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Overcoming Toxic Thoughts

Thursday, June 13, 2013

This week has been a big challenge for me. This past weekend was our anniversary and I ate, drank and skipped work outs. I "gained" 5 pounds as a result -- air quotes because I've learned enough to know it wasn't really 5 pounds of fat.

But apparently, that's not enough to stop me from beating myself up. I spent the entire week trying to move past a toxic mixture of guilt, shame and self-defeat. For the most part, I stayed the straight and narrow regardless. After a huge celebratory dinner on Monday night, I've since stayed in my calorie range and made my workouts. But that hasn't stopped me from feeling like a failure.

I get it: it's all in my head. But that's the problem. I LIVE in my head. And in my head this week, I'm a failure, in my personal life, in my work and especially in the arena of weight loss.

This process has it's ups and downs. One thing I will applaud myself for is the fact that I have not used this toxic thinking as an excuse to binge or skip workouts. I know the trick my mind is playing on me, and I'm not falling for it. But that hasn't made this week anymore pleasant for me.

As the indulgence of the weekend recedes into memory -- and these five pounds along with it -- I am regaining my footing. But a word to the wise: Moving forward, I should choose to indulge or not indulge but I should choose NOT to wallow in self-pity later either way.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Life happens. In the grand scheme of things, the weekend is just a blip.

    I spent this weekend in a van with 6 other stinky runners eating whatever was in sight in the van plus wherever we stopped for meals. It was a conscious choice. I had fun. I won't beat myself up if I weigh in on the plus side tomorrow.

    Slow and steady wins this race. Cut yourself some slack.
    1733 days ago
    I have had a similar week, Pretty, and I am having to expend monumental amounts of energy with self-talk that things are fine, that I will easily be able to fall back into my routine. I've had a couple bad strikes against me...the track I was walking/jogging on almost every day is all torn up now (they are putting in a new stadium and it won't be back up until October!) and my son is home from college and fixing lots of food. But I am really using every ounce of my being to keep calm and to know that this will be fine. It will be fine for you, too!!!
    1733 days ago
    It's easy to listen to our heads but it turns into a downward spiral. Hang in there. This is going to be a GREAT week for you I have a feeling!!
    1734 days ago
    Life is all about ups & downs. It seems from all the replies to your blog that many of us are or have been in the very same spot you are describing to us and many also had some good suggestions on how to deal when you feel this way. So know that you are not alone in this sister emoticon
    1737 days ago
  • CAMAEL100
    "You've been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn't worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens" Louise Hay

    I have this quote kept on my desktop to remind myself of what I should be doing. I think sister, you should try the same!!! We may get the hang of it someday!!

    I often feel like I have blown my calorie count for the day and feel really bad for hours and then wonder why I get hungry! It is because I hadn't eaten that much in the first place, it was just my head telling me I had!!!

    1738 days ago
    Negative thinking is so damaging. I've done a cognitive behavioural training program that focuses on changing this thinking.

    The truth is that when we feel like a failure, there are always examples for how we are NOT failures. CBT is about recognizing that there is also evidence that we are succeeding! It involves making a list. Of course you will have things that support the statement that you have gone off track but here in your blog there are lots of little bits of evidence that you are NOT a failure. You are eating within your calorie range, you are getting the workouts in. This is all evidence that contradicts the negative thought that you are a failure. I encourage you to try and make a list of these statements so you can really see that you have a lot to be proud of.
    1738 days ago
    Today is a new day, a clean slate to draw whatever you want.

    Just make it as healthy as possible and be glad we don't have celebrations every weekend. Enjoy them, and move on.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1738 days ago
    I couldn't agree more! It's one thing if your special occasions are every Friday night, but one weekend to celebrate your anniversary is not the end of the world.

    And your air quotes are exactly right: you did not gain 5 lbs of fat.

    What I've decided to do when I have TRUE special occasions is do a two week weigh in. That is to say, my weight doesn't "count" until at least one week after the end of the special occasion.

    So, for instance, I went to a wedding the weekend of June 1st. Indulged a whole lot.

    When I weighed in this Monday, my 2 week loss was 5 I lost 2.5 lbs per week. WooHoo me!

    But beating yourself up is never healthy!
    1738 days ago
  • KIMPY225
    The same thing happens to me sometimes - I gain weight over a weekend! Keep pushing forward. Think of how far you have come so far!
    1738 days ago
  • KEELIE21
    I assume the amount of progress you've made comes with a certain amount of fear. Fear of back sliding, fear of having to feel that way again. but you've got this! I have complete faith in your ability to outsmart the weight loss gremlins!
    1738 days ago
    This is not a perfect process, and you can't expect yourself to be perfect. You've done a GREAT job and definitely deserve to enjoy a weekend "off" for such a very special occasion. Now you are moving on, mentally, physically, and emotionally. That's wonderful! Next time you indulge, don't indulge in feelings of failure or guilt, because that is definitely NOT productive. Keep up the good work!!!

    1738 days ago
    The important things are: you realized what you were doing, and yoiu are moving forward. So the "new you" wins!
    1738 days ago
    You got through it. You didn't give in or give up. The is a great thing. Be proud of that.
    1738 days ago
    I spend a lot of time in my head too and gain 5lbs like nothing when I indulge - it's very frustrating and can lead to self-defeating thoughts for sure.

    Sounds like you're coming out of it well. emoticon
    1738 days ago
    I do this too---beat myself up for over indulging! But, I have accepted that is my process of dealing with eating indiscretions and learning to regain control.
    I've notice too, now that I have been in maintenance for more than 6 months, that the self-bashing is getting less and less. I have finally accepted that there will be days like that and as long as I am mindful and return to my 'course' I will be OK. So will you! Hang in there and sooner or later you will get past the self flogging and just roll with it as long as you get back on track for the next meal or the next day.

    1738 days ago
    Old habits die hard. The guilt probably comes from you knowing how hard you have worked and how worried you are to undo all of it. That's natural. But, you should feel great that the voice in your head did not stop you from doing what you do and recovering quickly. After time, when you are more confident, you will be able to slap that lil voice down and just get back to work without much thought.

    The accomplishments you have made are important and valuable- so don't feel badly that you got worried about getting out of line- that shows you how much you care! Many people do not worry when they get off track...and when all the weight is back, they wish they had worried more! (me!!)

    You, my friend, have firmly got this!! emoticon
    1738 days ago
    Best thing in the world is to prove that "failure" conversation in your head wrong. Replace it with some success - and that isn't necessarily found on the scale. Working you plan hard is it's own success.
    1738 days ago
  • CAROL_31649731
    Nicely put . . . dust yourself off & continue on. You've done great! emoticon emoticon
    1738 days ago
    emoticon emoticon You have done great!!
    1738 days ago
    sounds like a plan!
    1738 days ago
    emoticon I'm glad to see you not giving in to a binge. The number on the scale has way more influence than it should sometimes. Its a number sometimes its up sometimes its down one thing it is not a reflection of our self worth. Lol I've been trying to move out of my head a long time.
    1738 days ago
    This is so true for many of us. I ate popcorn today which makes me go over my calories and I beat myself up for hours about it. Then I basically came to the same decision as you. I did it. It's done. Move on. Don't wallow in self pity.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1738 days ago
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