Monday, December 22, 2014
Good Beck day yesterday! Seven days in a row I checked off every box needed to move on to Stage 2:
1. I motivated myself by reading a) My Advantages Deck and b) My Response Cards. (check)
2. I weighed myself just once. Weight Change (this morning): 131.6/no change from yesterday. Down 1.4 over the past week.
3. I ate everything slowly, while sitting down, enjoying every bite. (check - very small slips, like standing to get the kids something before I finish swallowing)
4. I gave myself credit throughout the day for every positive eating behavior. (I check off each item on my food list and then star each meal and snack. Not sure I caught EVERY good move, but I did enough!)
5. I got moving by doing a) spontaneous exercise and 2) planned exercise. (Good spontaneous play with the kids every one of the last 7 days. Recovering from minor surgery and my planned exercise has been limited, but will get back on it!)
6. I identified hunger vs. non-hunger every time I wanted to eat. (Check - definitely the majority of the time)
I tolerated hunger and non-hunger without eating. (Check)
I recognized that fullness sets in 20 minutes after a meal. (Check)
I stopped eating when my food was gone. (Check)
I calmed down before I ate. (Didn't need to.)
7. I filled in my Food Plan Chart. (Check)
8. I followed my plan precisely. (Not quite an A+, but an A-.)
9. I got back on track. (Not needed.)
I used my Cheat Sheet. (Not needed.)
10. I contacted my Diet Buddy. (Bless her - she reads my blogs and comments. I send SparkMail if I forget to include my daily weight or something else I should report.)
So even though I've qualified to move on, I've decided to do it slowly and spend a day on each of the resistance techniques. So I have 4 more of those and Success Skill 9. In 5 days I'll start Stage 2. I've looked ahead and I see that learning how to do her food plan is going to take some study. I did the math to compute my calorie range and it came out to 1453.97 calories per day - thank heavens for calculators - but you are to round off. Her lowest calorie level is 1600 per day, so I'm debating whether I should adjust her program down 100 calories (1500) or go with her lowest level. My SparkPeople level is 1250-1550 plus exercise. Her program includes half hour per day of exercise, so they aren't that far off. I've got 5 days to decide.
Yesterday I focused on Resistance Technique 7: Meditate, pray or relax. Beck gives you two breathing techniques and I tried them both. I did them morning and evening just to practice. I wasn't having any problem sticking to my plan. But after my evening snack I was still feeling hungry or at least still wanted to eat. I often have justified eating (okay - overeating) because I think I can't sleep hungry. Hunger is not an emergency. Hunger will come and go. I did the breathing technique after snack and it helped. The one I preferred is, "Take 10 deep, s-l-o-w breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Concentrate on your breathing. If you start to think about food, gently bring your attention back to your breathing." I slept well with no additional food.
Today's technique is number 8: Read your Advantages Deck. I'll do it!
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Beck says that water doesn't have any magical weight-loss power, but if you are thirsty and not hungry, it can ward off an urge to eat unplanned food.
Actually, I think water might be more important to my weight loss success than Beck's statement suggests. I notice a lot less hunger, or what I perceive as hunger, when I'm drinking plenty of water. Eight glasses is no problem for me except during cold weather. When it is cold I have to remind myself to drink water.
Also, hot drinks - tea and coffee - really help me. When I did that Beck hunger tolerance exercise I found myself over and over again reaching for a cup to microwave the water for a hot drink before I'd remind myself that I was suppose to experience the hunger. I wasn't reaching for food, I was reaching mostly for tea. In the evening if my hubby says he's not hungry and wants supper an hour later than usual, I drink a hot drink. It takes away my urge to eat right then.
Unfortunately, I usually add artificial sweetener to my coffee and tea. I have weaned myself from it several times. I can drink it straight, I just don't like it. Any time I'm not working on a goal to reduce my artificial sweetener I find myself going back to it. I don't have to have milk in it, but I like milk. Recently I been enjoying the 30 calories for 8 ounces almond milk. It has plenty of calcium, but not much protein. My mother is far from a model of good eating; she has been overweight or obese most of her life. But she does drink straight black coffee all day long. Wish I could develop a taste for it. I also heard an interview of a model recently who said her drink of choice is hot water with lemon. That sounds kind of good and it wouldn't stain your teeth either. I'm going to try it. I've got a big supply of grapefruit. Wonder if hot water with grapefruit would be satisfying?
Very good Beck day yesterday. I ate mindfully, slowly enjoying my food sitting down. I did not eat one thing that was not my plan. I didn't quite eat everything that was on the plan, but that was okay. I did not use water specifically to avoid unplanned eating yesterday, but I have been using this technique for a long time. I had only fleeting thoughts of eating off plan that had dissipated before I really even had to counter them. When I saw that my husband had left chocolate candy in the car, I just laughed at it! I entered my food in SparkPeople and had met my goals for carbs, fat, protein, fiber, calcium, and was 20 calories under. My weight this morning was -- ta da -- 131.6, the lowest it has been in several months. And I expect to start Beck's food plan in 6 more days, aiming for a new center weight of 129.
Saturday, December 20, 2014
In case you haven't been following my blogs, I'm Marsha. I'm about 80 pounds below my all time high and 50 below my 12-01-2008 weight. I'm in my 5th year of maintenance after more than 5 decades of obesity/overweight. For 2015 I want to reduce the center weight of my goal weight range by 3 pounds, which as of this morning means I need to lose 3.6 pounds. And I want to do that in the healthiest way possible and settle into a confident, healthy way to live, with little weight fluctuation. Right now I'm dealing with a health challenge causing sore feet and limiting my ability to run, so it means that controlling my eating is even more crucial than during half marathon training.
To that end, I'm following The Complete Beck Diet for Life. Previously I worked the Beck Diet Solution by Judith S. Beck, Ph.D. and found it helpful. Right now I'm on page 100 and have found this book even more helpful, and exactly what I need at this point of my life, when I'm hoping to gain the control over food that I've wanted since I was a teen. (Yes, I lost a lot of weight rarely absolutely sticking to my food plan.)
I'm at Stage One, resistance technique 5: Read all your Response Cards -- including these additional cards. Beck doesn't say it, but I'm thinking that the order of the techniques she listed is a good way to approach a desire for unplanned eating. In other words, when I have a thought to eat off plan, my first response is "NO CHOICE." I find that one very powerful. Often just "NO" is enough. I can remind myself I have already made my choices and making my choices ahead of time is much more effective. Yesterday I used that technique at least 4 times. Yesterday I did not use, "Oh, well", refuting I don't care, or quelling the adolescent rebellion, but all these techniques have their place.
Yesterday I did read my response cards extra times and I made the 8 new ones she suggests. The only time my desire to eat off plan was more than fleeting was when Gwen wanted a yogurt at 10 am. She got out a vanilla one for her and an unsweetened Greek yogurt for me. I almost peeled back the lid. I was thinking this is better than the snack I planned and Gwen wants me to eat with her. Yes, it is okay to disappoint people, but a 4 year old? Then I called my excuse, and thanked Gwen for getting it, but explained I was eating to my plan and did. Gwen didn't mind a bit. The new cards:
"If I'm not supposed to eat something, I will remind myself, Just because I feel like eating doesn't mean I should -- There's no emergency --- I'll be so glad in a few minutes if I don't give in."
"Successful dieters and maintainers stay successful because they don't eat whatever they want, whenever they want it. They stick to their plans."
"Every time I resist eating something I'm not supposed to have, I strengthen my resistance muscle -- which will make it easier and easier and easier to resist in the future."
"Every time I eat something I'm not supposed to eat, I strengthen my giving-in muscle --- which makes it more likely that I'll give in the next time --- and the next --- and the next."
"If I eat this unplanned food, I'll get momentary pleasure, but then I'll definitely feel bad afterward. It's not worth it."
"Either I deprive myself of eating this food today or it's highly likely that I will deprive myself forever of all the advantages of losing [and maintaining] weight."
"If I want to lose excess with forever, I need to stick to my plan --- no ifs, ands or buts."
"I can always plan to eat this food tomorrow."
Yesterday was a good Beck day, eating everything slowly and sitting down, following my plan. My weight yesterday was 132.2 and today 132.6. Oh, well. Weight fluctuates.
Today's Resistance Technique is 6: Drink water or a low-calorie beverage if you're thirsty. I'll let you know how it goes.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Yesterday I worked on Beck's resistance technique 3, disputing your "I don't care" voice. She said it is a tricky one because in the moment of temptation it is probably true because when you are fixated on food it crowds out your voice of reason. She suggests a card I have been reading twice a day for some time now:
"It is true that I don't care at this very moment. But if I eat this unplanned food, I am going to care quite a lot in just a few minutes. I know I will feel really bad if I give in, but I will feel terrific if I resist. I need to do something else."
At first this technique didn't resonate with me. I care. I care deeply. I care that I don't gain back my 80 pounds with every fiber of my being. But I do have an "I don't care" voice. It's "I don't care if I gain back 3 pounds, I can lose it again." Well, I'm disputing that voice. I want less fluctuation. I want to be in control of my eating all the time. I want to be master of every bite I eat, eating for healthy and long term happiness, not momentary pleasure.
Yesterday I'm giving myself credit for sticking to my plan, although I skipped snack 2. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 snacks I ate per plan. I simply was too busy mid-afternoon to eat. I also suspect I planned too much food yesterday. I weighed 133.0 this morning, up .4 of a pound. Still I'm counting 4 days down toward the 7 required of compliance before I go on to Stage 2.
Foot note: (pun intended) Foot is very sore, but I'm going dancing with hubby and will try.
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