"Do you think you're obsessed with food? With the pictures, the tweets, the time and effort it takes to do all that is a lot. Do you think it's necessary?"
This isn't the first time I've received questions like that. Just today, a colleague questioned how long it took me to weigh and measure the ingredients in the beef fajita salad I assembled at lunch. They were done eating before I took my first bite. It contained quite a few ingredients! "I think I know why you have so much trouble with time management. Look at how much time you spend before you eat."
From the outside looking in, I get it. If I intentionally position my perspective as close to theirs as possible, I can clearly see how these daily disciplines I make important, might look obsessive, unnecessary and a big time drain.
When I think about the dark depths of a 164-pound relapse/regain and where that experience took me, mentally/emotionally and of course, physically--and then I compare it to the peace, calm, stability and continued successful maintenance mode and healthy weight I enjoy today, I realize how what I do in the process of honoring my food plan and accountability measures is, without a doubt--worth every single ounce of effort.
I don't think about what I do as obsessive, unnecessary and a big time drain. I think of it as mindful, necessary and time well invested in my extraordinary care.
In the fog of food addiction with the constant compulsive over-eating, I wasn't able to fully appreciate and be present for anything. In the intoxicated state of gluttoney, everything real and important in my world, lost its shine. The only thing special was my next fix, my next binge, my next escape from experiencing the realness of life. That, to me, qualifies as an obsession, very different than what I do each day in the process of honoring my plan.
The daily disciplines I embrace today, have helped open my eyes to life experiences in ways I once completely ignored. For once in my life, I'm present. Do you realize how much of my daughter's lives and my marriage I missed all those years ago? I wasn't present. I'll never get another chance to live that life and experience those special times, ever. All I can do is forgive myself and embrace today, because now...
I no longer miss out on life. I no longer center all of my attention on food. I have my clearly defined and non-negotiable boundaries and I eat well within those boundaries. And since my life is no longer measured by how much food I'll get to eat, I'm free to explore life and everything in it--everything around me--family, friends, my work--my dreams, desires--it all comes to life in vivid color, outside the fog of my former existence.
Until I started losing weight consistently in September 2008, I didn't realize how many events in my life were saturated in memories of the food involved instead of the actual people, places and things that made the event special.
One of my biggest full-body before pictures (below) was taken in November 2007 at the broadcast for the Oklahoma Centennial Celebration in Guthrie, Oklahoma. This was a big day, a big broadcast at our state's 100th birthday. We were broadcasting in the media area, so there were reunions with former colleagues--I know there was, but I can't remember who. We were featured in a parade after our broadcast along with dignitaries from our part of the state, but I don't remember any of their names or faces on that trip. But I do remember...
The convenience store trip prior to the broadcast where I purchased a big sugary soft drink and Little Debbie Nutty Bars. I remember the sack full of sausage biscuits during the broadcast. I remember the restaurant stop on the way home--and my specific order: The biggest chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes covered in loads of white cream gravy with extra hot rolls and butter. "Extra," because I remember raving about the rolls and how they were the best hot dinner rolls I'd ever tasted. I asked for a few more in a to-go box, so I could share them with others back home. (Of course, that was the lie I told to get more rolls for me. Sure--other people need to know how good these rolls taste!) I seriously doubt those rolls survived long enough to see any other face but mine.
I always did my best to smile and project a jovial spirit. The mismatch between how I really felt and what was projected, was enough to keep me a million miles away from any kind of sustainable weight loss success. Constantly trying to maintain something you're not, in my opinion, turns the "something" into an infection that spreads and eventually kills everything in its path.
Joy Bauer took this photo of me right after my Today Show appearance. I don't remember what I ate the day of the show. I couldn't tell you anything about breakfast, lunch or dinner that day. I could make a pretty good guess--and of course, I could check the Tweets from April 11th, 2016 if I wanted. But the point is...
I was too busy living life fully present, fully in awe--and full of gratitude for it all.
Obsessed with food, today? Nope. But I once was.
I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained abstinent from refined sugar. I exceeded my daily water goal. I stayed actively connected with support. And, I enjoyed a great, albeit late, Friday night workout.
Continuous Accountability Live-Tweet Stream:
#morningdeal ✔️2 cups water-20 push-ups-20 squats. Coffee pass earned! Good morning! It's Friday! pic.twitter.com/OsQuUDqgbN— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 29, 2016
3 tbsp half & half in my first cup & again, in my to-go refill. This is really good coffee! 120 cal. pic.twitter.com/gC8mbZfQfo— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 29, 2016
Breakfast in MyFitnessPal. Not shown: 18g SF peach all-fruit. pic.twitter.com/msmqvNylQT— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 29, 2016
2 egg whts-2 whl w/78g avocado. 7.6oz pear, 5.3oz orng, Jos.pita w/.5oz crm cheese&18g SF peach all-fruit. 620 cal. pic.twitter.com/VFgroQtMi1— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 29, 2016
5.4oz apple & 5oz banana 156 cal. pic.twitter.com/9YMPDoQZLU— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 29, 2016
Lunch in MyFitnessPal. Not shown: 14g blue corn tortilla chips. pic.twitter.com/CqFR3ORfVr— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 29, 2016
Fajita salad w/6oz beef, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeños, 130g ff-sf beans, 30g sr crm, onion, salsa&14g chips. 447 cal pic.twitter.com/TOzcybd2k0— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 29, 2016
Two tablespoons half & half in this after lunch cup of coffee. 40 cal. pic.twitter.com/QBScfZ5ifd— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 29, 2016
Refined sugar free Quest protein bar and a dark roast pour over with three tablespoons half & half. 250 cal. pic.twitter.com/SUipy7TCnJ— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 29, 2016
Two tbsp half & half in evening cup. 40 cal. pic.twitter.com/e9ASXDPH7y— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 30, 2016
Dinner in MyFitnessPal... pic.twitter.com/WB08siHWpw— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 30, 2016
7.8oz baked cod, 120g green beans, 220g red potato prepared with 15g sour cream & 1 tbsp half & half. Simple! 482cal pic.twitter.com/sNnzTYUIV9— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 30, 2016
Full body max level 20/30 min elliptical ride starts now! 3 cup bottle of water exceeds #watergoal pic.twitter.com/k0fEy8RqN0— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 30, 2016
Thank you for reading and your continued support,