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Challenge: Be critical without being negative

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Ok, so I have repeatedly made the point that I need to be unflinchingly positive if I want to achieve my health and fitness goals this time. I know that I need to be vigilant against my constant desire to find fault in myself and beat myself up and think super negative things about myself...since, despite what might work for others, that just sends me spiraling towards doom (both weight-wise and in terms of mental-health). I hate taking drugs for depression and they don't really seem to work very well anyway and just ugh.

I think one of the challenges for me though is going to be to find a way to do an appraisal of myself and my actions when I do NOT follow my plan or meet my goals. Without starting the shame-spiral that ends in potato chips, beer, and generic-brand prozac.

So this week, I went to the 'rents house on Sunday night and left Tuesday morning. Despite my public proclamations, I DID drink beer. And I ate chips. And I did not work out, not even once. I could go on about the positive choices I made this time and give the rationale for why some of those things happened, but I feel like that's just making excuses. I want to find a way to talk and think about the things that I'm doing that are NOT helping my journey, without turning into a hateful pity party or a list of failures that leaves me demoralized.

I am not sure how to do that yet. So I'm not going to. I was already near the tipping-point of despair yesterday and rescued myself with a long-ass workout and a refusal to even THINK about my not-successes.

But I am thinking about how to respond to myself critically without waking the Depression beast and would welcome any thoughts, suggestions, blogs of people who do this well, etc.
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  • CHARITY1973
    There is this great idea that you should view your health and wellness as something you create, like making something. You don't get personal about your scrapbook or gourmet dinner if it doesn't turn out well. But we take health personally (naturally) and see it as being about us (the self) instead of just having detachment and seeing it as anything we are trying to create.

    If we add too much salt, burn the mushrooms, or sew the seam wrong on the dress we wouldn't ask ourselves if there is something wrong with us, if we are broken, if we had negativity issues. We'd just write off the mistake to experience and try to not make it again (though I keep burning things regularly!). I have a quote in my bathroom to remind myself that what I want to create in my life is separate from me (the ego). The detachment is what helps me to stay away from the abyss. Because we all have beer and chip days...It's what we do afterwards that counts.

    My two cents. Not exactly The Secret ;-)
    1924 days ago
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    1928 days ago
    I wish I had some fantastic advice, but as you've probably noticed by my blogs, I'm not very good at that either. I can't seem to find the balance between honestly looking at what I'm doing and beating myself up about it.

    I can also commiserate on the depression. My depression is {mostly} fairly well controlled with medications, but I definitely remember what it was like to fight the demon daily. The simplest things can be so hard. The closest thing I have to advice is to focus on putting one foot in front of the other every day.

    Cling to a positive mindset with all your might. You can do it, I am 100% sure!

    We can fight the bully of beating ourselves up together!

    1928 days ago
    1928 days ago
    I suffer from SAD & have found the best thing for me to do is to workout. To just do something. It helps my body & my mind. We all slip up. Just start over tomorrow. It does not matter how many times you fall down, what matters is that you get up!
    emoticon emoticon
    1929 days ago
    I think there's two key pieces with positive - or constructive - criticism.

    1) Focus on the behavior, not the individual.

    2) Focus on solutions. How can this be fixed, now or in the future?

    Behavior: Going off track, eating off plan, not working out.

    Solutions: Eat toward the lower end of your range and healthier for the next few days. Get some workout time in today / now / as soon as possible. Plan ahead for how to deal with specific temptations or situations that can cause a repeat of the behavior. More narrowly define when the behavior is a problem and when an exception can be made.

    You've already done well in this blog, in fact. You didn't beat up on yourself with names or insults. You simply stated the behaviors that happened. It's not about fault or flaws or failure - those are all banished F-words.
    1929 days ago
  • EVEMG12
    I understand exactly where you are coming from. This is something I struggle with as well. I always think that rationalizing my choices and reasons for not sticking to the plan will make me feel better but in actuality make me feel worse and like I'm a child back in school with the dog ate my homework excuse.

    You are to be commended for rescuing yourself, going for a working and refusing to let yourself wallow in your own self pity. I admire your strength.

    The things that gets me through the negative thoughts and feelings are a) talking to my therapist (or best friend, although sometimes she's a little biased) and b) reminding myself that tomorrow is another day to get things right and start again.

    1929 days ago
  • LRB444
    Hey there. I'm new to reading your blog and new to SP. I have been thinking about this because I do the same thing. I make a plan, then divert from the plan. I wonder if I am thinking about what I have to do next too much. I wonder if trying to distract my attention from thinking and dwelling on what needs to be done and being more of a "do'er" and just doing it will help. Just a thought.

    1929 days ago
    I struggle with that alot too. One thing I keep trying is to spend less time chewing myself out and wallowing in self loathing, and instead spend equal energy trying to reverse the damages, fix the problem. Get on the treadmill and burn! LOL

    Looks like you are already laerning to (or trying to ) employ a similar method with some sucess.

    Reprogramming our negative behaviors is another part of the Healthy journey we are on!
    1929 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    Look in the mirror and laugh at that silly girl who now needs to pay the Piper!!
    Also, be patient with her,, she is human, was tempted, gave in, but now realizes who was in charge and can take charge again.. Be nice to her and restart your engine!! Vroooom!
    Give her a hug too... emoticon emoticon
    1929 days ago
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