But for the most part I'm doing WAY better than I thought I would be. And I just purchased a new book that has got me excited -- yes, actually excited -- about my new plan and optimistic that I can make it work.
It's called The Complete Beck Diet for Life and it's about dieting with a twist - it incorporates cognitive therapy into the regimen so that you are armed with solutions to the many rationalizations that a person makes when they are trying to talk themselves out of eating healthy.
It's written by Dr. Judith Beck, daughter of Dr. Aaron Beck, a psychotherapist lauded as the "Father" of cognitive therapy. I first learned about Dr. Beck when I was working at the Institute of Medicine; he is an IOM member with a fascinating professional background. So, when I read about his daughter's book, as it was recently reviewed in the WaPo, I thought, Hey... this might be just the approach I need.
I'm only a few pages in, so I haven't jumped in to the dieting part yet, but already I'm geekily psyched about the preparations. She claims that the book will help you re-train your neural pathways to adopt healthier responses to cravings and snack attacks (my, and I suspect most people's, biggest problems). One way she does this is by having you write mantras on a card to read, and re-read, about the positives to be gained from sticking with your diet and, conversely, the negative feelings you will have after you cheat. I'm really intrigued. A close friend is a recovered alcoholic and told me that they learned about neuroplasticity during treatment as a means of rewiring their brain to cope with drinking triggers -- so I've always been fascinated by the process.
I'll keep you posted on my progress, but in the meantime, check out the book and let me know what you think!