving!!! I completely relate to the brain and body being tied up in a binge--wanting to stop, but feeling compelled--like being possessed, to continue. It's a very scary and very real thing.
      Having freedom from that is an amazing feeling.
      Following your lead, my friend. Thank you!!

  2. So happy to hear the good news of a successful Thanksgiving food day! I feel I made it too - but not sugar free. Ate at a restaurant with neighbors and friends and have no idea of the ingredients, but controlled the portion. It could have been 4 meals. Brought a little home for today's diner. Am proud of my control and not wanting to "eat everything on the plate" - no more clean plate club!

    1. Nancy! "No more clean plate club!" Nice! Portion control--especially at restaurants, can be tough! Bigtime kudos to you for making it important!! It was a very successful day, for you and me, both!

  3. Happy belated Thanksgiving, Sean! I wish I had been as good as you!

    1. Dede-- Thank you!! Awe, I bet you did well! It's really taken me a very long time to learn what I needed to learn about me in order to be where I am along this road. 5 years ago, I wouldn't have stopped eating until I finished or nearly finished those extra calories allowed!! I truly believe the difference maker for me was/is and continues to be the abstinence from sugar. Have a fabulous weekend!

  4. #1--I love the mug! #2--I too chew gum to avoid eating. Works anytime. It's a lifesaver for me. #3--Extreme has to be a way of life for people like us, Sean. A constant vigilance and obsession with eating well has to become our new reality. I'm okay with that--cause I'm loving being in a body that is no longer inhibited by obesity.

    1. I love my mugs, too! I just had to have 'em all!! The gum chewing technique works, right? I agree 100%--lifesaver!
      And absolutely-- extreme awareness is critical for our success. And I couldn't agree more with "I'm okay with that--cause I'm loving being in a body that is no longer inhibited by obesity."
      Thank you, D!

  5. You did great Sean! Good going with the 5K.... that is an idea I'll steal, if you don't mind. My brother and I usually take a Christmas Eve evening walk but we've never kept track of distance.

    Interesting to see the differences/similarities between a Canadian and American Thanksgiving menu. I'd never thought of Mac and Cheese for a side dish. Is that a family tradition?

    1. Excellent, Nikki! In years past, it's been more of an organized 5K--this one was simply timed, likely a 5k--and if not, very close. Same time it normally takes. I do prefer walking on a measured path--just so I know for sure, but I can't deny--it was a great walk!
      So awesome, that you and your brother get out and do this, too!!
      The mac and cheese isn't a traditional side dish, I don't think-- but it's become somewhat of a family tradition for us, you might say.

  6. I am totally convinced that the accountability is the key for this girl! I texted and was texted frequently throughout the day and had no trouble sticking to my 1200 calorie net commitment. I would have liked to catch a walk but it didn't happen. Might today though!

    1. Oh yes, Gerri--It makes all the difference. Me too!! The support system is a major element. Without it, I wouldn't be here right now. I shutter to think of where I would be along this road, without good/solid support.

  7. "Helping others, helps me"<<<<I totally get that.


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