CBT-FITNESS Coaching – Up Close Look Into CBT-Fitness 1-to-1 Session Notes!
This week, I had a session with my client, *Nicole (named changed for confidentiality). Nicole has been going through a lot this past year: health problems in her family, her teen-aged daughter going through a very rough transition in high-school, and a new and demanding work situation. Nicole got off track with her eating in a pretty major way and struggled to fully regain control, but after about four months of a disheartening on track/off track cycle, Nicole had a really great month. She finally felt like she was fully back on track and was feeling really proud of her eating decisions.
When we had our phone calls session this week, it was a different Nicole than the one I’d been talking to the last month. Nicole told me that on Sunday it was her husband’s birthday, and they hosted a day-long celebration. Midway through the day, Nicole ended up consuming more wine and food than she had planned for, got off track, and stayed off track the rest of the day. She wasn’t able to get herself back on track the next day and by the time we met midweek, she was feeling completely out of control again. “I thought I could do it, but I can’t,” she told me. “This is the same as every other time. I fall off the wagon and that’s it, I just can’t keep it up.” I was so surprised to hear this because even though Nicole had a really hard four days, this was directly after an entire month of doing incredibly well. The night before the party, she had even emailed me telling me how well the day went!
I realized then that Nicole had fallen into what we call the “off-track mode.” This is a mode dieters get into when they get off track, the scale has gone up, and they begin to believe that they are helpless in the face of their weight problem and hopeless that they can ever get and stay back on track. Other characteristics of the off-track mode include: significant decreases in motivation; major mood shift; ceasing to even attempt to create and follow an eating plan; feeling heavier in the body (more so than is warranted with small weight gains); increased cravings and giving in to cravings; and decreased pride, self-confidence, and sense of control.
Another interesting aspect of the off-track mode is that dieters have poor recall, if any, of their past and recent successes (or they discount them). I said to Nicole, “But what about the day before the party? Remember how great you felt when you stayed in control on date night? And what about the entire month before that? Do you remember emailing me listing all the great credits from the day?” And the answer was no, Nicole didn’t remember all of that. She didn’t even remember her major success the day before the party. The off-track mode took hold, her hopelessness kicked in, and she really believed she was helpless. But she wasn’t! I knew Nicole was fully capable of regaining control and doing well even in the face of challenging situations, because she had been doing it so well just days before.
I reminded Nicole of all of her recent successes and explained the off-track mode to her and what had happened in the last four days. I also presented her with a challenge: it took four months the last time to fully regain control. She’s only been off track for four days this time. This is a perfect opportunity for her to prove to herself how much she’s changed, how much stronger she’s become, and how she can cut the off-track period down from four months to four days. Nicole and I talked through in detail what the rest of her day, eating-wise, would look like and what she would say to herself if she was tempted to stray from the plan. We made some new Response Cards, and Nicole left our call fully committed to kicking the off-track mode to the curb and to proving to herself that she can recover much more quickly now.
A NOTE FROM Jill Bunny – Founder & CBT-Fitness Health Coach
Everything always begins with a thought. How we think and how we interpret the world around us influences how we feel. And how we feel stirs up our emotions. We then use those emotions as a filter that helps us interpret our life experiences. These interpretations are of course varied and often not very accurate. In fact, they can prevent us from seeing our health transformation “how it is”, and instead force us to perceive our health/fitness based on “how we are”. And of course how we are depends entirely on how we process our world, which of course begins with the thoughts we allow ourselves to dwell upon. Take charge of those thoughts by implementing CBT into your daily practise! Start with the 4 Week Food Connection Course, or contact us for a 1-to-1 CBT-Fitness coaching call, just like Nicole!