Tuesday, November 27, 2018

November 27th, 2018 Important and Urgent

November 27th, 2018 Important and Urgent

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

Getting into a zone of focus at work has been very helpful lately. It certainly helped make yesterday better when we were short staffed at the studio. This ability to focus is an interesting thing because I seem to compartmentalize and apply it mainly when my back is against the wall. It's as if my brain is constantly checking the importance and urgency level of whatever it is in front of me. If something is important but not urgent, it's much harder to apply the focus it needs for change.

Obviously, I'm not writing exclusively about my work duties--this dynamic has informed most everything in my life. On things deemed important and urgent, it's helped me do wonderful things. On things that are clearly important but not urgently required, it's helped me procrastinate. I'm an eternal optimist, so I think this is a good self-study with the potential to change patterns. Patterns, those deeply ingrained grooves work like a toy slot-car track. Laying new tracks and creating new grooves for new patterns is an important and urgent thing along this road. I must remember this each new day.

I wanted to share an excerpt I've likely shared before. It was originally published in 2015. The thing about it is, the dynamics it describes have played over and over along the way. The tools we choose to use can help change things along this road. Opening ourselves to create accountability and receive support goes against the pattern of isolation. Isolation deteriorates. Support builds: 

From June 10th, 2015's "Eat My Way Out"

It could have been a disaster.

My stress level was exceptionally high today. I started fielding errant thoughts mid-afternoon that excessive food might be the best option. Isn't that strange?

Not really.

If you add up all the years of experience I have in handling stress that way, it makes perfect sense. I'm really good at it.

I decided it was best for me to take a nap. Perhaps I'm just really tired, maybe that's why I'm feeling this way, I thought. I snoozed for nearly two hours. It was a solid nap. I woke up and viola...

I still wanted to eat my way out of the stress.

Of course, you and I both know it doesn't work that way. Shoveling in massive quantities of food only serves as a temporary distraction--a pleasurable one for a little while, at least, until the flood of guilt, shame, disgust and more start cascading in, on top of whatever was stressful in the first place. Excess food isn't a fixer. 

My awareness level is high, thank goodness. I immediately realized my lifestream and fundamental elements stream were becoming dangerously close to crossing. I must never let the streams cross!

Now what? Uhg...part of my brain was screaming feeeeed meeeeee!!! And another part was trying to rationally dissect what was happening.

Through my experience in support, I realized quickly that I needed to get this out of my head. When these thoughts are exclusive to our head, they're powerful and controlling. When we tell on them, shining a light on them by sharing with good support friends, suddenly they're called out--like a bully that gets caught and is suddenly on their best behavior after being exposed.

I texted several of my friends in support, explaining what was happening; how I was feeling. I felt relieved as soon as I hit the send button. It wasn't exclusive to my brain anymore. It was out there.

The text support replies started coming and by this time, I felt empowered to overcome.

And I did.

I enjoyed some coffee, planned, prepared and precisely weighed an amazing meal and made it to the YMCA for an elliptical workout. I even bumped it up to level 19. By the end of the workout, the episode this afternoon seemed very far away.

It could have been a disaster. But it wasn't. It was a solid reminder that I'm not ever immune to those old reactions. The coping mechanisms providing the perfect recipe for morbid obesity are like old tools I don't need anymore. I've learned how to use better tools.

I must always hold the elements of my recovery sacred. And good support is one of the pillars of the plan helping make that happen consistently. It's a tool I can't live without.

Thank goodness.

Like my coffee cup says, I get by with a little help from my friends.

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

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