Monday, October 16, 2017

October 16th, 2017 The Importance of You

October 16th, 2017 The Importance of You

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

In my experience, it's critically important to take pause for not only deciding on your on-plan approach in particular circumstances but also pausing to remind yourself of the importance of you and how your plan boundaries are set to ultimately take extraordinary care of you. Clearly defining those boundaries has been paramount to the consistency of my plan.  

Maintaining the boundaries of our non-negotiable elements fosters growth in every other area of this process. When we disregard those boundaries, it stunts our growth and the result is often: We feel stuck and feel like we're doing the same thing over and over.

If consistently maintaining the boundaries of our plan is what brings growth and a natural evolution of the plan--and that consistency is what brings about positive progress, then we must first look at the plan--and make sure it's something we can maintain.

If it's too extreme, we're setting ourselves up for disappointment.

But if we start small and with simplicity, and it's something we can work with inside the boundaries of the plan--that's when something magical starts happening. The challenge becomes the action of releasing judgment for what we might perceive to be an imperfect or incomplete plan--when all we're trying to do is get started from a place where consistency is the focus--and trusting that this approach will allow for a natural evolution of our plan. On the opposite side: If we decide we can't move forward unless everything is perfect within some elaborate "ideal" plan, we're setting ourselves up for a serious struggle with starts and stops.

One of the biggest threats to my consistency is emotion/stress levels.

One thing that's really helped me in this area is to examine not only my current state of mind and emotion but also my expectations for food at any particular moment.

Do I expect it to take me away from and improve emotional/stressful circumstances? 

Or Do I expect it to simply provide energy and nourish me physically?

Looking at my own expectations pushes me in the direction I need to make more progress toward handling things in ways that truly work, instead of me constantly relying on and believing that escaping into the food will help.

The food does provide a temporary reprieve from the circumstances at hand, but it's never improved the things I avoid, ever. In fact, when I turn to food for these things, it compounds my issues. I try to remember that often.

My continued recovery depends on a daily practice of my plan. I often refer to the different elements of my plan as my "rails of support." I hold onto those rails every day. If ever I wake and say, "look, no hands," get ready to witness a hard fall.

Today's Accountability Tweets:






























Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Sunday, October 15, 2017

October 15th, 2017 Wonderful Weekend

October 15th, 2017 Wonderful Weekend

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

Hitting the pillow rather early for me- It was a wonderful weekend!
Noah was hot and thirsty-creatively hitting his water goal!



















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

Today's Accountability Tweets:




























Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Saturday, October 14, 2017

October 14th, 2017 All The Way Home

October 14th, 2017 All The Way Home

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

The Oklahoma State University Homecoming Parade was something very special in my childhood. It was an annual event--and it was big. I looked forward to it every year. It was a very cool thing to introduce my grandson Noah to this event this morning. I'll admit, I became a little happy-emotional when his face lit up and the "Oh my gosh" phrase kept rolling off his tongue. I had tears in my eyes for his excitement--and because it took me back forty-three years to when I was that excited little four year old.
Noah cleaned up in the candy collecting department today. It was like Halloween!






















Right before the start...oooh, the anticipation of something grand!!































I don't think he quite knew what to expect, but I think he knew whatever it was, was going to be good. He immediately made a friend (he's so good at making friends) and the two of them watched the parade side by side. It was pretty special!

Lunch out was a little challenging--the place we planned to go was impossible because of the huge crowds all over town, and plan B was the same thing--we ended up with Plan C, and I made it work within my personal plan boundaries. My uncle dropped by to join us, too, and that was very cool.

After some minor shopping (Dollar Tree for Halloween decor--Noah calls it "the Halloween store"), I grabbed a cold brew coffee with half&half for the drive home. I was tired. Noah was tired too, sleeping all the way home.

Noah's back at his house tonight, and I've been relaxing well. I made a fast trip to the grocery store for some fresh catfish filets for tonight's dinner. It's been a little while since I did the "oven fried" routine--so I did. It was a fantastic meal.

Mom absolutely loved the day's activities. It was her idea to attend the parade this year. My schedule has made it impossible the past several years--so when the schedule was open, we made the plans!

I'm returning North tomorrow for another visit with Gerri. I'm really looking forward to the additional visit with her. I've learned so much from her along this road--and there's still more for me to learn! The learning never stops--and that's a wonderful thing!

Today's Accountability Tweets:




























Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Friday, October 13, 2017

October 13th, 2017 Early Alarm

October 13th, 2017 Early Alarm

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

I'm keeping tonight's edition short. It was a really good day! I have Noah with me--and tomorrow, along with grandma, we're going to the big Oklahoma State Homecoming Parade. Early alarm for us!

The tweets take it the rest of the way...

Today's Accountability Tweets:






























Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Thursday, October 12, 2017

October 12th, 2017 Off Work Today

October 12th, 2017 Off Work Today

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

I took off work today and started it by sleeping in fabulously. The downside to doing that, of course: It tilts my schedule--and believe me, tomorrow morning's 4:30am alarm clock will not be well received! I did enjoy the relaxed pace.

I had a nice visit with mom today. Courtney, Lucas, and my two grandsons dropped by during the visit--and that was a wonderful thing. Noah showed up in his pajamas because it was pajama day at his school! He was adorable in his little Mickey Mouse jammies. I didn't get a pic with Noah--he wanted to play with my phone instead. But I did get one with my youngest daughter and soon to be mother of three!



















It's back to work in the morning! Noah is spending the night tomorrow and Saturday we're picking up mom early and traveling to Stillwater for the Oklahoma State University Homecoming Parade. I haven't had the opportunity to experience that parade in several years. As someone who grew up in Stillwater and attended this parade every year of my childhood, I'm super excited about taking my grandson to the experience!

Today's Accountability Tweets:
























Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

October 11th, 2017 Fantastic Time

October 11th, 2017 Fantastic Time

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

My plans changed midday. The lunch with mom had to be changed--I just had more to do before I could leave work for the day. I'm going to enjoy my day off tomorrow. No alarm clock set tonight! 

I met up with my longtime friend, mentor, advisor, coach, and the person who's been along this road with me for over seven years, Gerri Helms!!

Gerri, her husband David, me and Gerri's good friend, Karen, met up at a very nice Mexican restaurant in Wichita, Kansas. The conversation was a joy and the pictures were fun. Since we're so close on the map (rare!), Gerri and I decided we'll meet up again in the coming days before their travels take them further away.

I called the restaurant on the drive to Wichita. It was a place I'd never been, however, it was Mexican and rather upscale, so I assumed my questions would be met with the answers I wanted to hear. My first question is always, "Does your salsa contain refined sugar?" Tony, a very pleasant manager, took the time to answer my questions: "Yes, all of our salsas contain white refined sugar." That wasn't the answer I expected! "Your fajita chicken, same question?" And again, "Yes, it comes pre-marinated and the marinade contains refined sugar." Uh...okay... "What kind of meat could I order without refined sugar?" --"Order the ribeye steak fajitas or the pork fajita meat without sauces and seasonings, and you'll be good." "One more, does your guacamole contain refined sugar?" --"Oh no, of course not!" --"Perfect, thank you for your time and attention!" The entire conversation took about 3 minutes and with that, I was equipped with the information I needed in order to maintain the integrity of my plan. I didn't even need a menu.

Gerri and Me

























David is so cool. We did our best at recreating the statue pose.
I needed a hat!































It was a fantastic time tonight. I'm so glad I took the vacation day tomorrow because it's late! I've planned a fairly calm day for tomorrow. It'll start with sleeping in late!

Today's Accountability Tweets:






























Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

October 10th, 2017 Today Was The Day

October 10th, 2017 Today Was The Day

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

Today was the day! It was a family affair this afternoon in the radiology department of the local hospital. We packed nine of us in the room to witness my oldest daughter's gender reveal ultrasound. I was surprised the hospital allowed us all back there, but they did. It was very cool. And...drumroll please.............it's a baby girl! My youngest daughter recently had an ultrasound for another purpose when the radiology technician conveniently checked the status of her baby, revealing what is most likely a girl! It's early for Courtney, so maybe not, but it certainly appeared so. This means by April, I'll be the grandfather of two boys and two girls. I'm thrilled for my daughters! They're both beautiful, glowing, expectant mothers.

I made it home for a short 30-minute refresher nap before facilitating the week 1 Tuesday night early and late conference calls with the accountability and support groups I maintain with Coach Kathleen and Jordan Burgess. Both were powerful group calls!

We still have room on our team for you!! If you sign up now, you've missed the week one call--but I'll get you on the team the same day you message me. This late registration offer only stands for this week, after that we'll be closed for new members until December 4th and 5th.

If you at all interested, please email your questions or email, "I'm ready" to: transformation.road@gmail.com I'll get you on the team immediately.

You might be surprised to discover our groups aren't about dieting. And the success many have experienced in our groups isn't about being on "another diet." This is something different. It's about helping you discover and develop your personal "You Plan." Then, as you do, we, as a team, help you create accountability measures while we offer the kind of support you can only find from people who "get it." We all relate, regardless of circumstance and life experience, to the struggles and challenges along this road. And it's an experienced team. This is a small, exclusive, and powerful group of people. I would love you to join us and discover exactly what I'm writing about.

I can't and wouldn't write about anyone's experience but my own on these pages--so I'll share with you my personal perspective and non-diet philosophy:

From the archives:
I'm not sure when the switch occurred. Looking back, I suppose you could say it happened after my initial weight loss, and right as I started the turnaround from my 164-pound relapse/regain. The switch arrived at just the right time. I'm talking about the switch from DIEting to LIVing. Yeah, I don't "diet." I didn't "diet" while losing that 164-pound regain and I don't "diet" in maintenance mode. I live each day with a plan, a style of eating that fits me--and one that's conducive for a healthy body weight.

Diets don't work because it's a means to an end. Have you ever attempted a diet that was so restrictive and gross--but you did it anyway because you knew it would succeed in dropping the weight? But you hated it the whole time--dreaded it each day, white knuckled through it--and fantasized about the day when you'd reach the pre-determined goal so you could be done with the diet, whatever it is/was? Me too.

I remember doing a plan that included all the food I'd need-- and hating it--every meal of it, just horrible, and then going on the air and essentially lying to my audience because I was contractually obligated to speak favorably about the diet's food during my show. I was looking forward to the day the contract ended--and was secretly hoping they'd cancel early, so I'd be off the hook and get back to being me. And right there, the last five words of the previous sentence--that's why diets don't work. Because...

If what we're doing is a temporary diversion from who we are in the behavioral patterns that brought us to our heaviest in the first place, then as soon as we return to "being ourselves," with the internal patterns, experiences, actions, and coping mechanisms on which we've grown dependent, the weight comes back--every time, with rarely an exception.

When I looked for an external solution to my internal issues, it always ended in a bad way. I still like my disgusting analogy for diet mentality: It's like calling a cleanup crew to the sewer line break instead of calling a plumber to repair the sewer line.

It's interesting, our whole lives, people often tell us to "just be yourself," yet, when it comes to losing weight, the advice or plan is often: "Here's the latest fancy diet plan, product, or procedure, do it. It works," with little consideration for the divide between who we are and what it requires us to be. Basically, don't be yourself...be something you perceive as "better than" yourself...and here we go into another direction promoting self-loathing as soon as we don't somehow conform or live up to this "better plan." 

Binge eating, compulsive overeating, and resulting morbid obesity ARE NOT MORAL issues. But the old diet mentality would have us believe it's so. I refuse to share some of the most brutal things I've told me about myself over the years--all because I couldn't "get it together," somehow. The least of it involved the word "failure," the worst--well, you can imagine, I'm sure. I would never speak to someone or treat someone the way I've spoken to and treated me...ever.

But--the search continued for the next thing--the key to my weight loss success--the next best diet plan--something, anything that would work--and I was desperate---and as long as that search continued, I felt justified with my food behaviors. Maybe the solution I needed hadn't been invented yet. What could I do?

This search for the next best thing is what fuels a 100-Billion dollar weight loss industry.

When our personal truth is finally recognized, acknowledged, and embraced, the search can abruptly end. It's like an exhausting search for a missing car key that comes to an end when you realize the key was in your coat pocket the entire time. I've witnessed this happen with numerous people who reach in, grab the key--insert the key--and head in a direction with a consistency they've never known... and they do it without the next best-latest-greatest-wonderful-sure-fire, straight off the shelf, tv, or some other plan. These people stop DIEting and start LIVing.

I don't know what your personal truth is. I can only speak of and write about mine. I'm a compulsive overeater. I'm an emotional eater. I'm a stress eater. I'm a celebratory eater. I'm an addict whose substance of choice isn't served at a bar and it isn't secretly sold in the back alleyways. It's food. And that doesn't make me any better of an addict than anyone else--not to compare, but my addiction is just as lethal as others--the only difference is the speed it proceeds. 

My food addiction, more specifically, is about certain food substances--for me, clearly refined sugar--and my personal list of trigger foods--some of which do not contain refined sugar--but they dance for me if I let them. My dealer is the unwitting individual working the drive-through.

So what's the key?? Well, in my experience--and again, that's all I can draw from--there are several different cuts to the key.

As Jordan Burgess referred to it on episode 13 of Transformation Planet, "an unwavering commitment to self-honesty." That right there is the pivotal cut--without it, nothing works.

Another cut--is extending love, self-compassion, and a healing level of forgiveness to ourselves for where this road has led us--and all of the things we did or didn't do along the way. The struggles and successes have a common denominator: They're all opportunities to learn. That's it. What went well? What didn't go well? It's a study every single day. It's not good or bad. It's not shameful or admirable--it's just an opportunity to learn how to proceed in a groove that fits us well-and keeps us well. Because really--

It's okay. I'm okay. You're okay. We're human. We're fallible. We're conditioned. We're experienced. We're lovely. We're beautiful. We're good people with great intentions, We have overflowing love and compassion for others--and now, for once, we can start cupping some of that overflowing love and compassion for ourselves.

When we have those two cuts on the key--and we add spiritual support (whatever that is to you), accountability, and support from others who understand--who've lived it--as Dr. Marty Lerner puts it, we surround ourselves "with others in the same lifeboat," this is when this time becomes like no other time in our history.

Add another cut--a style of eating--a plan that considers very personal elements of our individual truth--with boundaries in place and held with a sacred importance level--and suddenly something almost magical happens. Things start changing.

And a few other things that are critically important to remember: It's about progress, not perfection. Consistency beats intensity--in other words, it's better to embrace a plan that's not only doable, it's one that's sustainable long term instead of doing something dependent on short-lived bursts of extreme intensity. It's important to look for ways to feel good about what we're doing instead of feeling horrible because we're focused on things we think we should be doing. And one of the most important things--- oh my, it's big:

Always remember--our continued peace and calm isn't guaranteed and it isn't found on the scale. It's found within the plan we embrace each day, one day at a time. If I forget this--or willfully deny it--or throw it all out the window tomorrow, I'll return to over 500 pounds without question. And I'm very capable of doing that. I'm capable of not doing it too.

But--I'm much more experienced in the chaotic stream of the struggle than I am in the softer flow of peace and calm.

My continued success doesn't come from the words I speak, the words I write, or the personal truths I've discovered about me. It's the things I do each day in service of the mental, spiritual, and emotional transformations, that give me the best shot at another day like today.

I don't "diet." And I don't have to diet.

My body weight will follow and reflect where I am within my daily plan. I don't have to chase it anymore because it follows me wherever I go. My body weight isn't the focus, my daily plan must be the focus--because body weight is a side effect of my continued recovery or lack of recovery. 

Peace.
--------------------
I'm doing my radio show tomorrow and then taking a half day of vacation followed by a full day on Thursday. I'm planning on having lunch with mom at her place. I'll be driving to Wichita tomorrow night for a dinner meet up with some friends I haven't seen in a very long time! Oh--there will be pictures tomorrow night!

Today's Accountability Tweets:


























Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Monday, October 9, 2017

October 9th, 2017 Connecting

October 9th, 2017 Connecting

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

I had some special guests on my morning radio show today. Linda and Leon operate the American Red Cross Disaster Response crisis team. Actually, for our area--they are the team. They came on the show in hopes of attracting volunteers. Passion must play a role in what they do because often, they're responding to housefires at all hours of the night--and they do it without reservation or complaint. They both talked about how fulfilling it is to help someone. And then I asked why they give so much of themselves to this cause--and that's when Leon shared the story.

He was a young man, standing outside with nothing but the clothes on his back shortly after a large tornado destroyed his family's home. The tornado exploded the contents of their home to bits and scattering their lives into debri now falling from the sky. And there he stood, with nothing--shaken and suddenly uncertain of everything, when the Red Cross stepped up and offered the most critical of needs in those fresh moments after the storm. He knew right then and there that part of his life would be dedicated to giving back in the same way they gave to him after that Oklahoma tornado.

He's passionate about it and so is his wife and partner in their Red Cross Disaster Response efforts.

When we've been on the other side of something, it's an incredible blessing and gift to be able to, years later, reach back and help someone going through similar circumstances. It's a fulfilling, happy-heart, soul-cleansing kind of experience.

Having spent nearly twenty years, near, at, or above 500 pounds, nothing gets me more excited than witnessing someone else's transformation. It's not just the physical--in fact, that's the least of it. The transformation of perspective. The mental/emotional transformation--the coming alive, and living like never before, transformation--that's the stuff of passion. That's the good stuff.

When it comes to this transformation stuff, I can only practice mine. I don't know it all and I don't have all the answers. All I have is my experience, my example (the good, the not so good, the somewhere in between), and I have my willingness to share it in hopes that these things might meet someone else right where they are at just the right time, because maybe then, it might make a difference. And maybe it'll make a profound difference for them, the way it once made a profound difference for me.

Tonight was a good night. We had a great week 1 group support conference call followed by a powerful one on one session. I'm having a hard time getting sleepy because I'm still buzzing from how wonderful it was to hear the voices of fellow team members--empowered voices, creating plans and taking action toward their goals--and connecting; they're connecting, and that right there is a very powerful thing. We don't do this alone.

We still have room in our Tuesday group calls. This new session that started with tonight's group call, continues with tomorrow's week 1 Tuesday calls. Will you join our team? The video below was recorded today on a short break at work. It's not to late for you to join. If you're interested in more information, email me with questions: transformation.road@gmail.com



Today's Accountability Tweets:


























Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Sunday, October 8, 2017

October 8th, 2017 Valuable Things

October 8th, 2017 Valuable Things


The new 8-week session starts tomorrow and Tuesday! Email with questions: transformation.road@gmail.com

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, I had plenty of exercise at the festival, and I stayed well connected with good support. These are daily practices that keep me well!

I just wrapped a big weekend of emceeing the entertainment stage and sports tent at Octoberfest. I've done this event for the past several years. I almost turned down this opportunity four years ago during the tail end of my relapse/regain period. I was struggling very hard back then--and facing people after regaining a significant amount of weight was a horrifying prospect. Of course, in hindsight, I view that period of my experience as the most important. I was learning some valuable things about me during that time.

I'll tell you--the freedom to roam that festival at a healthy body weight without hesitation--to simply enjoy the life, the people, the weather---and feel free of the obsessive shame and all other negative thoughts or obsessions is a true gift. It's a real blessing. I'm immensely grateful. 
On stage at this weekend's OctoberFest





























I came home after the festival and rested a little while before picking up mom for a Sunday night dinner out at our favorite Mexican restaurant. We stopped at Amber's for a short visit on the way to take mom back home. We find out the sex of Amber's baby on Tuesday! We're all very excited!

Today's Accountability Tweets:




























Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean





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