One of our dieters, April, was having trouble this week finding time to get to all of her diet activities: sitting down to a proper breakfast, preparing lunch to take to work, cooking dinner, and going to the supermarket. April’s sabotaging thoughts kept getting in the way: “I’ll go to the supermarket tomorrow;” “I’d rather read the newspaper than fix a lunch to go,” “If I grab some fast food on the way home, I’ll have more time to email my friends tonight.” April hadn’t truly accepted the necessity of making time for dieting. We stressed the importance of prioritizing her time, of fitting the rest of her life around dieting activities (Day 8 of The Beck Diet Solution), not vice versa. We discussed doing her dieting activities first, then using reading, gardening, and watching television as rewards.
For now, April has to put all of her dieting activities at the very top of her priority list, and not do anything that’s lower on the list until she’s completed them. That means no reading the newspaper in the morning until she’s prepared her breakfast and lunch, no gardening on the weekends until she’s made her weekly trip to the supermarket, and no watching television at night until she’s completed her food plan for the next day. We also discussed that these dieting activities will soon become second nature; if April pushes herself now to respond to her sabotaging thoughts and change her habits, dieting will get easier and easier.