Tuesday, July 23, 2019

July 23rd, 2019 Not Simply Knowing

July 23rd, 2019 Not Simply Knowing

Like the day before, yesterday was a 5-star day: I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal again (a streak is going!), I completed a wonderful 30-minute, level 15 of 20 elliptical workout, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

This #choosingchange thing is working for me in profound ways. I'm making an intentional effort to set doable goals and I'm hitting these goals. That feels good. I lost count of how many days in a row I've exceeded my water goal, maybe two weeks worth--if not, almost. My exercise schedule is becoming more stable and consistent as well. The biggest thing is how I'm feeling the effects of an empowered perspective.

Dinner is in the oven, a workout awaits later, and a short visit with mom after the workout will pretty much wrap up the evening.

Facebook popped up a picture of me in a tuxedo from nine years ago today. Nine years ago?? Really? I couldn't believe it. I guess it has me nostalgic because it sent me back into the archives, reading several posts from those days. It was a very transformative time in this never-ending process and practice.

It's time for a DDWL Time Travel back more than ten years ago, let's fire up the DDWL Time Machine and fly back to April 29th, 2009:

(Quick disclaimer: This flashback to April 2009 was long before I realized the role certain food substances play in my level of food addiction. In this excerpt, I was still embracing a "nothing is off-limits" approach, which I'm grateful for because I needed to learn what I needed to learn about how certain foods affect me in profound ways. The learning never stops--it's an ongoing personal study! The approach described below helped me evolve along the way. Today in 2019, I keep a very tight boundary on my trigger foods list and my commitment to abstinence from refined sugar. A couple of things mentioned below run contrary to my daily practice today. Also, I wrote of my food addiction as if simply knowing was all I needed---and over the years I've discovered, it isn't the knowing, it's the doing. It's the daily actions; the practice that keeps me well, not simply knowing. Knowing what we know and learning along the way are quite simply just thoughts and ideas until action is attached, then they become real. Anyway--just wanted to clarify before you read this post from over a decade ago.)

(The following was written in April 2009)

Today I was thinking about all of the times I attempted to lose weight, and back then, almost from the very beginning, I just knew that I would fail every time. I convinced myself that failure was a part of the process. I had also convinced myself that there was no way to maintain focus amid extreme stress. Back then I really wasn't wanting to change my attitudes and approach to food. I just wanted to lose weight. Forget the mumbo jumbo psychological talk.

I was forcing myself to eat less and exercise more and it would work until I'd had enough and that's when I'd snap right back into my old habits. I was way more than in love with food back then, I was completely obsessed. My day revolved around eating, thinking about eating and making plans to eat. Any weight loss attempt back then was a serious downer to this constant obsession.

It wasn't until I fully admitted to myself that I had a real addiction to food, that I was able to step back, make an honest assessment of my habits and really explore a different approach. It's so true when they say that the first step to overcoming an addiction is to admit there's a problem in the first place. I had a serious problem with food. I remember staying up really late one Saturday night about fifteen years ago eating a giant bowl of mashed potatoes and homemade white gravy made with sausage grease. It was about two am, the little ones were in bed and Irene was working an overnight shift. I remember a Richard Simmons infomercial catching my attention as I sat there stuffing my face. The testimonials were so wonderful and inspiring, they made me cry. They didn't make me put down the potatoes and gravy, but they made me cry a couple of kinds of tears. I cried tears of happiness for the people being featured on the infomercial and I cried tears of hopelessness for my own struggle.

I was feeling really sorry for myself that night. Instead of allowing myself to feel inspired to change, I thought it was just too difficult and overwhelming to even try. I completely understand what it's like to see and hear about someone else's weight loss success while feeling a million miles away from ever being in that position mentally and physically.

On Day 1 of this journey, I really didn't know how I was going to pull this off. All I knew was that I had to do it. I had to make my way through and learn along the way. I was out of time. I was scared, really scared. This frightening state did something to me that hadn't been done before. It made me let go of my defenses, the old habits that kept me content. I was completely open and vulnerable to change. I let go of the excuses and blame game because I knew they had no place on this road. I let go of my preconceived notions of failure, deciding this time, failure wasn't an option. I decided that no amount of stress would rock me to the point of failure, no matter what happened along the way, I decided I would stay on course.

On Day 1 I didn't have a clue about what I would discover along the way. My mind wasn't changed about food and exercise on day 1, not at all. I was walking on faith, my friend. I was feeling my way through each day. I really don't know what day it started to really click. But somewhere along this journey, I learned a different way of treating food and exercise.

All of a sudden I had a revelation I'd never experienced. I could still enjoy potatoes and gravy while losing weight. I could still eat ice cream and lose weight. I could still love and enjoy food without being obsessed. I could slow down long enough to recognize and enjoy a regular portion. When I realized this, that's when I completely let go of the desire to devour giant portions of potatoes and gravy at 2am. I no longer felt deprived in any way. The exercise I always dreaded and feared became easier with every workout and the results started to happen quickly. I was no longer hopeless, I was empowered.

Now on Day 226, I feel even more in control with a much better understanding of what I'm doing and how I'm doing it. But I started without any of that knowledge. I just decided and then started. I kept it really simple: calories in-calories out, period. It was an iron-clad promise to me from me. I decided.




Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Practice, peace, and calm,
Sean

If you're interested in connecting via social media:
I accept friend requests on MyFitnessPal. My daily food logging diary is set to public.
MFP Username: SeanAAnderson
My Twitter: SeanAAnderson
Facebook: www.facebook.com/seananderson505
Instagram: SeanAAnderson
Also--I'd love you to subscribe to my podcast Transformation Planet! You can find it in Apple Podcasts, in the Google Play store for Android, and listed wherever you find your favorite podcasts! If you haven't listened before, you'll find 20 episodes waiting for you!

Questions or comments? Send an email! transformation.road@gmail.com

Monday, July 22, 2019

July 22nd, 2019 A Relief

July 22nd, 2019 A Relief

Yesterday was a 5-star day: I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal again (a streak is going!), I completed a wonderful 30-minute, level 15 of 20 elliptical workout, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

Mom, Noah, and I spent some good time together yesterday. I'm seeing remarkable food behaviors in Noah that seem very foreign as compared to my childhood experience. He ordered broccoli as a side with his cheeseburger. Then, tossed the bun. He ate the broccoli like a champ. He loves it. I love that. Witnessing this very natural behavior in him is a beautiful thing. He doesn't even finish his candy at the movie theater--what's that all about? I smile. Although I truly believe most of the early developmental stuff is a situational/circumstantial and learned behavior, there's still a relief that comes with believing that "that" part of my genetic code didn't make it to him.

Mom is doing well lately. Her care remains very good and on a higher level than before, meaning, they're watching very closely and doing their best to prevent the pattern from repeating. That's a relief.

My workout yesterday was amazing as I continue to make that time all about the joy of the process. For me, that's the key. Making it enjoyable and making it an escape into positive self-care is helping reframe my perspective--and this is helping me become more consistent.

I'm about to head out to the RecPlex for a good workout, then a short visit with mom, before returning home to prepare dinner. But, before I go...

I've been getting several messages/emails lately about food choices and how to create a food plan. I don't have all the answers and I'm NOT an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I have some thoughts and opinions, as you know! Instead of rewriting, this is a good time to take an excerpt from the archives of this diary:

I can't tell you what to eat. I believe we must create that list based on our own preferences.

I eat what I like and nothing I don't. And the choices I'm making are made because it's where I am, now.

I previously lost 275 pounds eating much differently. It wasn't right or wrong then and my eating habits are not right or wrong now. They're simply reflective of where I am today. I like what I'm doing. It's working for me.

And that's key, in my opinion--finding what works for you. Discovering what you can do, what you like and how you like it, is imperative.

I don't like labeling anything "right or wrong/good or bad." Food is food. Eat what you like, just set a budget and consistently stay within the budget. Trust that your choices will evolve in time.

If you've ever been handed a pre-set food plan and told to follow it to the letter--and you didn't like everything on the list, but you choked it down anyway--that's a means to an end.

The experts creating the perfect food plans are not wrong, necessarily, they're just not taking into account the human element.

If whatever we're doing isn't something we can do forever--if it isn't sustainable, then it's temporary. We can white knuckle it and adhere to a food plan in the name of "I can do anything for a short time," and we'll see those results, but as soon as it's over--it's back to what we prefer, and that's why, in my opinion--we should just start with what we prefer in the first place, allowing our plan to evolve as we maneuver our budget and boundaries.

If you've been a regular reader of this blog for the last nine and a half years, you might remember days where a Snickers Bar, Ice cream, cake, fast food cheeseburgers and Taco Bell all made their way into my budget. I don't look back on that time and think, wow--I didn't eat very well. I look back and think, that's where I was and needed to be at that time. I'm not saying it's a good idea to rush out and stock up on these things. I'm just saying...

Having been 500 pounds for so long, I instinctively knew that I wasn't going to change a lifetime of habits overnight. And I felt like if I tried, it would end up another failed attempt. In my opinion, the "nothing is off-limits" philosophy is still valid and important, because it allows us to be where we are, be ourselves--growing and developing in a natural organic way.

We learn about ourselves along the way. I've learned that I can't do refined sugar. It's by far the single most important recovery decision I've made along the way. It took a 164-pound relapse/regain to arrive at that conclusion. Some things, for me, are harder to learn. And that's ok.

But not everybody is a food addict like me, addicted to refined sugar with over three decades of experience in stuffing emotions and stress with food. Abstaining from certain food substances may not be what's right for you.

The main reason why I've always been a proponent of simplicity when it comes to food is because along this road it's about so much more than food and exercise. The mental/emotional/psychological elements in play are all bigger and more challenging than "what should I eat?"

In my opinion, if the greater focus is placed on the food and exercise instead of the mental/emotional/psychological dynamics--then we end up facing the biggest elements unprepared. It becomes a "diet mentality." A focus on a simplistic food plan based on our personal preferences and backed up with solid accountability and support has a really good chance of working well for the long haul.

There are no right or wrong foods. Eat what you like and allow yourself a natural evolution of good choices along the way. Getting real about your trigger foods and food substances that make you nuts is imperative for the process. This requires a willingness to NOT beat yourself up when things don't go well, instead--if we look at things from a "what worked well and what isn't working as well" perspective, instead of a "failure or success, right or wrong, black and white, perfection or nothing" perspective, we can evolve quite nicely and since we're not devoting a large amount of energy to self-sabotaging thoughts and negative head chatter, we're able to evaluate things on a more stable level.

The practice of maintaining the integrity of a calorie budget can have a powerful impact on this evolution because we're trying to get the most value for our calories. The evolution only occurs with a sacred level of self-honesty and a willingness to reach out for support when we recognize a breach coming on, otherwise, there isn't a reason to navigate the calorie budget for the best calorie values if we're constantly violating the budget.

And please, never compare what you're eating to someone else's food. Remember, we're all different. I don't eat refined sugar because for me, once I start, I can't stop. You may not share that addiction with me.

Sometimes, the biggest mental hurdles come when we compare what we're eating to our own expectations or what we perceive to be what we should be eating or what we've heard is best or the healthier choice. Take what fits you and leave the rest. Don't harshly judge your well-fitting food plan.

My best advice is to let it go.

Just be you and give yourself room to grow and develop. Ultimately, we're wanting to arrive at our healthiest weight--and if we arrive at a healthy weight range for our body--and along the way our health improves dramatically--and we do it in a way that fits us, individually--then we've successfully shifted the focus away from the old diet mentality--we've accepted and embraced the plan we've created specifically for us--and now, how does it all compare to the pre-planned diets of old, the ones that were nutritionally sound but lacked a human consideration--the ones difficult to sustain--the ones challenging our ability to remain consistent??

Simple is sustainable, sustainable encourages consistency and consistency beats intensity, every single time.



The "I'm Choosing Change" wristband with "Before Change Chooses Me" imprinted on the inside, will be available from my new website that's coming within a month or so (It's in the design phase)--however, you can get one early if you desire!

Send an email with your request: transformation.road@gmail.com and I'll send you a direct PayPal invoice for the $15 charge and then personally ship yours right away! It's a powerful reminder every single day--connecting us with our "why" as it helps keep a positive measure of awareness and mindfulness in place. It's certainly doing good things for my personal awareness each day.

Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Practice, peace, and calm,
Sean

If you're interested in connecting via social media:
I accept friend requests on MyFitnessPal. My daily food logging diary is set to public.
MFP Username: SeanAAnderson
My Twitter: SeanAAnderson
Facebook: www.facebook.com/seananderson505
Instagram: SeanAAnderson
Also--I'd love you to subscribe to my podcast Transformation Planet! You can find it in Apple Podcasts, in the Google Play store for Android, and listed wherever you find your favorite podcasts! If you haven't listened before, you'll find 20 episodes waiting for you!

Questions or comments? Send an email! transformation.road@gmail.com

Sunday, July 21, 2019

July 21st, 2019 Variety

July 21st, 2019 Variety

Yesterday was a 5-star day: I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal again (a streak is going!), I melted through a good walk last night, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

I grabbed another watermelon at my broadcast yesterday. The melon lately has been incredible! Some say it's the heat that makes eating it exceptionally because it's a cool and refreshing fruit. That--may be a tiny bit of that for me. Mostly, for me, it's the natural sugar content. No refined sugar has been a non-negotiable part of my food plan for over five years now, so I find my "sweet" in the fruit I enjoy. I sometimes overdo it, I'll admit--I mean, I've put together some pretty big fruit bowls for my last food of day--staying within budget, but still, too much, and I know it--but I justify it because it is fruit. The natural evolution of my food plan is trending toward keeping most of the fruit in the morning and less right before bed. I think my body would appreciate that change.

I'll be picking up mom later today for our weekly outing. I must pick a different restaurant this evening. I've enjoyed my sour cream chicken fajita tacos for dinner two nights in a row, I can't do a third! I must have variety!
One of my favorite go-to options-so good!












One of the things I've made very important over the last ten-plus years has been making sure I enjoy the food within my food plan boundaries. If I don't enjoy something, it's out. The "test" for me on anything I include in my food plan always comes down to the behaviors surrounding a particular food. If I can enjoy something without the trigger of "more more more," --and I can simply eat it for what it is, good food, without feeling compelled to turn it into "a fixer," "therapist," or "escape," then it stays in the food plan. The food plan evolves and my personal trigger list must always be open and willing to add new items based on a most self-honest evaluation.

The refined sugar-free Quest protein bars are things I occasionally use on certain days when it makes sense. I don't care for the different flavor names of these bars because they're always named something that would normally be considered a trigger for me. I don't do "look-a-likes," meaning my brain can't handle sugar-free versions of popular sweets, namely cookies and ice cream. Just can't. The Quest bars are an example of an item in my food plan that's right on the outer edges of acceptable for me. Again, comes down to my behavior surrounding the food item. I've never once been compelled to eat a second Quest bar in one sitting. And I've never felt compelled toward off-plan choices after consuming one of these. I keep some boundaries though, only buying them one at a time, so I'm not keeping them stocked at home. However, if these ever become a food item I can't handle in a responsible way---then onto the trigger list, it'll go.

It's a very personal and unique thing, the food plan. Each of us must find our own combination that helps open up measures of peace, calm, and consistency.     

Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Practice, peace, and calm,
Sean

If you're interested in connecting via social media:
I accept friend requests on MyFitnessPal. My daily food logging diary is set to public.
MFP Username: SeanAAnderson
My Twitter: SeanAAnderson
Facebook: www.facebook.com/seananderson505
Instagram: SeanAAnderson
Also--I'd love you to subscribe to my podcast Transformation Planet! You can find it in Apple Podcasts, in the Google Play store for Android, and listed wherever you find your favorite podcasts! If you haven't listened before, you'll find 20 episodes waiting for you!

Questions or comments? Send an email! transformation.road@gmail.com

Saturday, July 20, 2019

July 20th, 2019 Too Long

July 20th, 2019 Too Long

Yesterday was a 4-star day: I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal again (a streak is going!), and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

Courtney and I had an amazing time together last night. We enjoyed dinner and conversation, just the two of us, and it was perfect. It had been a full two years since we've made that happen. That's too long!

My broadcast went well today from the grocery store. I was able to grab a few things, including an avocado that I'll be excitedly using in the morning on my Ezekiel toast!

Keeping this edition short this evening. Headed out for exercise and then a visit with mom! I'm looking forward to writing more tomorrow morning.

Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Practice, peace, and calm,
Sean

If you're interested in connecting via social media:
I accept friend requests on MyFitnessPal. My daily food logging diary is set to public.
MFP Username: SeanAAnderson
My Twitter: SeanAAnderson
Facebook: www.facebook.com/seananderson505
Instagram: SeanAAnderson
Also--I'd love you to subscribe to my podcast Transformation Planet! You can find it in Apple Podcasts, in the Google Play store for Android, and listed wherever you find your favorite podcasts! If you haven't listened before, you'll find 20 episodes waiting for you!

Questions or comments? Send an email! transformation.road@gmail.com

Friday, July 19, 2019

July 19th, 2019 Slipstreaming

July 19th, 2019 Slipstreaming

Yesterday was a 5-star day: I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal again (a streak is going!), I had a great elliptical workout at the RecPlex, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

My workout yesterday felt amazing. I'm naturally a multi-tasker--but during workout time, I've got to turn that off. In order to truly enjoy the experience, I have to focus on only two things, the music, and the movement. When I do that--when I do a mini-meditation going in--and prepare myself to fully invest my body and mind, it's incredible from start to finish. My enthusiasm becomes streamlined by the passing music, kind of like a race car driver squeezing into the slipstream of another vehicle thereby reducing their aerodynamic drag. The music carries me through the workout. I've listened to podcasts before or something super inspirational while exercising--but I don't want to think in those moments--I usually close my eyes, keep moving, and allow myself to get lost in the music, almost in a trance-like state. I'm pretty sure I look like a lunatic on the elliptical, but I don't care.

Today was a good workday. I stayed on point with one task after another and got out of there at a decent time. I haven't been napping lately, but I grabbed one today--and it was good. I'm having a special birthday dinner out with my youngest daughter, Courtney, tonight. She turns 26 tomorrow! How is that possible?? I don't know. We're planning it late because it's one of the few windows of opportunity she has being a full-time working mom of three precious little ones! I don't remember the last time we had a chance to enjoy dinner together, just the two of us. It'll be great!





































It seems like just yesterday when we were cheesing it up for the camera. Thirteen turns into twenty-six too fast.

The "I'm Choosing Change" wristband with "Before Change Chooses Me" imprinted on the inside, will be available from my new website that's coming within a month or so (It's in the design phase)--however, you can get one early if you desire!

Send an email with your request: transformation.road@gmail.com and I'll send you a direct PayPal invoice for the $15 charge and then personally ship yours right away! It's a powerful reminder every single day--connecting us with our "why" as it helps keep a positive measure of awareness and mindfulness in place. It's certainly doing good things for my personal awareness each day.

A colleague of mine was playfully giving me a hard time about the $15 price on these. I assure you, after shipping charges (nearly $4 US, $9 to Canada and other international destinations) and the cost of the band itself, plus the time and effort it takes to personally fulfill the orders, I'm not getting rich on these! The value of this wristband is in the mind of the wearer. If it can be a daily awareness/mindfulness tool, providing a measure of inspiration and motivation, then--what's it worth?

"I'm Choosing Change" wristbands are popping up all over the place!
Deb is Choosing Change on a bike in Valparaiso, Indiana! 






















Dede in D.C. is Choosing Change in the kitchen!
























Michael Choosing Change at the gym in Las Vegas!
























Caryl Choosing Change at the Salon in Moriarty, New Mexico!

























Diane is Choosing Change in Long Beach, California!
















Kelleen is Choosing Change in Claremore, Oklahoma!
-with a temporary homemade version
-since I mailed hers to the wrong address! 


























Mere is Choosing Change right down the road
in Ponca City, Oklahoma!

























Cathy Choosing Change at work in Hammond, Indiana!















Me! Choosing Change at the RecPlex!



















My weekend looks not half bad. I have a location-broadcast from the grocery store where we broadcast at least once or sometimes twice a month. I'll be working and shopping simultaneously, hence the multitasking thing from earlier.

Have an amazing Friday night! I'm off to enjoy dinner out with my daughter!



Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Practice, peace, and calm,
Sean

If you're interested in connecting via social media:
I accept friend requests on MyFitnessPal. My daily food logging diary is set to public.
MFP Username: SeanAAnderson
My Twitter: SeanAAnderson
Facebook: www.facebook.com/seananderson505
Instagram: SeanAAnderson
Also--I'd love you to subscribe to my podcast Transformation Planet! You can find it in Apple Podcasts, in the Google Play store for Android, and listed wherever you find your favorite podcasts! If you haven't listened before, you'll find 20 episodes waiting for you!

Questions or comments? Send an email! transformation.road@gmail.com

Thursday, July 18, 2019

July 18th, 2019 The Year 2052

July 18th, 2019 The Year 2052

Yesterday was a 4-star day: I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal (8th day in a row), and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

Day three without any further contact from the gentleman who sent the threatening message directed at me the other day. That's a good thing. I don't like constantly worrying about someone who's suffering from mental illness and having delusional thoughts about me. Everywhere I go, I'm scanning the environment, looking at people--uhg, it's not fun. But it's better--nothing new is a good thing. His pattern with these messages in the past was to go on and on--and he's not doing that.

Anyway! It's already Thursday--my goodness, this week is flying by! It's been a great week despite the unsettling stuff. I'm on a roll with my water intake and I'm about to hit the gym again for another workout. I've been taking extra care and attention with my food plan of late, too. I do my best to practice that each new day, but when emotions and stress come along, that's when I must become "next-level" diligent with my daily practice.

Sometimes, I think it's very easy for anyone reading this diary to get the incorrect impression that I somehow have this stuff "all figured out." I don't. And I never will. All I have for today is a willingness to wake up and practice a plan that helps keep me well. I could give it all back tomorrow if I decided to simply flip on the auto-pilot switch and walk away. My auto-pilot would take me directly to places I don't want to go. I don't want to give it all back, ever. There's too much beautiful-sweet freedom that comes from this daily practice of calm and intentional actions.

I don't want chaos and the pursuit isn't perfection. The pursuit is toward the middle. As I recently wrote here, the middle is where life lives. Pausing each day and doing things that interrupt the patterns that are so deeply ingrained inside of me is paramount for the survival of my future self.

And speaking of my "future self," several of us were messing with the FaceApp thing today at the studio. It's ridiculously freaky. If I'm blessed enough to make it to the year 2052, this is what it's determined I'll look like at eighty years old:



















A lot of people are freaking out about it being an app that has access to your photos. I'm not too worried about that. If somewhere in a Moscow office building, the people behind this app are pouring through my photo files, Maybe they'll find a few meal ideas. I sure hope they like avocados!

Oh, speaking of avocados, I'm on day three without any. Uhg! I'm in an avocado drought! The store I frequent has the price way too high for me--and the other stores I shop has them priced a little more reasonable, but they're bright green and hard as a rock. I plan on buying some and being patient. But still, I'm a couple days away, at least, from getting my avocado fix!

Okay--I need to hit publish on this and head out to the gym very soon for a good elliptical workout.

I hope you're having a fantastic Thursday! 



Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Practice, peace, and calm,
Sean

If you're interested in connecting via social media:
I accept friend requests on MyFitnessPal. My daily food logging diary is set to public.
MFP Username: SeanAAnderson
My Twitter: SeanAAnderson
Facebook: www.facebook.com/seananderson505
Instagram: SeanAAnderson
Also--I'd love you to subscribe to my podcast Transformation Planet! You can find it in Apple Podcasts, in the Google Play store for Android, and listed wherever you find your favorite podcasts! If you haven't listened before, you'll find 20 episodes waiting for you!

Questions or comments? Send an email! transformation.road@gmail.com





Copyright © 2008-2019 Sean A. Anderson

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