I cheated on my diet and I feel bad about myself
I define of cheating as eating or drinking an unplanned treat. Notice the work “unplanned” here. If you PLAN a treat and eat that treat, you are setting a limit for yourself and keeping the commitment you made to yourself. But, if you eat an unplanned ice cream or pizza, or drink a glass of wine, that can feel really icky. It feels icky because you are breaking a promise you made to yourself and because you are behaving out of sync with your goals and dreams. You might blame this on your weakness or your lack of willpower. I can assure you that willpower has nothing to do with this so just let that thought about yourself go. When you try to use willpower you are trying to conquer your own self, your own thoughts and desires. This is a conflicted view of how we take on life – a person at war with herself. What if instead, you were able to go with the flow of your own natural appetite and satiety, eat when you are hungry, stop when you are not? If you did this, you would find your natural weight and stay there. If you are eating more fuel than your body needs, if you are “cheating” on foods that are keeping you from your goals, you are moving away from the flow of what your body truly needs.
Cheating can help you learn
Cheating is a basically a mistake and mistakes are AMAZING because they are the number one thing we learn from so, instead of castigating yourself, use this mistake as an opportunity to go deeper and to get to know yourself better. Know that your desire for our “forbidden” foods like flour and sugar is completely normal. Our bodies crave cheap sources of energy especially if we have eaten this way for a long time. So what to do?
So, what to do?
First of all…stop! Just because you made a mistake doesn’t mean the day is over. I’ve talked to a lot women who, after they cheat, continue eating off their protocols for the day or even longer. It’s the “screw it, I cheated so the whole day is gone” attitude but it doesn’t have to be this way. Consider this a mistake. So…you made a mistake. So what? Just get right back on your eating protocol IMMEDIATELY and try to figure out what prompted the cheat. Most importantly, DO NOT beat yourself up for making this mistake. In fact, you are NOT allowed to beat yourself up EVER.
Now, go deeper…
Ask yourself “What was I thinking just before I ate this?” and: “Why was I thinking this?” Ask yourself: “Are those thoughts are serving my goals?” Thoughts are merely habits and you have the power to change your habits. So, once you begin noticing your thoughts you have an amazing tool to change your life because you are creating those thoughts yourself and you have the power to change them. The first step is simply awareness. First, identify the thought(s) then write it down on paper. If you try to just think of them in your brain, your brain will play tricks on you and keep giving you new thoughts. Write things down, it slows the brain down so you can really work on yourself to make deep and lasting change. Once you have the thought on paper, decide if you want to keep it or ditch it.
The late Wayne Dyer, a well-known motivational speaker and author, has a wonderful way of talking about choosing your thoughts. He says thoughts come by on a conveyer belt. You pick one up but you can also put it back and pick up another one. Your thoughts are the creative force behind your success so choose them carefully. If you pick one up that doesn’t serve you, just put it back on the conveyer belt. If you start recognizing non-productive thoughts and replacing them with ones that serve you, you will be far less likely to cheat on your diet or any long-term goals you have for your life.