Friday Weekend Warm-up: If you eat out this weekend, decide in advance what to have! In-the-moment decisions are the hardest to make well, so maximize your chances of success by not having to rely on spontaneous decisions.
Think Thin Thursday Tip: 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.”
Wednesday Sabotage: It’s okay to eat this because it’s healthy.
Response: I can gain weight eating all healthy foods, too. Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it doesn’t have calories. Eating healthy foods is a great thing to strive for, but I have to make sure that whatever I eat (healthy or not) fits in with my overall day.
Tuesday Reality Check: Negative emotions are a part of life. They’re not bad; they’re a part of being human. You don’t need to do anything to make them go away. They always crest, like a wave, and then start to come down. You don’t have to be afraid of your feelings.
Monday Motivation: Your calorie budget per day is just like any other budget. If you spend more in one area, it means you spend less in another (or if you spend less in one area, you get to spend more somewhere else). This week, make sure you have a plan to spend your calories where they make the most sense!
Friday Weekend Warm-up: If you’ve had a hard week, you might be tempted to eat to destress and make yourself feel better. Remember that you’re entitled to feel better and you’re entitled to take care of yourself, but you’re also entitled to get everything on your Advantages List, so you have to find other ways to comfort yourself.
In a follow up to my previous blog post, I’d like to return to my client, Jessica, who got off track during the holidays. This week, Jessica and I added getting back on the scale every day to her list. This is another habit that Jessica got out of while she was off track. She dreaded getting back on the scale because she hated seeing the higher number.
Jessica and I discussed that the number on the scale is subjective. If someone had just lost 50 lbs and now was at 186 (where Jessica is now, up from 163 where she was for over two years), she would be thrilled to see 186 on the scale. So not everyone feels bad about seeing that number on the scale, and the reason Jessica felt bad about that number was 100% due to what she was saying to herself when she got on the scale. I asked Jessica what went through her mind when she got on the scale. She said it was something like, “This number is so high and so terrible. I can’t believe I let things get so far off track. I’m so mad at myself.”
Jessica and I made some Response Cards for her to keep right by her scale and read before she gets on it:
Even though this number is higher than I’d like it to be, I’m doing what I need to be doing to make it go down again.
I’m in control of my eating which means I’m in control of the number on the scale. It will go down, and I’ll get to enjoy feeling on track and feeling at peace with my eating while it does.
It’s so important to say the right things to yourself before and during getting on the scale. Keep in mind that if you feel terrible about the number on the scale, it’s due in large part to what you’re telling yourself about that number. Berating yourself will do nothing but demoralize you and make it harder to do what you need to do. No matter what that number is, give yourself lots of credit for taking accountability and getting on the scale in the first place, and remind yourself that you’re doing what you need to be doing to make it go down. If you were at the lowest weight you’d been in 20 years but were out of control of your eating, it wouldn’t make any difference that the scale was down because it would be about to go up. Being on track with your eating (even if it means taking the first few steps and working up to doing the rest) is what is most important because it means you’re in control of the number and it’s going to go down.
Think Thin Thursday Tip: If you find yourself trying to rationalize eating something: “It’s okay because I’ll just have a little; I won’t eat anything later; I had a small lunch, etc.,” consider using that as a cue to NOT eat. Remind yourself, “Once the situation has passed, I won’t be sorry I didn’t eat it.”
Wednesday Sabotage: I’m too stressed to worry about my eating right now.
Response: Even though I think maintaining control over my eating will make me feel more stressed, it actually makes me feel less stressed because I feel more in control in general.
Tuesday Reality Check: When you’re eating dinner, keep the serving dishes off the table! Having more food immediately available greatly increases the chances that you’ll eat extra.
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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