Tuesday, June 19, 2018

June 19th, 2018 Again and Again

June 19th, 2018 Again and Again

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

Keeping it short tonight--just finished a walk after a long day. I'm really tired and ready to hit the pillow. I picked up my old standby chicken tacos for dinner and took 'em out to mom's place for dinner and a visit. We watched a little tv too. It was a good visit!

Doing a republish from the archives tonight-- and it's a double republish-- It starts with a post from September 2017 and jumps back to a post at the top of my relapse/regain in January 2014:

I work my plan each day. It works because I do the work. I do the work because I know how quickly and easily it can slip away. I do the work because I deserve this kind of care. I do the work because I know, as a first class food addict and emotional/compulsive overeater--each on-plan day depends on my willingness to do the work. Will I ever go back? I hope and pray not, but it's possible if I release this level of reverence I apply to my plan each day. And I'm not sure "work" is the right word. It doesn't feel like work at this point. It's just what I do.

Sometimes, especially if you're new to these pages and you haven't dived into the deep end of the archives, it might look routine, simple, and somehow immune to any semblance of the struggle. But don't believe that for a minute!  I've been in deep dark places along this road and I'm perfectly capable of going back to those places.

The following is an excerpt written near the height of my 164-pound relapse/regain period.
DDWL Flashback-January 2014:

It wasn't that long ago when I wondered if it was even remotely possible to feel this way again. I was at the point of completely giving up. Struggling harder than I ever imagined possible, isolating in a place full of shame, guilt and regret...filling up on self-pity, self-loathing and a general disgust--completely choosing a perspective void of even a shred of hope. And still occasionally trying to get it together only to fall again and again. As the weight gain continued, old issues started resurfacing.

I haven't shared this with anyone, but why not? A couple of months ago I sat on the edge of my bed and noticed a scab on my lower right leg. The weight gain had brought back swelling and since the skin on my lower right leg is forever damaged from my 500 pound days, it doesn't take much abuse for a tear to happen.  And there it was. The first sign of something horrific returning.  I'll never forget the pain of having a dozen or more sores after the constant swelling would rip my skin apart. I never want to get to that place ever again...but here it was, the start...and there I was feeling hopelessly doomed, almost attracted to the decline as if it had some insanely strong gravitational pull. What other freedoms will I lose?  How could this be happening?? Why????

All kinds of questions pelted me during this decline: What did I learn while losing 275 pounds?  And why did the strength I felt back then feel a million miles away? It was like being fluent in a language and suddenly losing even the most basic elements of communication. Was I really going to work that hard, get to a healthy body weight, work through emotions and get to a place where I was healthier than ever...and then turn around and go the other way???  Did I somehow subconsciously decide I wasn't worthy?   

Oooh... That's it, isn't it? I didn't deserve it. Okay, wow. That's heavy stuff. I wasn't worthy. How did I reach that ridiculous conclusion?

I suppose it happens over time. It's like we have constant checks and balances happening with our perception of the good and the bad of our life. Every negatively perceived thing makes a mark, an impression, a scarring on our brain and then it sits and waits for other negative things to join in and these things grow.  Most of the time these negative perceptions aren't even our fault, but in a desperate effort to explain and understand, it becomes easier to just take the blame.  And maybe some aren't even bad, but compared to the standards and beliefs we hold, they're perceived that way.  And so it goes, our self-esteem, self-worth. And the other side, the positive happenings? They are wonderful, and they keep us going, but eventually, they're diminished by the overwhelming darker, more negative perceptions, a bad apple if you will, spoiling the bunch.

As powerful as these dynamics seem, there's a serious problem. They're not true. I'm a good person, no--check that, I'm a great person. And I am worthy of feeling good. I am worthy of my success.

I'm going to take care of me with the positive care and love I've always deserved but was too caught up in false negatives to fully recognize. I want it for others, so why not offer the same love and compassion for me to enjoy?

This is a new day. This is a new perception. This is happening like no other time I've ever known.

This is the moment when "I'm Choosing Change" becomes even more powerful.
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Interesting to note: That was written in January 2014. To write something that felt so real to me that night--so empowering, made the next three and half months torture, as I struggled through another 35-40 pound gain. It wasn't until near the end of April 2014 when I finally set aside the denial and started making positive progress once again.

I'm immensely grateful to be here each day, in maintenance mode, and doing the "work" each day--not simply to maintain a healthy body weight, but to keep my peace and balance with food. Because if I take care of that each day, life and all its opportunities to live, open up.

Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

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