The Cheat Meal Blues | Handel Group

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The Cheat Meal Blues

One of the techniques we use in our coaching, and therefore on ourselves, is the creation of personal “laws.” These self-imposed rules, when followed, are designed to have us feel healthy, alive and proud. It’s a great system…mostly.
I am so grateful to have laws for my body and for food; since I’ve implemented them, my mind has become so quiet. But I have a loophole. If I keep all my rules (eating only fruits, veggies and protein essentially) and I exercise according to my plan such that I stay in the weight range I like, then I get to have a “cheat meal” once a week. I get to eat whatever I want and in any amount. It’s really fun to plan and fantasize about. Last night my long awaited “cheat meal” consisted of Ethiopian vegetarian mesob (you haven’t had carbs ’til you’ve had Ethiopian bread!), cookies, doughnuts and sorbet.
Turns out it wasn’t as good as I thought. I felt crappy pretty fast. And I had to wonder, is the build up better than the binge itself?  Is this excessive meal really a fit for my integrity?
Holidays are coming up, lots of opportunity for well-justified over-eating, right? This next week I am going to test out whether or not moderation actually feels better. My new rule is that my cheat meal consists of no more than one serving of starch and one serving of dessert. We’ll see if I lose the fun of the build-up or the eating experience. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Here are my ideas for you, as you enter this spring holiday season:

  • Consider whether or not the fun part is the idea of eating decadently or the actual eating itself.
  • For a special occasion, try a small serving of something decadent instead of going all out.
  • To curb at-home home bingeing, stock up on healthy snacks or diversions. There are so many tasty choices: a tropical fruit, special tea, bowl of applesauce, fresh raw nuts or a great piece of gum often work for me.
  • Instead of eating, write down all your thoughts and feelings, or call and connect with a friend. Nourish yourself in another way.

All the best,