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Monday, July 8, 2013

The Never Fail Steps

I have a lot going on in my world, and in my mind, at all times.  I am easily distracted and it doesn't take much to get nudged off course.  It doesn't take much to dive off course, either.  Or to forget that I even HAVE a course.

(I am exploring adult ADHD and the very real likelihood that contributes to my derailability.  Yes, I made up that word.  You like? hehe)

I am starting to recognize that there are patterns to my stumbles which can lead to derailment.  I don't know which comes first - an emotional trigger or a physical one, but the same basic pattern happens:

  1. I eat something that is not planned for, not healthy, and sugary, or floury, or fatty that makes me feel badly (physically or emotionally).
  2. The next day it is SO easy to do it again.  Only on this day I may not work out either.
  3. The next day I can't even look at a vegetable in the refrigerator.  I don't feel like fixing anything healthy.  I don't feel like chopping, dicing, preparing.  I want something easy and carb-loaded.  
  4. I feel like total crap and feel myself totally slipping.  I don't want to clean the house.  I don't want to get healthy groceries.  I don't want to DO anything. I am lethargic and blah feeling.
  5. I start beating myself up for my shortcomings.  I am weak.  I want to get on track but can't.  I am frustrated.  I get panicky.  The house is more cluttered.  My mind is more cluttered.  I become less "able."
And just like there are patterns to slipping in this way, there is also a "Never Fail" list of steps I can take to turn it back around.

  1. Get honest about it.  Tell someone.  Be accountable.  It may not be my fault (per se) that a slip started, but only I can turn it back around and you can't fix what you don't acknowledge.  
  2. Make ONE freaking next right food choice.  Period.  Make a salad.  Choose a nice egg white omelet.  Eat an apple.  Eat SPINACH.  That almost always turns the food day around for me.
  3. MOVE.  Get showered, get dressed, put on shoes, and GO SOMEWHERE.  Get out of the house.  DO something.
  4. EXERCISE.  There is nothing like fresh exercise to put my brain back together (kind of like unscrambling an egg, if that were possible.)
  5. Do one nice thing for myself.  Maybe a pedicure, an eyebrow wax, picking up some new lip gloss...something that reminds me that I'm worth being nice to.
That's it.  That turns it around. It never fails to turn it around.  I have to FORCE myself sometimes.  I don't WANT to do those things when I feel crappy.  BUT....I know if I don't, I will feel even crappier and continue a downward spiral that leads toward total darkness.  

I have seen the light that comes from making healthy, positive next right choices.  I have enjoyed the freedom that comes with good self care and forward motion.  And I want more and more of that.  I am not willing to slip backwards,

So today, I am making myself accountable and calling it out. (Overate at a party Thursday, then had a ton of pizza Friday, ate fairly badly Saturday, and by Sunday didn't exercise and didn't eat a single healthy thing.  Also didn't go anywhere, do anything, and felt lethargic all day.)

I am working out in a few minutes.

Then I am making a nice green smoothie for breakfast...with spinach.

I am bringing in a great salad for lunch, with some apples and healthy snacks.

And I will call this a 4 day blip and not a derailment.  Because I won't let it become one.

This is not easy....and with what I believe are ADHD complications it gets even more difficult to manage.

But those never fail steps to turn it around REALLY never fail.  So no matter why I  slipped (it really doesn't matter, does it?) I have a PLAN and a prescription to keep reaching my goals.

Think about what works for you.  What turns around a "slip?"  What turns around negativity for you?  Write it down into a couple of SIMPLE steps and put it on your refrigerator or monitor or bathroom mirror.  And fall back onto it when you can't seem to get the motivation you need.

I (we) can do this.  Absofreakinglutely.  No excuses.

Nike was right.  Just do it!



  1. Okay...worked out hard for an bour. Drinking green drink / protein shake. I'm not "getting" on track. I AM ON TRACK! :-)

  2. AnonymousJuly 08, 2013

    Nice to see you back here and working out what works for you.


    1. Amanda! SO nice to hear from you! Hope all is going well in your corner of the planet! :-)

  3. Carly, you and I first "met" on QuitNet and sad to say I still fight this. A "slip" (bummed one) turns into a full-on "derailment" and sometimes I do think it's a useless battle. But you were an inspiration to me then and you continue to be one. Thanks for that - I'll remember your example again and keep better watch on my "derailability" tendencies - yeah, I like that word! :)

  4. Malia? You are a kick-butt strong woman, and that's a good thing. But you know, you don't have to be strong, or ready, or prepared to quit smoking. You just have to stop putting lit sickarettes to your lips. The rest will follow. ;-)

    (And you inspire most surely do!)

  5. AnonymousJuly 08, 2013

    Carly, I have said before and must say again.....are we related?? I get to the gym and my iPod says in that creepy voice it has...battery low, or I forget my water, both strong signs that I must surely jump off the treadmill immediately before it explodes. I can relate to the downward spiral that starts when the first "wrong" thing goes in your mouth,but, someone (I wonder who THAT could be??) once said, if you break an egg, does that mean you should break all six??? Enjoying your blogs as ever, and I know you are busy with real life and that's great, but I must complain a wee bit here, too much time between blogs, I get withdrawal symptoms xx ;))) D

  6. Dear D... how 'bout this?

    First time out with my new camera, I forget the SD card.

    Second time out, I forget to charge the battery.

    I buy a second SD card and a spare battery and charger.

    Next time out, I remember the SD card, but forget to BRING the battery.

    I just went to a camera workshop where they said BE SURE to bring your tripod.

    Guess what I forgot?

    Thank you, dear D....for understanding what I have always called "The Carly Coaster" (though I didn't know WHY it was like that).


  7. AnonymousJuly 09, 2013

    This is such a great post it should get syndicated. Seriously. I would flag this post as one you should put in the book....
    I've cut and pasted this post into a document to hone down to just the steps to take in a crisis and I'm posting them everywhere. And with a few tweaks to the scenario, the cycling you describe is pretty much like mine.
    What I can't fully figure out is why, as someone said above, if you break one egg might as well break six. It makes absolutely no logical sense or even crazyman sense -- it just makes no sense!
    I think too a key must be to recognize "derailment" early.
    I also would like to figure out how to bribe you into posting regularly.

  8. Thank you, Nancy!

    When I hsve slipped all the way down the hole, or when I am getting totally overwhelmed, one of my friends asks me to distill things down to my "critical path." In other words, what MUST be done, what is the biggest bang for the energy expenditure right NOW.

    For my house, it's ALWAYS throwing out anything that I can throw out. Trash, empty boxes, useless stuff I somehow accumulated. Having a visually open space helps a TON.

    For my body, that critical path is finding a damned vegetable, or fruit, or some lean protein. In other words, some basic, simple food that adds some nutrition without adding chemicals and processed crap.

    And a shower never hurts.

    Once I have done those things...the rest of the list seems so much more manageable and a whole lot less overwhelming.

    And now I know the subject of another chapter in the book. :-) THANK YOU!



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