So thrilled for her accomplishment, a new client told me she lost 11 pounds! Her weight has been such a struggle for years; starving and yo-yo dieting messed up her metabolism leaving her exhausted, overweight, and unable to lose any pounds. She went on to explain how she followed my advice perfectly during the week, but does CHEAT on weekends. As she said the word “cheat” her voice changed. It went soft, and she looked away, like she was guilty of something. I was so happy for her progress, I didn’t think about it until later that day.
The word CHEAT from the dictionary says,
- A person who acts dishonestly, deceives
- To practice fraud or deceit
- To violate rules or regulations
Now, looking at these definitions the word CHEAT is a strong word. I don’t see where my client acted dishonestly, practiced fraud or violated any rules. She’s improving her eating habits and working on emotional awareness of why she sabotages her weight with food. There’s no cheating here! She has been discovering so much about herself while letting go of her excess weight.
So what’s the big deal if she used the word cheat and how does this affect her?
Every cell in our body registers and stores our thoughts, emotions, and words. How we react depends upon the belief attached.
For example, you’re at work and it’s someone’s birthday. Cupcakes are brought in and left on the counter for everyone to enjoy, and you love cupcakes. But, you’re on a diet and this time you’re going to be good. You have failed so many times in the past, calling yourself “fat with no willpower”. So you avoid the cupcakes all morning even though they are staring at you calling your name.You keep saying to yourself “no, I’m too fat, I need to lose weight!”, and eat your salad for lunch. Work is stressful, you’re still hungry and mad you can’t have a cupcake so you cave, and grab the cupcake. You not only eat this cupcake but you inhale it, not tasting or enjoying it, just shoving it down fast as if calories don’t count when eaten with speed.
When the cupcake you did not taste is gone, you start beating yourself up for being weak, fat, and messing up your diet. “Screw the diet, I’ve already failed!” You go and grab another cupcake.
This creates a stressful environment for your body.
First of all, calling yourself “FAT”. Your body registers you as fat, thinks of you as fat and it will do all it can to keep you fat! Maybe, in a subconscious way, staying fat keeps you safe or more powerful, and you are more comfortable with that.
Second, feeling fat is stressful. You are always thinking about being fat while eating. You don’t allow yourself the pleasure of food, you are always on the next new diet saying mean things to yourself. Your brain processes this stress as danger and pumps out cortisol, which increases blood sugar levels and cravings for carbohydrates. These cravings are intense, and no amount of willpower can control them. Remember the cupcake?
Third, by using the word “cheat” you may feel like a cheater. This sets you up to feel weak, sneaky, or dishonest. These words become a label you internalize creating environments where you make “less than good” decisions for yourself.
As in everything, we have choices – we can choose to eat food that give us energy, or foods that take energy away. It’s always a choice and it’s what we do daily, not once in a while that sticks.
No more “good foods” or “bad foods”. No more labels!
So, if we do occasionally choose to eat foods that do not support us, let’s not beat ourselves up and make it worse. We all just want to feel good, and sometimes a birthday cupcake feels good! Remember, it’s a choice, a decision, so enjoy it, taste it, be in the moment, appreciate it, and move on. I feel when we know we have a choice we can own it.
The next time you want to eat a food that’s not on your diet plan, Try this;
- Take slow small bites, breathe in between, and enjoy every chew. Really taste the flavor, the texture, be in the moment, loving the food you are eating. No iPhone, no t.v., no computer, just you and your food. Bless it to your body, giving thanks for the deliciousness of it.
If you cannot seem to stay off the foods that cause you problems, think about why you want them.
- Did you go too long in-between meals?
- Are you looking for a stress release?
- Are you avoiding an emotion you don’t want to feel?
- Did you say yes when you really wanted to say no?
When we choose to eat in peace and enjoyment the damage will be far less than when we emotionally beat ourselves up feeling guilt with every bite.
No more CHEATING, instead “I CHOOSE this and I’m happy with it!”
If you are always on the latest / greatest diet hoping to find the miracle that sets you free, contact me here. It’s the why behind the weight that holds onto the pounds. Until you release the why – the weight will hold onto you.
Great energy is my wish for you!