Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day 606 The Scary 2% Area and We Learn, Always

Day 606

The Scary 2% Area and We Learn, Always

I had 500 calories worth of peanut butter today. I completely lost my cool. Thanks for reading, goodnight and...

Good Choices,

What? We need to talk about this? OK, ok, ok...Just when I think I'm immune to impulse urges and trigger foods, BAM---I do something stupid that puts me in my place. Did it kill my calorie budget? No, it didn't, although it severely limited me for tonight's dinner. It also eliminated any chance of a snack later. But it's not about the calorie budget.

It's about control. 98% of the time I feel in complete control. Oh, but that 2% area...where everything I passionately believe becomes blurred and shades of old become faintly visible, that 2% area is a very scary place to be. Maybe it's normal? Yeah---Maybe I can make myself feel better about this by convincing my brain it's perfectly normal to attack a peanut butter jar occasionally. No, can't accept that. I can't. I'm not in search of rationalizations to make myself feel better, I'm in search of honest understanding of why everything goes out the window when it's just me and the peanut butter jar alone together.

I bought that jar of peanut butter with complete confidence that I could handle it being in the house. But I must never forget the power of addiction and my weaknesses. I wouldn't do it around other people. I wouldn't! I'm Sean Anderson, I've empowered myself beyond what I ever really believed I could do---I'm strong, let me show you! I believe in me now! But---get me alone with a trigger food and the real test begins. What made me pick up the jar? I was just going to have a couple of hundred calories worth, ya it into the budget, make myself proud about being able to handle a serving, without losing control. A serving tasted so good---I wanted more, and I took it. I then reached out to Amber and KL and requested that they hide it from me. Isn't that nuts? (no pun intended) I almost just threw it away. Maybe I should have.

I violated the very advice I gave my Mom and Aunt Kelli last weekend. Watch the peanut butter!! So, what have I learned? I learned that even though I tout “nothing is off limits,” it's very important to know myself well enough to stay clear of known trigger foods. I have two really big ones. Peanut butter and ice cream. I control the ice cream urges by occasionally enjoying a soft served cone, a limited portion. But peanut butter is different. You can't just zip into a drive-thru and order a 150 calorie shot of peanut butter. If you want some, you must buy a jar. I will not be buying a jar again anytime soon. I was foolish in thinking I was that strong. OK—peanut butter topic over now.

I was out of the studio this morning, broadcasting from downtown in support of the Child Development Center. My morning routine was still in tact despite the change of schedule. My morning exercises, my breakfast---all very routine. I had hoped to do the mid-day spinning class, but it didn't take long to realize there was no way that could happen today. It was a pretty loaded Friday. My workout schedule has been completely trashed this week. I had a great bike ride yesterday and my morning routines are very easy and automatic---but no spinning classes this week at all. Perhaps I'll hit the Saturday morning class like I did last Saturday.

It's important for me to remember how far I've come, but not let it become a comfort zone where less is acceptable. I haven't done all of this work for nothing. And seriously, the circumstances of the week have dictated my shambles of a workout schedule, so ok, it happens. Let's move forward in a positive way.

I was the designated driver for some friends this evening. They invited me into Chili's for dinner, but since Chili's is only three blocks from my apartment, and I had a severely limited calorie budget to maneuver---I declined. Really, I had already decided to do this even before the peanut butter fiasco. I'm not a big fan of Chili's calorie values. Oh, I'm sure I could get in and out ok, on a normal budget at least...but now I had to be careful, I was limited tonight. The four of them dined without me and I told them to text when they were ready.

I prepared some garlic shrimp, tomatoes, and baked french fries. The entire plate was only 350---it was incredibly delicious and came in under budget. I'm going to make it just fine.

Thank you for reading. I honestly didn't want to talk about the peanut butter issue. I had already talked to Amber about it, and thought about just putting it behind me...but I can't do that without sharing here. This is part of learning. As much as I'd like to be so wonderfully perfect---I'm not, and I never will be. And I don't need to be. None of us do. Trying to be perfect leads to unnecessary disappointment. We are winners at this losing game when we learn about ourselves and we use that knowledge to our advantage while working toward our reasonable goals. We don't give up. Never give up. We always learn---and as long as we are open to that learning process---without being cluttered by the warm embrace of excuses and rationalizations, then we will always win. Seriously...every time. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

Garlic Shrimp, tomatoes, and baked fries---350 calories of delicious.


  1. I'm a regular reader who's posting anonymously today. I can handle peanut butter, much as I love it. But today, I finally realized that I can't handle trail mix. Your post confirmed this for me. Thanks.

  2. no worries about spanish. I understand english, so I can understand you. And about peanut butter, you´re right, some times we expect to be strong enough to deal with our demons, but we can not be strong all the time, so we have to get away from them.

    My demon is the tortilla!!! lol. So I get away from them.

    Keep going, this was a teaching experience, so... move forward...

    Hugs from Mexico.

  3. For me, it's Kraft Dinner - boxed mac n'cheese. I can't even smell the stuff.

  4. I remember when you brought home that jar of peanut butter. You wrote about it. Go back and read between the lines. I don't think you actually had "complete confidence" about having it in the house. Otherwise, I wouldn't recall thinking so clearly at the time, "Hmmm. Potential problem..."

    Just want you to stay honest with yourself.

  5. And I can't handle Kashi Go Lean Crunch. They sell peanut and almond butter in single serve packets. It is more expensive, but might be a better option for you.

  6. "We always learn---and as long as we are open to that learning process---without being cluttered by the warm embrace of excuses and rationalizations, then we will always win. "

    This whole post was so good, so full of excellent TRUTH that we all need to learn along the way, in order to stay honest with ourselves and make this a permanent change, not another doomed diet attempt. Thank you for sharing the hard parts of the journey, too. It really does help the rest of us, too.


  7. Oh! On the peanut butter, I found single serving packets at the store. Not environmentally friendly, but they're Jiff and they come in a four-pack of... I think 2 tbsp apiece? They're low, flat cups with a peel-off foil top.

    My husband is a peanut butter fiend, so I got these for him to take to work. He was a very happy man :)

    My trigger food? Pizza. So of course I went to the Pizza Hut buffet Friday for lunch... SO not my best move *sigh*

  8. Clarifying (because I'm slow) -- I mentioned the four-pack single-servings because sometimes having *a* serving pre-portioned out is helpful and can keep one from cracking open yet another container, whereas just dipping into the large container for "just a little more" can be a bit easier. Not trying to feed the addiction! Please disregard if this isn't a method that works for you.

    I'd better get on my treadmill. Clearly the bloodflow to my brain has died.

  9. 'without being cluttered by the warm embrace of excuses and rationalizations' That's it right there - you just described where I'm at - in the warm embrace of excuses and rationalizations! You have a lot of insight Sean, thanks so much for sharing it. Well done for moving on from the Peanut Butter incident. And I'm so amazed that you stayed strong about going out for dinner too - that's a will of iron in effect right there!

  10. Besides the little cups of PB, you can also get single serve packets (like a condiment package) of some natural brands of PB. I've gotten them at our local Super Wal-Mart and I've also seen them at Whole Foods and online at Amazon. They're a little pricey, but it's nice to have one portion and it's so portable.

  11. I can't handle popcorn.
    I will eat it. ALL.
    whatever is the bottom of someone else's bowl. do you want to finish that.
    It's not good.
    so, I don't buy it.
    I have it at the movies on a no count calorie day.
    That's all.
    Good post.

  12. I'm so glad to know you are so wildly successful and yet you are human.

  13. Sean, I am cracking up. Peanut butter and ice cream are your weaknesses. So keep them out of your fridge:) But Sean, there is one healthy meal at Chilis, the steak and grilled vegetables, and side salad. I promise you won't gain an ounce. Don't deprive Think I heard this from someone before:)

  14. I'm proud of you for owning up to the assault on the peanut butter jar. :) The accountability factor that comes with blogging is great for keeping us honest. It sure does sting having to confess our "sins", but I think it also helps to put more distance between the bad choices if you know you're gonna' have to tell everybody what you did. :)

  15. One of things I love about this blog is the fact that you are so real. I think so many of us on this journey to our healthier selves feel we have to be perfect. But perfection is unachievable. It's an impossible dream. We can be healthy, but we have to recognize we will make mistakes along the way. Sometimes we don't always make good choices. I think the real evidence that you are committed to the new "lighter Sean" is that you chose to admit to your mistake. You admitted to a crack in your armor and dusted yourself off. Day 607 will find you strong and secure, I am sure of it.

  16. Big hugs to you Sean. Our new habits lull us into a false sense of security. We have not arrived yet. There are still many dozens of cookies I will bake in the future. Many family dinners I will host, many desserts concocted to take to potlucks. I am going to have to watch myself for the rest of my wonderful life. Am I complaining. NOT ONE BIT.
    We all have our moments. You had a moment with peanut butter. I had one with these chocolate peanut butter layered bars with coconut and pecans that I made the other day. Old me? Beat myself up over my 'failure' and 'lack of self-control', declare that I just can't lose weight (why am I EVEN trying when I'm such a loser) and go back to my old habits, gaining more weight in the process. New me? I accept it, adjust my calories, and move on.
    I like the new me.
    I like your new me too.
    I, too, appreciate your honesty. It's what struck me when I first visited this blog last year.

  17. Sean, a few weeks ago, i wrote to you cracking a joke that i survive with WWSD (what would sean do) ... the one thing that has empowered me is your honesty and your imperfections. While your imperfections are few they give me strength as I know they do you. When my imperfections creep in, I can still ask myself what would sean do.. and its simply move on. Its a lifelong journey that we both have won. I am completely convinced of that.


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