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Beck Ch 2 What really makes you eat

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Beck Ch 2 What really makes you eat

Dr Beck describes the process of making a decision to eat. We always have a thought before we decide to eat. We often have many thoughts before we decide to eat. I was intimately familiar with ALL the thoughts she listed. If I don’t respond to my thoughts with a helpful response, I WILL eat.

Why I need to learn to convincingly respond to sabotaging thoughts with one or more helpful thoughts:
Sabotaging thoughts always encourage me to eat. Sabotaging thoughts undermine confidence. Sabotaging thoughts allow me to NOT do the work of a healthy journey. Sabotaging thoughts increase my stress which diminishes my energy for the journey. If I can identify the triggers that produce sabotaging thoughts leading to unplanned eating, I can change my response to those sabotaging thoughts and change my behavior.

I can choose to strengthen my resistance muscle.
I can choose to strengthen my giving in muscle.
When I resist, I strengthen my tendency to resist in the future. It already works with economics.

Eating begins with a trigger. What am I thinking when the desire to eat is happening? There are lots of familiar triggers listed. See, smell, want it, reading a recipe, remembering happily eating that food, previously having overcome anger, anxiety, frustration, sadness, boredom by eating, Food can be used as a universal solution.

The second bite might be triggered by enjoying the experience of eating so much that I just want more. I want to feel more pleasure. Some triggers are social triggers like being urged to have just one bite or not wanting to deal with sabotaging thoughts while at a party.

In future chapters, Beck will teach me HOW to deal with triggers.
HOW to modify my environment.
HOW to tolerate cravings.
HOW to change my thoughts about food.
HOW to deal with emotions in a more positive way.
HOW to make healthy eating a higher priority than pleasing people or experiencing a momentary pleasure.

There is a pattern in all of this.
Trigger, Thought, Decision, Behavior.

Quicker decisions produce less stress. If I can identify the trigger and apply a helpful response, I will feel better. If I wait and identify the sabotaging thought, I put myself at greater risk and I will experience a deeper conflict. In the past, I was really good at identifying sabotaging thoughts and less skilled at identifying triggers. IMPORTANT learning opportunity.
If I engage in an internal conflict, I will feel tense and that will create an additional reason to eat which makes it even harder to resist. Remember, the helpful thought MUST change my feelings so my behavior can change. FOCUS on the Triggers.

Beck promises to teach me HOW to effectively respond to sabotaging thoughts. Learning HOW to respond is a skill that’s the key to changing my behavior.

I can enhance FEELING better by giving myself positive reinforcement every time I refrain from giving in.

Eating is not automatic. Eating is ALWAYS preceded by a trigger and then by a thought.
There are techniques that I can learn to minimize or avoid triggers.
When I encounter a trigger, my thoughts determine my behavior.
Learning HOW to respond to sabotaging thoughts is a proven skill for success.
FOCUS on identifying triggers.
Apply helpful thoughts and give myself positive reinforcement for resisting.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Excellent overview of Chapter 2.

    And, like Ramona, I have found a balance between the behavioral (CBT) and physiologic/metabolic patterns to be necessary,
    1208 days ago
    Glad you are enjoying the book.
    1208 days ago
    Really interesting... my problem with this concept (and underscored by own experiences with fasting and altering my hormonal responses with regard to hunger) is that while these points are certainly valid (and I'm certain that these behaviour modifications will work to a point), they don't leave any room for the reality that a lot of our desire to eat, and our lack of impulse control is also hormonally driven when it comes to food. I think that there is a fine line between advocating for taking responsibility for our choices with regard to food, and a "victim shaming/blaming" of sorts. If we don't resist the allure of food we're somehow weak-willed, or lacking self-control, when this isn't necessarily true.

    Not everyone who is overweight has skewed coping mechanisms, or an unhealthy relationship with food. Hormones (insulin, leptin, ghrelin, cortisol) are extremely powerful forces that affect both our appetite, brain chemistry and judgement when it comes to food... they can actually make us feel helpless, and make choices that are not in our best interests.

    Personally, I think any successful approach has to address behavioural patterns, AND the basic physiology/metabolic particulars that cause people to gain weight, and why they have trouble losing it, in the first place.
    1209 days ago
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