It has taken me a while to figure out how I want to go about writing this post. I want all of you to know that this post is NOT directed at any one person. This post is about how I am going about losing weight. I hope that it doesn’t make you feel bad. I hope it motivates you.
Cheat days are stupid.
Sorry for saying it so bluntly. Let me revise it. Cheat days for me would be stupid, and they are stupid for anyone who has a lot of weight to lose. If you are already fit and you want to “take a day off,” then you go for it. I am trying to lose weight though and cheat days will only set me back. There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON that I should take a break from counting my daily calories if I am physically able to. If I want to lose weight then there is NO COMPROMISE.
Cheat days are a sign that losing weight is not a priority. Cheat days are also a sign that healthy eating has not become a mindset yet.
I posted on my wall at MyFitnesspal.com, a few weeks ago, that I did not want a hall pass in my marriage and I do not want one in my eating habits either. I said that cheat days are a sign that I cannot let go of my former self.
Several people have asked me what “diet” I am doing to lose the weight I am. I have told everyone that asks that I am not on a diet. I am on a lifestyle change in which I exercise daily and track my caloric intake. I tell them that there is no room for me to eat uncontrollably and with no accountability. That is how I USED to live and it is a way I never want to go back to. I liken it to a Bible verse that I remember from high school. The verse is from the book of Corinthians (I hope that you don’t run off just because I am quoting the Bible here) and it says that once you decide to live for Christ you are a new person and that the old ways have died. I think you can truly tell the people who are Christ-followers by how they live. I will not even begin to go into the fact that there are LOTS of people who say they are Christians but do not live like Jesus demonstrated. That’s another post for another blog so please don’t leave nasty comments about bad “Christians.” We all know that there are lots of those. Just the same, there are LOTS of people who say they want to lose weight yet do not act as though they are serious and would do whatever it takes…
Even if you are not a follower of Christ, the verse holds meaning. I think about the way of life that made me fat. I think about how I do not want to be fat anymore. Therefore if I do not want to live this way anymore I should die to my old ways and fully embrace my new ways. My new way of life includes thinking completely differently about food. ESPECIALLY since I am not at a healthy weight. If my body is a temple then I want to make sure that I am feeding it things that are going to make me healthy.
But let me tell you that I have no problem treating myself. I just CANNOT think of food as a reward. If I am eating healthy 98% of the time, it isn’t going to kill me to have a slice of pizza on Friday night with a nice cold 90 minute IPA. I just can’t do it every other night or even every Friday. I have to remember that I am on a mission to lose weight and to live a healthy life. If I look at food as a reward then I am giving it an association that is dangerous to my overall health. To devote a whole day to your old unhealthy life is tantamount to destroying your whole frame of mind as far as I am concerned. Your frame of mind should be that a cheat day is devastating to your weight loss progress. If you aren’t there, then you aren’t really concerned about changing your lifestyle completely. Tough words. But true. You should eat to live, not live to eat.
I should eat to live, not live to eat.
If I live by that principle then I should be concerned with putting, almost exclusively, food into my body that will nurture me and encourage health and well-being. If you look at food with those eyes then the things that used to tempt you will be less appealing. A treat will seem satisfying, but not some incredible experience that completes you and defines you.
You have to know that unhealthy food is a slow acting poison. It is imperative that you understand that.
There will always be foods though that tempt you to binge. I encourage you to stay away from those as an alcoholic should stay away from booze if it is too tempting. But some people have more self control. I am sure that AA will disagree with the analogy but… If you can eat just one Jo-Jo without killing the whole box then go for it. If you can eat a country ham biscuit once a month without sneaking back for another or falling off the wagon, then why not. If it is your anniversary, then do it up (in moderation). Just make sure you log the calories. And if you can’t do those things without letting it turn into a binge, then stop and ask yourself WHY AM I POISONING MYSELF.
The eventuality, if you can maintain the mind set, is that you will lose the weight and you will get healthy. And through that you will have adopted a lifestyle that will help you maintain a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle.
So to conclude, sorry for stepping on toes, but there is no honor in cheating, and there is no winning in cheating either. I am in this to win.
I want to lose 100 or more pounds and never look back.