October 31, 2012 – Wednesday Sabotage

Sabotaging Thought: It’s Halloween so I can eat as much candy as I want.

Response: No matter what day of the year it is, if I overeat candy, it will have negative consequences. While it’s reasonable to plan to have some candy today, it’s also reasonable to ensure that I eat it in a controlled way so that this day doesn’t throw me off track. It's not worth it!

October 30, 2012 – Tuesday Reality Check

Sometimes dieters think, “I’ll never achieve and maintain my ideal weight.” We remind them that we don’t even know what their ideal weight is in the beginning because, in our definition, it is the weight they get down to when they are eating and exercising in a healthy and consistent manner. We also remind them that getting there and staying there is purely a matter of learning specific skills and practicing them over and over again until they get better and better.

October 29, 2012 – Monday Motivation

Important reminder: Although dieting may feel really difficult at times, so many great things come as a result of pushing through. Remember, it’s not as if you have to work hard to be disciplined and control your eating and get nothing in return – actually just the opposite is true. By doing all these things you’ll get the MOST IMPORANT things in return (improved health, self-confidence, pride, reduced physical and emotional pain, etc.).

October 26, 2012 – Friday Weekend Warm-up

Unfortunately there are no ‘healthy food fairies’ that will drop off food for you, so if you want to have healthy foods available, it means you have to make it happen. This weekend, take some time to think about what healthy foods you’d like to eat during the week and go out and buy them! Then make a plan for how and when you’ll eat them.

October 25, 2012 – Think Thin Thursday Tip

Dieters make mistakes most often when they unexpectedly face a hard eating situation. You can limit this by thinking through your day as a whole and taking the time to figure out when dieting might be difficult that day. This way, if it does become difficult, you’ll be in a much better position to handle it because you’ll be prepared mentally.

October 24, 2012 – Wednesday Sabotage

Sabotaging Thought: It’s okay to eat this because I’m working out later and will burn it off.

Response: I can’t rely on “burning it off later” as an effective way to reduce calories because not only is it possible I’ll end up skipping my workout, but likely I also overestimate the number of calories I burn while exercising, anyway. If I want to lose weight and keep it off, I can’t use the prospect of future exercise as a reasonable excuse to eat something.

October 23, 2012 – Tuesday Reality Check

In dieting, you can’t always stop sabotaging thoughts from occurring (after all, most of them are pretty automatic), but you can 100% control whether or not you give in and let them derail you. Remember, just because you think it doesn’t mean it’s true.

Bariatric Surgery Sabotaging Thoughts

Last week, Dr. Judith Beck and I presented at a Bariatric Surgery conference and we spoke about helping bariatric surgery patients change their thinking to help them better adjust to their new lifestyles and stick with their new way of eating.  Here are some sabotaging thoughts and responses that are particularly relevant for people who have had (or are thinking about having) some type of bariatric surgery.

Sabotaging Thought: Now that I’ve had the surgery, it’s not fair that I can’t eat normally.

Response: I need to change my definition of ‘normal’ eating.  I actually am eating 100% normally for someone who has had bariatric surgery. The way I used to eat is no longer normal (and remember – it was likely never really “normal” in the first place because it caused me to be overweight). My new normal is following my diet.


Sabotaging Thought: I won’t be able to take part in big celebratory meals anymore

Response: I can still celebrate occasions without overeating or overdrinking. I don’t have to make toasts with alcohol in my glass, I can celebrate a birthday even though I’m only eating a little (or no) cake, and I can still take part in the social aspects of special events regardless of what I eat.  What I’m eating or not eating does not have to determine how much enjoyment I get.  Besides, once I lose weight, I’ll get to enjoy looking and feeling great – which will be so much more pleasurable.


Sabotaging Thought: I’m afraid I won’t know who I am after losing so much weight.

Response: It’s true, things will look and feel very differently. It may require some renegotiation on my part to figure out where I fit in, and renegotiations with others to figure out our relationships, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.  It’s better than the alternative of staying overweight, feeling miserable, and continuing to be stuck in an unhappy and unhealthy place. 


Sabotaging Thought: I’m sad I won’t be able to binge anymore.

Response: By having this surgery done, I am giving some things up and there are definitely disadvantages. It’s okay to be sad about what I’m losing, but it’s also important to think about how much I’m gaining, and how all-encompassingly great those things are, like better health, self-pride, and confidence.   I’ll be giving some things up, but in many ways, I’ll be getting my life back in return.


Sabotaging Thought: I’m afraid that I won’t be able to handle so much change.

Response: Thank goodness things will change! I need change to keep moving forward and to improve my life. Change can initially be scary, but that doesn’t mean I can’t handle it, and that doesn’t mean it won’t be 100% worth it.

October 22, 2012 – Monday Motivation

If you think, “Everyone else gets to eat normally, why can’t I?” Remind yourself that you ARE eating normally for someone trying to lose weight (or keep it off)! It’s important to change your definition of ‘normal’ eating and remember that your eating is 100% normal for someone with your goals.

October 19, 2012 – Friday Weekend Warm-up

If you think, “I’ll just eat whatever I want this weekend and start again on Monday,” remind yourself that getting off track every weekend is a prescription for gaining weight or staying at a higher weight. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you have to be consistent with your eating, and practice your skills consistently, 7 days a week. We wish it were different but it’s not!