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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?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    "I have to use my brain to make my life work. And what is a more worthwhile use of my time than that?".....EXACTLY. We can use our minds to cure our bodies. I know it and believe it with everything I am. I wish I knew how a thin person thinks. For me, I'm shocked lately...like wow, there's a whole new way of thinking required once you hit 40! I missed 4 days due to my own self sabotage and could feel the fat just waiting to settle in happily and stay for awhile. But nope, I fought back again today, eating as healthy as I could added with cardio and JM shred kicked those fat cells right out the door!

    You can do this....you already are :)

    2554 days ago
    You cut right to the heart of the matter. This is prime brain food and soul food. Thank you so much for letting us listen in on your musings. It is very, very valuable to me.

    The resistance you describe here ---I have felt like that many times: about arithmetic, about learning to type, learning to use the computer . . . I did quite a lot of composing and editing and researching before computers, and I remember so clearly fussing to myself in 1993 because it was such a hassle trying to do those processes with the computer. But praise God I did persevere . . . I somehow was convinced that I would get "over the hump" of the learning curve and it would pay off; and my husband was very encouraging also. That's a lot of rambling just to say that now the computer is a fabulous and beloved tool, and of course I would never go back to the old way, BUT because I do remember exactly the feelings and thoughts you describe in this blog ( this is taking way too much time, this is more trouble than it should be, etc.) I have great HOPE and ANTICIPATION that it will eventually become second nature to us! Won't it be grand!!?!
    2554 days ago
    You will get there Ellen.
    2554 days ago
    Thank you for this blog!!!
    2554 days ago
    Cool! I can see many applications for that review. What are the 9 (12) thinking errors? That could be useful to know :D
    2554 days ago
    You are cracking me up! It's like Beck is taking you kicking and screaming!

    I can see how thoughtfully you are applying the concepts and doing the work. I have no doubt that you will begin to THINK like the thin person you already look like on the outside. How wonderful will that be?

    2554 days ago
    Brilliant blog! You have nailed the process and applied it to a sabotaging thought I think everyone using this process must have at some time or another. Simply, I think the Beck process is worth the time and effort. AND you are right. Before Beck I was mostly tracking afterwards anyway, so really it is very little more time, with much better results.

    Thank you for helping me see this technique more clearly! I am more motivated than ever to apply it whenever I identify sabotaging thoughts. We can use our logic to change our behavior and improve our lives!!
    2554 days ago
  • JOHAL52
    Excellent blog. I admit to having similar sabotaging thoughts. Your blog was so helpful in clarifying the "effort" involved and seeing just how worth it this all is.
    Thank you!
    2554 days ago
    Hey, thank you! There's a lot of us working on the self-Sabotage thing on Sparkpeople today!!! It is so helpful to rethink our sabotage through with SF!
    2554 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/26/2011 11:43:35 AM
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