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What's So Unfair? Beck Day 23

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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Habits of a lifetime are so difficult to overcome but recognising them is definitely a huge step towards changing them. You are doing a fantastic and very analytical job of where you are at, and, unfortunately, life was never meant to be fair but, when we are given such a head start with everything else it is only right that in this one area we should try our best to do the best we can, and YOU ARE. You are doing it!
    2583 days ago
    Fantastic blog, Ellen! You've nailed it. So glad that Beck is so in sync with you. I appreciate that you are truly working this program. I suspect you will gain much from it. I know I have. -Marsha
    2584 days ago
    What a great blog post! I so hear you about the huge blessing of having been born in this country as opposed to a third world country. I certainly did nothing to earn or deserve it. I am on day 4 and love that the thinking is beginning to permeate my consciousness. I know I'm going to have some real challenges ahead but I also know that it's what I need to do to stop the yo-yo cycle I've fallen into.

    Keep up the good work! emoticon
    2584 days ago
    Great sharing, writing, and honesty. You will have great success in this. I find looking at all the wonderful food i can have. That helps me. Thanks so much for sharing your heart.

    Debbie emoticon
    2584 days ago
    Like most things in life, it's all about our perspective isn't it. You continue to be a wonderful voice of reason and inspiration for me! Way to go. emoticon

    2584 days ago
  • CMB2048
    I say these things to myself all the time about how unfair it is that I have a lifelong problem with my weight. But your reminder of how much in our life we have to be thankful for is beautiful!
    2584 days ago
  • NANCY-
    What a beautiful blog.
    From my misidentifying "spontaneity" to my sense of entitlement, you opened my mind to see the error in my thoughts.
    You pointed out what wonderful gifts are available to us,
    what IS not fair is the out-of-control self-indulgence(love the reality of that term) that I have been practicing.
    We do have the power to change and you are so right in asking "What's so unfair?"
    2584 days ago
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