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

Monday, October 1, 2018

October 1st, 2018 The Day

October 1st, 2018 The Day

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.

Good morning! It's Monday of a brand new week on the first day of a brand new month!! It's funny, really-- all the years I made a day like this "THE DAY" it all changes. A day like today always stood out to me on the calendar. It's a perfect "start" day! Monday and the first day of the month!! Any day we determine to be "the day" is great--it's wonderful really, changes starts now. But as I look back I can see where this mindset of the perfect "start day" also helped keep me stuck. How? Well...

When I was dead set on having the perfect start day before beginning any kind of personal commitment--and I didn't do as well as I intended, then I'd scrap it and wait until the next perfect start day. It might be postponed a week until the next Monday, or maybe until after a special event, or perhaps I'd get lost into thinking next month might be a better time to start.

Needing the perfect start day became a barrier in front of my positive progress many many many times.

The perfect time is always now.

Excerpt from December 2009-- Keep in my mind, I've learned a lot since this was written, specifically about how I needed a recovery mindset rather than a diet mentality mindset--note the following still applies--and even though it was written less than a year and a half into this decade-long experience, you can see shades of this realization in the words:

If our ideal weight loss path is something that we can live with forever if the changes in our food behaviors are real and well intended, then why wouldn't anytime be a good time to start? You know why? Because I always looked at weight loss as a chore. We've been conditioned our entire lives to believe that losing weight 'is hard work.' I was never successful before, truly successful because I never focused on the positive mental changes I needed to make in order to ease the “pain.” All I focused on back then was how hard it would be...eat less and exercise more, what a struggle that'll be. It's amazing what a different perspective can do for you. I'm still going to eat and enjoy food, I'm just going to eat responsible portions and perhaps move a little more every day. I'm going to learn what constitutes a “regular” portion, I'm going to enjoy the journey. I'm going to experience some wonderful changes along the way. I'm going to be happy. All the while---I'm still eating what I love, I'm still being me. I don't have to wait for the stars to align properly, you know? Positive perspective, awesome attitude, super high importance level---add them all together and you get success any time of year.

What's also interesting to me is how the tendency to use the "perfect day" motivation still lives in me. As I drifted off last night I was thinking of a few things that need a double down commitment--and low and behold, this "it's Monday and October 1st" came to mind. Old habits, right?

One thing is for sure-- regardless of the date, the practice continues. And if it isn't perfect (doesn't need to be), then I will not scrap it and wait until the next "perfect day." I'll evaluate and make necessary changes now, not relieve myself from the responsibility of change until it looks good on a calendar.

-----

Mom and I had a great visit last night with Amber, KL, and little Raegan. Rae Rae was trying bananas for the first time!! She loved 'em!

Today will be a great day. I'm going to do my best to make it that way! Okay--I'm headed to work!!

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





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