Thursday, September 10, 2009

Beck Diet Solution: Day 1

I literally could not put this book down yesterday.

The Beck Diet Solution is precisely the kind of spin on things I need right now. Aimed at those wanting to lose weight, the program is created on the assumption that inherently, we do not know how to diet. Sure, we can follow rules, even be successful on a plan for a period of time, but eventually, it will all come crashing down if the habits are not practiced often (meaning multiple times daily). People who are prone to gain weight simply think about food in a different way than those who are not. That's the reality, and it's time to accept it.

TBDS is laid out to be followed one day at a time for a period of 6 weeks, though you're allowed to move through it quicker, it is suggested that you read the specified day and focus solely on the tasks at hand before adding more to your plate (so to speak). The act of dieting doesn't even appear until week 3, and that is to really run home the importance of being prepared, which is quite different than being "ready." Dr. Judith Beck does a lot to reiterate that nothing in this program is optional. If you want to succeed, do it the way you're supposed to. That is why I have decided against sharing days 1 through 3 with you, and am focusing only on day 1.

Day 1: Record the Advantages of Losing Weight

There are tons of reasons we want to lose weight. Perhaps they're physical, emotional, personal, etc. They are the contributing factor as to why we make the decision to diet and take the extra weight off. On Day 1 of TBDS, we're asked to create an "Advantages Response Card."

This book thrives on repeating healthy behaviors over and over and over (and over) until they truly become a piece of our lives without thinking. The "Advantages Response Card" (ARC) is a tool to be used multiple times a day. On an index card, write your top reasons for wanting to lose weight, hell, right ALL of the reasons you want to lose weight. When this is complete, make a commitment to read it at least twice per day and at certain times. You are also required to (at the beginning to help form the habit) set up a reminder system.

You might be thinking, "Well, that's stupid, I know the reasons why I want to lose weight."

Sure, you know them now, but what about the handful (or truck-full) of times you've lost sight of them before? The more you practice this habit, the more deeply ingrained these reasons will be, and every time you read them you'll be motivated to stay on track.

My ARC contains these reasons on the front of the card:
  • To know that I can achieve something this significant
  • To belong to, stick around for and play with my family
  • To feel and look strong
  • To act as a role model for those who think they can't do it
  • To have more confidence to tackle other areas of my life

And these reasons on the back of the card:

  • To finally run that 5k
  • To participate in a relay or team triathlon race with my brother and sister
  • To earn the vacation of my dreams - a surf and yoga retreat in Costa Rica

The reasons on the back of the card are goals I've had for quite some time that I've let fall behind. I haven't kept my eye on the prize, and that is a giant motivator for me. Reading these multiple times a day will truly assist with that, and after having done this yesterday, I can say that so far - it really helps.

I have committed to reading my ARC in the morning as I brush my teeth, during my lunch meal and before I choose to have dessert. I will honor this commitment by taping up an ARC in the bathroom cabinet, keeping an ARC in my wallet and taping a giant ARC on the kitchen freezer - where it's needed most.

Having read further than Day 1, I know this book is going to work wonders for me accepting that this is just the way it is. Somewhere along the way, lines were crossed and I did not learn how to eat properly and accepted a dependence on food. That's just the way it is. It doesn't mean I can't change that. As a toddler I didn't eat everything in sight. Eating is not an automatic response like breathing or heartbeats or sneezes, you must reach for the food and therefore have the ultimate choice over what goes in. With some practice, it will get so much easier to choose the right things. Reminding myself that all of the reasons on my ARC are so much more important than 20 minutes of pleasure while eating a burger.

Tomorrow, Day 2.

1 comment:

The Black Kitteh said...

I may be visiting soon to get this book!