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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.
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  • GABY1948
    As usual, one that I will keep handy from you! You are GOOD, no emoticon
    1222 days ago
    You are so right, we each face discouragement in many areas on an ongoing basis. Yet, food and weight seems to be so front and centre. I think Tryinghard60 has some really good advice. Sometimes we just need a break and then it all seems so much better. Time to let yourself relax a little.

    I have also found that my weight fluctuates by a few pounds here and there no matter "what I do". I found my nature seems to be one of slight flux. One of the reasons I don't weigh everyday. But overall, I'm making progress, I'm seeing subtle differences and I'll take it. So just keep your eyes open and when you feel discouraged by the scale, find something else that counters it (like maybe a workout felt easier, your clothes felt a little different, you weren't having to distract yourself from hunger as much, that skirt felt a little looser.)

    2584 days ago
    It's just a thought Ellen but there seems to be a tremendous amount of time concentrating on food, exercise and weight. Perhaps doing something you love and losing yourself in it for several hours could help lift this feeling of discouragement and allow you to bring a more balanced approach to the program. Love you girl, hate to see you this way. Mega emoticon
    2584 days ago
  • CMB2048
    I knew your feed was for a Beck Day!!! Only 20 minutes? That could be doable even for me! Got my book yesterday but only got through the introduction so far. But I did stop today and every time I ate I stopped to ask "Why am I doing this?" and "What am I feeling?"
    2584 days ago
  • BIKE82X
    Excellent thoughts - thanks for sharing them.
    2584 days ago
    Powerful blog, Ellen! Yes, you can diminish and deal with disappointment. You point out you have these skills that you regularly use in other areas of your life. You can use these skills to achieve your fitness goals; to stay on track even when moments (or 20 minutes) of discouragement occur.

    You are doing great!! I love your statement that the scale has no choice either. When we eat right and are active the scale has to budge. It will. Absolutely. No choice.

    Thanks for sharing your insight. Very good. Very, very good.
    2584 days ago
  • NANCY-
    In dealing with discouragement... I have found that finding something positive or something to be grateful for helps. If my weight has gone up slightly...
    Are my muscles firmer?
    Am I feeling better due to eating healthier food?
    Sodium intake too much?
    The disappointment is an opportunity to ask "What CAN I do?", reflect and make changes.
    You are strong and will transfer the skills you have.
    2585 days ago
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