Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I remained well connected with fantastic support.
It's okay to have a day that doesn't go exactly how I envisioned and STILL take extraordinary care. Deciding the fundamental elements of my plan shall not be sacrificed, come what may, is by far one of the most important decisions I make each day.
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's Accountability Tweets:
3 tbs half & half in the first cup, another 3 tbs in the refill, soon. 120 cal. pic.twitter.com/OzEv6C00CQ— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) September 9, 2017
Breakfast in MyFitnessPal. Not shown: 3.3oz Pink Lady apple slices. pic.twitter.com/F1HbJPddS7— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) September 9, 2017
5.8oz petite sirloin, 2 whl eggs over-easy, 3.3oz Pink Lady apple & Ezekiel toast w/16g nat.peanut butter & 18g rsf peach all-fruit. 667 cal pic.twitter.com/PXpYBKMNNH— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) September 9, 2017
Lunch in MyFitnessPal... pic.twitter.com/r9XXCepLDb— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) September 9, 2017
Two Joseph's Flax-Oat Bran-Whole Wheat Pitas topped w/125g refined sugar-free tomato basil, 7oz 96% lean beef & 4 slices mozzarella. 625 cal pic.twitter.com/KfcNX4F5RS— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) September 9, 2017
3 tbs half & half in this cold brew. 60 cal. pic.twitter.com/jKGyJe6fqM— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) September 9, 2017
4 cups water with appetizers exceeds #watergoal while watching the big game! #watertracking #wateraccountability pic.twitter.com/iBYmIMX1e4— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) September 10, 2017
12 tortilla chips and approx. 6 tbs salsa. 180 cal. pic.twitter.com/PGlIECFfar— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) September 10, 2017
Crock of Ground Round Chicken Tortilla Soup. Website nutrition info says 240, MFP says a crock size is 260. I'll go with MFP. 260 cal. pic.twitter.com/nZoygT5UBJ— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) September 10, 2017
Dinner in MyFitnessPal... pic.twitter.com/cBvhg9omhy— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) September 10, 2017
2 cups water exceeds #watergoal Joseph's Pita w/32g natural peanut butter & 18g rsf peach all-fruit. 240g cantaloupe. #lastfoodofday 387 cal pic.twitter.com/h8832f6041— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) September 10, 2017
Thank you for reading and your continued support,