Right then. I am guessing that by now you have realised that I place a huge amount of importance upon the mind being as healthy as the body…and that a mind that isn’t healthy makes it a hell of a lot harder to focus on keeping a healthy body. The two go very much in hand though…when the mind isn’t healthy, focussing on getting the body active and healthy can help, and visa versa.
In my quest for a healthy mind and body I am doing a few things. There is my eating plan which comes with wonderful support, and my exercise – or lack of due to my foot! – and then there is my ‘coach’! The new man in my life is hopefully going to help get my mind on track. I worked with this guy for a while – there was a level of mutual respect but, to be honest, I was always in awe of him. My professional qualifications are pretty good, as are his, yet he just astounds me with his ability to discuss learning and development and coaching and psychological models…he is like a library. The best thing about it though is that he doesn’t just talk about it, he knows how to use it all. He didn’t pick up a diploma online and tout himself as the next best thing…he is experienced, qualified, knowledgable, and above all else a thoroughly good guy.
So we had our second coaching session last night. He pushes quite hard and wanted to know what I had worked on since our last conversation. I discussed the challenges that I have faced over the past couple of weeks and how I am dealing with them. We discussed some areas to work on, and then he has pinned me down to some actions…
Action number one is that I am going to head off to one of the top universities in the country and mingle with some coaches! I am going to work towards becoming a coach – an area that I have had corporate experience in – and I would like to mix this with my weight loss activities…helping people in a similar situation. This is personal challenge in terms of putting myself out there with people again…a big group of people.
Which leads to action number two! This surrounds my ability to build events into big issues in my mind, when in reality, they are not that big of a deal at all. Remember that visit I paid to Asda after four years of hiding from people? I thought that it was going to be horrendous, but actually it was okay. So my second action is to work on a cognitive behavioural therapy tool / model known as ‘ABC’…more about this in a moment.
My third action is that I have to put myself out there more. The event that I am organising with Jessie Pavelka will do that, and I have also committed to mingling with some jodhpur-clad lovelies in my local tack shop – although they are jean-clad lovelies actually. Some of them can be a little judgmental in their gazes…but then again perhaps this is just my imagination…onto the ABC…
ABC is a model which is used to help recognise behavioural patterns – it highlights that we have a tendancy to think about something, believe something, and therefore become that thing or act in a certain way. It helps to identify patterns of thought that lead to emotions – positive or negative emotions, dependant upon how we view a situation.
For example, I am worried that I will be judged on this coaching course when I walk into the room. So I am thinking about that moment – the ‘A’ – thinking about what I will believe will happen – the ‘B’ – and this leads to the ‘C’…I might not go as I think it will be negative. Whereas a positive example would be that I think about going, feel the fear but then recognise that people on a coaching course are likely to be a compassionate bunch who understand issues and want to help people make a positive change, and therefore I feel positive about walking into that room. This is probably a very simplified version – I have found other examples from Veronica Walsh, a CBT specialist…
Sorry, I should probably explain the ‘ABC’ bit first!
Activating Event – the actual event and your immediate interpretations of the event
Beliefs about the event – this evaluation can be rational or irrational
Consequences – how you feel and what you do or other thoughts
Some people even talk about a ‘D’ – which is ‘Disputing’ the initial negative feelings with evidence or more rational thoughts.
For example – ‘my friends all went out for dinner without me’ would be the ‘A’. ‘Nobody likes me. I’m dull. I’m not nice. Life is horrible. I’m not talking to them, I want to ‘get them back’. No – I want to make them love me. Oh, I can’t stop thinking about it…’ this would be the ‘B’. The ‘C’ would be those feelings of shame, humiliation, anxiety, embarrassment, feelings of worry – then you keep talking to everyone about it, asking for reassurance. The next bit can be harder to enact!…
Now if you bring the ‘D’ into focus – it simply is not factual that ‘nobody’ in the world likes me. I have and have had people in my life that have shown they like me, it would be more correct to say that I’m having problems with my social life right now that I plan to work on. I’m being very hard on myself stating that I ‘am’ dull and not nice – I’ve had plenty of experiences where I was happy and had fun in situations, my feelings and behaviour varies depending on situations and people and moods, just like everybody else. It would be more correct to say that I’m not happy with the way I feel and behave right now, and am aiming to change it. It’s not true that ‘life is horrible’, I can think of lots of things that are the total opposite of horrible. It would be more correct to say that I’m not enjoying life as I wish I would, I find things difficult right now. It’s not healthy for me to obsess about revenge on or reassurance from my friends in this situation. I can make a decision to live with this and accept it. I do not know the circumstances of what happened and I shouldn’t assume the worst. And, even if there is conflict, I don’t have to join in. Just because someone thinks little of you, you don’t have to agree with it.
Whoa – so this ‘D’ bit looks like the part that can help you rationalise those feelings. When I discussed my worries with my ‘coach’ he was the one who nicely pointed out that fellow coaching students would be nice – understanding, focussed on the feelings of people, aware and emotionally intelligent. So he sorted the ‘D’ out for me!
What this told me was that we can build things up in our minds so much that we lose the rational thoughts that help us just to go out there and live life. When I walked around Asda I remember having a number of rational thoughts – maybe people were looking at me because I wasn’t wearing a bra (small boobs!), maybe it was because I had yellow shoes on, maybe they were thinking how nice and shiny my hair was, maybe they were complimenting me on my choice of other half…some of them might have been wondering how I got so fat…but I bet that the vast majority weren’t, and why should their thoughts stop me from buying some fecking cheese anyway?!
I think that I am going to have more of a look into this ABC malarkey…it will help me feel the fear but do it anyway! I will keep you posted on progress as I learn more about it, and I will share some of my personal ABC examples with you. My crude attempt at explaining it today was not great – so please forgive me…but then again, if I look at the ‘D’, you might be sitting there thinking that it wasn’t crude and that I have just shown you a method of dealing with your thoughts that really helps!
So then, the usuals…
Breakfast: Two Alpen light bars (HEB) with fat free natural yogurt and Black Forest berries.
I have had a hungry and strange food day today. Not strange I suppose – I went for an Extra Easy day, and just couldn’t decide what to have, so ended up with bits of all sorts! The breakfast was okay – really tasty actually – but fruit is not my friend…it makes me bloated and gassy and so I felt strange all day, but I didn’t let it put me off my food! Lunch was quickly grabbed from a jacket potato man and was a bit measly, so I nabbed my Mums chicken and rice salad later on in the afternoon. Dinner was delicious – we used a sachet of the Blue Dragon chow mein sauce – 5 syns per sachet – and mixed it with green pepper, red onion, spring onion, celery, sliced carrot, mushrooms, chicken, shredded sweet chilli beef (syn free from Asda) and mixed this with egg noodles…it was really tasty.
Exercise: Nothing – again…I had best get my backside into gear as Mr Pavelka is coming to see me at the end of the month!
Thank you so much for reading – I hope that your weekend is going wonderfully!
Weight Loss Bitch xxx