They say confession is good for the soul, so here goes: I cheat. There, I said it! I'm a big cheaty-cheat cheating cheater. If you've been following my progress on my other blog, A Digestive Diary, you'll know I'm referring to my cheating on the GAPS diet.
The pizza I snarfed down last Saturday night was one thing, but I did it again last night while watching Rick Mercer on TV. I had a perfectly lovely beef stew for dinner and was completely content and satisfied until, out of nowhere I simply HAD to have chocolate -- and a lot of it, too! Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on which way you're looking at it), I had a fair amount of chocolate left over from Christmas that I had stashed away at the back of the top shelf of one of the kitchen cabinets. I had actually forgotten all about it until, in the throes of extreme chocolate craving, my sub-conscience helpfully reminded me. And all bets were off.
One full jumbo chocolate bar and half a box of After Eights later, and I finally convinced myself that I had had enough. Sheesh! Haven't weighed myself yet, but with all that sugar, I bet I've gained back those extra 2 pounds I reported lost yesterday. Again, it serves me right for cheating.
But, here's the thing. I'm good with it. As long as I don't make a habit of it. Once on Saturday and again on Tuesday is a bit much, so I am going to have to be firm with myself, be a good boy and buckle down for a bit. The thing with dieting is that in order to be successful at it, you can't allow yourself to feel deprived. For the most part, you need to fill yourself with diet friendly foods and as long as you're full and content, mad cravings won't happen. Well, let's say they're less likely to happen -- a mad chocolate craze can apparently hit at any time!
One thing to do when a craving hits is to pause and take a deep breath. This allows your brain a second to re-think and hopefully re-direct you to a diet-friendly alternative. Perhaps if I had done that last night, I would have been satisfied with some yogourt or a glug or two of kefir instead of chowing down a week's worth of chocolate and sugar!
Another thing is to recognize that cheating happens. It just does. And in Tim Ferris's 4 Hour Body diet, a weekly cheat day is built in. So, keeping that in mind, I am not beating myself up over the fact I cheated and will probably do so again. I am accepting it, I'm owning it, I'm getting back on that horse and I'm moving on.
A third thing I will do is create a supply of diet-friendly snacks. Yogourt cheese, for example, made by draining the whey from probiotic yogourt, mixed with herbs and spread on some home-made flax crackers is an excellent, tasty and satisfying GAPS-friendly snack. The more diet-friendly snack options you have at your disposal, the more likely your brain will choose one of them if given the chance.
And of course, you will always need a certain amount of will power to get you through. So, I may be a big cheaty-cheat cheating cheater, but I'm a happy and content cheaty-cheat cheating cheater, so there!