Monday, July 9, 2018

July 9th, 2018 Freedom

July 9th, 2018 Freedom

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.

Yesterday's excursion with Noah in celebration of his birthday was so much fun! Noah truly had the time of his life.

Pictures from yesterday and this evening's birthday outing with mom (she turned 73 today) later in this edition. But first...

Spending time with Noah yesterday was a good reminder for me of why I'm doing what I'm doing each day. Being alive and well for him and Oliver, Phoebe, and Raegan is super important to me. It reminds me of how I must remain diligent.

Another reminder--actually a source of numerous reminders have been found in rereading Dr. Lerner's book (offered for free at www.milestonesprogram.org). The disease of food addiction/compulsive overeating is one that hasn't a cure. The only hope is found in developing a daily practice that keeps us well. I'll spare you the details and instead encourage you to read his free book. It's eye-opening.

When Noah was born five years ago, I was right in the middle of my epic relapse/regain period. I tried to find a blog post from the day of his birth but couldn't. Back then postings to this blog were sporadic at best and most of the time it was trying to write me right, so to speak. Perhaps a post would occasionally come during one of my two or three-day stretches of "doing well." Maybe it explains the following--found in the archives in July 2013. It still applies. Although certain phrasing, to me, now, in hindsight, seems lacking a full respect for the elements of addiction and how it works. But this process is a learning process, forever. The learning never stops. I've written it and spoken it many times--if I ever reach the point where I think I'm done learning, that's the beginning of the end, my friends.

"What Kind Of Freedom:"
I believe we're on our way to an imaginary line, where suddenly we're not eating less and exercising more solely as a means to lose weight--we're doing it because it's what we do, it's how we live---and suddenly it becomes much less of a burden or deliberate action, it just IS.  And we discover that it doesn't take anything away from the richness of our lives--or the joy we experience, as our struggling thoughts might have convinced us--contrary, it enriches us, empowers us---breaks us free into a new perspective where we realize our greater truth, our truest reality about our relationship with food and exercise.

Like coming out of a dense fog, we clearly see food for what it is, not what our old behaviors and habits tried to make it. Now, I look at the earlier, deliberate phase as practice for what's ahead--because I know the biggest obstacle to crossing this line and keeping this new perspective is our own thoughts, emotional and spiritual health. This, without question, is the most powerful element. 

I've discovered, our thoughts and emotions can effectively render our breakthroughs powerless, pulling us back over the line, as if a gravitational pull exists between our old perspectives and the freedoms we've enjoyed in the new. At this place we find ourselves in a position where we know the truth, we've experienced the freedom--and we have to decide: Do we surrender?  Do we give back all of the power it had over us for years?  Do we walk back into our cell and close the door? Or do we stand up, declare our freedom and break free toward progress once again?  It's a powerful choice we have and our most definitive answer isn't in what we say, it's what we do.

It's so much easier to give it all back.

In that cell, we simply exist--surrounded by the same old behaviors and habits that have consistently given us our reality. It's easy because we don't have to think about anything--we just do whatever--despite the consequences. There's a freedom in that choice. It's the freedom from personal responsibility--freedom from caring---freedom from the uncertainties of positive change and a deliberate disconnect from the impending and most certain negative changes our inaction fosters.  That kind of freedom comes at a much greater cost. It costs us our health, it cuts short our life, it dramatically decreases the richness/fullness of our existence...and it's so easy to do, effortless to accept because it doesn't require us to change our actions or perspective. 

Our quickest exit relies heavily on our self-awareness and honesty about what we're doing and why.  The positive effort we exert repays us exponentially in ways we haven't even realized until we're there; living, breathing and benefiting from our good choices.  The freedoms we enjoy from the consequences of our efforts far outweigh the freedoms of inaction.  

It honestly comes down to this: What kind of freedoms do we truly want?

We were stopped, by the way! On our way!

























Noah is much better at video games than me!



















One of his favorites!

























Intense!! He was moving super-fast!!















Yesterday was a day Noah and I will not soon forget. I spoke with Courtney this evening and she told me he's been talking about it a lot. We made some memories, for sure!

Today was mom's actual birthday. I wasn't feeling great this morning and today--and actually took a sick day from work, but I felt better by late afternoon in time to honor my promise to mom for a birthday trip to the store. She wanted to do some shopping with birthday money she received from family and have a birthday dinner out. We dined at our favorite Mexican place. I kept it simple with my trusty sour cream and chicken tacos.
Mom is all smiles as we waited in the checkout line!

























We always laugh a lot when we're out and about. It took
several tries to get this pic because we were
laughing.





















We made our way over to Amber's place after dinner for a visit with Amber, KL, and Raegan. Courtney stopped by too for a little bit. It was a good visit! Amber gave her grandma a framed picture of Raegan for her room. Raegan was mesmerized by it--kept looking at it and smiling!! I'm not sure if she knew that was her in the picture or if she just thought she was looking at another baby or what...but whatever it was, she was loving it, and we did too.

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

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