How has your eating been going so far this holiday season? If you need some extra motivation (or if things haven’t been going well), take a moment to regroup and really think about the reasons why it’s worth it to you to stay on track. Then write them down in a special Holidays Advantages List and start reading it every day, at least once a day.
This weekend, if you think, “It’s not fair that I can’t eat like everyone else,” remind yourself, “Thank goodness I’m not eating like everyone else! Most people gain weight during the holiday season and my goal is the opposite.”
Make sure you plan to have your favorite foods this holiday season. But decide in advance when and how much! That way, if you come in contact with a food you love, you won’t have the sabotaging thought, “I never get to have this so it’s okay,” because you’ll know exactly when you get to have it.
Sabotage: I just don’t care.
Response: While it’s true that I don’t care right at this moment, I’m going to care A LOT a few minutes from now if I jeopardize my diet and weight loss. I can’t let this one moment of not caring influence how I act because I know I will care again, and when I do, I’ll be SO happy and proud I didn’t give in.
A realistic strategy is the most important thing to bring on vacation. Eric lists the Sabotaging Thoughts and responses to help him stay on track.
If you have the thought [about practicing a diet skill], “Is this really going to make a difference?” remind yourself that the answer is YES, it does make a difference because every time has consequences for the next time and the time after that. If your goal is to lose weight and keep it off, then it DOES make a difference. You don’t even need to engage with that thought because it will only undermine your efforts. Remind yourself that it does make a difference and then move on.
While staying in control of your eating is harder during the holidays, the good news is that when you manage to do so, it feels extra great! The harder it is to stay on track, the more positive feelings you get as a result of doing so. Remind yourself that staying on track during a normal day feels good, but staying on track during a holiday feels AMAZING!
If you get off track at any point this weekend, IMMEDIATELY RECOVER!! You can wind up feeling so proud of your ability to get back on track instead of mad at yourself for slipping up.
Remember that treating yourself after a long day with extra food is ultimately a trick, not a treat, because it gets in the way of you reaching important goals. That being said, there are many other ways to treat yourself if you’ve had a hard day! What are some nonfood ways that you treat yourself?
Sabotage: I just want to eat everything I want in whatever quantity I want.
Response: When I eat like crap, I feel like crap! Eating with abandon sounds good in theory but feels terrible in reality.
The Beck Diet Program was developed by Dr. Judith S. Beck with Deborah Beck Busis, LCSW.
Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a leading international source for training, therapy, and resources in CBT.
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