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 Post subject: Twisted thinking about weight loss
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:27 pm 
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I've been checking out the forums at Calorie King and saw someone posted some stuff out of a Dr. Phil book. That stuff looked suspiciously like the 10 forms of twisted thinking. So that got me thinking, what are the thoughts in my head about weight loss?

1. All of nothing thinking: I can't lose 20 pounds in one month, so I might as well just eat what I want.

2. Overgeneralization: I'll never lose all this weight. I always give in to my cravings.

3. Mental Filter: I ate that piece of cheesecake and completely ruined everything I've worked for. Never mind that I went to the gym and had been eating well the rest of the day.

4. Discounting the positive: I went to the gym, but I didn't work out hard enough.

5. Jumping to conclusions (specifically fortune-telling): I'm going to give into my cravings and completely blow my diet, so why even try?

6. Magnification: I have to lose an impossible amount of weight.

7. Emotional Reasoning: I feel as though I'm a fat failure, so I must be.

8. "Should" Statements: I should be able to fight all my cravings. I should be able to eat nothing but healthy food. I should be able to go to the gym 7 times a week.

9. Labeling: I'm such a fat loser.

10. Personalization and Blame: I'm weak-willed so it's all my fault.

Eek. That was a little depressing to go through and do. I have an answer to each form of twisted thinking! I just never realized I was so twisty about my weight. Guess I should have known. I think I've overloaded myself, so I'll take a break before attacking the untwisting. I know there's a common theme among all the statements I've made above. I need to figure out the common theme and work on that instead of trying to focus on 10 different things.

Any thoughts?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:44 pm 
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Possible common theme: Perfectionism vs. failure ("I'm a failure if I can't lose weight according to some impossible standard of perfection.")


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:50 pm 
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Ann, that is a common theme in my life overall, so I'd say you're on the money with that.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:22 pm 
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Awww Trinity - Losing weight is hard work, takes time and can be so difficult to do, without the twisted thinking that goes along with it.

I know, because I'm struggling with it too. Lost my first 10kg easily, but seem to have stuck there for months, since. It's disheartening.

I'm inclined to agree that maybe perfectionism is part of the problem. You did a great job of recognising the twisties. I'm sure you'll do just well with the untwisting. Good luck,

Amanda


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:43 pm 
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Thanks Amanda!

Well, I've thought on this perfectionism thing and it's something that affects a lot in my life. My skin picking and finger biting have to do with that need for perfection, as well. I get it from my mom. According to her, you're number one or you're nothing. You do it perfectly, or you don't bother. Great lessons, huh?

1. Identify The Distortion: I think I have to do things perfectly or else I'm a failure and shouldn't try.

2. Examine The Evidence: Well, here's an example. I created a banner for my radio station's web site in Photoshop. It was the first time I'd done it. I hated it. I sent it to my boss with a note that if he didn't like it, let me know and I'd re-do it. He liked it just fine. I know it wasn't the BEST I could do, but it was the best I could do at the time. It wasn't perfect, but that was okay.

3. The Double-Standard Method: I would tell my friend that they were successful at most of the things they tried. I would tell her that perfection and success aren't synonyms. I would also tell her that we learn from our mistakes.

4. The Experimental Technique: I'll have to think on this one.

5. Thinking In Shades Of Grey: This ties in with most of what I've said above. It's not perfection or nothing. There are degrees of success.

6. The Survey Method: So I'll ask you! Is my need for perfection realistic?

7. Define Terms: I often think "I suck" which means I'm bad at what I do. I'm not. I'm not perfect, I may make mistakes, but I'm not bad at what I do. And "perfect"... is anything truly perfect?

8. The Semantic Method: It would be better if I could lose weight/not pick my skin/not bite my finger.

9. Re-attribution: Instead of automatically assuming that you are "bad" and blaming yourself entirely for a problem, think about the many factors that may have contributed to it. Focus on solving the problem instead of using up all your energy blaming yourself and feeling guilty.

10. Cost-Benefit Analysis: You can also use the cost benefit analysis to modify a self-defeating belief such as, "I must always try to be perfect." Oh yeah? ;) When I try to be perfect I get anxious, frustrated, angry, and sad. When I try to be perfect, I get to come down on myself, which, for some reason, I get a high from it. The negatives definitely outweigh the positives.

Whew! I've tired myself out again. LOL

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:50 pm 
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Quote:
So I'll ask you! Is my need for perfection realistic?

Nope.
;)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:32 pm 
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When I read about your struggle with perfectionism, what comes to my mind is another tool. This is a part of Byron Katie's "The Work." Here is a worksheet for a single belief, such as, "I have to do things perfectly":
http://www.thework.com/pdf/onebelief.pdf

How the worksheet works is to have you question the belief by looking at it from different angles. When it asks, "How do you react when you believe that thought?" it's asking about what feelings come up, if the thought makes you tense, whatever. The question, "Who would you be without that thought?" means, how would you feel if you went through your day completely without the thought, "I have to do things perfectly"?

The end of the worksheet is the turnaround, which is more difficult for me. It's how to find as many ways as possible to change the thought. If you try this sheet, and get to that part, and want to talk about it, let me know...I don't want to write a lot about it before you try it yourself (if you want to.)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:34 pm 
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Oh and BTW my t thinks this type of work is great and called it "cognitive restructuring."


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:51 pm 
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It's certainly good that you're recognizing these things before they get out of control. Because ppl with bpd tend to think this way eating disorders are common among ppl with bpd.

Let me tell you a little story... I was always a chubby girl..not fat, just with a little extra meat. I started dieting and nothing was good enough. Basically all of the distortions that you named went through my head. Fast foward a few years later and I had to be hooked up to a feeding tube because I let those thoughts get out of control.

My advice: first off, Dr. Phil is an ass....just my opinion..but I have read his books and don't find them helpful. But don't read any weight loss books. If you want to lose weight just try portion control and drink lots of water...that's it, that's all you have to do. And I promise you you will lose weight.

good for you that you're recognizing this before it gets outta control.. just avoid anything that reminds you of these thoughts, diet books, etc...


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:09 pm 
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Ann, thanks for linking that worksheet. I'll let you know how I do with it!

Erin, I think Dr. Phil's an ass, too. He regurgitates info from others and passes it off as his own. I'm sorry you went thru all that. I stopped eating when I was 10 because I was a bit chubby. By the time I was 13, I was 5'2" and weighed about 70 pounds, give or take. My mom always thought it had to do with my tonsils, and I went along with it in my mind. I wasn't hungry because I was sick. My mom had my tonsils taken out. I did start to eat again, but no matter how much I ate, I would barely gain weight. I was 90 lbs thru high school, then about 100 lbs thru college. When I turned 25, my eating caught up with me... and I've found myself wishing I would stop being hungry again. I did stop eating again about two years ago, but then my doc put me on Zyprexa, and up we went again. I fight the thoughts of not eating every day. I don't want to continue hurting myself, so I decided to take a long, hard look at my thoughts re: eating. So... that's where I'm at right now.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 12:30 pm 
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Good for you honey... i hope my post wasn't to harsh... I just know from being there and I can recognize the beginning stages of an eating disorder..that's good that you can too...good luck, and if you ever need any help with these feelings I am an expert in this certain area, so feel free to contact me.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:55 pm 
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Oh, you weren't harsh at all, Erin! I appreciate you being there for me. :)

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