Saturday, August 31, 2019

August 30th and 31st, 2019 Support Chat

August 30th and 31st, 2019 Support Chat

Thursday and Yesterday were 4-star days: I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

The past couple of days have been challenging, schedule-wise--and that can make everything else challenging. My sleep Thursday night was interrupted by Mother Nature shortly after 2am Friday morning. I was on the air at the studio by 2:30am and by the time the storms had passed, it was time to do my morning show. But I've managed as well as possible. I haven't hit everything I wanted to do in the last couple of days, but I'm okay.

I rely heavily on my phone. I use it for just about everything I do. From my radio job to my social media, to support connections, to my personal plan practice each day...so imagine my distress when the Facebook app stopped allowing me access to the station pages I use during location broadcasts? The fix turned out to be a major stressor. I first tried deleting the app and reinstalling it. It wouldn't download. It was determined that I needed to update my device to the latest iOS for iPhone--then it would download and everything would be hunky-dory. Okay...I'll fast forward... after hours and hours of my phone staying stuck on "verifying update," and me occasionally doing a hard reboot--with each time it taking longer and longer to turn on, I was quickly losing hope. At one point it showed the opening Apple logo screen for more than an hour. I spent nearly two hours with Apple support chat this morning working through a solution.

This entire time, I was doing my best to manage the anxiety of feeling disconnected--not in general, it's fine and actually, a great thing to take a device break, but feeling disconnected from support contacts, for me, is a different story. 

Finally, I had to take my backup device and head off to the broadcast from a place called Apple Market. Funny, I know! It's a grocery store. It took a team effort to make the broadcast work. A colleague picked up an extra charger on the way to the location and another, who was 100 miles away on a weekend getaway took responsibility for social media support of the event--with me texting them verbiage and pictures for the postings.

I didn't have time for a meal prior to the broadcast. My backup plan was some cheese and a banana at my broadcast. I enjoyed a good meal when I made it home. The best part was when I got home--the phone was finished updating and all was well once again. Thank goodness. I've used the same device for almost four years. If I can stretch that out another year, I will. I recently had the battery and the headphone/power jack replaced--so with this new update and things working like they're designed, another year shouldn't be a problem!

I was very tired too. Lack of sleep the past few nights caught up with me. I decided to seize the opportunity to grab some rest. 

My goodness! On a better note, I picked up some good food at the store--and they always extend me the employee discount when I broadcast there-- so it's awesome! The cantaloupe I purchased is one of the best I've had. I'm hoping the watermelon turns out to be as good.

My food plan is working well, however, my exercise schedule hasn't worked as well lately. I'll work on that! In the meantime, all things considered--I'm grateful to be where I am. And my device works like a new phone now. I probably shouldn't wait so long to update to new software!





My new website shares a phone number with my podcast, Transformation Planet, and it's always available for you! Have a question about anything discussed on this blog or heard on the podcast? Text me! Do you have a question about your own plan practice? Text it! 580-491-2228 I'll text you back!

Do you own an "I'm Choosing Change" wristband? This wristband can serve as a powerful awareness/mindfulness tool! It certainly does for me. I wear mine proudly, daily, and more and more people are joining me in this movement! You can now order yours directly from my new website! Here's the link to the wristbands: Click HERE!

Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Practice, peace, and calm,
Sean

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
Facebook: www.facebook.com/seananderson505
Instagram: 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! transformation.road@gmail.com

Thursday, August 29, 2019

August 29th, 2019 I Blush

August 29th, 2019 I Blush

Yesterday was a 4-star day: I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

I envision how I want the day to go each morning. A lot of times it doesn't necessarily go exactly in line with that visualization--but I can pivot and meet the day, so to speak. Yesterday was one of those days when it all unfolded as I imagined. Those are golden to me. I enjoyed it! Received a DM this morning from a regular Instagram follower who noticed my #whatsfordinner post wasn't posted last night. I had the same meal (without cheese this time) as Sunday night, so I skipped the post! I still took the picture! But didn't post it. It was most convenient for me after a long day.

Today's been a really busy one, but a good one, for sure! I worked through lunch, worked late--then needed to go back to the studio at 5pm for what turned out to be a one-hour client recording session. I ended up with two big meals and my coffee today. I was thinking about adding some calories a little later--but I'm full. I think I'll just let a low-calorie day be a low-calorie day.

I had a midmorning meeting with a client today at a coffee shop. Their number one specialty drink is one they named after me--and that's a wonderful honor. It's a strange dynamic I do at work--it's my job to promote things like this--and I do my job well, and if I'm doing it well, you'd never know anything about my personal boundary with whatever food or drink I'm advertising for our clients.

Now, just to be clear, I didn't name this drink or create the recipe--and I'll spare you the details of the indulgent creation, but it's called the "Sweet On Sean." I blush a little every time I say the name. I do take a strange measure of pride in the fact that it's their top-selling specialty drink.

Anyway, the barista on duty brought over a complimentary specialty drink and sat it in front of me, saying, "They tell me you don't do sugar, but you can try it this one time." I didn't of course. I did thank her for the drink--and passed it on to someone else. She doesn't know me well and that's okay! One of the people in the meeting who does know me very well rushed to my defense, saying, "You don't violate that rule, do you?" No, I don't. If I do, there's no telling how long I'd be off the rails.

I don't make a big deal explaining my plan practice, at all, usually not even a little bit. But I did say that in response to her question. It happens occasionally. Yesterday I was gifted donuts by a guest on my radio show. I passed those along to the office staff upstairs. One thing to remember-- it isn't will power that keeps me from eating and drinking these things. I'm not in any way at all bragging about my ability to turn them down either. It is simply a reflection of the recovery perspective (as imperfect as that is for me most days) I must carry into each day in order to remain well. 

I've received many questions about my abstinence from refined sugar. Hardly a week passes where I don't receive at least one question about this topic.

To better understand my path to abstinence, it's important to start from the beginning. The following is an excerpt from a previous post where I spent some time explaining this topic as it applies to my experience: 

This was one of the biggest points of contention for me since I started losing weight in 2008.
I lost 275 pounds eating all forms of refined sugar, all within reasonable portions at appropriate times. Using prior success as a reference, It made it very hard to get to a place of acceptance for abstinence, where I am now. (Almost five and half years refined sugar-free)

How did I stay consistent during my initial weight loss as long as I did, despite all the sugary foods in moderation?

In hindsight, I clearly see how my support and accountability system importance level was set so high, I didn't dare give in to the struggle, temptation and the obsessive like attraction to "getting more."

There were a lot of prayers and meditation--surrounding myself with people, instead of isolating--and connecting as much as possible with a variety of support sources.

When I basically abandoned almost every support and accountability component I had leaned on for so long--then it was a very different dynamic. Suddenly I was dramatically weakened.

When the biochemical reactions of sugar addiction swirled through my brain, I followed its lead without question--as if possessed. I traded one struggle for another. Instead of struggling against the compulsions to binge, I gave in--then struggled with the regret, shame, and embarrassment associated with weight gain and the guilt associated with doing the very things I wanted to be diametrically opposed.

I was very much NOT wanting to let go of the sugar or, the option to enjoy it occasionally in portioned doses...

My denial was slowly revealed and chipped away by learning.

I kept researching the effects of sugar, specifically the addictive nature of it, and then as if I was destined to hear--I kept having conversations with people in recovery from food addiction---people who have what I want--years of maintenance behind them--and 100% of them said the same thing in relation to sugar and how it creates a biochemical reaction in our pleasure sensors---and then sets off the addictive cycle of, "I gotta have more and NOW!!!!" Every single long term maintenance person I spoke with had abstinence from refined sugar in common. Every single one.

Once I gave it an honest commitment, I finally experienced what everyone was talking and writing about. The most amazing benefits I once thought were impossible to find for me--were changing me in the most wonderful ways.

No biochemical-addiction-driven binges and no urges to binge.

It doesn't "fix" the pull toward emotional/stress eating, but that's a post for another day.

The abstinent described a feeling--the peace, the calm, the clarity---the solid foundation making it easier for all other nutritional decisions...but still until I actually committed to the effort needed to personally "test" it, it was like they were speaking a foreign language.

I do recognize that I have a similar and many ways stronger support and accountability system in place now--but even still--I'm not fighting to maintain control. There's a peace and calm about my approach that I'm absolutely in love with.  If trading refined sugar for this feeling is the deal...then I'll sign a lifetime contract. That's the long answer to my perspective.

Will I ever go back to eating refined sugar-laden things? I pray I never do. My short answer is no, I don't plan on ever going back. I now know, understand and appreciate what I must do in order to stay abstinent.  I also know that if I ever decide to abandon the principles and practices of my personal recovery, I'll surely go straight back to the very familiar reality of an unmanageable and chaotic existence.

It's important to note that fortunately, not everyone is a food and/or sugar addict. For some, the basic fundamentals of eating less, exercising more and developing an "in moderation" approach to food is the answer. I wanted it to be my answer. And as much as I wanted to wish it into being--summoning the law of attraction and constantly telling myself I was someone who could be okay with a non-addict approach to recovery--I finally realized it wasn't me.

And it's okay. I'm okay. I'm no longer trying to be someone else's normal. This is my normal.

And I have a wonderful, rich and fulfilling life ahead of me without refined sugar.

The acceptance of and fully embracing my personal truth of addiction, along with some life-changing epiphanies about identity and self-worth, help keep me in a positive place most days.

I love this feeling and I pray I never trade it for anything.

Truth is, for me, all it takes for that transaction to happen is one bite, one drink--one time. 

I'm happily abstinent from refined sugar.

Oh--and the thing about not using will power? Will power is used to not do something we really want to do. If you don't want to do something, it doesn't take will power to not do it. I'm deathly afraid of heights. I don't want to jump out of an airplane--and I won't, and it doesn't take willpower to keep me from doing it! I don't want to go back to living as a 500-pound man, either. I don't live in fear of that possibility, rather, I live with a healthy respect for the fragility of it all. One bite, one drink--one time, for me, is like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute. 

And if I did jump, maybe, eventually, I'd signal to someone that I'm in trouble and perhaps they would dive down to me--grab ahold of me and then their parachute would help pull me up, saving me from certain death. But I'd rather not take that chance.

One day at a time, my friend. It's not guaranteed. All I have is this daily practice of things.

My new website shares a phone number with my podcast, Transformation Planet, and it's always available for you! Have a question about anything discussed on this blog or heard on the podcast? Text me! Do you have a question about your own plan practice? Text it! 580-491-2228 I'll text you back!

Do you own an "I'm Choosing Change" wristband? This wristband can serve as a powerful awareness/mindfulness tool! It certainly does for me. I wear mine proudly, daily, and more and more people are joining me in this movement! You can now order yours directly from my new website! Here's the link to the wristbands: Click HERE!

Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Practice, peace, and calm,
Sean

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
Instagram: 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! transformation.road@gmail.com

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

August 28th, 2019 Freedom In That Choice

August 28th, 2019 Freedom In That Choice

Yesterday was a 5-star day: I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, I enjoyed a great workout on the elliptical, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

It felt great to have a day where the plan unfolded as planned. I didn't need to pivot yesterday, not once--and it was so nice!

If you're a longtime reader of this blog, then you know this whole thing is about much more than food and exercise. Doing "the work," to me, means having a willingness to look at things from deeper perspectives. To truly change the code of our patterns, I believe, we must deconstruct the old deeply ingrained mental models and reconstruct them from the ground up. This work, for it to work, requires an importance level turned up all the to eleven.

Breaking away from lifelong patterns is serious business. A casual, half-hearted approach doesn't stand a chance against the decades of experience that have carved grooves in our brain. 

I believe we're on our way to an imaginary line, where suddenly we're not eating less and exercising more solely as a means to lose weight--we're doing it because it's what we do, it's how we live---and suddenly it becomes much less of a burden or deliberate action, it just IS. 

We discover that it doesn't take anything away from the richness of our lives--or the joy we experience, as our struggling thoughts might have convinced us--contrary, it enriches us, empowers us---breaks us free into a new perspective where we realize our greater truth, our truest reality about our relationship with food and exercise.

Like coming out of the dense fog, we clearly see food for what it is, not what our old behaviors and habits tried to make it.

Now, I look at the earlier, deliberate phase as practice for what's ahead--because I know the biggest obstacle to crossing this line and keeping this new perspective are my thoughts, emotions, and spiritual health. These, without question, are the most powerful elements. 

I've discovered, thoughts and emotions can effectively render breakthroughs powerless, pulling us back over the line, as if a gravitational pull exists between our old perspectives and the freedoms we've enjoyed in the new.

At this place we find ourselves in a position where we know the truth, we've experienced the freedom--and we have to decide: Do we surrender? Do we give back all of the power it had over us for years? Do we walk back into our cell and close the door? Or do we stand up, declare our freedom and break free toward progress once again? 

It's a powerful choice we have and our most definitive answer isn't found in what we say or what we know, it's always found in what we do.

It's so much easier to give it all back. 

In that cell, we simply exist--surrounded by the same old behaviors and habits that have consistently given us our reality. It's easy because we don't have to think about anything--we just do whatever--despite the consequences. There's a freedom in that choice.

It's the freedom from personal responsibility--freedom from caring---freedom from the uncertainties of positive change and a deliberate disconnect from the impending and most certain negative changes our inaction fosters. That kind of freedom comes at a much greater cost.

It costs us our health, it cuts short our life, it dramatically decreases the richness/fullness of our existence...and it's so easy to do, effortless to accept because it doesn't require us to change our actions or perspective. 

Our quickest exit from that most expensive form of freedom relies heavily on our self-awareness and honesty about what we're doing and why.

The positive efforts we exert repays us exponentially in ways we haven't even realized until we're there; living, breathing and benefiting from our daily practice of choices. The freedoms we enjoy from the consequences of our efforts far outweigh the freedoms of inaction. 

It honestly comes down to this: What kind of freedoms do we truly want?





My new website shares a phone number with my podcast, Transformation Planet, and it's always available for you! Have a question about anything discussed on this blog or heard on the podcast? Text me! Do you have a question about your own plan practice? Text it! 580-491-2228 I'll text you back!

Do you own an "I'm Choosing Change" wristband? This wristband can serve as a powerful awareness/mindfulness tool! It certainly does for me. I wear mine proudly, daily, and more and more people are joining me in this movement! You can now order yours directly from my new website! Here's the link to the wristbands: Click HERE!

Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Practice, peace, and calm,
Sean

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
Facebook: www.facebook.com/seananderson505
Instagram: 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! transformation.road@gmail.com

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

August 27th, 2019 Recipe For Stuck

August 27th, 2019 Recipe For Stuck

Yesterday was a 4-star day: I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

My plans for last night were interrupted by Mother Nature. I knew the chance for severe weather existed, I was just hoping it would skip on by us. Abrupt changes in the schedule happen when you do what I do for a living. I'm sure there are many professions that can relate to this. I've learned to pivot and be okay with the changes. Another day awaits and the opportunity to make a plan that goes well will be there.

When the changes are out of my control, it's easier to handle. When the changes are the product of my own resistance, unwillingness, or mood, that takes a little bit more effort to analyze and be okay with it all. The tendency to beat me up for those occurrences can rob me of the energy and focus I need to fashion a different approach that can work better. I'm experiencing some positive progress in this area and it's helping me move forward in areas where I've felt stuck.

I've written a lot about the "perfect start day" over the last eleven years and how releasing this perceived requirement helped me get on a course toward incredible changes. The issue I have is my tendency to compartmentalize this perspective. Releasing the need for a "perfect start day" where my food behaviors are concerned has certainly made a positive impact on my life. However, to this day, I tend to get into that mental barrier in other areas of my life.

The perfect day is always today. The biggest barrier is in thinking that everything must be "figured out" first, before starting. The perfect day, waiting for the perfect plan is a recipe for stuck. The smallest of starts get us unstuck.

From the archives:
It's Monday of a brand new week on the first day of a brand new month!! It's funny, really-- all the years I made a day like this "THE DAY" it all changes. A day like today always stood out to me on the calendar. It's a perfect "start" day! Monday and the first day of the month!! Any day we determine to be "the day" is great--it's wonderful really, changes starts now. But as I look back I can see where this mindset of the perfect "start day" also helped keep me stuck. How? Well...

When I was dead set on having the perfect start day before beginning any kind of personal commitment--and I didn't do as well as I intended, then I'd scrap it and wait until the next perfect start day. It might be postponed a week until the next Monday, or maybe until after a special event, or perhaps I'd get lost into thinking next month might be a better time to start.

Needing the perfect start day became a barrier in front of my positive progress many many many times.

The perfect time is always now.

From deeper in the archives:
Excerpt from December 2009-- Keep in my mind, I've experienced and learned a lot since this was written, specifically about how I needed a recovery mindset rather than a diet mentality mindset--but note, the following still applies--and even though it was written less than a year and a half into this decade-long experience, you can see shades of this realization in the words:

If our ideal weight loss path is something that we can live with forever if the changes in our food behaviors are real and well-intended, then why wouldn't anytime be a good time to start? You know why? Because I always looked at weight loss as a chore. 

We've been conditioned our entire lives to believe that losing weight 'is hard work.' I was never successful before, truly successful because I never focused on the positive mental changes I needed to make in order to ease the “pain.” All I focused on back then was how hard it would be...eat less and exercise more, what a struggle that'll be.

It's amazing what a different perspective can do for you. I'm still going to eat and enjoy food, I'm just going to eat responsible portions and perhaps move a little more every day. I'm going to learn what constitutes a “regular” portion, I'm going to enjoy the journey. I'm going to experience some wonderful changes along the way. I'm going to be happy. All the while---I'm still eating what I love, I'm still being me. I don't have to wait for the stars to align properly, you know? Positive perspective, awesome attitude, super high importance level---add them all together and you get success any time of year.

What's also interesting to me is how the tendency to use the "perfect day" motivation still lives in me. As I drifted off last night I was thinking of a few things that need a double down commitment--and low and behold, this "it's Monday and October 1st" came to mind. Old habits, right?

One thing is for sure-- regardless of the date, the practice continues. And if it isn't perfect (doesn't need to be), then I will not scrap it and wait until the next "perfect day." I'll evaluate and make necessary changes now, not relieve myself from the responsibility of change until it looks good on a calendar.

My new website shares a phone number with my podcast, Transformation Planet, and it's always available for you! Have a question about anything discussed on this blog or heard on the podcast? Text me! Do you have a question about your own plan practice? Text it! 580-491-2228 I'll text you back!

Do you own an "I'm Choosing Change" wristband? This wristband can serve as a powerful awareness/mindfulness tool! It certainly does for me. I wear mine proudly, daily, and more and more people are joining me in this movement! You can now order yours directly from my new website! Here's the link to the wristbands: Click HERE!

Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Practice, peace, and calm,
Sean

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
Facebook: www.facebook.com/seananderson505
Instagram: 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! transformation.road@gmail.com





Copyright © 2008-2019 Sean A. Anderson

The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser. All rights reserved.