Saturday, May 26, 2018

May 26th, 2018 Every Single Time

May 26th, 2018 Every Single Time

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 started the day with a broadcast at a grocery store and ended at a blood drive broadcast. I donated blood this afternoon during the event. The mini-health check showed all of my vitals were in great shape. I remember being turned away from a blood drive at my heaviest with raging high blood pressure. I remember it every single time I'm able to donate now.

I'm ready to rest. The past two days haven't been very restful. I plan on getting some tonight, for sure.

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

Friday, May 25, 2018

May 25th, 2018 Okay Then

May 25th, 2018 Okay Then

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 long day-- two location broadcasts on a Friday made it that way. My food plan was good today, exceptional, really. I'm proud of that. I planned ahead and made sure I had what I needed when I needed it, and where I needed it. Both broadcasts today involved free food that wasn't "my food," and to be completely honest, some of it looked very appealing--just not appealing enough to sacrifice my food plan. If I hadn't planned and prepared, I would have put myself in a vulnerable position. I countered with a good plan--including a trip to the store and taking the time to prepare a nice on-plan dinner at home tonight. By the time I made it home I was ready to be in for the night. I originally planned to go back to the studio for some things I needed to get done for the holiday weekend and then a fast trip to mom's, but those plans were postponed until tomorrow. I made the right decision to stay home.

Two big broadcasts on the schedule tomorrow--at a grocery store and a blood drive. I plan on donating blood tomorrow too! Did you know donating blood burns 600 calories? That's what they tell me! Well, okay then! Bonus.

Keeping it short tonight. I sincerely appreciate your continued support of this blog,
Thank you for reading,
Strength,
Sean

Thursday, May 24, 2018

May 24th, 2018 No Hands

May 24th, 2018 No Hands

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.
Look, no hands!!



















In my experience, it's critically important to take pause for not only deciding on your on-plan approach in particular circumstances but also pausing to remind yourself of the importance of you and how your plan boundaries are set to ultimately take extraordinary care of you. Clearly defining those boundaries has been paramount to the consistency of my plan.

Maintaining the boundaries of our non-negotiable elements fosters growth in every other area of this process. When we disregard those boundaries, it stunts our growth and the result is often: We feel stuck and feel like we're doing the same thing over and over.

If consistently maintaining the boundaries of our plan is what brings growth and a natural evolution of the plan--and that consistency is what brings about positive progress, then we must first look at the plan--and make sure it's something we can maintain.

If it's too extreme, we're setting ourselves up for disappointment.

If we start small and with simplicity, and it's something we can work with inside the boundaries of the plan--that's when something magical starts happening. The challenge becomes the action of releasing judgment for what we might perceive to be an imperfect or incomplete plan--when all we're trying to do is get started from a place where consistency is the focus--and trusting that this approach will allow for a natural evolution of our plan. On the opposite side: If we decide we can't move forward unless everything is perfect within some elaborate "ideal" plan, we're setting ourselves up for a serious struggle with starts and stops.

One of the biggest threats to my consistency is emotion/stress levels.

One thing that's really helped me in this area is to examine not only my current state of mind and emotion but also my expectations for food at any particular moment.

Do I expect it to take me away from and improve emotional/stressful circumstances?

Or do I expect it to simply provide energy and nourish me physically?

Looking at my own expectations pushes me in the direction I need to make more progress toward handling things in ways that truly work, instead of me constantly relying on and believing that escaping into the food will help.

The food does provide a temporary reprieve from the circumstances at hand, but it's never improved the things I avoid, ever. In fact, when I turn to food for these things, it compounds my issues. I try to remember that often.

My continued recovery depends on a daily practice of my plan. I must always stay connected with support. The act of seeking and giving support is paramount. I can't do it alone. I don't know anyone who has done it alone in any kind of long-term sustainable way.

I often refer to the different elements of my plan as my "rails of support." I hold onto those rails every day. If ever I wake and say, "look, no hands," get ready to witness a hard fall.

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

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

May 23rd, 2018 Harmonious

May 23rd, 2018 Harmonious

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 good day from start to finish. Tonight was the week 1 early and late calls for my conference call support group and it was a great experience. There's something very special about being part of a team. Especially when everyone on the team can relate in so many powerful ways.

Facebook Micro-Blog post that popped up as a memory today. From four years ago:
I've been trying to identify and best articulate the most critical element transforming extreme struggle into harmonious consistency. Having experienced both, it's a fascinating study. Sure, it's a combination of elements, but what is the one, that without, all the others become ineffective? Is it acceptance, where suddenly we embrace instead of reject? That's fine, but how do we get to a place of acceptance? I keep coming back to perspective. Dr. Wayne Dyer says it so perfectly: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” 

The perspective we choose is paramount to our success, of course. Sometimes, finding the perspective that engages the gear you're looking for isn't as easy as someone saying, “change your perspective.” 

In my opinion, we first must identify, one by one—the mind noise and clutter that keeps our perspective in a locked position. It's mental work that's worth the effort. Because if we can get past these things and truly shift our perspective, suddenly what once seemed impossible becomes not only possible, it becomes our new everyday practice and reality, a non-physical transformation where we can finally experience the seemingly elusive, harmonious consistency.

Today's featured Tweet:


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

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

May 22nd, 2018 Nearly Twenty Years

May 22nd, 2018 Nearly Twenty Years

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 spent nearly twenty years near, at, or above 500 pounds.



















I tried several different ways to lose weight over the years but nothing worked for very long. When I stopped dieting and opened my mind, eyes, and ears to something different, that's when things started changing. Some major things were missing from previous attempts: Accountability and support. Once I started this blog in September 2008, I started learning about the positive power accountability and support creates. It changed everything.



















There are many ways to create accountability and support measures. You certainly don't have to write a blog and you don't have to bare your heart and soul to the world. That's not what it's about. It's more about finding, in whatever way you can, a group of people experiencing similar challenges, struggles, and triumphs. When you find that group of people who truly understand, something magical can happen. Suddenly, you're not alone.  I stumbled upon a wonderful group of people who found my blog over the years and discovered how they could relate in powerful ways with my experience. Those connections made a difference for me. When someone thanks me for something I've written on this blog, I accept it graciously-- but before the conversation ends, I thank them for their support. Good support goes both ways, always.

The accountability and support group I facilitate every Wednesday night starts a brand new 8-week session tomorrow night (the 23rd). It's not too late for you to join our team. It's a small and exclusive group of people who truly "get it." Wherever you are along this road, you'll fit right in with us.

To be honest, I'm not a very good marketer of my group or myself, really. I could get the word out much quicker and bigger, I'm sure. But it's okay. Small and exclusive is just fine! Do you want to be a part of something special? Are you ready to create a plan unique to you--a plan that is sustainable long-term? A plan that can get you unstuck?? A plan that can evolve into something bringing you consistent results?

So this is it-- the next session starts tomorrow night and I have a space for you on our late Wednesday call that starts at 9:15pm Eastern/8:15pm Central/6:15pm Pacific. The early call is full.

You'll find more details on the poster:
Click to enlarge
 



















If you have any questions, call or text: 580-491-2228 or send an email: transformation.road@gmail.com If you're ready to register, let me know--and I'll get you in the group and on the team!

Today's Featured Tweet:


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

Monday, May 21, 2018

May 21st, 2018 It's Not

May 21st, 2018 It's Not

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.

Sometimes, when I'm stressed, the best thing for me is a good workout while listening to something that inspires me. It isn't always music. This evening's workout listening was a good interview between Marc Maron and comedian Neal Brennan. My brain tells me excess food is the answer. My experience tells me it's not. Choosing an action instead of a reaction helps. My action was the workout. The action delivered. The reaction would have disappointed. Pausing long enough to act instead of reacting is certainly one of those daily practices. I'd like to have it hard wired into me but I've heard that isn't possible! So, if it's impossible, the practice continues!

After a nice visit with mom, I made it to the store for dinner ingredients. I made a pan prepared sweet potato-red onion-red pepper dish with oven "fried" fresh catfish filets.

If you're ready to discover the difference good accountability and support can make for your daily practice, join my exclusive and private support group! All members of the team are on the same "secret" Facebook group page and each week for the next 8 weeks, starting this Wednesday, we get together for group coaching/mentoring. Our 8pm Eastern group call is full, however, our late call at 9:15pm Eastern still has spots available. Reserve your spot by contacting me as soon as possible! A very limited number of spots remain. Email me for registration details: transformation.road@gmail.com or call/text 580-491-2228.



















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

 

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. 
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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.
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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






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The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser. All rights reserved.