Wednesday, October 31, 2018

October 31st, 2018 In The Produce Section

October 31st, 2018 In The Produce Section

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

Conversations or at least a few words about weight loss, happen quite often while I'm out grocery shopping. I can't count the number of times someone has walked up and started a conversation with a question or a compliment and sometimes just a comment about the contents of my grocery cart. I don't mind at all. It's most usually a feel-good experience. It happened again yesterday. "So, what was the difference for you?"  That's a great question that could be answered in a very long-form way or a short and sweet way. I've learned how to keep it short and sweet in the produce section.

"I stopped dieting." This answer usually brings about a look of confusion. I don't leave it that short, I added: "Dieting was always a means to an end. If it's to be something I can sustain for the rest of my life it requires a different mindset. Instead of dieting, I look at what I do as recovery. That's the difference. It's a daily practice of intentional actions that have the best chance of keeping me in recovery for the rest of my life." 

My disease of food addiction and compulsive overeating laughs in the face of diets. If I try to put my disease up against a diet, the disease will win every time. The prize is my life and the disease would love nothing more than to take mine. The only opponent with a fighting chance is a daily practice anchored in recovery principals.

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It's Halloween! Oh my goodness! Scary!! I'm proud to say I haven't eaten Halloween candy in years and I don't plan on starting today. As far as my daily practice goes, today is just another Wednesday. It might require me to be a little more mindful at times especially if I encounter those spooky food pushers!! "Come on, it's Halloween--one won't hurt ya!" Uh, yeah--no, no, it will, in a very deep and profound way that goes far beyond the caloric content or ingredients list.

I can enjoy Halloween in ways that do not include sacrificing myself to the sugar-demon.
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Tonight is the Week 8 Group Conference Call for my accountability and support group! That means next Wednesday we start a brand new session. This upcoming session is the "Holiday Session," covering Thanksgiving, Christmas, and concluding with New Years. I've added six available spaces on a Thursday night group call at 8pm Central/9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific. A couple of people have already claimed a spot. If you're ready to discover the potential positive effects of being engaged with this dynamic and diverse group, let me know soon! The 8-Week Session fee is $120. You're added to our secret Facebook page for daily accountability and support interactions. The group calls are conducted via conference call line once weekly. You also get the added benefit of "spot support" via text/call with me and other group members. You don't have to go it alone. None of us do this alone. Join our team! Questions? Email me: transformation.road@gmail.com or call/text: 580-304-4531. I'll get back to you quickly.

Here's what one member our group has to say:
I am a longtime member of Sean's group and am in maintenance. Several years ago I had lost 50 lbs on my own but was stuck and needed something to help me finish....but it wasn't another food plan or something to make me scale obsessed. What I found was exactly what I needed to lose the rest of the weight- with Sean's wonderful support and a team of like-minded people, the emotional support to troubleshoot the mental part of losing weight, because in the end, it is not so much what you eat but the emotional obstacles that get in the way. Sean and the group will support you in creating a lifestyle that supports weight loss and maintenance. I cannot recommend this group enough! -D.A. in Washington D.C.

If you're ready for something different and powerful, I hope to hear from you soon!

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

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

October 30th, 2018 A Few

October 30th, 2018 A Few

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

Monday was a really decent one around here. It was nice to wake up to a relatively tidy living space! That started things much better.

I've facilitated a special, small, and exclusive teleconference support group for years now. We all gather on the same secret Facebook page and we come together each Wednesday evening on the conference line to discuss our individual plans--the triumphs, the struggles, and the action plans that help carry us forward. I don't necessarily refer to what I do as coaching. As the facilitator, my role is more of a mentor. I don't mention the group very often because we only have openings for new members every two months. Once a new 8-week session starts, I don't add new members.

We have a few spaces available for our next session starting November 7th. I call this the "Holiday Session" because it will include Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Our week 8 call is on December 26th and the session will officially conclude January 1st before the New Year Session starts January 2nd.  If you're interested in finding out more about this powerful accountability and support group, send me an email: transformation.road@gmail.com or call/text: 580-491-2228.  I'll get back with you quickly.

Thank you for reading and your continued support,
I hope to hear from you!
Strength,
Sean

Monday, October 29, 2018

October 29th, 2018 Feels Positive

October 29th, 2018 Feels Positive

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

I did some good cleaning in my apartment last night. It's interesting to me how the simple act of getting my living space in better order inspires better order in other areas of my life. I notice that connection every time I do things that need to be done. The cleaning is great, but I don't think this connection is exclusive to cleaning. I believe it's the sense of accomplishment--the setting of and achieving of a goal, no matter how short-term, just feels positive. Positive actions inspire more of the same.

Completing some production work yesterday afternoon at the studio was an effort against my tendency to procrastinate. The project wasn't due until the close of business today but I went ahead and got it done in an effort to make my Monday better. It felt good to click the send button with those finished files.

Mom and I had our weekly dinner out and store trip last night. It was a good visit. We dined at our usual--the Mexican restaurant close by my apartment. I like going there because they know me very well. My "special" order isn't special to them anymore--and often, all I need to say is "beef" or "chicken."

I'm jumping into my Monday with a positive attitude and a plan for success--I'm ready for a good day. It was a really good weekend, too.

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

Sunday, October 28, 2018

October 28th, 2018 Grown Some

October 28th, 2018 Grown Some

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

Thank you for enduring yesterday's long analysis of the Friday dynamics. Writing it out helps me "see" it better and if it's something that helps me, it might help someone else going through similar experiences.

One of the things I'm also doing is private journaling. I haven't always done this because I've used this blog to write out how I'm feeling along the way--but also, along the way, I've learned of how I'm truly limited on how deep I can go into personal details. I was an open book when this blog started. I still am as it pertains to my daily practice and many life-type things, but I've learned, when other people are involved in those things (personal relationships), it isn't fair for me to share about my life and theirs, too! Once upon a time, I wouldn't even ask permission to use photos I take with others on this blog--and that was inconsiderate. I might post fewer photos now--but when I do, I always ask first. Even if it's one of my grandchildren in the pic, I get permission from my daughters before putting it out there!

If I'm struggling with something that involves dating/personal relationships, my job, mom or other family members, or a number of other things, it must first go through an "appropriateness" filter...and usually, that type of stuff must be reserved for my private journaling. It would be different if this blog was written 100% anonymously, but I didn't create it that way. I suppose I've matured or at least, grown some.

For me, as I've grown--this blog has become less of a deeply personal outlet. It still helps me tremendously and I hope something I've shared along the way--and things I still share, have helped others too. My point is...

Personal and private journaling is powerful. I highly recommend it! It's helping me in many different ways without violating the privacy of others.

Yesterday was a stellar day. Writing yesterday's edition really helped me have a better day. When a day comes where I'm feeling exceptionally vulnerable, if I can sort it out, I can most usually see where it comes down to something I'm doing or not doing. It isn't a right or wrong thing, good or bad--it's simply a "what's working" and "what isn't" type of thing. The question is always, "What can I learn from this experience?" 

I had a good location broadcast at the same grocery store from Friday's broadcast--and this time I wasn't overwhelmed with food obsessions! I was able to do my job, do it well, and make it back to the studio for a training session with some new voice talents we've hired. I picked up some more 99cent a pound Zestar apples (these might be my new favorite)--and cut one up to enjoy during the training. It was great! I made it home to prepare lunch and do a few other things before embarking on a Halloween themed adventure with my grandson Noah.
 














We made our way out to the Haunted Trails for a bit of spooky hiking through the wilderness. Noah loves Halloween and it takes a lot to scare him. It was fairly intense at times--and a few times he did grab my hand and get behind me, but then again when he did get truly scared, he would tell the actors, "you're not real, you're fake!" We had an absolutely fantastic time together. It had been too long since we had some quality time. He's so smart, that boy, my goodness--I feel so blessed and grateful for the time we spend together.

My food is planned well for today, I'll be in contact with support friends, and I plan to get my apartment in order! It's over-due for a good cleaning!

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

Saturday, October 27, 2018

October 27th, 2018 Of All Things

October 27th, 2018 Of All Things

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

It required a good measure of focus yesterday on the work tasks I needed to complete before yesterday's schedule of location broadcasts took me away from the studio for the day. I often pride myself on being a good multi-tasker but yesterday, I wasn't so much. I didn't plan my food schedule very well. I was on the way to my first of three location broadcasts when I realized I didn't have anything packed for lunch. Food would be available at the hospital location of the first two, but I didn't know what it might include--and I normally don't leave it up to chance. I've got to have a backup plan just in case. 

I stopped to grab a package of salted peanuts and some cheese. Not dry roasted, salted. Did you know the dry roasting process involves sugar? That's something I learned a while back while reading ingredients labels. Anyway-- so I grab the peanuts, cheese, and a water, and I was off. It was a good thing I did because due to HIPPA regulations we couldn't do our broadcast from the actual waiting room of the event (where the food was located). We were placed outside of the building--and that was fine, it worked. I didn't even see the food table until I made my way inside to thank the client before leaving.

They did have some decent choices--but I was okay. My peanuts, cheese, a bottle of water, and a Starbucks Pike roast with three tablespoons of half and half kept me just fine for those three hours. By the end of the next broadcast from a grocery store, no less, I was tired and really hungry. This is not a good combination for me. 

Tired and hungry. My lack of planning left me vulnerable.

Now, one might suggest grabbing a piece of fruit from the produce section or maybe some almonds--great suggestions, certainly--but in a state of tired and hungry, my brain doesn't work as efficiently. In this compromised state, my brain was absorbing and obviously being influenced by the marketing messages coming out of my mouth on-air, because I quickly became obsessed with chili-cheese dogs. I know, right?? Of all things.

I started reading ingredients lists in-between on-air breaks, like a madman. I couldn't find one brand of canned chili without sugar listed. Sure, I could make my own like I've done in the past--but in this state of mind, fast and easy seems to be part of the attraction. I made my way over to the hot dogs--an uncured, premium brand would work, I thought. I found one that didn't contain refined sugar in the ingredients list but that didn't really help without a refined sugar-free match in the chili department. And what about the bun? I didn't have a plan there. This store doesn't carry refined sugar-free/flour free Ezekiel bread--so the chance of finding a brand without those two ingredients was pretty much impossible.

At this point in my tired and hungry quest, I was adding frustration to the list of qualities that make me most vulnerable.

Tired, hungry, and frustrated. If I could've found a way to also feel angry and lonely, I might have found a tipping point toward the dark side.

Recounting the beats of yesterday's story is helping me have a clearer perspective on the elements that brought it about. It's certainly serious stuff for me, but as I read what I'm writing I can't help but laugh at myself. 

I had to dismiss the idea of chili dogs. That wasn't happening. Could it one day? Sure. I could make the chili at home without sugar, I could get those premium uncured dogs, and I could go pick up some kind of Ezekiel product that would work well for this messy mission. But that wasn't happening yesterday.

My immediate goal became: Get this broadcast finished and make it home without wrecking. Not my car, my food plan.

I needed a plan. I immediately connected via text with a support friend. I decided fast, simple, and satisfying was 100% necessary--and that brought me to the idea of an omelet for an early dinner. I texted my dinner plan--committed to it... and suddenly, I felt better. I had a plan. A better plan earlier would have prevented the need for this revised plan-but what happened, happened---and it's never too late to devise an exit strategy. What's the next right move?

I picked up a few things I needed for my dinner omelet, finished the broadcast, and made it home by 5:20pm. I didn't waste any time. I went straight to the kitchen and started preparing my meal.

I tweeted a pic of the meal too, as a bookend of sorts, sent a text, and sat there reflecting on the day as I enjoyed my early dinner. What an unnecessary adventure I created!

I watched some Netflix before falling asleep for a short while--then ran to the store for mom followed by a good visit with her later in the evening.

It was a good day because it reminded me--taught me again, that it's really easy to get a little too casual with my individual plan elements. In order for me to do well and be well, I must always make certain things important, regardless of the schedule or circumstance. And when I do get into a place like I did yesterday, it's important--critically important--for me to reach for support instead of the food.

I'm back at that same grocery store today for another big broadcast. I'll go into it having enjoyed a good breakfast--and it's only a two-hour broadcast schedule today--so it's super easy. I doubt I'll be bombarded by crazy food thoughts during this one.

Oh--I did score some 99cent a pound Zestar apples yesterday--oh my, they're amazing!! I might grab some more today. And last night, after my visit with mom, I made my way into another store for Ezekiel bread and ended up finding pears for 88cents a pound!! I'm stocked!

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

Friday, October 26, 2018

October 26th, 2018 Bigger Point

October 26th, 2018 Bigger Point

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, I got some good exercise last night at my broadcast, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

Yesterday evening's broadcast was perfect for getting plenty of natural exercise. It was an outdoor event spread across the downtown area. Thousands showed up for this annual Halloween themed event--one that was almost canceled because of the cloudy and rainy weather. The weather didn't stop people from showing up, for sure! My plan was to keep moving the entire broadcast--and I did.

The food weighing, measuring, and logging I do each day really helps keep me "between the lines" of my food plan boundaries. One thing that's important to point out is how it really is just a way to help me keep the portions reasonable. It's like a guide. I'm not under the illusion that it's always 100% accurate because I've used MFP entries before that was discovered to be inaccurate.  I don't make myself crazy with trying to be pinpoint accurate. I weigh and measure on my digital food scales at home and work and I guestimate based on my experience when dining out. The point isn't to be 100% accurate to the calorie--I honestly think that would be close to impossible. The point is to be close enough--and the bigger point is to NOT compulsively over-eat, binge, or casually eat beyond a point conducive for weight-loss and/or weight maintenance. The daily practice of weighing, measuring, and logging helps keep me within the boundaries of my food plan.

Today includes my morning show and three location broadcasts throughout the day--two different broadcasts from the hospital's mammogram event and one from a grocery store later this afternoon. It'll be a long day, but that's fine--I'm planned and ready to make it a good one.

Certain elements of my plan must remain constant regardless of the schedule. I must weigh, measure, and log my food, I must plan, and I must stay connected with people in the same lifeboat.  I'll be doing those critically important things today.

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

Thursday, October 25, 2018

October 25th, 2018 Sometimes Not

October 25th, 2018 Sometimes Not

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

One of my Wednesday goals was to make sure I maneuvered through my schedule better in order to have dinner before my evening commitments. I finally did it yesterday. I was eating dinner at 5:30pm. It kept me from doing my usual late dinner on Wednesday night and set me up for an earlier bedtime. I tell ya, sometimes I have the hardest time doing things differently. I get set in a routine--and sometimes those routines are helpful and sometimes not. I was happy with that change yesterday.

I slept well apparently because I overslept this morning. I'm cutting this edition short in order to get to the studio on time.

Today includes an afternoon/evening broadcast from a big Halloween themed event downtown. I'll use that opportunity to get some good exercise during that two-hour broadcast.

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

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

October 24th, 2018 Remain Routine

October 24th, 2018 Remain Routine

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

Receiving birthday wishes from so many yesterday was truly a blessing. It was a beautiful thing to hear from some I hadn't in a very long time. The family dinner last night was just perfect, too. I picked up mom for the short drive over to Irene and Allen's place where everyone was gathered. My daughters and all four of my grandchildren were there! It was very special.

I called ahead to check on the meal just in case it might have been something outside of my food plan boundaries. I was quickly reminded that it was my birthday--and in honor of that, the meal was prepared considering my food plan. My family knows me very well. Chicken Marsala with roasted potatoes, carrots, and green beans was an absolutely perfect birthday dinner. I was so grateful to have that time with everyone.

Through all the birthday wishes, I also stayed well connected with support contacts yesterday. As far as my daily practice goes, it doesn't matter what day it is--certain practices must be honored. I'm aware of that, always, because, especially on a day where it feels very special, I must remember that some things remain routine.

I'm headed to work this morning ready for a good day. I have my food prep packed and ready, I've completed my morning foundational routine, and it's about time to hit the door.

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

October 23rd, 2018 Memory Lane-Birthday Edition

October 23rd, 2018 Memory Lane-Birthday Edition

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

I thought I'd do something interesting for this post. Let's hop into the DDWL Time Machine!!
On my 36th birthday-11 months before starting this blog















Ten Years Ago:
There are about three small painful sores that need healing. And it will take 3 to 4 days of being immobile, on my back, legs elevated, prescription ointment and a heavy duty antibiotic to get it done. So the bad news is I will not be able to workout this Friday through Monday, the good news is, once the sores are completely healed by Monday night...I will probably never have another sore again. I say this with complete confidence because I remember what a positive effect losing 115 pounds back in 2004 had. When I got down to 385 back then, my leg was in great shape...minor swelling was about it...No sores or anything...And we weren't even wrapping every day! The health of my leg is a big motivating thought for me. I know that losing this weight will dramatically improve the condition. During this downtime, I will only get up to use the restroom and write very short blogs each evening. I also plan on reducing my calories during this four day period. It's just a minor speed bump, but a necessary one. And I'll emerge ready to hit the racquetball court and the treadmills even harder!

Tomorrow is my 37th birthday. Another year older is much easier to take when you realize that you're doing something positive every day. Bring it on 37! I'm ready for ya! I hope you truly understand how much I sincerely appreciate your support and readership here. I try to respond to all who comment, I get behind sometimes, but I will respond! And if you're traveling this same road let us know! I'll support you 100%.

Nine Years Ago:
Amber presented me with the most wonderful gift when we arrived back at the house. Let me give you a little back story on this one: When we visited the campus of Southwestern Oklahoma State University at the start of her freshman year, we found the university selling t-shirts that had a variety of things printed on them. Irene bought a “SWOSU MOM” t-shirt, and I really wanted a “SWOSU Dad” shirt. At 505 pounds, there was no way in the world they had one that would even come close to fitting. We looked, nope---no “SWOSU Dad” shirt for me. That experience was from September 2008, two days later I started this life-changing journey. Well, after losing nearly 225 pounds so far, I have one now! Amber presented me with one last night for my birthday. A 2x, and it fit so perfectly---and it’s not even the biggest size they offer!!! Can you believe that? I almost cried with joy. I have so much pride and joy for my daughters, I’ll wear this shirt with a sense of pride and an incredible sense of accomplishment. I’ll never forget how I felt the day I couldn’t fit in one---It’s a beautiful day today. And I fit beautifully.

Thank you for reading and following along this most wonderful transformation. If you’re just starting your own journey, please understand that there’s nothing special about me. Really. Honestly---I don’t know everything, I’m not an “expert,” and I certainly don’t pretend or claim to be. I’m just a man that was tired of being morbidly obese my entire life. I was tired of being scared that I would die too young because of my size. I was tired of not fitting---in clothes, in society, and in good health. I wanted to change for so long. I wanted to, but I never was able to really get it right until now. I invite you to go back and read what has brought me to Day 404, and realize---I’m not done yet. I still have work to do. But I hope you fully understand along the way---that you can do this too. You can experience the beautiful freedom that I embrace. As simple as it sounds, if I can do this---you can too. I’ve been where you are. I know what it’s like to be in excess of 500 pounds for nearly two decades. I wish you well my friend.

Four Years Ago:
I woke up today feeling good about it being my 43rd birthday. I tried to go back into the archives to read how I was doing on my 42nd birthday, but I didn't blog a single page the last half of 2013. Honestly, I didn't need to read about it, I remember it well. I woke feeling depressed a year ago. I had gained back a big amount of weight and I was in the middle of the 'I've got to get a handle on this, now' cycle. That cycle was two or three days of doing well followed by two weeks of doing bad--and repeat. 

Waking up today and feeling alive again felt incredible. A year ago, it felt improbable to ever feel like this again. When I looked in the mirror last year, all I could see was someone getting older and looking older--and worst of all, a man who was quickly losing hope for anything better. Honestly, it was mild to moderate depression. 

I looked in the mirror this morning and staring back at me was a man who has a renewed spirit, new hope, dreams and most of all, a new attitude and perspective. My state of mind is one hundred eighty degrees what it was on this day a year ago. My whole world has opened.

Only I know how truly bad it became--because it hit levels I haven't shared with anyone. Suffice to say, this turnaround, in my opinion, is nothing short of a miracle. I am truly blessed.

I don't know what you see when you look at me--or what you think, and seriously--that isn't any of my business anyway, but I assure you--I am living, walking, breathing proof that a turnaround--even coming from the perspective of doom and gloom, is real, possible and within reach.

Two Years Ago:
The weekend was simply perfect. Top it off with the awesome numbers from yesterday's health fair screening--and wow, turning 45 wasn't so bad after all!

I sometimes try to imagine my condition had I not started down this road. Assuming I'd still be alive, I think it would be extremely bad stuff. Anyway--I don't want to think about that too much more. But I did go there this morning after getting in touch with all I have to be thankful for--my gratitude list is long--and it just naturally evolved into, Hmmm...I wonder what life would be like if I never turned this direction?

I'm blessed and very grateful to be right here, right now. And it isn't a given or guaranteed forever, either. Remaining at a healthy body weight isn't the main focus--the weight maintenance is a side-effect of the bigger focus: Taking extraordinary care of myself each day, every day. If I take care each day--and I maintain the integrity of my plan--then the weight maintenance will take care of itself.

This morning:
That was a nice trip down memory lane! I turn 47 today. I have much gratitude for so many blessings along this road. Today, I feel connected with my daily practice--and that connection must renew each morning, that's something I've grown to understand and appreciate. Of all the goals I have--the dreams ahead of me, the most important thing is my continued and improving wellness. When I say "continued and improving wellness," I'm not simply referring to the maintenance of a healthy body-weight. I'm going deeper than that-- it's the whole mind-body-soul type of wellness because that's a maintenance plan that, if given the proper attention, nourishing, and practice, will keep me physically well as a very natural side-effect.

I'm joining my daughters and their significant others, all four of my grandchildren, mom, my wonderful ex-wife Irene and her significant other this evening and part of that get together will be spent celebrating my birthday. Noah is super-excited about it being my birthday. He's five, so birthdays are like the biggest deal ever. Last year he insisted I needed a Spider-Man birthday party! I can't wait to see everyone later this evening.

I'm headed to work for a productive day. The wonderful rush of happy birthday wishes has already started and with each one, I smile. Thank you.

Sincerely, thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Monday, October 22, 2018

October 22nd, 2018 State Of Mind

October 22nd, 2018 State Of Mind

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

I really turn 47 years old tomorrow. It's interesting because I had a chance to be 46 all over again. If you're a regular reader, you might remember how I totally--completely spent my entire 45th year convinced I was already 46. I was certain I'd be turning 47 a year ago until a week or so before my birthday when I actually did the math and realized I was wrong. When I say I was convinced, I mean 100%, without a doubt. So when the truth was discovered--it truly was like getting a do-over at 46.

I'm trying very hard to not look at 46 with a critical eye. Instead, I'm pulling the positives and moving forward. The confusion had a positive effect by reminding me how I wasn't necessarily as old as I think I am. I'm not talking in terms of age, I'm talking in terms of how I feel. I remember arriving on the Los Angeles stand-up scene in 2003 at 31 years old and wondering if I had waited too long. I seriously thought I might have been too old to "start" the serious pursuit portion of my stand-up career. That perspective is hilarious to me now. To think I'm old now is also a ridiculous perspective.

I believe the personal "race against age" can be detrimental to progress. One of the big things I've learned in the last ten years is how quickly things can change with consistent and positive effort. When I read about or hear of someone reaching their healthiest body weight in their 60's or 70's, or how they're running a marathon at 71, it only serves as a reminder of how age is simply a number and barring any major medical issues, it's largely a state of mind.

Taking the focus off the number and bringing it into today--what can I do today?--will support positive progress. I've had the pleasure and privilege to witness many individuals transformations and the one thing I realize from it is how quickly it can happen when they're dialed into today. I must remember that when it comes to my own continued wellness and forward progress.

Visualizations of where we want to go are important but those visualizations are fueled by the actions we're willing to make and take today. When I visualize the future, I try not to visualize specific actions I'll take and make someday. I do my best to visualize what I hope will come from the positive actions I'm doing today--just for today plus more days like this, will add up to the visualizations becoming reality.

It was a good weekend here. I'm ready to jump into my Monday with a positive attitude. Anything is possible.

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

Sunday, October 21, 2018

October 21st, 2018 That Would Be Nice

October 21st, 2018 That Would Be Nice

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

Staying focused is a challenge for me. Certainly, there are things I've found a way to stay focused on or I wouldn't be here, but of all the things I focus on well, there are many things that don't get the same level of attention. In an effort to change this pattern, I'm looking at the things I'm able to focus on and dissecting what makes those work. I'm hoping this personal study will help me unlock a few areas of progress important to me.

I think it starts with the importance level I subconsciously assign things in my life. My "importance level knob" seems to have two settings, "life or death" and "that would be nice." Does that make sense? From one extreme to the other--The life or death setting requires boundaries and daily practices designed to keep me well. The that would be nice setting doesn't conjure up solid boundaries, daily practices, or action plans--because I can survive without the things attached to this setting. Not thrive, just survive.

Creating a few new settings between these two is critically important for me and my personal development.

The things I've written about so many times--too many times, like a committed weight training regimen, better overall physical fitness, and professional development goals/personal projects (another book, consistently released podcast episodes, developing a public speaking career, etc.)--all of those have been stuck in the "that would be nice" category in my brain.

Before I break each of my goals down into workable action plans they must receive a new importance level setting in my brain.

That would be nice is a setting best kept for things largely out of my control, like winning 1.6 billion dollars in the Mega Millions Lottery. Sure, that would be nice, but it isn't likely--especially since I never buy 'em, but at 1.6 billion, I might pick up a couple before Tuesday evening. That would be nice, huh?

These very real and important goals of mine deserve a better setting. Clearly, they're not physically and literally life or death things. But they do mean life or death for my dreams.

I don't want to reach the end of my life--laying there with my time up as family and friends stop by to visit, and I'm laying there preoccupied with mental visits from unrealized goals and dreams that were never given a chance to flourish. "Oh, what could have been" is a phrase I don't want in my brain during my last days on this earth.

This is a good place to find me. I'm looking at what works well and pulling some of that structure into other areas of my life. I'm creating new importance level settings in my brain. I'm creating action plans for real progress. I'm changing that would be nice into that is a must.

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

Saturday, October 20, 2018

October 20th, 2018 For Me To Create

October 20th, 2018 For Me To Create

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, I took a very casual 30-minute stroll (walk) around the neighborhoods last night, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

It feels kind of strange to not have any commitments this weekend. No location broadcasts, no extra emcee type things--just a weekend, wide open for me to create. I'm certainly well rested for whatever I create and decide to do! I slept in like a champ. It felt good. The instinct to set the alarms before bed is a natural thing-- reminding myself at that moment how it isn't necessary, is wonderful.

My walk last night reminded me of a couple things. First, it reminded me of how exercise isn't found exclusively at "a place." I was simply out walking the neighborhoods around my apartment community. Secondly, it reminded me of how taking that time allows me to reflect and create. When I was actively pursuing stand-up all those years ago, some of my best writing happened while I was driving. I wasn't actually writing things down--but my brain was reflecting and creating...and I would flesh out bits--refine them, work them--say them aloud, repeat, repeat, repeat, until they were ready to try in front of an audience--and often, some of those bits never made it to paper. It's the same thing now--walking and thinking create the same dynamic for me.

I have a weekend to devote to my personal projects and that makes me very happy! It won't be all work though, I do plan on spending some time with my five-year-old grandson. It's been too long since he and I hung out.

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

Friday, October 19, 2018

October 19th, 2018 Hang With Me

October 19th, 2018 Hang With Me

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

The funky feeling started hitting me early yesterday morning during my radio show. I'm usually pretty good at masking it on the air but quickly, I realized I wasn't doing a very good job of masking anything. I felt sick. Instead of pushing through, I organized the schedule, made changes in plans, and left work early to get some additional rest. I was feeling better by mid-afternoon. I had to cancel my participation as a judge in the Harry Potter costume contest last night. I gave them plenty of notice to replace me, and they were completely cool. I'm not 100%, but maybe 80% this morning with no fever, so I'm up and at 'em, ready to go for a solid Friday. Who knows what it was or is, but whatever it is, it's not anything major--and for that, I'm grateful.

The recent goals workshop with Gerri Helms has me completely enthused about things I haven't had enthusiasm for in quite some time. Hang with me and you'll start to see some of these things take form!

It's very easy to get into a rhythm unconducive for positive change even when that rhythm keeps us fairly well, or "okay," or better than it used to be once upon a time. I want more. What I'm discovering as I sort through the elements creating my personal rhythm is this: It doesn't take major- sweeping changes in order to move in the direction of our dreams. In fact, seemingly small, intentional actions interrupt the rhythm of complacency and allow us to change our course at a speed allowing the calmest of stable progression. Fast and furious doesn't work well for me. Completely upending my life and routine would only serve to counter the very stability on which my daily practice aims.

The daily practice is working well at the moment. My food plan is in good shape and my focus on the important structural elements (meditation-personal spiritual time-staying connected with others in the same life boat-logging and tracking-offering support to others-listening to others more experienced than me) feels like it's in a great place.

Okay-- I better get into this Friday! I have a busy morning radio show planned and waiting for me. This weekend provides a wonderful opportunity for me to accomplish some things I haven't made time for recently. I have zero radio or special event commitments this weekend. I haven't been able to say that in a month or so, so that's a good thing!

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

Thursday, October 18, 2018

October 18th, 2018 Bigger Thing

October 18th, 2018 Bigger Thing

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

I'm discovering ways to better navigate my schedule on particular days of the week--and Wednesday is teaching me how it must start earlier in the day. The nice thing about this perspective is how I'm not beating myself up because of my late dinner or later bedtime, I'm simply looking at the facts and finding ways to rearrange when and how I do things. This is certainly a practice that will help me every day of the week.

I'm enthusiastic about the road ahead. The changes to my plan are working well and really amount to a few minor adjustments in the elements of my daily practice. The bigger thing is giving my plan each day the level of importance it deserves. It's easy to fall into a sort of auto-pilot mode where certain elements are just expected to happen--but they don't happen in the most efficient way without a measure of awareness and intention. In other words, I'm giving special attention to things I haven't because they're all important. 

My food is planned for today, I've already completed my morning foundational routine, and I believe I'm ready for a good Thursday.

I'm one of the judges for a Harry Potter 20th Anniversary costume contest tonight at one of the big sponsors of my morning show. Butter Beer isn't on my plan, so I'll bring my water--or hey, they have a coffee bar--yeah, that!

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

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

October 17th, 2018 Social

October 17th, 2018 Social

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, I had a good walk last night, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

I've added quite a few MyFitnessPal friends lately--and thank you! Jeanne, thank you for your message with your request! Staying connected and open has been a major part of this when it's going well. The opposite of connected and open always played a big role when it hasn't gone well over the years. The importance of building accountability and support measures--and staying open and connected, is imperative for my continued wellness--and anyone's, in my opinion.

If you're using MyFitnessPal to log your food, I invite you to send a friend request my way! My diary is set to public, always--I'd love to have you along! My username is: SeanAAnderson

Also, if we're not Facebook friends, I'd love to have you there as well. www.facebook.com/seananderson505 and Twitter, too: www.twitter.com/seanaanderson  I have Instagram but I just haven't gotten into using it regularly, I'm SeanAAnderson on Instagram, too.

The opportunity to connect with people "in the same lifeboat" is made a thousand times better with social media. Remember the old days, before social media? My attitude and perspective on social media are positive--it's all in how it's used. Using it to create an environment of support can be a very positive thing--a game changer, in my experience!

Things are going very well here. I'm taking exceptional care of my plan each day and staying directly connected with close support contacts. 

I'm looking forward to the road ahead! And that's a wonderful thing.

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

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

October 16th, 2018 Much Easier

October 16th, 2018 Much Easier

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

Sometimes, just getting something done that's been on your list awhile, creates a wonderful feeling of accomplishment! My mom has been through multiple cell phone issues over the last couple of years. Every time, we've said--you just need a landline--a simple phone, well, now she's got one. No more chargers, burned up batteries from over-charging, tiny buttons, and confusing options--just a phone. It's a big relief for both of us.

Things have been going well lately. The elements of my daily practice are better and I'm feeling confident about moving in a positive direction. What's interesting to me is how this tightening of sorts has cleared enough mental space for me to make measurable progress on my other goals.

The recent goals workshop with Gerri Helms really helped me solidify some goals, visions, and the action plans needed for these things. Now, with a more confident, certain, and positive stride, giving those things the attention they need is coming much easier.

My food is planned for today, I've accomplished my morning routine, and I'm ready for a productive Tuesday. The daily practice continues!

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

Monday, October 15, 2018

October 15th, 2018 Rest Day

October 15th, 2018 Rest Day

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

Sunday was a rest day in many ways. I slept-in very well! This has turned out to be a very busy season so far. It was good to have a slower pace yesterday. I did conduct a training session yesterday afternoon for a couple hours, but that wasn't too bad at all.

Mom and I made a trip yesterday evening to visit Courtney and the little ones. They're only twenty-five minutes away and still, it seems, we don't see them enough. Noah, Oliver, and Phoebe are doing great! Noah was super excited about the visit, too-- he was in fine form, putting on his T-Rex costume and scaring us all! Oh my goodness, we needed that visit.

We dined at our tried and true Mexican place after the visit. As far as my food plan is concerned, I always bring a plan into that place.  Without a plan, that place could be super dangerous for me. I honored the boundaries of my plan and it was a good meal and visit. We skipped the shopping portion of our weekly outing because it was getting too late.

I'm feeling very good about the actions I'm doing each day in taking exceptional care of my overall plan. Everything about it is tightened just a little more. It's basically the same plan, just making sure I pause long enough to give each element the care and attention it deserves, and of course--the slightly smaller calorie budget (2,000 or less). Staying connected with exceptional support has been key.














I love apples and pears! Last food of the day was enjoyed!

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

Sunday, October 14, 2018

October 14th, 2018 Prepared

October 14th, 2018 Prepared

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, I ended up with significant natural exercise, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

As far as my food plan was concerned, yesterday's challenges were identical to Friday's challenges. Friday it was plenty of off-plan food offered at my location broadcast and later that evening with the pressbox catering. Yesterday was the same location broadcast and instead of pressbox catering, it was the food table at the wedding I was djing/emceeing. I had plenty of access to off-plan choices. I showed up prepared. And for me, "prepared" isn't exclusively about the food. It's about staying connected with accountability measures and support contacts.

When I choose to stay connected with accountability and support, suddenly I'm not trying to "go it alone." Going it alone doesn't work for me. I've tried that route and it doesn't lead to good places.

The refinements I've applied to my plan are going very well. Fortunately, these changes aren't giant changes, they're small adjustments and tweaks-but I know from experience, given the time and commitment, the consequences will be favorable.

One of the challenges of late is saying no. I have a hard time saying no to special projects or extra jobs even when I seriously don't have the time or energy to say yes-- but I end up saying yes and somehow making it through whatever is required. The problem in that is, it usually turns out okay, but often at an expense that takes from other areas of my life. Case in point-- The other night, on the spot--I was offered an extra job that came with the phrase, "...and I pay very well." I appreciate the opportunity and Lord knows I have bills that could use that money--and it is certainly a nice validation that what I do, I do well, but I'll likely say no to that opportunity because the time and commitment required is too high an investment on my part. Saying "no" is difficult for me--and the reason why I believe--is directly tied to my past. Let me explain...

Saying no goes against my desire to be accommodating and agreeable in order to maintain likability. The flaw in that pursuit is how constantly saying yes when the best answer is sometimes no, gives the illusion of likability while tearing down respect and consideration...but it's a pattern for me that developed in the mind of my 500-pound body over the years because in my brain, I thought my appearance was enough of a barrier to being likable--so in that flawed perspective, I couldn't risk doing or saying anything that might diminish opportunities to be liked or favored. Make sense? Yeah, it's deep stuff.

Finding the balance between what I can and cannot do--and between what I shouldn't and should do, is an ongoing challenge. Basing those decisions on the above-mentioned dynamic isn't healthy for me and only leads to resentment and exhaustion. When I speak of this "daily practice," it covers so much more than my food and exercise plan.


















Last night's wedding was a wonderful experience. The whole thing went very well and even ended a little earlier than expected. I was planning on stopping at IHOP on the way home for coffee and a low-cal omelet, instead, I opted to wait and prepare my own at home. The 1.5-hour drive went well and waiting turned out to be the best decision for me.



















Stadium announcing at Friday's football game was certainly out of my comfort zone but it really was an honor to be asked and it worked out really well. I had a lot of fun with it--especially my personal spin on "...and that's good for another Ponca City Wildcat Firrrrrsssst Down and Tennnnnnnnnnnyyyyyyyuuugh."  The "yuh" at the end was my little unique signature. I wasn't the most knowledgeable booth announcer or the most qualified by any stretch, but thanks to the spotter and assistant in the booth, I was able to pull it off.

My two extra events this weekend were things I'm really glad I said yes to doing. It was a really good experience all the way around.

I slept in today-- wonderfully. I feel rested and ready for my Sunday. I'm about to prepare a meal before going to the studio for a training session I'm conducting for new on-air talent.

I plan on picking up mom later for her weekly dinner out and shopping trip. She looks forward to getting out and about. Mom is doing well in several ways. She's starting to make the most of her time day to day, too--exploring ways to enjoy her days, instead of just focusing on when she can get out and go. And that's a very good thing.

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

Saturday, October 13, 2018

October 13th, 2018 Teaching Me

October 13th, 2018 Teaching Me

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my slightly reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

I've noticed a big difference in my stride the last couple days. It's not just feeling good about the changes in my daily practice, it's proceeding with a certain measure of certainty I was missing.

Uncertainty, to me, is a like an infection. It grows. Suddenly, where we are isn't certain and how we must proceed isn't either. Laying everything out on the table this week has helped me restore a measure of certainty by showing me where I am, where I want to be, and it's helped clearly define the action steps needed to shut down the uncertainty. This experience is helping me with my daily practice, of course, but it's also teaching me about how this dynamic affects my other goals. My goodness--I could write 20,000 words on this at the moment--but I'll save it for now.

Yesterday included a lot of free food offered to me throughout the course of the day. It was at my broadcast earlier in the day and it was in the press box at the stadium last night for a game where I was the fill-in public address announcer. I committed my plan to a support friend and a kept it in every way. These type of situations sometimes include on-plan foods and in those situations, I can make adjustments and put together a meal. The events yesterday didn't include food on my plan. It was a lot of trigger foods for me, so it was a no-can-do. I made sure to navigate with what I needed when I needed it, and it worked out well.

The food-plan dynamics of today are almost identical to yesterday. I have a location broadcast this morning and tonight I'm booked to play music and emcee a wedding ceremony/reception in Oklahoma City. More free food, everywhere!! My goodness! I'll do the same as yesterday--I'll commit a plan with the right to call an audible and then, I'll make sure I have what I need in case the choices just don't work for me.

If you're on MyFitnessPal, I invite you to friend me! My username is SeanAAnderson. You can join me on Twitter too, @SeanAAnderson

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

Friday, October 12, 2018

October 12th, 2018 Humble and Grateful

October 12th, 2018 Humble and Grateful

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my slightly reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, I had a good exercise session at the YMCA, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

Those points above-- yes, yes, yes--highlights of an exceptional day. The best part wasn't any specific action, though. The best part was the mental and emotional freedom experienced after yesterday's post.

Recognizing the trend, being alarmed about the trend, keeping the effects of the trend largely to myself--constantly being reminded of the trend with tighter clothes and pictures that look just a tad bit "fuller," is exhausting. Standing up, facing forward, laying the facts out on the table for all to see, and most importantly, creating an action plan, was super-empowering and very much like releasing a pressure valve.

The love and support received on this blog, in email, messenger, and on Facebook, was absolutely beautiful, too. Thank you, sincerely. I'm humble and grateful.

One email from a longtime reader (thank you, Becky!), very gently and kindly, asked if my food plan had been as tight as it needed to be or if it became loose, especially after stopping the extreme accountability of the tweet stream of everything. Very good question!

Yes, in certain ways it did get a little loose. At the same time, logging everything in MFP remained and will remain a daily part of the practice, indefinitely. Still, more meals out--less care and attention to preparing my own meals, small differences that weren't as precise as before, certainly could have contributed to a certain extent.

I do believe I created the perfect storm-- maintaining 2300 calories per day, not weighing myself, lack of activity, lack of proper rest, getting older (as a few suggested--uhg!!)--I think it all contributed in different ways.

I've learned enough to realize the exercise is important but it isn't a big factor for the bottom line unless we're talking about hard-core Olympic-style training--and that's never been me. Let's be real. It always comes back to the food plan. Refining my food with this new action plan will be good for me. Slightly lowering the budget by a few hundred calories, getting enough exercise, and getting better and more rest, will all contribute in positive ways. I'm not bringing back the tweets just yet, but I'm not completely opposed to it either.

As for the gain-- eighteen pounds in a year is a creep. A consistent creep, but a creep. For someone like me, with my past behaviors, I'm capable of gaining eighteen pounds in a couple weeks. Heck fire, if I really "tried," I can pack on a hundred or more in a years time--I've done it, remember?

I'm grateful and humble to be right where I am. Surrounded with good support and moving forward in a very positive way.

I have a location broadcast midday and I'm the stadium announcer tonight for the big football game (never done that before--wish me luck--and say a little prayer for it to go well, please!) My food is planned and my day is set. I'm ready for another good one.

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

Thursday, October 11, 2018

October 11th, 2018 The Creep

October 11th, 2018 The Creep

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

The learning never stops along this road unless we close our minds and turn off the sources of learning.

My trek back into maintenance mode over three years ago looked almost identical to what I was doing during the process of getting back to my healthiest body-weight. I was still making all the elements of my daily practice important: I was still maintaining a consistent and intentional exercise schedule, I was still weighing my body on a regular schedule (every two weeks, then every three weeks, eventually monthly, and then even fewer), and the only changes to my food plan was an increased calorie budget that, with trial and error, slowly made its way to where it felt right, 2,300 calories per day.

To me, the idea was to fashion a daily practice sustainable for long-term maintenance of a healthy body-weight. It worked very well. In the first year of maintenance, I enjoyed a tight fluctuation of fewer than five pounds. It was working! In fact, maintenance found me at my healthiest body weight of 203.4 on July 14th, 2016.

By that time, I'd already relaxed my weigh-ins to a month apart, sometimes a little more, actually--as I look back at the record in MyFitnessPal... But my commitment to every other area remained strong and important. By February 9th, 2017, my weight had crept up to 207.2 and feeling confident, I decided that regular weigh-ins weren't as important. By May 18th, 2017 I checked in at 209.4 and by Friday, September 8th, 2017, I weighed in at 211.

I remember being frustrated by this uptick from the previous low from almost a year and a half prior, but quietly and calmly, I checked myself--made sure my food plan was tight and my exercise schedule, that had absolutely declined a measure, was back in a good, consistent place. A month and a half later on October 20th of last year, I was 210.5. Okay--there, I thought.

In the year since that October 20th, 2017 weigh-in, I did two things: I stopped working out consistently in the name of a busy schedule and I decided to try living free from the scale. Why?? Let's get into that...

As a life-long compulsive overeater/food addict, my most important focus was and still is: Not compulsively overeating and maintaining my abstinence from refined sugar. In an effort to refine my relationship with my daily food plan, after nearly four years straight, I even stopped tweeting every single thing back in April.

The most important work wasn't the photos and tweeting (although I still take pictures of my meals), no. The most important work was not compulsively overeating and remaining abstinent from refined sugar while putting the food in its proper place. I've done that by staying connected with exceptional support and maintaining a daily practice with my well-defined food plan.

However, this daily practice must be more than just a food plan. Without a consistent workout schedule, while still maintaining a 2,300 calorie per day budget, my weight has slowly crept up the scale. Since I've been living scale-free for the last year, I was largely oblivious to the creep until the last few months. That's when I really started noticing my clothes becoming a little tighter. I also started noticing subtle differences in my face and body.

These things alarmed me but rather than stepping on the scale to check in with my body, I decided to simply recommit to a consistent exercise schedule. The thing is, doing that takes a plan of action--just saying it doesn't make it happen. Buying a Fitbit doesn't make it happen. What encourages changes more than anything: Getting face to face with the truth, facing reality, and refining the approach based on the information. What doesn't encourage changes is ignoring the truth and beating myself up. Creating and entertaining incredible amounts of negative head chatter only serves to hold me down and back from moving forward in positive ways.

Yesterday's trip to the doctor was necessary and very important to me and my continued recovery. I didn't like what I saw staring back at me, but I'm glad to be here, in the mindset and perspective needed for positive action.














This weigh-in represents an eighteen pound gain over the last year. A slow creep of 1.5 pounds per month adds up. Again, I've noticed it over the last few months. Eighteen pounds makes a big difference when you're at a relatively healthy body weight.

So, now what?

After consulting with support contacts, I'm not getting crazy. I will continue my food plan with a lower budget window between 1,800 and 2000 calories per day and now, with a greater importance level, I'll proceed in getting back into a consistent and intentional exercise routine. I do not need to chase the scale. Tightening up the approach covers all areas--food, exercise, spiritual time, and doing better at getting enough rest. Taking this approach will, very much as a side-effect, return me to what I consider to be my healthiest weight.

Following the direction of those with experience well beyond mine, I'm simply refining my approach, staying a little more connected with support, enjoying my food plan with a slightly smaller budget, and of course, I'm immediately reinstating bi-weekly weigh-ins at the doctor's office.

Okay-- this will be fun! Stay tuned, my friend.

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

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

October 10th, 2018 Careful

October 10th, 2018 Careful

Yesterday: 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.

Yesterday was a good day. The healing continues after Monday's dental surgery. I'm doing well with the soft foods directive from my dentist, although I stretched a little with my dinner--but was careful with each bite. It turned out okay.

The modified food plan is working out well. I miss my apple slices, but they'll be waiting for me in a week or so.
Breakfast
















Breakfast in MFP




















Lunch
















Dinner












I no longer do too many food pics on this blog, but I'm making an exception today considering how the soft approach has slightly changed my choices. I do not plan on making it a regular feature on this blog. Dinner was a little more adventurous with a 7oz 96% Joseph's flax-oat bran-whole wheat pita burger. I invite anyone to friend me on MyFitnessPal, where I log everything, every day. My MFP username is SeanAAnderson. My diary is set to public and goes back daily for almost five years.

One change I've made for days without an intentional workout is a lower calorie budget. I finished the day yesterday just under 2,000 calories. I don't believe it's necessary to push myself to 2,300 calories per day, 7 days a week, regardless of exercise, anymore. 1,700-2000 on low activity days seems reasonable to me.

Okay-- I just received word that we're short-handed at the studio today, so I better get out of here.

Today will be a good day. I'm visiting my doctor's office later today, too, for a long overdue weigh-in! It'll be just fine.

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

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

October 9th, 2018 Soft

October 9th, 2018 Soft

Yesterday: 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.

I left my morning show early yesterday in order to make a 9am dentist appointment. The dental surgery went well. I left with four prescriptions and a directive: Only soft foods for a while and specifically, no apples! I wasn't thinking the night before when I loaded up with eight pounds of Gala apples. I was simply excited about a deal-- 99cents a pound is a steal! I'm sure they'll still be good in a week or so. Or, as many of my friends have suggested, I could make applesauce.

I'm still sore this morning but at least the feeling in my face has returned. I've read horror stories about the numbness never going away for some people--thank you internet--so that's always a point of anxiety for me, "what if my face feels like this forever?" I'm so glad it isn't like that this time. I'm being a very good patient, following directions and taking the meds as prescribed. The "soft foods" thing, well--that presents some challenges!

It's interesting... as soon as the dentist mentioned soft foods (and I knew it was coming--obvious, right?) my brain immediately assembled a list, mostly things nowhere near my food plan.

A support friend reminded me of how this temporary change requires some planning in order to work for someone like me. And he's so right. The challenge at the moment: From the choices within the boundaries of my food plan, what can I choose or create to make sure things stay soft while I heal?

Ezekiel toast is out. Tostada shells are out. Chicken tacos are out. Apples are out!! But really, it's okay--my late lunch yesterday (after trying to sleep off the effects of the local) was an example of how I can modify my meals and stay on plan.



















I made a baked "tostada bowl" without the tostada shell and a side of unsweetened applesauce. It worked very well.

I'll continue getting creative with my "soft approach" food plan the next several days.

Bedtime came early last night even though I had a hard time falling asleep. The steroids (to limit swelling) have a tendency to make sleep difficult, or so I understand--but I was able to go to sleep and sleep relatively well. I was up very early.

I'm ready for a good day.

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

Monday, October 8, 2018

October 8th, 2018 Just In Case

October 8th, 2018 Just In Case

Yesterday: 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.

What a weekend! I'm glad it's over. Yesterday was a good day. I was able to sleep in well, I accomplished quite a bit of what I wanted to accomplish and even made time to not miss mom's Sunday evening dinner and shopping trip.

Mom and I visited the Mexican restaurant we frequent, ordered our food, and as the meal was being delivered to the table, I was activated for weather coverage. We immediately asked for to-go boxes and rushed to the downtown studio. Coverage continued until a short break and then resumed a little after 10pm. I was able to get mom back to her place between storms. It was a strange night of severe weather. Tornadoes weren't really expected from this stuff, but there were a couple, including a tornado that did considerable damage not far from here, one that developed so quickly, it came without any kind of official warning from the National Weather Service.

I found some good Gala apples for 99 cents a pound last night--score!! Pears were 99 cents a pound, too! I do love my apples. How's that for bargain shopping!



















I'm taking some time off this morning after my morning show to go to the dentist. I generally don't like going to the dentist for various reasons (like most!), but I like the dentist and it's necessary, so I'll go. I'm hoping to be able to go back to work after the appointment, but we'll see. I'll be working ahead this morning just in case I can't.

My food is packed, my plan for the day is set, and I'm ready for today (kind of--except for the dentist part), so off I go!

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

Sunday, October 7, 2018

October 7th, 2018 In It

October 7th, 2018 In It

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, I had plenty of natural exercises, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

The text came on Friday, "We've canceled the bands this weekend at Octoberfest, so your emcee services will not be needed. Sorry." The forecast was for a washout. I quickly renegotiated a lesser role as an emcee for other things. Mother Nature cooperated enough to have a decent day--and for the role I played, it worked well.

I got creative for my food plan yesterday. The festival food was everywhere and most wasn't anywhere near the boundaries of my daily food plan. I packed my own Joseph's Flax-Oat Bran-Whole Wheat pita, a big apple, and a fresh peach. My plan for lunch was to buy a gyro without the sauce (simply because I don't like cucumber anything), with grilled onions--then ditch their pita bread and place the lamb and onions in mine. It worked perfectly--and was really good. I must tell you, the food thoughts were swirling though--oh my, my brain was in overdrive trying to rationalize an order of this or that. I'll spare you the food-porn style descriptions. Let's just say, there were some refined sugar-free selections, that, although meeting that part of my needs--certainly, still, have zero business on my food plan.
Lunch















I've been a part of this annual event for many years in a row--honestly, I can't remember how many--I'd need to go back into the archives of this blog to confirm--not important, my point is, I always run into people, some whom I haven't seen since last year. When you were once 500 pounds and you're no longer 500 pounds, there's a pretty good chance it will come up again and again. I heard a variety of things yesterday, from "You're still looking good" to "Are you still dieting" to "How do you diet at a thing like this?"  I accept the compliments and avoid long explanations of what I do. I certainly don't look at my daily practice as a "diet," but that's a common perception--and that's okay. There's a time and a place for a deeper explanation of what I do if someone really cares to know. Most of the time it isn't.

It was a good experience yesterday. Between Friday and yesterday, my natural exercise was off the chart--and I'm literally sore from the activity. But it's a good sore. And because I have a tendency to beat myself up over anything and everything (of course I do--I'm human), I remind myself that the soreness is likely worse because of my lack of a consistent workout schedule.

I actually had a wonderful conversation with a gym owner at yesterday's event--a gym that I have a membership to--and he thanked me for helping them keep the lights on. I explained to him my struggles with workout consistency over the last year and a half or more and he proceeded to inspire me with his encouragement and words. I'm glad I had that conversation. I also learned the gym is moving to a brand new location very soon. That's exciting. Between that, my YMCA membership, and the fact that there's so much I can do without a membership to anything, I literally only need to check my willingness and re-establish a measure of importance. It's going to be about finding the same kind of importance level that inspires me to pack a pita and fruit before a big festival event.

I've put so much energy and importance on my food plan while other critical elements of the overall plan have suffered greatly. My struggles have been around this imbalance and honestly, my overall wellness is not sustainable without elevating these critical elements. When one area of the plan is lacking it can quickly pull down other areas. I typically don't get enough rest and I don't get enough exercise. Those are two major points of this daily practice that I've conveniently ignored or at least, they're points that I've mentally downgraded.

The consequences? Over the last year and a half or so, my weight has crept up about fifteen pounds. I don't know exactly how much because I haven't weighed in a long time. I still wear the same clothing but I see it in my face and I certainly feel it, for sure. I stopped my regular weigh-ins for a very good reason-- I wanted to simply do my daily practice and lose the obsession with the scale, but now, what I'm realizing is, no--I need that occasional check-in as a reminder of how important it is to embrace a more balanced approach to my daily practice. I'll be visiting my doctor's office scale on Wednesday morning.

What's my measuring stick? The most important things for me is no binge eating and remaining abstinent from refined sugar. What I'm discovering is, even with the recovery perspective and practice needed to keep these two things in place, it still doesn't guarantee that my plan doesn't get sloppy and out of sorts.

So, that's where I am.

I've long written about how this isn't a pursuit of perfection and it isn't. But it is a pursuit of a daily practice designed to keep me well. A big part of that for me is accountability and support. Remaining connected with good support daily, reading about others along this road, offering support to others, listening to the stories of other people--these are all daily things that help keep me "in it" and not "out of it."

You can bet your bottom dollar, I'm in it.

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

Saturday, October 6, 2018

October 6th, 2018 Not Required

October 6th, 2018 Not Required

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, I had plenty of natural exercises, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

My goodness, yesterday was a workout! We had a sound rig for a two-location split broadcast-- it was a lot of picking up and moving heavy equipment--several times. This morning, I'm sore! It's a good kind of sore, though, certainly.

The schedule yesterday was a brutal one once again. It required a solid plan as far as my food was concerned (every day requires a plan) because at an event like yesterday's, the free food is everywhere. One thing I've discovered is how the longer I go along this road, the more people know me well enough to know, I'm good when it comes to the food. In other words, they're less likely to offer, encourage, or push food my way. I've also learned to say "no" when "no" is necessary. The boundaries have been set for a while and it goes unspoken. I don't make a big deal of it. I make sure I have what I need. My job requires me to talk up all the free stuff--and that's okay, but I'm not required to eat it!! And that's a good thing. We would have a serious problem if that were the case!

I prepared an insanely late dinner last night, after 11pm, and although I don't like to do that very often--when I do, it's usually the best option given the circumstance. And really, considering my late lunch didn't happen yesterday until after 4pm, it worked. I watched some Netflix for a little while in order to unwind before getting some good rest. Over 7 hours sleep last night--yes!! That felt great.

I'm headed out to emcee at OctoberFest today. I'll be packing what I need for my food plan-- but mainly as a supplement and backup to whatever I can find that works from the food vendors. I've handled this strategy before since this is the 7th or 8th year in a row for me at this event--I know what to expect. Assembling an on-plan lunch should be fairly simple. I'll likely take my own Joseph's flax-oat bran-whole wheat pita to hold whatever filling I find-- and I might take apple slices and an avocado too. It'll be great. An event like this can be challenging but it's also an opportunity to "live life on life's terms," as my good friend Gerri Helms reminds me.

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

Friday, October 5, 2018

October 5th, 2018 Great Time

October 5th, 2018 Great Time

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

Yesterday's special event went very well. I made the trip, did the broadcast, and had a great time! It was an enjoyable day, for sure!
Broadcasting with Natalie Cash from Tulsa's K95.5
























I packed the food I needed for my plan--and that turned out to be a smart move for me!

Today includes two location broadcasts in this area, so I'm up and at 'em, packed and ready again. Here we go!

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

Thursday, October 4, 2018

October 4th, 2018 Fun

October 4th, 2018 Fun

Yesterday: 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.

Yesterday worked fairly well. Wednesday is always my most involved day with work during the day and then a couple of one on ones followed by support group calls in the evening, so I plan accordingly with my food, rest, and exercise schedule. I typically don't plan a workout for Wednesday, however-- I may do something simple, like a walk on future Wednesdays. I make my Wednesday afternoon nap a critically important thing in order to be fresh for the evening calls. It seems to work well. My food schedule could be much better on Wednesdays. I'm often eating dinner late. I'm looking at ways to make that better. I did eat dinner between 5-6pm on one Wednesday not too long ago and it seemed to work well. I'll look at what made it work that day.

Today is different for me. I'm off from my regular job, took a vacation day. I'm headed to Tulsa within minutes for a special event at IQ Car Wash in Owasso. I handle all of their radio commercial writing, voicing, and producing--so, as "the voice" of IQ, I'll be joining Natalie Cash from K95.5 for a special broadcast from noon to 3pm this afternoon. It'll be fun!

I've already enjoyed my breakfast--and I'll pick up a few things to get me through midday. Typically, the food at events like this isn't "my food," and that's okay. I don't make a big deal about it at all. I make sure I have what I need. If the food ends up being something I can make work, fine, but I'm good either way.

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

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

October 3rd, 2018 The Next Day

October 3rd, 2018 The Next Day

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, I completed a solid 30-minute elliptical workout, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

Two workout days in a row--Woo hoo! It's been a stressful period of late and getting back into a consistent exercise schedule is helping and will continue to help on levels beyond the physical. It makes my brain feel better!

I was chatting back and forth with someone yesterday and we were discussing the ups and downs and they mentioned something important-- "I'm grateful that I rarely have two sucky days back to back." This is important because, in the middle of one of those days, it can feel like it's never going to be better or get better. If we hold on, it can and will--and sometimes as quickly as the next day.

I'm headed into work today with a long to-do list. I'm ready to work efficiently. I'm prepared with what I need-- food wise and attitude/perspective wise.

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

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

October 2nd, 2018 Nudging

October 2nd, 2018 Nudging

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, I completed a solid 30-minute elliptical workout, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

Every now and again, a day comes along when I'm super-challenged. Stress, emotion, anxiety--a big ole mess of that stuff, just swirling and turning. Yesterday was a day like that. My goodness, it just kept coming at me.

Fortunately, not every day is like yesterday. Did I handle it in the best possible way? Probably not. But I did the best I could do. I can think of ways it could have been better.

What I didn't do was eat my way through it. Oh yeah-- that inclination--that nudging, that head chatter suggestion still exists--of course it does, that's why it takes a daily practice of intentional actions to keep me well.

My workout last night on the elliptical was more for the mental/emotional benefits. It helped a lot. I made it to the store and then home to prepare a good on-plan dinner, and that helped too. My schedule of late has found me eating dinner out a lot, which isn't horrible--I mean, I stay in my lane, but still, I prefer feeling how it feels to weigh and measure and prepare something I enjoy and feel best about within my food plan.

Today will be a better day. It'll be challenging, still, but better--in part because of how yesterday was handled.

Yesterday's Featured Tweet:


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





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