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Treatment Goals for a 
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Area of Intervention

Short-Term Goals

Long-Term Goals

Replacing myths with Contemporary Research Findings:

What Determines Body Weight? What are the Dynamics of Dieting Bodies?

Consider own experience with dieting and weight cycling.

Chart adult weight fluctuations.

Identify attribution for dieting failures.

Identify self-talk and beliefs about blame/self-discipline/being in control.

Re-evaluate beliefs in light of research.

Identify cues that stimulate the impulse to diet.

Develop non-dieting alternatives for addressing these feelings.

Challenge media myths and misinformation.

Challenge misinformation among friends/family.

Challenge misinformation from physicians.

Reject short-term, self-depriving strategies in favor of long-term, pleasurable strategies for raising quality of life.

Area of Intervention

Short-Term Goals

Long-Term Goals

Dieting "Detox":

Normalizing the Relationship with Food

Develop awareness of current eating patterns.

Evaluate degree of congruence between physical hunger/satiety cues and eating behavior.

Become familiar with "Degrees of Hunger," "Humming and Beckoning Foods" and "Conscious Eating" concepts.

Distinguish between physical hunger and other impulses to eat.

Describe current labelling of food as "healthy" vs. "forbidden."

Make eating decisions openly.

Eat food from "forbidden" list in unrestrained manner.

Utilize physical hunger cues to initiate and terminate eating.

Experiment with labeling and responding to impulses to eat which do not arise from stomach hunger.

Develop sense of entitlement to pleasurable food, in satisfying amounts.

Eat with pleasurable awareness more often than not.

Tolerate the presence of formerly "forbidden" or "beckoning" foods without bingeing.

Area of Intervention

Short-Term Goals

Long-Term Goals

Integrating Pleasurable Physical Activity into Daily Life

Describe history of efforts at exercise; identify attitudes and assumptions.

Examine concept of a physical "hunger to move."

Identify movement preferences, e.g., vigorous vs. languid, on land/in water, with/without peers, etc.

Research potential opportunities for movement.

Educate oneself re the differing needs of large bodies exercising.

Develop strategies for coping with potential problems, e.g., how to set one's own pace; where to find comfortable clothing/equipment; how to deal with self-defeating thoughts, how to deal with bigotry.

Sample several activities at one's own pace; evaluate their appeal.

Experience exercise as pleasurable.

Notice increasing body competence, strength, stamina (functioning rather than appearance).

Improve congruence between movement hunger and the activity performed.

Replace a moralistic obligation to exercise with a sense of entitlement to pleasurable movement.

Area of Intervention

Short-Term Goals

Long-Term Goals

Fostering Self-Esteem: Replacing Self-Abuse with Self-Care

Become aware of the predominant tone of self-talk, especially when thinking about performance/trying something new/making mistakes/being social.

Identify various forms of self-deprivation.

Learn about the stages of change that are normal: precontemplation, contemplation, determination, action, (re)lapse, maintenance.

Replace self-denigrating thoughts with truthful but neutral/positive statements.

"Budget in" or expect to allow time/room for mistakes. Practice "claiming" imperfections with as much good humor/tolerance as possible.

Analyze intrapersonal self-care as if it was interpersonal: Would this feel like good care if it was one person caring for another?

Area of Intervention

Short-Term Goals

Long-Term Goals

Fostering Body Esteem: Building Up the Pleasurable/

Mastery Functions of the Body

Become aware of the predominant tone of self-talk about body/attractiveness/functioning.

Identify frequency of the following: Buying clothes which are too small; avoiding activities which use the body; hiding the body.

Replace self-denigrating thoughts with truthful, but more neutral/ positive statements about body.

Try a previously-avoided activity.

Get a massage.

Note small improvements in strength & stamina.

Build on or nurture a new physical skill.

Seek out sensual and/or sexual pleasure.

Write down what this body needs/desires; what its rhythms are. Analyze how well it’s cared for.

Defend the body's boundaries.


Area of Intervention

Short-Term Goals

Long-Term Goals

Consciousness-Raising: Exploring the Political/

Cultural/Economic Dynamics of the Fear of Female Fat

Identify associations to fatness/thinness.

Educate self about discrimination based on body size; the agenda of the diet industry; the political purpose of female starvation.

Develop contacts with large people to discover the common experiences.

Allow anger to fuel action for social change.

Develop means of self-defense against bigotry/discrimination.

Area of Intervention

Short-Term Goals

Long-Term Goals

Choosing Health: Replacing Compliance with Entitlement

Explore the moralistic tone of "healthism."

Identify how compliance with (or rebellion against) the obligation to lose weight "for health reasons" distracts from the development of one's own agenda.

Claim the rights to good medical care, good nutrition, and a healthy body.

Area of Intervention

Short-Term Goals

Long-Term Goals

Rocking the Boat: Risking Conflict in Relationships

Observe the frequency of avoiding the expression of needs/feelings.

Explore the fears that lead to this avoidance.

Notice a time when one uses food rather than expressing oneself.

Risk saying "no" to someone.

Express something difficult to a trusted person.

Express a feeling that is not clear yet and allow the other person to help you understand it.

Tolerate another person's anger without retreating.

Area of Intervention

Short-Term Goals

Long-Term Goals

Reframing Hunger: Valuing Needs and Desires

Explore the current associations to being "needy" or "hungry."

Assess whether these states are avoided.

Compare the sensuality of eating when hungry to eating when not hungry.

Notice the opportunity for being cared for that is afforded by hunger/need/desire.

Welcome the opportunity for such intimacy.

Create a positive vision of robust, sensual interdependency in relationships.

Area of Intervention

Short-Term Goals

Long-Term Goals

Re-aligning Responsibility: Replacing Self-Blame with Self-Advocacy

Define "boundaries" as a concept.

Assess the responsibility one claims for others' distress vs. one's own distress; e.g., Is there self-blame for others' feelings? Are others held to blame for one's own feelings? Does the assessment of responsibility seem appropriate?

Identify an example of unrealistic self-blame.

Identify an example of passivity in the face of caring for oneself.

Try the opposite behavior in these examples and explore how this feels.

Tolerate the expression of another person's feelings without taking excessive responsibility.

Compare the attention available to others when one is feeling well-cared-for vs. feeling deprived.

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Last updated: March 05, 2011.