Good reminder: Achieving a really big goal (like losing and maintaining weight) is really a matter of achieving many smaller goals along the way. This week, commit to a smaller goal, like eating everything sitting down or deciding in advance when and how many treats you’ll have. Eventually the small goals lead up to big ones!
This weekend, remember, when you say “no” to eating something, you’re also saying “yes” to even better things: losing weight, better health, increased self-confidence, feeling proud of yourself, and more. Focus on what you’re saying YES to!
When I saw that what we were doing just wasn’t working, I knew we had to try a different strategy. As usual, I asked Katie to describe some of the situations from the past week in which she went off track. She told me that she ate a roll at dinner when she didn’t plan to and she had unplanned desserts in the evening.
Eating half of your (presumably much too big) meal at a restaurant and bringing the other half home is a win/win/win situation: you get to enjoy the meal twice, you pay only once for two meals, AND you get to continue working on healthy eating and healthy habits!
Sabotage: I need to eat to make this craving go away.
Response: I NEVER need to eat to make a craving go away. Cravings are like itches – the more I focus on them, the worse they get. The moment I start to get distracted is the moment the craving starts to go away.
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.
There is a big difference between things that are really hard and things that are impossible. If you feel daunted by the prospect of losing and maintaining weight, remind yourself that it is a matter of learning and practicing (over and over again) necessary skills, not an impossible feat. Telling yourself it’s impossible is an excuse to give up. Telling yourself it’s hard but worth working on is a motivation to keep moving forward.
Not getting enough sleep makes everything seem harder, including (or maybe especially) sticking to healthy eating. This weekend, catch up on your sleep! You’ll have more mental and physical energy to do what you need to do.
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 making yourself feel bad for making mistakes, it’s about learning from them to help you keep moving forward.
Sabotage: I did lose a little weight this week, but I’m disappointed it’s not more.
Response: Real life weight loss has NOTHING to do with weight loss TV shows. In real life, losing between ½ a pound and 2 pounds a week is exactly in the right range. Although I wish I was losing weight more quickly, I must remember that doing so has never enabled me to keep it off. Every pound lost is a victory and ultimately adds up to major weight loss.
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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