Friday, May 30, 2014

May 30th, 2014 A Personal Lifetime Record

May 30th, 2014 A Personal Lifetime Record

The incredibly long nap last night kept me awake until after 2am.  At 4:30am I was back up getting ready for work. Lucky for me, I was able to split the day and come home for a much needed nap before going back to finish the day. I needed it.

I was very efficient upon leaving the studio. I ran a couple of errands and then it was straight to the YMCA for a date with the elliptical. After an incredibly intense workout, I enjoyed Hawaiian Fajitas at a little Mexican restaurant not far from the Y and now I'm poised to go to bed relatively early on a Friday night!

The restaurant meal was planned and I was on target with exactly what I wanted and didn't want. I had a fairly good sized breakfast and lunch today, so the plan was to keep dinner under 500 calories and leave some room in the Calorie Bank for some fruit while writing this post. I avoided the chips, no guacamole (mine is better) and no beans and rice. I asked for corn tortillas instead of the usual flour they serve. With a small amount of steak, chicken, pineapple and shrimp in each one and a tiny smear of sour cream on each it was mission accomplished. And it was delicious.

I browsed the older tweets on my food and exercise Twitter feed before this planned dinner out in order to determine how long it had been without a restaurant meal. Twelve days. The last meal out was on the 18th with mom in Stillwater. After much thought and consideration, I believe this is a personal lifetime record! Twelve days without some kind of meal out?? That's not like me at all. But I like it. I like it a lot.

I've given much thought to this dramatic change in me. Struggle has been replaced with peace and calm. Confusion and frustration has been replaced by a degree of clarity I've never known. And this has me thinking on some deeper levels. At some point in the next few nights, I'd love to share with you some of my thoughts on this switch in direction. How does it happen? When does it happen? What elements collide to suddenly transform the mind and behavior? It's fascinating to me. When something fascinates me, it's hard to let it go until I unravel it and figure it out the best I can. I may not always be right and the conclusion might be one specific to my set of circumstances. However, the most remarkable thing to me is how many of us seem to relate on numerous nearly identical levels despite having different life circumstances.

I'm calling it a night. I've had my #lastfoodofday and I'm tired. I'm not setting an alarm tonight. A good long rest is what I need and I'm going to get it.

Thank you for reading.
Strength,
Sean

10 comments:

  1. It has also always fascinated me because therein lies the answer to maintenance - something that has escaped me for more than a few hours. :)

    I have known that peace and calm but what happens when confusion and frustration once again set in? This is the element I cannot find an answer to. As I currently watch friends struggle because what they thought was the answer is no longer working, I long to articulate what brought me back on track. From my past experience of losing large amounts of weight 4 times (this is my 5th) in my adult years (I am 46), I can't believe that I will always feel a peace and calm and what happens then?

    Some people seem to have it figured out because we know people who have known a life of true obesity, lost weight and have kept it off, but no one has quite been able to articulate it in a way that makes sense to me.

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    1. It's a tough thing to articulate, for sure. The long term maintainers that I've studied all have one thing in common: They're still diligent in their efforts...they weigh and measure food, they avoid certain things (sugar, of course--and some avoid wheat and flour too) Most all I've studied avoid at least sugar...and they all keep a steady exercise schedule. The non-food/non-exercise parts--the support system, the spiritual side of the equation--prayer-meditation... the accountability tools--they keep all of it in place indefinitely... It isn't a burden or hassle to them--It's just their way of life.
      Maintaining a balance during emotionally charged times and under stress--those are the big ones for me---but all of the previously mentioned tools and practices are in place to help keep things balanced and straight. Getting to a place of acceptance of this--a complete embrace, is a challenge--certainly was for me. But when I look at the full and rich lives of some of the long term maintainers, I believe the effort is worth the reward...And as with anything we do long enough--it'll become 2nd nature to always be diligent--always be on guard---to always take extraordinary care.

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  2. I am at the struggling point now with the weight loss (after regaining some of my loss). I always curious to see what helps others get to their peace with food. I am so happy you have found that.

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    1. Katrin-- The biggest peace I've ever felt has come since cutting out almost 100% of sugar. It wasn't something I wanted to do, really. I resisted for a very long time--insisting that I could control myself. After gaining back 60% of my 275 pound loss, I was running out of options... I had to look at what I stopped doing once I hit goal: I stopped writing regularly except for rare occasions. I disconnected in many ways with the support system I worked hard to build... I basically felt like I could go it alone and be normal--be okay... Wasn't that the goal?? To reach a point of normalcy with food? What I now realize is, for me, the tools needed to lose the weight are the same tools I must continue using to maintain the weight loss. It isn't fair, I know. For whatever reason--my body is the type that if I just let go and eat whatever--not even overeating too much--and I stop exercising, my body will gravitate upward in weight... After a year and a half of maintenance--I started hitting some depression and emotional life events--and without the support system I had in place, my natural inclination was to pursue comfort and shelter in food...and that sped up the process of regaining. Thank you Katrin. Please don't ever give up. I was OUT OF CONTROL...seemingly bent on returning to 500 pounds---and by the grace of God, I've been able to reach where I am now... It's not impossible, okay? I believe the real key is in finding peace and acceptance with maintaining the tools and practices after we hit goal--if we can accept those things-- the peace with food is possible.

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  3. How wonderful to be in such a peaceful place, Sean, despite the altered sleep schedule! I'm so glad you're planning to explore and write more about transitioning from struggle to peace, especially in the area of eating out and such. This is kind of what I was asking about in the comments a week or so ago, but maybe I expressed it in a way that sounded negative. If so, I didn't mean to-- it's just that I'm looking for some insight in how to avoid failing again, because you know how it is-- every time a person fails, the harder it is to believe that change is possible. At almost 60 years old, I sure would like to finally achieve a less needy relationship with food, snacking, and eating out. Do you feel like it's important to replace the food with something else that's comforting or satisfying? Like maybe writing kind of fills that void for you... or exercise... or time with friends... or whatever.

    I would also be very interested in your insights about food prep and living alone... meaning, sometimes, and especially when we're tired, it's hard to psyche myself up for the food prep and I just opt for a bowl of cereal or something. I suppose in some ways it's easier living alone, though-- no family to cook for, not as much tempting snack food in the fridge and cupboards.

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    1. Becky, I'm sorry I missed replying to your previous comment from a week or so ago. I occasionally miss replying on some days for a few reasons. It's never anything personal, I assure you. It's usually a time management thing--I just run out of time. I sincerely appreciate your readership and support! You made an extremely good point... replacing our dependency on food... but the question is, with what?? The answer to that can get really deep really fast-- One of the things I'm doing is recognizing and being more aware of the things that bring me joy... the non-food things... listening to music, studying certain topics that fascinate me, listening to my favorite podcasts-- things that I enjoy... And support is key--it's crucial to have a friend--even if it's just one, on standby--ready to take a text or call from you at anytime--- And when you find yourself turning to food for comfort---try to stop just long enough to recognize what's happening--then "tell on it" as Life Coach Gerri says. Becky--you would be surprised how well this works... But still, this might not answer your question...
      In my opinion--the real issue goes beyond food and exercise and straight to the heart of how we feel about ourselves... I believe we must work on that issue with diligence--everyday... How we feel about ourselves and where we are with our personal self-worth determines how we treat ourselves...and if we can somehow make amends with ourselves in that department---and we celebrate the core of who we are---perhaps the road becomes easier, because we're going to take extraordinary care...because we're worth it.
      The same advice as in the above reply comments-- if we really want to make this time, the time--the time like no other, where we reach a consistent level of peace and harmony with food-- we must first reach a peace and acceptance about maintaining the tools and practices we employed while losing.
      As far as restaurants go-- It takes some time to get really good at navigating a menu---but after a while you'll automatically develop a list of red (no!), yellow (proceed with caution) and green (order it all day long) food choices. I once had the attitude, "oh well--we're going out-- I guess I might as well start again tomorrow." I wouldn't even try to navigate the choices to stay within my budget. Then I realized that if I was truly willing to try--I could do it.
      Living alone and often preparing food for just me is very different from when my kids were young and it was a family meal every night... In many ways it's much easier. If we're preparing a meal for a bunch of people--we have no issue in making it good and something wonderful---so why wouldn't we give ourselves the same consideration? It goes back to how we treat ourselves and how we feel about ourselves-- we must work hard at understanding that we're worth the effort, Becky. We truly are worth every ounce of effort. Posting every bite of food I eat to Twitter has inspired me to give my food preparation and choices a little more attention... It's been a wonderful tool for me. Now, I take my time--I prepare my food with thought and loving care--And this has translated into enjoying my food on a level I haven't before-- because I was always in a hurry. It does take extra time and planning---but again, I'm worth it. And you're worth it too. You make a good point about not having other people's food in the fridge or cupboards...when my oldest daughter lived with me for a brief period after she graduated from college, she kept peanut butter around on a regular basis. I could NOT handle having the jar around me. I asked her to hide it--but I would still hunt it down in a sickening game of hide and seek... Now, you will not find peanut butter in my house, ever. Nor will you find any of my other trigger/binge foods... Becky--what ever you do--please don't give up on change. It's not beyond you, my friend. It's in you. I swear!

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  4. PS- (There's always a PS with me)-- I LOVE looking at your Twitter feed, gives me lots of meal ideas and a good laugh from time to time (the tweet about you being a material girl).

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    1. I'm having a blast with the twitter feed. My sense of humor comes out every once in a while--and I love when that happens! Thank you for following along!

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  5. Thanks for sharing Sean, i've been so out of touch I didn't realize what was going on in your life. Kudos to you for ... for not giving up, for continuing to be a source of inspiration.

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    1. Thank you so much for coming back here! Never give up!! Too much at stake, you know what I mean? I want to live. Thanks for the kudos!

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