Saturday, May 19, 2018

May 19th, 2018 Finally

May 19th, 2018 Finally

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.

Finally, it happened! Photobucket released the block on previously posted photos and actually came up with a reasonable plan. All photos 3rd party hosted by photobucket throughout the archives of this blog are now restored. Good deal! It was very upsetting when they suddenly removed the images and essentially demanded a ransom of several hundred dollars for their safe return. It was quite the storm across the internet when that happened. Now, a new management team is in place and I applaud them loudly for this reasonable resolution.

I've been activated for severe weather coverage four times in the last 25 hours. Three of those activations with Noah in tow. My goodness, he was getting tired of hanging out at the studio. I don't blame him. But we did have some good memory making times together. He absolutely loved Touch-A-Truck at the library this morning. I have some cute pictures of the event, our visit with Raegan, and more--but way too late to do it now. I'll post those tomorrow night.

One thing I did want to mention is my new conference call support group set for Wednesday nights. I'm facilitating these groups solo with backup when necessary by retired Life Coach Gerri Helms. The next session starts this Wednesday the 23rd. We have two one hour conference calls back to back. The first hour from 8-9pm Eastern is full. The second hour from 9:15pm-10:15pm Eastern has openings! Here's the information poster:



















It's a little blurry--I'll work on getting a higher resolution copy of this. If you have questions about this group, call or text: 580-491-2228 or send an email to: transformation.road@gmail.com

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

Friday, May 18, 2018

May 18th, 2018 Two Of Us

May 18th, 2018 Two Of Us

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.

Today was one of those days that wouldn't stop. To be fair, a day like this is really rare for me, so I'm not complaining. I left the house before 6am and didn't walk in the door until almost 11:30pm tonight--then turned back around after being home for literally five minutes to report back to work for severe weather coverage until after 1am. If Noah hadn't been super excited about spending the night with Po Po (that's me), I probably would have canceled our time together tonight after a 13.5-hour workday and instead, simply picked him up tomorrow--but no way, not after hearing how excited he was about the two of us spending time together. 

Noah and I enjoyed a good dinner together before visiting with grandma, making a store run for stuff he needs, and getting back to my place for the above mentioned five minutes. I took him to the studio with me and after he realized we weren't there to play on the microphones, he stayed quiet while I did on-air weather updates.

This little guy never tires, apparently. On the way home he asked if we could watch a movie. Uh, no.

Hitting the pillow, finally! We're visiting the library in the morning for the Touch-A-Truck event!! Fun!

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

Thursday, May 17, 2018

May 17th, 2018 Needed To Hear

May 17th, 2018 Needed To Hear

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.

This entire experience--and I mean all of it, has been and continues to be a blessing in my life. This blog has played a very important role for me over the last nearly ten years. Its primary purpose is to serve as an accountability tool, a place for me to express my thoughts, a place to bring my struggles, and a place to share my victories along the way. This blog helps keep me well. And the only time it didn't is when I stopped regularly posting during my relapse/regain period.

What quickly developed in these pages was something more, something bigger--a place where you can come, read, and find hope. It means the world to me when I get feedback from someone who's reading along or perhaps they've taken a dive into the archives and they've come up to send an email to let me know how it's affected them in a positive way. It just does my heart good to know that by way of sharing this experience, it has the potential to make a positive difference for someone else.

I'm incredibly grateful. I thank God for my daily practice, for this blog, and for the amazing people I keep close in my life.

I was feeling a little down this morning. It happens. Some of the contributing thoughts were, "am I doing enough?" or "Is what I do on this blog or my support group a positive thing?" or "How can I do better?"  

The first question I must ask myself: Am I okay with my personal plan practice? Yes. And that means a lot to me. That's the primary focus. I must be well before anything else.

Then, I had a wonderful conversation with a friend who not only expressed some wonderful ideas for me, she also expressed how what I do has value and what it means. I really needed to hear her words.

Then I checked my email while enjoying lunch and up pops an email from a reader in Rhode Island:

Hi Sean, just a note to say hello, and thank you for your continued daily blogging. Your blog is on my daily list and I truly appreciate your sharing your ups and also your challenges. Your Epiphany Day revisit was an honor to read, and I agree with you that no matter what your size, you are a great person to have on this planet! (smile)  It warms my heart when you post pictures of your family - the grandkids are so adorable and only getting cuter over time!  and I see the sincerity and warmth of the smiles on the faces of you with your adult family members.

Please, feel no need to respond to this message - I know from your blog your schedule is very busy and I really just wanted to express appreciation FOR YOU  and for all your work and your courage in sharing and let you know that you are making a real (and positive!) difference in the lives of other people. (more smiles)

Also, I wanted to mention that I listened to your recent podcast with Bryan Ganey and that was wonderful also!  It was cute how your Mom was on in the beginning, asking when the Bryan Ganey interview would start!  thank you again.

Best regards,
Sandra (in Rhode Island)

Thank you so much, Sandra.

I feel incredibly blessed and grateful. I'll keep doing what I do around here. There's nothing more rewarding than feeling like I can make a difference for someone else simply by sharing my experience and story. And by doing that, It helps keep me well, too.



















Today's featured Tweet:


Cindy came into town this evening for a visit. We enjoyed dinner together before a quick store run and a trip to visit with mom. It was very nice!

After getting to bed too late last night, I plan on getting a little more rest tonight!

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

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

May 16th, 2018 Sure I Did

May 16th, 2018 Sure I Did

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 good support.

Oh, I knew it all. Sure I did. I somehow knew it all, yet still remained a 500-pound man for years.

Opening my mind and allowing a closer internal study and embracing a fresh new perspective wasn't easy for stubborn old me.

But after allowing this refreshing shift, I clearly realized how I held myself back for years. I wanted the outer changes but I was unwilling to change the inside and quite honestly, I was unwilling to do the work.

Changing the mindset—shifting the perspective---and giving myself permission to simplify the process allowed me to focus my energies on my internal wiring. This internal focus was the missing link in past attempts. I still don't know it all, never will and that's a good thing. Because if I did, I'd be stunting my own growth...again.

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

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

May 15th, 2018 I Am Me-Epiphany Day Revisited

May 15th, 2018 I Am Me-Epiphany Day Revisited

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 good support.

After the short night of sleep because of the late night weather coverage at the studio, today was challenging! When I'm super-tired like that I'm most vulnerable. It took staying connected with support, planning my food well, and getting home for a good nap before my evening activities.

I was refreshed and ready for a good night on a group support call and one on one support session. I made a quick trip to see mom tonight before heading home for my favorite sour cream chicken tacos!

Today is the 4th anniversary of what I refer to as my epiphany day. That day was very special to me. No other epiphany along this road has resonated as deeply and fully as the one I experienced that day. I can go back and look at the analytics of these individual blog postings, all 2,300 of them, and May 15th, 2014 is nowhere near the most popular page. It wouldn't even be in the top 50, yet, to me--it's one of the most important days I've experienced in the last nearly ten years.

Let's hop in the DDWL Time Machine and go back to May 15th, 2014. I was a few weeks into my turnaround from relapse/regain when this was written:

I failed to mention my brush with law enforcement last evening.  I was in too much of a hurry to get to the YMCA. I was in a 40 mph zone and when it switched to a 30 mph zone, I kept going 37 mph. The officer asked for my license and insurance verification and much to my surprise, both had expired 04/30/2014.  I had insurance, of course, I just didn't have a current verification. I received a warning for the speeding and two citations for the other offenses. The officer told me to present proof of both, and the tickets would be dismissed. This meant two stops this morning, one to the insurance office and one to the tag agency where they issue the new driver's license. Both citations were dismissed.

I have the last three licenses and each picture shows a different stage of my transformation. The last was taken at 258 pounds. It was the first time my license reflected the truth about my weight.  The weights on my licenses have always shown a number between 50 and 108 pounds less than reality.  But not the last one--and I was so proud of that license because of what it represented. I was proud and confident in it and the weight displayed was accurate for a change. I didn't want to part with it today.  Luckily, I didn't have to. The new photo shows my considerable weight gain and since I unintentionally forgot to remind them--they left the weight as 258.  Oh well. As I once again achieve an optimal healthy weight, I'll have it redone to reflect the changes.

The more I thought about all of the energy I was giving this new license thing, specifically the required photo, the more I started thinking on a deeper level.

I felt a slight twinge of shame, regret, and embarrassment at the tag office today. It's lessened considerably since getting firmly back on track. But it's still there.

Then, I had an epiphany on the way to the YMCA tonight.

Why in the world should I ever allow the shape of my face or the size of my pants determine my self-worth? This isn't how I treat others, so why would I treat me that way? 

And then I started thinking about the differences between how I felt about me at 505 and how I felt at 230 and that's when I experienced a breakthrough in my thinking.

At that moment I imagined the scales of justice. On one side was my love for the non-physical parts (my mind, my sense of humor, my talents, my heart, my natural compassion for others, my ability to communicate, etc.) and the other side of the scale was my love for things physical about me.

The personal injustice has been the obvious imbalance and distribution of my love for self. 

At my heaviest, I had nearly zero love for the physical and what little love I had for the non-physical was small, barely existent and unacknowledged because I was too busy hating the way I looked.

At my healthiest weight, I still paid little attention to the non-physical attributes because I was too busy loving the way I looked. 

Throughout my entire life, I've largely ignored the important things that make me who I am.

My most intense focus was either hating the way I looked or loving the way I looked.

With this narrow-minded perspective, the only source of identity and self-worth remaining relied almost exclusively on my appearance.

It isn't any wonder why I've limited myself over the years.  Even worse is the natural tendency to project this fluctuating self-perspective onto others, as in, if I feel this way about me, surely they do too. 

When I think about my closest loved ones, I realize their perspective of me is never conditional based on appearance. When I spend time with mom, she doesn't even notice the weight gain, she just sees her son. When I pick up my grandson and he looks at me and smiles, it's an innate understanding that I'm someone who loves him deeply and will protect and care for him no matter what. When I spend time with my daughters, it's clear their love for me isn't placed on a scale, ever.

And then I realized: This is what they mean when they say you must love yourself first before you can fully experience and appreciate the love and richness of life.

If I was confused before, it was very clear now. I'm a great person worthy of love regardless of my size and appearance. I have my mind, sense of humor, talents, a big heart, loads of compassion for others and so very much more. And none of it is diminished with weight gain or increased with weight loss. 

I am me, always.

And my journey will continue toward a healthier weight because I want to live, I want to move easier, I want to experience the freedom a healthy body weight provides. Regardless of how this journey goes, I believe I just discovered one of my greatest personal freedoms of all.  

All of this was processed over a ten minute period as I drove to my workout tonight, as if by divine placement in my brain, an answer to my unspoken, silent plea, why do I feel this way??

I walked into the YMCA tonight with a confidence I haven't felt in a very long time. I climbed aboard the orange trimmed elliptical and proceeded to have my best personal workout, possibly ever. My stride was longer. Within the mechanics of the machine, I was sprinting. And this energy never subsided. Last night I stopped ten minutes earlier than planned. Tonight, I could have easily done another twenty.
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If you didn't know before, now you know why May 15th will always be a red letter day for me.

I better hit the pillow.

Sincerely, thank you for reading along all these years,
Strength,
Sean

Monday, May 14, 2018

May 14th, 2018 Something

May 14th, 2018 Something

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 good support.

Just got back home from doing weather coverage all night. I'll keep tonight's edition real short.

I ended up preparing a late dinner at the studio. I didn't really want an egg and cheese sandwich or tostadas--and those were my options at work tonight, but I was tired and hungry, so an egg and cheese sandwich on toasted ezekiel bread and a cup of coffee did the trick. It wasn't a big deal! I'm glad I was prepared with something!

It's almost 12:30am...alarm comes early--4:30am, I better drop!

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

Sunday, May 13, 2018

May 13th, 2018 Not Sure Why

May 13th, 2018 Not Sure Why

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 good support.

I'm still taking pictures of every meal. I'm not sure why. It became such an automatic accountability maneuver to snap it and post it on Twitter--and I don't do that anymore. I don't know, maybe I depended on that accountability tool for so long, still holding on to part of it feels safe...or maybe "safe" isn't the right word. I don't know, I'm tired. I do know that. I'm super-tired.

I'll make this a quick one.

Mom and I traveled to our hometown of Stillwater to enjoy a Mother's Day lunch (I had chicken tacos--I know, big surprise, right? And I still love 'em!) We also had a good visit with family. Mom has been wanting to make that trip for some time and Mother's Day was the perfect day to make that happen.














We drove around town for a little while after our family visit, taking the grand tour of our Stillwater memories. Then we grabbed a coffee for the trip home--sipping, talking, and laughing the whole time. It was a good Mother's Day!

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

Saturday, May 12, 2018

May 12th, 2018 Photo Heavy

May 12th, 2018 Photo Heavy

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 did another location broadcast from a grocery store today. It was a good broadcast and an opportunity to save some money on petite sirloins! This will be a photo heavy post...
What? Doesn't everyone wear shades at the grocery store? 

























Look who joined me for
shopping! It's Cindy!






















That wasn't my only store trip today. I get certain things at certain stores. I dropped by Aldi on my way home from visiting mom this evening and look who I ran into there!!!
It's my oldest grandson, Noah!





















It was a wonderful surprise to find my youngest daughter, Lucas, and three of my four grandchildren at Aldi. I had just tried to call Courtney before pulling into the parking lot. She didn't answer, so I thought--I bet she has her hands full--and yep, she did!
Courtney, Phoebe's feet, Noah, and Oliver!




















My favorite store picture of these three adorable little cuties was one Courtney shared the other day...
Noah, Phoebe, and Oliver doing some shopping!















It's been a blessed Saturday, for sure, and I'm grateful in so many ways for so many things.

I was looking through before pictures earlier this evening.
























13 years old and 300 pounds

















































With my grandpa















When I look at "before" pictures, I no longer take a negative perspective. I see a boy and a man who developed coping mechanisms to deal with the uncertainties of life, past and present. My dependency on excess food to help me through life certainly took its toll physically.

But you know what?

There's little difference between "before" and now.

I still have issues. I still have uncertainties past and present. I still have fears. I still have regrets. I still feel lost sometimes.

The difference for me is this daily practice I do my best to embrace. It isn't perfect. It never will be perfect. Instead of a dependency on excess food, I suppose I'm dependent on the mental, emotional, spiritual, and psychological side of my plan and dependent on a structured food plan that helps keep me well.

But, it's not easy. My life has never been easy.

But I'm blessed. I'm grateful.

I have gratitude for blessings I couldn't see while back in the grip of food addiction. I'm not cured. It isn't curable, I don't believe, but it's manageable.

Today's Featured Tweets:


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

Friday, May 11, 2018

May 11th, 2018 Any Other Way

May 11th, 2018 Any Other Way

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 had a rare Friday night location broadcast downtown. Someone asked, "how much weight did you lose?" The person asking was trying to convince her friend. Her friend said, "I've never known you anyway but how you are now." It was interesting to me because I've been in maintenance mode long enough for some people, who don't know me well, to have never known my 500 pound days ever existed, they only know me at a healthy body weight. For whatever reason, that struck me. It reminded me that my grandkids may never know me any other way, either. Of course, that always depends on my continued daily practice of this plan that keeps me well.

I have another location broadcast in the morning from a grocery store's massive meat sale! I'm cutting it short this evening and opting for more rest.

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

Thursday, May 10, 2018

May 10th, 2018 Doesn't Matter

May 10th, 2018 Doesn't Matter

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.

Today worked well. I scored 39 cent avocados! I enjoyed a good workout at the Y, visited with mom this evening, and enjoyed some excellent support exchanges. I prepared a late, but really good dinner, too!

I ran across something I wrote back in 2012 before my 164-pound relapse/regain period. I mention it was written before that period because it illustrates an important point and that is this: The disease of food addiction isn't stopped or managed by the words we write or say. The disease will laugh at our ah-ha moments that come right in the middle of embracing a new and different perspective.

It doesn't matter what we know.

It only matters what we do.

A daily practice of intentional and supportive actions renewed and reaffirmed each day, is the only thing that has a chance of successfully managing the disease of food addiction and compulsive over-eating.

Written in 2012:
The seemingly good reasons why this “isn’t the right time” or “it’s too stressful right now,” come disguised as perfectly acceptable rationalizations for a retreat from our goals, hopes, and dreams. 

It’s an illusion to think we’re giving ourselves “a break.” 

This retreat relieves us of personal responsibility in the moment—sending us back to the line of least resistance where it seems easier. 

The reality is simple: It only makes things harder for us. 
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Today's featured Tweets:




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





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