Saturday, January 2, 2010


Self-defeating behaviors sometimes need to be pointed out to us.

But we often find ourselves taking actions that we intellectually know are not going to improve our quality of life - for example, reaching for that cigarette twenty minutes after we "quit" for good - procrastinating on preparing the presentation that will precipitate your promotion (hey, pretty good for amount of p's, yeah?) - or instead of driving to the gym, stopping at the mall and spending half of your paycheck on DVDs which you KNOW you will watch late at night while eating out of a huge bowl of heavily-buttered popcorn.

I am finding myself currently in a cycle of  "a persistent pattern of behavior detrimental to the self, including being drawn to problematic situations or relationships and failing to accomplish tasks crucial to life objectives." (see this site)

And so, of course, am drawn to Google for self-diagnosis and free counsel.

I liked some of the suggestions from this site - to help you become aware of self-defeating acts. And in color are my responses:

Physical awareness. Where do you feel the tension? Pinpoint it -- a knot in your stomach... tight shoulders, etc. -- and give the sensation a name. Yeah, my stomach - like I WANT ICE CREAM.

Emotional awareness. Attach an emotion to the physical sensation. Example: "I feel angry... bored... afraid, etc."  Duh... it's called HUNGER and emotionally also wanting COMFORT FOOD.

Impulse awareness. Complete the sentence, "This feeling makes me want to..." Fill in the blank with your immediate emotional reaction. STUFF MY FACE?

Consequence awareness. Answer the question, "If I respond this way, what's likely to happen?" Think through all the possible consequences. Okay, this is where I am supposed to act like an adult and act mature? Yeah, if I eat an entire Ben and Jerry's Double Chocolate Brownie Fudge while watching the Jay Leno show, I will consume an entire's day worth of calories and two week's worth of fat intake in aprx. 14 minutes.

Solution awareness. Complete the sentence, "A better thing to do would be..."  Sure, like at 11:20 p.m. when I am in my pajamas, I have a whole  lot of options such as "go to the gym and work-out" or living three miles from the Mexican border to be able to "walk the dogs for 40 minutes" or "saddle Najale and do ground work with him" - NOT.

Benefit awareness. Finish the sentence, "If I try that strategy, the benefits will be..." List as many as possible.  Sure, I can list benefits - losing weight, discovering my waist again, and being able to leave all the Just-My-Size, Women Within, and Silhouette fat-women-clothing-disguised-as-figure-flattering catalogs aside.

Yeah, forget it - just next time my husband insists on bringing ice cream home, I'm just gonna throw it immediately into the trash.

Hey, now that's not self-defeating.......... is it?