Total Weight Loss

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cheat Days

Ahhh...cheat days!!! For six weeks, 42 days, to be exact, I had stayed 100% compliant with my eating plan. I strayed neither to the left nor to the right. I stayed on plan without fail. This was not easy to say the least, but one of the motivating factors was knowing that I had a cheat day coming up. I made a list of what all I was going to eat on my cheat days. Any time I got a craving, I'd go write it on my list. I no longer have that list, but two of the top items were ice cream and pizza.

Oddly enough, I could go 6 weeks without eating either thing in my non-diet mode and never think about it. But there is something psychological about saying that something is taboo, that is all that is wanted then. BTW, have you ever noticed how many food commercials there are on TV. Again, one of those things that hardly makes a blip on the radar until it is forbidden. All of the food advertised on TV is in that category no matter how healthy the claim. I've thought a time or two about keeping a list, but haven't yet. If I do, I'll post my results here. Back to the feast...

I have never been a binger. In fact, I held people that binged in some sort of esteem. I was awed by the fact that one person could down a whole bag of Oreos at one sitting. I've even tried to binge a time or two. The closest I ever came was eating a whole box of Tagalongs (Girl Scout cookies) during the course of a day. They only have about 15 cookies, so it wasn't a great feat at all. I even had to force the last couple down, just so that I could say I ate the whole box!! It is sort of a strange way of thinking to be sure, and I should probably seek help for it one day.

I don't say that as any sort of bragging or bravado. Obviously, I overate. One doesn't tip the scales at 250+ by eating light. Once again I was going to give binging a whirl. I'd earned it, right!?!?! I planned my cheat days for Saturday and Sunday. That way, I'd have the most time for eating. People might notice at work, if all I did was pile in the food. I warned John beforehand what the plan was. I didn't want to scare him. I went to the store on Friday night to lay in the supplies. I didn't want to waste a precious moment of my eating time at the grocery store. I don't remember everything I got, but I know the list included Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia. I wandered through the store making sure that I got everything on my list and anything else that looked good. I also ordered pizza from Papa John's for supper Saturday night. I ordered a large pizza just for me. I told John to keep his paws off of mine. I ordered him his own.

I tried, I really really tried, but I got sick of it real fast. I ate the ice cream, pizza, donuts, candy, etc. I practically forced myself to eat by the time Sunday night came around. I thought I would regret not eating the food on Monday when I got hungry. What I regretted was the four pounds I'd regained.

I got right back in the saddle on Monday and lost the weight back rather quickly. I did the extreme diet for 3 weeks, and then low carb for 3 weeks, and 2 cheat days. The next time, I extended the dieting phases to 6 weeks each, with only 2 cheat days after the low carb round. I sometimes shortened or extended the phases to accommodate birthdays or other special occasions. Maybe the low carb might be 7 weeks, or 5 weeks so that my cheat days would fall where they needed to. I did manage to keep the cheat days from being all out binges like I did the first time. During the holiday season, instead of having whole cheat days, I had cheat meals along because I couldn't fit all the parties & celebrations in just two days.

I've got to rethink the cheat days/meals going forward. It served me well on the one hand. It kept me on the straight and narrow with regard to eating since I knew that a reprieve was ahead. At the same time, it also reinforced the all or nothing concept that has plagued me with regard to dieting my whole life. I'm either on a diet or not. The reality is, I can't eat like this forever. I've got to find a real life way of eating that includes ice cream and pizza every now & then. It is just very hard for me mentally to make that OK. Like just about all of this journey, it is in the mind.

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