It’s a struggle to lose weight, right?  You try so hard, but the weight refuses to come off.  You do well for a few days or a few weeks, and the hope rises.  But then you stand on the scales and you’ve put on two kilos.  Your heart sinks, your self esteem plummets and you think:  “Why bother!”

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) helps you look at weight loss in a different way.  One of the core principles behind ACT is to get you to look at what you stand for in your life, or what your core values are.  One way to do this is to imagine yourself in the twilight years of your life.  What would you want to be proud of when you looked back over your life?  Would you want to be proud of your health, your vitality, your consciousness around the food you ate and your ability to make the right choices about your health?  Would you want to be proud of the fact that you looked after you body so you could support your family and maybe even care for your elderly parents?

When you know what you stand for in life, it can help you around the choices you make about food.  For example, Bella stands for having a healthy immune system so she can hopefully be alive for many years to come.  Every morning she writes her intention about food in a food diary – that the food choices she makes throughout the day are going to take her towards her value of having a healthy immune system.  She writes what she intends to do if she is faced with difficult decisions around unhealthy foods.  Throughout the day, as she is about to eat something, she checks in with her value of having a healthy immune system, and asks herself whether she is moving towards this value or away from it. This is called a Choice Point.   At the end of the day she takes her diary out and briefly reflects on her day, looking at times she approached her goal, and other times when she moved away from her goal.  She tells me she is so excited about this as it has raised her awareness about the foods she eats, and makes it easier to say no to unhealthy foods.

Having a food diary is a powerful way to help you with your weight loss.  Check out this link for a food diary you can download right now.