May 17th, 2019 Separate Power Source
Yesterday was a 5-star day: I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, I had a good elliptical workout at the RecPlex, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.
If I had kept this diary prior to September 15th, 2008, it would have revealed someone desperate for some kind of life-saving solution.
One of the biggest and scariest thoughts I had back then centered around the idea that life will always contain stressful and emotional situations. These things 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.
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 for the intentional actions of my daily practice required a separate power source.
For me, Day 1 was the start of my parallel streams philosophy. I just didn't know what to call it back then.
I found out what happens when I plug my importance level/resolve back into the ups and downs of life. My lifestream and fundamental elements stream crossed one another, and it didn't take too long for these to tangle in such a way, I felt more lost than ever before--and regained 164 pounds of my initial 275-pound weight loss. 'member that?
The turnaround from relapse/regain had to start with untangling the two streams and then adding additional measures to keep them separate, including more traditional practices in recovery and stronger accountability/support tools.
Dr. Marty Lerner, PhD, one of the world's leading experts on food addiction recovery, foreshadowed this entire experience in his review of Transformation Road, printed on the very first page of the book. He wrote: "Although incorporating some suggestions that run contrary to some recovered food addicts, Sean's experiences are worth learning about and considering."
Important questions, in my opinion, are: Where are we plugged in? Do we have a separate power source? The ups and downs of life provide a constant flow of energy, but if we're relying on it as the controlling power source of our day to day practice, we might be in for a back and forth ride.
How do we plug into a separate, more consistent, "come what may," power source? It's really a spiritual question, isn't it? That part is up to you. It's all up to you, actually. But as far as the intentional actions designed to help maintain a separate power source, I'd say it starts with outlining a few non-negotiable things. Making a daily "foundational" mental/emotional practice important can be a major difference maker. Simplify when you need to simplify, but hold the line on the non-negotiable parts.
I've witnessed people who are experiencing consistent positive progress through some of the most challenging times of their lives; through chronic pain, major life changes, serious health challenges, and unexpected happenings--and every single one, I have no doubt--can relate to this "separate power source" idea. When they say, "this would have derailed me once upon a time," and now it isn't, they're clearly plugged into a separate power source. The natural up and down flow of life isn't responsible for their progress anymore.
These people, they're not super-human. They're just like you and me. They just utilize a consistent "back-up generator" for those times when the constantly flowing power of life gets inconsistent or temporarily goes out. 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:
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