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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    It has taken me years to learn that slow and steady along with moderation are the most sustainable for me.
    1220 days ago
    This was great! I love it! I also allow for myself to occasionally have something I would not normally eat. But I plan for it and make sure I am staying within my calorie range. If I am going to eat it then I should at least enjoy it!
    God bless you and keep you on your journey! Have a fabulous day!
    1242 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15892450
    Great insight. I've seen "diet" strategies that base their "science" in varying the calories from day to day (with the end result being the weekly calorie total). I think there's a lot to be said for that -- if you indulge a bit one day, it makes sense it will need to be accounted for somewhere in the overall eating equation, but thinking of it on a weekly basis makes it a little easier.

    I always love reading your posts -- such an inspiration!
    1242 days ago
    You are one smart woman! Love this.
    1242 days ago
    Christine, you're absolutely right! Of course we should not be eating any food that is risky for our health!
    1242 days ago
    This is a very well thought out and written blog. I agree with everything you wrote as well!

    The only difference for me is that I want to take certain animal foods out of my diet forever. My family history makes me very aware of the need to do this for my well being.
    emoticon For your day!
    1242 days ago
    I love this! You are absolutely right and I appreciate that you took eating disorders into account. :-D
    1242 days ago
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