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In Session with Debbie: Slipping

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.

In Session with Deborah: Valentine’s Day Candy Success

In session this week my dieter, Amy, told me about a major triumph she had during a long and stressful work meeting the day before.  Midway through the meeting, someone started passing out a big bowl full of Valentine’s Day candy, and everyone started digging in.  When the bowl was passed to Amy, Amy looked down at the treats and thought about how much she wanted one. But instead of taking one (or many) treats and eating them, Amy did something different – she didn’t take any and passed the bowl onto the next person. 

I asked Amy what she said to herself that enabled her to resist the Valentine’s Day candy.  Amy told me that although she really wanted the candy, not only because everyone else was eating it but also because she was feeling really stressed, she reminded herself of the following ideas:

If I give in, I’ll enjoy this for a few moments but then I’ll feel guilty about it the rest of the meeting, and probably afterwards.

This meeting is already stressful and I’m going through a stressful time at work. If I eat this, I’ll just feel even more stressed because I’ll worry about gaining weight.

Just because everyone else is eating it doesn’t mean I can. My body doesn’t know or care what they’re eating. It only knows what I eat.

I asked Amy if, looking back, she regretted not having eaten the candy and she told me that she absolutely didn’t regret it and, in fact, she hadn’t really thought about it again until our session that day.  I also asked Amy if she was actually feeling good about not having eaten the candy and Amy said that she really did because she felt proud of herself.  Amy and I then discussed some important things for her to remember based on this experience:

  1. She now was proven to herself that she can resist eating something, even when the situation is really difficult.  Amy has also now made it easier for her to resist the next time because she has made her resistance muscle stronger.
  2. Once Amy did resist, she didn’t spend the rest of the day regretting it. In fact, she didn’t even think about it once the situation had passed.  It wasn’t as if she spend the rest of the hour/day/week thinking, “I really wish I had eaten that candy.”  It just didn’t come up again.
  3. Not only did Amy not regret resisting the candy, but she actually felt good about it because she gave herself a lot of credit for doing so.  Although Amy continued to feel stress about her work situation, she didn’t add to that stress by also feeling guilty about her eating.

What I did with Amy is important for you, yourself, to also do. Whenever you have a success, ask yourself:

1. What was the situation and what were my sabotaging thoughts?

2. What did I say to myself that enabled me to stand firm?  How did I feel when I did so?  How am I feeling now about doing so?

3. What do I need to remember about this situation for next time?

5 Strategies to Get Through Hard Times

In our work with dieters, one of the first things we let them know is this: When they start out, dieting may be fairly easy because they are highly motivated, and then as they practice their skills more and more, dieting gets easier. But at some point, dieting will get more difficult.  This is normal and inevitable and it happens to everyone.  We also let dieters know that when this happens, it doesn’t mean that they are doing anything wrong, and if they keep pushing through dieting will get easier again, 100% of the time.  The problem is that most dieters don’t know that dieting is supposed to get hard at some point and when this happens they panic, thinking that something has gone wrong, it will continue to be this hard, and it’s just not worth it.  And then what happens? They give up.  But this giving up is entirely unnecessary because dieting will get easier again if they keep doing what they’re doing.

What dieters can do when the dieting gets hard:

1. Make sure that their Advantages Lists are not feeling stale.   During hard times it’s usually more difficult for dieters to remember just why it’s worth it to them to put in the necessary time and energy, so it’s important that they frequently remind themselves by reading their Advantages List However, not only is it important for dieters to read their list, it is also important for these lists to resonate with them and to feel fresh and inspiring.  If dieters have been reading the same list over and over again, it may start to feel rote.  To help with this, dieters try strategies like reword their list, add new items, read just the top three each day, take a few minute to really visualize some of the items, etc. 

2. Think about past experiences. When dieters are going through a harder time, they often forget how good it feels when they’re in control of their eating. If dieters take time to really think about a recent experience when they stayed in control and remember not only how good it felt, but also simply the fact that they were able to do it in the first place, it can help remind them that dieting is not always so difficult and that, most of the time, it feels worth it.

3. Focus on the basics. When dieting gets rough, it can be helpful for dieters to take a few steps back and concentrate just on some of the most essential dieting skills, like reading their Advantages List, reading Response Cards, eating everything sitting down, slowly, and mindfully, and giving themselves credit. Doing so can help dieters regain their focus and also feel more confident about what they’re doing because they already know they can do these things.

4. Respond to Sabotaging Thinking.  Often when dieters are going through a hard time, they have lots of sabotaging thoughts like, “This is so hard, I just can’t do it,” and, “It’s not worth it to me to continue trying to lose weight.”  If left unanswered, these thoughts can lead dieters to give up so it’s critical that they take time to identify what sabotaging thoughts they are having, make Response Cards, and practice reading them every day.    For example, dieters can remind themselves:

The things on my Advantages List are worth fighting for so just because it’s hard doesn’t mean I should give up. I’ve worked hard and accomplished other things in my life that weren’t immediately easy, and I can do this, too.

Hard times always pass. This is temporary and as long as I keep doing what I’m doing, it will get easier again.  Just keep working!

5. Make sure they are giving themselves credit.  Sometimes when dieting gets difficult dieters forget to give themselves credit for all of the good things they are still doing.  This is particularly likely to happen if they are only focusing on how hard or bad things feel.  When going through a hard time, it’s critically important for dieters to give themselves credit because they often begin to lose their confidence and sense of self-efficacy and question whether or not they can really do everything.  By recognizing the things that they are still doing, and doing well, they can fight against this and regain (or maintain) a sense of pride and achievement.

Instituting Exercise – Part II

I asked Jamie to think about the week to come and what sabotaging thoughts she might have that would get in the way of her enacting her exercise plan. Jamie reported that she might think:

• 20 minutes is almost nothing and it won’t do anything anyway

• It’s too hard to get myself to do it

• I’ll never be able to keep it up so why should I start

• I’m too busy/rushed/stressed to exercise this week, I’ll start next week

• I just don’t feel like exercising right now

[Do any of these sound familiar to you?]

In session I helped Jamie to examine each one of those thoughts and come up with responses to them. Here are Jamie’s new responses:

Sabotaging Thought: 20 minutes is almost nothing and it won’t do anything anyway

Response: 20 minutes is MUCH better than 0 minutes. I can work up from here but it’s important to start off smaller so that I don’t fall back into my all-or-nothing habit by having too hard of a goal and then getting overwhelmed and quitting, like I have done so many times in the past.

Sabotaging Thought: It’s too hard to get myself to do it

Response: The hardest part is just getting my sneakers on. Once I get myself out the door it will be easier. I’ve proven to myself that I can do hard things where dieting is concerned so I know I can do this hard thing, too. It’s so worth it!

Sabotaging Thought: I’ll never be able to keep it up anyway so why should I start

Response: In the past I’ve never kept up with exercise because I didn’t know how to identify and respond to my sabotaging thoughts. Now I have learned to talk back to the thoughts that would get in the way of my exercising consistently and I’ve also learned how to make diet and exercise a TOP priority and to not make excuses.

Sabotaging Thought: I’m too busy/rushed/stressed to exercise this week, I’ll start next week

Response: When has “starting next week” EVER helped me to reach my goals? I need to start doing these things THIS MINUTE or I never will. Besides, exercise will actually help me calm down and make me less stressed, not more. And being busy is NO excuse because I won’t be able to do all those other things if I’m not healthy.

Sabotaging Thought: I just don’t feel like exercising right now

Response: It’s true, I don’t feel like exercising. But even more I don’t feel like being overweight, putting my health at risk, and not being able to run around with my kids. Even though I don’t feel like it I just have to do it anyway because the payoff will be more than worth it.

I had Jamie write down each one of these responses onto Response Cards and part of her homework was to read them every single day until the ideas started to get more into her head.

I also discussed with Jamie that just doing the exercise is not the only important factor because it’s also very important what she says to herself while she’s doing it. I pointed out to Jamie that if, while she’s walking, she says to herself the whole time, “This is terrible. I hate doing this. I really wish I didn’t have to ever exercise. This stinks and I should be doing 100 other things right now,” then she’s going to have a pretty bad time and it’s going to be that much harder for her to get herself to exercise the next time. On the other hand, if Jamie says to herself while she’s walking, “Okay, I may not like this all that much but it’s GREAT that I’m doing this. This is so important for my health and my well-being and I know I’m going to get so many positive things in return. I deserve lots of credit for doing this,” then she’s likely going to have a much better time, actually end up feeling good about it, and will have an easier time getting her sneakers on the next time.

The bottom line: I had to help Jamie change her thinking so that she would be able to effectively change her behavior.

Angry Eating

When Jamie came in my office this week, she reported feeling disappointed.  Jamie thought she had kicked her emotional eating habits because, through lots of practice, she became adept at not eating when she was feeling sad or stressed.  This was something that Jamie had struggled with a lot at first because initially she thought she would not be able to handle feeling sad or stressed without turning to food.  Through our work together, Jamie learned that negative emotions are not going to kill her and she can do other things to comfort herself which will not have the end result of jeopardizing her diet and ultimately making her feel worse.  Jamie always gave herself a lot of credit for being able to handle these negative emotions without turning to food by using a multitude of other distracting techniques, like calling her sister or a friend, going for a walk, taking a shower, painting her nails, or listening to relaxing music. 

Yesterday evening, however, Jamie was out with a friend for dinner and midway through she got a phone call from her mother who made her angry and they ended up getting into a fight.  Jamie hung up the phone, still feeling mad.  Even though she’d almost finished the amount of food she had carefully portioned off from her plate that she would eat at dinner (and was planning to bring the rest home for lunch the next day), Jamie told me that she then proceeded to eat almost everything that was left on her plate, seemingly without noticing what she was doing.  It wasn’t until Jamie looked down at her near-empty plate that she realized she had just engaged in emotional eating, but this time it was in response to anger, not sadness or stress and felt discouraged.  I asked Jamie what she did after she realized this and Jamie reported that she left the restaurant, took a walk with her friend, and then called her mother to work the situation out.  I then asked Jamie if she had proceeded to order dessert at the restaurant or had gone home and eaten whatever was in her house.  In an almost puzzled fashion, Jamie answered, “of course not.”  I recognized what was going on here –Jamie was only focusing on the one mistake she had made that night and was not seeing all the multitude of great things she had done immediately after. 

I asked Jamie what she might have done a few years ago when she felt angry or worked up like that and she reported that she probably would have gone on to eat a lot more food to soothe herself.  I also asked Jamie what she would have done  in a situation in which she made an eating mistake and Jamie acknowledged that she probably would have gone on to eat a lot more the rest of the night, thinking she had blown it.  Jamie and I discussed how very differently she handled this situation and all of the important things that she deserved credit for.  Jamie was able to see that she deserved credit for:

  1. Once she realized she had eaten more than she planned, she did not catastrophize and continue to eat out of hand the rest of the night
  2. After dinner she took a walk to calm herself down instead of turning to more food
  3. She got problem-solving oriented and called her mom to work out the problem
  4. She was able to identify what was going on – that she was eating because she was angry – and respond to sabotaging thoughts that were urging her to keep eating
  5. She was ready to learn from the situation and would be more aware of all forms of emotional eating in the future

I pointed out to Jamie what I point out to all of my dieters: that ALL dieters and maintainers make mistakes, they are just able to recover from them right away.  Jamie and I discussed the fact that, without even realizing it, this is exactly what Jamie did because as soon as she realized she had eaten more than she planned, she put the brakes on eating right away.  We also talked about the fact that instead of feeling good about this situation and how she had proved to herself that she can recover right away, Jamie was actually making herself feel worse by only focusing on the one thing she did wrong, instead of the 20 positive things she did right after.  Jamie and I decided that as part of her homework this week, she would start focusing more on giving herself credit for all the positive things she did, both big and small.

Eating with Distractions

Since getting back on track, one of the hardest things for Jamie has been to try to eat things without too many distractions.  She has a very busy professional life and (especially during lunch time) she does not want to take a break from what she is doing to eat and will often try to work and eat simultaneously.  In session Jamie told me that the day before she was reading a research article while she was eating her prepared soup and sandwich.   Since the article was somewhat hard to understand and took a lot of concentration, most of Jamie’s focus was going towards that. 

After about three minutes Jamie tuned back into what she was eating and realized that she had eaten just over half her lunch and had barely noticed or tasted it at all.  Jamie immediately became annoyed and chastised herself, saying “You should know better than this.  I can’t believe you just ate half your lunch without paying any attention to it.”  However, Jamie told me that as soon as she noticed what she was saying to herself, she thought about to things we had discussed in other sessions and reminded herself that beating herself up for mistakes will serve no positive function at all. She knew that the only thing it would do would be to make her feel worse and erode her confidence, which might then make it harder to get back and stay on track the rest of the day because it would cause her to doubt whether or not she was capable of it.

Jamie told me that she realized that what she had to do was take a moment to re-group and get over the fact that half her lunch was now gone, learn from the experience, and do things differently next time.  Jamie then turned off her computer monitor and made sure that she ate the rest of her lunch slowly, while noticing and enjoying every bite.  Jamie was once again reminded how crucial it is to enjoy ever y bite because she ended up feeling satisfied at  the end of her lunch, but knew that she would not be feeling this way if she had continued to mindlessly eat while reading the article.

In session I gave Jamie a LOT of credit for being able to make a mistake and then recover from it right away.  We discussed the fact that even successful dieters and maintainers make mistakes (because no one is perfect), but the difference is that they are able to recover from them immediately.  Jamie and I also discussed how much confidence this situation gave her because she proved to herself that she could make a mistake, identify and respond to her sabotaging thinking, and get right back on track.  I pointed out to Jamie that this situation is also interesting because it started out as something that could have made her feel bad and guilty – eating half her lunch without noticing or enjoying it – and because she was able to recover right away it actually ended up making her feel really good about herself.

Jamie and I also did some problem-solving and she decided that until she was able to split her focus better, for the time being she would work on not doing anything distracting while eating lunch and would instead focus on enjoying her eating.  I helped Jamie formulate responses to some sabotaging thinking we predicted she might have about taking time away from work to eat so that she would be able to strongly remind herself just why it was worth it to turn off her computer monitor and take time to ensure that her lunch gave her both physical and psychological satisfaction.

Ice Cream and Regrets

Jamie came into session today and reported that she had a significant experience over the weekend at an ice cream parlor.  She explained to me that she had planned in advance to go and have a small size ice cream so that she could still have a drink with dinner.  However, when Jamie and her friend were waiting in line at the ice cream counter, they discussed what they were going to have and her friend said he was going to have a medium-sized cup. Immediately Jamie’s sabotaging thoughts started kicking in – “If he’s having a medium, then so can I; It’s not fair that I should have to get a smaller size; I’ll enjoy it more if I get the bigger size; I know I planned to have a small but it won’t really matter if I get a medium” and so on and so on. 

Jamie reported that she did not at that moment take the time to identify what thoughts she was having and come up with responses to them, and so she ended up ordering a medium despite her initial plan to get a small. I asked Jamie how she felt after finishing her ice cream and she said that she felt bad about herself and guilty because she went off plan.  Jamie also believes she would have actually been happier ordering the smaller size because then she would have been able to enjoy each bite knowing she had planned for it, instead of feeling guilty about the extra ice cream she was consuming.  And because Jamie continued to feel bad about the situation and let her sabotaging thoughts go unchecked, she also ended up eating more at dinner than she had planned.

Jamie and I discussed this situation in depth during her session to see what we could learn from it.  First I asked Jamie if she had done any preparing before she went out for ice cream, such as reading her Advantages List or Response Cards which would remind her how and why to not give in to cravings.  Jamie told me that she thought about the ideas but didn’t actually read the cards, assuming the messages were well-enough engrained.  I explained to Jamie we’ve found this to be true for the majority of the dieters we work with – that just thinking about the response cards is not good enough; something about actually reading them seems to enter the brain in a different and more substantial way. 

Jamie and I also discussed the paradox that she thought she would be happier with the larger size, and then ended up enjoying it less because she felt guilty about going off her plan.  I reminded Jamie of her previous experience with the french fries and how good it felt to eat a smaller, planned portion, and how much she enjoyed each one.  I asked Jamie if she regretted not eating more fries on that day and Jamie realized that while she did not regret not eating more fries, she did regret eating more ice cream.

Lastly, Jamie and talked about how this one experience of giving in to sabotaging thinking led her then to give in to more sabotaging thoughts later in the day.  I reminded Jamie that this experience wasn’t only significant because she took in extra ice cream calories, it was also important because this one time of giving in led her to give in again later that day.  Jamie agreed, saying that if she had stuck with the small ice cream, she thinks it would have been easier for her to stay on plan the rest of the day because she would be feeling good about herself and her eating and would already have experiences from that day of not giving in.

I asked Jamie to think about what she would away from this discussion and she listed:

1. It’s important to actually READ her Advantages List and Response Cards before going into a challenging situation

2. Make a new Response Card reminding her that when she sticks to her planned portion of food, she feels much better about it, is able to enjoy it more, and absolutely does not regret not eating more

3. Remember that every time does matter, and going off her plan earlier in the day strengthened her giving-in muscle and triggered her to eat off track later in the day.

I ended by giving Jamie a whole lot of credit for not allowing herself to continue eating out of hand the next day and for getting back on track.  I reminded her that even experiences where she doesn’t do as well are extremely important because we can learn as much from them (and sometimes more) as from successful ones.

Out to Dinner

Jamie came into session today and told me about a great experience she had with eating out the night before.  She reported that she deliberately did several important things in preparation of going out to eat, which greatly contributed to her feeling of success.  First, Jamie asked her friend if they could pick the restaurant ahead of time so that she would be able to look at the menu online and make preemptive food decisions.  While she was looking at the menu earlier in the day, Jamie knew that she wanted to incorporate a reasonable portion french fries into her dinner because she loved them at this particular restaurant.  Because of this choice, Jamie also definitively decided not to take anything from the bread basket when it was served although she knew that, in the moment, this wouldn’t be easy.  Another thing Jamie did was make sure she got to the restaurant a few minutes early and used that time to read her Advantages List and also a response card that she had made about saying no to the bread basket.  By doing this, Jamie ensured that  it would be front and center in her mind why it was worth it to her to stay on track during dinner.

Jamie told me that at the restaurant she didn’t even bother looking at the menu because she didn’t want to be tempted into ording something she hadn’t planned for. Jamie ordered what she had previously decided to, and then when the bread basket came out she was able to remind herself of why she wasn’t going to have any.  Jamie told me that she was surprised to find it wasn’t very difficult for her to stay away from the bread, but that she thought deciding ahead of time not to have any really did make it easier.  Not so easy was when Jamie’s food came and she looked at the huge pile of french fries on her plate, knowing that she could not stick to her diet and eat them all.  Jamie  said that her sabotaging thoughts immediately began popping up urging her to jump in and eat them [this one time won’t matter; I’m having dinner out, I can treat myself; I did so well turning down the bread that I deserve more fries; I won’t be able to enjoy myself unless I eat all of them].  Jamie reminded herself strongly that it was worth it to her to not eat the whole portion because not only would she feel sick and mad at herself after, but she would also be giving into her resistance muscle and making it more likely that she would do the same thing in the future.  Jamie also told herself that it was imperative that she prove to herself that she could eat fries and stay in control and she had NO CHOICE about not eating them all.

Throughout dinner Jamie was careful to divide her attention between talking with her friend and eating her food. Jamie knew that if she did not pay attention to her food she would wind up eating more than she had planned and she wouldn’t be able to enjoy what she did eat nearly as much.  Jamie was also cognizant of the condiments she used with dinner and did not fool herself into thinking that these things did not contribute to the calorie count of her meal. 

Because Jamie had thoroughly prepared herself ahead of time, she was able to stick to a very reasonable portion of fries and she was able to notice and enjoy every single one that she did eat, which enabled her to not feel deprived.  Jamie and I discussed this situation in session and listed all of the many things that she deserved credit for.  I asked Jamie if, looking back, she regretted not eating all of her fries or not taking from the bread basket and Jamie answered that she absolutely did not regret it; rather she felt incredibly proud of herself that she was able to stay in control and enjoy everything she ate.  Jamie and I discussed this paradox – that dieters think they’ll be happy if they can eat any food they want in whatever quantity they want, when in reality most find that the exact opposite is true. This certainly was true for Jamie because actually restricting her bread and french fry intake allowed her to enjoy her meal more, knowing that she was staying in control and would still feel good about it later.

Amy’s Business Trip

Amy came in this week feeling quite defeated. Although she had previously been doing quite well with making food plans and sticking to them, she had been on a business trip earlier this week and hadn’t been able to write down her food. She viewed the trip as a complete “failure,” which left her feeling demoralized and unmotivated. As soon as I heard this, I realized very quickly that Amy was probably catastrophizing the trip, and viewing it as much worse than it actually was. I asked Amy what she had done right on the trip, and initially she couldn’t think of anything.  I then asked her if she had practiced any of her other skills during the trip. After thinking about it, Amy admitted that she was still very conscious of eating everything slowly, sitting down, and while enjoying every bite. Even though she ate at restaurants for every meal, Amy said that she always worked hard to make smart food decisions and never finished the whole portion she was served.  She also consistently resisted the cookies and muffins that were served throughout the day as snacks, and she always chose fresh fruit for dessert instead.  And because of all these things she was doing right, Amy didn’t gain a single pound on her trip.

It can be hard to believe that in light of all these things, Amy could have viewed this trip as a complete failure, but this happens often to dieters. They tend to focus only on the things they are doing wrong, or not as well, and completely discount all of the many, many things they are doing right. I asked Amy to take another, more objective look at her trip. When squarely faced with a list of all the things she deserved credit for, Amy was able to realize that the trip wasn’t a failure even a little bit – in fact, for the most part it was actually a huge success. Once she stopped catastrophizing and put the trip in perspective, Amy immediately felt better and even more confident about her ability to handle trips in the future.

Making Friends With Food– An article in SHAPE Magazine

In the October 2009 issue of SHAPE magazine (see p. 70), a dieter tells readers how Dr. Judith Beck (and The Beck Diet Solution) is helping her develop strategies to target her emotional eating, boost her confidence, resist unhealthy temptations, and continue to lose weight.

In the article, the dieter mentions a favorite strategy that’s been helpful to her and which Dr. Beck emphasizes with all dieters:

Identifying and reminding oneself of the advantages of losing weight

She explains that when she becomes tempted by a bag of chips, she runs downs her list of why that bag of chips is NOT worth it. She also talks about how Dr. Beck has taught her the importance of giving herself credit—and that she deserves credit EVERY time she proves strong enough to resist and stick to her plan.