Sunday, November 25, 2018

November 25th, 2018 I'm The Same

November 25th, 2018 I'm The Same

Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my reduced calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

Creating the plan for yesterday, sharing it with support friends and on this blog, and then, once the accountability measures were set, doing the intended plan of action, worked well. I decided to eat a late lunch ahead of the family gathering instead of waiting until after. That decision was a good move but set me up for some challenges later in the night. More on that later...

I was asked to assemble the plates for a couple of family members, who, due to obesity--were physically unable to do it themselves. The ironic circumstance was something I didn't plan for or expect. I was fine doing the action--but horribly sad and conflicted at the same time. It was a strange mental/emotional dynamic. I love my family so much. One of the things I'm grateful for is the amount of love, compassion, and understanding I have for anyone along this road. I don't pass judgment or shame, ever, because I'm right there with them. I get it. I'm the same. With family, even more so because we share DNA.

One thing that's really hard to accept is how we can't do it for anyone else. There are certain places along this road that can only be found within the individual. And we're all at different places. I don't push, ever, because you can't carry someone forward to a place that skips the personal experiences and epiphanies needed to embrace a different way that effectively interrupts their pattern of experience, and informing, in a positive way, their trajectory from that place forward.

I'm simply open and available to answer questions and/or offer ideas and suggestions if asked. Willingness can't be transferred from one person to another. And lack of willingness isn't a measure of strength or a negative at all. It's just a place--a mental space, and it isn't always permanent. I get it. 

You never know what might spark inspiration in someone. You never know how that spark might ignite a fire within that burns and yearns for change. You just never know. You can hope for it. You can pray for it. You can meditate and marinate on it. But you can't create it for anyone else, ever. 

You simply love and understand. Extending love, understanding, and compassion might contribute to a place within someone, where finding their way starts to feel possible.

The disease of compulsive overeating and food addiction is a complicated thing. Not everyone has it. But for those of us (like me) who do, it isn't simply cured. But it can be managed with a plan of recovery that essentially puts it in remission as long as the daily practice is held with the highest regard--the kind of reverence that someone in long-term recovery from alcohol or drugs applies to their sobriety. This is why I'm big on developing a plan practice that is enjoyable and doable. A lot of what can make it something to look forward to, instead of something to dread--doesn't involve the food and exercise portion of our daily actions--no--it involves our own personal practice of spirituality (whatever that might be for you) and the practice of developing other "pillars," like meditation, planning, logging, accountability and support measures--and mainly, being open-minded enough in order to learn along the way. 

Anyway-- so, last night...  

I sipped water and engaged in wonderful conversation with family members at the gathering. I had eaten earlier. This helped keep me focused on the plan. I did see some selections that could have worked for me--but few, and I wasn't spending twelve bucks for a plate of mushrooms and veggies. I could have--but that wasn't the plan.

It was an enjoyable experience. My cousin Debbie and my Aunt Margaret showed up and several other family members I rarely see were there. It was the last get-together for my Aunt Jean and Uncle Sig's annual visit from Michigan. We were there for nearly three hours. It was great!

Mom and I made the 42-mile trip back to Ponca City last night while discussing how the visit and Thanksgiving week festivities were wonderful.

Here's the "more on that later" part:

When I arrived back at my apartment, I was physically hungry and just plain spent physically and in some ways, emotionally. My late lunch and no dinner left some calories in my budget, so preparing something to eat wasn't a bad idea. But my brain--my goodness...

Here's the deal: If I'm tired, hungry, and feeling spent in a variety of ways--I'm vulnerable, period. This was the perfect opportunity for compulsive thoughts to creep in, taking advantage of my weakened state. In those moments, recognizing and acknowledging what's happening isn't always an easy thing to do. It takes considerable pause and intentional actions. I took action, thank God.

I texted a plan for the following forty-five minutes to a support friend--because hey--sometimes it's one hour at a time, right? Then I proceeded to do the plan declared.

I made the simplest thing I could think of--scrambled eggs with cheese and black olives on top. It fit into my budget, I completed the day in MyFitnessPal, I enjoyed the food--it satisfied the physical need, and I started watching a docu-series on Netflix. I made it twenty minutes in before realizing I was likely to fall asleep on the couch if I didn't move to the bed--so that's what I did. I was done thinking about the day and contemplating the experiences. I set the sleep timer for fifteen minutes on an episode of the Hidden Brain podcast and I might have made it five minutes before I fell asleep.

I slept-in wonderfully this morning. It felt great. I needed it.

Today will include getting some things done at the studio, catching up with members of my support group, doing some intentional exercise--possibly at the YMCA, and a little more relaxing on this final day of the Thanksgiving break.

Thank you for reading and your continued support,

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