If you feel daunted by how long it will take to lose the weight you want to, remember that the time will pass anyway! A year from now you’ll be a year older regardless, but do you want to be a year older and stuck at a heavier weight, or a year older and feeling SO MUCH BETTER? Either way, though, the time will pass.
This weekend, think about working on the skill of not taking seconds. If you’ve portioned yourself a reasonable amount the first time, then eating seconds will be purely because your mouth wants more, not because you body needs more food. Work on eating your food slowly and mindfully and remind yourself that when you’re doing, you’re done.
If you’re at a point where you can’t easily exercise and worry about that impacting your ability to lose weight, keep in mind that studies show (and we have found this to be true clinically, as well) that exercise is essential for good health and for weight management, but it’s not essential for weight loss. So, regardless of how much you can or can’t exercise, you can still absolutely lose weight.
Sabotage: It’s okay to have this extra food, it’s not that much compared to what I could be eating.
Response: My body doesn’t know or care how much I’m NOT eating, it only knows how much I do eat, so just because I turned down holiday treats 4 times doesn’t necessarily mean it’s okay to give in the 5th time. If I take in more calories than I had planned, I’ll gain weight.
Losing weight takes FOCUS; it doesn’t just happen. If you’re struggling, take a moment to think about whether or not you’ve been putting enough time and energy into it. Remember, if it’s not a top priority, chances are excellent it’s not going to happen.
Initially dieters often feel a sense of unfairness about what they’re not eating. However, along the way as they learn new skills and start to feel in control of their eating, they start to feel proud of what they don’t eat – not deprived. If you feel deprived, keep in mind that it’s HIGHLY likely this won’t always be the case. Stick with it!
Often people face food pushers on weekends. If you have a particular food pusher that causes you problems, remember that if you had a severe peanut allergy and that person offered you peanut butter cookies, you would never dream of caving in. Working on your health and happiness is just as legitimate a reason to say no. Stand firm!
This week, I had a session with my client, Grace. Grace told me that over the past few weeks she has been struggling to stay on track, particularly in the evenings. I asked Grace what sabotaging thoughts she was having in the evenings, and it was usually something like, “You’ve been working so much and had a hard day, you deserve this.”
Cravings are like itches; the more you pay attention to them, the worse they get. The moment you get distracted is the moment the craving starts to go away. Make a list of a few short, distracting activities (play a game on your phone, call a friend, check news headlines, etc.). Next time you have a craving, do something from the list. If that doesn’t work, do the next thing. Eventually the craving WILL go away. Stand firm!
Sabotage: I just want to eat without consequence.
Response: Oh, well! I don’t like that I can’t eat without consequences but I can’t change that fact (not if I want to lose weight and keep it off). I need to stop struggling against it, accept that this is the way it is, and move on.
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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