Our First 2 Day Workshop!

Last week we had our first two-day Diet Workshop for Professionals and it was so great to spend more time with our attendees! Throughout the workshop, we realized just how many advantages there are to having an extra day. We were able to go into more depth on our customary topics and cover many others that we don’t usually have time for, such as helping clients set up and institute a consistent exercise program, deal with anxiety about getting on the scale, and put systems in place fDBB JSB 2or lifetime maintenance. 

We also were able to do many more demonstration role-plays as well as have our participants practice doing role plays with each other, which we then discussed as a group and came up with suggestions for the difficulties they had.  In one demonstration role play, a dieter named “Kate” was having trouble with her food pusher mother and was anticipating that at her father’s upcoming birthday celebration, it would be very difficult for her to stick to her plan of not having cake. 

In the role play, I first found why Kate didn’t want to have the cake. I asked her why else it was worth it to her to not eat the cake and then we discussed what thoughts she might have that could lead to breaking her resolve.  Kate told me that one thought she might have is, “But I really like cake and it tastes good.” I then asked Kate, “How much enjoyment do you think you’d get from the cake if you ate it at the party, knowing that you hadn’t planned to and knowing that you were once again giving in to your mother’s food pushing?” Kate told me that the guilt and annoyance she would feel would greatly diminish the pleasure of eating the cake and we discussed the fact that the thought of eating the cake would actually be better than the reality of doing so.  It was important for Kate to realize this so she could be more firm with herself, which in turn would help her be more firm with her mother, too.  Next, Kate and I discussed what her mother might say to her on that day and exactly what she could say in response. 

One participant posted the following (unsolicited) message on the Beck Diet Solution Facebook page, which made us feel very gratified: I just completed a two-day workshop on CBT for Weight Loss (for clinicians) at the Beck Institute. What a fantastic opportunity! I learned valuable lessons from Debbie (Deborah Beck Busis) and Judy (Dr. Judith Beck). Their depth of knowledge and their expertise in conveying information to the audience was phenomenal. This was one of the best training experiences I’ve ever had in my life. We were also treated at the end by receiving a surprise visit from the distinguished Professor Aaron Beck. He graciously answered our questions, although many of us including me were speechless. I would like to thank all the employees of Beck Institute who made this opportunity possible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

We are thrilled to have been able to give our participants concrete strategies to use with their clients and had a great time during the workshop. We’re looking forward to doing it again in November!

For more information on our Beck Diet Solution workshops either for professionals or for consumers, click here: http://www.beckinstitute.org/cbt-training/diet-workshops/

July 11, 2013 – Think Thin Thursday Tip

Feeling deprived is a state of mind. You can limit yourself to one cookie and think, “This is so unfair, I wish I could eat more, this really stinks,” OR you could limit yourself to one cookie and think, “It’s not all-or-nothing. I can still have one cookie and lose weight. Good for me for stopping here, this will really help me reach my goals.”

July 10, 2013 – Wednesday Sabotage

Sabotaging Thought: I can’t believe I just ate that. I’ve really blown it for the day so I might as well keep eating and get back on track tomorrow.

Response: There is no such thing as “blowing it for the day.” Every single bite of food I eat today will continue to add up. Get back on track right this moment!

July 9, 2013 – Tuesday Reality Check

Remember – you can’t change what you’ve eaten in the past, you can only change what you eat today, tomorrow, and in the future. Instead of dwelling on mistakes you may have made previously, focus on how you can make TODAY a great eating day.

July 8, 2013 – Monday Motivation

When you think, “If I start to think this is really working, I might jinx myself,” remind yourself that believing in yourself can’t lead to bad luck. In fact, reminding yourself of all the skills you’ve developed and the progress you’ve made will help you keep moving forward. Believe it!

July 4, 2013 – Think Thin Thursday Tip

To those of us celebrating it, Happy 4th of July! If you got to barbeques today, remember – you can still eat reasonable portions of food AND lose weight and keep it off. You just can’t OVEREAT and lose weight. It’s not all-or-nothing!

July 3, 2013 – Wednesday Sabotage

Sabotaging Thought: I wish I were losing weight more quickly like I have in the past.

Response: I lost weight quickly in the past because I was doing things in a more extreme way (which I wasn’t able to keep up and consequently gained weight back). I’m doing things in a moderate way now so it makes sense that my weight loss is more moderate. But, in the course of the rest of my life, it doesn’t matter if it takes extra time to lose the weight because it’s not coming back!

Advantages List – Part II

I described in Part I how I helped Angie make her Advantages List.  This was only half the battle, however, and our next job was figuring out how she could get herself to read it every morning.  I told Angie that it would be best for her to read her Advantages List first thing in the morning, before she ate anything for the day, and asked her when, during her morning routine, she might be able to incorporate this.  Angie decided that it would be best if she kept it on her bedside table and read it first thing in the morning before other people (like her husband and kids) started asking her to do things.  I asked Angie if she would mind if her husband saw her list, and she told me that while he was very supportive, her list was private and she preferred that no one else in the family read it.  Because of this, Angie decided that she would keep the list in the drawer of her bedside table. 

With the list out of sight, I was concerned that Angie might forget to read it, and asked her if she had any ideas on how to solve this potential problem.  Angie said that another thing she does every morning before she gets out of bed is take her medication, and so we decide that she would put a sticky note on her medicine bottle, which would cue her to read her list.

After figuring out these logistical issues, Angie and I then discussed what thoughts might get in the way of her reading her list every morning.  Angie told me it was possible she might think something like, “I’m too busy/rushed to read my list this morning.”  To help combat this thought, I asked Angie to read her list aloud to me in session, and Angie was surprised to hear that it only took her 35 seconds to read the entire list.  “Isn’t it worth 35 seconds in the morning if it will help you lose weight and keep it off?” I asked her.  Angie agreed that it certainly was worth 35 seconds, and to help her remember that it would only take this short amount of time, Angie decided that she would write the number “35” on the sticky note she was attaching to her medicine bottle.

Angie also identified that the thought, “It’s okay if I skip reading my list this morning, I know what it says,” might get in the way of her reading her list this week.  Angie and I discussed this thought and I let her know that, at least for right now, it was not good enough to just think about the items on her Advantages List, she actually has to read it, not only because reading it helps enter it in the brain more firmly but also because Angie needs to prove to herself that she can do it, whether or not she feels like it.  With these ideas in mind, Angie made the following Response Card:

 “Whether or not I feel like reading my list, do it anyway!  It’s an important step in helping me lose weight and besides, it will only take 35 seconds.”

Although Angie didn’t feel comfortable having her list out in the open, she didn’t mind having this Response Card on her bedside table, so she decided to keep it right next to her medicine bottle so she would see it and read it first thing every morning. 

With these strategies in place, Angie felt confident that she was off to a good start and would be able to read her list every morning.

July 2, 2013 – Tuesday Reality Check

While exercising, you can make your experience much worse by constantly telling yourself things like, “This stinks. I wish I didn’t have to do this, I’d much rather be on my couch,” etc., OR you can make it much better by telling yourself things like, “It’s so great that I’m doing this. I deserve so much credit. I’m going to feel so much better when I’m done.” Remember, it’s not only what you do, it’s what you say to yourself while you’re doing it.

July 1, 2013 – Monday Motivation

When dieters get off track, they sometimes actually forget how truly great it feels to be in control of their eating. If you’re off track and are thinking, “It’s too burdensome to work on healthy eating,” remember that being on track feels SO MUCH BETTER, and once you have positive momentum built up, it’s gets easier and easier to stay on track.