Friday, February 17, 2017

February 17th, 2017 Before I React

February 17th, 2017 Before I React

I sincerely appreciate the positive feedback about last night's blog post.

Defying the line of least resistance's gravitational pull isn't easy. It takes work. Opening the box of struggle each day, as strange as it sounds, is easier than maintaining a plan that employs the tools eventually leading to success. And truly, success isn't a destination--that's another tricky thing--success is found all along the way. Success is uniquely defined by each of us. There are no fair comparisons to the success of others because our success is found in many different ways.

Success, for me, isn't losing 300 pounds and being in a stable maintenance mode at a healthy weight. Success for me is waking up each day and maintaining the framework of the plan that's developed and ultimately brought me this far. Success for me has meant allowing my plan to evolve naturally, becoming something I can willfully embrace without resistance. The embrace isn't out of fear--it's not a forced embrace in defense of another relapse/regain. It's an embrace that comes because the plan is customized for me.

The embrace isn't perfect or automatic. I have much more experience in the opposite direction.

The embrace is a daily practice. Not in fear, but respect-- because if I ever reach the point where I believe I no longer need the structured boundaries of my daily plan, I will quickly return to a life of morbid obesity.

What about when I'm not feeling like embracing anything? And it happens, by the way. 

I must stop and think about the dynamics of the temporary circumstance in play. Is it hunger, anger, loneliness, or tiredness? It's usually one of those four things--or variations. The challenge is often: Can I pause long enough to quickly analyze before I react? I must act, not react.

Variations of H.A.L.T.-Well, perhaps I'm not hungry, I'm just waiting a little too long between meals. Maybe I'm not angry, I'm just frustrated or disappointed. Perhaps I'm not lonely, I'm just feeling alone about something. Maybe I'm not physically tired--perhaps it's mental exhaustion or feeling overwhelmed with a certain task/project.

And when these things happen--and they do, it doesn't matter how well suited my food plan fits me. These temporary circumstances sometimes don't feel temporary. I can be real good at blowing something way out of proportion--making it ten times bigger than reality. When these things happen, I must share it--I must express it--to someone, a support friend--someone whom I'd do the same for, anytime. Because if I choose to go it alone--there is no release. And if there's no release, that means I'm stuffing it down. And if I'm stuffing it down, for me, it's most usually with food. 

Creating a "You Plan" that's grounded in perspectives promoting sustainability requires a multifaceted approach. It's so much more than a food plan.

I can recall many times in my past when I used a pre-designed plan with hopes it would be a fix. It never was. And so the yo-yo syndrome continued for years and years. In all of those instances, it was like calling a plumber to clean up the mess of a sewer line break, instead of actually fixing the busted pipe.

Today was a long day. I got a call from a friend, right after work--they needed a driver to the emergency room. This dear friend of mine was having symptoms of heart issues--or possibly stroke--it was a necessary ER trip. It turned out well--it wasn't anything major. It did make for an extra long day. I stopped by for a visit with mom before heading home for a late refresher nap.

I prepared a wonderful dinner tonight, including an appetizer experiment that turned out very well. I made homemade baked low-cal onion rings. I didn't have what I needed to make refined sugar-free ketchup--but these didn't need ketchup. I used a yellow onion, egg white, and yellow corn meal--plus olive oil spray--baked at 425 for 25 minutes--flipped half-way through.

I measure the calorie dense corn meal by weighing the excessive amount used prior to coating--then weighing it again when I'm done coating each ring--then, subtracting the starting grams from the remaining grams. These turned out much better than I expected.

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained refined sugar-free. I met my daily water goal. And I stayed well connected with excellent support.

Thank you for reading and your continued support,


  1. This is a really great post Sean! Puts a lot of things in prespective which I can relate too. Not quite the same but you triggered me to make onion's with eggs, corn meal and coconut oil.

  2. Yes, a life in growth is not without struggle. Waking up food sober, I respect that a lot. I know the next bite might be from a place of food addiction- 5 minutes of stinking thinking can put 5 years of weight maintenance at risk, so taking it one day or one meal at a time is good.

    Oh, if someone needs a ride to the hospital like that, call 911. Early treatment for these situations can be the difference between living life fully post recovery OR having a much worse outcome.

    Be sure to set good boundaries for yourself for the non-food stuff, and for the food stuff. It allows you to be of service to more people. Sleep. You. Say No to any request that would put yourself in harms way. Always put yourself first, then be of service to folks second. Win-WIN.

  3. I often use mustard, picante sauce, and sliced tomatoes in place of ketchup, it usually works.

  4. Oh my Lord, WHAT A POST! Some of what you said just brought me to tears. I feel like you might be the brother I never had - because we are definitely from the same cloth - I could have written your post! I so look forward to joining your weight loss group in The spring, as budget allows. In the meantime, keep posting, and keep that new book in the back of your mind. And get a major publisher! People need to hear what you have to say.

  5. P.s. I WANT THOSE ONION RINGS! - Sheryl

  6. ha. :) Karen me to a bit of advice that I, myself, didn't follow the other day--but should have regarding the ER trip.

    Always call 911 first unless you live so close to the hospital that you'd be sure to get there before the EMTs would get to you. Your friend's symptoms could have evolved to full blown stroke or heart attack in the car--and what would you have done? I said, I did the same thing on Friday last. I was having definite signs of a heart attack. Since this major attack occurred after 3 days of pretty significant, but fleeting, chest pain (which came after 3 MONTHS of mild, constant chest "tightness", I decided that I shoug go to the ER to have this "terrible chest muscle cramp" checked out.

    Sigh. Yes. 3 months of mild pain. 3 days of fleeting but significant pain. One hour of crushing pain--and I decided it was time for my husband to drive me to the ER. Foolish--even tho the hospital is only 2 miles from our house.

    I wasn't having a heart attack, but it was a heart event, and my need to avoid making a scene could have been fatal if it were the real ting.

    Live and learn. Your heart was in the right place and you were willing to sacrifice yourself to help. Feel good about that...and call 911 next time. :}


  7. P.S. I might have to try doing those onion rings!


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