Thursday, February 6, 2014

I'm Worthy Of More

I'm Worthy Of More

I'd be grossly misrepresenting if I pretended this week has been a cakewalk. Poor choice of words. It has been very difficult to maintain balance. I've stayed within my calorie budget. On the surface that's a wonderful thing indeed.  Below the surface, I've fought very hard to keep the calorie budget intact. Call it steel curtain zone or whatever you want, it's been a battle. But why?

Stress triggers reactions and for someone like me, those reactions are hard wired and often circumvent the rational part of the brain, the frontal cortex. This dynamic is addiction, pure and simple. I've watched some incredible documentaries on the subject, the best being "Pleasures Unwoven." 

The only way I've been able to survive is through prayer, meditation and reaching out to friends in moments of weakness. I've been staying "visible," instead of isolating. It's amazing how something as quick and simple as sending a tweet, sending a text or responding to an email or facebook message, empowers me, brings me back around and gives me strength. And hope. Because there's plenty of hope. And that's an important thing to hold tight, especially in the face of stress.

So what to do? I mean really, stress is a part of life, right? Yes, it is. The question is, can I face the stress and handle it in ways that work to alleviate the stress? In other words, deal with issues head on? Yes. Yes I can.

My recovery is very important to me. It's much more important to me than it was during the initial weight loss. Why?  Because I understand it better now.  I understand me on  a level much deeper than before. And this understanding is met with a greater respect.

Suddenly, my goal isn't a number, or a particular size of jeans, or anything external. Sure, some of these will be visible milestones.  And I'll be sharing those along the way.  But I'll always, forever-more keep my eye on a higher definition of success.  My truest and most important goal is raising my level of self-care and self-love to where it needs to be for optimal living.  Having compassion for myself is the biggest component in this quest. No longer is self-loathing and internally abusive thoughts okay. I'm worthy of more than I've given myself.  Let me say that again:

I'm Worthy Of More Than I've Given Myself.

I understand that many of the stresses in my life were created by me and then made worse by my attitude and perspective toward them.  And that's okay. Isn't that interesting? It is to me. When I dissect particularly stressful elements of my life, I can clearly identify how they were created, when they were created and I can honestly evaluate how I've reacted to them. This is a breakthrough for me. And this isn't another chance for me to be harsh on myself, not at all--quite the contrary, in fact. If I can clearly identify the stress I've created, then I can change my attitude and perspective toward it and alleviate its power.  I can face these things head on and armed with a new attitude, I can manage them one by one.  And you know what that means?

Less stress equals less struggle.  Alleviating some stress might require simplifying certain things and that's a good thing. Simple is good. I like simplicity.

The other day when I chose the meatball sub full of fat and sugar, I knew it wasn't the best choice. I counted it and moved on. I didn't beat myself up for the choice. I did however, acknowledge it and evaluate the choice.

One of the things that's helping me stay on track is my food planning.  I do not, under any circumstances,miss breakfast. Well--except tomorrow and I'll explain in a minute.  I start each day with a good breakfast full of protein and one that taste good.  Typically, it's a combination of whole eggs and egg whites, with veggies and low fat-part skim mozzarella cheese on a Joseph's Pita.  If I want more, I add some yogurt or fruit. I keep posting similar breakfast photos on twitter and lately with the resolution to switch it up some--- maybe some oatmeal with fruit every now and then. While I'm preparing breakfast I'm also preparing snack baggies of fruit.  I'll include some string cheese too. And sometimes, not always, but sometimes a lunch of some sort.  I've been coming home often in the middle of the day to nap before going back to work for the "second half." I'll normally have time to work out lunch during this time. I've been doing this because of my sleep condition.  Not feeling rested is an enormous issue.  I return for another sleep study on the 14th.

Tomorrow morning I'm fasting for blood work. I can have water and surprisingly, black coffee. I'll take it! When the nurse said "Nothing except water and if you're a coffee drinker, black." I was shocked. I'd always heard just a sip or two of water was best. But I'm not arguing with the professionals. I'm happy to have coffee in the morning. It'll be very different not eating breakfast early.

My regular doctors visit will be the 11th.  I'll get the blood work results and weigh in at that visit.

I'm keeping active on Facebook (facebook.com/seananderson505), Twitter (@SeanAAnderson ) and My Fitness Pal SeanAAnderson. If we haven't already, I'd love to connect with you on any of those social media platforms.

Thank you for reading,
Goodnight and,
Strength,
Sean

14 comments:

  1. I am really happy for you Sean. I now it's not easy. We have shared some of my ups and downs over the past year but just keep going. Funny I think we are on the same page right now. I have realized that stressful moments I tend to make choices that are not really the best for me. In a hurry last night to help out a friend I ended up neglecting my best choices of nutrition. Pizza hut you say? The garlic parm chicken wings, your normal he said? YES I SAID?? WHAT??? I wasn't thinking about me at that point in time. This may sound wrong to some, but I have to think about me every thing I do. Do you ever get that feeling? One non thought out choice could have put me over the edge. I was still in my calorie bank for the day but there was a lil bit of me kicking myself too. It was more from the competition side of the contest but it lead me to almost want to "make up for it today". I didn't and I wrote about it in my blog. But it that struggle I have every day. Know what I mean? Anyone? :D

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    1. I truly understand, Genie. It's so easy to fall into the groove of auto-pilot, where the choices we make aren't the best for us, but they're familiar...And you're so right, it is very fragile, as you put it "One non-thought out choice could have put me over the edge." The fantastic thing is the awareness factor. And you're powerfully aware, Genie. And taking it to your blog, writing out how you're feeling is one of the most therapeutic things you can do. Don't ya think? Getting it out there and working through it from different sides--it helps tremendously. Thank you Genie, so much...for your support and for sharing here.

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  2. Having an army of support wins the war of excess food!

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    1. I feel much better when I allow myself to benefit from the support. You're a decorated General in this battle, Gerri. Thank you!

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  3. Wise words that I need to hear. Thank you so much!

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    1. Your support, Anneli, is so wonderful. You're welcome. And Thank you!

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  4. Hi Sean,
    Great post! Imagine my surprise when I read the part about dealing with stress - considering that for the last two nights I've written in my journal that I need to find a healthy way to deal with my stress at work! Sometimes just knowing that someone else struggles with the same things makes my own struggles a little easier to bear. Good job sticking to your calorie budget, even when it was rough. Finally, if you really do want to switch up your breakfast, may I suggest steel cut oatmeal? If you have a Trader Joe's around, they sell it in the freezer section. They are individually wrapped servings that you heat up in the microwave. I normally put some raisins in them, and a coconut mix in (from Wildtree) to sweeten it up a bit (but you could use maple syrup, honey, whatever suits you). Then I have a piece of fruit, and this is a pretty filling breakfast for me. You can also buy steel cut oats and make them on the stove or crockpot, which I do sometimes, but if you're just trying them out, the frozen ones from TJ's are a pretty good starting point. (DON'T get the ones with quinoa in them!! :-)

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    1. Yes, Alison--stress... It's a BIG one. In the middle of the worst of it, it's sometimes--okay, all the time, very hard to remember that food doesn't fix it. Unless my stress is from not having food (Been blessed to never really know what that's truly like), food doesn't fix it. And when I've tried to soothe/comfort with food, it only acts as a temporary escape...and it always comes at a hefty price...because afterward, the original stress still exist and I've added more self-loathing, guilt and shame...and those feelings rarely make a positive impact on anything. In fact, the "escape" eating feeds the need to do it more and more... and the cycle can be deadly for someone like me. Great news is, we're aware Alison. We are aware. No longer seemingly oblivious, we can't help but to make positive strides...and it isn't always perfect, but we can't truly forget what we've learned about ourselves. Bringing the focus back to the stressful issues instead of the escape and dealing with the stress in a productive way is downright empowering...like fuel for our choices.
      Steel cut oats--YES!! I was once all about them. The nutritional benefits are incredible. I suppose I stopped eating them in the name of convenience. But the microwave ready packets you describe couldn't be easier! We don't have a Trader Joes (haven't visited one of those since living in L.A.) But we do have a fairly decent section in one of my local grocery stores. I'll check those out... And really, I could crock pot some and make my own individual servings... I'm definitely doing this very soon! Thank you Alison!

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  5. Agreed on the steel cut oats. I have them maybe 2-3 times a week or so. I do them in a big batch then add almond milk (I'm lactose intolerant) and a little bit of spice like vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, grated ginger and small amount of maple syrup for sweetness if needed. Pile on the berries and it's a great way to start the day. I also prepare omelettes or a fritatta with lots of veggies in advance. Or smoked salmon with thin cucumber and carrots and lettuce wrapped in nori (or occasionally a pita).

    Glad you are taking the necessary steps to turn things around. Hope you are learning new techniques and what works best for you to deal with stress.

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    1. Nikki, thank you! I'm going to pick up some almond milk and some of the spices you mentioned. Usually, when I have oats, I just include a cut up banana and a little sweetener. I'm thinking blueberries would be great... I'm going to the store right away! Thank you for the ideas!

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  6. I sat and read this after my run this morning. It really resonated with me, the person who is control of the negative is also the person who is in control of a positive, I am mainly referring to mental space here, but also choices. We are in control of this in so many more ways than just what we choose to eat. We control how we internally speak to ourselves and the attitude ( positive or negative) we have to the choices we make surrounding food, exercise and other mental situations, including stress. Sean you give insights into your own world that are honest and so very very truthful. Its amazing how so many of us, know understand and see where you are coming from. Keep up the amazing developments with your mental zone and attitude.

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    1. Congrats on the run! Very happy for you, Vic! The mental space, in my experience, is often overlooked--yet, when we step back and take a long analysis of it, we discover it had/has the greatest influence over everything else. Harboring an arsenal of negative thoughts is a sure fire way of insuring defeat. It's a very difficult dynamic to change because much of it is hard wired after years and years of self-sabotage... Breaking the pattern and realizing the incredible power waiting to be unleashed, is a process filled with epiphanies big and small. It's a very important self-study and if each of us take the time to explore and inventory these thoughts, good and bad--like cleaning out a refrigerator--we discover incredible things are very possible. I'm so happy for you Vic. You're entering a new chapter of your life and how very wonderful is that?? Awesome! My best to you and yours always... Sean

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  7. I find that in times of stress, it helps to 'step outside' of the emotion and just be as factual and rational as possible, looking at the emotion as a separate entity that wants to be fed. It is easier to figure out what to feed it with that way. Easier said than done, but it is what I try to do.

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    1. Lyn, I love that... Finding that pause, so important. Thank you!

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