Every once in a while I feature another blogger in these pages. Kathleen's story and blog are exceptional. She's exceptional. Kathy is on her quest to lose over 300 pounds and she's currently over a third of the way to her healthiest weight.
I know from experience, writing an open and honest account of this process can leave us feeling extremely vulnerable, almost too much at times. But in allowing ourselves to open up despite the vulnerability, we stand the greatest chance of experiencing life changing epiphanies. Some of these epiphanies can be powerful enough to change our perspective forevermore.
Kathleen's brave determination and willingness to go deep into the emotional/psychological elements many of us face along the way, coupled with her talents in navigating, dissecting and communicating the process--equals one of the most inspirational weight loss blogs you'll find.
Rather than me telling you more about her story, I'll let her writing inform you. It'll do that. It'll also, very likely, inspire you. I sometimes get emotional when I read her blog because it takes me back to some of the very deep explorations I took along the way. We all have different circumstances, for certain-and we all have unique challenges. Still, it's fascinating to me how when we decide to cut through everything imprisoning us and once and for all we decide to choose change in pursuit of our freedom, suddenly we discover powerful commonalities in the process.
Please read Kathy's "Life Is Hard" post. You'll find everything she's written in her archives, listed along the right hand side of her blog page.
The further I proceed into maintenance the more I realize how similar what I do today is to what I was doing in weight loss mode. I mentioned this several times during the turnaround from relapse/regain. From nine months ago: "Several have asked me if I'm thinking about my plan for maintenance mode. Honestly, it will look very similar to what I'm doing now, just more calories and different workouts, perhaps."
If the goal is to find a plan and groove that works for you in weight loss, I feel like the secondary goal of it being something you can do, with very slight modifications, forever, is key. I think this is a great question--a common one, actually-- "Is this something I can do for the rest of my life?" For me, my elements of recovery--the ones that have worked so well for me, are ones I hope and pray I never stop doing.
The accountability Tweets and the pictures required, weighing and measuring food, abstinence from refined sugar, the logging of everything in MyFitnessPal, the connection to a solid support team--these are things I do. This is my normal. I embrace these things and they've become a critical part of me.
Every now and then, out in public--or around someone who isn't familiar with what I do, I'll feel a twinge of they probably think I'm abnormal--different--strange--obsessive or whatever else they might think of someone who photographs and tweets every glass of water while sitting at the sports bar watching a game... But then I reassure myself that it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. What they think is none of my business. It's okay. I'm okay. This is me. I'm proudly doing what I do for incredibly important reasons. I don't have to explain it or defend it to anyone, ever.
I do not have a lock on this, nor will I make that claim. Because I know the truth--If I ever decide to no longer do what I do, I will relapse and regain. The elements of my recovery are given the highest level of importance because anything less will not work for me. Less could work perfectly for someone else, but not me.
So, if you ever look at me as someone who has weight loss and maintenance figured out and under control, please remember, first of all--I don't. Then, please remember to give the credit for what I do have to the structure and support of the plan, not me. Because if we stripped away the spiritual, emotional, psychological and fundamental elements of my recovery, I'd be a 500 pound man again, in record time.
I took extraordinary care today. The Tweets can give you the tour.
I prepared some good food, nailed a wonderful workout, exceeded my water goal, maintained some wonderful support connections/interactions and watched some of the trouncing my Oklahoma State Cowboys took from the Sooners. A 10-2 season is an awesome season. Some friends of mine suggested the Cowboys will likely play in the Alamo Bowl. That's a decent bowl. I'm happy, regardless.
My Tweets Today:
Saturday morning dark roast with two tablespoons half & half X 2. 80 cal. pic.twitter.com/vYrYdpQGY0— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 28, 2015
Brunch in MFP... pic.twitter.com/rOAd9oxKGp— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 28, 2015
2 whl eggs prepared over-medium, 6.4oz sirloin, sprouted grain Ezekiel toast w/.5 tblspn butter, 7.8oz pear. 684 cal pic.twitter.com/PoX7THRrwa— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 28, 2015
The Ezekiel bread gives me a sugar-free bread option. Enjoyed toast with my eggs! Excellent ingredients! pic.twitter.com/0ILKG3ZaO0— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 28, 2015
Lunch in MFP... pic.twitter.com/bLkPeIxMCL— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 28, 2015
FF/SF Bean (130g) & Provolone (2 slices) tostadas w/salsa. 28g chips, 111g avocado mixed w/15g sr crm. 658 cal. pic.twitter.com/JHemqwwUeP— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 28, 2015
Workout time. 4 cups water for during and after. Cardio & weight training. #timetomove #wateraccountability pic.twitter.com/M6ne8lm72x— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 28, 2015
Solid 20/30. Level 20-30min. Weight training next! pic.twitter.com/sI6uZE8JWe— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 29, 2015
Weighted step ups ✔️ Jumping Squats ✔️ Overhead press ✔️ Mod.Push-ups ✔️ Lunges ✔️ Reverse lunges ✔️ Focusing on tightening core during all.— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 29, 2015
Refined sugar free Quest protein bar and a grande dark roast w/2 tablspns half & half. 230 cal. pic.twitter.com/6pqfpSN29x— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 29, 2015
2 cups water with big game on at the grill & bar down the street. #watergoal #wateraccountability pic.twitter.com/prplKeYHqq— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 29, 2015
Later dinner planned at home. Needed to order something here! Side of asparagus, no butter-grilled well. 20 cal. pic.twitter.com/Ofb530Ig2M— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 29, 2015
Key 4 my easier water consumption: Hang out at sports bar. Cups 5 & 6 in 30 min. Exceeds #watergoal by 32oz, so far. pic.twitter.com/80avj7eON9— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 29, 2015
Dinner in MFP... pic.twitter.com/J4VYDCzhs3— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 29, 2015
8oz baked cod, 120g green beans, 200g sweet potato & onion prepared w/3 seconds olive oil spray. 518 cal. pic.twitter.com/a3FS0NVvdK— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 29, 2015
Thank you for reading and your continued support,