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Beck Day 41 - Make a new 'To do' list

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Beck has taken us through all the skills that we need to lose weight, and keep it off.
Some of them were obvious, some of them were something new to think about, some of them were easy, I was doing some of them already, but some of them were (and still are) difficult.

With any new skill, the important thing is to practice, over and over and over, until it is second nature.

Beck's lists

Do these activities daily
* Eat a healthful diet with limited calories
* Think about what you're eating, BEFORE you actually put it in your mouth
* Sit down to eat, and eat slowly & mindfully
* Eat only to mild fullness
* Monitor your eating throughout the day
* Give yourself credit
* Do spontaneous exercise
* Respond to sabotaging thoughts

Do these activities between once a day, and once a week
* Weigh yourself (at least once a week, but daily if you prefer)
* Discuss your weight change/(dieting) experiences at least once a week
* Do planned exercise at least 3 times per week
* Continue to make sure you have enough time and energy devoted to your diet/exercise program through the week
* Read your advantages card as needed
* Use anti-craving strategies
* Use the seven question technique when you are upset
* Prepare yourself psychologically for 'special occasion' eating
* Do problem solving to reduce stress
* Take steps to enrich your life

Do these activities as often as needed
* Plan and monitor what you eat
{I intend to do this 5-6 times per week for the foreseeable future - I think it helps me}
* Read your response cards

There it is - easy right?
Well, I think we all know it is not that easy - but I think all the strategies we need are in that list. It is just a matter of practicing until it becomes easier - and when we feel ourselves waver, come back to basics.

I like to think about Roger Federer - the best tennis player in the world. He plays tennis almost daily, and has done for probably 20 years. He still has a coach. He still has to practice his ground strokes.
What makes us think we should be able to master new skills with a snap of our fingers. It takes reflection, examination, review and practice.

I am going to copy some of this to my sparkpage - just so I can keep it where I can see it easily.


Exercise has not been so great this week. I need to find a bit more, or I am going to struggle to get by 1200 minutes target.
Eating is going pretty well - but I think it will be even better next week when the school holidays are over and we are back in a routine.

Let's all support each other to make our healthy skills second nature!
Have a great day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 10/8/2012 9:26AM

    That "To Do" list thing: amounts to "eternal vigilance". My "natural body weight" is 230 pounds and probably always will be. And I'm never going to have an easy metabolism to manage: it's sneaky, will find "new ways" to sabotage me all the time, so I continually need to be thinking up new "to dos" to combat that.

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Beck Day 40 - Enrich your life

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Beck is saying that if you have dreams of all the things you are going to do when you lose weight - then start doing them now. Don't wait.

I am not trying to lose weight - but I think it is a good life lesson - if we live our lives always in the future (i.e. in our dreams & imagination), then we are not really living life.

If we are putting things off until
- the kids start school
- the kids leave home
- we get a new job
- we retire
are we really enjoying the present??
I can look back on periods in my life when I lived in the future - waiting for something that would mean I could start being me. I now see those periods as being wasted - I did not make the most of where I was at that moment.

Obviously, some things have to wait - but we can still set the plan in motion.
Dream of living in France and learning French when you retire? Buy a book or start a class to start learning today.
Want to climb Mt Everest when the kids leave home? Start today reading books and getting fit and strong.
Looking forward to all the things you are going to do when the kids start school? Identify those things, and do what you can now.
Want to do a 5km when you are fit enough? Sign up for a race in the future - thats the best way to get fit enough!

If we are inspired by something, we should start the process - just starting will get us exposed to others with similar interests, which can increase our inspiration, and open us up to other ideas.

I hope you are making great progress towards your dreams

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 10/8/2012 9:27AM

    The "default treats" tend to be high calorie! Enriching our lives in ways that don't involve cheesecake or french fries: yeah!!

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ILIKETOZUMBA 10/3/2012 11:54AM

    I am really bad about living my life in the future (and the past) and not so much in the present. This is giving me something to think about. What can I do now to make sure I reach my dreams for the future? That'll give me something to ponder on my next walking break! :)

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WENDYJM4 10/3/2012 3:16AM

    well said. emoticon

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SHEILA1505 10/3/2012 2:09AM

    Oh I'm such a great believer in this - want to do something? Can't afford it - money, time, freedom - wait, rather think How can I make this happen? And take steps in that direction.

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CATHY63RED 10/3/2012 2:02AM

    Great blog thanks

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SLENDERELLA61 10/2/2012 7:33PM

    You are making great progress in Beck. You are nearing the end. I sense you have learned a great deal and applying it to your life. Thank you for all your good blogs. And you are right about "do it now" and don't wait to live!! -Marsha

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CATHWREN 10/2/2012 6:44PM

    Well said. I know I've spent too much time living in the future. Thanks for the reminder that the present is where I actually live.

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Beck Day 39 - Keep up with exercise

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

She is really preaching to the converted here!

Like everyone, sometimes I need a kick in the pants to get it done - but exercise is part of my life now. I seek opportunities to walk, ride, etc, etc. I attend weekly pilates. I do extra strength training . . . of course, I could do more - but I feel so much fitter, stronger, I have more energy, I feel proud of myself.
All that good stuff.

I am really enjoying planning my food in advance at the moment.
I plan my meals and then basically fill up my nutrition planner with healthy snacks, up to the maximum calorie range - based on the way I think the day might unfold.
I have created another meal category on SP called 'Uneaten snacks' which contain this list.
As I eat the items, I move them to the relevant meal in SP.
Or, if one of my meals changes from plan, I adjust my 'Uneaten snacks' to ensure that they still fit within my daily range.

I feel a certain comfort knowing that I can choose something off the list when I feel like it, but I also feel good about 'saving' the snacks for 'later'.

My theory is that it will stop unplanned/binge eating. So far it is working.
Previously I was leaving a certain amount of my range 'just in case' - I planned my meals, but never wanted to commit to what snack, if any I would have at any given time. Because I had something up my sleeve, sometimes I would eat something unwise (like cereal, or honey on bread) - and then somehow I would have a blow out.
Now I feel like a have a short list of approved snacks, and I can go to them if I need to.

Snacks include nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, vege sticks with hummus dip, low fat yoghurt, a museli bar, a non fat cafe latte, a slice of bread with peanut butter. That sort of thing.
Interestingly, I have bought a natural peanut butter - you know the kind where the oil separates? Well, it is tasty, but doesn't seem to have the same binge inducing characteristics. I can have it on my list quite safely.

I will keep you posted on how this goes!
Have a great day

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 10/2/2012 7:19AM

    Two great ideas here: thanks! Regular peanut butter is pretty irresistible for me: maybe I should try the less-appealing natural" stuff again. (I do know if you run it through the food processor you eliminate that oily separation thing . . . and adding a couple tablespoons of cocoa plus some Splenda makes it taste better with little calorie increase!: also good with natural halenut butter to create a healthy "Nutella").

Plus love the idea of "uneaten snacks" category on the nutrition tracker . . . have always thought we need a tracker for stuff we're tempted to eat and don't, as well!!

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*MADHU* 10/2/2012 6:14AM

    Keep up your emoticon efforts!

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Beck Day 38 - Deal with a plateau & the month recap

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Considering I am in maintenance - a plateau is what I am aiming for!!

I suppose Beck's advice applies to maintainers who experience a small gain.
What does she advise? One of the following options
1. Keep doing what you are doing (or if you have slipped a little, get back on track)
2. Reduce your daily calories by 200 (this is not advisable for me - limiting myself leads to blow outs!)
3. Increase your exercise

Don't panic. Don't get disheartened. Don't focus on how unfair it is that you feel you have worked so hard for nothing.

September goals
1. Keep Maintaining - CHECK
2. 1200 fitness minutes - I made this goal without thinking that my husband would be away for 10 days in the month, therefore restricting my opportunity for exercise. Got my 1000 fitness minutes though
3. Eat more fruit and vege - this is working well, I can still do better - CHECK
4. Continue working through Beck Diet Solution book - nearly finished. CHECK

Goals for October
1. Keep maintaining
2. 1200 fitness minutes - this is a stretch target for me, but I want to aim for it
3. Eat more fruit and vege
4. Plan food in advance at least 6 days per week

I hope October brings great things for all my SP buddies

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHEILA1505 10/1/2012 2:41AM

    Easier said than done not to get disheartened etc :(
Of course, she's right but that doesn't make it any easier does it! Oh well, focus focus focus


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ILIKETOZUMBA 9/30/2012 9:31PM

    Hooray for achieving your September goals! You are going to DOMINATE your October goals. :)

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WENDYJM4 9/30/2012 8:50PM

    great goals

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Beck Day 37 - Reduce Stress

Saturday, September 29, 2012

I have a very low tolerance for stress. I tend to avoid it. I am not sure this is a good thing - since I think that perhaps a little more stress might drive me to achieve more.
One of my sisters is a super stressed, high achieving individual - just talking to her makes me feel stressed - I don't know how she lives like she does to be honest.
There is probably some middle group that we should both be aiming for!

Beck has 3 steps to lower your stress levels.
I will try this next time I feel stress - rather than avoiding the situation all together.

1. Solve the problem
See day 34 - use the7 question technique here.

2. Relax
Meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, controlled breathing . . .whatever works for you

3. Change your mindset

(I think this might be key for me - I get stressed, because I am worried about other people's expectations, so then I avoid the stressful situation. Like the time I invited 14 friends over for a sit down dinner for my husband's birthday - I almost did not do it, stressing about the food, our little house etc etc. I spoke to my 'other' sister who said 'These are your friends, they want to come over to celebrate your husband's birthday & have fun - they aren't coming to judge your cooking and housekeeping. What! They won't! Major change on mindset which helped me to approach the party with a completely different attitude!)

Beck's says we have self imposed rules that are unhelpful
- I should always do my best
- I should prevent problems from happening
- I shouldn't rely on others (oh yeah)
- I shouldn't let people down (and again)
- I shouldn't make others unhappy (yep - even if it means making myself unhappy!!)

*** To reduce stress, you need to identify these rules.
Especially if they begin with a 'should' - should, schmould!

*** Relax your self imposed rules
Insert the word 'reasonable' into your rules

*** Also relax your rules that you apply to other people
If you set unreasonable standards for others, they will fall short, and this can cause stress.
If you relax the rules you apply to others, you will feel less stressed

I love this - changing your mindset. I don't want fear of stress to stop me achieving things, when often the stress is self imposed by my mindset. Rather than avoid stress, I will aim to challenge myself to reduce the stress.

Well - I got my 1000 fitness minutes, with a day to spare.
I have been eating badly since the greek banquet. Unfortunately I did not take my own (and Beck's) advice.
After a night off - don't try to compensate with eating less the next day - just get back to normal.
I should have planned all my calories for the day - rather than plan low, hoping to keep some up my sleeve. When you have something 'up your sleeve' it gives you a licence to start eating off plan . . . and before you know it . . .uh, oh.

Today I am back.
I will plan my whole days calories - if I don't eat it all, thats OK. The important thing is to have a complete plan - so there is no room for off-plan eating.

Happy Sunday all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHEILA1505 9/30/2012 4:14AM

    Your sister was right - your friends probably weren't coming to rate your housekeeping and culinary skills - just to enjoy the birthday celebration!

I wish I'd stop listening to the BS of other people - I KNOW I really am Gluten Intolerant, but I fall for it every time - maybe I've built up a tolerance and can handle a wonderful seeded whole grain sandwich after all. Naaah ... keep a Beck-type card in my pocket to use in moments of weakness.

Thanks for sharing

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ILIKETOZUMBA 9/30/2012 1:12AM

    "- I should always do my best
- I should prevent problems from happening
- I shouldn't rely on others (oh yeah)
- I shouldn't let people down (and again)
- I shouldn't make others unhappy (yep - even if it means making myself unhappy!!)"

Whoa, that describes how I tend to feel about things to a T! This is some really good advice about stress. REALLY good. I definitely have to take notes on this one! :)
Congrats on the fitness minutes!

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SLENDERELLA61 9/29/2012 7:16PM

    Great blog! Your growing willlingness to deal with stress will give you many opportunities for personal growth. The self-awareness evident in this blog is awesome. You are on track for some major growth. Good going!

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