A few months ago, our dieter Jennifer attended a local festival in her town. Before she went, she wrote down her plan. She had no trouble resisting all sorts of fried foods and local goodies and she was able to stay in control. However, Jennifer brought food home for her family to sample and ended up eating some unplanned treats. Because Jennifer had been working with us, though, she knew exactly what to say to herself to get back on track immediately (discussed on Day 20 of The Beck Diet Solution).
Jennifer has plans to attend a similar festival this weekend. When we asked her what her plan was, she related a sabotaging thought that was, “I’ve gotten so good at getting back on track, that I’m not going to make a plan in advance.” We went over the importance of always having a plan, even if it’s a special occasion. For example, Jennifer could plan in advance to eat four hundred calories more than usual. But we didn’t want her to go without a plan and end up eating thousands of extra calories.
Jennifer seemed unconvinced, so we decided to make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of making a plan for the festival. Looking at them in black and white convinced her that she did indeed want to have a plan. One of the most compelling advantages was that she would be able to enjoy her splurge thoroughly and not feel guilty and out of control. Jennifer concluded that she will definitely go to the festival with a clear plan in mind.