Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 27th, 2014 Deliberate Action and Intentions

July 27th, 2014 Deliberate Action and Intentions

I've heard it said the body keeps track of your sleep deficit until you finally give it the rest it needs. This afternoon, I worked off a little of that debt to self through napping well. I may not be completely paid up, but I'm making progress. And honestly, isn't this what it's all about? Progress not perfection? 

Yesterday's post may have sounded a little rough and unforgiving. I'm getting rather exhausted from my constant struggle with time management and getting enough sleep at appropriate times. The realization that I'm actually choosing to struggle sounds harsh at first blush, but when you dissect the behavior involved, it's accurate. When you compare this part of my recovery to other commitments, then it becomes very clear: If I make something a major priority, I do it. If I don't make it a priority, I wallow in an uncommitted state of struggle, hence the choosing to struggle.  In that place, sleep/time management issues stay in the realm of things I need to improve on instead of moving into the realm of things I'm confronting head on with deliberate action and intentions. 

I'm not proclaiming my sleep schedule will immediately snap into its best position, but I shall stop writing about how much I need to do it and start doing it the best I can with deliberate action and intention.

After a good dinner (see the tweet below), I visited a while with Amber about her transition into her first year of teaching special education. She showed me her teaching certificate from the State of Oklahoma Department of Education and I was so incredibly proud and I can tell, she is proud too.

After our good visit, I made the short trek across the street from her apartment to the walking trail for a nice 5K. For some reason I thought it was a brilliant idea to try some jogging. I did. For thirty seconds.  If running is something I really want to do someday I must give a solid effort to a C25K (couch to 5K) program. I just want a good workout, that's all. My power walk was good, don't get me wrong. It's just--I keep hearing runners speak of their experience like running is euphoric. I've never tried long enough to transition from pain to pleasure. I have a feeling my approach and perspective needs adjusted...obviously! 

I'm taking mom to her doctor in Oklahoma City tomorrow afternoon. I'm looking forward to spending time with her in the car. We always have the best talks and the most wonderful fits of laughter. I'll make sure I'm well prepared food-wise and otherwise. I'll likely not make it home in time to do the Monday evening spin class but the plan is to go to the YMCA for a less humid indoor workout upon my return.

My meal tweets today:






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

Saturday, July 26, 2014

July 26th, 2014 A Wake Up Call

July 26th, 2014 A Wake Up Call

I slept very good last night. I was in bed late, yes, but wow--I slept seven and a half hours straight. I needed it badly, probably needed more! Making sleep important and managing my schedule accordingly has been my biggest challenge of late. When I apply the same priority level as I do to writing this blog and maintaining the integrity of my calorie budget/food plan/exercise schedule, that's when this whole sleep schedule/time management issue will become much less of a struggle. Until then, anything else is an excuse to enable the continued behavior. 

I make choices everyday to plan my food, to exercise, to Live-Tweet my food and exercise, to write this blog everyday, and all of these were things that not too long ago I would have considered almost impossible to commit to doing consistently. And they were, until I decided they weren't. It's a perspective thing, 100%.

Understanding the care I give my sleep/time management is just as important as the care I give everything else along this road, is paramount to my success. Most importantly, first and foremost--it's crucial in order for my body to operate efficiently. I should never put myself in the position I was in yesterday where I'm so tired, people are asking me if I'll be okay to drive. Perhaps the experience was a wake up call, so to speak.

My meal tweets today:





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

Friday, July 25, 2014

July 25th, 2014 What I Like and Nothing I Don't

July 25th, 2014 What I Like and Nothing I Don't

Today's schedule, affected by yesterday's, wasn't easy to navigate. Any day that starts with me sleeping in the car outside our downtown studios, in order for a colleague to wake me prior to my show, isn't ideal to say the least. I know myself well enough to know that had I tried to go to bed for a couple of hours I would have missed my show on a crucial day. Despite the choices made, I pulled it together in making follow up choices. I negotiated a schedule change with Gayle from our sister station, giving her the early location broadcasts today and allowing me to go home and sleep a couple hours before returning for a full slate of broadcasts this afternoon.

I exercised the three P's before heading to the studio at 4am. I planned, prepared and packed a good breakfast for later in the morning. I did the same thing for lunch, post nap, before returning to work. I was eating my lunch when I realized it didn't taste good to me. The dry Joseph's pita making my turkey "sandwich" a sandwich, just wasn't appealing. Perhaps I've spoiled myself with the toasty goodness of "dry grilling" the pitas on the George Foreman grill. Dry grilling doesn't add any calories, yet it totally changes the flavor and texture. The pita becomes thinner, toasted and the ingredients inside become nice and hot! I was in a hurry while packing my lunch, so I didn't take the time to do anything other than throw it together straight from the package. I ended up eating half before having the realization, why am I eating something I suddenly don't care to eat?

Just because I'm eating better than I have my entire life, it doesn't mean I'm eating things I don't naturally enjoy. If you scroll through my Twitter feed, you'll see--I eat what I like and nothing I don't. For me, this is a very important element of success. I've made some adjustments (no sugar), so I do not eat anything and everything like a previous, less evolved version of me, but the "what I like and nothing I don't" philosophy and practice is still a solid part of my approach.

I haven't had much time this week to cruise through blogland, reading, commenting and supporting as much as I prefer, but this crazy schedule is coming to end this weekend. I'm looking forward to a less busy week ahead. Reading, commenting and taking a genuine interest in my fellow bloggers is very important to me. When a good blogging friend is absent from new postings for a while, I wonder and worry about the possible reasons behind their hiatus. Then, I think--I wonder if some had the same concerned thoughts about me over the course of my journey? 

The commitment I've made to blog daily is one I felt was critically important for my recovery and continued success.  It's an accountability thing for me. It's also a pleasure thing for me, something that brings me not only clarity in my trek, but extreme joy in the process. When I started getting away from daily postings in August 2010, three and a half months shy of hitting my predetermined goal of 230 pounds, I was trading one of my greatest joys for the distractions of everything else. I'm happy to say that this is my 92nd consecutive entry in this daily diary, even happier to say it's made a monumental difference in my life. I must pause and thank Life Coach Gerri Helms and my private therapist for inspiring and convincing me to return to daily writing. It's interesting to note that both presented different, yet equally powerful reasons why it was a good idea. Gerri was focused more on the consistent accountability and support it creates, while my therapist supported a return to the joy, pleasure and clarity I experience in writing. Combining the two made perfect sense, so I made it one of my top priorities.

My last location "Crazy Days" broadcast wrapped at six pm this evening. I was exhausted. The nearly two hour mid-morning nap had long since worn off and I found myself displaying the obvious outward signs of extreme tiredness. The station sales rep responsible for the last broadcast even inquired if I "was okay to drive home." Not being a drinker, I'm not normally on the receiving end of that question. I'm always the one asking that question. It was a clear indicator that more rest was an immediate choice needed, despite it being late in the day. I set an alarm for 9pm and dropped in bed at 7pm for what I thought could very well be a much needed all night sleep. I was okay with that happening, if it did. It would have meant falling drastically short on my calories, not working out and missing my nightly blog post--but it would have been okay, and I would have written this update in the morning and exercised and ate well tomorrow.

Instead, much to my surprise, I did wake to the alarm and felt much better. I prepared a late dinner and hit the trail even later for a good walk. I planned on a 5K walk but didn't quite make it a full 5K. Instead I headed for the car a lap short after 2.5 miles. It was good exercise. I was just as happy with 2.5 miles. Mainly, I didn't like being out at the dark trail so incredibly late. Not that I'm scared for my safety or anything, after all, I'm a big tough man, of course! Well, kind of, a little tough...okay, I'm at least a big man! You know how the imagination can get carried away when it's late, dark and quiet? Suddenly every person and every vehicle becomes a "suspect." :)

My meal Tweets today:










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

Thursday, July 24, 2014

July 24th, 2014 A CrAzY DaY

July 24th, 2014 A CrAzY DaY

I knew today would be a challenge and it lived up to my expectations. It wasn't a challenge with food and exercise, it was a challenge in scheduling. This is easily one of our busiest weeks of the year at work. It's the annual Crazy Days celebration, when we have all of our regular on-air and studio commercial production duties, plus multiple location broadcasts scheduled everyday. "Crazy" is a pretty good description. I know the schedule in advance and I can plan accordingly, but today's and tonight's duties proved to be a challenge for even the most well laid plans.

I had a work related road trip tonight, the details of which are confidential. I was more than fairly compensated for this extra duty, so no complaints. If this had been a normal week, It would have been an easy decision to take a day off. But this is Crazy Days week, so taking a day off in the on-air/production department isn't an option. The trip was three and a half hours one way, seven hours drive time total--and with a few stops along the way, total drive time was a little over eight hours. And the trip didn't start until after six pm.

My schedule earlier in the day included my live morning show, production duties and two location broadcasts before passing the baton to a colleague who wrapped the final three hours of the location broadcast schedule. My first broadcast was at a casual dining restaurant from eleven am to one pm. Normally, I could plan, prepare and pack my own food for lunch, but in this case--I couldn't take my own food inside and it wouldn't have been very good form to excuse myself to the broadcast vehicle to eat something other than this restaurant's food. I thought about waiting until my one to two pm break and simply eat at home. That option actually made good sense because I live two blocks from this particular restaurant. It was suggested we eat lunch during the broadcast at the restaurant--but still, I wasn't quick to dismiss my best plan. After carefully scanning the menu, I asked the restaurant owner a key question: Can I order items separately? She said yes, so I placed my lunch order: A small chicken breast and asparagus. The asparagus was some of the best I've had because it was prepared with good olive oil and seasonings. Instead of the typically low calorie count, this well coated and seasoned order "cost" me 158 calories. It was fine, I had the calories to spend. The chicken breast was small, bringing my lunch order to 289 calories. I decided to add some calories as soon as I arrived home for my break. I did a broadcast from a combination furniture/antique/clothing store between two and three pm, then at three I was free to do what I needed to do before departing on the travel mission I accepted.

In hindsight, I probably should have used the time between three and six pm to nap, considering the large amount of driving ahead. But I took a day off from my exercise schedule yesterday and I couldn't accept taking two days off in a row. I haven't had two back to back days off from exercise in over 100 days. I wasn't resisting the workout today, in fact, I was looking forward to it. I took a change of clothes into the Y and made my way to the men's locker room, changed and stepped onto the elliptical for a good sweat. I've been increasing my intensity level of late and it's really making the same old workout feel new and challenging again. I'm overdue for a change-up in the exercise department, but today wasn't the day for something new.

By the time I made it home, I had enough time to shower, change and prepare my dinner for the road trip. I wasn't going to allow myself to get into a food situation where I would have to choose between bad and worse. I wanted some certainty in my food options. I packed a little over 600 calories for the trip. It was plenty for me--and it took me right up to my limit, serving as dinner and my #lastfoodofday.

I enjoyed dinner (on the plate I packed) once I arrived at the destination. I stopped twice on the way home to use the restroom, wash my face and make sure I was alert enough to make it. I had phone conversations with Amber and my mom too. I assured both that if staying awake started to become the slightest issue, I would pull over and sleep. I fell asleep at the wheel when I was seventeen years old, so trust me--I do not drive if my eyes and body start shutting down. That accident twenty-five years ago kept me from injury, in my opinion, by divine intervention because I was completely unconscious and somehow I drove off the road at the only survivable place. Ten seconds later and it would have been a completely different story, a tragic one. I've been so blessed in my life.

I made it home at 2:30am with a full schedule once again starting at 6am. I plan on negotiating a scheduling change with a colleague in order for me to get the sleep I need after my show concludes Friday morning.

My schedule wasn't healthy for me today, I understand this. It was a very rare circumstance, thank goodness. There was no way for me to drop in bed at two thirty or three am and expect to wake up in time for my Friday morning show, and missing the show on this particular Friday isn't an option. I'll sleep after my show. This is totally crazy. But it's one day and my body will make up the deficit between now and Monday. Today's schedule likely didn't do my metabolism any favors either, but again--today was a very rare circumstance.

My meal tweets today:








Thank you for reading,
Strength,
Sean

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 23rd, 2014 Weigh Day Edition

July 23rd, 2014 Weigh Day Edition

Today was interesting. I gave in to the very way of thinking I've encouraged others against. I weighed today and found a seven pound loss for the last three weeks. This brings the total to 58 pounds in the last thirteen weeks, an average of almost four and half pounds a week. How in the world could I ever complain about this?? I did my best to be positive as I shared the number on social media, but inside I was struggling with misaligned expectations. I know better than this way of thinking!! I should be grateful. I'm headed in a wonderful direction. I'm doing well. Why would I choose to be anything but elated?

It happens when expectations are bigger than reality. I know better than to play this game. Life Coach Gerri says "expectations are premeditated resentments," and she's right. What could it have registered for me to feel justly rewarded for my efforts? Ten or twelve pounds? I don't even know. All I know is, I stepped on the scale and found 336.2 staring back at me and it didn't feel right. Gerri countered with a short and sweet reply, "Get your euphoria from a healthy lifestyle, not from a number on the scale."

Here's where I am: My reaction was ridiculous. Not only did I have the reaction, I then proceeded to beat myself up for having the reaction in the first place. Seriously?? How dare I get upset with a seven pound loss! Then it was, how dare I get upset with me for getting upset about what I was upset about? It didn't help that today was an exceptionally long work day. It started at 6am and ended at 8:15pm.  And I likely wasn't as rested as I needed to be for a day like today.

I realized my plans to attend spin class wasn't even an option with two location broadcasts scheduled from 4pm-8:15pm. I was also giving myself a mental beat down for not being as attentive to my schedule and missing all three spinning class opportunities this week.

I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to go to bed and allow this day to be done. I did okay with food today and made the last minute decision tonight to take a day off from the Y.  My plan was to have dinner and then workout. It really should have been the other way around. After dinner, I was effectively done.
 photo 40234db6-cd98-453e-b654-a3ae3343afec_zps65a5070b.jpg

Patience and consistency are two things crucial to this journey. I'll check mine thoroughly, regroup and be okay.

My meal tweets today:


Today was a day for lessons about patience, consistency and gratitude.
Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July 22nd, 2014 Why Resist This?

July 22nd, 2014 Why Resist This?

The effects of my weekend schedule on yesterday seeped into today, however I resisted the urge to continue the disruption of my sleep pattern. Of course, my workday wasn't allowing a break anyway. I had every intention of getting into spinning class at 4:45pm today. As the workday kept going and going with more and more production deadlines marked "today," I knew by 4:20pm spinning wasn't happening. I finally left the studio at 4:50pm. I was tired. It was a long day. My first inclination was to hurry home and grab a nap before my 7pm weight loss support group conference call. Then, I imagined oversleeping again and immediately nixed the plan. Instead I whipped out the Starbucks card a colleague recently gifted and headed toward the caffeine.

I'm probably not using the lingo of a seasoned Starbucks pro, because I'm not, but I ordered a venti dark roast pour over with a shot of espresso and 1/4 cup of steamed skim milk. I took it home and added some stevia and POW...it had me alert in a flash.

The conference call was powerful tonight. Life Coach Gerri Helms and I have a small group that is on fire! I'm inspired by the wonderful things the group members are doing. I wrapped the call, then had to get out to finish some work duties before heading off to the YMCA for a good workout.

Here's the deal: I didn't want to workout tonight. Even after missing the spin class for the second consecutive day--still, I wasn't feeling it tonight. Perhaps the caffeine rush was over and I was starting to crash. As much as I wanted to stand down, I just couldn't rationalize not even trying. I made my way in, reluctantly and once again the power of a good workout transformed my attitude. The music was awesome, the movement felt good--the sweat and heart rate confirmed my effort, I was doing this deal. I walked away from the workout feeling incredible. Not tired--Incredible, like I had even more energy. I'm sure any second now I'll collapse, but that feeling right after a good workout is insanely powerful. I thought, why resist this?

Apparently I need to do some more grocery shopping because my selection tonight just didn't seem very appealing. I settled on what could only be described as a salad. The meal tweet is below.

Tomorrow morning is my 13 week weigh-in. I feel great about it and I can't wait to share the number on Facebook, Twitter and right here tomorrow night. This is where I must be very careful not to get too wrapped up in the number. If it isn't what I want, then I might make some adjustments, perhaps add some good calories as I suggested not too long ago. I have a feeling it will be fine. No matter the number, my job is to practice what I encourage and be okay. I'm in this for life. I'm doing what I'm doing as a way to develop lasting changes that give me the best opportunity to return to my healthiest weight and live a life where taking extraordinary care is always important. If I make taking this level of care important then I'm confident maintaining a healthy weight will be something I can do and not just something I do when everything is peachy. This is the life I choose. I pray I'll never again sacrifice that choice no matter the future circumstances.

Good food day!








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

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21st, 2014 I Clearly See A Pattern

July 21st, 2014 I Clearly See A Pattern

I overslept my alarm this morning. I literally had ten minutes to throw myself together and rush out the door. I did take a minute to cut a fresh peach, grab some Laughing Cow wedges and some rice chips to get me through until lunch. Not how I wanted to start the day. But I made the best of it.

I've noticed a pattern. Over weekends, I tend to turn my schedule upside down. This forces me to try to correct immediately. It's no surprise that I haven't slept well the past few Sunday nights into Monday morning. I've been sleeping better than I have in a very long time. Until last night. I slept horribly. Overslept, then was still tired this afternoon. I took a nap and once again, overslept. Just like last Monday, I missed my spin class at the YMCA. I clearly see the pattern.

The one thing I don't do too much of anymore is beat myself up for small hiccups along the way. Letting go of a rigid, no mistakes attitude is a good thing because I'm far from perfect. I got up this afternoon, realized I had slept too long and would once again miss the Monday spin class, and I adjusted my plan.  That's it. I simply adjusted the plan. Four things were happening this evening regardless of whether or not I made it to spin class: Workout, grocery shop, cooking dinner and writing this blog. I did all four. I win. :)

My elliptical workout is really good. I'm dripping by the end and there's no question to the effectiveness. Just like last week, I'll do my best to make it to the Tuesday and Wednesday spin classes. I did last week and I bet I do it again.

Food was good today despite the rough start.








If you're using MyFitnessPal, friend request me! My user name is: SeanAAnderson

My Twitter page (@SeanAAnderson) is really a live-tweet feed with pictures of everything I eat daily, complete with calorie counts. I also tweet when I'm exercising (not while I'm exercising) and what I'm doing for exercise. And of course, I can't help but to occasionally exercise some humor. It's fun! I use Twitter as an accountability tool. If it also gives you some ideas too, bonus!

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

Sunday, July 20, 2014

July 20th, 2014 I Wouldn't Have Missed It For The World

July 20th, 2014 I Wouldn't Have Missed It For The World

Arriving home from my class reunion in the middle of the night didn't leave me much energy to write about too much before collapsing in bed. It was a short post for Saturday. Today was eventful too. My youngest daughter turned twenty-one years old today! We celebrated with a birthday lunch at one of her favorite restaurants. First, let's explore a recap of my class reunion experience.

Prior to May 15th, 2014, if you had asked me, "Are you going to the Class of '89 SHS 25th reunion in July?" I would have given a quick, "probably not, but I'll be at the 30th reunion." Never before has an epiphany rocked me to my core like it did on May 15th. I can't shake its effects and I don't want to. To be gifted a powerful mind expanding epiphany focused on the very thing I've allowed to limit me my entire life, was easily one of the greatest gifts I've received along this fantastic road of life. Saying, "my worth and identity does not depend on the shape of my face, the size of my pants or the number on a scale," is something, if not explored, could be easily said but still not applied. Truly believing it, embracing--and wrapping my mind around the epitome of self-love, cemented something inside me. Still, like most everything, it isn't perfect. But it's powerful enough, that instead of avoiding the reunion, I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Flipping a lifetime perspective upside down doesn't happen without a little spillage of the marinade that seasoned me, as I discovered last night.

I turned up the radio super loud as I drove the forty-two miles to my destination. I was listening to the "Big 80's Weekend" on Tulsa'a Mix 96. The 80's groove was taking me back in time and I knew, in less than an hour I would be experiencing real life encounters with people who were back there with me. I was fine right up until I pulled into the parking lot, mere steps from people I haven't seen in what felt like forever. I turned the radio down, scanned the parking lot, thought to myself: this is it and then I froze.

I sat in the car staring blankly ahead for what must have been five minutes. What was I waiting for? Is it too late to back out now? It took exchanging some supportive text messages with a friend and some serious self-talk to get me out of the car. What was it? Body image/weight issues again? No, not at all, really.

To better understand my mentality you must know the rest of the story. I never walked across the stage with any of these people. I trashed my high school academic career. I'm self-educated, blessed with a divine gift of natural intelligence I've had my entire life. I've lived my life choosing and not choosing things on which to apply myself. School never received my focus, except when Mr. West challenged me to apply myself during an upcoming nine week grading period. Mr. West offered: "I know you're smarter than the F you're making in my class. You're not trying. What would happen if you did?" I immediately started acing everything in his class and with extra credit, I turned what was once a low F, into an A+ in excess of 100%. The following nine week grading period, I went back to not caring.

I enjoy taking things that seem negative and finding the positive, so here's this: I likely wouldn't be as studious along this road; as willing to dive into the deep dynamics of every facet affecting this journey, if not for carrying around a giant inferiority complex surrounding my academic career. When I go deeper in my introspective study and I unlock epiphanies stored like treasure, it serves as another confirmation of my intelligence.

Despite my reluctance and mental noise outside the venue, I truly wanted to see these people tonight. And they wanted to see me. I was invited and the fact that I purposely obliterated my academic career didn't matter one iota to these classmates. From their perspective, I'm a wonderful success from the class of '89. And you know what, they're right. I am.

I chose to hold my head high and walk into the reunion with nothing but pure confidence. The confidence and peace in self I projected came back to me in the form of the warmest receptions from my fellow classmates. That's the thing about what we choose to carry and project: It comes back to us. And if we're not aware of this dynamic, we can easily mistake where we should place the blame when we suddenly feel less than good enough. How we feel about ourselves has an energy all its own. If we wear it like a force field surrounding us, then everything we communicate and everything others communicate toward us is filtered through it, altering our perception in either direction, good or bad. In understanding this, assumptions and worry about what others think of us or what they might think of us, are revealed as the products of our fear and imagination and in effect, renders them powerless. 

I was free to enjoy just being myself. I was fascinated by my classmates and their experiences. I asked questions about their life and I listened and appreciated what they had to say. It was beautiful. We recalled stories, laughed and remembered the good times. Some of the conversations were so good, we had to "break" in order to make sure we made the rounds to everyone else.

In the opening paragraph of chapter three in my book, I wrote about the guys with the cool names in our school: Rob Lorenzo, Mike Van Pelt and Chris Holt. Movie star names, I tell ya! They were all there and what a treat it was to converse with them once again.

Many of my former classmates commented on my writings and how much they enjoyed occasionally peeking into my world via Facebook and this blog. It felt amazing to me. I was overwhelmed, wrapped in their sincere words and appreciation for what I do. I had a wonderful conversation with Lydia Morton and Sheryl Arthur, (whom I had a HUGE crush on in Junior High--I didn't mention that. :) And I enjoyed a profound discussion with Steve Troxel, whom I believe is one of the most talented, funny and artistic people I've ever known. I recalled how he would sit in drama class and draw the most amazing caricatures of the people around him. I told him how much his artistic ability fascinated me and how I didn't know how he did it. My brain doesn't work that way, it's incomprehensible. His reply gave me some perspective. He told me the same thing about what I do, saying: "I couldn't do what you did in your stand-up comedy or what you do on the radio. I would immediately freeze up. No way I could do what you do." The room was ripe with mutual love and respect.

Then, out of nowhere came Martha. My conversation with Martha was likely the highlight of my evening. You never know of the potential impact you can have on someone, simply by being honest and real in what you share, unless they come right up to you at your twenty-fifth high school reunion and tell you. Martha opened the conversation with "I just wanted to tell you how much your blog has meant to me." I remember that first line enough to quote her, but I'll need to paraphrase most of the rest. She related how when she discovered my blog it was at one of the lowest points in her life. She thanked me for having an impact on her in what she described as one of the "pivotal moments" in her life. What?? Are you talking to me? I hadn't a clue. I asked, "have we ever communicated via blog comments, email or facebook messages?" She said no. She was just quietly reading, relating and applying some of the explorations into her own life and wanted to express what a difference it had made for her. I was so touched, it took everything in me to keep from melting down into a pile of tears right there on the spot. Instead I held it together, simply hugged her and thanked her for the kind words and for sharing with me. As if that wasn't enough, before the night ended, she expressed how she felt like I was building and leaving a legacy that will live on forever, much like fellow classmate, Dr. Bob Wetteman, a professor at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. I thanked her, then became immediately speechless.

I walked out of the reunion with a euphoric feeling created by nearly six hours of connecting with people I didn't realize I cared so much about, but I do. I wrapped the night by having a brief conversation with Chris Holt. He was the star quarterback and one of the most popular, if not THE most popular guy in school. Back then, he was everything I wished I could be. I wanted to be just like him. He was smart, funny, athletic and never at a loss for attention from the girls. In our moments tonight, he, without much effort it seemed, revealed a most loving and compassionate humanness rarely experienced these days. His calm spirituality came through without saying a word in that direction. He was at peace and it showed as he, his wife and I stood outside after midnight on Main Street, in the cool night air of our hometown. He expressed how happy he was to see me, said "I love you brother" and gave me a hug. In that moment, I realized I was just like him after all.  

---------------------------------------

My youngest daughter Courtney turned twenty-one years old today. She has blossomed into one of the most attentive and caring moms I've ever seen. I beam with pride when I see her and my grandson together. We all got together at one of her favorite restaurants for a birthday lunch. The special today was their big lunch buffet complete with fried chicken, catfish, meatloaf, fried okra, mashed potatoes, gravy and more. I didn't even give it a second thought or try to rationalize a decision in that direction, well, I could make some good choices there, uh--NO. I took a menu and chose what I felt was the best combination in the moment. I ended up with a meal I could feel good about (see tweet below) and I focused my attention on the loved ones around the table, not the complimentary bread basket. Noah has transitioned to regular food and he's loving every bite, except for broccoli!!! Everyone but me had broccoli on their plate. When Noah clearly rejected the broccoli, I shared with the table how he "is just like his grandpa." Awe yes, the joy of being a grandparent!

I'm feeling incredible as I close in on the 13 week weigh-in coming up on Wednesday. I've eaten out four times this week, which is very rare. All except Thursday night, were special occasions: The Boston concert, class reunion and Courtney's 21st birthday lunch. Tomorrow resumes my Monday through Wednesday spinning class schedule, considering this, it was an easy decision to make today my off day.

My meal tweets today:
I slept in today. This first meal counted as "breakfast."






Thank you for reading and your support,
Strength,
Sean

Saturday, July 19, 2014

July 19th, 2014 This Is A Short Post

July 19th, 2014 This Is A Short Post

I just got home from my twenty-fifth high school reunion. It's three am. I'll absolutely make this a quick post!

I spent the first part of the day preparing for the reunion tonight. I had some shopping to do and I was determined to get my workout in the books. I did both before returning home to shower and change for the big night. It was amazing. You know how when you walk into a place and you see someone who looks familiar and you're pretty sure you know them, yet you can't be one hundred percent sure? It was like that times fifty. A few old classmates were immediately recognizable, a few hadn't changed much at all and several had changed dramatically. Reconnecting after twenty-five years turned out to be a wonderful thing.
I'm glad I decided to go. I do have some thoughts I wanted to share about this reunion experience and I'll share them in my Sunday night edition.

My meal tweets from today:






Thank you for reading and your support,
Strength,
Sean

Friday, July 18, 2014

July 18th, 2014 Off The Merry-Go-Round

July 18th, 2014 Off The Merry-Go-Round

I sat down for lunch right next to the box of donuts someone brought to work. They were left on the table for anyone to grab for a quick sugar fix. I didn't. Not only did I not, I sat there enjoying my lunch without the slightest compulsion in the direction of the donuts. After lunch, I contemplated a good question: What keeps me from indulging the most? Is it my abstinence from sugar, keeping the addictive pleasure sensors in check? Or is it the accountability and support system I have in place? Or is it a combination of both? 

All I know is, it was a short four or five months ago when a similar box of donuts was left on the table and I patiently waited for everyone to leave the studios before privately stuffing two of them into my face. But today, not even an inkling, not the slightest itch? It was as if the box didn't even exist. The donuts no longer possessed a power over me. I wasn't looking for the pleasure they provide, instead I was focused on the pleasure I get when I'm remaining true to myself and taking extraordinary care. There isn't any deprivation or feelings of deprivation in my food plan. I eat well. I also know the truth about the pleasure of donuts for me...

It's a very temporary pleasure to partake, requiring a temporary suspension of all things important to me in exchange for a few sugary moments. Then, when the temporary suspension is over, the pleasure is replaced by a flood of negative emotions and self-abusive thoughts about what just took place. At the same time the negative emotions are taking hold, the bio-chemical reactions created by the ingestion of sugar are screaming: "Must have more and more!!" And since this reaction is coming in the moments I'm feeling horrible about myself, my defenses are considerably weakened or non-existent. The quickest (and most temporary) way to feel better in this situation is to follow the brain's command and eat more donuts...and the cycle repeats itself over and over. 

I'm off the merry-go-round. I've jumped off the cycle. I've given up on insanity. I no longer expect a different result, because I know what happens next, without fail, if I make that choice. So what keeps me? I think it's a combination of both, my abstinence from sugar and my support/accountability system. These two things are critical elements of my recovery and they must be embraced forever with the highest importance level.

I left the studio shortly after 4pm and headed straight for the YMCA for a solid elliptical workout. I had just enough time to workout, race home, shower, change and pick up some friends for the big Boston concert tonight. I thought about preparing a dinner to go, but I didn't allow enough time. Instead, I decided to go to the concert "without a net," fully trusting my instincts in selecting a good dinner from the unknown offerings available at the venue. I decided that if I couldn't find anything acceptable, then I would just need to wait for dinner until I got home.

After a quick scan of the menu, I quickly concluded there was only one choice for me: The sirloin steak. I asked the server to skip the bread, potato and seasonal veggies (the veggies at this venue are not very appealing to me)--instead I wanted cottage cheese and fruit with my steak. I also requested the steak be grilled without brushes of butter or other fat, a technique many restaurants employ. The server assured me the steak was 10 ounces. I cut it in half, kept one and gave the other half away to the person sitting next to me. I don't keep cottage cheese at home because of my track record of routinely eating the entire container in one or two sittings, so this was an opportunity to enjoy a favorite food in a controlled portion.

My ex-wife Irene, her steady Alen, my daughter Amber and her boyfriend KL also made it to the Boston concert. I'm so glad they all came up together for the show. I'm telling you, it's wonderful to have such a good relationship post-divorce. There's a lot of mutual love, respect and genuine happiness for one another.

The concert was amazing. Free concert tickets is a wonderful perk of my broadcasting career! If you get a chance to see Boston on their "Heaven On Earth" tour, I highly recommend! I was also very happy that everyone riding with me agreed to leave shortly after, because that's exactly what I preferred. I dropped off my passengers and made my way to the store for a few items, then home for a late night #lastfoodofday snack and some alone-time reflection on another successful day.

My meal Tweets today:






Thank you for reading,
Strength,
Sean





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