Yesterday was a 4-star day: I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.
Last night on the week 1 support group call, a new member mentioned the AOL story that featured me from July 2010--and how it was that article that introduced her to me and this blog. Then another member said the same thing. I also know it was that same article from almost nine years ago that connected me with Life Coach Gerri Helms. There are many others who have become regular readers of this blog and followers of what I do because of AOL's feature. I would venture to guess that out of all the media happenings over the last decade, including the Today Show, the headline "Man Loses 258 Pounds and Never Eats A Salad" from the AOL article has blessed me in the most profound ways. I'm immensely grateful for the connections it helped create. In many cases, life-changing connections!
I want to thank Kyle for a wonderful comment and a good book recommendation on Tuesday's edition. Also, congrats Kyle on your own positive progress!! Kyle writes:
To me, your blog is the first one with this kind of approach to obesity. Even doctors and dieticians not always are saying that it's like an addiction and that you're an addict. All specialist that I encountered were saying that I have to change everything now, I have to drop the majority of food that I'm eating. Being addicted and doing this without any support is impossible! For Christmas I got a book by Jennifer Morris "The Just Cut IT Method", from the title I thought that this is another crazy diet, but my friend told me that I should read it. That was the first time when I saw that losing weight is not about eating less and starving, it's all about taking your time and slowly, with very little steps changing your lifestyle. I consulted this approach with another doctor, who also recommended me joining the therapy. 4 months later I'm slowly losing my weight, so far without any relapse and not feeling hungry. Thanks to therapy I constantly getting more strength to sustain in those changes. Thanks to your blog I know that everything is possible :) You are doing really great work here!
Since I often share food pics and social media food posts, it can sometimes seem like I'm making it all about the food. And it isn't! What's interesting about this is, if you ask anyone who has worked one on one or in my support groups with me, they'll tell you--my approach is centered on the non-food elements. The biggest determining factors, in my opinion, are the perspectives we bring to the approach, in other words, the mental/emotional/spiritual side of things. That's the real work. Those things along with strong accountability measures plus surrounding ourselves with people "in the same lifeboat," help make the kind of life-changing differences I've experienced over the last decade-plus.
The food pictures and social media posts come from the same spirit of that AOL headline from way back when: If this is going to be something I can sustain long-term, it must be something I can enjoy and embrace. Developing a personal trigger list, identifying certain food substances (refined sugar for me) that once I start it's almost impossible to stop eating, creating a list of foods you can and do enjoy, and giving that food plan the time, attention, and space it needs to evolve naturally, is paramount. The point is, even with the boundaries needed for me to remain well, I can still enjoy the food. If I can enjoy it then I can embrace it on a daily basis. If I'm not constantly resisting the food plan that helps keep me well, then I'm able to give the time and attention to the bigger things mentioned above.
The biggest barrier to this approach, in my experience, is that old tape that was recorded over a lifetime that says, these are the things you should eat if you want to lose weight. The bottom line is this: Whatever the food plan boundaries you create--the litmus test is this: Are you using food as a drug? If the answer is no, then your food plan is likely a good fit for you! Also, are you creating a food plan you can evolve and enjoy the rest of your life? Or is it more of a temporary means to an end?
Of course, not using food like a drug has much more to do with how we deal with emotions, stress, and if you're like me, the powerful addiction dynamic. Seeking out ways to effectively sort out and work through those kinds of triggers is essential. Connecting with people who "get it" and getting into a recovery mindset and practice is a game changer.
Honestly, this blog post barely scratches the surface. So much of what we do is determined by how we feel about ourselves. If we have a lifetime tape creating negative head chatter that constantly tells us we're not good enough, we're not worthy of good things, we can't do this, and we'll never "get" this, then we've got major work to do in changing the inner dialogue. Why do you think I'm making therapy an important thing for me right now? I need it!!! I am because I often struggle with the mental/emotional/spiritual side of things-- and as mentioned above, those are the most critically important things along this road. It's always about progress, not perfection.
The great news is, there's tremendous hope. Never, ever, ever give up.
I took a vacation day from the studio. I'm working on music for a wedding I'm doing this weekend and preparing a setlist for a standup comedy performance I'm doing tomorrow night. I needed a day!
Better- with 248g refined sugar-free all-natural marinara. #yumtastic #cooking pic.twitter.com/kRi9qv1wm7— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) April 25, 2019
Finished plate. 2oz whole grain wheat spaghetti, 248g refined sugar-free marinara, and 6oz 93% lean beef mini-meatballs. 605 cal. pic.twitter.com/Jp26e6g3lK— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) April 25, 2019
Thank you for reading and your continued support,Practice, peace, and calm,
If you're interested in connecting via social media:
I accept friend requests on MyFitnessPal. My daily food logging diary is set to public.
MFP Username: SeanAAnderson
My Twitter: SeanAAnderson
Also--I'd love you to subscribe to my podcast Transformation Planet! You can find it in Apple Podcasts, in the Google Play store for Android, and listed wherever you find your favorite podcasts! If you haven't listened before, you'll find 20 episodes waiting for you!
Questions or comments? Send an email! firstname.lastname@example.org