Monday, November 28, 2016

November 28th, 2016 Five Times Better

November 28th, 2016 Five Times Better

Tonight's blog page is brought to you by Sean & Kathleen's December Speaker Series.















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Getting back to work today was rather challenging. It wasn't abnormal, I mean really, I think many people experience this same dynamic after holiday weekends, it was just challenging. I made sure I had what I needed, when I needed and where I needed it--and I was fine.

I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained abstinent from refined sugar. I exceeded today's water goal, I experienced a wonderful 30-minute elliptical ride at the gym and I stayed nicely connected with good support. It was a solid plan kind of day. I love days like today. Even if the rest of it was slightly challenging. Having a rough day and still hitting the marks of your personal plan, to me, feels five times better than hitting the marks on a fairly simple day. You dig?

I loved being a guest on Heather Robertson's Half-Size Me Podcast. The interview was released today! She's truly in a league all her own. If you haven't already, I highly recommend subscribing to her podcast wherever you find your podcasts. I've asked Heather to be a guest on an upcoming episode of Transformation Planet and she said yes-I'm very excited about that! Find out more about Half-Size Me at HalfSizeMe.com

One of the many things we discussed was the topic of self-worth/identity. I talked some about my epiphany day--so with that, I thought it would be a perfect time to revisit the archives. It's hard to believe it's been two and a half years since that experience.

Let's finish off tonight's post by revisiting "Epiphany Day" May 15th, 2014 and a follow-up post a few days later on May 19th, 2014:

What you're about to read has changed me in very meaningful ways. I hope you'll enjoy.

May 15th, 2014

Why in the world should I ever allow the shape of my face or the size of my pants determine my self-worth? This isn't how I treat others, so why would I treat me that way? 

And then I started thinking about the differences between how I felt about me at 505 and how I felt at 230 and that's when I experienced a breakthrough in my thinking. In that moment I imagined the scales of justice. On one side was my love for the non-physical parts (my mind, my sense of humor, my talents, my heart, my natural compassion for others, my ability to communicate, etc.) and the other side of the scale was my love for things physical about me. 

The personal injustice has been the obvious imbalance and distribution of my love for self.  

At my heaviest, I had nearly zero love for the physical and what little love I had for the non-physical was small, barely existent and unacknowledged because I was too busy hating the way I looked. 

At my healthiest weight, I still paid little attention to the non-physical attributes because I was too busy loving the way I looked.  

Throughout my entire life, I've largely ignored the important things that make me who I am. My most intense focus was either hating the way I looked or loving the way I looked. With this narrow-minded perspective, the only source of identity and self-worth remaining relied almost exclusively on my appearance. 

It isn't any wonder why I've limited myself over the years.  Even worse is the natural tendency to project this fluctuating self-perspective onto others, as in, if I feel this way about me, surely they do too. 

When I think about my closest loved ones, I realize their perspective of me is never conditional based on appearance. When I spend time with mom, she doesn't even notice the weight gain, she just sees her son. When I pick up my grandson and he looks at me and smiles, it's an innate understanding that I'm someone who loves him deeply and will protect and care for him no matter what. When I spend time with my daughters, it's clear their love for me isn't placed on a scale, ever.

And then I realized: This is what they mean when they say you must love yourself first before you can fully experience and appreciate the love and richness of life. Oh my goodness, I feel like shedding tears just writing these words. 

If I was confused before, it was very clear now. I'm a great person worthy of love regardless of my size and appearance. 

I have my mind, sense of humor, talents, a big heart, loads of compassion for others and so very much more. 

And none of it is diminished with weight gain or increased with weight loss. 

I am me, always.

And my journey will continue toward a healthier weight because I want to live, I want to move easier, I want to experience the freedom a healthy body weight provides. Regardless of how this journey goes, I believe I just discovered one of my greatest personal freedoms of all.

May 19th, 2014

The thing I've focused on the most the last several days has proven to be a wonderful exploration.  It is, in short, the secret to happiness. Millions have figured it out already and they live it every day. Millions struggle with understanding it and they spend years, sometimes a lifetime in pursuit of it. The thing about loving and caring for the constants within us, the things that can't ever be taken from us, the elements making us who we are deep down no matter what comes or goes in this life, is a key to emotional freedom.

I think about the documentary HAPPY and the man in India who lives with his wife and kids in what can best be described as a tent.  He gets up every day and walks for miles into the city where he pulls a rickshaw, transporting tourist and business people for 8-12 hours a day. Then he walks home and has dinner (usually white rice and anything else they can afford) with the family he loves. He's one of the happiest people you'll ever meet.

I think about the person who was able bodied their entire life before a drunk driver rendered them a quadriplegic. Yet, some of these people who have had so much taken away from them, are transformed into some of the most inspirational, positive and fascinatingly happy people in this world.

I believe that people who find and live their happiness are doing so because they're connected to the core qualities within them that can never be taken away. 

Whoever first said "happiness must come from within," this is what they meant. 

If we tether our identity, self-worth, definition of success and happiness to anything that naturally fluctuates or can change dramatically, then we're in for a roller coaster ride of emotional unrest.

I've always attached my self-worth to my weight. 

I've often talked about potential and not living up to potential. But here's the thing: Potential is tied directly to the constant qualities within us and if our focus is on the pursuit of happiness in every direction except within, then those qualities aren't allowed to flourish, to grow--to give life to the potential within us all.

This whole thing makes me want to take the best care I can. I've never felt more determined to return to a healthy weight. 

It's what I need physically. 

What I need emotionally isn't affected by weight loss. 

And making that distinction provides a nice inner calm, a peace.

The question to determine these inner qualities needing attention and love is: 

What are the qualities in me that remain regardless of my weight, regardless of my financial situation, regardless of my relationship status, regardless of my professional success--what are the things about me that stay the same when all of these other things can and do change?  

My heart, soul, sense of humor, natural compassion for others, likes and dislikes, pride in parenting, artistic talents, selflessness, humility, etc. Have you made your list?  

And when these constants are cared for and loved, watered, so to speak--they grow, they flourish--and they give us what we need to experience emotional freedom, the freedom, and ability to claim our happiness come what may.

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

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