Thursday, July 16, 2015

July 16th, 2015 Harvesting Hope

July 16th, 2015 Harvesting Hope

It's Throwback Thursday...
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It wasn't really that long ago. I hated pictures as much as I hated mirrors. Actually, I hated pictures even more. At least I could avoid mirrors and reflections. Pictures simply show it, the fake-half smile, the general look of misery--the uncomfortable moments when someone pulls out the camera and here we go again, more photos I hope I never see.

My perspective has changed. I can look at this photo and see beyond the physical. The core elements of who I am existed in that physical version of me the same as they do today at 230 pounds. But I was miserable at that weight, not just because of the obvious physical limitations. I was also miserable from the constant self-hatred, the always holding myself down and the ignoring of the good in exchange for a constant self-loathing. I don't want to go back, ever. And I don't exclusively mean physically. I don't want to ever go back to that way of treating myself in such a constantly negative way.

For me, taking care each day means far more than minding a calorie budget, exercising and abstaining from sugar. It also means making a conscious effort to feel good about me, as a person. This kindness we extend to ourselves is needed regardless of our weight. We can lose incredible amounts of weight and still not like ourselves. Treating ourselves with self-loathing and contempt and wondering why the weight loss didn't magically fix that, too, is a very common thing. I've been there, my friend.

My worth, your worth--it isn't something determined by the size we see in pictures. Our worth is determined by all the unseen things in our hearts and minds. Just as I challenge myself each day to find and nourish the constant, inherent good, I challenge you to do the same.  

Every now and then I like to go back into the archives and read what was happening exactly one year prior. What was I writing about one year ago today? Here's an extended excerpt from July 16th, 2014:

I really feel like I'm into a solid groove these days. I've found a balance. I've had more than 80 days without eating straight sugar, I've written eighty-four consecutive daily blog posts, I'm approaching 100 days binge free, I've exercised regularly and I'm eating better than I have in my entire life. I must pause occasionally and express incredible gratitude for this dramatic turnaround. I say a prayer every day that this balance maintains and everyday it feels like it's here forever. Yet, I know better than to ever settle or relax my stance with an attitude of "I got this."

I was in a very dark place with all of this not too long before and on more than one occasion entertained the thought that I should possibly just let it all go. The weight, my health, my hopes and dreams--all of it, just let it go. I gave it serious thought. Delete the blog, get off Facebook and convince Amazon and every other book seller to stop selling my book. I was losing the fight and about to throw in the towel...but I couldn't do it. I kept getting messages from people, some just discovering my book and/or blog--and the messages were overwhelmingly positive about how my story was helping them with theirs. When an in-patient food addiction treatment center replied to my inquiry about rates and a possible stay, I grew even more depressed. It was going to cost $14,000 for a 30 day stay. I couldn't afford it, but I couldn't afford to stay out of control, unless I was willing to let it all go.

People would still love me, my kids, my mom--family and friends, they would hurt for me, but their love and support would never go away. Perhaps I wanted too much, to be free? Maybe living at a healthy weight wasn't meant to be? Simply not caring would possibly be easier, I thought, but I was wrong. Not caring would be easier in the day to day actions but impossible for me to accept in the bigger picture.

What was most damaging to my psyche was the misalignment between my actions and the public persona I felt I needed to maintain during my deepest and darkest struggles. I wouldn't allow myself a shred of self-compassion over this, brutalizing myself constantly with negative thoughts and actions. Through it all, surprisingly, I never lost the ability to genuinely encourage, support and give fantastic advice to others, but at the same time, finding my balance personally felt a million miles away.

To be where I am today is miraculous to me. It's been a very quick turnaround complete with epiphanies that will forever affect my life in positive ways. My hopes and dreams are alive and well. I'm comfortably on my way back to my healthiest weight. And most importantly, I've learned valuable lessons I needed to experience in order to live my best life, for the rest of my life. I'm still learning. Had I never faced the struggle of the regain and all of the emotions and negative energy in that direction, I wouldn't have felt as prepared as I feel I am today.

I didn't give up. I almost did. But I didn't. I could have closed the curtain on that deal a long time ago, but I was constantly being shown the light peeking through, calling me toward it. I have so many blessings to be thankful for these days. There's always light. Even on the darkest day the sun is shining on the other side.

There's a lot of hope to be harvested.

Today was good. I took care. I made sure to get a nap. I took some time to catch up on the incredible comments over the last few days (thank you for the incredible support!) And I prepared three good meals, too.

I celebrated my love for the creative arts by acting in a play. It was opening night. I had opening night jitters and my performance wasn't bad, but could have been better. I'm looking forward for my chance to hit a nice groove in the next four performances of this very limited run of Dog Sees God: Confessions of A Teenage Blockhead. I wish you could see it. It's a great play.

I did some light body strength exercises prior to the start of tonight's performance. I'm loving being a part of this production, and I'm not trying to rush it--but I am looking forward to getting back into a more consistent exercise schedule and more specifically, a more aggressive strength training routine. I did some reading this afternoon about body weight strength training and the difference that is possible in a very short amount of time. It truly has me excited about my physical fitness.

A reader known simply as "M." offered this on last night's weigh day post: "...goal is a weight and maintenance is a range."

Very true. Excellent perspective.

My Tweets Today:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,


  1. Hi Sean! I remember you used to have a bike a few years ago; do you still have one? If yes, you might want to give bike riding for exercise and relaxation another try. I’m familiar with Ponca City and remember there's a nice lake nearby with a road paralleling its shore. That might make an enjoyable, scenic ride for you while!

    1. My bike was stolen. :( And I never replaced it. I've thought about getting another. Not a bad idea! You're right--the lake is a great place to ride!! Thank you, TL--great suggestion.

    2. I'm very sorry your bike was stolen; hope you have a chance to acquire another one soon!

    3. Thank you, TL. I really think I will, very soon!

  2. You GO, Sean! Congrats on the play and on taking care of yourself through this crazy schedule.

    1. Thank you, Rachel!! I'm loving the play. It's a trade off--hectic schedule for the joy it brings. Getting through the schedule is a challenge, for sure. But now, the hardest part is over! I'm off from scheduled radio duties this weekend!

  3. Congratulations on being in a play, terrific! Next can you share where to find the article you were referring to In today's post. Also when I see your heavy pictures I just can't wrap my head around it. I didn't know of you at that weight so it just doesn't click with me.

    1. Thank you, Robin! The before pictures are certainly dramatic! The article was on here's the link! Makes me realize my typical excuses of "no time," aren't really valid! Just copy and paste it into your browser!

  4. Whether a person has hundreds or just dozens of pounds to lose, your words ring true to the core. Everyone's weight loss is important to them and we all feel much of the same emotions.
    It makes me smile when I see that you are trying some cinnamon in your coffee as I like mine that way! Large size or small size, you are just as sweet.
    Megan in Texas

    1. You're absolutely right, Megan! It's all relative. One person's 50 is another's 150...The dynamics are often the same with perspectives unique to our individual experiences.
      Loving the extra flavor of cinnamon. It's helping wean me off the artificial sweetener!
      Awe, thank you!! You're so awesome, Megan!


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