Tonight is a Tweets Only with a rerun all about consistency.
Consistency beats intensity. Consistency brings incredible things. How do we get it and how do we keep it?
The following extended excerpt is drawn from my experience. I was 83 pounds heavier when this was written. I had lost nearly 100 pounds of my relapse/regain weight by mid-October 2014.
I'm in maintenance mode now, and everything--the experience, the philosophy, the practices--everything in the below post still applies. Almost everything: I did edit out a small part of a paragraph about a previous relationship I was in at the time of its publishing. It was very positive--but not appropriate to republish.
From October 8th, 2014:
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.
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.
I'll be in bed by 9:15pm tonight. This might be some kind of record. I need it. Taking it.
My Tweets Today:
Here we go! Monday morning dark roast with two tablespoons half & half X 2 cups. 80 cal. pic.twitter.com/gsSU3M6w7d— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 7, 2015
Breakfast in MFP... pic.twitter.com/P7pMA3bDKQ— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 7, 2015
Omelet w/3 egg whts-1 whl, 2 slices provolone & 28g marble-jack. 5.1oz banana, 4.7oz orange & 133g apple. 568 cal. pic.twitter.com/LsfxPZyTDV— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 7, 2015
Lunch in MFP... pic.twitter.com/Zd51oqWMkb— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 7, 2015
Beef & Bean Tostadas w/3oz 96% lean beef, 130g ff/sf beans, 48g olives, 2 slices mozz, salsa & 28g chips. 640 cal. pic.twitter.com/4TF33AAaqQ— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 7, 2015
Yesterday's cup, today's home brew. Afternoon dark roast with 3 tablespoons half & half. 60 cal. pic.twitter.com/9UnSG4bi4G— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 7, 2015
For me, certain foods require precise measurements. Natural peanut butter is one of those! And the all-fruit spread! pic.twitter.com/Y47HDCuGpR— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 7, 2015
16g nat.peanut butter & 19g sf all fruit strawberry on Ezekiel bread. W/coffee & 2 tblspns half&half. 265 cal. pic.twitter.com/QOkV0vOhtg— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 7, 2015
Dinner in MFP... pic.twitter.com/akEja8Lk73— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 8, 2015
Simple. Fajita steak & zucchini tacos with three tablespoons sour cream, zucchini and 8oz fajita steak. 603 cal. pic.twitter.com/W86LxYZYUp— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 8, 2015
Thank you for reading and your continued support,