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 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!
Week 5: Respond to Sabotaging Thoughts 2nd Week. (Days 21-27: September 3 – 9)
- Sunday. Weigh-In #6.______.Review your fitness goals and plans for September: Adjust or progress as needed. Celebrate your successes!
- Monday. When you need to do something you don’t want to…practice saying “Oh, well. I may not like it but I’ll either leave it, change it or accept it. AND MOVE ON (Let go). Give yourself credit for letting go and moving on!
- Tuesday. Realize you will be treated unfairly, and must be prepared! Identify key things you will do when treated unfairly.
- Wednesday. Attend Support group and /or reassess your fitness vision of what you will achieve by 12/31/17 or even next summer. Are you on track to reach these goals? Adjust and finalize your fitness plans for September.
- Thursday. Review Day 25 of the BDS Workbook,141-144 with a focus toward planned exercise vs. what you actually did OR Review the Beck Sabotaging Thoughts process and record all your sabotage or negative thoughts (even if they don’t seem related to diet/exercise)
- Friday. Review Day 26 pp. 144-149 in the BDS Workbook. Admit 2-3 Thinking Mistakes that correspond to your sabotaging thoughts with at least one sabotaging thought regarding diet/eating and another for sabotaging fitness (i.e. I deserve it, too stressed, bad day, too tired, etc).
- Saturday. Day 27. Master the seven question technique and ADD an 8th step of taking action. Try the 8 Step Technique for Overcoming Sabotaging Thoughts Worksheet attached.
Note: This is the 5th post in a series of posts providing online support in using the 6-week Beck Diet Solution (BDS) to lose weight and keep it off that focuses on the fitness aspect of weight loss. Also, in practice this week (Week 5) was repeated twice for additional practice, where the BDS only includes this series of prompts once.
More? See the Initial blog for more background about the Beck Diet Solution and my first series that focused on Diet. 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.