The “C” Word

What do you think of when you see the word “cheat“?

Negative connotations, right?

I don’t know about you but I really despise this word. A lot of people use it in the “dieting” world and it’s rather tiresome.

  • “I totally cheated last night at Olive Garden and ate way too much.”
  • “My friend made me cheat by making me eat half of her chocolate bar.”
  • “If I eat it after 10 PM, it’s not cheating.”

The reason why I hate it? Take a look at the Merriam-Webster definition (with minimal condensing from me) and see if you can figure it out.

  1. to break a rule or law usually to gain an advantage at something
  2. to take something from (someone) by lying or breaking a rule; to prevent (someone) from having something that he or she deserves or was expecting to get
  3. to avoid (something bad, dangerous, etc.) by being clever or lucky

Any guesses yet?

Cheating, to me, is an active, fully conscious act to gain something that may or may not be yours by means trickery and dishonesty–i.e. a conscious deception.

“Cheat” is not listed in my lifestyle dictionary. Everything that I do, what I eat and how often I exercise, is a choice that I make. Another a choice I make is to be honest–a trait that so-called cheating lacks.

This is where tracking what you eat and what kind of activity you participate in prevents “cheating” on a diet/lifestyle. An honest record of these things or even owning up to your choices cancels out any deception–so the “c” word doesn’t apply!

Somethings may not be as healthy but that’s just how it goes! So I like to eat brownie batter… who cares? I haven’t broken a rule or law, I haven’t prevented either myself or someone else to get what is expected, and I’m certainly not avoiding anything. This makes me feel that the word “cheat” is being used improperly.  I’m honest about it just as I should be; my stomach can feel it and the residual taste is still on my tongue. I know that I’ve done it. I make the choice to eat the batter and hold myself accountable for it.

Do you know what another choice of mine is? To live a life where I choose to progress in my health endeavors and not be deprived. I eat the batter–I combat it with a healthier choice next time or an extra ten minutes of dancing around my room naked. It’s not a step back so much as it is an opportunity to enjoy myself a little more for a moment. Things taste good–why not enjoy them?

This is why WeightWatchers trumps most other weight loss options. It encourages healthy choices but still allows you to enjoy the foods you love in moderation. No deprivation necessary. Not only that, but it encourages honesty and accountability with what goes into your body. The “c” word doesn’t apply if it’s part of the plan. ;)

So instead of “cheating” on a diet or lifestyle, simply own up to the fact that a decision is a decision. If you enjoy it, why should you consider it cheating anyway? A lifestyle is forever. If part of your lifestyle is enjoying a cookie every once in a while, there is nothing wrong with that. Just remember that you will always have control over your life even if you think you don’t at times.

Keep in mind this is just my opinion… I hope I’ve given you something to think about.

What’s your opinion on the “c” word?


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