Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September 30th, 2015 A Different Perspective

September 30th, 2015 A Different Perspective

Maintenance mode requires a different perspective. I'm not looking for a loss or a gain. The best maintenance weigh-in is the same number as last time. Of course, our bodies naturally fluctuate and our activity level typically changes, too. It's rather unrealistic to expect the same number every two weeks. I'm looking for trends. Trends require at least two weigh-ins and preferably three to qualify as a trend, up or down. Today's weigh-in showed me a decent gain.
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Up 2.8 pounds (1.27 kilos). I can tell that I'm truly okay with this because I genuinely didn't react in any negative way whatsoever. My first thought was, okay, cool--I'll keep doing exactly what I'm doing and we'll check for a possible trend in two weeks time.

What gives me this peace and calm is knowing that I'm doing the daily practices my recovery requires. I'm not having binge episodes and the integrity of my food plan has been rock solid. I'm food sober. And as long as the daily success of those elements are given the highest importance level, I'm free to make adjustments as needed if a trend develops.

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Noah and Me. He loves my chicken and zucchini tacos! We had a wonderful evening together. We grabbed a few things at the store that we forgot to get yesterday and after dinner, we made an ice cream run! His Nana and Papa recently shared a photo of him enjoying an ice cream cone. So--grandpa's turn to take him for ice cream! 

I was ordering for Noah and a good friend who, thank goodness, is helping me when I take care of him! We decided to go through the drive through at Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Store. This is the scene of countless binge episodes for me--same drive through, same speaker thingy, some of the same employees, likely. After I ordered a junior frozen yogurt and a caramel sundae, as we sat in a stand-still line, I posted to the private Facebook page of our weekly teleconference support group.

"I'm in the drive through of Braums Ice Cream and Dairy store. I'm getting Noah and my Noah helper ice cream. My dessert is waiting for me at home, in the form of fresh pineapple and banana. Bookending the Braum's visit. Not because I feel vulnerable, simply because this is the scene of so many past binge episodes. Order has been placed. Waiting in line."

"And I'd rather be safe then sorry. This post, to me, is like saying--- I'm going in, cover me!"

"Got home. Prepared my fruit. Noah didn't want his ice cream. Instead, he's helping me with my pineapple. The kid rejected ice cream!"

"Mentally, each one of you was with me in that drive through line. As soon as the post was made, I felt comforted by support, stronger than before."

That's the incredible power of accountability and support at work. It wasn't that I felt like I was in danger, but I'm never beyond relapse--it can happen, and that's why daily actions like this are so critically important. Once that post was shared with our twenty members, my chance of success shot through the roof. 

Noah is asleep. I'm so thankful! I'm headed that way now. I appreciate your loyal readership!

By the way, if you're losing weight or like me, you're in maintenance mode, and you have any questions along the way, email me! transformation.road@gmail.com I certainly don't have all the answers, but I'll do my best!

Also, if you're on MyFitnessPal, I am too! Let's connect there! My username is SeanAAnderson. I keep my MFP diary public, so you can look through it anytime.

Oh--and in consideration of a relatively minor (yet very uncomfortable) medical issue I've somehow developed, I decided to make today a rest day from an intentional workout. My doctor provided a prescription and hopefully it soothes the discomfort quickly! I can't wait until it's behind me. Trust me, it's not a big deal, but exercise isn't helping it get better.

My Tweets Today:






























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

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

September 29th, 2015 Oh Dear! Uh, No Sweetie

September 29th, 2015 Oh Dear! Uh, No Sweetie

After very little sleep last night, today was a challenge to say the least. Thank goodness I have a good friend helping me with Noah. A few adjustments made and it looks like tonight will be a much better experience for everyone.

There's plenty of things I'm wanting to write about, but I'll need to wait. The opportunity for me to get to sleep is now. I better take it. It was a really solid day.

Good food, good support interactions, including my Tuesday night support group conference call,  a wonderful workout and great Noah time. Noah and I ran errands together. To the pharmacy where he was offered a sucker. He loved the sucker--and tried to get me to try it... oh dear! Uh, no sweetie, grandpa doesn't need that. It's yours!! We made our way to the grocery store for a little shopping and then we stopped at another store for jumbo crayons and coloring books. Yay! 

Tweets can take it the rest of the way. I'm so glad Noah is cooperating with bedtime. Hitting the pillow with that solid day feeling.

Tomorrow is my bi-weekly maintenance weigh-in. It'll be okay no matter what the scale says.

My Tweets Today:
























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

Monday, September 28, 2015

September 28th, 2015 Tweets Only

September 28th, 2015 Tweets Only

I have my grandson Noah tonight. We've had quite the time! Trying my best to get him to sleep.

Tweets only tonight.

My Tweets Today:






















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

Sunday, September 27, 2015

September 27th, 2015 Big Faith and Courage

September 27th, 2015 Big Faith and Courage

(Certain portions of tonight's post were taken from archived entries)

The most interesting elements along this road to me, are the psychological/mental/emotional parts. These have the ability to swing in both directions depending on how they're used. It makes the difference between consistency and chaos. The food and exercise plans are fundamentals for success, but in my opinion aren't necessarily the most critical elements.

Make no mistake, learning the importance of your personal food boundaries (like my abstinence from sugar) quickly become monumental difference makers.

However, In my opinion, the parts between our ears determine our trajectory, every time. This is why many of us can experience incredible success doing different plans, or 'what works for us,' and still find so much in common along the way.

The greatest challenge is a matter of faith. Believing in yourself enough to ignite that certain something within you that says, "I'm doing this. I don't have all the answers, I don't know how necessarily, but I'm doing it and I'll figure out what works for me along the way." That takes big faith and courage.

This is especially difficult for anyone who must have all the answers before they start. Some of the smartest people I know have the hardest time getting started. I personally know of a doctor who is well over 400 pounds. A doctor! I use this, not in a judgmental way, but simply as an example to illustrate how it's not about intelligence. It's about simplifying your elements, your fundamentals--setting up some kind of support and accountability system and most importantly, keeping an open mind along the way. 

Incredibly intelligent people sometimes have a hard time simplifying. If you're struggling, is it a compliment to your intelligence?

It could be! Keep it simple, my friend.

Simple allows room for growth--it's that evolution of good choices we've discussed many times. Be careful though, something simple can easily be used to describe a means to an end. Like Paul Poundsoff's Aunt Mona, who lost 80 pounds eating cabbage soup or Paul's boiled egg and hot dog diet. Sounds simple enough. Easy grocery shopping! But is it something sustainable indefinitely? This question gives you the answer for any particular plan: Is what I'm doing or about to do, in order to lose weight, something I can slightly adjust into maintenance mode and continue doing for the rest of my life? 

I enjoy what I eat. That's an important element for me. If I didn't, this would get real bad, quickly.

I tried a popular 'Nutritional System' over twenty years ago. I remember filling out this long questionnaire about my preferences before my in-office counselor filled a bag with my pre-boxed and dehydrated food supply. It was determined I had what they called a "high flavor set-point." I'm not sure if I know what that means, other than, I like my food rich, tasty and delicious. But doesn't everybody?

In hindsight, it seems a little crazy to make this "high flavor set-point" determination and then hand me a bag of what I considered barely edible items. Was it doable? Yes. Edible? Of course--I ate it all. But was it truly enjoyable? Not even close. It was a means to an end. In the portions handed me, I could absolutely lose weight. However, I wasn't learning anything about how to handle real world-real food situations.

-------------------------------------------
After the big day yesterday, I relaxed. I needed a good rest day. My plan to pick up Noah this evening was changed to tomorrow night. I made the trip to visit mom this evening. We had a nice time and enjoyed dinner out at our favorite and most common dinner destination.

I'm looking forward to the week ahead! More Winning Loser Video Blogs are coming! I'm super excited about this project. If you didn't get a chance to watch the first three, here they are together for your viewing pleasure! I plan on creating a space along the left hand side of the screen where all of these video blogs will live, in order.

Thank you for reading and watching!





My Tweets Today:
























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

Saturday, September 26, 2015

September 26th, 2015 A Mental Juggling Act

September 26th, 2015 A Mental Juggling Act

Setting up accountability and support measures are two of the most critical important points of focus in my opinion. Without mine in place, I wouldn't be writing this--and honestly, I'd likely be back to my heaviest weight in record time. 

Over two months ago, I declared my goal in this blog and on my radio show. I'm going to jog the Carter's Run 5K without stopping or walking. I couldn't imagine jogging too much more than a minute without stopping when this declaration was made. This is a prime example of employing accountability and support measures. Had I kept it to myself, I wouldn't have done it, I guarantee. I did it this morning.
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My pace was slow, but I never broke the jogging stride. It was a struggle. Right after the starting gun, I naturally started trying to keep up with others. I quickly had to slow my pace and refocus on the most literal interpretation of consistency beats intensity. I wasn't competing against other runners. I was competing with myself.

I took the wrong course on Wednesday's trial run. Upon arriving this morning, I discovered the opening leg of this 5K went up and around a big hill. I wasn't planning on this. Between the automatic response of trying to keep up from the start and this hill, it wasn't looking good early. I was surprised at how my brain immediately started generating really good reasons why I couldn't or shouldn't do it without walking or stopping and this was in the first five minutes!! I mean really, there's nothing wrong with walking or stopping--it's just, I couldn't. This was a goal that meant something to me. I had to quickly change my focused thoughts by concentrating on the music and the thought that every stride is getting me closer to the finish, while maintaining a pace I could handle for the duration. It was a mental juggling act.

Once I made it past the half-way point, I started getting mentally strong. And once I crossed the bridge toward the home stretch, there wasn't any way I was breaking the jogging stride.
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Finishing the 5K and accomplishing my goal was incredibly rewarding. I sat down in the sun, drank some water and ate a couple of banana chunks. It felt incredible. And it was awesome to be a part of something incredibly important. This run was in benefit of autism research and awareness.

I took this natural high to my car and ran some errands with the medal around my neck and my bib number still attached. I was proud! I bought a few things and headed home to prepare a good lunch.

A midday nap was needed and I took it in order to be my best for the wedding I was asked to dj tonight. The wedding couldn't have gone better.

The 5K this morning, the wedding tonight-- it was a full day I'll not soon forget.

I wanted to elaborate on the latest Winning Loser Video Blog, but I'll need to save that for tomorrow night. I'm exhausted tonight.

Letting the tweets take it the rest of the way.

My Tweets Today:




































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

Friday, September 25, 2015

September 25th, 2015 Bib Number 500

September 25th, 2015 Bib Number 500

It was a full day at work. We don't have a "nap room," really, but I did take a forty minute snooze in the balcony lobby of the 800 seat theatre where our studios and offices are located. It was necessary for my continued productivity! Typically, on a day like today, I would work a split type schedule--do my radio show, leave mid-morning and come back early afternoon. There wasn't time for this today. I made it work well. 

I picked up my 6th Annual Carter's Run for Autism shirt and bib number this afternoon. My bib number is 500. It'll serve as my official number in the run and as a reminder of how far I've come in my transformation. They didn't have a number 505. Of course I asked!

The run is tomorrow morning and I'm confident I can accomplish what I declared I would do, jog the entire 3.1 miles--the whole 5K, without stopping or walking. I'm so glad I committed to getting ready for this race. Wednesday night's test run on the course was an added boost of confidence. I bought new socks today in preparation. I'll also bandage my heals to prevent any discomfort whatsoever during the jog.

The important thing about tomorrow's run is the cause. Carter and his mom Kelli joined me this morning on my radio show. It was a wonderful interview! Carter is excited and everyone is impressed with the massive turnout of people participating in the 1 mile family fun run, the 5K and 10K. A wonderful amount of money is being raised for autism research and awareness. Last year, this run alone generated enough to fund an entire autism study.

I know a bunch of people participating, plenty of friends, including my doctor!

Instead of another training run today, I decided to simply do a good elliptical workout at the YMCA. I credit the elliptical in helping get my legs ready for training jogs and tomorrow's event.

My production partner finished production on The Winning Loser Video Blog Episode Two a couple of days early. No reason to wait until Sunday evening! I hope you'll watch this episode and if you don't mind, please share it among your social media:


That was fun! I'll elaborate on this video in tomorrow night's edition.

Hitting the pillow late. I spent most of the evening preparing for my stint as a wedding DJ tomorrow evening. Plenty of exercise tomorrow: The 5K jog in the morning and hauling sound equipment to and from the wedding venue tomorrow evening will all add up to a big calorie burn!

My Tweets Today:




























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

Thursday, September 24, 2015

September 24th, 2015 He Is Me

September 24th, 2015 He Is Me

I stayed busy today with work at the studio, a midday video shoot for this Sunday's Winning Loser Video Blog and some afternoon duties back at the radio station. I made time to prepare some good food and pause for some introspective reflection.

A friend, today, asked me "Do you fear the 500 pound Sean?"

Honestly, no, I don't. I did after my initial 275 pound weight loss. Back then, it wasn't an attitude of recovery, it was--okay, I did it, now I must figure out how to maintain this monumental change. The focus was too broad, too overwhelming, especially without fully committing to daily recovery practices.

Now, the focus is very much rooted in today and what I'm doing today in order to protect my continued recovery and resulting maintenance. The same accountability and support tools utilized during weight loss is still in effect each and every day. The whole thing about finding a groove you can live with the rest of your life? This is it for me. And if ever I start feeling like it's a drag, then I must immediately check myself and consider the alternative, then make adjustments if needed--but never let go. Because I know from experience, it only takes once to start the dominoes falling in their familiar pattern.

And if that happens, I'll certainly go back to 500 pounds and beyond. I don't fear it. I just understand it and fully appreciate that my continued maintenance and recovery depends on my acceptance and application of certain daily practices in self-care. I'm worth the effort. The trade is, I get to live life at a healthy weight with all of the physical freedom it allows. And even better, I get to live life with the mental and emotional freedom good recovery practices create and encourage.

Gone is the resentment over the need for this level of importance. I spent a lot of years wanting to and trying to treat food like "normal people." This negative perception suggested I wasn't normal, as if something was wrong with me. Nothing was wrong with me. I might have felt like there was because I was exhausting myself trying to be someone else's normal. When I started embracing my normal, that's really when things started changing for the better. This is me and I'm okay. And that feels great. 

Do I fear 500 pound Sean? No. I love him because he is me, minus the proper care and attention my normal requires. I'm blessed, grateful and truly happy with where I am and what's ahead in this one day at time approach.

A Collection of Throwback Thursday photos:
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Showing up at a family reunion at least fifteen years ago, maybe a few more. Around 500 pounds.

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After opening for Sinbad in 1999...in a thunderstorm...outside...in front of 26,000 people--all of them disappointed to get ten minutes of my stand-up act and only six minutes of Sinbad before the violent thunderstorm forced the cancellation of the event. I was rockin' the mullet!

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Speaking at the kickoff of a hospital sponsored weight loss event.

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Over 500 pounds?? Wow, that's amazing!! The author of this story got the facts mixed up. Makes me smile.

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Speaking at a Missouri YMCA

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I've been blessed with some very special moments along the way and this one ranks right up near the top. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Shlimpert, the person who taught me my ABC's and how to read and write showed up at one of my book signings in January 2012.

My Tweets Today:
























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

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

September 23rd, 2015 Buzzing All Evening

September 23rd, 2015 Buzzing All Evening

Today was a very good day. This often happens on the day after a tough one, IF, I handle the difficult one in a positive way. I felt great about how yesterday was handled and this fueled a fabulous one today.

I felt driven to accomplish some things today. I made great progress at work, was able to capture a very short nap on a break and returned to work this afternoon ready to finish the workday. I ran a couple of errands after work before heading out to the lake for a jog along this weekend's Carter's Run for Autism 5K course.

I skipped ahead in the C25K program, all the way to the Free Run--where you jog as long as you want/can. After a few stretches, I started and didn't stop one time during the course. I finished back at my vehicle, looked down at the C25K app long enough to notice how far I jogged: 3.07 miles. So close! Just three tenths shy of a 5K! I've been buzzing all evening, since.

It feels great to state a goal, something I've never accomplished and quite honestly had a hard time convincing myself it was even possible, then working toward it and seeing it through. It wasn't too long ago when I was overly excited about jogging five minutes without stopping. How quickly it can progress! I'm thrilled.

I did run into an issue at the end. I didn't know how to stop the free run. There's no time limit. I hit pause--and that just stopped the music. I pressed everything else besides the "quit" button--then thought, well--I guess I should try that one. Pressed it and the app wanted to make sure I realized what I was doing. I cancelled the quit and it kept going. I just wanted my stats!!! It kept going. I was done. I hit quit again, this time confirming my intention and hoping it would then give me a report. Nope. It acted like it never happened. What??? That just happened!!!!
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I picked up some fried catfish for dinner tonight, pairing it with my favorite sweet potato veggie pan prepared medley. It was fantastic.

Hitting the pillow feeling wonderful about this day. I'm confident, come Saturday, I can get through the 5K without stopping or walking.

My Tweets Today:


















































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

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

September 22nd, 2015 Crying Is Not A Bad Thing

September 22nd, 2015 Crying Is Not A Bad Thing

Today was a well rounded day. And by "well rounded," I mean it had its ups and downs. It had challenges that sent me reaching out for support.

I had some emotionally challenging circumstances this afternoon. And not because my lunch pizza creation fell apart during the plating process (see Tweet below). 

In the moments of challenge, I experienced sadness and anger. These two emotions are ones I rarely deal with, especially anger. I pride myself on staying fairly cool and collected, even when I'm really furious about something. But not today. Oh no...I took on a wave of these two and felt very unstable afterward. Nervousness, shaky, jolted from my comfort zone and just out of sorts. And you know what I'm really good at doing in these moments? I'm a pro at stuffing those emotions down with plenty of excessive food!

I mean seriously, let's look at the numbers: I have almost four decades of experience in stuffing emotions with food and a fraction of that, not. Which am I better at doing? This thought was first presented to me by Life Coach Gerri and it makes perfect sense.

There's an intersection approached at this point. It's the intersection of Resolve Way and Insanity Boulevard. 

If I turn onto Insanity Boulevard, then I'll keep doing what I've done time and time again for countless years. Everything looks bright and shiny down Insanity, with a shimmering promise of how everything will be better. But it's a deceitful trap. It's really just a detour of distraction that leads to an unresolved dead end--and then, on top of the original feelings prompting my detour, I add to it feelings of disappointment in my decision to do this same thing, over and over again.

Resolve Way is straight ahead. It doesn't seem as exciting. Not too shiny that way. Not much down that road to distract me and that leaves me having to deal with the emotions at hand, processing and understanding and applying some helpful perspectives to it all. It's a hard decision to go down Resolve Way. It takes some encouragement, some reassurance that it'll be okay. And that's when making contact with good support becomes critically important.

I texted Gerri, "When I feel like this, it makes me want to cry. And that makes me want to eat." Gerri replied, simply: "Crying is not a bad thing. Cry instead of eating, okay?" Me: "I'm preparing a lunch in harmony with my sacred boundaries." Gerri: "Good. And you're telling on yourself." Me: "Yep." Gerri: "You did the right thing."

We exchanged a few more specific to the issue messages, she offered some excellent perspective and then added: "Relax, renew & retreat. The challenge is over for now." 

And it was.

She suggested I reach out and help others within our support groups. Suddenly I was on the other end of the support dynamic, offering perspectives and encouragement to anyone in need. This made a significant difference. It wasn't too long before I was planning a good workout prior to our Tuesday night support group conference call and putting together a nice plan for dinner.

Emotions felt, perspectives explored, crisis averted.

And that's not an easy thing to do when you're a pro at doing the opposite. But it gets easier each time, thank goodness. It really does get easier.

The Winning Loser Video Blog Episode 1.5 finally uploaded after taking forever! I added it to last night's blog, this morning. In case you missed it, here it is:

I plan on making these shorter moving forward. Ten minutes is a little too long. The fully produced versions will run between 4 and 6 minutes, these .5 versions should be around 4 or 5 minutes.

Thank you for watching!

My Tweets Today:
































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

Monday, September 21, 2015

September 21st, 2015 I Made It

September 21st, 2015 I Made It

I recently shared with you my seven year anniversary post. We revisited Day 1. In that Day 1 blog post, I wrote about envisioning my own funeral and how those moments were created any time I felt a twinge of pain in my chest. Will this be the time? Will my funeral be on Thursday? Those thoughts were very serious and quite scary.

Despite the frightening thoughts, I still struggled for almost two decades near, at or above 500 pounds. When those thoughts would race through my head, I was thinking of a wife and those two little girls who might lose their father at a young age. The thoughts of how that might affect them and the idea of not seeing them grow up was devastating, but still, I couldn't seem to find my way out. 

When I look at these pictures of me dancing with my adult aged daughters, I realize. I made it. By the grace of God, I somehow made it.

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Dancing with Courtney and Amber at Amber's wedding on May 30th, 2015

Today was an exceptional day. I prepared some good food in harmony with my plan and goals, I completed my training run (week 8 day 1 C25K--5 minute walk-28 minute jog-5 minute walk), I exceeded my water goal and I was involved with one on one and group support interactions.

I made the Winning Loser Video Blog Episode 1.5, too! And that was a bunch of fun! It's currently taking forever to upload to YouTube. My hope is, it'll be done by the time I get up in the morning and I will add it to this post here:

5:20am update: It's been uploading all night and it's still at 15%! Uhg!!! I'll try doing it from desktop.
Finally!





































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





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