Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 30th, 2015 What Was My Point?

June 30th, 2015 What Was My Point?

I managed myself well today. I had a good and productive day at work, I made sure to get my exercise in at the YMCA and dinner finished, both before the weekly Tuesday night support group conference call. The call was right before play rehearsal again tonight, so there wasn't much room to mess with this schedule. I had to stay on top of it.

And strangely I did.

It really made me think. Managing myself better comes down to importance level. How important is it to me? Do I have too much slack? When I do, I often take advantage of the slack and that's when my schedule gets very inefficient. But when every minute counts, I proved to myself I could do it.

I mean seriously--I left work at 4:30pm (Today's schedule was a split shift 6am-10am, nap from 10:30am to Noon, lunch--then work 1pm to 4:30pm) had to run a couple of errands--was on the elliptical at 5pm--but only after I called in my chicken and squash order to the Mexican place closest to my apartment, for later pickup after the workout. I left the Y, picked up the chicken and squash, made it home--made the guac fresh--prepared the plate, enjoyed dinner--then got on the weekly conference call support group--then made my way into rehearsal...left rehearsal, making it to the store for fruit, then finally getting back home.

Had I not managed better, I wouldn't have had a workout again today and I would have been eating dinner at 10:40pm. I've done both of those things many times before. Glad I proved to myself that I could choose differently.

I relied on that nap and a lot of coffee. And I'm okay with that today. 

 photo A20Glasses20On_zps6jhipldw.jpg
What I think of when I look at this picture may not be what you think. I'm not thinking about how "Post-Workout Cool" I'm so desperately trying to look. I'm not thinking why do I still have my name-tag on? I'm not critiquing every little flaw...like seriously, are my lips crooked??? I think my lips are crooked. I'm kidding. But seriously, they totally look crooked in this picture. I don't care if they're crooked or not--must have been how I was holding my face. Yeah, that's it.

What was my point? Oh yeah-- what I think about when I see this photo. I immediately notice the seat belt. And I can't help but go back into the 500 pound memories of when my seat belt didn't fit. I never wore a seat belt at my heaviest. It's the law, too--and still...It wouldn't reach around me. The idea for a seat belt extension for my personal vehicle never occurred to me back in my heaviest days. I just accepted that I wasn't at all protected in the event of an accident.

Have I told you how I believe in guardian angels? I've had a few, I'm certain. After all, I've had six collisions with deer. Three of which were head on at 70 mph/112 kph. No seat belt, ever--back then. 

It's such a strange thought to even imagine not clicking it. It's just an automatic thing now. It's something I don't even think about, I just do it--and it feels good. It feels safe. It feels normal. I suppose it's something I've taken for granted for quite some time...until I see a picture like the one above and immediately I'm drawn to the seat belt and how absolutely cool IT is. To be able to wear it so automatically is a major blessing.

My Tweets Today:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,

Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29th, 2015 That's What I'm Doing

June 29th, 2015 That's What I'm Doing

My original plan was to add a few hundred calories each day, to start. Going from 1,700 calories to 2,000 calories seemed reasonable. A trusted adviser (I'm incredibly blessed to have a few who have been along this road much longer than I) cautioned me to scale it back a touch and try it out for three weeks at 1,800. Increasing 100 calories at a time. That's what I'm doing. 

Conducting these three week calorie level "experiments," if you will, might be fun. I have the time. I have the rest of my life to find my maintenance groove. 

And honestly, I might lose more weight during these personal studies. And that's okay. If I gain weight, that's okay, too.

The things I shall not compromise: My abstinence from sugar. My commitment to daily tracking in MFP. My accountability live-tweet Twitter stream. My daily activity in regards to giving and receiving support. My commitment to working out on a regular basis. My commitment to daily posting on this blog. If I continuing holding all of those things in the highest regard--the top of my 'importance level,' the sacred level where things are non-negotiable, then I'm free to try new things with calorie levels, foods (that fall within my boundaries) and different exercise/fitness avenues.

You might not think 100 calories a day is a big enough increase. And honestly, I didn't either--and it might not be, we'll see.

Here's the deal: I do not argue with people who have over two decades of successful weight loss maintenance and recovery. I value their insights and experience and I'm completely blessed and fortunate when they share their wisdom with me.

Believe it or not, I do stop writing and speaking long enough to simply read, watch, listen and absorb the wisdom of others who have gone before me and who are still going remarkably strong.

I have a lot to learn. I've learned a bunch, yes. But still--the learning never stops along this road. And if I ever get smug and start believing there's nothing left to learn, that will be Day 1 of a tragic twist in trajectory.

Today was good and busy. I knew what I was getting into when I signed on for this play. It's half the time of a normal rehearsal schedule--so no complaints. I had rehearsal tonight after my support group conference call. The two events were right next to one another in my calendar. This required me to get creative.

I decided to get a dinner together and take it with me, dining in the parking lot of the theater, in my car and participating in the conference call from 6 to 7pm while sitting mere steps from the doors leading to rehearsal at 7pm. It worked out well! It took some planning, but I made it work tonight.

I did get a small (198) activity calorie adjustment from Fitbit today. I made today a rest day from intentional exercise.

My Tweets Today:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,

Sunday, June 28, 2015

June 28th, 2015 Awash With Tremendous Happiness

June 28th, 2015 Awash With Tremendous Happiness

I slept. And I slept some more. I enjoyed over eleven hours of sleep last night. It's a very rare treat for me! One of the greatest blessings of this turnaround from relapse/regain has been the disappearance of my sleep apnea symptoms. I was worried because as I approached my healthiest weight during my initial 275 pound loss, those sleep apnea symptoms came roaring back and it left me incredibly frustrated and eventually led to another sleep study. It helped, until my body underwent massive changes during regain and suddenly that therapy wasn't working. I'm very lucky that the symptoms haven't returned. I'm not sure why. But I'm grateful and I pray they'll stay away.

Even when I post a "Tweets Only" blog post, like last night--chances are good I've spent a fair amount of time writing in active support, throughout the day. Sometimes it's one on one via email or within the small, private weekly conference call group Life Coach Gerri and I co-moderate/facilitate. And other times it might be a reply to a blog comment or maybe a comment to another's blog post.

For tonight's post, I thought I would share a sampling of today's communications. I've edited out specific names of who I'm communicating with in two of them (one is a publicly posted blog page, so it's okay)--simply for privacy and anonymity purposes--especially the last part--because it's from the "secret" Facebook page for our conference call group.

I'm sharing these because maybe some of it might be helpful to someone and these are things that are very important for me to remember each and every day

This one started as a blog comment from a longtime reader and supporter who has had a really tough time the last six months and is now getting back on track:

From longtime blog supporter:
"I am on Day 4 of no binging/being back on track with my eating. Feeling good about myself again, and that is nice, after being ashamed of my behavior for the last 6 months."

And truly, that is key-- reaching an accord within, a forgiveness, and letting go of the guilt, shame and every other negative emotion-- isn't easy, but it's critically important for moving forward in a stable way.

Something that can help further solidify this: Make "a list of you." This list should contain the answers to this question: 

What are the things about me that do not change if I'm heavy or at a healthy weight, or for richer or poorer-- what are the core qualities of me that are constant, regardless of everything else?

The list should be populated with your likes, dislikes, things that bring you joy, things you're passionate about, things you're good at doing!!! Also, the things that make you a loving and compassionate person. These wonderful things we posses often get ignored when we're preoccupied with all of the negative thoughts and feelings surrounding relapse/regain. 

For many of us, these are things we've ignored for years because we've been too busy, either focused on how good we feel about our success or how bad we feel about where we are at any given point along the way.

Embrace your core-- wrap it in a level of love and compassion you normally reserve for others...gift yourself that love, compassion and acceptance-- and realize: Heavier, thinner-- successfully losing or struggling with relapse/regain--it truly never, EVER, changed any of these core qualities in you. 

You've always been an amazing person worthy of love and worthy of extending yourself the gift of extraordinary care and the improved health and vitality that comes with it.

I wish you all the best. I'm so happy you're here, where you are, moving forward with a resolve reserved for the most important things in your life. I'm honored by your sharing here, and I'm absolutely appreciative and grateful for your incredible support over the years and to come!

Kirsten at www.deardietmonster.com included me in her latest blog post today. I was absolutely honored! She's thrilled about discovering her own list of fundamental elements. I'm truly overjoyed for her!

In response to her blog post:

Identifying your unique set of fundamental elements is crucial. We often hear "you've got to find what works for you," and it's very true. Still, many times before, I tried to move forward using someone else's normal. I'm thankful for my regain/relapse period, even as brutal and big as it was (could have been worse)--because in making a stand and turning it around, I discovered my truest--most personal, fundamental elements. 

If I give these elements the same level of reverence as an alcoholic in successful recovery gives their sobriety, each day, then I have the greatest chance of continued weight maintenance. If I let them slide and try to live someone else's normal, I'll relapse again and quickly lose myself in the return to an unhealthy weight. 

Is it for life? Yes. 

The thought depresses some. It once did me, too. 

But if we identify our elements, accepting them as our normal--and embrace them in every way, it can be a happy and positive experience. A test question to apply during this self-discovery: When you wake up each day, do you dread the things you're doing in order to take extraordinary care? Or are you excited and happy to do them, because they're soooo you?? 

Oh--the food-- my goodness, K, I don't eat the same things every day! LOL Many people get that impression. And I no doubt have my staples, but I do mix it up regularly. The key for me with food: I eat what I like and nothing I don't. I will not force myself to eat something simply because it might be good for me or is understood to be a "good diet food." Every single thing I've consumed over the last 14 months of this turnaround from relapse/regain, including pictures, descriptions and calorie counts can be found on my Twitter feed: @SeanAAnderson 

I'm honored to be included in your blog post! Thank you! And mostly--I'm overjoyed for you!! You're fired up--I can tell!! You're ready to do this!

I look forward to witnessing your transformation! You're about to show yourself exactly what you and your body are capable of accomplishing. You deserve the best, my friend.

From a Sunday post in our private weekly support group:

Sunday morning.. We usually go out for breakfast.. My favorite meal.. I know this is a difficult call for me. I'll really need to focus, calculate, and plan. Ask for egg whites.. Do veggie omelet. Not my normal choice... But my better choice. 

My response:
Aside from the food suggestions from other members, above-- all good... I wanted to offer a slightly different perspective. Just a few questions, if you don't mind... 

Question #1: What do you love about this Sunday morning routine aside from the food? Do you love the family time--the togetherness, the conversation, the beauty of the Sunday morning sky...or maybe it's a cute older couple that's always sitting a couple of tables away--as you gaze their way and think, wow--how wonderful to be so in love after all of those years? Maybe you're grateful to be in a position to afford, enjoy and experience this weekly event or perhaps it's the welcoming of the warm smile and attentiveness you're given by a familiar and favorite server.

Question #2: Does ordering your usual breakfast enhance any of these elements? Another way, same question-- If you don't order what you're accustomed to ordering, does it take away from the enjoyment and the elements described above? 

Question #3: If you navigate your choices with an awareness enabling you to maintain the integrity of your plan, thereby honoring your commitment to self--and you do it in such a way, where you're making certain to order things that are pleasing to your palette-taste buds--while remaining in harmony with your plan...Does it take away from the non-food elements described above? 

Is the family time, conversation, Sunday morning bird songs and sky, cute older couples, a familiar and smiling, friendly server and the peace and joy of this weekly outing, compromised? 

I can remember times in my past when my focus was squarely on the food at these family outings. I missed so much of my life and family because my attention was on the plate in front of me instead of the love and beauty all around me. When we shift our focus and perspective, just a touch, we have the opportunity to rediscover and appreciate our many blessings. Add to this experience, the wonderful feeling of knowing you're taking extraordinary care and staying true to you and what you need for continued weight loss/better health--and I would be shocked if you're not awash with tremendous happiness.

Sometimes I can't help myself. Communicating about these things is something I'm incredibly passionate about. And the thing about it is--these things are not a given for any of us. As I've written many times-- If I stop holding sacred the fundamental elements of my recovery, I'll quickly relapse and regain, again.

I don't want that to happen. All I can do is take it one day at a time, make my elements extremely important and always keep my eyes and mind open to learning and appreciating new things along the way.

None of us have all the answers.

We only have our experiences and the thoughts, opinions and beliefs born from those experiences. Some of them we share, others we may not--and it's okay... because we can support one another regardless of the differences in our personalized list, of fundamental elements.

My Tweets Today:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,

Saturday, June 27, 2015

June 27th, 2015 Rest Night

June 27th, 2015 Rest Night

Taking a rest night, tonight. Letting the Tweets tell the story of Saturday!

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Had a blast with Noah today! Here, we're acting silly in Stilly.

My Tweets Today:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,

Friday, June 26, 2015

June 26th, 2015 Was Cool

June 26th, 2015 Was Cool

Today was a challenge. But I'm proud to say I made it through. It was a full day that included a location broadcast at a big annual pre-July 4th holiday blood drive.

The All-American Fish Fry Blood Drive was a huge success today. I love fried catfish, and the calorie value is reasonable--so I made the decision to make it my lunch.

I skipped the french fries and baked beans. When I pleasantly declined the full plate--and asked for only fish, I was referred to as "picky" by the server, several times--who seemed slightly offended by my polite, yet firm insistence on eating only the fish. I no longer try to convince anyone or explain anything about why I choose the way I do. And I will not sacrifice what's best for me in order to make someone else comfortable.

The server meant nothing by her remarks--she was unfamiliar with me and what I do. The interesting thing was how others in the room did know about what I'm all about--and quickly came to my defense. That was cool. I brought my digital food scales for accuracy and that was also, very nice.

I finished the broadcast, dropped the station vehicle at a repair shop for needed service and hitched a ride with my oldest daughter Amber, back to my car. I stopped by my youngest daughter's house for a short visit with her and my grandson Noah, who immediately motioned for me to pick him up--then, as I was trying to leave--motioned again, so I picked him up again. He laid his head on my shoulder and hugged me--then a put him back down--and immediately he wanted back up, so we repeated the whole thing over again, twice more. He was very upset when I finally had to go. I love that little guy!

I made it to the store for a few things I needed in order to prepare dinner before my evening emcee duties at a big music and food festival. A very cool thing happened at the store. One of the employees, an older gentleman, approached me as I was making my way to the checkout...

"Wait, wait--your name is Sean, right? You used to weigh over 500 pounds."
"Yes, that's me!"
"I remember when you lost the weight. Then I remember you coming in and I could tell you had gained a significant amount back and I couldn't say anything to you about it, I wouldn't. And now, look at you, you've done it again! You look fantastic! Congratulations!"

The two of us shared a brief conversation after that initial start, about the differences making this time a different experience. I'll be honest, I was exhausted and just wanting to get home for a nap before the concluding events of my Friday--but the delight and pure happiness this familiar face, yet relative stranger was expressing for me was such a gift and worth every extra minute. He was genuinely relieved. It was an unexpected blessing.

One of my main goals today was to prepare and enjoy dinner before my emcee duties at the Down By Downtown Music and Food Festival. I didn't want to navigate the food truck choices and I didn't want to wait for dinner until 11pm. This goal and the resolve to accomplish it, put dinner time between five and six pm, which is very early for me.

I intentionally enjoyed water only at the event--and it helped me exceed my water goal! I didn't have an intentional workout today at the YMCA--because I knew it would be very busy and I would likely burn as many or more calories simply from my FitBit activity. I was right--over 500 calories burned today!

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Thursday night rehearsal/blocking photo of the play Dog Sees God. I play Van, a teenage version of Linus and Eddie Dixon (pictured) plays CB, a teenage version of Charlie Brown.

A bunch to love about today. I'm very grateful and blessed to be where I am.

My Tweets Today:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,

Thursday, June 25, 2015

June 25th, 2015 What Brings Me Joy

June 25th, 2015 What Brings Me Joy

Today required a level of personal management that I'm typically not very good at achieving. I would call it "time management," but my perspective has recently been shifted. We all get the same amount of time in the day. Time isn't managed. It's constant. We're the ones who must be managed. Some people pack their day more efficiently than others. I'm most usually in the "others" category.

My workday was solid. I had a good show, accomplished a good deal of production and handled a programming side issue that needed addressed. I felt good about it. Part of managing me, a big part, is making sure I'm applying attention where it must be applied.

I picked up wardrobe shirts after work, for an upcoming performance in a play. As soon as I arrived home, I looked at the clock and this is where the personal management kicked into high gear. I needed a nap, a workout and dinner--all before 6:40pm.

I napped until 3:45, made some coffee--enjoyed a cup, planned dinner--then started the fish baking on low heat, headed to the Y for my workout--then back home by 5:40pm--finished preparing dinner, enjoyed dinner--showered, changed clothes and headed out for rehearsal by 6:37pm.

The good news is, this schedule is VERY temporary--the rehearsal schedule is light (not every night)--and it'll all be finished, performances and all by July 19th.

Doing this play is a positive way for me to celebrate how far I've come while nurturing a core element of who I am and what brings me joy. Why, when I'm already busy and have so many other things I want to accomplish, would I take on a role in another play? 

It all goes back to the "Epiphany Day" (May 15th and 19th, 2014) posts. This is a happiness thing. It wells up happiness inside me.  

Speaking of happiness, it's Throwback Thursday!!
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#TBT ---Official preview photos of the Daddy-Daughter Wedding Day Reveal from Touch of Wonder Photography (www.touchofwonderphotography.com) Shauna Meyer is one incredibly talented photographer! Side note: Shauna has lost an incredible amount of weight over the years. Her personal transformation is outstanding. Oh, and one more thing--the picture where I have my head on her shoulder--yeah--that's pretty much an all out sob. Couldn't help it. It was an awesome cry. Amber is stunningly beautiful. These moments found me looking at her and realizing this is it, this is a closing of one chapter and the opening of another for her...and the flashbacks to her birth and important milestones along the way, kept flowing through my brain. 

I plan on writing more about my maintenance plan tomorrow night and over the weekend.

My Tweets Today:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June 24th, 2015 Between Then and Now

June 24th, 2015 Between Then and Now

I was planning on posting an excerpt from Tuesday November 16th, 2010. That was the day I hit my goal of 230 pounds. I wanted to find and read a contrast in perception between then and now. Instead of posting an excerpt, I'll just report what I found back there in that archived post.

First of all, I had stopped doing daily blog updates well before hitting goal, in August 2010, as a matter of fact. I only posted five blog updates the entire month of November 2010. My commitment was waning, the importance level wasn't as high and it clearly showed.  That "Goooaaaaal" blog page was written like a big finale celebration. I did it-- and let's take a trip back and remember blah, blah, blah...

Sure--the coolest part of it was the comments from my daughters, that was very special, but the rest of it was confetti, balloons and an overwhelming vibe of  'I did it and I'm done. I finally got here.'

I maintained for one and a half years after that day. I suppose the motivation and support--the writing of my book and all of that kept me somewhat occupied. The writing of the book also included weekly sessions with Life Coach Gerri--so likely her support kept me from wandering too far away.

When I started turning my back on it all--that's when the relapse and regain period started. It was a very scary process. Scary, because at times I seriously thought it might be impossible to recover. I felt I was that far gone. I was lonely, sad, angry, depressed, embarrassed and feeling hopeless for the change I once declared a choice. It didn't feel like a choice I was capable of making, ever again. 

I would hide, isolating into a world where it was just me and the food. Aside from work and occasional family stuff, the only other personal interactions came with the unwitting drive through employees of my favorite binge stops. These friendly fast food workers thought they were simply handing me dinner...nah, they became my dealers.

I thank God for the people who stayed with me throughout the struggles, the prayers, the thoughts, the wishes and good vibes, it all helped.

Before this starts taking on an "I did it, I'm done" feel, let me just say this:

This doesn't end. There isn't a finish line. The time spent losing is very small compared to the amount of time making up the rest of the life I pray is ahead of me.

I weighed today:
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Here we are, once again below what was my original goal. The relapse/regain weight is gone.

And although getting back below 230 wasn't the stated goal at the beginning of this turnaround--I can't keep it from being an unspoken goal of sorts. It felt incredibly awesome seeing 228.4 on that scale. But it doesn't define me. I'll never tether my self-worth and identity to a number, ever again.

My biggest goal isn't a number. The biggest goal for me is my continued recovery. My goal each day is to maintain the integrity of my food plan, including my abstinence from sugar. My goal includes actively giving and receiving support every day. My goal each day also includes keeping the accountability measures solid. 

None of this is a given. If ever I decide to turn my back on the recovery practices bringing me this far--in other words, if I ever try to live someone else's normal, then it'll quickly fall apart, again.

So what will be different moving forward? More calories--maybe two or three hundred more a day, I haven't decided just yet...and that's okay. It'll take some experimenting to find a good balance. And I will challenge myself to try some new things in the exercise department.

I'm, of course, continuing the blog each night. The most important days, in my opinion--are ahead. The maintaining part--finding that groove, that's a very big deal and I look forward to exploring it in these daily pages.

I'll continue to weigh every three weeks. My accountability food, exercise and water tweets will continue as well. It's not going to look too much different than the last fourteen months. And that's the critical difference between then and now. It's love. It's acceptance. It's my normal. I embrace it.

My Tweets Today:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

June 23rd, 2015 Digging My Normal

June 23rd, 2015 Digging My Normal

I wasn't feeling 100% better early this morning as I slowly made it back to work. No fever, so I needed to be there. My original plan of leaving early didn't work out and it turned out to be fine, because as the day progressed, I felt progressively better.

I enjoyed some really good food today. My dinner tonight turned out to be a case of my eyes being bigger than my stomach (see the tweet below). I ended up not eating several ounces, adjusted the calorie count down and was fine. The lower dinner count made for a bigger #lastfoodofday!

Tomorrow is weigh day. Tomorrow could very well be the day I return to my previous goal weight of 230. As much as I write about not necessarily having a goal weight this time around, I can't help but feel a sense of "goal weight weigh day" coming on.

It makes sense. During my initial 275 loss, I was focused on the number 230 from the very beginning. Don't ask me how I knew it would be a good weight for me, a healthy weight, because I don't know. A good guess, I suppose. It is a good weight for me. But it may not be where I settle.

I feel fine, I love the way my clothes fit, I do double and triple takes when I see my reflection in a window--because it seems even smaller than it did before. Throughout my relapse/regain period, I noticed the weight gain happens in different places on the body. It only makes sense that it's lost differently too, especially considering my more consistent workout schedule and the light amount of weight training.

I don't believe I have too much left to lose, really, if any. Increased workout plans, continuing to eat well and basically doing what I've been doing--with perhaps some added calories, may result in more weight loss--or, when I commit to a much bigger weight training plan, a weight gain.

I don't know. And really, I think it's okay to not know, right now. The most important thing for me, I believe, is to maintain--not weight; maintain the fundamental elements of my recovery.

For me, I truly believe if I maintain these elements--the abstinence from sugar, the application of recovery principles--the support and accountability measures and the solid and sacred reverence for my overall food sobriety--then the maintenance will essentially take care of itself.

If I let go of what's brought me this far (I have ZERO thoughts and plans to do that), then I'm destined to struggle and regain. One day at a time, I'll embrace my normal. I'm actually digging my normal. And I'm not sure I could have honestly typed that onto the page fifteen months ago.

I maintained the fundamental elements of my recovery, today. I'll do my best to do the same, tomorrow. 

My Tweets Today:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,

Monday, June 22, 2015

June 22nd, 2015 Super-Whiny Sickly Boy

June 22nd, 2015 Super-Whiny Sickly Boy

I opened my eyes this morning and immediately knew something wasn't right. I didn't sleep well (which is unusual these days) and I quickly realized why. I felt horrible. I made a trip to the necessary room (I'll spare you the details--but let's just say I've spent the day trying to identify any possible dietary culprit.) I made the last minute decision to take a sick day from work, stay home--and feel better.

I'm not good at being sick. I have a low tolerance for any kind of this stuff and when I have it, I get super-whiny. Ask Irene, my ex-wife! She'll tell ya all about it! I turn into a fussy little toddler. Super-Whiny Sickly Boy isn't attractive, I assure you--in any way, shape or form. I'm not proud of it.

I cancelled everything on my schedule today. I really didn't have a choice. I'm very lucky that I have pros backing me up when needed!

I've rested quite a bit today--and I'm headed back to bed now. Unless I wake with a raging fever--I must go to work tomorrow. There's too much to get done!

The good news is, I'm feeling considerably better at the moment. Not sure the source of this crud--but it is that...uhg. More rest is in order.

My Tweets Today:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,

Sunday, June 21, 2015

June 21st, 2015 I'm Fearful

June 21st, 2015 I'm Fearful

I'm a little embarrassed, actually, about how I handled the whole anonymous comment thing yesterday. My sensitivity level is much less these days, it really is.

Still, as I discovered yesterday, I'm very human and can get super sensitive really fast, especially if it's over something I care a great deal about. If there's an element of truth in it and I feel lacking in that particular area, yes--I'm quick to get defensive and overreact. 

The element of truth from yesterday's post wasn't the "thin and perfect" part. I'm not that! The element of truth was the fact that I've had several posts lately where I got behind and didn't communicate/interact in the comments section.

Keeping a line of communication open and interacting--answering questions and simply saying thank you, IS VERY important to me. I've dropped the ball in that department of late. And I'll do better.

In the comments section of yesterday's post, I learned that the anonymous poster, whom I assumed was a passer-by, unfamiliar with what I'm about---turned out to be a long time reader and supporter, invested enough to pray for me during my disappearance from these pages a few years ago.

The comment I made a big deal out of wasn't meant in a mean spirited way. It was tongue in cheek, playful--instead I chose to take it pointed, hurtful and literal. Then, after allowing myself to get all up in a tizzy--I took it to the blog and made an even bigger deal about it. I made a mistake.

You know, sometimes it's too easy to take ourselves a little too seriously. The hope is, to be able to recognize this before it turns into something worthy of apologizing for later.

It's all in the perspective we choose, right?

I still don't know who the anonymous reader was and that's okay. I accused them of being judgmental and assumptive--yet, that's exactly what I was doing to them. Interesting, huh?

It was an honest mistake. I hope they come back and visit. The most important part of this entire journey is straight ahead.
So what's been bothering me lately? Honestly, I'm feeling very happy. But at the same time, vulnerable.

This increased feeling of vulnerability really started when I revealed the loose skin pictures. And it's strange, because I'm at a seemingly great place with that. I sat poolside last night with my shirt off in front of people--and cars driving by on the four lane just outside the pool. Truly, I've grown.

But still, it (sharing those photos) was a new level of letting go and being okay with me, all of me--and I'm finding it's something best done a little at a time...at least, for me. 

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 given...so 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.
 photo With Amber fathers day_zpstmofv4ys.jpg
I had a wonderful Father's Day! Amber took me out for lunch. We enjoyed a bunch of laughs, great conversation and good food! And of course--some selfies! I spoke with Courtney via phone and she wished me a Happy Father's Day. Courtney and I will see one another tomorrow, instead of today. I'm very blessed and grateful to be the father for two of the most loving, beautiful and smart young ladies. I'm lucky beyond measure.

I enjoyed some great food today, exceeded my water goal by 32oz, exercised like a beast on the elliptical and stayed active in giving and receiving support. I maintained the integrity of my food plan and I made the time to give thanks for the tremendous blessings in my life. I would have to say, it's been a really good day.

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Thank you for reading and your continued support,

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