Wednesday, October 8, 2014

October 8th, 2014 If Consistency is Key, What Are The Keys To Consistency?

October 8th, 2014 If Consistency is Key, What Are The Keys To Consistency?

I believe we get what we give. The more we put into something, the more we get out of it. I want consistent results, so I give myself extraordinary care, consistently. It isn't always easy. It's certainly not as simple as saying. "I'm going to be consistent from here on out!" Don't we wish it were that easy?

As I analyze the fundamentals of what I've been doing in my recovery mode, I realize I've built a system that works for me. It's a system of accountability, support and open communication. In relapse, two of these three things were non-existent. I shut down my accountability and isolated, I may have communicated some, but not about my struggles. The support was always there, but largely ignored, by my own choosing, so it wasn't effective.

Being consistent during this turnaround from the regain has required me to elevate my accountability. My Twitter feed pictures of everything I eat has been an invaluable accountability tool. I was resistant to the idea at first, fearing it would be a huge hassle. It's actually a complete pleasure and it's inspired me to eat better! I take my time in choosing, preparing and eating my food. I enjoy it more--all because of this twitter feed. I've made it important.

I've recognized and accepted support in many forms. Your readership is support, your comments are support and I've established a list of people I know I can text or call anytime, night or day, if I'm needing someone to talk me through a tough time, or talk me out of a drive-through. I'm loving the relationship Heather and I have developed because it is full of support for one another. She is all about living a lifestyle conducive to weight loss and maintenance and she totally gets me, on so many levels. 

Open and honest communication--basically, the opposite of isolating, is crucial to my consistency. In the dark depths of relapse, nobody knew how bad it had become because I was alone when I did what I was doing with food. It was my secret trip to the ice cream place every night before bed. Nobody knew, not my daughters, mom or anyone close to me. I was consistently in "hiding." Now, if those feelings/compulsions to binge show up--I pick up the phone and reach out for "spot support." Gerri Helms has been there for me on numerous occasions. And I have others who are ready if I need them. And I will, I'm sure--at some point. On the other hand--I'm also available for them, anytime.

Keeping things simple is a major part of the foundation making my consistency possible. I don't get too technical. I don't crunch the numbers or get into confusing plans or patterns. I simply eat as well as I can and desire and I make time for exercise. I have some personal food rules, of course: No sugar, I avoid trigger foods, measuring is very important and proper portion control is a must. I make sure I'm eating things I truly enjoy. And I'm not afraid to be repetitious in my selections, especially with breakfast and lunch. If I get tired of something, I'll naturally shift to other things. If I don't get tired of it and I enjoy it, then what's not good about that?

Simple, simple, simple...It is crucial to maintaining consistency. We're the ones who make the rules--if we keep the rules simple to follow--then our chances of maintaining consistency goes up dramatically. And as we develop along the way--we can get as fancy and as specialized as we want and need, when we're ready. It's a natural evolution of good choices. Not a sudden and dramatic change where we expect to be a completely different person as soon as we wake up on our pre-determined start day.

My focus on consistency isn't long term. It's today. I want to make today a good day. I want to hit the pillow tonight, knowing that I gave it my best shot--my honest to goodness, best. Not perfect, mind you--rather, the best I could do today. I want to do that again tomorrow. It feels good!! We gain momentum in either direction, good or bad. Good choices lead to more of the same and bad choices lead to more bad choices.

Big time accomplishments are not done all at once. It's a collection of much smaller accomplishments, each of which contribute in a positive way to the bigger goal ahead. I'm setting small, doable goals--and hitting them square with everything I can. And I'm getting back some wonderful results in return. You get what you give, it's a universal truth.
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Today was another long and busy day. I made sure to get my workout in early. The later it gets, the less likely I am to get a good workout. The earlier the workout, the better the workout--that's how it is for me, anyway.

Tonight, I stopped in to visit with my daughter Courtney and my grandson Noah. I'm so proud of Courtney. She's doing so well and is such a wonderful mom. She's working hard, taking good care and giving Noah the wonderful attention he deserves. Her job at the Child Development Center is perfect, because Noah goes too, right along with her. She doesn't handle Noah's class--so it's like she's dropping him off at daycare and going to work--and the distance between her work and Noah's care is literally right down the hall.

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I love these two! Adorable!!! (Proud dad and grandfather here!)

My Tweets today:
**Special note: Time stamp on tweets do not always reflect when the food was consumed. I take the photo immediately before consuming. If I'm running late, generally busy or with people, or better, in a meeting like today at lunch, I'll wait to enter the details in MFP and Tweet the tweet.***
















Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

19 comments:

  1. we apparently are on much the same wave length tonight, my friend. :)

    Great post! (LOL)

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    1. Thank you, Gwen!! I've felt that way after reading your blog, too!

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  2. I loved working in childcare where my children attended! It made me feel close to them, and I got to know their teachers. Both of my children are special needs. I loved working with one year olds

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    1. I'm so happy Courtney has this work situation. It's sometimes tough on her and Noah--especially if she needs to walk away to tend to her own class and Noah is upset and wants his mommy...But mostly, it's all good. 1 year olds--Oh my, A-- that sounds very challenging!!

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  3. Sean, What brand of sweet potato fries do you get?

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    1. If I buy a frozen bag--I read the ingredients list and find one without sugar. Surprisingly, Ore-Rida brand is good. McCains (I believe that's the name) has a couple of different varieties with different cuts...One has sugar--and the one you would expect to have sugar, the "sweet and spicy" kind, doesn't.
      Anymore--I skip the frozen and simply cut up a fresh sweet potato--spray a little olive oil on a baking sheet and bake those things to a nice brown. That way I know I'm getting simply sweet potato and olive oil--then I add salt and pepper. If you have a sharp knife (I need new knives!!), it takes only a minute or two longer to cut and bake 'em fresh rather than pre-packaged frozen.

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    2. The sweet potato fries pictured this evening came from a restaurant. No doubt, pre-packaged frozen and fried. The portion they originally brought out was almost twice what's pictured. I tossed the excess until I was comfortable with the amount.
      It was still a better choice for me than the other sides available.

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  4. Sean, This is so true, and now your blog is part of my daily routine to stay consistent!
    To build on 45+ and aspiring's question, if you make your sweet potato fries from scratch, how do you do it? Cooking time, temp, etc? I have tried it but felt like mine could be improved!

    Dede

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    1. Thank you Dede for making this blog a part of your daily routine! I spray a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray and pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Then, I cut up a fresh sweet potato, skin and all-- into the shapes I want. You can cut them into traditional fries or like I do, in round medallions. The sweet potatoes I buy at Aldi are small and long--making the medallion cut a better option...but shape is up to your cut.
      Make sure you use your sharpest knife!! Sweet potatoes are much more dense than regular, of course. I tried using a french fry cutting machine--a good heavy duty model--and it wouldn't do it--not even a little bit. So I gave it to my ex-wife.
      Anyway---
      Once you have the cut you want--this is where I weigh out the portion I want...then I place them on the olive oil spray coated pan--give 'em a light spray across the top--salt and pepper a little--then bake for about 15 minutes before flipping and baking for another 10 minutes.
      Oh my-- wonderful!!! If you're a calorie counter like me, you'll need to allow for about 30 calories or so worth of spray--I sometimes use as much as 60 cal worth of the "zero calorie" spray.. It's only 0 calories if the spray is 1/4 to a 1/2 second... but honestly, it'll not make that much difference to your bottom line.
      The key, in my opinion is using the high heat and allowing them to get slightly cripsy--then flipping midway through baking.
      Enjoy!!

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  5. Two honeycrisp apples in one day? I didn't realize that you were a millionaire...

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    1. No sir, not a millionaire. It's called living beyond my means, Mr. Sh*t! :) I've got Honeycrisp tastes on a Red Delicious budget.
      Apples get a separate line item in my budget-- It's like I have an Apple payment each month. LOL

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  6. I had written earlier today about consistency but your angle and approach always give me an added perspective. ps my eggs never look that nice

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    1. Thank you, Alati! I use a good non-stick pan--and I cook 'em on really low heat with a lid on, while I get ready of a morning. That's the trick! When I stand over them, I get too impatient and they never turn out the same. Low heat, a good pan--a light amount of olive oil spray--and patience, or a shower-- does it well!

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  7. Noah is a doll, and I see a strong resemblance to his Grandpa Sean!!!

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    1. Awww--thank you Dupster!! He's the most adorable little guy. I'm so excited to be his gramps! (ooh...that made me feel old.) :)

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  8. Great post! I like how you talk about consistency but also about changing things when you get bored. Sometimes people confuse consistency with repetition.
    - FogDogWeightloss.blogspot.com

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    1. Good point, FD! One of the keys I didn't focus on was making sure you're enjoying what you're eating. And if you get bored, change it up!! The consistency needed isn't in the foods, it's in the portions--the calorie budget---the exercise commitment--those are the things-- The food can and should be interchangeable from time to time. If you like it--and you can make it fit into a reasonable portion and calorie budget--Go for it!
      I do sometimes get on one thing and keep on having it until I get tired of it--then I'll attach to something else. There was a time when pita wrapped breakfast sandwiches was all I wanted in the mornings--now, I rarely do it... And the omelets--I change up the ingredients often enough to make it a different experience from time to time. Great point, sir.

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  9. Awesome post Sean! Consistency truly does make the difference. Some may see consistency as a restriction but I see it as standing by the standards of how I now choose to live my daily life, even in the face of life's little (or not so little) bumps in the road.

    Awww so great your daughter and g-son are doing so well too!


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    1. Thank you, Nikki! You said it perfectly!! It's pure joy when I see them, every time.

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