Working the CBT principles in the Beck Diet Solution
Thursday, March 01, 2018
Recently, I joined a SP team that uses and attempts to follow the cognitive behavior therapy principles of Dr. Judith Beck. Her father, Dr. Aaron Beck, created CBT and it is the one of the primary therapies used in the psychological medical field to date. What Dr. Judith Beck has done is apply these principles (what the 12 Steps call 'stinkin thinkin') to the act of weight loss. As anyone who has lost any weight and worked to keep it off sometimes the hardest part is the mental hurdles you have to overcome to not rebound or walk in circles when working on losing extra weight. It reminds me of the definition of insanity: "doing the same things over and over but expecting different results." IF we want to see different results than in our past efforts we will probably have to do some or many things differently than what we have done in the past.
So, over the next month and a half I will share each Day's 'lesson' and how I will apply that to my weight loss efforts. Day 1: creating an Advantage Reasons 'card' (it can be a list but one that you will return to daily to reread and reinforce your motivation for losing the extra weight).
Most people make a short sentence list but then again I have found that I have one compelling reason that eclipses all others: a need to address and correct long standing health issues that I have. So, although your needs may be different and that does not mean less important to you than me; these are mine. So, here is my post for Day 1 of the Beck Diet Solution: creating the 'reason' why I want and need to lose the excess weight.
I am new to this SP team but not new to the CBT principles that Dr. Beck espouses in her now famous' pink book. Each time that I have gone through this book I have taken one step closer to being a 'normal eater' (yes, there is such a thing. lol) This book and its principles work if you are willing to do the footwork, sustain it and create a daily habit of it. This time around I am going to really practice this more diligently than I have in the past.
Although I could write a lot of 'smaller' reasons why it is beneficial to lose this extra weight the main reason is improved health. After having been seriously ill for a year now if anything that I have learned is health must be the main reason why I do 'anything'. Yes, there will be some perks like looking nicer in my clothes (but that pales when you are so sick that your pjs are your only clothes you ever are seen in). For me, the bottom line is being asked by my own body: "What am I willing to do to create, rebuild and maintain optimal health?"
Practicing and applying these CBT principles is but one way that I will be able to answer that on a daily basis.
These are the health issues that I carry with myself on a daily basis. Losing weight is by far the most effective way of reducing and/or eliminating these issues from me having to deal and cope with the effects of these 'lifestyle diseases'.
I have Type II diabetes (I was pre-diabetic for 7 years until I got very ill last fall and it crossed over into Type II diabetes). Elevated blood sugar has started to impact my eyesight and diabetes is the #1 cause for adult onset blindness btw. I have a heart murmur which means an irregular heartbeat at times as well as it being enlarged (result of being obese for so long) which means it has to work harder for a lot less results ( I tire easily for one thing). As a result of me having carried an excess of 100 lbs. on my body for close to 35 years both of my knees are beyond surgical repair and total replacement of both knees is needed for me to walk without pain. I have untreated hypertension.
I have had IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) for half of life (not without coincidence about the time I gained over 100 lbs.) and in the past year it has left me anemic, depleted of energy, in constant pain in my lower abdomen when I eat almost anything (at this point), prone to catch viruses (I had pneumonia for two months last fall) and the flu this winter twice and unable to make or keep social engagements due its unpredictability. The only upside to this disease is that it has forced me to eat differently and as a result I did lose 33 lbs. last year but it was not in a healthy manner but because I was limited to what I could eat.
As a result of chronic pain from having had RA (rheumatoid arthritis) since 1994 I have had to go on disability and I can not work outside the home. Late last fall I fell and damaged two of my vertebrae in my lower spine. I have had nerve pain ever since and it is the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life. In the past month I have had to resort to using a power wheelchair for pain free mobility until I can afford to have knee surgery and possibly hip and lower back surgery as well. I have cried (and cussed) more in the past year than I have in my entire life.
My outside social contacts have dwindled down to people who once knew and saw me in person to ones who inquire how I am doing via my husband when he sees them. The world has to be brought to me because I can't get out in the world to be a part of it. Needless to say I have become quite discouraged and I do feel sorry for myself at times. I once was very physically active, having gone on hikes in the Rocky Mountains as well as worked full time and had a large organic garden I worked in after I had my evening meal. Now, all of those are just distant memories of a life I once lead.
These are the present circumstances that I find myself in from which I have to work to climb out of a what felt like a dark deep pit. Dr. Beck surely has my attention now since my ill health has 'forced my hand' to do this or suffer a even more steady decline in my health; physical and mental. If this isn't a compelling reason to lose the extra weight and reduce or eliminate many or most of my health issues then I don't know what is. These are the challenge(s) that I face daily and from which I will need the help of this book and the principles that lie therein.
Still, in spite of the dire circumstances that I have found myself in, I still sabotage my best intended efforts so I do need these guide posts in order to reach my health goals.
I am glad to share, listen and learn in this reading group this time around. I wish everyone the best of success toward reaching their own personal goals.