Making a list and checking it twice

Cathy Hamilton Health Guide
  • It's Day 5 of my midlife meltdown and I've lost 1.1 pounds. Not a stellar accomplishment but given my 51-year-old metabolism and wildly fluctuating hormones, I'll take it.

     

    Clearly, this weight loss journey is not going to go as smoothly, or as quickly, as the diets of my youth. But that's okay. I'm more patient than I used to be and there's certainly no prom dress to fit into in six weeks.

     

    But how does one stay motivated when progress is slow? Dr. Judith S. Beck, author of "The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person" has a suggestion.

     

    I recently interviewed Dr. Beck for a Health story on BoomerGirl.com. The director of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research in Pennsylvania says it really doesn't matter which diet plan you use, as long as it's sensible. The important thing is to change the way you THINK in order to alter the behaviors that prevent you from achieving your goal.

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    For instance, you could probably rattle off at least ten reasons you want to lose weight right now. But you're not likely to remind yourself of those reasons when that box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts magically appears in the break room at work.

     

    "You need to make a list," advises Dr. Beck. "Most people come up with 15 to 25 reasons why they want to lose weight. Then, you need to READ that list every single morning for a very long time. And you also want to pull it out periodically throughout the day when you're tempted to eat something that's not on your plan."

     

    The doctor also recommends you carry a card that says, "I can eat what I want when I want OR I can be thinner. I can't have it both ways."

     

    Ouch!

     

    So, here's my abbreviated list. (The entire list is as long as my arm).

     

    * I'll look better and more attractive.

    * I'll feel happier when I look in the mirror.

    * I'll feel in control.

    * I'll fit into more stylish clothing.

    * My blood pressure will go down.

    * I won't have to take medication.

    * I'll feel better in a swimsuit.

    * I'll enjoy physical intimacy more.

    * I'll have more energy.

    * I'll live longer.

    * I'll be less likely to develop diabetes.

    * I'll fit into those Gap jeans I love again.

     

    I've shown you mine. Now you show me yours!

Published On: November 09, 2007