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I’ve been thinking about “cheat days” and “cheat meals” lately.
I had a couple opportunities this weekend to have a cheat meal, but I neglected to take them because I had not designated a “cheat day” for myself. And I’m not sure when I will.
Others might think I am too strict on myself, and it occurred to me that some people might even define me as orthorexic.
As for me, I believe I am just doing what’s best for me, and my health.
If you didn’t already know, I have a history of anorexia, bulimia and compulsive overeating. And while I was able to conquer these eating disorders and haven’t looked back, I know how easy it would be for myself to lose control on a cheat day and go overboard, and in doing this it would be easy to enter into a binge-purge cycle again. It happened a hundred times in the past; I would get serious about wanting to eat healthier and lose weight, and would be okay for a few days. Then I’d be eyeing the candy jar that I keep on my desk for others (and my bosses always buy the good stuff that I like) and end up grabbing one.
One candy bar isn’t terrible. But I have NEVER been able to stop at one. It didn’t matter how many times I would tell myself not to grab another, I had already tasted sweetness and had to have more.
Then the “all or nothing” thinking comes into play. I’d think Well, I’ve already screwed up my diet by eating this many. I’ve done bad, I may as well just eat the whole thing now. Which would ultimately lead to a purge, then a whole day of the binge-purge cycle.
It’s hard to break that way of thinking. But there is a grey area. Just because I cheated a little doesn’t mean I have to keep going.
Also, my body has grown accustomed to the way that I eat now. The last time I gave myself a cheat day, my body didn’t seem too happy with me and I felt pretty bad for a couple days.
So for me, until I am confident in myself that I won’t lose control or enter into that “all or nothing” way of thinking, I will stick to designated planned cheat days.