Thursday, January 31, 2019

January 31st, 2019 I Still Do

January 31st, 2019 I Still Do

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support. I earned 5 stars yesterday.

I slept very well last night. Actually, too well! I overslept. We were just discussing the "snooze alarm" dynamic on one of last night's support group conference calls--and by golly, I pulled a good one this morning. I had to quickly get a game plan in order. I made sure to get in my morning foundation routine but had to skip a lot of other things, or actually, postpone some things until later--like this blog post and breakfast.

Starting the day in a rush is not my favorite thing to do! I'm here, okay, and ready for a really good rest of this day. I'm keeping this part of today's blog short--gotta get back to work--but wanted to share the following post from September 2015. I hope it resonates!

Whenever we decide to start choosing change before change chooses us, we run the risk of some inner resistance. We need a plan, first, right? The diet plan options is really an endless and constantly growing list. Then, maybe we compare our hopes and dreams to someone else's success and try to do whatever they did, in hopes of the same results, I mean seriously--aunt so and so lost 50 pounds on that cabbage soup diet. The process of deciding what we'll do is labored over until we realize we're not making any progress. It's called paralysis by analysis.

I understand this process because I've lived it. In some ways, I still do.

Often, the plan we assemble doesn't reflect our authentic self in any way at all. In fact, it might be a polar opposite of what we're accustomed to eating and doing. But isn't that the idea?? What we've been doing has brought us here and it seems to make sense that in order to lose weight, we need to do something opposite of what we've been doing. Right? Not so fast!

From my experience, here's what happens: We get set. We get everything in place. Then-- we go to bed and decide that tomorrow we're waking up and becoming a completely different person. This approach can certainly bring some initial success and maybe even some extended success, until it becomes too much, too different--and too easy to revert back to our authentic self we abandoned in order to do this new plan.

When I started at 505 pounds, it just had to be the simplest approach possible. It had to be simple for me to stick with it. 1500 calories per day and a short walk each night. That's it. In hindsight, that 1500 calorie budget was likely too low--1700 to 2000 would have worked well, too. But remember--I didn't know--I was just doing and figured it would work out along the way.

I ate whatever fit into that budget. I didn't stress over the macro-nutrients or the fat grams or the anything, except the calories. I let go of every preconceived notion I had about what I had to do to lose weight, food wise--and just minded my budget. The consistency brought about by this simplified approach was supported by keeping the blog updated each and every night for a handful of readers whom I knew were paying attention...that was my accountability measure and it was support.

Some meals flew in the face of what anyone would consider "diet" food... fast food, convenience foods--it all made it's way in there early... but as I went along, my choices improved naturally---simply because I was trying to get the most value for my calorie "dollar." This is the "natural evolution of good choices" I've written and talked about many times.

Liberating myself from the worry of "what's best" and what foods would be best for weight loss---and sticking with the mantra "I eat what I like and nothing I don't," enabled me to liberate myself from 275 pounds.

Now, I ask you. What would have been better? Me coming up with a complicated diet plan with a bunch of self-imposed rules---all of which I would have felt horrible about breaking--but would have had they been too restrictive.... Or.... changing my perspective and just eating and moving every night?

This simplified approach forced me to focus LESS on the food and exercise details and MORE on the accountability and support needed to stay CONSISTENT.

And this brought success like I had never known. As you know, it also enabled me to learn a great deal about myself along the way---especially after hitting goal weight of 230 and actually maintaining for awhile before letting go of the elements all together...basically, I stopped doing what was working---and without the accountability and support structure that carried me so far, I was left with just me... and then it was on---like a race back to 500 pounds.

But it was good, because for me, it highlighted an element I needed to understand better---and that was my addiction to refined sugar and its effects on me.

Something magical can happen when we stop trying to figure it all out and we accept and embrace the idea that if we just start doing--- even if it's something that doesn't feel like anything we've done before... things can and usually work themselves into a groove where our individual elements become clear.

And the weight starts going...and we start losing....and wow... wasn't that what we wanted to begin with? Our health improves from the weight loss in dramatic ways--and it does without taking a massive detour from our authentic self.

As you gain your footing--and focus on maintaining the integrity of your budget through your accountability and support system you have in place--you'll naturally evolve your choices to fit into that budget--- and eventually, you may even try different things as you modify your approach. It's important to just get started moving in the right direction--away from self-sabotage and negative inward thoughts-- and straight toward consistency.

Counting calories is never an exact science. The closest we can get is when we weigh things with a digital scale. I do that at home and at work--but I don't go out to restaurants with one. The more we do it, the better we get at giving something an honest guesstimate. That's been the best schooling for me as far as honestly guessing proper amounts when I don't have a food scale handy.

Keep in mind-- during my initial 275 loss--I never logged, weighed or even wrote down my food. I used if I wasn't confident about something--and nutrition labels, of course... But I kept it all in my head---a running total each day. My budget was 1500-- and I'm sure it fluctuated give or take a 100 on any given day...but it didn't matter at the end of the day. It was close enough.

What would happen if we stopped looking for the perfect plan to focus on and instead, focused on the non-food elements, like setting up our accountability and support structure? What if we gave ourselves time to see what consistency within a simplified approach could accomplish? What if we embraced our authentic selves, starting there and working our way toward our transformation that goes far beyond the physical? What would happen?

It might be very interesting to find out.

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  1. I wanted to add, women are usually different. Women who are insulin resistant (belly fat, which is a lot of us) are definitely different. Total calories will not work. Needs to be calories and macros. Not talking low carb. Talking about balance. We have to have our protein high enough and our carbs low enough that they level each other out. Plus healthy fats. I have seen a lot of women carefully track their calories but have way too high a percentage of carbs. And they just barely maintain, and cannot lose.

  2. Wonderful and very important points, Vickie! Thank you for sharing it! Super important things to consider!!!

    1. I think your height is to your advantage. Male is also very much to your advantage. Be thankful.

      I think those two factors make a big difference. And I certainly understand that at your highest, just controlling total intake worked.

      Women - especially shorter, older - just have a whole different numbers thing going.


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