Thursday, December 31, 2015

December 31st, 2015 The 2015 DDWL Year In Review

December 31st, 2015 The 2015 DDWL Year In Review

This post is super long. It's full of excerpts and photos from one of the best years of my life, as documented in the daily pages of this blog.

January 2nd, 2015:
I feel like a man on a mission. I'm aiming for a healthy weight, better physical fitness and strength and I'm committed to maintaining the integrity of my plan and holding my continued recovery sacred, always, once I transition into maintenance mode. In other words, my 'weight loss mode' will look very similar to my upcoming 'maintenance mode.' I'm not there yet, but it's coming quick!
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January 7th Weigh Day
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January 29th at a big banquet

February 20th, 2015:
When I sit and ponder the many benefits of this journey, near the top of the list, just below the health benefits, is the confidence issue. I walked into the event tonight with complete confidence. I wasn't self-conscious. I wasn't worried if my outfit fit properly. I wasn't compelled to be self-deprecating because of my size--in order to satisfy some mental issue within me. Because the truth is, I believe I was a very likable guy at 500 pounds. The self-deprecating humor of old was a defense mechanism against imaginary criticism I might receive from others--when in reality, I was truly my biggest judge and critic all along.
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Emceeing an awards presentation event on February 20th, 2015
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February 18th Weigh Day

March 12th, 2015:
Instead of a number, my goal is to keep it steady in all aspects of my recovery. My goal is to maintain my abstinence from sugar. My goal is to continue being active in seeking and offering support. My goal is to continue to exercise regularly and eat well. My goal is to write more. My goal is to continue taking good care of me, physically, mentally and emotionally. I have a number of professional and personal goals. Those are the ones getting my attention instead of a number. Those are the goals that matter. I don't want to proclaim "I did it!" I want to say with confidence, "I'm doing it, every day."
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March 11th Weigh Day

April 8th, 2015:
Sometimes, when I catch my reflection in a window, I pause and stare. It's not a vanity thing, it's a "that's me in there, that's what I look like now, even if my brain doesn't fully agree--there is reality, staring back at me." And it's great. But it's different than before. It's truly different.
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When I see my reflection, it might take a few seconds to adjust my perception of the physical--but then I can see the other stuff inside me. Instead of getting caught up in the dang, I look thin mindset, I immediately go into the this is what recovery, food sobriety, abstinence from sugar, giving and receiving strong support and taking extraordinary care looks like and feels like, mindset. I've learned a bunch of powerful lessons along this road and one of the biggest is all about the difference between what's fun and slightly important and what's most meaningful and critically important.
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April 22nd Weigh Day

May 15th, 2015 (Describing the impact of "Epiphany Day" on its one year anniversary):
Some epiphanies are like tiny pebbles tossed into a pond, creating small ripples on the surface. Although their size is small, the addition to the pond still raises the water level ever so slightly. Then there are epiphanies that come crashing down into the water like a boulder falling from a mountain top. The impact splashes everything near and the waves are monumental. After the surface returns to calm, the rise in water level can't be ignored; the epic impact can't be forgotten. With the crater in what's now the deepest part of the pond and the top of the boulder always protruding above the surface, there's absolutely no doubt, this pond is forever changed.

May 15th, 2015:
The first step in reclaiming my life didn't have anything to do with a calorie budget, a workout, a blog post, a facebook update or anything else. The first step was forgiveness. I had to extend inward, the same level of compassion, understanding, love and forgiveness I would freely give anyone else. Several steps followed, but that was the first, for me. And I pray I'll keep stepping forward, each day--one day at a time. If I hold the elements of my recovery forever sacred, my chances are good.
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Dancing with mom at Amber's wedding reception.
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The day of my daughter's wedding, May 30th, 2015.

May 31st, 2015:
Okay, I get it now. I turned around and went from, this is silly--just let me see her already, to a mess of emotions in about a quarter second flat. I couldn't help myself. As soon as I laid eyes on my stunning young lady, I melted right then and there. I didn't hear the clicks of the camera. Time, sound and everyone and everything froze in that moment. My face started utilizing muscles I didn't realize I had as it instantaneously started quivering all over; a brief prelude to tears. If I was distracted before, with all of the preparations and helping organize the events--this reveal suddenly brought me back to full attention. I could have looked into her eyes and exchanged tears and "I love yous" all night long.
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May 13th Weigh Day

June 21st, 2015:
...And in all honesty, I might come off as cool and collected--balanced and ready for maintenance mode--and I truly believe I'm better prepared than ever before---but still, I'm fearful.

I don't want to ever go back, but I know better than to ever expect that as a I pay close attention to my emotions--I make sure I'm doing the things in my recovery that I must do in order to be successful--and still, even with the peace and calm it all brings, I'm fearful.

Maybe I need to re-frame this fearfulness into "reverence," "respect" and "sacred consideration."

I honestly feel like I'm there--seriously, my commitment to abstinence from sugar and my overall food sobriety is super strong. What do I fear?

And for me, maybe a small portion of fear is a good thing. I'm certainly in a better place mentally and emotionally than I was before, at this point.

Maybe the absence of fear was one of my biggest problems when I hit goal in November 2010. I was too busy declaring how much "I got this" and "I'm never going back," and yeah... Famous last words, huh? The recklessness of that train of thought has been seared into my brain.

I'm going to proceed carefully. I'm going to take the best care I can. I'm going to stay active and committed to these writings. I'm going to stay connected in recovery and support. And I'm going to do all of these things, as best I can. 

By God's grace and the tremendous power of support, accountability and a completely different perspective on what recovery means, for me, along this road... Maybe I'll be just fine, after all.

I hope and pray so.
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June 24th Weigh Day

July 16th, 2015:
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.
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July 31st, 2015
I work with funny people. Rumor quickly spread that Johnny Depp was in town and it went absolutely viral in this area. My colleagues photo-shopped this picture and added this made up story to the rumor mill: "Johnny Depp sightings in Ponca City swirled throughout Facebook today. Finally it's revealed why he was here. Rumor has it that Johnny is slated to portray our own Sean In The Morning in the big screen adaption of Sean's book Transformation Road. Filming is slated to begin in 2019 as soon as Johnny gains 300 pounds for the role."
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July 15th Weigh Day

August 26th, 2015:
It's the strangest feeling to approach a scale without the desire for a loss. I find myself in this situation for the first time in my life. It's taking some intentional thought and meditation to really embrace this perspective. I've said it before--written it within these pages several times: It's not about the scale. Especially now. It will always be about my recovery, overall food sobriety and abstinence from refined sugar. Those must be handled with loving care each and every day in order for me to thrive. It takes practicing proven recovery techniques and daily intentional actions for the maintenance of these critically important elements. Unlike my initial loss and first time at a healthy weight, I take these things very seriously.
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August 26th Weigh Day

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August 10th, 2015-Doing freelance voice-over work
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After working "closely" with Life Coach Gerri for years, we finally met in person on August 29th, 2015

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September 3rd, 2015-- I arrived at my appointment and was greeted in the exam room by Dr. Rebik holding his copy of my book. It turns out, Dr. Rebik attended the January 19th, 2013 Oklahoma Osteopath Winter Conference with over three hundred other doctors and medical professionals. I was one of the featured speakers that day and Dr. Rebik was one of the doctors who purchased my book after the presentation. This was a very cool surprise. He showed me where I signed it to him and we had a nice time recalling that special day at the Hard Rock Hotel in Tulsa. It also served as a nice reminder of how much I desire reviving my schedule of speaking engagements.

September 12th, 2015:
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.
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September 30th Weigh Day

October 13th, 2015:
It feels strangely fantastic to receive so many compliments at once. In other words, it can feel strange and fantastic at the same time. An annual event like this has found me at every physical condition along my trek: At my heaviest, during weight loss mode, during relapse/regain, during weight loss mode part two and now, during maintenance. Many of the people at this event are ones I rarely see but once a year, at this event. 

Simply saying thank you isn't always easy. I did say a simple, "thank you, I feel great," most of the time and simply "thank you." But a couple of times I also caught myself saying, "you're too kind."

The key for me, is not getting caught up in these. Does it feel good? Yes. Do I have loads more confidence? Yes. But I continuously remind myself, it's still me--I'm the same guy--The 500 pound Sean, the 220 pound Sean--same person underneath. And it's in these thoughts where I find comfort and peace. 

The realization that my self-worth and identity isn't attached to a number has easily been the most profound epiphany I've experienced along the way. In this embrace, I'm no longer dividing myself in two, with a bad and good version. I'm good, period. I was good then and I'm good now. I'm simply at a healthier weight. And that's a wonderful thing.
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October 13th, 2015
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October 28th Weigh Day

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My 44th Birthday--October 23rd, 2015 With family.

November 5th, 2015:
What's interesting is how I once, years ago, claimed I was just too busy to take care of myself in the way of losing weight. Making a life to love, making time to experience happiness cultivated from the core elements within and keeping the life stream running in the foreground while the fundamental elements stream of my recovery and maintenance run just below, has proved to me something powerful. The belief I once held about not having time to take extraordinary care with weight loss was a convenient out--and one that few would counter, and that made it perfect. It seemed completely justifiable. I was comfortable being a victim of my circumstance because it enabled me to continue denying a pattern of self-destruction. Now I know... We're capable of taking extraordinary care, come what may.
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November 25th Weigh Day

November 29th, 2015:
But--this can I put it?
It's more about knowing that this dream--this monumental thing that seemed so impossible for so very long-- wasn't and isn't impossible. There's a peace and calm in my recovery and although never guaranteed, there's still a certainty that, if I continue this warm embrace of me, I'm going to be okay.

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December 12th, 2015 Performing stand-up at a private event

December 12th, 2015:
I was hired to do at least 40 minutes. I was on stage for a solid hour-plus. It couldn't have turned out any better. The standing ovation at the end was the most unexpected gift. I'm so incredibly grateful. And not simply because the audience clearly loved the show...but because it was a wonderful example of loving myself and nurturing something in me that must be nurtured.

When I write or speak about the physical transformation being the least of it, trust I mean it with all my heart. The spiritual/mental/emotional transformation, this is the good stuff.
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December 9th Weigh Day

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Christmas Day 2015 with my wonderful daughters

December 22nd, 2015:
When we have some success, even when it's far from the goals we're working toward, and we're feeling better than we have in a long time, we can be tempted to let our guard down.

This is a normal dynamic. Success often breeds complacency. Suddenly, occasionally sacrificing our plan doesn't seem to be a big deal. Complacency runs amok without a plan.

Complacency breeds negative results.

An expansion on these thoughts goes back to the heart of why self-awareness is critically important. It's why when we reach certain milestones we mustn't stop, we remain aware--we keep our plan--maybe we make some slight modifications, but we're not becoming complacent.

In this thought process, I find the important reasons why I don't "got this," and how it isn't about "arriving" at some magical destination.

It also confirms why developing a plan I can enjoy for life is critically important. And if I give my plan the reverence it deserves and I remain aware, then I have the best chance at avoiding complacency. 

And in this, I'm giving myself a gift of continued freedom, the likes of which go far beyond the physical.

Happy New Year!! I can think of several things I didn't include in the above recap--and not because they weren't important--they were very important, it's just too much stuff!!

I gave away my daughter's hand in marriage, I was bit by a dog, I revived my love of acting in the play Dog Sees God, I revitalized my love of standup, I started doing the Winning Loser Video Blogs (more coming very soon!), for the first time ever, the support groups I co-facilitate with Life Coach Gerri filled up to capacity, twice! And I could go on and on. 

It was an amazing year. I'm incredibly blessed and immensely grateful.

I sincerely appreciate your support through it all. I'm looking forward to amazing things in 2016!!

I had two location broadcasts today. I enjoyed a late dinner and then returned to the big party before finally getting home super late. I've been working on this post for a few hours. It's 5am! My goodness, I haven't stayed up this late since--well, I can't remember!

I'll be sleeping in, of course. Goodnight--or should I say, Good morning!

My Tweets Today:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,


  1. Happy new year Sean! I liked the post , I got bit by a dog then I did a play Dog sees God, ironic....have a great great 2016.

    1. Thank you, Robin!! That is funny. Happy New Year to you, too!

  2. Happy new Year to you. Sounds like you had a great 2015. I'm sitting here thinking about mine- I went to San Francisco to celebrate my granddaughter's first birthday,visited Disney World twice, went to Savannah, got a very nice raise and I love my job and have no plans to retire (I'm 68), read 127 books and changed churches! This year I want to lose 30 pounds- now tell me that isn't doable LOL, make one new recipe a week, go on a cruise, pay off my house and buy a new car. My Prius has 185000 miles and is 11 years old- time for a new one. I just hate the negotiating!!! What goals are you looking at, Sean? Mine are pretty lofty but I bet I succeed in them all- weight loss will be the hardest.

    1. Wow--You had an amazing year! 127 books??!!!?? That's a fantastic thing, Nan. I'd say you should go for that new car!
      My goal, first and foremost, is to maintain my plan of recovery with consistency each day.
      Professionally--it's launching my LIVE seminar/workshop, doing more video blogs and starting the Winning Loser Podcast--and writing books two and three. These are pretty big goals. But like you--I believe I can succeed at 'em all!

  3. Sean, what a blessed, eventful year!! Thank you for the recap of some of the more significant days along the 2015 road. I think the photo of you at the wedding embracing Amber was my favorite. I don't do resolutions anymore because we have no idea what is instead, I am committed to do my best for this one day. You have had a year full of living your life to the fullest, while keeping your priorities in the right order, and that is so essential. I hope 2016 will be your most joyful, blessed year yet. I am 61, but am celebrating this New Years Day not needing to begin a new diet today as I have done for all the previous years. I am learning to live at maintenance .now, a day at a time. Thank you for being a great example for so many years now and for not giving up. It helped me and many others to keep getting up and doing this for one more day. God bless you in 2016, Sean.

    1. Shirley, you're amazing to me. Thank you for your continued support all these years. Embracing Amber on her wedding day was my favorite moment of the year.
      Isn't it great to not need a new "diet?"
      This maintenance mode is a day at a time, I'm with you on that, 100%! That's all we can do.

  4. Sean, I lost 150 pounds in 2015 and would like to lose another 40 or 50 this year. Your blog is inspirational and has helped a great deal on my journey. Thank you and have a wonderful New Year!

    1. Lori Ann, wow!!!! Congratulations!! I'm truly thrilled for you. I sincerely appreciate your support and readership. I'm so glad this blog resonates well with you. You're welcome! And thank you! Let's have an absolutely incredible 2016!

  5. HNY Sean. I'm a new follower. Thank you for sharing your journey so openly. I loved the year in review. You are indeed blessed, doubly so because you recognize your blessings. I'm looking forward to following your continued journey in this new year. You are so inspiring, your insights are heart warming. Warm hugs 😄

    1. Isabel, Welcome!! I'm so glad you're here. Thank you for the virtual hugs. :)

  6. Shirley Jean (above) introduced me to you and she, along with you, have had huge influences on me. I, too, have had a relapse after getting to where I wanted to be (perhaps on a smaller scale but our bodies were made to be healthy and that is my goal.) So much of what you highlighted here is exactly what I need to hear, over and over again. When I started reading this recap, I thought, "Oh that is so profound and a favorite that I want to remember." But as I read further, it was, "no, this is my favorite and even more profound, if that's possible." Read a little more and WOW.... I guess I just truly loved your 2015 recap. You have a wonderful way of writing what is truly in your heart, so very transparent, honest and vulnerable and yet healing at the same time. Thank you and I will look forward to traveling 2016 with you. Congratulations on a Transformation that goes deeper than the skin. Peggy

    1. Peggy, isn't Shirley amazing? She's simply the best.
      I sincerely appreciate your words here. I'm so glad you enjoyed the review!
      Much more than skin deep, for sure! Thank you, Peggy, I'm looking forward to a fantastic 2016!

  7. Sean, you are an inspiration to us all! Congrats on a great 2015 and hopes that you have an even better 2016!

    1. FogDog, Thank you very much! Happy New Year! I hope 2016 is your best ever, too!

  8. Happy New Year and all the best for 2016!!!

    1. Thank you, Kimberley! You, too!! Let's make it amazing!

  9. Its been fun following your journey in 2015. Here's to a great 2016!

    1. Tim, I'll raise my water bottle to that! I appreciate your readership and support. Thank you!

  10. That is a great recap of your year, I really enjoyed it. But 5am, my goodness! I hope you slept in really late!

    1. Thank you, Natalie! It was a big year! Yeah-- 5am was a touch excessive. It was too late. But I'm glad I invested the time. It was worth it. I slept fairly well--and then took a nap later!

  11. Happy New Year Sean! Thanks for all the advice through out... Welcome to 2016! May it be as bright and full of success!

    1. Rosie, thank you! You're very welcome, any time! 2016 has some wonderful opportunities to be very special.

  12. Happy new year Sean!!!

    1. Lynn, thank you! Happy New Year to you, too! I'm excited for you. You've got a wonderful new energy about you! Have I told you that I'm glad you've returned to writing? Okay--maybe I have a couple or four times. :)

  13. Happy New Year Sean - your support for me as a new blogger a few short months ago meant the world to me, and I read you daily for a dose of inspiration - thank you from the bottom of my heart, and my very best wishes for 2016, Dee (Break Out The Skinny Girl) :)

    1. Dee, thank you so much! Happy New Year to you, too!! 2016 is poised for wonderful things, Dee! For you and me both!
      And you're welcome! You're doing important work--critical, and it shows. I'm very happy for you!

  14. What an amazing year you've had! This whole post made me smile :)

    1. Awe, thank you!!! It was a monumentally good year, for sure!


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