Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April 21st, 2015 Feel And Deal

April 21st, 2015 Feel And Deal

I've discovered I can still be under general stress with work, finances or anything else life throws my way, and simultaneously feel genuine excitement about what I'm doing in taking exceptional care and about where I'm headed. It's noteworthy because there was a time when I thought everything needed to be perfect in my life before I could somehow experience success with weight loss. How does a lifetime stress and emotional eater successfully lose weight? 

Turning to food for comfort and escape became my solution for most everything. Only if my back was up against the wall or I felt cornered would I actually deal with something head on. This pattern resulted in a bunch of unresolved issues over the years and it kept me "comfortably" in the 500 pound range.

One of the many epiphanies helping me get started on this weight loss path in September 2008 was the realization that losing weight would require putting down my shield. I would need to feel and deal with things in a different way. Deep down, I knew the excess food wasn't helping anything. I wasn't eating for it to help. I was eating as an escape to something pleasurable, a distraction from the unpleasurable. Food helped me do that. But it didn't help the issues creating the stress and emotions in the first place.

Food isn't a therapist. 

Once I fully appreciated and understood this and what it meant, I really thought--okay, that's it, I'm fixed!! I'll never do that ever again!! Well, famous last words, huh? 

A combination of emotional issues and stress overwhelmed me after maintaining my initial weight loss for a year and a half and just like that, I intentionally ignored the truths of what I had learned. I stopped being accountable, I stopped writing, I turned my back on support, I stopped caring about whether or not I was handling things appropriately and I started isolating...and eating.

Some of the powerful epiphanies along this road cannot be forgotten. As in, you can't un-know them. You can't see and experience the truth, then ignore the truth, without the truth nagging at you every step of the way. Someone once said, "recovery is a buzz kill." Very true. I could no longer wallow in pure unadulterated oblivion, doing what always came natural, without constantly being reminded of what was really happening.

Tomorrow morning is my 52 week weigh-in and Thursday will be Day 365 of this turnaround from relapse and regain. I've learned volumes more about me over the last year. I've learned about what it really means and feels like to apply a sacred level of importance to this recovery process.

In order to be successful, long term, I must give the elements of what works for me the same reverence an alcoholic in successful recovery gives theirs.

I thought I realized the power of support before, but oh wow, I've been gifted an entirely fresh and powerful perspective on the importance of giving and receiving good support.

When I say "I'm excited about where I'm headed," it's for so many different reasons than before. I'm not most excited because of a new pair of jeans that will fit soon. I'm not most excited about some hot new romance someday. I'm not most excited about the success of my future projects or the desire to eventually make writing, mentoring and public speaking what I do full time.

Nope.

I'm most excited about once again approaching maintenance mode, and this time with a grounded and completely different perspective firmly rooted in solid recovery principals. With an understanding and full appreciation that I'm never cured. Relapse and regain humbled me in a most beautiful way. I needed the experience. I'm grateful.

My Tweets Today:


















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

20 comments:

  1. "I'm never cured." To some, that could lead to despair. To those of us who have figured it out, there is actually POWER in that statement. You don't get it, until you get it. Well done, my friend, and happy anniversary!

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    1. Thank you, Gwen. You're so right! There is power in it--and I couldn't agree more with your next statement, "You don't get it until you get it." That's the truth! But wow, once you get it, it's a very powerful thing!

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  2. Good luck on your weigh in Sean, although you don't need any luck. You'll do well as you have all along this past journey.

    I can hardly believe it's been a year that I've been reading every day and find myself at the same place I was back then. Actually, a little higher. I'm hoping someday that I found what you did, because right now I'm getting further down that deep hole of self hatred. All I can hope for is "someday" comes sooner rather than later.

    Happy Anniversary on a job well done.

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    1. Thank you, Heather. In my experience, the first step in getting out of that hole is self-compassion and forgiveness. It's a critical first in turning things around. I wish you the best, Heather. And thank you for reading! I appreciate your support!

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  3. Almost a year .... How exciting

    Can't wait to hear your weigh in results tomorrow

    How much more do you want to lose before you maintain?

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    1. TR, it is fabulously exciting, for sure! I'm not sure. Another 12-15 pounds maybe..then focus on maintaining--fitness and weight lifting...which might increase my weight, but in a wonderful way. Thank you!

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  4. Happy Weigh-in Sean! I am close to where you are in almost maintenance mode. I lost about 80 pounds, sustained for quite a while. Then gained it all back rather quickly over a year and a half period. Down @ 50 again. My goals are a little more realistic this time around. I am just so thankful that i was able to turn it around. I was in much despair when I was regaining. I love your blog, been reading since 2010 and see you on FB. I feel like I know you even though we have never met! You have helped me tremendously! ~michelle harder

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    1. Michelle,
      Congrats on the turnaround!! Doesn't it feel amazing? I don't know about you, but for me--I seriously wondered if it was even possible to ever lose another pound. It certainly felt impossible.
      I'm so happy for you! I sincerely appreciate your support all these years.

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  5. "I'm never cured." This is what I have come to accept. Happy one-year anniversary! It really IS exciting when you see you are capable of making the choices necessary to get and remain healthy. I remember years ago attending an informational meeting about WLS, and I was so excited about the prospect of taking this pretty drastic step to lose weight. Ultimately, my insurance wouldn't cover it, so I had to rule it out. Over three years later, my doctors words about having a possible heart attack DID get my attention and I started on the journey without surgical intervention, and with only my own resolve to guide me. Even today, over five years later, as I struggle once again with a 30-pound regain (after a 178-pound loss maintained for almost 3 years), I think about looking for help outside myself.....Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Physicians Weight Loss Center, etc. So far I'm trying to keep doing it, albeit somewhat unsuccessfully (at least right now) on my own, but then I'm never really on my own. I have Sparkpeople.com and blogs like yours that really really really help me.Thanks Sean, I know that your honesty and daily affirmations will help me find my way back to making good choices.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "I'm never cured." Acceptance of this is critical for me. And I've accepted and embraced. So glad you've done the same.
      It sounds as if it worked out exactly the way you needed it to work out. I imagine the insurance denial was very disappointing at the time!
      I'm so glad you acted when you did. That is scary.
      It's in you, Dup. Always here for you, my friend.

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  6. Hey Sean,

    Chris, your biggest fan and nudge here. I'm always excited on your weigh-in days too. But as you are writing the numbers and your process have to be two different things.

    Regarding recovery and maintenance. At my Thursday night beginner yoga last week my teacher made a small but potent comment. Yoga helps with physical (outside) flexibility but it also helps with inside (emotional) flexibility. I thought of this comment when you wrote about your all or nothing thinking. Things would or had to be perfect when your initial loss happened and your initial attempt at maintenance. It is probably not the only way to get inside flexibility, but it is there for us. Good luck at the doctors this morning. :)

    --Chris

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    1. You're spot on correct, Chris. I agree 1000%. The numbers and the process are separate. I kept missing Yoga for scheduling conflicts and then, even when I was available, I had a very tough time getting myself out the door. I loved it, I truly did--and I believe I need it. I must make a point to get back in there. Emotional flexibility...I like that. A lot. Thank you, Chris!

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  7. For me your most powerful sentence today is: I've learned volumes more about me over the last year. Keep remembering what you've learned.

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    1. I will, A. I will. I didn't realize there was so much more, but honestly--I've learned more powerful truths about myself over the last year than I did the previous five. I'm grateful. Thank you

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  8. Congrats on your year anniversary, Sean! Reading your blog has inspired me in so many ways. Just when I think I can not do this any longer I come here.. park my butt and read your words. Even if it is "just a day" of tweets, it still helps me. Isn't it amazing to realize in helping yourself you've helped so many people, not even knowing them!
    I know your WI is going to be stellar! You've done so well... My heart is happy for you!
    Rosie

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    1. Rosie, thank you very much. It truly warms my heart to read how this blog affects you in a positive way. It is a major blessing to me--and that others might find it to be something of value to their trek, makes it an absolutely beautiful exchange of inspiration, motivation and positive accountability. I appreciate you.

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  9. Great thoughts Sean. Your strength and resolve are inspiring. Happy Anniversary.

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    1. Thank you, LTR! It's been a good year.

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  10. The consistency has its' results, doesn't it! THAT has been my major struggle. Not worrying about perfectionism but sticking with the routine as best as possible.
    N~

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    1. Consistency is critical! Striving for perfect sets up roadblocks to consistency, every time--in my experience. I'm glad you're getting away from perfectionism, Nancy! Give yourself some understanding, flexibility and compassion and watch what happens, my friend!

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