One of the first steps in Dr. Beck's program is to create an Advantage Response Card (ARC). An Arc will "help you motivate yourself everyday so that you stick to your diet, apply good eating habits, deal with hunger and cravings, resist emotional eating, and get right back on board when you make mistakes". Dr. Beck suggests that you read these cards daily as you lose weight and periodically for the rest of your life. I know it's hard to believe but sometimes we forget why we want to lose weight...especially in those moments of time when we are frustrated, stressed or unhappy. By reading your ARC, you will be able to put up a stronger fight against the sabotaging thoughts which invade our lives, such as:
Is dieting really worth it?
Resisting food is too hard.
I don't think I really want to do this.
Chances are thoughts like these have helped sway you from your purpose and demolished your good intentions in the past, but fear no more! It should only take 10 minutes to create your first card and 1 minute per day to read them. Dr. Beck suggests keeping a copy of them in your purse, in your kitchen, at the office and even in your car. Each time you read them your intention will be stronger, your purpose brought to the forefront of your mind.
When I first read Dr. Beck's a few years ago, I made my first ARC. Here is what they said:
- I'll live a long, healthy life.
- I won't be self conscious in a bathing suit.
- I'll feel healthy & in control.
- I'll feed good on the beach.
- I'll feel good in my clothes.
- I won't be embarrassed by pictures anymore.
- I'll awaken my inner athlete.
- I'll outlive my mom.
- I'll be proud of myself.
Of course all of these advantages are still true. I want to live a long, healthy life. I want to feel good when I go to the beach or pool. I have re-awakened my inner athlete. I still want to outlive my mom who passed away at 68 years of age. All of these are still true and yet, I feel the need to expand upon my reasoning.
- I won't have to turn sideways while looking in the mirror to see how noticeable my gut is.
- I may not do it (because I am of a ripe old age of 42), but I would like to feel as if I could wear a bikini.
- I will truly personify the role model of a healthy woman for my group fitness participants.
- I will feel better prepared to register for a marathon or half Iron Man triathlon.
- It will help me stay off of insulin longer.
All of these reasons are true; however, the final punctuating note has to be about my diabetes. As I watch my numbers start to rise, my concern for living a long, healthy life also rises.
What are your reasons for losing weight? Or maybe you aren't striving to lose weight - what are you reasons for living a healthy lifestyle? For working out on a regular basis?