Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 462 Where Thirty Pounds Makes A Big Difference and It Doesn't Have To Be A Struggle

Day 462

Where Thirty Pounds Makes A Big Difference and It Doesn't Have To Be A Struggle

A friend of mine is in New Orleans on vacation. He's indulging in all sorts of things, like chocolate pecan pie with vanilla bean ice cream, tequila for breakfast, bananas foster, giant poor boy sandwiches---and that's all just for starters. I guess New Orleans is famous for this over-indulgent atmosphere. Wow, I'm in awe of the pics he's sending me. I'm not sure if I could ever again allow myself to go crazy like that, even for an extended weekend. My friend and his wife are strong, they'll recover...but they're not me. I would be too afraid that the over-indulgence would send some serious mixed signals to my brain. I just want to eat responsibly for the rest of my life. But---I suppose there's a time and a place for indulgence like this, especially on a vacation in a city famous for many things---including food. I'm having some technical problems right now uploading pictures, or I'd share them with you. We'll get it figured out.

Speaking of pictures, I really must update the picture along the sidebar here. That was nearly 30 pounds ago! It's cool to be at a place where 30 pounds really makes a difference, and it really does now. Not at 505, but here---oh yeah---30 pounds is a big deal. As soon as I get this picture thing figured out, we'll get it updated! I need more pictures!

I'm really enjoying the switch to the steel cut oats. I say “switch,” but I've had them many times before---and I'll have my egg whites again too. I just get in a habit, a groove, a routine---and sometimes it's hard to break that pattern. Wow---doesn't that sum up just about everything right and wrong about a journey like this! Breaking our old horrible patterns is what this is all about. Breaking free!

I received an e-mail from a reader asking me when it gets easier. The reader writes: Sean, I enjoy your blog everyday and it's helped me stay on track for the last three months and twenty-eight pounds. It's still hard and a struggle everyday. When does this get easier?

This journey can be hard or easy. It's really up to you. I know that sounds too easy, but hear me out here... If this road seems like a constant struggle then maybe you're trying to force certain changes that you might perceive as imperative to weight loss success. We are conditioned from an early age to be completely misguided when it comes to our perceptions of how to lose weight. Just reading my blog or any other like it doesn't automatically shake these misconceptions. You have to trust me when I tell you that the very simple approach of eating 1500 calories and moving with some form of exercise works. It does for me, for you, for most everybody! Don't over-complicate this journey or else you will get frustrated and feel like it's a struggle every single day. And whatever you do---you mustn't ever discount the mental process. The mental part is 80%. If this road always seems hard, then maybe it's time to re-evaluate your motivating thoughts, your “iron-clad” decision, and the importance level you've assigned to this mission. How high is that importance level? Are you depriving yourself? Do you really believe that “nothing is off limits?” I've said it many times and I'll say it again: To me, there are no bad foods---only bad portions.

This reminds me of Day 229 titled “What If It Was Impossible To Cheat:” My number one rule from the beginning has been to keep it simple. And I do, completely! It almost sounds too good to be true. I've lost 156 pounds so far because I've kept everything simple, there's absolutely zero deprivation, and I have the freedom to adapt to any food situation. Nothing is off limits. I've decided that there are no “right” or “wrong” foods, only good and bad calorie values. This makes a huge difference to me psychologically. In the past, one wrong food choice and I was done until next time. Next time might be a week or a month away, in some cases a year or two away. Why I ever allowed one meal or one food item to completely derail my efforts in the past, I have no idea. But I'm not the only one! I've talked with several people who have said the same thing. One double cheeseburger and, “Well, I failed again. Maybe next time I can keep it together, let's go get a banana split!” Not anymore, and that's a major difference in my approach this time. Could you lose weight if it was impossible to cheat? That's why it's so effective. Now of course you have to watch the serving size. You have to be honest about the portions and the calories, but for me there isn't a food that simply eating would be considered cheating. Really, it all comes down to being honest with yourself. Complete 100% honesty is paramount to my success. The rationalizations and excuses that made me feel better about overeating were completely eliminated as soon as I made myself get honest about my habits. Suddenly I was free to excel.

Well, wow...that was 74 pounds ago...and we're only 45 from goal. I guess what I'm trying to say is---if you're keeping it very simple and focusing on the mental aspects that I've talked about all throughout this blog, then it will become easy and natural. It doesn't have to be a struggle—you don't want it to be a struggle. I look at this as a wonderful transformation of mind and body. It's a beautiful thing, this breaking free from morbid obesity---I always dreamed of doing it, but never before now did I realize that I held the key to my cell door. I was the poor victim imprisoned for life. My crime? Food addict. Is that a crime? I mean really. Why must I feel trapped under hundreds of pounds of excess fat?? Punishment for my crime? Must be, but then I realized that I was the one responsible for my horrible choices---thereby making me the punisher and the punished. OK---I might be rambling at this point. Did you get that? Thanks for staying with me! ;)

I haven't talked much about Sunday and this is Sunday's post. It was a nice day. I took Amber and KL on a tour of Christmas lights tonight with a nice little intermission of low calorie frozen yogurt. Amber picked the equally good calorie value in the orange sherbet. It was a nice little Christmas excursion!

After our tour of lights we settled in for a good movie at the apartment. I didn't realize that the movie would be so long, so I decided to hit the fitness room first thing Monday morning. I did, immediately after getting up. Not sure if I like that approach. It took me a little bit to get going, but less than an hour later I had completed 20 minutes on the elliptical and two miles on the treadmill. It was a wonderful feeling to do it early and really get my blood to pumping, but it really put me in a rush afterward. I guess figuring out time management has been one of my biggest challenges throughout this journey. I still haven't figured that out!

Thanks for reading. I look forward to posting some updated pictures soon! To my friend in New Orleans—Thank you for the photos—I bet you're having a blast. When you get back we must hit the racquetball court together! Goodnight and...

Good Choices,


  1. Let me tell you--the over indulgent atmosphere of South Louisiana is NOT a joke, I know from a lifetime of experience. It's a great place to vacation, but for us locals, we have to show some control or we will be tipping the scales...:) I know your friend is having a blast!

  2. I love this post. I totally agree that it's 80% mental. Our attitudes have everything to do with our journey to lose weight and get healthy!

    I can't wait to see the updated pictures!

  3. Someone sent me a book mark today and it said:
    The only person in the whole wide world that can defeat you: That is yourself!
    So true.

  4. Sean,

    Again, you encapsulate my own feelings very well. I have been telling others that the mental aspect is the missing link in any of the weight loss / fitness programs. I am a pro at losing the weight, but suck b*lls at keeping it off.

    This is the mental challenge I hope to solve this time. I have long treated my challenges as an addiction no differently from alcohol...maybe I can never safely go into a buffet restaurant again, maybe I will always have to weight out my food and use my Bodybugg to know exactly where I stand, etc...regardless, I will get my mind right.

    Thanks again Sean!

  5. Oooooohhhh....I like that bookmark the previous poster mentioned. I need to write that down and hang it on the frig door!!

    I love this post....keep telling us over and over how simple it is....some of us (like me!) need to hear it 1,000 times. Going to do a post tonight about coming out of the darkness and getting back to basics. Simplify...just like you said. It really doesn't have to be this hard. You're absolutely right Sean. Never stop spreading the good word. Thank you for all you do friend. :)

  6. Another excellent, heart felt post. I havent been making the best choices lately. I think it will always be a struggle. :::sigh:::

    Can't wait to see new pics of you. Bet you're even HOTTER now :)

    Have a great night. --Ann

  7. Looking forward to your new pictures. I think your approach is a good one. This journey definitely is a mental one more than anything. It really is about fixing our minds.

  8. Hey Sean,
    You inspired me to stop feeling sorry for myself and workout harder than I ever have.

    You are awesome.

    Thanks again...

  9. hello, sean the anderson...
    I have included you in my merry band of dieters for you are a dieter of legend.
    You are an inspiration daily sean....

  10. Ahh... I could have used this post yesterday when a piece of stuffed pizza resulted in a bowl of ice cream! And not even a bowl of ice cream I really liked, a flavor I could definitely do without! Oh well, I'm learning, and I haven't given up!

  11. Sean,
    I live in Louisiana and I can say our food is the BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't imagine never eating those things again so I am trying to get to a place where I can have a few bites and STOP!

  12. Wow, this post spoke directly to me. I am a very much an all or nothing kind of guy, but you are right about not limiting anything within your diet. It's true, at the end of the day, losing weight is 90% about creating a calorie deficit. As long as you can do that, you are golden.

  13. I read this yesterday when you posted it and this morning listened to the howstuffworks podcast about food cravings (not a real source for news but fun nonetheless). They mentioned that denying yourself a certain food or type of food can increase cravings for that food up to 50%, which is wild to think about. Long story short: you're dead on when it come to "not being able to cheat." Article :


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