I ate half a bag of kettle chips

last night.

In my head, I thought:

“This is so good”

“It’s been so long since I’ve downed this much chip”

“nom nom nom”.

“I shouldn’t be eating all this chip.”

“What if this derails me from my goal”

I feel guilty. I went to bed feeling guilty. I woke up with that weight of guilt. I stayed in bed imprisoned by that guilt. And…I skipped my workout.

I’m nipping that in the bud, here is my logic & technique:

The feeling of guilt comes from the thoughts I have during and after continuously chomping away at my vice.

Understanding the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and outcomes are important in maintaining a positive attitude.

Here is what’s happening:

My Thoughts (What I know to be subjective and not factual) ARE CAUSING Bad Feelings (What I perceive as factual and based on truth).

That makes no sense. The thoughts I am having – which I know are all based on my own perceptions and not factual – are causing me to feel bad. Feelings, for some reason, appear to be grounded in truth. If I feel bad then it’s a fact that I did something wrong. But – the feeling derive from something I know is based on perception! This means the feeling cannot be factual. Below is an excerpt from a book that helped me tremendously:

Your feelings are not facts! In fact, your feelings, per se, don’t even count — except as a mirror of the way you are thinking. If your perception makes no sense, the feelings they create will be as absurd as the images reflected in the trick mirrors at the amusement park.

– Dr. David D. Burns, excerpt from Feeling Good

OK. From that, I gather that although I shouldn’t have eaten as much chips as I did, the feeling of guilt is not factual and I don’t have to feel guilty about it.

Let’s take it one step further to remove the negative from the action. The culprit here are the should statements.

Who says I should? Where is it written that I should?

– Dr. David D. Burns, excerpt from Feeling Good

The should typically comes from within. It may have come from parents, friends, or other important figures in my life but the bottom line is that it is I creating or following the rule.

Telling myself I should this or I shouldn’t that is stressful and it binds me to rules that are meant to keep me in line.

 

In reality, I typically turn to food out of boredom or stress. When I did it last night, I followed my typical behavior. (I’m not sure if I was bored or stressed last night but it was an odd feeling.) So, if I felt bored or stressed I should turn to food because it’s what I typically do.

It doesn’t mean it’s right, but it is a more realistic use of the should statement. It takes the blame and stress away.

The better thing to do is find a healthier way to cope with feeling “off”. Until then, I should be snacking when I’m bored or stressed.

Feelings of guilt and the pressure of shoulds do not aid me in reaching my goal. What does help are:

  • following through with plans
  • feeding myself what I know will make me stronger
  • strengthening my body because that will strengthen my mind

 

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