I hate when I hear someone tell me they cheated on their diet. Often they will preface this by saying they were “bad” and feel guilty. I always respond by asking them not to use the word cheat but instead choice.
The word cheat reinforces a diet-mentality and the All-or-Nothing thinking that goes with it.
I call it a choice.
A choice implies deciding based on full presence of mind and full knowledge of the consequences. When I eat something off my normal eating plan, first it’d better be darn good! I’m not going to waste it on some crappy Dominoes pizza! Second, it’s usually something I’ve planned for with full understanding while in my right mind, and by that I mean not when I’m having a craving. I then enjoy every single bite guilt-free and move on.
Is that always true when it comes to food choices?
Probably not, but it is what I strive for.
Even though cravings may still come and I don’t make the best food choice I could have, I still call it a choice. I need to remind myself that ultimately I do have that power and all my years of “dieting” (and the mental torture that comes with it) has not taken that from me. I try to learn from it and move on! Is there anything I could have done that would have helped me make a better choice? Usually it’s because I went too long without eating. I then try to make sure I give myself every advantage to make a good decision, kind of like a pre-emptive strike!
The end result may ultimately be the same but the distinction is important.
Words are powerful.
Get into the habit of thinking in terms of a choice.