Like the day before, 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 again (a streak is going!), I completed a wonderful 30-minute, level 15 of 20 elliptical workout, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.
This #choosingchange thing is working for me in profound ways. I'm making an intentional effort to set doable goals and I'm hitting these goals. That feels good. I lost count of how many days in a row I've exceeded my water goal, maybe two weeks worth--if not, almost. My exercise schedule is becoming more stable and consistent as well. The biggest thing is how I'm feeling the effects of an empowered perspective.
Dinner is in the oven, a workout awaits later, and a short visit with mom after the workout will pretty much wrap up the evening.
Facebook popped up a picture of me in a tuxedo from nine years ago today. Nine years ago?? Really? I couldn't believe it. I guess it has me nostalgic because it sent me back into the archives, reading several posts from those days. It was a very transformative time in this never-ending process and practice.
It's time for a DDWL Time Travel back more than ten years ago, let's fire up the DDWL Time Machine and fly back to April 29th, 2009:
(Quick disclaimer: This flashback to April 2009 was long before I realized the role certain food substances play in my level of food addiction. In this excerpt, I was still embracing a "nothing is off-limits" approach, which I'm grateful for because I needed to learn what I needed to learn about how certain foods affect me in profound ways. The learning never stops--it's an ongoing personal study! The approach described below helped me evolve along the way. Today in 2019, I keep a very tight boundary on my trigger foods list and my commitment to abstinence from refined sugar. A couple of things mentioned below run contrary to my daily practice today. Also, I wrote of my food addiction as if simply knowing was all I needed---and over the years I've discovered, it isn't the knowing, it's the doing. It's the daily actions; the practice that keeps me well, not simply knowing. Knowing what we know and learning along the way are quite simply just thoughts and ideas until action is attached, then they become real. Anyway--just wanted to clarify before you read this post from over a decade ago.)
(The following was written in April 2009)
Today I was thinking about all of the times I attempted to lose weight, and back then, almost from the very beginning, I just knew that I would fail every time. I convinced myself that failure was a part of the process. I had also convinced myself that there was no way to maintain focus amid extreme stress. Back then I really wasn't wanting to change my attitudes and approach to food. I just wanted to lose weight. Forget the mumbo jumbo psychological talk.
I was forcing myself to eat less and exercise more and it would work until I'd had enough and that's when I'd snap right back into my old habits. I was way more than in love with food back then, I was completely obsessed. My day revolved around eating, thinking about eating and making plans to eat. Any weight loss attempt back then was a serious downer to this constant obsession.
It wasn't until I fully admitted to myself that I had a real addiction to food, that I was able to step back, make an honest assessment of my habits and really explore a different approach. It's so true when they say that the first step to overcoming an addiction is to admit there's a problem in the first place. I had a serious problem with food. I remember staying up really late one Saturday night about fifteen years ago eating a giant bowl of mashed potatoes and homemade white gravy made with sausage grease. It was about two am, the little ones were in bed and Irene was working an overnight shift. I remember a Richard Simmons infomercial catching my attention as I sat there stuffing my face. The testimonials were so wonderful and inspiring, they made me cry. They didn't make me put down the potatoes and gravy, but they made me cry a couple of kinds of tears. I cried tears of happiness for the people being featured on the infomercial and I cried tears of hopelessness for my own struggle.
I was feeling really sorry for myself that night. Instead of allowing myself to feel inspired to change, I thought it was just too difficult and overwhelming to even try. I completely understand what it's like to see and hear about someone else's weight loss success while feeling a million miles away from ever being in that position mentally and physically.
On Day 1 of this journey, I really didn't know how I was going to pull this off. All I knew was that I had to do it. I had to make my way through and learn along the way. I was out of time. I was scared, really scared. This frightening state did something to me that hadn't been done before. It made me let go of my defenses, the old habits that kept me content. I was completely open and vulnerable to change. I let go of the excuses and blame game because I knew they had no place on this road. I let go of my preconceived notions of failure, deciding this time, failure wasn't an option. I decided that no amount of stress would rock me to the point of failure, no matter what happened along the way, I decided I would stay on course.
On Day 1 I didn't have a clue about what I would discover along the way. My mind wasn't changed about food and exercise on day 1, not at all. I was walking on faith, my friend. I was feeling my way through each day. I really don't know what day it started to really click. But somewhere along this journey, I learned a different way of treating food and exercise.
All of a sudden I had a revelation I'd never experienced. I could still enjoy potatoes and gravy while losing weight. I could still eat ice cream and lose weight. I could still love and enjoy food without being obsessed. I could slow down long enough to recognize and enjoy a regular portion. When I realized this, that's when I completely let go of the desire to devour giant portions of potatoes and gravy at 2am. I no longer felt deprived in any way. The exercise I always dreaded and feared became easier with every workout and the results started to happen quickly. I was no longer hopeless, I was empowered.
Now on Day 226, I feel even more in control with a much better understanding of what I'm doing and how I'm doing it. But I started without any of that knowledge. I just decided and then started. I kept it really simple: calories in-calories out, period. It was an iron-clad promise to me from me. I decided.
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.
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