Friday, March 24, 2017

March 24th, 2017 Not Lost On Me

March 24th, 2017 Not Lost On Me

The stress level has been set to the high position. We're changing software and hardware at the studios--and we're going on-line with it as early as Sunday evening. The goal is for the listener not to really notice the switch--it's behind the scenes stuff, but believe me, it takes a bunch of work on the entire team. I suppose I'm not feeling as confident as I need to feel with these challenges. We have great support direct from the manufacturer--they're actually in-studio with us, to help--and full support for the software on the phone, anytime--so, now it's up to me to alleviate my stress by asking lots and lots of questions and paying close attention to the answers. Learning new things can be stressful if I try to figure it out on my own. Good thing we don't have to figure it all out on our own. The parallels between this and other very important things in my life are not lost on me.

I'll be spending a number of hours working on the transition at the studio this weekend.

Today was another long and involved day. Aside from the morning show and normal production responsibilities, I worked a four hour/two station location broadcast until 5pm. I ran a few errands afterward--and by the time I made it home, a nap was in order. I was simply spent. My voice was wrecked from thirty-two approximately 3 minutes each on-air breaks.

Dinner was late--and it was okay by me. I typically don't go this long between meals, like I did between lunch and dinner because it isn't necessarily a good thing for my food plan. Part of the plan is keeping a somewhat consistent schedule and steady pacing. Today was an exception, not a rule.

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded today's water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support, including a very nice conversation tonight.

Oh--and about the stress-- For me, when it combines with tiredness, that's when I'm most vulnerable. In fact--it was just the other day when, after a prayer and some holy moly, I'm feeling super unstable feelings--I called Gerri in the middle of these tilted food thoughts--and after a few minutes of speaking, I was okay--and I could carry on, on-plan. But yes--of course those thoughts come. The difference is, I'm not relying solely on me to resist the temptation of those wonky thoughts that do their best to convince me a binge might alleviate the stress or somehow fix my tiredness. If I tried to rely 100% on me, I'd be 500 pounds or more right now because I don't have willpower. It isn't willpower that keeps me well, I assure you.

A binge never alleviated stress in my life. A binge might have distracted me from many stressful situations for as long as it took to plow through the food, but the stress was always waiting for after the last bite. And a binge never rejuvenated or restored me to a well-rested state.  

Today's Accountability Tweets:






























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

Thursday, March 23, 2017

March 23rd, 2017 Reframe It

March 23rd, 2017 Reframe It

Today was a long one. It's days like today when I must have a plan in place. Actually--check that, I must have a plan in place each and every day--but especially when the schedule is challenging. I did have a plan and I followed it well.

I had the pleasure and benefit of some powerful support interactions, too. The direction of the support exchange doesn't matter, both parties benefit every single time. It sure helped me today. If you ever entertain the thought "I don't want to reach out for support because I don't want to bother anyone," try your best to reframe it.

For one, please don't assume what the other person is doing on the receiving end. And don't take it personally if the reply is delayed. The most powerful part of a support call or text--happens when the message is sent. The act of sharing with another human exactly where you are at any particular moment changes things. Suddenly, those wild thoughts don't live exclusively in your head. 

But the biggest reframe in my opinion: When you reach for support, you're giving the receiver an opportunity to help someone--and in that, you're essentially extending a feel-good gift, because who doesn't feel great when they're able to help someone? Not reaching out for support denies them the opportunity to help.  

Mom's doctor appointment went well. It was her last appointment with her primary care doctor of 20 years. She's switched to a new doctor who's in charge where she lives. We didn't get back until almost 9pm--and we were surprised to see her new doctor making rounds. He stopped by to check on mom and we were able to give him the details of today's visit.

We dined out at one of our old favorites tonight. And mom was able to do some clothes shopping.

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 wonderful support.

Today's Accountability Tweets:




























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

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

March 22nd, 2017 What I've Been Told And Shown

March 22nd, 2017 What I've Been Told And Shown

Running into people whom I haven't seen in years, is sometimes fun. This happened (again) today. After giving me one look, "You're still doing well on your diet" fell out of her mouth accompanied by a surprised expression. I didn't explain anything. I simply said "yes, every day." 

I cringe a little at the word "diet"--because, I'm not on a diet--and haven't been. See this recent blog post for a more in-depth explanation of that one. But I get it and it's fine. This happens quite a bit actually--these interactions, recently in fact--the whole "You're still skinny" thing. Anyone can call it anything they like, because I know what it's been.

It's been a miracle.

Most people don't make it back. I'm here. And considering where I was and how quickly I got back there...yeah, it's an absolute miracle for me to be here, now. I give thanks for this blessing each day, right before I start doing what I've been told and shown works, by others who've traveled this road long before me.  

I don't know it all. I don't have all the answers for anybody, including me. But I can learn and I can watch and I can study what others do and I can stop talking long enough to listen and I can read between the lines and I can be honest with myself long enough to function in reality instead of some alternate perception created in my own head for the specific purpose of releasing me from the responsibility of taking extraordinary care of me. And somehow, this miraculous thing gets done, one day at a time--it gets done.  It's not impossible for me.

It's not impossible for you.

I can do this.

You can do this.

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, remained refined sugar-free, exceeded my daily water goal, stayed closely connected to awesome support, and enjoyed a great workout at the YMCA. It was a good day.

I visited with mom this evening before my Y trip. She's doing better as indicated by a few things, namely her blood oxygen reading after forgetting to put the oxygen tube back on after a restroom trip. Thirty minutes later and she was still in the mid 90's. I'll pick up mom tomorrow afternoon, right after work, for a trip to her doctor in Stillwater. It'll likely be her last visit with her primary care doc there--considering she has a new doctor here. She's looking forward to getting out and about!

Today's Accountability Tweets:










































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

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

March 21st, 2017 Same Thing

March 21st, 2017 Same Thing

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 woke with a horrible pain in the neck. I slept on it wrong, stress, who knows?? I limped through my show and immediately left right after, made it back home to apply heat and take ibuprofen. This happened a few weeks ago--or maybe a month or so...same thing, same place--same pain. I did feel better by noon, just in time to get back to work and get some things done.

I reached for some key support today. Reaching out for support is just as important to me as maintaining the integrity of my food plan. It's a daily thing.

I'm feeling much better tonight. The neck isn't hurting--I've had a good food day, a fantastic support day, and I have what I need for a good tomorrow.

Today's Accountability Tweets:


























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

Monday, March 20, 2017

March 20th, 2017 On Missing Richard Simmons

March 20th, 2017 On Missing Richard Simmons

It was probably during the summertime, must have been, because I remember watching The Richard Simmons Show with mom every time it was on. Mom was in her mid 30's and in the process of losing 100 pounds--and she worked out with Richard's show. I might have jumped in a time or two, but honestly, I don't remember. What I do remember is being absolutely touched by someone so sensitive, compassionate, empathetic, and loving. There was a genuineness about Richard that reached through our television set and made an impact on me. A very important impact.

When he called me in June of 2009--it was surreal. We talked for twelve and a half minutes. It was the greatest thing. He was simply encouraging me. And although I was one of probably fifty calls like that for him on that day--he gave his time and asked questions, and I'll never forget the experience.

I've always had a profound admiration for Richard--someone who's truly devoted his entire life to spreading hope, inspiration, and smiles--plenty of smiles!!

We only spoke once and exchanged five or six emails over the years, the most recent, right before he withdrew from the spotlight. It was right before I started my turnaround from relapse/regain. I explained where I found myself--and he replied, in signature fashion:

I AM VERY VERY PROUD OF YOU..................WE ARE ALL HUMAN SEAN.............JUST ENCOURAGE OTHER ....FROM YOUR HEART................
LOVE,
RICHARD

I just finished the podcast phenomenon known as Missing Richard Simmons. It's a six-episode series--and it's available wherever you find your favorite podcasts. It immediately shot to number 1 on the podcast charts. Filmmaker Dan Taberski presents an in-depth quest to find out why Richard just walked away--from everything and everyone, except a few people.

Kathleen Miles, my partner in Sean and Kathleen's Weight Loss Support Groups, is featured regularly on Missing Richard Simmons. Kathleen was very close with Richard, even worked alongside him during TV appearances and on infomercials.

There were times throughout the listening experience--I didn't like what I was hearing. But ultimately, Dan Taberski brought it home--brought it down to what matters most...and without being a spoiler to anyone who hasn't listened, I'll just say-- it wasn't how I thought this podcast series would end, but I felt better about it all, somehow.

And this is coming from me--someone who never met Richard face to face---and I still feel a sense of loss. That's how Richard touched people--all over the world. There are thousands and thousands of people like me who felt some kind of special connection despite never meeting Richard. I can't imagine how it must be for Dan, Kathleen--and so many others who knew him personally and became close.

I typically don't cry when someone I didn't know personally passes--(okay-I did with John Candy and Johnny Carson) and Richard is alive--very much, and I hope Richard has another thirty years--but when it comes, if I'm still here--I know I'll shed a tear.

There will never be another Richard Simmons. He was the epitome of "one of a kind." 

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 worked out at the YMCA tonight.

It was good--

I'll go for another one like today, tomorrow.

Letting the Tweets take it the rest of the way...

Today's Accountability Tweets:








































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

Sunday, March 19, 2017

March 19th, 2017 These Things

March 19th, 2017 These Things

I slept in very well today. That can be a tricky thing, especially on a Sunday, because the day gets tilted--meaning, everything happens a little later than it should. But it happened. And I'm here--and doing okay with my food.

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

I have so many things to be grateful for--and when I start feeling down, I've got to remember these things.

Today's Accountability Tweets:


























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

Saturday, March 18, 2017

March 18th, 2017 What I Do

March 18th, 2017 What I Do

Today was well balanced. I made time for important things-- a visit with mom, a good workout, coffee, a nice dinner and wonderful conversation with my oldest daughter, and plenty of good support contacts. I enjoyed 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 solid support, and I rocked my workout.

Have you ever fantasized about fronting an 80's cover band? Uh--okay, maybe just me. I was really getting into my workout music!

From the archives:

Only two people have ever witnessed my raw, emotional reaction when I receive an email or facebook message from someone sharing their story with me. Nothing reduces me to tears faster than reading some of the most sincere, empowering words from someone who is finding their inner strength to choose change. When I tell someone I'm overjoyed for them, I mean it. 
I suppose it's very hard for some to grasp. 

This blog started as a tool for me, for my benefit. I started it to keep me focused and true to myself with the added accountability factor of a publicly shared journal. This blog was a way for me to dissect, analyze and unravel the inner mysteries keeping me over 500 pounds for so many years. Very few people followed along, reading each post, before AOL ran a feature story on their home page. Then things started changing. I started connecting with more and more people and I started realizing how this wasn't just helping me, it was helping others. Did I get caught up in the commotion of it all? Perhaps. But nothing brings me back home to the most raw, emotional place--like reading someone else's story of liberation.

I write this blog for me. It must be for me, first and foremost. If it wasn't, then I would have continued a song and dance during the darkest periods of regain. Instead, I retreated from what was best for me in many different ways. Some say it would have been helpful to read the "off the rails" version of things...And I get that, but again--where I was wasn't a place inspiring me to write anything helpful to me or anyone else, really. Coming back and sharing about where I've been and where I want to go, is as good as I can do. 

Occasionally, I might write a piece as if I were in the middle of the fall--kind of a time traveling concept...might be fun and therapeutic for me.  But maybe not. I mean really, could be kind of scary. 

I also don't do this for money. Yes, I would very much enjoy doing what I do for a living and there isn't anything wrong with that at all. But to this point, the relatively small financial reward hasn't been a big component of what I do (Just ask my creditors!). 

The last sentence of my Day 1 entry still holds true, "I believe it will help me stay on track and maybe along the way it will inspire someone else to stay on track."  Pretty simple.

That's what it's all about. I don't do what I do for attention, for love, to feel important or any other slightly bent off-center motivation. I do it for me, to help me and when what I do in helping myself affects someone else in a positive way, it's the most wonderful bonus of all. 

I am loved. I am important. And those facts were true long before The Daily Diary of A Winning Loser or Transformation Road came along.  

There's still plenty of road ahead. And I'm honored you're choosing to ride along. Thank you.

Jon in Wisconsin is someone who's story completely moved me. He's blogging now on Spark People, so if you have a Spark People account, I highly recommend connecting with him. His Spark People ID: WEWRTFO 
He recently wrote a blog entry about how we came to know one another. Here's an excerpt:

------------

Back in February of 2012 I stumbled upon his book on Amazon, at the time I did not know Sean. I found the reading of the book absolutely riveting and powerful. Being similar weight, height and body type the motivation from his book hit me like a home run. At the time I was a very private person and not one willing to discuss my own weight issues with others. 

I took at chance and emailed Sean hoping for a response. Here are some quotes from my original email. 

( " thank you for help me grasp, come to terms with what I need to do, have been wanting to do, have been putting off the past 20 years.") ("Yeah, definitely over ready almost as if your book was written for me. The mental aspect part of it and being accountable for my own actions.") ("Perhaps what sticking most in my mind is I see a mirror image of myself reading your book.") 

I was very excited having Sean respond. Here is some very powerful quotes I will never forget in the first email Sean sent me. 

("Okay--after reading your story--I must say, I can't wait to see your transformation!!! Jon--you're discovering something so wonderfully liberating....You have the key---and you're free now...The weight will come off without struggle when you exercise this power you have to choose change.") ("on--this is about getting to know yourself---and getting super self-honest with yourself. You have all of the answers already. Look in the mirror and realize---when you do---you're looking at the only person in the world that's gonna do this like no other--or fail...either way---in the mirror is the one responsible for the turnout....Nobody else--and nothing else....no person, place, thing, circumstance, emotion----Nope....)") 
"(Steel curtain zone it, Jon....Tighten your SCZ---and decide you're going to live like never before. Jon---YOU ARE GOING TO LIVE LIKE NEVER BEFORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ") 

Back in February of 2012 this was very powerful motivation, a man who truly cares about helping others with there own weight issues, and have stayed in touch with Sean ever since. If not for Sean, I would not be blogging or have created my Spark People page. Since February 2012 I often visit Sean's blog archive or read his newest post. Sometimes pick up his book or exchange emails. My one constant go to source that has enabled me to get to the point where I am at today. I encourage anybody who has not read Sean's book, please do so. Thank's Sean for being such a great friend and motivator! 

-----------

This is why I do what I do.

Someone who recently purchased one of my "I'm Choosing Change" adjustable leather bracelets
(I've since discontinued production of the bracelets) sent a very nice message describing her recent grocery store situation:

 "Today is two weeks since I started eating healthy again and exercising minimally, but have managed to lose  10lbs. At the store last night, for no good reason other than habit, I walked up to the ice cream section, opened the door and reached for my all time favorite non-narcotic drug of choice, but mid-reach, as I spotted my bracelet, I thought to ask myself if the calories and self- loathing to follow my treat will be worth it, and I imagined you and all of your supporters there with me in that moment, as I allowed the door to close. I continued to shop, without a battle raging in my head for and against the ice cream. It was like an out of body experience thinking of all the other people out there who say no too, and made it, in that moment, easier than it has ever been in my recent memory to walk away empty handed. 
Thanks Sean"

 Reading this also empowers me! Do you think I could possibly be in the frozen "treats" section of my local grocery store without remembering this message? No way. We've helped her. And she's helped us. 

 This is why I do what I do.

I'm grateful. I'm blessed. Today was great. And I'll do my best to make tomorrow the same.

Today's Accountability Tweets:








































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

Friday, March 17, 2017

March 17th, 2017 Take It Away

March 17th, 2017 Take It Away

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.

Exhausted tonight. Tweets, take it away!

Today's Accountability Tweets:


























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

Thursday, March 16, 2017

March 16th, 2017 It Works

March 16th, 2017 It Works

Mom was ready to go. I picked her up for her fast and easy outpatient test. After the procedure, we enjoyed lunch out. She's feeling relatively well compared to the last few weeks--and I'm so glad.

We dined at one of my favorite places, where the old stand-by order was ready to go. It's within my plan boundaries and delicious. It works and it rarely gets old.

I worked a little later in the afternoon--made it home, napped for a short time-- prepared dinner, visited mom and made a workout important! Stair climbing tonight. It's one of those workouts that starts easy, then works its way into a mess of sweat and heart rate--and not in that order. It was only 20 minutes, but I know I'll be feeling it tomorrow. My legs will not appreciate tomorrow morning's squats at 4:45am.

If you haven't discovered the big world of podcasting, please, let my show be your introduction! Look for Transformation Planet in iTunes, Google Play, or wherever you find podcasts.

In the spirit of the global podcast cooperative known as #trypod, here's a list of my favorite podcasts. I highly recommend any of these: Half Size Me, Stuff You Should Know, WTF With Marc Maron, Ted Radio Hour, NPR's Fresh AIR, NPR's Planet Money, How I Built This, and The Tony Robbins Podcast. Subscribing directly from your smart-phone is fast, easy, and free!

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 fantastic support, and I completed a good cardio workout. Good day. I'll try for the same, tomorrow.

Here's a clickable link to play the latest episode of Transformation Planet:
https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-mc62e-68b4e3
Episode 14 description: Michael Prager lost and regained the same 130 pounds, twice, before finding another way and ultimately losing 155 pounds. The perspective he's embraced for sustainable weight loss isn't all about weight. And it isn't even about dieting. Michael says the weight was A problem, but it wasn't THE problem. His was an approach challenging him to release what he thought he knew and to stop trying to figure it all out on his own. Michael is the author of two books, Fat Boy Thin Man and Sustainable You. He's also a certified health and wellness life coach and experienced public speaker. Find out more at MichaelPrager.com Also, we'll have a short update with my friend Nathaniel.

Today's Accountability Tweets:


































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

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March 15th, 2017 Transformation Planet-Episode 14

March 15th, 2017 Transformation Planet-Episode 14

Two back to back really long days. Not good for me in the rest department! Once again, I'll cut it short and hit the pillow.

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

Unless I can count my morning push-ups and squats and climbing about a dozen flights of stairs throughout my eleven hours at the studio today, I didn't get my intended workout at the gym. Sleep takes priority tonight.

I did stop by for a short visit with mom this evening. If you listen to the latest episode of Transformation Planet, you'll hear her voice when she called during post-production.

The latest episode of Transformation Planet is now available in iTunes, Google Play, and wherever you find your favorite podcasts. Please share it with your friends! #trypod Michael Prager has what I want! He's maintained a healthy body weight for twenty-five years--and he's my special guest on episode 14. Here's a clickable listen link:

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-mc62e-68b4e3
Episode 14 description: Michael Prager lost and regained the same 130 pounds, twice, before finding another way and ultimately losing 155 pounds. The perspective he's embraced for sustainable weight loss isn't all about weight. And it isn't even about dieting. Michael says the weight was A problem, but it wasn't THE problem. His was an approach challenging him to release what he thought he knew and to stop trying to figure it all out on his own. Michael is the author of two books, Fat Boy Thin Man and Sustainable You. He's also a certified health and wellness life coach and experienced public speaker. Find out more at MichaelPrager.com Also, we'll have a short update with my friend Nathaniel.

Today's Accountability Tweets:


























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





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