Part of my maintenance routine has been to turn down “treats” and “cheat meals.”
It’s true. If I’m out at a birthday party, I won’t eat the cake. No need for explanations… I just say I’m full.
But why not?! Don’t we all need “balance” in our lives? Isn’t part of “healthiness” indulging from time to time?
Well, maybe that’s true for some people ….. But as for me, I “balanced” my way up to 250+ pounds.
Here’s the thing — I already know how the cake tastes. I’ve had countless pieces of cake over my lifetime. I know exactly how buttercream icing tastes. I know exactly how the cheap sugar cookies from the supermarket taste. I can tell you exactly how it feels to burn the roof of your mouth on Domino’s carry-out pizza. Eating the chocolate cake isn’t going to DO anything for me, make me feel any better, or give me any culinary inspiration.
What I’m still learning is how it feels to be healthy.
I’ve found that, if I have a “cheat day,” that often spirals into a “cheat week.” I’m not a doctor, but it feels like indulging in cake or cookies gets my body off track. The sugar hit makes me crave simple carbs, and before I know it, the day is totally shot.
And I’m not convinced that “treating yourself” with things that are bad for your health is a good idea. In what other area of life is something that’s not beneficial to your body considered a good indulgence?
This isn’t to suggest that I don’t ever eat “treats.” I’ll gladly take up any offer to grab frozen yogurt, but I go for the no-sugar-added flavors, stick to a single 4-oz portion, and (if I want a topping) just add whipped cream. If I’m at an event where there’s a new dessert I’ve never tried, I’ll have one bite. (The first bite is always the best anyway!) But I won’t eat a sugar bomb of dessert just because it’s a “special occasion” (because when it is not a special occasion??) and I generally won’t eat huge restaurant portions at special events.
Plus – healthy food tastes GOOD. It took me a really long time to figure that out, probably because I went for the stupid 100-calorie snack packs over real food. I’d much rather make one-ingredient banana ice cream for dessert at home and top it with some frozen blueberries than dig into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
I see so much about working “real life” into healthy living. … But my “healthy living” habits ARE my real life.
I love my body; I want to feed it well.
So I turn down chocolate cake.