As I shared recently, my reasonably well-functioning brain has an unfortunately faulty connection when it comes to food and eating issues. Because of this, I decided to work through The Beck Diet Solution (a six-week program designed to help you “train your brain to think like a thin person”), and have now completed my first full week on the program.
It is, truly, unlike any other diet program I’ve ever followed.
First off, the author strongly suggests that you don’t actually start your chosen diet until Day 15 of the program (i.e., after having completed two weeks’ worth of tasks). Personally I find this really helpful, as it’s allowing me to focus on building a foundation of good habits – and practicing them – without being specifically constrained by a particular eating plan. (It seems a little odd, in a way, not to jump right in and start dieting immediately – but when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense.)
The first week of the program spans Chapter 5, titled Get Ready: Lay the Groundwork. Each day of the week a specific task or strategy is presented, along with practical examples as to how it can be implemented, and responses to typical sabotaging thoughts that might arise and hinder you from completing the task.
One of the program’s tools to help reinforce and cement what you’re learning each day is “Response Cards” – helpful statements that summarize important points, key strategies, etc., which are written on index cards and read as needed.
Near the end of each day’s reading is a “Commit in Writing” section, which takes you a step beyond merely thinking about it and pushes you to intentionally plan and write down exactly what you’re going to do to put the task into practice in your life. This is followed by a checklist that gives you the opportunity to take an inventory of how effectively you are following up on what you have committed to do.
The task on the very first day of the program was to write out a list of advantages to losing weight, then come back and read through your list twice each day. Let me tell you, I didn’t have ANY problem coming up with such a list – in fact, I had to edit myself so that I wouldn’t be bogged down with pages and pages of reading twice a day!
Perhaps you can relate to some of these advantages?
It’s still early days, but I’m finding this whole process really enlightening. My first response when I read through some of the tasks is a touch of impatience – “I know all this stuff, and it’s not a problem for me” – until I get to the part where I have to put into writing specifically how I’m going to make it happen, and I suddenly realize that perhaps it’s not such a cakewalk after all.
And of course, figuring out how I’m going to implement it is only the first step… actually doing so is another matter altogether! To help me remember, I’ve been posting sticky notes around the house to remind me.
This one’s on the fridge:
This one’s in front of my placemat at the table:
This one is stuck to the inside cover of my iPad (something I open MANY times each day!) to remind me to give myself credit for everything I’ve done right that day:
It’s difficult to break patterns that are well ingrained, and I have to keep reminding myself that I didn’t develop them overnight, so they won’t change overnight.
It’s slow going, but at least I’m on my way.