Note: Knowledge from a previous post, Cybercriminals and Your Relationship with Food, is requisite to what you’ll learn here, so please read it first, then come back!
Most of the cognitive, behavioral, and mindfulness skills I teach folks in my CrashYourDiet program are ones that I still use regularly, but today I’m gonna share one in particular that has gotten me out of many a sticky (and chewy and creamy) situation . Recently, I walked into our local yacht club for veggie burger night, and what before my bulging eyes should appear but a behemoth double-layer double-chocolate nut fudge cake. It was HUGE, way more than everybody and their cousin could possibly eat. We could all easily have two pieces, even, with some left over (did I mention how big it was?) for Friday night’s Happy Hour! I began debating whether to sequester my piece(s) now to avoid a potential stampede later, when, without warning, reason intervened.
Whoa big hoss! Is this on you food plan?
Superego be damned! Of course not. Of course that Mega Death Cake wasn’t on my food plan. Why would it be? After all, Gianormous Chocolate Sugar-Salt-Fat Fantasy is not a nutrient-rich delicacy. On the other hand. .. .
But maybe just this once. This isn’t fair! It’s too hard of a challenge. All the willpower in the world won’t get me through this. I’ll start fresh tomorrow. Besides, I NEVER get to have this!
You can always count on good old id for some persuasive, if spurious, argumentation, and, indeed, mine whipped out feeding-frenzy rationales expertly and seemingly without concern as to their validity.
Luckily, years of practicing some wonderful cognitive therapy skills had me ready, and Wise Mind kicked in: That cake would be immensely pleasurable—for all of five minutes, after which remorse would kick in for several hours. I’ll be so happy when I leave here if I don’t eat that.
I ate my v-burger and salad, and as I was leaving, I noticed one lone piece of double layer chocolate-frosted chocolate cake sitting there on an otherwise empty table. Man, the universe can be tough on a foodie sometimes! I needed a booster shot: I’ll be so happy when I walk out of this door if I don’t eat that. I kissed the boyfriend goodbye, exited the building, and began the business of savoring my success. Boy did I feel good! I was very proud of myself for having resisted my fave “food” of all time, and I was a good 500 sugar/fat calories lighter for it!
1. Identify the thoughts you use to justify what you eat. Reread Cybercriminals if necessary.
2. Generate some excellent compelling responses for them.
3. Practice, practice, practice! As with all Crash Your Diet tools, which are designed to change your brain, you have to use this technique over and over again, even when it doesn’t seem to be working, especially when it doesn’t seem to be working.
If you need help sticking to a healthful diet, check out my website and drop me a line.