September 7th, 2019 The Practice
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 enjoyed a good walk, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support!
I took Friday off from radio. It was good! After the super-busy Labor Day Weekend, it was a perfect plan to relax yesterday and today--because I'm off until Monday!!
My walk last night was surprisingly enjoyable even in the heat. The mental/emotional benefits far outweigh the physical benefits. What it does is powerful though because it injects positive energy into every other part of the practice that helps keep me!
I had a good visit with mom earlier in the evening, too! A friend of mine cut some fresh flowers from their flower bed--arranged them in a vase, and gifted 'em to mom! I stopped by to pick up the flowers on my way out for the visit. Mom loved the flowers! The flowers really brightened her Friday. Couple this with the fact that she just had her hair fixed by her stylist--and it was over the top! Oh, and while we were visiting, the therapy dogs were making the rounds!! Mom loves the therapy dogs!!
I'm gearing up for a good Saturday. I've been offered tickets to the Oklahoma State football game for this evening! It's been a while since I attended a game so this will be fun!
I've created a "pass goal" for today. I don't create extra Pass Goals very often, other than my two cups water before coffee each morning, but maybe I should! Today's extra "pass goal" is a good workout at the RecPlex center prior to this evening's trip to Stillwater for the big game! The workout is my "pass" to the game!
The tickets are also coming with an OSU shirt I'm borrowing for the game. Several years ago, I had a few, but when they became too big for me, I gifted them to someone else. I should probably buy another soon, but today-- I'm okay with a borrowed spirit shirt!
My morning foundational routine is complete, my food plan is outlined for today, and I'm ready for a wonderful Saturday!
Before you read the rest of this post, I must preface it with this: I must start each and every day humbly admitting that I need help and then, I ask for help in maintaining the non-negotiables of this daily practice. The disease of food addiction/compulsive overeating is a powerful one. I have it. There's no denying this fact because I've lived it my entire life. Not everyone has it. I do.
In order to maintain non-negotiables in the way described below, it takes a structured approach--the practice, each day. All of the elements are important. Staying connected with support, remaining accountable, creating and honoring a personal trigger list, and when it comes to emotional and stress eating triggers--creating enough space, or pause, to act instead of reacting.
Acting on life instead of reacting to life is a big deal along this road. It takes intentional actions each day. These actions act like rails I can hold onto. These actions or elements become pillars supporting the plan each day.
How do you determine your non-negotiables and once established, how do you stick to them when things get hard?
First of all, you determine what's reasonable. Once you define the most critical elements of your plan boundaries- and you've determined they're doable on a typical day- then, you make what I call an iron-clad decision. It's a promise to you from you, to give this element a non-negotiable stance come what may.
Think of it as a boulder in a stream. Life is the rushing water. No matter how fast that water rushes, the boulder isn't moving. The boulder isn't sacrificed or compromised. The water has no choice, but to make its way around it- and it does. And the boulder in the stream stands strong.
On a deeper level, this creates growth/development in other areas, like coping skills- it develops growth in learning what good accountability and support skills are about. The more consistency you gain, the more you'll prove to yourself that it is possible to maintain your plan in the toughest of times.
And that's the idea, a plan practice, not a diet.
You're developing a plan practice that takes care of what you need specifically and uniquely for you.
In honoring your plan, you'll notice the side effect of consistent weight loss. This is what Dr. Lerner (Transformation Planet Podcast Episode 7) means when he speaks of the focus NOT being a diet, but rather, a food plan you can live with indefinitely.
And it can still have the boundaries you need to feel satisfied. Especially when you reach maintenance mode and increase your calories.
But again, it's all about the daily plan practice--and not all about the numbers on the scale. If you take care of your daily plan practice-the weight loss and eventual maintenance mode will come.
How important are your non-negotiable elements?
It is the consistent maintenance of what you're willing to define as non-negotiable that creates growth, and in that--a natural evolution unfolds.
Think once more about the boulder in the stream. The boulder stands strong against the current and because it does, the stream evolves--changes course, grows and with the gift of time, develops different paths and canyons.
If the boulder simply moved out of the way every time the water came rushing--the stream would have an easier path--one of least resistance. In the path of least resistance, nothing changes. No growth, no canyons.
I've often written about the effects of maintaining non-negotiables. The only way our food plan develops/evolves over time is by maintaining the integrity of the plan.
All growth, all of our positive progress--it all depends on our willingness to create, accept and embrace certain non-negotiable elements of our plan practice.
Determining what's reasonable is VERY important. It's a try, redefine, and try again kind of deal. If your non-negotiable is extreme, doesn't fit what you naturally like--is overly restrictive and monumentally demanding, it'll be a horrible experience that isn't sustainable.
Make it doable for you.
If we sacrifice our plan practice for whatever reason, the boundaries are broken and growth is stunted. If we develop a habit of consistently sacrificing the integrity of the non-negotiable elements of our plan, we literally become stuck--and often this "stuck" place becomes the very definition of insanity.
Life keeps coming. And there's no such thing as a "perfect time." There's only here and now and with it, a forever fluctuating rhythm to life. Let life flow around the boulders of your non-negotiables... and with the passage of time, you'll experience growth--you'll see and feel the changes, mentally, spiritually, and physically.
Developing your plan for accountability and support is important.
When we decide to create non-negotiable elements of our plan, we often lose a coping option. Excess food was always my number one coping tool, albeit not a good one. It lied to me every time--because it never fixed anything. It only made things worse.
My skills and practice haven't been and still aren't perfect, but again, it's a practice, and it's one I'm willing to wake up and embrace each and every day.
Staying connected with good support and seeking out those connections in whatever way you can is critically important. There are many options available!
My new website shares a phone number with my podcast, Transformation Planet, and it's always available for you! Have a question about anything discussed on this blog or heard on the podcast? Text me! Do you have a question about your own plan practice? Text it! 580-491-2228 I'll text you back!
Do you own an "I'm Choosing Change" wristband? This wristband can serve as a powerful awareness/mindfulness tool! It certainly does for me. I wear mine proudly, daily, and more and more people are joining me in this movement! You can now order yours directly from my new website! Here's the link to the wristbands: Click HERE!
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.
MFP Username: SeanAAnderson
My Twitter: SeanAAnderson
Also--I'd love you to subscribe to my podcast Transformation Planet! You can find it in Apple Podcasts, in the Google Play store for Android, and listed wherever you find your favorite podcasts! If you haven't listened before, you'll find 20 episodes waiting for you!
Questions or comments? Send an email! firstname.lastname@example.org