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          Do You Have Faulty Thinking?

          October 06, 2003

          You can’t “think yourself thin,” but because your thoughts powerfully program you, you need to take a look at your faulty thinking, and then change the interactions — with yourself — that are in direct opposition to your weight loss goals.

          Dr. Phil identifies 10 of the most common self-defeating messages that can undermine your weight-control efforts.

            • Externalizing/Internalizing
              Realistically assess what you can control and what you cannot, and take action to make a difference.
              What is your weight locus of control?
            • Labeling
              If you label yourself as fat or a failure, then you will live to that label, even letting it define who you are.
            • Frustration Thinking
              You tell yourself: “It’s too hard. It’s easier to stay fat. I can’t be bothered with exercise.” You may be avoiding frustration, but you quit before you even get to the starting line.
            • Fortune-Telling
              You just believe that you can predict the future with thoughts like, “I’m going to blow it anyway, so I’ll just eat the cake now.” This negative internal dialogue can become a vicious cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy, setting yourself up for the outcome you don’t want.
          • All-or-Nothing Thinking
            Because you ate a piece of pie, you tell yourself, “I’ve blown it, I might as well eat the whole thing.” All-or-nothing thinking can turn a bite into a full-blown binge.
          • Catastrophizing
            When you evaluate events, do you exaggerate their meaning or significance? It’s not a success-only journey. Don’t overreact to the bumps along the way.
          • Pipe Dreaming
            If you chase after impossible dreams you’re bound to be disappointed. You have to get real about what you can really achieve.
          • Gut-Level Reasoning
            Your transient, unreliable feelings are not absolute truth. If you believe it, you don’t process more accurate, reliable information.
          • Self-Downing
            When you come down on yourself, your internal dialogue cranks up its volume, becoming so loud that it crowds out other, more relevant and truthful information. When you treat your internal browbeating as truth, it becomes reality for you.
          • Poor Me Thinking
            If you go on a diet that is overly restrictive, you find it hard to envision ever being able to enjoy a party, go on vacation, eat what other people can eat, etc. You start feeling sorry for yourself and may end up overeating or binging.For more on becoming aware of your faulty thinking — and changing it — go to Chapter 4 in The Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom.

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