Why is it that we use the same word for eating a piece of cake and committing infidelity? What if we stopped using the word cheat to attach morality to our food choices?
I really don’t like the word CHEAT, it is so negative, as I have pointed out above.
Cheat=BAD, and then we internalize that into…I AM A BAD PERSON OR I AM BEING BAD.
How does eating a piece of cake or a slice of pizza make me a bad person or identify that I am being bad???
This is why labeling foods as cheats can get into our heads and be detrimental in our progress of establishing good habits and mindsets around food.
I used to plan cheat meals into my nutrition program, and then count the days until I could have whatever it was that I considered cheating food. Not a great approach to establish healthy eating behaviors. But rather, in my mind a way of disordered eating. What I found was, these cheat meals were anti-climatic and often times when the day and/or meal came I didn’t even want the food, but ate it anyway because that is what I had planned to do.
When you read that it sounds kind of absurd, if you didn’t want the food then why did you eat it? Well, because I made that food “off limits” every other meal/day.
What if you could have any food, any time you wanted, if you chose to?
At one point that sounded really scary to me, and maybe it sounds scary to you right now. But when you are intentional and mindful with your food choices you will discover that most often you don’t even want these “so-called” cheat foods. When you actually “check-in” with your body, you will find that it wants something but a cheat food may not be it. Instead it could be asking for rest, connection, or some quiet time. It is very likely that you either already know or are continuing to identify the foods and a way of eating that supports you looking, feeling, and performing your best.
You are choosing to eat protein, vegetables, healthy fats, etc and do so 80-90% of the time. Even though you could have gluten anytime you want if you so choose, it doesn’t appeal to you because of how you feel after you eat it. And when/if you make a choice to have a grain-free baked good, a latte, or a piece of cake you will enjoy it without guilt or shame and move on.
I really do feel that it is important to get away from using the word cheat as it relates to your nutrition choices mainly because of all of the negative emotions and feelings that are associated with it.
Committed to Your Success,