(Originally posted on www.myfitnesspal.com on July 23, 2012)
I know that "Cheat Days" are supposed to be the time when you indulge...allow yourself the things you deny yourself the rest of the time...perhaps celebrate a milestone.
I'm set up to have a Cheat Day once a week. Typically it's on Sundays, since we go out to eat after church. So yesterday was my first cheat day.
And I couldn't do it.
Oh, technically I did. I allowed myself some banana bread with my lunch salad (but only one slice of the two that were served) and I had an itty little bitty ice cream bar late last night - the first chocolate I'd tasted in at least a week.
But I still stayed under my calorie goal, and I didn't even enjoy the ice cream bar that much. (Anyone who knows me will now need a moment to pick themselves up off the floor.)
See, Cheat Day is a two-horned devil for me.
One horn is that I don't want to cheat, eat more than I have been, and undo any progress that has been made. I know...I know...you can recover quickly from an occaional binge. But I just have a very hard time thinking in those terms. I'm so afraid that if I start to backslide at all, I won't stop. (Remember...I've dieted before and have always quit and then gained more.)
But the REAL issue for me - Horn #2, so to speak - is that I have an all-or-nothing personality. Either I'm hard core and extreme, or I'm nothing at all. And allowing myself an occasional Cheat is like opening the bottle and letting the genie out. You may never get him back in again, and I may lose the self-discipline that I've had. It's better to not even take the cork out of the bottle.
So maybe I'll save Cheat Days for *really* special events - birthdays, holidays, other big celebrations. At least for now, until I know I can control the genie better.