Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March 4th, 2015 Worth Repeating

March 4th, 2015 Worth Repeating

I was going through the archives this evening and ran across Day 215. It was April 17th, 2009. That night was very special. It ranks as one of my favorite experiences of this entire journey.

When I started losing weight in 2008, the rest of my family followed and as a family unit, we lost somewhere around 500 pounds. I don't remember the exact numbers, but it was significant.

I couldn't run across this post without sharing it once more. It's worth repeating nearly six years later.

From Day 215 April 17th, 2009:

She Set It On Fire Tonight

Once there was a little girl of eleven years old who was searching for something to make her feel better about her appearance. Her extra weight was wreaking havoc on her self-image and her confidence was at horribly low levels.

She started looking for outfits that would “slim,” and became very particular about what she would and wouldn't wear.

Then one day she discovered something that promised to tighten, slenderize, and magically improve her appearance. All she had to do was wear it everyday underneath her clothes.

She started wearing this magical garment without telling her parents. In her mind it made all the difference in the world. It wasn't long before she became addicted. It was her secret garment. Not even her friends knew what she was wearing underneath. Wearing this undergarment required some extreme discipline and abuse to her body, for when she had it on, she couldn't easily go to the bathroom.

All through the sixth grade she held in any urge she had to use the restroom. Not once did she ever go to the bathroom, unless it was to check her appearance in the mirror.

When her parents finally discovered this undergarment and realized how restrictive and possibly damaging it could be, they ordered it off and discarded. This did not go over well with this beautiful little girl. Her reaction was one of tears and screams, like they had just ripped her whole world out from under her.

She convinced her parents that if she really had to use the restroom, she wouldn't let this undergarment get in the way, and they allowed the undergarment to stay in her possession, protecting her self-image like a bullet proof vest. 

Her obsession continued through the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and even 10th grades. Not one bathroom break in over four and a half years of school days. That is until a month ago. 

That's when this beautiful little girl, now 15 years old, took it off for good. Her weight loss success has made the undergarment completely useless. Her smaller size has rendered that “magical” garment powerless.

She no longer needs that girdle to give her a boost of confidence about her appearance. Exercise and good calorie management has swooped in and really made some serious changes in her body and most importantly, in her mind. 

But she couldn't throw it away. What if she needed it again? So she hid it away.

That little girl is my youngest daughter Courtney.

Tonight, Courtney finally convinced herself she would never need it again, so she pulled out that old girdle and started ripping it apart. Then, she took it one step further, walked out on our patio and lit it on fire. Tonight that girdle burned. 

It burned almost as bright as Courtney's new found confidence and self-image.
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I love you, Courtney! My youngest is now 21 years old and the wonderful mother of my adorably handsome grandson, Noah. And she doesn't wear girdles anymore, ever.
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Father/Daughter post-workout selfie in 2009
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Today didn't start out with snow and ice like I expected. The frozen precipitation waited until the 7am hour and then it opened up. First sleet, then a coating of snow. By midday the roads were crazy-slick and the closings and cancellations started coming into the radio station. We held a meeting right after lunch time, where it was decided I would go home for a little while, then return and work late, updating things on the air as needed. I took a short nap before returning.

I left the station early evening and took care of some other work related duties before finding a good dinner out. Aside from picking up the occasional chicken and zucchini squash to-go order from the Mexican restaurant down the street, I haven't dined out too much lately.

My work schedule today eliminated the possibility of Yoga class. Yoga was the plan before things changed. I refuse to allow myself to go negative about lack of consistency in my workout schedule. Some days are 100% my doing. Others, like today: Circumstances beyond my control. I'm doing what I can. Can I improve certain elements to help aid this issue? Yes.

I made the decision to make today my rest day. I'm okay with this. I knew one was coming. I almost made it yesterday. I'm glad I didn't! 

I enjoyed good food today, consumed plenty of water and was productive at work. I actively participated in support of others and I received plenty of support, too. I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget and I kept my abstinence from sugar. I describe where I am as recovery. It was a good day in recovery.

My Tweets Today:
















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

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March 3rd, 2015 The Demands of My Rationalizations

March 3rd, 2015 The Demands of My Rationalizations

Reader: "I workout two and three hours a day. I'm starting to lose my enthusiasm. Your thoughts?

Me: How's your calorie budget?

Reader: "That's why I workout this long. I'm going over my budget most days."

Me: My advice would be to focus on maintaining the integrity of your calorie budget and limit your exercise time to less than an hour per day, no more than five or six days per week.

Reader: "Okay. Thank you for the quick response."

I replied by elaborating more, explaining the perspective and experience I'm drawing on in order to give that advice.

Long before September of 2008, back in the years of starting, then stopping--and starting again, then blowing it up again---and more recently, when I was just getting into relapse/regain mode, I played the same game over and over. I would rationalize additional food--even a binge, with the thought, oh well--I'll exercise extra... I didn't have the stamina to keep up enough exercise to meet the demands of my rationalizations!

Some try harder than I did--and they're working out hours on end to make up for the concessions they're making with the voice in their head that's saying it's okay, a little more won't hurt, hey--just this one binge...then we'll get it right tomorrow and exercise even more. The truth is, in my experience, when this game starts, it's a no-win situation.

Eventually the workouts to make up for the additional food become incredibly overwhelming or nearly impossible. And that's when the fundamental element stream has fully crossed over into the life stream. Suddenly, all balance is lost and it becomes a giant drag.

Now--with all that written...If you're in training and this is your life, then maybe you need a bunch of additional calories to fuel the training. Michael Phelps eats 10,000 calories per day when he's training. And I assure you, it's intentional and absolutely necessary for his 10 hour workout days.

Finding ways to shift your perspective and your choices to ideas and things you can accept and do--and actually enjoy...makes this road we're all on, much better. 

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"It's mostly all up here."

I had a long, fairly decent Tuesday. It did get busy, late--and tomorrow could be another long day if we get the kind of weather the forecasters are saying we could. I'm dropping in bed and letting the tweets handle the rest of today's story.

Before I go-- It's never a good idea to wear casual shoes to the gym. I thought-- hey, why not? I'm doing the weight machines and elliptical--and the feet remain planted on the elliptical, so no prob! Yes, prob. My feet were slipping up, pushing--no, let's use--crunching into the tips of my shoes, then I would adjust...over and over. I realized it was a bad idea after the first 5 minutes.

My Tweets Today:






















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

Monday, March 2, 2015

March 2nd, 2015 I'll Be A Patient, Patient

March 2nd, 2015 I'll Be A Patient, Patient

Thank you for the very nice feedback on the NPR feature. A short type segment like this is often just scratching the surface of a much deeper subject. As anyone who's been on this journey knows, there's much more to our successful and unsuccessful attempts than can fit in an edited 10 minute piece. For what it was, it was absolutely, 100% pro. NPR always does outstanding work. I would love the opportunity to do more of a long form type interview where we go deep into untangling it all as best we know how.

It was a good Monday; fairly solid. I'm so relieved to finally be over the illness that had me under last week. My doctor's office called today and left a voice mail saying they needed to reschedule my lab follow-up appointment because the doctor would be out on Thursday. I listened to the message too late to call them back today. When I call back tomorrow, I'll reschedule and ask for the log in information for my personal medical records. My lab results should be in by tomorrow. Of course, I'm not sure I'll know exactly what they mean, before the doctor gives me his analysis, but I'll have them. Or maybe I should be patient and wait. Hmmm... I think I'll just be a patient, patient.

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Random before picture side-by-side with recent picture of my oldest daughter Amber and me at the Garth Brooks concert. I can't believe she'll be a married young lady in less than three months!

It was a late workout tonight but a good one. I'm a week and a half away from my next weigh-in and I'm feeling good about it. Not because of any expectation, simply because I know how I've been holding steady and holding the elements of my recovery sacred. Being sick for over a week might affect the next weigh-in--but I'm fine either way. It is what it is! I'm always surprised by how quickly the three week weigh-in periods pass. Time flies, doesn't it?

My Tweets Today:






















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

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March 1st, 2015 Blessing In Disguise

March 1st, 2015 Blessing In Disguise

Two solid workout days in a row! That feels good after a week of sickness and less workouts!

My intention was to be up early this morning and listen to NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday over the air on KOSU. I woke up with the alarm, fumbled with the radio--and after having a few issues tuning it in, decided to go back to sleep and listen online, later. I slept well.

I didn't know how NPR would edit the pieces--or who else would be included, so it was all a surprise to me upon listening. As always; per their usual, they did an outstanding job with the ten minute segment. It was heavily edited, as expected. I don't know how long the others were interviewed, but my raw audio was 36 minutes. I was pleased with the finished piece. You can listen to it in its entirety by clicking the link below:
http://www.npr.org/2015/03/01/389945325/comming-to-terms-with-the-pressure-of-weight

I extend a big thank you to NPR for including me in the discussion!

I can now say with certainty, I'm feeling 100% again. Thank goodness.

I know I've expressed it before, but it's worth repeating. The entire relapse and regain period was a blessing in disguise. It truly was. I needed to learn more. I needed to experience every bit of that scary ride. I must get started on book number two soon. There's plenty to explore!

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Do you have an organization, company, fitness center or YMCA and you're planning a weight loss program or competition? I'm experienced and available for speaking event bookings! Email your inquiry today: transformation.road@gmail.com

I'm cutting it short this evening and heading to bed fairly early, for me. It's been a good weekend. I hope yours was too!

My Tweets Today:


















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

Saturday, February 28, 2015

February 28th, 2015 A Promise Made On Day One

February 28th, 2015 A Promise Made On Day One

It's hard to believe almost six and a half years have elapsed since Day 1 on September 15th, 2008. I hadn't a clue how important to me this blog would become. I didn't know it on Day 1, but I was embarking on a very deep and personal self-study. This study has taken me far beyond the basics of weight loss and into the mental/emotional side of all things affecting such a journey. I didn't know it all then and I don't know it all now. What I do know well is, me.  And on Day 1, at over 500 pounds, I was scared.

A few excerpts from Day 1:
 
"How important is it that I lose the weight now? Well...every now and then I day dream a nightmare where I envision my family at my funeral. I know...it's dark! And very scary. But every time I have a little pain I wonder, is this it? Am I about to collapse? Will my funeral be Thursday??"

"This is all about making choices. Every choice we make has a consequence...some good, some bad...Some real good, Some very, very bad. Choices and consequences, that's what it's all about."

"Tomorrow I weigh. I'm really scared at what I might weigh. I guarantee it'll be more than you think. But one thing I promise in this blog...I'll put it all out there...As much as it might be embarrassing to announce my weight tomorrow night, I will. I have to...because I must make myself accountable. I know it will be over 500 pounds...It will for sure. I'll report on my weigh in tomorrow night."

"I'll put it all out there." I feel like I've kept that promise fairly well, in this blog and my book.

The dramatic before and after pictures are certainly a fun part of any transformation.
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I learned along the way that the most dramatic parts of this whole transformation business isn't captured in photos.

The entries on May 15th, 2014 and May 19th, 2014, in my opinion, best epitomize the unseen parts of this transformation.

From the archived blog post on May 15th, 2014:

"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. Oh my goodness, I feel like shedding tears just writing these words. 

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."

From the archived blog post on May 19th, 2014:

"If we tether our identity, self-worth, definition of success and happiness to anything that naturally fluctuates or can change dramatically, then we're in for a roller coaster ride of emotional unrest.

I've always attached my self-worth to my weight. Well, until now of course. I've often talked about potential and not living up to potential. But here's the thing: Potential is tied directly to the constant qualities within us and if our focus is on the pursuit of happiness in every direction except within, then those qualities aren't allowed to flourish, to grow--to give life to the potential within us all.

This whole thing makes me want to take the best care I can. I've never felt more determined to return to a healthy weight. It's what I need physically. What I need emotionally isn't affected by weight loss. And making that distinction provides a nice inner calm, a peace.

The question to determine these inner qualities needing attention and love is: What are the qualities in me that remain regardless of my weight, regardless of my financial situation, regardless of my relationship status, regardless of my professional success--what about me stays the same when all of these other things can and do change?  My heart, soul, sense of humor, natural compassion for others, likes and dislikes, pride in parenting, artistic talents, selflessness, humility, etc. Have you made your list?  And when these constants are cared for and loved, watered, so to speak--they grow, they flourish--and they give us what we need to experience emotional freedom, the freedom and ability to claim our happiness come what may."

I've learned a lot along the way. I've learned about the cleansing of forgiveness and the power of love. I've learned about what finding happiness requires and what it doesn't.  Most importantly, I've learned that the learning never stops. If ever I close my mind to learning more, it'll be the beginning of the end.

If you've read this entire post and you're thinking, get to the HOW part already, okay... 

I eat well and I exercise regularly. When it comes to food, my philosophy has always been "I eat what I like and nothing I don't." When it comes to exercise, it's all about consistency--not perfection.

I'm not gluten free, although I do eat some gluten free products occasionally. I now eat 1,700 calories per day, mostly whole foods--and I don't eat sugar. My abstinence from sugar started almost 11 months ago and it's proven to be the best nutritional decision I've ever made. Even better, it's the best recovery decision I've ever made. I avoid refined sugar the same way an alcoholic avoids alcohol. When I gave it up, the binge switch in my brain flipped to the off position.

I don't isolate. I'm active in reaching out for support when I need it and offering support when it's needed from me. Building your support system is critically important. Crucial elements of the support system are your accountability tools.

This blog is one of my biggest accountability tools. I also use Twitter as an accountability tool. I share pictures, descriptions and calorie counts via Twitter of everything I eat, every day and I use MyFitnessPal to log and track my consumption.

You certainly don't have to do any of this to be successful. My initial 275 pound weight loss didn't include the live tweets, in fact, I didn't log or track anything. I simply kept a running calorie count in my head throughout each day. My goal was to simplify the process as best I could. Then, after maintaining goal weight for a year and a half, I started a giant relapse and regain period. What I do now--all of my personal fundamental elements are based on what I needed to turn the slide around in a positive direction.

One last thing... If you're about to start your own weight loss journey, please read this:

What's this all about? It's about progress, not perfection. It's about how you feel, not a number. It's about you and for you, not about or for anyone else. It's about living, not dying. It's about dreaming, not dreading. It's about freedom, not imprisonment. It's about opening your mind to the possibilities, not closing it to the changes. It's about acceptance, not rejection. It's about nourishing, not depriving. It's about a broadly consistent importance level, not short bursts of narrow focus. It's about wanting, not forcing. It's about doing your best, not trying to do another's best. It's about today, not tomorrow, or next week or the first of the month or January 1st. It's about committing to consistency with all your heart and holding on tight, not a halfhearted commitment easily released with the slightest breeze. It's about you deserving better, because you do. It's about you being important, because you are important.
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As far as today's recap goes, it was excellent. I'm feeling nearly 100%, finally! I ate well and enjoyed an amazing workout this morning. I made my way to the department store after my workout for a new pair of smaller jeans. It was time. It feels good to once again be out of the Big and Tall section.

For more details about today, I'll let the Tweets tell the story:

My Tweets Today:






















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

Friday, February 27, 2015

February 27th, 2015 It Was A Good Test

February 27th, 2015 It Was A Good Test

I missed my usual breakfast routine this morning! I was doing an 'after midnight' fast until after my blood lab work. The plain black coffee--uhg, yeah--no. By the time I returned to the studio post-lab, I was ready to cook some breakfast! I keep several grocery items in the studio kitchen, but it doesn't include my sugar free hazelnut creamer. I suppose it's a way for me to limit my coffee. Although, lately, I've been on an evening coffee kick, it seems.

I must wait all the way until Thursday morning March 5th for my lab work follow up appointment with my doctor. I can't wait to get the results and see how they've changed over the last 136 pounds. I've always been fairly blessed with good numbers, even at my heaviest. Good genetics, I suppose. But still, I am getting older, so who knows? 

It was decided this morning that I would ride out whatever this has been over the last week, without seeking a prescription. I've felt remarkably better today, so I'm fairly certain I'm on the positive side of this deal. I've determined my regular workout schedule will resume tomorrow at the YMCA. It'll feel good to get back into that groove. I have many options to choose from when it comes to exercise and a couple I would like to revisit are swimming and spinning class. I also plan to resume Yoga. I haven't been even remotely consistent with anything except the elliptical. It might be time for me to actually plan my workout schedule. Perfectly, imperfect...yeah, that.

I sincerely appreciate the positive feedback and encouragement last night's post generated. It was certainly something I needed to express. Thank you, very much.

Sharon, a blogger from just outside of Toronto, sent me a message about how she enjoyed the post and how it reminded her of one she had written over six years ago. I clicked the link she provided and was incredibly impressed with her ability to foresee this multifaceted issue from the very beginning of her journey.

Her simple question to family and friends reminded me of something you might see posted to Facebook, a "describe me using one word" post, BUT--Her conclusion--the determination she made after collecting the 'data,' was profound and beautiful. 

She writes, "...perhaps just the realization that my fat does not define me will make my journey to a thin person a little less bumpy."

What impresses me most about this post was her ability to dissect an incredibly complex issue before it became an even bigger one for her, down the road. That's incredible foresight, Sharon.

With Sharon's permission, here's the direct link to her blog post from January, 2009:
http://journeytofindtherealme.blogspot.ca/2009/01/how-my-friends-and-family-describe-me.html

I'm very happy with where I find my mental/emotional state these days. Not that I would describe the demise of my last relationship as a good thing, but it was a good test for me because I didn't react the same way I did in previously similar circumstances. I remained consistent and I continued holding sacred the fundamental elements of my recovery. I'm a stronger person than I once was, clearly.

I might pick up a new pair of jeans this weekend. I think it's time for a smaller size.  

My Tweets Today:
















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

Thursday, February 26, 2015

February 26th, 2015 Your Superpower Comes With An Awesome Responsibility

February 26th, 2015 Your Superpower Comes With An Awesome Responsibility

It's as if we possess a very real superpower. We have the ability to completely transform our appearance without cosmetic surgery and without a Hollywood make-up/special effects artist. This is real. The transformation can be so dramatic, people who have known us our entire lives walk right past, not knowing who we are, only the image of who we were.

Until we speak. 

Then, the mind-blowing, jaw on the floor reaction erupts and it feels good. It's like a novelty; a trick few possess, a guaranteed show stopper--the "final reveal," so to speak. If your life was a realty tv show, you would cut to commercial right before this encounter.
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For any of us who have chosen or choose to use this superpower, it's important to consider and pursue a deeper understanding of the effect and how it can affect us in profound ways. Yes, it's the big "Remember, your superpower comes with an awesome responsibility" type thing.

It's important, because who we were and who we are; the core elements of our being, remain the same. 

My favorite color is blue. It has been my entire life. At 505 pounds and at 230 pounds, didn't matter, it's my favorite color. Blue, all shades. My deep seeded likes and dislikes, the things that bring me the most joy, my special talents, my heart, my compassion and empathy for others, my intelligence, my sense of humor; I possessed all of it at 505 pounds and at 230 pounds. 

The superficial changes are dramatic and it's very tempting to believe we are, indeed, a completely different person. If we attach our identity too much to this notion, we quickly lose ourselves along the way.

I remember the unusual reaction of a family member I hadn't seen in a very long time, upon seeing me for the first time at 230 pounds. She cried. And it wasn't tears of joy and celebration. I quickly identified how she was seriously having a moment. I asked her, "what's wrong?" Her reply affected me deeply, changing my perspective and nudging me in a self-exploratory direction I wasn't necessarily prepared to go.

"It's like the Sean I knew and loved, died."  

Suddenly, I couldn't look at before pictures without feeling a separation of identity. I felt sorry for that guy. I missed him. I was grieving his loss.

It's interesting how, on Day 1 of this blog I wrote about the scary vision of my own funeral. It was one of the thoughts compelling me toward my iron-clad/non-negotiable decision to choose change, before change chose me. My goal was to avoid this dark scenario. And yet, upon reaching a drastically different body weight, it's as if I still held a funeral in my mind. 

The more I accepted my new superficial reality and the more I separated from my old existence, the further away I became from the core of my being.

The trouble is, the brain doesn't really forget. My reflection in the mirror had changed. Photographs were no longer avoided, they were embraced. But still, my brain kept a big file of everything that made me who I am. This file contained the deep stuff; the experiences and feelings of my past and the behavioral reactions to these things, too. I couldn't escape myself.

Accessing this deeply embedded file within my brain helped me regain 164 pounds of my initial 275 pound weight loss. It makes sense. My natural, deep seeded behaviors, followed by my physical appearance was merely harmonizing with my brain's original image and experience of me.

Now, having lost 136 pounds of the 164 pound regain, what's different?

I no longer identify as "old Sean" and/or "new Sean" I'm just, Sean. 

My self-worth and identity doesn't change with the number on the scale or the reflection in the mirror. Losing weight helps me become healthier but it doesn't make me a better person. Gaining weight has negative effects on my health, but it doesn't make me any less of a person.

The core qualities of who I am, who I've always been, will be celebrated and nurtured--allowing them to grow, to blossom in their intended and natural path. The affected levels of my life and the resulting behaviors will be closely monitored, better understood and helped with intentional support and positive actions. They will not be ignored as if they no longer exist.

As Ralph Marston so eloquently expressed in the foreword of my book: "Truth is powerful. The more you seek to hide from it, the more forcefully it asserts itself, until you eventually cannot deny it."  

So, go ahead, use your incredible superpower to transform. Just, please--be true to yourself along the way. Don't forget who you are. Don't ignore the qualities that make you incredibly special. Enjoy your transformation and believe me when I say, the most powerful transformation, the one giving you gifts to last a lifetime, isn't the physical, it's the mental/emotional transformation.

The physical freedom is great. The emotional/mental freedom can become something beyond your wildest imagination, far exceeding whatever expectation you brought into this experience.
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I was still in recovery mode today. I feel somewhat better, but still guarded and taking it a little easier. Everyone at the studio was avoiding my like I carried their demise. "You can't use my pen," "Please don't come any closer."  I wasn't verbalizing my discomfort, they could simply see it all over me. I washed my hands a little more than usual and tried not to cough or sneeze in anyone's direction. I came home a touch early, enjoyed lunch, took a nap and got up feeling okay.

My interview with Rachel Martin of NPR's Weekend Edition-Sunday went very well. Much of what I've written above was inspired by the conversation we shared. I'm sometimes too self-critical for my own good. There were so many things I wanted to say and didn't, and some I did that wasn't necessary. But Ravenna, one of the writer/producers, assured me it was good. The segment isn't with me exclusively. Rachel interviewed several people with like experiences. So I'm not certain how much or how little my voice will be featured. We'll find out this Sunday March 1st on NPR's Weekend Edition! From the direction of the questions and knowing how incredibly talented NPR's talent and production staff is, it's sure to be an interesting segment, however it's assembled.

I decided to stay in tonight. I prepared a good dinner and did a short 30 minute PiYo workout in my living room floor. I modify quite a bit with this, still--it is a workout, make no mistake.

I'll visit the doctor's office in the morning for a fasting blood lab. Up until this point, I've resisted the urge to get a prescription for this crud I've experienced at varying levels over the last seven days. I've decided I'll call ahead and let the nurse know of my desire to quickly see the doctor, instead of just the lab personnel, for a prescription of something to once and for all kick this stuff.

My Tweets Today:






















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

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

February 25th, 2015 Rough Start, Strong Finish

February 25th, 2015 Rough Start, Strong Finish

I was in bed last night not long after 9pm. I needed good rest. I didn't get good rest. Instead, I tossed and turned, felt worse and finally was able to rest sometime after 1am. The bug--or whatever this has been, is responsible for my sleeplessness. I'm a fast sleeper. I can lay down and typically be asleep within ten minutes. In fact, I regularly play one of my favorite podcasts with a ten minute sleep timer and I'm usually asleep first.

After taking a sick day Monday, then feeling good enough to go on Tuesday--it was strange needing another sick day today, but I took it. I stayed in bed until nearly 10am. I'm glad I did. I wouldn't have had the energy to get through this long day, otherwise.

I didn't feel like eating breakfast, either. I can count on one hand how many times I've skipped breakfast in the last ten months. It's a very rare thing. But honestly, I wasn't feeling like anything, first thing, today.

Once I started getting hungry, I enjoyed an apple and some cheese. Then felt good enough to enjoy lunch out with mom. Our plans today changed. We were to go to her eye doctor appointment, but it's been rescheduled/delayed for a few weeks. We enjoyed a good visit and lunch instead.

My schedule included a pickup at the airport in Oklahoma City at 8pm. After my visit with mom, I left early enough to get my workout in at the Edmond Rankin YMCA. Nice facility! I used this Y one other time, several months ago, but now--everything has changed. All of the old equipment has been replaced or was in the process of being replaced.

Getting back home exceptionally late isn't the best for me right now. However, I did end up feeling remarkably better today--as you can tell by my food and workout accountability tweets.

I'm excited to announce I'll be interviewed by Rachel Martin tomorrow for an upcoming segment on NPR's Weekend Edition. I'll write more tomorrow evening about the topic to be explored. It's something I've written about extensively on this blog. One of their writers found my blog during her research. I was honored to be contacted and asked to share my perspective and experience.

Thank you for the wonderful get well wishes. I have a fasting blood lab scheduled for Friday morning. I'm hoping this feeling better trend continues. I'm also looking forward to the lab results early next week!

My Tweets Today:


























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

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February 24th, 2015 Very Unusual

February 24th, 2015 Very Unusual

I felt better this morning. I really did. Afternoon came and I started feeling worse than the previous two days. I decided to come home, prepare a good meal despite how I'm feeling, participate in the weekly teleconference support group I co-facilitate with Life Coach Gerri--and then determine if a Y trip was something I needed to do or felt like doing this evening.

Psychologically, the workout would be a great thing. Physically, not so much. I didn't finish all of my dinner, it was too much. I didn't feel like eating. Officially, from what I've logged and served, I'm leaving 114 calories unused from my budget--actually it's more like 350. The way I'm feeling, I'm okay with this tonight. I did eat an orange a few minutes ago. I may need to get into the doctor if I haven't kicked whatever this is by Thursday. It's very rare for me to get sick. But lately, I've had a couple bouts with the cruds. Very unusual for me.

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Some recent photos capable of putting a smile on my face regardless of how I feel.

I'm hitting the pillow early tonight. I do not have time to be sick tomorrow. It's a packed day that includes work, then traveling with mom to an eye doctors appointment, picking up colleagues flying in from DC and a good workout at a Y facility about 90 miles from my own. It's all doable, but I'll need to rest up and feel better to make it all happen. Goodnight.

My Tweets Today:
















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

Monday, February 23, 2015

February 23rd, 2015 The Best Stuff

February 23rd, 2015 The Best Stuff

Feeling 100% well again has been the goal of the last couple days. I've rested very well. I took a sick day from the studio and instead of spending this time like yesterday, reminiscing among old relationships, I made time for reading inspiring stories about people who overcame great odds and achieved incredible success. It was good food for my brain.

Understanding the connection of what I put into my brain influences what I get out, is easier to embrace when I apply the same understanding I have with the food I put into my body--and the stuff I don't.

I sincerely appreciate the feedback and encouragement I received today after last night's blog post. Every single piece of advice was excellent.

I'm very careful when it comes to handling self-compassion. I know, from experience, if I give myself too much, it turns into something else entirely. Keeping the level of self-compassion at a healthy place instead of one ripe with rationalizations, excuses and convenient outs, is the goal.

I've struggled a little tonight with my decision to not go to the YMCA for my workout. Allowing myself some compassion and understanding, I decided it was okay to stay home, stay warm and rest. I'm looking forward to being back in form and in stride tomorrow.

And what harm is it? Physically, it's microscopic. Mentally, it could go either way--depending on my approach. I'm choosing to accept another day off as something truly needed. I love to get in there and get it done like a champ, but sometimes it's okay to not.

I'll tell you what I love about this road. I love the balance. I love the mental/emotional exploration. This road we're traveling is about much more than food and exercise. The mental and emotional side of things, born from our experience, guided by our perspective, is by far the most critical element.

After spending my adolescent years obese, then almost twenty years near, at or above five hundred pounds and then experiencing life at a healthier weight, then gaining over half of it back, and now approaching a healthier weight again--I must say, the number one thing I've learned is, the biggest transformation has little to do with the physical.

It's about discovering ourselves on unexplored levels. Who we are, at our core, doesn't transform with each weigh-in. Losing the weight and improving our physical health, increasing our confidence and feeling that boost of energy, it's all just clearing the clutter, promoting deeper discoveries of the best stuff.

My Tweets Today:


















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





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