It is because of Sean's blog, The Daily Diary of Winning Loser, that I lost 85 lbs. His perspective was solid and honest: Set yourself a goal and a calorie bank and trust -- a daily total that you don't ever go over. Then eat foods that you love and that are satisfying. Those of you who have followed this blog know that in that journey I learned to eat foods that were nutritionally dense and over time I have evolved into someone who absolutely is interested in eating new foods that are extremely nutritious and because I keep the calorie bank and trust. I don't want to waste any calories. But that story is for another blog.
Tim: I am going to cut in here. Sean Anderson's book does not fall into the genre of healthy eating or nutrition. It is the story of a lifetime nightmare of overeating and eating to fill emotional needs. It is the story of true addiction. It is the story of a family that lived thed nightmare and the eating -- together. It is about hitting the bottom -- rock bottom. It is about self-hatred and self-bullying. It scares me.
Virginia: Sean has written that he has not been offered anything by magazines like People or other sources of publicity as a result of his book. My guess is that the book is just too honest and too graphic and he should never falter in promoting it exactly as it is written! It was that honesty that gathered over 1000 followers to his blog. I mourn the loss of that daily dose of honesty and his photographs and efforts. The book has, for me, filled in some of the back story on his blog. Who was Sean Anderson and how did he do it!
Having followed other bloggers who simply quit blogging and knowing what goes into my lack of daily discipline about blogging, I worry about Sean giving up the journey and relapsing into his addiction again. I look at his photos and search for extra weight showing up on his face and later underneath his jackets. Weight loss is often followed by weight gain for all us. Worrying about a stranger in a blog is the effect of the blogosphere. His daily diary gave us hope. His book illustrated the tragedy behind the blog, and later, the hope and courage. For a long time I followed a blogger who posted everything she ate as she began to gain weight. Her last post was deeply personal, describing a personal tragedy and then -- she vanished, leaving only the hopeful posts of a failed battle; it sits on blogspot unread and untouched -- an artifact from a hopeful time in the life of one person in a nearby country.
Tim: Sean's book reveals the beginning of his eating problem. He struggled as a child in many different ways. His success gives all of us who battle with this problem -- hope. Every day that he blogged another day of achievement meant that we could do it too. He was giving us hope. As much as we need role models, we have to be our own role model in this situation. We cannot be dominoes, falling because a leader falls. And of course, we only know if we are falling and can not judge what is going on with Sean Anderson. Looking in the mirror and deciding to lose weight is a personal choice. But what we do does impact others and of course impacts our own future. We do not know if Sean Anderson has fallen or if he is as strong as we was for all of the years of his blogging. We just know how hard it is to keep it up day after day, year after year. I have trouble keeping it going for two days. Mom and I remind each other that we can only go a meal at a time, or a day at a time. Sean kept it up through disappointment and loss. He was able to do things he had only dreamed of.
Sean Anderson's book gives hope and shows that an entire family can face addiction together. Hitting rock bottom is illustrated for us in the book with such reality that it terrifies us. And the triumph of going from 505 lbs to 230 is exciting. Maintaining that goal-weight or losing even more is the next blog I want to read -- I want to know how to keep it up and how to build that focus into the rest of my life.
Virginia: The journey doesn't take us on a road that is straight and without a single twist or turn. But I know that I have learned so much and am so much healthier -- there have been results that are measurable from learning to eat healthy foods. And I do eat salads and vegetables!I am excited about what I eat, and do look forward to eating things I have never eaten before. But the daily discipline remains a challenge and I do not take new habits for granted; my addiction is rooted in my childhood and culture.
Do look at NLCFPC.org and its newsfeed mobile application. It is a wonderful website. We have to change the way we feed our children and what we buy; the consumer rules the market place. Some of this story is the story of our insane market-driven nation and we have to control the quality of what is being sold to us and our children. We have to understand the connection between poverty and obesity. We have to teach our children that food is not the answer to emotions, loss, and trauma. We are an addicted nation.
Transformation Road is one of the most memorable books I have read in years. It is just what it is! It is well written and it is written without any preaching or advice-giving -- the grandiosity which so many of us bring with us, fat as we may be.It is a book about self-destruction and the moment when all of that has to change. It deserves to be read, sold, and widely circulated. I am hoping that someone has the guts to put Sean's honesty into public circulation and that when it happens it doesn't hurt him. And I thank him for sharing his story and his daily effort at honesty will all of us.
Tim: Living as a young teenager, I can see several things which are certainly common where I live: smoking, obesity, drug and alcohol addiction, and electronics -- all being used to take away the fact that we can't figure what to do with ourselves and don't have enough hope. Sean Anderson made me realize that to continue to gain weight is far more harmful than being in a wheelchair. And that having a strong body and good nutrition will make it much easier for me to live a normal life. Only Sean would be honest about wetting the bed, or having sores on his legs that wouldn't heal. Only Sean would honest about what his eating did to his children. I always look for excuses to eat. When he and his wife Irene fed their addictions together, it opened my eyes to family behaviors. I have always used others as an excuse: if they were eating chips, I ate chips. If Mom ate
ice cream after a long day at work, I took that as a pass -- I could do it too. When she stopped doing that sort of thing, I was frightened about having no one help me stay addicted to eating. Now we are standing for each other, but not enabling for each other. She reminds me that I have my whole life ahead of me.
Thank you Sean for book that I couldn't stop reading and can't stop thinking about!