Beck tells us that's how to respond to disappointment if we fail to meet our weight loss goals; or when (not if, WHEN) we feel deprived or disgruntled. And that we should remind ourselves that "oh well" is essentially how we deal with every other unavoidable disappointment or unpleasant task that life throws up at us.
Don't want to go to work? "Oh, well". Gotta do that. And so, do it.
Not happy about the size of my credit card bill this month? "Oh, well." It is -- not what it is (thanks, NOTABOUTTHEFACE, I strongly dislike the commonplace mantra, "it is what it is", too).
It is what I made it. And I'm the gal whose gotta deal with it. Yeah. Me.
So this morning after I weighed myself, I happened to pick up the Saturday edition of the National Post, a great Canadian newspaper. And I was reading about soldiers wounded in Afghanistan, including Lance Corporal Tyler Steven Huffman, age 22. Grievously wounded by an IED December 3, 2010; without the use of his legs, rehabilitating in Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Centre in Richmond, VA. where he is visited almost daily by his 24 year old wife and their 18 month old son. He is quoted as saying: "Being paralyzed doesn't bother me. If I never walk again -- oh well."
Here's the link if you want to read the story:
I added his words to the back of my Beck Day 20 "Oh, Well" card so that I remember this courageous young man, Tyler Steven Huffman. And put my own much more modest struggles into perspective.
Beck learned her own lesson about acceptance from the severe illness of her young son, who for a period of some six years was for medical reasons on a very strict diet: mostly fats, small amount of protein, almost no carbs. He very quickly learned to be matter-of-fact about this necessary deprivation and rigid control. Almost no sugar, no snacks, no treats for close to six years. They put a gold star on a chart for him daily until he learned the "oh, well" technique. Within weeks, there were pretty much no further complaints from him.
Beck is slim. But she was apparently never grossly overweight: she took off and has maintained about a 15 pound weight loss, using her own cognitive psychology strategies. So I can well imagine that Beck could not permit herself to complain about her own weight loss/weight maintenance rigours when faced with the matter-of-fact acceptance of much greater restrictions demonstrated daily by her young son. Oh, well.
I'm not really liking the preplanning of my food and the preplanning of my exercise. I'm struggling with resentment that others don't have to work as hard as I do to be slim. It seems a bit inelegant, excessive, obsessive. Oh, well. When I accept that this is the way I will have to manage my metabolism for life -- because it's evident to me that I do have to track and plan to manage my metabolism -- then I will stop struggling too. Stop being resentful. And then it will be much easier.
If a small child can learn "oh, well" and if a paralyzed young father- soldier can learn "oh, well" then I can too.
Oh, well. Oh, well. Oh, well.
And -- the fact is, after all my panic yesterday preparing for weigh-in, the scales today show me at 152, down from 155.5 yesterday and 156 a week ago. I"m fitting very nicely into that black leather size 6 pencil skirt with room to spare in the waistband. And my size six dark green pant suit. And a couple of other "challenging" outfits . . .
However, I'm not thinking that 152 is permanent -- I'm anticipating there may well be fluctuations up again from that point. Weight is not a steady progression downwards.
But the Beck diet solution is working. And what's pretty much certainly more important, when it's time for the next weigh-in I believe I'll be prepared to accept the results with greater equanimity. Because this is a life long process. Not a one-time goal.