Wednesday Sabotage – September 30, 2020

Wednesday 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. 

Tuesday Reality Check – September 29, 2020

Tuesday Reality Check: At the end of the day, most people forget some (or all) of the food they ate standing up because food eaten standing up just doesn’t seem to register in the mind or body the same way as food eaten while deliberately sitting down. Working on eating every bite sitting down (and slowly and mindfully) is a comfortable way of cutting many calories from your diet because, ultimately, you likely won’t miss that food or feel any less satisfied. 

Monday Motivation – September 28, 2020

Monday Motivation: 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, the time will pass. 

Friday Weekend Warm-up – September 25, 2020

Friday Weekend Warm-up: Losing weight does entail turning down some food some of the time, but not all food all the time! This weekend, focus on the food that you WILL be eating, not on the food you won’t. 

Thursday Think Tip – September 24, 2020

Thursday Think Tip: If you think, “It’s not really that important to go to bed on time,” remind yourself, “It really is that important. Staying up too late makes me overeat both at night and the next day, because I have less mental and physical energy. Staying on track is hard enough as it is – it’s worth doing everything I can to make it easier.” 

Wednesday Sabotage – September 23, 2020

Wednesday Sabotage: I don’t want to work on healthy eating right now because I just don’t feel like thinking about it right now. 

Response: Either way, I’m going to think about it. When I’m off track, I spend time thinking about needing to get back on track and feeling guilty about my eating. There’s no such thing as not thinking about it. 

Tuesday Reality Check – September 22, 2020

Tuesday Reality Check: When you impulsively eat standing up, you’re telling yourself that it doesn’t really matter and that there won’t be any consequences – but there will be, because EVERY bite of food you eat has calories. Even if you’re only eating vegetables standing up today, tomorrow it might be chocolate. 

Monday Motivation – September 21, 2020

Monday Motivation: If you’ve gotten off track with your eating, don’t expect yourself to immediately be able to put everything back into place. You need to build your resistance muscle back up first! Think about what feels doable this week. Recommit to it, do it (giving yourself credit!), and then add one or more steps next week. 

Trick, Not Treat

This week, my client Julie told me that she had gotten a little off track the previous night and had eaten too many cookies. Julie had been working on one planned dessert every night, which wasn’t always easy for her to stick to. She had previously been eating dessert throughout the day, but she had made big progress. We talked through what happened the night before, and she realized she had the sabotaging thought, “I’ve been so good at just having one dessert recently, so it’s okay to have a little extra tonight.” This type of thinking is very common: often, my clients feel justified in having extra, unplanned food as a reward for having done so well.cookies in a bowl

I reminded Julie that by having extra dessert, what she was doing in that moment was rewarding her hard work by undoing her hard work. She was rewarding great, on-track behavior by exercising her giving-in muscle, strengthening unhealthy habits (using food as a reward, eating beyond fullness, not sticking to her plan), and jeopardizing her weight loss. We discussed how, in virtually no other area of life, we would think it made sense to reward progress by undoing it. For example, when Julie was learning to drive and had months of accident-free driving, would she “reward” herself by purposely getting in an accident? Of course not!

Julie and I discussed that when she’s doing well and consistently making on-track food decisions, she absolutely does deserve a reward. She doesn’t, however, deserve a reward that ultimately sabotages her, like extra, unplanned food. Julie made the following Response Card to help her remember these ideas:

When I’m doing really well, I do deserve a treat. I don’t deserve to use extra, unplanned food as a treat because that’s really a trick, not a treat. I can’t reward hard work by undoing it!

Julie and I made a list of some other things she could try that would really be a treat, and not a trick: getting a new candle, buying a new book, scheduling a massage, or picking out a fun, new recipe to try that week. All of these things will help reward Julie for her hard work without undoing any of her progress!

Friday Weekend Warm-up – September 18, 2020

Friday Weekend Warm-up: If you eat out this weekend and stay in control, give yourself a lot of credit. When you get home, don’t say to yourself, “I was so good, now I deserve to treat myself,” because you will undo all your hard work. Losing weight is the best treat!