Regaining Momentum: Jenny

Our dieter Jenny has been going through a rough time because her step-mother (whom she was very close to) passed away recently.  Jenny was having a very tough time staying motivated to stick to her diet.  She told us that although she’s still reading her Advantages List every day (Day 1 of The Beck Diet Solution), most of the items no longer feel important to her. “What does being thinner really matter anyway, compared to my step-mother’s death?” she asked us. 

To help Jenny, we asked her to imagine her life a couple of months from now and consider how she might feel then.  She was able to see that while being thinner doesn’t feel important to her right now, it will later on. We asked for some specific examples of when it might feel important. Jenny said that she had a special meeting coming up and that she did want to feel more self-confident for it. She also told us about a high school reunion that will take place soon and that it felt important to her to be thinner and more self-assured  when meeting her old classmates. 

We also asked Jenny to reflect back on what her life was like before she lost weight and consider how being thinner positively impacts her life today.  Jenny thought about it and realized that even now, among other things, she did enjoy being able to fit comfortably into chairs, being able to move around easily without getting tired, and she certainly enjoyed the fact that her weight loss enabled her to stop using her sleep apnea machine.

Jenny concluded that even though sticking to her diet had currently stopped feeling important to her, it was only temporary and she definitely would care in the months and years to come.  She also realized that she never wanted to go back to how things were before she lost weight, and that alone was enough to bring back her motivation and sense of purpose. 

3 replies
  1. Andrew Walen
    Andrew Walen says:

    I really applaud Jenny for trying to process her own needs at a time when grief could really derail her. She could have become very focused on others as a way to deflect her own pain and not taken care of herself at all, including coming to therapy for weight loss. Alternatively, she could have become overwhelmed by her grief and turned to her old ways of self-soothing, which I’m assuming was eating. But instead she got the message that she’s been successful in her diet, has reasons to keep it up, and has enough strength to fight through this tough patch. Mazel tov! It’s inspiring to hear of others fighting the loss of motivation, especially when you’re going through it yourself (like me!).

  2. Donna
    Donna says:

    Just wanted to say Thank You for this post. I find it encouraging and helpful to hear the kinds of things we can say to ourselves when we’re grieving. For myself, I was doing great on my plan until my husband’s diagnosis of a brain tumor, and I have relapsed. But posts like this give me a plan and new hope. Thanks again.

  3. Monica
    Monica says:

    Good job Jenny, and others! When my Grandfather passed away last year, it gave me renewed resolve to achieve a healthy weight. It hit me, while I was grieving, that life is too short to be wasted feeling badly about myself for being overweight. After that, I made progress towards my goal, and decided to not put off living my life- to enjoy it now, while I am working to become thinner.


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