Friday, September 23, 2011

SEPT 23rd Yay, A Breakthrough & A Most XLNT Video!

Howdy Journal & Friends,

After several more days of ups and downs, I feel like I've finally come in for a landing. And not a crash landing, LOL! A quiet, peaceful landing. I had been circling a thought, a feeling, an inkling that I was missing something. And I finally figured it out, thanks to a fellow blogger.

I recently said I was going back to my roots, to do what I did in the beginning. But still, I struggled. Something wasn't right.

I had been charting my nutritional data for almost 3 months, til a few weeks ago. I resisted at first, and did a lot of whining and complaining. But as frustrating as it was at times, I felt like if I just hung in there long enough, it might yield some useful information. And it did. I had to face my inconsistencies. After all, it was right there, in black and white.

But then, the more I tried to adjust my program, the harder I struggled. I'd get "stricter", and make more rules. Only to fail again. The first year I started this blog, I had lost around 50 pounds. Not a blitzkrieg, but with my age and physical restrictions, it was acceptable to me. 

But I have to face it. I am not where I want to be, and have fought the feelings of disappointment and frustration. This last year "seemed" like a bust. 

Then, a couple of days ago, the breakthrough.

I was poking around over on Facebook, and happened to read a blurb by Sean Anderson. For those of you who don't know, he started at 505 lbs, and now has reached his goal, having lost around 275 pounds. He was one of the first bloggers who reached out to me when I started this blog, and encouraged me. I related to him, not for the nutritional approach-- we have different plans-- but because he "gets it". That's it's not about the food! It's about changing from the INside, about a new and healthy relationship with food... not abusing it as a drug. He understood that for someone to reach the sizes we had (I started at 460, he at 505) there a LOT of INside changing to do... some squirelly thinking to fix.

Consequently, he started simple. A calorie budget and a simple plan to walk for exercise. He didn't push the nutrition, he let it naturally improve over time, making healthier choices as he changed on the INside. And yes, he took heat for his approach. I'd repeatedly read "concerned" comments on his blog that kindly tried to straighten him out. And some not-so-kind criticisms that told him how he was all wrong in his approach.

They didn't get it. He wasn't ready to set up tons of rules and rigid laws about what he could and couldn't eat.  He'd repeatedly tried and failed with that approach. So, he kept it simple. Improvement would come in time... but in HIS time, not the timing of others.

Here is part of what Sean posted on Facebook a couple of days ago (bolded emphasis mine):

Consistency is key... Make it about you, not about the food, not about the exercise... because when you focus energy on redefining your relationship with yourself--the good choices with food and exercise evolve naturally...

...every time I made it all about the food and exercise in the past--it made it really hard and frustrating, and then I would self-destruct. Focusing on me, with a relaxed, albeit controlled, approach with food and exercise--and it honestly became pleasurable, these changes...

It's very interesting how a shift in perspective can dramatically change our course--making what once seemed impossible, not only possible, but accomplished!!

I had to keep reminding myself to stay in control and within the bounds of my calorie budget. I've always been my own worst enemy--I had to change that dynamic, and start making the choices that made me successful. If I had immediately started putting all of the focus on the food and exercise... I would have driven myself nuts--and I would have quickly retreated to my old behaviors.

Deciding that I COULD change my old behaviors and patterns with food--I could break free from the clutches of food addiction and emotional eating--involved more of the mental change, than the change to my grocery list. It was about getting to know myself on a level I spent years avoiding...

The difference was within me--and by keeping it simple, with a calorie bank and a simple walking schedule--I was able to put the majority of my attention on me and my issues that drove the insane cycle that kept me above 500 pounds.

... after awhile of this relaxed approach with food and exercise--and a more focused approach on the mental dynamics, keeping me consistent-- my choices started naturally improving... Without being able to use food for comfort--I had no choice but to confront issues... The transformation is biggest in the non-physical side of things, for sure.

I read Sean's words over and over, realizing I had taken a detour from the path on which I had started.  I "thought" it was an improvement, but now I see I was getting the cart before the horse. I thought I was "ready" to move on... I was tired of all the "navel watching", and felt like I was going in circles, just thinking the same stuff over and over, and so figured it must have sunk in. 

I thought it was okay to relax a bit, and give all this thinking stuff a rest! I started to "entertain" my mind. A little tv, a little radio, some books on CD. I mean, it was a better diversion than food, riiiiggghhtt?? But then a little more... and a little more (and I have nothing against those things, just not all the time instead of working on my issues). 

Then, I reached a cross over point, where it became escape FROM the thinking, asking the hard questions, listening for answers.

I was no longer focused... and had never conquered consistency. But, I didn't know why. I'd read about it, made posters, written about it, thought about it. Heck... it was supposed to be my Theme for this year! (blush, blush) Yet, didn't know why I couldn't DO it.

Until I read Sean's Facebook words. 

My focus had shifted. From the INside journey, to the OUTside stuff. 

And I started to struggle much more than I had been. I had already established that for me, personally, my body doesn't handle carbs well... sugar and wheat mainly. So I had a simple nutritional plan mapped out that works for ME. But I strayed from my simple beginnings, and added layer upon layer of "rules". 

The result? Crash and burn time!

It's no one's fault but my own. I allowed what others were doing to influence me... to make me feel guilty, or wrong, or whatever. THEY didn't do that... I did. I tried to rush it, and do it the way "they" did it. 

And I finally have to just admit it... I am not mentally READY for it. Do I want to eat "clean" and all health-i-fied?? Sure! But when I force it and set up too many rules, I react.  A lifetime of "diet" experiences come boiling up to the surface, and my squirrely thinking takes over. 

Some people can get there fast... maybe they have less to lose, or are farther along mentally, or are just "ready".. I dunno. But occasionally some of them like to pronounce their "rules" and declare what is and is not right for others to be eating. Honestly, that is just dumb... wrong... annoying... counterproductive. I'm sorry, but it's like a college kid berating a kindergartener for being too immature. Give 'em time!! They'll get there. They'll learn, and figure out what their OWN triggers are, and what plan they need to be on, and will make their share of mistakes.

But if they never quit.. and always keep going, they'll get there. 

*I* will get there.

And that's why I'm feeling peaceful now, finally. I've been following my simple plan again this week, and it feels right. For me. Others need to do what THEY need to do. I need to do this simple approach for now. I had been discouraged, and eating too much, and starting to put on pounds. Ugh...

But what Sean shared help clarify things for me. The nagging thoughts that were just at the edge, that I couldn't quite make out, are now in focus. Sean and I are not on the same nutritional plan. But we ARE on the same wave length about keeping it simple, and changing the INside first, and allowing the OUTside to naturally improve over time. His first book "Finding Transformation Road" is due to come out real soon, and it's definitely on my "must read" list! 

For my Friday Favorites, I want to highly recommend Sean's short video.

Have you seen it, on his website at Transformation Road??
It's wonderful, and I think it will give you a taste of what his book must be like. Do yourself a favor, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and spend 10 minutes of your life to be thoroughly encouraged by a sincere and genuine guy, Sean Anderson. 

Do I sound like a "fan"? You betcha. :-D
Thanks, Sean.

PS: I know this post was long... more navel watching, LOL!  I understand why not many will be reading it... and I am totally okay with that. I wrote it for ME. I simply want to get this down, here and now, because I fully expect to someday look back and see this as a turning point, and I want it on record. I want to remember this, and KEEP ahold of my focus this time.  :-)

From Dr Phil's book: "It's about changing yourself from the inside out, so that being what is fit and healthy for you is as natural and as normal as breathing."

My verse for today: "I will praise the Lord, who counsels me..."

My quote for today: "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 768


affectionforfitness said...

Hi Loretta! I think you learned something very crucial. And you know, I didn't go fast, because I'm *still* working on losing a little more.

Every stage of weight loss involves new insights and lifestyle changes. But, as you explain, it involves much more than that. When I looked inward and resolved some deep hurts, my body no longer looked like it was carrying so many pounds of burden. It is both metaphorical *and* literal.

And I did go to a psychiatrist to dump those deep hurts out with someone to listen carefully to all of the heartbreaking details. It's getting rid of the toxic crap inside us that makes us healthy on the outside, *not* a bunch of rules.

So you are on the right track. And when you write a post like this, I very much relate to you, sweetie! I sure do know what you're talking about.

:-) Marion

Bluezy said...

Loretta, I appreciate you sharing this. I really needed it. It does give a peaceful feel. Great wisdom in both Sean and your words.

upinthecosmos said...

Inside out is what I've been telling myself this time around cause I've lost the weight before but both times got it all back plus extra so obviously there are reasons for that! Great advice and info, thanks for sharing it all:-)

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking on my last year, too, and just posted about it.

My thoughts wandered back because my 2 year anniversary is in a few days and the only thing I have lost this whole second year is time. To add insult to injury, I managed to find a few pounds I had intended to leave behind!

I think assessing the factors that led us to here is wise.


Christine said...

It's all in the mind. I should have that tattooed underneath live two mantras.

debby said...

This was some very good thinking Loretta! I'm glad you took the time to write it down here and share it with us, because its something I needed to hear for myself. I'm having a rough time now too, but if I don't give up I will make it. Eventually.

debby said...

This was some very good thinking Loretta! I'm glad you took the time to write it down here and share it with us, because its something I needed to hear for myself. I'm having a rough time now too, but if I don't give up I will make it. Eventually.

Anonymous said...

I read it from top to always have great things to say.

I am in full agreement...always do what is right for you.

Leslie said...

Loretta, I read every word of this and greatly appreciate your thoughts and your process. I'm with you AND Chris - it's 99% a headgame. For some it's harder than others - but attainable to all who want to do the work. I look forward to more of following your process, and my own!

Anne H said...

You are a Sean fan.... I am a Loretta fan!

I think about you every time I drive past that corner.... you know the one -- Easy Street and Action Blvd.
And I think how many changes you've made, and what an inspiration you are to many people.....
And funny - talented.... wise....
Honest, loving, and all the crap you've bounced back from..... here in Blogland, too!
All the support you offer to other Bloggers....
You Rock!

carla said...


Jules said...

Oh the inside job can be so much more work..and you can feel sore and worn out like you have done a 5 hour work out at the gym But I do believe in my heart of hearts that the *healthy* body stuff will naturally fall into place.

M Pax said...

I did the same thing. I said to myself, "What can you live with for the rest of your life?" Any change I made was permanent, and i told myself that. My idea of what I could live with changed a lot over the years. I lost the weight and I kept it off.

I think it's a very sensible approach. Of course I do. lol It worked for me.

Within it's simplicity, any plan works - low carb, no gluten, no sugar, vegan, organic, low fat ... whatever. Anything can work.

Then I learned to love what I was doing for myself, loving the colorful healthy plates of food, loving the variety and the freshness. I think perspective is a tricky thing to change, but it can be done.

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

This is such great insight. I too do not do things 'just right' and you know what? I am way more successful with keeping off the weight than many who have declared their rules to me. It has been a good year and a half and no serious regain at all.
I take the words of those who tell me what to do with a grain of salt or whatever else I might like to eat. Then I do what works for me. Even if that means some indulgence sometimes. It's not all the time, but it is A LOT like what you will see if you observe naturally thin people. And it has nothing to do with eating for comfort, etc. anymore like it once did.
You have hit this and I KNOW you will be successful. Do what works for you!

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