I have a confession to make…I’ve been cheating. Cheating is bad. Cheating is where we lie to ourselves, to our loved ones, and to those around us. It’s where we pretend what we’re doing is OK even though in our hearts we KNOW it’s wrong. Cheating is where we slowly undermine all the hard work we’ve been doing. And DON’T EVEN try to tell me you don’t feel bad about it when it happens…

So why do we cheat? Because it’s supposed to be OK here and there. People tell us you just have to allow yourself a cheat day every once in a while to stay sane. Why? How is going against my nutrition plan going to help me? The short answer is…it’s not. It’s time to talk about the elephant in the room – and I’d like to ask you to RE-COMMIT TO YOURSELF to be the best you can possibly be with your nutrition habits for 2014 and beyond!

Read on…and tell me if my story sounds familiar to you.

So…Like I said…I’ve been cheating. I really almost wrote “nothing major”…but that’s just me lying to myself again. Every cheat is major. Every cheat is one more step down the rabbit hole. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’ve been cheating. Little nibbles here and there, a few bites of this, not being strict about that, etc. I figure, I’m doing great with my fitness and nutrition, I’m down to 175…THAT’S AN EXCUSE! I had a ton of excuses! “It’s ok, I’m doing well, I can handle it.”, “My metabolism is so fired up it’ll just shred through this like nothing.”, “I’ve earned it.“, “I just ran 10 miles, shut up.”…
The list goes on. Bottom line, I was justifying little violations of MY OWN RULES! Those rules, combined with hard work, are what got me these results…they’re why I can actually SEE ABS NOW for the first time in my life…why would I go against that?

Really…no good reason. It was there. I had waited too long to eat and was hungry. It looked good. None of those were on my list of good reasons to eat something.

Why is cheating bad? Why is this a big deal?

I’m so glad you asked. It’s really simple. A cheat meal, or worse, a cheat DAY, is extra calories, fat, sodium, oil, grease, etc that you wouldn’t normally have in your day or week. A cheat is a direct violation of all the hard work you’re doing – of your careful portioning and planning, of your low-fat cooking, your extra effort each day to avoid those sources of fat and “badness”…that time you said “no, thank you” to a chicken wing or a beer. Cheating basically undoes that hard work. It might seem obvious, but if you don’t cheat and you stick to your plan, you’ll see better results faster. Cheating is also bad for another reason.

Cheating is a slippery slope

Once you start cheating, you’re making it ok. After you allow yourself to cheat enough times, you may start cheating bigger. It might not be just a nibble anymore, it might be a half a bacon cheeseburger…or a whole one…or a whole day…I know, I sound ridiculous and as if this is the end of the world…but honestly, I’ve been there. I did it. When I was on Weight Watchers with my mom, we’d go weigh in on Saturday morning, and once we left the meeting it was cheat day! We’d go get a fatty sloppy greasy breakfast at our favorite local place, then we’d do whatever for the rest of the day – no weighing, no measuring…just enjoy the day! Why? We had the whole week to make up for it.

With that mindset, you’re starting behind the 8-ball instead of making forward progress all week!

So, I had established my one cheat day a week – I was following all the bad habits I needed to get rid of! What happened when I went to UMass and lost my support system? I hadn’t learned anything and I fell back on what I knew. 5 years later…well…you know how I blew up.

I’m asking you to re-commit to yourself for 2014

Keep up your end of the bargain with yourself! Stick with the program and get the results you’re working so hard for. I know, I make it sound kind of DefCon 1, but it’s better to head this kind of thing off at the pass than to get caught with your pants down later like I did. The whole point of starting this blog was to help people learn from my mistakes…well, here’s a BIG one to learn from. I bet I could’ve got better results from Focus T25 if I buckled down and stuck to my guns on nutrition. When I start P90X3 in January, I’m going to revamp my nutrition, really pay attention to it, and get the best possible results out of it that I can!

Join me in this! From this day forward (yeah, I’m not waiting for the new year) every time I find myself looking at a cheat…every time I find myself bringing a cookie towards my mouth or some similar situation…the words of the video below are going to replay in my mind.

I kid you not.
A friend reminded me about that little gem, and it is SERIOUSLY what I need to scream at myself in my head sometimes…and it works. Try it 🙂 You’ll be glad, down the road, that you said no to that ONE BITE of pie, or that ONE SLICE of pizza…or that ONE DAY to just go nuts. Stick to your guns!

Have faith – you can do this! 2014 is going to be a big year!