A mistake is just a mistake and every time you make one, you ALWAYS have the option to turn yourself around immediately. This weekend, if you get off track, make the decision to put it behind you and get right back on track. Monday morning you will be so happy you did!
Don’t sit down with a big bag or container of ANYTHING. Portion off ahead of time how much you’re going to have and then sit down and eat it. Doing so will ensure that you don’t go overboard and will help you enjoy each bite more because you won’t be constantly asking yourself, “Should I have another one? Is this my last one? Should I have one more?”
Sabotaging Thought: Dieting is so hard! Why am I doing this?
Response: Good question! Why AM I doing this? It’s important for me to keep in mind at all times exactly why I’m working on losing weight and what I hope to get out of it. Reading a list, every day, of all these reasons will help me remember that dieting is hard, but the advantages make it worth it.
This week I had a session with my dieter, Rachel, whom I previously hadn’t seen in about eight months because she no longer needed weekly sessions. Rachel got in touch with me because she noticed that her weight had gone up a few pounds and so we agreed that we would have a session or two to help her get completely back on track.
In session, the first thing I did was give Rachel lots of credit because she was able to recognize that she was slipping in places (which was causing her to gain weight) and she faced the problem head-on, instead of waiting a few weeks or months or more (which could easily have turned a 5 pound weight gain into a 15 pound or more weight gain).
Rachel and I then discussed what things she had led slide lately and what old habits had been slowly creeping back. Here are the areas that Rachel identified as needing work:
1. Eating standing up. Instead of really being aware of everything that she was eating and making it a priority to eat sitting down, Rachel realized that she had lapsed back into eating while she was cooking, while she was clearing the dishes, and while she was making her kids’ lunches. While it wasn’t a whole lot of extra food, it certainly did start to add up at the end of the day/week.
2. Snacking with her kids. Before we began working together, Rachel would always snack with her kids and eat whatever they were having, without really thinking about it. One of the changes we had instituted was that Rachel had specific snack times during the day when she would have healthy snacks, not the crackers and snacky foods her kids ate. Rachel realized that she had slowly started getting away from deliberate snack times and had again started to eat whatever and whenever her kids did.
3. Eating whenever she felt hungry or just wanted to eat. Another change that Rachel and I had worked on was helping her overcome her fear of hunger and eat at specific times, to ensure that she didn’t overeat during the day (which was a risk because she worked from home). Rachel told me that she had started to do things like go into the kitchen whenever she felt like eating and having something, instead of waiting until her next meal or snack.
4. Keeping serving bowls on the table at dinner. Rachel had also decided a while ago that it was best to not keep big serving dishes on the table during meals because the extra food would tempt her and she would often end up having seconds, even though she didn’t need them. Removing the serving bowls enabled Rachel to just concentrate on what was on her plate and not constantly fight against the temptation to have more. Rachel realized that over the past few months, serving dishes had reappeared on the dinner table, which meant that Rachel sometimes took and ate more food than she needed.
Rachel and I then discussed exactly how she would get herself to correct these old habits and fortify her new, helpful habits. We also reviewed Rachel’s Advantages List and all of the wonderful benefits she has already experienced from losing weight, so that Rachel would remember exactly why it was worth it to her to get herself back in line and how much better she would feel as a result of doing so.
Many dieters imagine they’ll be happier eating off track but when they actually do, they feel just the opposite: sick, badly, guilty. Remember – the things you think you’ll feel as a result of eating off track might, in fact, just be a fantasy, and the reality of being off track may not feel nearly as good.
So often we hear from dieters sabotaging thoughts like, “I don’t deserve credit [for my weight loss efforts] because I should already be doing these things.” Here’s what we want them (and you!) to know: No you SHOULDN’T already be doing these things. If it was easy, nobody would be overweight. If it was easy, nobody who ever lost weight on a diet would gain it back. It’s really hard, but you’re learning and making progress, and you deserve credit EVERY step of the way.”
Being accountable for your actions is a critical part of successful weight loss because it enables you to recognize mistakes, which then allows you to learn from them for the future.
It’s not about the calories, it’s about the habit. Every time you give in to a craving and eat something unplanned (whether the food has 50 calories or 500 calories), you reinforce the habit of giving in, making it more likely you’ll give in the next time, and the time after that.
Sabotaging Thought: If I don’t have enough time for a long workout, it’s not worth doing anything.
Response: ANY amount of time spent exercising is better than no amount of time. It’s important to sometimes work out for smaller amounts of time so that I prove to myself that exercising doesn’t have to be ALL or NOTHING, it’s somewhere in the middle.
Because humans can go days without eating (barring any medical issues!), at any given time you never actually NEED to eat something. At that moment you may really WANT to eat, but that’s not the same as needing to eat.
The Beck Diet Program was developed by Dr. Judith S. Beck with Deborah Beck Busis, LCSW.
Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a leading international source for training, therapy, and resources in CBT.
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