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|07-08-2013, 09:49 AM||#1 (permalink)|
MCBs armed pacifist
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: West Michigan
Fitness, dieting, and the "what the heck effect"
A lot of time in reading I run across what psychologists have dubbed the "what the heck effect". I kid you not that is the "technical" name for it.
Let me start with an example. I was practicing vegetarianism for about 18 months at one point in my life. I made it through the holidays even. Then one day I went to a ball game in Chicago. A ball game without a hot dog is just not right so I had one... or two. I can tell you, with certainty, when my daliance with vegetarianism ended and it handed hard that weekend. All the foods I had denied myself became suddenly available.
When psychologists study it they often study it in dieting. People set a goal for themselves when dieting - often calorie based. When that goal is broken (either on purpose or accident) they decide to write off the entire day and often go on binges. Often this carries over to the next day. They have "broken" their diet so to speak and completely stop it - even in the face of previous progress towards the overall goal they had set.
I have found the same thing can happen for exercise, specifically running for me. I realize I am going to miss a weekly goal so rather than missing it by the one run I skipped I will skip several. If one were to look at my running tallies by percentage they would see +10%, + 15% and then you will see a negative 50%.
The "what the heck effect" is an interesting thing to be aware of and how it impacts you. What I had to learn first was to approach each new week as a new week towards my goals. In some cases I have learned to approach each new day or each new meal as a new one. Failure to meet my goals yesterday does not mean failure today. Failure at lunch does not mean failure at dinner. The lesson learned from this effect is to approach your goals going forward and not worry about the past.
"In the essentials: unity; in the non-essentials: liberty; in all things: love" - often incorrectly attributed to Augustine or John Wesley - original source in question
"Use peaceful means where they are appropriate; but where they are not appropriate, do not hesitate to resort to more forceful - Thupten Gyatso (the Dalai Lama, 1932)
"It is not the will to win that matters - everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters" Coach Paul 'Bear' Bryant.
"The ink of scholars is more precious than the blood of martyrs" - Muhammed
|07-08-2013, 12:30 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Haha I know that feeling! I skipped 1 1/2 week of gym cause it was raining too much and went off my diet. I went back on track mid week last week :P
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|07-08-2013, 02:15 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lexington, MA
This hits close to home. I'm fighting this battle right this very minute. I was 100% righteous with my exercise and diet for 4 months...lost a ton of weight and was feeling great. Then had a little injury setback and it was What the Heck. It feels easy when I'm in the middle of a "good" period, but damn it's hard to get 100% back on track.
|08-28-2013, 04:03 AM||#8 (permalink)|
I like Spyders now
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Costa Mesa, CA - Orange County
But in all seriousness - Fitness is as much mental, if not more, than it is physical. If you cheat on your diet or skip a workout it is imperative that you immediately refocus on what you SHOULD be doing and DO IT!!!