I have always thought of “cheat days” as cheating. Well, it kinda is! At least by definition. We all know that cheating is cheating and cheating is not a good thing. So, cheating…bad. “Cheat day” bad, bad, bad! In addition to bad, bad, bad, I also associated cheating with “weakness”. Boom! Definitely no judgement there! Recently, I keep hearing the phrase “cheat day” or “I want …….it’s ok, it’s my cheat day”…”cheat day” etc. from people all around me. People I like. People I respect. Even people I love. My daughter included! Last week, we were talking and she informed me it was her “cheat day” and continued with a complete run down of her cheat meals for the day. She knew every bite. First was the mac & cheese burger, then pizza and to close the deal was the star of the show….The Pizookie! Yum, yum, yum screams the food addict in me but my new and improved healthier self says “Ugh, sounds like a stomach ache! to which she agreed. She begins to tell me that this is her second “cheat day” or let’s use “reward” for having met her weight loss goal. Her first “reward” brought on a world of pain. She described an after-meal stomach ache with twisting and churning, churning and twisting, more churning, more twisting. “Did you at least enjoy it?” I asked. To which she immediately replied, “Absolutely!” Did I mention how amazing she is? I became intrigued by her cheating ways and wanted to know more. Did she feel guilty the next day? Any remorse over anything she’d eaten? Although today is only her second cheat day, she seemed to be looking forward to it with great excitement. Later that week, I was out to lunch with a group of friends and unbeknownst to me, it was my friends “cheat day.” I was so excited! I get to witness this cheating thing first hand. So he orders his food, seems happy, survived the ordering process which is not always easy to do when you’re in a big group. Our food arrives and we are sharing and sampling our food as all good friends do…eating, laughing, sharing and again I hear “it’s ok, it my cheat day!” and more laughing and eating. “it’s ok, it’s my cheat day!” and again, more laughing and eating. What an interesting concept this dieting, eating, laughing, sharing and “cheat days.” I know my friend, he’s a smart guy, he’s not bad, bad, bad! He works out, eats healthy, practices self-care etc. My daughter, incredible person! Total sweetheart, love with all my heart! This really got me thinking about the concept of “cheat days.” Perhaps it’s time to rethink the idea? Mayb by allowing yourself a “cheat day” you set up a goal/reward system that is more manageable, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose like I did. You can ignore those annoying instant cravings knowing that you will fully get to savour them as your “reward” when your short-term goal has been met. You avoid the guilt and shame of yet another diet fail and have positive energy toward your long term health goals. Sometimes your vision can become clear can see the fruits of your hard work….But no judgment here 🙂 Trust me, I’m the last person to judge!
Robyn Roknipour is an Author, Speaker and Educator. She is a Certified Health & Wellness Coach, a Certified Bariatric Coach and a Transformational Pioneer. Robyn Roknipour is the owner of a private health coaching practice and founder of Transformations 258 and www.howilost258lbs.com. Her book, “Food, Body, Heal” scheduled for upcoming release shares her personal transformation with an underlying theme of inspiring others to begin their own transformation leading to their best life.