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.
I slept in beautifully this morning. I picked two good days to take off from work, today and tomorrow--and with no radio broadcasts scheduled for this weekend, I'm in the clear until Monday! I know, I know--there was some time off over the holidays, however, work things were replaced with holiday things and I need some time for me. It was a bold move, actually--with less than 24 hours notice, but I made my case, made arrangements to have things covered, and it was approved. I'm grateful.
Yesterday was a good food day. I can stay within my boundaries as far as quantity and no-refined sugar and still have a sloppy food day. It's not a knock on me, I'm simply noticing how too many restaurant meals, too much guesstimating (I don't weigh and measure ingredients at restaurants), and too many choices I wouldn't normally eat have made their way into my food plan. Just because something qualifies as "okay," doesn't mean I should make a habit of it in the name of convenience. "Okay" means it doesn't contain refined sugar and it isn't on my trigger list...yet. That list is always subject to change! A good example of this was my makeshift meal at the New Years Eve thing. Tortilla chips with cheese sauce, cheddar cubes, swiss cubes, and a few grapes worked, and really, given the choices, these were the only things that could have worked from that spread.
I'm all about living life on life's terms and making choices in social situations that honor my food plan boundaries in a way that is relatively seamless--in other words, I don't make a big fuss about the food--I simply navigate my food plan with a willingness and intention in favor of my food plan instead of against my food plan. I don't put the responsibility of my food sobriety on the shoulders of anyone or any circumstance. It's always my responsibility. And that's too bad because I really enjoyed the relief of blaming others or the circumstance for my past behaviors with food. "If so and so wouldn't have brought those things, I would've been just fine" Or "Well, I didn't pick the restaurant, so what could I do?" Or "They wanted me to try the thing they made, I didn't want to be rude." Or "Everyone else was eating it, so I didn't want to be the odd one at the table." These rationalizations relieved me--and gave me a pass as I passed the baton of my wellness to others or other things.
I do eat 21 meals a week and not every single one needs to be a home run. Life brings about opportunities where I can pivot and adjust, just not violate some of the bright lines within my daily food plan. Occasionally it is necessary and just fine. What I'm careful about, is making sure those times are truly necessary and best for me, instead of simply convenient and easy. What I'm noticing feels like a tendency to lean towards convenient and easy a little too often than necessary.
|Yesterday's three meals|
Let's get one thing straight, I'm not a good cook. That's a misconception. I don't use recipes and I don't get complicated. I simply prepare things in the simplest way I can. The time I give it is a way for me to honor my food plan and in that, I'm doing something positive for me. I enjoy the certainty a well measured and weighed meal provides. When I prepare my own food, there is no guestimating involved--and I like knowing, without a doubt, that my entry in MyFitnessPal is an accurate reflection of what's on my plate. Pausing long enough to think about what I'm preparing, weighing, measuring, and logging supports mindfulness that helps keep me well. This takes intentional action because for me, the deeply ingrained very natural thing--and what I have the most life-experience doing, is contrary to these actions I must make important. If left unchecked, my brain will go for the fastest, easiest, most convenient thing within reach--and in that rushed and mindless state, boundaries and honoring anything isn't just intentionally sacrificed--it isn't even considered.
As a food addict and compulsive overeater, I am someone who's spent the majority of life using food to change the way I feel. Asking food to fix things it cannot fix took me to over 500 pounds. Food isn't/wasn't the problem, I'm the problem. This is why the spiritual/meditative practice is so incredibly important for me each day. It isn't perfect--probably never will be, but it starts each day with me humbling myself and admitting with every fiber in my being, I don't got this.
It's true. I don't and I never will.
The only thing I got is a daily practice of intentional actions and boundaries that, if maintained, have the greatest chance of giving me one more day. If you look at my food, peer into my MFP diary, read this consistently posted blog, and listen to my podcast--you could easily get the wrong perception. You might think, wow--he's really got it together!! It is because I don't, that I do what I do each day.
The pillars of my daily practice provide the rails to guide me through another day.
It's normal to feel internal/mental resistance at the mere thought of developing a daily practice that carries on for life, far beyond the ultimate "end goal" a diet mentality supports. This is why I believe it's imperative for us to make it ours--to personalize, to create a plan you can enjoy and embrace--instead of a daily practice you wake up dreading. Ultimately, the side effects that come from our daily practice bring freedoms in many ways. Freedoms from the ill effects of morbid obesity are really just one thing. The biggest freedoms and transformations along this road are the ones you can't physically see, but their impact is clearly visible in every other area of life. I'm looking forward to someday realizing and noticing more of the continued positive effects as I move toward a more solid practice. Once a daily practice is developed and is evolving in a very natural fashion, the resistance can melt away because we see the richness and fulfillment waiting on the other side.
Applying a sacred measure of importance to this daily practice is grounded in the knowledge that I'm not ever "over this" or "healed" or completely "recovered." My disease is always waiting for me--always ready to go out and play, always ready to pick up right where we left off--as if we were never apart. I don't want to play.
I'm listening to Russell Brand's book Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions. It's a powerful book all about 12-step recovery delivered in Russell's signature style. It's fascinating and I highly recommend it. Even if you don't consider yourself an addict it can still give you a clearer understanding and compassion for those of us who are. One of the quotes that resonates so much with me, is "This manual for self-realization comes not from a mountain but from the mud...My qualification is not that I am better than you but I am worse." Amen to that.
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 19 episodes waiting for you!