Always Have a Plan

fair-food.jpgA 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. 

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2 comments

  1. Should I have a plan for illness?

    Having a plan has gotten me through some situations that would have been very tough for me in the past: eating out, parties, buiseness functions.

    What I’m wondeirng is if I should have a plan for days when I am physically not able to follow the plan I made for the day/week etc…

    How can I determine if I should make an exception to the “exercise no matter what” rule? I’m sure we’ve all had times when we pushed ourselves when we shouldn’t have and ended up unable to exercise for longer than we should have been.

    When I’m sick, I know there are times when I should “listen to my body” about what to eat or not to eat, but to be honest I don’t trust myself. There have been many times in the past where I have stopped my diet and exercise plan because of an illness, but I never quite got back to it.

    Through the BDS program I have learned the power of having a plan, but I’m not sure how to apply it to this situation.

  2. I also struggle with certain aspects of developing a plan. I have an extremely hectic, rapidly changing schedule and a long day. Sometimes I think I’ll be able to do something for lunch – and that will change. I do my best – by developing a daily general plan with some flexibility built in – for example -for a particular meal, staying within allowed Points value (I follow Weight Watchers), or writing down 2 to 3 options for a meal.

    Thoughts on how others handle this would be greatly appreciated!

    Perhaps with something such as an illness, a plan of what not to eat may work. When I have gone away for a weekend – I don’t know where we’ll be eating, so I develop a plan -or rules something like:
    -No sweets, only one piece of bread before dinner, limit 2 glasses of wine at dinner only, stick with “program” breakfast and lunch”, and modest portions at dinner.

    Having a “what not to eat” plan has helped me in situations I can’t plan for.

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