Tuesday, March 1, 2011

i cheated on valentine’s day!

Unfortunately, we all cheat at something, on someone, or ourselves… and for me it was the later. I cheated on myself and my paleo ways, and I was too ashamed to admit it to you… but how is that helpful, we all stumble and fall… Life is about getting back up and trying again!

Over the past two months I cheated (knowingly and on purpose) twice; once on Valentine’s Day and once in January (I was hosting a girl’s night out party, and served sandwiches, puffed pastries, and candy!!!). Back in January, I knowingly ate sandwiches, consumed too much white wine, and engorged myself on candy conversation hearts; this was a mistake! I awoke the following morning, to the hangover to end all hangovers. Not only had I imbibed way too much alcohol, but my body was in revolt over the lethal amount of gluten, sugar, and overly processed, nutrient-lacking crap! My belly was bloated, my head floating, and I was out of commission for the entire day. NOT GOOD!

Valentine ’s Day was different, I had wanted to let it all go, not care about the gluten, or sugar, or anything else; but I couldn’t! I tried to get a big hearty order of pasta, complete with garlic bread and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Instead, I tried to “balance” my cheat, and make it as un-cheaty as possible (what a stupid idea!!!). We ordered Chinese--- steamed seafood and veggies: GOOD! (although it tasted like crap), spare ribs: OK (covered in a sauce I’m sure wasn’t paleo friendly), wonton soup AND steamed pork dumplings: OVERKILL! (I should have had one or the other--- ok, I really shouldn't have had either--- no need for all that DOUGH and salt!). Within 30 min I knew it had been a mistake… my belly was bloated, my stomach was churning, I was getting sleepy… and to make it worse- our very first Valentine's Day Dinner as a married couple had SUCKED!!! I would have rather had a nice big steak with some mashed sweet potatoes... the only saving grace was that my wonderful husband had made me organic dark chocolate covered strawberries for dessert!

Dr Cordain, Paleo Diet Daddy, says that any cheat meal is fine up to 3 times per week (try to stay gluten free during these times). However, if weight loss is one of your goals, you should not be cheating, at least for the first 30 days. Now, cheating really confuses me… it’s like you know what you are doing is bad, you know you shouldn’t be eating that slice of pizza, or that hot pressed Panini, but you’re going to do it anyways. For a couple minutes of pleasure you are going to have to endure hours of suffering later in the day. It just makes no sense. But we do it anyways: completely masochistic... So I'm sorry Dr Cordain, but I disagree! I just don't get it...

I honestly believe there should not be any “cheating”, maybe it's just the word that I have a problem with, instead be flexible, especially when eating out. When in a compromising dining situation, ask yourself some questions: do I really want to eat that dessert, do I need to eat BLANK to “fit in”, how will I feel after eating this, is it worth being physically uncomfortable for hours after this meal, or can’t I be strong enough to resist this hot, oozy, gooey, cheesy, 5 lb. rice and bean filled burrito? Most times you will see that passing up that burrito in exchange for a taco salad (no shell), loaded up with meat, veggies, tomato salsas and guacamole (no beans, corn or rice!) is far more satisfying and will not leave you in agonizing pain after the meal.

Another problem I see with cheating is that if you cheat once, will you then spend your time dreaming about the next time you can cheat, and planning it out? Would you tell a recovering alcoholic that an occasional drink is okay? No! While placing addiction to alcohol in the same category as an addiction to grains, sugars, and other processed foods may seem a little aggressive, it’s not far off. An addiction is an addiction and those addicted need the same help to stop. So, don’t cheat on your paleo ways and yourself. Getting off the sweet stuff will be hard; don’t make it harder by cheating on yourself 2-3 times a week. It is going to be challenging to making over your diet and lifestyle, so if you fall off the wagon: don’t beat yourself up. Just get up tomorrow, and start your day with some scrambled eggs and bacon, or a smoothie and remember: it’s so easy a caveman did it!

have you been cheating on your healthy lifestyles too? Do you plan your cheats, or do they "just happen." Let me know!

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