Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11th, 2014 Harmony Still Surrounds

August 11th, 2014 Harmony Still Surrounds

I felt really alive today. You know what I mean? It's a wonderful harmony. I use that word a lot lately, "harmony," but what does it mean? My only explanation for this sudden and frequent usage of a word I rarely noticed before now is, perhaps it took authentically feeling it to genuinely use it in my writing and speech.

Despite the struggles and challenges, harmony still surrounds when I choose to recognize its existence. It's a feeling of acceptance, no matter how imperfect this journey is at times. It's still beautiful. And the fact that: I don't drink enough water. I may or may not be getting enough calories each day or maybe too many. I eat too late, too close to bedtime. I often don't get enough rest--are details needing adjustments, modifications, things that simply need patience, time and a willingness to change. Consistency is critical, perfection isn't. I carry a confident patience as I move throughout each day.

I'll weigh again on Wednesday and I know that no matter what the scale says, I'm doing well. And I know I will keep doing well. If the loss this three week period is something that brings a big smile, great! If it's a loss that raises an eyebrow of concern, then okay-- perhaps I'll make some adjustments--maybe move some disciplines up the priority list.  

The point is, I'm in this for the rest of my life. I will make it to a healthy body weight and I will be in the best physical condition I've ever known. The practices I'm making important are things I will always do. I don't plan on ever returning to sugar and that's a big deal for me. I'm not proclaiming I'm beyond relapse--oh, I've made that mistake before--none of us are beyond relapse, ever. I know if I'm to have the best chance at avoiding relapse, I must continue making support, accountability, abstinence from sugar and taking extraordinary care important, non-negotiable ways of life. That's my plan. And it is the plan that gives me the best shot at continuing to feel this wonderful peace and harmony. 

I'm so happy. Why? I just am. Happy. To go from a deep dark place to where I am now, is--just a miracle in so many ways. I honestly believed it might be impossible to feel like this again. So grateful it wasn't impossible.

I love receiving messages from people who are feeling empowered again. I opened the most wonderful message today from a reader named Beverly. She said something so wonderful: "I know I've said things before about getting on track ... I guess those were just times when I wasn't willing to get WORSE. Now I'm determined to get BETTER."

I have a feeling Beverly is about to embark on the most amazing transformation of mind, body and soul. Having been on the edge of commitment, I'm fairly good at recognizing the same in others. It's a place where willingness meets action and actions meet consistency and it comes together in a way unique to us and what we need, what we can handle--what works for us. 

My workout tonight was the spin and swim combo. Cycling, as it's called at the Y, was brutal!! And by "brutal," I mean it was fantastic. Remember me writing a while back about running into the spin instructor at the grocery store? He was the one leading our class this evening. When I walked in he made an elated sound to greet me. His elation and smile coming my way felt amazing. He too has gained some weight from his previous healthier weight, something he shared with me as a way to encourage and relate. And it did, beautifully. He's the one who told me to just get in there and do what I can, as I can--and I did. My "can" was really good today. 

The swimming tonight was really good. I did strain my neck a little by doing pull ups on the side of the pool. I was pulling myself up, nearly half way out of the water and holding it there for more than 20 seconds. Every muscle in my arms, back and shoulders were engaged. Afterward, I realized my neck muscles were in on it too. It is feeling better now, so that's good. I need to be careful in my "freestyle" water workouts!

You wouldn't believe how confident I feel by the pool and in the locker room. In one week, I've gone from a paralyzing fear to 100% comfort and confidence in this area. I don't hide in a bathroom stall to change either, nope. I do what I need to do in the locker room just like everybody else. I shower before getting in, I dry off, I change clothes, whatever! It's a dramatic shift in perspective--these are things I couldn't, uh--wouldn't do before.

I took the heart monitor I borrowed from a dear friend to spinning class but waited too long to figure out how to enter my weight in an effort to get an accurate calorie burn, so that experiment will wait until tomorrow. I'm anxiously awaiting to see those numbers and how they compare with what MyFitnessPal says I'm burning. This information will help me make any adjustments I might need.

I enjoyed my food today. It was good. With the spinning/swimming combo, I fell short again on the net calories after exercise goal and I'm okay with this for now. I need more data before I can confidently claim the need to eat too much more than I do. The question is: Am I exercising enough--burning enough calories to justify the added fuel? The nutrition science behind this "eat more-lose more" philosophy is solid stuff. We must give our bodies what it needs to operate on an optimum level. Anything less and this road gets rough with potholes full of frustration.

I think about Michael Phelps, the USA Olympic Gold Medal swimmer. I'm NOT comparing myself to him--I'm just saying, when he trains he eats 10,000 calories a day. When I first read that I found it hard to imagine. Some time later, I heard him say that exact thing in an interview. 10,000 a day!! I don't think I've ever consumed that many even on my biggest binge days of old.

Food tweets today:












Thank you for reading and your support! I look forward to conversing with you in the comments section below.
Strength,
Sean

17 comments:

  1. Sean, I can't tell you how much hope this post gave me. It was so beautiful to read. My weight loss efforts still feel a bit like swimming upstream against my comfort-eating desires... like this morning when I really wanted pancakes at Denny's, and went and got them. And it's more than just wanting the pancakes, it's not wanting to count calories. It still feels like being on a leash to me, and that is what I rebel against. I can't seem to get over that chasm and into a head space where I can think of calorie counting as a Tool for My Benefit and Ultimate Happiness. I guess it's kind of like wanting to be rich and not having to worry about balancing my checkbook... LOL. Yes, it's an immature attitude, I know. I just get frustrated being surrounded by people that maintain a normal weight without ever thinking twice about how many calories, or how much sugar, or any of that.

    I say all this not to be negative, but to let you know that I know you have been where I am now, and reading that you have reached a point of peacefulness and joy in your relationship with food truly does give me hope. Now if you could just write a guidebook on how to get from where I am to where you are, I would be so grateful! I'm so tired of yo-yo-ing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad this post gave you some perspective, Becky! Thank you for your complimentary words!
      It's important for you to know that what you're feeling is very normal and you're so right, I've been RIGHT THERE where you are, in a "jealous and rebellious" place. When we see people around us who can eat whatever they want, whenever they want--without too much worry, and never gaining an ounce--and some even go as far as bragging about this wonderful ability--it stings!!! I was never happy for these people and their natural metabolic blessings because I was too busy wanting to be like them, too busy being jealous of them--and too busy chasing the idea that I could be like them too-- I wanted to be "normal," or better, I wanted to be their "normal."
      What I didn't understand was "normal" is a relative term. While I was trying to be someone else's normal, I completely rejected my own, rebelled against it and ate my way into spending two decades near, at or above 500 pounds. The frustration of this perceived injustice led to feelings of inadequacy, hopelessness and despair--and when these feelings started swirling, my solution was always to eat more in an attempt to comfort.
      Is it fair? Depends on your definition of "fair." We're simply different. Their normal isn't ours because our bodies do not naturally handle things the same way. But it doesn't make us less than, it simply is what it is, it's us--it's our normal. It's unfortunate in a few ways--namely because the coping mechanism many of us use isn't something our bodies are naturally designed to handle. Our normal doesn't match our perceived version of "normal."
      When we embrace our "normal," and we decide to let go of these very natural reactions to want to be anything other than what we are, that's when we can start getting to a more positive place--a solid ground for our foundation moving forward.
      The wonderful news here, Becky--is that we can experience a wonderful life. We can decide to shift our perspective and embrace what we once rejected and resented. We can take this lot, and do a 180, looking at it from a different angle than ever before--Does it require some effort? Big time. Is it easy? No. Are we worth it? YES. We deserve to live better, Becky. For you and me--and people like us, it takes an extra effort, but this effort can give us some of the most wonderful peace and harmony we've ever known... And here's something interesting to think about: How fortunate are we to be able to reach this place of peace and harmony? Some who can eat whatever they want are not living in this place because they have other things going on in their heads.
      Willingness, accepting and embracing where you are--loving what is your normal, isn't impossible Becky--understanding that you can--you can reach a place of peace and harmony with this, is very comforting.
      Pick up the tools enabling you to experience this new and different perspective--don't reject, embrace-- and mostly-- realize that you are your normal--and that is something good. You're exceptional, you're fantastic--you are you and there's only one of you!!! Be kind to you--be compassionate--allow yourself to proceed with a feeling of empowerment, not discouragement. The difference is found in the perspective you choose.
      I've kind of rambled on here...I hope some of this makes sense. My best, Becky. Thank you for your wonderful support. My best.

      Delete
    2. Wow, what a great reply Sean. THIS reply should be a blog all by itself. So much insight and wisdom! Thanks!

      Delete
    3. Wow. Sean. I didn't expect you to take the time to write such a lengthy response when you have to work today-- let alone such a PERFECT response. I told you that writing a guidebook was impossible, but I think you just did it. Your words ring true and hit me in both heart and head simultaneously. Thank you for your understanding, support, patience and wisdom. So much.

      Delete
    4. Awe, Becky--you're welcome. Your comment inspired me. I'm glad it did a double whammy on your heart and head! ;) Our perspective is the most powerful choice we make each day. And it is very much a choice. You're wonderful, Becky--thank you!

      Delete
  2. Was just kidding about the guidebook. I know that's impossible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly, Becky-- I'm learning as I go. I'm doing my best to learn from my mistakes and I'm proceeding with a less than perfect stride--but I'm okay... because what we need is consistency--not perfection. I don't have all of the answers, Becky. I'm right here with you. I wish you the absolute best, my friend. This whole thing is a learning experience. We're the student and the subject is US. I'm trying my best to be a good student of me. You be for you and you'll make it!!

      Delete
    2. Oooh Sean! That meal of tostados is looking pretty close to a salad! ;) It's amazing the things you learn to like as you work towards healthy choices. I'm like you. Never been into salads but there are ways of still getting all the goodness of salads but not in a salad.

      Delete
    3. You have a very good point! It's actually one of my favorite meals--every time, it's like a treat. The flavor is incredible...the beans take care of my wanting for protein--the tostada shell gives me a crunch I like--the guac gives me creamy--and the lettuce compliments the creamy... Just a good dish. Not a salad--but I agree-- real close!!!

      Delete
  3. Dedicated, motivated, determined, vigilant, obsessed, empowered. My six key words for success. All these words describe me right now Sean. And every one is an essential ingredient to stay strong in this battle FOR LIFE! Like you, I relapsed. I won't rule out a future relapse either, just last night at the baseball game, I had half a bag of popcorn, which I didn't need. Too much fat, too much salt, I feel the bloat today. But I'm going out to get my walk in right now in the early morning coolness and am immediately back on track. But if I let up on any of these six key ingredients to success, I will falter. So I remain dedicated, motivated, determined, vigilant, obsessed, empowered. And it feels SO GOOD!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your key words! For life, indeed!! I agree-- we gather our elements through our experience and some tough lessons--and once we have those elements in place, we must hold them in the highest regard and protect their integrity. It does feel good, doesn't it? There was a time when I would look at my "elements" as a drag--a burden--like, I gotta do this forever??" But when the perspective changes--and you experience this incredible feeling--then it's like, okay--this is really good--I want more of this. I want to feel this good forever...What? I gotta do those things to maintain this the best I can? Okay--let's do it!! Because the trade is so worth the effort. I'm so overjoyed for you!! Wow, D! Nice.

      Delete
  4. As you know, I've experienced some added weight due to a medication that slows down my metabolism. I've consulted with my mentor who suggested I go back on just counting calories, so that's what I'm doing again. It feels pretty good. If the food is in 'harmony' with my healthy goals, eventually this will level out. I have to find a way to get more exercise in. We all find our inspiration wherever we can.You are inspiring me, Sean!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really admire how you can adapt as needed, Gerri. I know you well enough to know that you have some set boundaries that are never crossed (sugar-wheat-flour)--It's your foundation--and you seem to adapt and adjust as needed beyond that... It's a wonderful example you're setting. Thank you! Your commitment inspires me all the time. I'm overjoyed that I'm returning some of that inspiration to you! ;) Talk on the call in less than an hour!

      Delete
  5. You have me on the edge of my seat, I can't wait to hear the results of the heart monitor and how close or different they are to myfitnesspal. No matter what the results are, you are doing so well with all the exercise. (spinning, swimming, walking and the elliptical), I need to quit marveling at all that you do and start moving my own body. Have a great Wednesday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The shocking numbers are in!!! Details coming up in my next post! :) LTR, you're wonderful! Enjoy the movement!! I think that's something very important--whatever you do for exercise--enjoy what it is... make it enjoyable. I make the elliptical enjoyable with the music I listen while moving. Spinning is made enjoyable simply because of the music and group dynamic--not to mention a coach shouting instructions...water exercise is made enjoyable by just being in the water and moving around like an astronaut on the moon! :) You're doing so many wonderful things, LTR. Keep up the exceptional work!! I'm right there with you!

      Delete
  6. Love this: "We must give our bodies what it needs to operate on an optimum level. Anything less and this road gets rough with potholes full of frustration". You know reading your post it dawned on me that my body doesn't trust me when I don't give it what it needs. By not eating the appropriate amounts of healthy foods, my body, not trusting when I'll nourish it again, hangs on and stores it. Thanks for the reminder to give my body what it needs...no more than it needs, but also no less than it needs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad I borrowed the heart monitor! It's a delicate balance, Jae. It's very easy to get frustrated when we don't see what we want--and when that's happened to me in the past I've failed to look at my role in providing the nutrition...It's been an interesting experience for certain. I'm having fun learning these new things. Looking back, it's no wonder how I lost 200 in 10 months--then spent 16 months losing the last 75...That was a long 16 months...and although it was fine--because I wasn't ever giving up, had I been willing to budge from my previous stance of a strict 1500 cal regardless--especially when I started working out more intensely-- then I likely would have lost the last 75 a little quicker. Not much quicker--but some. It's just so hard to accept the concept of eating more to lose more---when my whole life I was certain of the opposite.

      Delete

I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. Thank you for your support!






Copyright © 2008-2017 Sean A. Anderson

The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser. All rights reserved.