Sometimes, because of emotions, chemicals, fatigue, previous baggage or whatever – we don’t think logically. We make thinking mistakes (Beck Diet Solution, Days 25 -27). Typically, these are black and white, an all or nothing mentality, i.e. “If I can’t stick to the diet I might as well give it up.” Self-deluded, unrealistic, negative, emotionally-laden thoughts that we twist to our advantage, “I should eat this because my mother told me there are starving people in China.” Or over exaggerating your abilities, “I’ll just eat less tomorrow.” Some of these errors can lead to sabotaging thoughts that we use to justify over eating, not exercising, or not caring anymore, over and over again, to become more comfortable with excuses for disabling behavior. One of the keys to overcoming these often emotionally laden “Hot” thoughts is to take the time to “learn the techniques” of how to calmly (which is the hardest part for me), honestly and rationally refuting your sabotaging thoughts and considering the possible negative effects; then think about other behaviors that you could do, and purposely make a choice.
As outlined below, Week 4 of the Beck Diet Solution is a step-by-step process of learning the technique – of courageously changing. Next week, weʻll continue to practice these techniques, with a few tweaks to challenge you and stimulate your growth, so that by Week 6, if you chose to, you will stay in control even in difficult situations.
Week 4. Responding to Sabotaging Thoughts (Courageously Changing)
- 29/Day 21.Weigh-In #5. Prepare your weight loss graph. List three ways your weigh-in provides useful information.
- 30/Day 22. Practice “Oh, well. I may not like it but I’ll either leave it, change it or accept it. And MOVE ON.
- 31/Day 23. Practice overcoming feelings of unfairness, by reinforcing the positive and your progress.
- 1/Day 24. Repeat 3x that “dieting is NOT difficult most of the time” and ways you will overcome discouragement.
- 2/Day 25. Review Bariatric and Beck Sabotaging Thoughts. Write down 3 thoughts and a positive response to overcome each thought.
- 3/Day 26. Recognize at least 3 Thinking Mistakes that correspond to your sabotaging thoughts and what you will do to prevent sabotaging yourself
- 4/ Day 27. Master the seven question technique for at least 3 of your sabotaging thoughts.
As illustrated in the picture: Derrickson 8 steps to overcoming sabotaging thoughts. I’ve “blended” Beck’s 7 Step Question Technique with common cognitive therapy “disputing thoughts” techniques, with my own Wellness Compass Journey, to both facilitate “retraining your brain” to learn what you “Should do” and adding the final step of using all that you’ve learned to purposely take action. To be effective you must learn the technique so well that you don’t just have awareness of it, but that your awareness prompts a calming rational thought process that overpowers the negative, empowers you to “do what you should,” and promptly take control and action. It gets easier with practice and time, as you become more competent and confident that you have control over negative thoughts.
I encourage you to try my “Derrickson 8 steps to overcoming sabotaging thoughts” for 3 of your worst thinking errors this week, and again next week with 3 more . Please let either me or your diet buddy know how it works for you!
For more activities about becoming more open-minded, creative and personal growth see Activity 15.1 Foundations-of-change and Activity 15.2 Professional Development SWOT of the Wellness Compass Travel Guide.