Atomic Beasters

I am coming to you this week, humbled by cake. Delicious, moist, frosted cake. It was my brother-in-law’s 40th wedding anniversary and we had a fabulous celebration commemorating the event. I told myself earlier in the day that I had worked hard and I earned, no DESERVED, a cheat meal and would savor every bite. So, I had two beer soaked bratwursts, a small bit of potato salad, some baked beans and two (YES 2) pieces of cake. I had absolutely no self control when it came to the cake. It was a beautiful chocolate and vanilla cake, with marshmallow butter cream frosting. The slices were generous. Later that evening, I had the worst stomach ache I’d had in years. I felt like there was a lead bullet in my stomach. I was very lethargic and sad, like I had let myself down. “Hey!” I thought to myself, “You deserved this!” I didn’t sleep well that night and when I awoke the next morning and weighed myself, I had gained 2 pounds. “It’s only 2 pounds,” I again thought to myself. “I will lose it this week.” And I did. But that week, I lost and gained the same two pounds. Do you ever find yourself on that merry-go-round of work hard all week, lose a few pounds, eat a cheat meal and gain all that weight back? It is a common habit that can be not only disheartening to see when it happens, but can also derail you from your goals and even cause you to quit. Cheat meals, in my opinion, should be considered just that. Cheating. Cheating yourself out of the hard work and good nutrition that you have cultivated for yourself, cheating yourself out of the positive habits you’ve formed and a cheat of your time. This is not to say that I don’t believe in rewarding yourself for positive results. Consider this: instead of indulging in a cheat meal, how about a TREAT meal? A meal that, while a bit different than the normal nutritious meals and snacks you normally eat, you add a small treat in to reward yourself for your hard work and dedication. For example: instead of a whole treat meal, how about a small dessert? Or a half portion of your favorite meal instead of the whole plate? I like to think of the word TREAT as inspiring positive feedback and keeping the focus on the goals, without throwing the baby out with the bathwater, as my Grandma used to say. For me, cake is a trigger. I really have to have self discipline when I am eating cake so that it’s just a treat and not a cheat of all that I have worked for. What is your opinion on cheat meals? Have you found a successful way to manage them and still meet your goals? Let’s chat about it on Atomic Strong (link below)! Until we meet again, M~

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