Thursday, November 15, 2018

November 15th, 2018 Hence The Name

November 15th, 2018 Hence The Name

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 got some good rest yesterday. I felt much better later in the day. I was still not feeling 100%, but good enough to believe I'm not coming down with anything--and that's a good thing. I don't need that right now! I feel well rested and ready for my Thursday.

I stayed in all day and evening, too. No exercise for me yesterday and that was okay. I got what I needed.

I picked the URL to this blog on the night of September 15th, 2008. I'm not a big fan of it now, years later, and I cringe a little while typing it out when someone asks for the address. "losingweighteveryday dot blogspot dot com" doesn't reflect what this blog has become for me. Had I known, I would have selected something different--but I couldn't have known at the time. I was on a mission to lose weight and I was committed to posting about it every day, hence the name.

What can I do about it? Well--I know it can't be changed, I've checked. But--I can use another domain name (I have a couple parked--that I've never used) to host this blog. I may do that soon. That might be a Christmas gift from me to me. I'll let you know!

I'm tempted to write much more this morning as a follow up to yesterday's post but I simply don't have the time this morning. I will, soon. It'll be more about how this thing here is more about a daily practice in recovery instead of a diet.

I'm planned, packed, and ready for a good Thursday. I'm the "local celebrity" bingo caller this evening at an elementary school fundraiser. This will be the fourth school to request my bingo calling services. It's for a good cause, so I don't mind at all. It'll be fun! I give it my all when I do these--and I think word spreads--"hey, let's get Sean!"

I have many things deserving of my gratitude this morning. Working through those things and focusing on gratitude prompts each day has been a big plus for me lately.

I better run.

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

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

November 14th, 2018 Best Option

November 14th, 2018 Best Option

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 wasn't feeling my best yesterday morning but I ignored it and felt better throughout the day. I had a good evening last night complete with an earlier dinner and another 5K walk on the indoor track at the YMCA. This morning, however, I'm not feeling well at all. I was awake a lot during the night and as I made it upright this morning, realized why. I haven't taken a sick day from work in a while and I don't like to do that, but it's the best option for me this morning. I'll stay home and take care of me today.

January 2011-YMCA
Speaking for the hospital's Lose To Win kick-off event














The indoor walking track at the YMCA overlooks the gym floor. As I exercised last night and the night before, I couldn't keep from looking down at the gym and remembering one of my favorite speaking opportunities from years ago. It's hard to believe it's been seven years since that special night. I used some visual aids for that event. I came out wearing an outfit from my 505 pound days. I had two assistants, one on each side, holding up my pants as I pushed a grocery cart containing a representation of the pounds lost; 275 pounds of Velveeta. I made it to the microphone and dropped the big clothing before launching into my speech. It was memorable for me and many of those attending. To this day, I still run into people who bring it up in conversation. 

I look at that gym floor and the pictures and I'm reminded of how fun that was, but it also reminds me of how much I had to learn and experience well after that night. 2011 contained several big and small speaking engagements, including several for YMCA of Oklahoma, Kansas, and a big one for YMCA USA at their big mid-states conference in Kansas City. That year concluded with the release of my book, Transformation Road--and honestly, I believe my mindset was there's no turning back now. 

Of course, we both know how things unfolded. I did turn back. It was an important turn, too. I'm truly grateful for the entire experience. I needed it in so many ways. A good and powerful humbling clears away a lot of things, opening up opportunities for the most transformative kind of growth process. 

To this day, I stand 100% behind every perspective, tip, trick, and experience shared in those speaking engagements and in my book. Those things are still valid. Things I discovered about me along the way involved a better understanding of my personal truth of food addiction and compulsive over-eating. There will be another, very different book one day- I assure you.

The truth helped shift me away from a good diet plan of action into a plan of recovery. It's still a work in progress--and it always will be, because no matter who we are, who we think we are, or what we've experienced or think we know, we're all at the same place with a personal daily plan of action. A practice to help us through one more day. There's always more to learn along this road.  

In the foreword to my book, philosopher Ralph Marston wrote, "Truth is powerful. The more you seek to hide from it, the more forcefully it asserts itself, until you eventually cannot deny it. The moment you put truth on your side, all sorts of possibilities open up to you." 

Yes, sir. That's powerful stuff right there.

I'm sitting here in bed, using my laptop to put this post together and feeling absolutely crummy. I'll use this day to rest and recuperate from whatever is going on. I'm grateful for my colleague Gayle this morning, she's filling in for me today.

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

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

November 13th, 2018 Worthy Of Enthusiasm

November 13th, 2018 Worthy Of Enthusiasm

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.

When we're "in it" we're not "out of it." My prayer each morning is for the willingness and strength to remain "in it." It, being, my personal plan of recovery. It's always a work in progress but if I remain willing to be in it instead of out of it, there's progress.

A support friend of mine recently mentioned how I don't post as many pictures as I once did. We were talking about the recent decline in the number of people reading this daily diary. I immediately rattled off a few reasons for posting fewer pictures, the big one being: If I focus too heavy on pictures it might take away from the message I'm trying to share. More pictures, to me, seemed to lean toward more of a diet mentality with all the food pics and side by side comparison photos and such. I'm deeply passionate about this not being a diet. The key for me over the years hasn't been dieting--the key for me has been a perspective based on an imperfect but still mostly effective, perspective of recovery. A diet is temporary. Recovery, one day at a time, is something that can last, long-term. Breaking or cheating on a diet is accepted--it happens. Breaking or relapsing from recovery carries a much greater sense of consequence. The importance is in creating a personal and unique plan that fits well enough to actually enjoy, a plan worthy of enthusiasm.

And that's what he mentioned, "enthusiasm." I'm not quoting because it was a phone conversation and I can't remember his exact words--but he mentioned how my enthusiasm for the process each day was something that brought him "along for the ride" and ultimately helped inspire him. The pictures help show that enthusiasm for the process--for the day to day road we're traveling.

He made an excellent point. I am enthused!! When I have a good day, I feel great. When I'm staying connected with support and with my plan, I feel better. I'll share more photos.

I had planned on attending a support meeting last night but it was canceled because of the wintery weather we received yesterday. I shifted into an alternate plan for yesterday evening-- the store for some fish, a workout, a short visit with mom, and home to prepare a good dinner. The workout was a 5K walk inside the warm YMCA on their indoor track. I listened to some inspiring stories while I walked--it was a really good experience. In the name of enthusiasm, I even snapped a bathroom mirror selfie.



















Yeah... that was my primal, "let's do this" roar!! It was a fantastic, brisk, and thanks to the material I was listening to, inspiring walk.

I experienced some really good support exchanges yesterday, too. It was nice! A good day, indeed.



















Today, as a broadcaster, I'll host a local bakery in-studio. They're bringing a bunch of food--every single thing, not on my food plan. And that's okay. This isn't the first time. It's an annual event right before Thanksgiving. I'm comfortable and enthused about what my plan brings me each day. I wouldn't trade my continued recovery for any of their offerings. As a broadcaster, I'll do my job well and promote their amazing creations. And they are amazing. For a lot of people, it's not a big deal to occasionally indulge in these things, especially at holiday time. For me, however, remaining abstinent and true to my daily practice is imperative for the peace, stability, and continued maintenance I live each day.

Recent Tweets:




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

Monday, November 12, 2018

November 12th, 2018 Overflows

November 12th, 2018 Overflows

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 weekend was a good one! What made it good was a balance. I made time for things important for my self-care, I made time for others in support, and I made time for family. I did a little work, too, but not as much as other busier weekend schedules--and that was a good thing.

Mom and I made our way over for a visit last evening with my youngest daughter, Noah, Oliver, and Phoebe. My goodness, it was cuteness overload! There's no better reminder of why I do what I do each day than spending time with my grandkids. My daily practice helps keep me well so I can have the best chance of being in their lives for many years to come.

My disease is a selfish one. All the years I was "in the food," I wasn't thinking of the long-term consequences. I wasn't thinking about how much the food-focus was slowly killing me and how it was taking away from the ones I loved each day. I was simply serving my food addiction and compulsive overeating behaviors. For me, the daily practice I now make important frees the mental space I need in order to consider very important people and things in my life. Food is part of my life but it isn't my life. 



















Noah loves reading. That makes me smile big! He took me to his room where I asked about his favorite toys and he told me, "video games, books, and dinosaurs." Books? I don't remember those being in my top three as a five-year-old. He asked, "next time will you take me to the library?" Uh, yeah, of course!! My goodness, my heart overflows for this little man.

I don't think I had a picture with Courtney and all three of her children until last night. It's hard to wrangle them all together at one moment sometimes.



















Oh my, these precious babies! Po Po is wearing Noah's Pikachu stocking cap because I'm cool like that.

Mom and I enjoyed a good dinner out after the visit and finished our evening with a fast run around Walmart. Yesterday evening was a nice finish to a good weekend.

Today should be a decent Monday. My food is planned, my morning foundational routine is done, and I'm visualizing a good one.

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

Sunday, November 11, 2018

November 11th, 2018 Respect And Honor

November 11th, 2018 Respect And Honor

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.

This is a special day. Veterans Day to me is met with enormous gratitude for all who have served our country. My dad and both my grandfathers served in wartime. They witnessed their friends perish on the battlefields and in the Pacific--and somehow, they survived against the odds of fate. They bravely fought and survived. I think about how their actions in battle very likely saved others. All who served deserve exceptional respect and honor, today and always.



















I remember watching war movies as a kid and not being able to process the level of bravery it must take to face the circumstances these men faced. When I grew older and learned of my dad's and my grandfather's service, I was immediately filled with a sense of gratitude, respect, and also enormous pride to be the son and grandson of these brave men. It meant a lot to me because I didn't feel brave at all, ever, but knowing that somewhere deep in my DNA there might be this level of courage and bravery, somehow gives me a measure of hope for challenges in my life. My challenges will never be on the level they faced during wartime. I'm grateful. I'm proud of these men close to me--and proud of--and quite honestly, in awe of all those who served. Again, if that's you, thank you.

I'm enjoying my food plan lately. I've made changes, as you know if you're a regular reader, and it seems to be going well. I've made changes to my list of trigger foods and I've discovered how I can be satisfied with smaller meal portions. The ongoing struggle in the exercise department continues, however, I'm focusing on the long-term and this enables me to not be so self-critical in the moment. As long as that perspective doesn't enable me to not change, I'll be okay. I am making changes, action plans, and looking at things differently--and I'm listening to, watching, and learning from others. Keeping an open mind, fresh for a change, is a big plus along this road.

I do not know it all. I've never known it all. My daily practice isn't and has never been perfect--and that's okay. One of the biggest positive things is admitting that fact--because then, I'm/we're in a position to grow and evolve. And isn't that what this road is all about? Progress, not perfection?

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

Saturday, November 10, 2018

November 10th, 2018 Best Decision

November 10th, 2018 Best Decision

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.

Yesterday's funeral service for our friend and long-time broadcasting colleague, Illene, was beautiful. I think there were things many of us discovered about her that we didn't know. Fascinating things about her life experience and how her remarkable brain worked on a unique artistic frequency. She was an exceptional human full of love and compassion for everyone she met. When she asked, How are you doing? She really wanted to know. I think that's a rare quality in this world. She had "it," beautifully.

The spread of food available afterward was beautifully presented in the fellowship hall of St. Andrews. I surveyed the choices and made the decision to wait and eat later. I certainly could have enjoyed some veggies, cheese, and a few other things--but having checked my production work prior to making the trip, I was more interested in getting back to the studio and focusing on finishing the day. Gayle (She's the morning show host and program director of the station across the hall from mine) did the driving (I was so grateful) and in-turn, I grabbed the two of us some coffee for the return trip.

It's weird really. Upon our return, my focus wasn't on food. Instead, I organized my production work in a neat little stack--mentally prepared the order of importance, and methodically went about getting things done. I kept reminding myself to break for a late lunch-- but I just kept working until it was done. Maybe it was the Starbucks coffee--not sure, but I was neither hungry or the least bit concerned about food. I don't recommend this, by the way. It was an unusual schedule circumstance for me. Keeping a good meal schedule helps keep me balanced. If I get too hungry, it can become a trigger for not so great choices. But occasionally, when the schedule calls for it, I seem to be able to adjust my perspective enough to be okay. I did send a text to my primary support contact as a way to "bookend" my plan of action. That always helps!

I made a store trip on the way home to grab what I needed, arriving at my apartment a little before 6pm. I prepared "lunch for dinner," some tostadas (big surprise, I know!). At this point, I basically just relaxed--took a mental break if you will. I enjoyed my on-plan meal while watching part of a documentary on Netflix. I canceled my dinner and Bohemian Rhapsody plans and informed Mom that I would not see her until Saturday afternoon. I still wasn't completely convinced of a plan for the rest of the night, but I was certainly preparing myself to make the best decision for me. Normally, even late like this, I'd grab a short nap in the name of "doing things later tonight," but really, I didn't want to do anything last night. I decided my bed looked really inviting. I ended up in bed by 7:30 and fell asleep quickly. It was the best decision. It also might be a record early bedtime for me on a Friday night.

I was awake at 4:30 this morning, feeling well rested and ready for a good Saturday. I completed my morning routine without the rush from the thought of I got to get ready for work- it was great.

I have a two-station "dual" location broadcast today from 11am-1pm from the grocery store that books us on a regular basis. I like these broadcasts because they work very well for the client, first of all--and for me personally, it provides the opportunity to shop while I work!! Basically, I'm getting paid to grocery shop the best deals around--and they give me the employee discount at checkout as a nice little "thank you" bonus! I'm hoping they have more Zestar apples in stock. I'll tell you, those recently became my absolute favorite apples!!

I'm preparing a good on-plan breakfast soon, getting some things done for me this morning, and organizing my thoughts and schedule for today. I'm planning on making it a good one. 

One thing that's really bugged me lately is how something has changed in the way this blog is visibly distributed. I think Facebook has changed something, I'm not sure-- all I know is, the readership of late has dramatically dropped by several hundred a day. Since you're reading this-- you found it--that's good, I'm glad. I'm not too worried because I must always, first and foremost, write this blog for me--regardless of who else does or doesn't read what I share. This is something I've made important from the Day 1 post over ten years ago when I wrote:  "I look forward to this blog. I believe it will help me stay on track and maybe along the way it will inspire someone else to stay on track." It certainly helps accomplish that for me. And occasionally, I hear from folks who share with me how it's helped them--and that's a beautiful thing. It's a gift returned to me and I don't ever take it for granted or lightly in any way, shape, or form.

When I see others referred to as "weight-loss influencers," people with a couple years in, enormous personal progress, and a million followers--first of all, I check myself--and realize, I'm truly happy for them--but also, it makes me question my social media savvy. I do feel like I have a voice and an important point of view along this road and naturally, I'd like to share it with more people. I've just never been technically savvy on the approach. I'll think about that. In the meantime, I'm well. And truly, for me, that's all that matters. One day at a time, right?

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

Friday, November 9, 2018

November 9th, 2018 Woke Willing

November 9th, 2018 Woke Willing

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.

As I hit the pillow last night, I felt good about the day. I accomplished some things. I did make it to the grocery store and that helped me prepare a good meal last night. Making sure I have what I need when I need it is always an important element of my plan.

I stayed well connected yesterday. Support friends become lifelines in moments that would otherwise send me reeling back into the food. There are certain truths along this road. One is, if ever I start thinking I have this all figured out and I can go it alone--that's the beginning of the end. It's happened that way every single time. It doesn't matter how long I have behind me. It doesn't matter how much experience. It doesn't matter how well I maintained my daily practice yesterday. Each day requires a reset that starts with my humble declaration of needing help and guidance to get me through another day. Of all the things I've learned and experienced along the way, this realization about the fragility of it all--and how I don't simply "got this," is likely the most important. All I got is my willingness to continue this daily practice. Today, I woke willing. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My best advice is: Consistency Beats Intensity.

And the number one way to achieve consistency is by way of simplicity. Keep it simple!!!

Simple, simple, simple...It is crucial to maintaining consistency. We're the ones who make the rules--if we keep the rules simple to follow--then our chances of maintaining consistency goes up dramatically. And as we develop along the way--we can get as fancy and as specialized as we want and need, when we're ready.

It's a natural evolution of good choices. Not a sudden and dramatic change where we expect to be a completely different person as soon as we wake up to our pre-determined start day.

Don't be afraid to start small. Starting small and simple is a path to sustainable and consistent positive results. If you'll apply the patience needed for this approach and forget about the time it takes, you'll discover something amazing. Your "You Plan" will evolve in a very natural fashion. Your consistent positive progress will make your positive visualizations more believable because you'll clearly see where this is headed!! And where you're headed is a place where freedom lives. All kinds of freedom; physical, emotional, psychological, and more!

My focus on consistency isn't long term. It's today. I want to make today a good day. I want to hit the pillow tonight, knowing that I gave it my best shot--my honest to goodness, best. Not perfect, mind you--rather, the best I could do today. I want to do that again tomorrow. It feels good!!

Big-time accomplishments are not done all at once. It's a collection of much smaller accomplishments contributing in a positive way to the bigger goal ahead.

Set small, doable goals--and hit them square with everything you can. And acknowledge your accomplishments along the way. Feel good about you!!! You'll get back some wonderful results in return.

This whole thing is really the age-old tale of the tortoise Vs. the hare. You remember who won that race? The consistency of the tortoise beat the over-confidence and intensity of the hare.

You get what you give. Just try to make sure what you're giving is something you can keep giving--something doable for you--something sustainable, something to get excited about!!!

Surround yourself with support. Be kind to you. Remember: This isn't about perfection, it's about progress. One of the biggest barriers can be that voice inside our own head--the mental chatter speaking negatives and untruths. You can shut that voice down when you take it slow, steady, small, and simple. You'll gain consistency and lose weight.

Our entire broadcast company will gather today to lay to rest our friend and colleague, Illene Ozment. We will join her family and friends in Stillwater for the service. There will be a dinner immediately after the service. As far as my personal plan goes, I will survey the choices and decide to eat or wait, depending on what's available. I know the boundaries of my plan. I'll remember those.

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

Thursday, November 8, 2018

November 8th, 2018 Snooze

November 8th, 2018 Snooze

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 straight up overslept this morning! I have just enough time for my morning routine today. It wasn't in the quiet and relaxed fashion I prefer, but it's accomplished. The snooze button is not my friend!

Yesterday was a good one. I had an opportunity to visit with my youngest daughter, just the two of us yesterday afternoon, and that was great. I'm so proud of her. We rarely make the time to simply have a good conversation--and we did that yesterday. It felt great.

The opening night of group calls for the holiday session of my accountability and support group was a good experience too. I ended up preparing a late dinner, opting to keep it simple with a "breakfast for dinner" option. It was either that or a store run (which must happen today) and I didn't want to get out too late.

Throwback Thursday Picture from eight years ago:

 










Wow. Eight years ago. Really? Time moves quickly, doesn't it?

Going into the archives for today's edition, I found a post I want to share again. I hope it resonates with you:

I did a quick grocery run tonight after my group support calls. I really enjoy the act of making sure I have what I need when I need it. I feel most connected with my food plan when I'm in the store doing the shopping. I'm the same guy that many times carried a very different perspective into the store and I'm still capable of going into a store with a completely different perspective if I relent on the daily practice that helps keep me well.

I think a positive trip depends on the intention and expectation I carry through those automatic doors. If my intention is to buy things supportive of my plan with the expectation that it will provide what I need in order to maintain the integrity of my food plan in the coming days, then it's a completely different experience. If my intention is driven by the gravitational pull of compulsive over-eating and my expectation is that it'll somehow "fix" something or fill a void of some kind, then I'm off the rails and to the races, straight into a depressive cycle where the expectations are never met. Food is not a fixer.  

An exchange with a reader from the archives:

"I have never been able to not go off the wagon with food choices when I'm out of my routine. Say like a birthday, holiday, etc....and the much bigger problem for me is it's an opportunity to go nuts for a few days after that too. It takes that long for me to reel myself back in. Or another one is something happens to me that upsets me and I've always used food to numb myself. I can't figure out how not to. So what I'm saying in the long version is how do I gain those tools? It's just not happening for me."

My reply:

Thank you for sharing your struggle. You're not alone.

One thing that's helped me is making sure my plan is something I enjoy--in other words, I'm loving the foods I "get" to eat, every day. It isn't something I dread. What happens is, when my perception and expectation of what it means for me to be "on plan," is something I can easily live with, I'm less likely inclined to take a vacation or holiday from it. There's no desire to flee from deprivation into an anything goes type situation--because I don't feel deprived.

Now-- here's the rub:

Even with this "I'm loving it" plan in place, what you described still happens...

My abstinence from refined sugar may have very well turned off the "binge switch," those biochemical reactions in the addictive part of my brain--but what it doesn't stop is, my natural inclination to seek comfort in excess food when times get stressful and emotional. It takes a separate action plan to deal with that.

And it doesn't stop it to simply say, "excess food doesn't solve anything--it doesn't help resolve issues--it isn't a fixer--it's simply a temporary diversion--a distraction from our real experiences..." Does it help? The only help it provides is that temporary distraction from whatever is weighing heavy on our minds at any given moment. BUT AGAIN-- saying that, processing it, agreeing with it 100%, still doesn't stop the tendency to dive in when we're feeling those things.


One thing to remember: Feelings have a beginning and an end. Whatever it is, will come and go--weigh heavy, then subside--be on the forefront of your consciousness and then fade back into your sub-consciousness. When you're feeling like buffering your emotions with food--remember that this will pass...the moment will evolve and change...and in the meantime, while it's pressing: Find support asap!!!!

This is the most critical element I've discovered along my path: Building your support and accountability structure is imperative to your success. Find someone to be a support text buddy/friend. When those feelings start welling up and the obsessive food thoughts come flowing into your head--tell on 'em!!! Don't keep them exclusively in your head--because if you do, they'll typically win, almost every time. 

Share what you're thinking--get it out in the open...When you "tell on 'em," it has a powerful effect.

What happens when a playground bully is exposed to authority figures? They typically turn into little angels. Same dynamic. When we expose those thoughts by bringing in our "support team," something powerful happens---suddenly we're not facing it alone...suddenly our resolve to maintain the integrity of our plan is strengthened--often times, just in the nick of time.

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

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

November 7th, 2018 Years Later

November 7th, 2018 Years Later

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.

A colleague of ours passed away yesterday morning. She was in the sales department. She was the longest employed person at our broadcasting company, starting in 1979. I worked with her for the better part of twenty years. Actually, my first encounter with Illene O. came when I was somewhere around seven or eight years old. I participated in the Stillwater Summer Art program for which she was the director. Couldn't have known the two of us would work together professionally for so many years, years later. She was an amazing human. Seventy-three is too young. Rest in peace, Illene.

We all gathered for a special meeting yesterday afternoon to talk about her passing and to share our fondest memories of her.

Tonight's Week 1 support group calls marks the beginning of a brand new 8-week session. This group means so much to me. It's small, dynamic, diverse, inclusive, supportive, non-judgemental, compassionate, and it works. We have members at all stages--from just getting started to maintenance mode and everywhere in-between. I have two spaces available for the Thursday night group call I've created for this new session. If you're interested--this is your last chance to let me know. After this post, I'll not mention the groups again until late December, right before the start of the next 8-week session. My email for questions and to request a registration: transformation.road@gmail.com

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

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

November 6th, 2018 One Way Or Another

November 6th, 2018 One Way Or Another

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.

You never know how dependent you've become on something until it's taken away. MyFitnessPal had what seems to have been a system-wide outage yesterday afternoon and evening. I didn't realize the magnitude of the problem until after driving myself nuts trying to log in. I don't normally log in with every use--it's on my phone, I pull it up, it's open and ready--simple. When I opened it up last night, I was logged out. The app was prompting me to sign in. No problem, right?

Every attempt to log in was met with the dreaded "invalid username or password" message. Then, thinking maybe I forgot the password, I did the "forgot my password" link--only to get another error message. I repeated this maddening process about twenty-seven times before I stopped. At one point I chose the "log in via Facebook" option--and that connected me to an old account I had set up just previous to the established account I've maintained every day for the past four and a half years. Streak was at zero days--nothing was in there...I about lost my mind. I logged out of that account and tried one last time to connect with my SeanAAnderson account. When that failed once again, I had to stop. I did two things at this point.

A quick search on Twitter for MyFitnessPal revealed how an entire world of MFP faithful was experiencing the same thing. Some of the manic Tweets were hilariously written--and it made me smile big, even laugh at the situation. Okay, I wasn't alone. It wasn't just me.

I also resigned myself to letting it go for the night with hopes the issue would be repaired come morning. It was. Thank goodness. The whole ordeal really made me look at how dependent I am on that app for logging my food. It was an opportunity for me to imagine; come to terms with, the idea of using a different logging method--and being okay with the lost data, if it had come to that.

The most important thing about this issue is that I keep logging my food one way or another.

I wrote down my half & half for my late afternoon coffee and my dinner ingredients--was able to log in this morning and complete yesterday's entry--and all is well, but had it not been--I still must be okay.

I was seriously stressed last night over something I couldn't control. At the same time, I had to ask myself--What can I control? The answer was-- regardless, MFP fixed or not, I will still log my food each day one way or another. I'm glad the glitch is fixed. I'm also glad I had the opportunity to give it some deeper thought.

The idea of losing a technology that helps support a fundamental element of my daily practice isn't a barrier to my daily practice. It might have been an inconvenience, but I would have found another way.

Other than that, it was a fabulous Monday! Mom wasn't feeling well last night, so we canceled our trip to see her brother on his birthday. I had another reason to make the trip, an appointment with some support friends, so I delivered his birthday card solo.

Today is poised to be a productive day. The new 8-week session of the accountability and support group I mentor starts tomorrow and Thursday. We still have two spots available in our group for this holiday filled session. If you're interested in joining our team--let me know! Send an email! transformation.road@gmail.com 

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

Monday, November 5, 2018

November 5th, 2018 Big Part

November 5th, 2018 Big Part

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.

A grocery store trip, some good support exchanges, and an outing with mom made yesterday a really good day. I also heard from a few people about how yesterday's post on hope resonated deeply with them. I'm so glad. I took my time on yesterday's post. The time issue is the only drawback to writing this blog in the mornings instead of at night. In the mornings, if it's not a weekend-- I have a set amount of time before I've got to shift gears and move to the door for work. On the other hand, it's helped me get more sleep--so, I'm happy with that trade-off.

I've been tweaking my trigger list of foods lately. It's a real challenge for me! This action is part of the work I'm doing with a close support contact. He's advising me a step at a time in a direction toward helping every aspect of my daily practice. A big part of this is listening, learning, and doing. I'm really enjoying the experience.

Today is my uncle's (mom's brother) birthday. Mom and I will have a "bonus" outing this evening as we head down to our hometown to see him for a short visit. I'm considering dinner options out or maybe even preparing something at his place--that part of my Monday food plan is still under consideration. The rest of the day is set, planned and ready.

Production could be busy today at work. I'm headed into my Monday feeling good, well rested, and optimistic.

I received a couple of photos over the weekend from regular readers of this blog. This first is a real blast from the past!!
 











This was sent to me by a regular reader of this blog. Susan remembers the stand-up comedy portion of my life. Long before this blog started, Susan would regularly attend stand-up shows. This picture was taken after a big New Years Eve performance in 2001. Thank you, Susan!! Wow!!!















This photo was also sent to me over the weekend from a longtime reader, Kat. Thank you, Kat! It was snapped seven years ago! Time flies, huh? My goodness gracious...the facial hair. :)

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

Sunday, November 4, 2018

November 4th, 2018 The Thing About The Word Hope

November 4th, 2018 The Thing About The Word Hope

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.

Every now and then, I'll open my email and find a message from someone who is feeling completely lost and disconnected along this road. It happened again yesterday.

"You say "there's hope" but I don't see it or feel it at all. Just you saying there's hope isn't helping me. I lost over 45 kilos (100 pounds for you in the US) and now I've gained back all of that plus 11 (25 pounds). You don't have to respond. I'm sure you're a busy person. I read your blog every day and have for years. I just wanted to let you know that I think I'm beyond hope. I don't know what to do. Reading your blog once inspired me. I still read what you share but it doesn't impact me the same way as before. Any advice?" -B.C. in UK

First of all, BC, thank you for taking the time to sit down and share this with me. I strongly recommend finding a local in-person meeting of a well-established support group. Are you willing to do that?

Here's the thing about the word hope: It's not the word or the thought of it that makes a difference. If hope isn't believable for you, then what will make it so? Action on your part--that's what makes it believable.

The first action, in my opinion, is to forgive yourself. Love yourself just enough to embrace the fact that this isn't a moral failing on your part. Relapse/regain doesn't make you a bad person--and successfully losing weight doesn't make you a better person. Meditate on that--let it marinate--Can you give yourself a big loving embrace of forgiveness? That's an important question because if all of your energy every day is consumed with the most horrible negative thoughts about yourself, how much energy will you have left to move forward? 

Step outside of yourself for a moment. Imagine someone you dearly love has come to you describing where they are, similar to where you are now. How would you encourage them? What kind of compassion would you extend? Would you level them by verbalizing the head chatter you use against yourself? Or would you do your best to lift them up? You deserve the same compassion you would freely extend to someone else. If that's a hard concept to grasp, maybe it'll become easier as you start doing the actions needed to change your perspective and trajectory.

At the height of my 164-pound relapse/regain, I was all out of hope. I get it. Hearing someone say "there's hope" didn't make a dent in the spiral that seemed determined to kill me. It wasn't until I stopped fighting-I stopped trying to figure out what to do--and started doing the actions bringing hope to people who had what I wanted. It started with a question from my long-time friend and mentor, Gerri Helms. What are you willing to do?

I was so preoccupied with self-loathing and brutal self-assaults in my thinking, I hadn't really thought about that. I believed hope in theory. I believed hope because I could see what others had been able to accomplish in their recovery. But I didn't believe hope for me. How can we start believing in hope?

The answer, in my opinion, is: By doing. If hearing the word hope isn't helping, if seeing the fruits of hope in others doesn't resonate--then our only hope is found in doing the actions that will lead us toward believing. If we don't believe it's possible--then it isn't. Our perception is our reality. If we can suspend that perception long enough to take action--then we might actually start believing. Once we start believing in hope, we're in a position to change.

What are you willing to do? I hope you'll find one of those in-person, well-established support and recovery group meetings. You might hear more stories of incredible hope. But more important than hearing the thinly layered and seemingly elusive word, "hope," you might discover the deeply profound and available list of actions they employed in order to discover and believe their hope. Hope has no power without action.
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I slept-in beautifully today. I needed a good rest. I've finished my morning routine, prepared and enjoyed my breakfast and now I'm setting out for a good Sunday. I'll be picking up mom later this afternoon for our usual Sunday get-together.

The next session of the accountability and support group I facilitate via a secret Facebook group page and weekly mentoring group conference calls starts in just three days! I have a few spaces available. If you're interested in jumping aboard our lifeboat, don't wait! Email me with questions and/or to request a registration invoice for the 8-week fee. What you'll discover in this group is something very special. Everyone is at different places along this road. From just getting started to maintenance and everywhere in-between--and we all relate so beautifully to one another. The power of a group like ours can be a very helpful tool along your path. Email me: transformation.road@gmail.com or text: 580-491-2228. I'll get back with you quickly.

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

Saturday, November 3, 2018

November 3rd, 2018 Stronger

November 3rd, 2018 Stronger

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 evaluating my personal trigger list this weekend. I think it's important to give it a good evaluation and firm it up. What I've done so far has shown me how many of the things are on the list mentally but not physically. Following what many have done before me, I'm committing them to a document and that makes it stronger.

I'm really enjoying my bigger commitment to private journaling. I guess I figured my morning foundational practice and writing this blog each day was enough in that direction, but really--sitting down and writing about things, private things; thoughts and feelings about personal relationships, work stuff, things that irritate or annoy me, goals, dreams, fears-- it all helps me process things a little deeper. The power of one simple paragraph can completely change my attitude and perspective. Kind of like the trigger list mentioned above, committing it to a document makes it stronger. But why and how?

I believe the answer is a very simple one: Because it captures, commits, and freezes on the page--the things that are regularly swirling in my head...running through a crowd of thoughts, distractions, and better ideas at the moment. The deeper stuff--the kind that isn't always easy to look at, tends to "blend into" the crowd of mental noise as if they're trying to not be noticed. These things are important and if I don't bring them out front and center, they'll go on hiding and operating in ways profoundly affecting my actions in a subconscious way.

Yesterday was good. I didn't have all-day location broadcasts like the previous Friday, so there wasn't a backlog of things left to get done this weekend. I was able to work a fairly normal schedule for a Friday--and that was nice.

I enjoyed preparing a good meal last night. I got a little Tweet-happy with it, too, as you'll see below.

The next session of the accountability and support group I facilitate and personally mentor starts next week. I'll be adding new members to our private group page tomorrow morning. I only have room to add three more members. If you're ready to claim one of those spots and discover how this group can become a powerful tool for you, get ahold of me soon! I've recently shared some words generously provided by current members and I invite you to go back through the last few posts and read those if you haven't. This group and what we do can make a difference. I'd love to work with you! Are you willing to try something different?

If you have questions, email me: transformation.road@gmail.com or leave a message when you call/text: 580-304-4531. I'll get back with you as soon as possible.

Featured Tweets:


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

Friday, November 2, 2018

November 2nd, 2018 Unexpected Surprise

November 2nd, 2018 Unexpected Surprise

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.

Yesterday morning's radio show brought an unexpected surprise. We do this feature called Wildcat Chat every Thursday. The feature is all about Ponca City Public Schools, spotlighting teachers, administrators, and students- in-studio, discussing programs, issues, and accomplishments of the school system. My oldest daughter, Amber, is a special education teacher with PCPS and she's also the special education compliance director/coordinator. In all the years she's been teaching (this is her 5th year!! What??? I know!!!), I've never had her in-studio as a guest representing the school system. Until yesterday morning! She knew she was booked for an appearance a few days prior and kept it a secret!! I was overwhelmed with joy when I turned to look through the studio glass into our lobby and there she was!

I couldn't help starting the interview with her and another teacher in a personal way. I reminisced her graduation from Ponca City High School and her freshman year in college before shifting gears into the heart of the program they were in-studio to discuss. Actually, I was holding back--because my brain was taking me all the way back to her childhood. I had to check my professionalism quickly--and stay on point because I was just so proud of her. It was challenging but fun to be looking across the studio at my daughter-the adult, the mom, the professional--and suspending "dad mode" long enough to conduct a successful segment about the new program they were there to promote.

The experience was one that certainly helped keep me in a great mood as I went about my busy radio day.

Mood, attitude, and the perspective I choose each day has a dramatic effect on how I take care of me. This is why my morning routine is so critically important. The meditation, prayer, and positive visualizations help me align with gratitude, hope, and promise for another good day. It's a practice that must be reset each morning--one day at a time, right?

A couple of new members have already signed up for the next 8-week session of the weekly teleconference support group I facilitate. The new session starts next week!

I still have a space for you if you're interested in discovering the power of this small, exclusive, dynamic, and diverse group of people. As a member, you're added to the secret Facebook page where we gather for daily accountability and support opportunities. Then, weekly, we have our group call. I've added spots with a new Thursday night 8pm central/9pm eastern/6pm pacific call time. If you're interested in learning more, email me right away: transformation.road@gmail.com or call/text-580-491-2228. I'll get back with you quickly! 

A few words from a current member:
As a newer member of Sean's community, I found a group of compassionate people who truly understand the challenges of this journey and who offer acceptance and support without judgment or disrespect. This gives me a safe place to learn and grow in wellness. -Deb in Indiana

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

Thursday, November 1, 2018

November 1st, 2018 Not Really Strange

November 1st, 2018 Not Really Strange

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.

Good morning!! I'm running behind this morning! I hope your Halloween was a good one--and just like that, it's November!! Doesn't seem possible to already be here--with the Thanksgiving a few weeks away!! I had a really good Wednesday. I really enjoyed our support group team calls last night. Later in this post, Mike from Vegas, a current member, shares some words about our group. Right now is the open registration period for our new session. This opportunity only comes around every 8-weeks and I've made some space available for you to join us.

Excerpt from May 2014:

It could have been a disaster.

My stress level was exceptionally high today. I started fielding errant thoughts mid-afternoon that excessive food might be the best option. Isn't that strange?

Not really.

If you add up all the years of experience I have in handling stress that way, it makes perfect sense. I'm really good at it.

I decided it was best for me to take a nap. Perhaps I'm just really tired, maybe that's why I'm feeling this way, I thought. I snoozed for nearly two hours. It was a solid nap. I woke up and viola...

I still wanted to eat my way out of the stress.

Of course, you and I both know it doesn't work that way. Shoveling in massive quantities of food only serves as a temporary distraction--a pleasurable one for a little while, at least, until the flood of guilt, shame, disgust and more start cascading in, on top of whatever was stressful in the first place. Excess food isn't a fixer.

My awareness level is high, thank goodness. I immediately realized my lifestream and fundamental elements stream were becoming dangerously close to crossing. I must never let the streams cross!

Now what? Uhg...part of my brain was screaming feeeeed meeeeee!!! And another part was trying to rationally dissect what was happening.

Through my experience in support, I realized quickly that I needed to get this out of my head. When these thoughts are exclusive to our head, they're powerful and controlling. When we tell on them, shining a light on them by sharing with good support friends, suddenly they're called out--like a bully that gets caught and is suddenly on their best behavior after being exposed.

I texted several of my friends in support, explaining what was happening; how I was feeling. I felt relieved as soon as I hit the send button. It wasn't exclusive to my brain anymore. It was out there.

The text support replies started coming and by this time, I felt empowered to overcome.

And I did.

I enjoyed some coffee, planned, prepared and precisely weighed an amazing meal and made it to the YMCA for an elliptical workout. I even bumped it up to level 19. By the end of the workout, the episode this afternoon seemed very far away.

It could have been a disaster. But it wasn't. It was a solid reminder that I'm not ever immune to those old reactions. The coping mechanisms providing the perfect recipe for morbid obesity are like old tools I don't need anymore. I've learned how to use better tools.

I must always hold the elements of my recovery sacred. And good support is one of the pillars of the plan helping make that happen consistently. It's a tool I can't live without.

Thank goodness.

Like my coffee cup says, I get by with a little help from my friends.

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The next session of my conference call accountability and support group starts next week! I've opened a limited number of spaces for a Thursday night group call at 8pm central/9pm eastern/6pm pacific. This next session is the Holiday session-- Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. If you want to develop your personal daily plan of action, insert membership in our group as one of your tools--and discover what can happen!

Some wonderful words from a current member:

Have you struggled losing weight? Are you tired of losing and gaining the same weight over and over? I know I was.  I have been a member of Sean's weight loss support group for some time now and find that the support and accountability you receive from Sean and his group are invaluable to your journey to a healthy new you.  As a man, I was stubborn and thought I could do this on my own. Well, I will tell you that this might just be the missing piece of that puzzle you've been working on for a long time. Sean truly cares about every single person in his groups and will go the extra mile to help you succeed.  The calls, coupled with the private Facebook page are one of the best investments you could ever make in yourself.  Especially you guys, just do it and see what a difference it makes. I know it did for me.  -Mike in Las Vegas.

If you're interested in joining our team, contact me today: transformation.road@gmail.com or call/text: 580-491-2228

I hope to hear from you soon!

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





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