Saturday, March 2, 2019

March 2nd, 2019 An Underdog Victory For The Ages!!

March 2nd, 2019 An Underdog Victory For The Ages!!

Yesterday was a 5-star day: I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

I gloriously slept in this morning. It was great. Next weekend includes location broadcasts on Saturday and as the weather warms, there will be more of those, so I'm enjoying it while I can! 

I enjoyed a good visit with mom last night before coming home and preparing a nice meal. We talked about serenity--accepting the things we cannot change and changing the things we can--and the wisdom to know the difference. We discussed different ways and instances where we've both sacrificed our personal peace and calm. I believe we each have a finite amount of emotional/mental energy each day. If we're investing large amounts of energy on trying to change things beyond our control it takes away from the energy we can invest in things we can change.

There's peace in acceptance of things we cannot change. This, of course, applies in all areas of life, but specifically, for me, in terms of food addiction/compulsive overeating, acceptance of what I must do in order to stay well each day creates a measure of calm and directs my energy towards what I can change.

I spent many years in a state of denial. In this, I constantly told myself that if I just had the will power and strength, I could do it--I could lose weight. In this model or mode of thinking, it was all on me. Without even truly acknowledging the depths of my behaviors, I was convinced I could control it--I could somehow change my ways, on my own. Time and time again, it didn't work. My denial kept me from seeing what I was up against. It was like being in the ring with an invisible opponent, hitting the mat time and time again and wondering, what happened? I was ready to rumble with each new attempt but I'd quickly lose my enthusiasm as soon as the momentum shifted.

Because I couldn't bring myself to terms with my deeply ingrained addictive/compulsive behaviors, each time, I would conclude I wasn't strong enough, I'm a horribly screwed up person, and clearly, I wasn't doing something right. So, after a while, I'd try again. Another KO, and another, and another. Fighting an opponent I refused to see leveled me every single time, but still, I'd climb back in the ring over and over, expecting a different result--expecting an unlikely triumph--an underdog victory for the ages!!

Embracing my personal truth included a powerful realization: My winless record against this invisible foe wasn't because I lacked strength, integrity, and will power--and it didn't make me a horrible person. I am a food addict/compulsive overeater. Period. After some research on websites like Acorn's foodaddiction.com, listening to experts like Dr. Marty Lerner from milestonesprogram.org, and really listening to support friends in active and successful recovery, suddenly my opponent in the ring was no longer invisible. In fact, I could see my opponent in HD. With each relatable story or revealing checklist, the pixels of this opponent increased. Suddenly, for the first time, I felt like I had a chance.

I stopped focusing on what I couldn't change and I started focusing on the things I could. Peace and calm come with the surrender of acceptance. 

My strategy in the "ring" each day is calm and measured. I ask my higher power for help each morning before I set out with a plan of intentional actions and boundaries designed to keep me well. If I give this approach the importance level/reverence it requires each day, I can lift my arm up in victory each night. Then, I can start anew the next morning--knowing that if I wake up and decide to chuck my daily plan of action out the window, I'll certainly go down for the count, again. 

When I'm living each day with this personal plan of recovery and I feel unstoppable, I must always remember, just because my opponent is arrested today, it doesn't mean it's over. While I'm working my plan, my opponent is in the prison yard lifting weights, getting ready for a rematch--just waiting for my guard to drop.    

I don't live in fear of my opponent anymore. I do live with a deep respect for its ferocious power and determination. This perspective helps keep me embracing the daily actions needed for my continued recovery.

If this daily plan of action is something I must make important each day, then I must find ways to make it something I truly enjoy. If I enjoy what I'm doing and what I'm eating within the boundaries of my food plan, then perhaps this daily thing can be sustainable long-term. I certainly hope so! One day at a time, right? Yep.

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Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Practice, peace, and calm,
Sean

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