An important blog post I have been wanting to share for awhile and with Thanksgiving approaching it’s an ideal time to address a topic I get asked about a ton.
What about the infamous Treat, Cheat, “Carb up” meal(s)? Inquiring minds want to know, do I encourage people to come off their diet to occasionally indulge in one of these cheat type meals?
Unfortunately, like most things in life, there is no perfect answer to this question that fits Everyone. At the end of the day, you have to know yourself. Normally, I would tell people to enjoy a meal, relax, life is too short; get right back on track the next day!
Problem with this “one size fits all” approach? Not every one can get right back on the horse the next day. Eating, overeating in particular, can be a very emotional activity, it’s often not just satisfying a physiological demand.
Many people I have worked with over the years have a very combustible relationship with food. They have had serious eating disorders of various kinds. Whether it’s bulimia, binge eating, whatever, I have seen it all. Some of these people cannot simply indulge in a “cheat” meal and get right back on track.
No, unfortunately, these actions can serve as a trigger to send them spiraling back into their addictive, often negative, relationship with food.
Many of you know in reading my posts that if I am not preparing for anything imminent where I have to achieve my best condition, I will once a week enjoy a treat meal with my husband. This is a special time to stop counting calories and enjoy a few treats.
That being said, I know myself, good and bad. I know I can indulge and not hate myself in the morning. (Trust me, it wasn’t always this way!) I have struggled in my past to find this balance I have currently found.
So, to make a long story short, my advice, know yourself! Be honest with yourself. Will this treat/cheat meal leave me in a better place or set me back in a way where the consequences will offset the positive, temporary enjoyment.
Stress or emotional eating is a slippery slope and you must respect this if you have a history of abuse.
This Thanksgiving, enjoy what you want to enjoy, eat what you feel like you want/need to eat; but most of all be Thankful you’re in a position to make these choices, many are not!
Thanks for taking the time to read this,
Amy Jo — in San Diego, California.