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DAY 42: Practice, practice, practice

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Many of the skills and concepts I have begun to learn through the Beck Diet Solution will be with me the rest of my life. The ongoing practice will keep bringing benefits.

I suspect that new benefits will continue to emerge with long-term implementation.

Yesterday I was at the fresh food market and they gave out little dishes with samples of chicken fajitas and spanish rice, from their gourmet-to-go department. I carried it around the corner to the in-store coffee counter (which was deserted) since sitting down to eat anything is what I do now.

I confess I sighed a little on the way, but I counseled myself, "This is just something I need to do for my health."

My old self, the hesitant, self-conscious one, whispered, "What if the clerk doesn't like you sitting there?" and Freelady replied, "I'll just smile and say I have to sit down whenever I eat."

Here's the ongoing-practice element: because I took a moment to walk to a seat, and because I sat there eating mindfully, I had the opportunity and attention to notice something. After a nibble it was clear that the Spanish rice was not worth the calories.

Pre-Beck, I would have thought, "Free food!" and scarfed the whole thing in a few seconds while walking through the produce section.

Many other Beck operations need a lot more work from me. I'll be reading the book again slowly and re-vamping my Response Cards.

Thanks be to God for giving me life, and for each day's breath and strength to come this far. I'm more than halfway and I'm not quitting ever.

Thank you, more than I can say, to each of you who has been so warm and supportive. We can do this!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUCHAHOOT 4/26/2010 2:54PM

    Great job! Yesterday I actually threw out some food I'd purchased because I decided it was simply not worth the calories. In the not-to-distant past I would have eaten it rather than 'waste it'. What a waist that would have been!

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WCATAP 4/19/2010 3:47PM

    Good resolve. It is great when we find something that really inspires us to stay on track. And with the Lord.

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ID_VANDAL 4/18/2010 7:01PM

    Good job FreeLady - the fact you took the sample and ate it sitting down is just perfect!! What an example for the rest of us.

I also loved the way you hammered that sabotaging thought into submission.

Your resistance muscle is getting pretty strong!

Keep it up.



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    Way to go Freelady. I second what you said, I am not quitting. Never. Ever.
We have so many new successful techniques. emoticon

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MOTHERDUCK3 4/18/2010 3:27PM

    Way to go. You have really intrigued me regard the Beck Diet. I might need check it out. I'm reading so many different things right now so I need to wait.

Keep up the good work!

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NANCY- 4/18/2010 1:46PM

    WTG on sticking to your guns and doing what you need to do for you!

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GONABFIT 4/18/2010 12:02PM

    Great JOB!!! Isn't it amazing how quickly we can change and adapt to new healthy habits!

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DAY 41: Make A New To-Do List

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Beck Diet Solution by Dr. Judith Beck is an amazing toolkit. The assignments are effective and therapeutic. On Day 41 out of 42, the topic is evaluating the previous task lists and tapering off if desired on many items. Most items I am not fluent or grounded enough to do less frequently---not yet. That's okay.

Still on Beck's daily to-do list are giving myself credit and responding to sabotaging thoughts. These have been transformational, but I have to pay close attention to keep carrying them out. Lots of positive changes still ahead here.

I still need to weigh daily, do planned exercise 6 times a week, use anti-craving techniques daily, use Seven Questions and problem-solving daily to handle emotions and stress, and daily plan and track food. I was not losing weight or feeling good before I did these things. I still need to lose 30 pounds. Seems pretty obvious.

It honestly does not seem burdensome. In fact, there is a lot of security in the feeling that I have specific tools to meet my goals.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GONABFIT 4/18/2010 12:09PM

    Great job!

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MAZZYR 4/18/2010 7:56AM

    That's a wonderful story.

Mindful behavior is part of me too. I enjoy being fully present.

Oops, this comment was meant to be posted on your Day 42 blog.

Comment edited on: 4/18/2010 7:58:33 AM

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BIGLITTLEWOMAN 4/16/2010 10:10PM

    FL you are so thorough. I think most of us can relate to the comfort of taking action. Being actively engaged and applying energy to bring about positive change in ourselves is empowering. I don't feel stress about the weight I still have to lose because I'm feeling good about how far I have come.

It is when we are not taking action that we feel so overwhelmed and hopeless. Don't you wonder why it is so hard to apply ourselves to take that first step when that is where we will find true relief? I suppose it is our past failures that pile up and give us negative self talk.

Beck's and taking a "non-dieting" approach has made all the difference for me. Enjoy the weekend.

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SEWINGMEG 4/16/2010 2:33PM

    You are doing great... and I have enjoyed learning from your blogs and what Beck is teaching you! Thanks!!

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ID_VANDAL 4/16/2010 9:31AM

    I agree with you FreeLady. The book really is a toolbox full of different tools that we can use daily to become better people.

If we can only use a hammer it's tough to build a house. We need all the tools!

Thanks for the reminder.



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MAZZYR 4/16/2010 9:11AM


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GLAMOURGIRL-9 4/16/2010 8:34AM


I keep telling myself i'm going to pick up that book, dust it off and begin again. Reading your blogs encourages me so much!


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On Track Off Line

Monday, April 12, 2010

For a number of reasons I have been on the computer very little for the past several days, and it's likely to be that way for a few days more.

I am participating in a couple challenges, and that accountability has been the key for me to keep doing what I should!

God is merciful and I am thankful that things are going okay.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIGERESTJEN 4/16/2010 9:45AM

    You sound so happy and upbeat. Congrats to you and continue success!

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TRAVELGRRL 4/13/2010 5:14PM

    Hang in there and know that you are missed AND appreciated!


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WCATAP 4/13/2010 4:24PM

    Praise God that you are challenging yourself. Keep it up.

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SEWINGMEG 4/13/2010 1:55PM

    YAY... keep on challenging yourself! You are doing great!!

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SUNFLOWERS4ME 4/13/2010 1:20PM

    Glad to hear it!

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ID_VANDAL 4/13/2010 10:22AM

    Good to hear from you. You are missed but I'm glad you are in control of the situation.

Do let us know how things are going as your time permits!



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TEACHINKIDS2 4/13/2010 7:29AM

    The challenges are great accountability when we can't be on! You're doing a great job and we miss ya!

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    Your presence, or lack of, has been noticed and you are missed. As Beck says, "Life Intervenes". You are a strong and grounded woman. I pray that your challenges will not overwhelm you. Bless you and your family as you work it out.

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KADULAC 4/13/2010 2:48AM

    The challenges are great. You don't want to look bad, so you keep up. I love it. Good luck with yours.

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JAZZIE28 4/13/2010 12:01AM

    Good luck with your challenges. Let us know how you did! emoticon

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Why wouldn't I?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Just when I was thinking of coasting through the weekend, a thought-provoking blog written Friday by ID_Vandal arrested my slide.

Vandal said, "Work has just been piling on . . . I wanted to run and have breakfast at my old fast food place---run to where I felt in control, I guess."

Zing! A shot to the heart! I have been learning some painful life lessons lately about my need to feel in control.

I've taken a few faltering steps of progress. So this issue echoed in my alley. It haunted me, flickering on the edges of my consciousness all day.

Then at one point I saw half a bagel sitting out and reached for it.
You may eavesdrop on the conversation between my Slacker Self and FreeLady:

FL: Wait, what are you doing? You stopped nibbling on leftovers months ago!
SS: Yeah, I know. Kicking that habit helped me turn around. (withdraws hand)
FL: That was one of your definite rules. You liked having those rules!
SS: Well . . . a lot of people say rules don't work for weight loss.
FL: Your rules were part of losing 50 pounds.
SS: Yeah, well . . . so what.
FL: You've been pondering ID_Vandal's blog, that you like to feel in control.
SS: Okay, I like to feel in control. So what?
FL: Just noticing that this happens to be something you COULD control.
SS: [silence]
FL: You have total control over whether you pick up a scrap and put it in your mouth.
SS: [reluctantly] Yeah . . .
FL: You have full control over whether you walk out the door to go running.
SS: [defensively] Yeah . . .
FL: Why not control the things you actually do have power over?
SS: [silence]
FL: Ever thought about taking that driving need for control and applying it to things that benefit your health?
SS: [long silence] . . . I guess it crossed my mind a couple times.
FL: What about using Beck's list process to clarify your options?
SS: Yeah . . . my mind's racing now. I gotta write some things down.

I have some homework assignments (long-term):
RELEASE things I cannot control
(including praying and trusting God, the All-wise, All-loving, and All-powerful).
ACT on things I can control!


How high my taxes are
3 sons' safety downtown at the baseball game
If my local library shuts down early next year
My sister's diabetic retinopathy
My dear friend's son's peril in Afghanistan
An employer's injustice to a family member
How difficult my van is to repair
Manufacturing flaws in knitting yarn
If my daughter stays cancer-free (healthy 5 years; prognosis excellent)


Avoiding grazing on leftovers
Eating mindfully instead of with distraction
Selecting health-giving portions
Praying more
Avoiding sugar
Wearing sneakers so I'm ready for impromptu exercise
Taking my vitamins
Drinking enough water
Fulfilling scheduled exercise
Speaking to my family with patience


I'm going to be chewing on that question a long time!

P.S. Don't get too cocky, Twenty-four Day Tweak competitors! I have not allowed weekend slumps to interfere with my challenge! (Beck Diet Solution Team)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUZY6281 4/12/2010 9:09AM

    Great blog!

I've always tried to practice not worrying about the things in life I cannot control. Sometimes successful at that, sometimes, not. But as for things that I can control- well I really need to get back on the bandwagon. I've been slipping for several months.

Thanks for putting things back in perspective.


PS: LOVED the "Manufacturing flaws in knitting yarn" comment. Amen to that.

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DEBWILLBFREE 4/11/2010 3:19PM

    Uh-hmmm. I have had a fragment of that same "control what you can"thought on the edges of my mind for a couple of weeks... I have steadfastly avoided focusing on it. Too uncomfortable.

Thank you for bringing it front and center in a way that I cannot avoid seeing the sense in doing what I can rather than flailing around trying to do what I can't. The first IS powerful; the second only seems powerful and brave--a the good fight fallacy.

Okay. Onward and forward into productive pursuits. :)

Thanks, again!


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CAMEOSUN 4/11/2010 12:02PM

    "Why wouldn't I control the things I do have control over?"

Very good point to ponder.


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MAZZYR 4/11/2010 11:32AM

    I'm a fan of recognizing what I can and cannot do. When something is out of my control I easily let go of it, but I can't argue with the awareness of what I can do.

Your I CAN list is empowering.

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JACBUTTER 4/11/2010 11:18AM

    emoticon For the encouraging blog. I too need to be reminded of this.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ID_VANDAL 4/11/2010 10:29AM

    What a great conversation to have with SS. Sneaky little devil isn't he?

This was a eye opener for me - Glad I could be a springboard for it. You just made it better!

Great list of things you can and cannot control. Since we can't control everything then we do need to control what we can.



P.S. I'm still in the challenge but I have to confess that my shopping skills need improvement!!

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SEWINGMEG 4/11/2010 9:20AM

    (((hugs))) I have had many conversations with myself like this... LOL!!! You are learning and growing... keep it up!

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NANCY- 4/11/2010 8:59AM

    Vandal's blog made me do some thinking too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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    Good morning FL. I am going to contemplate this blog and create my own control list.

Sometimes that little child within us just wants it all without consequences. Sometimes we get tired of following the rules and not getting that immediate gratification we think we deserve. Sometimes we just get bogged down with being mature, grown up, making the right decisions, being responsible, etc. Sigh... but life is good.

Our days are composed of hundreds of choice situations. The worst of the worst would be having NO CHOICE.


Comment edited on: 4/11/2010 8:10:22 AM

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DAY 40: Enrich Your Life

Friday, April 09, 2010

I am only two "DAYS" away from finishing my first pass through the Beck Diet Solution which I started on December 29, 2009. Then I'll be starting through the book from the beginning and doing all the tasks again. I need a refresher. But for me it is a big deal to have persevered to the end!

Dr. Beck suggests I pick some of my "After Weight Loss Goals" to start working toward right now.

I'm selecting "Improve Hairstyle." I have always been neat and clean, but last year I started thinking that after I reach my goal weight I would try some different styles. I'm going to talk to my stylist friend about more layers or different layers.

A bit of this "start goals now" I have started doing already. Not too long into Beck I realized I had for years been dressing to blend into the woodwork---to be as inconspicuous as possible. So no one would notice I was overweight? Not to provoke unnecessary criticism? Sigh. I do feel compassion for my old, even-larger self.

So now, even though I am still definitely overweight, I have enjoyed wearing some brighter colors. I have been pondering what I really like, as opposed to the cliches I always felt safe hiding behind (the tasteful business uniform, the moderately dressy church uniform, the self-respecting-intelligent- mom uniform, the frugal-but-slightly-preppy uniform . . . yikes, I scare myself!!)

Guess what! I do like classic, but with a bit of flair, an unexpected twist, an eccentric element. I've enjoyed wearing my mango ballet flats with my khaki trousers. I added a chartreuse cardigan to the jeans and white shirt. Maybe I will get really adventurous, who knows?

The other pre-skinny bravery has involved sports. Long ago I decided I would have to get over my concern about being the fattest person in the exercise class, in the pool, etc. I decided if I hadn't been too embarrassed to walk over to a table and put a sweet, fatty dessert on my plate, why should I be embarrassed to do something to get healthier?

After I lost just a little weight I went to the women's basketball evenings at my church. Every one of those girls was about 30 and thin and muscular. Each had a great sense of humor. They were happy for me to play with them and applauded my smallest achievements. It was a lot of fun, tremendous cardio, and terrific for my self image. I was a basketball player!

Since then I have done more swimming, tennis, and joined in multitude of various games with my offspring and their friends. Same results: enjoyment, calorie burn, and improved viewpoint.

My other suspicion is this: the more fun I have doing legitimate stuff, the less I will be tempted to seek recreational satisfaction from food.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAZZYR 4/10/2010 5:34PM


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TRAVELGRRL 4/9/2010 4:27PM

    PS -- love your new chartreuse background. Also, about the clothes, think about shopping with someone whose style you admire. Believe it or not my husband has a great eye and will pick out things for me to try on that I would NEVER choose on my own. As often as not -- they look pretty good! He just doesn't see me the way I see myself -- and he DEFINITELY steers me away from the black and grey!


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TRAVELGRRL 4/9/2010 4:23PM

    wow, Day 40! You are workin' it, girl! You have written about two very real, concrete way that your life has been enriched as a result of this effort. We are so proud of you and so proud FOR you.

We take encouragement from seeing your progress and knowing that we too can be where you are; we can venture out of our shells to see what else the world has to offer us!

Way to go! emoticon


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SUCHAHOOT 4/9/2010 1:47PM

    Once again, love it!
I just bought myslef a pink striped shirt! Very unusual for me. I really like yourjeans/white/chartreus combo.
Keep moving forward!

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    You get a standing ovation!!! I too have similar fashion issues that you detailed. I like classic but with some zing thrown in. Black and gray is no longer my main pieces. I am loving bright green and pink. How much fun is that!!

Exercise that is fun is the best kind of exercise because you WANT to do it and you WANT to have fun!! You are coming into your own Way to grow, venture forth and be brave. emoticon

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JOYATLAST 4/9/2010 10:41AM

    Love it!

I knew something was different when I went for the lime green / hot pink bathing suit!!! LOL!

Then I scalped my long hair off. (donated it for wigs)

I loved the changes like nobody's business.

People are responding more positively to me. But, then, I'm behaving like I belong!

Change is looking mighty good on YOU!

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LISA062797 4/9/2010 10:23AM

    Yes, what a great attitude, and GREAT JOB! So many things I hold myself back on, because my thinking has been, "When I get in shape..." Today, I am going to go outside with the kids and we are all going to play a physical game together! You are so right...the dessert thing struck a chord with me, too.

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FLUENTFROG 4/9/2010 9:42AM

    Wow, wow, wow. What a beautifully wonderful attitude, Freelady. This thought struck so deep with me, one of those pivots in awareness: "I decided if I hadn't been too embarrassed to walk over to a table and put a sweet, fatty dessert on my plate, why should I be embarrassed to do something to get healthier?" Eye rims stinging there, what a wonderful flip to see the strength just waiting to be applied elsewhere. Thank you.

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JLITT62 4/9/2010 9:02AM

    I will echo the wonderful job!

I, too, am branching out into more color. I, too, while looking pretty good, still have some weight to lose. The funny thing is that now that I'm actively looking for color, I keep finding cute stuff in black, and while black certainly has its place, I've got enough black in my wardrobe!

Great job on the sports. I particularly love the attitude of if you can publicly eat a fattening dessert, you can sure publicly play a sport. I'm not much for team sports -- not much of an athlete -- but I did take up ice skating again this year (while it lasted) and am signed up for my first 5k in a couple of months.

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ID_VANDAL 4/9/2010 7:41AM

    AN ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL JOB FreeLady! You are the example of what we can and should be!!

You have inspired me to really REALLY commit to Beck's this time through. I did it seriously but not completely but this time I am going to do EVERYTHING the book says - WHEN IT SAYS and the WAY IT SAYS - you are the inspiration behind that!

Thanks - have you done your talk to the church group yet and if so how did it go?



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NANCY- 4/9/2010 7:30AM

    You have an adventurous nature, that serves you well.
Being inconspicuous is boring, you are a vibrant being. WTG on going for it.

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RUNNINGOMA 4/9/2010 5:08AM

    I enjoyed your thoughts very much. You have a great perspective. Thanks for sharing!

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