Friday, February 5, 2016

February 5th, 2016 Recovery Level

February 5th, 2016 Recovery Level

A day like today requires some forethought, a little planning, a little prepping, and I'm not much of a planner, in the traditional sense. For some, preparing meals far in advance--then grabbing them on the way out, works. For me, the extent of my planning simply requires I keep some options available, then, when it's time, I can decide what I want to prepare. I keep things in two kitchens, at the studio and home. This approach seems to work well for me.

I prepare two meals at work most weekdays. It's funny, a friend of mine recently commented "not everyone has a full kitchen at work." Neither do I! We have two toaster ovens, a microwave and a single burner hot plate thingy. It works well for me. If I didn't have this level of kitchen options at work, it would require me to plan, prepare everything at home and pack it up each day. I'm grateful that's not the case, because again, I'm not much of a planner. But if I had to, I'd do it--because whatever it takes, right? My continued physical freedom from morbid obesity and the mental/emotional freedom my recovery provides, are things very important to me.

I was thinking today about the differences between my initial weight loss and this turnaround from relapse/regain. And it's a big list of differences. The biggest difference for me is a much clearer understanding of food addiction in my life. Specifically what it is, the differences between it and emotional/stress eating and the most important thing for me: With this clarity comes a "recovery level" reverence.

For someone with my body chemistry, all it takes to shoot right back up the scale is a release of this importance level. My body has proven it can quickly return to four or five hundred pounds in short order. And I'm never immune to that fact. Sure, I've done things differently nutrition-wise that I truly believe has changed the way my body works, but it could quickly change back if I were to walk away from the fundamental elements of my recovery.

As I pondered these differences in approach, I kept going back to the question: Why was it so hard to accept and fully embrace a perspective grounded in recovery principles? 

Aside from the bio-chemical triggers keeping the addiction centers humming--and protecting itself with compulsions against any thought or action to the contrary, I think it's because we're talking about food. We're talking about weight loss, which is never short of fad offerings or the latest product, pill, surgery or special plan. I think it's because so much focus is centered on the specific plan or method with food/exercise instead of the heavily involved mental/emotional dynamics and possible (different for each of us) ruling properties of addiction in play (absolutely in my case). I've said from the very beginning: It's 20% food and exercise, 80% mental/emotional. And if that ratio is flipped, I believe it creates the yo-yo dynamics of which many of us are familiar.

Flipping that ratio and focusing super heavy on sweepingly dramatic changes in food and exercise without giving the mental/emotional side of things proper attention is like calling a plumbing crew to clean up the mess but not repair the pipe. In medical terms, it's treating/managing the side effects/symptoms, without directly treating the issues creating them in the first place.

But how do we identify the mental/emotional things in need of our focus? It takes time and energy in the direction of a super self-honest inward exploration. This is why a simplistic approach with food and exercise, in my opinion, works well--because it creates the head space needed to apply this greater focus. The more mental/emotional work is done, the more we're able to adjust/tweak our food and exercise along the way--and if we're fully accepting and embracing of our plan--and we've made sure it's one that fits who we are in all of our individuality, then by golly--some big changes are bound to happen in ways different from any other time.

No matter the ratio we choose, if we apply ourselves completely--we're likely getting results. The ratio used will determine if these results will be temporary or sustainable. 

And I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt--if ever I release my embrace of this recovery level reverence, I'll quickly become lost, again.

And I really enjoy being found.

Just a few thoughts on my mind tonight.
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I went out on a date tonight! It was awesome. It felt good to get out and laugh, enjoy the evening and just be okay with where I am.

This is a big and busy weekend. I have a location broadcast from a grocery store tomorrow midday, then I'm the guest DJ for a big casino promotion tomorrow night. And of course, Sunday is the big game! I've been invited to a party and I'm planning on accepting the late Sunday afternoon invite after a nice midday Sunday visit with mom.

My Tweets Today:






























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

11 comments:

  1. '80% mental/emotional' You hit the nail on the head, Sean!
    "Flipping that ratio and focusing super heavy on sweepingly dramatic changes in food and exercise without giving the mental/emotional side of things proper attention is like calling a plumbing crew to clean up the mess but not repair the pipe. In medical terms, it's treating/managing the side effects/symptoms, without directly treating the issues creating them in the first place." SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO true! I think that most people do not know this! I don't think I knew it until recently. It is not about food, or at least not mostly about food!

    Dede

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    1. I'm so glad that resonated in a confirming type way, Dede! You're living it everyday!! :)

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  2. Very interesting post today Sean. I admire your tenacity! Always nice to come here and see you working your plan :)

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  3. I love your post today, so much wisdom, my friend. I feel it a privilege to get to walk this path with you. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Kathleen, thank you so much! I feel the same way about you!

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  4. It's good to hear you are dating again. It is such an important part of life!

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    1. Lee, yes, indeed. Just taking it slow. It was a good experience, for sure.

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  5. Much truth here. But for those of us addicted to certain foods, abstaining from them gives us the mental clarity to attack other issues. ;)

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    1. Thank you, Gwen. I agree 100%! I wouldn't be here in this way, today, if it wasn't for my abstinence from refined sugar. Our abstinence is like a firm foundation, don't you think?

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