Not a week goes by when I don’t get an email from a client trying to work through her ‘binge’ eating. And with my latest batch of 10-Week Best Shape of Your Life Challengers, it’s no different: we do so well, and then it hits, that food tsunami, and there’s no getting away from it.
Yep, we all have those moments, but what I say is this…when you are in control of it, and you do it once in awhile (that, in my book, is once every 7-14 days, and it’s a cookie, a small bowl of ice cream, a bag of chips), then it’s what we who live clean and lean called a controlled cheat. A controlled cheat is a once-in-awhile-treat.
In fact, I build cheat meals into my Best Shape Challenge, as a way to feed the soul and help with additional fat loss (yes, it is a fat loss tool when used properly), but it must be done right. The majority have stolen the cheat meal from competitors, but it’s rarely done right outside the competition circles).
For me, my ‘treat’ is a big, fat chocolate chip cookie from Starbucks. I just love them! (I’ve been known to dip into a jar of Nutella too, but I’ve learned I can’t keep it in the house, period. So having to go out and buy a Starbuck’s cookie keeps me in line a little better…). I used to eat Starbucks muffins on a daily basis. My reason: It was my quiet time, my reward in the middle of a busy day where I was taking care of everyone else…so now it’s MY time!
Well, whatever….sure…I could have stayed with that story, but I was getting fat and feeding a sugar habit that wouldn’t let go. Day after day. Some reward. I still remember those feelings of guilt and self-loathing….I never, ever wish to live there again. Ever.
Fast forward several years and that same Starbucks treat has been re-tooled into something that actually works for me. Rather than an addiction, it’s now become a tool. It holds a different meaning, and it holds no power over me any more.
Yep, controlled cheating is an art, and lean people (and lean-living competitors) have mastered the skill. But more importantly, it’s a mind set. I like to teach my women to use a treat as a tool for clean eating and proper weight loss, to control the cheat, rather than have it control you. Therein lies the rub: whom – or what – is controlling whom?
And that’s where we have to dig, because there is freedom, and happy eating, on the other side of it. Are you truly hungry, or is that bite of cookie feeding something else? And if it is hunger, why not eat some broccoli? Ah, there’s the truth coming at you….
So next time you feel the urge to splurge, ask yourself why, why do you want that cookie? Never mind saying because it tastes good…dig deeper. Do you feel entitled? Sad? Mad? Lonely? Perhaps you can learn our way, the Warrior Woman’s Way, and say, I choose to and it’s ok. It feeds me in other ways, and I am in total control here.
Eat with eyes wide open, I always say. and cheat that way too!