I received an email last week and the person on the other end asked me the question: "Did you ever cheat when losing the weight?" Here is the way I look at it. No, I didn't. Cheating is cheating and it will get you nowhere in life no matter what you are trying to "cheat" at. How many people get satisfaction and gratification when they cheat? I personally don't know too many. Most of the time all I hear is complaining and excuses. What about the kids in school who decide to borrow the answers from their neighbor and cheat on a test? What about the people being dishonest just for their own self-gratification and to get what they want? In other words, they lie and cheat their way through life. Regardless, however you want to look at it.... it's cheating.
People need to learn to thrive within themselves and grow and blossom because they have a deep desire within who they are to accomplish what is placed before them, regardless of whether it's related to school, life, food, or anything else that may entice one to cheat their way through life. We need to learn to not rely on someone or something else in order for us to be happy. We need to learn to be self-reliant.
The way I look at it, cheating is nothing but an obsession, addiction, and way of thinking for some people - yes, food being a big one! How many times have you heard someone say they "cheated" and had a small piece of cake at a birthday party? Or how about going for ice cream or ordering a dish at a restaurant you normally don't order? I'm the first to admit at one point in my life I had this same mentality. To be honest, it's all I knew. It's all I believed. I think the point in my life when I came to terms and could admit that I wanted my journey to be a way of life and something that will be part of me for the long haul, is when the word diet and cheating started to fade away. Forever.
I lost all my weight by eating healthy and exercising. I did choose to be very strict with myself and as disciplined as I could to get to my goal. Did this mean I never ate anything naughty? No, of course not. But I will tell you those times were very few and far between for a while and that seemed to work for me. ( I averaged a steady pace of 1-2 pounds a week.) For others, you might need to plan those times more frequently but within reason with what you are trying to accomplish so you still see progress and reach your goals. Part of making it a lifestyle is learning to enjoy all the foods you love, even the naughty ones, in moderation. It can be done. It needs to be done. If we don't learn how to take control of this concept now, we will never be successful and struggling with weight will become a lifelong issue.
I find for me the best way to enjoy treats or "naughty" foods per say is to build them into my menu. I plan for them. Nine times out of ten I know if I'll be attending an event or going out to eat and feeling the need to splurge and have a treat or order something new and fun off the menu. When I plan for it, it makes it a guilt-free experience and allows me to not only enjoy myself, but also allows me to stay focused and in check with my body and what I want it to do for me. It is then very easy to resume my goals and pick up where I had left off.
Now, as I've been maintaining for a year and a half, it's so nice to be able to enjoy all foods, just in moderation. If I hadn't worked at introducing a few treats as I went along, I often wonder how successful I would be at maintaining like I have. I didn't care how long it took me to lose the weight this time, I just wanted it to stay off forever! If that meant doing it the way I did it, well I couldn't be more pleased. Really, there are no limitations...it's all about moderation!