Baggage: The Shame Guilt Beat Yourself Up Tango

See the video version here.

Anyone else do this tango?

Immediately berate and beat up on myself. I felt such shame – this was going to be my year, and I’d blown it yet again.  I’m a reasonably intelligent human being.  I can manage all kinds of tasks and challenges.  I can stay with a knotty sort of problem and tease out the pieces to find a solution, but I could not sort out my nutrition long enough to lose the weight.  It was maddening.

In 2012 when I lost my weight, the year did not start out well. It did for the first week or so, then not so much. In February, I started again. Again in March. By April, I needed a bigger size, and I was mortified. So what did I do?

Cue shame and guilt and self-flagellation, which required some soothing, so I reached for something to eat to make myself feel better.

That’s the cycle. Make a diet goal, mess it up, beat up on yourself, need some comfort, reach for food to soothe, make a new goal, mess it up – and so it goes.

Can we please break that cycle?  It’s not like it helps us AT. ALL.  Right?

Break the Cycle

Here’s what I learned:  I realized that if I simply noted what I had done. 


Seriously, just take note of it and leave it there.

There’s no need or reason, no productive outcome when we downshift into guilting or shaming ourselves for getting off track.

I know.  Shocking, right?  What would it feel like if you could stop yourself after noting?  Not going to guilt and shame?

Can you do that?  Just take the shame and guilt out of baggage.  Don’t use it anymore?

What?  You can’t? 

Why not?

How has it helped you in the past?

It hasn’t? 

Of course it hasn’t.  

Then why use it?  What if we think of something new?

Shame and guilt and beating up on yourself —  It’s just what we’ve always done.  It doesn’t make it the best idea.

To succeed, we have to do something different.  And the best place to start is to practice stopping that tendency to beat up on yourself, no shaming or guilting allowed.

How would that change your experience?

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