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Podcast #41: The "What the Hell" effect

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:15 am
by reinhard

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:38 pm
by gratefuldeb67
"red journalling.. it sounds a little marxist!" hahah that cracked me up reinhard! lol :lol:
great podcast!

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:33 pm
by ellgee
Wow! What a brilliant idea! Negative qualification.

I think this could possibly work for me because I AM the "What the Hell" poster girl. I could even go so far as to say it has, unknowingly, been my life's philosphy.

And going forward from today, I will qualify my reds in my check in thread. I say going forward because I can at least save myself the negative qualification for my red Thursday and Friday. Ugh!

Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:01 am
by idontknow
Relevant for me on so many levels. Thank you :D

Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:19 pm
by Sinnie
I needed to read that. Excellent podcast!

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:22 am
by lbb (Liz)
THANK YOU, Reinhard! Wish I had heard this earlier as I had quite the "What the hell" this weekend. Oh well. Mark it and move on.
This is ingenious!

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:08 pm
by r.jean
I like this idea and have started using it. It brought to mind the saying that "confession is good for the soul." I agree that there is some shame and embarrassment in confessing your failures which brings on a need to minimize those failures.

I have already figured out that I do better when I am posting. The idea of negative qualification makes sense.

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:15 am
by oolala53
I just read the transcript and realized I used another catch phrase from the board to record my fail. I think it might work almost as well as having to spell out the fail. I said I had only dented the car, not crashed it into a wall. Being able to claim that helped.

The problem with full confession would be that if people found it too painful, they just wouldn't report it, which is what happens when people are supposed to be tracking their food. When they binge, it takes a pretty strong person to write it down. Of course, the weak will not get the results, but at those moments, they're often willing to give them up anyway.

Another problem might be that once people get over the trauma of it, they might just get good at it and it would lose its effect. Though the sense of self-acceptance might have beneficial effects as well.

Just knowing about this from the psychiatric literature does seem to help. Funny that after all the years of listening to people talk about this on other diet boards, it was when it was identified that it got clearer how detrimental it is.

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:58 am
by M's sick of dieting
This "what the hell" is exactly what caused me personally to put on 20-30 pounds. I can only stick to a diet for 4 days, tops! Then we'll go out for dinner or the husband brings me and the kids ice cream, or someone brings brownies to work. I slip up once and it takes me till next Sunday to start my next diet.

I think it took no s-ing for me to take the food off the pedistal. Does that make sense? When I'm dieting, all I want is food I'm not suppose to have. When I'm no s-ing and eating what I want, I don't food obsess so much. Sure I want the brownie, and in a couple days I can have one. A real brownie not some diet concoction brownie:)

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:45 pm
by oolala53
Didn't mean to sound so hard on this idea. Despite detractions, it's still in the top 10% of smart ways to deal with food excess.

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:46 pm
by lbb (Liz)
"I think it took no s-ing for me to take the food off the pedistal. Does that make sense? When I'm dieting, all I want is food I'm not suppose to have. When I'm no s-ing and eating what I want, I don't food obsess so much. Sure I want the brownie, and in a couple days I can have one. A real brownie not some diet concoction brownie:)"
I love this.
I agree where food doesn't become such a big deal.
It's like I eat the donut on the weekend and say, okay that was nice, but moving on...
And never, oh never, will you find me eating another diet concoction brownie.
I'd rather have nothing!
Good luck and move forward!

Change the Meaning

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:09 pm
by KHousley
This is just something I thought about for myself.

I definitely do "What the Hell Eating" but what if I changed the meaning of the statement for me. Instead of it meaning, What the hell, I've blown it I might as well eat the rest". It could mean, what the hell, I ate a donut, big deal, it doesn't have to ruin my entire day. There are many moments throughout the day, why put so much signifigance into one.

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:59 pm
by oolala53
Absolutely, KH. We could say the same thing about our eating in general and our bodies' appearance. So small in the scheme of things.

Actually, I think the WTH effect is as much our brain's way of getting us to feed that habit as anything. The circuitry is set up for overeating certain palatable foods (from multiple experiences, i.e., pairings), and in the presence of the stimulus, the brain will invent any thought to get us to do it. What's the most amazing part is that the brain will also let you think thoughts to counteract that!

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:29 am
by lbb (Liz)
Very intriguing what you said about the brain process, oolala! Thinking of it that way kinda helps in binge situations. Like, okay my brain is going to try and make me do something that's easy. I'll try and shift it into something different....
Like when I over-ate tonight, it was strangely comforting and familiar. I don't know one cookie or nibble but I know 10 or nothing. My brain had an automatic response for the situation I put myself into!

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:34 am
by oolala53
That is exactly right. Understanding this two years ago is part of what helped me commit to No S. I realized this ain't no touchy-feely thing, though it can be that, too, but this is real brain chemistry stuff and good luck trying to talk your way around it. The only way to minimize the connection is to interrupt the cycle, preferably at the beginning, before you dent the car. But after the dent, drive away!

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:56 pm
by MJ7910
i have had a lot of WTH thinking lately and i realize what it is. it is because i have an all or nothing mentality to life. If i'm doing well i want to do really well. if i mess up, might as well royally screw up. this is why i have always had such a problem with moderation. i tend to do really great on "diets" at first. once i lose a good amount of weight i start to think i can go back to my old ways and i do, full force. i need to learn how to practice moderation and i need to learn that one mess up isn't a complete failure.

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:29 pm
by oolala53
Amen. And you are not alone.

I bet there are areas of life in which you are not this way, though, where you have accomplished a lot while not being perfect along the way. It's good to acknowledge those, too.

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:30 pm
by MJ7910
true. there are areas of my life that dont' apply to food or weight loss that are not like this at all.

food is my achilles heel.

Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:53 pm
by Gabe
I've heard of the "what the hell" effect (or WTH) before, but in a different context. I have read about it on a kettlebell web-site and it was used for people who had unexpected results due to exercise. So I guess a no-s/everyday system example would be say you start to do shovelglove every N day and you do it for a month. Then one day you have to do some non-exercise activity that has no real correlation to shovelglove that you have done in the past but had struggled w/ it. But this time you have no problem performing the task. That is considered a, based on the aforementioned web-site, a WTH effect. So I guess there is a positive spin on the WTH effect. Besides, if I'm gonna mess up a S-day, personally, I'm not gonna say "what the hell," I'll go all out and say "F**k it!" Thankfully, hasn't happened in awhile!

What the hell system

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:54 pm
by Jethro
Like many, I've also succumbed to the what the hell syndrome.

To avoid it, I ask myself: I missed an exit on the expressway, would I crash my car against the guard rails or do I get off on the next exit and comeback?

This little mantra has worked for me. But I admit that sometimes extenuating circumstances force you to score a red.

For example, while traveling abroad, during one dinner with my wife I ordered what I thought was a carafe of wine. It turned out to be a large bottle containing six units. Since i wasn't going to be walking around town carrying a bottle of wine I exceeded my daily quota. But I did not drink anymore in the evening.