Have you ever had that unbelievable craving for something "bad" to eat, and finally you cave in and binge on it only to find that it wasn't near as amazing as you thought it was going to be? Don't you hate that?! I wish I had some wise words on how to avoid this..... Sorry. No such luck.
Here's the deal, though. I may not have words of wisdom here, but I have opinions. I'm never short on opinions! Here's your chance to choose whether you want to keep reading, or develop your own opinion on the matter. Get out while you can. Go ahead. Run!
Good! You're still here;). Ok, this is what I think.... First, let me start by saying I am guilty of over indulging. So don't let me lead you wrong by giving you the impression that I've got it all under control. That couldn't be more wrong. But! In my opinion, cheating should be enjoying something that you have given up (on a regular basis) and miss. The one thing that you wish you could have anytime you want. For you it could be McDonald's fries. For someone else it might be a loaded baked potato. For me it's anything with sugar or simple carbs. What I wish I could get a handle on, is tasting my cheat and determining if its worth it or not. Like maybe I bring home some store bought cupcakes and they're really not all that, but I eat it anyway because it's my cheat. But what if I sampled it, decided it wasn't worth it, and didn't waste those calories? What if I found an alternative option to satisfy my sweet tooth? Bare with me..... I'm headed somewhere with this.
I have come to realize, for me personally, that I do this more often than I should. I like food. I enjoy gathering around a table with the people I love and sharing a meal. I love to eat out with my husband and kids. Mealtime has always been a time of fellowship. A time to gather and enjoy each other. Food is something that can make you feel whole. It's something that is used to make someone feel loved or important. We use it to celebrate. It so easily becomes the focus on a gathering.
So what if we stopped eating foods that aren't worth it? What if we made healthier, more realistically portioned meals at our gatherings? What if we brought a fruit salad to a potluck instead of double chocolate fudge brownies with chocolate chips? And what if we only indulged on foods that actually taste as good as we imagined? What if we used food as fuel? Fuel to keep us alive. Fuel that includes the nutrients we need to prevent cancer, increase immune health, and promote healthy living. And maybe we find ways to satisfy our cheats that aren't so sinful. Like fat free frozen yogurt. Baked potatoes loaded with healthier choices. Baked fries at home. Whole wheat pasta. Popcorn topped with healthy olive oil instead of butter. A dark chocolate candy bar instead of a king size mars bar. Etc....
This is my rant for today. Something I have been thinking about lately, and need to work on myself. I don't believe that healthy living should be a sacrifice that you can't stand waking up to every day. I don't believe that it should be stressful. I don't believe we have to restrict calories and live our lives feeling deprived. I believe those are mistakes that lead to failure. I believe we need to learn how to eat at a party, holiday, vacation, restaurant, etc. We need to learn what moderation is. We need to learn to eat when we are hungry. We need to learn to stay off the scales more. We need to stop obsessing over weight loss as a model of what healthy looks like. We need to stop crash diets, or any diets. I believe we need to make healthy choices every day that make us feel satisfied, full, and motivated. Choices that promote healthy living permanently, not quick fixes that have an ending and backfire.
I can happily admit that I have gotten a handle on the day to day, for the most part. I get it right more than wrong. And that's a goal you should work toward. Healthy living is a daily learning experience. It's something you have to create based on what you want to achieve. We learn from our mistakes.
I'm not perfect, and neither are you. So don't beat yourself up when you get it wrong. Learn from it and move on. For me, I need to work on how and when I cheat. I can do better. But I do believe we need to enjoy ourselves. We do all this work and focus so much energy on getting it right. We don't want to ruin it with bad choices, but we should find ways to enjoy ourselves. When I sit down at a restaurant with my husband, my focus should not be on how many calories I'm going to eat. I'm guilty of that and it's annoying to the people you're with. Don't be that person. My focus should be on enjoying a meal with my husband. One bad meal isn't going to be the end of it all. 3 bad meals a day for 7 days is where the problem lies. A lifestyle packed full of one bad choice after the other, coupled with never ever exercising is where the problem lies.
I'd love to help you get on track and teach you how to get to this point. I'd love to train you how to enjoy life while living healthy. I'd love to show you how fun and rewarding it is to feel and look your best. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Email me and we will get you there together!