Throw Away Your "Cheat" Meal

Note -- THIS IS NOT AN ARTICLE ABOUT MODERATION!!!!!

Raise your hand if you or someone you know has what they call a “cheat meal”? Oooohhh, I see lots of hands in the virtual air on the interwebs.

If the question was “....if you or someone you know has OR EVER HAD…” my hand would be right there with you.

I used to basically starve myself and be “super strict” 6 days a week, then go no holds barred on Sundays. Like I would actually go crazy.

As much as a dozen donuts for breakfast, an all-you-can-eat buffet lunch, an alarm to wake up from my afternoon nap to eat chocolate, then a huge dinner followed by no less than 2 or 3 half-pint blue bell ice cream containers.

Yeah...upwards of 10,000 calories sometimes.

Was it fun? Sure.

Could I ever workout on Mondays? Heck no because I felt like absolute dog mess for about 48 hours. But that was how I did things.

I don’t do that anymore, but I’m also not necessarily opposed to someone having sugar, grains or processed foods once in a while.

Where I have a problem is the label of “cheat” because of the negative connotations that comes along with that.

“Cheat” is not a happy word. Cheating on your taxes will land you in jail or with a hefty fine. Cheating in professional baseball will allow you to lie in front of congressional hearings. Cheating on your wife (in my case) will lead to a weiner-ectomy. You get the idea.

So in this time of volatile body image perception and struggles to be healthy, the last thing you should do is punish yourself for a conscious decision you make.

Eat healthy. Move like a human. Get good sleep. Be happy. And if you have a cookie or decide to indulge at your favorite restaurant, don’t think of it as a “cheat.” Think of it as a “cookie” or “I got my favorite pasta dish, a coke, and cheesecake at my favorite restaurant” and MOVE ON! We have enough to deal with in this crazy world we have built up around us to have “I’m such a failure for caving in I must be a total loser” thoughts running around in our mixed up heads.

One thing this mentality could lead to is a “cheat” on a Wednesday then just “going crazy” the rest of the week so you can “hop back on the wagon” on Monday morning.

No. Don’t do that.

Have a bowl of ice cream on Wednesday, then have a healthy breakfast on Thursday. There is no “healthy diet wagon.” There is just a wagon that you are always on.

Sometimes something flops into the wagon that usually isn’t there. If you decide to eat it….EAT IT. No big deal! You’re still on the wagon! Your wagon is as healthy or unhealthy as you want it to be -- as you decide it is going to beStop beating yourself up for giving in to your cravings. If you have a cookie, you didn’t slip up or cave in -- you had a cookie.

And if getting healthy and being well are primary goals, that’s not going to happen very often and you are going to live a sustainable and wonderful life using a sustainable and wonderful lifestyle. Beating yourself up and starving yourself are not sustainable practices so stop doing them.

Enjoy yourself.

Subscribe to the Simply Human Podcast on iTunes

Listen to the Podcast on Stitcher