Today’s workout: None, despite making myself accountable on my blog.

Today’s walk: None. Using icy sidewalks as an excuse. (Although falling and re-spraining my back really wouldn’t be a good thing.)

Today’s task: End Overeating

At first, I thought that this Day was contradictory. On Days 11 and 12, we were supposed to learn not to respond to hunger signals. Today, we’re supposed to learn how to sense our body’s fullness signal and stop eating. Are we supposed to listen to our body’s signals or not? Is Dr. Beck trying to have it both ways?

Now that I’ve reread the book a few times, it’s starting to make sense. Dr. Beck doesn’t say to ignore hunger, just to be able to respond appropriately (i.e. stick to your plan instead of eating every time you want to). Today’s task is just the other side of the coin…responding appropriately while and after eating.

The specific exercise is to serve yourself extra food and leave it on your plate. I’ve already started doing this on my own! Since starting my diet, I have not finished all of my meals, even though I have the “right” to that food on my plan. I’ve started cutting my restaurant meals in half and having it for lunch the next day. When my plate comes with something I’m not supposed to have, I push it to one side and don’t eat it. So I’m not going to perform this actual exercise today. But I’m glad to be reminded that this is an important skill that I may need to work on again someday.

Cravings update: I’m still in craving mode. After resisting yesterday morning’s strong craving, I’ve been having little nagging, fleeting cravings, and again it’s for foods I normally don’t even think about…fried potatoes with onions and cheese, shrimp scampi. There’s definitely something hormonal going on. I feel as if I’m in danger of wrong eating today, and I don’t like that feeling.

[from the Credit Where Credit Is Due Dept.: Frances Kuffel used the term “wrong eating” in Angry Fat Girls, and I decided I liked this wonderfully descriptive term better than “bingeing” or whatever. I beg Frances’s indulgence in using this term myself.]

Sabotaging thought: I don’t want to have to deal with this feeling of constantly resisting cravings. It’s uncomfortable. It’s too hard. I feel like giving up my diet just so I won’t have to deal with this feeling.

Helpful response: If I distract myself, this feeling will pass. If I eat, the cravings will come back anyway, and I’ll be strengthening my giving-in muscle. Right now is the most important time not to give up! Dieting is hard sometimes, but there’s no reason for that to stop me. It will get easier if I exercise my resistance muscle now!

Sabotaging thought: I’m way too weak for dieting. I’ll never be able to do this. I may as well quit now and save myself the trouble.

Helpful response: My therapist says that confidence comes from doing, not just thinking about it. All I have to do is keep doing what I’ve been doing. I AM STRONG!

Update: Craving mode continued throughout the morning, then seemed to ease up in the early afternoon. I was talking to a couple of coworkers about our workloads and stress symptoms. I think cravings—and eating—may be one of my symptoms. Hmm…I think I’d rather have carpal tunnel syndrome or acid reflux. Knowing it’s caused by stress helps me want to resist. Just because a stupid symptom appears doesn’t mean I have to participate.

Today’s To Do List:

✓ I read my Advantages List at least twice today.

✗ I made and read other Response Cards as needed.

✓ I ate slowly, sitting down and noticing every bite: Some of the time.

✗ I did spontaneous exercise: No.  

✗ I did planned exercise: No.

✗ I wrote out a food plan for tomorrow.

✓ I monitored everything I ate in writing.

Today I give myself credit for:

☆ Resisting another Taco Bell craving last night. (Although the drive-thru guy was pretty confused when I drove away without ordering anything.)

☆ Continuing to increase my awareness of cravings and sabotaging thoughts.