The temptation to cheat is part of everyday living everyday in the real world. We just spent
several minutes disagreeing with each other about this subject and what we should suggest in
this article. We both think our points are more valid of course, so we’ll give you both of them
and try to get to the truth of the matter.
Pearl chats: Serene, cheating is bound to happen. You can’t pretend life is perfect
and that nobody will fall off the horse occasionally. I don’t think we should say, “never
Serene chats: So you’re calling me a nobody? I’m not going to fall off the “horse.” And
why are you calling healthy eating a “horse”? Some people like me cannot enjoy a cheat.
How does something feel like a treat if you know you are poisoning your body, adding to
the aging process, and having to work out harder tomorrow?
Pearl chats: They’re unique thought processes to you. I don’t have those thoughts
when cheating. I’ll have a bag of popcorn when my husband and I do movie dates about
once a month or so, (even with that fake butter stuff they pour all over it). I’ll eat a
small bag of potato chips when I’m on vacation, or a real sugar brownie or two every
now and then, and I am not going to spend the two days of Christmas and Thanksgiv-
ing denying myself anything, and I mean anything! Most people feel this way, and it
is so easy to start back on plan the next day. I have had no problems doing this. Life
should not be all about rules and restrictions.
Pearl, why does a treat always have to be junk? Why do you have to say
you are denying yourself to not partake of junk foods? I splurge at Christmas as well,
but with more expensive and gourmet foods that I normally would not purchase. These
treats are not going to damage me. Christmas and Thanksgiving can be full days of
Crossovers which make me more than satisfied.
Pearl chats: Well, we agree to disagree. Serene, you’ve always had super human self-
control when it comes to what you eat. Most of us are not born with such ability.
Feeling weighed down with shame for cheating can create a worse situation for some
people. I know a few people who feel so awful about themselves for messing up now and
then that they start to self sabotage. Healthy progress is hindered from self punish-
ing choices. They figure, “I can’t get this right, I already messed up so I might as well
drive through and order a large Fry and a Frosty to dig a deeper grave.”
For those who want to eat some forbidden foods once in a while, I say it is fine if
you can handle it. Make sure this doesn’t become a way for you to slip back into your
old habits though. Serene has a point. Some cheats I wouldn’t do because they are so
unhealthy for the body. If at all possible, I urge you to stay away from fast food fries
or onion rings, large amounts of potato chips, or other trans fatty foods. But, if you
do find yourself eating birthday cake and loading up on all that other crazy stuff I just
mentioned, do not say, “Well, I might as well throw this whole program away now. I just
can’t stick to it.”
No, way! Our plan is forgiving and you must offer yourself that same forgiveness.
Shake yourself off and make sure your very next meal is right on plan. You don’t even
have to wait until the next day. Getting back on target is a meal away. Please, don’t
beat yourself up too much. If I find myself cheating, I make sure to have eggs alone
the next morning. I fry up two or three eggs in butter and this somehow tells my body
to get back in line, thank you very much. This is a sure way to help reduce the excess
sugars in my cells and get me back on track.
If our readers aren’t going to beat themselves up, I will do it for them.
Why? Because sometimes love has to be tough. They may say they only cheat on birth-
days, but family birthdays can come several times a month. If they are part of a large
family, or even extended family, they could end up cutting loose all the time.
How can you enjoy the holiday season if you know you are getting heavier and
out of shapier! Okay, I just created a new word, but I am getting heated up on this
Trim Healthy Mama
On that you are right, Serene. I agree we shouldn’t take whole seasons
to cheat. Choose the one or two seasonal parties or occasions and use a sense of
commitment to plan the rest of the time. Many people get colds and flus around the
holiday seasons because they binge on sugars, and this lowers immune defenses.
Some may know how to cheat well and have no problems getting back on plan. For
others, cheating may be a ticket to disaster. Figure out who you are and know your
limitations. Be honest with yourself. It seems I can cheat and jump back on plan easily.
My husband can do this, too. He takes at least three full days over Christmas and
eats to his heart’s content all the things he normally wouldn’t eat. I think he goes
overboard and I’m always relieved when that time is up. I constantly have to zip my lips
and not nag, although somehow my lips open and nagging just pops out—oops!
There will always be temptations. You cannot live in a sheltered balloon. On a daily
basis there will be candy at the gas station . . . yeah, it even calls to me sometimes.
Instead, I tell myself it is not real food and say to myself, “I don’t eat that.” Self talk
works for me.
There will always be cupcakes at a friend’s birthday. There will be all kinds of ridicu-
lous options at the church pot luck. We can’t cocoon ourselves away from it all. But,
it’s not like you can’t make commitments and keep them! And the great thing is that
we have wonderful options of healthy “cheat like” food on our plan. That’s why you can
stick to it; you can have all the indulgences at home.
On the whole, this is a good mindset to keep: be faithful to the plan, but if you
cheat, forgive yourself and don’t dwell on the “Oh No’s” and a mindset of failure that
prevents you from jumping back on the horse—just wrote that for Serene’s sake.