Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18th, 2014 Never Give Up

August 18th, 2014 Never Give Up

I felt myself slipping in the summer of 2012. It felt as if I was slowly turning back into 505 pound Sean. What happened? I had successfully maintained for a year and a half since hitting 230 pounds in November 2010. Something had changed. I lost my grip. It started affecting me in the most depressive ways. Suddenly what seemed easy was the hardest thing to do and where I had become cocky-confident, I was being shown I wasn't so invincible after-all. I was falling fast. A victim of my own pride and perspective.

I had a big corporate speaking event on the schedule for late September 2012. As it approached, I kept trying to right my wrongs so I could somehow stand tall and confident in front of what would be the largest audience to ever hear me speak. Part of me was excited for this event, with its three camera shoot, big stage--big auditorium and a company wide live webcast. Speaking for this Fortune 500 company could help me launch the speaking career I dreamed of having. The circumstances and bigness seemed to match the confidence level I had, the one that was quickly slipping away. And this lack of confidence had the other part of me completely terrified.

I sat across from my therapist two days before the event. I had gained back a little over twenty pounds. Seems crazy now when I think about how broken up I was over that twenty pounds. It wasn't necessarily the twenty pounds, it was feeling like all of what I had inside was gone and I couldn't get it back. I told my therapist I couldn't stand in front of any audience and I was going to cancel my appearance at the event. The counsel she offered me that day shot straight to the heart of who I was and what I was about. I was struggling and humans struggle and I needed to express this, not hide from it or pretend it didn't exist. She suggested just enough spark for me to ignite just enough confidence to do the job I was hired to do. I left her office determined to speak at the event two days later.

The event arrived and so did I, but only after an intensive self-talk confidence boosting session in the mirror. Even if I wasn't fully convinced, I needed to make it through this event somehow. And it wasn't one session, it was two sessions. I was scheduled to deliver the same talk twice in the same day with one being web-streamed live throughout the company.

As soon as I hit the stage, I felt a burst of energy--like my confidence had returned. I spoke with passion, straight from the heart and afterward the question and answer session confirmed how I felt. I had made a powerful connection with my audience. 

As I signed books afterward, I was approached by a very nice woman who didn't say too much, but I do remember her saying that she was watching the webcast from her desk and had to come over from her office to meet me. She bought a book, I signed it to "Heather..."--and she walked away. There was something about her that made an impact on me. I can't explain it. All I know is, something was different about her from all the others I met that day.

It wasn't long before Heather Cates and I started exchanging messages via Facebook. Although the power of the speaking event sparked something in me to turn things around, it only lasted a few days before I felt pulled back into the spiral. When she suggested we get together just as friends for her birthday in early 2013, I was really in no place to oblige--but for some reason, I couldn't say no. We enjoyed a nice evening and visit that I couldn't forget. I was attracted to her story, her experience--she was a survivor who overcame incredible odds and she was so beautifully passionate about it all and what she was all about. It didn't matter though, because the darkness I felt surrounding wouldn't let me continue seeing her.

Several days after that first evening, I told her via Facebook message "it's not a good time for me," and that was that. I still didn't forget her, I couldn't. I felt like I was missing something very special. But I had to miss it because I didn't feel worthy of anything good in any way.  When she started seeing someone else a while later, she didn't know it--but I felt a genuine sense of loss. By that time I was well on my way to a 164 pound regain. I was feeling more lost than ever before. I felt like I had missed a turn somewhere--taking a nightmare detour where all of my worst fears were unfolding right in front of me. Nobody but me knew how dark it was getting because I kept it to myself, isolating and feeling horribly alone. Occasionally I would break free for a couple days but then it was right back into this horrible place.

2014 started with an awakening of sorts. It was late January when I started really taking the steps to pull out of this horrible place. I made doctors appointments to help me with my raging sleep apnea and I resolved to turn this ship around once and for all. It still wasn't enough. It was mid to late April of this year when I finally reached a point of true surrender. I couldn't continue on like I was and I wasn't giving up. I redefined my approach, recommitted myself to daily writing, set up new and powerful accountability tools and set out on an often wobbly stride toward feeling better. Finally, I was losing weight again and feeling fantastic.

The darkness was lifting quickly and then May 15th came along and completely changed me in the deepest, most profound way. It was a simple ten minute drive to the YMCA for my workout. I wasn't trying to think about any of this stuff when these incredible thoughts started firing in my head. In that short ten minute drive, I was given what it meant to and how to really love myself. I never knew how before May 15th. I was doing it wrong my entire life. Suddenly, this shift in perspective was so clear, so real and powerful, I couldn't stop marveling at what it was doing for me on the inside. This is when things turned dramatically better in my life.

A month later, Heather crossed my mind again. Was I too late? Had the ship sailed? I couldn't tell from her Facebook account because of her privacy settings--so I messaged her and asked if she would consider seeing me again. She said yes. I couldn't believe it. She said yes. Maybe I wasn't too late! Maybe the time was right. Maybe I had to experience what I did before I could ever experience what I dreamed.

We took some time to simply reacquaint with one another. Then, Saturday August 16th, we acknowledged our mutual feelings and it felt as right and as peaceful and harmonious as it possibly could feel.

We made it "Facebook Official" today. If it seemed sudden, it wasn't. It was a long and broken road that eventually brought us back together.

I highly recommend reading her blog for some insight into her incredible story and what she's all about. Simply click: www.motivateyouwhynotyou.blogspot.com/ 

The common theme among it all--all of this, is never give up. Never give up. It's not too late to turn things around. The weight isn't even the main issue, it's how we feel about ourselves--and when we start shifting this crucial perspective, incredible things can happen and some of the most powerful transformations occur in the most natural and beautiful way.

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I had a great workout tonight, even though it was my backup plan. My workday was exceptionally long and I ended up missing my planned spin and swim combo. I opted for the elliptical instead. I'll spin and swim again another day.

My food tweets today:










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

32 comments:

  1. I wasn't trying to think about any of this stuff when these incredible thoughts started firing in my head. In that short ten minute drive, I was given what it meant to and how to really love myself.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you have the time, will you please go into greater detail about what these thoughts were and what you were given?

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    1. Belinda, thank you for your interest and support. The May 15th blog post and the May 19th edition clearly explain the details of that experience. The archives can be found along the left hand side of this page. Let me know if you have trouble clicking them and reading.

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  2. What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing it, Sean. She sounds like a very special lady. I look forward to reading her blog.

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  3. Awesome! I am so happy for you Sean. Congratulations to both you and Heather hope the very best for you.

    Thank you for sharing this and can't help wondering how much the absence of sugar plays a role in more than just weight loss. The one word that sticks in my mind constantly is CLARITY and notice you use that word as often as I do. In my eight months of no longer being influenced by the sweetness of sugar I have enjoyed how my mind seems to work in clarity at a level I have not experienced before. I am very much aware you mention this same phenomenon in your blogs as well as other benefits of no sugar, which is another reason for anyone who is considering to free themselves of sugar addition its worth the effort.

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    1. Thank you Jon! The clarity and peace I feel from my sugar abstinence is very apparent--it frees my brain to explore things it didn't have time to consider before--you're spot on. All of this ties together, my friend. I know you have and continue to experience the same dynamics. It's powerful!!!

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  4. Sean, I am so happy for you. It really does sound like you have found something special.
    This post hit me like a ton of bricks. I feel exactly the same when I was regaining. It's the loss of control that is so scary. I was just reading another blog about never giving up. I never will no matter how much I struggle.

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    1. Katrin-- Thank you. I'm so glad you could relate--because it's there we realize we're not at all alone. And it isn't impossible to find our way back--as long as we don't give up. Wonderful to read your last sentence--just wonderful.

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  5. What a wonderful story! May you and Heather share much happiness.

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    1. Colleen--thank you very much!! I truly believe we will!

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  6. Sean, Never Give Up! Thanks for the inspiration as I find the courage to start over again. I used to follow you back in 2010 when I was just starting out. I had a real good run and then fell on my face into some dark times. I tried to restart in 2012 but with no luck. Coming back to this blog and seeing that even you have had your trying times helps me to understand that we all fail at times. Now I'm back and more motivated than ever to get on track. Best of luck to you, thanks for the inspiration. FogDog's Weight Loss - Starting Over (Again!)

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    1. I'm so glad you came back! I'm overjoyed that you're feeling more motivated than ever. It is very possible to not only get it back, but feel better and have a more profound experience than before. Thank you for sharing the link!

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  7. You know it was Winston Churchill who said, "Never, ever, ever give up" but my favorite saying of his is, "If you're going through hell, keep going" because honestly that's what not giving up requires - just keep going.

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  8. I hardly 'know' you, but :: tears :: I'm so happy for both of you!

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  9. Congratulations, Sean -- I'm thrilled for you both!

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  10. Sean, I'm just starting on this journey myself and it's great to read about someone that's been there and understands all the ups and downs and has had success. Good luck to you sir!

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    1. BD-- I'm so glad you're here, and i don't just mean on my blog, I mean HERE--in this place mentally where you're starting. BD, you can make this THE time, like no other before it. Good luck to you too, BD and thank you!

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  11. Congratulations! How wonderful for you both :)

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  12. Awwwwe! What a sweet story. Truly. To be open to love, you have to feel worthy of love. Congrats to the both of you :)

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    1. That's truth--what you've written here, Nikki. Thank you. So true.

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  13. Me again! I loved Heather's blog! You two will be a force to be reckoned with. I wasn't able to comment because I don't have a Google identity, but I hope she reads this to know that I think she is a great writer just like you, with wonderful insights and inspiring strength of character.

    By the way, did anyone record that webinar? What a wonderful memory that would be for the two of you, to know that you met via that talk! (I would love to see you speaking, too, if it's available anywhere!

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    1. Becky - Thank you!! I did not realize my blog was restricted to require a Google ID to leave a comment. I have fixed that. Sadly, it erased the previous comments, including the very sweet one from Sean! :(

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    2. Becky--I agree. She writes from the heart like I do. She's an amazing writer, fitness coach, professional actress, an asset to the large company she works for and above all--an incredible mom to her kids. She's knows herself and what's important to her and she will not sacrifice those importance levels. Loving that about her.
      The speaking event wasn't public--It was archived but only available within the company. It can only be viewed by their employees.
      Here's a link to my YouTube Channel where you'll find several videos--some of speaking events, including my first ever in February 2009.
      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAioWdce5YL8tHQdev5Au5A
      Best wishes always, Becky. Thank you for your support!

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    3. Heather-- I left a new comment! Sorry Google mistakenly erased the others! ;)

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  14. So very happy for you!

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