During the group on Monday, we talked about the notion of “slippage” – letting bad habits infiltrate back into your life. Setting in place new, helpful behaviors about diet and exercise takes time and energy, and the new habits and skills need to be practiced consistently to make sure the old ones don’t come creeping back (discussed on Day 42 of The Beck Diet Solution).
Maria noted that she was at risk for slippage when she was preparing her daughters’ lunches in the evening. Several days in a row Maria caught herself popping an (unplanned) pretzel into her mouth as she was putting them into bags. We discussed with Maria that while the number of calories in a pretzel is trivial, the act of absentmindedly eating unplanned food is not. Today it could be a pretzel while preparing her daughters’ lunches, tomorrow it could be a brownie while talking on the phone (Day 16). Also, while there are few calories in one pretzel, eating extra unplanned food every day while preparing lunch eventually would add up and could easily lead Maria to stop losing weight or even start gaining.
Maria recommitted herself to not eating any unplanned food and to being extra alert when she was preparing food for others. She stopped her slight slippage right at the onset, which will enable her to continue losing weight.