Change your vocabulary!
Monday, January 09, 2017
I finally took the word "cheat" out of my vocabulary, as in "cheat meal" or "cheat day." It helps me to not think of foods as "bad" or "good." That's giving food more power than I ever want to give it again.
I try to eat well about 90% of the time, and the rest of the time, I am careful. If I'm gonna eat it, I have to be responsible for its calories. So I track it. EVERY BITE OF IT. I have a grasp on my calorie target not only for each day but for each week. So if I can't make up for those calories in one day, I spread them over the week.
Don't we all keep an idea of how much we want to lose in a week's time? Then why does it seem weird to figure out a calorie target for a week's time as well as a day's time?
If I'm going to eat something that's not as nutritionally dense as I normally eat, I track it and make room for it in my calories for the day/week, and then I enjoy EVERY SINGLE BITE. No reminding myself all the way through how I should be doing better, or eating better, or how I shouldn't be eating this - or otherwise beating myself up.
The bottom line is that I'm not going to stick with any plan long term that doesn't allow me to ever have ice cream, or takeout pizza, or a loaded baked potato, etc, etc. I have tried to build a healthy way of eating that doesn't feel like I've had to give up occasional treats - I just don't have them all the time. I do not give myself permission to eat poorly even every day. (If you don't believe that, take another look at my before/after photo.)
And if I'm going to eat it anyway, I'm by golly going to enjoy EVERY BITE!
My sister in law once said it best: "Either eat it or don't. But if you're going to eat it, don't waste enjoyment on reminding yourself of all the reasons you shouldn't be enjoying it!"
One last thought: I realize eating disorders exist, and that some of them prevent people from being able to stop with one small treat from time to time. What works for me won't necessarily work for someone with different food issues than the ones with which I struggle. I haven't always been able to enjoy an occasional treat without falling into a full-blown binge session, but regaining my perspective on food has helped me with that.