Thursday, December 31, 2015

December 31st, 2015 The 2015 DDWL Year In Review

December 31st, 2015 The 2015 DDWL Year In Review

This post is super long. It's full of excerpts and photos from one of the best years of my life, as documented in the daily pages of this blog.

January 2nd, 2015:
I feel like a man on a mission. I'm aiming for a healthy weight, better physical fitness and strength and I'm committed to maintaining the integrity of my plan and holding my continued recovery sacred, always, once I transition into maintenance mode. In other words, my 'weight loss mode' will look very similar to my upcoming 'maintenance mode.' I'm not there yet, but it's coming quick!
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January 7th Weigh Day
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January 29th at a big banquet

February 20th, 2015:
When I sit and ponder the many benefits of this journey, near the top of the list, just below the health benefits, is the confidence issue. I walked into the event tonight with complete confidence. I wasn't self-conscious. I wasn't worried if my outfit fit properly. I wasn't compelled to be self-deprecating because of my size--in order to satisfy some mental issue within me. Because the truth is, I believe I was a very likable guy at 500 pounds. The self-deprecating humor of old was a defense mechanism against imaginary criticism I might receive from others--when in reality, I was truly my biggest judge and critic all along.
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Emceeing an awards presentation event on February 20th, 2015
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February 18th Weigh Day

March 12th, 2015:
Instead of a number, my goal is to keep it steady in all aspects of my recovery. My goal is to maintain my abstinence from sugar. My goal is to continue being active in seeking and offering support. My goal is to continue to exercise regularly and eat well. My goal is to write more. My goal is to continue taking good care of me, physically, mentally and emotionally. I have a number of professional and personal goals. Those are the ones getting my attention instead of a number. Those are the goals that matter. I don't want to proclaim "I did it!" I want to say with confidence, "I'm doing it, every day."
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March 11th Weigh Day

April 8th, 2015:
Sometimes, when I catch my reflection in a window, I pause and stare. It's not a vanity thing, it's a "that's me in there, that's what I look like now, even if my brain doesn't fully agree--there is reality, staring back at me." And it's great. But it's different than before. It's truly different.
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When I see my reflection, it might take a few seconds to adjust my perception of the physical--but then I can see the other stuff inside me. Instead of getting caught up in the dang, I look thin mindset, I immediately go into the this is what recovery, food sobriety, abstinence from sugar, giving and receiving strong support and taking extraordinary care looks like and feels like, mindset. I've learned a bunch of powerful lessons along this road and one of the biggest is all about the difference between what's fun and slightly important and what's most meaningful and critically important.
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April 22nd Weigh Day

May 15th, 2015 (Describing the impact of "Epiphany Day" on its one year anniversary):
Some epiphanies are like tiny pebbles tossed into a pond, creating small ripples on the surface. Although their size is small, the addition to the pond still raises the water level ever so slightly. Then there are epiphanies that come crashing down into the water like a boulder falling from a mountain top. The impact splashes everything near and the waves are monumental. After the surface returns to calm, the rise in water level can't be ignored; the epic impact can't be forgotten. With the crater in what's now the deepest part of the pond and the top of the boulder always protruding above the surface, there's absolutely no doubt, this pond is forever changed.

May 15th, 2015:
The first step in reclaiming my life didn't have anything to do with a calorie budget, a workout, a blog post, a facebook update or anything else. The first step was forgiveness. I had to extend inward, the same level of compassion, understanding, love and forgiveness I would freely give anyone else. Several steps followed, but that was the first, for me. And I pray I'll keep stepping forward, each day--one day at a time. If I hold the elements of my recovery forever sacred, my chances are good.
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Dancing with mom at Amber's wedding reception.
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The day of my daughter's wedding, May 30th, 2015.

May 31st, 2015:
Okay, I get it now. I turned around and went from, this is silly--just let me see her already, to a mess of emotions in about a quarter second flat. I couldn't help myself. As soon as I laid eyes on my stunning young lady, I melted right then and there. I didn't hear the clicks of the camera. Time, sound and everyone and everything froze in that moment. My face started utilizing muscles I didn't realize I had as it instantaneously started quivering all over; a brief prelude to tears. If I was distracted before, with all of the preparations and helping organize the events--this reveal suddenly brought me back to full attention. I could have looked into her eyes and exchanged tears and "I love yous" all night long.
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May 13th Weigh Day

June 21st, 2015:
...And in all honesty, I might come off as cool and collected--balanced and ready for maintenance mode--and I truly believe I'm better prepared than ever before---but still, I'm fearful.

I don't want to ever go back, but I know better than to ever expect that as a I pay close attention to my emotions--I make sure I'm doing the things in my recovery that I must do in order to be successful--and still, even with the peace and calm it all brings, I'm fearful.

Maybe I need to re-frame this fearfulness into "reverence," "respect" and "sacred consideration."

I honestly feel like I'm there--seriously, my commitment to abstinence from sugar and my overall food sobriety is super strong. What do I fear?

And for me, maybe a small portion of fear is a good thing. I'm certainly in a better place mentally and emotionally than I was before, at this point.

Maybe the absence of fear was one of my biggest problems when I hit goal in November 2010. I was too busy declaring how much "I got this" and "I'm never going back," and yeah... Famous last words, huh? The recklessness of that train of thought has been seared into my brain.

I'm going to proceed carefully. I'm going to take the best care I can. I'm going to stay active and committed to these writings. I'm going to stay connected in recovery and support. And I'm going to do all of these things, as best I can. 

By God's grace and the tremendous power of support, accountability and a completely different perspective on what recovery means, for me, along this road... Maybe I'll be just fine, after all.

I hope and pray so.
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June 24th Weigh Day

July 16th, 2015:
For me, taking care each day means far more than minding a calorie budget, exercising and abstaining from sugar. It also means making a conscious effort to feel good about me, as a person. This kindness we extend to ourselves is needed regardless of our weight. We can lose incredible amounts of weight and still not like ourselves. Treating ourselves with self-loathing and contempt and wondering why the weight loss didn't magically fix that, too, is a very common thing. I've been there, my friend. My worth, your worth--it isn't something determined by the size we see in pictures. Our worth is determined by all the unseen things in our hearts and minds. Just as I challenge myself each day to find and nourish the constant, inherent good, I challenge you to do the same.
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July 31st, 2015
I work with funny people. Rumor quickly spread that Johnny Depp was in town and it went absolutely viral in this area. My colleagues photo-shopped this picture and added this made up story to the rumor mill: "Johnny Depp sightings in Ponca City swirled throughout Facebook today. Finally it's revealed why he was here. Rumor has it that Johnny is slated to portray our own Sean In The Morning in the big screen adaption of Sean's book Transformation Road. Filming is slated to begin in 2019 as soon as Johnny gains 300 pounds for the role."
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July 15th Weigh Day

August 26th, 2015:
It's the strangest feeling to approach a scale without the desire for a loss. I find myself in this situation for the first time in my life. It's taking some intentional thought and meditation to really embrace this perspective. I've said it before--written it within these pages several times: It's not about the scale. Especially now. It will always be about my recovery, overall food sobriety and abstinence from refined sugar. Those must be handled with loving care each and every day in order for me to thrive. It takes practicing proven recovery techniques and daily intentional actions for the maintenance of these critically important elements. Unlike my initial loss and first time at a healthy weight, I take these things very seriously.
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August 26th Weigh Day

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August 10th, 2015-Doing freelance voice-over work
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After working "closely" with Life Coach Gerri for years, we finally met in person on August 29th, 2015

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September 3rd, 2015-- I arrived at my appointment and was greeted in the exam room by Dr. Rebik holding his copy of my book. It turns out, Dr. Rebik attended the January 19th, 2013 Oklahoma Osteopath Winter Conference with over three hundred other doctors and medical professionals. I was one of the featured speakers that day and Dr. Rebik was one of the doctors who purchased my book after the presentation. This was a very cool surprise. He showed me where I signed it to him and we had a nice time recalling that special day at the Hard Rock Hotel in Tulsa. It also served as a nice reminder of how much I desire reviving my schedule of speaking engagements.

September 12th, 2015:
Something magical can happen when we stop trying to figure it all out and we accept and embrace the idea that if we just start doing--- even if it's something that doesn't feel like anything we've done before... things can and usually work themselves into a groove where our individual elements become clear.

And the weight starts going...and we start losing....and wow... wasn't that what we wanted to begin with? Our health improves from the weight loss in dramatic ways--and it does without taking a massive detour from our authentic self.

As you gain your footing--and focus on maintaining the integrity of your budget through your accountability and support system you have in place--you'll naturally evolve your choices to fit into that budget--- and eventually, you may even try different things as you modify your approach. It's important to just get started moving in the right direction--away from self-sabotage and negative inward thoughts-- and straight toward consistency.
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September 30th Weigh Day

October 13th, 2015:
It feels strangely fantastic to receive so many compliments at once. In other words, it can feel strange and fantastic at the same time. An annual event like this has found me at every physical condition along my trek: At my heaviest, during weight loss mode, during relapse/regain, during weight loss mode part two and now, during maintenance. Many of the people at this event are ones I rarely see but once a year, at this event. 

Simply saying thank you isn't always easy. I did say a simple, "thank you, I feel great," most of the time and simply "thank you." But a couple of times I also caught myself saying, "you're too kind."

The key for me, is not getting caught up in these. Does it feel good? Yes. Do I have loads more confidence? Yes. But I continuously remind myself, it's still me--I'm the same guy--The 500 pound Sean, the 220 pound Sean--same person underneath. And it's in these thoughts where I find comfort and peace. 

The realization that my self-worth and identity isn't attached to a number has easily been the most profound epiphany I've experienced along the way. In this embrace, I'm no longer dividing myself in two, with a bad and good version. I'm good, period. I was good then and I'm good now. I'm simply at a healthier weight. And that's a wonderful thing.
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October 13th, 2015
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October 28th Weigh Day

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My 44th Birthday--October 23rd, 2015 With family.

November 5th, 2015:
What's interesting is how I once, years ago, claimed I was just too busy to take care of myself in the way of losing weight. Making a life to love, making time to experience happiness cultivated from the core elements within and keeping the life stream running in the foreground while the fundamental elements stream of my recovery and maintenance run just below, has proved to me something powerful. The belief I once held about not having time to take extraordinary care with weight loss was a convenient out--and one that few would counter, and that made it perfect. It seemed completely justifiable. I was comfortable being a victim of my circumstance because it enabled me to continue denying a pattern of self-destruction. Now I know... We're capable of taking extraordinary care, come what may.
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November 25th Weigh Day

November 29th, 2015:
But--this can I put it?
It's more about knowing that this dream--this monumental thing that seemed so impossible for so very long-- wasn't and isn't impossible. There's a peace and calm in my recovery and although never guaranteed, there's still a certainty that, if I continue this warm embrace of me, I'm going to be okay.

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December 12th, 2015 Performing stand-up at a private event

December 12th, 2015:
I was hired to do at least 40 minutes. I was on stage for a solid hour-plus. It couldn't have turned out any better. The standing ovation at the end was the most unexpected gift. I'm so incredibly grateful. And not simply because the audience clearly loved the show...but because it was a wonderful example of loving myself and nurturing something in me that must be nurtured.

When I write or speak about the physical transformation being the least of it, trust I mean it with all my heart. The spiritual/mental/emotional transformation, this is the good stuff.
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December 9th Weigh Day

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Christmas Day 2015 with my wonderful daughters

December 22nd, 2015:
When we have some success, even when it's far from the goals we're working toward, and we're feeling better than we have in a long time, we can be tempted to let our guard down.

This is a normal dynamic. Success often breeds complacency. Suddenly, occasionally sacrificing our plan doesn't seem to be a big deal. Complacency runs amok without a plan.

Complacency breeds negative results.

An expansion on these thoughts goes back to the heart of why self-awareness is critically important. It's why when we reach certain milestones we mustn't stop, we remain aware--we keep our plan--maybe we make some slight modifications, but we're not becoming complacent.

In this thought process, I find the important reasons why I don't "got this," and how it isn't about "arriving" at some magical destination.

It also confirms why developing a plan I can enjoy for life is critically important. And if I give my plan the reverence it deserves and I remain aware, then I have the best chance at avoiding complacency. 

And in this, I'm giving myself a gift of continued freedom, the likes of which go far beyond the physical.

Happy New Year!! I can think of several things I didn't include in the above recap--and not because they weren't important--they were very important, it's just too much stuff!!

I gave away my daughter's hand in marriage, I was bit by a dog, I revived my love of acting in the play Dog Sees God, I revitalized my love of standup, I started doing the Winning Loser Video Blogs (more coming very soon!), for the first time ever, the support groups I co-facilitate with Life Coach Gerri filled up to capacity, twice! And I could go on and on. 

It was an amazing year. I'm incredibly blessed and immensely grateful.

I sincerely appreciate your support through it all. I'm looking forward to amazing things in 2016!!

I had two location broadcasts today. I enjoyed a late dinner and then returned to the big party before finally getting home super late. I've been working on this post for a few hours. It's 5am! My goodness, I haven't stayed up this late since--well, I can't remember!

I'll be sleeping in, of course. Goodnight--or should I say, Good morning!

My Tweets Today:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December 30th, 2015 Changes My Plan

December 30th, 2015 Changes My Plan

My planning wasn't so good this evening. I tried to enjoy a few episodes of one of my favorite shows on Netflix and ended up falling asleep in my recliner. This isn't a bad thing, necessarily. I don't need to get up early tomorrow. But it changes my plan for tonight's blog post. I had planned on doing a year in review type post. Instead, I'll postpone that one another night.

I made the decision to allow myself a little more time to heal before resuming workouts. I must recognize when I'm getting impatient and honestly, deep breathing hurts the injury. The last thing I need to do is push myself and further damage or irritate the rib situation. It's frustrating.

I highly recommend entering the food of a meal into MyFitnessPal before you prepare your plate. I do this 95% of the time. The other 5% I get a little too sure of myself and overshoot. That happened tonight. I was adding my calories after plating and before eating and discovered I didn't have enough in the budget. I fixed it by tossing the mini ear of corn.  Some might say, big deal--it's a mini ear of corn--it's 70 calories!! And I agree, it's only 70 calories. But--I'm very aware of the potential psychological damage if I sacrifice the integrity of my budget.  This wouldn't have been an issue had I not over done it on my appetizer. The avocado used to make my homemade guac was a little too big--and those calories a little too high. Some slight maneuvering and this wouldn't have been an issue.

I have two New Years Eve location broadcasts scheduled tomorrow. After that, I'm off the rest of the weekend. And I'm looking forward to the time!

I visited a little with my youngest daughter and Noah this evening, then made my way over to my oldest daughter's house and visited there. Noah always brings a smile to my face. He was wearing one of the outfits I bought him for Christmas. He's the most adorable little guy!

I better turn in before it gets much later.

My Tweets Today:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December 29th, 2015 Things Change

December 29th, 2015 Things Change

It can get boring around here. I try to change up the coffee mugs for a little variety. I occasionally try something new in the kitchen. But I don't worry about it too much because another way to look at "boring" is "routine."

Routine is good. I feel like I've developed my routines well and the more they're developed, the easier they fit into my daily life. The easier my routines fit into my daily life, the better chance I have for continued success in maintenance mode. Boring? Okay, I'm good with this.

I believe the secret is to accept boring, or uh...routine in my fundamental elements of recovery stream and develop exciting changes and tweaks to my life stream. Now that's where I want the opposite of boring in my life!! 

The late, great Dr. Wayne Dyer said "When you change the way you look at things, things change." Simple and powerful words. And when you apply this and you get results confirming its validity, you quickly realize the brilliance in those simple and very powerful words.

Too many times in my life I've developed what many in recovery circles refer to as "contempt prior to investigation." When contemplating the plan to recover from relapse and regain--including what I referred to at the time as "extreme accountability measures," it would have been very easy to say:

"No way--that will not work for me. It sounds obsessive and a little much. I don't want to get all crazy-over board with this stuff. Logging everything in MyFitnessPal is a challenge enough--let alone taking a picture and tweeting the photo, description and calorie count of everything that goes in my face-- forget it, no way. I can't do that. Oh--and writing a blog post every night to recap the day??? Are you kidding??? I don't have time for that anymore! All that and also abstain from refined sugar??? Have you lost your marbles??? What?? I need to reach out for support from like minded people? Next thing you'll tell me is I must get in touch with my spiritual-meditative side... oh, no you didn't!!"

All of those thoughts crossed my mind at the beginning of this turnaround from relapse/regain.

Out of desperation, I had to immediately change the way I looked at all of these things.

Instead of looking at these things as some kind of overwhelming burden, I had to look at them as life lines back to a healthy weight--like a rail to hold onto, or crutches to hold me up, giving mobility in the direction I desired. 

Suddenly, these things changed. 

Instead of finding all the reasons why I couldn't do it, I started developing ways I could absolutely do it and do it well, with passion and commitment. I gave these the importance level they deserved for an honest shot. And every now and again, in the beginning-- I felt silly, I felt obsessive and I projected these thoughts in assumptive ways about what others must think witnessing this show of sorts. But then, something happened.

I felt stronger. After a couple of weeks, it was as if the "binge switch" was turned off. I was getting my confidence back. When I realized that these new elements were giving me a solid foundation to work from, I started not caring about what these "extreme accountability measures" must look like. They were working. 

I remember when I first realized how different things felt, I became emotional in a wonderfully happy and relieved way. Because at one point during my darkest days of relapse/regain, I seriously thought there was no way back. I felt completely lost and now I found hope and peace--and in this, I was led into epiphanies about self-worth and identity that totally blew my mind in monumental ways.

Now, not only did I change the way I looked at the fundamental elements of my recovery, I also changed the way I looked at me and when you change the way you look at things, things change.

I'm blessed and immensely grateful.
Today was good. I took care of things I needed to take care of at work because I'm off the rest of the week except for two location broadcasts scheduled for New Years Eve. I prepared some fantastic food. Except something was missing, food wise. Go ahead, scroll down and see if you notice what's missing in those tweets. I was out of fruit!!!!! I can't believe I allowed this to happen. I really thought I had some remaining in the crisper for today--but nope, not a single apple.

I did replenish my supply this evening, so tomorrow the fruit returns!

I'm looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow morning. I'm also looking forward to my annual Year In Review Post tomorrow night, complete with a pictorial tour of 2015.

I have some exciting announcements to make in the coming days, including a big interview on a very popular online radio show (more details coming soon), the opening of registrations for the next 10 week session of group support conference calls I co-facilitate with Life Coach Gerri and I'll be announcing my very first LIVE One-Day weight loss seminar/workshop happening on January 16th from 1 to 5pm at the Renfro Center in Ponca City, Oklahoma! I'll have a link to a registration page available within 48 hours or less.

I'm also excited about doing stand-up guest sets this weekend at the new comedy club in my hometown.

My rib situation (I believe to be a muscular issue instead of skeletal) has healed nicely. I've decided to return to regular workouts tomorrow. I'm still planning on laying off the upper body strength training for at least another week, maybe longer, but cardio and lower body strength training--I'm ready to get back in there.

My Tweets Today:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,

Monday, December 28, 2015

December 28th, 2015 Just Start

December 28th, 2015 Just Start

Over the next several days, a lot of people will be arriving at a mental and emotional place where they decide to make some serious changes. I don't know why September 15th, 2008 was my day. But it was. I found an excerpt from a year in, over six years ago, that describes what I found when I arrived at that place.

From September 2009:

I arrived at this place as a 505 pound man with raging high blood pressure, deadly sleep apnea, and swelling so bad in my right leg that painful open sores would develop when the skin refused to stretch any further. 
I arrived at this place with a wife and two daughters that would often sit and cry together because they were scared to death that I would leave them too soon. 
I arrived at this place with a mother that would stay up all night worrying about me, sometimes calling just to ask through the tears, “When are you really going to get busy?” 
I arrived at this place scared to death of myself, my habits, my behaviors that had me cornered, beating me into submission with zero hope for survival. 

The more my family cried for me, the more scared I became. I can't do this, I thought. But I must---But I don't really know how---

On and on the mental battle within me raged. Was this it? 

Did I reach a point of wanting to give up the fight? Yes I did. 

However, a couple of problems, let's call them character traits, stood in the way of me giving up: 

I'm a survivor and I'm a dreamer. 

A dream can't survive forever without positive action, so action had to start, even if I hadn't a clue where to begin.

If you're arriving at your place in the next several days, I encourage you to make it this important. I encourage you to keep it as simple as you can. I encourage you to just start. Even if you don't have a clue where to begin.

I started with a calorie budget I vowed to maintain come what may. I didn't put any restrictions on it at all. Whatever I could fit in that budget, worked. It was the simplest way for me to just start.

If you're a regular reader, you know my trek is very different now. I still maintain the integrity of my calorie budget but I also maintain abstinence from refined sugar. I also have a much more advanced accountability and support system in place. My daily logging in MyFitnessPal, the Live Twitter feed of everything that goes in my mouth and a constant connection with like minded friends in support, all make a powerful difference for me all these years later.

The adjustments to my plan was a necessary response in order to find recovery from a relapse/regain that resulted in 164 pounds of weight gain and all of my hopes and dreams fading fast.

Start simple. Just start. It's important. I'm important. You're important.

This transformation you're about to start is a big deal, spiritually-mentally-emotionally and physically. It's an exploration. It's an education. It's life changing and dream making. Are you ready to just start?

It's been a really long day. I promised myself I would be in bed by 9pm and it looks like I'm going to make it. I'm very happy about this.

Letting the Tweets take it the rest of the way...

My Tweets Today:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,

Sunday, December 27, 2015

December 27th, 2015 A Little Better

December 27th, 2015 A Little Better

Today was unusual because of the weather. I slept in relatively well. It wasn't long before work duties called at the studio. I was back and forth between the studio and transmitter site a few times, the last ending unexpectedly late. I wasn't prepared, food wise, and ended up with a very late appetizer and dinner.

I considered skipping a meal. It's not like one missed meal is going to negatively affect me.

My rib situation is feeling a little better. I'm taking it as easy as possible in an effort to let it do its healing thing.

I did well today despite the unusual work schedule and not the best food planning on my part. I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget and I abstained from refined sugar. I'm calling today great.

Letting the Tweets take it the rest of the way.

My Tweets Today:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,

Saturday, December 26, 2015

December 26th, 2015 If That Occurs

December 26th, 2015 If That Occurs

I was up way too early for a Saturday off work. I really wanted to sleep in, but somehow, someway, I keep aggravating this left rib issue. I woke and couldn't get back to sleep. I decided to make the most of it and get some things done. I shopped a little and headed to Stillwater for lunch with mom. Usually I visit mom on Sunday, but we're expecting a winter storm and if that happens, I'm not traveling--and besides, I'll be working if that occurs.

I was headed home for a late afternoon nap when the winter storm warning was issued. Two things needed to happen, I needed the radio station's 4 X 4 vehicle (my car is rear wheel drive) and I had to go to the studio and get announcements on the air about this developing winter storm.

No nap for me!

I didn't feel like cooking tonight. I made sandwiches. I couldn't decide on natural peanut butter & sugar free strawberry all-fruit spread with bananas or a grilled cheese. So I made them both. I love the sugar free/flour free Ezekiel bread!! It makes awesome sandwiches!

My rib hurts. I'm about to take some more pain medicine and go to bed. I hope I'll feel better in the morning.

I'm letting the Tweets take it the rest of the way tonight.

My Tweets Today:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,

Friday, December 25, 2015

December 25th, 2015 Especially On Christmas Day

December 25th, 2015 Especially On Christmas Day

It's days like today when I must put a little more focus on acknowledging the many blessings and love in my life. I have a tremendous amount of things to be grateful for every day. And especially on Christmas day.

Today had the potential to be tough in a few different ways, but it wasn't. We all gathered at Irene and Allen's place in a small town about twenty-five miles away from where I live. Irene and Allen prepared most everything. A few others brought some things, and I prepared macaroni and cheese. The mac and cheese is my dish. It's rich. 

I chewed gum while preparing this dangerous dish and made it out without so much as a lick. I prepared way too much. I made two pans full. Only half of one was consumed. My share? 1/2 a cup. That's a victory for me.

My plan today was fairly simple: I decided my maintenance budget of 2,300 calories was sufficient, so there wasn't a need to add calories on this day as in years past. I weighed and measured everything on my plate--and one plate was the plan. I wasn't going to eat for sport today. I decided it was going to be a fairly normal food schedule for me. A good breakfast, Christmas dinner, a nice dinner late and some fruit at the end of the day. This structure is important to me. I didn't pick up any sugar free desserts. The sugar free desserts seem to upset my stomach.

I maintained the integrity of my budget, remained abstinent from refined sugar, logged everything in MyFitnessPal and did my accountability Tweets. I'm food sober. And that feels wonderful, liberating, actually. Maintaining the fundamental elements of my recovery is key for me in maintaining my weight loss. 

My focus was clearly on family, visiting and enjoying Noah as he discovered this thing called Christmas. He was so excited all day long. It was so much fun to witness. 

It's amazing to me how a shift in perspective and focus can dramatically reveal how a day like today can be exceptionally special without stuffing myself silly. I spent years missing out on the most important blessings of this day because my focus was always about what I would eat and how much I could eat. I made food the shining star and it cast a shadow on everyone and everything else.

Food was certainly a part of today's festivities, but it wasn't the star of the show. That would be Noah. 

The food was great, everybody loved it and still, not a single one of us needed a before dinner medication to help regulate the effects of over-indulging or an after dinner antacid. That's a big deal. There was a time when we'd pass that stuff around like candy.

We snapped several pictures too!
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Noah flipped, as expected. It was late this evening when we realized he never took a nap. He was too wound up in the festivities of the day.

I took a 10-15 minute snooze on Amber's shoulder before getting up and setting out on a good walk. The plan was a 5K. My uncle (mom's brother) joined me once again for our traditional holiday exercise. I say traditional--it's seven years old, I suppose it is becoming somewhat of a tradition. This evening's walk fell a little short of the planned 5K, but it was good--We had to get back before Amber and KL were scheduled to leave for his parent's house a few hours away and Irene had to leave for work.

I made my way home feeling incredible about how the day came together. I made support interactions important today, too. Interacting with others who are on this road, even when we're all at different mile markers, often gives valuable perspective. And it's all about perspective.

A friend tipped me off that my favorite grocery store was the only one open tonight. Perfect! I grabbed a coffee and a few grocery items. I found some fresh salmon priced to move ($2.12!! 75% off!!) and immediately decided it would be dinner instead of the planned grilled chicken breast

It was a beautiful Christmas.

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

December 24th, 2015 He's Going To Flip!

December 24th, 2015 He's Going To Flip!

My insistence on doing a round of strength training yesterday set me back today. My left side ribs were healing quickly, without pain, until I did those. I made it through the afternoon, finished my shopping and finally realized I had to take something for pain and get some more rest. I cancelled my planned trip to see family in Stillwater. I'll see some of them tomorrow at Christmas dinner.

Aside from navigating a couple of stores packed with last minute shoppers like me, I spent my entire Christmas Eve alone. It was strange. It was my choice, couldn't help it. Every movement of my chest hurt. I'm glad I finally broke down and took some pain medicine. I took a nap immediately after and woke without pain. It's cardio only for me until this bruised rib or cracked rib--or whatever it is, heals. I suppose I could focus exclusively on lower body movements.

I'll be up early tomorrow morning. I have gifts to wrap before the big family gathering at Irene and Allen's house. I'm also preparing my highly requested family offering--Macaroni and Cheese. Preparing this dish, for me, is like handling plutonium. I'll be chewing sugar free gum in an effort to avoid mindless tasting and licking. It's loaded: Flour, butter, heavy whipping cream, elbow macaroni and four cups of cheese. It's thick, creamy and loaded. I'll likely eat a very small portion during dinner. Everyone else will love it, I guarantee.  

I'm not adding calories to my budget tomorrow. My weight maintenance budget of 2300 calories per day is sufficient.

I plan on walking a 5K after dinner. This 5K walk has become a major holiday tradition for me that started with Thanksgiving 2008.

I can't wait to watch my grandson Noah open his gifts tomorrow. He's going to flip!

Christmas Eve has always been a big deal in the Anderson family. Today was very different. I made sure to interact with a couple of support friends. I had numerous phone conversations with family members and I made the time to prepare good food.

Today was different but it wasn't bad. I just couldn't get comfortable with the rib pain persisting. Historically, I'm very much a wimp when it comes to pain, I'll admit it. Ask any of my family members, they'll tell you!

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas filled with incredible blessings.

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