Saturday, August 8, 2015

August 8th, 2015 Did It Choose You?

August 8th, 2015 Did It Choose You?

I slept fairly well last night. I didn't create enough space between the time I got up and the time to report to my location broadcast and that meant moving a little quicker this morning/early afternoon. I made it through just fine.

My plans this evening included a concert featuring Jim Curry. He's the number one John Denver impersonator in the world. He's amazing. The look and the sound, spot on. And none of it is forced. It's as genuine as can be and something I spotted immediately when he was a guest on my radio show Friday morning. I wasn't missing his performance tonight. I have a very diverse love of music. And the music of John Denver is some of the most joyful and soul cleansing I've ever experienced. I asked Jim on air, "did you choose this tribute show or did it choose you?" After enjoying the concert, I'm convinced, he was born to eventually keep alive and share the music of John Denver and he does it well, in over 125 performances a year.

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The 100 pictures challenge is ongoing. The issue for me is, I'm not always around other people--and when I am, it seems awkward to ask, "hey, do you mind taking some candid pictures of me. I'll just act naturally and you just snap away."  So, I end up with a bunch of selfies.

I ran into some friends at the concert tonight--and I did ask if they would take some pics of me on stage--after the owner of the venue asked me to say a few words before the second half of the show.
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I wasn't expecting to go up on stage in front of tonight's sold out crowd. The owner of the venue asked me to say a few words, promote my radio show (he's an avid listener) and of course, say a few words about the John Denver tribute we were all experiencing. I declined at first and I couldn't really say why. I just wasn't expecting it, I suppose. I made it to the show just as Jim Curry was getting into the first song--and I quietly made my way to the back of the room to find some place to sit down. I changed my mind after a few minutes and said, "sure, I'll say a few words."  It was very nice of him to give me the opportunity.

I never had an issue getting in front of a crowd on a stage--even at my heaviest, I was doing stand-up comedy for goodness sake, so it wasn't a big deal. I didn't start having issues or serious hangups about addressing crowds from a stage, until the relapse/regain period. After the transformative elements of the last nearly year and a half (and I don't mean the physical transformation exclusively--the mental and emotional as well), that apprehension is completely gone. Hand me a microphone, I'll go up with a moments notice if needed! The self-confidence is strong.

I spent a good amount of time tonight replying to comments from the last few days, including on the weigh day post. I've been planning to write about my philosophy on my personal maintenance plan and points moving forward in this blog. I realize that I would basically be writing the same things twice, in reply to comments and in the blog.

I'm doing something a little different and slightly interesting, I think. I'm sharing some of my replies only from tonight. Not the comment and reply-just the reply. In some of those are my thoughts about maintenance as I proceed carefully along this road. This is a critical time for me! 

If you want to skip this and go straight to Today's Tweets, I totally understand. If you're interested--here we go:

"I agree, Megan. I'll be proceeding very carefully as I find the personal balance that works for me. :)"

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"Nikki, Thank you!! I feel fantastic! I'm staying up super late tonight--but I get to sleep in in the morning--and I had dinner at 11pm...so, 3am bedtime on a Saturday night--or Sunday morning...doesn't seem so bad."

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"Eileen--this is solid advice, thank you. I agree... more whole eggs, I bought real butter the other day (I've yet to use it--or the natural peanut butter--but both will help boost the calories). You're right--I'm eating what I like and what seems like plenty. I'm absolutely not starving myself, clearly. I'm very fortunate. I believe my metabolism is running very well...and since I put 95% whole-unprocessed stuff in my body, the breakdown is easier for the body to handle. There's no guesswork for my metabolism, it knows what to do with what I'm giving it. 
It's really difficult to imagine eating too much more--so this advice, to me, is spot on... some subtle changes, some increased calories...and I'll find the balance. I'll be okay!"

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"Caron, I agree--the MFP weight "warning" or "projection," as it is...I don't think is always accurate. I feel like I'm in a very fortunate position. I'm not stopping the tracking--so, I'll be able to find a groove that fits and keeps me within a good range. I appreciate you, Caron. You're living it, everyday--this whole maintenance thing... I appreciate your advice!"

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"Kerstin-- excellent point. When I was at my heaviest--and even at the top of regain/relapse, I never saw myself as that big. It was always a shock to see a picture of the truth--because my brain always computed something smaller in appearance. 
And now, it's the opposite... It takes seeing pictures of me now for my brain to go, "whoa...am I really that small??" 
I agree with Eileen's suggestions above, too. 
Kerstin, things are very different this time around. There is a peace within me about so many things that I didn't have/feel before. When you add this greater and deeper inner awareness to the increased importance level (holding the elements of my recovery sacred regardless of my current weight), it's a powerful combination. 
I'm not foolish enough to say "I'm never going back," because I said that before. Instead I say, "I hope and pray I never do--and if I continue to give what I do the highest importance level, I have the best chance at continued recovery into maintenance."

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"Oh, SLM-- I think the majority of those who struggle like us, relate to exactly what you're describing here. I know I do. 
Your focus is spot on, SLM. Keeping the focus reeled in and on your fundamental elements each day, will pay moving forward. 12 pounds in 6 weeks is fantastic!!! Excellent start, indeed!!!! 88 more, no worries! People often say "keep your eye on the prize!" And that's fine. But I've discovered it's very important to properly define the "prize."
For me, it isn't a number--although it once was. For me, I get the prize when I have another day of taking extraordinary care. I want one more day where I hit the pillow knowing, without a shred of doubt, that I did my best and maintained the integrity of the plan I've developed for me. 
You're on your way, SLM. I'm cheering you on all the way!!!"

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"Karen, thank you. I agree with Eileen, too. I look forward to making these small changes moving forward. My number one focus is to maintain the elements of my recovery--the integrity of my personal plan, each day. Making these additions will absolutely help me get the calories and nutrition I need while still maintaining that integrity.
You're in maintenance and have been awhile-- so I bet you'll understand this: Psychologically, it's difficult for me to eat more than I do--because I'm already eating well--I don't want for anything, I'm not deprived--and I'm certainly not starving myself... and the idea of eating more feels like too much...as if I'm flirting with excess, even if I'm not--and even if it's what my body needs.
Bottom line--like you stated... taking it slow, making small adjustments and staying connected with my elements of recovery. 

It'll work out. Thank you, Karen!"

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"Anonymous, thank you very much. I can clearly see that you're genuinely concerned and the advice you're gifting me is from a wonderful place.
I agree that I need to eat more--or more calorie dense/nutrient dense choices. You see everything I eat and to me, it seems like enough--I don't feel the least bit deprived.
Now--coming out of weight loss mode and into maintenance mode, it's a challenge to convince my brain that more is okay. It's a psychological thing...
It's like a quantity past a certain point triggers an alarm in my "recovery" sensors. Going in and rewiring the system to accept a little more, is difficult to do. It's necessary and I believe with small changes and continually evolving my approach, I'll find the groove that works well.
Thank you for all of the effort and analysis you've put into this comment. I sincerely appreciate it.

Good food for thought!!"

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"I am 6'3". I love,I mean LOVE the avocado omelet!! Glad you do too! Thank you for your appreciation. I have zero plans to stop! More food tweets coming every day! Megan, you're awesome!"

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"Helen--so true: "Very difficult to get out of the losing weight mindset/way of being/way of eating into finding what works to just maintain weight within a reasonable range."
Yep.
It's a process. I feel like if I continue holding the importance level of what I do in the highest, I'll be okay as I make subtle changes in the transition. 

Yes--the running shoes. They're amazing shoes!!! I feel like I can totally get to 3.1miles without stopping by the end of September."

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"Dupster, I appreciate your passion and I understand from where it comes. For me, it's all about from whom it comes and if there's a genuine concern behind the suggestions. I did feel that from anonymous. 
Along this road, we're trying to find the balance that works for us--each of us is different... and at the same time, many of the dynamics are the same. 
I have a fearful respect for regain/relapse, having experienced a massive one--and this makes it exceptionally hard for me to "allow" myself to eat more than I do. But I also don't want to lose too much. At 220, I don't feel like it's too much--and I know with continued weight training--making that important, I'll add muscle and be okay...especially as I add calories from good sources, to help the direction my body is going. 
The wonderful news is-- My main focus is maintaining the elements of my recovery--as long as I maintain those--I can make adjustments within the bounds, and be perfectly fine.
I'm not giving way to the binge and I'm not eating excessively--and that's a wonderful thing.
Shifting my perspective enough to add the necessary nutrition to maintain weight while taking care in the fitness arena--without triggering my internal alarm that says, danger-danger-danger--you're eating too much-- is very important. 
To me, it's all a part of getting off the merry go round of Lose-gain-lose-gain--and walking over to the bench in the park and just absorbing the beautiful scenery--and the harmony and balance of it all. Finding that personal balance is the thing. That's what I'm working on!"

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"Anonymous--great suggestions. I'll ask my doctor about the metabolic rate test and the body fat percentage test. It could help me reframe my perspective, for sure!"

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"Chris, thank you. I'm feeling my way about. And I'm truly feeling confident I'll find the balance moving forward. 
The effort and detail someone puts into a long analysis like some I've received, is very impressive and I must acknowledge that support and consideration. At the same time, I'm not working myself up into a tizzy about all of this. I seriously feel like, as long as I continue to make my recovery principles important--and I maintain the integrity in those elements--then I'll be able to make adjustments that will lead to helping me maintain.
The increased physical fitness is the wild card. I plan on continuing to develop my running legs--I'd like to eventually get into boxing workouts (if I can find a gym for that) and getting back into Yoga is on my list--and getting with a good trainer for strength training...and all of these things will suggest I add some good calories to my daily budget.
The key then becomes--shifting my perspective enough to not be alarmed by the increased calories and just be at peace with it all... Coming from weight loss mode combined with my fearful respect of the relapse/regain dynamic, it's a little challenging.
Thank you, Chris, very much for the compliments.

I'm confident I will find the personal balance I need moving forward."

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"The 100 pictures thing. Very VERY interesting concept. I think I understand very well why you're suggesting this. I'm working on it. I need to have a photog follow me around for a day and snap when I'm not expecting."

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"The loose skin is absolutely another wild card in the mix. I have no idea how much the excess skin weighs. 
I do believe with increased calories and good workouts, it'll all work itself out. I'm willing to make adjustments as needed to maintain a good balance. 
I once wrote about a "gradual evolution of good choices" describing food choices along the way and how what I would eat years ago, isn't what I choose today--but what I ate back then was important, because it's where I was at the time...and now, I've naturally evolved into better eating habits and choices. I think it'll be the same with maintenance mode. I'll evolve as I move forward and as long as I keep holding the elements of my recovery sacred--as a foundation for everything else, then I'll be in a good place for continued success.
I looked at some height/weights of NBA prospects (at the suggestion of a friend)... and here's what I found: 
Point Guards: Average was 6'2", 190 lbs. Smallest starter was 5'11", and tallest was 6'8". The lowest weight was 160 lbs., and the heaviest was 223 lbs.
Shooting Guards: Average size was 6'6", 211 lbs. Smallest starter was 6'3", and tallest was 6'9". The lowest weight was 188 lbs., and the heaviest was 240 lbs.

Small Forwards: Average size was 6'8", 224 lbs. Smallest starter was 6'5", and tallest was 6'10". The lowest weight was 195 lbs., and the heaviest was 260 lbs.

Of course--these players are solid--lean, lots of muscle--very fit. I aspire to be fit, too. Perhaps not NBA fit, but as lean as I can be in that direction. 
Given all of the factors-- loose skin removal someday, increased strength training, increased overall fitness...I could very well end up a lean 215-220 someday. Who knows? 

As long as I continue to take extraordinary care, I'll be okay, no matter what...and what defines "extraordinary care" will evolve like everything else along this road."

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"Robin, as far as the fundamental elements of my recovery, I don't see changing those...at least I hope and pray I don't! The things that will change are pieces that will fit within my fundamental elements of recovery. 
Thank you for the compliment, I feel great, truly!!

Don't give up, Robin. If you feel like sugar is your substance, like me--the best way to find out is to try 10 days without any refined sugar. I've written extensively about what a monumental difference it's made for me. If you do abstain, I sincerely wish you the same kind of life changing experience."

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My Tweets Today:
























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

4 comments:

  1. Sean, so awesome that you're now at maintenance, could you talk about what happened to trigger your regain last time? Was there an emotional event that blasted you out of your groove, or did you get overconfident and think you didn't need to be diligent any more, or something else? One day I hope to be where you are now, and I learn so much from your musing.

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    1. There were a couple of emotional events that really shook me. After maintaining for a year and a half, I went through a really tough breakup. I was also depressed because of the lack of movement in my career--this disappointment was a combination of things. I wasn't in the position I had hoped to be 1.5 years post book release. I hadn't developed this career I so passionately wanted to-- All of my high hopes, dreams and expectations started to fade into a reality I couldn't stand.
      BUT-- Here's the deal... predating all of this WAS an overconfidence.
      I was overconfident to the point of abandoning all of the support and accountability structure I had leaned on throughout my weight loss. That year and a half of maintenance was fueled by a simple cocky statement of "I'm never going back," and that statement was backed up by a shaky trek of managing my food and exercise habits in the worst, most unstable way. It was bound to unravel. And it did.
      As soon as the above mentioned storms started brewing--and all of the emotional turmoil started--I was in deep trouble. My experience was to run to food for comfort--and that's exactly what I did...to excess.
      And the more I did, the worse it all became--compounding into this poisonous existence that sent me scrambling and hiding--isolating and eating, depressed and scared.
      If I had maintained the accountability and support structure I had while losing weight--and made those things important--had I a shred of humility and gratitude for all I did have-- I could have made it through that time without the regain/relapse.
      I still stand behind every word I wrote in my book. It's a good recipe for coming to terms with and losing the weight--but then what? It's what wasn't written about the after effects that's missing from it...things I still needed to learn and appreciate.
      Book number 2 will be a hybrid of both--what was in there and what was missing--the elements of true recovery.
      And it's interesting...I'm single now--went through a breakup last year--no worries. I'm still working hard everyday at my job--and I feel great.
      My expectations for a career of some sort are different now. It will develop naturally and organically and it will if I put forth the effort required...It's not some given entitlement, as I might have treated it before.
      And the bottom line--and the most important--My self worth and identity today, doesn't depend on anything that fluctuates. weight, success--no matter the state of these two, I'm okay--I'm a great person regardless--I love myself on a level I never did before...and this allows me to experience life with a whole new perspective.
      And I treat my recovery with the same reverence as an alcoholic in successful recovery treats their sobriety. It's that important to me.
      That was probably way more than you wanted! LOL :)

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  2. Just a quick note on the omelette, I tried your suggestion of cooking it more slowly and it was better. Alas, there is still room for improvement so I think I will keep practicing :) Thank you!

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    1. Kerstin--I'm so glad you tried it! Keep trying! It's worth the effort, I promise!!

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