If you start to get off track this weekend, remember that there is no such thing as “blowing it for the day,” or, “blowing it for the weekend.” There is such a thing, however, as making a mistake on Saturday and continuing to make mistakes on Sunday. But there is also the possibility of making a mistake on Saturday, getting right back on track, and having a GREAT rest of the weekend.
If you think, “When I’m upset I have to eat,” remind yourself that if you became upset in a situation where no food was available, you would survive. You may really WANT to eat when you’re upset, but you never need to.
My client, Jen, recently gave up all sugar and desserts for a month leading up to her birthday because she wanted to prove to herself that she could do it. She knew that she wouldn’t give them up forever, but she wanted a bit of a reset. I worked with Jen to create a clear dessert plan, a helpful Response Card, and a compelling activity to help her achieve her goals.
Sabotage: It’s okay to eat this because I’m having a bad day.
Response: It’s not okay to eat extra because although my mind knows I’m having a bad day, my body doesn’t. Besides, if I overeat, I’ll feel badly and guilty, which will make me even more unhappy. If I stay on track with my eating it’s highly likely my day will start to feel better, not worse.
Unfortunately, even if you’re 100% “perfect” on your diet, it’s not a guarantee that the scale will go down on any given day or week (but, if you overeat, it’s a guarantee that the scale will eventually go up). While you can’t rely on the scale going down as a reliable reward for your hard work, what you can rely on is the great feeling you get from being in control! Being on track feels SO MUCH BETTER than being off track.
There’s probably never a “good” time to start dieting (the summer’s not a great time, but neither is the holidays, and the fall is when my kids start school, so that’s too crazy, etc. etc. etc.), so why not just start today? Think about how much better you’ll feel next Monday morning if you have a whole week of healthy eating and feeling good about yourself under your belt!
If you’re going to any events this weekend, remember that once you leave you’ll be so happy about the things you didn’t eat, not regretful. You won’t be thinking, “Darn, I really wish I had a second piece of cake,” or, “I really should have had a third beer.” It just doesn’t happen!
Remember that taking care of yourself is a necessity, not a luxury. If you think, “I can’t take 10 minutes to sit down and de-stress in a healthy way,” remind yourself, “Yes I can! There is no better use of 10 minutes than taking care of myself.”
Sabotage: Nothing I do will make a difference.
Response: That’s not true! EVERYTHING I do makes a difference. Every time I overcome a craving, make a plan and stick to it, resist the urge to eat for emotional reasons, etc., I make it easier and more likely I’ll be able to do it again the next time. I need to remember that losing weight is not one big change I make, rather it’s the sum total of all the small changes.
If you make a dieting mistake, it’s important to label it as such. It’s a mistake, not a catastrophe. The worse you make it seem in your head, the harder it will be to recover from. If you recognize that it’s just a small mistake and everyone makes mistakes, it won’t be such a hard leap to get right back on track.
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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