Cheating. It’s no good.
Every day I read confessions of cheating and I get messages from people who have “fallen off” the wagon.
As my good friend Katrina says, “You didn’t fall. You jumped.”
It’s unlikely you waded in and more likely you jumped head first.
I hear the argument, “If you don’t allow yourself a cheat now and then that is a set up for failure.” I beg to differ. An intentional failure (allowing a cheat day/meal) is still failure (you don’t get to pretend it’s something else, just because you planned it). For the carb/sugar addicted, cheating is a slippery slope. It’s especially slippery if you suffer no consequences the first time you do it. That just gives you a level of overconfidence to think, “Hey this cheating thing isn’t so bad.”
Until it is.
Until you find yourself three weeks down the road and ten or more pounds heavier and bloated because, at some point, you went in to carb fog and mindlessly started eating every carb in sight because your cells immediately remembered the sugar rush and wanted more, more, and more.
Every time you go off keto, you kick yourself out of ketosis and delay your fat adaption. Don’t delay your success. Don’t fool yourself into thinking “One cheat won’t hurt.”
Yes, it will hurt.
The hurt may not be the first time, but if you’re lucky, it will be. Some people learn their lesson the first time because they experience physical repercussions. Others don’t and they are the ones most in danger because they go off plan and “nothing happens” and so they deceive themselves in to thinking they can be “normal.” They may get away with it for a little while but eventually they will be right back where they started.
And starting over sucks.
Keto is not a “diet” in the traditional sense of the word – meaning it isn’t something you start, get to an end goal, and then quit. It’s a way of life that if you want to continue to reap the benefits of (feeling good, no inflammation, remaining weight stable, etc.) you just have to keep doing it. Like Brian, Mr. Ketovangelist, has told me more than once on my journey every time I thought I should tweak what I was doing, “Dance with the one that brought you.”
Why do people cheat? Pure and simple, it is an act of being undisciplined. Self-discipline is painful. I get it. It’s tough doing the right thing. It shouldn’t be, but it is at first.
The lack of self discipline stems from buying our own excuses, food fantasy and being lazy – yes lazy. Too lazy to cook, so we grab what is convenient. Too lazy to think for a minute about your best food options and just looking for instant gratification. Discipline is forcing yourself to do something in spite of how you feel at the moment. You do that over and over and it becomes a habit. Every time you are feeling lazy, make the decision on purpose to do the opposite of what you feel like doing.
What do I mean by, “Buying our own excuses?” Have you ever said you caved because you were “starving.” No, no you weren’t starving. You were not going to die, you chose the easy route because you lacked the discipline to do what you needed to do, which was wait and make the right choice. You didn’t have enough self-respect to wait and give your body what it really needed. Self-discipline will breed self respect.
The food fantasy always leads to cheating. What you think about you bring about so stop coveting your friends and family’s desserts and thinking you are missing out on something good. If you are with friends and family, THEY are the fun and the gift, not the food. By not indulging, the only things you give up are guilt, weight gain, bloat, possible stomach pains, higher blood sugar, fatigue, and temporary pleasure.
Your language – is the key to becoming self disciplined. Do not tell yourself, “One little cheat/bite won’t hurt.” Tell yourself, “I don’t need or want that cheat. It will do nothing good for me.”
You must rein in your thoughts and control them. Controlling your thoughts is the first step to controlling your actions. Like a muscle, the more you exercise self discipline, the stronger you get. Self discipline is about controlling your impulses so you an stay focused on your goal – a goal of good health and a normal body weight or whatever it m ay be.
The road of self discipline may be hard but the results are worth it. You have two choices- the success of discipline or the pain of regret.
Understand the consequences of your choices.