Saturday, January 13, 2007


Man, today was rough! I just couldn't find my groove. Started out on a walk with a friend at 7:30. I had a little extra time before an 8:45 yoga class, so I stopped at a convenient store and bought a large bag of plain M&M's. Today is my cheat day and I found myself obsessing about food first thing. I knew I would eat my favorite cookies today but the obsessing part came in to play when I tried to not only choose what kind of food to "cheat with" but exactly when I was going to eat it.

I know that sounds confusing, it is. Basically this is the conversation in my head;

(I'm at the convenient store) "O.K. you know you want some M&M's. Which size should you buy? If you buy the small one you will only eat the small one, after all your going to have your cookies later. But I know the small one won't be enough. So. If you buy the small one and leave you won't have a choice, and you'll feel better. But the small one cost $.65 and the larger $.99 and the largest $1.99 and you get the best deal if you buy the largest. And if you buy the largest you won't run out (of M&M's) before you feel full. You can eat M&M's before yoga at least it's not cookies, cookies wll stay in your stomach and make you feel really crappy. In fact I don't think you could even get through yoga if you ate alot of cookies, but I think you're safe with M&M's. Now peanut M&M's wouldn't be good. Just buy the large bag. It's your cheat day.
Relax about calories. Etc....

I bought the large bag. Ate them all (745 cal.) before I got to class. Then started the vicious cycle of denial, guilt, shame.

And that was just the start. If you don't have issues with food I'm sure you think I'm crazy, you might even think I'm disgusting. But I'm also sure that you have crazy and disgusting things that you do, you just don't post them on the internet!

I just want to share with any one that does have food issues that this is why I can never let my guard down. I never take for granted that I'm "cured". I work my ass off and make really good choices 99% of the time. I can even feel my attitude around food changing (for the better).

So here it is, 3:30, and I just finished my KB workout. I did get through my yoga class and then buy and eat my cookies. The crap I ate wrecked my KB workout and the only good thing that came out of this is that I realized that the more good, healthy, nutritous food I eat the less I want crappy food. Even though technically I can continue to eat whatever I want to I have no desire for any more junk today. I'm even thinking about redefining my cheat day.

Life is good, but today was rough.


Tom Furman said...

Replace the word,"M&M's" with Heroin or Crack. That would be an absolute decision. Then listen to your dialogue. Chocolate is a mild antidepressent and a mild stimulant (amphetamine). It reduces or masks depression issues, and amps you up. Remember they give amphetamines to HDD kids because they,"make simple tasks easier to focus on". Think about absolutes. I don't believe in cheat days. Why?? Because we don't open it up to driving laws, tax, etc. etc. Those are absolutes and so are calories. Its physics. Live by the laws or be doomed by them

Tracy Reifkind said...


I get your drift but the difference is one doesn't need heroin, alcohol or amphetamines to live; you do need food. Mark has told me that the brains sole source of energy is glucose and that all carbs get broken down into it,so it's not quite the same thing deciding not to use synthetic drugs and not eating sugar. But I have compared my food addiction to drug and alcohol addiction in a previous post.

Everything is an absolute decision. We are what we choose. You dont' beleive in cheat days, I don't beleive in splenda,lol.

There is a rythym to everything, no? Some days are very clean eating and some are not. Being in balance doesnt always means staying in the middle. And you are right about the calories but even if you add in my cheat days, on average I am coming up under calories as my weight is still going down. That's an absolute number I can live with and physics in this case is working for me.

Mark told me that all the pro bodybuilders he trained and worked with used cheat days to make their weekday diets easier. That along with a few other reasons is why I originally adapted that method. I've managed to lose over 120lbs utilizing "cheat days" never really hitting a plateau along the way, to this day.

I'm assuming that youv'e never had to diet "hard" because I'm also assuming that you've never been overweight, and that's one reason why I started my blog. To reach out to others that aren't understood.

These last few weeks I've been able to disconnect from that angel and devil sitting on my shoulder (the emotions behind overreating) easier because of something you wrote in one of your posts. So I thank you for that. One of my favorite sayings is "It's simple, but it ain't easy".

Mark Reifkind said...


I think you are being a bit harsh here.Despite the fact that the average person probably has more sugar in their daily frappacrappalatte and 750 calorie "muffin" then tracy is having on her cheat day( well, almost)comparing food to heroin is really missing the mark.even if that food is junk food.
I would love to see the average person chronical their daily food intake( for real) and add up all the sugar, transfats and ALCOHOL they have on regular basis.
It wouldnt be a pretty picture.
Remember that only 4% of the entire population even admits to EXERCISING regularly,much less training( and that includes gardening and golf) and if you look at the diets of elite athletes(especially marathon runners and cyclists) you would see TONS of these foods on a daily basis.
Marathon great Bill Rogers LIVED on pizza smothered in mayonaise.
Every bodybuilder I know had cheat dyas and junk food in theier diet. ANd lets not even talk about powerlifters. even the smaller weight class guys who are lean.
I'm not saying I think overeating sugar or fats or anything is good for you but the reality here is that even if you live to be 100 with perfect bodyfat, cholesterol and eating habits YOU WILL DIE ANYWAY.That is the only absolute.
It's not like if you do things perfectly 'correct' you get to live forever.we are doomed by life regardless of our 'purity'.
ANd as far as absolutes, c'mon man what world are you living in? taxes as an absolute? How many giant corps pay even a penny in taxes?Getting out of taxes isnt cheating, its good fiscal planning.
There are very few real world absolutes that dont have some fudge room in them and calories are in that group.
Like I wrote on your blog about the 200 calories post: no way is 200 cals of celery the same as 200 cal of mayo.So it's not that simple.
I think tracy is doing a great job and a great service to so many by posting with her emotional honesty to what so many are really thinking and doing by dont have the guts to admit.


Jessica Grafft said...

Hi, i'm new to the blog. I've been following your story a bit and am so impressed. You're an inspiration to life. I have been in that same "M&M" situation a trillion times so I couldn't help myself on saying something. Let's face it, the mind is a very powerful thing. It allows you to manipulate yourself into thinking those thoughts about temptations, like wanting the bigger bag over the smaller one. However, I've found a good groove. My goal was to not put the focus on the food. For instance, not having a cheat day is good for me because I'm not "looking forward" to food. It's just food! Much easier said than done i know, I've been there! But I have found I need to take any emotion out of the act of what eating food is to me. I don't place an emotion with it, not happy, sad, lonely, nothing! If you think about addiction, with anything whether it be food, sex, alchohol etc. It comes down to the same concept. You're addicted to the instant high it gives you. Now take food like it's any other addiction. Just being able to say I don't need that to make me feel good! Alchohlics can avoid bars however, and we can't avoid eating, we have to make choices. But the addication is no different. So after a little rambling, Try not to focus on food, it shouldn't be what makes you happy (i'm not saying it does, but you get my drift)! Thanks for reading, Jessica Grafft, RKC

Tracy Reifkind said...

Hi Jessica and welcome! Thanks so much for commenting about what has worked and does work for you. That's the whole point of my blog.

The point of this post was to share my process. I don't have a problem that I need to solve. I've succeeded. I want others to know that regardless of emotions they too can succeed. I regularly recommend not focusing on the why's and focus on making the right choices. I was simply sharing the struggles that I sometimes have.

In fact, think about how some one gets addicted to something. It's because of how that something makes them feel that fuels the addiction. It may turn into a physical addiction, but doesn't it start in the head?

One of the ways that my attitude about food is changing is that I've established such good eating habits that crappy food is losing it's appeal. And my "out of control" feelings are becoming less. Much less. I'm becoming more addicted to the way I feel eating good than the way I feel shoving food in my mouth!

Tracy Reifkind said...

Jessica, PS you might find these 2 previous posts interesting;

No Sugar, No Energy (11/27)

Motivation (12/11)