When is it ok to break the rules? Is it ok to cheat on your diet occasionally?
I've convinced myself that enjoying a toasted marshmallow, or allowing portion control to fly out the window occasionally is ok.
90% of the time I follow the Hypo Rules but I allow myself that 10% to enjoy special occasions. Is that wrong? I'm really not sure what to think at this point.
This weekend we stopped at a Mexican restaurant before our long drive home, and a friend made a comment that really stuck. After reading every item in the 6 page menu I was very frustrated. I signaled to the husband that I needed help finding something "safe". That's when the friend chimed in with "Why don't you just cheat like you did last night with the marshmallows?"
Wow...what do you say to that? I know it was meant to be liberating...like "You are on vacation, relax with all the rules." But it really got me thinking. Obviously cheating is bad. The rules that I follow are there for a reason, but here's how I look at it:
1) Some rules are more important than others. If I don't eat my required veggies and fruits at each meal it will not effect me the way that Pop Rocks and a can of Coke will.
2) Occasionally portions can be thrown out the window. If 90% of the time you follow the strict 1200 calories a day, allowing yourself to splurge is ok every once in a while. Sitting in a restaurant and portioning out food leaves me feeling deprived and jealous and angry. If I go into the meal thinking that I am allowed to eat until I am full like everyone else...well I feel better about my situation. That does not mean that overindulging is ok, however I am guilty of that this weekend as well. (Lesson learned after the most uncomfortable 4 hour car ride ever!)
3) Hypo rules and MS rules are not equal. Both sets of dietary restrictions are important. But if given the choice between a marshmallow (can you tell I love marshmallows) and buttery popcorn. I will choose the marshmallow (I love them sooo much). Breaking a hypo rule will have me feeling different right away...and I know how to fix it. Breaking an MS rule, with red meat, or butter or other fatty food isn't something I feel right away. I avoid those things actively because I do not want to have another MS episode, and because I believe that these changes will make a difference in my long term health.
4) Use small cheats to avoid big binges. Let's talk about marshmallows again. My willpower could allow me to resist the deliciously toasted gooeyness, but I promise you that my mind will stay on them for weeks. You might be talking to me about family, boy drama or work woes but all I see is a giant talking marshmallow in front of me. It won't take much longer for me to bust out the Weber grill at home and toast till the bag is gone. Same with chips...one hand full can prevent me from sneaking the bag out to the garage for some solitary snacking.
I guess this is all boiling down to tracking and accountability. After the most disappointing weigh-in since starting this new lifestyle I feel the need to prove to people that I follow the rules. I'm aware that I don't need to literally show people what I eat constantly, but it would be nice to say "I am allowed this treat and I can prove it." I was once great about documenting everything I ate, but as I got comfortable with my food choices, I stopped. So back to the tracking I go...but I'd love to know your opinions on diet cheating.