With the holidays right around the corner, it might be time to start brushing up on some of your skills. Have you been eating everything sitting down, slowly, and mindfully? Reading your Advantages List? Responding to sabotaging thinking? Giving yourself credit? Making time and energy for dieting? If not, make a commitment to work on your basic skills this weekend to help get you in the right mindset.
Thanksgiving is only a week away! If you think, “I’ll feel really deprived if I don’t get to eat everything on the table,” remind yourself, “If I keep telling myself that I’m going to feel deprived, I definitely will. Instead of concentrating on the things I’m not eating, I need to focus on enjoying what I am eating and spending time with my loved ones.”
Sabotage: I’ll never be able to get to the weight I was when I was younger. I should stay where I am, it’s good enough.
Response: If I’m at a healthy weight then maybe I SHOULD stay where I am and work on acceptance. If I’m not at a healthy weight then it’s NOT good enough because my health is suffering. Yes, it’s true I may never return to my younger weight but that doesn’t mean I can’t still be healthy, feel good about myself, and achieve everything on my Advantages List. Having unreasonable expectations gives me an excuse to not even try, when I can still improve my life so much by working hard and losing weight.
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you undoubtedly won’t be able to eat all of the holiday food you want, in whatever quantities you want. HOWEVER, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have a plan for when and how you will enjoy certain treats, and in doing so you will be able to enjoy holiday food, enjoy staying in control, AND enjoy all the advantages of losing weight.
One of the most important aspects of healthy eating and weight loss is improved quality of life. Our dieters find that once they gain control of their eating they feel SO MUCH BETTER both mentally and physically, in ways they hadn’t even conceived of when they initially started out.
You might be able to get away with not reading Response Cards regularly during the week, but don’t fool yourself into thinking it will work on the weekend. For most dieters, weekends are a lot tougher, so make sure you use every tool in your arsenal and give yourself the best shot at staying on track.
Emily, has recently been having a very hard time dealing with the discomfort of having a craving or feeling hungry. When she gets a craving, or feels hungry, and it’s not time to eat, Emily has a running dialogue in her head that goes something like this: “I hate feeling this way. This sucks. I shouldn’t have to put up with this. If I just eat, this will go away.”
If healthy eating feels really painful to you, you may be giving food a bigger role than it deserves. Food is a pleasure in life, but it’s not the only one. Try building other sources of pleasure and excitement in your life, and in doing so, you’ll rely less on food to be “fun” and healthy eating will be easier.
Sabotage: I don’t want to stick to my restaurant plan right now; I’m too hungry.
Response: Even if I think I’m really hungry and won’t be satisfied, that’s not true! I’m always satisfied when I leave a restaurant.
Important check in: Are you getting enough sleep? Remember that nothing good happens when you stay up too late. Chances are you’ll just end up eating more to stay awake and then be sleep-deprived the next day, which makes hunger and cravings feel worse. It’s a double whammy!
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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