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Sitting down to eat isn't always convenient, but it does prevent me from the "grazing" behavior I have developed. It makes me STOP and THINK before I eat. Because I STOP and THINK, and I often find that I don't really want or need that food after all.
What is the reason I don't lose weight?
The reason I don't lose weight is because I don't follow my diet and exercise plan. There is no other reason.
Sitting down to eat
It is important to sit down while eating every time, to avoid mindless snacking and nibbling, which adds too many unnecessary calories.
Acknowledging my own success
It seems awkward to "praise" myself. Keeping track of the times when I do things correctly reinforces the new behaviors I want to adopt and loosens the grip of old behaviors I want to get rid of.
I've been giving myself choices about what, when and how much to eat for a long time, so it feels natural and right to do so. On the other hand, I must face the fact that spontaneous eating doesn't work for me. The more often I say NO CHOICE to myself, the less I'll struggle.
Planning is important
If I want all the benefits of being thinner I just can't eat whatever I want without planning. I have to make being thinner and feeling good about myself a much higher priority than making spontaneous choices about what I eat.
Trapped or not?
Sometimes I'm in a situation where I'm confronted with food not on my plan. My "escape hatches" are to:
- 1. Say, "No, thanks."
- 2. Leave
- 3. Have a calorie-free drink
I don't have to explain or justify my decision to others.
If I am dining out and there is nothing on the menu that I can eat, my emergency options are a salad with lemon and salad veggies (no cheese, olives, etc.) and/or a calorie-free drink. I don't have to justify or explain myself. My friends and family are supportive of my decision to be healthier.
Controlling my eating
I don't like controlling my eating and going without when others around me are eating what they like, BUT . . . a lot of them are struggling with their weight and doing nothing about it, so emulating them will not help me reach my goal. I can instead emulate people who leave food on their plates when they get full.
When I feel discouraged, cheated or angry about diet and exercise, I can say, "Oh, well," and do what I need to do.
Yes, it isn't "fair" that I can't eat whatever I want, how much of it I want, whenever I want it and still be thin. But I can't have it both ways. Which would I prefer? I would prefer to be thin and healthy. I need to say "Oh, well," and then get on with my diet and exercising.
It's NOT OKAY to eat unplanned food at any time, of any kind. I'm just trying to fool myself. Everytime I eat something I'm not supposed to eat, I strengthen my giving-in muscle and weaken my resistance muscle. I might feel good for a few seconds while eating, but I'll feel bad afterwards. If I want to lose weight and keep it off, I MUST stop fooling myself.
Get back on track!
If I've eaten something I shouldn't, I haven't blown it. It's not the end of the world. I can start following my plan again right this minute. Just because I made a mistake doesn't mean I should keep on eating. That makes no sense. It's a million times better to stop now than to allow myself to eat more.
- Frosted cake = 500 calories
- donut = 300 calories
- ice cream = 400 calories
- candy bar = 250 calories
- bag of potato chips = 500 calories
- Cheese = 300 calories
- 2 cookies, muffin, peanut butter, pretzel = 1,200
This is 3,450 calories. This could easily happen if I fool myself and stray just a little from my plan!
Have a Plan!
- I need to have a plan for today and write it down!
- I need to stick to my plan and note down when I've followed it.
- If I stray from my plan, I especially need to WRITE IT DOWN!
Making a written plan helps me feel in control. Writing down a change in plans helps me stay realistic about what I'm eating.
I struggle with self-defeating beliefs that I am not able to lose weight. The fact is that I have lost weight in the past. It is not my diet that fails--rather, I fail to stick to my diet. If I stick to my diet and exercise plan, I will have success!
Difficulty with acceptance
- It is hard to accept that I need to diet and exercise. It's hard to accept that I need to let go of food as a comfort and escape from unpleasantness. However, when I need to accept something, I can do it, like accepting that I need to take thyroid medication every day.
- I can struggle with what I have to do and feel bad, or accept that this is the way it has to be. I don't have to like it. I must sometimes accept other things I don't like, such as paying bills, but once I accept the fact that I must, it doesn't cause too much discomfort.
It feels unfair that I can't eat "normally," but actually, I wasn't eating "normally" in order to become overweight in the first place. I am NOW eating normally for a person who has the goal of losing weight. The greatest unfairness would be if I let this excuse that "it's not fair" prevent me from reaching I goal I want to achieve.
Feeling on edge
Sometimes I feel on edge, cranky or even bored at work, and then I want to eat something. If I remind myself that eating doesn't solve any of these problems, but does create new ones, I can tell myself "NO CHOICE" ad stick to my diet.
It might seem overwhelming to keep dieting, or seem as if my goal is too far away, or that I'll never make it. I need to remember that I can diet for just one day, and that's all I have to do today. If I keep following my plan, all those days will add up, bringing me ever closer to my goal.
Just because I wake up in the night it doesn't mean I need a snack. I don't normally need a snack to "make it" through the night. By no stretch of the imagination is 3:00 or 4:00 am. anybody's idea of breakfast time. I can wait until 6:00, 7:00 or even longer. I can listen to my iPod until I fall back to sleep.
Done for the Day
I don't really need to eat after 8:00 p.m. I can be done for the day after supper with a snack by 8:00 p.m. or just nothing at all.
It's important to read my ARC often because it helps reinforce my resolve to stick with my diet, even when it's inconvenient or uncomfortable to do so.
Eating while distracted
I can still eat, still read, and still watch movies, but I can do those things separately. I consume too many calories and don't enjoy them as much if I do something else while eating.
Eating slowly doesn't always feel right at first. I realize that eating too fast probably helped me become overweight. I need to slow down and just enjoy what I'm eating.