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Bonus blog: The Beck Diet Solution Day 19 - Stop Fooling Yourself

Friday, December 19, 2014

I did not have time to do this topic justice before work today, so you're getting a bonus blog to talk about the ways in which those of us who have "dieted" delude ourselves about what we should be able to eat and still consider it "OKAY". This is the day of the "It's NOT Okay" response card.

In this day's lesson, Beck writes that most of these self-delusions begin with "It's Okay to eat this because..." and then she lists a whole collection:

It's not a whole piece...
I'm celebrating...
It won't matter...
I'll make up for it later by...
I'll disappoint someone if I don't
Everyone else is...
it will go to waste... or I paid for it.
Oh, I love this one: "no one will see me eating it"

or "It's just the crumbs"
It's free.

Then there is the brutally honest: "I really want it"
"I just don't care"
"I'm craving it and I'll probably just eat it eventually anyway." (Talk about "giving up!")

Ever use any of these excuses to eat when you knew it wasn't according to your plan? I certainly have!

Over the decades I have learned to avoid some of the more ridiculous ones... In the grocery store, the "I'm buying this for someone else"... ever use that one? When you live alone it wears really thin, really fast! I know that if it goes into my home, eventually it will land in my stomach... so I try to be diligent to not fool myself about THAT at the store.

Seriously, when I've been on a tear in the past, it is like FOOD is the enemy... that tempting food that I brought into my house... and somehow by eating it I defeat it... I've got rid of the enemy. How different from the joy that food should be (and *is* when savored and nutritious).

So... to train oneself to think like a thin person, we are instructed to make a response card that says "It's not OK". Because I am in maintenance, I slightly modified the wording from what she has in the book:

"It is NOT OK to eat unplanned food of any kind. I'm just trying to fool myself. Every single time I eat something I am not supposed to, I strengthen my giving in muscle. I might feel good for the few seconds I'm eating, but I'll feel bad afterwards. If I want to KEEP excess weight off AND BE FIT, I absolutely must stop fooling myself." The caps are what I modified.

This is in fact a great card for the collection. There is nothing wrong with pleasurable eating, with the occasional treat. But to remain a treat, as opposed to an every day calorie addendum, it needs to be planned for. This is the perfect couple of weeks to be practicing PLANNING treats!

For example: I love egg nog. Last year, some of you may remember that it was a quart of egg nog that tripped my "SCREAM" and led me to go do Siebold's program again. On December 15, 2013, after consuming a quart of egg nog in a single weekend, my scale yelled at me. Seriously, it said: 135.9. With a goal weight published as 122, this was NOT OK! Very, very NOT OK!

This year on December 15th, my scale proudly declared 115.4. That's more like it. That's fighting trim, or racing weight, or whatever you care to call it. And it leaves some wiggle room for PLANNING to have an egg nog treat sometime in the next week. I intend to make it myself. I have purchased egg beaters, my organic skim milk, and the no sugar added almond milk, my sister's homemade vanilla extract and the usual spices will make it perfect, and in the portion I need to fit into my ranges for whichever day I have it.

A PLANNED treat *is* OK. Whether it's one like this where I modify it to make it ok, or the full fat version in a restaurant... if it truly is a rarity, and planned for, it *IS* OK.

So perhaps I also need a response card to remind me that when I'm approaching my bottom scream weight it *IS* OK to plan in some "fun" extra calories. Just not too many of them, and making sure the nutrition is covered.

So now I can say I finished off Day 19:
* I read my advantages and NO CHOICE response cards at least twice today.
* I read the rest of my response cards, too.
* I ate slowly, sitting down and noticing every bite: every time.
* I gave myself credit for helpful behaviors: oh, yeah - Good girl!
* I did spontaneous exercise: no ice today, went the long way around both from the garage to the office and back... but skipped the stairs a couple of times when I COULD have taken them, so I'll call that one most of the time.
* I did planned exercise only to the line in the sand level - the break walks.
* I haven't yet written out tomorrow's food plan, but shall before I hit the sheets. (Still trying to decide between the egg nog and the popcorn for tomorrow's PLANNED treat.)
* I monitored everything I ate in writing right after I finished eating.
* I ate only to normal fullness.
* I created my "It's Not Okay" response card.

Now for an important element in healthy life: emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 12/19/2014 10:50PM

    tI looks like you covered everything and have a plan firmly in mind. That's what it takes and the cards help remind you to stay the course. One motivated lady!

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WATERMELLEN 12/19/2014 9:37PM

    OK, this is a FABULOUS account of Day 19, and you are a gal who absolutely does not fool herself. Imagine, 20 pounds lighter this year than last year at this most difficult time of the year. Like the sound of your eggnog -- healthy, moderate, so much better than that premade bright yellow stuff bleeechhhhhh.

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WORKNPROGRESS49 12/19/2014 9:22PM

    emoticon blog emoticon

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MOVING_ARLENE 12/19/2014 9:18PM

    Dang - I am learning so much from you. You rock!

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LKWQUILTER 12/19/2014 9:14PM

    You were talking to me too. Thanks.

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1CRAZYDOG 12/19/2014 8:57PM

    Love that . . . every time you cave it's strengthening the "giving in" muscle. That's one muscle I DON'T want to exercise.

Thanks for the insight.

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PHOENIX1949 12/19/2014 8:51PM

    emoticon I felt like you were speaking directly to me as I read this.

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Break from Beck... BOOKS!

Friday, December 19, 2014

I'll just do a quick assessment of yesterday, but I'm not going to count myself as having worked Day 19. Want to take today to continue to mull it over, and I have some other things I want to dump out here in the blog universe to organize.

* I did read my response cards (all of them) at least twice.
* I did eat sitting down and noticing each bite every time.
* I did give myself credit for the good stuff I did... every time I was aware of it (awareness is a big part of this... sometimes we unconsciously do something helpful and fail to give ourselves credit... not sure how "aware" I was yesterday... I was busy and tired)
* I did spontaneous exercise. MOST of the time... I did NOT walk the long way around the parking garage to the office because the footing was questionable (it was really OK, but I am cautious) and it was still spitting snow. But I did the stairs every chance I had, and I walked the long way around the garage on the way HOME.
* I did NOT do my planned strength training. I really, really need to work on my "NO CHOICE" about some of my less favorite workouts. Oh, well!
* I ate only to normal fullness.

But I did not create an "It's not OK" response card... that's a Day 19 task, and I don't count myself as having finished Day 19 yet.

So... to the other topic: BOOKS!

My e-mail this morning included a link to Goodreads to see what I'd recorded that I had read this year, and I clicked it to see 31 books. Some of you know that I walk my breaks often with my nose in a book. I've been doing this since second grade when we lived six blocks from our neighborhood library and had no television. I would walk to the library each day of Summer vacation, check out the limit of five books we were allowed, walk home reading, read all day, and walk back and repeat the next day as soon as the library opened at 2 p.m., getting five more. I LOVED summer vacation.

Oh, you have to interleave swimming lessons in there, because that was a staple of Summer, as well.

The 31 books included a few non-fiction works, most of which I've reviewed or written about their effect on me in my blogs. Quiet (the book about introversion), Refuse to Regain and It Starts with Food, but did not include The Beck Diet Solution, as I haven't finished it yet. It was interesting to see just what authors I read the most (David Baldacci - with 9), and the mix of genres... a lot of thriller/mystery (Baldacci and John Sandford, plus the whimsical M.C. Beaton Hamish MacBeth novels, one Catherine Coulter, and I guess the John Grisham flavor falls in here, too), five historical/symbolic fiction (Sharon Kay Penman and Dan Brown), a couple of fantasy/sci fi (Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey), and some outliers (The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and Angels at the Table by Debbie Macomber).

So, other readers out there? Just for fun: do you know what you've read in the past year? Do you know why you like them?

LIFE is good. It's better when I'm fit. It is at its best when I find kindred spirits to share parts of the journey. Creatively, consistently and consciously making choices that support a healthy lifestyle, I remain GRATEFUL for each and every day.

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 12/19/2014 9:32PM

    Your account of Day 19 sounds pretty darn thorough to me, Barb -- !!

And you sound SOOOOO like me as a little girl: I spent my summer holidays exactly the same way reading reading reading and swimming lessons. We didn't have a TV at home until I was 15 and I just never got into it.

I still read voraciously and insatiably -- for work AND for pleasure, with most books still from the library.

A current favourite author: Alexander McCall Smith. He's prolific, many series -- a retired professor of medical law, based in Edinburgh. If you would like to try one -- I recommend the Isabel Dalhousie series (Sunday Philosophy Club) and you would want to read that first one first.

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PHOENIX1949 12/19/2014 8:56PM

    Love, love, love to read and don't do this enough. 2006-2013 I worked as a book review editor for an author's site to get the word out on recent releases. I noted on the site staff page that this was the next best thing to reading the books -- processed around 5,000 reviews. Have a stack of books I ordered as a result of reading the reviews patiently waiting for me.

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LJCANNON 12/19/2014 8:41PM

    emoticon I don't think it would be Safe for me to Walk and read, LOL!! I'm impressed that you can do that.
I have not read much this year at all. Maybe I will set Reading as a Goal for next year.
One book I did read was a Stargate Novel (based on the Sci-fi TV Show) "Two Roads" which was written by My Son.

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LESLIELENORE 12/19/2014 7:53PM

    I read a LOT! I don't own a TV, so instead of watching TV in the evenings I read. I have read a ton of romance novels this year, but also some suspense/thrillers, and fantasy. I especially like Patricia Briggs. I am waiting impatiently for her newest release due out in March. I don't read a lot of non fiction, but I have been known to sit down with some poetry like some t.s.Elliot, or Yeats.

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LKWQUILTER 12/19/2014 5:02PM


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FEEDTHEHUNGER 12/19/2014 4:34PM

    I read a lot -- usually 1-3 books per week and all kinds. I don't keep track of them but it would be interesting if I did just to see the year in review. I read psychology, theology, some biography, thrillers, drama, family sagas with an occasional political diatribe thrown in for good measure. There just is not enough time to read everything I want to read but I give it the old college try!

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MOVING_ARLENE 12/19/2014 4:00PM

    Love my kindle which I received about 2 years ago. I used to ride the stationary bike while reading. I agree, walking and reading won't work in my world!!!


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MT-MOONCHASER 12/19/2014 3:05PM

    I got a Kindle this year and so I've been reading more this year. I subscribed to Bookbub and have downloaded a bunch of the free offers, mostly in the mystery/thriller genre, and most of them pretty forgettable. I suppose that is why they are free...

In the past few years, I have kind of foregone the reading for knitting (and Sparking), although the Kindle will let me do both.


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KSNANA2 12/19/2014 3:01PM

    I like to read recipes and cookbooks! Especially books about being vegetarian and vegan. Have not made the commitment, but I enjoy studying how they do it. I read organic farming methods, etc. Live in town with so many huge old trees I don't have space for a garden, so I have to go to DD's for that which is about a 20 minute drive into the countryside. Not bad! Had cataract surgery late summer, so my reading list would be short for 2014. But I love a good British mystery.

Wonderful question and I believe I will look for some recommendations here for some reading material for 2015! emoticon

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DLDMIL 12/19/2014 2:10PM

    I have gone to audio books, love listening to them during my walks/runs, etc. Great job on the 31 books.

emoticon emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 12/19/2014 11:51AM

    Good Beck work today, even if you didn't finish day 19. That is absolutely okay. Better to fully work a day than to rush through it. As she says, just do it in the same order.

I'm trying to get more consistent on strength training, too. 2010 was a good strength training year for me. I wasn't running then, but I was very faithful to ST. Since then, getting more consistent on ST has been a goal. Sometimes it is injuries that stop me. That Jeff Galloway, my running guru, doesn't think it is important has influenced me. I have decided it is important. Just finished a ST workout here a couple minutes ago. I can do it!! It isn't near as much fun as running, though.

As far as what I've read this year, I haven't kept track. I bet it was 1000 kids books. Next year more reading would be in order. My mom's doctor said that one of the best things to help her memory is for her to read a couple pages and then summarize what she just read. Think I'll keep a notebook to do that.

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WORKNPROGRESS49 12/19/2014 11:41AM


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SKIRUNNER 12/19/2014 11:26AM

    You might like Sharyn McCrumb, especially the ballad novels. emoticon

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GABY1948 12/19/2014 10:58AM

    I used to read all the time....but not so much anymore. I don't have time usually. I have read many Romance....and all the Stephen King, and Dean Koontz (they are both too scary for me now) and James Patterson. I do make time to read my Bible every day usually 2 chapters of SOMETHING.

I probably would love to read again but I'm too uncoordinated anymore (as in KLUTZ) so I could never do it now!

TGIF have a GREAT one!

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KALIGIRL 12/19/2014 10:01AM

    31 books! emoticon
A champion reader too!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEBRITA01 12/19/2014 9:25AM

    I love to read when time allows but, unfortunately, haven't read much this year. Gotta carve out some time for my Kindle in 2015. Reading while walking? Now, that's amazing to me...I couldn't do it without getting hurt. emoticon

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JAMIRBLAZE 12/19/2014 9:18AM

    I read tons of books and always have, largely romance, suspense, dystopian fiction, etc. with some nonfiction and more serious works peppered in. I have something like 35 on Goodreads for the year, but I didn't get better at tracking them until later in the year, so I'm sure it was more. I buy a lot of second hand books and always have an amazon wish list for others to peruse for gifts as I am allegedly hard to buy for.

I tend to read what I do because they are easy, enjoyable reads. I have a job that involves a lot of critical, intense reading, so I like my recreation to be more pleasant.

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MSLZZY 12/19/2014 9:14AM

    I love to read and enjoy John Jakes and the Jack
Reacher series when I can get my hands on those
kind of books. Any Reader's Digest Condensed
book is fair game because there are 4 books in on.
Take a break from Beck, as needed and focus
on what works for you.

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LORIVIOLA 12/19/2014 9:00AM

    i work in a library and barely have time to read! I have been on a non fiction kick as of late. In years past I kept track but 2014 was a challenge in many ways. Hope to get back to reading and keeping track better in 2015. Library! Reading! Yeah

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1CRAZYDOG 12/19/2014 8:39AM

    Haven't really had time to read for pleasure this year, but our newly-opened library has books on tape and I an going to start on those.

Love Dan Brown and John Grisham.

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NELLJONES 12/19/2014 8:22AM

    I still walk while reading, it's the blessing of recorded books. I also cook, clean, weed the garden, anything that doesn't make noise. If I can't be reading, someone can read to me.

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SWEDE_SU 12/19/2014 8:19AM

    i thought i was the only one to walk while reading growing up - i had a summer job in manhatten and walked the 6 blocks to the subway reading a paperback - and all the way to the city on the subway of course. and the library - oh yeah. i was really excited when i was old enough to walk to the BIG library which was almost a whole mile away! (very far back in childhood).

so for goodreads - i have not updated for a bit, but at last count i was up to 86 books. all.. romance/women's lit novels:-) yes, indeed, i am an addict, but the writer has to be GOOD - favorites include jill shalvis, susan mallery, barbara freely, maria surname, carly phillips, marie force, nora roberts, kristan highness, susan elizabeth phillips, bella andre - just to name a few:-)

i love my kindle; i would hate to be collecting the clutter of all these books, while electronically they fit in just fine. happily ever afters for a lovely escape. (if you liked coulter and macomber, try one of these authors - they are all much better!)

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JAROL7 12/19/2014 8:13AM

    Work your plan.

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The Beck Diet Solution Days 17 and 18 exercises

Thursday, December 18, 2014

I'm going to post the last two days together mainly because in my mind and practice of them, they blended together nicely. "The Beck Diet Solution" for folks who are coming in to the middle of the movie, is a book title, the author is Judith S. Beck, Ph.D. It is subtitled "train your brain to think like a thin person." It contains a series of experiments/exercises related to how we think about and relate to food and exercise. It is not a specific diet, but it can help those of us who have had difficulty sticking with one in the past, because it's all about the mind-set.

Even though I have been "maintaining" a significant weight loss for several years now, I am finding these exercises useful in focusing my mind, and in becoming aware of what it is I'm doing to maintain... some of them are "oh, my goodness... this is really different from how I USED to behave/think about food/exercise" and some of them are "I had no idea I was doing this or that it was contributing to/detracting from my success". It's all about the mind. It really is.

So, on Day 17, the lesson was to End Overeating. We were to overload our plate at one meal, and not eat it all. I did this one up right, people. I got one of my OLD dinner plates out. (I've been eating off salad plates for years now.) I cooked a pot full of spaghetti, with TWICE the box's portion size. (I live alone, so one portion would be ample, and more than I usually eat.) It filled that plate.

Earlier in the day, at the time of my afternoon snack I had not been hungry. I ate it anyway, and felt in fact overfull (which is the Day 18 lesson - Change your definition of full). This was one where I realized that I had already done this... I have come to accept that I'm really done/full when I reach the point where I could still eat more.

But when I prepared that supper, and looked at that plate... the immediate response was the same as I get in a restaurant when the plates come out. I internally said "Ugh! I could not possibly eat this all." That kind of thinking would have been unthinkable (circular definition) back in the day when I was actively overeating on a daily basis and over 200 pounds (remember, I'm a shrimpy 5' 3" tall, and a senior female).

I immediately divided the plate in thirds, determining what I was looking at was really 3 of my normal portions. I ate the third I planned, then had the nice waitress (me) box up the other two thirds for later meals. I'll have half of that for tonight's supper (I wrote it on my plan). While I did not have issues with wanting to eat more than my portion... I could have used the cravings-buster exercises to stop myself... and in fact, boxing it up and promising myself it will be there later for me is one of those resistance techniques... I used it without too much thought that I was using it.

These two days have pretty much been confirmation that when I'm "on a roll", I have internalized THIS PART of thinking like a thin person... and of course I gave myself lots of credit for this! Over the years of maintenance, I've learned that I CAN think like a thin person... at least in some aspects. Wow!

Disclaimer: I recognize that I'm still a compulsive eater and live one bite away from a binge. BUT, I do not have to be afraid or obsess about it. It's just part of who I am, and planning and tracking is part of what I do. And this exercise proved that I am able to stick to the plan... just because it's there, doesn't mean I have to eat it. Don't ask me to repeat this with my true trigger foods, though... I'm not foolish enough to do THAT.

Day 18 exercise was to note after each meal whether I would be able to go for a brisk walk at the conclusion. This led me to not eat my afternoon snack. I was not hungry, and eating it would have prevented me from feeling able to comfortably go on a brisk walk. I ended up crossing those foods off my planned list for the day, because I did not "make up" by eating them later... I did not need them. Hmmmm... and the scale this morning was NOT massively lower for having missed my apple and carrots and celery. Still right at the bottom of maintenance range. Did not dip to bottom scream weight... good job.

So, the check lists:
* I read my Advantages and NO CHOICE response cards at least twice. Both days.
* I read my other response cards (all two of them) both days, too... because I can, and in fact, they are helpful.
* I ate slowly, sitting down and noticing every bite. Both days.
* I gave myself credit... and credit... and credit. Both days.
* I did spontaneous exercise. Both days.
* I did planned exercise. If I count my break walks, both days. If I count a planned rest day as following the plan, absolutely. Both days. Good job... one of my goal board motivators says "I will rest on my rest days." That's important for athletes!
* I wrote out a food plan for the next day. Both days.
* I monitored everything I ate in writing right after I finished eating. Both days.
* I practiced not overeating (Day 17).
* I ate only to normal fullness (Day 18) - every time.

LIFE is good. It's so much better when I'm fit. It tops the charts when I find kindred spirits and we encourage one another on the path to wholeness. Creatively, consistently, and consciously (which is what the Beck book is all about) making choices to support a healthy life, I remain GRATEFUL for each and every day!

emoticon emoticon (Happy Hannukah to my Jewish friends).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRISZTA11 12/19/2014 4:00PM

    I loved your blog, your smart conclusions, and the scary adventure with the huge plate of spaghetti!
I'll remember your solution of dividing and boxing it up next time I'm offered something bug like that.

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KRISKECK 12/19/2014 8:29AM

    I love it that you recognize that you've internalized many of these ideas and practices. It is a great thing to be able to see the change,

Thanks for sharing!

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DALID414 12/19/2014 12:36AM


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DLDMIL 12/19/2014 12:32AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 12/18/2014 10:41PM

    I am finding it interesting to hear about your experience with these exercises.

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SLENDERELLA61 12/18/2014 2:50PM

    Very good!! Good job on that stop overeating exercise. Great that you recognize that you often already think like a thin person -- yes, you do!!

I will not say this is a challenge, but merely something to think about. I used to have trigger foods I avoided (peanut butter and chocolate candy, for two). Then I'd only eat them at a restaurant so I couldn't get a second serving (chocolate silk pie, for example). But my husband started bringing all my trigger foods into the house. I kept putting them out of sight and labeling them. ("Calorie Bomb! Danger!! Watch Out!!!) Finally one time he brought in candy, cookies, pie, ice cream treats and more all at once. He left the pie out on the counter. I suspected it was sabotage. I decided I would not give him the satisfaction of winning. And I ignored a pie on the counter as he ate one piece a day for 6 days. I no longer have any trigger foods, although I know I'm more vulnerable if I am tired, if I am truly hungry, if I'm baking cookies, if I've used up all my restraint, and a few other situations.

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SWEDE_SU 12/18/2014 11:49AM

    great review - it's wonderful to see we have internalized some of these things and focus on what can still be useful!

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LJCANNON 12/18/2014 10:45AM

    emoticon Thank You for continuing to share your Spark and Beck Journeys. I'm starting to think I may visit the Library and check this book out.

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GABY1948 12/18/2014 10:32AM

    emoticon blog and you just solidified something in my brain for me, "It's all about the mind. It really is" How GREAT! I am going to go write it on a card right's so obvious I MISSED it!

You are SO GOOD at working the program!

Have a great day yourself!

Comment edited on: 12/18/2014 10:35:49 AM

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ALOHAEV1 12/18/2014 10:28AM

    This is so me this past week, one bite away from really busting that don't give a D... attitude on a daily basis. Really gleaning so much from your series, thank you!

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MOVING_ARLENE 12/18/2014 10:26AM

    The best part of Beck is what you are writing about. Doing things to make you think. It is a process of improvement in thinking. So excited for us Beckers and hope many more join in!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WORKNPROGRESS49 12/18/2014 10:13AM


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MSLZZY 12/18/2014 9:51AM

    emoticon Doing it just right!

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LKWQUILTER 12/18/2014 9:46AM


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REBESANCON 12/18/2014 8:47AM

    Great job! This is the third time in the last week that I've heard about The Beck Diet Solution. Might have to check this one out.

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1CRAZYDOG 12/18/2014 8:27AM

    That's it! We';re always one bite away from overeating! I think this is an awesome exercise, and good strategy to remind yourself that the food WILL BE THERE when you're hungry again! DH sometimes eats so fast I just hoke with him that his food must have feet! He slows down.

ROFLMBO . . . if YOU'RE shrimpy, I wonder what that make ME . . . at 4 ft. 10.5 in! LOL

The OTHER shrimpy Barb (gotta love shrimp, right!?!)

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WATERMELLEN 12/18/2014 8:25AM

    Well done -- it's great to give yourself credit for the parts of thinking like a thin person you've already achieved. While recognizing that exposing yourself to true food triggers would be . . . foolish!! (For me, yup, potato chips always irresistible).

I also like the idea of "normalizing" thoughts around food bingeing: "part of who I am, confident I can cope when it recurs". Good job on that also!!!

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KALIGIRL 12/18/2014 8:15AM

    " I am finding these exercises useful in focusing my mind, and in becoming aware of what it is I'm doing to maintain" - now that's what I was waiting for!
Be careful going to work the roads are slick and the crazies out...

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Back to Beck - day 16 exercises

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I owe you two Beck blogs due to yesterday's trip down Christmas lane...

Day 16 was "Prevent Unplanned Eating". By this it meant that day's exercise was to eat ONLY what was on the plan you wrote down the day before. The funny thing about these little challenges is they are PRACTICE in a safe environment for a skill that you use over and over again in losing and maintaining weight loss.

Writing a plan (or pre-tracking in Spark) and then sticking with the plan (strengthening those resistance muscles) is a truly good skill to have. It's mental toughness, per Siebold. It's rule 1 of Berkeley's 12 tough rules in Refuse to Regain: Be tough, not moderate. And it's how so-called "naturally thin" people behave the vast majority of the time, whether they consciously think of it, mechanically write the plan down and check it off, or not. For those of us to whom it does not come naturally, it's essential to DO SOMETHING to get us to the point of awareness... and this is one way to do that.

Day 16 went well:
* Read all my response cards at least twice.
* Ate slowly, sitting down, and noticing every bite, every time.
* Gave myself credit - all over the place.

* This was the day when I FIRST NOTICED having a craving... it was a homemade sugar cookie, shaped like a snowman and frosted white. I told myself "NO CHOICE", put on my blinders and powered past it. I encountered sabotaging thoughts
emoticon you can balance it out on your plan...
emoticon no, I can't, I'm doing the "no unplanned eating" exercise today. There will be other opportunities, and I can write it down for a future day (I did, by the way, this evening I have a cookie on my evening snack plan) Good job!
emoticon You know how you feel after eating sugar. Do you really want to battle further cravings? It's early in the day!
When I got back past the plate, someone else had already taken that particular cookie that had been reaching out to me... and I was fine the rest of the day... none of the others had that kind of appeal.
Measuring the strength of the craving: probably only about a 2. How long did it last? Three minutes, max (long enough to have that conversation in my head and hit the ladies' room).

* I did spontaneous exercise - stairs, parking spot, etc. Every day! Good job.
* I did planned exercise - spin class. REALLY good job overcoming resistance - NO CHOICE!

* I wrote out the food plan for the next day.
* I monitored everything I ate in writing.
* I made a NO CHOICE response card. And I subtitled it "I have already chosen!" emoticon

I think I'll stop here, and record Day 17 separately, even though I'm a day behind in reporting at this point!

LIFE is good. It's better when I'm fit. It tops the charts when I find kindred spirits and we share encouragement along parallel or familiar journeys to health and wellness. Creatively, consciously and consistently making choices that support that health and wellness, I remain GRATEFUL for each and every day!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REBESANCON 12/18/2014 8:54AM

    Good job smacking the "mental duct tape" on the mouth of that annoying snowman cookie! emoticon

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DALID414 12/17/2014 11:59PM

    I've been craving a gingerbread cookie, but haven't seen one yet!

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WATERMELLEN 12/17/2014 9:43PM

    Isn't it amazing how one particular cookie can call your name . . . and if someone else helps herself to it, great, because none of the others has the same appeal.

I like that addition to "No Cboice" -- "I have already chosen". So true, and helps take away from the "external" demand. It's an internal decision and I made it!!

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KSNANA2 12/17/2014 9:30PM

    I sure could have used Beck when I was still working and all the delicious foods were in the office. Every year we had someone bring in Lemon Bars and that is one I cannot pass up even though I am allergic to the eggs in them! Now that is really bad! It is rather a relief to be able to control my environment and just keep the stuff out of my home.
Good Job passing up that cookie! My skills will be tested soon at some of the Christmas dinners. Hope I can do as well! emoticon

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FUNLOVEN 12/17/2014 8:48PM

    You did a great job with that cookie. Boy, are your resistance muscles getting strong! I too have had the occasion to pass up a food until I could plan it for the next day. It can be a very difficult task and you deserve so much credit!

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KRISKECK 12/17/2014 4:58PM

    yes, I had a tough time yesterday and gave in to the cookie that was calling me. I didn't exceed my calories and it was the only non-planned eating. I gave myself credit for resisting additional treats and for sticking to the rest of my plan, but I was disappointed with myself. So kudos to you!

And today, I included a piece of chocolate in my plan, and I intend to follow the plan to the letter, even awash in cookies and treats as we all are!

Woo hoo! Cheers to us!


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FEEDTHEHUNGER 12/17/2014 4:45PM

    I'm impressed by your dedication to your plan and powering through your desire for the cookie. There's a lot to learn in this little vignette!


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MOVING_ARLENE 12/17/2014 1:45PM

    Don't you just hate it when food calls out to you!!! You did a great job talking yourself away! Just love it!!!

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LESLIELENORE 12/17/2014 1:39PM

    Good job avoiding temptation!

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PHOENIX1949 12/17/2014 1:22PM


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1CRAZYDOG 12/17/2014 12:54PM


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NHES220 12/17/2014 12:09PM

    That is exactly the kind of cookie that would call out to me too! Glad someone else took it. Funny, the ones that have no appeal I can ignore too. Great job on the spontaneous and planned exercises.

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DLDMIL 12/17/2014 11:18AM

    emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 12/17/2014 10:42AM

    Here's to Already Choosing Wisely!

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SLENDERELLA61 12/17/2014 10:13AM

    Great day! Loved the cookie story and that you planned a cookie for today. Hooray for you! This planning stuff is really powerful. Glad I'm doing it now, too. I don't think I've ever felt so in control of my eating. I do feel stronger than the last time I tried it. Bet you do, too.

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MSLZZY 12/17/2014 9:46AM

    What is a day behind when you have this NSV right here? emoticon

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JEANKNEE 12/17/2014 9:45AM

    Love the subtitle to your response card "I have already chosen!"

There's a certain sense of empowerment ringing emoticon through it.

Good job affirming your choice and bypassing the unplanned cookie. You rock!!!

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GABY1948 12/17/2014 9:35AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon you certainly do EXCELLENT at the Helpful Answers I have a LONG way to go to be able to think of them on the spot like you do! You are truly the ROCK star of Spark! emoticon

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MIRAGE727 12/17/2014 9:01AM

    Love how I get so much out of your posts, Barb! Thank you!

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KANOE10 12/17/2014 7:55AM

    That was an excellent dialogue with yourself. I like the tool of telling yourself that you could have one another time as a planned food. Well done. The holiday treats keep flooding my office as well! You are doing well.

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A giraffe named Raul

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My siblings will likely remember our sister's ceramic giraffe, that used to sit in her living room. He was about 3 feet tall, maybe a little taller, in a seated position, with a whimsical expression on his face. Her then-husband and father to her two girls named the giraffe Raul. The whole family thought that was a ridiculous name for a giraffe, and perhaps because it was so ridiculous, the name stuck.

The girls loved that giraffe, and would play at riding him. Eventually his long neck broke. He was mended multiple times, but eventually that was the end of poor Raul.

On one of our walking tours of the hospital on Sunday, my sister and I got to the gift shop, and lo and behold, what was right out in front? Giant stuffed animals. Including a giraffe. Sis stopped, looked at that giraffe, and got this look on her face. "Do you remember Raul?" she asked me. Of course I remembered Raul. He was legendary in our family.

She asked the gift shop lady about the price of the giraffe, then as we continued our walking tour, she said to me, "I don't need to be acquiring more things at this stage in my life, I need to be giving them away." A few steps later, "It's a good thing I didn't have my credit card with me, I'm at a vulnerable point." Of course the practical would dominate her thinking.

The giraffe was a bit on the pricey side... but he was a substantial toy... probably four feet tall, standing. But once I'd seen that look on her face... and the memory in her voice... yes, you probably can guess the rest of the story. I bought the giraffe on the way out of the hospital, and put him in her bedroom at home. Then just waited.

Last night, after I got done with spin class... there was a message on my voice mail. She had got home from the hospital and not gone back to her bedroom for a couple of hours, and then found him. She thought I might have had something to do with this, call her and explain, please.

Of course I did. People, I am not a big Christmas celebrator. I never get gifting right. When an opportunity comes along like this, where I can SEE the meaning of a specific thing for someone, it is indeed a gift to ME... because for the most part I'm clueless. I'm writing this with tears in my eyes... because now I have had a Christmas. God gave it to me, this year, in this moment. Somehow, every Christmas season, there is a moment like this.

And this year... all because of a giraffe named Raul.

LIFE is good. It's better when I'm fit. It is at its best when kindred spirits make connections. Creatively, consciously, and consistently making choices that support healthy habits, I remain GRATEFUL for each and every day.

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRISKECK 12/19/2014 8:32AM

    oh how wonderful! You brought tears to my eyes! Sweet sweet story, I am very happy for you and your sis...

Merry Christmas!



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REBESANCON 12/18/2014 8:51AM

    So sweet. I don't always get it right, either, so it's extra special when you find something or do something to make someone's day like that. Way to go!

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LKWQUILTER 12/17/2014 1:56PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 12/17/2014 9:44AM

    How special was that? You are awesome and I am sure your sister will keep Raul forever. A very sweet gesture. HUGS!

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SWEDE_SU 12/17/2014 8:02AM

    wonderful story! thank you for sharing:-

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SNOOPYLINKOS 12/17/2014 7:28AM

    Sister-love, very nice.

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LEANJEAN6 12/17/2014 7:22AM

    awwww Barb!!!!--It made me cry!!!--You are such a caring person!--Lynda

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DALID414 12/17/2014 1:17AM

    Oh my gosh, reading this at the end of my day; got misty eyed.
I had my Christmas today with my nephew. I bought him rain boots and he missed school Friday (fever), he got to wear them today. He was splashing around in every puddle. I got misty eyed watching and sharing the experience with him.
(I would have bought Raul, too!)

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LESLIELENORE 12/16/2014 11:00PM

    What an awesome opportunity!

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FORZACHANDMATT 12/16/2014 9:52PM

    This is such a wonderful blog - it brought tears to my eyes - you are such a good person and sister

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MOBYCARP 12/16/2014 9:07PM

    You just know that when our great nieces and great nephews see that stuffed giraffe, the stories about Raul will come right out!

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    Absolutely PERFECT gift.
You rocked it, Barb!

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SPINNINGJW 12/16/2014 7:41PM

    Who in our family can forget Raul? Glad to hear that you got the opportunity for the meaningful gift. I was tearing up too!

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GABY1948 12/16/2014 6:25PM

    LOVE this blog, as usual! But this one showed us ALL of your heart, not just part of it as most of your blogs do. I am sitting here crying too! Thanks, after all day out I am so tired and it feels good to be SO moved by this story.

And, for the record, I also am not a "brilliant" gifter! I have to do things like this to really feel an accomplishment! emoticon Softie!

emoticon emoticon

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SEATTLESIMS 12/16/2014 5:45PM

    That is a very meaningful gift. To be together in that moment when she saw it. May we all be open to such wonderful moments! Happy Holidays and thanks for sharing!

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DLDMIL 12/16/2014 4:35PM

    you are a great sister. Well done.

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KANOE10 12/16/2014 4:07PM

    That was the perfect gift for your sister. It brought such joy to her. You are a sweet sister. That is the meaning of Chrismas.

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MRS.DOYLE 12/16/2014 2:27PM

    Awww! That's a lovely story. The best gifts are those that have been thought about. I was shopping today and a couple of things spoke to me. They were only cheap, but they match the intended recipients perfectly.

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BEATLETOT 12/16/2014 1:31PM

    This is a gorgeous, wonderful blog. What a magical thing for you and for your sister.

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LJCANNON 12/16/2014 10:47AM

    emoticon You got it RIGHT, Barb!! That was Christmas at its Very Best!! It comes unexpectedly, not on a particular Day, and it is usually associated with Laughter, Smiles, and -- inevitably -- a few Happy Tears.

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MOVING_ARLENE 12/16/2014 10:03AM

    Oh darn -- tears will be in my eyes all day thinking about this wonderful blog!!!

emoticon emoticon

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NANCY- 12/16/2014 9:39AM

    How beautiful you were able to see the opportunity. Touching others lives, touches us in ways that cannot be expressed.

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ALOHAEV1 12/16/2014 9:23AM

    Your Sis was watching down on all this and enjoying the moment too. This I think dropped a little more Christmas spirit in all of us, thanks for sharing with us.

There's something about giraffe's...brought back a memory back in the 60's buying a big ol stuffed one and having to haul it not only on the subway but the train to hubs (much) younger brother

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SLENDERELLA61 12/16/2014 9:19AM

    Wonderful! You did such a good thing. And I understand totally how it felt like a gift to you. It is just wonderful when you can give a gift that is just perfect.

Hope you day is perfect as well!!

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LINDAKAY228 12/16/2014 8:31AM

    What a wonderful story and how fun to give someone something that means so much to them! I'm so glad you got to do that! Last week, before I got really sick, I went to the Dallas Zoo to see Tapanga, the giraffe born there and about 5 weeks old when I went. It was so cute to see this baby giraffe following his mom around. They were kept in an area the other giraffes, ostriches, and elephants couldn't get to. They all have a good sized area that they can roam around in. But there was an area to keep him safe and to bond before being around the other animals but could still be seen and was with him mom and I think the other giraffe in there was his dad.
Hope your sister is doing okay.

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NHES220 12/16/2014 8:27AM

    How sweet to come across the perfect gift! That is an awesome story!

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KALIGIRL 12/16/2014 8:22AM

    "Somehow, every Christmas season, there is a moment like this."
Amen, sister and I am thrilled you and yours were the first to experience it this year!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 12/16/2014 8:19AM

    Awwww, you are the best sister! That's awesome and now your sis has Raul!


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FUNLOVEN 12/16/2014 8:02AM

    I loved, loved, loved your blog ! Your sis is one lucky person to have you. And your right. It is moments just like this that make the giving so precious and brings out the true meaning of Christmas - LOVE!

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NELLJONES 12/16/2014 8:02AM

    My brother is the same way. He only gives gifts when the spirit moves him, and they are always wonderful.

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WENDYSPARKS 12/16/2014 7:49AM


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WATERMELLEN 12/16/2014 7:48AM

    What an absolutely lovely story, truly.

I am sure that your sister will cherish Raul II -- and you will cherish, as you say, the opportunity of experiencing that Christmas feeling one more time.

Here's hoping that there will be a Raul II picture with sisters posted at some point???

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DEBRITA01 12/16/2014 7:36AM

    Such a sweet story and definitely the true meaning of this season...not specifically the gift, but the joy in giving to others. Raul the 2nd will be a happy reminder of the past and also a sister's love. emoticon

p.s. my grandson has a giraffe like you mentioned and it IS a big stuffed animal!

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