Wednesday Sabotage – June 17, 2020

Wednesday Sabotage: I’m bored, so I’m going to eat. 

Response: If hunger is not the problem, food is not the solution. If I’m bored, I should find something to do that doesn’t sabotage my weight loss/weight maintenance goals.

Tuesday Reality Check – June 16, 2020

Tuesday Reality Check: Don’t fool yourself into thinking that not working on healthy eating is the “easy way out.” Is it easy feeling out of control? Is it easy worrying about your eating, weight and health? Is it easy feeling overstuffed? Is it easy not fitting into your clothes? None of those things are easy! 

Monday Motivation – June 15, 2020

Monday Motivation: No matter how the weekend went, Monday is always an opportunity for a fresh start. Starting right now, give yourself credit for every positive thing you do towards meeting your weight loss goals. It will help you feel better, raise your confidence, and give you motivation to keep going.

Friday Weekend Warm-up – June 12, 2020

Friday Weekend Warm-up: Wouldn’t it be so great to go to bed Sunday night, and wake up Monday morning, and know you had an on-track and in control weekend?  You can make it happen! Staying on track can be hard, but it’s worth it.

Delaying Instant Gratification

Last week, I had a session with my client Sarah, who told me about an experience she had the previous day overcoming a big craving. It was late afternoon, and she was feeling tired and stressed about an important work project. She started to have a strong craving for something sweet, specifically the cookies that she had bought at the grocery store the previous day. Although Sarah and I have been working on the guideline of “no dessert before dinner,” her sabotaging thoughts tried to convince her that, “just this one time was okay,” and that she “would have dessert before dinner but not have it again later.” (Both of these are clear sabotaging thoughts because every time has consequences for the next time. Even if she didn’t go on to have dessert after dinner, she would still be strengthening her giving-in muscle and reinforcing the notion that if she didn’t feel like sticking to her plan, she didn’t have to.)

Sarah got up from her desk and started walking to the kitchen when something lucky happened. A coworker called her with a question, and it took Sarah about 10 minutes to finish her phone call. Once it was over, she realized that the urgency of the craving had gone away. While she still wanted to have a cookie in that moment, she recognized that doing so would sabotage her goals, and it wasn’t worth it. She ended up making herself a cup of tea and got back to work.

Sarah and I discussed this in session, and we realized that the delay between wanting to eat a cookie and being able to allowed her rational mind to intervene and recognize the consequences of giving in before she did so. This is hard to do – like most people who struggle with their eating, Sarah focuses on how much she wants the food and not why it’s worth it to her to resist a craving. Especially for most people currently working from home with their kitchens only steps away, having a craving and giving in to the instant gratification of fulfilling it is way woman writing notestoo easy.

We decided that whenever Sarah had a craving, she had to set a timer on her phone for 10 minutes and find something distracting to do in the interim (call someone, take a short walk, play a game or do a puzzle on her phone, organize a drawer, do a meditation, read Response Cards, etc.). Once the timer went off, she could decide whether to eat the food. Doing it this way meant she couldn’t rely on instant gratification to make decisions for her. By taking some time before acting, it would allow her rational mind to be more deliberate.

When I met with Sarah this week, she told me the timer strategy had been enormously effective. While it was hard to get herself to set the timer and not give in immediately, she found that it almost always did the trick in terms of allowing her enough time to make a choice that supported her goals.

If you’re struggling with having the kitchen available to you all day, consider this strategy! When you have a craving, remind yourself that you can have that food, you just have to wait 10 minutes to decide. In those 10 minutes, find something distracting to do so your brain stops thinking about eating and starts thinking about something else. Chances are by the time your timer goes off, the urgency of the craving will have passed and you can think more clearly about what you want to do.

Think Thin Thursday – June 11, 2020

Think Thin Thursday: Are you getting in enough steps per day? Now that you’re home more and likely not walking around an office, it’s important to make sure you’re still making a deliberate effort to move throughout the day. It’s critical for physical and mental health! 

Wednesday Sabotage – June 10, 2020

Wednesday Sabotage: I don’t need feel like planning and measuring my food. I know what and how much I’m going to eat. I don’t need to go to so much effort. 

Response: If I only do the things I feel like doing, I won’t be able to lose weight and keep it off. Even if I don’t need to do these things to lose weight initially, I have to learn how to make myself implement these crucial skills for the future, when my motivation isn’t as high as it is today. 

Tuesday Reality Check – June 9, 2020

Tuesday Reality Check: Being accountable for your actions is a critical part of successful weight loss because it enables you to recognize mistakes, which then allows you to learn from them for the future. It’s not about making yourself feel bad for making mistakes, it’s about learning from them to help you keep moving forward.  Next time you make a mistake, take few moments and answer these three questions: 

  1. What happened/what was the situation? 
  2. Which sabotaging thoughts got in my way? 
  3. What can I say and/or do differently the next time? 

Monday Motivation – June 8, 2020

Monday Motivation: What are some things you’re doing for self-care this week? Taking care of yourself in healthy ways (not extra food ways) is critical right now. Make sure you commit to at least one or two concrete self-care activities this week.

Friday Weekend Warm-up – June 5, 2020

Friday Weekend Warm-up: Do something fun this weekend! Even though you likely can’t eat at restaurant with a friend, go to a museum or attend a party, there are still fun experiences to be had. Work on finding at least one this weekend.