Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December 16th, 2014 Best Of All

December 16th, 2014 Best Of All

I sincerely appreciate the outpouring of thoughts and prayers after my expressed concern and worry in yesterday's post. I was on top of things immediately after my show this morning, getting counsel from professionals on how I could help and then making a doctors appointment on my loved one's behalf. I also communicated with them frequently today--and discovered other family members were doing the same. There was a lot of love and prayers surrounding them and it's made a wonderful difference.

When stress and emotions are heightened, that's when the fundamentals of my plan must be tightened. The biggest difference is letting it be known. One of the first things I did this morning was express my need for additional support today in the secret Facebook group set up for members of the weekly conference call support group I co-facilitate with Life Coach Gerri. This, combined with sharing what I did in last night's post, followed by numerous supportive text messages from group members, gave me an incredible amount of strength.

I had a great workout at the YMCA and completed another wonderful water day. My goal is a minimum of 8 cups per day. I hit 10 cups a couple of times in the last week.

I worked late this evening, resulting in a super late dinner time--and as long as I don't make it a habit, I'm okay with it occasionally. Sometimes my schedule demands flexibility--sometimes, my lack of good planning demands it, too. If I combine a long day with poor planning, that's when it gets really creative, quickly. Despite the long day and not the best planning, today was a success. It had all the earmarks of a potentially bad day...stress, emotions, food planning on the fly--busy schedule...but I refuse to give up. If the day is tough, how can I make it better? 

Sacrificing the integrity of my plan isn't the answer, although that's the lie the brain tries to tell in the middle of it all. Getting through rough patches with the integrity of the plan solidly in place, makes it better and best of all. I'll be smiling tonight as I drift off to sleep.

Tomorrow is weigh day! I'll make my way to the doctors office for the tri-weekly event shortly before 10am. I stopped trying to guess the results. It will be whatever it is--but naturally I have questions. The biggest being: Did I get enough exercise this three week period? And although I feel I'm ready for whatever the scale says in the morning, I'll be reaching out to a support buddy on the way in and out, as I do every weigh day.

My Tweets Today:
























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

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15th, 2014 Challenging Day

December 15th, 2014 Challenging Day

I just wanted to open this blog post with this: What I'm doing is working very well and I do not plan to stop what I'm doing anytime soon. I plan on enhancing what I'm doing in the exercise department, but the accountability and support elements are strong and working wonders for me. It's different and that's the thing. Different naturally strikes some as crazy. It isn't for me.

I've described the daily tweets as an "extreme accountability measure," and to some, it probably seems like it, but for me it doesn't feel extreme anymore. This element of my recovery has had a huge impact on my relationship with food in an inspiring way. It's inspired me to slow down, take better care in my choices, get more creative in the kitchen, read labels and more.

Today has been a very challenging day. Not with me or about me, but about someone very close to me whom I love very much. They're struggling horribly and it breaks my heart. It wouldn't be appropriate for me to name them or describe their struggle. I'll just say, it's consumed me today, in worry.

I had planned to take my orientation on the weight training machines at the Y today. But decided to postpone it until tomorrow or even Wednesday. I came straight home from work and worried some more about what I can do to help my loved one. Then I did what I do when faced with something overwhelming, I laid down and slept for an hour and a half.

I woke up, felt better, had a good phone conversation with a family member--and proceeded to throw a dinner together. I put on my shoes after dinner and was out the door to the YMCA for an elliptical workout when I discovered my car has a flat tire. I arranged for a ride to the studio in the morning and decided to deal with the tire situation tomorrow mid-morning.

I grabbed the rest of my homemade fruit sorbet from the freezer for my #lastfoodofday. I'm seriously making more of this stuff soon! It's a wonderful treat! Next time I'm making it with cashew milk.

I could easily do some body-weight strength training exercises before bed. I think I would feel good about that. Yeah. I'll do that now.  

My Tweets Today:
















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

Sunday, December 14, 2014

December 14th, 2014 I Don't Know

December 14th, 2014 I Don't Know

Sometimes I wonder if I'm leaning too much on my accountability measures. I had this thought today. If I took away the daily blog and the tweets, would I soon be off the rails? It's a great question. What prompted this thought process was someone recently asking me if I planned to live-tweet my food for the rest of my life. I don't know.

What I do know is, I've found what is working well for me. And I haven't any plans to stop anytime soon. When we look at it in terms of the rest of our life, this is a very small part, at least, God willing, it is. 

I don't see ever eating another gram of sugar for as long as I live. The effects of sugar on me are too clear to ever deny it again.  I suppose I'm very content with taking my progress one day at a time. Someday I'll reach maintenance mode again and I look forward to doing things differently than my previous experience. But for now, I'll keep embracing what works for me.

My workout at the YMCA was cut short, when I was activated for weather coverage after the first five minutes. I thought I could beat Mother Nature, but she was moving too fast! I handled the coverage, then decided to get dinner and grab a few things at the store before figuring out an alternative workout.

I ended up at the trail for a nice brisk 5K walk. I had the entire trail to myself tonight. The ground was wet from the storms and after rain freshness was in the air. It was a very pleasant experience!  

My Tweets Today:




























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

Saturday, December 13, 2014

December 13th, 2014 New Pair of Jeans Day

December 13th, 2014 New Pair of Jeans Day

I was getting ready for a Saturday morning location broadcast from a grocery store when I noticed how I was constantly pulling up my pants. I looked in the big mirror and realized I was long overdue for a smaller size. This revelation was a nice way to start a Saturday.

I don't typically buy things for myself, easily. I don't know why, but I just don't. As I studied my saggy britches in the mirror, I decided--today would be a new pair of jeans day.

I prepared a good breakfast before departing for the massive meat sale at the grocer twenty minutes from where I live. I no longer dread being out in public. At my heaviest regain point, I was incredibly mean to myself and totally ashamed to have let things go so horribly. The worst was running into people who had read my book and blog, then brutalizing myself with assumptions on what they must have thought upon seeing me. 

One of the very important shifts in perspective I had to make before my recovery could start, was forgiveness and self-compassion. I truly had to stop terrorizing myself with self-hatred over the weight gain and what amounted to an insane back and forth of control, followed by chaos. I had to recognize, if I kept beating myself up, then I would keep holding myself down. I didn't deserve that kind of treatment. It had to stop. I had to forgive myself. Doing this enabled me to get to the point where the epiphany of May 15th occurred. Finally, I could accept myself at whatever weight and truly believe--authentically realize, no matter my size, I'm an awesome person. Losing weight doesn't make me a better person. Gaining weight doesn't make me a bad person. 

Stepping out in public for a broadcast or for whatever reason, is much easier without all of the self-imposed negative energy. The weight loss can't exclusively take credit for this shift. The self-worth/identity epiphany has changed the way I see myself--and the way I treat myself.

I didn't have time to shop for jeans prior to my broadcast, so I patiently waited and headed straight to the department store as soon as I finished. Naturally, I started looking in the big and tall section.

I looked and looked--and then stopped. I had this thought recently while out with mom, but I wasn't ready to buy anything. And it was an afterthought then, like--you know what? I bet I couldn't find my size because it's not considered big and tall anymore!! Today, it hit me fairly quickly--the thought, I don't need to be in this section anymore. All of these jeans are too big!! I quickly made my way over to the 'healthy size' section and found a good pair. This was a big deal to me. I've worked very hard to fight back, turning the direction of my life and health around. The smaller number on the scale is nice. But shopping for jeans in the regular sizes section is better. It was a sweet reward for the effort and importance level I've given this journey.

I took it easy today. I enjoyed a nice nap, prepared a unique dinner and spent time visiting with my soon to be 25 year old daughter. What??? Is that even possible? She turns 25 on January 4th. She gets married soon, too. I swear, I'm only 43! I really treasure the relationship I have with both my daughters. It's special.

My Tweets Today:




















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

Friday, December 12, 2014

December 12th, 2014 Quick Friday Night Post

December 12th, 2014 Quick Friday Night Post

The week caught up with me this afternoon and I was out for a good nap. It's been a long night. I've worked on writing my Weight Loss Meditations audio project, tonight.

I broke away for a good 5K in the park. It was very quiet out there. I prefer it that way!

I've had three good water days in a row since including my water consumption in my tweets.

I had some things I wanted to write about, but I'm opting instead to get some rest. I'll write more over the weekend.  I hope you have a great weekend!

My Tweets Today:
























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

Thursday, December 11, 2014

December 11th, 2014 The Stand-Up Show Day

December 11th, 2014 The Stand-Up Show Day

It didn't seem to matter; my past experience and the reassurance from friends about how I would be fine at the comedy show, didn't stop me from nearly making myself physically ill today. It was absolutely crazy how much I was stressing over it all. And this is supposed to be one of the pathways toward personal happiness? Really? 

It was a horrible day to have a 2015 planning meeting for our radio station. But we did, and there I was, trying my best to pay attention, but completely preoccupied with the idea of standing in front of an audience delivering stand-up material, tonight. A colleague requested I open the meeting with a little "preview performance" of tonight's set. I declined in a firm way. "It's not the same. I don't do that. It's not joke-jokes. I tell stories, I develop a connection with the audience--it's not a style suitable for a few one liners before a meeting." My response wasn't what was expected--and that's okay. I was on edge.

By late afternoon, I started feeling sick. I knew it was nerves. I didn't feel like eating, either. I sent a text to Life Coach Gerri, explaining, basically, how I was void of a food plan this evening and although I was hungry, I didn't think I could eat. She encouraged me to get a snack somewhere, so I immediately turned into a convenience store for some raw almonds, cheese and water. It worked perfectly. I didn't think about food the rest of the evening.

I slacked on my accountability water pics for twitter before, during and after the show tonight, but rest assured, I was constantly drinking water from a tall glass full of ice. I estimated between 3 and 4 additional cups of water, easy. 

Once I arrived at the venue, I took some deep breaths and started to relax a little. I felt my natural instincts trying to take over--so I did my best to allow that. Gerri suggested I find some time for some quick meditations to calm down and center--and it was spot on advice. I did just that--and it helped. By the time the show started, I was still nervous--but in a much better place, mentally.

My performance had three stages, really--as described to me by one of the audience members afterward, "It was cool watching you go from obviously nervous, to okay, to totally in your groove." Yeah, it worked. I wasn't sure if it would. But it did. I still had it. The feeling of confidence and reassurance was indescribable. Even though the material was nearly all brand new and never before tested in front of an audience, it worked. I had some big bits, some killer tags--and an audience that was extremely attentive, allowing a wonderful relationship to develop in the 35 minutes of my set.

I had second thoughts going in. I told a friend, "I did this all wrong. If I wanted to do this again, I should have found an open mic at a club somewhere, where I could do a five minute set. Not schedule an entire show where I'm the headliner, basically." My friend said--"Look, you're not a dipping the toe in the water kind of guy. You're a jump in, kind of guy. It's okay and you'll be great."

The night turned out fabulous. It didn't go as planned as far as food and exercise was concerned. The after show mingling and driving a couple of friends home afterward put the clock super late on me. My plan of doing a celebratory 5K after didn't happen. My dinner didn't happen until almost midnight--which was really too late to eat, but I managed to have something light as you'll see in the Tweets. But in all, I can't complain. As far as the exercise goes, Fitbit gave me a calorie burn of nearly 400 calories for my "measured activity" for the day. I guess all that nervous pacing really added up.

My Tweets Today:
















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

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December 10th, 2014 A One Track Mind

December 10th, 2014 A One Track Mind

The last time I was this nervous going into a stand-up gig was opening for Sinbad in front of 26,000 people in an open air stadium. I was only eight months into my comedy career when I landed that job. I wasn't ready. I stressed over it relentlessly. Tomorrow night will be fine. It's actually a good sign to be this aware and on edge. I didn't stress this much over big auditions! I must remember, some of my best performances came after feeling this way.

What I'm doing tomorrow night is very different. Nearly all new material--not one shred of weight related self-deprecating stuff, so it's very experimental for me. It's a really good thing I have another experienced comic in the show. What's the worst that could happen? I mean, really? I'm not doing this for a living. I have nothing to lose. I'm simply working out material in front of an audience. If it goes well, bonus. If not, no loss--I'll write some more, edit and do it again next time.

This stand-up thing is a direct result of the epiphany I had May 15th. Finding our individual 'Happiness Code' has everything to do with exploring the things that make us uniquely us and bring us joy--then nourishing those things. It's truly one of the secrets of happiness. Although my brain is screaming "what have you gotten us into?"

The new water accountability element has worked very well today. I've consumed 10 cups of water. That's a rarity! The bottle of water this morning filled me up, so much so, I didn't take a second cup of coffee. So there's something, perhaps it'll cut down my coffee consumption. As a coffee lover, I'm not sure this is a positive!

I voiced a radio commercial for Domino's Pizza today. Then I started craving pizza. It wasn't a serious, I need to reach out for support type craving, just a simple, that sounded delicious, type thing. I decided to make a nice low cal version as a small afternoon meal using a plain gluten free wrap, sugar free marinara, fresh mushrooms and two slices of mozzarella. These super thin gluten free wraps bake up really nice! It was all the flavor I wanted and well within my calorie budget. It was perfect!

I'm so obsessed with my set list and material for tomorrow night, I've made this an off day for exercise. I have a one track mind at the moment. I'm constantly thinking about my set, fleshing out ideas and rearranging things. I'm likely over-thinking it just a touch. It'll be fun, I'm sure of it! I plan on celebrating the conclusion of tomorrow night's show with a good workout, likely a 5K in the park. The exercise, combined with the relief of the show being behind me, will feel incredible, I'm sure.

Okay--time to rehearse some more.

My Tweets Today:


























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

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

December 9th, 2014 Excited And Terrified

December 9th, 2014 Excited And Terrified

I had a little trouble getting to sleep last night. I'm not sure why, perhaps a little anxiety over the upcoming comedy show. It is very possible to be excited about something and terrified by it at the same time. It's like getting on a new roller coaster. It's been a very long time since I did stand-up regularly. It's a part of me that needs to be exercised. My workout starts Thursday night, 7:30pm at UnWined in Downtown Ponca City.

I sincerely appreciate all of the advice I received today concerning yesterday's post about weight training. I've decided to start with the basic tutorial from a trainer at my YMCA and at that time, discuss training options. I'm committed to doing this. I'm doing it. Enough with the apprehension. I'll take it nice and slow, because nice and slow is better than talk and never!

I enjoyed a great call tonight on the weekly weight loss support group conference I co-facilitate with Life Coach Gerri Helms. Each of us talked about our individual plans, then we developed one enhancement we could add--then committed to adding this enhancement to our plan for the next week. I had two. I committed to meeting with a trainer at the Y and I agreed to be more accountable in the water consumption department.

I have always made getting enough water an issue. I know of the benefits!! It is a tremendous benefit to weight loss because it helps everything. It speeds up the metabolism, it aids in digestion, it cleanses our bodies... yes, I totally understand...and yet, most days I finish with about 6 cups. And, as you may have noticed, I don't seek accountability for it, either. I don't tweet anything about my water consumption, never have! Why? Because I didn't want to be accountable!! This changes now. Starting tomorrow, and for at least the rest of the week, I've committed to adding my water consumption to the list of things I tweet. I guarantee it will immediately make a difference.

I've been working on my set-list for Thursday night. 98% of the material is brand new-never tested in front of an audience, stuff. The point of this and other upcoming shows, is to not only allow that creative side of me to flourish, but also to workout material for a big fundraiser show in late May for the local domestic violence shelter. It doesn't matter how many shows I did over a decade ago. Big, small, low profile, high profile--It's almost like the entire experience is brand new. I hope it's like riding a bike. I'm truly excited and terrified. And that's not a bad thing. It makes me feel more alive.

My food was exceptional today. I was talking to a colleague this afternoon all about food and specifically dinner ideas. She suggested the green beans and squash idea, then later suggested adding mushrooms. Oh my--it was incredible! 

I made a super simple fruit sorbet for dessert using fresh pineapple, whole blueberries and sugar free cool whip. I blended these three ingredients in my Ninja blender, then poured it into a bowl to freeze. I left for my workout and came back to a delightful dessert! I sent the photo to Gerri and exclaimed--look what I did!! Turns out, she does this all the time! She occasionally uses almond milk instead of the sugar free cool whip. And I bet the new cashew milk would work great, too! I'll be making more of this stuff, for sure.

My Tweets Today:














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

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8th, 2014 Looking For Inspiration

December 8th, 2014 Looking For Inspiration

I was up early and ready to make today a good day. I enjoyed my coffee, prepared breakfast and was out the door in plenty of time to not feel rushed. This was a good start. In the clarity of my well rested morning, I decided this would be the day I start a weight training routine.

I've done some weight training here and there, but seriously, we both know that if it isn't backed up with consistency, then it isn't going to be effective. Doing some light lifting and body weight strength training--then exclusive cardio for a while, then a day or two of strength training here, followed by two weeks of cardio there...just doesn't count. Results demand consistency. I know this, I'm living this with the exercise and nutrition I make important. So, anyway...

I make this decision this morning, yet--I don't tell anyone. Uh huh...Yep. And why not? Every bite of food I eat gets photographed and tweeted to the world. So why not this decision? Or, if not a tweet--why not facebook, or this blog?

I was giving myself an out. That's why. I have a serious psychological hangup when it comes to weight training and I know where it started.

It was in 8th grade, in the weight room at school. Each of us had to bench press. I watched as everyone went before me, I stepped aside because I didn't want to do it. When it was my turn they left some weights on the bar from the previous kid. I couldn't budge the weight. So they took some off. Still, nothing. Then, they took it down to just the bar. I lifted the bar--then my right arm dropped, unable to handle the weight. The initial laughter wasn't the worst part. It was a couple of kids that kept saying how they couldn't believe I was so weak, that kept going. 

I was a big kid. It was fairly easy to project the illusion of strength. Now, after failing to bench the bar, everyone knew I wasn't. 

Now I know, that was long ago--but seriously, I think it's what keeps me from moving forward and committing to a regular weight training schedule. I sincerely want what it will give me. I suppose the getting started is the hardest part. I honestly believe it will be like my sugar abstinence experience, where I quickly become a believer, 1000%.

I walked into the Y tonight, checked in and went up to the weight training area. It was a busy night (Monday's always seem to be busy) and a lot of people were on the weights. It took me all of about 30 seconds to talk myself out of starting this evening. Instead, I made my way over to the familiar elliptical and worked it hard, like I do. It was a great cardio workout. I was sweating a bunch. But it wasn't weight training. 

I must get over myself in this area. The weight training is imperative for my overall fitness.

Other than that, I'm thrilled with my day. The food was good, the exercise was good--and I feel good. I just wish I could understand how I can commit to doing what I do, everyday--the food, the tweets, the daily blog posting, the consistent exercise---and the consistent weight loss...and, still, I haven't committed to the weight training. 

Do you do strength training? What was it like when you started? I'm curious. If you have the time, I'd appreciate your experience in the comments below. I suppose I'm looking for inspiration.

My Tweets today:


















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

Sunday, December 7, 2014

December 7th, 2014 The Chinese Buffet Experience

December 7th, 2014 The Chinese Buffet Experience

I'm not necessarily afraid of buffets anymore, however they are a little more work to navigate. I still took the precaution of communicating with a support buddy going in and coming out. In case you didn't read yesterday's entry--today, I had a family get together at a big Chinese buffet in my hometown.

My strategy was set before the trip South. My plan was to avoid anything fried, anything in a sticky sauce--find some kind of sugarless meat, add some fruit and grab some mushrooms and perhaps some shrimp. I have dined at this place before, so I know what they typically offer, and it was pretty much the same as always. The difference was my approach. My abstinence from sugar makes dining at this place much more difficult. My previous favorite, the coconut shrimp, is deep fried and then coated with a sugary coconut sauce...Yeah, that was off the list! Oh, and the sesame chicken? Goes without saying--not on my plan!

I focused on visiting with family. I consumed my lunch and I left the restaurant feeling satisfied and accomplished. It wasn't a big deal. It's strange, really. I made it such a big deal before--and now, I just walked in--knew the boundaries I had in place, so as I looked everything over, it automatically registered if the particular food was within my boundaries. There were a few entire buffet line sections where nothing fit. I mean, not a thing!

I'm proud of how I handled the Chinese buffet today. The support text back and forth was really good at keeping me focused on my goal, as was the Twitter feed. These are exquisite accountability measures!!

I've made today a rest day and to fully get the most out of it, I'm headed to bed within minutes! Starting the work week well rested is something I rarely do. Monday's are usually my most tiring day of all, simply because I wreak havoc on my sleep schedule over the weekend, then immediately try to correct Monday morning at 4:30am. Dropping in bed shortly after 9pm will feel amazing.

My Tweets:














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





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