Friday, May 29, 2015

May 29th, 2015 Test Run

May 29th, 2015 Test Run

I took the day off from radio in order to devote the day to wedding preparations. Everyone involved was super busy. My alarm was set for 5am in order to hit my first task at 6:30am sharp. A friend and colleague was leaving for Oklahoma City at 7am and they agreed to pick up a few food items for the reception at Sam's Club. From that point on, it was off to the races.

The tablecloths, the punch fountain, the lights, the live redbud trees with heart shaped leaves (Amber is a big lover of trees), the tuxedos, confirming delivery time of chairs and setup instructions, meeting at the ceremony venue, meeting at the reception venue, the rehearsal, the rehearsal dinner, shopping for food, platters and miscellaneous items, too. And it all starts again early tomorrow.  And you know what?

I loved every minute of it. Truly, in every way, a labor of love.

Thank goodness it's a group effort! Everyone, from Irene to Amber, the groomsmen, the bridesmaids-The groom's mom and dad-everyone had their assignments today. And all of them hit it out of the park!

I didn't need an intentional workout today. I ended up burning almost 600 calories from all the activity. I wouldn't have had time anyway!

Spray's Tuxedos always does amazing work. Their instructions upon pickup was for each of us to try on our tuxedo and if any adjustments were needed, they would be happy to make them in the morning. Perfect! This means I had a great reason to put it on tonight for a test run!
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I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I can't wait to dance with my daughter and my mom!

Even with the stress involved in preparing for an event like this--especially when we're all taking on things normally hired out (saving money), I took extraordinary care within the boundaries of my fundamental elements. Holding my elements sacred with a non-negotiable policy, is a critical key to my continued successful recovery from relapse/regain. 

A friend posed the question today, the same question I've received a few times in the last couple of weeks: Will you eat a piece of your daughter's wedding cake? The answer is very simple: No.

I can write this with certainty: Amber fully understands the dynamics and importance level I apply to my abstinence from refined sugar. And I'm sure she would much rather continue seeing her dad thrive than see me eat cake at her reception.

I'm hitting the pillow tonight with a confident feeling, knowing I did my best and I hit the marks in my plan.

My Tweets Today:




























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

Thursday, May 28, 2015

May 28th, 2015 Yes, I Said Dancing

May 28th, 2015 Yes, I Said Dancing

This super busy day started just after midnight when storms rolled through. Luckily it wasn't severe and I was able to get in bed not long after two am. It wasn't a good start to a day I knew would be super busy. A colleague filled in on my show until I arrived, about 40 minutes after it started this morning. 

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#TBT The 505 Tattoo. I braved the tattoo needle (I'm a baby when it comes to needles) in order to get this reminder of my starting weight permanently marked on my arm. I might get one more, possibly "I'm Choosing Change." But that's a ways away.

I quickly adjusted and shook off the rocky start. The day kept going, stopping to prepare lunch and then an afternoon nap at work helped me make it through the evening. No wonder I forgot to tweet my coffee earlier tonight! I took the picture and didn't tweet it until putting together this blog post!

I ordered out for dinner. Fajita crispy tacos! It's one of my favorites for a couple of reasons. Number one, it's incredibly delicious. Number two, the calorie count is totally adjustable depending on my budget. Low count? Have three. High count? Have two. Plenty of calories? Add cheese or a little more sour cream--or how about some guac? Not too many calories left in the bank? Leave off the cheese, have two--cut back the meat from approximately 2oz in each to 1.5oz and go easy on the sour cream. Also-- I adjust the amount of chips and salsa depending on where I find my calorie budget.

The fajita crispy tacos are not on the menu at any of the seven different restaurants I've tried (It should be!). But each one accommodates my request, perfectly. Who makes the best tasting fajita crispy tacos? Mexico Joe's in my hometown of Stillwater. Actually, I assemble it at the table--I make them, after ordering the individual ingredients. The restaurant closest to my apartment is the best value by far, charging me a low $6.52 for the entire order. It would be a challenge to cook it at home for that price!

I had fun with my workout tonight. When I allow myself to focus on the music--and I shut off the day's clutter--that's when the 30 minutes on that machine seems to fly by really fast. And when I get into the music--I don't even realize how crazy it gets with the lip syncing and dancing. Yes, I said dancing.

Speaking of dancing--we're less than 48 hours away from the father/daughter dance at the wedding reception! I've never looked forward to a dance like I'm looking forward to this one. I'm going to cry--there's no way around it.  

I'm off work tomorrow in preparation for the big day on Saturday. My full schedule Friday starts early. I hope your Thursday was incredible!

My Tweets Today:






















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

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May 27th, 2015 Bottom Of The Fourth

May 27th, 2015 Bottom Of The Fourth

If yesterday was like a blooper single, today was a home run. Not a spectacular, over the Green Monster, record setting home run, but a home run, never the less. 

Over the course of this experience, I've learned the importance of accepting and choosing to be okay when things don't go exactly as planned. As long as I'm honest with myself about the efforts made, there's a clear distinction between excuse and legitimate circumstance. If I'm dishonest with myself, that's when the lines get blurred between the two. Awareness and self-honesty--two of the most important elements along this road!

Another thing to consider when we feel like we've struck out on a particular day: Babe Ruth was known for his home run hitting. Lesser known is the fact that he led the major leagues in strikeouts five seasons of his career. #truestory

This trek isn't and should never be about perfection, in my opinion. It's about finding the groove and the elements that work best for you--and in that, finding consistency. If you're not consistent, you haven't failed. You're simply in search of your elements--your groove...and when you find it, you'll find consistency.

And even with consistency, we occasionally go down swinging, and that's okay because we get another at bat. Another chance to knock it out of the park. I made mention of this baseball analogy last night and Lisa, a member of the exclusive weight loss support group I co-facilitate with Life Coach Gerri, added something brilliant: "It's all about staying in the game and being present which inning you're in!" Oh wow. Yes, indeed. What inning is it? I feel like I'm in the bottom of the fourth and there's a whole lot of game ahead of me. Know what I mean?

We're getting into wedding preparation mode quickly. The next few days will be intense, I'm sure! I'm excited. I still can't believe my Amber is getting married this Saturday evening. It doesn't seem possible! I can't wait to walk her down the isle. She's picked a song that will likely render me a big mushy mess of tears!

I caught up on blog comment replies tonight. So if you've asked a question in any of the previous three blog posts, I've answered! And thank you!

My Tweets Today:
























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

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May 26th, 2015 I'm Still In The Game

May 26th, 2015 I'm Still In The Game

My schedule this evening took a turn after my weekly weight loss support group conference call. I was activated for on-air weather coverage just as I was about to walk out the door for the YMCA. I didn't get back home until almost midnight. It's late. I must drop in a few minutes!

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I was shopping yesterday morning for a shirt or two. I wasn't shopping in the big and tall section! In fact, one of the extra large shirts could be considered too big. Okay--not could be, it is too big.

I'm behind on emails and comment replies. I take great care and pride in these two things. Please know, if you take the time to message me--it's important, and you'll be hearing back from me soon!

I must say, today was a little off. I didn't hit my water goal, I didn't exercise and I went over my calorie budget by 13 calories (not a big deal in the slightest).

I didn't hit a home run today. But I'm still in the game. I get another at-bat tomorrow.

My Tweets Today:
























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

Monday, May 25, 2015

May 25th, 2015 A Short One Tonight

May 25th, 2015 A Short One Tonight

I enjoyed a wonderful visit with mom today. We visited the cemetery, then made our way to our favorite restaurant for lunch.

We had a good visit, then I met up with a support group member who just happens to live thirty minutes from my hometown. We met at Starbucks for a long overdue get-together!

I returned to mom's place to visit a little more with her and my uncle Keith. When I left their place, I realized I needed something for dinner. I really didn't want to go in somewhere for another meal out, so I did what I normally do in a pinch like this, I bought almonds, a banana and some cheese. Dinner served!

It was a little late to start a 5K around Boomer Lake, but I did.. I'm glad I did. It put me back home later than I wanted and with much less time to write about the day, but tomorrow's another day!
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Mom is doing really well. You sure can notice her weight loss. I'm so proud of her! One step and one day at a time, momma!

A short one tonight. The Tweets will take us the rest of the way.

My Tweets Today:


























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

Sunday, May 24, 2015

May 24th, 2015 Remembering

May 24th, 2015 Remembering

This Memorial Day Weekend has kept me fairly busy. Today was relaxed for the most part, including an afternoon nap! I took good care with my food and exercise, too.

I'll be headed to Stillwater tomorrow for lunch with mom followed by a trip to Sunset Memorial Gardens, where my little brother Shane, grandma and grandpa and numerous other family members are laid to rest. I picked out some memorial flowers for each of them today. Shane gets blue and yellow, because that was our high school colors and Shane was a proud Stillwater High graduate. Grandma gets purple because anyone who ever knew her longer than a day, was fully aware it was her favorite color. And grandpa gets red, white and blue because he bravely defended those colors, in the Pacific during World War 2.

Someone posted the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day on Facebook. The post said Memorial Day is a day to remember those brave men and women who fought for our country and are no longer with us. And Veterans Day is a day to honor all veterans, even those we're lucky enough to still have in our lives.

Memorial Day in my family always meant remembering all of our passed loved ones. In that spirit, I wanted to share some pictures with you of several loved ones I'm remembering this weekend.

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Roy T. Anderson-US Navy-World War 2. Grandpa was one of the kindest, most gentle people I've ever known. He was a hard worker his entire life. He was an honest man who kept things simple. All he needed to exude happiness and contentment, was his easy chair, a good western on the TV (preferably with John Wayne) and an apple.

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My older brother Danny was a performer; a singer with a golden voice. In his younger days, he even had a big recording contract in Germany. Before I ever got a chance to meet him, he passed away unexpectedly at 42.

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A more casual picture of Danny. We have the same ears.

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My little brother Shane looked up to me in so many ways. Twenty-Four years old was way too young for him to go. I would give anything to have him back. Anything at all.

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I didn't have a chance to get to know them very well. But I do know my grandma and grandpa on my dad's side were incredible people. When I showed up out of the blue, this long lost grandson they previously didn't know existed, was welcomed with open arms and loving hearts. I'll never forget that.

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"Don't you lose another pound!" My grandma must have repeated that order a hundred times during the final stages of my initial weight loss. I love her so much. Her directive was so loving. It was her way of saying, you're just fine no matter what you weigh.

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When I visited Alabama in November 2010, attending grandpa Haynes's birthday party was a highlight. Grandpa Haynes also served in World War 2.

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Clarke Hodson was my big brother from the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. Our time together was short, but his influence impacted me in positive ways that still bless me to this day. It was an amazing honor when the family asked me to join them in the family section at his funeral. I wish I would have made more time and effort to see him. It always felt like we had more time ahead of us.

There's a longer list of loved ones not pictured. I'm remembering them all this weekend.
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The YMCA is closed tomorrow! I'm planning a Memorial Day 5K, likely tomorrow evening some time. It'll be a good workout and a good time to reflect further on the significance of the day.

A friend and colleague gifted me several lamb chops today from an area farm. It was a very generous gift. It made deciding dinner really easy! I stopped by the store to grab some all-fruit sugar free peach spread. I used it as a topping on the grilled chops. Wow. It was incredible. See the dinner tweet below!

I'm hitting the pillow feeling really well tonight. My nightly checklist is solid, with all goals met today. Oooh...except I didn't take a picture wearing my new size 36 jeans! I'll do that tomorrow.  

My Tweets Today:


























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

Saturday, May 23, 2015

May 23rd, 2015 I'll Pretend It's The Wrong Color

May 23rd, 2015 I'll Pretend It's The Wrong Color

I really needed a pair of jeans. I only had one pair that fit properly. The same could be said thirteen months ago, but for opposite reasons. Back then, all of my jeans were too small. Now, all of them are too big. It's a very nice "problem" to have. I found a big sale and ended up with two new pair of size 36 waist jeans for less than the price I expected to pay for one pair.

Holding them up in the fitting room, my brain doesn't compute properly. It's very interesting. I hold them up and think, no way will these fit--there's just no way. Then they do. I also tried a size 34 and no--not ready for that size. But the 36's, yes-those work well.

I wanted a sport coat. But as I shopped, I had the thought--why am I not at a thrift store? I immediately decided to check out thrift shops first for sport coats. I'll do that soon.

I'm not a good clothes shopper. I don't enjoy it. I didn't enjoy it when I was at my heaviest and I still don't. It was fun fitting into those jeans and getting a great deal. But I didn't spend a lot of time in the shopping process. I'm an "in and out" shopper. I know what I want, I find it--try it on, if it fits, I'm checking out and leaving. If it doesn't fit, I'll pretend it's the wrong color. 

I made today a rest day in the exercise department. It wasn't the plan, but I'm okay with the decision. I was up earlier than I wanted to be this morning and I've been overly tired pretty much all day. Let's just say, it didn't take much inner dialogue for me to accept the unintended rest day. 

I was exchanging text support messages Friday with a support buddy who shared their plan to enjoy fried catfish this weekend. I love fried catfish. LOVE IT. So I declared I would have some, too! I stopped by the store and picked up some fresh catfish. It's cheap around here! I bought more than enough for two meals for just under five dollars. I used corn meal and some of the leftover gluten free flour in my pantry to coat each piece, then fried 'em in canola oil. Determining the calorie count is a challenge with something like this.

First of all, I did some research for calorie counts and portion sizes at popular restaurants offering catfish. That gave me a fairly good idea. Then I weighed the raw catfish. That's the easy part. The harder part is determining how much corn meal and flour is being used--and how much of the canola oil will be absorbed during cooking.

I determine how much prep ingredients remain after preparation and cooking and that gives me a fairly accurate guesstimate.  Then I compare my determination with the calorie counts from the popular restaurants. Is it close? Yes. Is it perfect? NO. Is it okay to be close enough? By all means.

The fried catfish was worth the effort!

My evening has included doing weather coverage breaks for the radio station. We're under a flood warning tonight. I'm hitting the pillow thoroughly wore out and confident in the elements of my day.

My Tweets Today:






















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

Friday, May 22, 2015

May 22nd, 2015 Yes It Is

May 22nd, 2015 Yes It Is

I did a location broadcast today where two tables full of free food was one of the draws. Free hotdogs, cookies, chips and soda filled the tables and for twelve on-air breaks I offered the free lunch to anyone and everyone who made the effort to stop by. I declined the invitation to eat. Surprisingly, I only had to say no once. Usually it's several times and many different variations of "no, thank you."

My lunch was waiting two blocks away, back at the studio. I keep a supply of food at work and sometimes I share with my colleagues. I ran across an extra apple today, cut it up and announced its availability to those still within earshot of the employee kitchen. One of them took me up on it and then added, "I have something I want you to try, it would go perfectly with the apple."

Before I type another word, let me point out--this colleague is one of the sweetest, nicest and well meaning co-workers I've ever worked with in my career. I was about to find out that she hasn't really grasped what I'm all about and what I do here. And that's totally cool. I'm truly the only one who must fully grasp it as it applies to me and my recovery.

I immediately knew, without her saying another word--she was about to offer me something with sugar. She approached the conference/lunch table with what she described as the smoothest, best tasting imported chocolate, ever. She was holding a tiny square just for me.

Me: "Thank you, but I don't eat sugar."
Colleague: "It's okay, it's really small."
Me: "I don't eat sugar, not even a small dose. Haven't in over a year. Thank you, though."
Colleague: "You can have just a little bit, can't you?"
Me: "It would be like asking an alcoholic in successful recovery if they could have just a tiny bit of vodka--just a taste, because this is the best Russian vodka in the world."
Colleague: "Oh no, it's not the same!"
Me: (matter of fact tone) "Yes it is."

She left the small piece of chocolate next to the remaining pieces of the extra apple and added, "maybe someone else will want to try it."

I don't believe she was intentionally trying to push or disregard my boundaries, she just doesn't know. Her experiences have informed her in a different way. She was just honestly blown away and passionately excited about the taste of this amazing chocolate! She wanted to share it with everyone, especially someone offering her a slice of apple, which, as it turns out, apple is a perfect compliment to this imported treat. I bet she gave away a bunch of it yesterday!

A big reason I've been able to find focus and consistency over the last 13 months, is because I give my abstinence from sugar and the integrity of my food plan the same kind of reverence an alcoholic in recovery gives their sobriety. It's non-negotiable. And when I'm feeling tested or weak, I immediately reach out to a support buddy in order to talk or "text it out," and it's there where I find renewed strength, a better perspective and a fresh load of resolve.

This level of reverence is one of the things I found common in those who have long term maintenance and successful recovery.

It all comes down to importance level and where we decide to set that level.

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DDWL Flashback Excerpt--Day 348--August 2009:

The importance level we set for things isn't something we just say. It's easy to say, “my weight loss efforts will be of utmost importance from this point forward.” It's ultimately set by our actions, not our words. If you find yourself making excuses and coming up with rationalizations that make bad choices seem alright, then maybe you need to check the importance level. 

Check it often, because it can deplete without you realizing. How do you check it? 

With complete honesty, that's your dipstick. 

Richard Simmons tweeted this today: “There is only one way to lose weight and keep it off. And it's by being truthful with yourself about the food...” 

100% self-honesty is crucial to your success. I've written about this many times because it's something that I never did before with past failed attempts. Since day one nearly a year ago, this self-honesty policy has been firmly in place, and you know what kind of results I've had. 

The self-honesty component is vital to the mental changes required on this road to permanent success. Make this one of the most important things you've ever done. Give it the highest important level. Get completely honest with yourself about the habits you know are holding you back---and then get ready for an almost magically transformation of mind and body. Forget “almost,” it is magical.

Author note: You can read a little cocky self-assured attitude in the part about "...road to permanent success." I had a book of lessons and a beautiful humbling ahead of me....boy, did I ever.
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I made it to the YMCA this evening for a nice elliptical workout. It was a long day and I was feeling fatigued, so I opted to skip the weight machines and head straight for the cardio of the elliptical ride. Instead of music, I listened to NPR's Fresh Air podcast. I rarely do this. Usually it's music for me. This time the topic was David Letterman's career, and since he's one of my broadcasting/comedy heroes, I made a rare exception. I enjoyed it!

I'm looking forward to a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. I hope yours is fantastic, too!

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Animated! #FBF Far Back Friday, since I didn't post a #TBT picture. Screen grab from a corporate speaking event. The graphics person didn't get the title of the book correct. It wasn't a big deal, in fact, that title would have worked well, too. :) I almost backed out of doing this one because it was early in my regain period. All I wanted to do was hide far far away. I remember telling my therapist I couldn't do the engagement because I had gained back some weight. She quickly offered some perspective adjustments. It ended up being one of my best speaking experiences, despite the regain. I followed her advice, acknowledged the regain and made it a small part of my message.

Headed to bed relatively early for a Friday night. It's time to sleep until I can't. No alarm tonight

My Tweets Today:






























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

Thursday, May 21, 2015

May 21st, 2015 So Adorable

May 21st, 2015 So Adorable

I'm looking forward to more writing time over the weekend. Today has been a busy one. The highlight of my day was taking my grandson Noah for his tuxedo fitting. He's so adorable!















I made today a rest day from exercise. I came home after a really long day and took a fairly short nap. I delayed my dinner until late, I just wasn't ready to eat. I was too busy relaxing.

We're 8 days from my oldest daughter's wedding. 8 days!! It's all coming together nicely. It'll be a fantastic experience.

I'm ready to drop in bed. Goodnight!

My Tweets Today:




















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

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 20th, 2015 Thank You, Gwen!

May 20th, 2015 Thank You, Gwen!

Earlier this week, I was honored to be featured by Gwen on her blog "The Sunny Coconut." I'm a fan of Gwen, what she's all about and how she is so supportive of so many people. Gwen was reading some of my archived posts when she came across one from late May, 2014 entitled "What It Takes." Her feature republishes the post and then she follows up with a wonderful analysis of the elements most resonating within her. Again, very honored. Thank you, Gwen! 

Here's a link to that post:
https://thesunnycoconut.wordpress.com/2015/05/17/what-does-it-take/  Clicking the link will open her blog in a separate tab within your browser.

I've experienced a fantastic day in every way. It's been long and I'm exhausted, so I'll skip the details and let the Tweets tell the tale tonight.

I hope you'll check out the link to Gwen's blog above! She's a fantastic writer, thinker and philosopher!

My Tweets Today:
























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





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