Sunday, May 20, 2018

May 20th, 2018 Eventful

May 20th, 2018 Eventful

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.

I made the trip to Wichita today to attend Cindy's daughter's high school graduation. It was a big graduation! I met her oldest son for the first time today. He's twenty-four and lives several states away. It was a very good experience all the way around. Now I can say I've met all of her children. She's met mine, too!

I got back in town for my Sunday evening visit with mom. We enjoyed dinner out at our favorite little Mexican place followed by a trip to Walmart. I'm home now and ready to drop in bed!

It's been an eventful weekend!

It's too late to share much else tonight. But once again, I do want to remind you of a special opportunity to join my new conference call support group! The new session starts Wednesday the 23rd. The early group call is full, but I have room in the late group call. Click the image below for more details and please contact me soon!




















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



Saturday, May 19, 2018

May 19th, 2018 Finally

May 19th, 2018 Finally

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.

Finally, it happened! Photobucket released the block on previously posted photos and actually came up with a reasonable plan. All photos 3rd party hosted by photobucket throughout the archives of this blog are now restored. Good deal! It was very upsetting when they suddenly removed the images and essentially demanded a ransom of several hundred dollars for their safe return. It was quite the storm across the internet when that happened. Now, a new management team is in place and I applaud them loudly for this reasonable resolution.

I've been activated for severe weather coverage four times in the last 25 hours. Three of those activations with Noah in tow. My goodness, he was getting tired of hanging out at the studio. I don't blame him. But we did have some good memory making times together. He absolutely loved Touch-A-Truck at the library this morning. I have some cute pictures of the event, our visit with Raegan, and more--but way too late to do it now. I'll post those tomorrow night.

One thing I did want to mention is my new conference call support group set for Wednesday nights. I'm facilitating these groups solo with backup when necessary by retired Life Coach Gerri Helms. The next session starts this Wednesday the 23rd. We have two one hour conference calls back to back. The first hour from 8-9pm Eastern is full. The second hour from 9:15pm-10:15pm Eastern has openings! Here's the information poster:



















It's a little blurry--I'll work on getting a higher resolution copy of this. If you have questions about this group, call or text: 580-491-2228 or send an email to: transformation.road@gmail.com

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

Friday, May 18, 2018

May 18th, 2018 Two Of Us

May 18th, 2018 Two Of Us

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.

Today was one of those days that wouldn't stop. To be fair, a day like this is really rare for me, so I'm not complaining. I left the house before 6am and didn't walk in the door until almost 11:30pm tonight--then turned back around after being home for literally five minutes to report back to work for severe weather coverage until after 1am. If Noah hadn't been super excited about spending the night with Po Po (that's me), I probably would have canceled our time together tonight after a 13.5-hour workday and instead, simply picked him up tomorrow--but no way, not after hearing how excited he was about the two of us spending time together. 

Noah and I enjoyed a good dinner together before visiting with grandma, making a store run for stuff he needs, and getting back to my place for the above mentioned five minutes. I took him to the studio with me and after he realized we weren't there to play on the microphones, he stayed quiet while I did on-air weather updates.

This little guy never tires, apparently. On the way home he asked if we could watch a movie. Uh, no.

Hitting the pillow, finally! We're visiting the library in the morning for the Touch-A-Truck event!! Fun!

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

Thursday, May 17, 2018

May 17th, 2018 Needed To Hear

May 17th, 2018 Needed To Hear

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.

This entire experience--and I mean all of it, has been and continues to be a blessing in my life. This blog has played a very important role for me over the last nearly ten years. Its primary purpose is to serve as an accountability tool, a place for me to express my thoughts, a place to bring my struggles, and a place to share my victories along the way. This blog helps keep me well. And the only time it didn't is when I stopped regularly posting during my relapse/regain period.

What quickly developed in these pages was something more, something bigger--a place where you can come, read, and find hope. It means the world to me when I get feedback from someone who's reading along or perhaps they've taken a dive into the archives and they've come up to send an email to let me know how it's affected them in a positive way. It just does my heart good to know that by way of sharing this experience, it has the potential to make a positive difference for someone else.

I'm incredibly grateful. I thank God for my daily practice, for this blog, and for the amazing people I keep close in my life.

I was feeling a little down this morning. It happens. Some of the contributing thoughts were, "am I doing enough?" or "Is what I do on this blog or my support group a positive thing?" or "How can I do better?"  

The first question I must ask myself: Am I okay with my personal plan practice? Yes. And that means a lot to me. That's the primary focus. I must be well before anything else.

Then, I had a wonderful conversation with a friend who not only expressed some wonderful ideas for me, she also expressed how what I do has value and what it means. I really needed to hear her words.

Then I checked my email while enjoying lunch and up pops an email from a reader in Rhode Island:

Hi Sean, just a note to say hello, and thank you for your continued daily blogging. Your blog is on my daily list and I truly appreciate your sharing your ups and also your challenges. Your Epiphany Day revisit was an honor to read, and I agree with you that no matter what your size, you are a great person to have on this planet! (smile)  It warms my heart when you post pictures of your family - the grandkids are so adorable and only getting cuter over time!  and I see the sincerity and warmth of the smiles on the faces of you with your adult family members.

Please, feel no need to respond to this message - I know from your blog your schedule is very busy and I really just wanted to express appreciation FOR YOU  and for all your work and your courage in sharing and let you know that you are making a real (and positive!) difference in the lives of other people. (more smiles)

Also, I wanted to mention that I listened to your recent podcast with Bryan Ganey and that was wonderful also!  It was cute how your Mom was on in the beginning, asking when the Bryan Ganey interview would start!  thank you again.

Best regards,
Sandra (in Rhode Island)

Thank you so much, Sandra.

I feel incredibly blessed and grateful. I'll keep doing what I do around here. There's nothing more rewarding than feeling like I can make a difference for someone else simply by sharing my experience and story. And by doing that, It helps keep me well, too.



















Today's featured Tweet:


Cindy came into town this evening for a visit. We enjoyed dinner together before a quick store run and a trip to visit with mom. It was very nice!

After getting to bed too late last night, I plan on getting a little more rest tonight!

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

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

May 16th, 2018 Sure I Did

May 16th, 2018 Sure I Did

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.

Oh, I knew it all. Sure I did. I somehow knew it all, yet still remained a 500-pound man for years.

Opening my mind and allowing a closer internal study and embracing a fresh new perspective wasn't easy for stubborn old me.

But after allowing this refreshing shift, I clearly realized how I held myself back for years. I wanted the outer changes but I was unwilling to change the inside and quite honestly, I was unwilling to do the work.

Changing the mindset—shifting the perspective---and giving myself permission to simplify the process allowed me to focus my energies on my internal wiring. This internal focus was the missing link in past attempts. I still don't know it all, never will and that's a good thing. Because if I did, I'd be stunting my own growth...again.

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

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

May 15th, 2018 I Am Me-Epiphany Day Revisited

May 15th, 2018 I Am Me-Epiphany Day Revisited

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.

After the short night of sleep because of the late night weather coverage at the studio, today was challenging! When I'm super-tired like that I'm most vulnerable. It took staying connected with support, planning my food well, and getting home for a good nap before my evening activities.

I was refreshed and ready for a good night on a group support call and one on one support session. I made a quick trip to see mom tonight before heading home for my favorite sour cream chicken tacos!

Today is the 4th anniversary of what I refer to as my epiphany day. That day was very special to me. No other epiphany along this road has resonated as deeply and fully as the one I experienced that day. I can go back and look at the analytics of these individual blog postings, all 2,300 of them, and May 15th, 2014 is nowhere near the most popular page. It wouldn't even be in the top 50, yet, to me--it's one of the most important days I've experienced in the last nearly ten years.

Let's hop in the DDWL Time Machine and go back to May 15th, 2014. I was a few weeks into my turnaround from relapse/regain when this was written:

I failed to mention my brush with law enforcement last evening.  I was in too much of a hurry to get to the YMCA. I was in a 40 mph zone and when it switched to a 30 mph zone, I kept going 37 mph. The officer asked for my license and insurance verification and much to my surprise, both had expired 04/30/2014.  I had insurance, of course, I just didn't have a current verification. I received a warning for the speeding and two citations for the other offenses. The officer told me to present proof of both, and the tickets would be dismissed. This meant two stops this morning, one to the insurance office and one to the tag agency where they issue the new driver's license. Both citations were dismissed.

I have the last three licenses and each picture shows a different stage of my transformation. The last was taken at 258 pounds. It was the first time my license reflected the truth about my weight.  The weights on my licenses have always shown a number between 50 and 108 pounds less than reality.  But not the last one--and I was so proud of that license because of what it represented. I was proud and confident in it and the weight displayed was accurate for a change. I didn't want to part with it today.  Luckily, I didn't have to. The new photo shows my considerable weight gain and since I unintentionally forgot to remind them--they left the weight as 258.  Oh well. As I once again achieve an optimal healthy weight, I'll have it redone to reflect the changes.

The more I thought about all of the energy I was giving this new license thing, specifically the required photo, the more I started thinking on a deeper level.

I felt a slight twinge of shame, regret, and embarrassment at the tag office today. It's lessened considerably since getting firmly back on track. But it's still there.

Then, I had an epiphany on the way to the YMCA tonight.

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

And then I started thinking about the differences between how I felt about me at 505 and how I felt at 230 and that's when I experienced a breakthrough in my thinking.

At that moment I imagined the scales of justice. On one side was my love for the non-physical parts (my mind, my sense of humor, my talents, my heart, my natural compassion for others, my ability to communicate, etc.) and the other side of the scale was my love for things physical about me.

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

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

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

Throughout my entire life, I've largely ignored the important things that make me who I am.

My most intense focus was either hating the way I looked or loving the way I looked.

With this narrow-minded perspective, the only source of identity and self-worth remaining relied almost exclusively on my appearance.

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

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

And then I realized: This is what they mean when they say you must love yourself first before you can fully experience and appreciate the love and richness of life.

If I was confused before, it was very clear now. I'm a great person worthy of love regardless of my size and appearance. I have my mind, sense of humor, talents, a big heart, loads of compassion for others and so very much more. And none of it is diminished with weight gain or increased with weight loss. 

I am me, always.

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

All of this was processed over a ten minute period as I drove to my workout tonight, as if by divine placement in my brain, an answer to my unspoken, silent plea, why do I feel this way??

I walked into the YMCA tonight with a confidence I haven't felt in a very long time. I climbed aboard the orange trimmed elliptical and proceeded to have my best personal workout, possibly ever. My stride was longer. Within the mechanics of the machine, I was sprinting. And this energy never subsided. Last night I stopped ten minutes earlier than planned. Tonight, I could have easily done another twenty.
-------------------
If you didn't know before, now you know why May 15th will always be a red letter day for me.

I better hit the pillow.

Sincerely, thank you for reading along all these years,
Strength,
Sean

Monday, May 14, 2018

May 14th, 2018 Something

May 14th, 2018 Something

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.

Just got back home from doing weather coverage all night. I'll keep tonight's edition real short.

I ended up preparing a late dinner at the studio. I didn't really want an egg and cheese sandwich or tostadas--and those were my options at work tonight, but I was tired and hungry, so an egg and cheese sandwich on toasted ezekiel bread and a cup of coffee did the trick. It wasn't a big deal! I'm glad I was prepared with something!

It's almost 12:30am...alarm comes early--4:30am, I better drop!

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

Sunday, May 13, 2018

May 13th, 2018 Not Sure Why

May 13th, 2018 Not Sure Why

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.

I'm still taking pictures of every meal. I'm not sure why. It became such an automatic accountability maneuver to snap it and post it on Twitter--and I don't do that anymore. I don't know, maybe I depended on that accountability tool for so long, still holding on to part of it feels safe...or maybe "safe" isn't the right word. I don't know, I'm tired. I do know that. I'm super-tired.

I'll make this a quick one.

Mom and I traveled to our hometown of Stillwater to enjoy a Mother's Day lunch (I had chicken tacos--I know, big surprise, right? And I still love 'em!) We also had a good visit with family. Mom has been wanting to make that trip for some time and Mother's Day was the perfect day to make that happen.














We drove around town for a little while after our family visit, taking the grand tour of our Stillwater memories. Then we grabbed a coffee for the trip home--sipping, talking, and laughing the whole time. It was a good Mother's Day!

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

Saturday, May 12, 2018

May 12th, 2018 Photo Heavy

May 12th, 2018 Photo Heavy

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 did another location broadcast from a grocery store today. It was a good broadcast and an opportunity to save some money on petite sirloins! This will be a photo heavy post...
What? Doesn't everyone wear shades at the grocery store? 

























Look who joined me for
shopping! It's Cindy!






















That wasn't my only store trip today. I get certain things at certain stores. I dropped by Aldi on my way home from visiting mom this evening and look who I ran into there!!!
It's my oldest grandson, Noah!





















It was a wonderful surprise to find my youngest daughter, Lucas, and three of my four grandchildren at Aldi. I had just tried to call Courtney before pulling into the parking lot. She didn't answer, so I thought--I bet she has her hands full--and yep, she did!
Courtney, Phoebe's feet, Noah, and Oliver!




















My favorite store picture of these three adorable little cuties was one Courtney shared the other day...
Noah, Phoebe, and Oliver doing some shopping!















It's been a blessed Saturday, for sure, and I'm grateful in so many ways for so many things.

I was looking through before pictures earlier this evening.
























13 years old and 300 pounds

















































With my grandpa















When I look at "before" pictures, I no longer take a negative perspective. I see a boy and a man who developed coping mechanisms to deal with the uncertainties of life, past and present. My dependency on excess food to help me through life certainly took its toll physically.

But you know what?

There's little difference between "before" and now.

I still have issues. I still have uncertainties past and present. I still have fears. I still have regrets. I still feel lost sometimes.

The difference for me is this daily practice I do my best to embrace. It isn't perfect. It never will be perfect. Instead of a dependency on excess food, I suppose I'm dependent on the mental, emotional, spiritual, and psychological side of my plan and dependent on a structured food plan that helps keep me well.

But, it's not easy. My life has never been easy.

But I'm blessed. I'm grateful.

I have gratitude for blessings I couldn't see while back in the grip of food addiction. I'm not cured. It isn't curable, I don't believe, but it's manageable.

Today's Featured Tweets:


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

Friday, May 11, 2018

May 11th, 2018 Any Other Way

May 11th, 2018 Any Other Way

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 had a rare Friday night location broadcast downtown. Someone asked, "how much weight did you lose?" The person asking was trying to convince her friend. Her friend said, "I've never known you anyway but how you are now." It was interesting to me because I've been in maintenance mode long enough for some people, who don't know me well, to have never known my 500 pound days ever existed, they only know me at a healthy body weight. For whatever reason, that struck me. It reminded me that my grandkids may never know me any other way, either. Of course, that always depends on my continued daily practice of this plan that keeps me well.

I have another location broadcast in the morning from a grocery store's massive meat sale! I'm cutting it short this evening and opting for more rest.

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

Thursday, May 10, 2018

May 10th, 2018 Doesn't Matter

May 10th, 2018 Doesn't Matter

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.

Today worked well. I scored 39 cent avocados! I enjoyed a good workout at the Y, visited with mom this evening, and enjoyed some excellent support exchanges. I prepared a late, but really good dinner, too!

I ran across something I wrote back in 2012 before my 164-pound relapse/regain period. I mention it was written before that period because it illustrates an important point and that is this: The disease of food addiction isn't stopped or managed by the words we write or say. The disease will laugh at our ah-ha moments that come right in the middle of embracing a new and different perspective.

It doesn't matter what we know.

It only matters what we do.

A daily practice of intentional and supportive actions renewed and reaffirmed each day, is the only thing that has a chance of successfully managing the disease of food addiction and compulsive over-eating.

Written in 2012:
The seemingly good reasons why this “isn’t the right time” or “it’s too stressful right now,” come disguised as perfectly acceptable rationalizations for a retreat from our goals, hopes, and dreams. 

It’s an illusion to think we’re giving ourselves “a break.” 

This retreat relieves us of personal responsibility in the moment—sending us back to the line of least resistance where it seems easier. 

The reality is simple: It only makes things harder for us. 
----------------------------
Today's featured Tweets:




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

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

May 9th, 2018 Emotional Directions

May 9th, 2018 Emotional Directions

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.

It was a structured day. I was up on time and able to do my regular morning routine. Work was on point, getting quite a lot done--lunch was a little later than normal, but I knew a late dinner was in the plan, so it wasn't too bad. I enjoyed some good support interactions, a visit to the grocery store, and a nice visit with mom this evening.

A structure is good for me!

I even enjoyed some musical "therapy" tonight. Isn't it amazing how music moves us in emotional directions? I love listening to songs that inspire me.

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

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

May 8th, 2018 What I Like

May 8th, 2018 What I Like

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.

Today was a much much better day! I didn't oversleep! Yay!

It always goes better when it starts better!

I really enjoyed preparing my meals today. I do feel like I'm getting bored with the tostadas at lunch. One of my challenges in the coming weeks will be exploring some different lunch ideas. I keep my breakfast and lunch meals fairly similar. They're almost never a carbon copy--ingredients change, amounts change, different fruit choices, so although breakfast and lunch often look like the same thing again and again, there's more variety than meets the eye. Dinner is where I most often change it up. I have certain meals I like to prepare for dinner in a rotation of nine or ten different things.

Of course, no refined sugar is a non-negotiable for me-- and I keep a list of trigger foods I avoid, but other than those things, I eat what I like and absolutely nothing I don't. My food plan has evolved in the nearly ten years since I started, but that "what I like and nothing I don't" declaration is something that hasn't changed for me since Day 1 in 2008.

If I had selected my food plan based on "what's good for me" or "what you're supposed to eat" or "what's healthy" or anything other than my own personal tastes. I'd still be 500 pounds or dead by now.
Three Meals





















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

Monday, May 7, 2018

May 7th, 2018 Mad Rush

May 7th, 2018 Mad Rush

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.

I overslept this morning. This is one of the big no-nos of morning radio. I slept right through my alarm. Lucky for me, a colleague was able to fill in on-air until I arrived. It wasn't good starting the week like this, in a mad rush. Everything gets abbreviated. I value my morning routine and it was done, just not in the relaxed way I prefer. The routine gets shortchanged when this happens. It's certainly something I wouldn't want to become a habit.

It took me until early afternoon to feel like I was calm and caught up. After starting on tilt, I'm really glad the workday ended well.

After a wonderful group support call, I made a trip to the store, stopped by for a quick visit with mom, then made it home to prepare a good dinner.

Thank you for the fantastic feedback I've been getting on the Bryan Ganey episode of Transformation Planet. If you haven't had a chance to listen, I hope you will! Here's a convenient PodBean player:

Episode description:
Bryan Ganey's transformation story contains two dramatic weight loss experiences. After losing two hundred fifty pounds in his twenties, he was set, or so he thought. After gaining it all back in less than a year, Bryan realized his plan was lacking a critical part. In this episode, he shares how this initial weight loss and regain experience became important information for his transformation to come over a decade later. His book "Impossible: How I Lost Nearly 400 Pounds Without Surgery" chronicles his transformation from nearly six hundred pounds to a healthy body weight and into maintenance. Bryan is a motivation speaker and best selling author. He's been featured on Rachael Ray, CNN, AOL, and The Dave Ramsey Show. Find out more at www.bryanganey.com

Transformation Planet is available in iTunes for Apple, GooglePlay Store for Android devices, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts!

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

Sunday, May 6, 2018

May 6th, 2018 Transformation Planet Episode 17 Featuring Bryan Ganey

May 6th, 2018 Transformation Planet Episode 17 Featuring Bryan Ganey

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.


Bryan Ganey's transformation story contains two dramatic weight loss experiences. After losing two hundred fifty pounds in his twenties, he was set, or so he thought. After gaining it all back in less than a year, Bryan realized his plan was lacking a critical part. In this episode, he shares how this initial weight loss and regain experience became important information for his transformation to come over a decade later. His book "Impossible: How I Lost Nearly 400 Pounds Without Surgery" chronicles his transformation from nearly six hundred pounds to a healthy body weight and into maintenance. Bryan is a motivation speaker and best selling author. He's been featured on Rachael Ray, CNN, AOL, and The Dave Ramsey Show. Find out more at www.bryanganey.com

I'm very happy to finally release this episode of Transformation Planet featuring Bryan Ganey. Mom also joins me at the beginning of this episode--fun!

Today was a good day. I enjoyed a wonderful conversation with a cousin I haven't connected with in a very long time. It was so good to make that connection. I also enjoyed spending a little time with Cindy and her two youngest daughters at an academic awards ceremony for her eighteen-year-old senior.

I picked up mom this evening for our regular Sunday night excursion. We enjoyed a good dinner before heading to the studio to get done what I couldn't because of technical issues last night.

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

Saturday, May 5, 2018

May 5th, 2018 Progress Made

May 5th, 2018 Progress Made

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.

It was a very productive day! I can honestly say I did the best I could do and the only reason episode 17 of Transformation Planet isn't released as planned was an internet outage at the studio. I enjoyed a long overdue workout at the YMCA, made a trip to the store for some dinner prep stuff, then it was to the studio for editing and producing. Four hours later, after preparing and eating dinner at the studio, I discovered the internet issue while trying to gather a few details I needed in the recording of the wrap around. No internet means I can't upload the episode. I called our in-house IT specialist and she assured me she'd look into it first thing in the morning.

I'm happy with the progress I made today. I'm sure the internet issue will be repaired and episode 17 will be released tomorrow.

I'm hitting the pillow quickly for what I hope to be a full eight hours or more!

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

Friday, May 4, 2018

May 4th, 2018 That's Okay

May 4th, 2018 That's Okay

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.

My food schedule was tilted today. It was a choice, really--I was working to finish a couple of projects and decided I could do a late lunch. It did put dinner super-late, but that's okay for me every now and then. Over the last almost ten years, I've never worried about an occasional late meal--and that's worked for me fairly well.

I'm determined to get some work done on a couple of personal projects tomorrow. My goal is to finish one, too! Perhaps that vague reference is enough of an accountability measure to encourage me to finish it tomorrow and write about it tomorrow night! Okay then, we'll see! Oooh...maybe by being vague/non-specific, I'm giving myself an out!!! Ok, ok...I'll just say it-- Episode 17 of my podcast...the amazing person I interviewed for that episode has probably forgotten all about it!! It's a good one. My goal is to release it by tomorrow night! Ok--that's specific... accountability!!! If tomorrow night comes and I try to glaze over it-- feel free to call me out! :)

I'm looking forward to the next two mornings without early an early alarm clock blaring!

Thank you for reading and your continued support,
And thank you for all the well wishes for mom--I always share those with her,
Strength,
Sean

Thursday, May 3, 2018

May 3rd, 2018 What It Means To Me

May 3rd, 2018 What It Means To Me

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.

When my daily practice keeps me nicely in maintenance mode, I sometimes forget to pause long enough to acknowledge how that feels and what it means to me. Time moves quickly! It's annual events like tonight's elementary school PTA bingo night fundraiser that serves as a nice reminder of how far I've come--and most importantly, how important my daily practice is for my continued maintenance, stability, and peace.



















This is my 7th or 8th year in a row of being the "celebrity" bingo caller at this PTA fundraiser. I've done this one enough times that now, other schools occasionally ask me to do it at theirs.

The food at this event wasn't "my food" and that's okay! The school knows me well enough now, they no longer offer the "goodies." I enjoyed water during the event and a good on-plan dinner after leaving.

A quick update on mom. She's doing well. She's been on a course of medication to help her get over a painful ailment and it seems to be working well. I stopped by her place for a visit tonight. I could hear her laughing as I made my way up the hall toward her room. She was watching a show on CBS-it's her favorite network, and she was so emersed in the show, she hardly noticed me walking into her room. I gotta tell ya, hearing her laugh so purely and joyously has always been beautiful music to my ears. She was also in a great mood because she got her hair fixed today. It looked wonderful. A good hair day is always a great thing, right?

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

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

May 2nd, 2018 Derail Me

May 2nd, 2018 Derail Me

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.

I can adjust my plan on the fly, if needed and IF the adjustments remain within the overall boundaries of my plan, but I don't sacrifice the integrity of the plan. I'd rather go without and eat sometime later than do something like that.

This recovery business, for me, requires a commitment to taking extraordinary care with my food--and that means maintaining the integrity of the food plan I've designed--the one that fits me very well--the one I truly enjoy. 

If I started sacrificing the integrity of my food plan to fit in or in the name of convenience because I didn't plan well--then it would be the beginning of the end and I'd quickly go back to 500 pounds. 

The key is in remembering: I make the choices for me. 

I refuse to be a victim of circumstance with my food choices. Because the truth is, these circumstances along the way never had to derail me--I always wanted them to derail me---I used them in my arsenal of rationalizations for the choices and food behaviors that were killing me while conveniently denying any amount of responsibility for my own behavior. But why?? 

Because a few basic human needs were being met: Certainty (or the appearance of certainty found in the illusion of comfort), variety, and connection.
-------------------------------
I worked late with weather coverage tonight. Our area didn't get the worst storms, but it was enough in our broadcast area to require coverage. I stopped by mom's place on the way home for a quick visit. She's doing well tonight.

I'm hitting the pillow within minutes. 4:30am comes way too soon!

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

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

May 1st, 2018 Unrelenting Truth

May 1st, 2018 Unrelenting Truth

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.

Although my turnaround from relapse/regain started in late April 2014, I consider May 1st the anniversary. I remember feeling incredibly unsteady, nervous really because it had become very clear what was on the line. More importantly, it had become clear the level of acceptance, level of commitment, and level of sacredness these new actions would require in order for me to escape.

It was an escape. I didn't do it alone--from the perspective of how I had to stop knowing it all, stop talking, start watching and listening, and start doing--it was more like a rescue mission and the hands I was reaching for belonged to the ones who had gone before me. I'm incredibly grateful for the friendship and guidance from Gerri Helms as well as the additional words and advice from people like Dr. Marty Lerner.

When I initially hit my "goal" weight, I really thought that was it and the plan I created was the plan, by golly. I had so much to learn. I'm grateful for the humbling experience of the relapse/regain period that followed that initial "arrival." I had no idea at the time that I was arriving at a place completely different than I imagined. I hadn't a clue that the biggest lessons and practices were ahead of me.

I was on a crash course with the truth and it was an unrelenting truth. 

My daily practice requires me to stay humble. It requires me to keep an open mind. It requires me to listen. It requires me to be willing to do the actions that help keep me well.

It doesn't require me to know everything. That's wonderful because I don't.

All I know is, if I keep making this daily practice important and if I keep allowing it to evolve and I keep my eyes, ears, heart, and mind open, then I'll have the best chance for continued wellness.
Photo on the left at the very top of my 164-pound relapse/regain
Photo on right is in maintenance at a healthy body weight.





















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

Monday, April 30, 2018

April 30th, 2018 A Freaky Thing If You Ask Me

April 30th, 2018 A Freaky Thing If You Ask Me

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.

It was a long and at times stressful day. I reached for the rails of my plan and made it through one more day! Had I not reached for my rails, I could have ended up face first in a take-out pizza. You see...

A new convenience store opened a half-mile from my apartment. It's a place that is widely acclaimed for their takeout pizza. Their radio commercial makes it the main focus--and that's a great idea, I mean, I understand broadcast marketing after being in this business for thirty years. The radio commercials don't bother me. Even today, my voice is on Dominos commercials around here--it's my job! I know, I know--it does seem strange if you know me really really well. But most people don't and a radio commercial isn't about me, it's about the product. I've had several conversations in the last few days with people mentioning this new amazing source for pizza. Apparently, that is more powerful to me--hearing over and over how good it is from people I know personally--and knowing full well it isn't on my food plan--not today and not any of my tomorrows if I plan to remain well. And that works for me.

I'll trade all the take-out pizza in the world for the benefits of maintaining a daily plan practice that supports a healthy body weight. I'm getting the best end of the deal. And occasionally, I still eat pizza--the requirement is: It must fit within my food plan. And usually, that means I make it at home.

Tonight, I made pita pizzas for dinner with Joseph's flax-oat bran-whole wheat pitas, refined sugar-free tomato basil, lean ground beef, red onions, and shredded mozzarella. It was fantastic!!!


What's interesting is this: When I sat down to write tonight's blog, I went back in time a year to April 30th, 2017, just to see what I was up to one year ago today. What did I find??? A post that goes in-depth on my personal pizza issues.

Excerpt from April 30th, 2017:
I had fun with dinner tonight. I made pita pizzas. Let me be clear--pizza, like the kind from a pizza place, is certainly on my list of trigger foods. I do not, under any circumstances, eat take-out pizza, not because there's something wrong with it--rather, it's my brain--If I eat a slice, my brain wants 8 more. That's how I'm wired. It just is. And that's precisely why I must make my plan important each day--otherwise, I know what happens--I've lived what happens when I don't make a daily plan important.

Is it the refined sugar in the crust and sauce? Is it the prominence of take-out pizza in hundreds of binges from my past? Maybe all of those combined. Pizza from a "pizza place" isn't my food and it will not be my food for as long as I live with continued recovery. That's just me. Maybe you can do it and be perfectly fine. I know myself well enough to know, I can't.

But for whatever reason, when I take the time, consideration, and care in making certain all ingredients are refined sugar-free, and I take the time to meticulously chop and weigh, to the gram and ounce, each ingredient, then I log it all in MyFitnessPal--it changes it for me. Now, instead of my brain categorizing it as an "indulgence," it's simply categorized as an on-plan dinner--weighed, measured, logged, refined sugar-free--and enjoyed.

Kind of a freaky thing if you ask me. Maybe I should make every April 30th Pita Pizza Day for my food plan. The last two have worked out well.

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

Sunday, April 29, 2018

April 29th, 2018 Quickly

April 29th, 2018 Quickly

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.

This weekend has been a good one. I finished out today with mom. We made it to the store, out for chicken tacos, and managed to visit two grandkids, plus Amber and Courtney. It was a busy few hours!

I'm hitting the pillow quickly. The best thing I can do to start my week off well is getting to bed at a reasonable time on Sunday night!

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

Saturday, April 28, 2018

April 28th, 2018 Locked In

April 28th, 2018 Locked In

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 tried to sleep in later than I did, but I'm pretty certain my body has an internal timer that doesn't seem to let me get too far past seven hours in a stretch.

I was able to get some work done at the studio before enjoying a good visit with mom this afternoon. Cindy and I had a date night in my hometown. I showed her around Stillwater before we enjoyed a simple dinner out and several games of pool. It was needed. We hadn't had a date night in quite some time.



















Waiting for a table selfie at Eskimo Joes. That place was packed! We both have our individual food plans and I think Cindy would agree, the menu was slightly challenging for both of us--but we made it work!

I asked for what I needed and how I needed it! It's interesting to me how I once felt "locked in" to whatever the menu presented or however it was prepared. I was totally surprised the first time I asked for something ala carte or slightly modified and it wasn't a problem at all. I'm someone who never wanted to "be a problem" or "stand out" or "make a scene," so realizing how asking for what I need wasn't doing those things and didn't make me those things, and realizing how 99.9% of servers want to help, totally changed my approach to eating in restaurants. 

I think that it starts with a willingness and wanting to maintain the boundaries of the plan. I can remember many times when I'd use restaurant plans as an excuse to obliterate my plan. Once I realized it didn't have to be that way, I couldn't pretend like I didn't know. I could willfully ignore the truth, which I've done a lot of that over the years, too! But honestly, it kinda forced me to better accept responsibility for my own choices rather than playing the restaurant "victim card," which I gladly did for years and years.

Cindy beat me on the pool table. My goodness, she's good at pool. She won several games. I managed to take a couple (don't ask me how!)



















It was a good night!

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

Friday, April 27, 2018

April 27th, 2018 Early For Me

April 27th, 2018 Early For Me

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.

I'm doing well tonight. After an exceptionally long day, I'm going to bed unusually early for a Friday night, early for me! In fact, this might be some kind of Friday night record! I'm looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow morning!

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

Thursday, April 26, 2018

April 26th, 2018 Immune

April 26th, 2018 Immune

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.

My post last night about "The S Word," struggle, alarmed a couple of my dear support friends. It's a topic and experience I'm very familiar with, but no, by the grace of God, I'm not struggling today nor was I yesterday. I was simply sharing a perspective on struggle that's helped me in tremendous ways.

Here's the thing: I may not be struggling at the moment and I don't live in fear of the struggle, but I certainly maintain a healthy respect for the fragility of it all. I understand and appreciate how critically important it is for me to maintain the daily practice that keeps me well. And still, no matter how much appreciation and understanding is involved, I'm not immune to struggle and relapse. None of us are immune.

Keeping it fairly short tonight. It was a successful day!

Featured Tweets from today:


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

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

April 25th, 2018 The S-Word

April 25th, 2018 The S-Word

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.

It was a busy day--I say that a lot, I suppose, and not every day qualifies for the label, but today did. Thank you for everyone extended warm thoughts and prayers for mom's continued recovery. I'm intentionally being slightly vague about her condition because it probably isn't completely considerate of me to share every detail of her medical challenges. The good news is she's on the right medication and she's in good spirits. With good care, it's a minor and temporary thing.

I just finished a fabulous dinner with Cindy--and now, time to blog and get more sleep than last night!

But before I go, I wanted to share something...

So much of this journey we're all on requires a willingness to embrace different perspectives. The act of taking something we've always known- patterns and practices we've done, and changing our approach and the way we look at them...changes things. This taking what we've known and flipping it on its side or turning it upside down can be super challenging. In this challenge, we often run straight into "The S Word."

Not that S word. :)

I'm talking about Struggle.

Struggle isn't a moral issue, that's important because it isn't. The mental and emotional effects of struggle will try to convince us it is some kind of failure- a flaw within us... how many of us have thrown our hands up and said, "why can't I just get this right?"

I encourage you in those moments to be patient and I challenge you to change what struggle means to you. If we can change the way we look at struggle, and how we react to it, it can change everything.

Struggle is a key component in our success when we use its information to create a positive action plan.

If we didn't have struggle, we wouldn't evolve.  Struggle becomes an opportunity.

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

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

April 24th, 2018 Take The Photo

April 24th, 2018 Take The Photo

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.



















It was back to work for me today. I took yesterday off to accompany mom to doctor appointments. She's going through a rough time. The good news is, the nursing staff is on top of her care and she'll be fine.

Dallas from Arkansas writes: "Hey, no more food Tweets, what's up-you okay?"

Yes, Dallas, I'm doing very well! Thank you for asking. I stopped doing the daily food tweets several weeks back. It's strange, I still take the photo--(some habits are really hard to break!) I just don't Tweet it with the description.
Meals from 4/24/2018




















I do continue to log everything in MyFitnessPal. If you're on MyFitnessPal, too, send me a friend request! My MFP username is SeanAAnderson and my food diary is always set on "public."

I'm hoping we dodge the severe weather tonight. There's a chance overnight and if so, I'll be headed to work super early. I better drop in bed now while I have the opportunity!

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

Monday, April 23, 2018

April 23rd, 2018 One Person Not Two

April 23rd, 2018 One Person Not Two

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.

Almost eight years ago on August 28th, 2010, I found myself struggling a little bit with the dramatic transformation of appearance. The following is an excerpt. And it comes with its own excerpt... It's an excerpt from an excerpt:

I've looked at the pictures over and over, and it's strange, but I really do kind of miss that guy. 














I "get it." That guy was affected in so many different ways. Ok, I need to stop talking about my previous physical appearance like it was someone who passed away. But, in many ways, it is just like that.

I was that big for so long and my personal appearance, the morbid obesity, helped shape my personality and social behaviors. What has remained the same are my thoughts, beliefs, fears, and personal values--the stuff I know inside when I'm all alone---just me. That guy is exactly the same. I love that guy too. It all reminds me of the reaction of my now ex-sister in law when she laid eyes on me for the first time in a long time.

Wait-- I need to interrupt this excerpt--because I noticed something noteworthy. That was written nearly eight years ago. I listed the things remaining after dramatic weight loss--- Important things, for sure--thoughts, beliefs, fears and personal values. Knowing what I know now--some critical things were missing from the list. The core elements of me go far deeper. I didn't mention my likes, dislikes, passions, talents and core qualities--all of the things that contribute to personal happiness. 

No wonder I hit goal a few months after that was written--and still wasn't truly happy. I couldn't even acknowledge them--forget about nurturing these core elements.

Okay--now, let's go to the excerpt within the excerpt---this goes back to 2009:

My sister-in-law is staying the night with us. Irene has several sisters, and this one hasn't seen me in a really long time. I really don't know how to take her reaction to the much smaller me. She was shocked, I mean in total disbelief. She told me I looked great and that she was happy that I was healthier for the effort and then she did something unexpected.

She started crying. It wasn't tears of happiness, these were grieving tears. 

She was grieving the loss of the old me. She said, “My entire life you've looked the same and now that person is gone.” 

I assured her that I was still me inside. I still have all of the memories, all of the feelings, all of the humor, I'm Sean Anderson, that will never change! She kept wiping away her tears and we hugged, to which she replied: “you don't even hug the same.” 

I guess I didn't realize how much she loved me. It really touched me deeply. I love her too. Judging from her reaction, you would have thought I had died. And I explained to her that I would have died in the next five or ten years more than likely, had I stayed at over 500 pounds.

She just kept going on about it. She'll never see the old Sean again, and that just devastated her completely. It wasn't the reaction I expected at all.

It's really a swim through a giant pool of emotions when I look at my before pictures. I can absolutely relate to the feelings my sister-in-law expressed. I look at those old pictures and I feel sorry for that guy. He's gone. He'll never be back. He'll never walk into the room. He'll never walk onto that stage. That guy died a long time ago.

WAIT JUST A SECOND....

I must correct my 2010 self. I didn't die.

That guy is me. That guy didn't die, he came alive. 



















I love that guy. (and the little guy pictured here!)

He's alive and living. Not dead and gone. The opposite of dead!

My perspective has been transformed. I don't look at before pictures the same as I once did. I also don't look at "now" pictures the same.

I look at "Before" and "Now" pictures with a perspective focused on the core elements of me. I see one person. Not two.

It feels great to be transformed and live life at a healthier weight, for sure. And I hold my recovery tight because I value the benefits of the healthier weight. But...

My happiness is no longer found in external sources. My happiness is found and was always available for discovery, in the core elements of me. 505-pound me back then, and healthy body-weight me, today--same person, same core elements and the same opportunity for happiness.

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

Sunday, April 22, 2018

April 22nd, 2018 If I Do

April 22nd, 2018 If I Do

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.

My grandson Oliver turned one year old last Wednesday. Today was the day we all gathered to celebrate his birthday! It was a very special day spent with both my daughters and all four grandkids. I picked up mom on the way to the party, too--and she had a great time as well.

It's special days like today that serve as reminders for so many blessings. I'm grateful!

I picked up the birthday cake at the bakery. It was on my way and saved Courtney a trip, so I was happy to do it. Walking into a bakery area surrounded by things that are in no way, shape, or form on my food plan might sound challenging. First, my abstinence from refined sugar comes with a deep understanding of the reasons why it's important for me to continue my refined sugar-free embrace. Instead of challenging, I'd call it affirming because part of my defense mechanism is to immediately think about the good that has come from the last four years without refined sugar. I don't live in fear of relapse, I live with enormous respect for the knowledge that relapse is always one choice away-- and plenty of those choices were all around me in that bakery area of the store. What's helped most for me, is a shift in perspective-- a reframing, so instead of looking at these as things I can't have, these are things I choose not to eat because I'm thoroughly convinced of what happens next if I do. If I hadn't lived through proof of what happens next, I'm not sure I'd be so convinced. For me, the effects of eating refined sugar aren't a theory, it's fact.

If my brain ever needs reconvincing, I have plenty of support connections to help me reconnect and realign my thinking.

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

Saturday, April 21, 2018

April 21st, 2018 Super Short

April 21st, 2018 Super Short

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...Oh wait, I don't do that anymore!! Still... Taking a little break.

Keeping it super short tonight. It's been a good day.

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

Friday, April 20, 2018

April 20th, 2018 Unless You're Training For The Olympics

April 20th, 2018 Unless You're Training For The Olympics

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.

Some notes from a good day- It was a very short night of rest before a longer than expected work day. I made sure to make a late afternoon nap important. My two grandsons, Noah and Oliver stopped by on their way to the carnival. Noah was super excited! Noah's enthusiasm for life is incredibly inspiring--everything is exciting to him! I attended and made the opening announcements for a concert hosted by our local arts and humanities board of directors, of which I'm a member. I dined out alone this evening--it was chicken tacos at my favorite Mexican place, grabbed a few things at Walmart and enjoyed a nice visit with mom. Actor James Marsden was on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Mom was super excited because Mr. Marsden's hometown is ours--and Colbert made the segment all about Stillwater. It was very cool!

One of the questions I'm asked quite often: Should I add extra calories to my daily budget in consideration for exercise calories burned?

I don't recommend adding calories to your budget for exercise unless you're training for the Olympics or for a marathon or something else that requires intensive training.

The most important thing is maintaining the integrity of your calorie budget. If you violate your budget in exchange for exercise, then you run the risk of stunting the growth and evolution of your food plan. You also set yourself up for a constant tug of war between food and exercise. Adding calories in exchange for exercise calories burned is a recipe for making this process miserable. 

The only exception is if your exercise calories burned brings your net calories below 1,200-- in that case, it's a good idea to add at least enough to bring you to 1,200 net. If you're eating a generous 1,800 calorie budget and you burned 700 calories, your net calories check in at 1,100. Instead of adding back hundreds of extra calories, add 100 to bring your net to a minimum of 1,200.

By the way, this isn't my formula or creation--I learned this from several different nutrition and fitness experts. The opinion isn't just mine. MFP does calorie budget calculations that ultimately confuse many people. My best advice: Ignore the suggested "adjustments" and maintain your budget.

Micheal Phelps eats 10,000 calories a day when he's training. But he's in the pool 8-10 hours swimming.

Can you see how, if you're allowed to violate your budget by adding more exercise, then the way to keep eating compulsively is to simply exercise more and more? When we do that, we're trying to find an out- a way to justify eating more than we need... and again, the result is, the perspective gets wonky- and the food plan never develops- never evolves, because it doesn't have to. It's here where we run the risk of falling into an over-exercising routine--and the biggest: We end up stunting our growth in the non-food/non-exercise areas because if we're able to constantly and consistently violate our calorie budget, we haven't a reason to develop accountability and support measures that are designed to help us practice a plan that doesn't involve compulsively over-eating.

This process is about changing perspectives and patterns of the past.

If the old perspectives and patterns brought us here, then clearly we must be willing to shift them if we want different results.

Today's featured Tweet:




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

Thursday, April 19, 2018

April 19th, 2018 Don't Be Afraid To Ask

April 19th, 2018 Don't Be Afraid To Ask

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 attended the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters welcome dinner last night in Tulsa. I didn't know what would be served but I do know my boundaries. I made sure I had a backup plan in the car--some apple slices, a banana, almonds, and cheese.  I visited with several acquaintances, a few people I worked with a very long time ago, and other people I see at this event each year I've attended. About twenty minutes before dinner was to be served, I made my way over to the hotel ballroom buffet line to check out the offerings. I could tell right away--the entrees contained refined sugar. It's a non-negotiable of mine, I don't do it, period. I asked the person preparing the display and he checked and confirmed, yes--I was correct. I asked if it was possible to get something else--and it was without hesitation, "no problem at all."

The chef prepared a simple top sirloin for me. It was perfect. And not one single person around me noticed. Bill (owner of the company I work for) knew because he knows me and asked about it, but nobody else. I share this because it's an example of something important when dining out or at special events like this: Don't be afraid to ask for what you need! 

I can't count the number of times I've said, "Oh well, this is what I have to choose from, so I'll make the best of it--" even if it went against my food plan. If the food tonight would have fit the boundaries of my plan-- in this case, prepared without sugar, then I could have and would have made the meal work. It didn't so I made the special request and it wasn't a problem at all. If it wouldn't have been possible, I would have waited for plan B in the car.

I must always give my plan this level of importance. It's up to me to practice it each day. Tonight's event was good practice.

The almonds, cheese stick, and some apple slices became my "last food of day/drive home snack" food, finishing off today's maintenance calorie budget.

I'm upset with myself for not taking a day off tomorrow.

I'm up way too late for work in the morning. Hopefully I can take some time off early tomorrow-- certainly hoping it works out that way!

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

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

April 18th, 2018 This Blog

April 18th, 2018 This Blog

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.

Tonight, we're taking a time-traveling trip back to July 2010, right after the AOL feature came out:

Over the last week, I've received hundreds of messages from all over the world. Some simply say "congratulations," others tell me about their success story, and then there are some that hit me hard---right in the heart. Every message, every e-mail, every comment---they're very important to me, and I want you to know that. I've had to forgive myself for not being able to personally respond to every single one in a timely manner like I've done throughout this journey. I've never had to worry about this, and trust me--I'm not complaining, I'm just stressing out...filled with anxiety because I feel like I owe you for all the wonderful support you give me. Please don't ever stop sending them, just give me your patience---and I'll do my best. That's all I can do.

The main purpose of this blog was and still is, to keep me accountable and on track, to help me fully understand my addiction to food, and to help me dig deep--in a quest to unravel the secret of successful weight loss. The job of this blog was and still is, to help me understand the mental aspects and help me uncover the emotional and deeply personal issues that I've allowed to hold me back.

This blog has also taught me where I always went wrong in my repeated attempts to lose weight over the years. This blog is extremely important to me. Yes, I've invested a bunch of time in writing...anywhere from one to three hours a day, every day of this journey---but really...think about the transformation---and I'm not talking about the physical, I'm talking about the "inside" stuff. When I think about the positive effect these writings have had on me---there's no question, it's been worth every minute of my time.

As I write this Wednesday edition, it's actually late Thursday night. This is officially the latest I've ever posted, but I got busy...it happens, especially these days. I feel anxiety when I'm late with a post, I do. I think of the people that tell me they read every day and how much they look forward to reading---and I imagine what they're thinking...Sean's late! What's the deal? The reality is far different than my anxiety filled perception would have me believe---and then I calm myself by remembering...As much as I love it when someone tells me how this blog has helped them, it's still for me. I write for me---it's what I need, and I hope you write that way as well.

It's self-therapy, my friend. Even if you don't publish it on the world wide web---just write it out, get it out of you---and learn from what you find. This blog had less than 10 followers well past day 200---and I'm proud to say, the content and intent hasn't changed---and it will never change.
---------------------
Nearly ten years in and this blog is still serving its original purpose. It helps keep me well--even on a night like this when it's late and I republish from the archives.

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

April 17th, 2018 Just Information

April 17th, 2018 Just Information

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.

That first "today" part is something I take very seriously. I put it first because everything I do starts with the daily practice that keeps me well. 

Where you are is providing valuable information you can use in the development of your plan. If things are going well, what's working? If you're struggling, what are your biggest barriers? 

Answering these questions challenge us to give the elements of our plan the focus they need to thrive. And sometimes it's half & half (and I'm not talking about coffee- although that sounds good right about now).

Take me, for example: What's working well: My food plan and commitment to staying connected with support, my daily practice, and the willingness to maintain a hold on these rails I've created in my plan. 

Where I struggle: Getting enough rest and creating a doable exercise schedule/routine. No shame around here- just information. Now, I have a choice. I can either beat myself up for the elements challenging me, I can rationalize them into oblivion until I feel justified for my inaction, or I can create an action plan that isn't afraid to start as small and simple as it needs, with the goal being consistency, not intensity.

I'm choosing the latter.

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

Monday, April 16, 2018

April 16th, 2018 Human Element

April 16th, 2018 Human Element

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.

I can't tell you what to eat. I believe we must create that list based on our own preferences.

I eat what I like and nothing I don't. And the choices I'm making are made because it's where I am, now.

I previously lost 275 pounds eating much differently. It wasn't right or wrong then and my eating habits are not right or wrong now. They're simply reflective of where I am today. I like what I'm doing. It's working for me.

And that's key, in my opinion--finding what works for you. Discovering what you can do, what you like and how you like it, is imperative.

I don't like labeling anything "right or wrong/good or bad." Food is food. Eat what you like, just set a budget and consistently stay within the budget. Trust that your choices will evolve in time.

If you've ever been handed a pre-set food plan and told to follow it to the letter--and you didn't like everything on the list, but you choked it down anyway--that's a means to an end.

The experts creating the perfect food plans are not wrong, necessarily, they're just not taking into account the human element.

If whatever we're doing isn't something we can do forever--if it isn't sustainable, then it's temporary. We can white knuckle it and adhere to a food plan in the name of "I can do anything for a short time," and we'll see those results, but as soon as it's over--it's back to what we prefer, and that's why, in my opinion--we should just start with what we prefer in the first place, allowing our plan to evolve as we maneuver our budget and boundaries.

If you've been a regular reader of this blog for the last nine and a half years, you might remember days where a Snickers Bar, Ice cream, cake, fast food cheeseburgers and Taco Bell all made their way into my budget. I don't look back on that time and think, wow--I didn't eat very well. I look back and think, that's where I was and needed to be at that time. I'm not saying it's a good idea to rush out and stock up on these things. I'm just saying...

Having been 500 pounds for so long, I instinctively knew that I wasn't going to change a lifetime of habits overnight. And I felt like if I tried, it would end up another failed attempt. In my opinion, the "nothing is off limits" philosophy is still valid and important, because it allows us to be where we are, be ourselves--growing and developing in a natural organic way.

We learn about ourselves along the way. I've learned that I can't do refined sugar. It's by far the single most important recovery decision I've made along the way. It took a 164-pound relapse/regain to arrive at that conclusion. Some things, for me, are harder to learn. And that's ok.

But not everybody is a food addict like me, addicted to refined sugar with over three decades experience in stuffing emotions and stress with food. Abstaining from certain food substances may not be what's right for you.

The main reason why I've always been a proponent of simplicity when it comes to food is because along this road it's about so much more than food and exercise. The mental/emotional/psychological elements in play are all bigger and more challenging than "what should I eat?"

In my opinion, if the greater focus is placed on the food and exercise instead of the mental/emotional/psychological dynamics--then we end up facing the biggest elements unprepared. It becomes "diet mentality." A focus on a simplistic food plan based on our personal preferences and backed up with solid accountability and support has a really good chance of working well for the long haul.

There are no right or wrong foods. Eat what you like and allow yourself a natural evolution of good choices along the way. The practice of maintaining the integrity of a calorie budget can have a powerful impact on this evolution because we're trying to get the most value for our calories. The evolution only occurs with a sacred level of self-honesty and a willingness to reach out for support when we recognize a breach coming on, otherwise, there isn't a reason to navigate the calorie budget for the best calorie values if we're constantly violating the budget.

And please, never compare what you're eating to someone else's food. Remember, we're all different. I'm in maintenance mode with a generous calorie budget and a food plan evolved over the last nearly ten years. I don't eat refined sugar because for me, once I start, I can't stop. You may not share that addiction with me.

Sometimes, the biggest mental hurdles come when we compare what we're eating to our own expectations or what we perceive to be what we should be eating or what we've heard is best or the healthier choice. Take what fits you and leave the rest. Don't harshly judge your well-fitting food plan. 

My best advice is to let it go. Just be you and give yourself room to grow and develop. Ultimately, we're wanting to arrive at our healthiest weight--and if we arrive at a healthy weight range for our body--and along the way our health improves dramatically--and we do it in a way that fits us, individually--then we've successfully shifted the focus away from the old diet mentality--we've accepted and embraced the plan we've created specifically for us--and now, how does it all compare to the pre-planned diets of old?? The ones that were nutritionally sound but lacked a human consideration--the ones difficult to sustain--the ones challenging our ability to remain consistent??

Simple is sustainable, sustainable encourages consistency and consistency beats intensity, every single time.

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





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