Monday, March 23, 2009

Turning Over a New Leaf

Several days ago I posted about my embarrassing rock-bottom moment when I saw a horrifying roll of "back flab" on myself in a picture posted on Facebook.  Well, I'm still trying my darnedest to stick with my new, healthy living regimen ... with a few bumps along the way (namely last Friday when I was super-sleep deprived because the night before, Kibi's stool softeners decided to start working at 2 in the morning and he couldn't fall back asleep -- oh, well).

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!


CDB said...

Wow.. this really sounds fascinating. Keep us posted!

Mary said...

You are starting on a great adventure! I started using the Beck plan on June 5th of last year and have lost 80 lbs. The program does change your thinking if you really do what she says to do. My only suggestion to you is, if this book seems like too much too fast, which it may, try working on the "Beck Diet Solution" workbook first. In that book you learn a new skill every day for 6 weeks. I like the new book but I think the workbook is easier to start with. Hope this helps and all the best to you.

julie said...

Though I have not read this book, I do have some mantras that have helped me over the years:
1) nothing tastes as good as thin feels
2) the war is won or lost in the grocery store - once it's in your house, you will eat it

Sweet Pea Chef said...

Julie, I *completely* agree with your second comment.

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Arlington, VA, United States
Maestro and mom to a wee virtuoso

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