Friday, August 24, 2012

Drop the word cheat, replace it with "choice"

I chose this salad, the roll got sequestered.
 Wheat roll, just before the slam dunk in the trash, bye bye

I'm picking a rule, with a sub-rule from Refuse to Regain (by Barbara Berkeley, MD) to write about. My opinions are my own, your experience may vary.  I would highly recommend the book.

Replace the word cheat with choice. I always disliked the word cheat. Being the glasses wearing, test taking student that I was, I had my fair share of students in school trying to cheat from my paper. I disliked it a lot. Ask me for tips before the test, study with me, but try and cheat during the test- forget it. Find somebody else! Go away and stay away. What a waste of effort! Weak!

Anyhoo, the book talks about using the word cheat and how you can turn it into a "burden that's being imposed on you" rather than making the life long choice changes that need to come with weight maintenance.

The author recommends getting rid of the word cheat and owning the "I made a choice and I've got to deal with it".  I LOVE that. Ownership, responsibility, focus on your mental game, on steps to take to correct a failure ( think slippery slope thinking, lapses, loss of focus).

In the photos above, I chose a Cobb salad with no dressing, and a cup of coffee and ice water for the road (not pictured). I had been hiking all over the place, all afternoon. In the past, I would have chosen something similar with a cookie, and the roll. "I've earned this cookie/roll" or it won't hurt to eat/cheat this meal because I hiked sooooo long.  Or, I just weighed in at WW, I can have this cookie! It won't show up on the scale next week.....

Yeah, right! That so did not work for me.  Now I can choose  acceptable food from my basic paleo primal-ish template. I choose not to eat wheat or most processed sugar. I choose low inflammatory foods. And, those choices are paid back to me everyday. I own it. I choose to feel good, to have my clothes fit, and to focus on my goals- both weight and non-weight. Sweeter than any cookie or roll could ever be. Sometimes I lapse but I do not cheat.

Discuss!  I know is just wording, but how powerful is it to OWN it? Yeah! Stepping off soap box now....


  1. Hey Karen, Excellent observations as always. Really nothing to discuss. You GET IT!! Isn't it nice to turn the corner where the choices become what you WANT rather than what you feel like you HAVE to do?

  2. Yes! It does feel good to have the food choices be ones that I really do want and not that I have to have. It took about 6 weeks into my weight loss ( without exposure to trigger foods) for that change to happen. Then there was no turning back. Really a key part of my maintnence now.

  3. Great soap box to be on and I totally agree. :)

  4. Love this idea!! I have also recently started calling my 'snack' my 4th meal. For me, snack implies that I get to have some sort of sweet treat - and even if that is snack is a fruit and nut at this stage of the game - I know that I need to stop treating the word snack like an indulgence and make better choices. If I call the same calories a 'meal' then it becomes less of a 'thing' and I tend to go for the protein and veggies. If that makes sense!

  5. So true! I stared to think of my mid afternoon meal as a "fueling". Sometimes I need it, sometimes not. Snack reminds me of those 100 calorie snack packs. It totally makes since Jenn.

    1. Sense! It makes sense. Typing on the iPad again.......

  6. Great replacement of both the words and the concepts. There is no cheating because we have nothing to cheat on. We are on a life plan not a diet plan.