A New Road — October Memoir Challenge — 25 Comments

  1. Yes, I think I could use those books. But doesn’t it still all come down to will-power in the end? More will-power than we needed at 20, perhaps. I’d like to hear more about your strategies and how you broke the craving cycle.

    • No, it’s not about will power — that’s not nearly strong enough in the present climate with 24-7 food marketing. All those strategies and structures are to make will power the least used tool, not the most used one. Instead of resisting chocolate cake, I arrange my life so I rarely encounter it and the few times that I do, I’ve got a plan in place — a written commitment to my coaches (one of the CBT techniques is to have coaches or buddies — I use a group at the 3 Fat Chicks forum) that I’ll have one tiny piece or a promise to myself that I’ll have a substitute that I’ve decided in advance.

      I broke the initial craving cycle by challenging myself to quit junk food, for at least a few weeks. And then I paid a lot of attention to what triggered cravings and what didn’t. For me it was pretty nuanced — biscuits cause cravings, ice cream doesn’t. Almost all candy causes cravings but I can be sane around dark chocolate. Potato chips — well, that’s not so much about cravings, I just discovered that I only like them in quantity (one is too many, a thousand is never enough).

      One of the CBT techniques is to give myself credit, even for things that sound kind of small and stupid. Like I bragged to my coaches just this morning about how I didn’t stop at the new frozen custard place in town because I already determined that the serving sizes were too large for it to be a useful source of treats for me. I thought about it, though, but knowing that I could take credit for resisting and, instead, going home to eat my planned Honey Crisp apple and cheddar cheese made it all worth while.

  2. Have you read “Food Rules” by Michael Pollan? I like his approach, although I am ashamed to admit I haven’t followed it as much as I should.

    Thank you for this post. It gives me a lot of hope. 🙂

  3. Thank you for sharing your experience – this is a very timely post for me. I have The Beck Diet Solution (both book and workbook), but need to make the time to actually DO it. You’re inspiring me to get off my butt and get on with it, so thank you.

  4. Reading the post and then comments makes me totally agree with you — will power is almost impossible and so it leads to cycles of guilt and self-disappointment. Keeping temptation out of the house and having a plan sound like good strategies.

  5. Thanks for this wonderful post. You are such an inspiration! Loved hearing about how you set up and followed through with your strategies and rules. I like the idea of having a pre-planned substitute for when you’re faced with a tempting treat.

  6. I find what you commented back to Jane Ann very interesting as I’ve always had very weak will power and thought that was my problem. Now I’m not so sure!

  7. Losing weight and keeping it off is such an individual effort that it seems like CBT would be a great way to tackle it, to help you tailor the method to avoid your own triggers and change bad habits the way you did.

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  9. Oh boy, Joy, I could write a novel about my unhealthy affair with food (and perhaps one day I will). Suffice it to say, I have it fairly well under control, but I am not sure I will ever fully recover. I will definitely check out The Complete Beck Diet for Life. It sounds like a treasure…

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