March 23rd, 2019 Reader Mail
Yesterday was a 6-star day: I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, I enjoyed a solid 30-minute walk, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.
I've had two good walks lately, a 45-minute the other night and a 30-minute last night. This effort is in the spirit of I can do something--and getting some quality exercise doesn't require a trip to the gym every single time. It's easy for me to forget how this whole thing started more than ten years ago when each night would find me at the walking trail doing the best I could. I do enjoy the gym and I plan on getting some gym time in this weekend. I have the memberships-I must use 'em when I can!
My grandson Noah is sick. He was diagnosed yesterday with Type-A influenza. His description of waking up with the flu was so incredibly adorable, "When I woke up, my legs were already tired." Courtney quickly got him to the doctor and he's now on Tamiflu and other meds to help kick this stuff.
I was actually up super-early today in anticipation of weather coverage for early morning storms. I did my morning foundation routine, prepared a good breakfast--and a few hours later, around 8am, decided to get a little more rest. I'm off from radioland this weekend, so no location broadcasts or anything like that--the luxury of sleeping in and relaxing was right there--and I thought, why not? It was fabulous.
Tonight is date night with Kristin. We haven't had one in quite some time. I'm planning on preparing a good on-plan meal for the two of us.
I sincerely appreciate every comment and/or questions emailed to me. I make the time to answer each and everyone even if it sometimes takes me a little bit. Every now and then, I like to share some of those here, especially if I feel the question and reply might be of interest to other regular readers of this blog.
Reader mail time!!
"I just wanted to tell you that I'm so glad I found your blog last year. I've read a lot of the archives a little at a time and I always seem to find something that helps me have lightbulb moments. Your concept discussed in your book (yes--I read that too!) and in the early part of your blog of The Calorie Bank and Trust really made sense to me. I've lost 73 pounds in the last 6 months. I have about 50 to go to get to what I think will be a healthy weight. Already, my blood pressure has returned to normal and I'm able to exercise without feeling like I'm about to literally keel over. Question: Do you ever get bored with it all? I find myself getting bored with my routine and food plan. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you again for sharing your path! I never comment or email you, but just know, I'm one of the many out here who appreciates what you do. You recently mentioned that you're dealing with some depression, so I thought this would be a good time to express my gratitude. Trust me, you're doing something good and it's making a difference for me." --Raquel in Flagstaff
Raquel, thank you very much for this message. It means a lot to me. Also, thank you for reading this blog and thank you for buying the book! Boredom can certainly play a big role in chipping away at our resolve until it crumbles. It sounds like your awareness is high enough to recognize this dynamic before it goes too far!! That's a great thing!! Okay, some ideas...
If you can imagine a workbench where you lay out the different elements of your plan, what do you see on the table? You've got your personal mental/spiritual/emotional elements--and these can be anything, even if you don't have a set and intentional practice each day--the motivating and inspiring thoughts you have that keep you going are part of this area in your plan. An intentional practice serves to wrangle these thoughts in an effort to optimize and harness their positive effects. Okay, there's that...
You have your food plan, your plan for exercise, and your plan for accountability and support. At this point, the table you're imagining has four categories/sections. Now, make some time to visit each one and ask yourself, what am I willing to do differently with this in an effort to change things up a little? How can I make this more enjoyable? How can I make this something I wake up each day feeling enthused about instead of dreading or at least, feeling unenthused?
I don't recommend big wholesale changes. Clearly, what you're doing is working well. Making it more exciting and less boring might just require little changes here and there.
For the mental/spiritual/emotional section: How can this be different for you? Have you incorporated positive self-talk affirmations and positive visualizations into this practice? Talk about fun!! Creating positive visualizations of the road ahead can be fun and it also serves to re-establish your "why." Why are you doing this? Also, what about seeking out some good mental "food," like a good podcast or another form of media to include as a regular go-to in your day to day routine? Do you journal? Writing can be super-therapeutic. If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend!
For the food plan: What are you willing to do to make it more exciting? If you've established your food plan boundaries--and with your success, you clearly have, what foods could you add into your plan for a change of pace? Could you commit to trying one thing new per week? Not everything will be a home run, but along the way, you might find some exciting new additions. I think what happens is, we get into a routine of convenience and familiarity. I do it too. A certain measure of routine and familiarity is a good thing because it helps you keep your balance, but adding something occasionally can make a big difference. Like I mentioned, it doesn't need to be sweeping changes to change the way it looks and feels.
For the exercise section: How can you enjoy the workouts? Can you change the expectation or label you put on that exercise time? Sometimes, changing what we call something helps. Instead of, it's time to hit the treadmill for another thirty-minute walk, it's: It's time for me to immerse myself in my favorite 80's pop music!! Or, it's time for me to listen to that inspirational podcast! Or, whatever it is--the point is to make the exercise secondary and make the primary focus something you truly enjoy. Now, if you're one of those people who simply love exercise without making the focus something else, great!! Ask yourself, how can my workout be different? Change it up! Maybe you try a machine you haven't before--who knows, you might like it!!
For the accountability/support section: Are you active in support with others? Trying to go it alone is super tough. It doesn't have to be that way. None of us do this alone!! Strengthen your plan with solid accountability and support. Find a support group of some kind. There are plenty of them out there!! From a close circle of friends to organized groups like TOPS, facebook support groups, and in other platforms--they're out there! If you're in a recovery mindset, there's OA and other structured recovery support groups where you'll find people who get it. And that's the important thing. Create your circle of support! If you've already got something in place for this, how can you make it work better for you? What can you do to make it different/better? Are you declaring your daily goals and intentions to someone? Are you returning support to those supporting you? Helping others helps us!!
Raquel, you're doing remarkable things! Looking at the different sections of your daily plan and asking yourself how it can be different is the best way to beat the boredom. Routine is a good thing, but the routine doesn't have to be boring!! That's probably way more than you were expecting. I hope some of that helps. Thank you again for the message!
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Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Practice, peace, and calm,
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