During this week’s phone session, our dieter Liz told us how overwhelmed, stressed, and tired she’s been lately, especially since she and family members are experiencing health problems. And for the past three weeks, Liz hasn’t been losing weight; she’s just lost and regained the same two pounds. So we agreed to evaluate whether it’s reasonable for her to keep trying to lose weight at this time, or whether she wants to work on maintaining her already impressive 53 pound loss.
We asked Liz to think about the past week which she had told us was “extremely difficult.” We asked Liz whether it was difficult for every hour of every day, or whether there were some hours or even days that were easier (Day 24 of The Beck Diet Solution). One common trap many dieters fall into is letting the memory of a few hours from a few days tinge their sense of the entire week. Liz realized that some mornings were easier than others, and that it was really a few difficult days, off and on, not the entire week.
Liz reported that making food plans and trying to lose weight seemed like a big burden at the moment, on top of everything else she was dealing with. We asked Liz to think back to the time before she started working with us. She realized that while she wasn’t making food plans then, she was actually quite burdened by her weight.
We then discussed her options. It’s very possible that right now she does have too much going on and now is not the right time to keep trying to lose weight. In that case, Liz can simply work on maintaining her weight and she can reevaluate her situation in a couple of months. Or Liz can decide that in spite of everything, she does want to keep working on losing more weight, but either way the choice is hers to make.
It’s important for Liz to make this decision because for the past few weeks when she’s seen the scale continue to go up and down two pounds, she’s been beating herself up about it and feeling down. If Liz decides to maintain her weight, then she can feel good about always being within 2 pounds of her maintenance weight, instead of feeling bad about it. And she can decide at any point to actively try losing again. Liz has decided to take the rest of the week to think it over.