February 17th, 2019 Shoving Life Under A Blanket Of Food
Yesterday was another 7-star day: I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, I personally prepared all of my meals, I did another fantastic 30-minute elliptical workout, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.
The plan was to swim yesterday but I waited too late. I was reminded that the pool closes an hour before the facility closes. Oh yeah, that. I quickly made a pivot in the plan and jumped on the elliptical. I'll get there earlier today!
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. Avoiding the internal dialogue of my auto-pilot mode was and remains an important part of this daily practice. It is, because...
Some of the most powerful words are never spoken because they come in the form of affirming thoughts. I always eat when I'm stressed. I always eat when I get emotional. "That," (insert whatever "that" is, here) makes me want to eat."
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, a 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 "Lifestream" 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 part 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, getting regular workouts and staying connected with one on one and group support interactions and of course, writing and publishing this blog, every day.
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 lifestream. The lifestream 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 "lifestream" 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 lifestream 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 lifestream. And that's when it isn't any fun and we dread what we're doing every day.
I've had several challenges 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 those fundamental elements. Identifying what is non-negotiable each day and what isn't becomes an important question.
In that place, we're in a position to discover ways we can act on life instead of reacting to life.
Some of the biggest, most important things I'm learning involve handling the things of life in more direct ways with real support and real solutions instead of the shallow support and temporary solution that comes with shoving life under a blanket of food.
We don't sacrifice the integrity of the elements, we just do what we can do.
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
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