My schedule the last two days has been rather challenging. I've fallen behind a little bit on email and blog comment replies. If you've asked a specific question, I appreciate your patience.
After taking 3/4 of day personal leave yesterday, I was vague in the specific cause/need for this and it prompted a great question (and very considerately worded by the way) from an anonymous reader:
Can you say more about needing to take a day off? Were you in a bad mood, or feeling depressed? Did something specific happen (not asking for personal details)? Did you take the time because you needed to give yourself just a little bit more extraordinary care? The reason I ask is that I think it's helpful (for me at least) to hear what a trigger/bad mood might be, and how you pulled yourself out of it (even if it's just that you asked your friends for a helping hand). I, myself, had a crummy day yesterday, and it was all I could do not to stay inside and hide. I eventually got up, showered and got myself to school-- but it wasn't pretty. Any advice you have on this (or just anything that works for you) would be appreciated.
When I'm vague it's usually because being more specific might violate someone else's privacy. It might be a colleague or a loved one or anyone close to me. I wasn't in a bad mood or depressed yesterday, I was simply exhausted and needed to stay in bed longer.
But the deeper issue/question here: How do we navigate the ups and downs and still take the kind of care in harmony with our goals?
Bad days happen. If my consistency is dependent on things being as easy and stress free as possible, I'm destined for trouble. Bad moods, stress, emotional situations, disappointments--all of these can happen suddenly and sometimes without explanation. Other times, the source is perfectly clear. Either way, I must recognize some solid truths:
Food isn't a fixer. It doesn't make everything magically better. It offers a delicious distraction at best. Excess food during stressful/emotional or otherwise, "bad days," can seem like the way to turn--but its offer of comfort is an illusion, a 'bait and switch,' if you will. I can't count the number of times I've retreated into binge mode, looking for an escape, something to make it all better--and then realized, not only is the instigating issue still an issue, now I feel worse then before, having sacrificed the integrity of my plan, again.
Awareness is key. When I feel a tilt in my mood coming on or when I'm suddenly faced with high stress/high emotions, I'm keenly aware of my natural reactions. It's in those critical moments when I must pause before these deep seeded behaviors play out in a bad way. My defenses must go to a higher level. My consistency and the integrity of my plan is too important to sacrifice. For what?? A bad day?? For real? Some might say--easy there fella, it's one binge, big deal...but it becomes a big deal, quickly.
The greatest damage of a binge was never the actual binge food, it was always the after effects--the psychological damage far outweighed the actual physical damage created. The emotional/mental breakdowns created post-binge, led to the end of weight loss attempt after attempt.
If I keep my awareness level high and I couple it with 100% self-honesty, then the pause I need in order to react differently, is created. It might even encourage me to deal directly with an issue, exploring actual solutions instead of solution illusions. But in those initial moments of turbulence and greatest vulnerability...
I reach out for text support. A simple text: "I'm having a tough one today, feeling vulnerable," can do magical things. Suddenly we're not alone. Suddenly our emotional circumstance isn't exclusive to our head.
I write. Writing it out is a powerful way to gain a clearer understanding of the situation and better, how we feel and how we react to the situation. You don't have to share it on a blog. The power of writing, the therapeutic benefits of written expression still happens, even when it's for your eyes only. This blog is like a doctoral study of me, by me.
I meditate, I say a prayer--I connect with my spiritual side.
And through it all, I must constantly remind myself--this too shall pass. A better day is coming.
Today was a better day. I had a great show this morning, I accomplished quite a few things by noon, left work--took care of a couple of errands, grabbed lunch--and a short nap before returning to work this afternoon to finish the production day. Then, I started my evening with some fantastic support interactions even before our Tuesday night support group and a coffee...love my coffee...I prepared some awesome food today, too! We had an absolutely wonderful support group conference call followed by a seriously delicious dinner--followed by a great workout--followed by picking up eight pounds of honeycrisp apples at 99cents a pound before the sale ends at midnight...because tomorrow they'll likely be three bucks or more a pound, again.
Yes, indeed, it was a much better day, today.
My Tweets Today:
Good morning! Dark roast with three tablespoons half & half. 2nd cup for work will contain two tablespoons. 100 cal. pic.twitter.com/z928jmOR7c— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 3, 2015
Breakfast in MFP... pic.twitter.com/M4l0TlMT37— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 3, 2015
3 egg white & 1 whole egg omelet with 141g avocado, salt & pepper. 5.3oz pineapple, 154g Honeycrisp apple. 501 cal. pic.twitter.com/0bel3vgiRv— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 3, 2015
Lunch in MFP... pic.twitter.com/fOs6FyHL8W— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 3, 2015
Fajita chicken & zucchini taco melts w/8oz chicken, zucchini, 3 tblspns full fat sr crm & 28g white cheddar. 620 cal pic.twitter.com/wRu7aojxSS— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 3, 2015
Homemade guac w/122g avocado, finely diced red onion, 30g sour cream, salt & pepper. 28g chips. 403 cal. pic.twitter.com/r7LtICru1H— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 3, 2015
Evening cup... Awe, relaxing... Dark roast with two tablespoons half & half. 40 cal. pic.twitter.com/snARNy9F3l— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 4, 2015
Dinner in MFP... pic.twitter.com/Gs0cb9AEnf— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 4, 2015
Burger&Fries. 😃4oz 93% lean beef on sf Ezekiel bun w/mshrms, onions, mstrd & .8oz colby. 150g swt.pot.fries. 583 cal pic.twitter.com/5XCjl2Fvy9— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 4, 2015
Workout time. Elliptical ride starts now. 2 cups water exceeds #watergoal pic.twitter.com/jl2RYioyZn— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 4, 2015
Honeycrisp for 99 cents a pound ends tonight!! I wonder if I can go through these before they turn bad? I'll try. pic.twitter.com/Xr29vSUHcn— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 4, 2015
I feel bad for red delicious. But, Red, why would I spend 30 cents more for you? Maybe another day, okay? Cheer up. pic.twitter.com/WCmw3k9pUB— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 4, 2015
A few things... Or 43... pic.twitter.com/GyJqXWvtoJ— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) November 4, 2015
Thank you for reading and your continued support,