Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day 1,209 A Dream Come True and A New Year Message

Day 1,209

A Dream Come True and A New Year Message

Well, lookee what we have here. The end of another year and the beginning of what will surely be another spectacular twelve months. What I experienced last night was a dream come true, and I'm so happy it happened in 2011, such a breakthrough year for me.

Last evening from 4-8pm, I sat at a table inside a bookstore while a steady stream of wonderful people flowed through to have me sign their copy of my book. The night was filled with emotions and somehow, I made it through without melting down into a puddle of joyful tears.

And it wasn't just joyful tears, also--compassionate emotions for the people described in the stories of loved ones who were there, buying my book as a gift to someone special, hoping that person might be inspired--praying their loved one might find themselves in my story, and through my experiences and eventual triumph, maybe--just maybe, their perspective might be shifted just enough, just enough, so they might find their own "click" within. Because it isn't found in my book. It's always from deep within each of us.

And hearing the stories and seeing the pain and fear in the eyes of these wonderful people wasn't the end. I had to then, process what I just heard, and write a personal message inside the book for that person. Several times, my bottom lip was quivering with emotion as I penned the message. Once or twice, I could feel my eyes growing moist with fluid emotion. I was there in the middle of my 500 pound self-imposed misery, I get it. I've felt exactly like what they're describing to me about the ones they love. And now, it's the greatest honor for me, to be asked to write them something personal, in hopes it will make a positive impression.

The truth is, it might. The truth also says, it might not make a shred of difference. And it's this element, this undeniable truth that will always bring out the most emotion in me. As people who generally love and appreciate those closest to us, we want them to "get it," and shoot, if we could, we would just do it for them. At my heaviest, I really wanted someone to do it for me too. But as I've learned, it can never come from anyone, any product or book, any magazine article or blog post, or anything other than from what you see in the mirror.

The only way for me to write my book and make the impact I was hoping to make, was to simply tell the story from the beginning and let each reader take from it what they will. And it's sometimes common, the reactions I'm hearing, and sometimes unique perspectives were gained. It all depends on where the reader is along their own road.

It might just be enough to shift their perspective, giving them a brand new way to look at what this journey is all about. There's peace, joy, reclamation, redemption, and many other wonderful elements. And, there's some not so wonderful elements. I'm sure you already know, change isn't exclusively unicorns and rainbows.

It can be painful looking in the mirror and realizing you're looking at the one person who can be your biggest enemy or your greatest ally. And once you start digging into your own experience, you suddenly see things you didn't before, and it can be emotionally overwhelming.

Now, nothing can stop you from achieving your dreams and goals. You've decided. Iron-Clad decision--CHECK Steel Curtain Zone--CHECK Calorie Budget--CHECK Simple exercise plan: CHECK.

My hope is, everyone who reads my book will see some of themselves and their experiences, and they'll recognize--acknowledge the power they have within. Because we all have it inside. The only difference is, some acknowledge and use the power they have to choose positive change and some find themselves buried in their condition and circumstance so much, they can't see, it's covered up on top of a messy table. But it's there, underneath, always. And some of us have to dig a little deeper and go a little further down the road to find it, but we will find it if we want. And once you realize this power you possess, to choose change before change chooses you, suddenly weight loss will be one of the many things on a very long list of good things for you, made better, because you chose it for yourself.

Have a happy New Year, my friends. Thank you for reading this blog and thank you for buying my book! Your support is such a major blessing to me.

My New Years Resolution thought is a very simple one:

I never kept my New Years Resolutions in the past because I was fully expecting to go to sleep on New Years Eve and wake up on January 1st a completely opposite version of what I was. The struggle to maintain this different version of me would last for different lengths of time each year and it would eventually crash and burn, like I knew it would, but still hoped it wouldn't. Why did I think it was a good idea to magically change a lifetime of bad habits overnight, simply because the calendar changed to a new year?

Because that's what I always did.

But now I know. Now I know, these changes must be a gradual evolution of good choices, where limits are maintained, yet my focus and attention are strongest on the person in the mirror. And it doesn't wait until the calendar switches, or next Monday, or until after the holidays, or after the big party, or "someday," or after anything other than now.

It starts now, this second. It's not scary. It's living--finally living free from the self-imposed misery I called home for so long. A simplified, consistent approach to change...nothing complicated and nothing crazy. Real, honest, change.

Happy New Year and,

Good Choices,

In promotion of the book signing, I scored an interview with some radio guy named "Sean In The Morning," and it was a blast, although he really was irritating me. This fun little concept was born in the brain of Team Radio owner Bill Coleman and fine tuned by Dave May and Me. I post it here for your listening pleasure.

My name in lights! What an awesome thing to see. Thank you Brace Books and More! Sorry to have driven by 173 times. I wasn't being strange, I promise. Okay, maybe a little...and perhaps it wasn't that many times, more like 16. That's still too many, huh?

I was happily surprised by the appearance of my mom, grandma, Aunt Kelli, and Uncle Keith!!! I didn't know they were coming to the signing, I swear...but I should have realized, the chance of them missing it was about the same as me missing it. Zero percent. Kelli took some wonderful photos! Cathy Cole did too--and I'll be getting those back from her very soon! Great shots, thank you both, Kelli and Cathy, for your photo talents!

With Mom and Amber

My daughters--so precious---wow. So happy they could both be with me for this monumental moment!

My girlfriend Kelly and Me. We absolutely dig one another. ;)

A wonderful woman buys a copy--me signing hers. Thank you, my friend!

Grandma and me. Grandma, my dear sweet grandmother--It's another dream come true having you with me at this event--I love you!

With Kelli Dee, or as I called her when I was a toddler, "Kelgee." She may be my mom's sister, my aunt, but we were very much raised like siblings.

Kelly and my girls by my side on this big night!

You can order the book from any bookseller (if they don't have it in stock), or, or directly from my website and Brace Books and More still has signed copies available from their site or store:

If you haven't sent me a friend request on facebook, please do! My personal FB page is:

My facebook page for the book is:

More exciting events are coming in 2012--Including a book tour (dates will be announced), more speaking events and book signings at YMCA's and other locations, and some exciting updates from my website---as we transform into a must bookmark internet destination!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Day 1,201 The Way We Were and What's Changed: Christmas Weekend Eve

Day 1,201

The Way We Were and What's Changed: Christmas Weekend Eve

Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas were always days where my abusive relationship with food faded from obvious and into "normal," or "accepted" behavior. Like a free pass to come out of the corner and just be me, in the name of whatever special date was on the calendar. I didn't have to hide my excess on these special dates because it was/is the norm in our society, and that's why I loved these red letter dates so much. My life revolved around food, so a day where everyone accepted this culinary "celebration" of sorts, was delightful to me. I could just be me--Eating, drinking, and being merry--and then, eating some more, and some more,, "Sean sure loves those cookies!" Yes, yes I do...and eating a half dozen at a time wasn't anything to hide on this day, because it's what we do. We're celebrating. Pass the pie, please.

I lived for days like this. Pecan pie with whipped cream for breakfast, why not? And the snacks, oh my goodness, the snacks were everywhere! And let's go get more! Can someone say "Cheese ball!!!" Say it with me, "cheeeeeese ball!!!" The port wine or sharp...just get both, and an extra just in case. Give me a sleeve of crackers, a knife, and a cheese ball and watch me delicately spread the joy all over the Ritz...This was living. Egg nog!!! Did we forget the egg nog?? I don't want to hear how insanely ridiculous the calorie count of egg nog is--I can taste every glorious calorie in this thick holiday concoction--ooh, and, that's amazingly delicious.

It was normal for me to fantasize about what and how much I would consume. I was planning. My day was: Eat, eat, nap, eat, eat, eat, watch TV, nap, eat some more and pile it high...and hey, who wants this last piece of pecan pie? Too late, it's on my plate now.

I was loaded with holiday cheer, sporting a big smile as I would dollop a giant mound of Cool Whip on my third piece. Okay, my fourth...but seriously, who's counting today? You know what I want? Gravy!!!! Give me a bowl of potatoes and gravy, I'll sip it like a fine wine---wow, love it!!!

In the blur of my accepted, "normal" holiday feasting...I rarely noticed or cared about anything else. Visiting with family and friends...sure, as long as it includes more food! Hey...Uh, You think mom has some more of her prescription Zantac? I hope so! We should pass it around the table--better, let's put out a little Zantac bowl next to the stuffing. Hey--we don't want to feel any pain today--Thank you Zantac 150, we love you!

On the eve of my fourth Christmas after choosing change, I have to ask...What's changed?

What hasn't? I guess I should be more specific.

Q: Will I still enjoy my favorite holiday foods?
A: Yes. But I will, in reasonable portions at appropriate times.

Q: Will I pay more attention to the people or my plate?
A: The people I love. The food on my plate will be good and enough. But I can never get enough of the people I love and cherish. I want to know how they feel, what they're doing these days, what excites them, what troubles them---how do they feel about the changes in their life. These are the important conversations, far greater than, "Who wants to do Redi-Whip shots??" And "Anyone gonna take the leftover gravy? because seriously, that's some heavenly gravy don't ya think? Heck yeah it, and on those homemade mashed..."

Q: Will I exercise?
A: You know, it's funny. Had you asked that question five years ago or prior, you would have received a puzzled look followed by laughter, followed by a joke or two about how..."the only exercise I'm getting is from walking back and forth to the buffet line!" Now--It's a crucial element of a day like Christmas. A walk. A very simple walk. Something, anything will help aid digestion and make me feel incredible...and if I can recruit other family members to join me---well, that's awesome!!! This Christmas--The Anderson Family Holiday 5K at Boomer Lake in Stillwater is on!!! I wouldn't dream of missing it. Like a tradition---eating, napping, football, and a 5K...

So what's changed?

The focus. The perspective has shifted to the most important joys of the season. I'll still enjoy the tastes I love in a reasonable and portioned way--But above all else, I'll enjoy the people I love in a most wonderful and joyful way. Wow...I can't believe I was missing the most joyful part of past holidays. I didn't know what I was missing, I guess. Family, friends, love, and laughter...Yeah, I'll take three extra helpings, please.

Merry Christmas and,
Good Choices,

I recently released a couple of videos from the Sikeston, Missouri YMCA speaking event---If you didn't have a chance to watch them on my facebook page--here they are:

My book "Transformation Road" will start shipping on the 30th! I'm thrilled to finally have the book in hand. Well--I'll actually experience that on Wednesday the 28th--having it physically in my hand. I might need tissues...It's been a long time coming, my friend.

Signed first edition copies are available from me directly on my site:

My first big book signing is scheduled for December 30th from 4-8pm at Brace Books and More in Ponca City, Oklahoma! Very cool!!!

If you haven't sent me a friend request on facebook yet--please do! We have lively discussions nearly everyday concerning various dynamics along this road many of us travel. You can find me here:

And the special facebook page exclusively for the book is:

By the way---I just went "live" on!! Yes--very cool---I think I'm officially an author now---because my book is setting in the top 100,000!! Nice start, very nice!

Amazon has it listed as "in stock," so theoretically, you might be able to hold it in your hands before I get the chance.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 1,183 The Truest of My Goals Revealed in Less Than 1.8 Million Minutes

Day 1,183

The Truest of My Goals Revealed in Less Than 1.8 Million Minutes

The question comes in varied forms and often: "What was the catalyst for your change?"

A very good argument could be made that this catalyst wasn't actually one event in time, but the culmination of thousands built over thirty-six years and held together by time and fear of what it meant to really, honestly, for once--truly change in a dramatic transformation. But to answer more directly, I offer the following.

I'm only able to identify the date and time of this, because its occurrence marks the only time in my life where everything was still. In that moment, I died and was reborn, if you will.
The "moment" is sandwiched between two very different versions of me. There's an entire life of food addiction/compulsive/emotional eating and resulting morbid obesity before it and a profoundly changed existence after.

Here's the moment, in an excerpt from "Transformation Road-My Trip to Over 500 Pounds and Back," scheduled for release right before Christmas:

“I'm done.” Two simple little words. That's what she said. I didn't know what she meant, I thought she was just exhausted from the day, ready for bed. I had no idea of what was about to come from her lips.

“I'm done watching you kill yourself. I love you, I do, but I can't stand by and witness your slow suicide any longer, I want a divorce.” Her words were filled with several different emotions. Anger, love, hopelessness, fear, desperation, and she was serious, I could see it in her eyes. Never before do I remember seeing such a look from her. This was serious and it didn't matter that we were a guest in someone's home that night.

I immediately tried to make her feel bad about what she was saying. “So, we get one off to college and you can't hold it together long enough for us to get the other one out of high school? How could you do this to Courtney? Can't we talk about this later, why now, why here?” And as she collapsed on the bed, crying, I knew that she had reached her limit. It didn't matter where we were or what we were doing. It was like she had no control over this release of emotion. Maybe it was her last ditch effort to snap me back into reality. Maybe she loved me enough to walk away, thinking that it might spark the changes I needed to save my own life.

It didn't take me long to realize that I was wrong in what I was saying and doing in that moment. This wasn't her fault, she couldn't help it, she had reached her emotional capacity. That's when I started to negotiate with her, begging for one more chance to turn it all around. She had heard it all before, why should she believe me now? But just as I had never witnessed that look in her eyes, she must have noticed the same difference in my frantic proposal. Because she was listening to me. This was my chance to promise her one last time. I owed it to her, my daughters, and I really owed it to myself to make a change once and for all. This was it.

I asked for a day to get my plan together and figure out how I was going to make this happen, and on Monday September 15th, 2008—I would start. “This time is going to be very different,” I pleaded. “It's got to be, buddy, it's got to be.” And with those words from her, we embraced and cried, cleansing our emotions and sending us to sleep with a relief, different for each of us. Her rest was made better because she released all of the emotions that had been building for so long and I rested because I dodged a bullet that night. But now, the real challenge would start and I didn't have any room for failure. I had to get it right. Sunday the fourteenth was spent contemplating how I was going to make this time different from every other weight loss attempt. My family depended on it, and so did my life, but obviously I was more scared of losing my family than I was my life. I know that doesn't really make sense, but it does when you really think about the mental dynamics.

Dying young was something tragic that happened to other people. I was a survivor, remember? Every time my obesity would make me fear for my life, I would cling to something that would make me feel better about it all. Oh, so it's not a heart attack, just indigestion? Or, it's out of control blood pressure, but that can be treated, right? I always found the outs, I always found the thoughts or the solutions that would let me off the hook and make me feel better about my inaction in confronting the real issues. My weight was killing me and now it was killing my family. And there wasn't anything I could do or say that would make it all better, unless it was exactly what I needed, and that meant getting to the bottom of my issues with food and once and for all, losing the weight.

Waking up on Monday September 15th, 2008, was very different. This was my day 1. As I laid there staring up at the ceiling, I thought about how this was the day. It was very different, because many times I would start by completely forgetting that I had planned to “start.” It was typical for me to realize what I was supposed to do, only after the sugar of my morning Coke hit my tongue. Another false start, because I would have already “ruined” the attempt. Oh well, maybe next time, bring on the fried cinnamon roll! Not this time. It was so powerful, on the top of my brain, it was an all consuming thought as soon as my eyes opened that morning.

I honestly felt like this was my last chance. The changes that would come if I failed were too horrible. I would lose my family as I knew it and die young. I had to grab control and choose the change. I had to keep it together and be consistent like never before. But how? How would this time be different? I honestly didn't know the answer, but I decided that it would work itself out along the way. I knew that I had to constantly remind myself to stay on track and if I could successfully keep myself from blowing it, then maybe I could finally break free. The focus wasn't on the food, it was squarely on the mental dynamics, I was walking a tight rope, where it didn't matter how I stayed balanced—as long as I didn't fall. It was the beginning of, what I would later realize and appropriately name, my “Steel Curtain Zone.”

Many things have come to pass since my last blog post. I've celebrated my three year anniversary of Day 1, my one year anniversary of maintaining my weight loss, I turned forty years young on October 23rd, enjoyed my fourth Thanksgiving holiday since choosing change, and have brought the dream of my first book to the brink of release, where a new chapter surely starts.

All of these things, each and every one, would have once earned a spot within their very own blog posting. The daily writing for over twenty-two months was exhausting at times, but in the most wonderful way possible. I was learning, from Day 1, things about myself I never before considered because I wasn't willing to step outside of my self-imposed chaos long enough to appreciate or in any way understand what was ultimately happening. And what was happening was tragic: I was slowly fading away--headed to an early death, oblivious to the power within and completely void of the tiniest shred of self-responsibility and honesty.

This self-imposed chaos isn't always a thing of the past and with that said, it's understood how easy it can be to become occupied with many things, some very important, and others not as much. But regardless of their importance level, none of these "occupants of my energy" have had even a handful of the power this little old blog has gifted me.

If you haven't, I encourage you to read the blog archives from Day 1--every day, like a super long book of sorts. In doing so, you'll have a unique perspective into my thoughts, emotions, fundamentals, and the crucial mental dynamics along the way, as they were discovered--day by day, hour by hour, and often--minute by minute. My hope is, you may find similarities in our unique, yet surprisingly similar existence. And in seeing yourself, you might discover a shift in your perspective.

This "shift in perspective" is crucial to each of us finding our own "click." Because as I've learned--the moment of clarity, the "click," must come from deep within each of us. It can't be given to us by anyone or anything, and for me, every time I foolishly thought it could exist outside of myself--I was systematically slammed back to reality--over and over, time and time again, like a violently possessed yo-yo with really sharp spikes.

It wasn't enough to just take me up and down in an endless insane emotional game, it occasionally would poke me in painful fashion. Instead of it getting my attention, I would just hold it further out from my body--keeping a safe distance between me and the truth dripping all over the floor.

One million, seven hundred and two thousand, and eighty minutes have passed since I opened my eyes on the morning of September 15th, 2008.

I will proceed with loving devotion to my dear blog and I certainly appreciate your incredible support along the way. In fact, if you're a regular reader of these writings, you're rightfully appreciated and acknowledged in the opening pages of my book, "Transformation Road." Your support has been nothing less than a precious gift and I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my much healthier heart.

--Sean A. Anderson

"What are your goals?" A simple question, to be sure, but the answer given isn't always accurate.

"I want to fit into normal size clothes--wear a size 36 or smaller jeans, wear a single XL instead of a 6 or 7XL."

"I just want my health to improve, yeah--that's it, my goal is better health."

"I want to show up at the reunion and stun everyone in the room!"

"I want to lose enough to look good in a bathing suit this coming summer."

"I want to fit into and be able to buy a small economy car."

"I want to run and play with my kids/grand kids."

"I want to lose XXX pounds."

"I want to set a better example for my children, family, and friends."

"I just want to love what I see in the mirror, once and for all, finally."

"I want to be considered cute, instead of hideous--not by others, (I have no control over what others think of me or how they see me--and it is of no consequence, nor should it ever be)--but considered cute, not hideously me."

And every single one of these are valid and wonderful goals. But oh my--I had no idea of the power time and perspective would/could have on my truest goals. Not the goals I stated in the beginning, but the ones having developed slowly, gradually over time---right along with the rest of this transformation of mind, body, and soul. A gradual evolution of good choices. That's it, yeah--that's what I'm talking about.

My truest goals are revealed by the awesome experience and wisdom of time:

"My goal is to improve my relationship skills with all people--including and most importantly, me."

Our whole lives are built on relationships along the road of life. And often, when these relationships aren't perfect, the resulting detours end up teaching us about life as we develop good and bad habits, dependencies, and shelters from it all along the way. (and lets face it--relationships rarely are perfect, or expected to be--and shouldn't be, honestly. But there's a difference between perfect and healthy, and healthy is just fine, desired actually, in my opinion.)

"My goal is to redefine my behaviors with all food one choice at a time."

For me, understanding food wasn't the enemy after all, was a life changing epiphany. Food's only job is to nourish my body, giving me nutrients I need to live. I can still appreciate food, love food, cook food, dine out on food, bring food to an occasion, and pull up a chair to a holiday table full of traditional favorites spread across an entire room---and still exhibit reasonable and sane behaviors. I can eat a portion and appreciate the experience and the nourishment.

What I could no longer do is use and abuse food. I could no longer try to make food do something it was never supposed to do. Food wasn't responsible for fixing me or anything broken inside of me. It couldn't do it if it tried--food wasn't/isn't capable of doing these highly complicated things--it already had the complicated task of providing nutrients to every cell in my body--a task it always makes look easy...and it does, because that's what food does, it's a natural thing for food to nourish us.

And on a lessor scale, but monumental still: Food wasn't an appropriate shelter from the issues I was trying to soothe, forget, or simply avoid.

Every failed weight loss attempt of my past had a common thread: It was simply a means to an end. A temporary diversion from who I was--just long enough to satisfy the first set of goals listed above. Ignoring my truest goals--the important acknowledgements crucial to change, meant--as soon as the temporary detour ended--I would return to the old familiar and foolishly trusted--"being me road." And since my goals along the detour were simply to change my size in a pursuit of shallow expectations and not my brain---and since what we think of ourselves is really is what we become--then, I was destined to naturally return to my previous level of obesity, even bigger--every. single. time.

You can squeeze a Nerf ball all you want, but toss it back onto the toy pile and you'll watch it quickly assume its natural shape.

"My goal is to share my experiences along the way in hopes of inspiring someone like me (Just kind of like me--Not Exactly like me--because we're all one of a kind) do something courageous--Choose change before change chooses them."

It doesn't matter if you have ten pounds to lose or a hundred--twenty or forty, or three or four hundred. It's all relative--Unique to you and your experiences--and the road out cannot be exactly the same for any two people, because of our unique affected life experience. But we all can find common ground and similar truth in these experiences--and I believe it's where hope can be transferred from one person's success to another person's seemingly impossible dream. Because it is possible, for every single one of us.

"My goal is to become a best friend to me instead of a deadly enemy."

"I'm my own worst enemy." I said it so much in the past, I actually accepted it as rule. That's just the way it had to be--because it's human nature, of course!!! You can't change human nature!! Although there's some truth in that last statement--When the "human nature" excuses horrible choices and behaviors--relieving me from the responsibility of change, that's when it becomes nonsense.

Day 1 didn't find me contemplating this dynamic--it was too soon. My goals were stated but not defined completely. And that's okay, because, in my experience, the only way to define our truest goals is to add the element of time and perspective.

And for me--It was about time... time to change my perspective. Thank goodness.

Thank you for reading and your support along this road. Please friend me on facebook--because I'm there nearly everyday--and we have lively discussions about the topics explored in this blog
Linkand more. You can friend me on facebook here:

And please--Visit and "like" my facebook page for the book. If you need--you could wait until you read the book before you give me the gift of your "like." The page dedicated to the book is:

Also--On my website You can pre-order a first edition signed copy of "Transformation Road-My Trip to Over 500 Pounds and Back," and I'll personally ship it your way upon release!

Good Choices,

The cover for the book has a bunch of cool symbolism, some obvious, some not so much. Christina Rich-Splawn is an amazing graphic artist!!

Some pictures from the recent Sikeston, MO speaking event:
At a recent speaking even in Sikeston, MO







This headline certainly attracted some attention. The story is correct--just the headline has it off by a couple hundred pounds. ;)

Back cover author photo credit: Darryl Cox

Posing with a promotional piece of the book cover.

Pink Heals Tour came to town---and the emotional power of it all, was just incredible. If you ever have a chance to see and experience Pink Heals, please do.

My facebook status update reflected my thoughts on this before the evening started:

"Too many times, I allowed my morbid obesity to hold me back, imprisoning me into an existence where certain things couldn't be enjoyed, simply because I foolishly decided these things were not for people “like me.” I never made it to the prom, or a formal of any kind, ever. Tonight, that changes. Suddenly experiencing the richness of life and all of its precious gifts, because now I can see: I was worth it all along, but I didn't believe it until now. Putting on a tuxedo and headed to The Winter Ball at the Marland Mansion. Pinch me, wow, what a dream.
" The beautiful woman pictured is my date, Ms. Kelly Rains.

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The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser. All rights reserved.