Coaching


Yes…posted on the same day as the previous post. Almost as soon as I started the Hunger Tolerance exercise, a craving for Taco Bell set in. Bad. And Cosmos or wine. So I’m doing to do the Cravings Rating Chart from Day 13 at the same time. Get it over with in one painful day.

Today’s task: Overcome Cravings

Today’s task involves resisting a craving using cognitive (mindset) and behavioral techniques (which are described in full in the book), and recording all of this on a chart.

Here are some of the lovely things that happen to me when I have a craving:

☠ Feeling of discomfort and tension all over my body

☠ Mouth watering

☠ Physical sensations…feeling like I can taste, feel, and smell the food even though it’s nowhere in my environment

☠ Crappy mood, feeling impatient and grouchy

☠ Reduced physical energy. Don’t feel like doing anything that doesn’t involve getting the craved food.

I’ve had cravings that come and go for 3 or 4 days. Four days is the longest I’ve been able to go resisting a craving for much of my waking hours. In the aftermath of resisting an instance of a craving, I feel physically exhausted…I still kinda want to eat the food anyway.

Sabotaging thought: Dr. Beck says that resisting cravings will make them milder and less frequent over time, but I don’t think that will be the case for me. It wasn’t in the past. I may as well eat the craved food and get it over with.

Helpful response: I have more tools at my disposal now, like the BDS book, my coaches and my blog. Learning to tolerate my cravings is crucial to getting the things on my Advantages List. I need to give this my best shot.

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Winkie’s Cravings Rating Chart

Day/Time

Discomfort Level (0 – 10) How Long Did it Last? Anti-Craving Techniques Used
1/23/10

11:45 a.m.

8 Almost an hour Going to a yarn store; imagining the aftermath of giving in; reading the BDS chapter on cravings; texting my diet coach that I was having the craving but wouldn’t give into it; reading weight-loss blogs; writing on my blog; using the relaxation breathing technique
1/23/10

2:00 p.m.

4 15 minutes Just deciding not to eat the craved food; reading blogs
1/23/10

2:30 p.m.

2 15 minutes Taking a nap

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What I learned: Dr. Beck wins this one, so far. By 4 p.m., the craving was totally out of my system. The idea of eating anything from Taco Bell was gross. It is gross! We’ll see what happens tomorrow, or whenever my next craving is.

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I met with my therapist today, who is one of my diet coaches. I didn’t do my blog entry the night before, as I usually do, and I was feeling out of sorts about it. Overwhelmed. Was I starting to fail? Would I be able to keep this up? What were my (few!) readers thinking when they didn’t see a new post first thing this morning?

She asked me what this blog means to me and what’s the importance of posting every single day. I told her about my dream of going all the way with the Beck Diet Solution—42 perfect days in a row; of joining the great blogging community; maybe even meeting Dr. Beck herself someday. And maybe, just maybe, helping someone else who’s struggling out there to go all the way, too.

My therapist reminded me that I’m doing this diet for myself, not for the sake of a blog. She wants me to go at my own pace, which means slowing down when I feel overwhelmed. Maybe take longer than a day on some of the “Days” in the Beck book.

She reminded me of a quote from an email that Dr. Beck sends to subscribers to her email newsletter. (Email dietprogram@beckinstitute.org if you want to subscribe. The newsletter has a lot of helpful info and success stories!)

…the most frequent mistake dieters make is focusing on changing what they eat before they have really mastered—and consistently use—the thinking and behavioral skills in the books … if you’re struggling, go back to the beginning of one of the books and master each step before you go to the next one, no matter how long it takes.

Right from the horse’s mouth! I need to keep my focus on mastering the skills at my own pace, for myself, not on being Ms. Perfect Blogger.

So, while I will continue to post every day, the posts will not always be, “Did today’s task, completed the checklist, yay me!”

I will write honestly about the struggles that come up. If I have to repeat a Day, I will. And I will walk at my own pace.

Sabotaging thought: “I don’t deserve to prepare yummy meals for myself. My enjoyment is not important. I should just eat what’s on my diet and deal with it.”

Helpful response: “WTF? I deserve the same things as every other human being!! And that includes being able to eat and enjoy food. I will be much more likely to stick to this diet for the rest of my life if I learn and prepare recipes that I love. It’s important. I’m important.”