Today’s workout: 20 mins ET Level 2, 40 mins weights & abs with trainer.

Today’s walks: once around the block, after both breakfast and lunch.

Results of the fullness experiment: As described on Day 18, I’ve been trying the brisk walk after meals. Walking after breakfast was quite easy, but then my breakfast is very small. Surprisingly, I could feel the difference between walking after breakfast and after the slightly larger meal at lunch. But I also had no trouble walking briskly, so I think I ate an appropriate amount. I will not walk after dinner…too dark, cold, and icy out there these days.

Today’s task: Stop Fooling Yourself

I love this Day! However, the first time I went through the book, I was intimidated by it. Don’t worry…you’re not expected to quit fooling yourself in one day. It will take time. Today’s the day you create the anti-self-delusional Response Card.

Where do you fool yourself that it’s OK to eat something that’s not good for your diet?

• I’ll only eat it just this once. I’ll be good tomorrow.

• It’s just the crumbs.

• I’m too upset (busy, tired, etc.) to worry about what I eat on top of everything else.

• Everyone else is eating it…I deserve to eat it, too.

• I’m celebrating.

• I’ll never get the chance to try this amazing food again.

• I’m craving it, and I’ll end up eating it eventually anyway.

Dr. Beck calls these “fake” reasons for eating. There’s a much longer list in the book. The first time I read the list, I thought some of these were perfectly legitimate reasons for eating!

I love this Day because it really digs into the nitty-gritty of Cognitive Therapy. I believe that we sometimes eat because we simply want to, we can’t be bothered to resist in the moment, and we use one of these thoughts to allow the eating.

It can be hard to fight back against these thoughts and accept the fact that wrong eating is NOT OK, even if it means feeling deprived, missing out on free food, feeling alienated from your family or friends because you’re not eating with them, and so on. Losing food as a best friend and comforter is not easy. These feelings get weaker over time, every time you make it through them without eating. At first, I thought I would never get to the point where I consistently could go without eating unplanned food, and I’m still not there yet, but my confidence is increasing over time. That’s how it works.

Here’s the Response Card that Dr. Beck recommends reading every single day:

“It’s NOT OK to eat unplanned food of any kind. I’m just trying to fool myself. Every single time I eat something I’m not supposed to, I strengthen my giving-in muscle and weaken my resistance muscle. I might feel good for the few seconds I’m eating, but I’ll feel bad afterwards. If I want to lose excess weight and keep it off, I absolutely must stop fooling myself.”

Cravings update: I’m feeling pretty good today, not in danger of craving. At the gym last night, while stretching my tight muscles, I thought that a craving kind of feels like a cramp. The end of a craving sure feels like the release of a cramped muscle. My body feels like it does after a good cry. That’s how I feel this morning. Maybe the cardio reset my system…maybe physical activity is a good way to counteract whatever’s causing me to have these cravings. One more reason to exercise.

Today’s To-Do List:

✓ I read my Advantages and NO CHOICE Response Cards at least twice today.

✓ I made and read other Response Cards as needed.

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

✓ I gave myself credit for engaging in helpful eating behaviors: Some of the time.

✓ I did spontaneous exercise: twice

✓ I did planned exercise.

✓ I wrote out a food plan for tomorrow.

✓ I monitored everything in writing right after I finished eating.

✓ I ate only to normal fullness (and checked my stomach by taking a brisk walk after each meal).

✓ I created an It’s Not OK Response Card.

Today I give myself credit for:

☆ Making lots of new Response Cards.

☆ Exercising 3 days in a row without worsening any of my injuries.

☆ Eating the exact lunch I planned, even though I had an urge to change some of the ingredients.

☆ Identifying and responding to some of my sneakiest sabotaging thoughts.

☆ Going to the grocery store to purchase the foods I had planned to eat.

Benefits:

♡ My pants are looser.

♡ My stomach is flatter and my waist appears smaller.

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