Diana’s birthday is on Wednesday and with it comes a multitude of food temptations – meals out, a party, cake, etc. Diana’s family took her out to dinner on Sunday where they serve huge, family-style portions of food. In the past Diana would have gone all out at such a meal, with the permission-giving thoughts, “It’s ok to eat this because I’m celebrating; it’s free; everyone else is eating it; I’ll hurt their feelings if I don’t eat a lot.” This year, however, Diana was able to recognize these for what they really are – sabotaging thoughts that will cause her to stray from her diet (discussed on Day 25 of The Beck Diet Solution). To counteract them, Diana firmly planned what she would eat before she got to the restaurant, read her Advantages List, and announced to her family in the car that she was not going to overeat (Day 30).
Diana’s preparations paid off. When she got to the restaurant, she was tempted by the smell and sight all of the food, but she resolutely stuck to her planned meal. She passed up almost all of the tempting dishes her family ordered, knowing that she couldn’t eat them and still lose weight. Diana reported that there were also quite a few birthdays at the restaurant that night, as the waiters were frequently bringing patrons huge slices of cake with candles. Diana said her family tried to order a slice of birthday cake for her too, but because it wasn’t on her plan she refused the offer and instead had the low calorie desert she had planned when she returned home.
Because Diana is very active in her church, they too wanted to celebrate her birthday by getting her a big cake. Diana knew that she would be tempted by the cake and so she told her church that she didn’t want one, and instead they sang to her on Sunday, because “singing doesn’t have any calories.” So far Diana is handling her birthday obstacles without difficulty; she lost 3 ½ pounds this week.