Re: That Gut

Warning: No holiday content within.

For the past month or so I’ve been trying this radical new diet plan, where I eat only when I’m hungry and stop eating when I’m full (and avoiding refined sugar). You won’t find this plan in any book in any bookstore because the profit margin is way too low, though I have been following some of the advice that Judith Beck (no relation to Glenn Beck, thank God) gives in her book, The Beck Diet Solution.

Turns out I don’t actually have much of an appetite, compared to what I thought I had. When I really pay attention to my stomach’s signals — and I mean, REALLY pay attention — I end up eating a lot less. Of course, this means I have to seriously and constantly ask myself questions such as, “Am I really that hungry? Or am I simply bored/stressed/angry/upset/happy/just not paying attention/etc.?” Like a lot of people, I tend to eat my emotions. There are some people who simply can’t bring themselves to eat when they’re stressed out; I am not one of those people. When I get stressed out, my first reaction is to go for the food. I’m training myself out of that habit, but it’s taking longer than I would like.

Of course, then means resisting a lot of foods. The conversation inside my head goes something like this:

ME: Am I really hungry?

ME: No, I’m not.

ME: But I really want that double bacon cheeseburger and large fries from Jack in the Box.

ME: Too bad, because I’m not actually hungry.

Beck, in her book, talks about building up the “resistance” muscle vs. the “giving in” muscle. When you resist certain temptations, you build up your resistance muscle. Likewise, when you give in to certain temptations, you build up your giving in muscle. She uses this language to avoid using the word “cheating”, though I don’t see much difference, psychologically. In almost all the dieting literature I’ve read, you’re supposed to feel good, accomplished, excited, etc., when you resist a temptation. The dialog is supposed to look like this:

ME: Am I really hungry?

ME: No, I’m not.

ME: But I really want that whole pumpkin pie.

ME: Too bad, because I’m not actually hungry.


Instead, though, what I get at the end is…


And, two hours later…


ME: Sorry, still not hungry.


I honestly didn’t expect that the whole process would be full of such self-resentment.

I’m pushing through, though, and sometimes when I resist that temptation, I do feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. Maybe it’s just a matter of practice, or training, or something like that. But I hadn’t expected that the whole process of simply eating when I’m hungry and stopping when I’m full would be full of such resentment.

But it might be working. Since early November, I’ve lost thirteen pounds; however, for the past two weeks my weight has held steady at about 260.  There should be some days when I expect that because in spite of my determination there have been a couple of days when I’ve overeaten, but not often. I’d like to see a continuing downward trend. It’s not there. I tell myself that I’ve just reached a temporary plateau, but that only helps a little. Honestly, I’d prefer to be all honey badger about this, and not give a s— about the numbers, but that’s pretty difficult to pull off.

Then again, I’ve struggled with my weight for most of my life. I didn’t get to where I was overnight, and it won’t come off overnight either.

Anyone have any suggestions for improving my mood/thinking about this? I’m all ears.


‘This the season for (grumpy) Holidailies

7 thoughts on “Re: That Gut”

  1. Hey, I’ve been reading The Beck Diet Solution too! Actually, I kind of stopped for a bit, but I’ve got my cards and my journal and everything.

    I like a lot of what she says (and honestly, the principles make good sense), but some of her phrasing makes me batty. The whole “I’m so very happy and grateful that…” or whatever just makes my teeth grind. That said, I reworded a bunch of the phrases I was to put on my cards and am now able to read them without thoughts of (much) violence.

    I think the issue with resentment vs. accomplishment is one of practice, and by practice I mean the dreaded “fake it ’til you make it” premise. When you do successfully exercise your resistance muscle, make yourself say out loud “I did it! Yay, me!” And eventually, as I think you might be starting to notice, the “fake” becomes real. It’s cool, yet disconcerting.

    Of course, you might want to go somewhere private to do this. Or not, depending on how you feel about random weird looks from onlookers. For me, that feeling varies from day to day.

    I totally failed to not eat the Sing Buri cashews that were tempting me today. I successfully avoided them on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but they were still lurking today and I gave in. Willpower is a finite resource for sure.

    1. My big temptation remains the cheeseburgers, though when I swing by Starbucks for coffee or tea, I pass by those big chocolate chip cookies with those mighty chunks of chocolate… Yum!

  2. Yeah, I hear you. I’m currently on Weight Watchers for the 3rd time. It’s gotten to the point where none of my clothes fit and since buying fat lady clothes is so not happening, the weight has to go.

  3. I think I have the same conversations as you do, except mine involve shopping.

    ME: Do I really want that? I do like it.
    ME: Nooooo, I mean I like it, but I’m not like, in love with it. I probably won’t miss it if I don’t get it.
    ME: Okay, fine, I guess I won’t get it then.

    Then after going to one of my favorite craft fairs last weekend AND LEAVING WITHOUT BUYING ANYTHING, I was not all “Yay, I resisted temptation and saved money!” but was all, “That was super disappointing and I feel sad. Now I must go find 2 bookstores and buy books now, because I feel bad if I don’t spend money.”

    There’s something wrong with humans, isn’t there?

    Not that this will help your diet any (and now I feel bad that I’m pondering bringing cookies to Saturday’s party), but is saving the food item for a time when you are actually hungry an option?

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