Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 31st, 2017 The Weight Of Avoidance

August 31st, 2017 The Weight Of Avoidance

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with good support.

I decided to get out of the apartment tonight and watch the Oklahoma State football game while eating dinner out. It was very enjoyable. I don't have cable or regular television, only streaming services, so my options for watching the game always include going out. I hope to attend a game this year. I've attended several in the past, but this year the hype is through the roof! The Cowboys won the game in convincing fashion and I stayed within the boundaries of my food plan. It was a win-win!

Today was challenging in several ways. My production load and responsibilities at work are super high at the moment and that makes for long days, plus I've decided to stop avoiding a couple of hard decisions I must make very soon. Sorry to be vague--but the issue isn't important to discuss.

What is important is the fact that sometimes things and people need to be dealt with head on---and if you're like me, avoiding these confrontations can eventually lead to a breach in a recovery plan. Pure and simple-- if important things are avoided, they don't just go away--their presence becomes heavy as they grow and it becomes more difficult to hold them down. I do not want to stuff it down with food. That's what I did for years. Instead, I'll deal directly; releasing the weight of avoidance.

Today's Accountability Tweets:
































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

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

August 30th, 2017 Dropping

August 30th, 2017 Dropping

Today: I maintained my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with solid support.

Letting the Tweets take it tonight. Dropping in bed!

Today's Accountability Tweets:




























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

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

August 29th, 2017 Momentum Of The Slide

August 29th, 2017 Momentum Of The Slide

I love love love conversing with people about the dynamics along this road. Sometimes, if someone messages me and I spend some time engaging in a discussion, I will have the thought--this needs to be on the blog. I always ask the other person if it's okay to use the transcript with the assurance that it'll be 100% anonymous. This occasional practice does three things--number one, I'm connecting with people--it helps them, and it helps me, and two--by sharing some of the thoughts discussed, here, there's potential it might help someone else. And three, it helps me by becoming a source of content for this blog I'm committed to writing on a daily basis. I typically don't copy/paste/edit anything I exchange with my one on one or group clients, but occasionally, still--a thought or conversation with a client will serve as inspiration, and that's different.

I wasn't able to get permission to copy/paste/edit anonymity from a conversation yesterday, but I can share my part and do my best to describe their situation. It was a very very familiar one to me.

The discussion was with someone in a very similar situation I was in at the top of my relapse/regain. They have gained back a large amount of their initial loss and now, they're ready to turn this around. The shame, guilt, and self-loathing is making it very difficult to change the momentum of the slide. I get it. Oh my, I remember those days very well. They even wrote words I remember saying back then, "I can't stand myself."  The initial purpose of the message was centered on food advice.

My reply-
I'm so glad you messaged me!! The very first thing I HAD to do in order to turn around a massive slide was one of the hardest things I've ever done. But it was imperative for me in order to move forward in a positive way.

I had to forgive myself.

I had to dig deep and embrace all the good in me--acknowledge it and realize that my level of food addiction didn't make me a horrible person or a stupid person. 

You wrote, "I can't stand myself." And I get that, I do--believe me, I felt that way about myself too.

But, if we remain in that unkind and unforgiving place, where we constantly beat ourselves up for our perceived failures--then we're unable to move forward. We essentially, actually, quite literally, hold ourselves in a down position.

If we can't forgive ourselves and we can't get past feeling horrible about ourselves, then why would we feel compelled to do anything positive for this person we can't stand?

Before the discussion turns to food options and exercise routines, it's important in my opinion to shift the perspective away from "this is what's wrong with me," and toward, "What have I learned from this experience?"

Because that analysis has the greatest chance of offering life changing epiphanies--perspective shifting acknowledgments-- and these things can lead to a peace and embrace of your plan like you might not have thought possible.

Offer yourself compassion, understanding, and forgiveness--the same you would freely extend to someone you love dearly--give it to you. You deserve it. You're smart. You're determined. You're capable. It's in YOU. This isn't the end. It doesn't need to continue in this direction one day further.

Please, please, please, embrace you, forgive you, have compassion for you--inventory the amazing things about YOU...and believe it.

When we extend ourselves love, compassion, and understanding---and we acknowledge and embrace our truth--magical things can happen.

Marinate on this, please--and I'd be happy to chat about food options and strategies, later. 🙂

My best always--Sean
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If you're not a client of mine and you have a support conversation with me and it ends up as part of a blog post here, please understand it's done from a very pure place. If I feel something might help someone else, then I'm sharing. I always keep it anonymous unless there's permission otherwise. And it's not every single time--in fact, it's rare. Maybe a half dozen times a year. I communicate with several people each week and I love it and you'll never see or hear about 99% of the dynamics discussed in those conversations. Helping someone else helps me. I'm passionate about sharing my experiences along this road, I just hope it helps or has helped whoever is reading.

At the end of the day, I'm just like you or anyone else along this road--I am one choice away from going the other direction. My successful maintenance isn't guaranteed. I do not know it all. But what I do know is this: If I wake up each day and give my plan the reverence it requires for my continued care, then I have the best chance at continued recovery.
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I started this morning with the first of my early morning exercise routines. Today was simply a walk at 4:30am. It is incredibly peaceful at 4:30am. Everything is still, quiet and different from the energy of any other time of day or night. I must say, I enjoyed it very much. I'm committing to doing this a minimum two times each week. And a total of four exercise sessions per week, minimum. This part of my personal plan has suffered for several months now--and without an actionable plan, it can't change. With an actionable plan-- anything is possible.

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exercised first thing this morning, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with great support.

Today's Accountability Tweets:




























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

Monday, August 28, 2017

August 28th, 2017 Upped The Accountability

August 28th, 2017 Upped The Accountability

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 exceptional support.

I felt exceptionally well today. Usually, I make Monday's rather rough because I'm super loose with the boundaries of my weekend schedules and it carries over. But for whatever reason, I felt energized today. I suppose I slept well. That's good!

Tomorrow morning will be the first early morning exercise session for me. I've made an accountability pledge to a support friend and it shall be done. This will require me to make sure I get up on time! I do my morning deal routine each day before coffee, sure--but this will be different. I'm starting out small in the morning with a good brisk early morning walk--then morning deal, then coffee. I need at least four workouts a week, minimum. My goal is to make two of these early morning, first thing routines.

There-- now I've upped the accountability measure by including it in this blog post!

Goodnight!

Today's Accountability Tweets:






























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

Sunday, August 27, 2017

August 27th, 2017 Such A Place

August 27th, 2017 Such A Place

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

We left the toy section this evening where Noah talked me into a small toy (I reminded him, big toys are for birthdays and Christmas!) We hit the electronics section where Noah put on a dancing exhibition--he kept dancing, so I quickly captured a video. I tried to share it on Facebook, but music rights issues prevented Facebook from allowing the share. It was the most adorable dance.

It's moments like that when I'm reminded of the blessings and all I have to be grateful for along this road.

All of us dined: Noah, mom, and a good friend of mine who was celebrating a birthday. When I write about not being tempted by their desserts, it isn't bragging. I hope you realize that. I'm simply expressing that there's a place of peace and acceptance within a food plan where those moments are not met with white knuckling and all the will power you can muster. That's a very real place. When I was struggling at 500 pounds for nearly 20 years I couldn't imagine such a place.

I'm very grateful.

Today's Accountability Tweets:


























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

Saturday, August 26, 2017

August 26th, 2017 Tweets Only

August 26th, 2017 Tweets Only

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with good support.

Tweets Only Saturday night...

Today's Accountability Tweets:


























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

Friday, August 25, 2017

August 25th, 2017 Oh Well

August 25th, 2017 Oh Well

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with solid support.

Sleep has been hit and miss this week. Last night wasn't the best sleep, so after a long workday, I was ready for a Friday nap. I took full advantage, even over-slept my alarm. It was a glorious rest!

I decided to enjoy a meal out this evening. The menu was familiar, I've been there before--and simple to navigate. I always get the salmon, although there were some other choices that could have worked well.

The perspective I take into any restaurant is one focused on solutions, not compromises for my plan. There was a time when I'd throw my hands up and declare it impossible--then completely blow my food plan while convincing myself it was justified due to the circumstances.

In that "oh well" mindset, I can't see solutions, because all the other options are competing for my attention.

If I'm in a solutions based perspective, I can find a way to navigate the menu. It sometimes takes ordering a la carte or making special preparation requests, but as long as I'm not afraid to ask for what I need, and I'm not, I get an on-plan meal. I requested tonight's salmon without their special sugar infused lemon caper sauce. I asked for simply grilled with salt and pepper. And it was amazing!

I have two location broadcasts tomorrow spanning a six-hour window from 10:30am to 4:30pm. I'll have an "on the go" lunch in the bag, just in case.

Today's Accountability Tweets:
























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

Thursday, August 24, 2017

August 24th, 2017 Ill Feel

August 24th, 2017 Ill Feel

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 solid support.

The slight ill feel last night carried over to this morning but it wasn't enough to justify a day off. I still wasn't feeling great by the time I left the studio this afternoon. I made it home and took a good nap. That seemed to help. I felt better, made it to the store for groceries, visited with mom for a little while, then returned home to prepare a good dinner.

I'm headed to bed very soon. I'll let the tweets take it the rest of the way...

Today's Accountability Tweets:




























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

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August 23rd, 2017 Measured Pace

August 23rd, 2017 Measured Pace

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 great support.

I helped a friend move some furniture today. It was a nice little workout, for sure!

For whatever reason, I'm not feeling well this evening. I decided to stay in instead of visiting mom. I also postponed a grocery trip. I still have what I need for in the morning--but a grocery trip must happen tomorrow!

A couple of readers recently asked about my food planning. I did a search of the archives and found this entry from last year..

Question from May 2016:

Speaking of planning, Mary asked a good question on my Facebook page:
"Sean, I love that you keep it simple and smart!! Question...how far out in advance do you plan/prepare your meals, snacks, etc.?"

Great question, Mary. To me, simple is sustainable. If I make it too complicated, I might not enjoy it as much! I'll evolve naturally at a nice measured pace!

Planning and preparing--very important topic, and it's different for each person. For me--I don't like pre-cooking--preparing meals "for the week." For some, that works very very well. I'm more of an in the moment person. It doesn't mean I don't plan. I do!

But my planning is this: I make sure I have several available options at home and at work. As long as I'm stocked with the foods I need and enjoy--I can make my decisions, even last minute, and be perfectly okay. Same planning with snacks-- I know what's available and I choose what I feel like having in the moment.

For example-- I honestly haven't a clue what I'm having for dinner tonight. I do know a few things-- I know I'll keep it in a nice dinner range of calories, whatever it is-- and I know I have some options-- Salmon, sirloin, asparagus--maybe I'll grab some other kind of veggie at the store...a sweet potato--oh, and I have some chicken breasts that need cooked--and frozen shrimp... Hmmm... Options! They're all waiting for me to decide--and I might make the decision right before cooking! If the day gets crazy--I might decide to skip cooking and grab something out-- I have another set of go-to options in that direction.

So--planning and preparing means different things for different people. The way I do it wouldn't work well for some. Now--I will add this: If I know I'm going to be out--and busy--and not near a kitchen to prepare something--I'll make sure to plan, prepare and pack (The three P's!) something for my man bag-- Usually it's what I call an "on-the-go meal" consisting of almonds, fruit, and cheese...In fact, I'll likely be doing that very thing tomorrow midday. The central idea is to have what you need when and where you need it-- and then you can decide. Make sense? Thanks for the great question!

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In my opinion, it all starts with defining what is "my food." From there, I make certain my supply is "my food." That makes the planning, even last minute decisions, easier.

Today's AccountabilityTweets:
































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

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

August 22nd, 2017 Tweets Only

August 22nd, 2017 Tweets Only

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 good support.

Tweets only tonight.

Today's Accountability Tweets:


























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

Monday, August 21, 2017

August 21st, 2017 From The Beginning

August 21st, 2017 From The Beginning

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with solid support.

I've written a bunch about the power of positive visualizations. This practice has helped me from the beginning.

From July 2016:
Positive visualizations have played a big role for me from Day 1 at 505 pounds. What I visualize has changed over the years. The first six months or so, I was trying to visualize what I would look like at a healthy weight. The positive visualizations evolved from there. I remember a trip the family and I took to the amusement park years ago--and we rode everything, every coaster--things I was scared to death of riding--but I did anyway, because I finally fit--I was no longer the morbidly obese man sitting on the bench, sweating--and watching everyone else has the time of their lives. I fit on every ride we tried. And it felt amazing. I visualized that trip many times over the course of a year or so before it actually happened. Call it a goal, call it what you will--to me, the power of the positive visualization, in detail--imagining where--specifically--I want this road to go, has been critically important to my success.

From February this year:
The more I move along this road, the more I learn. Making sure my mind is open and my perspective is in a positive place, is paramount to my continued growth. The last nearly three years have taught me much more than the five years before it combined. I sometimes sit in wonder of what the next three years will bring.

I often encourage others to practice positive visualizations of where they want to go--and I mean, in every way, every sense. That practice has been a key component for me because if I can imagine it, visualize it, dream about it--see it in my mind's eye, then I start to believe it's possible. It's one of the most underrated things I've been doing since day 1. I say "underrated" because I don't give it enough credit.

And those visualizations were not always positive. During my relapse regain, I had many visions of the gloom and doom in front of me if I continued spiraling out of control. My focus was finely tuned with fear of consequences from those days of chaos. And those consequences came in full force.

For me, it all goes back to: We get more of what we give the most energy and thought. We attract it. We either focus on what we fear or what we dream--or a mixture of both, I suppose. I've lived examples of both sides--the good and the not good, I've attracted a whole lot of both in my life. I'm blessed and grateful now--because the good far outweighs the other.

Earlier this year:
The list of health improvements is a very long list. The lab results on Thursday were better than I expected and night and day different than my previous 500-pound years.

These things are things I'd often use for my positive visualizations throughout my transformation. Taking a break, closing your eyes, and imagining the possibilities in as much vivid detail as you can muster--makes a profound difference. Sometimes in the beginning or in the middle of it, it's hard to imagine life any different than the moment--but imagining, visualizing where you're headed helps bring it to life because it serves as a powerful reminder of why you're doing what you're doing--and it also helps you believe it's possible. If you can dream it, you can do it. I started dreaming my transformation from Day 1.

Dreams come true.

Don't give up. Ever. Please.

Today's Accountability Tweets:






























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

Sunday, August 20, 2017

August 20th, 2017 Slide

August 20th, 2017 Slide

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, I had a good home exercise session, and I stayed well connected with
great support.

Today was simply a great day. I spent some time with my grandson and mom--including a shopping trip for Noah some new shoes, a trip to feed the geese and ducks out by the lake and lunch at one of mom's favorite places.















Noah wanted me to slide with him. And I did. And it was wonderful. Being able to keep up with him and slide down the slides, is one of the best things. I'm so grateful.

Doing things I couldn't do, or even think about doing at my heaviest, is a nice reminder. It's just one of the many reasons why my daily maintenance plan is important. It keeps me living life.

Today's Accountability Tweets:






























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





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