Re-thinking the 'Cheat Day'

Cheat Day.  It has such a negative connotation, as if we are doing something bad.  This day of indulgence; to enjoy all the things you’ve denied yourself.  In the end doesn’t this just mean that you have committed yourself to being fairly miserable on all the other non-cheat days?  Six days of latent misery and one day of happiness through food, and beverage.  The idea behind it is understandable, a way to combat the inevitable binge because you’ve restricted yourself for so long.  I just think we need to find a better balance. I believe it’s all about your mindset.  Don’t hold out for six days telling yourself you absolutely cannot have these certain foods, just waiting for the one day where you can go buck wild.  Know that what you’re eating is your choice and in your control.  It’s not that you can’t have that candy or those French fries, it’s that you choose not too.  It is your decision, and you have the power.  Our mind can play crazy tricks on us.  Think of this, you may have never thought about pulling the fire alarm, but as soon as someone says,  “You can’t do that!” all of a sudden something switches in your mind and you want to.  The mind starts saying “what would happen if…oh yes I can…it’s right there, you can’t stop me.”  Maybe it isn’t the fire alarm, but I think you know what I’m talking about.  When something is off limits it automatically becomes more desirable to us.  I have no idea why, but you see it all the time.  When we are consciously making the choice for ourselves, as opposed to making this arbitrary rule to follow, it is easier to deal with.  Unless you have an allergy to a food there is no reason to tell ourselves we aren’t allowed to ever have something.  I personally choose not to eat sugar, but it's not that I can't and I probably will at some point, and that is okay.  Becoming fully healthy takes making a decision to change your lifestyle, not a diet.  So then what would we be cheating on anyway?  Life?

Yes, there is much more to changing your food choices and making smart healthy life decisions.  But everything starts with your mindset.  Start to change the way you think and your behaviors will follow in time.  When you want to indulge a bit, do it but be present with the decision.  Know what the repercussions may be and make sure you are okay with them, don't feel guilty later.  Making a not so perfect choice once in a while, no matter what day it may be, is not going to completely ruin your progress.  There is always tomorrow to start again.  If it becomes the norm and not the exception then there is a problem, but there don’t have to be so many 'rules' to living healthy.  We can live healthfully and still enjoy each and every day.

But you know what, if cheat day works for you then keep it! Make sure to do what in the end makes you successful.  I have found that this way of looking at my choices helps, and maybe it will help you.  As one of my favorite bloggers says, #betruetoyou.

Once you have started to move regularly, eat healthier, cut out junk foods and gotten over the withdrawal hump honestly you feel so much better why would you want to 'cheat'?!

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Here is one of my on the fly salads and a soup I prepped for the week.  Soup is the easiest thing to make in large batches and have ready in the fridge or freezer.  When you are in a rush you can just throw it in a pot to heat up.  Plus, you can get so creative with soup, there are endless possibilities!

The salad has sauteed cabbage and mustard greens, with olives and crisp lettuce from the farmers market.  I love to add some warm veggies into the mix, it creates a whole new dynamic to what many feel is 'boring salad.'

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Do you ever have warm salads?  Have you tried mustard greens?  It was my first time, and they are super yummy!  To my astonishment they tasted a bit like...mustard!  Don't know why that shocked me, but I wasn't expecting it.  Silly me.