Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 551 Where's My SCZ? and Retreating To Dreamland

Day 551

Where's My SCZ? and Retreating To Dreamland

Sometimes it's a good idea to pause long enough to reflect on all of the good instead of focusing on a small amount of the bad. I spent a good part of today stressing out over temporary problems. It completely affected my mood and did it's very best to tackle my resolve. The things I've conquered in the last 551 days have been monumental and nothing short of life changing, so why would I let relatively small, temporary circumstances cast clouds of depression over my day? I'm a winner. I'm winning. Even the grandest of champions have a bad day every once in a while. I didn't achieve this clarity until tonight sometime, long after I spent the day in a cloudy funk.

I dealt with some serious food issues today. At one point, I even considered buying two deep fried corn dogs for a dollar at the local convenience store deli case. I tried hard to rationalize that choice. I was trying to come up with a decent guesstimate of calories and everything. I quickly and soundly defeated that crazy idea. I knew that I was being influenced by my emotions of the moment. I don't do deep fried corn dogs anymore, I just don't. Did I have the calories available? Yes. But I knew that my desire for those batter dipped and fried hot dogs had zero to do with calories, hunger, and nourishment, and everything to do with my stress level and emotions. I even thought about the extra calories for the ketchup. But plain yellow mustard is nearly calorie free--yeah but ketchup is what I want! I decided that giving into this impulse was something I just couldn't allow, so I drove right past the “two corn dogs for a dollar” sign. Still, I didn't get through this day unscathed.

I had a 110 calorie low-fat ice cream bar shortly after I arrived home. Then, I grabbed another. And another. I was abusing those things! The same ideas and thoughts I defeated about the corn dogs, I allowed with the ice cream bars. This meltdown was still within my calorie budget for the day, but it was still a meltdown. There is a difference now. And that difference is the ability to recognize and admit what I'm doing when I'm doing it. It doesn't make it right. Those 110 calorie ice cream bars are meant to be occasional calorie friendly treats, not mini-binge items.

When I opened the fridge again, looking for more food to make me feel better, I stopped myself. I decided I needed to go to sleep, just take a nap. I needed to remove myself from this situation. My calorie budget was still intact, but I had the crazy feeling and look that screamed to hell with it all! That feeling scares me to death. Doesn't this feeling know who I am? I'm Sean Anderson darn it! I've figured this stuff out! What the hell did I do with my steel curtain zone? I'm above this crap! Or am I? No, no...not even I am above this crap. I'd like to think so. I've convinced myself of it pretty good. But today proved to me that I'm not that far, as scary as it is to type these words, oh man...very tough and scary---Today proved that with some serious stress and a bad attitude---I can be derailed. I can be defeated. If I choose to be defeated. I had to retreat to dreamland.

I remember Day 60. It was a horrible day. And as I wrote this blog that night---I was constantly pestered by the thoughts of going on an out of control binge. I had to escape---and I knew that if I just made myself go to sleep, I might wake with a renewed attitude and resolve.
Here's an excerpt from Day 60 “Convincing Myself To Be Strong” written November 13th, 2008---actually, except for "goodnight and good choices," this is pretty much the entire post:

Sometimes it's easy to forget the very important reasons why I'm doing this. For me it's a desire to have a better life. I want to have a longer, healthier life. I want to feel freedom from obesity. I want to experience the things in life that being extremely overweight prohibits. I don't ever want to be scared about a little twinge in my chest, wondering if I'm about to have a heart attack. I want to be active with my family, do things that we've never done, because it wasn't what fat people do. I want to swim. I want to run. I want to free my family and my mind of worry over my weight. These are the reasons I must continue this mission faithfully, honestly, and with a determined spirit.

Today has been real tough. The toughest so far. I have somehow dodged every urge to cheat today. But I swear, it's taking every bit of will power I can muster. I've allowed a few different personal issues to weaken my resolve this evening. I feel defeated even though I'm not defeated. I'm having horrendous cravings right now that I can't satisfy. I honestly feel the best thing for me to do at this very moment is to go to bed and sleep. I need to renew my spirit with a good nights rest. Tomorrow will be a new and better day. It will find me stronger. My commitment to myself, my family, this mission, and this blog is too strong to give in to temporary frustrations and desires. But I'll tell ya, I really need Day 60 to be over now. I'm going to go sleep.

So here we are, nearly 500 days and over 200 pounds later---and we still had to employ this self-defense mechanism. And that's exactly it. It's self-defense. When all else fails, it's time to go nighty-night. When the steel curtain zone is drooping and the motivating thoughts are being over-run by the stressful situation of the moment, and I stress of the moment, that's when I must go to sleep. And I did for almost three hours.

I woke with the same issues over me, but with a different attitude. It's all about the attitude isn't it? I needed to exercise and I knew it. I needed to turn this day around. I headed to the trail and while I was there the winds shifted with a cold front barreling in on us. It was nearly 70 degrees today, but a blizzard is imminent tomorrow...this blast of cold wind in my face was just the start. It was enough for me to cut short my planned 5K, sending me back into the warmth of my apartment. And it was enough to remind me just how wonderful this journey has been.

As I walked, I looked over at the Hutchins Memorial Auditorium---and in my mind, I was back on Day 1. That building isn't that big around, but one revolution was all my 505 pound body could take that first night. I remember the fear that I would have a heart attack from my slow waddle around that building, but I knew I had to move, I had to do this now. I had to be free and this was the only way out. I took it slow, and I still do---and I've made it to a wonderful place on this road. I get emotional when I realize how far I've really traveled. And you know something? There isn't a temporary circumstance that can steal it away from me. Not happening.

I talked with mom tonight. I needed to hear her enthusiasm. I try to not let mom know when I'm having a hard time, because mom is a big worrier. But mom can sense things, I know she can. I kept the focus on her, trying to sneak my bad day around our conversation. She's recently claimed a three pound loss and she's thrilled! I'm so happy for her too. Her weight hasn't been this low since she was 50 years old, and she said “it's because of the walking!” And, I gently reminded her, it's also because of her commitment to her calorie budget. We talked about the blizzard coming and her response was very simple: “I guess I'll be walking indoors.” That's the kind of commitment that will get her to her “20 something” weight! We're talking pre-Seanboy weight---yeah, she's on her way my friend. She's really going to do it. And “it” is adding years to her life. I love that, and I love her dearly. Thank you mom for lifting my spirits tonight. You may not have realized just how much you helped me, but you did.

I enjoyed a can of soup tonight, loaded with 150 calories worth of crackers—it was good, hot, and filling. This day is over. Thank goodness. And thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

Recent picture of Mom and Me

Mom and me--Before


  1. That sounded like a scary day, but you pulled out of it just fine. I soooo wish that we could one day just cross over a line and be beyond temptations. But it's not that way with alcoholics, drug addicts, etc. So, I guess the mental exercises are going to be the keys to our success. Well done, Sean.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us in such an honest manner. I'm finally down to my goal weight and, yes, I still have "those" days when I want to stop by an ice cream stand and get the biggest cone available or eat an entire bag of pretzels. I don't believe that urge will ever go away. All we can do is work through it the best way possible. Keep up the good work!

  3. Way to go Sean on passing by those corn dogs. Sometimes that's not an easy thing to do. Sometimes sleep really helps us more than we realize. I'm glad your Mom is doing so well. I want to you to know I love a man who can say how much he loves his Mom. I only have one son and there is nothing more important to me in this world than his love.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Sorry, jhiime (deleted post) is one of my kids accounts and I accidentally posted under it and I knew you wouldn't know who I was so I deleted it to write my comment under my own name!
    I, too, run from the kitchen or wherever. I refuse to throw away my life on something that doesn't even taste that good! Brushing my teeth helps because I dislike eating after I do that. I am so glad that I can say no to food, and I'm glad you can too Sean. I think that's what makes us different than the way we used to be--always answering the siren call of food, no matter what. We can say no now.
    You look great Sean. Hugs!!!

  6. I've been reading your blog from the beginning Sean, and yesterday was your second biggest successful day yet!!! I am so freakin' proud of you.....

    Laurie from Canada

  7. Thanks for that post. Isn't it crazy? we struggle over one food and crazy food addict conversations in our head and finally talk ourselves out of it to go right in to another immmediately. Until finally you choose another path. But you pulled it together.!

  8. You are so right about sleep. So many times I have been so tired and I headed straight for the kitchen instead of going to sleep. Even a 10-15 minute nap helps me alot. Congratulations are in order again my friend!!!


  9. These tough days often turn out to be the most important ones in this journey! Great job, Sean!

  10. We'll never be above it my friend. You may have escaped, but youll never truly be free. :::sigh::::

  11. I love the idea of it being "self-defense" when trying to figure out how to combat the urge to make poor choices due to situations. Reading your thoughts during this journey is really helping me while I try to turn my life around, so thank you for that!

  12. I appreciate you laying it all out there honestly. I had one of those scary close-to-losing-it days yesterday. You are right... it is scary to think we can be that close to the edge.

    But you are also right that we don't HAVE to lose it, we can choose to keep going... that the pressure situation is only temporary.

    I like the "self-defense" way of putting it, too. Thanks for showing it can be done!


  13. That, that is sent to try is can be a complete and utter emotional and crazy time, but you came out of it "ok" you got there, you made it through, you dealt with it and you got there.. this is what it is all about, dealing with it, getting through it, to be ok on the other side.

    Very proud.

  14. "Today proved that with some serious stress and a bad attitude---I can be derailed. I can be defeated. If I choose to be defeated."

    The difference is all in those two little words you chose to use -- 'IF' and 'CHOOSE'

    Glad you chose to use them.


  15. Sounds like you to hold of the day!! Life is going to get us every once and awhile & even though we would like to think we are prepared sometimes no matter what we wont be. You are kicking butt though and I love to read that you aren't perfect like some bloggers seem to put out there. Thanks for being normal!

  16. You and your mom look AWESOME! How wonderful that you have each other! You're very inspiring Sean xoxox I "want a better life" too =D
    Much peace and love to you ^_^V

  17. Honest to god, your journey is remarkable, I have no doubt you will be knocking back women with a stick - you are my inspiration.

  18. I'm reading this post months later, but keep distancing yourself from those Debbie Downers out there! It has been key in your happiness. You ARE above it. You ARE free. Don't let anyone else (usually those who have emotional issues) tell you any different. Can't stop reading. thanks! :) - e.


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