Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I'm currently reading a book about cognitive therapy and eating. It's The Beck Diet Solution, subtitled something like "Think Like a Thin Person!" and is so obnoxiously hot pink that I can't bring myself to read it in public. I picked it up for $6 in the bargain section at Chapters a few weeks ago, but have only recently cracked it open.
The book is supposed to act as a companion for whatever diet you chose. It's full of exercises and pledges and checklists to help you retrain your fat person brain. So far, some of the tools have been great, like making a list of the reasons I want to lose weight, and keeping it in my purse so I can review it before I decide I really, really, really need a cookie.
It's working so far - I didn't need a cookie. I needed a walk around the office to cool my jets and clear my head.
But the introduction of the book is really depressing. It basically declares my biggest food fear and the thing that most often leads to a complete diet derailment.
You can never, ever, ever eat whatever you want, whenever you want, in the quantity that you want, if you want to be thin and stay thin. Thin people suffer for their thin-ness, even the ones that are 'naturally' thin. It's about choices - and sacrifices. Sure, the book says, your skinny friend might be chowing down on a banana split right now, but she's going to suffer for it later, either at the gym or at her next meal.
This is depressing. I LOVE to eat good food. I love to cook good food. I love trying restaurants and eating whatever I want on vacation and delicious treats. But in the week since I read that statement, I realised that it's actually helpful. It's not healthy to eat fried fast food or poutine for lunch every day. Being able to eat whatever I want, whenever I want is never going to happen. If I sacrifice and sweat only to reach a 'reward' of falling off my diet as soon as I've reached my goal, I'll be back here again in no time. The sooner I realise that and learn to make moderation and healthier choices my BFFs, the better.
Are you depressed by this idea? Have you read this book?


Breanne said...

I am uber depressed by this idea and actually don't believe it. I'm more of a "everything in moderation" believer. So while I realize I'm not going to go back to the glory days of highschool where I could eat fast food CONSTANTLY and gain no weight. I also realize I was dancing 5-6 days a week and if I went back to that level of activity I could probably get away with more. And so that's what I do. I do more, so I can eat yummy things. That's a good trade off for me. :)

Anonymous said...

i started reading this. Neverfinished it. Lost it in a move. Now want it again. Simply for the mere structure and cute lsits it provides for me to fill out. it makes weight-loss more of an acitivity than just about food.
I LOVE to eat. in your previous post of all the foods you shouldnt eat and could not in one sitting. I could eat in a day. That is what brought me to my 264. And given the chance and a big enough emotional melt down, I can would do it agian. The difference. The next day I would brush myself off, go to the gym, and start again. Before, I would go to McD's and continue the cycle.

Meg said...

That's the truth- you have to find a balance between activity and indulgence. But moderation can be really hard - I eat fast food for lunch and then I want it again the next day, and the next. But a higher level of activity is definitely a good thing.

Deb said...

Yeah, I've ultimately come to the same conclusion. I will NEVER be able to just be carefree about food.

My husband and I are getting back into backpacking again this summer. I have to admit that I sometimes wonder if part of what I love about backpacking and hiking is the food. When I am hiking huge distances carrying heavy weight, I can eat the trail mix loaded with nuts and m&ms. I can make the berry cobbler full of sugar at camp. And my body actually needs it; I never finish those trips weighing more then I started.

Having said that, I think you can still love good food, but you have to redefine good food. For me, that means browsing the produce section the way I used to browse the bakery section. Looking at the exotic, out of season, overpriced fruits and deciding which one to get.

(Thanks for your comment on my blog. It means a lot to me to know others are reading.)