Monday, January 19, 2015

January 19th, 2015 Namaste (nuhm-uh-stey)

January 19th, 2015 Namaste (nuhm-uh-stey)

Every once in a while, I hear it: "Congratulations, you look great. You're so strong," or a similar quote. I accepted a version of this today from someone who I ran into at the grocery store, whom I hadn't seen in years. I don't think they're remotely aware of the relapse and regain period of this journey. I gracefully accepted the compliment with a "thank you, very much! I feel great too!"

Accepting a compliment and saying thank you instead of first listing off all of the reasons you believe their perception is inaccurate--is tough to do. It's important to embrace, though. I've found the urge to discount or immediately deny compliments has faded, but I still feel a little twinge in that direction. Old habits die hard.

Are we not worthy? It's not that, really. Yes, we are worthy. But I tend to examine things a little deeper, especially this notion that I'm super strong along this road.

Let me explain, please.

And keep in mind, I'm not discounting my success and where I am or what I'm doing. I'm simply offering perspective to this compliment I seem to attract every now and again.

If you took away this blog, the accountability Twitter feed, the calorie budget, added a dash of sugar or seven dashes (or, hey--just give me the bag of sugar, already), took away the social media support system I've built, took away the weekly support group I co-facilitate with Life Coach Gerri, and I was completely on my own...well, I assure you, I wouldn't be sitting here writing this blog post. I'd likely still be over 500 pounds, waking up every day hoping and praying it's not my last. 

Am I strong? Or have I just learned and put into practice the power of structure? Without the support structure of my fundamental elements, I'm not strong at all. If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know exactly what happened when I abandoned most of the above mentioned elements: I gained back 164 pounds. I suppose I don't do anything small.

The message here is to build your system. Find what works for you. Lean on the elements you need to keep you motivated and focused toward what is good and right. Never underestimate the power of support from others. When we try to do this alone is precisely the moment it gets super hard. Perhaps I'm strong at building my support structure. But on my own, I'm not strong at all. I'm affected, I'm complicated and most of all, I'm human.

But if I see you out and about and you offer me a compliment like the one described above, I'll not disagree with you. I'll gracefully accept your compliment. And if you're searching for the same strength, I'll encourage you, too. Because it's in you, I know it is.

I attended my second yoga class today at OM Yoga Studio. I'm really attracted to the peace, calm and spiritual experience of it all. The first thing I do is set my phone to silent and place it in one of my shoes. I make my way into the yoga room where the lights are dim, the music is soft and perfectly "yoga-like," and the atmosphere is inviting and comfortable. I love that the breathing is intentionally connected to the movements and as difficult as some of it is, I'm able to relax--let go of my ego, let go of my insecurities and just let it be. And if I ever have any question about the effectiveness of the workout, all I have to do is wait until the next morning. It's a good kind of soreness.
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I enjoyed cooking dinner tonight (see dinner tweet-pic below). After eating dinner at restaurants Friday through Sunday, it was time for a good home cooked meal. I used only 1/2 a tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan to cook the chopped sweet potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini squash and onions. I set the heat on low and practiced patience while the fish baked in the oven, wrapped in foil. It was tremendously satisfying!

I truly believe one of the biggest components to our individual happiness is identifying and nurturing our core passions. These core passions are not dependent on our size. I was broadcasting and public speaking long before I ever starting losing weight. The happiness to be found in my core passions was often overlooked in favor of focusing on my weight and appearance as a "worthiness indicator" for my happiness. Declaring our God-given natural worthiness for happiness and discovering it isn't found anywhere but inside us, is a critically important realization along this road. That's where it was placed, completely unaware of any outside influence.

We're not worthy of more because we lose weight and we're not worthy of less because we gain. We are always worthy. And if our perspective and focus embraces this truth, we can experience a new level of freedom beyond anything we previously imagined.
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Two Passions: Broadcasting and Public Speaking. The rare full body 500 pounds-plus 'before' photo features me with three colleagues (Chris Johnson, Ryan Diamond and Steve Daniels). We were broadcasting live from Guthrie at Oklahoma's Statehood Centennial Parade in 2007. The below 'after' photo was a speaking event/book signing in Rogers, Arkansas--late spring 2012.

My Tweets Today:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,


  1. Sean, when, oh, when will you post a current picture?!!

    Great work!


    1. Zoe, thank you! I've posted some currents lately, did you miss 'em? I'll have some opportunities to post more, soon. Thank you for reading!

  2. Love that the Yoga experience has been positive for you!

    You are stronger than you give credit for. Knowing where you are weak, and leveraging the power of community makes you stronger than any 1 person can ever be. You are a walking testament to that.

    1. Thank you for encouraging me toward yoga, Lance. It really has my attention in a great way!
      I sincerely appreciate your words here, again-thank you. I suppose strength comes in several different types and applications. You're right. Everyone's definition of finding strength is different, and perhaps that's the way it is--None of us are strong until we find our strengths, then apply. Good perspective.

  3. Glad you are enjoying the yoga! I'm not very flexible and my balance isn't all that great, so I bought a 30 day pass to a local studio and challenged myself to go as many times as possible in 30 days! I am still pretty self conscious (my issue totally!), but I do enjoy knowing that all I have to do for that time is breathe. :-) Namaste!

    1. Thank you, Neca! I read about your commitment on your blog and couldn't help but smile big. I'm naturally self-conscious too--but for some reason, in that room, I just don't care like I normally would. Breathe, just breathe!! :) Namaste!

  4. "Am I strong? Or have I just learned and put into practice the power of structure?"

    It took me a long time to realize that people I thought were "strong" were ones with that support structure in place, and that they weren't just more hardcore than me.

    1. Janis--absolutely. And that's just it, the support structure--be it physical, mental, spiritual--it makes the difference. We're all generally the same, with different support structures. I suppose when someone refers to me as strong--I have flashbacks to the darkest, weakest times during relapse and regain--and I know, if left to wander alone, how easily that reality would/could return. I'm likely over-thinking it, too. I'll never explain this to a random person offering a compliment--I'll simply and gracefully say, "thank you!" Unless they ask for an explanation-- Then they won't be able to shut me up! LOL

  5. OMG ..I just did an identical stir fry last night (except the sweet potato-mine were in the fridge still), I was just thinking tonight, no kidding , that we needed to buy a wok because I'm stir frying tomorrow too. I'm about healthy enough to go to yoga again's scary when it's been a while but you just have to do what you are comfortable with and you will get more flexible later on. _

    1. It's so good, huh? Yes-- I need more room in the pan! Either a wok or a much bigger non-stick pan... One of these days soon, I'll add green beans and asparagus to the mix! I ate 'em all. And for me, that's saying something!
      I agree about the Yoga. I had to make some modifications on some of the different things. I'll progress. My body is likely thinking, what the heck is going on out there?


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