The Seven Questions Response to Sabotaging Thoughts: Beck Day 27
Saturday, February 26, 2011
This is quite the mental work out!!
First, I am to identify my most frequent "sabotaging thoughts". OK, by far it's the persistent thought that Beck takes way too much time in a way which is inelegant, narcissistic, obsessive. I don't want to be obsessive about food: I keep telling myself that naturally thin people don't think about food so much, and I'm supposed to be learning to think like a thin person.
(Yes, I have other sabotaging thoughts: but this is the ONE that gains most traction!!).
Next, I'm to apply the following seven questions to the sabotaging thought(s):
1. What kind of an error in thinking (of the 9 thinking errors in the book, or the 12 in the workbook) am I making?
Exaggeration: a sweeping statement of the basis of a small set of data. It's not really taking all that much additional time to follow the Beck program.
2. What evidence do I have that this thought is true? or untrue?
"Docketing" the amount of time it is actually taking me to: preplan my food (maybe 3 minutes a day on the Nutrition tracker, and no additional time because I was doing that anyhow after the fact); preplan my exercise (probably another 2 minutes, and again no additional time because I was doing that anyhow after the fact); make my lunches and salads etc (have been doing that all along anyhow, no additional time); read my response cards (seconds, really); check off the daily tasks in the workbook (again, minutes at most); blog about the process (optional, I'm doing that mostly to reinforce my own commitment and possibly be useful to others at SP who might be thinking about trying Beck/could find the initial outlay a bit pricey . . . : not Beck's requirement so doesn't count). So the evidence is: untrue.
3. Is there another way to view this situation?
Yup: been tracking for over 18 months anyway: and tracking as preplanning is way more effective because it helps with the "NO CHOICE" response: I'm not longer dithering about whether to eat or not, whether to exercise or not.
4. What's the most realistic outcome of this situation?
It will continue to take the time it takes, and I will become less "obsessive" as the skills become more natural.
5. What is the effect of my believing this thought or what could be the effect of changing my thinking?
If I continue to believe that Beck requires too much time to the point of inelegant obsession, I'll be justifying quitting it -- or more likely, fading away. Right now I'm calling it obsession because I just don't want to preplan. It's covert rebellion! I'm still struggling with the notion preplanning constrains my choices and I'd like more "spontaneity": to eat standing up, to inhale "ounces" of cheddar cheese which are really 4 ounces; to treat hunger as an emergency requiring immediate untracked inhalations of high calorie foods, and so on. So if I change my thinking about this, then I'm more likely to continue in a matter-of-fact way (not really requiring any more time or attention than I was spending before) but with a better result. Less yo-yoing, better health, less likelihood of breast cancer recurrence, continuing to be able to wear all my 8s and a few (generous) 6s!!
6. What advice would I give a friend? Stick with it, it's working for ya, and in time will become easy and natural. How do I know how a thin person thinks anyhow? The likelihood is that most naturally thin person are matter-of-fact about experiencing hunger from time to time, don't treat it as an emergency, maybe think of it as enhancing the whole experience of eating when it's time.
7. What should I do now (ie when in the moment, coping with the sabotaging "this is obsessive" thought?) Distract myself, read my cards, ignore hunger (which is not an emergency) and employ all the cognitive strategies I've been learning. Keep on keeping on.
I've copied the seven questions onto a card and added them to my stack.
This is one of the best techniques Beck offers!!
I have to use my brain to make my life work. And what is a more worthwhile use of my time than that?