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My Beck Tools "Cards" and New To-Do List

Friday, February 25, 2011

Since there was some interest I decided to include my improved Beck tools, "cards" that I read twice a day and my new checklist I use every evening, as a blog.

Beck Diet Solution Cards

Maintenance Advantages Response Card
1. Improved health: blood pressure, cholesterol, LDL, stronger knees, better back, less indigestion
2. Ill live longer and better
3. Feel energetic
4. Love being the size Ive wanted to be since I was a teen!
5. Enjoy clothes shopping and looking in the mirror now
6. Love feeling in control V got it most of the time (working on almost all)
7. My body feels good, especially around the waist, like during Zumba
8. Dont mind pictures, belt, taking off my jacket, costumes, tee shirts, cell at belt, etc.
9. Enjoy compliments
10. Comfortable in any seat V even airplane; less claustrophobic
11. None of the clothes in my closet are too tight!
12. Still wake up feeling amazed.
13. Dont dread facing the scale, even at the doctors office
14. Good role model for friends and family
15. Exercise confidently V dont flop or jiggle
16. Dont mind eating in front of people
17. Dont care if people know how much I weigh; I have less to hide in more ways than one!
18. Reduced stress about food decisions
19. Hubby wanted me at his reunion
20. Cravings reduced; like healthy foods; tastes have changed
21. Less dependent on what other think, I like me!
22. Enjoy playing with Natalie V and soon Gwen!
23. I feel wonderful about my accomplishment.
24. Im happier; much happier!

Sit Down Card
I sit down to eat because sitting will help me be more aware of what and how much I am eating. Sitting at the dining table is best, but sitting to eat is absolutely imperative V and sitting in the car does not count!

No Choice = No Struggles

Its Not Okay
Its not okay to eat unplanned food. Every time I give in to spontaneous eating I strengthen my giving in muscle. When I resist I strengthen my resistance muscle. I can eat most nutritiously and wisely if I plan my meals and stick to my plan.

Get Back on Track
I will do the best I can each day to eat right and live healthy. I will count and be proud of my binge-free days. When I overeat or dont follow my food plan, I will think through what happened to try to learn from it. I will stop overeating or non-compliance as soon as I can, forgive myself and recommit to my program. Ill grab a glass of water, track as best I can, Spark, read Beck cards, go for a walk (if appropriate), and otherwise demonstrate my commitment to healthy eating for a healthy life.

The Scale is a Helpful Tool
The scale is my friend. It gives me feedback that I need to maintain my weight. It is very important that I understand, though, that the scale gives incomplete and, at times, confusing or unhelpful feedback. If I stay focused where I need to be focused, on my eating and exercising, I will be fine. In the long run, the scale will give me the feedback I need. Overreacting, exaggerating, or negative fortune telling in response to the number on the scale is not helpful. I understand that weight fluctuates. If my weight goes up three pounds -129 or more over two weeks -- then I need to take action (fewer calories/more exercise). If the fluctuation is less AND I have been eating right, there is no reason to worry.

I believe I will maintain my weight loss because I have the skills to do so, including:
1. selecting healthy foods.
2. selecting appropriate serving sizes.
3. tracking my food.
4. enjoying cardio exercise.
5. continuing my strength training habit.
6. comforting and calming myself with means other than food.
7. tolerating hunger and cravings.
8. getting right back on track when I slip.
9. asking for help when I am struggling

Make a New Daily To-Do List V for the next 6 weeks, March 1 V April 12

I read my Advantages, NO CHOICE, Its Not Okay, Get Back on Track, Scale & Believe Response Cards
I planned my food for tomorrow
I monitored everything I ate in writing right after I finished eating
Every time I ate, I sat down and ate slowly and mindfully
I ate only to mild fullness
I gave myself credit whenever I engaged in helpful eating behaviors (do it at monitoring and when resisting)
I took steps to reduce stress
I did spontaneous exercise today
I did planned exercise
I reminded myself that hunger is never an emergency
I tolerated a craving or used anti-craving techniques (pg 127-133) rather than giving in
If I overate or strayed from my food plan, I got back on track immediately
I said, Oh, well, or NO CHOICE, whenever I wanted to eat something I was not suppose to
I responded effectively to disappointment or to ideas of unfairness
I used 7 Question Techniques to respond to my sabotaging thoughts & made corresponding response cards
I experienced negative emotion and didnt turn to food for comfort
I took steps to enrich my life
I prepared myself for weighing in

Make new To-Do list on April 12th or 13th!

Strategies that didn't make the list that I will remember for when the going gets tough:
* arranging my environment with tempting food out of sight
* contacting my diet coach
* turning down food not in my plan
* eating wisely when I eat out

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNRISE14 2/26/2011 8:40AM

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GODS_SERENITY 2/25/2011 11:45AM

    Great list of ARC cards and sabotage cards! Thanks for sharing!

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NANCY- 2/25/2011 11:35AM

    Thank you so much for sharing your cards and list.

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 2/25/2011 10:54AM


Are you a "Beck" Girl now?

You are a winner!!

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HAPPYSOUL91 2/25/2011 9:56AM

    Excellent, I can't begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed and learned during your series!

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DONNAEDA 2/25/2011 9:30AM

    you go girl

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JOYINKY 2/25/2011 8:52AM

    Awesome blog! Definitely a favorite and one I'm sharing with a struggling friend. You are an inspiration!

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JHADZHIA 2/25/2011 8:49AM

    You have really made this program your own! All your hard work has really paid off. Thanks so much for giving us such useful information :)
Keep up the awesome work and have a fantastic Friday!!

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KBEHUNE 2/25/2011 8:47AM

    Very helpful ideas! Good luck to you!

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WATERMELLEN 2/25/2011 8:17AM

    Marsha, this is so thoughtful and so helpful. I have immediately copied, pasted, saved -- and will have it for thoughtful review.

Have to say -- must feel good to be the "trophy wife" at your husband's reunion!!

And: found your "scale is a helpful tool" thoughts particularly wise. I'm training my brain in that direction!!

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Beck - Day 41 Completed & Day 42 Plus the Last 2 Chapters

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 41 is about Making a New Daily To-Do check list. I did that, and I have 18 items I will check off daily from March 1 - April 12. At that time, I will review the check list and undoubtedly simplify it.

Day 42 is titled Practice, Practice, Practice and is the last one of the days of activities. It has one very important concept. It says that rough patches are to be expected and that they are TEMPORARY! I know in the past sometimes I have given up because I thought it was just too hard. I believe had I kept doing the best I could each day, I would have gotten through the tough times with little, if any, weight to lose.

Chapter 11 is When to Stop Losing and Start Maintaining Weight. It is very different from Weight Watchers, where you start adding back in maintenance points (calories) when you hit a pre-set goal. Beck has you lose until you naturally plateau. She tells of the concepts of lowest attainable weight vs. lowest maintainable. Several pages are devoted to people who don't think they are thin enough. I think I'm thin enough, so doesn't relate to me. I think my 126 is a maintainable weight, but I'm just going to have to live at this weight and see. I know if I choose to eat more or exercise less I could gain a few pounds and still be healthy. Beck advocates not just drifting to a higher weight, but sitting down, preferably with your diet coach, and writing a new plan including how many additional calories you will eat or how much you will reduce your exercise and then gradually achieve the weight that goes with that lifestyle. I'm sure that would make you feel more in control than just gaining weight.

Chapter 12 is How to Stay at Your New Weight. Beck advocates writing new Maintenance Advantages Cards. I realize that is what I wrote from the beginning, even though I had a couple pounds to lose. I went ahead and re-worded and strengthened all my "cards" and put them in a Microsoft Word file. I may print them on card stock and cut them, but I think I might like having pages instead of a bunch of cards to shuffle. I like that it is so easy to edit or improve them when they are saved. If there is an advantage perhaps kinesthetically to actually writing them, well I've already done that. Beck advices to recommit yourself if you gain three pounds. Sounds like a good idea to me. So if I hit 129, I'm back to full program. Beck says to anticipate the effort that maintenance requires, realizing that occasionally it will get difficult, but it will get easier again then. She advocates eating consistently, about the same amount of food -- a little more on special occasions -- and for the most part limited options of food. She says that successful maintainers usually have three breakfasts, three lunches, eight snacks and eight dinners that they usually rotate, although they do not stick strictly to these as limits. So she suggests creating menus. I think I eat a wider variety, but I do not think it is a problem for me. I do like the idea of creating two months' worth of menus with shopping lists. That is on my To-Do list for the year 2011. I have no illusion that my hubby, the grocery shopper, will stick to the list very well. We'll always be working in whatever is on sale!! Nonetheless, I want to create these delicious, nutritious menu plans and then deviate from them.

Should any of my SparkFriends, especially fellow Beck SparkTeam members, want to see my cards or my To-Do list, SparkMail me or comment below. I'd be glad to send them to you.

This has been a wonderful adventure. I've learned so much. I'm going to take off a couple days and then go back. I want to identify the chapters and exercises that I need to repeat. I hope this book becomes a reference that I reach for whenever I need to improve my thinking about eating and exercise! I appreciate those of you who have followed me on this journey. I appreciate your support more than you know. -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 2/25/2011 1:30PM

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PERSISTANT123 2/24/2011 1:27PM

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 2/24/2011 10:25AM

    RE: Chap 11: my sister advised me to go as low as my body would go without negative effects - like dizziness. So Beck sounds like that to me.

RE: Chap 12: I like the 3 lbs "panic" attack, lol. SP says 5 but the other sister always used 3 lbs as a range.

Awesome! Thank you for sharing your journey with us!!

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NANCY- 2/24/2011 8:41AM

    emoticon Marsha!!!!

I have revisited Dr. Beck's program to strengthen skills, or learn what didn't sink in before.

Thank you for sharing your journey.
Thank you for the offer, I would love to see your Beck Cards.

You are....

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WATERMELLEN 2/24/2011 8:39AM

    Wow!! You've finished with a flourish which is beyond heartening to those of us following in your footsteps!! I'd very much appreciate your offer to share the materials you've pulled together.

I do tend to eat the same things (with variations: eg different veggies in my salads, different seasonsings in my soups) day after day: so long range, this is likely very workable for me. And in the "intense focus" blinkered stage, I needed the glimpse of the future "enrichment".

Thanks, Marsha.

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JHADZHIA 2/24/2011 8:06AM

    And I have really appreciated you sharing your journey with us Marsha. You have gone beyond the Spark program to bring us new ideas and aids to losing and being able to maintain weight. Very inspirational that you keep trying to improves areas even though you are already successfully maintaining.
Shows there are always areas we can improve on, keeps our programs fresh!
Keep up the great work!
And a great big:
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOYINKY 2/24/2011 7:55AM

    Marsha, You have done an amazing job with this journey! Congratulations and Happy Maintenance! Joy

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SUNRISE14 2/24/2011 7:28AM

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Beck - I Believe

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I believe I will maintain my weight loss because I have the skills to do so. The most important of those skills include:
1. selecting healthy foods. My tastes have really changed. I enjoy lots of fruit and veggies, lean protein, skim milk, and a little olive oil. I don't mind eating food really plain, but enjoy some tasty healthy recipes from time to time. When I eat out, I'm good at making good selections or at least some of the best available. I occasionally enjoy a treat -- like on Valentine's Day I had 164 calories of dark chocolate. I don't feel the need for treats frequently any more, though. I easily turn down food that does not fit my program almost always.
2. selecting appropriate serving sizes. I've learned to judge portions pretty well, but usually use my food scale and measuring cups/spoons. It is not difficult for me to leave food on my plate (doggie bag) when I eat out.
3. tracking my food. I've been doing it regularly with just a few days off for 27 months now.
4. enjoying cardio exercise. I'd miss my workouts if I didn't get them in. I like walking, biking, swimming, elliptical, treadmill, Zumba, pilates, and now running.
5. doing strength training regularly 2 or 3 times a week. Not sure I'd miss it if I didn't do it, but I'd miss seeing the muscle definition and enjoying the functional fitness!!
6. comforting myself without using food -- I'm pretty good at that now. I'm still getting better at calming myself without food.
7. tolerating hunger and cravings - I've come a long way, but still improving.
8. forgiving myself, accepting myself, and getting right back on track!! Have been doing that for several years now and find myself getting off track less and less often. Here I have been a normal weight for just about 2 years and I'm still improving my eating.
9. asking for help when needed. I've got Weight Watchers, my incredible SparkFriends and local SparkTeam, my Beck team, and my Beck diet coach. Val and back-up, Ellen. I can always go back to the Beck book if I'm struggling, search SparkPeople for relevant articles, turn to my diet coaches or talk to my WW leader.

For my Beck "I Believe" card:
I believe I will maintain my weight loss because I have the skills to do so, including:
1. selecting healthy foods.
2. selecting appropriate serving sizes.
3. tracking my food.
4. enjoying cardio exercise.
5. continuing my strength training habit.
6. comforting and calming myself with means other than food.
7. tolerating hunger and cravings.
8. getting right back on track when I slip.
9. asking for help when I am struggling.

Of course, I can do this!!! Banish all the doubt! There will be tough times, but they won't last. I will succeed.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JIBBIE49 2/24/2011 2:52PM


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JHADZHIA 2/24/2011 12:51AM

    You are a success -just seeing that fitness activity list makes me tired!
Improving your eating even though it is already good! You know healthy food doesn't have to be bland -look into Spark recipes for Asian and Indian cooking, its fabulous. You don't have to deprive yourself of tasty foods..
You do have the skills.
I am always amazed when you find something else to improve on when its seems like you are already there!
Keep on inspiring us!!

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WATERMELLEN 2/23/2011 8:17PM

    Wow!! This is great -- you've summarized neatly into your "I Believes" and can carry the card around for reminders as needed.

And I'm relieved to know that this "over focus" phase I'm experiencing will also come to an end -- Beck is working for me, and I'm sticking with the program. Thanks for the ongoing support!!

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Beck - Day 41 - Make a New To-Do List

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Beck says, "Once I create a consistent routine of using my weight-loss skills, dieting will be easier." I'm adapting that to, "Once I improve my consistent routine of using my weight-loss skills, maintaining my weight loss will be easier."

In reviewing this chapter I realized I never made an I Believe card, despite the fact I worked on that "day" for several days and wrote a great deal about it. I need to condense it into probably 5 key skills that I remind myself about -- daily for a while -- skills that enable me to maintain my huge weight loss. This activity will help boost my confidence in my ability to maintain.

I realize that some of Beck's activities I've done very, very well and gained a great deal from. A few of the topics presented are areas I've already conquered. But there are a few of the activities that I skimped on, didn't give my best, and didn't get the maximum learning. The day in which I tolerated hunger for 8 hours, for example, I got busy and forgot to record my hunger level every hour. And I just realized that there is a rule I need to impose upon myself. Although I've been eating sitting down, eating in the car should be off limits, except perhaps on the rare occasion when we are traveling and my hubby drives through and won't stop to eat. I also think that I'm going to give myself a month to maintain my happy weight and then I'm going to tackle one last eating problem. I'm going to define my overuse of artificial sweeteners as a craving and use Beck's methods to overcome it.

Today or tomorrow am going to do what Beck suggests and adapt the to-do list in her book to use for the foreseeable future. But I'm going to go back and re-read this powerful book to find gems I overlooked.

Oh, one big success this morning. I did something that Beck suggested near the beginning of the book this morning. I prepared my entire breakfast, laid it out, and looked at it. (I'm bad about getting my tea, and then my oatmeal, and then my fruit, and then maybe half a piece of toast.) When I looked at my tea, my 1/3 cup oatmeal with 1.25 cups blueberries, 50 calories of whole wheat bread with 2 teaspoons of Smart Balance Light spread, and my 1 cup skim milk I said to myself, "this is too much." And I put back half the blueberries. It filled me up just fine. I think that is a success.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 2/23/2011 9:39AM

    It sure sounds like success! I learned many years ago to lay out all the food that I'm going to eat at a meal and eat it together. I didn't understand what you were talking about in your last blog, but now I understand in this one. I also keep a food journal which sits on the kitchen counter. As I eat anything, I jot it down in my journal. I can visually see exactly what I'm putting in my mouth. It keeps me accountable if I try to "graze" in the kitchen.

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NANCY- 2/23/2011 7:54AM

    WTG you have done a wonderful job with Beck.
Remember to give yourself credit for what you have done.
You are ...

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2WHEELEDSHARON 2/22/2011 9:42PM

    Sounds like you're doing some amazing work! Thanks for sharing.

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WATERMELLEN 2/22/2011 8:12PM

    I really like this and hope you may consider sharing your five key "I believe" statements.

There is so much in this program that I will be wanting to revisit, too: like the idea of spreading out everything just as a visual check on the total amount being eaten.

The artificial sweetener thing -- I use Splenda by preference rather than aspartame, and not a great great deal -- but it's worth thinking about, that's for sure!!

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JHADZHIA 2/22/2011 3:14PM

    That is awesome! I am afraid I eat one part of my meal at a time, like the orange first, then go get the cereal, then when I am done that get the protein serving. I never have it all in one place at one time (because I am a bachelor and use and rinse the same dish over and over before each use lol) I do have really bad habits from being single with no dining table or room. Not sure how to get out of them as my space is so limited. This is a great concept though to really get a good look at how much you are consuming..
Thanks for sharing your awesome achievements with us. Gives something to aspire to..

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 2/22/2011 11:25AM

    wow! simple concept - great results!!

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HAPPYSOUL91 2/22/2011 10:27AM

    I will try that with dinner meals, stepping back and looking at the amount...great idea thx.

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PERSISTANT123 2/22/2011 9:48AM

    What great insight you seem to have. Are you going to go back and redo all the chapters you "skimped" on? You are doing an amazing job with this book! Congratulations!

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Beck - Day 40 - Enrich Your Life

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 40's concept of don't put off living your life until you are fit and slender is a good one. There have been times in my life when I let opportunities pass because I thought I was too heavy. But I'm at my goal weight and there is nothing right now that I am passing up due to my size or fitness level. I am continuing to challenge myself -- including the 5K run I'm training for on March 12th.

There are times I wonder if I'm too old to do something. There are times that my history of claustrophobia makes me worry that I'll panic in a situation. I suspect I shouldn't let such thoughts limit me. Age is just a number. History is not destiny.

I'll be retiring at the end of June. Adjusting my budget will take effort and commitment. It is important that I use my resources wisely, but don't pass up opportunities that I would benefit from due to unnecessary fiscal restraint.

I'm getting near the end of this book. I plan to finish strong. Then I plan to find some new steps -- new steps that will continue to enrich my life.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIKE82X 2/23/2011 6:13PM

    Congratulations on your retirement! May your life continue to be enriching.

Thanks for sharing the details of the Beck book with all of us. You are inspiring me to read it and do the examination of my life it would require.

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    Retirement does mean less money - but doesn't have to mean limiting quality.

Like everything else - you will persevere!!

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GATOR12 2/21/2011 3:48PM


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AQUAGIRL08 2/21/2011 2:58PM

    I love the way you are approaching your retirement Marsha. I think that you will find that you will be busier once you retire than you were when you were working. It is a different kind of busy without all of the stress!

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HAPPYSOUL91 2/21/2011 12:31PM

    This has been a great series and you will finish strong

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SUNRISE14 2/21/2011 10:53AM

    emoticon emoticon

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PERSISTANT123 2/21/2011 10:37AM

    emoticonWorrying about the "What If's" in life can rob you of a lot of things. Go for it and know you at least tried.

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WATERMELLEN 2/21/2011 8:42AM

    It's amazing how many of life's great opportunities cost nothing, or next to it.

Like: Spark People. Free. And priceless.

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JHADZHIA 2/21/2011 8:38AM

    I am glad you are not letting age get in the way of you trying new things. When you retire from work, your life is just beginning again. More time to do and explore things for you to try! Expanding your horizons will be a fun adventure!
You are strong and I am looking forward to seeing what new steps you come up with!
Go, Marsha, Go!!

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JOYINKY 2/21/2011 7:39AM

    I like this one! Especially "History is not destiny!" May make that my new mantra as my family history is a concern. Thanks for all you share. Joy

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