Have you ever heard someone say that they want to lose weight, they want to lose weight and yeah, they really want to lose weight (!) but then in the next breath they say, “I keep cheating on my diet”?
Diets Don’t Work
Before I go any further with today’s topic I must preface this with the reminder that I do not believe in diets, which you already know if you are a long time, smart reader of Fearless Fat Loss, but if you’re new here it always bears repeating: diets don’t work however lifestyle changes in body, mind, and spirit do!
For the sake of this article though, I’m using the terminology of “cheating on your diet”. I’m sure that you get where I’m coming from because while you’re not dieting when you change your lifestyle, you still need to make choices in how you eat; there’s just no getting around it!
Whole foods make your body sing and run at with a high metabolism while processed foods filled with refined sugar, MSG, loads of sodium, preservatives, white flour, and tons of fat keep you fat, unfocused, tired, low on energy, and addicted – that’s just how it is.
Whole foods allow your body to shed the fat and run on clean fuel while processed foods bring you down. So, even though we’re talking about a lifestyle change, if you keep “cheating” on your healthy food plan, the question today is… who are you really cheating?
You’re Only Cheating Yourself
When you “cheat” by eating foods that aren’t the healthiest for you you’re only cheating yourself. Not only are you cheating yourself out of reaching your goal in the least amount of time possible but you’re also cheating yourself out of several other things, things you might not even think about when you opt for that box of cookies, bag of chips, or trip to the fast food drive through. You cheat yourself out of:
Unless you make a point to get real with yourself daily you might not think that those “cheats” are costing you much because after all, you’ll tell yourself that it’s only one bite, one helping, one binge, one day, right? You tell yourself you’ll start over tomorrow, the next day, or next Monday. What happens though if you keep doing the same thing over and over and it’s not just one?
Your “cheats” add up quickly and begin to erode your self-esteem. You gave yourself your word that “this time would be different” but instead when you continue to “cheat” on yourself you cheat yourself out of so much more than weight loss.
One Is Not the Problem
It’s important to note that there’s a huge difference between living a healthy lifestyle and once in awhile eating something that isn’t the best choice for your body, a huge difference between that and living in a continual “cheating” mode. The difference is how you think and how you feel about what you are doing.
If you look at a food choice as what it is, not the healthiest option and that’s that and then choose because you want to and because it feels better to continue on your healthy path of whole, healthy foods, then you do not have an issue with “cheating”. The cheating mode is about what you tell yourself and how you feel about how you eat and how you live. It’s a continual, negative pattern of thoughts and actions that don’t help you improve your current situation. But of course if you are overweight and you aren’t making whole, healthy food choices for yourself then you are cheating yourself out of a life lived at the optimum level of health.
You’re Not Only Cheating Yourself
Ok, so I said above that you’re only cheating yourself when you keep making unhealthy choices but you know what? You really are cheating others – you’re cheating the world because you aren’t giving the world your best self. Your best self, your best body operates at the highest most positive level when you feed your body high octane, clean fuel, meaning whole foods sans the refined sugar, white flour, loads of sodium, MSG, additives, preservatives, and various other ingredients that provide no nutritional value.
This is simply how the body functions and you don’t need me to tell you this, you can try it out for yourself with a very simple experiment: for one week (two would be better) eat only whole foods: lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, and complex carbs. Stay off of all processed foods, all of that refined sugar, all of that stuff. Sure, you’ll go through withdrawals during the first 3 days or so but just see how much clearer, focused, full of energy and enthusiasm you are at the end of that one or two weeks of solid, clean eating (yep, this means no “cheating”).
This is something you can do yourself and you’ll see how much more fun life is and how much more energy you will have. And if thinking about your contribution to the world at large, to your family, your friends, your workplace and your community makes it easier for you to stop cheating on yourself then that’s fabulous. The best thing of course would be for you to stop cheating on yourself for the sake of not cheating on you anymore but whichever route you need to take will work because both will give you the positive outcome of an end to the cheating.
Just Something To Think About…
So as we start yet another Monday, today’s post is meant to give you something serious to think about. It’s no laughing matter when you consider the price you pay in your level of self-esteem, self-worth, self-confidence, and your self-love every time you go back on your word that “this time it will be different, this time I’ll stick to this healthy eating plan and I’ll do it”…this time. The time to do it is now, the time to stick to your commitment is now, there never is a tomorrow because today is the tomorrow that you told yourself yesterday would be different – today is the tomorrow you told yourself you’d make your change!
And if you find that you cannot stick to your commitment and honor your word that you will follow through and eat only healthy foods and treat yourself with love and respect to get that weight off, then it’s better that you don’t even make the commitment to yourself in the first place. That way you’ll stop cheating on yourself because you never made a commitment to yourself in the first place.
Wait until you’re ready to change before you commit, otherwise it’s not worth the price you’ll pay every time that you don’t follow through and cheat on yourself.
Photo by Occupation M. B.