I sent out a personal and candid email to my Sweat Unfiltered crew explaining 5 ways I’ve shifted from perfectionist food goals and ended up losing weight and stress out of my life.
(You can read the full email by clicking here and join the email list here if you love this sort of get real and get gritty coaching you need to enjoy your fitness journey again.)
This blog post is the instruction manual with the accompanying print out worksheet so you can #GSD better and faster and put all the concepts from the email into practice ASAP.
1. I cheat… every damn day.
The way I began to cheat daily is not the way I cheat now.
I’ve built up tons of self trust that wasn’t there before.
If you’re diving into this as a complete beginner, I highly suggest you spend a little extra at the grocery store and buy your cheats PRE-PACKAGED so that the portion decision has been made for you.
This was huge for me b/c I walked into this cheat daily thing already PERCEIVING myself as “that person” that can’t have just one. I sort of mentally set myself up to fail so I needed to put my trust on Nabisco and Kraft to “mother” me a bit and literally hand me my ration.
Btw, Don’t save extra pennies at Sam’s or Costco by buying in bulk either.
Research tells us you actually consume FASTER with high quantities of food so the last thing you want to do is consume a cheat FASTER! Am I right????
2. I make sure this cheat ANSWERS directly to my desires.
I love chocolate and peanut butter as a general rule. But sometimes that tangy vinegar and salt flavor has my heart. Some weeks I’m all into things crunchy and other times I like things cold and gooey.
So when I head to the grocery store I tune in very clearly as to what my FORBIDDEN FRUIT for the week is supposed to be.
I go on the hunt so I can apply protocol #1 above if possible.
After all, if you remember from the email, I’m totally human. Zero will power super powers here.
If I can hand over a few extra bucks to the genius who has decided to pre-portion my nutella for the week, I’m in.
3. Oh, and if your brain is all bothered by the word cheat… insert the word compromise.
Okay, so you like to be perfect and you hate the word cheat.
Maybe cheating seems like what the “weak, undedicated, and unmotivated” do. It’s just not hard core enough for you.
Then don’t call it a cheat… call it a compromise.
Smart people compromise and you do consider yourself smart, right?
Let’s say you just finished up dinner and it’s the 3rd night in a row you’re relying on will power not to drink b/c you’ve decided ZERO wine for 60 days is the only way you’re going to lose weight.
You put the kids to bed and you are pretty much fantasizing, salivating even, about that bottle of Pinot Grigio.
You could CHEAT… I mean compromise. You could find a middle ground.
Research tells us that your will power WILL give way eventually when cravings peak continuously like this.
Research tells us that when you cave in after deprivation, the results are often not very pretty.
So… can we take a step back and visualize this:
If deprivation means ZERO wine for 60 days and binge means a bottle of wine every night for 60 days are there not like infinite solutions in between that?
Are there not some very strategic ways to take the edge off so your weight loss journey isn’t miserable?
1. Every 3rd day or every other day, I’m going to have 2 servings of my most favorite wine.
2. Buy your wine in those small pre-packaged bottles. They come 4-6 per package depending on the brand. This allows you for a glass per night. No left over wine just sitting the bottle calling your name!
3. Allow for a Friday and Saturday GNO or date night where you just get to decompress and have a few glasses of your favorite.
Sure, all out annihilation might get you “there” faster… but did it actually prepare you for real life?
Did you actually spend those 60 days learning what to do post prohibition?
What serves you more in the long run… compromise/cheat or deprivation?
4. I 100% recognize that “I’ll never eat this again!” is an all out lie!!
Never say never… like never ever!
Call this spade a spade.
It’s a lie.
It’s a way for you to temporarily give yourself permission to do the shit you know you’re not supposed to do.
Combat this by OWNING THE HELL OUT OF YOUR ACTIONS!
That bag of chips, that row of oreo cookies, that bottle of wine… it was a CHOICE!
And maybe it wasn’t a wise choice, maybe it wasn’t the best choice, but it happened and it could have happened b/c of other “perfectionist” decision made prior!!!
So here’s where #5 becomes HUGE!!!! 4 and 5 work as a TEAM!!!!
5. When we fall short of expectations… don’t take a guilt trip… go off roadin’ and get gritty and go down memory lane!!!
ASK QUESTIONS. Don’t get judgemental.
Your inner conversation should not be all, “I’m gross and fat and weak!”
Your head should be whirling with questions like…
“Well damn, that pan of brownies just happened. Shit.
1. What time of the month is it? Did I just let my hormones get the best of me? Should I start tracking my period and see if there’s a pattern?
2. How much did I eat today? yesterday? Have I cut my calories too far back? Maybe I need to track my calories for the next 72 hours and actually SEE how much/how little I’m eating?
3. Uhm, did I just cope with stress with food? Holy hell, am I an emotional eater? Maybe I need to keep a little journal of my day. See where my stress is coming from, give myself a outlet?
4. Is my cardio or my overall workout regimen getting the best of me? Am I over exercising? Should I add a recovery meal so this doesn’t happen again? I’m going to try this starting tomorrow and for the next week and see what happens. Will I binge? Will I binge less?
5. Am I adding in a workout to cancel out a binge and getting into an unhealthy food/exercise cycle? Tomorrow, no cardio… even though I really really want to b/c I just ate like 5,000 calories and I feel like I should. A binge does not get canceled out by extra cardio.
6. If I had eaten a brownie earlier in the day like I wanted, would this have happened? Is there a compromise I can find? Let’s experiment with a mid afternoon cheat. If the kids get a fun after school snack, maybe I should do. “
Here’s the thing guys…
DEPRIVATION is not weight loss management.
It’s MISMANAGEMENT and that’s why it doesn’t work!
Managing anything requires more decisions than yes or no.
It’s more than do this and don’t do that.
It’s more than eat this and don’t eat that.
It’s literally a constant ebb and flow of decisions with uncertain outcomes! It requires constant engagement and awareness.
AND that’s why PIVOTING away from deprivation is SO DAMN HARD!
So here’s a print out The Cheaters Cheat Sheet
with a check list and reminders to get your head wrapped around this initially counter intuitive cheating thing.
I’d want you to apply it this week.
See how it goes and I’d love nothing more for you to get back to me with all the wins and losses and questions and comments. jeidi@sweathuntsville is where you can find me.
And don’t forget if you enjoyed the email that began this whole conversation, you can get all those insights into your mailbox weekly by joining Sweat Unfiltered