Sunday, February 9, 2014

Why I Do What I Do

Why I Do What I Do

Someone asked me the other day why I share the way I do and why it's so important to me. They suggested, in their opinion, I sometimes "over-share." They were interested in the motivation behind my efforts.  Is it for attention? To be loved? To feel important? Is it the product of some kind of deep seeded deficiency dating back to childhood? 

My response started with a question. What is it about what I do, that stirs you to the point of having these questions? Do I touch a nerve or two? Does what I write and share occasionally hit home on points too uncomfortable to handle, so instead of questioning yourself, your defenses go up in the form of questioning my motivation? 

Only two people have ever witnessed my raw, emotional reaction when I receive an email or facebook message from someone sharing their story with me. Nothing reduces me to tears faster than reading some of the most sincere, empowering words from someone who is finding their inner strength to choose change. When I tell someone I'm overjoyed for them, I mean it. 
I suppose it's very hard for some to grasp. 

This blog started as a tool for me, for my benefit. I started it to keep me focused and true to myself with the added accountability factor of a publicly shared journal. This blog was a way for me to dissect, analyze and unravel the inner mysteries keeping me over 500 pounds for so many years. Very few people followed along, reading each post, before AOL ran a feature story on their home page. Then things started changing. I started connecting with more and more people and I started realizing how this wasn't just helping me, it was helping others. Did I get caught up in the commotion of it all? Perhaps. But nothing brings me back home to the most raw, emotional place--like reading someone else's story of liberation.

I write this blog for me. It must be for me, first and foremost. If it wasn't, then I would have continued a song and dance during the darkest periods of regain. Instead, I retreated from what was best for me in many different ways. Some say it would have been helpful to read the "off the rails" version of things...And I get that, but again--where I was wasn't a place inspiring me to write anything helpful to me or anyone else, really. Coming back and sharing about where I've been and where I want to go, is as good as I can do. 

Occasionally, I might write a piece as if I were in the middle of the fall--kind of a time traveling concept...might be fun and therapeutic for me.  But maybe not. I mean really, could be kind of scary. 

I also don't do this for money. Yes, I would very much enjoy doing what I do for a living and there isn't anything wrong with that at all. But to this point, the relatively small financial reward hasn't been a big component of what I do (Just ask my creditors!). 

The last sentence of my Day 1 entry still holds true, "I believe it will help me stay on track and maybe along the way it will inspire someone else to stay on track."  Pretty simple.

That's what it's all about. I don't do what I do for attention, for love, to feel important or any other slightly bent off-center motivation. I do it for me, to help me and when what I do in helping myself affects someone else in a positive way, it's the most wonderful bonus of all. 

I am loved. I am important. And those facts were true long before The Daily Diary of A Winning Loser or Transformation Road came along.  

There's still plenty of road ahead. And I'm honored you're choosing to ride along. Thank you.

Jon in Wisconsin is someone who's story completely moved me. He's blogging now on Spark People, so if you have a Spark People account, I highly recommend connecting with him. His Spark People ID: WEWRTFO 
He recently wrote a blog entry about how we came to know one another. Here's an excerpt:

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Back in February of 2012 I stumbled upon his book on Amazon, at the time I did not know Sean. I found the reading of the book absolutely riveting and powerful. Being similar weight, height and body type the motivation from his book hit me like a home run. At the time I was a very private person and not one willing to discuss my own weight issues with others. 

I took at chance and emailed Sean hoping for a response. Here are some quotes from my original email. 

( " thank you for help me grasp, come to terms with what I need to do, have been wanting to do, have been putting off the past 20 years.") ("Yeah, definitely over ready almost as if your book was written for me. The mental aspect part of it and being accountable for my own actions.") ("Perhaps what sticking most in my mind is I see a mirror image of myself reading your book.") 

I was very excited having Sean respond. Here is some very powerful quotes I will never forget in the first email Sean sent me. 

("Okay--after reading your story--I must say, I can't wait to see your transformation!!! Jon--you're discovering something so wonderfully liberating....You have the key---and you're free now...The weight will come off without struggle when you exercise this power you have to choose change.") ("on--this is about getting to know yourself---and getting super self-honest with yourself. You have all of the answers already. Look in the mirror and realize---when you do---you're looking at the only person in the world that's gonna do this like no other--or fail...either way---in the mirror is the one responsible for the turnout....Nobody else--and nothing else....no person, place, thing, circumstance, emotion----Nope....)") 
"(Steel curtain zone it, Jon....Tighten your SCZ---and decide you're going to live like never before. Jon---YOU ARE GOING TO LIVE LIKE NEVER BEFORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ") 

Back in February of 2012 this was very powerful motivation, a man who truly cares about helping others with there own weight issues, and have stayed in touch with Sean ever since. If not for Sean, I would not be blogging or have created my Spark People page. Since February 2012 I often visit Sean's blog archive or read his newest post. Sometimes pick up his book or exchange emails. My one constant go to source that has enabled me to get to the point where I am at today. I encourage anybody who has not read Sean's book, please do so. Thank's Sean for being such a great friend and motivator! 


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This is why I do what I do.

The only thing missing from my response to Jon back then, was how important it is to connect with your spiritual side. Whatever that is, is totally up to you and your understanding. And for some, this connection is very natural, going hand in hand with making changes. But for me it's been a learned element through trial and error. I've always been one to learn things the more challenging way. But in that, I've learned a great deal I might not have otherwise. We're not alone along this road, ever. 

Someone who recently purchased one of my "I'm Choosing Change" adjustable leather bracelets
sent a very nice message describing her recent grocery store situation:

"Today is two weeks since I started eating healthy again and exercising minimally , but have managed to lose 10lbs. At the store last night, for no good reason other than habit, I walked up to the ice cream section, opened the door and reached for my all time favorite non-narcotic drug of choice, but mid-reach, as I spotted my bracelet, I thought to ask myself if the calories and self- loathing to follow my treat will be worth it, and I imagined you and all of your supporters there with me in that moment, as I allowed the door to close. I continued to shop, without a battle raging in my head for and against the ice cream. It was like an out of body experience thinking of all the other people out there who say no too, and made it, in that moment, easier than it has ever been in my recent memory to walk away empty handed. Thanks Sean"

Reading this also empowers me! Do you think I could possibly be in the frozen "treats" section of my local grocery store without remembering this message? No way. We've helped her. And she's helped us. 

This is why I do what I do.

I would love for you to connect with me on My Fitness Pal (SeanAAnderson), Facebook (facebook.com/seananderson505) and Twitter (@SeanAAnderson). Each of these social media platforms have a different type content and do different things for me. I post a bunch of food pictures to Twitter. My daily food diary is public on My Fitness Pal and Facebook is a place where I connect with friends the most, often through what I call "micro-blogs" and various other postings.

Quick update on where I am: I'm keeping a 1700 calorie budget. I haven't been exercising regularly, yet, and that's okay for the moment. I'm having another sleep study the night of the 14th to at last determine the proper therapy enabling me to finally feel fully rested. My doctors appointment that was the 11th had to be rescheduled for the 17th and that's when I'll have my first official weigh-in since "coming back to life." I'll continue with monthly weigh-ins from that point forward.

I sincerely appreciate your continued support,
Thank you for reading,
Strength,
Sean

11 comments:

  1. Hi again Sean! I just wanted to say you are doing a great job! I don't think you over share and what you do share is appreciated. It takes great courage to do what you do. When I first started to read your blog it was around the time your story was in the local news paper here in PC. I was not doing well back in those days and your story was so inspirational. I'm doing better now and working hard to reach my goal too. I believe you'll get back to your goal again. I also believe all things happen for a reason. Being healthy and happy is what makes it worth it. As always I wish you all the very best! You can do it!!!


    Your friend,

    Jules

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    1. Thank you so much, Julie! I'm on my way for sure! And what you said about all things happen for a reason...Yes, me too...I very much believe this to be true!

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  2. I was one of the people who learned about you from the AOL article. I went to your blog and read it from the beginning and loved it. I also purchased your book. I appreciate your sharing and your caring about other people who are also trying to reach their goals. Don't change. Rude people will always be with us. Sigh. :( We will just try to overlook their comments.

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    1. Caron-Thank you so much. I'm so grateful for that aol article because it connected me with people like you! I don't plan on changing what I do and how I do it! It's very important to me. I really try not to let negative energy from others get to me--and I suppose I do from time to time anyway... I guess it's a human thing, you know? Luckily, I don't get too much negative. Thank you very much for your support, Caron.

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  3. Sean...after all these years of reading your blog I just want to say a big thank you for keeping yourself real!! This is you and the you we have all come to know and love. We cry with you and rejoice with you. You cant get more real than that! Thank you for the many hours of inspiration you have given me and for giving me the permission to learn through your mistakes. Lord knows I didn't need others mistakes as I make well enough on my own. Thanks Sean...Have a great day!

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    1. Leah, Thank you! It's been some ups and downs and very much a real experience, for sure. You're so welcome, my friend. And I sincerely appreciate your tremendous support over the years!

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  4. I thank you for writing this blog. I've read it for years stopped when you reach your goal weight.
    How brave you are to admit that you need help. I think that is a huge step, One I need to take : )
    I think you are a huge inspiration : )

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    1. Liz, thank you so much. You're very welcome! This blog has been and continues to be a huge blessing to me. You can do it, Liz, you really can!

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  5. Hi Sean- I found you via Chris @ A Deliberate Life. She doesn't post often anymore, but she literally changed my life. I credit her with giving me the ok to change my weight and not necessarily have to end up as a yo-yo dieter like so much of my family. I have managed to keep almost 50 lbs. off for over 3 years. I knew if I ever did it, it had to be just once. If I never 'met' Chris via her blog, I would have never tried for fear of the regain.
    You do just as much good for so many, believe me.

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    1. Jasmine, Yes!! Chris has a gift of perspective and explaining perspective in a way that can unlock things in our brain! She's fantastic! Congrats on maintaining! You've got to feel very good about this, Jasmine...You've found a balance! And thank you for the compliment. :)

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  6. I read this and really gain true information here. Thank you very much for such a nice post.

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