Saturday, January 18, 2014

What Is "The Click?"

What Is "The Click?"

What is "the click?"  What happens? How does it happen?  I don't know, really, but from my experience and from witnessing the experiences of others, I have an idea.

How do we go from fantasizing about food, sneaking to get food, hiding the consumption, feeling constantly obsessed about food and existing in a fog of self-deception, lies, guilt, shame and more to all of sudden feeling empowered, strong, supported and on track with it all?  How is it that I can go into the store last night and shop for groceries without one single errant/diseased thought, when a couple of weeks ago I was in a store, sneaking around with shifty eyes, very much like a thief, hoping and praying I wouldn't be noticed buying a carton of ice cream, chips and sour cream french onion dip?

I believe it starts with honesty. At some point, we might find a break, a clearing from the obsession, long enough to have a very serious realization that this isn't getting better in the middle of this pattern of self-destruction. Breaking down and admitting I'm powerless and I need help isn't so easy, especially for someone like me who has had success, lost a bunch of weight and loves to tell himself how strong he knows he's capable of being. Only a fool believes he can do this alone. And I've had several foolish thoughts along the way. Pride stands in the way like a locked prison door.  If I admit I'm powerless over this, then I'm done. It's over. It might as well kill me now, because that's too hard to admit.  It must be acknowledged and I must have faith that it's not over at all, in fact, it's a new wonderful beginning. There's no such thing as moving forward without this crucial realization. This isn't anything new to the countless who have found recovery. They recognize it as the first step.

So I got there again, this point of truth where it all comes seemingly at once; truth knocking harder and harder with increased volume: The scale at the doctor registering 373, a 143 pound gain, the insanely high blood pressure reading, the size 50's no longer comfortable for long periods of wear and suddenly all of these real consequences and more, barge their way into one desperate thought: I'm dying here.

Not instantly dying, but that's where it's headed. I don't want to die, please God, don't let me die, please help me!! I have too much to live for! Not now, I'll do whatever it takes. Sitting in the vehicle after the appointment and having the calmest of realizations, I didn't have an ounce of self-deception left in my brain. I've said this prayer before. I've written about this before. So what's going to make this time different?  Again, what's "the click?"

"The click," in my opinion, is a combination of several things and it only takes hold if it's firmly backed by supportive actions. I had to come out of hiding and fully acknowledge where I am. I must continue seeking support from others and not ever take support for granted or discount its power. I must exercise my spirituality and then do it again. I must write and share and never declare, "there ain't no going back," because I know: At any point in time, if I decide "I'm good, seriously, it's all good,"  and I start slipping into the old traps and I suddenly adopt some kind of false sense of immunity to the fall, that's precisely when it will come tumbling down once again.

I walk cautiously with the"click."  I'm writing more, sharing more and asking for support more. I'm doing my best to be supportive of others too. We are all in this together. The "click" isn't simply a choice. To me, the "click" is a place, a foundation where each choice after supports and strengthens the "click," or contrary; tears it down and chalks it up as another false start. The choices are in front of you and me.  I'm choosing change because change is a comin' one way or another and I really desire positive change.

Maybe the question isn't "What is the click?" Maybe the proper question is "Where is the click?"

It's inside you and me. We have it. In the depths of the fall we're blind to its existence. Don't believe it doesn't exist, do not give up hope. I swear it didn't exist a short while ago, but it did. I just couldn't find it through the fog. Perhaps what's desired shouldn't be the click itself, rather, the clearing where it can once again be found.

I sincerely appreciate your support on this blog, on Facebook, and via Twitter, @SeanAAnderson and via MyFitnessPal: SeanAanderson.

Thank you for reading,


  1. I've never commented before, but I've followed your blog for a long time. I am so happy you are reaching out for help. As they often say in the recovery community (whether it is for food or alcohol or drugs)...we are only as sick as our secrets.

  2. Love reading your blogs...its also helping me motivate re reading your book again. Thank you cousin for everything you do and not giving up. I know ur life means everything to me..

  3. You have been my motivation for a long time and I have come to realize that we all have our ups and downs. We are human and we fight the battle everyday. So chin up and get back in the groove, you can do this I have faith in you.

  4. Sean I feel really proud of you. Well done on being so strong and taking the actions needed. I know you have certainly inspired me greatly and I am sure it is the same for so many others reading here too. May peace and self compassion be in each and every day ahead for you.i will be sending all the very best wishes your way in the coming days. Hugs to you!

  5. Insightful, articulate post, Sean. Well done! When I begin to feel mired down in the "disease," overwhelmed with the shame and despair of a lifetime of struggling with a food addiction and dramatic yo-yo dieting, I read your work and feel hope. Thank you so much.

  6. A very articulate, insightful post. I'm struggling with a 40 pound weight regain (don't ask how many I've lost and regained during my lifetime) and feeling hopeless and depressed. Just stumbled onto your blog the other day, and can't convey how much your words help. Thank you, Sean.

  7. I mentioned my own "Aha" moment in a comment a post or two ago,but this post holds the an additional I don't think I mentioned.

    As I mentioned, I asked God, why I couldn't get a grip on this eating and the answer was, "This is addiction." (I felt my eyes widen.) But there was a next part. It was, "You ARE powerless over this. You must stop, just completely stop using your 'drug'."

    The message was clear. There is no finessing this. I must stop using. And, of course, I can only stop thru the grace and power of God.

    Thing is, if I don't face and accept this truth of addiction and abstinence--I'll never succeed at anything but starting and falling down. (I've been a remarkable success at that, by the way.)

    Food addiction is tricky. With alcoholism, for instance, one stops drinking alcohol. Period. Every person has their own triggers and details, but basically, one stops consuming alcohol.

    With food, different people seem to have different ways to "just stop using." For me, it is not eating added sugar or gluten. I have to just stop. Abstain. And hang on to God for each "No."

    I'm still feeling a bit wide-eyed about it.

    Thanks, Sean, for another confirming post.


  8. Sean I just have to say I always appreciate how brave you are to share your ups and downs. I agree we cannot do this without support of those who have "walked the walk". You have been such an inspiration and will always be for so many myself included. I am at that point now where I'm sick and tired of being sick, and I cannot let grief from the past rob my success . Life is too short to give in and take ourselves for granted. Its a new year now, we can do this! It's ok to fall down as long as we are able to get back up again. I'm right there with you! I will try to be a better Facebook friend. I had a rough time last summer when my Mom passed away. I became more of a recluse which is never good. But I too am at the point where there's no going back! I wish you the very best in this life, you're awesome.


  9. I love your blog, Sean. You are a very spiritual person, and it's going to be that aspect of you that saves you. If you want to hobnob with a lesser known fitness/health blogger, you are certainly very welcome at my blog. It's all good vibes there. You're right--We all have to support each other. :D

    1. For yoga, I think it is very important to not have any expectations of being any good at it for several months. The newbies at yoga are doing the most work because they are least flexible--by far! So the yoga pose will look way worse when newbies do it, even though it is much harder for them to do!

      I guess you have to just let go of what others think, and discover what's good for you. I was a very hard sell for yoga, myself, mostly because i could not imagine myself to be a yoga-type of person. I started out gym (and still do) with heavy weightlifting. But it turns out that all personalities work for yoga, so long as a person is willing to *not* be competitive when starting. And I often listen to top 40's music from my iPod when doing yoga at the gym. When you like who you are, you'll like being yourself doing yoga. It's really about self-exploration. I hope you try it! :D

      Re: Pinterest. My middle daughter signed me up, saying I'd like it. I felt somewhat resentful of that, due to the reasons you explained in your comment to me. However, I really love it!!! It's incredibly fun and it's simply searching for stuff you like and a one-click to your board. No comments or complications. And it's really helped me formulate what I want to do for my healthy eating this year--it's like a vision board of my food. You might really like it for this reason. You can pin all of the best food ideas in one place, and follow other people with similar food and health values.

  10. The thing about clicks is you have to maintain them. If you don't, the switch will gradually work its way back to the wrong side. A click is never completely finished.

  11. I am sorry you have been going through this. As some have said, it is all too common... the regain. People lose weight and gain it back, often. But there is something even darker, something, I think, that feels shameful, about being a blogger or a book writer or some other public weight loss 'figure' who is the symbol of success that people look to for inspiration and THEN gaining it back. So many bloggers who hit goal disappear, never come back, regain and don't want anyone to know because they feel this sense of hot shame about it and don't want to face it. The few who keep blogging, who tell the truth about where they are, they are the ones who paint the REAL picture of what it's like to lose a huge amount of weight. It's not a finish line when you hit goal. Life doesn't transform into meadows of wildflowers and unicorns. It is HARD, and most of us don't keep the weight off. And I think honesty and transparency and losing the shame about it is part of healing, not just ourselves, but others who are going through the same thing and feeling like a failure.

    Thank you for being honest about this. I know all too well how difficult it is.

  12. Hi Sean, Big Jon here from Wisconsin. I am so happy to see your posting & feel every bit of pain. Regardless where your current weight is you have inspired me more than you could ever imagine. Just recently I unlocked the keys which will enable me to finally loose all the weight and keep it off. Being 48 years old and 500 pounds my last 10 years of my life while staying active and relatively healthy is a miracle itself. I honestly look at your weight gain as a minor setback in the overall timeline from fat to thin and somewhere in between. Small adjustments pay huge dividends. You already stepped up to the plate, admitting your recent struggles overcoming the most difficult part. I truly understand the difference of knowing when success is certainty and wanting to share it with everyone and without the inner confidence knowing you truly will succeed or loosing it is a despart feeling. Well I can tell you for certain more than 10 fold when we exchanged emails in past I am absolutely sure and have the calming inner confidence of knowing I discovered the key to my own weight loss success. After 30 years of failed weight loss attempts I have never given up. It's because of you, You have always been a large part of how I finally put everything together end of 2013. I still weigh more than you do but I am reaching out to you this time, let me help you in support, before I pass you up. I recently started my own blog over on spark people and started up a face book page. I will look you up Sean on face book so you can add me as your friend.

    For everyone else I feel for you. Don't give up! Find what works for you. For me its all about the foods you eat. I eliminated all my artificial sweeteners from my diet then all the sugar except sugar from fruit. Get rid of all processed food and consume no empty calories. Feed your body nutrition. Find the right balance of foods to unlock your weight loss which will naturally allow you to crave the foods that help you loose the weight and keep if off forever. Trust me when I say this, If I can do this anybody can do it.


I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. Thank you for your support!

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