If I had kept this diary prior to September 15th, 2008, it would have revealed someone desperate for some kind of life saving solution.
One of the biggest and scariest thoughts I had back then centered around the idea that life will always contain stressful and emotional situations. They may change in shape and size and with consequences big and small, but they will always be a part of a balanced and normal life.
It was a scary revelation because I had decided, concretely, that I couldn't in any way, shape or form--lose weight successfully unless everything was smooth sailing, every day, every week and so on.
I accepted, as fact: When the rain starts pouring, I start eating.
This perspective afforded me an endless supply of excellent excuses for why "now isn't a good time."
A "perfect time" is a myth. If I had waited for the perfect time, there's a good chance I wouldn't be alive today.
When someone asks me, what clicked on September 15th, 2008? It was truly the realization that if I was going to survive, I had to remain consistent come what may. I had to walk in the rain and not be afraid. I had to make an iron-clad decision that this time was going to be different from any other previous attempt.
No longer could I allow my resolve to be hard wired into the ups and downs of life. My resolve required a separate power source.
This realization that if I attached my consistency to the ups and downs of life, I might forever be stuck on a merry go round of yo-yo dieting, was profound.
Allowing myself to become the victim of life's circumstances time and time again, was super convenient. It didn't require me to get real or take responsibility for my extraordinary care because I was placing that responsibility on the randomness of life. I had to change my perspective or die young at over 500 pounds.
I decided to choose change before change chose me. Because one way or another, change was coming...and quickly.
This realization gave birth to my parallel streams philosophy.
For me, Day 1 was the start of my parallel streams philosophy, I just didn't know what to call it back then.
The "Life Stream" is everything happening in our day to day lives. The Life Stream includes the ups and downs, the challenges, the victories, the disappointments, The hectic schedules, the family dynamics, the workplace dynamics, the bills, the stress, the joys, the blessings, the expected and the unexpected, the good, the bad...It's life.
The "Fundamental Elements Stream" are comprised of the elements of my personal plan. I say "my" because our plans might be very different. Mine is customized to fit my personality, likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses and sensitivities.
My fundamental elements stream includes my personal/spiritual morning "me time," the most peaceful five minutes of my entire day. My fundamental elements stream also includes maintaining the integrity of my calorie budget, remaining abstinent from refined sugar, logging everything in MyFitnessPal, photographing and tweeting, with description and calorie counts of everything I consume, every day, getting regular workouts and staying connected with one on one and group support interactions and of course, writing and publishing this blog, nightly--right before bed.
I've also referred to my fundamental elements as my "rails of support." I've set my accountability and support measures on high. When someone makes a comment in the direction of, "you're so strong" or "you must have amazing will power," I typically thank them and smile, but I know, truly, I'm not that strong and I don't have giant amounts of will power. What I have are solid rails of accountability and support--and I'm holding onto those rails, each day. They guide me, step by step.
The fundamental elements stream runs parallel, just below the life stream. The life stream is running in the foreground and the fundamental elements stream is running in the background--like a computer's anti-virus program.
I've written countless paragraphs within the archives of this blog all about the "life stream" and the "fundamental elements stream" and how they must run parallel to one another without crossing.
If we allow life and all of the energy it takes to maneuver, to negatively affect our ability to maintain consistency in the daily elements of our extraordinary care, then it always will. The frustration of inconsistency will be a common theme if the life stream is allowed to dip down into the fundamental elements stream on a regular basis.
And if we get too carried away, making the fundamental elements all consuming, then we run the risk of it crossing up into our life stream. And that's when it isn't any fun and we dread what we're doing every day.
I've had several challenges of late where I really had to remember the power of this "parallel streams" philosophy. I've discovered, when life demands more attention, we don't have to let go of the elements giving us our success, but we can scale back the amount of energy it uses to operate.
We don't sacrifice the integrity of the elements, we just do what we can do. For me--on super busy days, I have three non-negotiable requirements: 1. Stay within my calorie budget 2. Hold my abstinence from sugar sacred 3. Send the accountability tweets and write this blog--even if it's just the tweets of the day.
Today was super-crazy busy. I left the house before 6am and returned after 6pm. A long workday and a few late afternoon errands, filled the day, completely. I tried to not take a nap (even grabbed a late afternoon coffee for caffeinated support)--but instead, relented--and surprisingly limited the snooze to just over an hour.
I prepared a delicious dinner, worked on some material for a big speaking engagement scheduled for Sunday in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, an hour away--then took a break and watched some of the CNN documentary series "The Seventies" on Netflix before jumping into tonight's edition of this daily record.
I have a location broadcast tomorrow from 10am to 2pm from a huge downtown block party followed by more preparing for Sunday's speaking engagement.
And at some point this weekend, I must spend some time with my little grandson Noah. I miss him horribly. I must make that happen. He has the magical ability to instantly fill my heart with the most awesome kind of joy. It's been more than two weeks since we spent time together. That's way too long.
Today's Live-Tweet Stream:
#morningdeal is simple. Drink two cups water. Do 2 sets of 10 push-ups. Do 10 squats. Then, we can do coffee dance. pic.twitter.com/7QLwNPB2qT— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) April 22, 2016
Please, don't attempt the coffee dance while holding the coffee. Three tablespoons half&half X 2 cups. :) 120 cal. pic.twitter.com/VGSQNw8tQL— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) April 22, 2016
Breakfast in MFP... pic.twitter.com/YR88Fgp5mT— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) April 22, 2016
Brkfst Burger! 5oz 96% lean beef, 2 egg whts & 1 slice provolone on Ezekiel bun. 5.5oz apple & 6.3oz orange. 599 cal pic.twitter.com/UCotfNIFe3— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) April 22, 2016
This turnaround from regain continues to be full of blessings. Today, I celebrate 2 years of MFP logging. #grateful pic.twitter.com/3oxTrSefEP— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) April 22, 2016
Legendary country music star Gary Morris was on my show this morning! Over 20 top 10's & 5 #1 hits. He's amazing! pic.twitter.com/2hWwvdaRKS— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) April 22, 2016
Midmorning cup of dark roast with two tablespoons half & half. 40 cal. pic.twitter.com/C9t4WffZSO— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) April 22, 2016
Midmorning something. 4oz banana with 16g natural peanut butter. 169 cal. pic.twitter.com/0kgTjCEMZQ— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) April 22, 2016
Lunch in MFP... pic.twitter.com/TJovsr3Wkx— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) April 22, 2016
7 Layer Tostadas w/130g FF beans, salsa, 2 slcs muenster, 52g avocado, lettuce & 15g sour cream. 150g grapes. 533cal pic.twitter.com/pIQkr5QwqV— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) April 22, 2016
After lunch coffee with two tablespoons half & half. 40 cal. pic.twitter.com/gFEnJRe0rD— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) April 22, 2016
Grande Pike Place roast with two tablespoons half & half. 40 cal. pic.twitter.com/hl46N42jMf— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) April 22, 2016
This is coming together... pic.twitter.com/Iy36CfgEbR— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) April 23, 2016
Appetizer: 216g Giorgio stuffed mushrooms. OMGoodness, very good. 180 cal. pic.twitter.com/2kGSbl2s9E— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) April 23, 2016
Eating only half prepared side dish. After ingredient adjustments--Dinner in MFP... pic.twitter.com/LXheLJtgfr— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) April 23, 2016
7.8oz baked cod, 100g sweet potato, red onions, green & red bell pepper & yellow squash w/3secOOspray. 451 cal. pic.twitter.com/BSBgmfLYUz— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) April 23, 2016
2 cups water equals #watergoal 6.2oz pear & 2.2oz orange. #lastfoodofday 127 cal. pic.twitter.com/VzsLitF8Gp— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) April 23, 2016
Thank you for reading and your continued support,