September 5th, 2019 The Key

Yesterday was a 4-star day: I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I exceeded my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.

I’ve been enjoying the feeling created by getting things done that need to get done. This sense of accomplishment seems to be having a positive effect on me lately. I’m starting slow–very measured, but progress is being made. There’s a lot of things I want to do! Again, progress is being made! For a lifetime procrastinator like me, that’s a big deal!

I just got home from greeting the crowd and making some announcements at an Arts and Humanities concert in the beautiful Cann Gardens. One thing I never fail to notice is my ability to do this with confidence–without being weighted down by negative head chatter. It isn’t my experience in stand-up, radio, or public speaking that makes that possible, it’s this daily practice that helps keep me well–that’s what does it.

I don’t know exactly when it happened, but at some point my perspective shifted. When it did, this daily practice became about much more than just maintaining a healthy body weight. It became more about living well–living better and experiencing deeper mental/emotional/spiritual connections in every part of my life.

I’m not the strongest person and I don’t have amazing willpower. It’s assumed that these things are necessities along this road. They’re not.

When I end each blog post with the word, “strength,” it’s not necessarily strength to stick to your plan. It’s about installing strength within your plan. It’s about having the strength to open your mind to new perspectives and concepts. It’s the strength to care enough to make what you’re doing for you, important. But you don’t have to be strong or have the best willpower. It’s a common misconception.

If I relied on my own strength and willpower, I’d be over 500 pounds right now.

I recently shared my 80/20 philosophy concerning a ratio of focus between food and exercise and the mental/emotional elements. Through my experiences, I contend the stronger focus remains squarely on the mental/emotional elements, allowing the food and exercise plenty of room to grow and develop naturally.

When I examine weight loss attempts in my past, I can clearly see how my focus was mainly on the food and exercise, accompanied by a constant reminding of how strong I needed to be and how much willpower I needed to exert in order for it to work.

Those attempts didn’t work. Even though I had the good foods, I was walking a lot and I was doing my best to be strong and exhibit a super-human willpower…nothing stuck. I didn’t maintain a shred of consistency during those times. And soon, like all the other attempts, my resolve would fade into the fog of food chaos and rapid weight gain.

If you were to ask me what happened, I would have likely said something along the lines of– “I guess I wasn’t strong enough and just didn’t have enough willpower.” And most people would empathize with something like, “well, weight loss is really hard–hang in there, you can do it.”

If maintaining balance and control is hard, then doesn’t it make sense to hold onto something for support? Like a rail of some sort? Or a series of rails, strategically placed along the way–providing balance and support? That’s the key.

It ISN’T building the perfect food and exercise plan from Day 1 and white-knuckling it all the way while praying for strength and willpower. It’s about developing rails of support.

Some people need fewer rails, some more. I say the more the merrier. I have installed quite a few “rails” to guide me along the way.

My rails include logging and tracking my food and exercise. My rails include my personal meditation/prayer time. My rails include staying connected in support daily. My rails include my accountability pictures. My rails include writing/reflection on a regular basis. My rails include making sure I have what I need to succeed: food, exercise–groceries…I have what I need, at work and at home. My rails include planning ahead–some days require more thought and more detailed planning than other days. My rails encourage awareness and self-honesty as I navigate each day within the plan that has gradually become suited especially for me.

What do you think would happen if I suddenly eliminated some or all of these rails from my life, in other words, “went off the rails?”

I’ve lived that scenario. I’m lucky it didn’t end tragically, that time. Or any of the other times.

This trek we’re on together doesn’t require us to be superhuman strong or have the most will power. It’s truly not about that stuff. If we want more stability, balance, and consistency, we must install rails.

From deep in the archives:

What’s this all about? It’s about progress, not perfection. It’s about how you feel, not a number. It’s about you and for you, not about or for anyone else.

It’s about living, not dying. It’s about dreaming, not dreading. It’s about freedom, not imprisonment. It’s about opening your mind to the possibilities, not closing it to the changes.

It’s about acceptance, not rejection. It’s about nourishing, not depriving. It’s about a broadly consistent importance level, not short bursts of narrow focus.

It’s about wanting, not forcing.

It’s about doing your best, not trying to do another’s best.

It’s about today, not tomorrow, or next week or the first of the month or January 1st.

It’s about committing to consistency with all your heart and holding on tight, not a halfhearted commitment easily released with the slightest breeze.

It’s about you deserving better because you do. It’s about you being important because you are important.

Hold on tight to your rails. Let them support and guide you.


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#foodscales Dinner is coming together! Big fish! #dinnerfavorite #foodplan #dailypractice

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Practice, peace, and calm,

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