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.
I'm so glad this weekend and the illness thing is behind me. I'm ready to start this week in a wonderful way. I woke up too early this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. Instead of forcing the issue, I decided to jump up and start early. Most certainly an afternoon nap will be part of this day--I certainly hope so because I'll likely need it after this 3:15am start. Yesterday went very well. Mom and I enjoyed our weekly evening out for dinner, Christmas lights, and a store run. Mom picked up a nice little Christmas tree to brighten her place. It looks wonderful--perfect size for her space.
I spent some time on the phone with a support friend last night. It was a tough call. She was done. The call was to inform me that she had reached the end of struggling, deciding rather, to simply lean into the compulsions, release any semblance of a plan, and just accept whatever consequences lay ahead.
There's peace in acceptance.
I thanked her for calling me. I reminded her that I thought the world of her and I wanted her to know that struggle wasn't any kind of moral failure. There's no judgment or shame, ever, from me. I've been there, I know. I also know that the biggest amount of judgment and shame comes from within our own heads, not anyone else. I reminded her that she could always keep me as a support contact moving forward. And with that, I thanked her again for calling me and I wished her a good night's rest.
There was a short pause--a silence on the line before, "do you want to talk me out of it or give me some advice on how to not do this?" I don't remember my exact words, but essentially it was, no, I'm honoring where you are and your decision. If you're telling me you're done, then words from me to the contrary aren't likely to help. I don't have any magic words. I'm not an expert, a therapist, a doctor, or anything like that--I only have my very imperfect experiences along this road. Along the way, I've learned that it doesn't matter how much I want it for someone else--it's no match; never enough to compete with what's happening inside someone else's head if they're at the point of saying, I'm done.
It's a process. Each and every one of us go through our own unique process. Sometimes it's best to get out of the way. What I mean is this-- Some of my greatest periods of struggle are the times I'm most grateful for along this road. I'm not saying it's desirable. I'm simply saying those experiences, as horrible as they were at times, were showing me the things I needed in order to move forward in a positive way.
"You're really not done, are you?" There was another pause and then, "No, I'm just tired of fighting."
Are you willing to create a plan with the structure and elements that support you in a way that might just decrease those feelings of struggle? Are you willing to suspend your personal expectation of perfection--those personal preconceived notions of what "on plan" means? Are you willing to start simple? Are you willing to be kind and gentle to yourself? I mean really, how can we move forward if we're constantly pummeling ourselves with a barrage of negative energy?
Create a gratitude list. When it gets dark it's really hard to see the good things and blessings we have right in front of us. It's as if they disappear completely. A written list might help keep these things visible. Write a personal journal entry of your "why." Why is this important to you? Create a list of consequences in both directions--use your imagination, visualize the road ahead and commit it to paper.
She isn't giving up. I'm not giving up. And I hope you're not giving up, either. I believe in her. I believe in you. I believe in me. Just don't check out. Don't give up.
That's truly the most important thing.
Don't give up. If everything in your mind is saying it's hopeless, it isn't. Don't give up. The time will come again. The "click" will happen. The plan will be made with parameters customized to you, based on what you've learned along the way. Don't give up. If you feel a million miles away from getting into the groove toward weight loss and better health, be patient and don't give up.
It's hard to believe how far down I felt at the worst points along the way. A good friend who has been there, wouldn't let me go; wouldn't let me release what little hope I had left. I was giving up every day. I felt stuck. I felt trapped.
I felt like my choices were not my own, as if possessed. I was scared. I isolated. I felt alone like nobody could possibly understand the struggle. I was wrong. Plenty of people understand the struggle. Maybe you understand exactly what I'm writing about. Don't give up.
At this point, a food and exercise plan isn't the most immediate thing needed. The most immediate thing needed is someone to tell you, you're not alone--and this isn't the end. There's hope. And a better day may not be today, tomorrow or next week. But a better day is coming for you if, you don't give up. You're not alone. This isn't the end.
I don't remember the moment of truth. I don't remember the exact words spoken to me. I do remember being filled with hope once again and realizing it was a turning point. I could have easily turned the other way. If I had made that choice, to ignore and isolate further, by now I would have once again exceeded 500 pounds--there's not a shred of doubt about it.
I spend plenty of time exploring thoughts of thanks and gratitude for the incredible blessings this turnaround from relapse/regain has become. I've often wondered why my friend, Gerri Helms, didn't get exhausted and give up on me back there, not too long ago. Now I know why. She knew I wasn't really done. She's been there, too. And she knows the truth. It isn't hopeless. She believed in me when I no longer believed in myself and she convinced me to give it another look, or several.
I may not know you personally. We've likely never met or spoken to one another. But based on what I know about this journey, I can tell you with 100% confidence, I believe in you.
I'm not special. What I've done and what I'm doing isn't unique. It's been done by countless people before me. It's a practice, not perfection.
It's about progress, not perfection. It's about how you feel, not a number. It's about you and for you, not about or for anyone else. It's about living, not dying. It's about dreaming, not dreading. It's about freedom, not imprisonment. It's about opening your mind to the possibilities, not closing it to the changes. It's about acceptance, not rejection. It's about nourishing, not depriving. It's about a broadly consistent importance level, not short bursts of narrow focus. It's about wanting, not forcing. It's about doing your best, not trying to do another's best. It's about today, not tomorrow, or next week or the first of the month or January 1st. It's about committing to consistency with all your heart and holding on tight, not a halfhearted commitment easily released with the slightest breeze. It's about you deserving better because you do. It's about you being important because you are important.
I believe we each have it inside us. It's there, just waiting until you're ready to tap its blessings. It's in you, too. Don't give up.
Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Practice, peace, and calm,
If you're interested in connecting via social media:
I accept friend requests on MyFitnessPal. My daily food logging diary is set to public.
MFP Username: SeanAAnderson
My Twitter: SeanAAnderson
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