Thank you SO MUCH for all your support on yesterday’s post. It’s sort of ironic how these types of behaviors have so much shame and guilt associated with them that it’s almost taboo to discuss. But I came out and opened up to you guys about it and so many of you could relate to exactly what I was talking about, so I think its so much more common than we think.
Though all the comments were incredible and supportive, there was one in particular that stood out to me from a loyal reader, Jennifer, that I thought you all would appreciate too.
I heard something once that resonated with me. If you’re driving in your car and using a GPS and you make a wrong turn, it doesn’t tell you to just forget it and drive off the nearest cliff. It figures out a new route and tells you to make a u-turn and get back on track. So I try to remember to tell myself that just because I had a bad meal, or day, or week, that I can just make a u-turn, and I’ll be back on my way.”
LOVE that. I’d never heard it before yesterday and it really resonated with me too. What an incredible/hysterical analogy for a healthiness journey!
Yesterdays topic got me thinking about something I thought would be interesting to discuss on here today – cheat days. Many of you commented that you are able to stay on track by having a “cheat day” once a week for a full day or just one meal per week, and that having that day to look forward to helps keep you on track for most of the week.
That was the tactic that I used during almost all of my time losing weight – picking one day or one event to go all out on, and by all out, I mean all out. It’s kind of crazy how easy it is for me to revert back into my “old” ways – the scary part is that it used to be how I ate not one day a week, but seven. But that’s another story for another day.
Lately, I’ve been trying to scale back on having a cheat day or cheat meal because they make me eat really compulsively and unhealthily, to the point where I feel like I need to eat every last thing I could possibly want to gorge myself on before the day is done. After eating everything and anything I’ve ever wanted to, I spend the rest of the week making up for the cheat day/meal.
This cycle causes me be more strict than I want to be when it’s not my cheat day, so I’m looking forward to and relying on the “cheat day” even more than I wanted to from the beginning. I still eat enough, don’t worry, but I get very flustered when temptations arise and the I’m threatened with going “off plan.” Even if its something that should excite me- like going out for happy hour with friends or a sporadic date night out – it makes me feel anxious and dread it in a way because I’m scared of what my behavior will be like when I’m out without a plan.
I really want to be one of those people who can enjoy treats in moderation, and eat pizza if I feel like it, not just on my “cheat” day. Don’t get me wrong – I have a dessert every single day – like dark chocolate, italian ice, ice cream, etc – but its very planned and accounted for in my day.
What I’m learning about myself is that the cheat day which I had done in the past may not be the right thing for me anymore. Because of my tendencies to heavily overdo it, I just don’t know if that’s a healthy way for me to live. I still want/need to lose a few pounds, and I think having those crazy meals/days is the main thing standing in the way for me.
So I’m very curious about your experiences and would love it if you could weigh in. Pun intended.
Do you or did you used to have a cheat day/meal, or just try to have treats consistently in moderation throughout the week? When you “cheat” how far off track do you go? Are you like me and go balls to the wall or are you able to keep it under control? Any book recommendations on this topic?