Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Crooked Path to Wellness

In an ideal world, we would all proceed happily down a path to wellness unencumbered by temptation, fatigue, budget restraints, travel food, and feeders. We'd arrive at our new and improved destination lighter, stronger, and healthier with a smile and in record time!  But, we all know that isn't exactly the case. In the course of any given week we face meals in restaurants, social events with tempting food, and the late-night munchies.  Losing weight is hard, yo.

That's why some people choose to have a "cheat day" built into their nutrition plan. I hate this idea. In fact, when a cheat day is included, I might as well go back to calling it a diet because that's what it is.  I'm known for preaching that a cheat day only cheats you, and I stand by that.  Here's why: if you're eating well, getting rest, exercising vigorously, and living a positive and healthy life, you shouldn't need (and likely won't want) to cheat. 

But that's not to say that every day is a nutritional fairy tale.  Yep, I'm going to ask you to change your perspective again. :)

Cheat, just like the word diet, is a negative word that implies that we are in such a desperate state that we have no alternative but to hide in secret and sabotage our efforts. When people cheat, it is because they don't have the confidence that they can succeed otherwise.  When we cheat, we are saying, "I can't do this on my own."  Why would we say such mean things to ourselves when we're in the process of doing something so amazing?

Remember, we're not on a diet anymore, we're changing our nutrition. And yes, on that nutrition path are some diversions. There are times when we wander off the path and explore a diversion, some of which are well worth it (your absolute favorite dessert, for example) and some of which are not (eating something sugary just because it's there).  Here's the difference between and cheat and a diversion:

A cheat is a negative message that tells us we can't handle our weight and wellness on our own.

A diversion is a positive message sent in the confidence that we have the skill set to keep the portion manageable and return to our regularly scheduled programming.

The difference to your brain is enormous.

I'll agree, sometimes there is nothing better than that rebellious feeling you have when you throw caution to the wind and say, to hell with it, make mine a double-scoop!  It feels great!  But trust me, it feels even better to know that the choice to do so can be a positive one.

You can manage your weight and wellness with confidence.  You don't need to cheat on yourself. You deserve better than that.

Positive self-talk is more powerful than we know. Just saying one positive message to yourself activates your brain to be happier and more optimistic. Try it today. Stop cheating, start winning, and get out there and get healthy!


Ellen said...

Well said, Heather. It's amazing how powerful language can be.

I love the concepts of nutrition and diversions, rather than diet and cheating.

Positive thinking = success.

Jacob Bastomski said...

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