You Are What You Think. You Are What You Think By Michael D. Morrello , M.S. Licensed Psychologist. You Are What You Think. You may not be conscious of it, but you always have a thought before you eat. Permission giving thoughts allow you to rationalize what you eat.
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You Are What You Think
By Michael D. Morrello, M.S.
You may not be conscious of it, but you always have a thought before you eat.
Permission giving thoughts allow you to rationalize what you eat.
They usually begin with the phrase, “I know I shouldn’t eat this, but it’s okay because….”
Sabotaging Thoughts undermine your confidence.
Example: “It’s so terrible that I ate that…I’m so weak…I’m just not going to be able to lose weight.”
Helpful Response: “Okay, I made a mistake…I shouldn’t have eaten that, but I can start eating in a better way right now.”
Sabotaging Thoughts allow you to disregard advice you get in this program.
Example: “I don’t really have to do this task.
Helpful Response: “I should really carry out every task in the program so I’ll have the greatest chance of success
Sabotaging Thoughts increase your general level of stress.
Example: “I should always do things perfectly.”
Helpful Response: “It’s okay to have strengths and weaknesses. I am human.”
Sabotaging thoughts arise when you’re confronted with a trigger, a situation that stimulates your thinking.
If you can identify the triggers that evoke sabotaging thoughts and lead you to eat in unhelpful ways, you can minimize your exposure to them or change your response to them.
From Trigger To Eating
You encounter a trigger: Someone offers you cake
You have a thought: That cake looks good
You make a choice: I think I’ll have it
You act: You eat the cake
Now it is time to strengthen your resistance thinking and weaken your permission-giving thinking.
Carry your diet notebook with you or other device to record your sabotaging thoughts.
If you notice that you’re tempted to eat something you’re not supposed to eat, ask yourself, “What was just going through my mind?” or “What was I just thinking?”
Sometimes, you’ll be able to identify your thoughts easily.
If your not sure what you were thinking, review the Common Diet Related Sabotaging Thought List to attempt to jog your memory.
If this doesn’t jog your memory, try to figure out what you were not thinking:
You’ll undoubtedly answer in the negative, followed by your actual thought: “I really want to eat it!”
Write your thoughts down in your diet notebook.
It is important to recognize that thoughts are just ideas not truths.
Common Thinking Errors
1. Thinking Mistake: All or Nothing Thinking
You see things in only two categories when there’s
really a middle ground.
Either I am completely on my diet or I’m off my
2. Thinking Mistake: Negative Fortune Telling
You predict the future negatively, without
considering possible other outcomes.
“Since I didn’t lose weight this week, I’ll never be
able to lose weight.”
3. Thinking Mistake: Overly Positive Fortune Telling
You predict the future too positively, without
considering other possible outcomes.
“I’ll be able to eat just a little bit of this food I
crave, feel satisfied, and stop.”
4. Thinking Mistake: Emotional Reasoning
You think your ideas must be true even though
objective evidence proves them to be false.
“Since I feel like a failure for having strayed, I
really must be a failure.”
5. Thinking Mistake: Mind Reading
You’re sure of what others are thinking, even in the
absence of compelling evidence.
“People will think I am strange if I don’t drink
alcohol at the party.”
6. Thinking Mistake: Self-Deluding Thinking
You rationalize by telling yourself things you don’t
really believe at other times.
“If no one sees me eating, it doesn’t count.”
7. Thinking Mistake: Unhelpful Rules
You mandate actions without taking circumstances
“I can’t waste food.”
8. Thinking Mistake: Justification
You link two unrelated concepts (to justify your
“I deserve to eat this because I’m so stressed out.”
9. Thinking Mistake: Exaggerated Thinking
You make a situation seem greater or worse than it
“I can’t stand this craving.”
The sky is falling
Today, you will make additional response cards to help you more effectively reply to these thoughts. You use these cards just like the first cards.
Over time, as you practice these ideas again and again, you’ll begin to automatically respond to your sabotaging thoughts, even without the cards.
When you look at your thoughts in your diet notebook, ask yourself what you wish you could remember the next time you have this thought?
Write down your thoughts to the questions below:
7. What would I tell a close friend or family member if
if he/she were in this situation and had this thought?
8. What should I do now?
At other times, it might be helpful just to read short,
direct statements, such as:
I’d rather be thin.
Get out of the kitchen—now!
This is just a craving! It’ll go away! Don’t eat!