The Oh Sh*t Response

You come home from work and you’re simultaneously fantasizing about popping off your bosses’ head like a champagne cork, giving your kids to Brangelina to raise, and/or breaking into your go-to karaoke rendition of “One is the Loneliest Number,” for the thousandth time.

Instead, you decide to power through a bag of pork rinds.

Oh Sh*t.

That’s the response you have when those pork rinds are sitting in your belly like a gut bomb.

To flesh it out, the internal dialogue sounds like this: oh sh*tIateporkrindsandnowI’mgoingtobefatandlonely

Or something like that.

The Oh Sh*t response leads to the burning desire for–more pork rinds–with a side of Easy Cheez.

Which of course leads to the kissin’ cousin of the Oh Sh*t response, Aw Screw It. You know exactly where Aw Screw It is don’t you? It’s that place where you tell yourself it doesn’t matter anymore so you might as well check out and eat what you want. Except is does matter.

Your thoughts about feeling scared or stressed or lonely might be what caused you to overeat in the moment, but it’s the Oh Sh*t response that will keep you overeating. The Oh Sh*t response is my technical term for the way we beat ourselves up for overeating. When you overeat, your Inner Lizard serves up the OS response as a way to try to keep you from doing it again. The lizard logic believes that by telling you how bad you are, you will then do good. That equation doesn’t balance. Non-loving thoughts always lead to non-loving action (e.g. Pork Rinds with Easy Cheez).

Here’s how to shift the sh*t.

1. Drop the sh*t
Without sh*t, you are left with oh. As in “Oh, I notice I’m feeling stressed/scared/lonely.” Or even “Oh, I put more food in my body than it needed, hmmm, something must be up.” Oh takes you back into being curious and interested about your thoughts and actions, which allows you to access the tools to make a shift.

2. Make peace
There will never be a time when you clean up all your thinking and never have another negative thought or feeling. Not gonna happen. The mind’s job is to produce thoughts, and some of them will be negative, we can’t stop it. Instead of judging yourself as backsliding or lacking, make peace with your thoughts. Just because they pop up doesn’t mean you have to buy into them, and the OS response means you’ve bought in hook, line and sinker.

3. Give yourself a break
I’m not talking about being Aw Screw It overly permissive, I’m talking about letting go of the OS response so you can focus on what’s really going on from a place of peaceful curiosity. Giving yourself a break by dropping the OS response allows you to go back to that issue with your boss/kids/empty house (Remember that? Yeah, the OS response is also a big giant distraction from your original thoughts and feelings.) and figure out what’s really going on.

Here’s your task: notice in the next few days (or the new few seconds if you have a highly active OS Response) where you’re having the OS Response and then use the steps above to create the shift.

Comment below and let me know how you did.

(And per Elise’s brilliant below, feel free to comment even if you don’t complete the task. ;-))