I met our son at a sports bar yesterday to watch the first week of NFL football. Watching the game at home is quite a bit different than going to a sports bar. At the bar, there are fans rooting for many different teams, most adorned in their teams’ apparalel. The combination of passion for their team and the beer/wine/booze being consumed results in lots of shouting and screaming. The shouting and screaming ranges from incredibly happy tones (when their favorite team scores or makes a good play) to obscenity-laden proclamations when their team messes up a play or their opponent scores. I do not drink alcohol but I also find myself emotionally going from ecstatic “highs” (when my NY Giants do well) to incredible lows when they suck (which is usually the case over the past 10 years).
Off the football gridiron and to the weight control arena: There are many patients that come to our office for their follow-up appointments and display an incredible divergence of emotions based on what transpires on the scale. I have witnessed patients come off the scale with great jubilation and high fiving me when they lose a good amount of weight and conversely, I have had patients tear up and look despondent when the weight goes up.
We all must look at weight control as a long-term journey and as best as possible, even out our emotions during the journey. If we feel too “high” after a aggressive weight loss week, we may feel “entitled” to celebrate, take the foot off the pedal and go back to some old behaviors that derail our weight control. Conversely, if we feel too “low” after a weight gain week, this may cause us to feel frustrated, upset and go into the “I give up” mentality.
Our emotions are an important contributing factor to the success (or failure) of our long-term weight control journey. After a successful weight loss week, build on the momentum and follow the same strategy that produced the loss. After a weight gain week, calmly “replay” the week in your mind to see what may have been done differently than during the weight loss weeks and enact the successful strategies.
And does anyone remember Samantha Sang? Here she is singing “Emotions” with the Bee Gees. Ah, the 1970’s…I miss them ( I had lots more hair on my head and could sleep through the night without having to get up to pee).