August 26th, 2019 DEFCON Type Thing
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.
Mom and I had a very nice dinner out last night followed by a great visit and drive around the area. I decided to take a break from my usual chicken tacos, too. It was a nice switch-up that required a couple of questions of the chef. I ordered the shredded chicken enchiladas with freshly prepared enchilada sauce, easy on the cheese. Question 1: How much cheese? Question 2: Do you use refined sugar in the recipe? The answers were good, “as much or as little as you desire” and “No, absolutely no sugar in the recipe.” It is almost impossible to find a canned version without sugar listed on the ingredients, but, judging the reaction to the question, the mere mention of it as a possible ingredient at this Mexican restaurant was almost an insult! It took literally twenty seconds to get the info I needed, the green light, if you will, for my order. (See Instagram post below)
This post was supposed to hit much earlier. Weather coverage tonight changed the plan! But that’s behind me, so I’ll carry on…
From the text support hotline (580-491-2228):
I’ve found that maintaining a balance with my daily practice requires that I’m mindful of my emotions and stress level balance, first. When things are going smoothly in the non-food & non-exercise areas of my life, I feel empowered and confident. When life throws a curveball or two, and suddenly things aren’t as harmonious–instability can settle in quickly–and that’s when my awareness level must be on the highest setting. I’ve likened it to a “DEFCON” type thing. DEFCON is short for “defense readiness condition.” A DEFCON of 5 is peaceful and any number below that is less peaceful. However, if I’m willing to meet it with intentional actions that are supportive, I can find my way back to a 5.
I’ve given quite a bunch of self-study in this area of balance. My conclusion centers around one of the basic human needs: Certainty.
When things get bumpy and out of sorts, the first thing that goes is the comforting feeling of certainty. My deeply ingrained reaction to the loss of certainty is to replace it as quickly as possible–if not with certainty, with something that gives me the illusion of certainty. For me, obviously–it’s always been food.
Of course, it’s only an illusion of certainty. A bag of double cheeseburgers never gave me peaceful certainty in the middle of turbulent times. It only gave me an illusion of certainty within the amount of time it successfully distracted me from the reality at hand. After the distraction, the uncertainty remained–but worse; compounded with self-loathing over the binge.
One of the biggest realizations for me was found in taking responsibility for my part in creating uncertainties. It’s the, my own worst enemy deal. I don’t create every uncertainty in my life, but I’ve certainly been responsible for a good share. Being mindful of my behavior and actions and how they can potentially upset my balance of certainty is a critical awareness to maintain each and every day.
Nobody is immune to this certainty dynamic. How does anyone like me get through the loss or weakened state of uncertainty without taking a tour of every drive-through in the area?
In my opinion, it comes down to the ability to compartmentalize certainty. And doing that requires taking a personal inventory of things we’re grateful for in our lives. In this exploration–this inventory, we can find certainty where we weren’t looking. The mental/emotional/spiritual parts of the practice really step up in these temporary circumstances. And if we can get back to a place where we believe all is not lost because we have something, several things, perhaps, that are certain in our lives, we can reclaim our footing.
Instead of feeling like everything is total chaos–we can find peace in some areas and that helps us deal with the uncertainty in other areas.
My gratitude list is long and that helps my uncertainty list feel a little shorter.
There will always be issues upsetting the balance of certainty. Serenity, right? God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. Things I cannot change–things out of my control create a measure of uncertainty. Courage to change the things I can create measures of certainty.
I’ve written before about the importance of keeping my lifestream and fundamental elements stream running parallel and not letting them cross. Losing certainty in certain areas can create turbulence within the streams. When the forces of uncertainty are pressed and we’re holding our fundamental elements stream steady, it’s not easy. Dropping the fundamental elements stream, effectively allowing the lifestream to come crashing down across, might seem like a very natural thing to do–and considering the circumstances, we sometimes experience, it might also seem completely excusable.
But why would we drop something we’re immensely grateful for, especially in exchange for the chaos and uncertainty of whatever we’re passing through at the moment?
In keeping steady the things for which we’re most grateful and finding the certainty in the things we can, it will only help us in dealing with the uncertainty of most anything else. In this perspective, the illusions of the contrary will not fool us into believing otherwise.
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#whatsfordinner Shredded Chicken Enchiladas! 3 medium soft corn tortillas filled with approximately 8oz shredded chicken and topped with approximately 6 tbs refined sugar-free enchilada sauce (confirmed!), approximately 2 tbs sour cream, and approximately 14g white cheddar. Likely overestimated on the tomato based sauce- checked in at 120cal… I doubt it was any more than half that amount… but I’m okay with the count. #dailypractice #foodplan #dinnerwithmom 657 cal.
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Practice, peace, and calm,
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