Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Beck Book - Day 12

Practice Hunger Tolerance

Have to take a minute to laugh. As I sat down to read this section, my stomach growled. My watch says I don’t eat again for 30-60 minutes. Hmmm, maybe this is exactly what I needed to read right about now! I have this tendency to say, “I’m so _____________ (insert emotion/feeling/discomfort here), I can hardly stand it.” I have been working on rethinking that self-talk over several months. After all, there isn’t much that I “can hardly stand.”

I appreciate the sentiment that “hunger is never an emergency.” For so long I have treated it as such. When I began to feel even the slightest tinge of hunger, I would jump to the conclusion that my body was telling me something and I needed to eat right NOW. During my time on Medifast, I have come to realize that I can stand to be hungry until it is time for the next meal. I have not fallen over dead in all these weeks even though I felt really hungry sometimes. I don’t know if I was driven by a fear or some other compulsion. Either way I did not realize that just because I wanted to eat didn’t mean that I should eat. I think I am learning that lesson even as I sit here at the computer while my next meal waits in the refrigerator. Each time I delay the gratification of eating I am strengthening my resistance muscle. The stronger that muscle is, the better I will be able to maintain my weight loss.

The exercise in this section was powerful. List situations where I felt discomfort start with a time when I felt no discomfort and set that as zero—relaxing on the sofa. Next set ten as the most discomfort ever felt—a migraine that goes on for days. Then fill in between. Seven is abdominal surgery; four a sprained ankle and so on. When I feel hunger, I relate it to that scale. In that perspective, I decide how uncomfortable I am. Facing that type of discomfort, my hunger seems insignificant and hardly registers on the scale. Now, that I really can handle.

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