Saturday, September 12, 2015

September 12th, 2015 We Decide To Start

September 12th, 2015 We Decide To Start

Whenever we decide to start choosing change before change chooses us, we run the risk of some inner resistance. We need a plan, first, right? Maybe a liquid fast of some sort, or perhaps we cut out certain food groups--or we assemble a list of our "new" diet foods, head to the store and load our kitchen with only the best. Oh wait--what about a diet center type program where they already have the food ready to go? That would save a bunch of time spent shopping and preparing. Maybe we compare our hopes and dreams to someone else's success and try to do whatever they did, in hopes of the same results, I mean seriously--aunt so and so lost 50 pounds on that cabbage soup diet. Or maybe it's the latest and greatest available surgery. The process of deciding what we'll do is labored over until we realize we're not making any progress. It's called paralysis by analysis.

I understand this process because I've lived it. 

Often, the plan we assemble doesn't reflect our authentic self in any way at all. In fact, it might be a polar opposite of what we're accustomed to eating and doing. But isn't that the idea?? What we've been doing has brought us here and it seems to make sense that in order to lose weight, we need to do something opposite of what we've been doing. Right? Not so fast!

From my experience, here's what happens: We get set. We get everything in place. Then-- we go to bed and decide that tomorrow we're waking up and becoming a completely different person. And it can certainly bring some initial success and maybe even some extended success, until it becomes too much, too different--and too easy to revert back to our authentic self we abandoned in order to do this new plan.

When I started at 505 pounds, it was the simplest approach possible. It had to be for me to stick with it. 1500 calories per day and a short walk each night. That's it.

I ate whatever fit into that budget. I didn't stress over the macro-nutrients or the fat grams or the anything, except the calories. I let go of every preconceived notion I had about what I had to do to lose weight, food wise--and just minded my budget. The consistency brought about by this simplified approach was supported by keeping the blog updated each and every night for a handful of readers whom I knew were paying attention...that was my accountability measure and it was support.

Some meals flew in the face of what anyone would consider "diet" food... fast food, convenience foods--it all made it's way in there early... but as I went along, my choices improved naturally---simply because I was trying to get the most value for my calorie "dollar." This is the "natural evolution of good choices" I've written and talked about many times.

Liberating myself from the worry of "what's best" and what foods would be best for weight loss---and sticking with the mantra "I eat what I like and nothing I don't," enabled me to liberate myself from 275 pounds.

Now, I ask you. What would have been better? Me coming up with a complicated diet plan with a bunch of self-imposed rules---all of which I would have felt horrible about breaking--but would have had they been too restrictive.... Or.... changing my perspective and just eating and moving every night?

This simplified approach forced me to focus LESS on the food and exercise details and MORE on the accountability and support needed to stay CONSISTENT.

And this brought success like I had never known. As you know, it also enabled me to learn a great deal about myself along the way---especially after hitting goal weight of 230 and actually maintaining for awhile before letting go of the elements all together...basically, I stopped doing what was working---and without the accountability and support structure that carried me so far, I was left with just me... and then it was on---like a race back to 500 pounds.

But it was good, because for me, it highlighted an element I needed to understand better---and that was my addiction to refined sugar and its effects on me.

Something magical can happen when we stop trying to figure it all out and we accept and embrace the idea that if we just start doing--- even if it's something that doesn't feel like anything we've done before... things can and usually work themselves into a groove where our individual elements become clear.

And the weight starts going...and we start losing....and wow... wasn't that what we wanted to begin with? Our health improves from the weight loss in dramatic ways--and it does without taking a massive detour from our authentic self.

As you gain your footing--and focus on maintaining the integrity of your budget through your accountability and support system you have in place--you'll naturally evolve your choices to fit into that budget--- and eventually, you may even try different things as you modify your approach. It's important to just get started moving in the right direction--away from self-sabotage and negative inward thoughts-- and straight toward consistency.

Counting calories is never an exact science. The closest we can get is when we weigh things with a digital scale. I do that at home and at work--but I don't go out to restaurants with one. And since it's best to weigh meats, especially prior to cooking-- It wouldn't really help. But-- the more we do it, the better we get at giving something an honest guesstimate. 

Keep in mind-- during my initial 275 loss--I never logged, weighed or even wrote down my food. I used if I wasn't confident about something--and nutrition labels, of course... But I kept it all in my head---a running total each day. My budget was 1500-- and I'm sure it fluctuated give or take a 100 on any given day...but it didn't matter at the end of the day. It was close enough.

I remember one day I went over my running total by, I think---if I remember correctly---something like, 30 calories... and I was crushed. I felt horrible. Like I had broken something sacred. The mental/psychological/emotional damage of my reaction was the only thing affecting me in a negative way. Those extra 30 calories didn't have an actual effect in any way, shape or form.

What would happen if we stopped looking for the perfect plan to focus on and instead, focused on the non-food elements, like setting up our accountability and support structure? What if we gave ourselves time to see what consistency within a simplified approach could accomplish? What if we embraced our authentic selves, starting there and working our way toward our transformation that goes far beyond the physical? What would happen? It might be very interesting to find out.

I had two back to back location broadcasts today. A 10-Noon at a grocery store and a Noon to 2pm at the annual fine arts festival. My breakfast was filling enough to hold me much further than I imagined it might. I did drink some water and perhaps that helped. I was prepared to pick up a holdover snack until I could get home and prepare lunch. But seriously, I felt fine--satisfied and generally okay in the waiting until a late lunch.

After my broadcasts, I stopped by the home studio of my video production partner to view the first episode of The Winning Loser Video Blog, or VLog--vlog, or whatever it's called and we were both satisfied with this introductory installment. I'll have the first video online in tomorrow night's edition of this blog. The ideas for this fun project are coming together nicely. I'm really excited about it! If I can relax and be myself in front of the camera, it'll be great! It's something new. I'm accustomed to being behind a microphone or on a stage in front of an audience--those things I can do fairly well--but put a camera in front of me and get ready for plenty of bloopers. I have every confidence that I'll settle down and be fine as we produce more and more of these Vlogs.

My original plan today called for a YMCA trip for my C25K training run. Instead, I opted for a later run at the park. Week 7 Day 1 called for a 5 minute warm up walk followed by a 25 minute jog, wrapped up by a 5 minute cool down walk. It's mind blowing to me that I actually did it. And outside with hills, too! I can't say enough good things about the C25K program.

Before, the mere thought of running for more than a minute without stopping was something completely opposite of anything I could personally imagine. I suppose it works because it's a gradual evolution of ability made possible by consistency. I get that. I can relate.

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Today at my location broadcast in a small grocery store.

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This was taken in April 2014 at the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Awards. I was at the very top of my regain/relapse period, back to almost 400 pounds. I was very uncomfortable standing there next to Oklahoma City anchorman Kevin Ogle.

Up really late tonight. I've been working on assembling project ideas and working on a few things. I'll sleep in well, believe me.

My Tweets Today:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,


  1. So frustrated now with myself right now, don't even know where to begin.

  2. Everyday start out good by every evening epic fail. Ridiculous!

    1. Robin and Natalie - Hang in there and don't give up! One day, even one good decision, at a time. I struggle with doing this because I often believe that nothing will work for me. But Sean's right - consistency will sooner or later result in change.

  3. I loved this, Sean. When we begin, it has to be exactly as you described...a plan that is as individual as the person. I had a good friend who had been overweight her whole life and at 80 she decided to try to change one last time. Her doctor asked her what she enjoyed eating and to plan her life plan around that. She said to him that she enjoyed the foods that had kept her fat her whole life. He laughed and said "Fine, keep eating them, but only eat half." She did that and lost all her weight and is 94 now, thin and enjoying the foods she loves. That would not work for me, but it did for her and gratefully my plan works well for me because it is geared around what I enjoy, and excludes the foods that are triggers. Thanks for this post! Shirley from TN

  4. Great post!! I've had 2 not so good days in a row. Up 2 pounds this week. I needed this! Thank you.

  5. My 'thing' is trying to eat healthy. Being a full time working mom with ADD, I have trouble managing me time. I've been trying to figure out how to use the crockpot more and maybe make some frozen meals. I guess it's just a work in progress.

  6. I think the best thing I ever did to get to my long term weight maintenance was to not tell a soul what I was doing. Then, in my food sobriety, I wrote down what was working (compared to what did not work in the past).

    That allowed me to get to the root causes. It took a plan where I could get to 6-8 weeks of food sobriety. Then it took a lot of digging at the root.

    I told very few people. I know that many said "Why is she even doing this expensive commercial plan, she always regains". Good think I didn't repeat what I heard from other people in the bathroom to myself.

    I told myself, I'll get to my roots, I find what works. Several food templates would have worked genetically. I just had to pick one that did work, then do the work for the root causes. I had lost weight 35-40 years, but never lost the binge. I never ID'ed those roots until 3 years ago.

    Here's to picking the start tools and jumping into what you need. Onward. I was able to start because I knew there were others out there who had ID'ed problems and put in effective plans. Complex problems, some easier solutions based on your own situation.

    1. Karen - what types of things did you do or didn't do to get at those root causes? It's the emotional and mental work that is so hard to figure out. Not many people really dive into that part...everyone's got a diet to follow but it's figuring out the root causes I'm ready to address. I have touched on some things but I don't know HOW to really figure it all out. Maybe I'm making more out of it than it really is? I really don't know. Thanks.

  7. :25 mins of moving along.....great. I'm excited you have this goal and are doing the work to bring it about. Keep it up. You can do it.

  8. What great advice and very timely for me as I restart for the umpteenth time tomorrow..... Great job on the running! Sara

  9. If you only knew how much I needed to read this blog today. Sometimes you almost seem omniscient. I'm thankful you share your story.

    Really happy for your running success. Awesome job!

  10. It is SO exciting to read about your running successes, Sean! I remember well reaching those milestones when I started adding running to my walking routine, and when I did finally complete my first 5k at age 50, you would have thought I had hung the moon! I hope you continue to feel that excitement and sense of achievement over the challenges you continue to meet. Have fun and be well!

  11. It is SO exciting to read about your running successes, Sean! I remember well reaching those milestones when I started adding running to my walking routine, and when I did finally complete my first 5k at age 50, you would have thought I had hung the moon! I hope you continue to feel that excitement and sense of achievement over the challenges you continue to meet. Have fun and be well!

  12. The so called chrono nutrition became a big hit in the past years, so did the chrono diet which proved to be a very successful
    weight loss diet.


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