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Month: December 2014

Alone, A Holy Home

An indelible mark has swept over me by the memoir, “Wild” written by Cheryl Strayed, a memoir resonating in a heartfelt, self-identifiable way. She speaks of “alone” as being a place in which she could retreat to and be who she really was, a concept I know well. This aloneness has served me in life, perhaps as an escape, but more as a haven of safety, a dwelling of non-conformity, an enabling of the self to remain intact. To inwardly blossom among the trees that frightened me, and fostered becoming exactly as they, I retreated into myself to a place where the aloneness could carry me, gathering my essence of love and self acceptance. There I sometimes remained, unable to cross into social interaction that threatened my self identity. To display my true being was a vulnerability that I often chose not to bare. Yet when I did, I came armed and dangerous to the opposing judgment that sought to destroy the inner me. It was not an intentional battle from I or my opponent, but one of soul survival.

In venturing outward, I hatch myself into the world, birthing a freedom within the limited alone space. My vulnerabilities, a weapon of connection with others, strengthens me when displayed gradually and carefully among a trusted crowd. This enriches my soul, enhances my life, and engraves my inner light to shine brighter. Yet when the world feels overwhelming, exhausting, indulging in fear, I still retreat into the “alone,” a room that protects and grants me peace, when needed.

 

 

 

“Alone had always felt like an actual place to me, as if it weren’t a state of being, but rather a room where I could retreat to be who I really was.” – Cheryl Strayed from “Wild”

Monotony of Failure to Success

The monotony of failure is challenging to partake in, and considerably exhausting. Yet each day, the gauntlet is thrown down; I seize the opportunity for change. By mid day cravings lead me astray, evening washes over me in a sea of relentless self-deprecating failure, wallowing and aware of weakness within, and I glide into sleep knowing sugar tipped the scales again in its favor.

For the unaware population of this physical addiction, it would seem weak not to just do what must be done. The rest of us know and empathize with our compatriots who wiggle in this space of difficulty. You may ask why fool myself into thinking that today is different, that today is the triumph I seek, that today I am unstoppable in reaching the pinnacle and turning point, eliminating sugar forever. Is this even a reasonable expectation in a world where sugar is a highly utilized ingredient in the food supply? Yet like alcohol’s availability, an alcoholic might feel similarly. If an addiction affects your inability to function at your finest, is it not in your best interest to eliminate the ingredient causing duress and limiting your success?

Clearly the difference between these maladies exhibits food addiction on the waist, along the thighs, upon the stomach, as a double chin. And although not completely acceptable in our society, its translation is not addiction. Instead individuals act as hosts of gluttony, lack self-control and will power, walk the Earth painfully fighting against an endless tide. For many, food acts as a numbing agent, relieving pain, perhaps loneliness, boredom, and/or an emotional outlet.

Although popular usage, the ultimate purpose of food is fuel, through nutrition and a process by the body to create energy efficiently, while eliminating end products and toxins. Until I can eat with this full understanding, embracing this message, I seem a bit unprepared for life. A constant battle brews that needs peace, an end to a war that has waged its survival on my failure. I am ready to breathe fully again, feel whole, take back my power, prioritize self-care at all costs. That readiness has been shakily uncertain, beginning each day able and willing, until it is no longer by afternoon’s hour.

Have to remember my why’s, it is often said.The number of stories of falling off the wagon among the crew I respect is staggering. My inner circle of compatriots are drastically clawing to return to equilibrium, the healthy track, a successful path once again. I am not alone in this crusade. The hike to healing is long and hearty, but the lightness of being at its end is bright, joyous and peaceful. It is comforting to not go it alone, and to know the success is reachable, attainable,doable… sustainable?

Have people been successful over a few years, decades, a lifetime? Yesterday’s post, “It’s all fun and games until your jeans don’t fit.” How many can claim a lifetime of success? The psychology of eating is vast, limited in study, and poorly utilized for success. Yet our group recognizes that this is much more than a physical journey of sugar/food addicts among us. We are an emotional, struggling, empowered group of people wanting success within our lives where past attempts have failed. The support warrants a spotlight that makes the FA (Fitness Asylum) different, but ultimately it is a solo run of actions. One must take the first, second, and further steps to act as the success she seeks.

Self-accountability, self love, self actualization, and self determination are the pinnacle of wholeness for me. The humanness, embracing my imperfections, and rising in light of those vulnerabilities are key elements for success. Within weaknesses, there are still broken shards where healing is needed. There, in the recesses of those weaknesses, there is power, like a pause at the end of a breath, a strength for lightening the darkness, illuminating a heightened awareness. When I journey with this knowing, attention, and energy, there is a powerful effect. In the end, I must heal this within myself. What brokenness led me astray from wholeness, I shall heal the heaviness of those wounds.

Another Day, Another Dollop of Advice

If I was giving advice, what would I say? Take it one step at a time. Move moment by moment until a day, two days, three have passed, and then a week, two weeks, three, and so on. Make conscious, thoughtful decisions during each present moment. Do not look back at poor decisions or successes that lack current reality. None of it matters; only now is significant. Sugar addiction does not recognize the past, nor care about your future. It only knows “the now,” and creates the constant craving that meets a need. It is a bottomless pit of doom. Climbing out is the only option.

I played with fire and lost. Toying with carbohydrates, testing my limits my body could not handle ultimately caused my decline. Perhaps I have a greater sensitivity towards sugar. Triggered emotionally, feeling emotions rather than numbing, at what point is the physical addiction greater than the emotional. Can I not handle even a little bit? What set me completely off? Was it purely simple sugar, or was it glucose level imbalance? If plated with protein, would the result have been different?  For now, I am negotiating, wanting to believe I could find balance one day. Yet that day has not come. For now, to make any other choice than low carbohydrate, non-processed foods is irrational. I know what I know for now. Until a day when I know differently, I am a moment to moment creature, taking another day with a dollop of advice. Take the road to healing while in the present moment. Don’t look back, don’t look forward; keep your eyes on the healing prize of the present moment.

Shift Happens

Just when I began to wonder if I could go it alone, face my weaknesses and potential failures, my closest confidante enters the arena, not to sit along the sidelines of life anymore. Just when I needed a hand, a fist bump from another warrior, a crusader to cruise into cascading boulders of life with me, he stands up and commits to the cause, capturing the essence of the power of two. Together we vow, together we succeed, practicing self-care, applying the finishing touches of our lives, healing the insides that trigger our past that flail in our midst and affect our present. Addicted to the response of emotions by consumption of crap, we rise, fueling our souls with the necessary recipe for success. Nearly a decade and a half ago we began our lives with promise, hope and love of a tomorrow we envisioned, and a yesterday lay to rest. Yet the tomorrows often consumed our past, extinguishing the potential success of our future. Just when I thought I’d have to go it alone, he joined my crusade, walked into the abyss, and united with me again. A miraculous moment mating with destiny, a pivot or shift of the winds when a clear vision of one’s future has met with the present moment.

Oh for Two – What I Would Not Do

Yesterday had me pinned down by sugar-filled, processed foods calling my name, recklessly devouring any ounce of decency and will power. I thought I had a plan to keep the sugar levels stable. Yet the cravings began early, and soon my plan was scrapped entirely. I walked into several locations unprepared, blindly stupefied when things went awry. Yet in hindsight, I poorly executed the day. Without a proper breakfast, prepared foods, and the weakness of prepping when hungry, results were futile. I sank into the plate for Strike 2. When I got up at bat for the second straight day, I thought I’d knock it out of the park. Yet now, I’d settle for a single, knowing that one hit can lead to another, which eventually will lead me home.

What I would not do to be back home again, full of energy, hope, and assurance that the road to healing was paved ahead, and I was following it diligently without detours. What will I not do?

  1. I will not allow processed foods to cross my lips.
  2. I will not walk into stores that contain isles of sugar-laden delights.
  3. I will not deceive myself that my kids’ snacks are accessible and therefore, not considered theft if consumed.
  4. I will not believe a few days does not matter. Each moment matters in life.
  5. I will not pretend I am healed from the carbohydrate/sugar addiction after 12 weeks of success.
  6. I will not practice self-sabotage.
  7. I will not lie to myself anymore about what needs to be done.

There is no try; there is only do. – Yoda

Today what I will not do will dictate what I do. I’m up to the plate again, and striking out is not an option. A base hit is all I am looking for, so that tomorrow a repeat performance is more likely.

“Not So Fast, Edinberg!”

A joke a family friend used to share when I was a teenager was this little gem:

The Captain called the Sergeant in. “Sarge, I just got a telegram. Private Jones’ mother died yesterday. Better go tell him and send him in to see me.” So the Sergeant calls for his morning formation and lines up all the troops. “Listen up, men,” says the Sergeant. “Johnson, report to the mess hall for KP. Smith, report to Personnel to sign some papers. The rest of you men report to the Motor Pool for maintenance. Oh by the way, Jones, your mother died, report to the commander.”
Later that day the Captain called the Sergeant into his office. “Hey, Sarge, that was a pretty cold way to inform Jones his mother died. Couldn’t you be a bit more tactful, next time?” “Yes, sir,” answered the Sarge. A few months later, the Captain called the Sergeant in again with, “Sarge, I just got a telegram. Private McGrath’s mother died. You’d better go tell him and send him in to see me. This time be more tactful.” So the Sergeant calls for his morning formation. “Ok, men, fall in and listen up. Everybody with a mother, take two steps forward — NOT SO FAST, McGRATH!”

Of course, my reason for remembering it has a lighter fare to it. “OK, men, fall in and listen up. Everybody who has not had sugar in the last 24 hours, take two steps forward — NOT SO FAST, EDINBERG!

Yes, it infiltrated my system again. I was there, I noticed it happening, but failed to react in time. Once it began going down, it was like a freight train response. It just kept coming. Like a drug, I just needed more and then more until I could have no more. Now I awaken groggy, with a sense of failure, yet a dust-myself-off kind of day before me. Need a plan to react because it will be there awaiting my response. Regulating my sugar level will be necessary. Recognizing the sugar need and want to arise somewhere between 12 and 4pm is predictable. Recalling that my body seems to need 72 hours of clean to not have to build such a defense. I had only given it two since this past Saturday night when I chose my foods of delight that would eat at my insides, deteriorating my normal systems. Yet now, that lack of control, tired feeling, the one that is weakened by the frankenfoods, wants dominance once again. They shall not have it should I stand firm in my defense back to equilibrium.

Here’s hoping a good day has dawned.

Weighing In on Weighing In

When a scale, an inanimate object, has been given the power to make or break your day, it is time to remove it. This metal contraption that continues to technologically advance offering less and less pertinent information sits in homes across America. It may serve as a unit of measure for successful or failed weight loss, but it is a limited story. This unsightly square that occupies bathroom floors in millions of homes cannot know the number of inches I have decreased, cannot know the muscle, strength and stamina I possess. It cannot measure my heart rate, the amount of water or excess shit in my system, nor the fit of my clothing. Yet it has impacted my life from a very early age. I have allowed it to control my emotions, sometimes on a daily basis for years.

It began at the age of 11, in the nurse’s office during my official first public weigh in. You would have thought I had entered a boxing or wrestling match, weighing in for a competition. Yet no, it was simply part of the health program, checking weight, height, and hearing in public schools across our great country. Our sixth grade class ventured to the nurse’s office to stand in line for our weight and height to be entered onto a brown, clipboard the nurse hugged to her chest. She made no comments, except the announcement of numbers that seemed to define each person as they stepped off the metal device. The comparison of one individual to the next seemed to hold some power as the murmurs began, and my nerves caused the hair on my neck to stand up. My stomach curled inside aware that my turn would soon arrive, and the sound of my numbers would become my new identity. As my friends took their turns, I was aware that my weight may be higher and my height shorter than theirs.

Sure enough, I was five pounds heavier and an inch shorter than a couple of close friends. I recall the walk back to our classroom, along the white tiled corridor, the lights flickering above from faulty bulbs. My silence deafened my insides, my heart racing with the anticipation that my numbers lessened my worth than I had ever been. Two friends recognized my demeanor, and even spoke encouragingly of how the numbers were worthless. Yet I remained vigilantly aware of the meaning behind those numbers in my mind. I was ugly, fat, and worthless. Had my mother not argued with me angrily countless times, perhaps it would not have had such a powerful impact. My inner voice began the story that all she said was now confirmed. I was not enough in so many ways.

There began my relationship with an inanimate, metal object that affected my psyche for years to come. It defined my very existence with yearly doctor’s visits and comments as the weight began to climb, and the need to remove this weight resulted. Diets became a mainstay growing up, and into adulthood. The scale measured my success and failures, determined my level of satisfaction with myself, and how others would perceive me, I told myself. The story I designed was confirmed by the judgment within, and the projection of the judgment I felt from others. I gave the metallic geometric contraption the power to decide how I felt about myself, based upon its numeric results illuminating towards my eyes each morning.

Three and a half decades later, I now contemplate the power I gave to this contraption that sat silently, but loudly upon my bathroom floor. It seemed to speak to me, giving me love or not each day. That story I told myself has ended, or so I believe. Can I shut out the voices that speak within when stepping upon the scale now? I have had inner conversations with myself about the value of the scale, what it actually measures, and whether it has any basis for my ultimate success as an individual. How has this technological advancement of weighing in affected my emotional psyche? What value shall I offer it now?

During the 12-week challenge, I removed the scale from my daily existence as instructed. For a while, upon wake up, I would think about denying each morning the process of weigh and measure. In time, that urge and craving diminished. The weekly weigh in at the Fitness Asylum was enough. i.e. until it was not. For five weeks, the FA scale influenced my perspective about how successful I was on their program, this new lifestyle. I thought I was free of the scale’s power, that it served no purpose except for the team competition; I gladly contributed my weight losses for the sake of our winning results. Yet immediately when the scale stopped moving in the downward direction, and held to the same numbers week upon week, I was torn inside by the effect I still allowed from the metal box. Thought I had kicked that habit to the curb, and was soooo over that.

No, I still give the scale the power to choose my worth based upon its number. Yesterday was no different when I walked in and saw a big drop after the scale had been playing hardball for weeks. Yet inch by inch I do stream closer to releasing its hold upon me, recognizing the Non-Scale Victories, like the loose pants, the increased energy, strength, and fun I have attending boot camps, boxing, and Strike Fit classes. This past weekend at the wedding, I felt alive again, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. I was on top of the world, comfortable in my skin, a clear victory beyond measure.

The scale’s hold will diminish in time. It took thirty-five years for me to recognize that a scale has no power if I discontinue it. Giving away my power to an inanimate object is futile. As a work in progress, I shall reach the pinnacle when it carries no weight anymore. Until then, I remind myself daily of all I am, knowing I am not a number, a loss or gain. Weighing in on weighing in, may be a continued practice until I am no longer triggered and fully healed from the depth of destruction I have endured and allowed by the scale.

Sweet Power Tested

Testing resilience and sustainability with any food lifestyle is a continuous process. Attending a wedding weekend brought less than optimal food choices to my fingertips testing my power to resist and persist. Mentally prepared for three days of choices teetered on mishap and maintenance. Twelve weeks seemed enough to solidify the expertise and food choice proficiency, as well as twenty weeks of dumbbell wielding, boot camps priming my body for physical stamina and strength. Finally, my elegant black dress, made for ten pounds less of me was less than optimal, yet workable. Wanting to feel stunning as an attendee of a wedding I had known about for a year felt less than grand.

Friday evening, a smorgasbord of Italian fare decorated the table: fried calamari, chicken parmesan, spaghetti and meatballs, Caesar salad, and wine. Patiently awaiting Saturday night wedding food, I cultivated determination to make healthy choices. Choosing salad, calamari while edging off fried breading with a knife, and scraping chicken to get to the core of its center (baked chicken), and resiliently using my power for good. I kept my composure, “took the gun and left the cannoli,” all of them, and the tiramisu. The following day I maintained salad consumption and protein in whatever form offered. Celebrating a definite victory with food choices, I felt empowered.

Finally, the wedding dinner to indulge arrived. Choosing two ounces of red wine and at least six ounces of protein felt stable. Yet the dessert buffet offered extensive choices of candy, chocolate baked goods like those from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Choosing the cookies ‘n cream cupcake had more to do with frosting than cake, a delicacy that could be dissected and limit consumption. As a controlled decision, it felt good to choose, but limit taking too much. An inner voice said, “Choose what you really, really, really want, and leave the rest.”

I wanted the frosting that rose out of this masterful cupcake. Eating frosting from a cupcake may sound as appetizing and strange as eating the inside of an Oreo®. Yet for some of us, that portion is all one needs for utter elation and euphoria. With jubilation, I ate the sweet, savory icing from a cupcake, journaling the quarter cup of frosting into My Fitness Pal and called it a wrap. By dawns early light, I had achieved the honorable, and survived a fun-filled weekend among family, complete with responsible food choices. The wedding was beautiful; the outfits worn with confidence, and the travel with food preparation for the plane.

Monday morning has arrived, boot camps scheduled, detoxification of sugar underway, and strengthening my resolve physically and mentally after leaning into normalcy of life and a special weekend. Celebrations often offer less than optimal food options. Delicacies not designed with the body in mind, yet instead on behalf of the taste buds, hardly recognize their physical effects upon the gut, how they digest, and affect the waistline.

Even with holidays, celebrations, and unique events, we may maintain a commitment to a healthy lifestyle while choosing to move off the beaten path occasionally. Will these occur often? They shall not if I empower myself to make healthy choices even in limiting circumstances. Yet in picking and choosing the altered unhealthy path, I prepare and purposefully intend outcomes and a return to the core beliefs of self-respecting my body with healthy choices.

Knowledge and perseverance, to establish a strong, healthy result while eliminating destructive behaviors that prevent best actions, is powerful.  Although the weekend was successful, the amount of energy and decision making it takes cannot be underestimated. Energy and determination utilized for overcoming vulnerability is necessary. Old patterns pounce when the armor cracks and fragility arises; sugar and alcohol fuels flames. With power tested, resilience won, and sustainability of a healthy lifestyle trumps the sugar! Power of maintenance is sweeter!

Successful Self Accountability

Accountability to a group or team reduces sole responsibility. Support allows us to navigate challenging circumstances alongside others. Accepting support and reciprocating to ensure reaching goals alleviates the aloneness of life’s journeys. Yet what happens when we relieve ourselves of self-accountability? Should we fail, may we blame others for our collapse? Settling blame upon others eases the burden of failure. Yet should we succeed, do we acknowledge success, or do we give credit to the community that enables our victory?

Some of us function remarkably well following another’s lead, yet left to our own devices lack the strength to commit and endure challenging journeys. We crumble alone but succeed by relying upon other’s direction and support, thriving while led to victory. This is not to claim that direction, mentoring, and education are not worthwhile for achieving endeavors. Yet to recognize that eventually we must become personally accountable for our successes and failures, to empower our “selves” with the reigns of our destiny.

As one exercise and food program concludes and another begins, my habitual pattern of releasing support lacks transition to sole, self-accountability. If the only motivation has been accountability to others, when the term limit ends, the progress stalls. The disempowerment of placing all efforts for the good of the team without self-accountability and responsibility to you reduces long-term effectiveness and success. Rather than viewing other’s expertise as the sole mechanism for guidance, self-responsibility is required to share the result.

Without the self-accountability piece in place by acknowledging my mistakes and successes, owning my part in the process and progress, utilizing the community is not sustainable. A balance prevents leaning fully upon a crutch, the imbalance of power. “It takes a village” includes self and community responsibility towards a common goal. Although the world necessitates leaders and followers, personal goals present a dual contribution.

Mindful responsibility for ourselves while heeding advice from others is a balance worth seeking. Should support dissipate, decline, and falter, self-reliance upon a solid foundation heeds the call necessary to continue the journey alone, until new discovery and aligned support is situated. This builds walls of sustainability within our foundation. Additionally it allows ownership from your success, rather than a statuesque creation of someone else’s vision. When we choose to give up our power and rely solely upon others, we weaken our innate ability to survive and thrive. Embrace self-accountability, and the world rises to meet and greet you with the supplemental support you seek.

New Day Dawns

Twenty-four hours sometimes feels like it can make or break change. Yet today a new day rises and shines again. Surviving one full day back on a healthy food and exercise plan, a dance twirls my world inside and out as vulnerability plays with my mind and my body craves sugar and achingly urges me to rest on a couch and eat bonbons.

Journaling food into My Fitness Pal, attending a boot camp exercise class, and keeping the mindset to visualize my outcome pours into today. Steaz® replaces cookies, vegetables and grass-fed beef replaced pizza. Cookies call my name as does pizza when I serve it to my children. Carbohydrates perpetuate a need for increased sugar when my energy level diminishes. Instead, my energy remains stable, the beginning of eliminating roller coaster, blood sugar levels.

Although day two shall feel critical upon this journey, every day is crucial. Giving each moment intention and energy is vital. Being present in each moment enables focus on what occurs, consciously, mindfully, and bravely. Visualize the goal as successful, feeling what that will feel like, yet then be in the moment to determine actions and outcomes. That is all; nothing more supports the journey to the end. A new day dawns inside.Rise and shine to meet it.

Thought I Was Cured

It is simple, I thought I was cured.” Like all the other get-fit and weight loss programs, at the final weigh-in,” I am cured,” or so I believe. Yet hauntingly it is untrue again. No cure for an addiction, only a commitment to sobriety continues the journey past the finale of my twelve-week challenge.

Knowing which triggers activate failure is beneficial, as to thwart the nasty beast from our backs as it is attacking. Through the journey, which emotions do I attempt to numb? What aspect of self-worth am I not feeling? Can I re-frame the metaphors surrounding me to understand more? What ingredient crept into my system that physically affects my decision making process? What tools honed under my belt exist ready for active-duty in my arsenal?

To embrace imperfection, acknowledge and mend the kinks in armor, and persevere in the face of adversity, are desirable results. Transitioning from one program into the next begins. Change requires strengthened resilience, and empowers with acceptance rather than resistance. Lean into the tension and release the emotions in order to excel with clarity and purpose. To reframe the ending as a new beginning, energizes and enables setting new goals while receptive to feeling the fear and courageously moving forward.

This is still my time; nothing stands in my way when I maintain self-worth, self-respect, and self-love to empower self-care. Tools of journaling, community support for recipes and emotional upheaval, and books, research, and experts guiding with nutritional information are critical. Teaching others strengthens my resolve and reinforces learning. Gratitude naturally occurs from an inner circle of support.

Sugar infiltrating my body is temporary and will release its hold within 72 hours when its energy depletes and sugar blood levels balance again. Its withdrawal will contain a short-lived hold that tempts, weakens, and tricks me into negative thoughts, low energy, and resistance from what is healthy. Sugar’s trickery cannot last on its own; it needs a weakened, unmotivated mind to shovel additional sweet edibles into the station, encouraging addictive survivability.

Though my vulnerability affected my last few days, I continue to strive towards my goals, reminded of my tools and social support, inner strength, and resilience. I return protein-filled and happy. Watching out for the craving, the suppressed emotions, the physical and mental addiction to the big C’s as cookies, cake and candy, and know they are simply a mask of trickery lurking, attempting to lure me back to addiction. I am worthy of sobriety. Thought I was cured. I know better, and now I will do better.

Falling Off the Wagon

Success has never felt so sweet, high fives fill the air; the smell of victory enhances the flavor I can taste, and my smile screams, “Eureka!” Thinking I found the Holy Grail, discovered the secret to weight loss and fitness, my elation feels boundless. With the commitment to boot-camp classes and eating clean, I crossed a 17.4-pound, 5% body fat loss finish line.

Riding high, feeling invincible in a place of extraordinary comfort, I know, hope, or pray perhaps that this good feeling is not fleeting. My belief in its sustainability, continuation, and successful march to the next challenge seems like a road well traveled. People have my back, support me, and my words echo within, “This is my time; nothing is getting in my way.” My inner cheerleader believes in my strength to outweigh my weaknesses. Yet the scale tips when I let my guard down, and the addiction pounces when the fort lays unprotected.

Strangely, I neglect to weigh in at the finale of this twelve-week program I joined, as most brave souls did. The truth is I am full of shit. Without a bowel movement, I know the scale inches upward, causing my elation to drown in the scale’s declaration. Weighing in the prior eleven weeks and needing to feel the success without the power of the scale overshadowing my numbers seems a smart action.

Feeling fixed after twelve, powerful weeks I deceive myself. Congratulating cronies and accepting compliments for the journey we ventured together, I feel fraudulent. A “Now what” feeling plagues me as I drive from the final weigh-in event. Instantly catapulted into another five-week gig with them to keep me losing the excess appendages from my thighs, I am an onion, layers peeling off revealing my inner recesses beneath the pounds shed. Numbness envelopes me as I drive home. “What next” troubles me.

During this body challenge program, workout acquaintances empower themselves with a lifestyle plan of clean eating and intense boot camp classes to lose unwanted weight. Soul searching and deep, digging discovery wriggles broken, damaged, inner, emotional pieces as the weight releases and the heart mends. Belief that anything is possible energizes, inspires, and motivates jumping back on the wagon for continued success.

For some, their resiliency springs them back aboard, while others remain dangling from the side, clawing to climb up a divot-less wall, a slippery slope simply too challenging to grab hold. Hands extend from those above, attempts to reach participants below for support and shoulder them upward. Sometimes help is not enough to catapult those struggling to safety, whereas others receive the exact inspiration and motivation needed to return to a successful journey aboard.

Admiring those able to rejoin the clan, I wonder if climbing along the slippery wall while seduced by sugar addiction, old habits, and emotional baggage characterizes me as a survivor or one of the defeated. Now faced with fear, I allow a small amount of sugary poison into my system, enough to cause the cravings to grab hold. With sugar in my body, I surrender willingly, guiltily, sliding down the wagon wheel towards the ground. I am sliding, gliding, and escaping into an abyss.

Falling off the wagon is not my low point. Twelve weeks, a minuscule half percent of my entire life risks becoming obsolete, erased, and derailed from the tracks. The excuses I spew and negotiate how I can “get clean” at any point, as if climbing back on the wagon is a simple avenue when I eventually choose, are lies. Instead, an hour off the wagon turns into a day, a day into two, and then a week. Addiction calls my name and has me running its protocol; rock bottom is nearby.

Gathering strength to fight the endless tide of sugar addiction, the good fight feels futile. Demonic cookies, evil candy, decadent, seductive chocolate, and a continuing stream of sugary carbohydrates drench my system with its luring euphoria. Wanting to “get clean,” the cravings continue relentlessly.

Searching my social, inner circle for support from “Falling off the wagon,” I discover numerous victims of devastating self-destructive behavior. Gathering inspiration from their plight, mentors also kindly respond with compassion, motivation, and empathy to bait me upward. Addiction silences them temporarily, yet I know their words, thoughts, and deep-felt caring beckons deeper within where the heart feels healing.

Lifted by their words of wisdom, resilience is knocking. When knocked over the side of the wagon, what we do matters. Dusting myself off, beginning again, using effective tools, and moving forward with supportive arms reaching for me when I falter, fear dissipates gradually. Climbing back on the wagon holds the key to freedom, peace, and elation. Although the poisonous spew of sugar remains in my system, the future appears promising. “This is my time! Nothing is getting in my way!” and the commitment for change commences

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