I slept. And I slept some more. I enjoyed over eleven hours of sleep last night. It's a very rare treat for me! One of the greatest blessings of this turnaround from relapse/regain has been the disappearance of my sleep apnea symptoms. I was worried because as I approached my healthiest weight during my initial 275 pound loss, those sleep apnea symptoms came roaring back and it left me incredibly frustrated and eventually led to another sleep study. It helped, until my body underwent massive changes during regain and suddenly that therapy wasn't working. I'm very lucky that the symptoms haven't returned. I'm not sure why. But I'm grateful and I pray they'll stay away.
Even when I post a "Tweets Only" blog post, like last night--chances are good I've spent a fair amount of time writing in active support, throughout the day. Sometimes it's one on one via email or within the small, private weekly conference call group Life Coach Gerri and I co-moderate/facilitate. And other times it might be a reply to a blog comment or maybe a comment to another's blog post.
For tonight's post, I thought I would share a sampling of today's communications. I've edited out specific names of who I'm communicating with in two of them (one is a publicly posted blog page, so it's okay)--simply for privacy and anonymity purposes--especially the last part--because it's from the "secret" Facebook page for our conference call group.
I'm sharing these because maybe some of it might be helpful to someone and these are things that are very important for me to remember each and every day
This one started as a blog comment from a longtime reader and supporter who has had a really tough time the last six months and is now getting back on track:
From longtime blog supporter:
"I am on Day 4 of no binging/being back on track with my eating. Feeling good about myself again, and that is nice, after being ashamed of my behavior for the last 6 months."
And truly, that is key-- reaching an accord within, a forgiveness, and letting go of the guilt, shame and every other negative emotion-- isn't easy, but it's critically important for moving forward in a stable way.
Something that can help further solidify this: Make "a list of you." This list should contain the answers to this question:
What are the things about me that do not change if I'm heavy or at a healthy weight, or for richer or poorer-- what are the core qualities of me that are constant, regardless of everything else?
The list should be populated with your likes, dislikes, things that bring you joy, things you're passionate about, things you're good at doing!!! Also, the things that make you a loving and compassionate person. These wonderful things we posses often get ignored when we're preoccupied with all of the negative thoughts and feelings surrounding relapse/regain.
For many of us, these are things we've ignored for years because we've been too busy, either focused on how good we feel about our success or how bad we feel about where we are at any given point along the way.
Embrace your core-- wrap it in a level of love and compassion you normally reserve for others...gift yourself that love, compassion and acceptance-- and realize: Heavier, thinner-- successfully losing or struggling with relapse/regain--it truly never, EVER, changed any of these core qualities in you.
You've always been an amazing person worthy of love and worthy of extending yourself the gift of extraordinary care and the improved health and vitality that comes with it.
I wish you all the best. I'm so happy you're here, where you are, moving forward with a resolve reserved for the most important things in your life. I'm honored by your sharing here, and I'm absolutely appreciative and grateful for your incredible support over the years and to come!
Kirsten at www.deardietmonster.com included me in her latest blog post today. I was absolutely honored! She's thrilled about discovering her own list of fundamental elements. I'm truly overjoyed for her!
In response to her blog post:
Identifying your unique set of fundamental elements is crucial. We often hear "you've got to find what works for you," and it's very true. Still, many times before, I tried to move forward using someone else's normal. I'm thankful for my regain/relapse period, even as brutal and big as it was (could have been worse)--because in making a stand and turning it around, I discovered my truest--most personal, fundamental elements.
If I give these elements the same level of reverence as an alcoholic in successful recovery gives their sobriety, each day, then I have the greatest chance of continued weight maintenance. If I let them slide and try to live someone else's normal, I'll relapse again and quickly lose myself in the return to an unhealthy weight.
Is it for life? Yes.
The thought depresses some. It once did me, too.
But if we identify our elements, accepting them as our normal--and embrace them in every way, it can be a happy and positive experience. A test question to apply during this self-discovery: When you wake up each day, do you dread the things you're doing in order to take extraordinary care? Or are you excited and happy to do them, because they're soooo you??
Oh--the food-- my goodness, K, I don't eat the same things every day! LOL Many people get that impression. And I no doubt have my staples, but I do mix it up regularly. The key for me with food: I eat what I like and nothing I don't. I will not force myself to eat something simply because it might be good for me or is understood to be a "good diet food." Every single thing I've consumed over the last 14 months of this turnaround from relapse/regain, including pictures, descriptions and calorie counts can be found on my Twitter feed: @SeanAAnderson
I'm honored to be included in your blog post! Thank you! And mostly--I'm overjoyed for you!! You're fired up--I can tell!! You're ready to do this!
I look forward to witnessing your transformation! You're about to show yourself exactly what you and your body are capable of accomplishing. You deserve the best, my friend.
From a Sunday post in our private weekly support group:
Sunday morning.. We usually go out for breakfast.. My favorite meal.. I know this is a difficult call for me. I'll really need to focus, calculate, and plan. Ask for egg whites.. Do veggie omelet. Not my normal choice... But my better choice.
Aside from the food suggestions from other members, above-- all good... I wanted to offer a slightly different perspective. Just a few questions, if you don't mind...
Question #1: What do you love about this Sunday morning routine aside from the food? Do you love the family time--the togetherness, the conversation, the beauty of the Sunday morning sky...or maybe it's a cute older couple that's always sitting a couple of tables away--as you gaze their way and think, wow--how wonderful to be so in love after all of those years? Maybe you're grateful to be in a position to afford, enjoy and experience this weekly event or perhaps it's the welcoming of the warm smile and attentiveness you're given by a familiar and favorite server.
Question #2: Does ordering your usual breakfast enhance any of these elements? Another way, same question-- If you don't order what you're accustomed to ordering, does it take away from the enjoyment and the elements described above?
Question #3: If you navigate your choices with an awareness enabling you to maintain the integrity of your plan, thereby honoring your commitment to self--and you do it in such a way, where you're making certain to order things that are pleasing to your palette-taste buds--while remaining in harmony with your plan...Does it take away from the non-food elements described above?
Is the family time, conversation, Sunday morning bird songs and sky, cute older couples, a familiar and smiling, friendly server and the peace and joy of this weekly outing, compromised?
I can remember times in my past when my focus was squarely on the food at these family outings. I missed so much of my life and family because my attention was on the plate in front of me instead of the love and beauty all around me. When we shift our focus and perspective, just a touch, we have the opportunity to rediscover and appreciate our many blessings. Add to this experience, the wonderful feeling of knowing you're taking extraordinary care and staying true to you and what you need for continued weight loss/better health--and I would be shocked if you're not awash with tremendous happiness.
Sometimes I can't help myself. Communicating about these things is something I'm incredibly passionate about. And the thing about it is--these things are not a given for any of us. As I've written many times-- If I stop holding sacred the fundamental elements of my recovery, I'll quickly relapse and regain, again.
I don't want that to happen. All I can do is take it one day at a time, make my elements extremely important and always keep my eyes and mind open to learning and appreciating new things along the way.
None of us have all the answers.
We only have our experiences and the thoughts, opinions and beliefs born from those experiences. Some of them we share, others we may not--and it's okay... because we can support one another regardless of the differences in our personalized list, of fundamental elements.
My Tweets Today:
I've waited 11 hours for this. Well, actually, I was sleeping in like a teenager. #bigrest W/sf hazlnut 2cups 60cal pic.twitter.com/AleHsqv6jL— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) June 28, 2015
Sunday brunch is coming together! pic.twitter.com/133Qw2g5qJ— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) June 28, 2015
Portobello mushrooms, red, yellow & orange mini-peppers and red onion. Getting prepared for an epic egg white omelet! pic.twitter.com/CMXI8Ko33j— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) June 28, 2015
Sirloin (3.35oz) on the grill! pic.twitter.com/pJLfqwHbVe— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) June 28, 2015
I don't always make time to prepare this kind of brunch. It's enjoyable to me & a great way to honor my resolve & commitment to good care.— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) June 28, 2015
Egg wht (5) omelet w/mshrms, peprs, onions, mozz & provolone, 3.35oz sirloin, 4.2oz orange, strwbrrs (84g). 565 cal. pic.twitter.com/F1A2vWe6lh— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) June 28, 2015
Additional details: 2 slices mozzarella, 1 slice provolone. Veggies stir fried with 3 seconds, or 27 calories worth of 100% olive oil spray.— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) June 28, 2015
7.2oz juicy Anjou pear & 21g natural almonds. 236 cal. pic.twitter.com/5M3e9trroj— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) June 28, 2015
Time for some outdoor exercise! 5K in the park starts now! 4 cups water consumed lap by lap! #wateraccountability pic.twitter.com/XSckfodXPz— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) June 29, 2015
Good, brisk 5K walk, in the books! About a 4mph pace. Finished at 50 minutes. #feelsgood #endorphinsflowingwildly I'm genuinely hungry, now.— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) June 29, 2015
This was earlier this evening. Forgot! 1 cup w/sugar free hazelnut. 30 cal. pic.twitter.com/M5rXxsuGFR— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) June 29, 2015
Beef (6oz 96% lean) tacos w/lettuce, salsa & sr crm, guac tostada w/46g avocado, ff/sf bean (65g) tostada. 632 cal. pic.twitter.com/1lbJ2rOFR1— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) June 29, 2015
Additional details: 1/2 slice provolone, lettuce and light sour cream on ff/sf bean tostada. Guac is simply mashed avocado w/saltNpepper.— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) June 29, 2015
After dinner dark roast cup of coffee with 1 tablspn sugar free chocolate creamer & a dash of cinnamon. 51 cal. pic.twitter.com/RQcAKFNG5K— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) June 29, 2015
I will eat this snack over the next hour as I put together my Sunday night blog post. Cut, weighed, logged in MFP... pic.twitter.com/53e1HB8RFl— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) June 29, 2015
6.4oz Cameo apple (1st time trying one), 6oz Anjou pear and a precisely measured 121g strwbrs. #lastfoodofday 225 cal pic.twitter.com/lmbdySy1rT— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) June 29, 2015
Needed 39 cal to hit 1,800 today. I went into MFP to find out how many strwbrs would do it. Yeah, 121g. #caloriegeek pic.twitter.com/a4TBCgtrb6— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) June 29, 2015
Thank you for reading and your continued support,