Monday, January 25, 2010
Before I did this experiment, I would not have believed the outcome I experienced would be possible for me. I truly expected a day of agony. But it was not miserable the way I expected. What discomfort there was, I was able to cope with. Astonishing.
In evaluating my feelings about this experiment, I had some painful self-realization. I had to face the sad and embarrassing truth that never in my life (except during labor) have I gone 8 hours in the daytime without eating. (Overnight I routinely go 12 hours without eating between dinner and the next day's breakfast (by God's grace I cut out bedtime eating about 6 months ago.)
This is sad and embarrassing because there are plenty of things in my life that I would like to be more consistent, more attentive, more intentional about. So to admit to myself that I have achieved flawless consistency--seamless perfection--in one area, which is . . . what ? Making sure I get fed! Good grief!
It definitely reinforces an important area that I listed among my reasons for achieving a healthy weight: to think less about food, to be less concerned about food, to have more time and focus for truly significant things.
I have already noticed an irony: I am investing more time now in reading the Beck books, writing down assignments, reading response cards, planning food, exercising, and blogging. BUT outside of these intervals where I am deliberately focusing on the Beck process, I can tell I am thinking about food less. I don't know how that is working, but I like it.
I believe the exercise of noting at each hour whether I was hungry, had a desire to eat, or had a craving had a big part in freeing my thinking thus far. I did it for several days and I do it periodically now as a tool to wait for planned food. Somehow labeling the sensation made it less powerful. Particularly at the times I was truly hungry, I said to myself, this is genuine hunger, but it did not freak me out. That was liberating. Thanks be to God.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
I was pondering how to stick with my eating plan at a meeting where the refreshments were exclusively empty carbs. The thought came emphatically, "Flee!" This time I didn't even walk down to that end of the room. For me to resist the strong pull of temptation from iced doughnuts, bagels, flavored cream cheese, and fresh pastries, I had to physically avoid close exposure and opportunity.
I thought of the New Testament Scripture found in 1 Timothy 2:22, "Flee from youthful lusts." That strategy prevents stepping out of bounds regarding sexual desire. I'm applying the same principle to staying on the right path for my health. When the pull to make wrong choices may be overwhelming, it is a very practical approach for me: put distance between myself and whatever I need to resist.
Someday perhaps I'll have such a strong resisting muscle that I can stand right by the sugary carbs table and be indifferent to it. But for now, to flee is part of the "NO CHOICE" agreement I've made with myself.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Beck Diet for Life statements I'm chewing on today: (trying not to spit any out!)
"What is my true goal? To do what I feel like doing? Or to lose weight for good? These two goals are not compatible. I can't have it both ways!"
"I have to practice all the skills over and over until they become automatic. Picking and choosing which skills to practice, picking what I feel like doing, just won't work. I need the full dose."
"Struggling over whether or not to make myself practice the skills can be exhausting. I need to put the decision in the "NO CHOICE" category. I'm making the choice not to give myself a choice. Once I accept that I need to practice every skill every day, I end the struggle."
Friday, January 22, 2010
This is embarrassing. I'm coming face to face with how many times I have said "I'm hungry!" or used it for an excuse when I just wanted to eat or I simply longed for a certain item. I 've felt a reluctance to get real about this. I thought I would feel pressured or trapped if I took the risk of being honest with myself about whether I am actually hungry.
Part of me still thinks hunger is an emergency, and one thing I specialize in is trying to avoid emergencies. But I drove in my stake that I would do this program, and I'm not going to turn tail at the uncomfortable parts.
So I've been recording my sensations every hour as I was told to do in Beck. Am I hungry? Do I have a desire to eat now? Do I have a craving for something specific? Today I've had some surprises, some nervous spots, and a bit of progress.
I was not hungry today until 10:00. I know it's not recommended to breakfast so late, but unavoidables kept me from eating until then. I did write down at 9 a.m. that I was content, food-wise. I was absorbed in something, which is key of course.
I had a desire for food at 11. I had a desire for food again at 12. Curious that I didn't eat anything. I had plenty to keep me busy until 1 when I knew I was HUNGRY. But I was traveling to an appointment and did not have any options. (Wait--WHO IS this strange woman who just said she had no options? What about drive-thru and the convenience store? I am cackling like a wild woman right now, realizing the significance what happened at 1 pm. I actually told myself, "Yes, I'm hungry, but I can wait until 2:00 when I can have lunch." So now I'm giving myself CREDIT.)
I even forgot about food for nearly the whole hour. I was indeed hungry at 2, but not ravenous. I ate a reasonable lunch.
Now on with the assignment. The process is not as agonizing as I expected. I certainly have my down and desperate intervals on this journey, but today is going OK.
My sister MJ's therapist says "You cannot change what you do not acknowledge." So it's a bit of a relief to put it in black and white: Most of the time I eat because I simply have a desire for food or because I have a craving. Genuine hunger drives only a fraction of the eating I do.
There. Didn't hurt as much as I feared.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
I'm not too interested in the undernourished waifs who display couture or coiffure. What impresses me is you people, SparkPeople, who open your hearts and minds to me day by day and show me fabulous TRENDS I could not have imagined on my own . . .the trends I refer to are new ways of thinking about food, new habits of choice for the way I act around food, and new steps of an active lifestyle.
Especially you guys on the Beck Diet Solution Team: when you share on a forum or a blog or a comment box, it's like one of those Coast Guard icebreakers opening a new path in my stubborn hard-headedness. Reading your thoughts and experiences is almost like "practicing" more healthful thinking and decision-making.
Sure, I blow it, plenty of times. But I hear the echo of AMKRUNNER's Jan 11 blog: "Just because I made poor decisions a couple times today DOES NOT mean I have to write off the entire day... It stops now. I choose to make the best decisions for my body for the rest of the day and night. I choose not to let a slip up determine my fate and make me feel worse about it."
While I'm getting dressed I might ruminate on ID_VANDAL's Jan 21 blog: "I'm back together today and promise NO STRESS EATING!"
MAZZYR's reminders are staying in my head: "I CAN read Advantage Cards and motivate myself daily!"
SLIMMERJESSE's Jan 20 blog title came to mind later: "Do I need this? No! I put it back," which I took the liberty of applying to unplanned food.
When I faced a tough choice, I reviewed the renowned quote NANCY- shared on Jan 18, "...Here is an opportunity for me to celebrate like never before, my own power, my own ability to get myself to do whatever is necessary."
I am even beginning to whisper those scary words KELLYGRN courageously penned on Jan 15, "I have to learn to be hungry & not worry about not having any food."
You guys are giving me a script that really works for me. "When the treats are calling I can say to myself 'I AM THE BOSS OF ME!' " --FLUTTERBY)L( Jan 20
GLAMOURGIRL-9 reminds me, "Slow and steady wins the race!"
What NUSLE5 said on Jan 9 has reverberated for me: "Food is a waste when it's overeating just as much as when I toss it."
So many more have helped me in a concrete way. Too many to list, the SparkPeople whose forum messages or comments or blogs have been exactly the spur that got me over a rough spot. You dear friends are definitely America's top models as far as I'm concerned, practical and effective role models that make the path a little less steep for this often-weary trekker.
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