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My Christmas Rocked!!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Hey, I've got to blog and run! I want to get to the store that opens at 9am for half-priced wrapping paper and name tags for next year. Why? Well, I already told Gaye this story, but perhaps you'd be interested:

My 7 year old granddaughter, Natalie, went to her school store and spent her money on presents for her family. She came to my home all excited and borrowed scissors, tape, wrapping paper, and spent a long time getting everything just so. She did a really good job wrapping and we bragged on her. She enjoyed it so much she went in the back yard and picked up rocks - at least 50 of them -- and proceeded to wrap every one of them! So yesterday we all had lots and lots of wrapped rocks. AND what I have to add that Gaye didn't know, she also wrapped up other things she found around the house. She wrapped up 4 little dolls that were Gwen's for Gwen, an ornamental Christmas stocking that I was wondering where it went for me, etc., etc. This will be known forever more as the Christmas Natalie gave us all our stuff and rocks!! What a hoot.

I enjoyed tremendously. I did pretty much stick to my plan to eat 25% more than usual. I enjoyed my one cookie and one small piece of fudge. I was up .8 of a pound to 132.2 this morning. I call this success!

My Beck day is ironically about getting back on track. And although I stuck totally to my food plan, today I'm doing with 25% less. I have family coming back over to eat leftovers and I'm hoping to send any leftovers (and ingredients like marshmallows) not gone with them!!

Hoping you have a great time. I must go get the wrapping supplies now!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNABRIGHT 12/26/2014 10:19AM

    What a great story and I would say Natalie has the art of giving down to a science!

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/26/2014 10:13AM

    LOVE your new Christmas memory! It will be retold for years to come, I'm sure.

And back on track is PERFECT for the day after a Holiday, even if one DID stick to the holiday plan, because reestablishing "normal" is oh, so good for us.

emoticon Christmas, Marsha... onward towards 2015!

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KANOE10 12/26/2014 9:44AM

    That is such a cute story. Have fun buying more wrapping paper. There was such joy in her wrapped gifts. You had a great Christmas and stayed on track. Way to go. I am traveling and miss my scale.

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BARBARAJ73 12/26/2014 9:35AM

    What an adorable Christmas memory emoticon Kudos to you for making a plan and sticking to it !!!!!!!!!!!

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SWEDE_SU 12/26/2014 9:33AM

    what a wonderful day! sounds like there will be a lot of present wrapping in your future! i have no doubts that you will be able to get right back on track today.

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WATERMELLEN 12/26/2014 9:32AM

    That is too too funny: and sweet. What an adorable little girl!!

You did GREAT yesterday, absolutely!! My "water weight" from unusually salty foods put my UP 2: so sad.

Oh well oh well.

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NATPLUMMER 12/26/2014 8:49AM


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GABY1948 12/26/2014 8:41AM

    THIS is SO worth it! God out and get all the wrapping paper you CAN for next year! This may become a TRADITION at your house! That little girl is SO full of LOVE and YOU, dear friend, had a LOT to do with that! I WISH I had had you when I was growing up!
Your Christmas DID rock! And you are one person that DESERVED it...and I don't use that word lightly!

One last thing, if ANYONE knows how to "get back on track" it is YOU. I have no doubt you will whiz back on track more quickly than my eye can BLINK! emoticon

I pray your joy continues right on through 2015!


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Merry Christmas and Beck's Positive Fast-Forward

Thursday, December 25, 2014

After some cold weather a couple weeks ago, and cool weather last week, yesterday it was 84 degrees in my house -- and, no, we did not put on the air conditioning in December. Part of that may have been I cleaned the oven for the roasting and baking today. Somehow it was a little hard -- but not impossible -- to get in the Christmas spirit in the heat. Today it is just to be in the 60's and right now it feels great. I dressed for the occasion: a solid red soft knit cowl-necked shirt, white shorts, Santa hat, jingle bell necklace, and silly Santa drooping bead earrings!! The kids are opening presents at their home first, then brunch with other grandparents, and then here for presents and turkey dinner. I'm cooking BIG and eating moderately. Really. Nephew will be here most all day and niece and her hubby will drop in. I'll put a spoonful of candied yams on my half of baked yam and a spoonful of green bean casserole on my pile of delicious fresh green beans. But I'm splurging further, too. I planned one cookie and one piece of fudge on my food plan for the day. I saw my lowest weight in several months on the scale this morning - 131.4, down .2 from yesterday. Probably won't be there tomorrow, but it will be okay. One tick up would be okay. I remember some place in Beck a discussion of allowing 25% more food when it is a true celebration. Think that's right. Sounds like a plan.

Now, about that Beck Positive Fast-Forward. I'm sticking to the blogging plan, because I think for some learning this technique may be as good as a Christmas present. Imagine, in detail, how you will feel 10 minutes after resisting the unplanned food. Visualize how you will feel: strong and in control! Proud of yourself! Hopeful that you will stay {get to} goal? Delighted that you exercised your resistance muscle: See yourself tomorrow morning when you get on the scale. Think about how good you will feel that you didn't give in. Once you see the entire picture, ask yourself, Which seems better: eating or not eating unplanned food?

I think this technique may be even stronger for me than the negative fast-forward. I want the joy of living in a slim and fit body!! However, a bit, just a bit, of indulgence is good for today. I see me now: Sitting down with family; Enjoying every bite of my healthy foods and my indulgences; then getting up from the table after plenty of lively conversation -- still feeling trim and fit; ready to live with zest; and maybe even take a walk!! Good positive fast-forward. And I see my family eating and enjoying and the little ones watching how I enjoy with moderation. Very good.

Today's is Beck's Resistance Technique 11: Distract yourself. Cooking BIG and then unwrapping presents. Playing with the kids playing with new toys. Great distractions!!

Wishing each of you a truly joyous holiday!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEDE_SU 12/26/2014 9:37AM

    sounds like a great day planned. this positive fast forward vs negative fast forward is extremely helpful, and something new to add to the arsenal - a terrific christmas gift for us all! keeping in mind future consequences. positive and negative, rather than instant gratification - a great lesson for many aspects of life.

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LAILATN 12/26/2014 7:22AM

    Merry Christmas! I hope it was a great one for you and your family. Thanks for sharing this thought technique. I like it!


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HARROWJET 12/25/2014 8:09PM

    Merry Christmas Marsha.

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MOVING_ARLENE 12/25/2014 7:12PM

    Dang - your blog are so informative and helpful. Thank you so much!!

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MJREIMERS 12/25/2014 6:25PM

    Merry Christmas and have a joyous time with family and friends!

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WATERMELLEN 12/25/2014 1:25PM

    That positive fast forward technique (also new to me) is indeed a terrific gift and I think just as powerful if not more so than the negative fast forward.

Both together? Unbeatable!

And your moderate planned indulgences? Very sensible, much MORE sensible than no indulgence at all: because sustainable! This is for life. And celebrations happen!!

And the distractions of gift unwrapping and playing . . . excellent.

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 12/25/2014 12:11PM

    Merry Christmas, Marsha!

Of all the skills, I think that being able to focus on the big picture, to see clearly where a current choice fits into that picture and to be motivated by that rather than the immediate moment's gratification (or pain :-) is probably the key to success in all parts of life, not just weight loss. That's also why it is so important to have life enhancing big picture goals.

Comment edited on: 12/25/2014 12:13:24 PM

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BOOKAPHILE 12/25/2014 10:48AM

    Merry Christmas, Marsha!

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GABY1948 12/25/2014 10:20AM

    I also agree with you and the others, the positive is MUCH better for me than the negative!

You get SO MUCH CREDIT for today! Bless your heart! Back down again and your "indulgences" are so great, mixing them with other things to just get a taste!

Merry Christmas, dearest one! And totally enjoy your day today and through the rest of the season! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NATPLUMMER 12/25/2014 10:08AM

    Happy Christmas!

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/25/2014 9:11AM

    I'm with you... positive visualization is stronger for me than the negative exercise. Seeing myself as strong and happy that I didn't cave in is a powerful motivator!

Merry Christmas, Marsha... I can tell it's going to be great. By the way, I'm heading out to run before it gets close to the predicted high of 41, as I'm trying to become acclimated for "Last Run 2014" run at 10 p.m. on New Year's Eve, when I'm seeing predicted lows in the single digits! Yikes. What was I THINKING???!!! (Yes, I was thinking that Florida is going to feel WONDERFUL in February! Despite MOBYCARP's caution about training too much in the cold and not being able to handle the heat!)

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ICEWYNDE 12/25/2014 9:07AM

    Just the technique we need for today! Thanks and Merry Christmas.

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Beck Resistance Technique 9: Do a Negative Fast-Forword

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Imagine, in detail, how you will feel 10 minutes after eating the unplanned food. Visualize the situation: will you feel weak and out of control? Disappointed with yourself? Nervous about getting back into control? Hopeless about being able to [ever lose weight] maintain your weight loss? Discouraged that you have undermined your hard work? Remind yourself how many times you've given in before and how you felt afterward. Ask yourself, Will eating this unplanned food really be worth a few moments of pleasure?

I like this resistance technique. Yesterday I didn't have many urges to eat off plan. At supper I wished I'd written down almonds when hubby put some in his salad, but immediately I though I would plan some for today and that was okay and I did. After my evening snack, about 8:45 pm, I felt just a little sad I had nothing else to eat for the day. I knew I wasn't really hungry, just wanting to munch. I used the negative fast-forward and felt committed to stick to my plan.

I ate slowly, sitting down, enjoying my food. I exercised, planned and spontaneous. I was able to check off all the positive Beck boxes on the Success Skills sheet for the day. I slept well last night and weighed 131.6 again today, for the third time this week, down .6 from yesterday. That is the least I've weighed in several months. On January 1st I'm going to change my SP ticker to reflect 129 as my goal instead of 132.

I am planning to start to transition to Beck's eating plan on Saturday. I have been concerned I won't lose (maybe gain?) on 1600 calories, her minimum level. On page 108 it says if you don't lose on 1600 calories you have 3 choices: a) use the plan to eat healthier and maintain, b) exercise more if it is reasonable to do so, or c) consult a dietitian to reduce your calories to 1400 if you need to lose weight to improve your health. I'll try her plan as written and see how it goes.

Today is Technique 10: Do a Positive Fast-Forward, finish housecleaning, start Christmas cooking, wrap a few last presents, stick to food plan, and enjoy Christmas Eve!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEDE_SU 12/25/2014 12:00PM

    sounds like an interesting technique, this negative fast-forward. curious to see about the 1600 calories - that's what i've been aiming for in maintenance now, it will be interesting to see how it goes for you. for weight loss i was hugging 1250 as much as possible.

thank you for sharing beck's next book - it's great to get a preview of what's ahead!

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KRISKECK 12/25/2014 12:26AM

    I like to think I could maintain with 1600 but I am pretty sure I could not lose, not with the post-menopausal metabolism change. I will be interested to hear how it goes for you.

And i like the fast forward technique too. Quite a contrast to that initial urge.

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TERI-RIFIC 12/24/2014 10:40PM

    I find it very interesting that you said that you felt just a little bit sad that You had nothing else to eat for the day. I have felt the same way - just a little bit sad.

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HARROWJET 12/24/2014 8:37PM


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GABY1948 12/24/2014 7:18PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey this time with us on the "for Life" book. It will be very interesting to see how the calorie range goes too. I think that I will not be able to have that many ever like some of the others...but I sure would like to see!

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TRAVELGRRL 12/24/2014 4:33PM

    Awesome job! Just going through the book again is helping cement positive techniques for maintaining your weight. It's really not about 129 or 132, it's about 132 vs. 182! You're doing such a great job fine-tuning your strategies and keeping it all fresh. WTG!

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_LINDA 12/24/2014 2:17PM

    1200-1600 is a weight loss range, glad she suggests consulting a health professional if you want to go lower. It would be interesting to know if your Dr. has an opinion on what your weight range should be, given your height, bone structure, age and gender.
That Beck sure has thought of some brilliant mind over matter strategies!! No wonder everyone who is working hard at it is having so much success!
All the best getting to your happy number! You are so close!

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WATERMELLEN 12/24/2014 12:27PM

    This "negative fast-forward" technique is brand new and I'm loving it too: gonna adopt it starting right now.

Still at the office but our wonderful staff have put those chocolates in the freezer: out of sight, out of mind.

I do think that the 1600 calories a day is problematic of many of us: especially post-menopausal women. Some medical authorities indicate that we burn between 100-300 calories a day as a result of ovulation/menstruation -- of course varying with activity, body size and other factors. I do know that there is no reasonable amount of exercise that would permit me to eat 1600/day.

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SANDICANE 12/24/2014 11:39AM

    Yep, thanks for sharing that technique!

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MSLZZY 12/24/2014 10:19AM

    Merry Christmas. Stay active, live healthy and keep on Sparking!

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ICEWYNDE 12/24/2014 9:20AM

    Great technique and so timely! Good to rehearse this before Christmas Eve and Day food fests!
I find it hard to get all the nutrients in on a lower calorie diet, so I think 1600 will be good, especially if you exercise regularly.

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NATPLUMMER 12/24/2014 9:01AM


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ELRIDDICK 12/24/2014 7:52AM

  Thanks for sharing

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/24/2014 7:48AM

    I'm confident you'll be OK with 1600. That in fact is within my "non-peak training" calorie range. Good luck!

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NELLJONES 12/24/2014 7:45AM

    Positive Fast Forward is what the 12 Step Programs call Thinking It Through. It gets you past that fleeting moment to the inevitable next moment. You always hear people talk about "Where do you want to be a year or 5 years from now." Thinking it through is about "where do you want to be in 5 minutes?"

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Beck Resistance Technique 8: Read your Advantages Deck

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

After you read each card in your advantages deck, ask yourself the following questions: how important is this advantage to me? how important is eating this food to me? which would I rather have: this advantage or this food?

Yesterday was not a bad Beck day, but I did the assignment once kind of perfunctorily. It was a very busy day with both Gwen and Natalie with me from the time I woke up almost til bedtime. Since I was kind of slack on this technique, think I'll do it again today along with today's focus. I basically stuck to my food plan yesterday except I ran out of almond milk and substituted 1% dairy milk which is what my hubby drinks. I didn't eat the planned beans because I forgot I was suppose to add them to my soup, so I had 40 calories of protein powder stirred into my evening snack applesauce. So maybe a B on following the food plan. Sat down, ate slowly, did all those good Beck things pretty well, but will do better today following my food plan precisely! Breakfast and first snack are right on and the proper lunch is now simmering. My weigh in this morning was 132.2, .6 over my weight the last 2 days. WeightGrapher says I'm still trending downwards; weight does fluctuate. I'm learning to be fine with that.

I give myself big credit for an hour activity (low impact aerobics) yesterday and Zumba class (was suppose to be 45 minutes, but was 35 minutes of Zumba and 5 minutes of stretch) plus 35 minutes on elliptical at more than 5 miles per hour today. The reason I give BIG credit is that my feet hurt. I have 2 very sore spots that hurt even more than the biopsy site. Doctor told me that activity would have no long term detrimental effect and to exercise as I can tolerate it. My hubby thinks I have a very low pain tolerance. I'm not sure I agree. I say I did a great job to stay so active under trying circumstances. Other than my feet hurting, I enjoyed it.

Today I took both Gwen (4 years old) and Natalie(7) to the Y Holiday Camp. It's Gwen's first full day away from family. She was a little hesitant. We'll see how she does. So today I'm focused on re-do of yesterday's assignment, Christmas grocery shopping and house cleaning, and resistance technique 9: do a negative fast-forward. I'll explain tomorrow and let you know how it worked for me!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEDE_SU 12/24/2014 7:31AM

    you deserve extra credit for exercising despite pain! good job of (re) learning these tools! wishing you happy holidays!

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KANOE10 12/24/2014 7:22AM

    I am sorry you are in pain. Exercising was a true accomplishment under those conditions. I do not think you have a low threshold for pain but think there is genuine pain.
Studying and reviewing your advantage cards is a great tool.
Have a Merry Christmas.

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_LINDA 12/23/2014 11:29PM

    emoticon You are awesome!! DuH, of course, speaks like a person who has no clue what pain really is and certainly does not know what its like to suffer from psoriasis. Any sort of foot pain is hard to deal with, never mind trying to run long distances on them!!
You are amazing!

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MSLZZY 12/23/2014 11:03PM

    Time to put the feet up for the day! You are awesome!

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HARROWJET 12/23/2014 7:47PM

    There is always lots to do on the last days before Christmas. Good for you for getting some exercise.

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WATERMELLEN 12/23/2014 7:31PM

    I agree: give yourself BIG credit for getting in the exercise under trying circumstances . . . can't believe you have a "low pain threshold", not with what I know about your running and training regime . . .

And I like the idea of really pausing to question how important each reason is on the ARC --and what I'm willing to forego to achieve it. Makes it real. Every benefit has a burden: and I've gotta be willing to pay the price!

Thanks for your support on my chocolates detour blog . . . oh well oh well. Had NO chocolates today, stuck precisely to my eating plan.

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TRAVELGRRL 12/23/2014 6:01PM

    Just catching up on blogs, glad to hear you are doing well and working through Beck. I'll be joining your shortly. Give yourself credit for everything you did RIGHT today!!

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GABY1948 12/23/2014 3:56PM

    I don't know your DH but I HAVE had just about every foot surgery there is to totally re-construct both feet. It's no fun...I have a very high tolerance for pain but feet are a bit different...we are ON them all the time. So, I'm with you on this one!

And your grand babies are the most blessed kids I know with you for their Ol' Ma (did I get that right?) to take care of them. AND you teach Beck on top of it. I would be absolutely WORN out with all you do!

I do hope Natalie did okay at the camp! Will be tuned in tomorrow again for your return!

You do emoticon at everything you do!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 12/23/2014 1:38PM

    It would be interesting to ask Hubby for his definition of pain tolerance. Sounds like it is "don't feel pain." So then, heh, what's to tolerate? I'm with you on this one. Sorry that he isn't more understanding and supportive.

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NATPLUMMER 12/23/2014 1:14PM


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Beck Progress Report and Resistance Technique 7

Monday, December 22, 2014

Good Beck day yesterday! Seven days in a row I checked off every box needed to move on to Stage 2:

1. I motivated myself by reading a) My Advantages Deck and b) My Response Cards. (check)
2. I weighed myself just once. Weight Change (this morning): 131.6/no change from yesterday. Down 1.4 over the past week.
3. I ate everything slowly, while sitting down, enjoying every bite. (check - very small slips, like standing to get the kids something before I finish swallowing)
4. I gave myself credit throughout the day for every positive eating behavior. (I check off each item on my food list and then star each meal and snack. Not sure I caught EVERY good move, but I did enough!)
5. I got moving by doing a) spontaneous exercise and 2) planned exercise. (Good spontaneous play with the kids every one of the last 7 days. Recovering from minor surgery and my planned exercise has been limited, but will get back on it!)
6. I identified hunger vs. non-hunger every time I wanted to eat. (Check - definitely the majority of the time)
I tolerated hunger and non-hunger without eating. (Check)
I recognized that fullness sets in 20 minutes after a meal. (Check)
I stopped eating when my food was gone. (Check)
I calmed down before I ate. (Didn't need to.)
7. I filled in my Food Plan Chart. (Check)
8. I followed my plan precisely. (Not quite an A+, but an A-.)
9. I got back on track. (Not needed.)
I used my Cheat Sheet. (Not needed.)
10. I contacted my Diet Buddy. (Bless her - she reads my blogs and comments. I send SparkMail if I forget to include my daily weight or something else I should report.)

So even though I've qualified to move on, I've decided to do it slowly and spend a day on each of the resistance techniques. So I have 4 more of those and Success Skill 9. In 5 days I'll start Stage 2. I've looked ahead and I see that learning how to do her food plan is going to take some study. I did the math to compute my calorie range and it came out to 1453.97 calories per day - thank heavens for calculators - but you are to round off. Her lowest calorie level is 1600 per day, so I'm debating whether I should adjust her program down 100 calories (1500) or go with her lowest level. My SparkPeople level is 1250-1550 plus exercise. Her program includes half hour per day of exercise, so they aren't that far off. I've got 5 days to decide.

Yesterday I focused on Resistance Technique 7: Meditate, pray or relax. Beck gives you two breathing techniques and I tried them both. I did them morning and evening just to practice. I wasn't having any problem sticking to my plan. But after my evening snack I was still feeling hungry or at least still wanted to eat. I often have justified eating (okay - overeating) because I think I can't sleep hungry. Hunger is not an emergency. Hunger will come and go. I did the breathing technique after snack and it helped. The one I preferred is, "Take 10 deep, s-l-o-w breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Concentrate on your breathing. If you start to think about food, gently bring your attention back to your breathing." I slept well with no additional food.

Today's technique is number 8: Read your Advantages Deck. I'll do it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEDE_SU 12/24/2014 7:30AM

    i love your detailed descriptions, and the way you are taking the time to master each step. you are doing so well!

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KANOE10 12/23/2014 8:14AM

    You are doing great and have been very successful with Beck's tools. I am also learning to meditate and use deep breathing to calm myself. It does work. That is a nice loss of 1.4 pounds for the week.

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KLMEIRING 12/23/2014 2:10AM

    Good to read... emoticon

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MJREIMERS 12/22/2014 10:44PM

    Way to go! I love how you've recommitted to yourself. I'm glad that Beck has relaxation and meditation included. I think they are important.

Your comment about hunger hit home with me. It seems like if I go to bed just a little hungry, I wake up lighter. I'm back to not eating after 8:00 PM and that really has helped.

Keep spark'n! Or should I say "Beck'n?" emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/22/2014 10:45:11 PM

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AQUAGIRL08 12/22/2014 7:14PM

    I love reading your Beck blogs! Thanks for sharing. Your insight is helpful!

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WATERMELLEN 12/22/2014 5:24PM

    Really like your thorough check list -- you are acing this.

And: the Resistance Technique number 7 resonates with me too: lying in bed thinking "I'm still hungry" and "I can't sleep I'm so hungry" and . .. . yeah. Some breathing exercises would help!! And obviously did for you!!

Her LOWEST calorie level is 1600 a day? Yikes!! I would gain weight on 1600 a day, absolutely -- . Have to think about this one!

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JANEWATKINS 12/22/2014 11:25AM

You are a miracle lady.
I'm a Beck drop-out.

Thanks for the Goodies, the encouragement, the notes and the Beck support. I need to start over again with the program . . . I'm working on my inner demon right now. (BTW, she is begging for Ben and Jerry's.) (I won't let her have it.) (Well, may just one bite?) (No!)

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BARBARAJ73 12/22/2014 11:24AM


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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 12/22/2014 10:40AM

    If you trust her enough to follow her weight loss / maintenance advice / method, why would you ignore her calorie recommendation?

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GABY1948 12/22/2014 10:10AM

    WAY TO GO, Marsha! Another keeper blog for me! You just never stop inspiring me to keep doing, doing, doing.

I am excited about this book you are on too! But not so excited I will rush the process I'm on. This is the most amazing process to me...I don't believe it could EVER NOT work and with you showing us at each step! GREAT! And I forgot that you have two little ones there vying for you time too....that's hard on the are AWESOME!

Well DONE! and emoticon

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KRISKECK 12/22/2014 9:43AM

    Now you have me looking forward to the green Beck book. Different approach will be interesting.

I would have to exercise 2 hours a day to lose weight on 1600 calories/day. Wow.

Keep on Sparking!

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NATPLUMMER 12/22/2014 9:38AM


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MSLZZY 12/22/2014 9:32AM

    Got to get started by with my schedule, I think I will need to wait until after Christmas. Way too many distractions and this is something I really want
to focus on. Glad it is working so well for you.

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SANDICANE 12/22/2014 9:07AM

    How nice! You're re-Becking and lost 1.4 lbs in a week! My goodness...isn't that lovely.

And that resistance muscle...yep, strengthening that one is excellent.

So cheers to you and to a wonderful Monday Before Christmas!

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MOVING_ARLENE 12/22/2014 8:12AM

    Good for you on your accomplishments! Your blogs give me such inspiration - love waking up to them!!

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