Tuesday, August 14, 2018

August 14th, 2018 In A More Present Way

August 14th, 2018 In A More Present Way

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

I accomplished a lot at work today. That always feels good-- productive days, in general, feel better than unproductive days! I also did some much-needed cleaning in my apartment!

Mom and I enjoyed dinner out this evening. She's been showing off the Health Monitor Magazine story to every person where she lives. She's a proud momma, for sure!

My oldest grandson, Noah starts kindergarten Thursday. I can't believe he's five years old! Time moves quickly, doesn't it? I love him so much! I'm looking forward to hanging out with him again someday very soon!



















When I look at him and my other three precious grandkids, I'm reminded of why I do what I do each day. This daily practice is about much more than maintaining a relatively healthy body weight. It's about having the best chance, God willing, to be there for them-- to experience life in ways I didn't back in the days when I was constantly "in the food."

Honoring the boundaries of my daily food plan helps keep me well. It's not everything. But it's a big important part. When I'm maintaining the integrity of my daily food plan, it allows a freedom for me to live and experience life in a more present way.

Today's Featured Tweet:


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

Monday, August 13, 2018

August 13th, 2018 Form or Fashion

August 13th, 2018 Form or Fashion

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

Busy night! Keeping this edition short.

My mom has a long history of buying magazines with weight loss stories and various weight loss related articles. We had piles of 'em around the house when I was a kid. I've read hundreds of personal stories over the years. She occasionally asks me to bring her the latest Women's World or, if we're at the store together, she'll gravitate over to the magazine racks and pick one out. One thing is certain--if mom buys a magazine--the headline is about weight loss in some form or fashion.

It was very cool to take mom a magazine featuring me and my story. The Health Monitor Magazine Guide to Weight Management issue includes various articles and several stories. I was honored to be featured alongside David Garcia, better known as "Keep It Up, David!" Health Monitor sent a few complimentary copies my way. Mom enjoyed that. I'm glad. You can find the magazine in the waiting room of doctor's offices and hospitals across North America.

I'm full of gratitude. Goodnight!

Today's Featured Tweets:


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

Sunday, August 12, 2018

August 12th, 2018 The Work

August 12th, 2018 The Work

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
















Today was a wonderful day! I had the opportunity to meet up with my longtime friend and mentor, Gerri Helms! If it wasn't for Gerri, there's a really good chance I wouldn't be here to write this blog or do what I do each day. She would be the first to say, "you're doing the work," but seriously, even in my darkest periods along the way, she never gave up on me! Much love and gratitude, Gerri!

We dined at a Mexican restaurant this afternoon. It worked perfectly for my food plan--the old standby, fajita crispy tacos, works for me!

It's been a really long day. I'm hitting the pillow!

Today's Featured Tweet:
Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Saturday, August 11, 2018

August 11th, 2018 A Great Thing

August 11th, 2018 A Great Thing

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

Today was a fairly involved workday. I started with a broadcast from a big event at a grocery store. It was the Massive Meat Sale and Hatch Chili Roasting event. I've mentioned this several times--it's always a great thing to combine working with bargain shopping! My favorite petite sirloins were on sale--so of course, I grabbed some!! The store set records today--so it was a successful event!

As a board member of our local arts and humanities council and in consideration of what I do for a living, I regularly make the opening announcements for special concerts we bring to town. Today was two performances with Emmy Award-winning television personality Lucas Ross, at 2 and 7:30, I made the announcements and introduction for each show--and then, since our studios are conveniently located in the front of the theatre, I proceeded to get a bunch of work completed.

I prepared some great food today. I stayed connected with support friends and feel pretty well. I'll be traveling tomorrow to visit my longtime friend and mentor, Gerri Helms and her husband David as they travel through our state. It's a rare opportunity and I'm not missing it! Plus--just a teaser-- but were planning to do a project together in the near future. I'm excited about that! More information on that, soon, I'm sure!

Today's Featured Tweets:


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

Friday, August 10, 2018

August 10th, 2018 Brain Treats

August 10th, 2018 Brain Treats

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

I've spent a lot of time writing about time--and how it passes and how it does what it does regardless of what we do. The passage of time can bring a pleasant surprise or crippling regret. I've worked to maintain a perspective that doesn't worry too much about time. I'd rather not give time too much power over my emotions. There was a time I did--oh yeah, all the time--I was worried about time.

One of the first questions I obsessed over years and years ago, before finding this road, was, "How long is this going to take?" It was a loaded thought because maybe I was looking for reasons I couldn't do this--and some genuine frustration with an equal measure of discouragement was all I needed to jump into the "poor me-I've got it too hard--it's too overwhelming--look away, I'm hideous and hopeless" thought process.

The only way I was able to let go of this discouragement disguised as a motivator, was by bringing the focus back to the here and NOW. And in focusing on maintaining the integrity of my plan each day, I was able to find something I could immediately feel great about. If I maintain the integrity of my plan--and I hit the pillow knowing I nailed a great day-I feel calm and confident. When the challenge and reward share the same 24 hour period, I end up feeling great. Back when I would set the challenge and reward a year apart, I never made it too far. I need positive reinforcement. Like a dog in training, I need little "brain treats" daily.

Today was a very involved day at work. Tomorrow starts with a broadcast from a grocery store's massive meat sale and Hatch Chili roasting event. It'll be great! Oh, I'll be doing some shopping while I work, believe me!

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

Thursday, August 9, 2018

August 9th, 2018 One Of Them

August 9th, 2018 One Of Them

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

I once again have a Fitbit activity tracker. Now, I'll have undeniable proof of my lacking exercise schedule. Wait--that's not a positive perspective, is it? Uh, I mean--now, I can get into tracking my workouts and this, I believe will inspire a more consistent schedule.

Incidentally, after taking forever to get it set up, including a call to their support line--which by the way is absolutely fantastic, then dinner, a store trip, and taking mom some things she needed, I didn't make it to the YMCA this evening. I don't need a Y visit to exercise, of course, but it just became too late. The 4:30am alarm comes way too soon. So--I'll take getting my Fitbit setup as tonight's win.

I bought a watermelon tonight. Always a gamble--and it paid off! It's a good one. It was tonight's dessert (see Tweet below).

Tonight's flashback goes all the way back to 2009, more than nine years ago. Everything was so brand new back then---and my positive visualizations were starting to happen with my dramatically smaller size. This DDWL Flashback takes us to the lake--on a SeaDoo for the first time.

Summer 2009:
I flew like a bird today across the top of the water on Lake Ponca. It was one of my greatest experiences. I had never viewed the lake from that perspective. I always stayed on the shore and watched other people zip across the water as I sat miserably in the sun wondering what they must feel like to experience such freedom.

I found out: They feel great. I was one of them today.

The owner of Team Radio had invited me to his private dock to ride his Sea-Doo jet ski no less than five times over the last month or so. Today I decided I would do it.

Doing things like this that were once nearly impossible is one of the quickest ways for me to get really emotional about how far I've come in the last 313 days. This is what it's all about. It's living, my friend. Really living. You know what I mean? Feeling that jet ski lift up and skimming across the water as the wind hurried through my hair was simply amazing. I felt like I could fly.

As I rode atop the surface I thought about how things have changed for me and continue to change. It would have been so easy to never have started on September 15th of last year. I did that my entire life. You know, think about starting, even plan to start, get excited about starting and then when the day would come (always a Monday for me), nothing but fear and giant overwhelming feelings of I can't, it's going to take too long, how am I going to do this under so much daily stress? It certainly wasn't that I didn't want it---Oh I did...but I was so busy trying to complicate the process, I couldn't get a handle on figuring out how to really do it.

I always claimed, “Oh, I know how to lose weight---just eat less and exercise more.” But there's more to it than that. Until I really analyzed the psychological part of the equation, I couldn't solve the problem no matter how bad I wanted it.

This time is certainly like no other for me. It's the real deal, my friend. The way out was found because I completely surrendered the dishonesty within, the excuses, and the rationalizations that always gave me reasons to fail.

I decided to give this mission the importance level it deserves so it wouldn't be easy to rationalize bad choices---because it's just too important.

And here I am 313 days later, flying across the top of a lake, viewing a perspective reserved only for those who choose to live.


Today's Featured Tweet:


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

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

August 8th, 2018 It's Life

August 8th, 2018 It's Life

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

Keeping tonight's edition short. Wednesdays go late for me-- so I'll simply say it was a very blessed day! I'm grateful!

I did find the following in the archives--and thought I'd do a republish:

Do you proceed along this road with a “confident patience?” Our physical transformation doesn't happen overnight. It takes weeks, months and for many of us, years. Finding confidence happens easier when the main focus is taken away from wanting immediate results and placed on the daily fundamentals of our extraordinary care.

If we center our focus on what we can do today, we can find confidence. And this confidence gives birth to patience.

When you proceed with acceptance, embrace, and a confident patience, you'll experience a peace and calm over the process. Results may come euphorically fast or frustratingly slow, either way, adjustments can be made. Releasing ourselves from the frustration and oftentimes derailing “fast and furious” results-based focus and focusing instead on the smaller goals of today, gives us the best chance at waking up someday to incredible results.

I've lived this "confident patience" and I'm telling you, it all comes down to the age-old philosophy of one day at a time.

I can remember weight loss attempts where I mapped out my weigh days for an entire year, complete with a goal weight for each and a place to write my actual weight. On the surface, it seemed like a great idea for me. I'd proudly gaze at the calendar and say things like, "See that date? I'll weigh 100 pounds less by then. Isn't that amazing?" It was such a matter of fact tone--not at all considering the different variables, I would encounter along the way.

How could I have known? I'd never experienced long-range success. And keep in mind this "projection calendar" would typically be created in advance of actually starting anything. I had to wait until a predetermined start day and that meant I was free to gorge as much as I wanted in the meantime. In fact, I'm pretty sure I made several of these projection calendars while eating a giant bowl of ice cream at midnight.

The problem with this was, as soon as I didn't meet or best the written goal on the calendar, I'd become severely discouraged because now I was behind!! And after a couple of less than expected weigh-ins, another marked up calendar would find its way into the junk drawer only to be found months or years later, prompting a wave of "calendar regret," as I realized aloud to anyone within earshot "Wow, you know that failed weight loss attempt? Yeah--had I stuck with it I'd weigh 250 by now."

Sticking with it was almost impossible because of my enormous impatience and high expectations. I was setting myself up to be disappointed. And personal disappointment breeds all kinds of negative self-talk. Learning to relax into a day by day approach and allowing a natural evolution of good choices has been a very difficult perspective to adopt--and critical to my success. Not once have I recently sat down to "map out" where I'll be by a particular date in the near future.

I'll be wherever I am and it will be okay. If this was a race or a competition, perhaps a results now focus would be useful, but it's not a race--it's life. And I'm confident in my day to day practices and the results they'll bring.

This isn't what I'm doing for the duration of a calendar--taking extraordinary care is what I'm making important for the rest of my life. Losing my previously narrow focus has made a monumental difference for me.

Today's Featured Tweets:


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

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

August 7th, 2018 I'll Take The Medicine

August 7th, 2018 I'll Take The Medicine

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

One of the things that really helps me is actively engaging in support interactions throughout the day. When someone reaches out to me, my hope is that it helps them--but it also helps me in big ways. One of the biggest things I had to learn along this road is, I didn't have to go it alone. You will never again hear me say or read these words from me: "I got this."  It took a long time to realize the goal wasn't to "get this," it was to "practice this." And the practice of a daily plan is what ultimately keeps me well.

It's about progress not perfection, and a practice. I think as long as I keep the practice up and running, I remain open to learn and grow.

There's rarely a day passing where I don't hear from someone either in person or via message, email, or otherwise, commenting on and complimenting my continued maintenance. I sincerely appreciate every single word. But rest assured, I do not take my maintenance for granted. It takes a daily practice to help keep me well.

So--if it takes a daily practice for the rest of my life, then it's up to me to make that daily practice something I can truly embrace, enjoy, and practice indefinitely. As new information comes about or new learning happens, I'm always free to define and refine my plan along the way. If I ever wake up and decide I don't need this daily practice, it doesn't mean I don't, but it might certainly mean it needs a closer look and perhaps some changes. And if I still, someday, think I don't need a daily practice-- oh boy...that's when it all goes to hell in a handbasket.

The daily practice is medicine for my disease.

I'll take the medicine.

Today's Featured Tweet:


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

Monday, August 6, 2018

August 6th, 2018 Feelings

August 6th, 2018 Feelings

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, I enjoyed a good workout at the YMCA, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

Let's talk feelings. I've been thinking about emotions, acting instead of reacting--and discussing these critically important things with people in support communications. One thing I must always remember is what Life Coach Gerri taught me a very long time ago: "Feelings have a beginning and an end." They pass. In other words, everything doesn't need to be taken to the extreme, but if you're like me, often--feelings are either all or nothing--it's a catastrophe or not a big deal at all...there's rarely a middle ground. And it's better now. But that tendency to take circumstances, wrap 'em in feelings--then take 'em all the way to eleven, is still there. Learning how to manage those--and feel those feelings in a positive/constructive way, is an ongoing practice. It's an important practice, because...

The emotions still come. And those feelings are normal to experience. The issue with me was/is how my brain is wired to react with avoidance and automatically goes to "more food" as a diversion or reprieve, if you will, from the emotions at hand. I did that so long, that I eventually realized, my emotional development was actually stunted. Stunted because the dependency on food to "take me away" or "calm," did take me away from learning how to process emotions in healthier ways.

No emotion was left untouched, the solution was always the same. All of them- happy, sad, angry, confused, disappointed- you name it, my automatic response was more food "will make this better." And on the surface, it did take me away- and that created an illusion of "things are better." But the illusion, as you know, quickly fades, and the triggering circumstance and resulting emotions still exist--just laying in wait until next time. So- what I've had to do is pause...

Pause. Just enough to act instead of reacting. It's one of the hardest things to do. The old pattern is hard-wired and for me, is supported and complicated by the powerful responses from the addictive center of my brain- So, breaking that pattern has required strong support and intentional effort. It's never perfect--it's simply a practice.

It's about shifting the perspective to: How can I act instead of reacting? This, in my opinion, is paramount for our continued positive progress. My hardwired reactions kept me at 500 pounds for nearly two decades.

With this practice comes new opportunities for me to learn how to feel and process emotions in a way that, maybe not always perfect or completely centered, but certainly improved from the patterns of the past.

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

Sunday, August 5, 2018

August 5th, 2018 Something Other Than Me

August 5th, 2018 Something Other Than Me

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

What's this all about? 

It's about progress, not perfection. It's about how you feel, not a number. It's about you and for you, not about or for anyone else. 

It's about living, not dying. It's about dreaming, not dreading. It's about freedom, not imprisonment. It's about opening your mind to the possibilities, not closing it to the changes. 

It's about acceptance, not rejection. It's about nourishing, not depriving. It's about a broadly consistent importance level, not short bursts of narrow focus. 

It's about wanting, not forcing. It's about doing your best, not trying to do another's best. 

It's about today, not tomorrow, or next week or the first of the month or January 1st. 

It's about committing to consistency with all your heart and holding on tight, not a halfhearted commitment easily released with the slightest breeze. 

It's about you deserving better, because you do. It's about you being important because you are important.

I took mom out for lunch today. We were joined by my oldest daughter, Amber, and my oldest granddaughter, Raegan (oldest by 2.5 weeks!), for a shopping trip. I spent a little time with Raegan while her momma shopped--and it went well for about 15 minutes before Raegan wanted to move, wanted her mom, or wanted something other than me trying to sing her into a smile. I was giving her a performance and she wasn't having any part of it! She's such a little blessing.















Precious!!! OMGoodness. She just melts my heart. Grabbing my pinky finger...awe.

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





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