Cheat Days. The concept is tantalizing! But on this episode of Weight Loss for Food-Lovers we hear from Molly why it’s a strategy that might not be as fun as it sounds. For many people one “cheat day” leads to more and for others it simply sets up a dichotomy that reinforces eating with abandon as a strategy for numbing, easy pleasure or distraction. It’s not a deeply rooted, long-term sustainable plan.
Molly defines the concept of a “cheat day” and breaks down exactly how – by definition – the concept can wind up nothing more than a betrayal of self. Instead she proposes a paradigm shift built around integrating food, desire and moderation into everyday choices. That’s every day. All the time. Without feeling deprived, or frenzied by intermittent abandon.
You’ll look at the concept of “cheat days” in a whole new way after listening to this podcast and considering what it really means to live an authentic, mindful, balanced and nourishing life. Not feast or famine. Not “good” days or “bad.” Just a steady program that brings food choices into balance and fulfills you mind, soul and body’s truest needs. If you’re doing that, are “cheat days” then really even a thing?
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· Molly defines the concept of a “cheat day.”
· Permanent weight loss is about changing a system of belief and the paradigm through which you look at food choices.
· Further breaking down what it means to cheat. It’s a two-part definition:
o To act honestly or unfairly to gain an advantage: Who are we cheating on? Ourselves. We’re being unfair to the part of ourselves that don’t like overindulging or using food as a way to deal with emotions; the part seeking something better and healthier that cheating only short changes.
o To avoid by luck or skill: What are we avoiding with cheat days? The process of taking care of ourselves in a way that truly satisfies our inner needs and desire.
· Cheat days create a dichotomy between indulgence and virtue, good and bad, that becomes problematic. We are then assigning moral value to how we follow our plan when in fact it should just be neutral.
· It’s possible to hold multiple and nuanced thoughts about how we nourish ourselves, which can be moderated and modulated in a sustainable way.
· Cheating both amplifies desire and teaches your brain:
o It’s okay to respond with abandon to spontaneous desire.
o It’s okay to reinforce the practice of eating for fun or to numb emotions.
· Very often one cheat day can bleed into the next because the brain has switched over to responding to urges without intentionality.
· Molly invites us to consider living in full integrity with ourselves, in a place of self-trust based on what we – our whole selves – truly want in life.
· “It sounds enticing to do a program that gives some leeway to cheat. It sounds kind of exciting, so I can understand why people sign up for something like this and even believe that somehow it works.”
· “Deep down, intuitively, there’s a side of us that is waiting for our true needs and desires to be answered.”
· “When we decide to cheat on ourselves by giving in to spontaneous desire for food and overeating and overdrinking, we’re not being fair to that authentic need and true self (that wants more).”
· “When you believe you’re being either ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ it creates a lot of guilt and shame and regret.”
· “What if there was no need to cheat? What if it was all just one big choice that you could make for yourself based on everything you want – how you want to look, how you want to feel, how much energy and focus you need to live the life you want.”
Links & Resources
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