Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June 24th, 2015 Between Then and Now

June 24th, 2015 Between Then and Now

I was planning on posting an excerpt from Tuesday November 16th, 2010. That was the day I hit my goal of 230 pounds. I wanted to find and read a contrast in perception between then and now. Instead of posting an excerpt, I'll just report what I found back there in that archived post.

First of all, I had stopped doing daily blog updates well before hitting goal, in August 2010, as a matter of fact. I only posted five blog updates the entire month of November 2010. My commitment was waning, the importance level wasn't as high and it clearly showed.  That "Goooaaaaal" blog page was written like a big finale celebration. I did it-- and let's take a trip back and remember blah, blah, blah...

Sure--the coolest part of it was the comments from my daughters, that was very special, but the rest of it was confetti, balloons and an overwhelming vibe of  'I did it and I'm done. I finally got here.'

I maintained for one and a half years after that day. I suppose the motivation and support--the writing of my book and all of that kept me somewhat occupied. The writing of the book also included weekly sessions with Life Coach Gerri--so likely her support kept me from wandering too far away.

When I started turning my back on it all--that's when the relapse and regain period started. It was a very scary process. Scary, because at times I seriously thought it might be impossible to recover. I felt I was that far gone. I was lonely, sad, angry, depressed, embarrassed and feeling hopeless for the change I once declared a choice. It didn't feel like a choice I was capable of making, ever again. 

I would hide, isolating into a world where it was just me and the food. Aside from work and occasional family stuff, the only other personal interactions came with the unwitting drive through employees of my favorite binge stops. These friendly fast food workers thought they were simply handing me dinner...nah, they became my dealers.

I thank God for the people who stayed with me throughout the struggles, the prayers, the thoughts, the wishes and good vibes, it all helped.

Before this starts taking on an "I did it, I'm done" feel, let me just say this:

This doesn't end. There isn't a finish line. The time spent losing is very small compared to the amount of time making up the rest of the life I pray is ahead of me.

I weighed today:
 photo Weigh20day20update206120weeks_zps8xzxqxbj.jpg
Here we are, once again below what was my original goal. The relapse/regain weight is gone.

And although getting back below 230 wasn't the stated goal at the beginning of this turnaround--I can't keep it from being an unspoken goal of sorts. It felt incredibly awesome seeing 228.4 on that scale. But it doesn't define me. I'll never tether my self-worth and identity to a number, ever again.

My biggest goal isn't a number. The biggest goal for me is my continued recovery. My goal each day is to maintain the integrity of my food plan, including my abstinence from sugar. My goal includes actively giving and receiving support every day. My goal each day also includes keeping the accountability measures solid. 

None of this is a given. If ever I decide to turn my back on the recovery practices bringing me this far--in other words, if I ever try to live someone else's normal, then it'll quickly fall apart, again.

So what will be different moving forward? More calories--maybe two or three hundred more a day, I haven't decided just yet...and that's okay. It'll take some experimenting to find a good balance. And I will challenge myself to try some new things in the exercise department.

I'm, of course, continuing the blog each night. The most important days, in my opinion--are ahead. The maintaining part--finding that groove, that's a very big deal and I look forward to exploring it in these daily pages.

I'll continue to weigh every three weeks. My accountability food, exercise and water tweets will continue as well. It's not going to look too much different than the last fourteen months. And that's the critical difference between then and now. It's love. It's acceptance. It's my normal. I embrace it.

My Tweets Today:




















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

36 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your hard work and achievements so far! Have you thought about updating your book (if the publishers are interested) with some extra chapters about the regain period and then the epiphany and the lessons you learned on the way back down? I think that could be really helpful for those who think that "yay I did it" is the end.

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    1. Natalie, thank you! Book #2 (untitled at this point) is in the works! Instead of a revision or addition, it'll be its own.
      I certainly stand behind the concepts--the basic fundamentals described in TR, but as I've discovered (and Marty Lerner alluded to in his expert review), some elements for lasting success were missing, at least for those like me.
      Book 2 will be a comprehensive exploration of relapse/regain and finding the way out again--and most importantly, the different perspectives such a turnaround includes...things that, if held in high enough regard, could lead to long term success and recovery.
      A large part will be my experience--and I'll also include interviews with people who have years, and some, decades of maintenance behind them...just to see how their experiences and practices compare.
      I'm super excited about it!

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  2. Sean, I am so pleased for YOU being where you are mentally and emotionally, more than physically. The future looks sweet, and I am thankful you will share the ongoing path with us -- we need it, or hope that someday we will.

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    1. Amy, thank you very much. The mental/emotional development has far exceeded the physical in every single way, and I'm so thankful!
      There's serious substance in the non-physical--and within it, keys for the road ahead.
      Continuing to write, explore my path along the way and share the findings, is of huge benefit to my continued recovery.
      I'm very fortunate and grateful to have loyal supporters like you!

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  3. Hey Sean, I'm a little bit concerned about how low your calories are going into maintenance. You lost almost two pounds a week during the last three-week period, which means that you'll almost definitely continue to lose weight on 2000-2200. I don't know your height but I estimated that you're a little over 6' and put your stats into the IIFYM.com calorie calculator with a generous bf% since extreme weight loss and regain wrecks your body composition and it looks like your TDEE would be close to 2500 calories/day even if you were entirely sedentary (which translates to about an 800 calorie/day deficit on 1700 calories, which translates to a 1.6lb/week loss, which is a little under what you saw over the past three weeks).

    All this is to say that ... to maintain your current weight I think you're going to need to add in more than 200-300 calories (which would bring you up to my maintenance level as an active 5'4" woman, by the way). And if you want some more unsolicited advice I think psychologically it would be good for you to eat at maintenance for a few months and increase your heavy lifting (maybe do something like StrongLifts) to build strength/"recomp" and then maybe at a later date increase calories and commit to a slow "bulk" to build muscle at a faster rate. But you're busy, so it's really a question of what you think is best for you.

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    1. Thank you for your thoughts and calculations! I agree with you, 100%. The thing is, I don't know. This is new territory in many ways. I've never carried the attitude and perspective I have now, into this area.
      I'll be taking it one day at a time-- and monitoring closely... I believe a bump to 2,000 is in order-- and as weight lifting and other physical activities increase, bumping it up from there makes sense.
      I'd like to see what three weeks of 2,000 per day with roughly the same physical activity level, will bring.
      Excellent analysis. Thank you! Stick around, because i think it'll be an interesting period of finding a maintenance groove that works well for my body.

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  4. Good for you! What a feeling that must be. I have lost weight before myself only to regain it again and again. So I do feel maintenance will be the hardest. Also does panic set in when you know longer see the scale move down? I guess it's all about finding a new normal, right? One thing for sure You Did It!!!!!!!

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    1. Thank you, Robin! The test will come, not when the scale doesn't move down--but when it moves up a little! Finding this maintenance groove will be a case of trial and error, I'm sure. :)

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  5. Sean, you are an inspiration!

    Dede

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  6. Congratulations. Thank you for sharing your journey with us :o)

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    1. A, thank you, kindly, for reading along the way! And for the congrats!

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  7. I still think you deserve to celebrate Sean. The fact that you managed this for a second time, when most people regain/relapse and never get back to their best weight, that really is something. I do see a big difference in your atttitude this time around and I pray it will carry you through to LIFE TIME maintenance!

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    1. I'm celebrating by taking on a role in another stage production! My perspective and attitude has truly shifted in a big way. I say the same prayer. Thank you, Helen!

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  8. "This doesn't end. There isn't a finish line. The time spent losing is very small compared to the amount of time making up the rest of the life"

    I absolutely agree with this statement. It's awesome that your reached this point of your transformation with this understanding moving forward. I am very much looking forward to your next several months of blogging and the calorie intake you adjust too. IMO these next several months may prove the most informative and helpful aspects of your entire blog. Can never say this often enough. THANK YOU!!

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    1. Jon, awe man, you'[re welcome. Giving credit where it's due-- I remember you saying this while we were in Vegas last year and it resonated in a very deep way. So much focus is on the losing part--even though, compared to the time we hope we have on this earth--The maintenance part is the big one. Of course, the losing part comes first! :)
      I'm excited about the monumental things happening in your transformation timeline, Jon. You're doing amazing things!!

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  9. Booyeah bro
    Awe inspiring weight loss journey X 2
    You are a hero and an inspiration.
    Thank you for sharing your transformation with the world.

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    1. Anonymous, I sincerely appreciate your words! You're welcome--but let me add: The gifts I've received as a result of sharing this entire experience has been most fulfilling. Thank you!

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  10. Congrats, Sean! I really liked this:

    "My biggest goal isn't a number. The biggest goal for me is my continued recovery."

    I think if more people realized this, there would be less relapses. Thanks for the reminder! :)

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    1. Gwen, thank you!! I truly believe if I apply the same level of importance as a buddy of mine does with his nearly 30 years sobriety--and countless others have done--then I'll have the best chance at continued recovery! I hope and pray so! I agree with you, 100%.

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  11. Congratulations, Sean! I look forward to seeing what maintenance looks like for you. With the skills you have developed, I'm sure you'll make it all work, especially with health and recovery as the goal rather than a number.

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    1. Emma, yes--it's a very different perspective around here. Thank you for your vote of confidence!

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  12. Congratulations Sean. I am jealous, because I have not yet been able to reverse my re-gain. I did it last year, re-losing 35 pounds I had regained, but this year, it is almost 50 pounds of regain. So frustrating--you'd think at my age (64), I'd have this figured out by now. I am still far from that 328-lb. woman I was for 30 years, but am currently much too close to that 200-lb. mark on the scale, and it is horrifying. I feel so proud of you, you are young enough to be my son, so it is that kind of maternal pride I feel. I have followed you for so long, through the initial loss, and now this last period when you are once again blogging daily and doing so well. Keep it up Sean. We are never done are we?

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    1. Dupster, my friend--don't ever give up. We're never really done with this. Accepting this normal has been a major transition point for me. I know what happens when I turn it all off. I know what happens when I stop weighing and tracking food. I know what happens when I stop all accountability measures. i know what happens when I turn my back on supporting others and reaching out for support from them. I know what happens when I try to conduct myself in someone else's groove.
      Talk about jealousy!! I look around and see people who are able to eat all things in moderation. Their brain doesn't light up like a pinball machine when they eat refined sugar...they've never felt compelled to stuff themselves beyond reason...when they get stressed or emotional, they actually eat less... and when they do eat a little more, their metabolism combined with their natural love of exercise, takes care of it.
      I'm not that person and I never will be that person. And that's okay. I'm gloriously me. And my normal requires my attention each and every day in these areas. If I choose to not give my attention-- I will undoubtedly gain fast and easily. That's my normal and I must respect and embrace it.
      Dupster, I know you can turn this thing around! Always here for you--okay? Email me if you're interested in additional support along the way!

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  13. Congrats Sean on all aspects of your weight loss and your commitment to be healthy. I'm so happy I ran into your blog reading Lyn's blog. You give me hope as I'm sure others, too!
    I am determined to be as successful as you are.
    I wonder though... do you feel pressure with so many followers who look up to you ? Its just a thought that I have when people are so successful at losing. We admire, OOoo and Ahhh over them, its human nature that we do that. But does that make it harder for you to "be" for everyone?

    My best Sean and congrats again!
    Rosie

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    1. Rosie, thank you!! Lyn is awesome!!!
      Great question. As long as I'm keeping it real, I don't worry about any kind of pressure. We're all human--and I think most people realize that. None of us are perfect. So, any negative pressure would be self-imposed...Now--on the other hand, a small measure of this "pressure" can act as a wonderful accountability tool.
      The secret, I believe--is always keeping it real. If ever the focus is shifted from real into a performance of some sort--that's when it gets bad...And truly, you and other faithful readers of this blog could spot any fake-ness--or showmanship, a mile away.
      An important element is humility. If I read a blog where the author is always perfect and writes from a "here's what you must do if you want what I got..." attitude--I'm immediately turned off. None of us are perfect. And the best we can do is find our own groove--with the full understanding that what works well for us--may not work for someone else.

      Love this: "I am determined..." You're on your way to incredible success. You've decided, Rosie!! And I'm very happy for you!!!

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  14. Again, congratulations. Maintenance is the true goal. Best of luck toward this goal. I always admired how you can count calories!!!!! I enjoy your blog so much.

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    1. Anonymous--thank you! I owe a lot to MyFitnessPal and personal experience! Counting calories gets easier and easier the longer it's practiced...because most people typically eat many of the same things--some with a bigger variety than others, some less--I'd probably be in the less category! LOL
      And the MFP database is constantly growing everyday. You just have to be careful not to catch an incorrect entry...every once and a while they have a few.

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  15. It has been a lot of work - but the results are phenomenal. I am so glad you are choosing this road instead of the former one. The feeling of "I Arrived!" is a big part of our undoing when reaching goal I think - plus in my case I added back all the "treats" I had given up to lose the weight. Wrong strategy for sure. Adjusting to the "newly arrived at goal you" is the best way to go. Thank you for teaching us that. All the diet programs seem to put all the emphasis on losing - not on maintenance. It is treated as a race to be "won" and we know that is far from reality. I have learned so much from your sharing and I want to thank you for that.
    N~

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    1. Nancy, you're very welcome. Thank you for your faithful support! This road feels more right than ever before. I agree with you, 100%-- the emphasis is usually disproportionately weighted toward the losing! How do we live the rest of our lives post weight loss? Now what? In finding our groove along the way--I think we can answer those questions as we lose.
      You're awesome, Nancy!

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  16. Woohooo! :D

    I know this is not the end of the journey, but it sure is a lane change. I think it's okay to take a deep breath, breathe a sigh of relief, enjoy the accomplishment...and enjoy the scenery from your new route.

    Cheering you on!

    Deb

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    1. Deb, thank you!! A very nice and smooth lane change, for sure! I'm so blessed and very grateful.
      I am enjoying the differences between this experience and my initial weight loss. It's a very different perspective, for sure! Thank goodness!
      I always appreciate your cheering!!!

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  17. Proud of you! Thank you for the inspiration.... in big and little ways :) cashew milk is really good!! It's a honor to know you, even through the blog universe... I like people who are real and who stand firm!

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    1. Thank you very much, Nicole! I love the cashew milk--I must have it more often, actually!
      Your support is golden to me.

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    1. I'm seriously looking forward to it, too! The ideas for it are flowing freely and easily-- and that makes me even more excited. Lots of substance! :)

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