My Motivation Monday posts are usually about gung-ho, kickass, balls-to-the-wall dedication. But let’s be real: we’re all human. None of us, no matter how sexy or sculpted, are perfect. We’ve all snapped out of a craving-induced daze to discover we’re a dozen Oreos deep.
Or maybe that’s just me. Anyways…
The Cheat Meal
We came up with the Cheat Meal – a beloved, sacred tradition among us health nuts. We work hard, sweat our asses off, and eat broccoli and brown rice out of Tupperware for weeks on end. We watch our friends knock back shots and guzzle down an array of fried delicacies with will power and self control.
And, because we’re so dedicated, we get to go nuts once a week. Some do a whole day, some a single meal. Regardless, it’s usually a massive calorie bomb that is probably a driving force behind our broccoli/Tupperware regimen for the rest of each week.
I came to the conclusion that cheat meals don’t work for me. I get so all-or-nothing that I think I’m above the legendary cheat meal and abstain for a few weeks. And then, every time, I end up having a single cheat meal long overdue that stretches into a few cheat days. Or, in the worst scenario, a cheat week.
The Treat Meal
Somewhere in all the craziness I had an ‘aha’ moment. Instead of a single cheat meal a week, what if I indulged – just a little – each day? I’d get to enjoy my hard work and the food I love in moderation. Instead of knowing I wouldn’t get to kick back again for a whole week, I know I can have a little bit of yumminess the next day.
I can’t recall who it was, but I remember reading an article on bodybuilding.com about a female bodybuilder. She was always in competition mode, so instead of cheat meals, she had “treat” meals. She considered them treats because they were things she didn’t normally eat, but were still far from pizza and ice cream. They were things like sushi or a big salad adorned with olive oil and blue cheese. Still whole foods, but not quite clean.
The treat meal made a huge change in my attitude towards training and eating. I don’t feel pouty, angry or deprived. I usually plan out my treat, and usually manage to keep it within my daily calorie range. I also take the time to relax, sit down and enjoy it.
Best of all?
I don’t freak out and raid whatever’s remaining of the container. I feel calm and satisfied, and am already looking forward to doing the same thing tomorrow.
Right now, my favorite treat meal is sourdough bread toasted with Tofutti cream cheese and sundried tomatoes. Or a few pieces of Chocolove chocolate with a generous glass of organic wine.
Ahhh, the good life.
What are your favorite treat meals?