Day Tallying and Goal Orientation

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    • #14140
      Cindy
      Participant

      I have done the coursework twice now but never posted in the forum.
      I hope I can articulate what I have been experiencing.
      I am having a hard time with my tendency to be goal oriented working toward a goal and my experience with shifting to eating less has always accompanied a strong drive and progress toward a goal that I think I have to let go of to be successful in this program. Is there any suggestion for ways to do this? I find when I am able to successfully work through desire, that i have a sense that it is a “good day” and this leads to an, albeit unintentional, tally of a good day (like progress toward a goal). This black and white thinking is hard for me to manage even with all the non-weight benefits in the world.
      Gillian if you have any guidance that would be appreciated. If others have guidance, also appreciated. Thanks so much.
      Cindy

    • #14142
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Cindy,

      I think I need a bit more information. You say you get a sense that it’s been a “good day” and this leads to a tally of a good day, as if you are making progress towards a goal. This black and white thinking is hard to manage even with all the non-weight benefits in the world.

      I assume the goal you mention is weight loss? What is hard to manage, and what is the black and white thinking? Is it like “I ate or didn’t eat x, y and z today so let’s keep that up, or do even better tomorrow”? Or is it more that you keep your attention on weight loss?

    • #14148
      Cindy
      Participant

      Well in the past it has been weight loss as a goal. I am wondering if there is a way to substitute another goal that is not about weight loss? I have been trying to find something around exercise and have signed up for a run and maybe that will help. I find that counting days when I have felt like I have implemented the tools maybe a bit like automatic calorie counting: Hard to break the habit and I would like to counter it somehow with this new way of thinking. Does that help explain better?

    • #14153
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Sometimes I speak about a “relationship with food” and maybe this idea will be of help. When someone is in a long-term relationship with a partner, they might think from time to time that they need to have a good talk about something, and then later on they feel a real benefit from that: “I’m so glad we cleared the air, because I didn’t know what had been going on, and now I understand.” The benefit to the relationship would be experienced in terms of qualities such as trust, joy, peace, love, connection, etc. Not things you would tally up or set goals about, I don’t think.

      Setting goals around this could be like, “my goal this month is to get my partner to love me even more, and I’ll track that in terms of how much he’s spending on flowers and how many kisses I get every day.”

      In your relationship with food, you may think to yourself, “do I need to have an intimate conversation with my Significant Other (aka my addictive desire for pastries)? And so you do that, and as a result you clear the air and feel a benefit in the quality of your life, in terms of your relationship with food – and of course yourself.

      So when you’ve had a “good day” maybe it’s just that and nothing else. It’s been a good day as a reflection of what is currently a solid and empowering relationship with food.

      Maybe wanting to replace a weight-loss goal with some other goal is still coming from the dieting/weight loss culture? As if the goal is to arrive somewhere and that’s the end of it?

      • #14331
        Cindy
        Participant

        @Gillian I have read this several times to allow it to sync in. I do believe you are into something here. Most definitely it resonates for me that the goals seeking is from a diet mindset. I feel I am mourning that relationship with food even though it was a bit of a toxic relationship. Sort of like mourning the end to a relationship with a partner that wasn’t treating me well. I hope that my new relationship with food that I am gaining from this course can be a more supportive and fulfilling one. There is a lot to potentially unpack in this analogy and I appreciate the insight.

    • #14169
      Sara V
      Participant

      Have just had a realisation about this.I have been congratulating myself on (mostly) taking my focus off weight loss but instead, I too am tallying days in a really ‘all or nothing’ manner. I have a little calendar and put a cross on each day that I feel I have successfully stuck to the eating less approaches. While it’s great to see a streak of crosses, when a blank appears, particularly if several days in a row then I feel bad, and want to start a pristine new calendar with a row of new neat crosses. If it’s not already obvious, yes I am a perfectionist, and love to visually chart my progress towards goals to maintain my motivation and progress.

    • #14183
      Cyndi B.
      Participant

      I appreciate reading new posts in the forum, and I especially related to all the info on this thread.. such as nurturing one’s food relationship like an interpersonal relationship as Gillian described above.. and sorting it in a similar direct and friendly way when it goes sideways.
      About the calendar marking off: in a journal each morning I’ve been writing down how I feel (new habit just this month), because when I make choices toward eating less, I notice an acute positive difference especially at waking up the next day. It was the continually waking up FULL, tired and foggy that led me to this course.
      The course instructions even in the first week about cultivating self-esteem and to focus on more immediate, non-weight motivations, started a pretty swift trend of improved food choices for me. Yet after just ten days, I noticed that I was becoming accustomed to this newly regained feeling of lightness and energy in the mornings; interesting how in just a week this newfound boon began to normalize and become easily under-appreciated unless I deliberately “looked” for it. I want to continue to appreciate this morning state- so like marking an x on a calendar, I’m using the habit of checking-in with myself as a sort-of tally.. though it is not a “good vs. bad” tally of x or no x, thumb up or thumb down (and I appreciate the posts here to be aware of that possibility sneaking in.) For instance, I decided to have drinks on Sunday at a soccer (football) match, and yep, I felt a difference in my new-found morning perkiness on Monday morning, and I wrote it down at my check-in, happy to be conscious enough for receive the feedback and not really remorseful either because I’d decided to have the drinks thoughtfully, using the choice practice. If I were marking my “streak” for remembering each morning to pay attention to non-weight motivations on a calendar, as shorthand I imagine maybe drawing a sun 🌞 to represent the precious light and bright focus I feel the day after not over-indulging… and maybe drawing a lightening bolt
      or lightbulb 💡⚡️ (a-ha!) for when I get different feedback… like with my alcohol, or another choice with perhaps less predictable feedback. So if one gets something out of tracking (even if just for now), maybe track the practice of awareness / being engaged rather than tracking with a judgement of good or bad.

      • #14187
        Sara V
        Participant

        I love the idea of a journal with non-judgemental symbols. I’m starting today. Thank you so much Cyndi.

      • #14256
        Cyndi B.
        Participant

        Thanks, Sara.. I’ve never been to consistently journal or track much, but it’s felt intuitive to me for organizing my experience with this course. One more bit about how I’m thinking about tracking what I notice- This week Gillian mentioned Rick Hanson’s work on changing brain pathways (neuroplasticity); Dr. Hanson talks about how we’re ancestrally wired to notice more so or give weighted value to what we perceive as negative, troublesome or possibly threatening. He’s emphatic about cultivating the practice of “taking in the good” (his phrase), to purposefully look for, recognize and name the good that is present. This teaching is also very much the basis for my ELO morning check-ins… that no matter what, noticing the GOOD of me noticing.

      • #14330
        Cindy
        Participant

        @Cyndi B thanks for the reminder and on intentionally bringing in the good. And thank you for sharing your techniques for doing this in your practice and journaling. Beautiful insight.

      • #14332
        Cindy
        Participant

        @Sara V I have to chuckle at the “(mostly)” in your post. It’s so true that I too gave to insert these descriptors because mostly (as opposed to perfection) I am learning to aim for… thank you for sharing this.

    • #14320
      Stephanie D
      Participant

      Really appreciating the threads in the forum. Thank you to the group.

    • #14323
      Cindy
      Participant

      Thank you all for your thoughtful comments. They are all very helpful.

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