In fact, the very first exercise in The Beck Diet Solution asks readers to pinpoint the reasons they want to lose weight. To the predictable examples listed—"I'll look better. I'll be able to wear a smaller size. I'll live longer"—I added, "So I can put on a little black dress." Judy urges dieters to review their reasons at least twice daily. On the flip side, she asks them to unearth the sabotaging thoughts that keep them from dieting success—and then create written response cards that will act as a reality check to each thought. As my coach, she planned to use our lunch to help me handcraft such cards. br>
"What are some of the self-defeating ideas that stop you from losing weight?" she asked me, cutting to the chase as we waited for our grilled salmon.
"Uh," I stammered, "I blame my metabolism. It's really hard for me to lose weight."
"Those are just thoughts," she replied brightly. "We'll find out if they're true. I'm guessing you can lose weight—you just haven't learned the skills to keep it off."
"Maybe, but I don't think I overeat. Basically, I believe I'd have to starve myself in order to be thin," I said, feeling suddenly sheepish. There was something humbling, even humiliating, about voicing the machinations of my weight-obsessed mind out loud.
"You probably do overeat, so we have to figure out how we can get you to eat less and still feel satisfied."
"But mostly I eat only when I'm hungry, which is fairly often, because of my hypoglycemia."
Judy wasn't buying it. "If you're trying to lose weight, you can't go by hunger; you have to go by a plan. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to figure out that I can stand being hungry no matter what," she said, beaming. "Before I was able to keep weight off, I always worried about being hungry."
Maybe I'm dense, but I was having trouble connecting the dots here. Doesn't Judy herself advise dieters to choose an eating plan that works for them—the operative word being eating? "What's so great about going hungry?" I asked.
"Almost every dieter has difficulty distinguishing between true hunger, a desire to eat, and cravings," she explained. "And most people who struggle with weight loss tend to feel hunger pangs intensely and often eat to avoid those feelings. But the point is, hunger comes and goes. Thin people know this and don't worry about being hungry."
"Uh-oh," I thought. "Here it comes."
"Purposely skipping a meal is the only way to prove to yourself that you can withstand hunger," she said, leaning closer. "We have to get you over the fear of being hungry if you want to keep weight off for the rest of your life."
"I'll do anything," I pleaded. "I'll go on Weight Watchers and stick to it. I'll keep a record of every microbite. Just please, not that. I'm sure I'd drop dead."