Anonymous writes: "You always make it look easy."
It's not as easy at it looks. You see...
It might look that way on the surface, but let's go a little deeper with the help of an excerpt from the archives with a few minor edits for this republish.
From February 9th, 2016:
We Must Install Rails
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 still be over 500 pounds right now. Or dead.
I recently shared my 80/20 philosophy concerning a ratio of focus between the mental/emotional and the food and exercise 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 must make sure I have what I need, at work and at home. Having what I need, where I need and when I need it, makes things less anxious. 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 regained 164 pounds of my initial 275-pound weight loss. 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.
Hold on tight to your rails. Let them support and guide you.
Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained abstinent from refined sugar. I exceeded my daily water goal and I stayed connected with good support contacts.
I hope to do it again tomorrow.
It isn't easy. It takes effort. But it's worth the effort. Every bit of it.
And just to be clear: I don't know it all and I never will. I humble myself each morning, asking for help toward making it one more day. And I hold on.
Continuous Accountability Live-Tweet Feed:
Most important two cups of the day! 20 push-ups & 20 squats✔️ #morningdeal Getting me started&set for a good day! pic.twitter.com/7eQePLoT2v— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) August 29, 2016
Three tablespoons half & half in my first cup- same in refill to-go. Good Monday morning! 120 cal. pic.twitter.com/HRulyFfjSu— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) August 29, 2016
Breakfast in MyFitnessPal... pic.twitter.com/Hl4dZ59Fae— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) August 29, 2016
2 whl eggs-2 whts w/107g avocado. Ezekiel w/.75oz crm.cheese&18g refined-sf strwbrry all-fruit. 5.9oz apple. 595 cal pic.twitter.com/h13jMszDXm— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) August 29, 2016
Two tbsp half & half in this Midmorning cup. 40 cal. pic.twitter.com/MUXwB41Q1n— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) August 29, 2016
Lunch in MyFitnessPal... pic.twitter.com/kGnZjzDx3c— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) August 29, 2016
6oz 93% turkey burger w/28g mozzarella, 25g red onion, 35g red pepper & mustard on Ezekiel. 5.9oz pear. 603 cal. pic.twitter.com/CZV2dVjKXi— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) August 29, 2016
I don't like plain turkey burgers. This is no ordinary turkey burger! Love it! pic.twitter.com/9WbV0DP0JD— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) August 29, 2016
Two tablespoons half & half in my dark roast evening cup. 40 cal. pic.twitter.com/hNYLb1Tvkf— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) August 29, 2016
Appetizer: 12 chips and fresh made salsa. 170 cal. pic.twitter.com/Q0avcss0D7— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) August 30, 2016
Ordering what I need, specifically. Perfect! pic.twitter.com/EkSibTcyr0— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) August 30, 2016
Leftovers! I'll use that chicken for lunch tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/l8klXME3xA— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) August 30, 2016
Dinner in MyFitnessPal... pic.twitter.com/62v7658GBH— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) August 30, 2016
Amnts.approx: Chicken&Sr.crm Tacos w/6oz chckn, 3 tbsp sour cream, jalapeños & lettuce in crispy corn shells. 461cal pic.twitter.com/9NZZHPbwe5— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) August 30, 2016
Tonight's chicken tacos, tomorrow's low-cal chicken alfredo pita pizzas! #usingleftovers pic.twitter.com/EeEwJ5ZjCg— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) August 30, 2016
Bargain! Seriously. Love this place! pic.twitter.com/8QpSvG7VJ5— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) August 30, 2016
1.5 cups water exceeds #watergoal #watertracking 6.3oz apple & 218g cantaloupe #lastfoodofday 162 cal. pic.twitter.com/VQIk3rGVD0— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) August 30, 2016
Thank you for reading and your continued support,