All the Beck books are about Cognitive Behavior Therapy's approach to being successful in following whatever program you have chosen to use for weight loss (or maintenance). Beck Blue, officially titled "The Diet Trap Solution: Train Your Brain to Lose Weight" by Judith S. Beck, PhD, and Deborah Beck Busis, casts the challenges in the form of "Diet Traps".
Chapter One introduces the concept of cognitive behavior therapy and how it works, and then wraps up by getting right down to business. It offers a 24 question quiz to help you identify the specific "Diet Traps" that you have trouble with. The remainder of the book will offer up first foundation strategies, and then cover the specific traps that you've identified by means of taking the quiz.
So, ready? Here are the 24 questions. You answer each with a rating of your own likelihood:
Not at all likely - 0
Slightly likely - 1
Moderately likely - 2
Very likely - 3
Add up the points at the end of each section, and it tells you how likely you are to fall into that section's "trap". A score of 5 or above in a total, pay special attention to that section of the book.
1. How likely are you to use food to relax after a stressful day? 1
2. How likely are you to turn to fast food or less-healthy, easy-access food options when you're stressed? 1
3. How likely are you to say to yourself, "I am too busy to diet right now"? 0
Total: 2 (Several of these sections would have got much different answers years ago. Some of this is actual changes that have taken place in my thinking. But part of it is increasing self-awareness and being able to tell the difference between "stress" and "emotional response to stress"!)
Emotional eating section:
4. How likely are you to turn to food when you're upset? 2
5. How likely are you to eat more than you should when you're tired, bored, or procrastinating? 3
6. How likely are you to think, "Eating is the only thing that helps me feel better" /or "If I'm upset I deserve to eat"? 1
Total: 6 (Clearly one I need to work on, even now!)
Food Pushers section:
7. How likely are you to say to yourself, "I have to eat it; I don't want to be rude."? 0
8. How likely are you to cave to peer pressure when people urge you to drink or eat more than you think you should? 0
9. How likely are you to feel unentitled to turn down food that isn't on your eating plan? 0
Total: 0 (This is one that I might have answered differently years ago.)
Family problems section:
10. How likely are you to overeat when your family upsets you? 2
11. How likely are you to go off plan during family meals or gatherings? 1
12. How likely are you to keep your family happy instead of doing what you need to do to lose weight (examples: keeping "high risk" foods in the house, accommodating the family's eating schedule, putting away leftovers yourself)? 0
Total: 3 (Since I live alone, I can't lie to myself about why I am choosing to put food in my house! But even if they don't live with me, I can still be upset by things that happen with family members, and I still go to family gatherings.)
Travel and eating out section:
13. How likely are you to go to a restaurant or an event without a plan for what you're going to eat? 0
14. How likely are you to say "All diets are off!" while on vacation? 0
15. How likely are you to overindulge when you're out socially? 1
Total: 1 (Here's another one that years ago would have had a much different score... used to be eating out and vacations were a field day for the binge monster within! But my priorities and preferences have changed!)
16. How likely are you to see holiday parties as a "diet-free zone"? 0
17. How likely are you to say to yourself, "I'll start watching my eating once the holidays are over"? 1
18. How likely are you to gain more than one or two pounds during the holiday season? 2
Total: 3 (I never much used holidays as an excuse... when I separate out the actual eating triggers, it's more the emotions than the events!)
Psychological issues section:
19. How likely are you to feel discouraged or burdened by dieting? 1
20. How likely are you to feel a sense of deprivation or unfairness when you see what other people are eating? 0
21. How likely are you to say to yourself, "No wonder I can't lose weight - I'm unmotivated" or "I have no willpower"? 0
Total: 1 (Yet another that would have had a different response in the past.)
Getting off track section:
22. How likely are you to criticize yourself or skip meals after you've overeaten? 1
23. How likely are you to say to yourself, "I've already blown it for the day so I might as well eat what I want today and start my diet again tomorrow"? 3
24. How likely are you to have difficulty getting back on track the day after you've gone off track? 2
Total: 6 (Clearly one I need to work on, even now!)
Working through this exercise made it clear to me two things: first, that the hard work of dealing with triggers is worth it, and one CAN change over time. Five years of maintaining the current loss, tightening down the maintenance range rather than having the HUGE regain I know I am capable of... shows the value of the cognitive behavior approach. Some of this I learned before I even read my first Beck book, because I had worked directly with a therapist on other issues and it came out there... but the books lay it right out there, without going to therapy in person!
Second, that I still have two big "trap" areas that give me trouble: dealing with emotions and recovery from lapses.
As I work my way through later chapters, which I will do in order... if it's an area where I have made progress, I'll talk about my experience and when/how things "clicked" for me... what did I do? How did I change? What were the "a-ha" moments?
If it's an area where I am still working, I'll talk about what I'm trying currently or what I plan to try from among the book's suggestions.
All that said... Chloe Jones (the indoor pool) is calling my name... I ran 7 miles with the group yesterday morning... and I'm looking for zen in the pool!
Have a blessed and peaceful Sunday, all! Because LIFE is served up one day at a time!