Friday, February 25, 2011
Yesterday was a looooooong day -- got to bed late after my meeting, did not get to the gym this morning (but have made it three times this week).
I'd been highly successful at anticipating the foods which would be available at the dinner portion of my meeting and preplanned/tracked accordingly. Had preplanned for one glass of wine, chicken breast, 1 medium potato, veggies: found a little fresh fruit for dessert (ignoring the roast beef, gravy, rolls, butter, lavish displays of pies, tortes, cakes . . . left 'em there). Ate slowly, sitting down. Received quite a number of compliments on how good I'm looking!!
And came home to good news from my mammogram: it's been two years, and I'm all clear. The relief is something I could pretty much slice up and put on a plate: it's that solid. Exhale. Yeah!! It used to be that five years was the milestone but two years now is considered pretty good. And this was especially poignant for me because one of my colleagues who has been battling massive breast cancer issues, still in chemo with more surgery and radiation to come, was being honoured for her courage and was present.
So for today, not only do I want to spend a bit more time on the "thinking errors" and just generally on "balance" and perspective issues -- , I can see that doing so is fundamental to the next step, "mastering the seven question technique".
The upcoming weekend will be a better time to tackle that next step.
Happy Friday, everyone!!
Thursday, February 24, 2011
This is kinda fun and reminds me of a previous existence when I studied and taught logic! Plus: the "cognitive" dimension is (ahem) intellectually appealing . . . Beck is training the brain, for sure.
So: all of us make predictable errors in our thinking. And of course more so when there is an emotional incentive (excessive attachment to food, so rationalization hunger driven!!) to do so.
The workbook has a handy chart setting out 12 such thinking errors with typical examples.
All or nothing: I'm either perfect at this, or I might as well just give up. This morning I turned off the alarm after a sleepless night and grabbed a few more zzzzs. Which meant I had to delete the preplanned workout from today's fitness tracker. Not perfect: but no giving up, however.
MInd reading: if I don't have dessert at the professional meeting/dinner I'm attending this evening, people will think I'm weird. Actually, probably no one will care or notice -- and if they do, so what.
Dysfunctional rules: such as, can't waste food. For sure I'm planning to waste food tonight. It's a sit-down dinner, I don't know what I will be served, I've tracked in some likely candidates, and I'll be carefully sequestering the portion of whatever to a reasonable size. I can waste food and plan to do just that.
And there are a whole bunch more. Beck suggests that we make additional response cards of the thinking errors that recur most frequently: I'll be paying attention and doing that.
This is a technique which appeals to me, which I believe is highly workable for me, and which will be a useful tool going forward. I'm a logical thinker by training, by personality and by profession. But not so much when it comes to food! I make lots of thinking mistakes in this area of my life. In a light hearted way, this promises to be an amusing exercise with a real pay off.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
In the workbook, Beck calls Day 25 "paying attention to thinking", whereas in her book itself she directs us to "identify sabotaging thoughts".
How do I know I'm having sabotaging thoughts? I feel tempted to eat something I shouldn't (wanted to have a granola bar last night, was salivating at the smell of they guys' turkey dinner); I actually eat something I shouldn't (nope); I feel tempted to skip some part of the program (tried to talk myself into staying in bed this morning instead of going to the gym: but went); I feel unhappy about some element of dieting (yeah: in particular with the obsessive focus the Beck program requires).
So the sabotaging thought include ideas like this:
Dieting is too hard. (Not just too hard, but somehow inelegant and narcissistic, both).
I don't care. (Well, actually . . . I do. But this much???)
It's okay to eat this. (Would have still been in my range with the granola bar: but it wasn't in my plan)
I'm really hungry. (And I was: but this too passes: went to bed instead)
No one will know. (Except me. And my waist).
So today's a day for reflection and being conscious of those fleeting rationalizations. I'll be doing that. But I'm mindful of the comments on yesterday's blog: there is more to life than rigid "dieting" and I've got to find a balance that feels more atune with my own personality and range of interests.
The sky was dark with brilliant stars at 5:30 a.m.when we left for the gym; the sunrise over the trees through the east window of the weights room vivid and warm. I treated myself to a German chocolate cake coffee (0 calories). On our return home, Charlie greeted us at the door with wheeks of pleasure. My husband made me laugh as we waltzed around the kitchen, preparing our breakfasts and getting in each other's ways; a week ago, we were in the emergency ward. I've got some interesting work to do today. And I'm going to wear my size six dark green pantsuit: yeah!
Balance, balance, balance. Maintaining weight loss is important for me. It's important because I want to be healthy and enjoy my rich and meaningful life. And look good, of course, as good as I can. Which makes life more fun!! But that's why: weight loss is not an end in itself, it's a means to an end which is complex and multifaceted and sparkling. So I'll be thinking about that too. Thinking about that.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Beck is astonishing me with her ability to anticipate, over and over again, what the next stage of my mental response to her program will be. Beck is prepared with a counteractive cognitive strategy, almost before I know I need it.
What have I got to feel resentment about? How is my life unfair? Because I can't eat whatever I want whenever I want? Really?? That's it???
But of course I do find myself thinking that way -- actually seething (shamefully) with resentment about "food unfairness". How ridiculous that sounds. But Beck "knew" that I would.
"I can't eat like other people." Actually, I live with two naturally thin people . . . and although they eat more than I do (not surprisingly, being males and much taller and far more carnivorous! ) I notice that I am learning to eat more like they do: no panic, taking time to prepare what they want, not stuffing their faces with what ev the minute they walk in the door.
"I have such a lousy metabolism." Maybe. Or maybe I was just scarfing back too many random "tablespoonfuls" of peanut butter. Too many "ounces" of full fat cheddar cheese. While standing up so they didn't count -- or didn't count fully. Anyhow, if the worst bodily inconvenience I can complain about is a too-efficient metabolism: time to get over myself.
"I can't be spontaneous in my eating." No, I can't. Because what I've been pleased to think about as "spontaneity" has actually been out-of-control self-indulgence. I can be spontaneous about other stuff, however. Spontaneous enjoyment of the red veined amaryllis slowly blooming on my kitchen window sill. The downy woodpecker on my bird feeder. A gorgeous winter sunset through the pines in the park behind my house. Sunlight sparkling on wind-sculpted snow drifts. Yeah. There is room for spontaneity that involves more meaningful joy than . . . stuffing my face. Not to forget: spontaneous exercise (About which, I've noticed, I'm not quite so . . . . assertive in demanding my "rights"!!)
Fact is, if my life is "unfair" it's been by any rational measure grossly unfair in my favour. It's unfair that I was born in this country with its amazing freedoms and civility and beauty; to reasonably well-educated and financially comfortable parents; that I had many opportunities to enjoy music, art, sports, reading and formal education that even people from my own "privileged" background by and large did not; that health care has been there whenever I or any member of my family has needed it, without cost and without delay; that my children have grown up so well; that my home is spacious and pleasant; that (this, above all) my husband is so dear and so kind. Did I do anything in particular to deserve all this "unfairness" which has been bestowed upon me? No. Not. I can only endeavour to deserve it, somehow. After the fact. And stop complaining because I cannot in fact eat whatever I want whenever I want.
Actually, of course, I can. But I cannot eat whatever I want whenever I want and be slim. Healthy. Proud of myself.
And it would be somehow more "fair" if I could?
Get a grip, gal.
So: I will pull out my list of reasons to lose weight. I will remember to eat everything sitting down, and slowly, and truly enjoying it. I will refuse to categorize hunger as an emergency. I will use distraction techniques when beset with cravings. I will continue to preplan my food (have my lunch for tomorrow already prepared and tracked: a stir fry for a change); and I will continue to preplan my fitness (although skiing planned for today won't be possible, not enough snow: will have to substitute a trip to the gym instead).
Beck has deftly exposed and skewered that sulky pouty persistent sense of "entitlement" that is so deeply unattractive. In me. Which I need to resist. Because I don't like it. About food, or about anything else, actually. And I'm not going back there.
It would be unfair to myself to permit it.
Get An Email Alert Each Time WATERMELLEN Posts