Monday, December 18, 2017

December 18th, 2017 Very Early

December 18th, 2017 Very Early

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed connected with good support.

I enjoyed a little fun in the kitchen tonight. I really enjoy preparing a good on-plan meal. Tonight's dinner (see Tweet below) is currently one of my favorites!

I've picked something from the archives tonight. It's more than eight years old. It shows the enthusiasm--and the very common desire and need to "tell you how this works." Bless my 37-year-old heart! I had a bunch to learn at this very early stage. Still, I stand behind most of what I shared on that night's edition, so long ago...

Excerpt from eight years ago--March 2009:
I take pride in this blog and I hope it shows. Writing this blog every night has been key in my continuing education of me about me. Make sense? That's why I highly recommend writing everyday while you're on a similar journey. It doesn't have to be as elaborate as this blog, you don't have to make it a daily five-paragraph essay. I just enjoy writing and communicating my thoughts in this way. You could simply write down a short paragraph in a journal every night. Share it with your family or friends, or keep it private. The number one rule of your journal/diary/blog, whatever you want to call it, should be 100% complete honesty with yourself. If you find yourself writing fiction, it's not going to do you any good. If you feel weak, write about it. If you feel strong, write about it. If you battled a very tough craving that you knew would exceed your calorie budget, write about it. If you cheat, write about it. If you slack on your workout, write about it. Honesty is key. Dig deep, write about how you're feeling each day. Your thoughts and emotions play a super big role in your success or failure. Writing about them can help you dissect those thoughts and emotions for a better understanding of why they make you do the things you do. 

If you're a macho man and you think this writing exercise is “girly,” get over it and get in touch with your behaviors and emotions, because they will make or break you no matter how big, tough, and macho you might be. I've said from early on, the mental workouts are as important and really, more important than the physical workouts. But what is a mental workout or exercise? It's time you make for you to think. 

Sometimes, you don't even have to “make” the time, just do it while driving, or before bed, or while you walk. It's imperative that you squeeze in some time for you and your thoughts to get to know each other better. I speak from experience. 

You know good and well I'm not a doctor of any kind, and I haven't been formally educated in psychology, all I have is what I've experienced, what I do, and what I've naturally discovered along this journey. Make this mission the most important thing you've ever done in life. If you only have 20 pounds to lose, maybe you think that's being a little over-dramatic, it's not. It doesn't matter if it's 20 or 200 pounds, if you want to break free from it, you have to make it a top priority at all times. 

Not practicing this is what leads to rationalizing bad choices. “It's just one quad stacker with extra cheese and six bacon strips, it's not that big of a deal,” yes it is! Top priority at all times! Ask yourself what you really want out of life, and be honest. Sometimes people get so overwhelmed with the mere thought of losing weight and what they think it will require, that they get rebellious at the thought. A friend of ours recently proclaimed “I like being a fat girl, and I'm going to keep right on being a fat girl!” 

I don't believe for one second that she really means that. She's endured the emotional pain of being fat her entire life, deep down, if she's being completely honest, she knows that statement is nonsense. 

Don't ever interpret “you've got to love yourself,” as “you've got to love yourself as you are.” Love yourself enough to get down to your ideal weight and be the healthiest you can be. That's where I'm headed. Be honest enough with yourself to identify excuses and rationalizations, then stop them from derailing your efforts. I've learned that I can be my best friend or worst enemy, being honest about my thoughts and motives is the only way to tell the difference.

I use my calories each day like they're cash money. I'm handed 1,500 calories to spend however I want each day. If I want them to last throughout the entire day, then I have to budget them accordingly. If I want to blow them all by 1pm, then I have to live broke the rest of the day, because the Calorie Bank and Trust will be closed until the next morning. 

I'll eat whatever I want, I will and do, but using this approach forces me to make better “calorie value” choices. This cautious budgeting is what causes me to say “no butter” and “easy on the sauce, please” and “Mustard instead of mayo” or “Miracle Whip instead of real mayo.” This “calories like cash” method is why I say “hold the honey mustard” on that grilled chicken wrap. On the other hand, it allows me the freedom to say... “sure, I'll take a serving of sour cream on my potato.” Good choices are what it's all about. 

Some people ask me “How do you know the calories in everything?” I don't! I have to read the labels and if I don't have a label to read, say at a restaurant, I ask for a nutrition guide. If a nutrition guide isn't available I Google it. Just type in the food followed by the word calories on the Google home page and you'll find it, it's never failed me yet. Sometimes, if I'm not around a computer and I don't have any way of determining an accurate calorie count before consumption, I'll make the best-educated guess possible. These educated guesses are based on my calorie counting experiences of like items or like ingredients. For example, remember me mentioning that I was completely in the dark about the calories in the stuffed mushrooms at Olive Garden? I made an educated guess of 60 calories for each little mushroom. I honestly thought if anything, I'd be overestimating with 60. Turns out that I was too low. Each one, on average, checks in at 68 calories according to a calorie counting website I found by Google searching those tasty little things. But I was close! 

If you're not comfortable enough with computers to Google search foods, then buy a calorie counting book, a big thick comprehensive one, not the little supermarket checkout booklets, those may not have everything.

Aside from the important mental exercises that are crucial to changing bad behavior patterns, one of the most important things I can say to someone starting on this road to a healthier life is this: Eat! Don't ever look at food as the enemy. Food is our friend. Our bodies need nutrition to properly function. It kills me when someone tells me they're losing weight because “I just don't eat.” How long can you “just not eat?” You have to be big enough to admit that food hasn't been the problem in your obesity struggles, you have been the problem. Food is our friend. I knew that if I really wanted long-term success I had to start having a healthy friendship with food. Some skeptics, the cynics might say... “how many more pounds you have to lose Sean?” “that's what I thought, yeah, listen---why don't you lose it all, then call me in five years and tell me where you are.” OK. I'll do that. 

That's cool. I'm simply saying, that if we change our minds and we embrace a healthy understanding and relationship with food, not just go through the motions needed to lose, I'm talking really change our way of thinking about nutrition and exercise...then how can we go wrong?
The above excerpt was from March 2009.

Boy hardy--I was on a roll!! I had so much more to learn over the years (still do--the learning never stops!). It's interesting to read that excerpt now, knowing how things eventually unfolded, with the relapse/regain and all... and the turnaround from relapse/regain.

One of the best things I've learned is I don't know it all--and if I get into the mindset of thinking I do--oh boy, that's when I stunt my ability to learn and grow---and that's when things can go south very quickly. This is why a daily plan receives my focus and embrace. I have a deep respect for the fragility of it all.

Today's Accountability Tweets:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,

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