Friday, February 17, 2006

On cheating

So I have a personal trainer now. Part of the program is of course an eating plan -- not just to lose weight, but to be healthier -- to make sure I get enough of the right nutrients, etc. It doesn't rule out any food group (well, except sugar, for now); it's a 40/30/30 plan. My calorie intake is based on my resting metabolic rate and all that fancy scientific stuff. However. I am allowed a "Cheat Meal" once a week, where I can eat anything I want within a 2-hour period. I mean, I should probably not down an entire carrot cake, but you know -- I can get a burger, fries, a shake... with no guilt. Or at least, that's the plan.

Because this was my first week on the plan, it was also my first Cheat Meal and I admit it, i was nervous. I couldn't pinpoint why, exactly; I should have been ecstatic, right? I should have been fantasizing about it all week, right? So today was the day, and all the way home from work I was totally stressing out, going back and forth on what I wanted. I was kind of disappointed that I wasn't starving to death (which is, you know, GOOD) and that I wasn't craving anything. Finally, at the last minute, I swerved into Sonic, my old friend, and got an old fave, a combo meal with a sweetheart brownie shake (note to self: not worth the calories). I had a knot in the pit of my stomach the whole time. I got home, ate it, and felt sick for the next hour. But mostly, the guilt. Oh, the guilt. Sooo guilty. I felt like I'd totally erased what I'd done all week, and that's when it hit me; I was nervous about my Cheat Meal because in the past, if I've fallen off the wagon while on a diet, that was my mental signal to give up and just eat whatever and blow off the whole thing. I am a perfectionist in some ways (and only some ways), and as far as diets go, it's always been all or nothing. Which is not realistic and is why I have never succeeded on any of my previous diets. So it was really hard for me and made me really uncomfortable eating "bad" food tonight.

This is something i'll talk to my trainer about on Sunday, because obviously, I have issues. As lame as this sounds, I want to find out if the Cheat Meal is mandatory; I know, I'm totally crazy, right?? It just fucks with my mind to be "allowed" to "cheat", after a week of whole grains and yogurt and exercising. So does this just go to show that I am a person who will always feel guilty about something, even something I'm told is nothing to feel guilty about??

Then again, maybe this whole Cheat Meal philosophy is a sneaky way of ... well... fucking with my mind. I mean, here I am wondering if I **have** to eat it! And I got no enjoyment out of it whatsoever. None. And maybe that's the point -- to take the "magic" out of food. To force me to deal with difficult emotions with something other than food.

so. there's that.


Tamara said...

First of all good for you for doing this! As far as cheating, could it simply be the rebel in you more than the perfectionist? When you "can't have it," you want it, you do it anyway, you "cheat." But when you CAN - when you're allowed to, nay, SUPPOSED to, when it's actually part of the plan, well, that's just no fun, is it? I think you may be face-to-face with your very own independent, rebellious side, a lovely part of the picture we all see of you.

Crazy MomCat said...

See, the idea behind the 1 day is a good one, I think. I give myself 1 day on the Weight Watchers plan to eat badly if I so choose. Usually, it amounts to 1 meal out somewhere that I don't have to stress about it. But, I also don't want to kill all my hard work, so I'm better than I used to be. So, I'd get something grilled WITH my margarita rather than 10-cheese enchiladas with added queso on top.

Thanks for explaining more about the diet plan. It sounds a lot like what I've been reading about the Sonoma diet...or kind of like The Zone. Keep us posted with how it goes!!!

Babs said...

I think the trick will be to have your Cheat Meal when you're going out to Happy Hour with us! Queso. Tortillas. Chips. Margaritas. Oooooh, and the free praline from Matt's El Rancho. YUM. Can we schedule your next Cheat Meal now, please?!?!? :)

btw, I agree with Tam. It takes all the fun out of cheating when you're TOLD to do it. It's like you're saying "Screw you! I refuse to cheat when you tell me to!"

Lisabell said...

Y'all may be right about the rebellious thing. God, I could write a whole post about THAT little issue of mine...

Anyway, I talked to my trainer today, and she said that it is GOOD to overeat once a week because it lets your body know you're not starving from low calorie consumption -- and your metabolism doesn't slow down as a result of that. Hm. So Babs -- how about next Thursday or Friday night? :)