Yesterday was a 4-star day: I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.
I had a great conversation with a support friend the other day. "I've come so far but still feel stuck sometimes when it comes to certain things." He was elaborating on how things that were once a very important part of his transformation have become more challenging--to the point of feeling stuck. It was an easy conversation because I can relate 100%.
We're calling it the "narrow focus dynamic." There, that's a fancy name for it. The NFD for short. Along this road, there are things in need of a narrow focus and things in need of a broader focus. And sometimes we need both on different things--at the same time. We all have focus. Learning when and where to narrow the focus and when it's important to broaden the focus is key. I'll explain...
The narrow focus is needed in a one day at a time, daily practice type approach. What I've personally discovered and what I hear from others too, is how when we feel like we're not doing as well as we should in certain areas, we end up getting hyper-focused on it--and in that super narrow focus we tend to forget how far we've come and most importantly, we forget the intentional actions we made important in helping us along the way.
I know in order for me to be well, I must maintain a narrow focus on the core elements of today's plan of action. But when I start mentally harping on myself about the things I struggle with, that's when I sometimes apply the same narrow focus--completely forgetting about what's been accomplished and what it took to accomplish. In that narrow focus, I can only see the problems and I can't see any of the possible solutions. What good are the lessons learned along the way if they're completely blocked out when they're needed the most?
Living as a 500-pound person for almost twenty years took a lot of work. I would venture to say it took more work than the work it takes to live a daily practice keeping me in a healthy weight range.
If I'm feeling stuck in certain areas, I must draw from the experiences along this road. I mustn't forget how far I've come and most importantly, the intentional actions it's included each day.
Considering how many big before pictures I've shared over the years, you might find it hard to believe that I often tried to avoid pictures back then or at least hide behind someone or something. This picture was snapped by a colleague who had just received his new iPhone (it must have been the first iPhone). He wanted to try out the camera and I was right in front of him, so why not? I remember him showing me the picture afterward and me not liking it one teeny tiny bit.
It's interesting how our perception can become warped. At my heaviest, I didn't realize I appeared that large. I really thought I appeared smaller. It was always a shock to see a picture, wow, am I really that big? Flip it around and the opposite perception comes into play. At my healthiest weight, I always thought I appeared bigger. Seeing pictures was equally shocking, except it was the opposite thought, wow, am I really that small?
Now, I feel like I have a fairly decent handle on my authentic reality. And quite honestly, no matter my size and/or imperfections, the things I'm making important are the non-negotiable fundamental elements of my continued wellness. To me, the top of the importance level gauge is labeled "sacred," and I mean it 100%. As long as I keep that importance level gauge pegged to the top, I have a good chance of maintaining continued wellness.
Maintaining continued wellness requires a narrow daily focus on the core elements of my daily practice. And when I'm struggling with certain elements of my plan, like exercise, I must broaden the focus and draw on the experiences that have brought me here today.
I handled the ceremony music for a wedding today. It worked out perfectly. I didn't ruin a wedding, yay!!
Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Practice, peace, and calm,
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