My Happiness and Well Being Isn't Found In Food
It took me all of four days to miss posting about a day. I could write it and back date it, but no--I'll simply move forward. The challenges I'm facing are crucial for me to process and fully appreciate. And believe me, I'm processing and appreciating everything. I haven't gone off the deep end. I'm staying in shallow water where it's relatively safe. I'm also keeping in mind that it's possible to drown in shallow water if one isn't careful. I'm being very careful.
My encounter with pizza on Friday really left me feeling horrible. I'm okay. It's over. I'm moving forward. There isn't an excuse to justify reaching for a slice. Could an alcoholic say, "well, I was tired--exhausted really, and I didn't bring any water or tea, so I just didn't feel like resisting the vodka?" No.
Janis nailed it in the comment section:
ready to say you need to ditch pizza for the foreseeable future, just to make
things easier on yourself. If you don't currently feel up to making the
judgment calls necessary to handle it wisely, then go easy on yourself and step
away for a bit. And don't rationalize it with "but I need to prove to myself that I'm in
control" or any of that b*llsh*t, either. That's not you, that's the
monkey on your back trying to talk you into a game of chicken that you'll lose.
Coping with pizza in moderation worked for you for a while, but it's not
working now so I'd recommend you just say "no" and put in on the
shelf. Maybe after you get a handle on the sleep sitch you can, but clearly now
is not that time."
I agree Janis, 100%
The rules have changed for me.
When I was over 500 pounds I received a bunch of advise about what I needed to do to lose weight. Changing everything overnight was a popular suggestion. I instinctively knew it would have been a temporary diversion from who I am--changing the outside actions, without changing the inner workings. I couldn't see myself waking up one morning and being something I'd never known. The inside stuff is most important and the route I chose was one that would "simplify the process--giving me time to work on the mental aspects--the inside stuff."
The approach I found success with, was one of moderation, where "nothing was off limits" as long as it fit into my calorie bank. I took great pride in declaring things like "I had ice cream and lasagna today and I'm losing weight!" And the focus was clearly on the mental dynamics backed up with tremendous support online and all around me. I threw away the rule book and boldly proceeded and succeeded despite making choices with only one qualifier: Does it fit into my budget?
I found success. And then I started hearing from a bunch of others who were having similar success with their own Calorie Bank and Trust. Steel Curtain Zones started going up and there wasn't anything stopping us! 100 pounds lost, 200 pounds--it was thrilling...I was so happy for them. Then, occasionally--I would receive emails from people who experienced tremendous success and then lost the control, and eventually regained the weight. Some didn't gain it all back, others did and more. I would be supportive, saying things like-- "You can do this--get back to the basics, set your budget--make it life or death, because it is...and don't give up, okay? Never give up."
It wasn't until I started struggling seven months ago that I fully realized and appreciated what was happening. After hitting goal, I started to maintain by simply being reasonable with my portions, continuing to exercise and staying as mentally strong as possible. I no longer maintained a strict calorie budget, opting instead to eyeball with reason and experience. As long as I kept myself surrounded with people and in a positive mindset, I was fine. But then I started hitting walls emotionally...
The self-destruct mode, the one I thought was put to rest with my "steel curtain zone" and arsenal of new "mix tapes," came roaring back. Soon, through my own actions, I found myself alone and depressed. I was listening to all kinds of horrible things about myself...thoughts I created, were constantly playing. This wasn't how it was supposed to go! If we become our predominant thoughts, and we do--I was in serious trouble. I was. Suddenly, once again I was medicating my emotions with food. Now, even more challenging--was constantly trying to pull myself out of the slide because, "I'm Sean Anderson, dang it, I can't do this!" I would experience a few good days followed by several horrible days, then good---then bad again. Well, I am Sean Anderson. And I'm human. And I'm a food addict. And yes I can slide. I'm not immune from anything. How incredibly ridiculous of me to consider otherwise.
For someone who truly isn't a food addict, the Calorie Bank and Trust really doesn't need any modification when combined with the natural desire to eat better, more wholesome foods along the way. After all, it's simply portion control. For someone like me, it does need modifications.
I've often talked about and written about how we have to learn about ourselves along the way. As I lost weight I experienced new tastes emerging and desires of old fading. Suddenly certain fast food smells were enough to make me sick. Suddenly I started eating veggies I once wouldn't give a chance. But I needed to study a little closer.
Certain foods must be off limits for me. I didn't learn this while losing and maintaining, I learned this in my struggles. When I stripped the boundaries of reason and good choices away I discovered things about me and certain foods, I hadn't considered.
So now I know. Good.
I can still utilize my Calorie Bank and Trust, just not the "nothing is off limits" version. I know what's off limits for me. It's different for each of us, I'm sure. Similar, but different. How will this affect my life?
Isn't that the root of anxiety when it comes to saying something is off limits? Like we're not complete without certain things. Like we'll be living a deprived life? Baloney. Truth is, my life will be full and joyous even if I never again eat pizza from a box or deep fried Chinese chicken.
My happiness and well being isn't found in food. It's found in living a life more in tune spiritually, emotionally and physically. And those three things are all inside me, waiting to be fully explored and experienced. That is my mission. To practice these things. To understand more. To be okay. To encourage others by sharing the experience.
Because there's hope for us. Never give up. I'm not.
Thank you for reading, goodnight and...