Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.
Having a holiday mid-week really disrupted my rhythm. I know I'm not alone in this--I've heard from many others with the same experience. I had a productive day at the studio before coming home and napping way too long. Perhaps my body was demanding more and took it, I don't know, but I don't think it was the best move toward aligning a more balanced schedule...but my goodness, that's been a running challenge for me for ages.
I prepared some good meals today, accomplished some good work, visited mom tonight, and worked on some of my personal projects. It was a good day.
One thing I make time for on a regular basis is responding to emails about my blog, book, or simply questions, in general, involving this entire process. Occasionally, I'll share an exchange or a few. It sometimes takes me awhile to catch up, especially after an article is released like the recent NBC article that apparently made its way all around the world and even into a Spanish newspaper according to a few readers who contacted me from Spain. I've included a couple of these below.
Reader in Tennessee:
Hi Sean. I have a question. I have read your book soon after it came out and followed your Journey and I have a question. My husband and I wonder how you manage meals off, etc and if you did them along the way this time. I haven't been reading the blog all the time. We have a discussion about whether most people have a line where they stay on all the time etc no flour, no sugar, nothing white or if they are more successful in taking occasional moderate meals off. Thanks for your input.
I've been reading the blog as I have time ( I care for my mother) and I'm assuming now you never have a planned meal off.
I don't have meals I would classify as "off," and the key for that to work is making sure the foods that are within my plan are things I enjoy eating.
Something I wrote about in the book is how in past weight loss attempts, I would restrict while looking forward to the day or meal where I could "cut loose." In hindsight, as discussed in the book, this is classic means to an end diet mentality.
The difference now is, and has been- this isn't a diet, it's a style of eating based on my likes, dislikes, and most importantly, designed around my personal list of trigger substances and trigger foods.
With that list (no refined sugar being the biggest), I can stay within the boundaries that keep me well each day.
My addict brain couldn't handle having an occasional meal that violated these personal boundaries. One is too many, and a thousand wouldn't be enough... and this is something I've learned about myself over the course of the last almost ten years.
For me to experience long-term stability and successful maintenance, it requires a daily practice that honors these personal boundaries. Instead of a "diet" approach, it's a recovery approach. And that is something far beyond a diet.
The bottom line is this: A plan that is focused on developing a daily practice and style of eating that doesn't include binge episodes and compulsive eating is one that "as a side effect," results in weight loss and maintenance. In that, we're not chasing the scale and making decisions to try to control the scale. We're making decisions based on what kind of daily plan we can embrace long-term.
The idea that this approach will somehow take joy away from our lives is not true. Creating a plan that is enjoyable, that we're able to embrace each day, and that brings us peace, and consistent positive results- brings more joy than anything before.
When I think of the patterns of my weight loss past, it was full of starts and stops, struggle and frustration. Those descriptions no longer apply because I'm not dancing with the binge and compulsive eating behaviors of my past.
And aside from developing that plan- it takes remaining accountable and staying in contact with support friends who "get it." Because there are still days and moments where "more food" seems like a fixer. It isn't- and never was.
The great thing is, it is possible to develop our personal plan and feel satisfied; content. It's a process. One worth exploring!
I write from Spain. Excuses for my English. I read something about you in a newspaper and I decided to investigate. I read some articles in your blog and decided to buy your book. It took me three days to read even when I don't have much time...
I read that somedays you feel not so secure about the blog and so because you may have so many visits... so I decided to write right now to tell you how much your book impressed me. Hope I get to touch you. I need some time to write a long “critic” but it was urgent to “Give you strength”.
I wasn’t going to read the part of your book that was the story of your life but I started... and... I could find an analogy of every single story in my own life¡ This was disappointing, sad, great and revealing at the same time.
I already new y was carb addict but, as you did, I had hope in been able to eat them as a normal person. But your thought gave me new prespective!
I found inspiration in “thinking in the best version of myself”.
6 months ago I was in this times when you only think about food and feel completely sad for being fat and disgraced about food. A new gym opened 3 min from my home and I thought: this is my last chance! Next would be surgery or slowly dying.... and I started exercising, getting better and feeling better..... But I still needed take charge in my mind about the future and myself. I think your book helped me! I need some time to process it and tell you a little long story of my life and how it is similar to yours.
I think you are a great communicator. You are wise and getting to where you are coming from where you have been makes you even greater. These kinds of personal trajectories deserve to be told!
Sorry for my English, spelling, and grammar!
Thank you for taking the time to write me. I sincerely appreciate you. I'm glad the book touched you in a deeply personal way.
Much of the process goes far beyond and much deeper than another diet. It sounds like you're discovering some things that could very well help you create a daily practice that gives you what you need to feel better and live better.
Your message lifts me up and for that, I'm grateful. I'm glad you ran across that article in your newspaper.
Thank you for reading my blog, buying the book, and reaching out to me.
I hope you'll let me know how you're doing along the way.
There's hope. Don't give up, ever. You're worth it.
My name is Roberto and I am in Madrid Spain.
I am writing you because I just got an article today about the story of Sean Anderson. And I just wonder if this email is still valid?
I have been fighting with overweight for several years and seems that I have lost the battle. I went to weight 150 kilos and after going under surgery I lost weight til 107 but again I am on 120 kilos even though I am doing much more exercise than ever.
I am 52 years old and I read that after 40 is really hard to lose weight and I am just to give up.
I have been looking for a diet to follow for 1.200 or at most 1.500 calories a day but I am unable to find it.
So far I cannot afford to go to a specialist to control my diet I just know that I need to do something about my weight. It makes me unhappy and unable to search for a relationship.
I don't have problems with my pressure but I had problems with diabetes and high cholesterol. I started to go twice a week to the gym and I am riding a bicycle as much as I can. I see that my resistance day by day is getting better but I don't lose even a gram.
I had really high sugar in my blood but I controlled with the exercise but I guess I am not having the correct diet so i would like if you can help me giving me at least some idea.
I am not sure if this email address is the right one for this kind of questions. Since now I apologize for any misspellings or grammatical mistakes with my English.
I am looking forward to hearing from you soon
Thank you for writing to me. I'm grateful for your message and support.
My best advice is to give yourself the time and focus you need to take care of you. When you do this, perhaps the other things you desire in life will eventually work in your favor.
Taking care of you is important.
As far as "finding the right diet," I must share with you something that might be hard to embrace at first: The "right" diet is the one designed with you, from you, within you.
Let me explain:
Instead of "diet" let's use the term "food plan."
If you'll set a budget, for you, I'm simply guessing- 1700 or 1800 calories per day, if honored, will likely support consistent weight loss.
I encourage you to use a higher budget than what you mentioned (1200 or 1500) because if you go too low, your metabolism will start working against you. Your metabolism is like a wood burning stove, in order to burn consistently and efficiently, it needs fuel.
This is a good time to point out that I'm not a dietician or nutritionist- far from it, all I have is my personal experience and what I've learned from studying the work of and listening to experts in these fields of study.
Once you decide on the boundaries of your calorie budget, create a list of foods you enjoy eating. Also, create a list of foods that you do not enjoy. Also, create a list of your personal trigger foods. These are foods that once you start eating, you can't seem to stop, or it quickly leads to binge episodes.
When designing your personal food plan, eat what you like, nothing you don't, and avoid your personal trigger foods as best you can.
Your main goal through this process is maintaining the integrity of your calorie budget. If you do this, your food plan will naturally evolve along the way.
Roberto, if you're an emotional and compulsive eater, I urge you to develop your accountability and support system. Seek out support groups either online or in person with members that relate to your challenges. Please don't try to go it alone.
What you're doing for yourself is something special and wonderful.
You're giving yourself a loving gift. Giving yourself this time and attention now and making it the most important thing has the potential to dramatically change things in your future in wonderful ways.
Never give up, Roberto. Don't stop dreaming. But even better than dreaming, don't stop doing these intentional actions bringing you freedom in so many beautiful ways.
If you have questions for me, feel free to write me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Today's Featured Tweets:
Protein, sprouted grains, and fresh fruit... missing my avocado this morning!! I cut it- and it was not good on the inside. #badavocado pic.twitter.com/bZ9DOyReUC— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 6, 2018
|Today was my grandson Noah's actual birthday! |
I still can't believe he's 5!
Thank you for reading and your continued support,