Saturday, February 28, 2015

February 28th, 2015 A Promise Made On Day One

February 28th, 2015 A Promise Made On Day One

It's hard to believe almost six and a half years have elapsed since Day 1 on September 15th, 2008. I hadn't a clue how important to me this blog would become. I didn't know it on Day 1, but I was embarking on a very deep and personal self-study. This study has taken me far beyond the basics of weight loss and into the mental/emotional side of all things affecting such a journey. I didn't know it all then and I don't know it all now. What I do know well is, me.  And on Day 1, at over 500 pounds, I was scared.

A few excerpts from Day 1:
 
"How important is it that I lose the weight now? Well...every now and then I day dream a nightmare where I envision my family at my funeral. I know...it's dark! And very scary. But every time I have a little pain I wonder, is this it? Am I about to collapse? Will my funeral be Thursday??"

"This is all about making choices. Every choice we make has a consequence...some good, some bad...Some real good, Some very, very bad. Choices and consequences, that's what it's all about."

"Tomorrow I weigh. I'm really scared at what I might weigh. I guarantee it'll be more than you think. But one thing I promise in this blog...I'll put it all out there...As much as it might be embarrassing to announce my weight tomorrow night, I will. I have to...because I must make myself accountable. I know it will be over 500 pounds...It will for sure. I'll report on my weigh in tomorrow night."

"I'll put it all out there." I feel like I've kept that promise fairly well, in this blog and my book.

The dramatic before and after pictures are certainly a fun part of any transformation.
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I learned along the way that the most dramatic parts of this whole transformation business isn't captured in photos.

The entries on May 15th, 2014 and May 19th, 2014, in my opinion, best epitomize the unseen parts of this transformation.

From the archived blog post on May 15th, 2014:

"And then I realized: This is what they mean when they say you must love yourself first before you can fully experience and appreciate the love and richness of life. Oh my goodness, I feel like shedding tears just writing these words. 

If I was confused before, it was very clear now. I'm a great person worthy of love regardless of my size and appearance. I have my mind, sense of humor, talents, a big heart, loads of compassion for others and so very much more. And none of it is diminished with weight gain or increased with weight loss. 

I am me, always."

From the archived blog post on May 19th, 2014:

"If we tether our identity, self-worth, definition of success and happiness to anything that naturally fluctuates or can change dramatically, then we're in for a roller coaster ride of emotional unrest.

I've always attached my self-worth to my weight. Well, until now of course. I've often talked about potential and not living up to potential. But here's the thing: Potential is tied directly to the constant qualities within us and if our focus is on the pursuit of happiness in every direction except within, then those qualities aren't allowed to flourish, to grow--to give life to the potential within us all.

This whole thing makes me want to take the best care I can. I've never felt more determined to return to a healthy weight. It's what I need physically. What I need emotionally isn't affected by weight loss. And making that distinction provides a nice inner calm, a peace.

The question to determine these inner qualities needing attention and love is: What are the qualities in me that remain regardless of my weight, regardless of my financial situation, regardless of my relationship status, regardless of my professional success--what about me stays the same when all of these other things can and do change?  My heart, soul, sense of humor, natural compassion for others, likes and dislikes, pride in parenting, artistic talents, selflessness, humility, etc. Have you made your list?  And when these constants are cared for and loved, watered, so to speak--they grow, they flourish--and they give us what we need to experience emotional freedom, the freedom and ability to claim our happiness come what may."

I've learned a lot along the way. I've learned about the cleansing of forgiveness and the power of love. I've learned about what finding happiness requires and what it doesn't.  Most importantly, I've learned that the learning never stops. If ever I close my mind to learning more, it'll be the beginning of the end.

If you've read this entire post and you're thinking, get to the HOW part already, okay... 

I eat well and I exercise regularly. When it comes to food, my philosophy has always been "I eat what I like and nothing I don't." When it comes to exercise, it's all about consistency--not perfection.

I'm not gluten free, although I do eat some gluten free products occasionally. I now eat 1,700 calories per day, mostly whole foods--and I don't eat sugar. My abstinence from sugar started almost 11 months ago and it's proven to be the best nutritional decision I've ever made. Even better, it's the best recovery decision I've ever made. I avoid refined sugar the same way an alcoholic avoids alcohol. When I gave it up, the binge switch in my brain flipped to the off position.

I don't isolate. I'm active in reaching out for support when I need it and offering support when it's needed from me. Building your support system is critically important. Crucial elements of the support system are your accountability tools.

This blog is one of my biggest accountability tools. I also use Twitter as an accountability tool. I share pictures, descriptions and calorie counts via Twitter of everything I eat, every day and I use MyFitnessPal to log and track my consumption.

You certainly don't have to do any of this to be successful. My initial 275 pound weight loss didn't include the live tweets, in fact, I didn't log or track anything. I simply kept a running calorie count in my head throughout each day. My goal was to simplify the process as best I could. Then, after maintaining goal weight for a year and a half, I started a giant relapse and regain period. What I do now--all of my personal fundamental elements are based on what I needed to turn the slide around in a positive direction.

One last thing... If you're about to start your own weight loss journey, please read this:

What's this all about? It's about progress, not perfection. It's about how you feel, not a number. It's about you and for you, not about or for anyone else. It's about living, not dying. It's about dreaming, not dreading. It's about freedom, not imprisonment. It's about opening your mind to the possibilities, not closing it to the changes. It's about acceptance, not rejection. It's about nourishing, not depriving. It's about a broadly consistent importance level, not short bursts of narrow focus. It's about wanting, not forcing. It's about doing your best, not trying to do another's best. It's about today, not tomorrow, or next week or the first of the month or January 1st. It's about committing to consistency with all your heart and holding on tight, not a halfhearted commitment easily released with the slightest breeze. It's about you deserving better, because you do. It's about you being important, because you are important.
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As far as today's recap goes, it was excellent. I'm feeling nearly 100%, finally! I ate well and enjoyed an amazing workout this morning. I made my way to the department store after my workout for a new pair of smaller jeans. It was time. It feels good to once again be out of the Big and Tall section.

For more details about today, I'll let the Tweets tell the story:

My Tweets Today:






















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

16 comments:

  1. The Cashew Milk is amazing. I used to use Coconut milk and almond milk, but neither really was great in my opinion. I now know I can drink cashew milk every day, that's how much I like that stuff. Of course I get the unsweetened, won't try the sweetened one. Your tweets help get me on this stuff. Don't know if I should thank you or curse you. :) Just kidding, it is great stuff and healthy for you too.

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    1. I'm so glad you like it, Michael! I agree, it's the only milk alternative I've tried where I can truly enjoy a glass, straight--rather than only using it for cooking. I stopped drinking milk when I started losing weight. The calories seemed too much. I was a big milk drinker before! Now, I can enjoy a glass and make the calories fit nicely into my budget!

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  2. "...the learning never stops."
    Very powerful, very true!
    Can't wait to hear your interview later today (Sunday).

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    1. Thank you, Retta. It's a continuing education, always! I listened to it earlier-- They did a wonderful job piecing it together--of course, they always do! I hope you enjoy the segment!

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  3. What a great recap/reflective post. I love the honesty... you just put it all out there. And it's bit about being perfect. I need to hear that as often as possible. Perfectionism is not needed on this weight loss journey. Have a wonderful Sunday!!

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    1. Valerie, you got it... "Perfectionism is not needed on this weight loss journey."--absolutely right. Thank you very much!

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  4. Wow..very deep..I love this post. I screen shot your reflection...it applies to many areas of life beyond weight loss...inspiring.

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    1. JMT, thank you. Very true--this perspective is universal.

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  5. What a great and inspiring post Sean! Have a great day!

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    1. Thank you, Alati! I hope you have a wonderful Sunday, too!

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  6. Powerful words my friend. Though I never got to 500 pounds, even at 350 I share in a lot of those fears. In my last post I wrote about how I've now created 2 future "selfs" that are 10 years older. In reality I created 3. One is happy, one has a cabinet full of meds and needs help tying his shoes, and the last one sits in a fancy jar on my mantle. Creating those future selfs really has me scared, but I think I needed it to help open my eyes. Your blog reminds me that it can be done and for that I thank you!

    -FogDogWeightLoss.Blogspot.com

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    1. FD, our top weights are relative to each of us. Your 350 was as monumental as my 505, could have been worse, actually, depending on your body type and health issues resulting.
      The visualization you've created is powerful!! Wow.
      I might need to explore this, too!
      It really can be done, FogDog. You can do this, my friend.

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  7. I always write to much and then it doen't tend to make sense. So that being said.
    wonderful post. The last paragragh~powerful.
    Thank You!
    Rosie

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    1. Rosie, I totally get that...I try to bring it all back together in some way--But I do that too, occasionally--- Write too much and then...What was I trying to express?? LOL Thank you very much!

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  8. So glad you decided to start that first blog. You have been helping us a long time Sean! Thank you!~
    N~

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    1. Thank you, Nancy! I sincerely appreciate your support of what I do!

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