Sunday, February 19, 2017

February 19th, 2017 If I'm Saying It

February 19th, 2017 If I'm Saying It

I'm actually doing some on-air weather coverage tonight. Which is great because I don't need to take the full credit for being up too late! I'll make this a fast one.

I spent some quality time with my grandson today. We made a trip to the duck pond, fed the ducks, played on the playground--and oh--question...Do kids just naturally not get sick on the merry-go-round?? It takes me literally seconds to feel sick on that thing--not him, oh no--he's just fine. How does that work? Anyway--fascinating to me.

We picked up grandma for Noah's return trip, giving grandma time to visit with my youngest daughter and Noah--and me, on a Sunday afternoon.

My food day was tilted after an epic sleep-in this morning. Tilted schedule, not "on tilt." It just meant eating later than even I'm cool with--and honestly, I may start intentionally going lower on days like this, simply because I'd rather do that than eat too late. And you know it's too late if I'm saying it's too late.

The latest episode of Transformation Planet is available wherever you find your favorite podcasts--in iTunes, Google Play and countless other sources. Thank you for subscribing! Please leave a rating or review if you can. Also, if you have any suggestions, questions or anything else, email me directly: transformation.road@gmail.com Here's a convenient Podbean player of the latest episode. Simply press play to listen directly from this page.

Joy Bauer is one of America's leading health and nutrition experts. She's a regular on NBC's Today Show, founder of The Joy Fit Club, and the author of twelve New York Times Best-selling books, including her latest, From Junk Food To Joy Food. In this episode, Joy shares her experience, practical advice, and she reveals the things Joy Fit Club inductees always seem to have in common. Also, we get an update from Nathaniel, who's at the very beginning of his own transformation from 671 pounds.

We're a week away from the start of another 8-week session of the weight loss support groups I cofacilitate with Coach Kathleen Miles. You still have time to get registered and join the team! The regular Monday night group is full, but we still have spaces available in the regular Tuesday night 8pm Eastern group, The "Lunch With Coach Kathleen" midday Tuesday group, and a few spaces open for the late Monday premium one-on-one memberships. If you have any questions, simply send an email to me-- transformation.road@gmail.com or Kathy- totalkathy@aol.com
Sign-Up Links:
Tuesday Primary group
http://totalkathy.com/?event=tuesday-night-primary-group

Premium One on One Monday group
http://totalkathy.com/?event=premium-tuesday-one-on-one

Lunch with Kathy, Tuesday noon group
http://totalkathy.com/?event=lunch-with-kathleen

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

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

Saturday, February 18, 2017

February 18th, 2017 No Question

February 18th, 2017 No Question

We're a week and a day away from the start of another 8-week session of the weight loss support groups I cofacilitate with Coach Kathleen Miles. You still have time to get registered and join the team! The regular Monday night group is full, but we still have spaces available in the regular Tuesday night 8pm Eastern group, The "Lunch With Coach Kathleen" midday Tuesday group, and a few spaces open for the late Monday premium one-on-one memberships. If you have any questions, simply send an email to me-- transformation.road@gmail.com or Kathy- totalkathy@aol.com
Sign-Up Links:
Tuesday Primary group
http://totalkathy.com/?event=tuesday-night-primary-group

Premium One on One Monday group
http://totalkathy.com/?event=premium-tuesday-one-on-one

Lunch with Kathy, Tuesday noon group
http://totalkathy.com/?event=lunch-with-kathleen
Click Poster To Enlarge:




















I was up early today in order to get my day started well before heading off to a fantastic charity event. AMBUCS was having their "Heroes With A Heart" fundraiser. They invited several people from around here to ride an AmTryke in relay style a little over four miles total. I was honored to be one of those asked! AmTrykes are custom designed for people with physical disabilities. AMBUCS has made mobility their most passionate pursuit--and it shows with every AmTryke presentation. I rode two legs of the relay led by police escort.






















The weather was absolutely beautiful for this event. The ride ended at Heather Cannon Honda with the dealership providing lunch and making donations to AMBUCS for every test drive. Find out more about AMBUCS at AMBUCS.org

I didn't stick around for lunch. I had an afternoon of moving furniture ahead of me! I was gifted a "like-new" living room set by the apartment community I call home. It was a generous offer--and the deal was, it needed to be moved today. I borrowed a friend and colleague's truck and made a few trips--taking the old stuff out and moving the new stuff in--I love it! I did have help. Irene and Allen came over, plus a good friend of mine also helped. It was a workout--the whole day, biking and moving, back to back--no question, it was a workout!

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 support!

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

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,
Strength,
Sean

Thursday, February 16, 2017

February 16th, 2017 Would We Choose It?

February 16th, 2017 Would We Choose It?

I wrote this four years ago, in the middle of a monumental relapse/regain:

A good friend and adviser inspired me the other day. I haven’t been able to forget the discussion we shared…What came of it, was this: 

If our success was guaranteed, would we choose it? If our success in whatever form it might be, was contained in a small box labeled “success” and beside it was another box labeled “struggle,” containing everything else contrary to our success…Which would we choose? Now, let’s separate the two boxes. Let’s put the box labeled “success” a thousand miles away. It still exists but requires effort to get there. Mostly, it requires faith in its existence; faith in oneself. Do we believe it exists even though the “success” box is no longer directly in front of us? If we do, then why would we continue choosing the other box? It’s a question of faith. Our box of “success” is real and our choices determine the path toward or away from the good it contains. We must believe it; we must have faith.

#TBT Throwback Thursday Pictures

First, from the top of that regain--back near 400 pounds...

And in maintenance mode after the return from relapse/regain...

"Before" and "Now" pictures can't tell the whole story. I will say this: At the top of that regain period, I was almost convinced I'd never be able to find that "place" again. It was frightening. The box labeled "success" seemed a thousand miles away. The box labeled "struggle" was right at my fingertips each and every day. The elements needed for struggle came easy. The elements needed for success took a slow and steady, consistent effort--one day at a time, one choice at a time--and with every day behind me, I found myself closer to where I wanted. At least, physically. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually--that's all a continually developing practice of the most important elements.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, no matter where you find yourself--or how far away it seems, don't give up. You're unlocking your personal combination and it takes time. Please have faith. You're worth it! 

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained refined sugar-free. I exceeded my daily water goal by a whopping 40oz! I stayed well connected with great support. And I enjoyed a wonderful workout tonight at my local YMCA.

There's still time to discover what group weight loss coaching/mentoring is all about. Our next 8-week session starts February 27th & 28th. We have Tuesday night openings, Tuesday midday openings (exclusively with Coach Kathleen), and a limited number of late Monday one-on-one premium spots available! Coach Kathleen and I would love to answer your questions and send you a sign-up link. Transformation.road@gmail.com and/or totalkathy@aol.com

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

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

February 15th, 2017 Without Fluff

February 15th, 2017 Without Fluff

I felt well this morning. I mean, well, as in--okay. I felt okay. Like, at peace, okay. I don't know why--maybe it was all the thoughts and emotions involved when I remember my little brother--followed by such a wonderful outpouring of messages from people far and near, for Shane. If you have a copy of my book, the chapter "Shane's Gift" will give you a little more insight into how much he meant to so many people.

I was thrilled to have one of Shane's high school peer advocates comment about Shane: "Shane was amazing! I had the pleasure of being around him daily in Peer Advocate and I cherish those memories! God Bless You!"

Perhaps it was waking up to the memories of Shane from others that felt so warm. Anyhow, please know--I appreciate each and every sentiment.

I spoke to my closest support friend and long-time advisor this afternoon. One of the things I sincerely appreciate about her is how she always shoots straight with me. She speaks truth, even when the truth isn't what I want to hear. When I speak with her, I know I'm going to get the most spot on advice without fluff. I'm one of many she's helped over the years. I'm blessed to be on her list!

I stopped by to see mom this afternoon--and my youngest daughter and my grandson Noah stopped by, too! It was a short, but very nice family get-together!

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained refined sugar-free. I exceeded my daily water goal. I had a great workout tonight. And I stayed well connected with fantastic support.

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

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

February 14th, 2017 Shane's Day

February 14th, 2017 Shane's Day

Valentines Day always includes thoughts and memories of my little brother Shane. He died sixteen years ago at the age of 24. Today would have been his 40th birthday.

Me, Irene and Shane--mid 90's.





















Early to mid 80's-Shane and me.

I picked up mom today for a Valentines Day lunch out. I let her pick the place. We talked about Shane quite a bit. I think, in many ways we're still grieving his death. We do share the memories and the laughs, and we can't help but smile when we talk about certain things Shane would do or say. Shane is loved and missed, immensely.

I brought mom to the studio after lunch and we visited some more while I worked on a few things, before taking her back. It was a great visit.

I enjoyed a good group weight loss support session tonight, prepared a dinner where I finally used some leftovers (yay me!) and I recorded a one on one session at the studio with Nathaniel for Transformation Planet. It was a full day.

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 support.

I did not meet my goal of a workout tonight. I simply didn't have it in me. I will tomorrow.

Thank you to my Aunt Kelli Anderson-Campbell for keeping an archive of family photos and providing these for tonight's blog post.

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

Monday, February 13, 2017

February 13th, 2017 All Is Fresh

February 13th, 2017 All Is Fresh

When I get up to start my day--all is fresh. Yesterday is done, tomorrow isn't my concern--the day, and the moment is now. And it's here where I've established a routine that acts as a reset button each day. The personal spiritual time, short meditation, 2 cups water, 20 push-ups, and 20 squats--same thing, each day--starts every day. It sets the tone. When I enter the water and my half & half in MyFitnessPal, these are the first entries of the day. And now I'm ready. It's routine, repetitive--it happens at home or away, in one form or another. It's the #morningdeal. These things, this routine, automatically raises my awareness, reminds me of why I do what I do, and sets the foundation for peace, calm, and stability throughout this day, today.

I took a 1/2 day off today because I had a dental appointment at noon. Everything needed wasn't in place, so the appointment was rescheduled for three weeks out. I get seriously stressed going to the dentist. I suppose that's very normal. It was a 50/50 deal. 50% of me was relieved the work was delayed a few weeks and 50% of me had worked up enough courage to get in there and get it done.

I enjoyed some wonderful support calls this evening, a fantastic dinner and I'm getting to bed earlier than last night--and that's a wonderful thing.

If you haven't had a chance to listen to the latest episode of Transformation Planet, please subscribe in iTunes, Google Play, or wherever you find your favorite podcast! Here's a convenient player to listen directly from this blog page:


The next 8-week session for the weight loss support groups I cofacilitate with Life Coach Kathleen starts February 27th. We're full on Monday night's except for the premium one-on-one option that immediately follows the Monday primary group each week.

We still have spaces for the Tuesday night primary group. And spaces in the new midday Tuesday group with Coach Kathleen! If you're interested and/or have any questions, please email Coach Kathleen: totalkathy@aol.com or Me: transformation.road@gmail.com
















Click the poster to enlarge!


One of the most important things for me to do each day is to reach this point and be able to write the next couple of lines:
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 great support.

I make these things important because I know--None of us are immune from going back the other way. This thing is never guaranteed, I don't ever "got this," and I must keep my mind open for new learning opportunities each day. It's a practice. Developing a plan that fits me takes time. It continually evolves. Every day that I manage to wake up with a willful embrace of my plan instead of a rejecting resentment, it's a positive message: My plan is working for me. It's moving in the right direction. I'm grateful.

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

Sunday, February 12, 2017

February 12th, 2017 Fast One

February 12th, 2017 Fast One

Fast one tonight!

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained refined sugar-free. I exceeded my daily water goal. I stayed connected with wonderful support connections. And I rocked a wonderful workout at the YMCA.

I also prepared some good meals, visited with mom, and finished production on episode 10 of my podcast.

I hope you'll subscribe to Transformation Planet in iTunes, Google Play for Android, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts!

Nathaniel is embarking on his own transformation from 671 pounds and taking us along every step of the way. In this episode, you'll meet Nathaniel, and in future episodes you'll hear short updates before each featured interview. Nathaniel's story is remarkable in many ways. I'm looking forward to working with him and I'm excited about getting to know him better along the way. Nathaniel is putting it all out there, right here on Transformation Planet.












Nathaniel and me during a recent recording session.

I've shared often about the weight loss support group I cofacilitated and founded with Life Coach Gerri and now with Life Coach Kathleen. We have another session starting at the end of February. On tomorrow night's blog post, I'll share more details about available spaces, sign-up links, and details about a new midday Tuesday group that Coach Kathleen is heading.

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

Saturday, February 11, 2017

February 11th, 2017 Exceptional

February 11th, 2017 Exceptional

I really had an exceptional day. I'm very grateful! After treating with medicine and alternating heat/cold, my neck/back issue started feeling remarkably better by midday. I backed away from the pushups this morning when I realized they were stressing the issue.

I enjoyed a wonderful support conversation this morning--and I made it to the YMCA for a great workout, stopped by a broadcasting client to record a few elements for a series of commercials I'm producing--then made it home in time to prepare a fantastic lunch before embarking on a little out of town trip with mom.


The Avocado Burger became an instant favorite!

From Anonymous:
I hope you feel better. You will never know how much your 3 tiered approach is helping me: Count calories (I use an easy, older point system), exercise, mental exercise. What a blessing.
I do believe you have another book inside you focusing on the above methods! Keeping it simple is such a cloud lifted. Feel better!

Thank you, A! I'm so glad this approach is working well for you!! I do have another book I want to write and I will, for sure! A simplified approach was the thing that finally clicked for me. It meant: No more diets, no more special plans, no more craziness-- just a simplistic, honest approach heavy on the mental gymnastics needed to find perspectives that helped open my mind, embrace accountability and support and ultimately, unlock a lifetime of morbid obesity. This entire experience--especially the relapse/regain period, has been a giant blessing. There are no failures, only learning opportunities. I've had plenty of learning opportunities over the last 8-plus years!



  

















I'm so proud of mom. Her continued recovery is miraculous. One of the things she wanted, so desperately, was to NOT need the oxygen. She's now off the oxygen. After the movie this evening (A Dog's Purpose-great movie!), we checked her blood oxygen--it was 97%. It doesn't get much better than that. Aside from the wheelchair ride to the front door of the nursing center and then again around Walmart, she walked everywhere--without a walker. She's getting stronger and healthier every day. The environment of constant care is having wonderful effects.

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained refined sugar-free. I exceeded my daily water goal. I stayed well connected with exceptional support contacts. And I rocked an awesome workout at the YMCA.

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

Friday, February 10, 2017

February 10th, 2017 Muscle Issue

February 10th, 2017 Muscle Issue

I've had a neck/back muscle issue going on. It's really hard to turn my head to the right. I'm alternating heat and cold packs, tonight--and basically taking it easy. It started yesterday. I just knew it would be gone today, but it wasn't--it was worse. I took some medicine after work and made it to bed for some rest. It's a little better tonight. The heat/cold thing seems to be helping.

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

Headed to bed and hoping this improves overnight.

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

Thursday, February 9, 2017

February 9th, 2017 Mental Permission

February 9th, 2017 Mental Permission

Weigh-Day has always been an event for me. I don't own a scale and I like it that way. If I owned one, I'd likely be on it way too often. If I weighed too much, I might start making decisions based on the natural fluctuation of the scale--and just as the scale can be wonky, these scale based actions would be wonky too. Instead of chasing the scale, I'm choosing to bring that energy into my daily plan. Because if I continue doing that, the scale will take care of itself. Does that make sense?

The weigh-day event requires a special trip to my doctor's office where I can weigh on the same scale, every time. I hadn't weighed since December 14th when I checked in at 205.0 -a maintenance weigh-in with a minuscule two-tenths of a pound gain. Almost two months between weigh-ins isn't ideal for me--so I've decided I'll weigh once a month. Every four weeks is better.  Today the gain was a little more.


I'd love to say that a 2.2 pound gain doesn't bother me in the slightest. I mean really, it's still within a nice range. But it did, a little. I think mainly because I've created so many reasons to feel bad about my inconsistent (and sometimes non-existent) workout schedule--especially over the last couple months--and anything that I feel isn't up to my best effort, like sleep schedule and time management skills, eating too late--and maybe, just maybe, it's time to admit their effects on me. Tight maintenance weigh-ins over the last year have given me mental permission to remain in denial about those things that seem to challenge me. A 2.2 pound gain over the last two months certainly isn't the end of the world--and I'm not making it bigger than it needs to be-- I'm simply saying, maybe it's just enough to encourage me in a more productive direction with these other elements. 

I've got to reel it in. Are there improvements to be made? Yes. Am I working on those things? Of course. Is maintenance mode going really well? YES! I suppose it's fairly normal, at least for me-- to feel the twinge of "gain-pain." But when I lay it all out on the table for inventory purposes, I must acknowledge all the good--all the consistency--and the very blessed position I'm in and have been in for awhile. I'm grateful. I love being here. 

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained refined sugar-free. I met my daily water goal. I stayed well connected with amazing support. And I enjoyed a combination stair-master/elliptical workout at the YMCA.

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

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

February 8th, 2017 Slightly Quirky

February 8th, 2017 Slightly Quirky

I'm completely out of time tonight! Mom is up and running again on Facebook. I helped her tonight with her laptop. She hasn't been on since September.

My food day was on target, on plan and feels great. Although, today was supposed to be my maintenance weigh-in day--and I remembered after breakfast. I don't like weighing after a big meal. I don't own a scale and haven't throughout this entire 8-plus year experience. Weigh day is done at the doctor's office, every time. And since they're not open until later in the morning, I wait until after my radio show. And I wait to eat a meal until after weigh-in. It might sound silly, but that's okay. It's what works for me--and it's worked well. Oh, I also take my shoes off. You too? As much as I'm a firm believer in NOT giving the scale so much power and control, I'm still slightly quirky and very much into a routine each weigh day. 

I prepared a very enjoyable dinner this evening. My goodness, It was nice--I'll spare you most of the details--but it included baked cinnamon apple. It was like dessert on my plate. If you are interested in food pics, descriptions, and calorie counts, you're welcome to follow my Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/SeanAAnderson You don't need a Twitter account to scroll through the tweets. And you can also find them along the left-hand sidebar of this blog on the web version. If you do check out the Twitter feed, keep in mind--my meals reflect my larger maintenance calorie budget. As with most any meal I prepare, it's always very easily adjustable. But then again--the Twitter feed isn't meant to be anything but an accountability tool for me. And it is-- very well for almost three straight years. I'm rather proud of that streak, actually. I recently spoke with a very close support friend and someone I consider an advisor in every sense of the word, who suggested the Twitter feed may not be something I need to do forever. And they're right, I'm certain. But I don't see stopping it in the near future. For now, it works well.

I didn't manage my day very well. I napped this afternoon--and those are really starting to hamper some progress in other areas. It has a direct effect on a few things. Some good, some not so good. I don't have time to get into it tonight--but I will say, I've certainly given this plenty of focus and attention of late-- and I'm making some thought connections I wasn't before, and that's good. I'm evolving. Smiley face. That never stops.

The next episode of Transformation Planet features Nathaniel. He's starting his transformation from the very beginning, inviting us along every step of the way. Episode 10 will be titled "Meet Nathaniel," then future episodes will include short updates ahead of the regularly scheduled interviews. He's excited and off to a wonderful start. I'm excited for him. He's doing some amazing work.












Recording a recent in-studio update with Nathaniel for Transformation Planet.


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.

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

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

February 7th, 2017 Attraction Of Old Reactions

February 7th, 2017 Attraction Of Old Reactions

Tuesday's are typically one of my busy days of the week. Keep in mind, my version of "busy" is heavily influenced, defined really, by the schedule I keep--and more specifically, the missteps I make within the schedule. There are ways where I can clearly see how a "busy" day for me can be transformed into a "not so busy" day, simply with a few key changes.

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.

Sharing an excerpt tonight. I spoke with a friend who's had a fairly rough day and they're holding tight to their plan despite the attraction of old reactions. It's not always easy to change decades-old behavior patterns--in fact, I'd venture to say it's never easy. But it is possible. In my experience, the change first occurred in my perspective. I spent years asking myself, "why can't you just get this???" I was trying to jump straight to the desired change without changing my perspective.

It's a study in compartmentalizing things.

Previously published excerpt:

The Parallel Streams

The "Life Stream" is everything happening in our day to day lives. The Life Stream includes the ups and downs, the challenges, the victories, the disappointments, The hectic schedules, the family dynamics, the workplace dynamics, the bills, the stress, the joys, the blessings, the expected and the unexpected, the good, the bad...It's life.

The "Fundamental Elements Stream" contain the daily actions of my personal plan. I say "my" because our plans might be very different. Mine is customized to fit my personality, likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses and sensitivities.

My fundamental elements stream includes my personal/spiritual morning "me time," the most peaceful five minutes of my entire day. My fundamental elements stream also includes maintaining the integrity of my calorie budget, remaining abstinent from refined sugar, logging everything in MyFitnessPal, photographing and tweeting, with description and calorie counts of everything I consume, every day, getting regular workouts and staying connected with one on one and group support interactions and of course, writing and publishing this blog, nightly--right before bed.

I've also referred to my fundamental elements as my "rails of support." I've set my accountability and support measures on high. When someone makes a comment in the direction of, "you're so strong" or "you must have amazing will power," I typically thank them and smile, but I know, truly, I'm not that strong and I don't have giant amounts of will power. What I have are solid rails of accountability and support--and I'm holding onto those rails, each day. They guide me, step by step.

The fundamental elements stream runs parallel, just below the life stream. The life stream is running in the foreground and the fundamental elements stream is running in the background--like a computer's anti-virus program.

I've written countless paragraphs within the archives of this blog all about the "life stream" and the "fundamental elements stream" and how they must run parallel to one another without crossing.

If we allow life and all of the energy it takes to maneuver, to negatively affect our ability to maintain consistency in the daily elements of our extraordinary care, then it always will. The frustration of inconsistency will be a common theme if the life stream is allowed to dip down into the fundamental elements stream on a regular basis.

And if we get too carried away, making the fundamental elements all consuming, then we run the risk of it crossing up into our life stream. And that's when it isn't any fun and we dread what we're doing every day.

I've had several challenges of late where I really had to remember the power of this "parallel streams" philosophy. I've discovered, when life demands more attention, we don't have to let go of the elements giving us our success, but we can scale back the amount of energy it uses to operate.

We don't sacrifice the integrity of the elements, we just do what we can do. For me--on super busy days, I have three non-negotiable requirements: 1. Stay within my calorie budget  2. Hold my abstinence from sugar sacred 3. Send the accountability tweets and write this blog--even if it's just the tweets of the day. 

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

Monday, February 6, 2017

February 6th, 2017 Say Goodbye

February 6th, 2017 Say Goodbye

It was a short day at work, just six hours before I left at noon to do my little TV show for the school system's cable channel. I picked up mom immediately after for a trip 43 miles south to Stillwater for a funeral. Cousin Alice was actually my grandma's cousin, but she remained close to many of us over the years, especially the last two decades. Alice was the family member holding my mom's hand in the delivery room during my birth.

I had a chance to see Alice's sister, Dorothy, too! Dorothy is a delight. She's also in her 90's and sharp as a tack. She grabbed my arm, smiled and gave me a kiss on the cheek before launching into what amounted to a glowing book review of Transformation Road. I remember her requesting a copy three or four years ago--but honestly, I forgot she had one. I was surprised and truly honored by her generous gift of words. As we were leaving, I found her to say goodbye one last time. I walked away feeling like I might not get a chance to see her again. I mean, I sincerely hope she lives to 110, but anyway- I do hope I get to see her again. I'd love to make the time to hear her story and her ninety-something years of wisdom.

Mom and I didn't go to the family dinner or the post-funeral graveside ceremony. We had to get back home. The trip was a nice opportunity to visit with mom, just the two of us.

I'll admit, I didn't plan my lunch well. I simply ran out of time. I had to leave the studio at 11:50am--and the plan of making lunch about 11:15am was preempted by urgent production. It turned out okay. I have a plan B always ready--a quick stop on the way out of town for almonds, cheese, and fruit, and I was good to go.

I enjoyed a fantastic group support call tonight. And by the way--the next session starts February 27th! If you're interested in joining our dynamic weight loss accountability and support team, look for details in the next few days, right here on this blog and on my Facebook page.

I prepared a great dinner, completed a nice "gymless" workout (up and down stairs for 15 minutes-30 push-ups, 30 squats, and two 30 second planks) and answered a couple emails.

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 great support!  

If you haven't listened to the latest episode of Transformation Planet, here's a clickable player:

Episode description: Winifred Morice's career in the world of nutrition can be traced back to her upbringing on a completely sustainable homestead in New Zealand. Her nutritional expertise helped shape Weight Watchers and eventually led to working with Richard Simmons, first on a cookbook, then on the development of the wildly successful Deal-A-Meal. Along the way, she hosted her own TV cooking show, and worked alongside Dinah Shore, Suzanne Somers and many others. Her no-nonsense, simplistic nutritional philosophy is something she communicates in easy to understand terms. In this episode of Transformation Planet, Winifred shares the details of her fascinating career, life, and takes some time to offer her best advice to anyone preparing their personal food plan.

All episodes of Transformation Planet can be found in iTunes, Google Play and wherever you find your favorite podcasts! Please subscribe!

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

Sunday, February 5, 2017

February 5th, 2017 The Comeback

February 5th, 2017 The Comeback

What a game!! My goodness--I couldn't believe the comeback! It made for a late night, but it was a lot of fun. Mom joined me and a friend of mine in the party room of Ground Round for dinner and Super Bowl watching--and we had the whole room to ourselves--six big TV's!

I planned my food well for this event. I had a late brunch because I slept in nicely--so I waited for the game to eat what would have been lunch calories--instead, it was game food calories, chips and salsa and plain roasted/grilled chicken wings. We ordered dinner in the second half. Some baked cod prepared by my special request (simply baked-so sauce, no crumbs, with salt&pepper), sweet potato fries, and cottage cheese rounded out the food portion of our Super Bowl experience.

I finally made it back on the elliptical tonight. The machine kept malfunctioning, going blank--and starting over, so that was frustrating. I kept taking it back to level 20--and simply watched the clock. After being off it for awhile, 20 minutes was enough. I can certainly tell I'm out of practice!!

Transformation Planet Episode 9 featuring Winifred Morice is now available wherever you get your favorite podcasts. I hope you'll subscribe in iTunes for Apple or Google Play if you use android. When you subscribe, new episodes automatically download upon release! Thank you for listening! Below, you'll find a convenient Podbean player for this post--simply press play and enjoy! Winifred was a pure joy.




Winifred Morice's career in the world of nutrition can be traced back to her upbringing on a completely sustainable homestead in New Zealand. Her nutritional expertise helped shape Weight Watchers and eventually led to working with Richard Simmons, first on a cookbook, then on the development of the wildly successful Deal-A-Meal. Along the way, she hosted her own TV cooking show, and worked alongside Dinah Shore, Suzanne Somers and many others. Her no-nonsense, simplistic nutritional philosophy is something she communicates in easy to understand terms. In this episode of Transformation Planet, Winifred shares the details of her fascinating career, life, and takes some time to offer her best advice to anyone preparing their personal food plan.

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained refined sugar-free. I exceeded my daily water goal. I stayed well connected with great support. And I had a solid 20 minutes on the elliptical. I'm calling it a great day!

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

Saturday, February 4, 2017

February 4th, 2017 Never Tried

February 4th, 2017 Never Tried

I did a location broadcast from a grocery store's "massive meat sale" today--and it was a big success. Top sirloin for $3.58 a pound made its way into my cart. I'm a bargain hunter at the grocery store. I used some of the top sirloin for kabobs tonight and if my math is right, the entire meal cost, produce and everything, was right at about $2.25. If you follow my Twitter, you know I've enjoyed avocado a lot lately--at 39 and 44 cents each, it's just too good of a deal to pass up. And I love avocado!

I can remember saying "I can't afford to eat well," and after making it a priority in my life, I realize it was complete nonsense. I suppose when you're spending upwards of $10 to sometimes $20 a day on fast food (like I did at one time) any justification works. How would I have known anyway?? I never tried to eat well in my 500 pound days. All I know is, today, I rarely prepare a meal that exceeds three or four bucks--and it's most usually less than three. I'll occasionally splurge on something really special--but even then, it cost less than my old favorite combo meal in the drive-through.

Family came up from Stillwater to visit with mom today. We all gathered for a visit and meal out at mom's favorite place to eat around here. My food schedule today didn't mesh with the time well--so I enjoyed something small as a holdover until dinner at home--and I simply enjoyed the visit. Mom has transitioned from skilled to long term care, so now she can come and go as she pleases. That's exciting for her!

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained refined sugar-free. I exceeded my daily water goal. And I maintained excellent support communications.

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

Friday, February 3, 2017

February 3rd, 2017 It Doesn't Exist

February 3rd, 2017 It Doesn't Exist

Today was interesting. I had a midday location broadcast, production work this afternoon and I Dj'd a sock hop at a catholic school tonight. In between these events, I picked up sound equipment and made sure my needed music was in order. It was a full day. I navigated my food fairly well, even though it meant a late lunch and late dinner. I declined an offer of pizza during my midday broadcast. That's not so unusual for me, but what was different is, I didn't provide an explanation. Just, "No, thank you." 

This week has challenged me in a variety of ways. When hours get long, certain things get shortchanged. I know this. And it's not a good thing. I do think it's important to minimize or better, simplify as best we can when things get hectic--but after awhile, I think we must ask ourselves--is this a pattern? What is it about what I'm doing or not doing that's constantly compromising five-star care? Two or three-star care is still extraordinary, but it's not the best. And don't we deserve the best? And let's not confuse "best" with "perfect," perfection is a myth--it doesn't exist. But giving our best does exist. And the definition of "best" changes along the way, sure--

I'm just saying, a few special circumstances take place--okay, we do the best we can--simplify and make it through--- but if a few circumstances become the norm, then it's no longer a special circumstance, it's a constant circumstance. And for me--I must acknowledge my role in the pattern and do something about it--rather than constantly parading--then forgiving--only to do the same thing the next day.

I do have a knack for maintaining the integrity of my food plan each day, no matter the circumstance. I lean on accountability and support to help me through with my food. I can't say that for my exercise schedule or my special projects schedule (podcast). If you just mouthed the words, "what exercise schedule?" and/or "You have a podcast?" I deserved it--absolutely. And it's only a couple of several things that's suffering from the patterns I've created.

And yes--I've been sick--and I'm considering that--but these patterns started developing long before I fell ill.

Anyway--I'm not beating myself up in this post-- I'm simply expressing some things I most usually ignore. Willful ignorance isn't acceptable. It's a sibling of dishonesty--and that's a first cousin to denial--yeah--they all hang out together.

I maintained my maintenance calorie budget today. I remained refined sugar-free. I exceeded my daily water goal. And I stayed well connected with great support!

Oh, by the way-- I forgot to get in two more cups water last night, which meant I didn't meet my water goal yesterday. I've only done that five or six times in almost three years--so I'm not going to make it a giant issue.

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

Thursday, February 2, 2017

February 2nd, 2017 Underrated

February 2nd, 2017 Underrated

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.    

I enjoyed some wonderful support conversations today and tonight with great people who are in "the same lifeboat," as Dr. Lerner says. The power of community--of support, of understanding--relating to one another--it is just... beautiful, it really is something special.

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 super support. It was a great day.

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

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February 1st, 2017 Prepared

February 1st, 2017 Prepared

What made today work was making sure I was prepared. I knew it would be a long day--but I really underestimated how long. I had what I needed along the way.

I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained refined sugar-free. I'll drink another water before bed in order to hit water goal. And I stayed well connected with support.

This was one of those days where the absolute minimum requirements of my plan were all I needed.

I'm exhausted--and headed to bed early.

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





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