Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Cheat Day

We've all seen The Rock's Instagram page, right?  He posts the most epic cheat days.  Stacks of pancakes.  Donuts.  I don't know.  Carbs galore.  Whenever I see those photos, I immediately go into sugar shock and can't clearly the see the photo anymore.  What's a cheat day?  It's when people who are on a "diet" throw caution to the wind and shove every bad food they can find into their piehole for an entire day.  For some people, it's once a week.  For others, it may be a monthly.  For me, that's called a binge and it's part of an eating disorder.  To each his own.

My first issue with cheat days is the value judgment it seems to put on food.  I do try very hard not to say certain foods are good or bad (I fail at this often).  Yes, certain foods are better or worse for my body, but putting a moral judgment on whether I just ate a cupcake doesn't sit well with me.  I'm not a terrible person for eating it.  I just get to feel crappy after I make that choice.  So, I didn't "cheat" if I ate that cupcake.  I just chose to eat something that I knew would make me sweaty and tired.

I used to be all about everything in moderation.  Rather than engage in cheat days, I figured it would be smarter to just eat anything I want, in small amounts.  Then I learned that I don't have the ability to moderate certain foods.  Such as jellybeans.  Or really, sugar in general.  I literally became known as the cupcake girl.  Certain foods trigger a binge for me.  I was never a "sit-in-the-closet-and-eat-an-entire-pizza-and-chocolate-cake" kind of girl.  But I could (and still can) graze all day and eat tons of foods I didn't need.  For example, if I picked up a bag of Jolly Rancher jellybeans, I could eat a 1,500 calorie bag in a day or two.  Let's forget the calories and just talk about the sugar rush and dump I was putting my body through all...day...long.  I was taxing my liver.  Causing inflammation.  Why would I do that to myself?

So now that I'm limiting sugar and gluten, what would a cheat day do to me?  Well, only a few days after cutting bread out, I went to a birthday dinner and ate a dinner roll.  It wasn't a huge piece of bread, but it was bread.  After dinner, I started feeling a pain in my gut.  It was like I was being stabbed repeatedly in my lower intestine.  That was fun.  Eating too much sugar causes me to sweat profusely, get incredibly tired, and has very literally almost made me pass out.  Sounds like a party.  Sign me up!

I can't remember if I wrote about it here (I probably did but life has been so crazy lately and I'm too lazy to go back and look), but one day, as I was making the long drive back from Rob's house, I stopped by McDonald's.  I hadn't eaten McDonald's in a very long time.  Even before I started this journey with Ellen, McDonald's was something my body had a hard time tolerating.  That being said, I wasn't immune from an occasional craving for a Big Mac.  Anyway, half way through a four hour drive, I was not exactly surrounded by a ton of great food options, and decided to grab McDonald's.  I gobbled it down while I was driving (I love the word "gobble"...it so describes my relationship with food.  I don't eat, I gobble!).  I can't remember how quickly the reaction started.  But I feel like it was fairly swift.  My throat closed up and my stomach hurt.  And I had a two hour drive home.  The throat closing was weird.  Apparently there was something in the food that my body did not like.  And for the next three days, any time I put any food in my mouth, my throat started to close again.  It was crazy.  I have not had a single bite of McDonald's since.

While I understand the mentality of those who enjoy their "cheat day," I have determined that cheat days aren't for me.  I would much rather continue to make good food choices on a daily basis instead of eating a ton of food that hurts my body from the inside out.  I also would prefer not to stand around in public sweating, exhausted, doubled over in pain and trying not to shit my pants.  Does this mean I won't ever eat something "bad" for me?  No, of course not.  It just means that I know the things I can "cheat" with and pay fewer consequences.  

Do you do cheat days?  How do they work for you?

Sprinkes Cupcake from October 2013 - they were actually too sweet for me

Birthday minion cupcakes from August 2013

3 comments:

  1. Great blog Lori...after competing one year and eating really clean, I decided I was going to eat all the junk I didn't allow myself to have, I even ate stuff I normally didn't eat, but I decided I was I was entitled to it after such strict eating..I ate so much from chili fries to a hot fudge sundae...needless to say, my cheat day cheated me out of a whole day because I was locked in the bathroom for hours...not a good day. After that I decided my body wasn't even happy with all that food and neither was I...I only thought I wanted it because I told myself...yeahhh now I can cheat and have whatever I want! I think cheat is a sneaky word making us think its ok....

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    1. Yeah I pay for cheat days for at least three days now! I'm even skipping donut day at work! it's so much easier this way!

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  2. When you are very healthy, a single cheat meal will make you feel sick because it is your body showing you that the food you're taking in is poison.

    Many years ago, for health reasons, I had to go on the candida diet. It is extremely restrictive. I felt healthier and more mentally clear than I had in many years. But my inner food addict was unhappy.

    When my health improved, I started binging on the foods I had been denied. They made me sick but I kept eating them anyway. Eventually they didn't anymore. Trust me, your body rebelling when you eat bad foods is a GOOD thing. Getting past that point is not where you want to be. It is a lot of work to get back on track again... :(

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