Week 15: Understanding Lapse, Relapse and Maybe Even Collapse
Past week review (no longer than 10 - 15 minutes). Last week's lesson was about "Just Desserts and Other Rewards." Did anybody give themselves a nonfood-oriented reward this week? What did you do?
Pause for discussion.
How about planning for some new ways to celebrate that aren't just about eating? What did you come up with?
The lesson also talked about DRL reinforcement schedules…and gave the example of a slot machine. Who remembers what "DRL" stands for?
If no one remembers the exact definition, the answer is: Differential, Random, Low frequency reinforcement.
So, when you reviewed the entries in your Urge Journal this week, what did you notice about your urges to eat? Are they changing? Growing weaker? Growing stronger?
Is it possible that you may have put them on a DRL schedule?
And why is that so bad?
Answer: Because that is the best and strongest way to keep that food cue alive.
Thinking about all this, what thoughts or experiences around food urges have you had that would be useful to share with the group? Anyone?
Now, before we go on to the lesson, does anyone have any other insights or interesting experiences that they think would be valuable to share with the group? What about any questions?
Wait for any response/discussion. (Be sure not to let this run too long or get too far off topic.)
Then, play the lesson. (Next Slide ) After Audio Check-In: What did you think of the lesson you just heard? Anyone have any thoughts they'd like to share? Questions? "Ah Ha Moments"?
Give people a bit of time to flush out initial reactions before moving on to the next discussion point. If there are no responses, simply move forward. Discussion Point 1: Today's lesson presented some interiority or inward awareness training exercises to help you in developing an internal locus of control, which means becoming more closely attuned to that inner feeling of what you know internally to be correct.
Let's go over the exercises so you can practice them during the week. By the way, the instructions are also in your workbook and you'll be doing these exercises again as part of your homework.
Be prepared to talk about your experiences with these exercises in group next week. For now, let's take a few minutes to practice them:
The first technique consists of three steps:
- Sit down and relax.
- First, look around you and mentally note the first three things that you see. For example, I see the desk, lamp, chair.
- Second, close your eyes and note your first three perceptions...that would be thoughts, sensations or feelings that you may have. No censoring. Just say to yourself what your first three perceptions are. Don't aim for epiphanies, just noticing is fine.
- Third, repeat steps 1 and 2 five times a sitting.
Let's all try it. Give people a few minutes to practice the technique.
Now, let's move on to the second technique, which is:
Sit with eyes closed: - Think about the food cues that are relevant for you. - Think about what was going on when the cue occurred? - What comes up when you think about them? - Think about the alternatives to eating that will satisfy those particular needs. Jot down your insights.
Give people a few minutes to practice the technique and to write down any insights.
Everyone clear on what to do? OK, have fun with that during the week.
Discussion Point 2: Now, let's talk about this week's lesson topic: understanding lapse, relapse and even collapse. Thinking about it, have you noticed any lapses beginning to occur in your modified fasting routine…or in your "Better Behaviors" resolutions or plans?
The first step toward success is to identify those lapses. Have you noticed any areas where you may be having some problems? So, who would like to start us off?
If no one speaks up, you can read this:
Don't be shy or embarrassed. This is really important so you can get help from the group in finding ways to strengthen your enthusiasm and resolve. That's why we are all here. So…who'll start?
Discussion Point 3: Now, think about the Urge Journal entries you made this week…remember, you should be reviewing them before the start of each meeting. Take a few minutes to think about them to see if you can identify any issues…prior lapses…or problem times, problem places, people, feelings, etc.
- What went wrong? - Did a specific person, place or thing trigger me and my urge to eat? - How was I feeling at that time? - Ask “Why?” five times to get to the root cause.
Think about: what strategies can I use next time?
Make yourself a checklist with those questions and use it to help you understand what's going on with you so you can avoid lapses in the future.
Repeat the five questions and give people time to write them down.
Who'd like to start us off by sharing a discovery?
Wrap-Up: Beware the "subtle slip" mentioned in the lesson. Remember, just having that little extra snack, or taking a day off, or using the excuse of a special celebration is a very bad idea and totally counter to the success that you are trying to achieve.
Now is definitely not the time to let down your guard! But, if you have slipped or lapsed, don't be discouraged. Use the group to help you get back on course NOW!
And before you go, just one more thing. In your workbook for this week, you’ll find an article called “Focus on Nutrition” which contains some really helpful tips on meal planning and successful shopping. Take the time to read it. See you next week!
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