Weight Loss Support - being mean versus being honest with ourselves
08-19-2011, 07:37 PM
I've got a phone app for my menstrual cycle that I was looking at this morning and I noticed that I was ovulating this week. I thought I would compare my notes for this week with what I had written down for the previous month's few days of ovulation.
I had a day this week in which I was super upset and ended up binging. I blamed myself and said that this was another example of food issues. Putting it in a bigger perspective, though, I can see that I'm cranky and have a bigger appetite at this time every month. It's not a moral shortcoming but a biological reality.
08-19-2011, 08:14 PM
You're lucky you have the app to take notes for yourself. Once TOM comes I think "Oh that explains it!" Also, I realize that my body needs what it needs and sometimes that means extra calories on those particular days.
You definitely don't sound like you are avoiding responsibility for feelings and actions. I think that part of the reason we are fat in the first place (at least for me) is that I was all to happy to beat myself up for things I didn't do.
08-19-2011, 08:26 PM
I have different rules during TOM, for one I budget my calories and allow myself to eat rubbish food in moderation so that I don't binge. The rest of the time I am very strict but I'm not nearly as hungry so it's easier. So really, because I know how my body will react, I relax a little.
I definitely think that it's good to know your patterns. Sometimes my cravings are completely psychological and knowing that makes me overcome them. The other day (during TOM) I allowed myself one doughnut. Later on, I was really craving another one but I knew it was psychological I didn't need to eat that doughnut, I just wanted to so I made a deal with myself, if I could resist then I could have a doughnut tomorrow and also told myself that no amount of craving was going to make me break my deal and almost instantly, my cravings vanished.
I think understanding the affect your ovulation has on your weight loss can be a positive thing, you can be strict with yourself and rationalise that it's hormonal or you can be let yourself slip a little since it's not a regular thing. It all depends on how much you trust yourself and what makes you comfortable and successful at the end of your journey. Unfortunately, no one can decide how hard you should be on yourself but you. Certainly understanding your biology is taking responsibility for yourself.
08-19-2011, 08:54 PM
Sometimes our bodies just need a little more during that time of the month. Can you keep some healthy standbys that you can fill up on... sliced veggies... strawberries... etc...
08-19-2011, 10:07 PM
honestly, I think if you are "binging" on veggies, you are probably hungry!! Sure, it could be emotional but most people I know who try to stuff emotions with food end up STILL having the junk food even after they try to make the cravings go away with healthier food choices. When I was calorie counting, my personal litmus test was "do I want to eat some fruit or veggies?" If so, then I decided that meant I was legitimately hungry and I would eat. If no, and I just was looking for an excuse to go above my calorie range with other food, then I would try to make myself stick to my calories for that day and try to distract myself with non-food things.
As for the rest of it, I would say that you could try to pretend that someone else wrote a post blaming themselves for being hungry during TOM. What would you say to them?
(and fwiw, I don't think being compassionate to yourself - or anyone else - is an extreme!)
08-19-2011, 11:29 PM
To succeed, I personally had to take blame entirely off the table. Being angry and harsh with myself, didn't work - so it didn't really matter whether I was "right" or not about it being all my fault.
I've found that most people respond better to compassion than blame, ridicule, and recriminations. As a probation officer I never told any of my probation clients "You're an idiot, and you can only blame yourself for the mess you're in, and until you hate yourself, as much as everyone else hates you, you'll never amount to anything."
Most of us would never say things like that to our worst enemy, and yet we say it to ourselves all the time for the "crime" of eating when we're not hungry - or the crime of not knowing whether or not we're really hungry.
Is it really a sin worse than any other? Then why do we treat it that way?
You don't have to assign blame in order to make the necessary changes. You just have to make the changes. And how do you know which changes you need to make? You experiment and see if they work - and if you fail, you don't have to blame and curse yourself, you just have to try something else, and evaluate it's effectiveness.
I use a reduced-carb exchange plan, and I try to write down everything I eat, even when it's not on plan. I don't always do it. I make a lot of mistakes, but I'm still working at making the best choices I can - and when I don't, I don't beat myself up (mainly because I've learned it doesn't help).
Where dieting and weight loss is concerned, we waste a lot of time trying to decide whether we deserve punishment, and how much punishment and how to punish ourselves, instead of focusing on how to make the changes.
It doesn't matter how much of our issues are our fault, and how much are physiological. It doesn't even necessarily matter whether we're incorrectly blaming (or exonerating) ourselves. What matters is finding ways to make the changes we want to make.
Personally, I find it can be done without assigning any blame to anyone. Just by experimenting and sticking with the experiments that work.
I discovered (essentially by accident) that when I'm not on birth control, I am so hungry during PMS/TOM that I am a non-stop eating machine. I don't have to blame my hormones or myself to decide to use the birth control that helps control my hunger.
Even with birth control, I'm hungrier during the few days before my period and few days into it - so I mark those days on the calendar so I'm prepared for them. I eat lower-carb during those days because it helps control the "rabid hunger."
I don't have to blame me, my period, or anyone or anything else - I just have to do more of the stuff that helps and less of the stuff that doesn't.
For some reason, we've been taught to focus on assigning blame rather than finding success. Instead of focusing on "doing more of the stuff that works, and less of the stuff that doesn't," we waste time and effort trying to decide who and what is at fault.
I'm not saying not to look for patterns, but don't feel the need to assign blame to the patterns. Look for the patterns not so you know who or what to blame (and how much to blame), but so that you can develop strategies that work - test your strategies and adjust them if they don't work.