Cheating Myself on Cheat Days and Weight Management


Image: Morgan Spurlock from "Super Size Me"

Stock Photo of Morgan Spurlock¬†for his documentary,¬†“Super Size Me”

Cheating Myself

When you look up the definition of cheating it is defined as ” Acting¬†dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage.” ¬†I had to ask myself what was the so called advantage of having a day¬†where I gorged, grazed and wolfed down whatever I wanted and expect that there would not be any consequences later on. Yet I did it, over and over again expecting different results each time. What I’d finally come to realize was that all this was doing was reinforcing my old eating patterns. It set¬†me up for failure again and again and the only thing it led to was cheating myself out of maintainable weight loss.

What Changed?

One morning after a spin class I struck up a conversation with the instructor. We were discussing weight-loss and exercise. She mentioned that it was becoming obvious that I was losing weight.  With a glimmer of tears in her eyes she shared her own before and after pictures with me and I was stunned. To look at her today, you would never believe that this had been her. I asked what the secret to her success was and she replied that deprivation and abstinence no longer play a role in how she maintains her weight-loss. In the past deprivation and abstinence had always been her enemies and had always worked against her. What did she Mean?

The Reset

My mind raced. Without a cheat day how would I ever be able to manage holidays, dinner out with friends, or my constant craving for chocolate?  Then she introduced me to a concept she called a reset. Instead of having a designated day where I could cheat and reinforce old habits, she suggested this.  When I was really craving something that I just simply go out and have a moderate amount of it. From there she said, I should imagine having to hit a reset button and move on. This would  keep deprivation and that feeling that I was missing out on something at bay. I already knew only too well that constant deprivation and abstinence would, in the end, only cause me to binge. On top of that I would then have to deal with the onslaught of guilt that always ensued afterwards.

What It’s Like Today

It had never occurred to me that there might be a better solution. For me this was a huge game changer. It is a positive approach that retrains my brain to accept change focused on improving my health. This has also been the means of how I got to and how I maintain my goal weight. This whole reset concept clicked with me. It was like that dark cloud that had loomed over me for decades had finally been lifted.

Today I am at my goal weight and am happily maintaining it. When I go out with friends, I make choices with confidence. Holidays passed¬†and still no weight gain or grim feelings of guilt. All because of this simple reset approach that changed the way I think. ¬†The best part though is¬†that I don’t¬†find¬†it necessary to over indulge and gorge myself anymore. The answer was always there right in front of me. I was just too focused on what I could and could not have on a given day that it just sailed right over my head. Just food for thought. Until the next time, happy low carbing.

 

 


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Mike

Mike is a proud UCLA Bruin and low carb recipe enthusiast. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his dog Bella. Together they are living the Dream.

2 Comments

  1. Love this realistic and easy to apply way of thinking. Too many times do people beat themselves up about enjoying a fun snack or a drink or two. The reset allows you to live your life without being angry with yourself while still maintaining your goals. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Steph, this was a game changer for me. It made all the difference not having to feel the anxiety, guilt and negativity associated with this topic. Glad you liked it.

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