Sunday, March 16, 2014

Redefining Our Line

Redefining Our Line

Do we feel “right at home?” To be where we are and remain here, is to live around the line of least resistance, or so we might believe. But is our place at this line really easy? 

It's familiar, yes. On many levels, even comforting, because it's what we know. But is it easy when you consider all we sacrifice in its maintenance? 

Our identity, our social interactions and our inter-personal relationships all lean heavily against us wandering too far from the line we've called home. And when we decide to change, moving away from this place can be scary. 

We gradually realize the potential effects of this liberation from what is known, transforms much more than what's on the surface; our bodies and wardrobes. 

Is it easy at this line or have we simply become accustomed to adapting as needed to accommodate and preserve our place? 

When we regain, is it in part a subconscious retreat to familiar surroundings? 

In my opinion, the heart of the matter lies in what we choose to find and maintain a semblance of comfort and peace. And what we choose often lies to us in its promise. Excess food, or excess anything, might keep us “safe,” but it doesn't make anything easy and it doesn't fix anything. 

To choose change is brave, requiring large amounts of faith and commitment. Change isn't hard simply because it's different, it's just not familiar. The only way it becomes familiar is through practice. 

We redefine our line. 

And along the way we find ourselves transforming in ways we didn't expect. The line of least resistance isn't easy to maintain. It is familiar and that provides an illusion of ease. 

Perhaps it isn't the line of least resistance—maybe it's the line of familiarity. 

And if we can embrace the changes we desire long enough to become familiar and understanding, then perhaps we can change the base line we call home.

Peace and strength,
Sean

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Chasing Endorphins

Chasing Endorphins

I hadn't made it a quarter mile when the burning in my legs started whining. I decided to focus on the music and not my legs. Would I get a 5K in this evening? Probably not and that's okay. I'm not back there just yet. At about the 3/4 mile point I noticed my legs feeling better and stronger. I was determined to make it at least 1.7 miles. By the time the 2nd lap of the trail was finished, I was so into my music and feeling good--I pushed it another lap, ending with a solid 2.64 miles. That's fantastic. I honestly felt like stopping that first 1/4 mile, but as I alternated between air guitar and air drums, I was thinking about how it was when I first embarked on this trail September 15th, 2008 at 505 pounds. I only made it 1/4 mile on that first day because I was convinced another step further would literally kill me. I knew pushing it tonight wouldn't kill me and I was after those mood altering endorphins. And I got 'em, I got 'em good.

I left the trail feeling accomplished. I felt proud and happy. I made it to the store, picked up a few ingredients I needed to prepare dinner and I cooked a meal I felt good about.

Today was a good day. The choices I made alleviated the familiar struggle I often feel in the evenings. Morning to late afternoon is often the easiest time of day for me because it's more structured with my work schedule. The evening is up to me. And when there aren't any boundaries and I'm free to navigate my evening in whatever way I choose--that's when it's the toughest.

I confided in a friend recently about how I felt like I was on the verge of a calorie bank meltdown. Instead, on that particular evening, I went to bed uncharacteristically early (7:10pm), thus avoiding what felt inevitable. It wasn't a bad move, really. I did what I felt I needed to do in that moment in order to maintain the integrity of my calorie budget. But after tonight, I must question, had I exercised, how would I have felt at 7pm that particular evening? I'm betting I would have been in a much stronger mindset, influenced by the bio-chemical reactions released by exercise.

It's a positive momentum dynamic. I exercise, I feel better, I struggle less (or not at all) and I ultimately feel great about my choices. And good inspires more of the same. I must keep this in mind the next time I'm on the fence about whether or not to exercise.

I'm a pro at finding fantastic reasons why I shouldn't exercise on any particular day. Granted, I've had legitimate circumstances for a while now because of my sleep issues. But now that these are being treated, I'm getting more rest. And suddenly a long work day doesn't seem like a good enough escape clause. And why would I avoid exercise anyway? I do quite often. But I can't recall ever regretting a good workout. Isn't that interesting? I always feel better afterward. Always. And since I listen to my favorite tunes while I'm doing it, I'm actually having a blast, (see the air guitar and air drums reference above.) I've even went so far as to play air piano, air violin and air upright base.  Will somebody see me? (Somebody did this evening--I know, because they mentioned it on my facebook post) I don't care if they see me! This is what I mean when I talk about becoming "lost in the music." This is why I prefer to workout alone. My exercise time is my time to dream within the rhythm of the songs that inspire me. I've compromised before, trying not to embarrass my walking partner: I would often curb my enthusiasm. I will not curb my enthusiasm ever again! So if you've ever asked me to walk with you and I haven't accepted, please don't take it personal. It's just me being me...gloriously me!  

I've noticed a major positive difference since declaring to be more self-compassionate. The guilt and shame of regain is pretty much gone. I give an incredible amount of credit to the numerous people who have come forward, sharing their own stories of regain. Feelings of shame and guilt prefer to be alone for optimal growth. And because so many have shared with me their stories and their hope, I know I'm not alone, ever.
Getting back on track has been another big factor in alleviating the brutally abusive thoughts and resulting emotions. I know where I'm headed. And it feels good to be going in a positive direction. The hopeless feelings of a downward spiral always feel that way because of the decent. When we're back up and moving in a positive direction we suddenly realize there is hope after all.

I better wrap this up. I've enjoyed some wonderful perspectives on facebook recently. The other day I posted:

"I've heard from several people recently who have told me they're “starting over." First, realize you're not completely starting over. Now, you're armed with new information about yourself—some you may not have considered before now. Every “failed” weight loss attempt in my life wasn't a failure, it was a teacher. With this new perspective--approach with simplicity, confidence, and joy. And know: This time will be unlike any other because the focus is heavy on YOU and the real changes you desire,—the ones you once thought impossible...they're not, they're yours for the choosing."

Michael Prager, Author of "Fat Boy, Thin Man" commented:
 "I start over every morning, regardless of how yesterday went. I only have today."

Isn't that the most wonderful perspective we can embrace? What if we let go of yesterday and fully embraced today? Now, if yesterday was awesome, then fine---but still, today is all we have. Truly, this is a one day at a time road we're traveling.

I invite you to friend me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/seananderson505 On Twitter: @SeanAAnderson and on My Fitness Pal: SeanAAnderson

I keep most of my food pics and "in the moment" type stuff on twitter. I micro-blog and interact on facebook and I log my daily calorie bank, exercise and water consumption on My Fitness Pal.  And of course, this blog is...well, you're here...

Thank you for reading,
Goodnight and...
Strength,
Sean

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Thing About Focus

The Thing About Focus

I'm ready to amp this amp as I head into March.  I've been rocking my Calorie Bank and Trust to the tune of 1700 or a little less each day. I haven't fully committed to an exercise schedule and it's okay, but that's about to change! My goals for the upcoming week include being better prepared for lunches at work, exercising of some kind each day, increased writing and more water! I can do this. These are things in need of my focus. And when I apply myself toward this positive focus, incredible results follow.

A very important element for me and any of us, is to be very careful of the thoughts and things we lend our focus.  I'm a huge believer in the law of attraction. Basically, what we focus on the most is what we get more of along the way. I have numerous things in my life where I can dissect the dynamics and follow it back to where my focus was strongest. Most times, a negative focus is grounded in fear.

Fear of regaining can be paralyzing. And when you're in the middle of regaining it feels like the focus is hijacked into a very negative and dark place where nothing is working anymore.  I had "505" tattooed on my arm as a reminder of where I've been and a nod to never go back.  BUT... if I could go back in time, I would change the number to 230. And I may still have "-275=230" added.  Why? Because as I was losing and after hitting goal, I spent a whole lot of focus on the number 505. I named my start up "505 Industries," the tattoo of course and several other thoughts and practices were centered around that number. It got to the point to where I started seeing 505 everywhere. My purchase at the store would come up $5.05, I would notice the clock at 5:05 all the time and when the security code on one of my cards showed up 505, I smiled and thought, "How perfect?"

But how could I break away from this five hundred pound identity if I'm choosing to constantly focus on the number 505?  I can tell you with absolute certainty, had it not been for the support of people like you--I'd be back to 505 or beyond.  Changing our focus isn't easy. And changing our deep seeded identity is where it gets extremely challenging.

In my opinion, in order for us to eventually, slowly but surely, accept a new identity--we must focus on where we are and where we're headed, not where we've been. You've heard people say "never look back" and I agree. Then someone pops up with, "Don't ever forget where you came from!" And then what?  Well, we don't have to forget where we came from and we likely couldn't if we tried, but we can keep that identity from being our main focus.

This focus on where we're headed puts the law of attraction to the test. Long before I watched "The Secret" documentary on Netflix, I experienced this powerful dynamic. As I started losing weight back in 2008, I employed the law of attraction without realizing what I was doing. Everyday I would look in the mirror and smile at myself. I was complimenting myself for doing a great job and then I would intensely focus on where I was headed. I would envision how my appearance would change.  And no, simply doing this isn't the only thing needed---but what happened was, it affected every choice I made. I was locked into my transformation. I was focused on the positive changes coming my way in regards to physical and mental health and of course, appearance. I was imagining the possibilities and with each passing day, week and month--those possibilities were happening.

An entire book could be written about this topic of focusing and then another book could be written on the effects of the transformation as it applies to our identity and how it affects our relationships with others and more importantly, how it affects our relationship with self. I imagine if I search a little, I could find some good books already written on these topics!

I'll tell you right now, the big guy in some of the photos below--I never properly dealt with losing him. The truth is, I never lost him--it's me, but the identity and all of the personality and heart invested in that existence was transformed right along with my body and wardrobe.  It felt like "old Sean" died. It wasn't until the last year or so that I fully understood why my ex-sister in-law cried the first time she saw me after hitting goal. She was mourning the loss of  "old Sean." I did recognize this then, but I didn't fully get it until about a year ago.  So the work continues.

For me to understand that the positive effects of being at a healthy body weight far outweigh the attachment to my old identity, takes a committed and consistent focus.

I want to live as long as God plans for me to live. I want to be healthy and experience life to the fullest. And doing this means letting go and allowing myself to transform without focusing on negative emotions tied to my previous normal.  There were many positive and wonderful qualities in that guy, but the lifestyle was one that isn't conducive to longevity.  Instead of focusing on a perceived "loss," I must continue to focus on a hybrid version of me--one that combines the positive qualities of the past with the lifestyle and focus of today, giving me the best shot at a longer and healthier life.

Where is the focus? That's a question I must keep on the top of my mind. As long as I remain attentive and aware of this focus, I can continue making positive strides toward my goals.

Join me on facebook at www.facebook.com/seananderson505 (notice the 505) and on twitter @SeanAAnderson and My Fitness Pal: SeanAAnderson.

Tuesday evening starts the 6 week group teleconference coaching sessions with my good friend Life Coach Gerri Helms. Gerri has maintained her 100 pound weight loss for 21 years and has helped countless people identify and reach their goals in weight loss and other areas of life.  The 6 week session is $60 dollars and includes the weekly call, additional text support when needed, a private Facebook group for conference members only and an incredible chemistry for support from the group. For an average of only $10 per week, it's a bargain! If you're interested in signing up, it's not too late! We keep the group small, so space is limited. Send an email to me right away to sean@transformationroad.com and I'll reply with a link for you to click and register.

I've included several pictures below. I am focusing on where I'm headed, not where I've been. I am focused on a future where I speak and write for a living and one where I experience the positive effects of living at a healthier weight everyday.

Attitude. Perspective. Focus. It's powerful, my friend.

Thank you for reading,
Strength,
Sean

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big face

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Stand-up comedy head shot and stage profile shot

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This idea of focus, attention and the law of attraction, has me questioning if I should ditch the before picture and old size 64's for future speaking engagements.





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