One skill that Maria has gotten very good at is putting herself first – making sure that she continually has the time and energy for diet and exercise (discussed on Day 8 of The Beck Diet Solution).  For Maria this particularly means making sure she keeps exercise a priority.  In the past, when her life got busy, exercise was always the first thing to fall off her plate. 

Maria exercises on a machine at home. When her kids interrupted her exercise in the past, she would always drop what she was doing and tend to them.  Now she tells them to wait until she’s done and then she helps them.  After dinner, if she’s already exercised, Maria may watch television with her husband. But if she hasn’t exercised yet, she nicely refuses to join him until she has finished.  Now she feels entitled to get her activities done first. 

Building this sense of entitlement is crucial to lasting weight loss because life always gets busy and things always come up.  If dieters don’t learn to put themselves first and ensure that they continually make diet and exercise a high priority, other factors will always get in the way of their best efforts.  Maria now knows that she is entitled to exercise because she deserves to be thinner and feel good about herself, and she is a good example for all of us.