Jan 6, 2010

Day 25 - The Beck Diet Solution

Day 25 already, more than halfway there now.

Beck focuses on sabotaging thoughts and how to turn them around.

The first exercise is to teach us how to recognize sabotaging thoughts. She suggests that the next time you are tempted to overeat, eat something unplanned or generally go off your diet, stop and ask yourself what thoughts are going through your head that would allow you to do that.

She gives some examples, I don't have my book with me to quote them, so I'm paraphrasing here:

"I've eaten well all week, fast food for one meal won't hurt"
"I'm too tired to workout and missing one day won't make a difference"
"No one will know if I eat this cake"

The idea is that there is an underlying sabotaging thought that is going through your head and giving you permission to go off your plan.  The way to break through this is to have a response ready for when the thought hits.

Her strategy is to write your sabotaging thoughts on a card and then have a response for it.

"I am going to continue to eat well. I don't want to eat fast food when I can make healthier choices that are just as quick and easy."

"If I miss one workout I will break my routine and it will be harder to start again tomorrow."

"Whether or not anyone knows if I ate it, my body will know and it will affect how I feel about myself"

She says that recognizing sabotaging thoughts may be difficult at first, but if we stop to ask ourselves what we're thinking each time before we go off plan, we will start to recognize them and be able to stop them and the behaviour that follows.

This is something I'm going to have to try and see how it works for me. I can recognize that I have had these types of thoughts and I've had arguments in my head about why I should or should not listen to the sabotaging voice and sometimes I win and sometimes the saboteur wins.  Again, this is all about practicing new techniques to get past a behaviour that is derailing.


  1. Sometimes I think it is kind of funny how CBT is all about talking to yourself. I've talked to myself all my life. The sabotaging voice is almost always louder and more present in my brain. I sometimes really have to dig for the "angel on my shoulder". I like that she gives specific language to the responding voice. I found this helpful. My response voice is often silenced by the sabotaging voice because the sabotaging voice is way louder and more aggressive. Dr. Beck's suggestions give my response voice more strength.

    Do I sound crazy? LOL!

  2. Totally not crazy! I talk to myself (sometimes outloud!) all the time....sometimes I even win the argument :)