Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Partners for a Healthier Weight: Week 3 Homework

The 3rd weekly meeting was focused on emotions & behaviour and led by our team psychologist.  It was heavily influenced, but not identical to, the material provided by Nestle as part of the OptiFast900 program titled "Taking charge of your attitude".

We discussed the A-B-C Model of Emotions and Behaviour. It's about how an Activating event leads to a Belief or attitude that is often destructive and the Consequence.  In some cases the consequence becomes the next activating event and a destructive cycle begins.  If I understand it correctly, it might go something like this for me:

  • Activating event: Headache
  • Belief: Food is going to provide comfort
  • Consequence: Weight gain and a sense that I might as well give up
Next in the model is introducing the Disputing thought and Effective new philosophy.  So next would be:
  • Disputing thought: Food doesn't provide comfort and it causes long term challenges
  • Effective new philosophy: Food doesn't solve problems.  Think about what else can help.
I'm sure I've seriously misunderstood these.  Because I'm not making any progress with my homework.  I need to fill in an A-B-C-D worksheet.  But I'm not sure how or about what.  

My weight issues are still external to me, despite lots of evidence to the contrary.  Somehow I need to first recognize that I am part of the problem.  That being 100lbs when I was 8 doesn't mean I have to be overweight for life.  That I contributed to the weight gain.  That living a life more healthy then many doesn't mean I deserve to be healthier than they are, just healthier than I was.

So any advice for filling in my worksheet?
A: Activating Event - What were you doing and with whom?
B: Beliefs/Thoughts - What was going through my mind just before I started feeling this way?  What does this say about me?  What am I afraid might happen?  What images or memories do I have in this situation?
C: Consequences - What emotions am I feeling?  What are the behavioural consequences to how I'm feeling?
D: Disputing thought - If a friend had this thought, what would I say to them?  Is there an alternative way of thinking about this situation?  What is the evidence that supports my thoughts and what is the evidence that does not support it?

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