Cheat meals…. There are so many differing opinions on this. I’m going to share my experience.
My idea behind this post came from my support group on Facebook. One of my #mealplanbabes posted about she was just starting out on my meal plan and got asked out to eat. The thing is, she JUST started and she was doing well. In a social setting, you should be able to postpone one meal if it wasn’t pre-planned. Your friends/family should understand. You don’t have to give the reason, somehow go around it if you need to. But you made an agreement with yourself, so follow through with it! You will be proud of it after the fact!
I dieted from the time under 10 years old. I battled weight issues my entire life due to a lack of one thing, knowledge. I wasn’t aware of exactly what I needed to do to handle the issue. I remember at 11 years old my dad telling me if I just stayed that weight (I was 150-160) and didn’t continue to gain, that I would be at a fine weight for an adult. His point was to not focus on losing weight, just not gaining weight. Somehow that just didn’t happen. During all my diets, my main issue I had was the cheating. I am an all or nothing type of person so that moment when a friend or family member would say just have ONE bite, ONE bite isn’t going to hurt you at all! Well, one for one that ONE bite turned into a spiral for me. The spiral that ultimately landed me at 230 pounds. This was the issue with that FOR ME… I would have that one bite and say to myself, wellllll I already screwed up my diet so I might as well EAT ALL THE THINGS and I’ll just restart tomorrow and I’ll be totally fine! Well here’s the issue with that, the next day I would wake up and my cravings would be going WILD and then of course I would eat awfully. This literally lasted AT LEAST 14 years of my life. So when all those people said to me “one bite won’t hurt you” they were wrong. It was my death sentence every single time.
So what changed?
What changed was the realization that I am an ALL OR NOTHING personality type. I had to come to terms with this. I was now aware of it so I had to do something about it. That’s where the dairy free/gluten free lifestyle came into play. I didn’t want to diet. I was so sick of dieting, I wanted to make a permanent change. I knew if I cut out dairy and gluten that almost alll my “trigger foods” would be eliminated. My trigger foods that I always said ohhhh **** it, was bread, cheese, pasta, ice cream, donuts, pastries, cookies etc. Making a lifestyle change meant just not eating THOSE THINGS and I could still have anything else I wanted. If people asked what diet I was on, I would say I’m not! I’m just eating clean. It’s the only thing you can tell people that they won’t ask a billion questions 😉
Well don’t you cheat SOMETIMES?
Define cheating. Have I ever broke down and eaten a donut? Nope. A piece of cake? Nope. Pastries? Nope. It’s just not a part of my life anymore. I have alternatives that I love and I eat those instead. Do I miss them? Nope. I love finding new healthy things that taste amazing and don’t make me feel like crap. That’s my preferred method of food satisfaction.
How about special occasions?
When it’s someone’s birthday or something special, I honestly still don’t do it. Here’s the thing. I am extremely close with my family. I have 5 siblings, my parents, their new spouses, grandparents etc. There’s a birthday in our family basically every month of the year and sometimes 2. Add holidays into the mix and every round of a diet I would try I would be thrown off. So no, no exceptions for birthdays/holidays/special occasions. There’s nothing to miss. It’s just food. Once that addiction wears off (yes it really does wear off even though that doesn’t seem possible) you will have absolutely ZERO emotions about “missing out”. Some people call it missing out, I call it not worth feeling sick and tired for. After your body detoxes all the crap out, it actually will let you know LOUDLY that it doesn’t like what you just did. I know you’re probably thinking “I could never do that, that would never be me”. I said the same thing. Things change, I promise you.
The one gift I wish I could give to everyone is to have is self control. Having self control over the food you eat is so freeing. It honestly can’t be described. Being able to not look at food and feel upset or whatever negative emotion you feel is possible! You can absolutely get there. All that it is is a mindset and a decision you have to make. You can start with something as simple as ‘from this day forward I am not going to eat anything with ingredients that I can’t pronounce or no more bread, whatever you want! Eat other things, find alternatives. It can be done!