Sunday, January 28, 2007

Evolution of a Cheat Day

I originally started my diet with a "cheat day". Usually on Saturday because that was the day that Mark and I had reserved for each other and I didn't want to drag him down by my restricted diet. My cheat day has also been called my "pig out day" and now I'm ready to change it to my "high calorie day".

In the begining I would not eat much, coffee w/cream of course and maybe an apple, until around 4:00pm. Then all hell was allowed to break loose. Usually including a whole pint of ice cream. I always ended my eating spree by 6pm, and followed it the next day with a semi-fast.

During the summer one of my hobbies is shopping at yard sales on Sat. mornings. I found myself being tempted by the cookies, brownies and rice krispy treats young children would make and sell, and of course I wanted to support them by buying their goodies. So my eating started earlier in the day around 10:00am. I would go crazy on all of these types of goodies and then go into my 1:00 KB workout wired and swing my ass off! That started my addiction to sugar before my WO's. I would then continue to eat what I wanted until around 3:00 and nothing afterward. Also following up the next day with a semi-fast.

I am convinced that allowing my calories to shoot up one day and then dropping them really low helped to keep my weight from plateauing. It also gave me relief from strict dieting, I needed that emotionally.

During the last year I did experiment with skipping cheat days completely and that could be responsible for a 1 or 2 pound weight loss, but I concluded that it was not an advantage.

I also experienced very unsatifying cheat days by surrendering complete control and not planning and really giving thought to what I wanted to treat myself to. I still considered "pigging out" as a treat.

Now here I am. Feeling really crappy about my cheat days. Giving careful thought to what I want to eat and then eating it, but not satisfied. My cheat day is leaving me feeling bad. I can really feel the damage of the high calorie, sugary foods I've been "treating" myself to both physically and emotionally.

Last week it wrecked my KB workout, and yesterday I felt so crappy I actually postponed my KB workout until this morning (Sun.). That's when I finally had it. Missed my KB's because I ate too much of the wrong crap? No more.

So I've decided instead of defining that one day a week as "cheating" or "pigging out" I will define it as simply a "high calorie" day. A day when I continue to eat good quality food, but will allow myself more of it. Take advantage of eating more nuts and PNB, beans and maybe some bread. It has to always include ice cream, but I want to focus more on not eating the whole stinkin' container!

I ended my last Evolution of a Diet post with writing about feeling the need to eat better. The changes of my cheat day have finally evolved into a need to not pig out, a need not to chose to be out of control and a need not to feel bad and guilty. The consequences cost me too much. And all of these have other emotional parallels in my life. Choosing control. Needing control.

Sunday menu, low calorie day
AM weight 127.4

5:30-11:30 coffee w/cream, cocoa 215
1:30 oatmeal w/1/4c. lowfat milk 245, 1/2 small apple 50 cal.
5:00 lg pear 150 cal., lg apple 150 cal.
6:00 veg soup w/beet greens and 4oz. buffalo burger 300 cal. 1/2c. mashed potatoes 120 cal.

Total calories 1230 (not as low as I would of liked, I didn't keep a running total!)

Saturday menu, cheat day
AM weight 126.6

coffee w/cream, cocoa135 cal.
apple 100 cal.
prunes (4) 80 cal.
cookies 1800 cal.
cabbage salad w/pork, beans low cal bar-b-que dressing 500 cal.
ice cream 350 cal.
more cookies 300 cal.

Total calories around 3200

Friday menu
AM weight 127.4

5:00-9:00 coffee w/cream 85 cal.
11:00 oatmeal w/milk and sugar 295 cal.
12:00 coffee w/cocoa 120 cal.
12:30 prunes (5), triscut (4) 160 cal.
3:30 cabbage salad w/4oz. pork, 1/4 white beans, pineapple and low cal bar-b-que dressing 400 cal.
5:30 veg soup w/kale and 4oz. chicken 350 cal.

Total calories 1410

Thursday menu
AM weight 126.6

coffee w/cream, cocoa 115 cal.
triscut (4), prunes (5) PNB 1 1/2 T. 240 cal.
oatmeal/milk 250 cal.
small apple 100 cal.
2 ginger candies 40 cal.
broccoli salad w/tuna and cranberries 300 cal.
veg soup w/butternut squash and 6 oz. chicken 450 cal.

Total calories 1495

Starting this next week I'll be recording my whole week's food journal at one time, probably on Sunday. I do keep a daily hard copy but it'll be easier for me to make adjustments seeing it all at once, a week at a time.

This was a good week, life is good.

1 comment:

Jen Weck said...

Hi Tracy,

I found your blog a week or so ago and have enjoyed reading it. My husband, David Weck, knows Mark from training... BOSU, kb's, etc. I believe he has met you as well.

Anyway, I am always interested in fitness blogs because I keep one myself and embarked on a weight loss mission for the first time about 11 years ago. It was relatively small (about 20-25 lbs.) but I believe that emotionally, all weight loss endeavors are the same!

I like the word you use - evolution. I believe that the weight loss process is an evolution. Our bodies will never be static, meaning that our weight and our figure will in some sense, always be changing. This is particularily true for women because of our lovely little friends, hormones!

I related to your description of the evolution of your cheat days and commend you for listening to your body! I believe that our bodies like and respond well to balance and moderation and that shock therapies (such as overeating, binging, eating crappy foods, etc.) eventually begin to effect us on more levels than just the physical.

What I have learned is that the initial phase of weight loss is envigorating and inspiring but once you enter the maintenance phase, a certain amount of fear creeps into the equation... the fear of gaining the weight back. I'm not sure that fear ever really goes away. In one sense, it's good because it is a reminder of who and what we never want to be again but in another sense, it can be antagonizing and keep us in unhealthy patterns and habits.

That's why I think it's great that you are honoring your body's need to reevaluate your "cheat days". Consider the fact that you are releasing yourself from a "safety" in a sense, because you don't need it anymore! You don't need that day to go nuts and eat "bad" food because you're starting to not even want the bad food anymore! That is true evolution and an exciting discovery during weight maintenance. It's another step toward truly owning the weight loss and becoming a new person.

I won't eat up anymore space but since I've been reading, I thought I would throw in my two cents! Stay strong... life IS good!