I'm not the strongest person and I don't have amazing willpower. It's assumed that these things are necessities along this road. They're not.
When I end each blog post with the word, "strength," it's not necessarily strength to stick to your plan. It's about installing strength within your plan. It's about having the strength to open your mind to new perspectives and concepts. It's the strength to care enough to make what you're doing for you, important. But you don't have to be strong or have the best willpower. It's a common misconception.
If I relied on my own strength and willpower, I'd be over 500 pounds right now.
I recently shared my 80/20 philosophy concerning a ratio of focus between food and exercise and the mental/emotional elements. Through my experiences, I contend the stronger focus remain squarely on the mental/emotional elements, allowing the food and exercise plenty of room to grow and develop naturally.
When I examine weight loss attempts in my past, I can clearly see how my focus was mainly on the food and exercise, accompanied by a constant reminding of how strong I needed to be and how much willpower I needed to exert in order for it to work.
Those attempts didn't work. Even though I had the good foods, I was walking a lot and I was doing my best to be strong and exhibit a super-human willpower...nothing stuck. I didn't maintain a shred of consistency during those times. And soon, like all the other attempts, my resolve would fade into the fog of food chaos and rapid weight gain. If you were to ask me what happened, I would have likely said something along the lines of-- "I guess I wasn't strong enough and just didn't have enough willpower." And most people would empathize with something like, "well, weight loss is really hard--hang in there, you can do it."
If maintaining balance and control is hard, then doesn't it make sense to hold onto something for support? Like a rail of some sort? Or a series of rails, strategically placed along the way--providing balance and support? That's the key. It ISN'T building the perfect food and exercise plan from Day 1 and white knuckling it all the way while praying for strength and willpower. It's about developing rails of support.
Some people need fewer rails, some more. I say the more the merrier. I have installed quite a few "rails" to guide me along the way.
My rails include logging and tracking my food and exercise. My rails include my personal meditation/prayer time. My rails include staying connected in support daily. My rails include my accountability tweets. My rails include writing/reflection nightly. My rails include making sure I have what I need to succeed, food, exercise--groceries...I have what I need, at work and at home. My rails include planning ahead--some days require more thought and more detailed planning than other days. My rails encourage awareness and self-honesty as I navigate each day within the plan that has gradually become suited especially for me.
What do you think would happen if I suddenly eliminated some or all of these rails from my life, in other words, "went off the rails?"
I've lived that scenario. I'm lucky it didn't end tragically, that time. Or any of the other times.
This trek we're on together doesn't require us to be super human strong or have the most will power. It's truly not about that stuff. If we want more stability, balance and consistency, we must install rails.
I wrote the following a while back and it lives on the sidebar of this blog. If you read a mobile version of this blog, you might not see it over there. It's simply thoughts collected and confirmed, for me, over the last seven years:
What's this all about? It's about progress, not perfection. It's about how you feel, not a number. It's about you and for you, not about or for anyone else. It's about living, not dying. It's about dreaming, not dreading. It's about freedom, not imprisonment. It's about opening your mind to the possibilities, not closing it to the changes. It's about acceptance, not rejection. It's about nourishing, not depriving. It's about a broadly consistent importance level, not short bursts of narrow focus. It's about wanting, not forcing. It's about doing your best, not trying to do another's best. It's about today, not tomorrow, or next week or the first of the month or January 1st. It's about committing to consistency with all your heart and holding on tight, not a halfhearted commitment easily released with the slightest breeze. It's about you deserving better, because you do. It's about you being important, because you are important.
Hold on tight to your rails. Let them support and guide you.
I have my sweet little grandson with me again tonight. He'll be leaving tomorrow afternoon. One of the best feelings I've had in the past few days with him was being able to easily keep up with him on the playground. To slide down the slide with him, to sit him on my lap and swing like a kid again, using one arm to balance and one to hold him close--these are the best times. They're the most amazing blessings along this road. I'm so very grateful.
I'm letting the Tweets take it the rest of the way...
My Tweets Today:
Medium roast with two tablespoons half & half X 3 cups. 120 cal. pic.twitter.com/d0DbIOb6IY— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) February 9, 2016
Breakfast in MFP... pic.twitter.com/8lXli6rBG5— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) February 9, 2016
2 whl eggs-2 egg whts, omelet w/101g avocado & 1 slice provolone. 4.9oz apple, 3.6oz banana & 4.6oz orange. 584 cal. pic.twitter.com/Vu76lhYksY— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) February 9, 2016
Dark roast with two tablespoons half & half. 40 cal. pic.twitter.com/aBNNn3PhQe— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) February 9, 2016
Lunch in MFP... pic.twitter.com/8e2n1mZsrA— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) February 9, 2016
Bean & Provolone Tostadas w/130g beans, jalapeños, salsa, 2-provolone & 30g sr crm. 4.6oz apple, 5.1oz orng. 505 cal pic.twitter.com/a23ciuOojf— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) February 9, 2016
Dark roast with two tablespoons half & half. 40 cal. pic.twitter.com/j19dh2Hgsf— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) February 9, 2016
Mid afternoon snack in MFP... pic.twitter.com/7Ai8As56KE— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) February 9, 2016
SF Fit&Active Flatbread w/56g tomato basil, 3oz 96% lean beef, 1 slice mozz, 1 slice swiss, 28g cheddar-jack. 453cal pic.twitter.com/6eajF1ZAwC— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) February 9, 2016
Coffee with two tablespoons half & half. 40 cal. pic.twitter.com/CJf4LhZbTq— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) February 10, 2016
Dinner is coming together... pic.twitter.com/arc7UH5CJ7— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) February 10, 2016
And the 15g sour cream in the red potatoes... pic.twitter.com/jq2HJlsEuM— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) February 10, 2016
450 calorie dinner in MFP... pic.twitter.com/uDwfeJlKC1— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) February 10, 2016
8.1oz grilled chicken breast, 176g red potatoes, mashed w/1 tblspn half&half & 15g sr.crm & 121g grn beans. 450 cal. pic.twitter.com/023npgzL6C— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) February 10, 2016
Thank you for reading and your continued support,