Well, I definitely seemed to land on a rich topic with the guilt post. You all gave me a lot to think about, and as always it's helpful to hear how everyone else is experiencing and managing the same terrain.
First, I'd like to make a PSA/reminder: when I blog about my own weight loss experiences, I am not doing it as a way of giving instruction or expressing any official Weight Watchers position. We have people much more qualified to do that: our meeting leaders. Rather, as noted in my intro copy on top, I use my blog to share how I personally deal with my own weight-related challenges. It should go without saying, that my head is not always on straight, and I've got a lot of the same crummy hang-ups shared by so many others. It's probably a judgement call for me to share my own warts given my role, but it also seems that being honest is a good way to engage in important discussions. That approach is VERY Weight Watchers. So for the benefit of full clarity, I have no intention of launching the sale of the Guilt-o-lator on late night TV infomercials. To be clear, the Guilt-o-lator is a million miles away from ever being a sanctioned Weight Watchers device.
While I'm at it, how about a second PSA. Please don't ever put your head in the oven because you had a bad week. It's just not safe.
PSA's aside, all of your comments on dealing with negative emotions made me think more about negative emotions. Thanks for that (irony intended here).
I spent some more time thinking of how dark thoughts impact me and my efforts to maintain my weight and healthy(er) lifestyle. They don't happen all the time or even that often. Most times, I feel good and proud about what I have been able to do in steering my life in a much healthier direction. Yet, like most of us (I think), I have my own inventory of evil spirits that periodically come to torment my otherwise happy mind:
The freak-out: This usually starts with the following sequence of events:
- I spend a week (or two) where I am slacking off on sticking to my food plan, maybe instigated by too much socializing and eating out. During this time, I am absolutely avoiding the scale.
- Typically on a Saturday or Sunday, I will weigh myself thinking/hoping that maybe I really haven't gained any weight even though I logically know that I probably have.
- That hideous troll, known as the scale, punches my solar plexus and knocks the wind out of me when it delivers the dreaded digital readout evidencing my massive personal failure.
- I completely lose my mind and start pacing and storming thinking the worst possible thoughts about myself. "I am such an idiot!" "How did I let this happen?" "What the h*ll is wrong with me?"
- I then quickly move to a series of dramatic resolutions such as "I am so getting my rear on plan this week!" "Enough is enough!" "I will never let this happen again!" etc.
- This usually starts with the non-specific feeling that I am slipping. Not like a massive swan dive into a swimming pool of Cheetos. More like little, pernicious choices creeping up on otherwise healthy days. Maybe a bit of after dinner grazing. Maybe cutting the workout a little short. Maybe cleaning my plate to an unnatural level of spotlessness.
- I start to get the nagging feeling like my regimen is slipping away. It's more of a feeling of uneasiness than rampant stress. Yet it quietly weighs on me.
- I might have fleeting thoughts about letting myself slip into even worse habits. I really would like to start a new diet of gigantic breakfast burritos. A pint of Ben & Jerry's might be nice. Maybe I don't have to wake up every morning so early to workout. It might be nice to sleep in more.
* For those who have no idea who Stuart Smalley is, I'm sorry for the confusing cultural reference. Please see early 1990's Saturday Night Live starring current US Senator Al Franken. Sadly, all of the old Stuart Smalley clips have mysteriously vanished from the Internet.