Diminish and Deal with Discouragement: Beck Day 24
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
It's just not worth the effort. It's too much trouble. My weight is up again .5 pounds to 152.5 even though I've been measuring and tracking and exercising and doing everything with complete compliance and . . . I might just as well give up.
Beck anticipates this mental response too.
She points out that discouragement generally lasts at most for about 20 minutes. Although it's daunting to think about measuring and tracking like this for the rest of my life -- and easy for me to ridicule myself about the vain obsession that would actually persist in measuring and tracking --- the fact is I don't have to measure and track for the rest of my life. I just have to do it for today. I just have to stick with the discouragement for the next 20 minutes. Until it diminishes. Until I've dealt with it. Until it disappears altogether. And I can do that.
Don't I deal with discouragement in many other areas of life? Every file reaches a point where resolution appears to be impossible. Sometimes I lose a case. Sometimes getting along with my son or my daughter appears to be impossible. Or my husband. Yeah.
But: I've learned to anticipate that this too will pass. That when I get up the next morning, everything looks different. Or next week. Or maybe not until next month (because some of those problems can be really intractable. And can take much longer than 20 minutes to be resolved).
And if I hadn't learned that -- I would not be able to sustain my career. In fact, would never have survived law school. And we would not have two adult kids, moving towards independence, nice people of whom we are proud. And we would not be celebrating our 32nd wedding anniversary this summer.
So what is it about food -- and only about food -- that makes it OK to give in to momentary discouragement? I'm going to be eating again in a couple of hours. I'm going to be officially weighing myself again in a week. My weight will remain stable if I continue with the strategies I am learning. No choice applies to me. But it also applies to the weight: it has no choice either. So long as I track.
There is nothing to be discouraged about. As I practice these skills, they will get easier. And in the meantime, I'm resilient. I can diminish discouragement. I can deal with it.