Friday, January 9, 2015

January 9th, 2015 This Thought Is What Matters Most

January 9th, 2015 This Thought Is What Matters Most

It just hit me out of the blue today, the thought, I'm maintaining the integrity of my recovery. I'm not binge eating. I'm not out of control. I'm holding sacred the elements I've put in place to help me along. 

And this thought is what matters most. All of the other tweaks and adjustments I could/should/will make, all revolve around the above. I refer to this as 'recovery,' because that's exactly what it is. I'm not affiliated with any particular recovery organization, but this is what it is.

It's interesting, before the relapse and regain--and feeling so completely lost and hopeless, back when I was maintaining for that year and a half after hitting goal--I often referred to my "food addiction." But it wasn't until relapse and regain that I fully realized the depth. It was as if I needed to be shown the purest definition and experience of food addiction. I think a lot of what I associated with my food addiction prior, was emotional and stress eating. I'm not saying I wasn't a food addict before, I clearly was. But outside of morbid obesity, the fog had cleared, giving me an unfiltered experience of what was really going on. 

I'm grateful for the experience. I needed it. This knowledge is what fuels my resolve this time around--and why I'm doing my best to protect it come what may. It's why I use the term, "sacred." It's that important to me.

As I try different things, like workouts and weight training--or different foods, or increased water--it's all good, because these elements are accessories to the foundation elements. I'm maintaining the integrity of my recovery. I'm not binge eating. I'm not out of control. I'm holding sacred the elements I've put in place to help me along. 

The foundation elements mustn't change. If I suddenly stop writing, stop reaching out for support, start eating sugar, stop logging my food, weighing and measuring, that's when I'm in serious trouble. As long as I treat these foundation elements as non-negotiable, then I'm fine. I can add accessories to enhance my weight loss and fitness. When I'm discussing the foundation elements it isn't necessarily about weight loss and fitness, it's about recovery and balance. The weight loss is really a consequence of my recovery and balance. Optimizing my weight loss and fitness is a consequence of the added accessories.

The thought today was born from my natural reaction on weigh day mixed with incredible perspectives offered by others and my clear understanding of those perspectives. The bottom line is, as long as I'm taking exceptional care of the foundation elements, I'm winning. I can tweak my approach and add accessories along the way--and some will work, some may not, I'll lose slow, I might lose a little faster, I'll increase strength, I'll gain better fitness--regardless of the pace results come...I'm winning, because I'm maintaining the integrity of my recovery. I'm not binge eating. I'm not out of control. I'm holding sacred the elements I've put in place to help me along. 

Today was a good day. I hit a crossroads close to 5pm when I needed to either get to the Y for a workout or make an alternate plan for exercise. I had an offer from a good friend for a home cooked meal and a movie out. So I negotiated an alternate plan. If I skipped the Y, then I would do a treadmill workout after the movie. I did a very brisk 25 minutes before the treadmill suddenly stopped and refused to start again. I thought I broke it! I think it just overheated, because it started working again about a half hour later. Thank goodness!

I needed to get out and enjoy a movie. I'm a fan of Mark Wahlberg's acting, so I really wanted to see The Gambler. Oh wow, it was intense. The overall theme was "all or nothing," no gray area, no middle ground. In the end, he was either going to die or claim his freedom. I understand this theme on a different, but equally powerful level. 

My Tweets Today:






















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

14 comments:

  1. I read your blog every day and you are my motivation. Can I ask about the sweet potato fries. Do you bake them or fry them. Thanks.

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    1. Debbie, I sincerely appreciate your daily readership. I'm overjoyed you're finding inspiration here!
      I bake the sweet potato fries, that way the calories are limited to the sweet potato. I use a non-stick baking sheet with a tiny bit of cooking spray--bake on high heat (at least 375-400), and flip 'em after about ten minutes. Another ten minutes and they're ready! It's purely a texture and presentation thing for me. I'm not a fan of a regular baked sweet potato--but cut it up into whatever shapes you want (medallions-fries) and I'm all about it! Enjoy!

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  2. Sean, This "I'm maintaining the integrity of my recovery. I'm not binge eating. I'm not out of control. I'm holding sacred the elements I've put in place to help me along." is like the perfect words/affirmation for me. I always take away something from your writing, today is no exception. I am writing this on my journal and making a point of saying it when i start having a weaker moment. Thanks!

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    1. Alati, thank you! And you're very welcome. It will be an important affirmation for me from here on out, especially if I find myself discouraged because I feel like I'm not working the 'accessories' as well as I think I should be--or not getting results I feel I've earned...This is a grounding, a centering thought of truth--a reminder--I'm holding the foundation elements sacred--the rest of what I do is a bonus and completely up to me and what I want to try along the way...As long as I don't mess with the foundation!

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  3. Sean, you are one smart man. Great thoughts and great post! The weight loss may or may not slow down from here, but you are becoming healthier physically, mentally and emotionally. All these things are sustainable with your plan. Keep going my friend.

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    1. LTR, Thank you! It's certainly a key difference in approach and perspective from my previous experiences. I will keep going, you too!

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  4. Healing from my fifth relapse, that is exactly the goal I've had this time around. To be free of binge eating or eating out of control. That is what has made me overweight and miserable. You have discovered what you need to do in order for that to happen and that's what can't be toyed with.I could really relate to this post. And, I'm going to try the mushroom pizza.

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    1. Divad, your experience along this road is invaluable and appreciated, thank you. "Can't be toyed with..." OMGoodness, exactly.
      I'm so glad you're going to try the mushroom!! If you love mushrooms like me, this has all the taste of mushroom pizza--without the crust and excessive calories. It's a treat, really. A low cal treat!

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  5. Excellent post, Sean. It goes hand in hand with my 'create a sacred place in your heart for your health.'

    We have to focus on our health. Not just focus, but make it and KEEP it a priority. When we do, the rest of the details of it falls nicely, serenely (emotionally) into place.

    YAY you!

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    1. Thank you, Gwen. You're so spot on! Very well written! They do fall into place, very nicely.

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  6. Many, many years ago, before food was ever associated with addiction, I said I was a foodaholic. I used food like an alcoholic used booze.

    Now, decades later, there has been a large amount of reinforcement for my little observation. But, there has been some significant opposition, too.

    Many in the eating disorders group push back and say that abstinence is what is causing the eating disorder. One needs to "normalize" food and eat all things in moderation.

    For those, like me, who use food (especially sugar) as an alcoholic uses booze--I'm right. For those who have eating disorders, well--they're right, too. And some people don't fit into either group, they just need to healthy up their food choices. :)

    I'd like to be in the latter group. To be honest, I'm pretty drawn to the goal of "eating all things--including SUGAR--in moderation.

    The truth, however, is that I'm a foodaholic. I cannot moderate my drug of choice. And, because of that truth, I need to be aware of unconsciously turning to an alternate drug to replace my drug of choice. If I pretend I'm not an addict, I'll fall into traps only addicts fall into, rather than getting to the root of my addictive behavior, finding healing, and developing healthy coping skills.

    It is what it is, my friend. Wisdom embraces that--just like you have.

    Enjoyed your post. It let me verbalize what's been running thru my own mind these last couple of days...of withdrawal.

    Deb

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    1. I really wanted to be in that latter group, too! I tried to be! Didn't work!
      Thank you Deb for sharing and your insights. Very well put. It amazes me when I read articles from people proclaiming food addiction doesn't exist (plenty of these people in the world), because like you, I've lived it.
      Normalizing the foundation elements and holding them sacred each and every day, allows me to normalize my life.
      I agree 100%, since we're all different and each of us are working within our own personal truth, everyone is right--for them. When 'these people' decide since they don't relate to it--it doesn't exist--that's when I immediately discredit every word they say. :) Thank you, again, Deb! Excellent!

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  7. Very interesting, Sean. I too am starting to see my food issues in terms of addiction and recovery. Staying off sugar is vital for me too. So glad to see you doing well!

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    1. Lyn, so wonderful to read. It's truly the only way I've been able to get on the positive side of this deal. The abstinence from sugar part has truly been life changing for me. It took giving it up for me to realize what an impact it was making. It was a "tough sell" for my brain--because i don't typically think of myself as a "sweets person." My perception was a little off center--Because after abstaining, it was very clear--the role sugar had been playing in the binge cycles.
      Thank you, Lyn! And I'm overjoyed for you, too!

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