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Day 26 - Recognizing Thinking Errors

Monday, February 07, 2011

Beck describes 9 types of thinking errors. I've been looking for sabotaging thoughts; I know I have them and that they have been a big factor in times I've struggled. But yesterday I did not identify one. But we'll apply this chapter to my sabotaging thoughts the day before.

As far as the thoughts about eating all the cantaloupe, I would call that error #6 self-deluding thinking. It just is not true that it does not matter. Following the food plan matters. Correct portions matter.

My obsession with the scale I believe falls into two types of thinking errors. First, it is exagerated thinking, error #9. I exagerate how important one weigh is. And it is negative fotune telling (error #2) when I leap from I gained two pounds today so I'm doing terrible, I'm gaining weight.

When I identify sabotaging thoughts Beck says to identify the thinking error that corresponds. I'll do that.

I'm reading my advantages, no choice, it's not okay and get back on track cards at least twice a day.
I'm eating slowly, sitting down almost all the time, and noticing every bite.
I'm giving myself plenty of credit for engaging in helpful thinking.
I'm doing spontaneous exercise daily.
I'm doing planned exercise regularly.
I'm writing out my food plan each evening.
I check off everything right after I eat.
I have accepted what I have to do to lose weight; I am looking forward to really learning precisely what I need to do to maintain my happy weight.
I identified the thinking mistakes that correspond to my recent sabotaging thoughts.

Ready for Day 27!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TJCADDO 2/7/2011 6:21PM

    I have the Beck book among my things. I will have to check it out!!!

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PARKERB2 2/7/2011 3:26PM

    You have done so great on your journey. Good luck. emoticon

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JOHAL52 2/7/2011 12:30PM

    So well written Marsha!! You continue to be my inspiration!

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 2/7/2011 12:11PM

    Good Luck with # 27!!

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WATERMELLEN 2/7/2011 7:39AM

    Wow!! I find it so encouraging to follow your progress through this plan. It really is a cognitive workout -- strengthening the "thinking" muscles!! Toning 'em up!! Repetition of reading the cards, just like doing three sets with the weights!!

I'm anticipating that the "thinking errors" is another key element of this program.

And: wish that I had hauled myself out of bed for my planned trip to the gym today with the same discipline you've displayed, but will not exaggerate how important one gym trip is: and will walk during my lunch break.

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JHADZHIA 2/7/2011 7:09AM

    Its great this program is really making you think and analyze your self defeating thoughts.. You will conquer them because you are so dedicated to improving yourself!
Go Marsha!!!

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SUZIEQS65 2/7/2011 6:46AM

    emoticon

Keep working at it...*S*

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Day 25 - Dealing with Sabotaging Thoughts

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Yesterday I had a bunch of sabotating thoughts centered around the scale. Actually it was more like doubt, self doubt, and confusion rather than real sabotage. I weighed in at Weight Watchers two full pounds above my weight the week before. I weighed 128.8 this Saturday morning and 126.8 last Saturday morning.

This past week I planned my food the night before using my WW three month journal, followed that plan, and then put my food into the nutrition tracker each evening to see how it did on SparkPeople. I did not deviate from my food plan. I exercised even more than the 6 hours cardio I had set out to do. Last week I had a calorie deficit of nearly 600 calories per day according to what I recorded. So I was very disappointed to have this gain. I kept thinking about it and thinking maybe I'm not eating enough. Maybe I should be eating all my activity points. Then I'd think no, I'm eating too much fruit. I'm not measuring my fruits and vegetables accurately enough (they are free on WW) so that I'm really eating a lot more than what I recorded. I need to be eating less. I need to get my new heart rate monitor out of the box and learn how to use it. Maybe I'm not burning near as many calories as I think. I argued with myself on and off all day. I finally decided to keep on doing what I'm doing for another week. It is undoubtedly a fluctuation. It will probably go away.

All this thinking and concern over my weight is silly. When I am eating good and exercising well I have nothing to worry about and should relax. Hmmm. Easier said than done. Although I don't think my current level of thinking is sabotaging -- I still feel very committed to healthy eating and exercise -- I do think if I don't get my weight in proper perspective I'm setting myself up for discouragement that could then sabotage my efforts.

The one sabotaging thought that I did identify that is more like Beck is looking for happened last evening. I was having 1/4 of a small cantaloupe for an evening snack. There was 1/2 a cantaloupe left, upside down on a plate in the refrigerator. I told myself that I didn't want to get out the cellophane and I might as well eat it all. It didn't matter. Wasn't many calories. Just too much trouble to reach down below the counter. Wait! Wait! I told myself it did matter and I would stick to the food plan. I got out the plastic wrap. No problem. Except ooops! The cantaloupe was good, but it was hard to cut with my spoon. When I brought the rind back into the kitchen I picked up a sharp knife and cut a little more orange flesh off the rind and ate it standing up. Ooops. I caught myself. Didn't mean to do that. I'm suppose to sit down to eat. Oh, well. Not perfect. Pretty good though. Eventually the scale will reward me -- it will, it will, it will.......

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FREELADY 2/6/2011 9:53PM

    So sane. When I am eating good and exercising well I have nothing to worry about. I gotta keep telling myself this.

Love your balanced, rational analysis. Plus calm self-confidence. Sounds to me like a formula for long-term success!

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 2/6/2011 7:57PM

    you are making progress!

relax and enjoy the journey!

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AQUAGIRL08 2/6/2011 3:57PM

    I count my fruits and veggies daily. I usually don't let myself have any more than 3 fruits on a fruit heavy day. That would be 1 banana, 1 cup of cantaloupe or 1 cup of strawberries. The rest has to be veggies. I keep the fruit measured to avoid over eating because of the fructose sugar that they all contain. The veggies, I'm a little looser about measuring unless they are starchy.

I understand totally where you are coming from when you say you obsess about your weight. You want to change all of those behaviors that landed you at your unhealthy weight. That is a place where you never want to return. Have you ever tried just eating pre-measured food only? (you would pre-measure it of course) It would be like being on a homemade weight system kind of like some of the name brand ones only for weight maintenance. You could make a schedule of little meals for your day, measure out snacks in plastic bags and set up breakfasts,lunches and dinner ideas and post them. Then only pick combinations from your lists. It would even work for eating out. That's what I do for weight loss. Just a thought....

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JHADZHIA 2/6/2011 10:12AM

    I don't know that I agree with free fruit on WW. After all, fruit is sweet with natural sugars and had good carbs. Cantaloupe is fairly sweet and my favorite, strawberries can add up quickly. A banana when properly weighed rather then just saying you had a small, medium or large makes a difference too. I guess I just notice it more, being vegetarian and eating more of them.
The bottom line though is, you are doing GREAT with your healthy lifestyle!! Don't let fluctuations in the scale derail you. But it is important to make sure your calories are appropriate for your fitness activity. You really can't beat full and accurate tracking.
Hope your gain proves to be a false one and you get back to normal soon..

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WATERMELLEN 2/6/2011 9:52AM

    This is so poignant, captures with perfect honesty the kind of struggles we all experience when the scale doesn't do what we want it to do!!

My weight this morning +2 from yesterday morning after a day of "perfect" eating, hitting my calorie/carb/protein/fat targets plus 2 hours vigorous cross country skiing: that's what the scale says, but I really cannot believe that what it says measures where I'm at.

Oh well. Oh well. Oh well.

I do not want to obsess about my weight. I want to think like a thin person.

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Beck - Day 24 Continued; Preparing for 25, 26, and 27

Saturday, February 05, 2011

One suggestion in chapter/day 24 is to add up the hours that you struggle. Beck's point is that often the struggle is between 20 minutes and 2 hours several times a week; most of the time the dieters are not struggling. I think this is a very good point. Back in 1986 or 87 when I just gave up the struggle and chose to gain weight rather than struggle any more, I wish I had added up my difficult hours. I'm sure it wasn't more than a small fraction of the time. This exercise helps put some perspective on whole issue of how difficult it is to lose or maintain weight.

One other important point in this chapter is not to think too far in the future. I remember thinking I can't keep this up the rest of my life. Well, that's not the point. I can keep it up this minute and if I take it minute by minute it will all add up.

So there are 2 very good points I was about to overlook. Day 25 is about sabotaging thoughts, Day 26 about types of thinking mistakes in these sabotaging thoughts and Day 27 has seven questions to analyze and correct the sabotaging thoughts. So, I need to be looking for current sabotaging thoughts in order to do my Beck work. I've only caught a couple of these thoughts so far. I'll be on the alert today!!

Yesterday I did make a mistake. I wrote I hadn't weighed 124 since 7th grade. That isn't true. I forgot that in 10th grade I lost 60 pounds, from 172 to 112. It took me 9 months to lose it and 3 months to gain it back with virtually no maintenance time. I might not always remember it just right, but it is true that I have struggled with my weight for years and years and years.

By the way, my daughter found several pictures of me at over 200 pounds back in 1998 and 99. They aren't digital, though, so if I want to post them I'll have to figure out how to get them scanned. She looked at one and said, "That doesn't even look like you, mom." And then there was a series of pictures of me attending her performance of "L'il Abner" in high school. She said that I just looked really blown up and bloated in them. I'll try to get one or two posted when I can.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAPPYSOUL91 2/6/2011 9:46AM

    Said it before and will say it again...great blog series. You have really learned about yourself!

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KALIGIRL 2/5/2011 5:11PM

    You are a great role model for sparkers whose weight has yo-yoed.
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AQUAGIRL08 2/5/2011 2:09PM

    I noticed that I don't have many pictures of myself for the last 10-11 years or so since I've been over weight. One reason for this is because I've always been the one taking the pictures. The other reason is that I don't like the way I look so I hide from the camera. (I didn't used to be heavy until menopause hit.) It would be interesting to have some before, before, after pictures! LOL

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WATERMELLEN 2/5/2011 11:29AM

    Thanks, Marsha! Yesterday when I was unable to eat the way I usually do (because of a must-attend conference which included food) and chose not to eat much at all rather than to eat the high fat trigger foods on offer, I got hungry. And told myself "hunger is not an emergency". And reviewed my reasons for losing weight.

The hunger really did not last long. My satisfaction at not eating inappropriately (although I did have a few veggies "standing up" at the reception) has lasted a whole lot longer!

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JOHAL52 2/5/2011 11:00AM

    I posted my last two year photos (what there are of them, not many full shots, mostly head shots) in my first blog yesterday. Will post an update to the bathing suit photo on Monday. Way to go on confronting--and conquering--those sabotaging thoughts!!!

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 2/5/2011 10:41AM

    I threw out many of my earlier pictures because they were too depressing.

Right or wrong, it was a conscious decision on my part.

It is nice to have some before pictures!

WTG Marsha!! This time you are not putting it back on again!!

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Beck - Day 24 - Dealing with Disappointment

Friday, February 04, 2011

I would have greater use for a chapter on dealing with euphoria than a chapter dealing with disappointment!! I mean overall I'm just thrilled to be where I am. even if I'm .8 pounds over my happy weight. Today this chapter does not apply to me very well.

However, it did happen to me. In the mid 80's I lost 50 pounds and got down to my goal at that time, 143. I stayed there about 6 months and gained up to 155. My doctor said that was okay and that became my new goal. I stayed around that weight for about a year. I can still picture where I was when the thought occurred to me that it was just too hard, that I could not keep it up. I was taking on a much more responsible and stressful job and thought that in order to be successful I just could not be focused on eating and exercise. Then I adapted a new rule. I said I could eat anything I wanted as long as I did not binge, and I knew exactly what I meant by binget. For the next five years I did not binge once. However, I gained 10 pounds a year for 5 years. I know I must guard against such thinking. For one thing it is faulty thinking. In my twenties I learned how to comfort myself and quit depression eating. In my sixties I'm finally learning how to calm myself and quit anxious eating.

Yesterday:
I read my advantages response card, my sit down to eat card, NO CHOICE card, It's Not Okay to Eat Unplanned Food card, and my Get Back on Track cards twice.
I ate slowly every time.
I gave myself credit for helpful eating behaviors (and activity) repeatedly. I enjoyed the way my body feels thin.
I did spontaneous exercise.
I did a great cardio and strength training workouts.
I monitored my eating in writing right after I ate.
I said oh, well, I'd like to eat more at this buffet but I'd rather live at my happy weight.
I did not weigh myself yesterday, but I did this morning, and I will report it to my diet coach. (Hey, Val, I weighed 126.8 this morning. Only .8 over my happy weight.)

I caught a sabotaging thought first thing this morning. I woke up thinking I feel skinny. Maybe I weigh 124. This is fantasy thinking. I haven't weighed 124 since 1978 on a fast and I only weighed that or below -- got down to 121 -- for three starving weeks. (Before that I hadn't been 124 since 7th grade.) I stopped. I did my Beck. I said to myself day before yesterday when I weighed I was 127.2. Today I will weigh between 125.2 and 129.2. I couldn't stop other thoughts like "but I weighed 125.4 just a few days ago. I could be 124. No, you ate out last night and had more sodium than usual. It is more likely you are up. No, I feel thin. Today I will weigh between 125.2 and 129.2. Yeah. Okay. We'll see." Getting more tuned into this internal dialog is a hoot! Man I argue with myself a lot and never really realized it!!

The next sabotaging thought was about how much fruit I can eat this morning. On Weight Watcher fruit is free and I frequently just put "fruit" on my meal plan. I think I need to specify amount so that it is NO CHOICE and I don't struggle over whether to have1 or 2 or 3 or 4 servings. This morning I had three. Two is enough. Not a big mistake. I'll be fine.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 2/4/2011 9:16PM

    I put on 10 pounds a year for 7 years while commuting by bus, going back to school, under a whole lot of stress -- and I believe (if my math isn't too shaky, and a pound is 3,500 excess calories) that represents only about 100 "extra" calories a day!! Not so terrible on any given day-- excess only by one large apple, say. Cumulative effect: terrible!!

So after 7 years -- 70 pounds! Plus a few more for good measure . . . 80 pounds altogether which I had to strip off.

Love the internal dialogue about "what I will weigh today": my, that sounds familiar!! Good for you, dealing with those sabotaging thoughts.

You are doing great and deserve a whole lot of credit for learning all these "thinking thin" cognitive strategies.

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KALIGIRL 2/4/2011 1:03PM

    You should be thrilled - you are doing emoticon

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PARKERB2 2/4/2011 12:58PM

    I've been doing the fruits and veggies, Power Foods, in Weight Watchers too. I am up and down so I assume I'm eating a little too much of these as things are not good for you in too much quanity. So I think I'll go back to points for a month or too. Will try to fill up with the Power Foods but I can have some of the not Power Foods. I admire how your maintaining your weight. .8 is not bad. Keep Sparking. emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 2/4/2011 12:34PM

    Glad you caught the 2 sabotaging thought in time....great job

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JOHAL52 2/4/2011 10:45AM

    Great going Marsha!!!! And as always I found your blog inspiring and enlightening. The truth is, as we have discovered, we can't eat anything we want and not expect to put weight on unless we spend the majority of our day exercising. If we don't have the time or willpower to do that then the eating has to be cut back.
I am SO looking forward to being with you in the 120s in a few months emoticon

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JHADZHIA 2/4/2011 10:18AM

    That is interesting fruits are free on WW. I guess people don't eat enough of them, and that may be one way of encouraging them to eat more..
I won't ever get a fractional weighing scale, that is too much.. You see how much you are obsessing with it there.
I have no doubt you will make it to a weight you feel comfortable with.
Keep up the great work!

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SLENDERELLA61 2/4/2011 10:14AM

    Yes, Linda, since November when WW went to PointsPlus, fruits are free. Not in any amount, but up to satisfaction. Juice is not allowed for free. Drained fruit that was packed in juice is free. Dates, raisins, all dried fruit are not free. Bananas are free, but my leader says don't expect to lose weight if you are eating 4 bananas a day.

Also, Linda, I think the average American gains 9 pounds a decade, not a year. I was gaining almost a pound a month.

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 2/4/2011 9:47AM

    "on WW fruit is free" - all fruits? In any amounts? Am I reading that right? Wow!!

Sort of Atkins with meat! I was totally unaware.

Anywho - you are doing great!!

I read your blog and felt sad - because I could relate to the weight gain of 10 lbs per year for 5 years - this is actually the average. I believe SP has an article where it states the average person gains 9 lbs per year.
*** I am editing this because Marsha says my number is way too high. Since I cannot find what I read, I am doing this edit.***

I averaged 2.5 lbs annually for 20 years - but you know what? That is still 50 lbs!

I am just so thankful that you and I have found SparkPeople! It really helps!!

I could be wrong here - but as long as you are 126 you are at happy weight. Before the days of digital scales, 126.0 or 126.9 are still 126.

Does that help?

Love you,
Linda

Comment edited on: 2/4/2011 4:27:26 PM

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Beck - Day 23 - Dealing with Unfairness

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Some people think dieting, having to limit their food intake, is unfair. I don't currently have those thoughts. In fact, I often give thanks that I'm 5'6". I know that 1200 calories is the minimum recommended even if you are only 4'9". If 1200 was my planned amount and I would gain on 1300 I'm not sure I would have ever lost the weight. It seems like whatever my target calorie range, I'd usually go just a little over. I think about those people with RA and other painful conditions. Jhadhzia is an example of one who workouts through pain. My hero! I workout and feel good. How lucky am I??!!

My own feelings of unfairness are mostly around all the minutes, hours, days, months, years I spent so ashamed of myself and my behavior. I think of all I missed out on due to fat -- prom painfully comes to mind. I try not to blame my mother for raising me fat. I know she did the best she knew to do and never meant me harm. (I was put on my first diet at one year of age, skim milk.) It is unfortunate that my mother was absolutely convinced that some very unhelpful beliefs were accurate in regard to food and dieting.

I'm not quite ready to say, "Oh, well." I was raised fat. I had poor role models. I was taught all wrong thinking about dieting and food. OH, well, oh well, oh well. Not sure I've quite got it. The pain of the fat years is still very stinging. I need to let it go. It isn't fair that I grew up fat, that I was taught bad eating before I had the ability to know any better. It isn't fair that I didn't have a prom date and that I spent many, many hours feeling so bad and undesirable. It is bad that no adult close to me understood how the fat limited my teen and early adult life; that the expectations for me were so unrealistically high and oppressive.

I want now to say that it all brought me here. That it is all my life. I wouldn't change a thing. But I'm not there yet. I've read some amazing revelations from other Sparkers who went through abuse and far worse than I experienced. I've read of amazing forgiveness and acceptance. I can get there, too.

As far as Beck goes, I don't use unfairness as an excuse for eating now. But the chapter made me realize I'm still working through the unfairness of my fat youth.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 2/3/2011 9:00PM

    Positive, cathartic blog.
emoticonfor sharing - you're on your way to letting go!

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WATERMELLEN 2/3/2011 8:33PM

    This is such a powerfully honest blog. Unfairness really does sting. And it's so hard to bear the memories of past unfairness-- fat related or otherwise -- or even the current unfairness that some people seem to be able to eat whatever they like, or not exercise, and nevertheless don't look fat. (They may not be "healthy" from a cardiovascular perspective -- but they aren't stigmatized or ostracized!). So why can't I eat a giant bag of potato chips every day? And french fries with my cheeseburger (not that I can or do eat a cheeseburger very often either!!).

Oh well oh well oh well. I'm practising this one. Hope it becomes more persuasive/convincing with repetition! Because just as sitting down to eat may be the core action, I'm suspecting that "getting over" unfairness may be the core attitudinal change.



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RAYLINSTEPHENS 2/3/2011 4:19PM

    At some point I let it go. Being obese in elementary school was not fun - and yet I knew fatter children that were happier and better adjusted because they were accepted by their parents and thought of as wonderful and beautiful.

I had a parent that although I was loved, I was also shamed daily for my size. As though I was responsible for the food being brought into the house and put on my plate.

One day you wake up and realize that if the worst that can be said is, "Linda is fat" - then "Linda" did pretty darn good. I'd rather be known as fat than as a thief or a liar. The day I accepted my fat self is the same day I found true happiness.

Now I have it all! You will too!!

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JOHAL52 2/3/2011 12:23PM

    Wonderful blog Marsha. I would have been very happy to have grown another three inches to 5'6! Or to have had a few of my 5'3" inches allotted to my legs :)
And I can certainly relate to your feelings about mom. From my birth, when mom thought I should be a "bonnie baby" and fed me mashed potatoes with plenty of butter.... Well, I understand. And we are NOT our pasts, we learn from them :)

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AQUAGIRL08 2/3/2011 12:04PM

    You are very wise to evaluate where you've been and where you are now. If you don't know why something occurred it's hard to fix it. I think you've been brutally honest with yourself. That takes away all the excuses and lets you see the "why" of things. Kudos to you Marsha!

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MEXGAL1 2/3/2011 10:13AM

    Good for you to look at everything and evaluate where you are today and where you came from. I really can identify with your journey as I was a fat teen as well. Very painful. There was not near enough education and help back when I was growing up. I sometime wish that I had known then what I know now as I am sure I could have done things differently. And now just getting ready to turn 59 years old this month I see my sagging skin and know that had I lost and kept the weight off earlier in my life it wouldn't be so droppy.
But we have to love our bodies and treat them with respect which means to eat right to be healthy and strong.
Best of everything to you. You sure are beautiful now with a beautiful family.
Sallie

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JHADZHIA 2/3/2011 10:00AM

    Even though my diet was unhealthy growing up, I wasn't fat. Staples would be mac & cheese, hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. and pop. Sweetened cereal and 2 % milk.
I am responsible for getting fat as I did it in my 20's when I was responsible for my own food. I was eating what I had learned though. I missed my prom due to being in the hospital with a collapsed lung. I have no regrets, I had no friends and would have been a wall flower anyway, insulted and teased by others.. I gave up pop on my own. One day I simply got sick of it and couldn't stand it any more. I don't miss or crave it.
I never much liked meat and so it wasn't hard giving it up, but pasta and cheese were huge staples. My lifestyle change has been gradual, in bits and pieces long before I found Sparks. Was sorry it took 28 years to get it right lol.
Here is to making our twilight years the best they can be..

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HAPPYSOUL91 2/3/2011 9:58AM

    excellent blog, your series is fantastic

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