This afternoon Diana had a really strong craving for something sweet. She knew it was a craving and not hunger because she had just finished eating her usual lunch (discussed on Day 11 of The Beck Diet Solution). Labeling this strong urge as a “craving” helped Diana to realize that she didn’t need to eat, and that in fact it was important for her not to eat so she could prove to herself that she didn’t have to give in to cravings (Day 13).
The first thing Diana did was to eliminate the struggle over whether or not she would go to the vending machine and buy some candy. She firmly told herself, “NO CHOICE, I am not going to eat.” She imagined what it would feel like five minutes later if she did give in. She pictured herself feeling guilty and weak, and saw herself stepping on the scale and gaining weight. She then thought about how she would feel five minutes later if she didn’t give in – and she saw herself feeling happy and in control, and losing weight this week. To ensure that the latter happened, Diana also pulled out her card that listed all of the reasons she wanted to lose weight (Day 1). She realized that getting all the benefits of weight loss that were listed on the card was much more important to her than the momentary pleasure of eating something sweet. She then immediately immersed herself in work and after several minutes, she realized that the craving had passed.
We discussed with Diana how great it was that she had this craving and didn’t give into it. Because she was able to stand firm, Diana proved to herself that while cravings can be uncomfortable, they certainly won’t kill her and she doesn’t need to eat to get rid of them. Diana is extremely proud that she didn’t give in and realizes that each time she withstands cravings, it will become easier and easier to do so next time.