Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with great support.
A lot has been going on. My oldest grandson hasn't felt well the last few days. He started getting sick while he was with me on Sunday. He's been to the doctor twice in the last 48 hours, complaining of severe pain in his left side, running a fever, and naturally, with all this going on, he's not his regular happy self. And that boy is almost always happy!
Noah's received good care and has medicine- he's feeling better tonight.
When life fills with circumstances beyond our control, we lose a sense of certainty. If you add normal job stress, everyday responsibilities, and a few random uncertainties--it's a recipe for instability. The goal each day: Maintain the integrity of the plan that keeps me well come what may. Come what may means exactly that. I spent nearly 20 years using every single circumstance I could possibly use in order to justify my dependency on excess food. I was a master of self-sabotage. It was a pursuit of comfort; certainty in an uncertain world, guided by the illusion that a temporary dive into the food might somehow make it all better. It never did. Life was waiting around the corner from the drive through, every time.
I've studied my experience closely over the last eight-plus years and although I haven't nor will I ever perfect anything, I do believe I'm somehow able (by the grace of God) to compartmentalize in a way that supports my consistent stability. I call it The Parallel Streams.
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" contain the daily actions 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.
If you've read the last few daily editions of this blog, you know about Billie, my ex-wife's little sister who passed away Saturday morning. She was in her late 30's with two little girls and a husband. Pre-planning for things like that is rarely something thought about in our 30's. I know Scott, and he's one of the hardest working people I know--and he's doing everything he can. The funeral is set for 2:15pm Monday.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help close the final expenses gap for this tragic and unexpected loss. No gift is too small. If you can, I know it would be appreciated.
It might seem strange to ask you to click the link and help this man and his daughters considering they're very likely strangers to you. You're just here to read this blog--and I appreciate that very much!!
I'll make you a deal: If you'll click the link and make a donation of any amount--then send me your shipping address via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, I'll send you a free paperback copy of Transformation Road-My Trip To Over 500 Pounds and Back. If you already own a copy, you might give it as a gift! Simply mention "donated via blog link" in the body or subject line of your email. Thank you! Here's the link:
Today's Accountability Tweets:
2 cups water, 20 push-ups & 20 squats- #morningdeal DONE✅✅✅ Coffee pass earned. ☕️️ pic.twitter.com/Yfr7qZlkyW— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 18, 2017
3 tbs half & half in the first, another 3 tbs in the to-go cup refill, soon. 120 cal. pic.twitter.com/QhlgH7mHj8— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 18, 2017
Breakfast in MyFitnessPal... pic.twitter.com/Hbxvr2VDqZ— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 18, 2017
3 egg whites, 1 whole egg, and 2 slices gouda cheese divided between 2 Ezekiel toasts. 325g watermelon & 156g cantaloupe. 552 cal. pic.twitter.com/V2s0PNItYa— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 18, 2017
2 tbs half & half in this midmorning cup of dark roast. 40 cal. pic.twitter.com/TRwtDHrqwD— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 18, 2017
Lunch in MyFitnessPal. Not shown in screen shot: 40g lettuce, 32g black olives, 82g tomato, and 167g strawberries. pic.twitter.com/A1aoRGFUCX— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 18, 2017
Tostadas w/151g beans, 2 tbs salsa, 1 slice gouda, 104g avocado, 15g sr.cream, 40g lettuce, 32g olives, 82g tomatoes, 167g strwbrrs. 635 cal pic.twitter.com/rqNZKinNdN— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 18, 2017
Dinner in MyFitnessPal. Not shown in screen shot: 45g sour cream & 286g watermelon. pic.twitter.com/g35WVG8Hbd— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 19, 2017
6.5oz 93% lean beef, 4.5oz mshrms, 72g red onion, 100g yllw pepper, 6oz shredded cabbage, 2 Joseph's Pitas & 45g sr crm. 284g wtrmln. 703cal pic.twitter.com/FvwJdy3FCZ— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 19, 2017
2 cups water exceeds today's #watergoal 5.2oz apple & 114g banana #lastfoodofday 194 cal. pic.twitter.com/Wv0zYHHIAB— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) July 19, 2017
Thank you for reading and your continued support,