Why Did I Eat That Crap?

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I don’t know if it’s repressed sado-masochistic tendencies, a slow learning curve, or advertising susceptibility whatever the reason, I feel like crap, because I ate the crap.

I really don’t understand why I do this to myself, is it an addiction? A weakness of character?

I read Health Habits: How to Motivate the Unmotivated and he suggests the trans-theoretical model of change as a reason why some people are successful at changing their habits, and others are not.

Stealing his summary:

The five stages of change are:

Pre-Contemplation

Contemplation

Preparation

Action

Maintenance

Pre-contemplation is the state of ‘no change’. You have no intention to change your behavior. In fact, at this stage, you may be completely unaware of any problem. According to Prochaska, Pre-contemplators are “often characterized as resistant or unmotivated and tend to avoid information, discussion, or thought with regard to the targeted health behavior”.

Contemplation is the stage in which you become aware that there is a problem, and you are seriously thinking about overcoming it, but have not yet made a commitment to take action. Contemplators are “more aware of the benefits of changing, but remain keenly aware of the costs. As well, they are often seen as ambivalent to change or as procrastinators.”

Preparation is the stage in which you are either intending to take action in the next 30 days or resume the actions that you had already begun, but had recently abandoned. This is the most common stage of the yo-yo dieter and exerciser. Psychologists view this as a transition stage.

Action is the stage in which you have made changes to your behavior, experiences or environment in order to overcome their problems. The Action stage involves overt behavioral changes and requires considerable commitment of time and effort. After 6 months in the Action stage, you get to graduate to the Maintenance Stage.

Maintenance is the stage in which you work to prevent relapse and hold on to the gains you achieved in the Action stage. This stage is indefinite, unless you fall off the wagon, and have to start over at the Preparation stage. According to Prochaska, Maintainers “report the highest levels of self-efficacy and are less frequently tempted to relapse”.

This all sounds reasonably rationale, logical and fairly simple. My problem is his conclusion:

If we assume that most overweight people are stuck between the Contemplation and Action stages of change, what we really needs are techniques that can help people move from thinking and obsessing about their weight to actually doing something about it.

While I certainly agree that there are likely a large number of people stuck between these phases, it has been my experience that most people I meet who are struggling with weight loss have problems with the last stage – maintenance.

(This difference in perspectives may be because overall of overweight people maybe “most” are not trying to loose weight so they are stuck between contemplation and action, however I think there are significant numbers of people failing to loose weight because they are failing in the maintenance stage).

Why do we do this? It makes no logical sense to me.

In a way I could understand if I was pursuing a diet, if I was denying myself foods I liked, if I felt deprived. But I don’t. Or, if it was hard, and I did not feel good, or was not seeing results. Here’s the mind bender for me. I was seeing results, had tonnes of energy, was on a “high” emotionally, felt all around better. And, still I crashed.

I am in serious need of a detox week next week. One of the most shocking things to me is that I feel this bad by eating poorly WITHOUT turning to fast food. Or at least not he big-chain big-name fast food. I let my life balance go totally out of wack, too much tv, too much computer followed by some Roti, some take away sushi, then some pasta alfredo and some pre-made wraps and sugary fruit drinks….

So no, it’s not big mac’s & soda but nonetheless I feel horrible. I feel hung over, sick to my stomach, gassy, my bathroom habits are nasty and really stinky (you needed to know), I hate the way my skin feels, it’s been a week and I think I could squeegee the grease off me. I feel like a big disgusting blob, I feel depressed, lazy, low energy, I am the supersized sloth.

Feeling like this is enough motivation for me to be back on the wagon starting today. But the question will continue to bother me. Why do I keep reverting to old bad eating habits when I know that they make me feel this bad?

How do we get to the maintenance stage and just fall off the wagon, when staying on the wagon feels so much better?

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